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KSP Loading preview Rockomax Conglomerate RE-M3 "Mainsail"

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Here is a version of the Vulcain with no tankbutt and all the greebles a space nerd could hope for. Something more like this please:

 

352px-Moteur-Vulcain.jpg

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We're getting better at this. Just 2* pages and we already have

  • Someone who loves it but doesn't say why.
  • Someone who hates it and doesn't say why.
  • "Porkjet Did It!"
  • "Restock is better"
  • "LOLsokerbal" by someone who is not LOLing over something being so kerbal.
  • Images of the part it was meant to be like.
  • A couple real, actual good posts discussing the part objectively and without fanfare.

For my part, I'm pretty cold on the engine. Of all the revamped parts I think it's if not the worst, in the bottom 10% for sure. After warming up to the new Skipper I was looking forward to the new Mainsail and this just doesn't do it for me. I want greebles and callbacks to the original, mostly, and am left a bit sad that they're missing.

Edited by 5thHorseman
*3 now, but I swear it was 2 when I wrote that.

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I'd rather @SQUAD didn't bring the Skipper and the Mainsail with the 1.9 update, but reworked the concept of the two engines completely. The community loves this game and I hope Squad loves its community. We don't need these updates at all costs!

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On 1/9/2020 at 5:17 PM, Poodmund said:

I feel like the engine revamps lately have been getting more simplistic and of a lower effort... like, some of the Making History engines (that aside from their logical flaws) at least had some visual interest and a good balance of greebling on them. 

RE-I2_Shrouded.png

This was work done years ago. Engines are the lifeblood of the part catalogue in KSP and they should look like rocket engines. Granted, some first stage motors often have cowling/boat tail shrouds for aero reasons but there is so much more that could be done to inject some visual interest into the part. Make the shroud a hollow shroud and show the internal plumbing; this would also allow for the gimbal to be visually identified and show it working within the shroud.

LzdJf64.png

This whole identified region, I have no idea what's going on here. Is this the level that the design team is striding for from here on out? Previously we had some promising pieces coming out like the bare variants of the Ant and Spider engines that had increasing visual interest (albeit of a slightly different style due to the increased detail level) but this and the Skipper revamp almost seem like its going backwards the other way. 

I hope all the feedback is listened to. Seems a lot of opinions are being made about this.

To your point if the regular rocket engines in KSP2 are just "revamped" and not made semi realistic I am not going to get the game.

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All criticism I had on Skipper apply here. Plus what Nertea said. Vulcain 1 is a poor choice for Mainsail in first place, the tankbutt is very unwelcome, and the turbopumps should not be hidden in a boattail, because that's just a lazy cop-out to avoid modeling the most interesting part of the engine, which is also one that happens to require actual effort. The sad thing is, Squad clearly has someone who understands rocket engines enough not to bodge this, and the MH engines have far more details. This thing here lacks the very things that made small engine revamps and MH engines work. Those had some nice details. This one, and the Skipper, is only passably modeled and very badly designed.

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4 hours ago, Bej Kerman said:

Let's also not forget that ReStock has been doing this but much better. How does a development team fall behind their modders?

Well, yes some may prefer the more "realistic" part style of ReStock, this is a preference. Anyway, a hollow/no boatail variant with the turbopump exhaust at the top would look like it could delete any small nation from face of Kerbin.

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12 hours ago, Poodmund said:

The issue is that a handful of users have given detail, broken down and justified critique of previews in the past and it has been met with either: 'radio silence' or 'I see your opinion and you're wrong'

I think they’ll address it this time. The community response to this revamp has been really strong and unanimous this time. It’s not great, but not hopeless either, the model might yet be salvaged. Remove the horrendously massive and pointless engine mount, add the bare and compact variants for clustering, add plumbing and more details to make it interesting to look at. Then it’ll be a good revamp, although based on a wrong type of real-world engine. Still, I’d like it a lot more. Right now I prefer the original model, which is, if nothing else, familiar and iconic.

