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Life Support system?


Tachtra
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Being for the benefit of @Dr. Jet and @Lord Aurelius, a repeat of my old rant about life support systems is in this here spoiler:

Spoiler

 

On 12/7/2018 at 7:06 PM, Laie said:

I've come to dislike life support mods. The more detailed they become, the worse they are.

Quite generally, the agreed-upon mass and density of "food" as written down in CRP (and hence used by basically everyone) is based on an 1980's shuttle mission. Shrink-wrapped freeze-dried stuff, nearly 50% packaging by weight. Conversely, "waste" is what was in the waste receptacle at the end of that flight: lots of plastic wrappers.

This works reasonably well with TACLS in a RealismOverhaul context, at least for short-term missions. Though even there you need huge garbage bins because high-density carbon-scrubbers become low-density waste. The KSP resource in, resource out model doesn't allow for used scrubbers to be put back in the box they came from. And going to Mars on low-density shuttle supplies? It's by no means impossible, but the scale of the larder becomes noticably silly.

Other mods seem to assume that "waste" is 100% organic and compostable, and that "food" is sacks of potatoes and sides of meat. Which is no worse an assumption than shuttle food, but a) I'm not aware of any mod requiring a galley, and b) if containers are scaled off CRP densities (which, to recap, assumes-freeze dried food and plastic wrapper waste), things become weird.

TL;DR: life support gives you a lot of numbers to watch and pay attention to. Depending on which system you use, it can become a minigame in it's own right. That's fine. Just don't believe that it's realistic or correct. Especially not if the system of your choice allows you to build self-sufficient bases. Do Kerbals mend their socks, and if so, where do they get the thread?

However:

On 9/3/2019 at 7:32 PM, Red Iron Crown said:

I really hope life support is implemented. It's an embarrassingly large omission for a space game [...]

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. 

An embarrassingly large omission indeed. Yet if there's to be any LS in the stock game, that's the one model I can get behind. Keep it simple, because in first approximation LS only means more mass -- and beyond that, no amount of complications can make it realistic. For long-term installations, add a simple Inifintron-3000 converter to opt out of the system.

Edited by Laie
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  • 3 weeks later...

I played KSP with some Life Support Mods, but they have all the same problem - they are unbalanced.
The containers with ressources were too heavy and for me it was too hard to guess how much ressources would be needed for the missions.

Edited by Oszilgath
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21 hours ago, Oszilgath said:

I played KSP with some Life Support Mods, but they have all the same problem - they are unbalanced.
The containers with ressources were too heavy and for me it was too hard to guess how much ressources would be needed for the missions.

Did you use any life support recyclers when you tried those mods? How long of missions were you trying to do? All LS mods I tried (mostly TAC life support and UFI Life Support) had pretty good balance IMHO where the crew capsules had enough LS for early LKO missions, for Mun/Minmus missions you had to add a little bit, but the weight only really became a big concern for interplanetary if you weren't using recyclers. Same thing would happen if you wanted to do an interplanetary mission with just batteries/fuel cells without bringing along solar panels or RTGs (hmm, now that sounds like an interesting challenge). Sure, you're going to need a lot more than a MK1 capsule to get a Kerbal across the solar system alive, but isn't that the point of playing with life support, to eliminate the realism break of being able to do that?

Your second point is valid for LS, but is also a problem in stock KSP for dV since unless you're using a dV map/calculator the game gives you zero info on how much dV you actually need and you're pretty much guessing on that front as well. Definitely an issue worth addressing if some sort of stock LS is added, but not a new issue for the base game either.

I've long thought that KSP could greatly benefit from a mission planner that would let you place a bunch of maneuver nodes and get an idea of the launch windows, dV requirements and mission duration, and it would nicely solve both issues. Would be even better if you could see the mission plan during your flight and have the maneuver nodes prepopulated.

Edited by Lord Aurelius
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On 9/4/2019 at 2:01 PM, 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.

There could be options for when LS runs out, like many LS mods do already, and/or have really good balance and game mechanics to deal with it without potentially bricking a mission, eg. a BL2 type paid respawn that could be optional, etc.  I tend to favor video game logic over realism though...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Karbalas live on a terrestrial planet with atmosphere and water in the habitable zone. That is, they are a carbon form of life. Their missiles contain fuel and oxidizer, and jet engines use air from the atmosphere. So life support should consist of oxygen (air), food (snacks) and water (moisture) as a minimum. And of course, they must die from overheating or overly long overloads (and not only lose consciousness as it is now)

ps: It became uninteresting to play without a life support after the first year in KSP... I don’t remember what version of the game it was then ... TAC-LS kept me in the game till now.

