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Life Support system?


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1 hour ago, Brikoleur said:

If I want something else I'll play Galactic Civilisations

GalCiv, hehehe, haven't played that in years. 

1 hour ago, Brikoleur said:

My concern with this is that it would quickly lead to a raft of complications and new gameplay features that would drastically change KSP. The actual spaceflight might gradually fade into the background as the late game becomes all about setting up the automated logistics for your growing interstellar civilisation.

It really depends on how the logistics is setup. If you keep things the user must do to a minimum, it should be ok. If you drop a base or colony to gather/process resources, then build an orbital colony/spacedock, when you're finished with it, the resources are already being sent there. Relatively little fuss, nothing beyond what is expected. (No manual supply runs unless you want to.) You may have to wait for to get enough resources to build something, but with the LS aspect, the supplies are already flowing in, nothing you have to do.

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On 9/1/2019 at 7:46 AM, shdwlrd said:

I liked how USI:LS worked, but I hated the logistics side of it, and the planner was broken. For any type of life support to work and to keep the game exploration and building rockets based, you will need to relegate the logistics to a background function. That can apply to general resource collection and transportation too. 

To me it was mainly the Habitation mechanic in USI-LS that made it awkward.

Was watching the a nature doco last night and was reminded there are creatures on earth that can hibernate in the ground for 20years waiting for the right conditions then they pop-out and feed and get busy. So who's to say life support needs to be based on a human-like lifestyle. 

Kerbals could be good nappers and given the wrong conditions could go off to their habitat and nap for days or years until things improve. So LS could then be Lively Support not Life Support. You want Kerbals to do stuff you have to supply them. You want them to go on long trips and not consume resources the whole time they need a napping hole.

Also most things already work without Kerbals around at all running on a probe core. A miner with no active kerbal just doesn't mine as well until the power runs out. Then again a colony ship will be so far away from communications that will need Kerbals to steer.

I think there is a way to find the balance between Kerbals being not just ballast and a micro-managed drudge. The kerbal the way the better in my book.

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7 hours ago, mattinoz said:

To me it was mainly the Habitation mechanic in USI-LS that made it awkward.

Was watching the a nature doco last night and was reminded there are creatures on earth that can hibernate in the ground for 20years waiting for the right conditions then they pop-out and feed and get busy. So who's to say life support needs to be based on a human-like lifestyle. 

Kerbals could be good nappers and given the wrong conditions could go off to their habitat and nap for days or years until things improve. So LS could then be Lively Support not Life Support. You want Kerbals to do stuff you have to supply them. You want them to go on long trips and not consume resources the whole time they need a napping hole.

Also most things already work without Kerbals around at all running on a probe core. A miner with no active kerbal just doesn't mine as well until the power runs out. Then again a colony ship will be so far away from communications that will need Kerbals to steer.

I think there is a way to find the balance between Kerbals being not just ballast and a micro-managed drudge. The kerbal the way the better in my book.

It was the whole reverting your Kerbals from tourists that killed the USI-LS experience with me. The process was so broken, it wasn't worth the headache trying to do it in the field. 

Having the Kerbals go into hibernation is an interesting mechanic. Assuming that you have advanced enough probe cores, you wouldn't have to wake them up until you arrive at your destination. (That's what I use to do when I was using LS, freeze them after launch and wake them after arrival.) You wouldn't have to add any parts to do that, just send them to a hitchhiker and tell them to go to sleep. (A new use for the hitchhiker other than I think I will give my Kerbals more space to move around.) Wake them when they arrive at their destination, or when something goes wrong. That seems easy enough. 

After reading into some of the Q&A sessions with star theory, I think they already have the LS process planned out and they are keeping it a surprise for now. Now I'm really curious on what they are cooking up. I know they already have a plan for resource gathering and management, but can't talk about it. Maybe it's the same thing for life support.

Edited by shdwlrd
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On 8/31/2019 at 10:13 AM, GoldForest said:

I doubt Colonies will be self sufficient on their own. You will have to go out and gather the resources on your own I feel, but if I have 2 colonies, and I ignore colony A because I'm working on colony B for three years in game time, colony A shouldn't have any ill effects because of me neglecting them. 

Basically: Colonies won't grow without your direct help, but won't die without help. 

Lots of domes being shown. Nothing stops them from making those as gardens/food production/air recycling. Then you can plop them down, and easily (in game) having self sufficiency.

 

If we get life support, I assume it will be similar to the communication network. Not having it means you cannot do some things easily. But it won't break the game or stop you playing. Having it means you get bonuses. Setting it up is easyish, but it has realistic restrictions (coms has obstruction by planets, limited range). So life support might get time limits on mission length, or colony building/refuel limits until you setup new supplies/recyclers/miners for fuel/resources/life support.