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I'll go voice my opinions here. They might be extensive, so if you want to skip all the extra things (like recommendations for the devs, for example) for a tl;dr, only read the bold text.

As many people here have said, the Mainsail revamp is really... not good.

Let's focus on the sheer simplicity of the design: other than the odd-looking tubing along the sides, it's EXTREMELY plain and rather featureless. I see you've tried to make up for this with some color variants, but... that's really far away from making up for the plainness on the sides. The only defining, not-boring feature other than the tubing is the semicircle notch-thing on the orange piece wrapping around the top of the bell. To be honest, the orange notch should really go. No two ways about it: it'd look better without it.

Next, the tubing. Sure, it's fitting to the Vulcan, but is it fitting to KSP? I can't get much information on these wonky-looking side tubes' purpose on the real-life Vulcan, but judging by the fact that no other KSP engine has them, there's little reason for the Mainsail (appropriately not named the Vulcan) to have them. I'd recommend not using the tubing. While it might be the only truly defining feature about the engine, it looks... less good, to severely understate the situation. it also looks like they stick slightly outside the hitbox-- something which I severely hope isn't going to look wonky.

The method of tankbutt is horrifying! This is the main reason who I like the old Mainsail better: it did this a whole lot better than the revamp, no two ways about it. The way the top of the model was done previously was a nearly flat conical shape to adapt down to the size of the bell, leaving some cool stuff exposed to look at. How the revamp handled this was horrible. It covered up practically everything, or tucked it all inside, and that's where your most giant mistake is. Either add a uncovered variant, or slim down the blocks of plastic to let some internals peek out like it used to on the Mainsail. To make this look better, you also might want to consider making the bell taller and larger.

Another thing: the way the orange was handled. It's implied the main variant of the new Mainsail will indeed be the orange one. The orange one is not a pretty sight, color wise. There's not enough orange on it to consider it an orange variant! Give it more orange, or redesign it entirely to have only a silver variant.

It looks even worse next to the Skipper revamp. I'm comparing the Skipper revamp with the Mainsail revamp, side-by-side, and... honestly, it looks like they lost interest in creating fun and unique models after the Skipper, and made the Mainsail really plain and boring. We can look at the good aspects of the Skipper, and see that all of those good things are completely missing on the Mainsail. The design for the Skipper is new, fresh, and awesome (which you guys did a GREAT job on!), but take a look at how different they'll be. In the spoiler below, you can see just how bland the Mainsail looks like when compared to his much cooler looking brother.

Spoiler

mainsail_comparison1.jpg.332601d337da43f skipper2.jpg

Some things the devs will probably want to do before releasing it for good: take off the tubes, remove that orange notch, add some external gizmos, make it more orange in the orange variant, make the bell a bit bigger, make the tankbutt and hunks of Unknown Material thinner, and take some ideas from your Skipper revamp.

Thank you for taking the time to read my constructive-criticism rant, but if you're only reading this because it's bold, then thank you for at least not skipping this post. And if you're one of the devs, please address the issues listed here. Or else some serious backlash may take place-- not just by me, but by a large amount of the community.

Since I have no idea how to write the closure of an essay, let's just say "poof, finished nao" and I'll stop ranting.

Edited by LittleBitMore
Spelling fixes.

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6 hours ago, LittleBitMore said:

Next, the tubing. Sure, it's fitting to the Vulcan, but is it fitting to KSP? I can't get much information on these wonky-looking side tubes' purpose on the real-life Vulcan, but judging by the fact that no other KSP engine has them, there's little reason for the Mainsail (appropriately not named the Vulcan) to have them.

Just to set the record straight, this is actually one of the few parts of the new Mainsail that do make sense (even if they look bad). These are turbopump exhaust pipes, and they are present on some other KSP engines. That said, Vulcain 2, where those go to the ring around the nozzle, would work better visually.

Incidentally, lack of this kind of details is one of the Skipper's major issues. It might be a closed cycle engine or something, but to hide the tubing entirely is a bad thing.

