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KSP Needs life support. PLEASE


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its very simple, a robot mission should be easier than a manned mission.... with no life support it is actually much harder and requires more planning to send a robot.

Kerbalism was my favourite because of the added radiation, part malfunctions, stress and things like nitrogen for pressure

Life support should all be optional but PLEASE include it.   its almost silly to go for such realism with parts and engines without air, food, stress, water and part malfunctions/repairs

thank you very much, Love ksp 1 when i can get kerbalism to work properly (although it needs to be a base game function to work properly and with things like fast forward which screwed every LS mod i used)

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i do enjoy playing with life support for the realism, but sometimes you just want to have a casual fun time and you don't  want to have to worry about all that. as long as there is a mod for it, I don't think that it is that big of an issue. also you kinda mixed in part failures with life support. I don't want to be working on a mission of 12 hours and just have it all go to waste cause of bad RNG

also i'd rather the devs work on the stuff they already have said they are working on instead of adding new things on top of the large pile of new features they're adding

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10 minutes ago, StupidAndy said:

as long as there is a mod for it, I don't think that it is that big of an issue.

If the base game doesn't include the foundation for life support then mods will wear unnecessarily at game performance and having multiple life support mods with different dependencies out there will only lead to clutter and incompatibilities. For instance one can't play with mks and kerbalism which is a shame. I hope it's in stock and can be turned off in the options

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20 minutes ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

If the base game doesn't include the foundation for life support then mods will wear unnecessarily at game performance and having multiple life support mods with different dependencies out there will only lead to clutter and incompatibilities. For instance one can't play with mks and kerbalism which is a shame. I hope it's in stock and can be turned off in the options

Exactly give the game a base basic life support that can be tuned down in sandbox.

It then acts as the target for all life-support extension mods to push requirements upwards. Other mods wouldn't then need to work with multiple life support targets just the base that would respect the more complex mods. 

Simply could just be a single supply that is converted by Kerbal into something like EC( and waste) either there is enough or there isn't (Kerbals would be batteries of the system).. Leave complexity to mods to break supplies into parts and seperate waste recycling streams.

Then a mod could just handle adding say Radiation by making draining Kerbal EC or reducing how much is produced by supplies unless it has a specific resource. Kerbals in space suits can't consume so space walks have a time limit.

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It would be hard to implement LS in a way that wouldn’t be trivial (“just add this magic part”) or tedious (“keep doing these milk runs and hope you don’t forget or your kerbals will die horribly.”) It would need a whole lot of support mechanics to be fun and interesting: resource management and some level of abstraction to handle routine missions. Almost a whole new game on top of the existing game.

 

Edited by Brikoleur
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16 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

It would be hard to implement LS in a way that wouldn’t be trivial (“just add this magic part”) or tedious (“keep doing these milk runs and hope you don’t forget or your kerbals will die horribly.”) It would need a whole lot of support mechanics to be fun and interesting: resource management and some level of abstraction to handle routine missions. Almost a whole new game on top of the existing game.

 

We're going to need many of these mechanics anyway to keep orbital launch platforms /refueling stations supplied anyways. And it wouldn't be hard to turn off yet leave the base system in, just make kerbal consumption of resources set to 0

 

As for colonies, ISRU will obviously be implemented so supply runs will only be for early colony development If you don't send enough on the first trip

Edited by mcwaffles2003
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7 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

It would be hard to implement LS in a way that wouldn’t be trivial (“just add this magic part”) or tedious (“keep doing these milk runs and hope you don’t forget or your kerbals will die horribly.”) It would need a whole lot of support mechanics to be fun and interesting: resource management and some level of abstraction to handle routine missions. Almost a whole new game on top of the existing game.

 

I agree getting that balance right is difficult but is so worth it. Having that sense of urgency and making time important to the game is a huge value add. I personally like USI-LS the best but even that could be simplified some. It avoids the magic part and milk run problems by offering a few different recyclers and greenhouses to extend the flight duration to several years with a little planning. Kerbals also have a “hungry” grace period of a couple weeks so you dont have to worry about LS too much early in the game. 
 

Like I said it could be even simpler than USI, so removing or condensing down concerns about radiation, stress, and homesickness into a single habitation factor would be important. Im also personally against random part failures. 

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Currently, Snacks! are one of the simplest LS mods, you need exactly one resource for the crew to survive, (and maybe something more to produce it in space) but in any case I kept screwing it up, my Kerbals faling unconscious on something as trivial as regular Minmus trip. Never went interplanetary due to that. No thanks.

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Agreed, I heard on Next Gen Tech video that there are going be engines that will burn for months, years (so I assume that it won't be like a instant travel when going to other start systems and you are going to have to timelapse), if it is like that I believe that there'd also be cryogen pods to preserve kerbals and life support stuff (unless if there is some kind of recycler). But we will only know when the game releases xd.

