Snark

I get to interview Star Theory tomorrow. Give me your questions!

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4 hours ago, Snark said:

With 30 minutes for the interview, that gives me an average of just under 37 seconds per question, if I want to ask them all.;)

One suggestion, if you have an email contact, you could forward the questions and ask them to indicate which ones are "no comment". It may be quite a few, and pruning them would allow the in person interview to focus on the interesting answers.

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11 minutes ago, HebaruSan said:

One suggestion, if you have an email contact, you could forward the questions and ask them to indicate which ones are "no comment". It may be quite a few, and pruning them would allow the in person interview to focus on the interesting answers.

I've already done that, and sent them a link to this thread as a heads-up.  ;) 

However, I haven't had a response yet, and my impression is that they're ridiculously busy at the moment (were already super busy just working on the game, and now they've got this whole PAX circus to manage as well), so I wouldn't be surprised if they haven't actually had a chance to see it yet.

We'll manage one way or another, shall see what develops.  Am heading out to PAX now to nose around for a while before interview time, so responses to anyone here will likely be delayed-to-nonexistent for a while.  Got my hands full.

Wish me luck, folks, and I'll post results when I can.  Very likely won't be today, since I'll be 1. busy, followed by 2. exhausted.  I know folks will be eagerly awaiting answers, I'll provide info absolutely as soon as possible convenient.  Believe me, I'm cognizant of folks' impatience, I'm with ya on that one.  ;)

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1 minute ago, Snark said:

Am heading out to PAX now to nose around for a while before interview time, so responses to anyone here will likely be delayed-to-nonexistent for a while.

Good luck have fun!

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Okay, here I am, queued up waiting to get in. Holy smokes, this is a long line.

Well, if any of you guys are at PAX West, and you see a tall, skinny, pale, bespectacled guy with shorts, backpack, and slate-blue KSP T-shirt, go introduce yourself with your forum handle and you'll find out if he's me. :sticktongue:

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20 minutes ago, Snark said:

Okay, here I am, queued up waiting to get in. Holy smokes, this is a long line.

Well, if any of you guys are at PAX West, and you see a tall, skinny, pale, bespectacled guy with shorts, backpack, and slate-blue KSP T-shirt, go introduce yourself with your forum handle and you'll find out if he's me. :sticktongue:

I’m waving from about 20 miles away, does that count? :D

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24 minutes ago, Snark said:

Okay, here I am, queued up waiting to get in. Holy smokes, this is a long line.

Well, if any of you guys are at PAX West, and you see a tall, skinny, pale, bespectacled guy with shorts, backpack, and slate-blue KSP T-shirt, go introduce yourself with your forum handle and you'll find out if he's me. :sticktongue:

Good luck! Have fun!

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I wish I could go, it would be fun to meet another KSPer... I've never met one in real life :p

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21 minutes ago, KerikBalm said:

I wish I could go, it would be fun to meet another KSPer... I've never met one in real life :p

I never did either, before Wednesday.

Just ran into @Avera9eJoe

in the line by the Private Division booth. Nice meeting you :)

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It was an honor :D I feel like such a dunce for not recognizing you immediately when you said your username, I've seen you all over the place! I hope to meet up again

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Okay gang, interview done. Went great, actually managed to get through all the questions listed in the OP. More details later when I have time and am not pecking at my phone in a crowded conference center. Thanks for your patience!

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1 hour ago, Snark said:

Okay gang, interview done. Went great, actually managed to get through all the questions listed in the OP. More details later when I have time and am not pecking at my phone in a crowded conference center. Thanks for your patience!

Well done!Take your time!Whenever you are ready, we are not going away :D .

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Okay, gang, here's the scoop!  :D

My interview was with Nate Simpson, creative director for Kerbal Space program 2 and major KSP nerd (apparently he was notorious around the Star Theory office for being bonkers about KSP, long before KSP2 was even a thing; there's a story around that, but I digress)@linuxgurugamer tagged along.