 

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  • 2 years later...
On 8/31/2019 at 1:55 AM, GoldForest said:

IIRC correctly, they said it would be basic life support. No need to constantly worry about food, heat, or waste. 

KSP 1 never had Life Support, and it took Squad a long time to even put in reentry heating effects. With life support, I feel it would make KSP 2 unfun for a lot of people because now you're constantly micro-managing everything. 

I say leave life support to the modding community. 

If they do add life support, do the bare minimum. Make sure the spacecraft has power to run the oxygen and heaters. No food. 

Then why not make it a choice for all players instead of completely saying no?

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6 hours ago, Stumped321 said:

Then why not make it a choice for all players instead of completely saying no?

There is a choice for players. It's called modding. 

I'm not saying don't add life support, but I am against introducing full blown life support. A simple life support to introduce new players to the concept is fine. Leave more complicated life support up to modders.

Edited by GoldForest
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10 hours ago, GoldForest said:

There is a choice for players. It's called modding. 

I'm not saying don't add life support, but I am against introducing full blown life support. A simple life support to introduce new players to the concept is fine. Leave more complicated life support up to modders.

Mods still have a much easier time and can be compatible with each other if there is base system to expand on in the game rather than having to build it themselves or rely on another mod as base. 

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9 hours ago, Bej Kerman said:

Can we strike modding off the list for the sake of console players? :)

What @Master39 said. Also, consoles can have mods too, look at Fallout. You can even get unofficial mods for consoles, though I don't recommend them for the risks involved. 

Also, asking a game to take away modding when it's the BIGGEST part of the game is kind of like asking smartphones makers to take away internet access. It just doesn't make sense, nor work out. 

12 minutes ago, mattinoz said:

Mods still have a much easier time and can be compatible with each other if there is base system to expand on in the game rather than having to build it themselves or rely on another mod as base. 

True, that's why I'm okay with a simple life support system in game, but an expanded code base under the hood that the base game doesn't really touch and is more there just for modders.

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8 minutes ago, whatsEJstandfor said:

Hard disagree. With a thousand hours in KSP and about 90% of that vanilla, mods don't matter to me

To you.

Not to the game as a whole.

Without modding KSP would have been one of those indie games failed a year of two with the dev team dissolving and never heard of ever after.

You can personally use it or not, but modding has been one of the pillars of KSP.

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38 minutes ago, Master39 said:

Without modding KSP would have been one of those indie games failed a year of two with the dev team dissolving and never heard of ever after.

That's a bit of a leap. Even with mods out of the equation, KSP filled a niche between getting interested in spaceflight and using complex simulators like Orbiter, otherwise there was a massive gap to fill with tutorials and written guides if you dared want to know how any of Orbiter's physics worked. It also especially worked out as a relatively simple orbital physics game for casual people not interested in going hardcore. Point being, it's probably worth re-evaluating the idea that KSP only made it past its first birthday because of mods.

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20 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

That's a bit of a leap. Even with mods out of the equation, KSP filled a niche between getting interested in spaceflight and using complex simulators like Orbiter, otherwise there was a massive gap to fill with tutorials and written guides if you dared want to know how any of Orbiter's physics worked. It also especially worked out as a relatively simple orbital physics game for casual people not interested in going hardcore. Point being, it's probably worth re-evaluating the idea that KSP only made it past its first birthday because of mods.

Past its first birthday, without a doubt.

Arriving to the point of celebrating the 10th anniversary and having a sequel developed by a big publisher? Doubtful.

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1 hour ago, Master39 said:
1 hour ago, Bej Kerman said:

That's a bit of a leap. Even with mods out of the equation, KSP filled a niche between getting interested in spaceflight and using complex simulators like Orbiter, otherwise there was a massive gap to fill with tutorials and written guides if you dared want to know how any of Orbiter's physics worked. It also especially worked out as a relatively simple orbital physics game for casual people not interested in going hardcore. Point being, it's probably worth re-evaluating the idea that KSP only made it past its first birthday because of mods.

Past its first birthday, without a doubt.

Arriving to the point of celebrating the 10th anniversary and having a sequel developed by a big publisher? Doubtful.