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I’m opposed to all optional features. They only ought to implement features they believe are important enough that everybody gets them. The effort spent on optional features is always away from effort spent on core gameplay.

As to LS specifically, it needs to be done well, add meaningful gameplay, and be well integrated with the other systems in the game. Otherwise it’s not worth doing at all. If it adds grind or only amounts to more dry mass then it should be left out as it would detract from rather than contribute to fun.

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I'd like life support, but done in a very simple and friendly way.

 

Have it as a single resource, and if it runs out the kerbals simply hibernate until restocked.

Command pods, storage units, and crew modules can contain it, while larger modules such as biodomes and atmo scrubbers can create it.

 

It's noob friendly which fits with KSP's theme, while also at least showing that life support is a consideration in space.

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8 hours ago, Dale Christopher said:

I would love life support! But watching my brave Kerbals suffocate knowing that my inadequacy as an engineer was the cause would be demoralising. 

It's not a problem of the life support, but of UI settings.
A "Switch off the cabin cams" checkbox would completely solve this issue.

12 hours ago, Marshall Hopp said:

Kerbalism was my favourite because of the added radiation, part malfunctions, stress and things like nitrogen for pressure

You are so kind...
KerbalHealth mod can give additional options.

***

+1 to the basic functions to be extended by modders.

But sure they won't add.

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I would argue it makes sense that a probe mission is harder than a manned mission. It's a natural offset for their efficiency.

Manned Mission Pros:

  • You always have control of your craft
  • You can get Eva and Sample science

Manned Mission Cons:

  • Require more resources to support larger craft designed to contain Kerbals
  • Kerbals could die, depleting your kerbalnaut corps

Probe Mission Pros:

  • Lighter mission profiles and resource consumption compared to manned missions
  • No risk of life, only afore-mentioned cheaper craft, if mission failure

Probe Mission Cons:

  • Always needs radio contact for full control
  • More planning(?)(Included because your comment, not because I agree with it)

 

NASA sends out more probe missions than manned, even before the retirement of the shuttle because they are cheaper and more expendable, not because they easier. About 40% of the probed missions to Mars have failed, and a few of them for really stupid reasons, such as parts installed incorrectly, program errors that should have been detected, etc. We don't even have to worry about comms delay in KSP or cosmic radiation, or part failure, or micrometeorites, or other hazards that make space travel for probes and humans even more dangerous than what risk-averse KSP players do.

The idea that probe missions require significantly more planning and effort compared to a manned mission is not true as far as KSP is concerned. Just like a manned mission, they require a control device (probe body instead of command pod), science gear, propulsion and propellant enough to get home, and power/battery. The only difference between them is the requirement of either Kerbals with the weight penalty for their command pods, or a com network and coms gear, which is trivial to set up and is good practice for manned missions anyway. Even then, you've got to do additional planning to make sure your Kerbals can get back safely whereas a probe can just stay at its destination and transmit its findings home.

I don't want life support for the sake of yet another thing to manage. I don't mind having to manage heat, propellant, or power because those are things that have a direct impact on the performance of the craft I design, but that's already pretty tedious IMO. I don't also need to manage the minutia of keeping a digital avatar alive. If I want that, I'll go dig up my old tamagachi. I'm not against it being a modded feature, but I don't think it should be a core feature, and I don't want the developers taking time away on core features for everyone to cater to a subset of users by setting up a framework for life support modders.

I don't have to feed Master Chief, replenish his 15 minute oxygen supply, or give him potty breaks, I don't want to have to worry about that with my Kerbals either.

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1 hour ago, csiler2 said:

We don't even have to worry about comms delay in KSP or cosmic radiation, or part failure, or micrometeorites, or other hazards that make space travel for probes and humans even more dangerous than what risk-averse KSP players do.

IMO, we should. I run mods that add some of these. Because challenge and realism. They're fundamental parts of space travel.
 

2 hours ago, csiler2 said:

The idea that probe missions require significantly more planning and effort compared to a manned mission is not true as far as KSP is concerned.

Agreed, though mitigated slightly by the recent addition of a comm network. RemoteTech does this properly of course, signal delay and automation mean probes actually require planning.

Squad has been trying to make probes harder than manned missions for a long time, probably to get us using the silly green things more - that's likely why decent probe-cores are so far up the tech-tree WRT pods, comnet and kerbal-deployed experiments were added before life support, and every bit of advertising material has a "look how cute the kerbals are" slant to it. It's not really working, but they're trying.