I managed to get through all the questions listed in the OP, in the time allotted-- just barely squeaked by.  Questions and answers below.

Note:  For a few of them, the answer is listed at "don't know" or "not sure".  That has a very specific meaning in this context-- it means that Nate, himself, didn't happen to know the answer off the top of his head (for example, he's not an engineer, so technical questions about specific implementation details are often outside of his knowledge, you'd need to talk to an engineer for that.)  So when I report an answer as "don't know" or "not sure", that's what it means.  In cases where Star Theory hasn't come to closure on something, then I'll describe that as "TBD" instead.

What appears below is a combination of my memory and the notes that I typed during the conversation, so Nate's answers aren't necessarily verbatim quotes, but they're as close as I could make 'em.  Please remember that I'm a total noob at interviewing people (I'm not a streamer, this is the first time I've ever done anything like this, it's not like I actually know what I'm doing), so it's possible I could have garbled things a bit here and there.  Hopefully not too much.  :)

I've highlighted the bits that I found particularly eye-opening and/or exciting.

  • Q:  Will single-player still have all the same familiar game modes, i.e. sandbox, science, career?
  • A:  No.  There will be sandbox (pretty much same as now), and then there will be another mode called "progression" which is sort of a combination of science and career modes, aiming for the best of both.
  • Q:  Will science and R&D still work pretty much the same way?
  • A:  Yes.
  • Q:  What's the tech tree like?  Is it still "kerbals first, probe cores later"?
  • A:  Still TBD.
  • Q:  Will there still be the same sorts of science experiments?  New ones?
  • A:  It's changed in a few ways, but not at liberty to say more than that at the moment.
  • Q:  Still biome-focused?  Are they still called "biomes"?
  • A:  Not sure.
  • Q:  Will any KSP 1 features be dropped, and if so, which?  For example:  ISRU, CommNet, asteroids, heating, etc.
  • A:  That's a bit complicated to answer if you ask "any", since there are tons of features in KSP 1 and not all of them are going to work exactly the same way in KSP 2.  But for the ones specifically mentioned here:  yes, ISRU will still be a thing, with a way to detect from orbit.  There are still asteroids.  There's still CommNet, and it still needs LOS.  Heating's a thing, though the dynamics may change a bit and can't talk about those details right now.
  • Q:  How customizable will the UI be?  (navball position, etc.)
  • A:  They want to make it very flexible.  They're trying to make the UI more easily moddable than before.  As for player-customizability, details are still TBD.  They're aware that players can be very particular about how UI elements are arranged, and want to make people happy.
  • Q:  When will Star Theory people start engaging with players in the KSP forums (e.g. to answer questions, get feedback, etc.)?
  • A:  Don't know an exact date, but Soon™.
  • Q:  What's the plan for Mac and Linux support?
  • A:  We want KSP to be available to as many players as possible at launch, but can't say more specifically than that right now.
  • Q:  Will KSP work on a locked-down PC?  As in, can be installed by an admin user, then run by non-admin users?
  • A:  Don't know, would need an engineer for that.
  • Q:  Will we be getting KSP 2 merchandise?  When?
  • A:  There will definitely be merch, don't know when though.
  • Q:  Will we have the ability to refuel or transfer resources to craft on a planet/moon surface without the need to dock to them?
  • A: <knowing nod, he gets why this is important>  Absolutely yes.  No comment on the details, though.
  • Q:  Will we see parts inspired from existing real-world spacecraft that have yet to be featured in KSP 1? Such as the Orion capsule, etc.
  • A:  No plans for Making-History-style replicas, but definitely "inspired by" types of craft.
  • Q:  Will the Making History parts be included?
  • A:  Currently no plans to bring those in, in particular.  There are some parts that appear to have become so indispensable that they may bring them in, though.
  • Q:  What about part sizes?  Will new sizes be available?
  • A:  Two new sizes.  No comment on how big.
  • Q:  Will any new parts be based on cancelled concepts like NASA's Constellation program or un-built proposals like Lockheed Martin's Mars Base Camp?
  • A:  There are echoes of Constellation.  We use this stuff as our reference materials, so there's a lot of "inspired by" stuff.
  • Q:  Will there be periodic equipment failures / maintenance?
  • A:  No.  <grinning> I expect modders will jump right on that, though.
