Tachtra

Life Support system?

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2 hours ago, Lord Aurelius said:

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).

It’s not a knee-jerk reaction. This is something I’ve thought through quite carefully. I have not yet seen a single suggestion for LS that would not lead to tedium OR be so trivial that it’s not worth even doing. Your suggestion f.ex. ignores orbital bases and interplanetary missions.

From where I’m standing it’s the pro-LS camp who tends to go with a knee-jerk “woo, realism” (sometimes with a condescending nod to “easymode”) without giving much consideration at all to how it would play. Because it wouldn’t make the game any harder, it would just create rote busywork and make it more tedious.

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3 hours ago, Lord Aurelius said:

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.

This is a perfect balance between realism and gameplay.

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39 minutes ago, Xd the great said:

This is a perfect balance between realism and gameplay.

No it really isn't.

(1) What about mid-game orbital stations? No resources to utilise, no late-game closed-loop recyclers. If you want orbital stations, you're stuck doing continuous resupply.

(2) What about mid-game interplanetary missions? See above.

Seriously guys, it does seem to me that you're the ones who haven't thought this through. If you get what you want, you'll be playing Milk Run Simulator and I think only very few of you would in reality enjoy that.

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57 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

No it really isn't.

(1) What about mid-game orbital stations? No resources to utilise, no late-game closed-loop recyclers. If you want orbital stations, you're stuck doing continuous resupply.

(2) What about mid-game interplanetary missions? See above.

Seriously guys, it does seem to me that you're the ones who haven't thought this through. If you get what you want, you'll be playing Milk Run Simulator and I think only very few of you would in reality enjoy that.

How do we know that Kerbals are not actually Androids with a little internal nuclear reactor that gives them a lifetime supply of power.  They have no need for traditional life support...Kind of like Data in Star Trek.  I mean, we don't actually know what the content of snacks are. Maybe it is deuterium.

Edited by Klapaucius

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1 hour ago, Brikoleur said:

Seriously guys, it does seem to me that you're the ones who haven't thought this through. If you get what you want, you'll be playing Milk Run Simulator and I think only very few of you would in reality enjoy that.

ISRU prevents that. As long as you have enough drills, power source and radiators, your kerbals won't die.

1 hour ago, Brikoleur said:

(1) What about mid-game orbital stations? No resources to utilise, no late-game closed-loop recyclers. If you want orbital stations, you're stuck doing continuous resupply.

(2) What about mid-game interplanetary missions? See above.

A large tank filled to the brim with snacks. Enough to last a few kerbal for a couple of decades.

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Ie, TAC life support, with additional mods that add greenhouses for food production, and tweaking the efficiency of the recyclers

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56 minutes ago, Xd the great said:

ISRU prevents that. As long as you have enough drills, power source and radiators, your kerbals won't die.

Not. On. Orbital. Stations.

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1 hour ago, Brikoleur said:

Not. On. Orbital. Stations.

 

2 hours ago, Xd the great said:

A large tank filled to the brim with snacks. Enough to last a few kerbal for a couple of decades.

 

Or add a slider to control how much Snacks a kerbal needs a day.

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KSP2 features interstellar travel. A couple of decades flashes by fast. Even if at that point you have closed-cycle LS, you will still have legacy infrastructure in the Kerbolar system which you will need to either decommission, upgrade, or supply.

If LS was so un-intrusive that all it takes to do is a bit more dry mass, then it's not worth doing at all. Which brings me back to my original point: if you do LS, it has to add something beneficial to the gameplay, there's no point having it just because muh realism. Ultimately this only leads to a small number of possible outcomes:

  • Tedium and tragedy: repetitive routine resupply missions or your kerbals are dead.
  • Trivialisation. The feature is so diluted it might as well not be there. "Stick on this shiny part and forget about it."
  • Automation. Mid to late game would include setting up automated supply routes that keep your stations and colonies stocked. This could be a lot of fun but it is a large and completely new gameplay system which is a LOT of work to do right. 