 

1 hour ago, csiler2 said:

you've got to do additional planning to make sure your Kerbals can get back safely whereas a probe can just stay at its destination and transmit its findings home.

But... you don't. There's no reason at all for bringing your kerbals home safely, and with no life support you can leave them anywhere you like for as long as you like with no penalty. You get a near infinite supply of the things from rescue contracts, so kerbal+chair is effectively the cheapest probe-core in the game.

 

1 hour ago, csiler2 said:

I don't want life support for the sake of yet another thing to manage.

Life support isn't micromanagement, at least not in any of the life support mods I've used extensively. It's a mass penalty for long-duration crewed missions (balanced against higher flexibility and science return for crewed missions), and if it include s a living-space mechanic it also it encourages sane craft design. It's also one of the biggest challenges in manned spaceflight.
Being able to send a kerbal to jool in an external command seat and leave him there for 30 years with no ill-effects is just silly.

Build craft, add life support equipment, go about your usual business.
Realise you didn't pack enough supplies, bad things happen to your kerbals - much like not packing enough solar panels, fuel, or any other design screwup.
It's added depth and realism, that's all.

The extra features that Kerbalism or Kerbal Health bring aren't really micromanagement either - some are simply additional challenges to design around, others (e.g. solar storms, stressed kerbals going on a rampage) take the form of infrequent and interesting events to break up those 5-year voyages.
 

2 hours ago, csiler2 said:

I'm not against it being a modded feature, but I don't think it should be a core feature, and I don't want the developers taking time away on core features for everyone to cater to a subset of users by setting up a framework for life support modders.

And what features exactly are "for everyone"? I didn't care at all about extra launch sites, I don't care about stock robotics, and I don't care about tron-suits. Those must have been for a subset of users, and so could a life-support system.
Plenty of people didn't care about the stock thermal system (or were DRE users), so that can't have been "for everyone" either. Same for the improved aero model - some people actually complained because it broke their unrealistic designs.
 

I wouldn't argue for the detail in the more advanced life support mods to become stock, but something like snacks, core USI-LS (without all the colonisation jazz) or even TAC-LS, if tied to the difficulty settings, would be just an added difficulty level which adds more complexity to craft and mission design.
Make it optional, make it flexible, and we could have a performant well-integrated basis for anything from "pack one box of snacks per kerbal-year and forget about it" to "remember to stir the oxygen tanks daily or everyone dies".
A stock implementation would probably be something so simplified it's ridiculous, but that's got to be better than kerbals breathing without a supply of gasses (but somehow still needing a suit?) and surviving on only sunlight without any energy input at all.

 

2 hours ago, csiler2 said:

I don't have to feed Master Chief, replenish his 15 minute oxygen supply, or give him potty breaks

FPS games aren't well known for their use of the the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation either, or for allowing you to design your own powered assault armour. KSP isn't an FPS, it's a rocket designer and spaceflight sim. Life support is central to spaceflight.
Besides, you manage your stimpack inventory in DooM, why not your oxygen supply in KSP? You have to eat and sleep regularly in hard-mode Fallout 4 (okay, FPRPG, whatever), why shouldn't hard-mode KSP have health considerations for your toons?
 

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1 hour ago, steve_v said:

I wouldn't argue for the detail in the more advanced life support mods to become stock, but something like snacks, core USI-LS (without all the colonisation jazz) or even TAC-LS, if tied to the difficulty settings, would be just an added difficulty level which adds more complexity to craft and mission design.
Make it optional, make it flexible, and we could have a performant well-integrated basis for anything from "pack one box of snacks per kerbal-year and forget about it" to "remember to stir the oxygen tanks daily or everyone dies".

No.

If it's implemented at all, it must be a core gameplay mechanic that is integrated with other gameplay elements, not optional, and it must introduce gameplay elements that are more interesting than just a mass penalty. Making it optional would make it too hard to balance the parts and the tech tree -- these would feel right either with LS on or off, or else they would need different stats for different modes. Either way the result would be uncomfortable. Also optional features are a time sink, they add testing burden, and the only benefit the subset of users that switch them on.

In my view CommNet is a good example of a subsystem as it should be. It's a relatively simple concept, it's well integrated into the game, it has clear and understandable effects, and it leads to interesting emergent gameplay. It and many other KSP features are only optional because of the organic way the game evolved. In a game that was designed from a clean slate it would not have been.

Edited by Brikoleur
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12 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

If it's implemented at all, it must be a core gameplay mechanic

I mostly agree (s/must/should/g), but...

12 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

In my view CommNet is a good example of a subsystem as it should be. It's a relatively simple concept, it's well integrated into the game, it has clear and understandable effects, and it leads to interesting emergent gameplay. It and many other KSP features are only optional because of the organic way the game evolved. In a game that was designed from a clean slate it would not have been.