It got to its 10th birthday and is getting a sequel mainly because of the aforementioned reasons. I doubt mods made as big of an impact as people claim it to be, you'd still see 90% of the "KSP inspired me to get involved with NASA" posts you see now even if KSP never had official modding support.

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1 hour ago, Bej Kerman said:

It got to its 10th birthday and is getting a sequel mainly because of the aforementioned reasons. I doubt mods made as big of an impact as people claim it to be, you'd still see 90% of the "KSP inspired me to get involved with NASA" posts you see now even if KSP never had official modding support.

I doubt we would, since the modding community imo is what kept KSP alive this whole time. Do you think Skyrim or Fallout 4 would still be around without their modding communities? No. They wouldn't. I truly believe they wouldn't. The same can be said about KSP. 

8/10 videos I see on YouTube of KSP are either mod gameplays or mod reviews.

But we're getting off topic, so let's agree to disagree and leave it at that.

Returning to the topic, life support should be up to the modders imo. If the devs want to add a simple easy to use life support system into the base game that can be turned on and off, I'm all for that. But if they make it mandatory, I think it would turn some people off from the game. 

Edited by GoldForest
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  • 2 weeks later...

Life support on COLONIES makes a lot of sense to me, when you think about how it interacts with the other gameplay mechanics.
Sure, it might not be a major drain on your resources, but it could be a key element in allowing the player to derive maximum benefit from these "Population Boom events" that the devs mentioned several times as being a large part of overall gameplay.

I can think of two situations where life support on colonies comes into the picture.
In one case, it's a negative thing, however in a way it's because you the player messed up or forgot something.
In the other case,

In either case, life support would play into the challenges faced.

First off, the "negative thing" type of Life Support interaction with Population Boom events:
If you have all your colonies sized "just right" for their population, and you have a population boom event happen, then you could suddenly have a bunch of Kerbals on your colonies that don't have a place to call home.
To fix that, you might have to delay sending that next exploration mission or mining station out from the colony until you can solve the housing problem by expanding the habitation section of the colony, as well as maybe adding more life support equipment as well.

Now for when the interaction can be a positive thing:
If you planned for the population boom event BEFORE it happened, you could have the colony ready to accept a larger population before you make the boom event happen, and by doing this you might even be able to get a "bigger boom event bonus" out of the situation.

For example, the life support systems might say they're "rated to support X Kerbals" but for short periods the life support systems can actually support let's say "X+5" kerbals, and with the habitat spaces there's only so much hot-bunking you can do.
In both cases, you'll eventually hit a "hard capped maximum" population beyond which population will never increase no matter what, unless you expand the habitation spaces and add more life support equipment.
In the negative case, that could be a reason why a colony doesn't see its population increase as much as expected during a boom event.
However a smart player could think "hey, I'm about to try to do something new or set a new record, I should probably have a plan in the works for if that sets off a Boom event", and so they preemptively increase the size of their colonies hab section and life support equipment to handle the incoming EXPECTED Boom event.
In this case of being prepared beforehand, the player could be positively rewarded for thinking ahead, by getting bigger population increases, as well as bigger bonuses to things other than population (doesn't matter if they're temporary or permanent, or if they're colony-wide or civilization-wide bonuses).

 

As for life support on SHIPS, that I'm not sure of. To be honest, I'm of the opinion that it should only be a limiting factor on the smallest craft that aren't expected to be on their own for longer than say a month. On ships larger than that, a part should be available that enables fully (or almost fully) closing the resource loop of the life support system with the only true requirement being the ability to sustain an electrical draw for an extended period, and that is without regard to whatever those resources used by life support might end up being.

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3 hours ago, SciMan said:

If you have all your colonies sized "just right" for their population, and you have a population boom event happen, then you could suddenly have a bunch of Kerbals on your colonies that don't have a place to call home.

This is why Id love to see nursery modules that enable population growth and act as a population buffer. After a boom event they would fill up with Kerblings (Kerbabies? Kerblets?) and would move out and become useful as you expanded habitation, LS supply, etc. That way you wouldn’t need to run around shoring up all your colonies before each boom event. You could stay focused on the mission at hand and build out after. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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I hope that kerbals can die naturally solely so I get an excuse to rush build a ion drive based generation ship that will take 200 years to get there and then get an orion drive that will take me there in 20 that way when the generation ship arrives to the system there will already be a colony there. 

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