In other words, the only way I can see LS actually working in KSP2 -- meaning, making it a more interesting, fun, and, if you will, educational experience to play -- is if it is supported by a big and ambitious framework of gameplay systems around it. Your lot is just dancing around this question -- either you're going "but realism, you'll have your LS and enjoy it you peon" or "shrug, snack tanks." Very few of you even acknowledge that there is a real game design challenge here, instead preferring to disparage us who are skeptical about it. 

Seriously, think about it. What meaningful gameplay would slapping on a snack tank or a closed-cycle LS part add to the game? How would anything be different, other than needing a bit more dry mass?

Edited by Brikoleur

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20 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

In other words, the only way I can see LS actually working in KSP2 -- meaning, making it a more interesting, fun, and, if you will, educational experience to play -- is if it is supported by a big and ambitious framework of gameplay systems around it. Your lot is just dancing around this question -- either you're going "but realism, you'll have your LS and enjoy it you peon" or "shrug, snack tanks." Very few of you even acknowledge that there is a real game design challenge here, instead preferring to disparage us who are skeptical about it. 

I see your point. What if we let players decide which side of the balance they will go for?

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1 minute ago, Xd the great said:

I see your point. What if we let players decide which side of the balance they will go for?

We can't really do that, can we? If Star Theory does LS and they get it badly wrong, KSP2 is dead on arrival. That's a risk I really would not want to take.

As I've said elsewhere, I like about 90% of what I'm hearing about KSP2, and my only somewhat serious concern is LS. @Snark assures us that they know what they're doing and I really hope he's right -- but I still think this is the single biggest risk for the success of KSP2, and they would therefore do better just to cut it. If they do that now they're going to disappoint a lot of you, and if they get it wrong, they're going to disappoint everybody.

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As long as the mod support is as good as they say it will be, nothing will stop me (cue evil cackle)

I'm expecting lots of silly stuff like the magical throttle ranges and reaction wheels.

Edit: I highly doubt they will do life support, they said that you'll be able to leave colonies alone for long periods without having to maintain them which basically means no LS.

Edited by Lu K.

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16 minutes ago, Lu K. said:

Edit: I highly doubt they will do life support, they said that you'll be able to leave colonies alone for long periods without having to maintain them which basically means no LS.

Elsewhere they have said that there will be some kind of LS, without saying anything specific about it. 

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4 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

Elsewhere they have said that there will be some kind of LS, without saying anything specific about it. 

oh where was that? i'd like to see, i must have missed a lot of info released during this latest convention thingo.

 

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28 minutes ago, Lu K. said:

oh where was that? i'd like to see, i must have missed a lot of info released during this latest convention thingo.

I don't have a reference to hand, but IIRC @Snark was among the people reporting it.

CORRECTION: In fact they have not said that there will be LS. Their answer to Snark's question was a tight-lipped "no comment." From which I (and a few others I think) leapt the conclusion that they want to do it but it's too early for them to say.

Re-reading that I think it's as likely that they have some ideas about LS but that it's in the "B-features" list, i.e. something to chop if they run short on time and budget. If that's so, then perhaps my agitation against it hasn't been in vain and can actually make a difference.

So Star Theory if you're listening: if you're doing LS please please please go the whole nine yards and give it the kind of support in other gameplay systems it needs to be fun and enriching rather than a tedious chore... or else don't do it at all. Half-measures are much worse than leaving it out altogether. 

 

Edited by Brikoleur

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2 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

KSP2 features interstellar travel. A couple of decades flashes by fast. Even if at that point you have closed-cycle LS, you will still have legacy infrastructure in the Kerbolar system which you will need to either decommission, upgrade, or supply.

If LS was so un-intrusive that all it takes to do is a bit more dry mass, then it's not worth doing at all. Which brings me back to my original point: if you do LS, it has to add something beneficial to the gameplay, there's no point having it just because muh realism. Ultimately this only leads to a small number of possible outcomes:

  • Tedium and tragedy: repetitive routine resupply missions or your kerbals are dead.
  • Trivialisation. The feature is so diluted it might as well not be there. "Stick on this shiny part and forget about it."
  • Automation. Mid to late game would include setting up automated supply routes that keep your stations and colonies stocked. This could be a lot of fun but it is a large and completely new gameplay system which is a LOT of work to do right. 