We're not talking about a clean slate, and like commnet, we're going to have people that don't want life-support. They will want a way to disable it.
It should be a core gameplay mechanic, but at this stage of development I'm not sure it's practical or wise to introduce it that way.
Something in stock is better than nothing, and once it's in the temptation is there to extend and integrate it into other aspects of the game. Introducing it as "you now have another problem to deal with, suck it up" will cause much more bickering than "here's a new thing, turn it on and try it out if you like" will.

Edited by steve_v
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10 minutes ago, steve_v said:

We're not talking about a clean slate

We're talking about KSP2. That is a clean slate. As clean as it'll ever get for KSP anyway.

If it's implemented, it has to be good enough that it wouldn't even occur to players to want to disable it (although of course it could always be modded out). If it's experienced as a problem or a chore, it's already done wrong. It should be experienced as a challenge, and it should lead to emergent gameplay just like CommNet does. There must also be a shallow and long-enough on-ramp to ease players into it. For example, whatever the mechanics of it are, it should be effectively ignorable for round trips to Mun and Minmus. I wouldn't object if the difficulty settings allow you to tune it -- e.g., choose between hibernation and permadeath when LS runs out (which is technically pretty much cosmetic), or adjust a snack consumption coefficient -- but if the LS system itself is so trivial and so isolated from the rest of the gameplay systems that it can be simply switched off without any significant knock-on effects, then it's not worth doing at all.

One thing that worries me about KSP2 is feature creep. The interstellar and colonial aspects -- never even mind multiplayer -- are big challenges as it is. I am worried that the game might end up with a ton of half-baked, half-broken features that will be frustrating to deal with rather than challenging, interesting, or fun. There are a fair few subsystems in the game already that are nonessential, and IMO they should be left out altogether if there isn't enough time or resources to do the well and integrate them properly into the core gameplay. I've very much enjoyed playing with CommNet and robotics, for example, but if it means a more robust core game, I would not mind that they drop them (and maybe then sell them to us again as DLCs). The same applies to LS.

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19 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

If it's implemented, it has to be good enough that it wouldn't even occur to players to want to disable it

In a perfect world, that's exactly what happens. You still won't please everybody though, if the anti-LS sentiment in this thread is anything to go by. Hence my diplomatic "optional"... which really means "optional until everyone realises it's actually good, then quietly make it always-on." ;))

 

6 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

I wouldn't object if the difficulty settings allow you to tune it -- e.g., choose between hibernation and permadeath when LS runs out

'tis only one small slider tick between hibernation and nothing. Parts might become useless, missions might have to be disabled, no big deal. TBH, hibernation would be close enough to "off" for me anyway, if I wanted that.

 

7 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

if the LS system itself is so trivial and so isolated from the rest of the gameplay systems that it can be simply switched off without any significant knock-on effects, then it's not worth doing at all.

Sure, I never suggested it should be trivial or isolated, if turning it off has knock-on effects then so be it.
There will always be people coming from KSP1 and wanting KSP1++ without any additional hassle, if they want to disable the life-support mechanic and loose out on all the gameplay that goes with it that's their choice.

 

5 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

I am worried that the game might end up with a ton of half-baked, half-broken features that will be frustrating to deal with rather than challenging, interesting, or fun.

That sounds a lot like a game I know.

 

12 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

I've very much enjoyed playing with CommNet and robotics, for example, but if it means a more robust core game, I would not mind that they drop them (and maybe then sell them to us again as DLCs). The same applies to LS.

Absolutely. I'd go further and say that in KSP1 I absolutely would have preferred work on the core game (and engine) over getting those at all. We had mods. If these things are not in KSP2 right off the bat I expect there will be mods too.

 

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14 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

It would be hard to implement LS in a way that wouldn’t be trivial (“just add this magic part”) or tedious (“keep doing these milk runs and hope you don’t forget or your kerbals will die horribly.”) It would need a whole lot of support mechanics to be fun and interesting: resource management and some level of abstraction to handle routine missions. Almost a whole new game on top of the existing game.

 

Yeah. KSP1 lacks some core mechanics for proper life support. We can`t just leave kerbals in colony with running drill, running water processor, running greenhouse and expect them to survive. And we can`t leave a kerbal in a rover parked nearby and expect him to backgroundly walk to colony for snacking or to call others to bring him food. USI MKS is a nice try (resource scavenging and habitation sharing of nearby vessels), but the background things are even more problematic there. 

Not a whole new game on top of existing game. Just a background commnet-like process, where kerbals cook their snacks, eat their snacks, run converters, make new kerbals, manage their power generation and probably send and recieve supply shipments.

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