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I think an extremely light (similar to Snacks!) life support system would be ideal. Enough to stop me from launching a ship for a multi-year mission that has a single capsule as its only crew compartment, but not enough to become a game about managing logistics.

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I really hope life support is implemented. It's an embarrassingly large omission for a space game that purports to have any degree of realism; it was silly to leave it out of the first game and would be just as silly to leave it out of the second. It's one of the core challenges of crewed spaceflight, and would serve to make uncrewed missions more worthwhile. It would make high energy transfers useful for emergency resupply or just to reduce life support requirements. 

Doesn't need to be complicated. One supply resource, one waste resource, with high mass recyclers to make bases and stations self sufficient if that's your thing. 

And yes, kerbals should die if they run out of life support. I don't get why we're suddenly squeamish about dying kerbals after all the explosive dismemberment we've all done. 

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The good idea could be to have a life support in option and can be disable for the beginner. After the base construction, we need to make a closed cycle life support with all technolgies, and before we need to resupply the bases. But resupply 10 colony can be a repetitive task, that's why the KSP team must find a solution like a automatic delivery in exchange of money.

KSP is a space simulator but it's a management game to. Without management ressource, the challenge to make colony is less interesting.

In the USI mod, the most complex things was the ressources management for constructions. Make a closed cycle life support was more easier than the manufactured parts. But in KSP 2, if your can make a rocket or a ship in a new colony, you have to manage a more complex tasks than the management of life support, make a greehouse is not very complex except if there is no water on the planet in this case the logistic can be a little boring).

So I hope there will be a true life support in KSP 2.

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9 minutes ago, mattinoz said:

What will happen to the forums when there is no longer Hypothetical discussions about how LS and multiplayer should work because we'll know how they work.

 

That will probably change to a bunch of griping and calls to make it better. Better as being the way I want it, that is.

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9 hours ago, Dix2lespace said:

automatic delivery in exchange of money

I hope that's not the solution because it leads to a whole raft of gameplay problems. Like, what happens when you timewarp 10 years in an interstellar mission? Will you come out of timewarp bankrupt and colonies full of dead kerbals? 

If you want to avoid that, then you'll need a steady source of income to balance out your outlays. That means setting up a system to model economics, and mechanics for getting that steady income stream. And if you do that, then what's to stop you from setting up a profitable operation, then timewarping 10 years to find yourself rich as Croesus? 

---> point being, all of these problems are soluble, there are tons of games with economies and gameplay around the economies: however, KSP is not one of those games, and implementing all this well enough that it's fun rather than a chore is a lot of work. 

So I continue to be worried about life support and its implications for gameplay. I'm sure Star Theory have something planned and are aware of the potential issues, but this is a difficult problem. There are so many ways to screw it up, leading to tedious, rote gameplay, or un-fun disasters, or crazily unbalanced systems, or systems that are so trivial that they might as well not be there, or systems that are so complex it's not possible to implement them given the time and budget constraints Star Theory is working with.

To be perfectly honest at this point I don't think they can make it work -- at least for 2.0 --, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a nice little box in the options that I can un-check instead.

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15 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

I hope that's not the solution because it leads to a whole raft of gameplay problems. Like, what happens when you timewarp 10 years in an interstellar mission? Will you come out of timewarp bankrupt and colonies full of dead kerbals? 

If you want to avoid that, then you'll need a steady source of income to balance out your outlays. That means setting up a system to model economics, and mechanics for getting that steady income stream. And if you do that, then what's to stop you from setting up a profitable operation, then timewarping 10 years to find yourself rich as Croesus? 

---> point being, all of these problems are soluble, there are tons of games with economies and gameplay around the economies: however, KSP is not one of those games, and implementing all this well enough that it's fun rather than a chore is a lot of work. 

So I continue to be worried about life support and its implications for gameplay. I'm sure Star Theory have something planned and are aware of the potential issues, but this is a difficult problem. There are so many ways to screw it up, leading to tedious, rote gameplay, or un-fun disasters, or crazily unbalanced systems, or systems that are so trivial that they might as well not be there, or systems that are so complex it's not possible to implement them given the time and budget constraints Star Theory is working with.

To be perfectly honest at this point I don't think they can make it work -- at least for 2.0 --, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a nice little box in the options that I can un-check instead.

Or allow us to diverge an accerated timeline so we can "plan by the seat of our pants" then just let the rewards roll in as the conical timeline catches up.

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I think that there's a main problem with a lite life support, it's meant to make the game "more realistic" but it doesn't, let me explain.