In other words, the only way I can see LS actually working in KSP2 -- meaning, making it a more interesting, fun, and, if you will, educational experience to play -- is if it is supported by a big and ambitious framework of gameplay systems around it. Your lot is just dancing around this question -- either you're going "but realism, you'll have your LS and enjoy it you peon" or "shrug, snack tanks." Very few of you even acknowledge that there is a real game design challenge here, instead preferring to disparage us who are skeptical about it. 

Seriously, think about it. What meaningful gameplay would slapping on a snack tank or a closed-cycle LS part add to the game? How would anything be different, other than needing a bit more dry mass?

If they do go down this route, one other option is progression.

You start with having to run supply missions, because 'trivialisation' is heavy and expensive and difficult to start with. But you can progress to it.

As for tragedy, there's always the option of hibernation being the default state for an unsupplied Kerbal, instead of death.

KSP is literally a game about travelling, most of the fun is in getting there.

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15 hours ago, Master39 said:

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

True.

It is all down to personal preference of course (which is why options are needed), but the risk of the rescuees dying if you fail, or don't bother, is what makes it a 'rescue' and adds urgency and tension.  Rather than it being just another fun mission to do when you get round to it.

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I wouldn't mind life support as an option...  as long as it was kept somewhat kerbal-ish. 

Aside from instantaneous death due to catastrophic explosions, I have a somewhat difficult time putting these cute little green folk into situations where they would starve to death or run out of oxygen.  I have yet to put a kerbal on the surface of Eve because I just don't have the heart to leave them there. 

Well... I take that back.  The only exception being "Kringle Kerman"...  In a storyline...  Once...  Not sure how he got there though.

Poor Kringle is still stranded on Eve..  We have to save him!

 

 

Edit: @Jimmidii  Hibernation as a default state rather than death is really an excellent suggestion if LS is added to KSP2.

Edited by XLjedi

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2 minutes ago, pandaman said:

True.

It is all down to personal preference of course (which is why options are needed), but the risk of the rescuees dying if you fail, or don't bother, is what makes it a 'rescue' and adds urgency and tension.  Rather than it being just another fun mission to do when you get round to it.

On interplanetary travel and beyond a LS failure or a missed window with LS will be fatal and un-recoverable almost every time that's why they needed to cheat (and then kill the cheat with a certain airlock scene) in The Martian to make the protagonist survive enough time (I use The Martian as it is a popular "rescue scenario" loved by almost everyone).

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49 minutes ago, Master39 said:

On interplanetary travel and beyond a LS failure or a missed window with LS will be fatal and un-recoverable almost every time that's why they needed to cheat (and then kill the cheat with a certain airlock scene) in The Martian to make the protagonist survive enough time (I use The Martian as it is a popular "rescue scenario" loved by almost everyone).

If we will have life support we will most certainly also have a way to farm our own food at the base to make it self sufficient so we can also use that "cheat"...

EDIT: also the added time pressure from LS will no doubt encourage us to explore faster high-energy transfers instead instead of just good old hohmann every time. And that is an excellent thing.

Edited by tseitsei89

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1 minute ago, tseitsei89 said:

If we will have life support we will most certainly also have a way to farm our own food at the base to make it self sufficient so we can also use that "cheat"...

Yes but at that point there is no "rescue" and no tension and LS is just a design challenge in the VAB in the form of added mass per Kerbal (nothing wrong with this).

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8 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

No it really isn't.

(1) What about mid-game orbital stations? No resources to utilise, no late-game closed-loop recyclers. If you want orbital stations, you're stuck doing continuous resupply.

(2) What about mid-game interplanetary missions? See above.

Seriously guys, it does seem to me that you're the ones who haven't thought this through. If you get what you want, you'll be playing Milk Run Simulator and I think only very few of you would in reality enjoy that.