  • Q:  Will there be specific hazards to exploration (e.g. sand traps for rovers)?
  • A:  Definitely yes (to hazards that is, not necessarily to sand traps).  No comment on details.  By the way, there are lava planets, wink wink nudge nudge.
  • Q:  Will there be camera tools to make it easier for people to put together their own cinematics?  (flyby, etc.)
  • A:  Putting in lots of work on the camera system, but can't be more detailed than that right now.
  • Q:  Will we have any form of automation?  For example, if I were to launch my Daedalus and then swap over to some other craft, would the Daedalus continue accelerating?
  • A:  <big grin> Absolutely yes.  That's a really important feature and is a big deal to have.  Continuing to accelerate while switching control elsewhere is a thing.
  • Q:  Will it be possible to fly multiple ships in atmosphere at the same time?  For example, to emulate a SpaceX booster recovery?
  • A:  Would really like to enable that and are trying to do that.  Still working on it.
  • Q:  Underwater exploration:  what can you find?
  • A:  You should go explore and find out!  <grin, wink wink, nudge nudge>  Exploring will have rewards, hint hint.  There are going to be many bodies of liquid.
  • Q:  What about jet engines and airplanes?
  • A:  Stock parts are mostly still there.  No comment about new airplane parts.
  • Q:  What about the aero model? Will it be like KSP 1, or something more like FAR?
  • A:  We don't want to confuse players who are used to flying in KSP 1, so it'll have a very similar aero model.
  • Q:  Will part damage work like in KSP 1?
  • A:  No comment.
  • Q:  Will it be possible to start a new career on a planet other than Kerbin?
  • A:  No.
  • Q:  Will it be possible to start a new career at a further tier in the tech tree?  i.e. start a career at 1970s-equivalent rather than 1950s-equivalent
  • A:  No.
  • Q:  Will the "anomalies" of KSP 1 still exist?  Will there be new alien artifacts on new planets?
  • A:  Get out there and find out!  <grin, wink wink, nudge nudge>
  • Q:  Is there life more than trees and cactus and Kerbals in KSP2?  Can the Kerbals find something out there?
  • A:  Get out there and find out!  <grin, wink wink, nudge nudge>
  • Q:  Will we get something like air augmented rockets for use on worlds without oxygen in the atmosphere?
  • A:  Interesting idea.  No current plans to do so, will look into that.
  • Q:  Will there be flags and decals?
  • A:  Planning to, yes.
  • Q:  Will kerbals get more stuff that they can do while EVA?
  • A:  No comment.
  • Q:  Will we get KAS/KIS functionality in the stock game?
  • A:  None currently planned.
  • Q:  Will there be Ansel support?
  • A:  Don't know.
  • Q:  Will it be possible to build a colony on Kerbin, e.g. so the player can make their own alternate launch sites?
  • A:  Absolutely yes!
  • Q:  Will there be mods for console, e.g. some sort of modhub?
  • A:  Don't know.
  • Q:  Will we see more variety of biomes / geology?  e.g. volcanism, very dense atmospheres, completely liquid planets, etc.
  • A:  Absolutely yes.
  • Q:  Will the kerbals get more vocalizations, to go along with the new emotes?
  • A:  No talking.  Lots of screaming, though. [Snark note:  I heard a demo of this the other day.  It was hysterical.] ;)
  • Q:  Are vessels still a tree structure?  Can there be multi-path / loops?
  • A:  Don't have a detailed answer for that.  Things are still in development.
  • Q:  Will there be a playable demo?
  • A:  Don't know.
  • Q:  Will we be able to mod new science "situations"?  e.g. if we wanted to have experiments for low / middle / upper atmosphere.  In KSP 1 it's an enum and therefore unmoddable.
  • A:  Not specifically aware of any obstacles to that, but I'm not the authority on that.
  • Q:  Will there be bigger asteroids?
  • A:  Possibly.
  • Q:  Will you use Unity ECS?
  • A:  Don't know.
  • Q:  Will there be tools for porting KSP 1 part mods to KSP 2?
  • A:  Not planning to.
  • Q:  Will something like PartTools be a thing?
  • A:  There will be a replacement for PartTools, designed to be easier to use.
  • Q:  Are you using PBR shaders?  Will you be providing any tools to help people convert existing mod textures to PBR?
  • A:  Heavy use of PBR, yes.  No conversion tools.
  • Q:  Will you include FleX support for GPGPU acceleration?
  • A:  Don't know.
  • Q:  Will there be tools to aid interplanetary missions?  i.e. transfer window planner, something better than guessing angles
  • A:  Yes, absolutely.  No comment about specific details, though.
  • Q:  Will there be persistent rotation?
  • A:  Yes.
  • Q:  Will sound be muffled as you gain altitude?
  • A:  Yes.
  • Q:  Will rocket plumes change with gaining altitude (i.e. pressure-dependent)
  • A:  Yes.