Adding one or more resources is not that realistic, a command pod used as the sole habitat to go to jool is not realistic and adding a jumbo tank of snacks doen't improve the things, it's just adds a DV challenge.

Radiation and abitation without supplies will be way more effective, I heard more than once people saying that some craft "doesn't feel right" because it doesn't have enough crew space.

Having habitats being necessary and requiring electricity to work would change a lot the ship designs for long term mission without adding a "food fuel".

 

On top of that I think that the main problem with life support is that it disables rescue mission in favor of over-engineering security measures (for example by pre-launching tons and tons of supplies along the way), that would make a "the Martian" scenario impossible without cheating a ton of "simulated potatoes" to Mark Kerman's Duna Hab. I'm totally ok with failing a mission but as soon as you get interplanetary having a failure on the life support is not a challenge is a unrecoverable "game over screen" and this is why i think that some sort of "emergency ibernation" which completely disables the crew until external help arives, this wouldn't reduce the usefulness of redundancy in life support but would keep the option for challenging rescue missions.

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On 9/3/2019 at 12:32 PM, Red Iron Crown said:

I really hope life support is implemented. It's an embarrassingly large omission for a space game that purports to have any degree of realism; it was silly to leave it out of the first game and would be just as silly to leave it out of the second. It's one of the core challenges of crewed spaceflight, and would serve to make uncrewed missions more worthwhile. It would make high energy transfers useful for emergency resupply or just to reduce life support requirements. 

Doesn't need to be complicated. One supply resource, one waste resource, with high mass recyclers to make bases and stations self sufficient if that's your thing. 

And yes, kerbals should die if they run out of life support. I don't get why we're suddenly squeamish about dying kerbals after all the explosive dismemberment we've all done. 

Don't disagree on any single point, but the player should decide whether the Kerbals die or become inactive.

Having you Kerbals die because you want to do something else and not paying attention to them, that's no fun, that's borderline eff this game.

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5 hours ago, shdwlrd said:

Don't disagree on any single point, but the player should decide whether the Kerbals die or become inactive.

Having you Kerbals die because you want to do something else and not paying attention to them, that's no fun, that's borderline eff this game.

Make it cartoony, so it's funny when they run out of life support and their heads swell up like balloons and pop. 

It's like anything else in the game, you get burned a few times and learn from it. I don't think dumbing down is the answer. 

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1 hour ago, Red Iron Crown said:

Make it cartoony, so it's funny when they run out of life support and their heads swell up like balloons and pop. 

It's like anything else in the game, you get burned a few times and learn from it. I don't think dumbing down is the answer. 

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on what should happen when LS runs out. At the end of the day, it's just a game. It's not worth getting into an argument about something that may or may not be included in it.

I'll only use LS if there is good in game LS planner and I don't have to do any supply runs for anything that is marked station, base, or colony unless I want to.

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From what I have seen thus far, my impression is that craft may not have life support themselves, but for a colony to grow, it will need sufficient life support capability to support the larger colony size.

That way 'life support' acts primarily as a cap on colony growth, but does not interfere with the rocket-building part of the game and cannot have bad/unwanted effects from excessive time-warp.  Presumably station life-support will be much heavier/more expensive to reflect the lack of raw materials coming in to replace losses.

(I expect we will still need mods for on-craft LS)

Anything more than that will mean that KPS2 cannot be played like KSP1 without some sort of switch to turn off LS(and the need for any related logistics).

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Not having LS in stock in some form would be a major oversight IMHO.

That said, I do think a stock 'default' version should be fairly simple resource and management wise.  And with options to disable fully and toggle between 'death' and 'hibernation' to allow for different preferences.

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I think "hibernation" would definitely be a good choice. Or, to make LS even more optional, the crew could just slow down their production of science and other resources. Say, you have a science lab producing 1 science per day, and a resource converter (run by engineers) producing 10 fuel per day. When the colony runs out of "snacks", you slow down to 0.25 science and 2.5 fuel per day. So it's not a huge impact, it's nothing irreversible, but it's sufficient to make you want to supply the colony, if you care enough about it. And if you reduce it down to just "snacks" (instead of air, water, food, trash, etc) then it simplifies the experience - not sure if that's a good or bad thing, though.

Having Kerbals straight-up die from lack of resources would be a bit too dark for this game IMO... normally they only die in fiery cartoon explosions, not starvation. But I guess it would be fine if you could enable it in the difficulty settings or something.

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18 hours ago, dryer_lint said:

Having Kerbals straight-up die from lack of resources would be a bit too dark for this game IMO... normally they only die in fiery cartoon explosions, not starvation. But I guess it would be fine if you could enable it in the difficulty settings or something.

Or just give them mad/sad faces when LS supply runs out.