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2 hours ago, Dragon01 said:

...That said, Vulcain 2, where those go to the ring around the nozzle, would work better visually...

 

For those wondering:

 

330px-SNECMA_Vulcain_II.jpg

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1 hour ago, klesh said:

 

For those wondering:

 

330px-SNECMA_Vulcain_II.jpg

Now them's some greebles.

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I'm going to have to agree with most of this thread... a big ol' "meh" from me.

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Uhm, sorry. But the first thing I feel when I look at it is “oh god, no” followed by a flinching motion.

I would probably do my best to not use this engine if it were ingame. 
 

:/ 
 

Similar to the skipper re-do, it just feels like a plastic model left out in the sun to get bloated. 
 

edit: I think the cause is the upper half. I’m not a modeller so unfortunately I can’t pick better words than “it looks off”, “feels like a chunk of plastic”, “doesn’t feel like what little green guys would call a rocket engine”

Edited by Jognt

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On 1/10/2020 at 9:22 PM, Bej Kerman said:

Let's also not forget that ReStock has been doing this but much better. How does a development team fall behind their modders?

Because a development team's full focus isn't on just part revamps and they have a lot of other stuff to figure out.

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18 minutes ago, T1mo98 said:

Because a development team's full focus isn't on just part revamps and they have a lot of other stuff to figure out.

I'm presuming the artist's job only consists of creating the art, and not all the other stuff they have to figure out.  He probably also doesn't have a secondary full time job, and can spend a whooping 40 hours a week just on KSP alone.  What's even crazier, he's also probably getting paid for it.

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20 minutes ago, klgraham1013 said:

I'm presuming the artist's job only consists of creating the art, and not all the other stuff they have to figure out.  He probably also doesn't have a secondary full time job, and can spend a whooping 40 hours a week just on KSP alone.  What's even crazier, he's also probably getting paid for it.

I've no experience with game art whatsoever (but I do know that a model is created then you wrap textures/normal maps n junk), so I'm genuinely curious as to how long (roughly) would it take someone to create an engine like this? Presumably from scratch like a modder would? 

Hoping no one takes this as criticism, genuinely interested in the process :)

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26 minutes ago, klgraham1013 said:

I'm presuming the artist's job only consists of creating the art, and not all the other stuff they have to figure out.  He probably also doesn't have a secondary full time job, and can spend a whooping 40 hours a week just on KSP alone.  What's even crazier, he's also probably getting paid for it.

You assume that he KSP team has a dedicated artist that only spend time on making these.
I'm not privy to the full, detailed make-up of the team, but i would presume they don't have an artist solely dedicated to revamps.

Lesson: Don't judge the efforts of a team or person if you don't know the full story and base everything on assumptions.

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3 hours ago, T1mo98 said:

Lesson: Don't judge the efforts of a team or person if you don't know the full story and base everything on assumptions.

You can judge the efforts based on the results they produce. They either put in too little effort to make something good, or, less likely, put a lot of effort to produce a piece of crap. Both of those options are equally bad. Either way, someone got paid to make a Mainsail look good, and what we got was that thing in the OP instead. While someone else, who didn't get paid (just really loved the game and wanted to make it better), made something far superior. Skipper is in the same boat. In fact, more than a few modders make far better engine models than this. 

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41 minutes ago, Dragon01 said:

You can judge the efforts based on the results they produce. They either put in too little effort to make something good, or, less likely, put a lot of effort to produce a piece of crap. Both of those options are equally bad. Either way, someone got paid to make a Mainsail look good, and what we got was that thing in the OP instead. While someone else, who didn't get paid (just really loved the game and wanted to make it better), made something far superior. Skipper is in the same boat. In fact, more than a few modders make far better engine models than this. 

You're overlooking the possibility that the designer/modeler/artist didn't even want to produce a product like this, but was asked to follow guidelines from a director that had other priorities.

I.E. "We're looking for a smooth, low complexity design. Prioritize color options over tank butt switching. No make it look less busy. Need it and those other five designs by the end of the week."