  1. Build your station around a captured asteroid and use ISRU
  2. ISRU on an interplanetary mothership (with an ore shuttle if needed), or bring enough resources for the full mission duration (see The Martian).

You're continuing to make the assumption that the very presence of official life support mechanics in the game will automagically make it tedious and un-fun, and be mandatory for all players. If done well I don't see how that would be the case (unless you REALLY must have your orbital stations/colonies everywhere before you've researched the appropriate technologies and such to make them more sustainable). Not to mention that if the devs did add life support, it would almost certainly be controlled by a difficulty toggle, just like the current comm network system.

 

Like another post on here, I see life support as a progression. If you try to go too far too soon with manned missions, it will be a micromanagement nightmare. Same principle applies to trying to build a heavy launch vehicle without the appropriate engines, you're likely going to have a clunky, inefficient rocket. However, if you develop the appropriate technologies you can go farther and farther, until Kerbalkind is now an interstellar race.

Edited by Lord Aurelius

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If KSP2 includes colonization, I do also like the idea of some sort of implementation of LS and/or supply lines.

It has to be simple enough so not to take away from the core gameplay.  Perhaps something as simple as a re-supply radius on the big map?  Maybe the radius could grow based on how you upgrade each base.  The bases could assist one another if their supply radii overlap.

I don't mind kerbals being sacrificed in catastrophic explosions... Hey, it happens!   I would have a problem with them starving to death or running out of oxygen.  I know it seems odd to some that one form of death is OK and another is not, but it just takes away a bit from the light-hearted gameplay for me.  So a default state of hibernation would be more palatable to me personally.  In which case, the kerbals are just rendered unusable until supplies are restored.

It would be harder to implement, but another thing I'd like would be to have a baseline cost and/or resupply rate.  So there might be some very slow baseline resupply rate for a planet base located anywhere.  If you could designate that you are undertaking a "Resupply Mission" and the mission was a success.  Then the cost/time/supplies of that successful mission would then be used to recalculate and therefore improve the slow default baseline resupply rate and perhaps establish the size of your resupply radius.    

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37 minutes ago, Lord Aurelius said:

You're continuing to make the assumption that the very presence of official life support mechanics in the game will automagically make it tedious and un-fun, and be mandatory for all players.

No I'm not.

I'm assuming that it's going to end up one of three ways: tedious (continuous supply missions), trivial (i.e., more dry mass and forget about it), or automated. 

Moreover, as I said in my above post, I really don't want tedious, I don't think there's any point in trivial, and I think making it automated so that it is still enjoyable is going to be a real game design challenge.

As to progression, that's just an aspect of it -- and one that doesn't make it any easier to pull off so that it's fun.

And I reiterate: your lot doesn't even seem to acknowledge that there is a game design challenge here. You seem to think that just by adding LS it's going to be automagically cooler and more fun and more challenging, rather than just more tedious or more trivial.

I.e. you haven't thought this through.

Edited by Brikoleur

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10 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

No I'm not.

I'm assuming that it's going to end up one of three ways: tedious (continuous supply missions), trivial (i.e., more dry mass and forget about it), or automated. 

Moreover, as I said in my above post, I really don't want tedious, I don't think there's any point in trivial, and I think making it automated so that it is still enjoyable is going to be a real game design challenge.

As to progression, that's just an aspect of it -- and one that doesn't make it any easier to pull off so that it's fun.

And I reiterate: your lot doesn't even seem to acknowledge that there is a game design challenge here. You seem to think that just by adding LS it's going to be automagically cooler and more fun and more challenging, rather than just more tedious or more trivial.

I.e. you haven't thought this through.

You're making an awful lot of assumptions about what other people would find fun based on what you would find fun.

You're also making an awful lot of assumptions about the game design abilities of the devs working on KSP 2 based on how you perceive the game design abilities of members of the forum.

You're also making an assumption that this will be forced on you and not part of difficulty settings.

I really don't think you need to worry about this as much as you appear to be worrying about it.

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