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5 hours ago, Xd the great said:

Or just give them mad/sad faces when LS supply runs out.

Not a bad settings option.

To be of any real value gameplay wise there needs to be consequences, at least at higher difficulty levels...

0 = Off. 

1 = Grumpy.   Sad hungry faces and 'feed me' and ' I can't breath' notes appear on the portraits.

2 = Sluggish.  Reduced efficiency.

3 = Hibernation.  Non functional, but can be revived.

4 = Death.  

Perhaps even progress through the 4 states as the situation deteriorates, but it caps out at the setting selected.

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On 9/9/2019 at 6:07 PM, pandaman said:

Not a bad settings option.

To be of any real value gameplay wise there needs to be consequences, at least at higher difficulty levels...

0 = Off. 

1 = Grumpy.   Sad hungry faces and 'feed me' and ' I can't breath' notes appear on the portraits.

2 = Sluggish.  Reduced efficiency.

3 = Hibernation.  Non functional, but can be revived.

4 = Death.  

Perhaps even progress through the 4 states as the situation deteriorates, but it caps out at the setting selected.

I would stop the default at 3, just because as I said above, rescue mission are an important part of the game.

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On 8/31/2019 at 8:11 AM, Brikoleur said:

There are a lot of threads about wishlists for KSP2, so I thought it's time for a little negativity: what features or characteristics in KSP2 do you absolutely not want to see? I.e., what is over or near the line of "if this is in, then I'm out?"

I have a bunch of them, most of which fall under the realism/hardcore/simulation feature set:

  • Realistic life support. Screw it up and your kerbals die deep in space; regular resupply missions needed for crewed stations and bases. 
  • Realistic (n-body) orbital mechanics with no magic fudges. I do not want to deal with unstable orbits, orbital adjustments, or resupplying satellites so they can maintain their orbits. If n-body physics are in, then I expect satellites will have magic automation that allows them to maintain orbits with no resource expenditure, as easily as they do with patched conics.
  • Realistic low orbit decay through atmospheric drag (see above).
  • Realistic fuels, meaning ISRU can only resupply a small subset of engines using suitable fuels. I.e. if your engine requires kerolox, you're SOL.

I do not want KSP2 to be a hardcore space simulation. I want it to continue to be a lighthearted space program game with constraints that are loose enough to get creative, with spectacular explosions when things go wrong. Put another way, if it's no longer possible to make orbit in something like this, then I'm out:

I don't understand this kneejerk reaction anytime realism is mentioned, especially with regards to life support (your #1 point and the subject that seems to most commonly trigger this sort of response). There always seems to be the assumption that if implemented, it would be in the most player-unfriendly and hardcore way possible to cater to a small minority at the expense of the majority (which the devs most certainly WILL NOT DO, they want to make a fun game that will sell well).

Personally, I do mostly like the realism vs gameplay balance the devs have struck in KSP, but I still feel that the lack of any life support mechanic whatsoever is a huge omission, both in terms of gameplay and realism. In gameplay, manned missions are hugely OP compared to probes with all the extra abilities kerbals bring to the table beyond a probe (repair, science, control when out of comm range and power, infinite EVA fuel "get out and push") for the minor cost of a 0.5t landing capsule.

If I was going to implement life support in a way that was reasonably realistic but still fun and didn't turn the game into a micromanagement nightmare, these are some ideas for what I would do:

  • Pods would have enough life support so that early game LEO and Mun/Minmus missions would be largely unchanged, long duration missions would favor probes due to life support limitations (unless you really do want to micromanage)
  • Mid-game, ISRU could be used to resupply bases without needing to manually send supplies, colony ships could carry enough supplies for the one-way trip to set up the base that you wouldn't need to resupply them en route.
  • Late-game, closed-loop life support devices (for interstellar missions and orbital bases) could be researched that would effectively give you unlimited life support using energy for large ships, stations and bases.

The purpose here is to help players understand why we haven't really done manned missions past the moon (in addition to balancing the aforementioned issues with probes vs manned missions). Resupply missions are difficult and tedious, and carrying enough supplies for a long mission takes a lot of mass, so for manned missions to go further we'll either need a jumping-off point (which with ISRU could enable the first off-planet self-contained bases) or much more advanced closed-loop life support systems.

Of course, this system would be entirely optional (just like the comm network) for players who don't want to deal with it at all.

 

Anyways, on the topic of this thread, there's no real single dealbreaker feature for me (unless the devs did something truly awful and unexpected like gambling mechanics, microtransactions, forced online, game as a service, etc, which I highly doubt). If anything, it would be something like KSP2 releasing in a half-finished state like KSP1 did (and is STILL recovering from).

Edited by Lord Aurelius
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