XLjedi

UTEM 222: Iss Not Compilcated!

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Despite having completed career mode and doing a lot of challenges, I can't say I have a large stable of craft suitable for this challenge yet. Some of the ones on my KerbalX page are probably good, but then there's stuff like Kerberos with marginal utility at best, and then the truly bonkers stuff I did mostly for the lulz, like these:

qOfWT1F.png

gXDxUtJ.png

VAbcBRY.png

 

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Well... it's a start.  My first official Pro-Stock craft isn't quite as impressive as any of those.   But HEY, all we have to work with is the first tech tree starter node, so we're not exactly talking SpaceX here at day one.

I now present...  the long awaited...  highly advanced...  "Alpha 1 Nub" 

Alpha1_Nub.jpg

I was particularly proud of the genius design concept of limiting the thruster to 1/3 power to avoid killing any kerbals on the very first launch.  Not to mention the intentional (OK, accidental, but it worked!) placement of the parachute in the first stage to limit the flight distance to about 50ft or so and have it land back on the launchpad for 100% recovery!  Woohoo!

Shortly following the amazing success of the Nub...  the next entry in the program was the "Alpha2 Sci-Nub-Nub"

Alpha2_Sci-Nub-Nub.jpg

Now... if there was actually a third Pro-Stock craft in the "Alpha Nub" program, I may have had to give a little thought to separating the craft into launch vehicle and subassemblies.  However, we managed to advance pretty quickly from here, skipping over a Beta or Gamma class and moving straight into the Delta Rockets!

 

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How did you do your first launch with zero dollars? It shows zero starting funds in the custom game settings in the official rules. 

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So the goal is to show stock crafts ?

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3 hours ago, James M said:

How did you do your first launch with zero dollars? It shows zero starting funds in the custom game settings in the official rules. 

When you accept a contract you get funds. I can't say that's how it happened here but I frequently start careers with 0 starting funds with the intent to get all my money from contracts.

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1 hour ago, 5thHorseman said:

When you accept a contract you get funds. I can't say that's how it happened here but I frequently start careers with 0 starting funds with the intent to get all my money from contracts.

Oh yeah >.> I forgot about that. Also, I meant to ask for some clarification on one of the challenge guidelines before I got started. When something is not considered a "Science Part", does this mean it can't be added to my craft after the craft is made or AT ALL WHATSOEVER? I'm only asking for the sake of science probes and orbital research stations since they both require comms which are "Prohibited".

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2 hours ago, James M said:

Oh yeah >.> I forgot about that. Also, I meant to ask for some clarification on one of the challenge guidelines before I got started. When something is not considered a "Science Part", does this mean it can't be added to my craft after the craft is made or AT ALL WHATSOEVER? I'm only asking for the sake of science probes and orbital research stations since they both require comms which are "Prohibited".

Build your craft with non-science parts already installed.  You are only allowed to add science parts or a part that gains "Oh Sciencey!" due to a part test mission.

So you will need to think carefully about what types of probes and station parts you create as Pro-Stock Subassemblies to attach to your stations.  I'm guessing most people will play a shadow career where they are designing and testing the craft as they go.  Then adding them to a pro-stock hangar that they are confident could meet the challenge.  That's how I'm working on it.  

When I max-out the tech tree in my shadow career, I will take my pro-stock craft to a new career and see how quickly I can unlock the tree.  For me, it is becoming a bit of a sprint to see how efficiently science labs can be launched in the Kerbin SOI.  Others may have a different approach or choose to reach beyond Minmus.  

4 hours ago, Kerbolitto said:

So the goal is to show stock crafts ?

You can show them if you want...  I will probably post a few here and there as I go.  I view it as a fun challenge for anyone who is starting a new career.  It adds a bit of color to the early game where you are just trying to unlock the tree.  I really wanted a science jet for instance that could fly missions as soon as the basic "Aircraft" tech node was unlocked and before the runway or SPH was upgraded.  Now I have the Harbinger in my Pro-Stock hangar for that purpose:

Spoiler

J-34_Harbinger.jpg

Tech_J-34_Harbinger.jpg

I also created a "Pro-Stock Challenge" hangar on KerbalX where I am cross-referencing the craft I posted online that I use in the challenge.  So you can create your own hangar over there and point us to it if you like.

Edited by XLjedi

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7 hours ago, James M said:

How did you do your first launch with zero dollars? It shows zero starting funds in the custom game settings in the official rules. 

Just accept a contract or two.  You should be able to pick 2 of the first few that are offered and have about 6000 to work with at start.

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Quick question, you can merge two pro-stock in the vab before launch if you add no additional parts, right? Like having a launcher (with fairing) as one, and probes as another one Pro-Stock Craft (PSC) (or as a sub-assembly). Is there a hard limit on the number of PSC allowed? Since you have to pay for part upgrades, I think that there will be some self limitation on the number of different parts unlocked, and I think that the whole point of the challenge is to have as few different PSC as possible, but still.