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5 hours ago, MR L A said:

I've no experience with game art whatsoever (but I do know that a model is created then you wrap textures/normal maps n junk), so I'm genuinely curious as to how long (roughly) would it take someone to create an engine like this? Presumably from scratch like a modder would? 

Hoping no one takes this as criticism, genuinely interested in the process :)

This particular revamp I think I could accomplish in 4-6 hours start to finish. Modeling would be about 30 minutes - fairly low complexity, unwrapping an hour (maybe less, it's all simple shapes, but let's be generous). Depending on the exact texture size being used here, I think 1-2 hours at most for texturing, but again, could be shorter. Allow an additional hour for pushing it ingame and tuning. Let's say 1 workday for the whole process from zero to finish, being generous - add in some time for design and research. I know some modders are faster than I am.

I personally (again, not projecting on Squad or anything, but you asked) would take these examples from one of my latest projects.It is of comparable size to the mainsail, so a good proxy. 

  • Research: 2-8 hours, which is on the high side because this engine was never built and references are scarce. Would be lower with a less obscure engine.
  • Modeling: 4-6 hours, most of which were figuring out what pipes connect to what. Could be faster, again, with good references.
  • Unwrapping: 6 hours, which includes UV layout, packing and AO baking. Hard to speed up.
  • Texturing: 4 hours, low here because high model detail reduces the amount of effort needed in some areas.
  • Integration/Testing: Very variable, but if I do a good job with the previous steps and don't screw up much, would estimate 3 hours
  • FX: 1 hour, I have a pretty big library to pull from.

So taking the lower end of those estimates (assuming a less obscure engine as a source), I would say about 2 to 2.5 work days to build a complete 2.5m size class engine for me. Of course, I don't do this for a job, so that's really 1 to 1.5 weeks of modding time :P.

 

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2 hours ago, HvP said:

You're overlooking the possibility that the designer/modeler/artist didn't even want to produce a product like this, but was asked to follow guidelines from a director that had other priorities.

I.E. "We're looking for a smooth, low complexity design. Prioritize color options over tank butt switching. No make it look less busy. Need it and those other five designs by the end of the week."

Except a good modeler could have produced a workable design under those constraints (maybe not a good one, but still). That excuse could have worked with Skipper, but the new Mainsail is even worse than that.

Edited by Dragon01

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Sadly i also have to agree that this isnt something i would like to see ingame.

Many people here posted so many valid reasons that maybe this needs a bit more extra rework.

Edited by Boyster

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1 hour ago, Nertea said:

This particular revamp I think I could accomplish in 4-6 hours start to finish. Modeling would be about 30 minutes - fairly low complexity, unwrapping an hour (maybe less, it's all simple shapes, but let's be generous). Depending on the exact texture size being used here, I think 1-2 hours at most for texturing, but again, could be shorter. Allow an additional hour for pushing it ingame and tuning. Let's say 1 workday for the whole process from zero to finish, being generous - add in some time for design and research. I know some modders are faster than I am.

I personally (again, not projecting on Squad or anything, but you asked) would take these examples from one of my latest projects.It is of comparable size to the mainsail, so a good proxy. 

  • Research: 2-8 hours, which is on the high side because this engine was never built and references are scarce. Would be lower with a less obscure engine.
  • Modeling: 4-6 hours, most of which were figuring out what pipes connect to what. Could be faster, again, with good references.
  • Unwrapping: 6 hours, which includes UV layout, packing and AO baking. Hard to speed up.
  • Texturing: 4 hours, low here because high model detail reduces the amount of effort needed in some areas.
  • Integration/Testing: Very variable, but if I do a good job with the previous steps and don't screw up much, would estimate 3 hours
  • FX: 1 hour, I have a pretty big library to pull from.

So taking the lower end of those estimates (assuming a less obscure engine as a source), I would say about 2 to 2.5 work days to build a complete 2.5m size class engine for me. Of course, I don't do this for a job, so that's really 1 to 1.5 weeks of modding time :P.

 

Thanks! found this really insightful :) 

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