General Apocalypse

A few essential things

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1 hour ago, Terwin said:

Did you look at that Proton rocket video around 1:20?

That looks strongly like a wobbly rocket with three main components: booster section, 2nd stage, fairing.

Sure it falls apart after only a couple seconds of wobble, but that is because KSP rocket parts are unrealistically strong(if your rocket is visibly wobbling, it should have already undergone RUD).

What wobble? There's no wobble - the fairing snaps off and the bottom disintegrates but nothing wobbles like a bunch of pasta.

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Just now, Bej Kerman said:

What wobble? There's no wobble - the fairing snaps off and the bottom disintegrates but nothing wobbles like a bunch of pasta.

Are you actually expecting a video where a rocket bends back and fourth? Any real rocket to wobble visibly like that would instantly rupture. I dont get your position here, are you actually trying to suggest a rocket travelling sideways or something wont break itself apart?

My initial point to all of this is that procedural parts allows things like that to happen and instead having joints along the way gives breaking points for RUD to occur

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Just now, Bej Kerman said:

What wobble? There's no wobble - the fairing snaps off and the bottom disintegrates but nothing wobbles like a bunch of pasta.

To me that looks just like a wobble in KSP, except in the real world, rocket parts and connections are not incredibly strong and resilient to shearing forces, so it just blows up instead of continuing to wobble.

 

Personally, if I have a rocket wobble uncontrollably in KSP, I will revert to VAB and add reinforcement to what is clearly a structurally unsound rocket.

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On 2/11/2020 at 5:08 PM, Bej Kerman said:

As someone who doesn't want to learn how to speak computer, why the hell should programming languages be used? Do you want to program your rocket to do something each time you do something? That doesn't avoid the Elite: Dangerous problem at all!

The starting point of my response was that the Elite:Dangerous problem has nothing to do with the  MJ - Scripting system debacle.

You solve that problem by introducing a layer of background stimulation or abstraction, like NPC kerbals driving their own milk runs after you put in place the required infrastructure.

 

On the programming side I can say that's something lacking in KSP1, call it "smart parts", "conditional action groups" or "in-game programming language" it would just be the same, this game really lacks the ability to program and a VPL would just be as easy to use as manoeuvre nodes are compared to actually doing the orbital math (VPLs are used to teach programming to elementary school children, it's not rocket science).

And, obviously, all of this has nothing to do with your usual fly-by-wire autopilot, I think some modern iteration that is also lacking in the base game (at least a heading and altitude hold for planes), but nothing automagically already optimised, just the instruments to put our crafts on a path we choose.

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1 hour ago, Master39 said:

You solve that problem by introducing a layer of background stimulation or abstraction, like NPC kerbals driving their own milk runs after you put in place the required infrastructure.

This is what I would like to see for the macro scale automation. It would avoid the whole Kerbal milkrun program situation.

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14 hours ago, shdwlrd said:

This is what I would like to see for the macro scale automation. It would avoid the whole Kerbal milkrun program situation.

I can't see any other way, really. 

It's just not a trivial system -- basically, it's a whole new layer of gameplay. Suppose you have Outpost Alpha that needs supply from Operating Base Prime, and you want to set up a supply line that runs 100 units of Lf, 100 units of Ox, and 50 units of Snacks there once every 200 days. 

(1) Is the mission going to be completely abstract or should it involve actually simulated craft? If actually simulated, how do you determine the flight path? If abstract and you don't know the flight path, how do you determine the required characteristics of the craft?

(2) How do you determine what resources are needed for it to operate? You will need craft, consumables, and pilots (unless the craft are fully autonomous). 

(3) How do you determine where each kerbal assigned to the milk run is at any given time, if the mission isn't going to be completely abstract? 

(4) What happens if some of the resources required for the milk run run out?

(5) What happens if Outpost Alpha doesn't get the supply it needs?

So already we need a system that's able to intelligently look at (1) what kinds of craft you have, or are able to produce, (2) what resources are needed to operate and possibly produce them, (3) what the resource consumption of a particular repeated milk run is, (4) what resources are available for operating the mission, (5) what resources are consumed by different outposts.

So even if you abstract the flights out, you're looking at simulating an economy, then creating a system that lets you as the player assign various resources to routine missions, and tracking the impact on resource production and consumption. The late game would then revolve around setting up this supply network. That would be a significant undertaking, and it would have to be fun and not involve continuous routine fiddling. 

Obviously there are lots of games that do just this kind of thing -- pretty much any 4X, city builder, or similar -- but, again, it will be a big undertaking and a major change of direction for KSP. But it is going to be a necessary one: without it, the colonial late game will just be an endless grind of milk runs.

Edited by Brikoleur

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I think adding a bit of autonomy to the Kerbals would be amazing! They could go about doing their tasks saving you from micromanaging every step. I think this would actually make the game more addictive! Some lite The Sims style aspects to the game would make things more interesting imo.

Edited by Guest

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5 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

I can't see any other way, really. 

It's just not a trivial system -- basically, it's a whole new layer of gameplay. Suppose you have Outpost Alpha that needs supply from Operating Base Prime, and you want to set up a supply line that runs 100 units of Lf, 100 units of Ox, and 50 units of Snacks there once every 200 days. 

I think it's worth looking at the three mods that can do this (or limited cases of it, at least) in KSP right now: MKS, Pathfinder, and Routine Mission Manager.

MKS and Pathfinder both have a system where if you have the right setup on both ends you can set up transfers.  The transfers have a cost in terms of fuel and resources, which is calculated pessimistically based on what you're transferring, and the relative locations of the craft you're transferring between.  (So it's almost always cheaper to run your own mission.)  There is also a max size of a transfer.  This is completely abstract, with simple scalable resources.  No Kerbals are directly involved (Pathfinder explicitly models a railgun system), and resources are removed at the start of the transfer, otherwise it fails.

Routine Mission Manager is more complex - you have to fly the mission first, and then it replicates it.  So you design the ship, the payload, etc, and you get the same result.  If you want a different result, you have to fly that mission yourself first.  I believe it can move Kerbals, but you'd have to assign them to the ship as you start the mission.

Now, neither of these is a full solution for a resupply, as none of them have an option for 'do this every X days'.  (Though both Pathfinder and MKS can automatically move resources around between landed bases.)  For all three however it wouldn't be that hard to add: you just have to have the mission fail if the resources at the start time aren't in place.  I could see any one of these systems being used to create full supply networks.

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Hey, so I felt since this conversation over automation could be fruitful and is a bit off topic to this thread I made another thread specifically about it. Hoping to gather data on opinions as well with polls.

 

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6 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

If actually simulated, how do you determine the flight path?

We've got mods that can set out flight plans (MJ) and mods that can calculate trajectories taking into account atmospheres (Trajectories mod). The craft doesn't have to be simulated when landing and unloading resources. IMHO, the player could do automation by doing 1 successful run, and then the computer knows that the vessel is capable of the task the player wants it to do. If the DV is lowered remotely through cheats, then the computer could recognise that not enough DV is in the ship, and the player could take over. Whoops, went on a tangent.

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