Asking this because I kind of use lots of sub-assemblies to have a modular craft fleet, I can push this further having, for instance, cores and boosters as separated sub-assemblies and abusing symetri to build custom PSC (like, one standard core, on which I fit any number of standard boosters - from 0 to 8 - a bit like the Atlas-V launchers which come in different config. Is that PSC enough or should I focus on building "complete" craft ?

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@Okhin  Yes, you got!  

You can have as many PSC's as you like.  Merging two of them, or attaching a PS subassembly in the hangar is allowed.  You're just not allowed to add a part in-between (like a decoupler).  So it forces you (for instance) to create booster subassemblies and/or launch vehicles that already have the decouplers where they need to be.

I consider autostruts to be "Pit Tuning" so you should not be limited if you want to create a booster subassembly, attach 8 of them to your rocket and autostrut them for stability.  For me personally, I favor a spaceplane career.  So I only have one or two rocket launch vehicles that I need before transitioning over to spaceplanes.  So in my case, I only have a few PSC launch vehicle rockets that already include the boosters.

There is no hard limit on the number of PS crafts allowed.  You are simply given the objective to "minimize" the number as best you can.  What I find particularly interesting with this challenge is the tech tree analysis I did to figure out which specific node technologies are best served by adding the part with subassemblies.  For instance, there are Mk2 spaceplanes in my hangar that I can unlock the tech on much earlier in my career simply because I removed that Mk2 autopilot part from the design.  As a result, I've determined there is no reason to pay credits to unlock that part (and several others). 

Advanced avionics can be added to any craft later if you build it into a subassembly.  This added an avionics upgrade element to my career gameplay for every previously launched vehicle and station that (prior to me playing the challenge) did not exist for me.  I began designing PSC craft using that tiny docking port as a future mount location for my PS avionics subassembly to be added later once unlocked.  I may have a few different comms subassemblies that I can install/upgrade as I go as well.

You may like to assemble your missions with 10-15 PS subassemblies just in the launch vehicle.  I kinda prefer to build PS launch vehicles that include all the boosters for various stages and then put together a few subassemblies for the payload.  It's your choice.    

 

Edited by XLjedi

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Ok, thanks :) (I'm also thinking of interchangeable brains for rockets. I'm not really a space plane kind of person, but maybe I'll just use this challenge as an excuse).

Are mods such as Stratego (or Stratega?) and contract configurator allowed ? They're not reall parts, but they change lots of the income you can have from base contracts and strategies.

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Just now, Okhin said:

Ok, thanks :) (I'm also thinking of interchangeable brains for rockets. I'm not really a space plane kind of person, but maybe I'll just use this challenge as an excuse).

Are mods such as Stratego (or Stratega?) and contract configurator allowed ? They're not reall parts, but they change lots of the income you can have from base contracts and strategies.

Any mods that change the parts, modify the tech tree, skew science or contract payouts...  those would kinda put your PS craft into their own category.  I can't really benchmark what you've done against anyone else so, I think I have to vote no.  

 

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No probs, since I was creating a new KSP (More or less) Stock instance I might as well ask before installing too many of those :). So, I'll stick to my purely visual ones then.

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Just now, Okhin said:

No probs, since I was creating a new KSP (More or less) Stock instance I might as well ask before installing too many of those :). So, I'll stick to my purely visual ones then.

Glad you mentioned it though...  I updated the PDF rules "Mods" section to include the clarification.

6 hours ago, Kerbolitto said:

So the goal is to show stock crafts ?

You may not have noticed it... but there's a "ReadMe" clicky under the graphic in the first post on the thread.  

It includes 4 pages of instructions, goals, things to consider and so forth. 

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@XLjedi Oops sorry, did not see that!
I have no pro-stock vehicles, one of the thing I like when starting is a new career is to create new crafts .. But at some point I did share some cargo SSTO between my saves. I can show some of them if you want, but I don't use them very much anymore :)

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26 minutes ago, Kerbolitto said:

@XLjedi Oops sorry, did not see that!
I have no pro-stock vehicles, one of the thing I like when starting is a new career is to create new crafts .. But at some point I did share some cargo SSTO between my saves. I can show some of them if you want, but I don't use them very much anymore :)

It's up to you if you'd like to do the challenge progressively and build the hangar as you go.  I have to say though, if you don't use em much anymore, they must not be that "Pro" bro.  Better go fix em up!   ;-D

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5 hours ago, XLjedi said:

I have to say though, if you don't use em much anymore, they must not be that "Pro" bro.  Better go fix em up!   ;-D

Nah I'm mostly playing sandbox now :)

Most of the time, I'm using good ideas I had on a new craft, here is a way to simply deploy an outpost :

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GVbdg8n.jpg

E1m76Y2.jpg

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