 

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6 minutes ago, Snark said:
  •  
  • Q:  Will there be persistent rotation?
  • A:  Yes.

Hmmmmmmmmm not sure how I feel about this. Far more realistic but now I won't be able to stabilize craft without SAS.

However, I'm on board with pretty much everything else. Thank you for taking the time to ask all these questions!

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7 minutes ago, Snark said:

No talking.  Lots of screaming, though. [Snark note:  I heard a demo of this the other day.  It was hysterical.] ;)

I feel like this will be fun. A lot of mortified screams with multiple crashes.

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WOW I got here fast :D Excellent questions, and equally impressive answers. I love this level of transparency! Also looking forwards to Persistent rotation and better audio! One of KSP's downfalls for me has been the lack of audio for parts, so I look forwards to this greatly :)

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15 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

Hmmmmmmmmm not sure how I feel about this. Far more realistic but now I won't be able to stabilize craft without SAS.

The KSP player in me who has their 'routine' down also doesn't like this.  It's been like that since I got into the game in the pre-alpha, and dangit, that's the way it should be.   But it's way more realistic, and players will learn to adapt.  I might not like it at first, but I will quickly come to enjoy it I think. 

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3 minutes ago, Gargamel said:

The KSP player in me who has their 'routine' down also doesn't like this.  It's been like that since I got into the game in the pre-alpha, and dangit, that's the way it should be.   But it's way more realistic, and players will learn to adapt.  I might not like it at first, but I will quickly come to enjoy it I think. 

See, now I’m gonna love that, Persistent Rotation is always on my short list of mods for a new install... if only so I can switch back and watch a still-tumbling bit of debris reenter. :P

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48 minutes ago, Snark said:
  • Q:  Will we have any form of automation?  For example, if I were to launch my Daedalus and then swap over to some other craft, would the Daedalus continue accelerating?
  • A:  <big grin> Absolutely yes.  That's a really important feature and is a big deal to have.  Continuing to accelerate while switching control elsewhere is a thing.
  • Q:  Will there be persistent rotation?
  • A:  Yes.

Sounds like time warp and physics warp are merging and improving. It's about... time. :cool:

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@Snark From someone on the East Coast thanks for getting there and putting out this Q&A information so fast. Must have been slightly nerve wracking but good job! 

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I do hope reaction wheels are still somewhat magic, considering we have persistent rotation.Curses!

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Yay! So much good stuff! I can’t wait to play the new game!

It’s particularly great to see persistent rotation, and proper realistic engine plumes. Thanks for reporting back, @Snark :D

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