Acid_Burn9

[SUGGESTION] Career Mode and Funds in KSP 2 and issues, that come with removing them from the game.

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@Acid_Burn9 Well written & thought out post and I strongly agree.  I started off playing sandbox just to figure out how to do things in the game, dabbled in science for a few days & went to career.  No, its not perfect by any measure, but it definitely engages me more than either of the other modes.   Having to pay for rockets completely changed what I was designing compared to sandbox.   Then having to rescue kerbals to expand my astronaut roster encouraged me to learn rendezvous & docking well enough for that to be routine rather than something to be avoided if at all possible.   Mods with new & better contracts helped a lot too.

The building upgrade levels are pretty horrible - especially VAB & SPH, where you go from 30 part limit to 255 in one step - but the concept isn't a bad idea.  The size/mass limits are much better - even in a 2.7x rescale (JNSQ) you can get a kerbal to space on 18 tons with good design.

And yes, in sandbox, I built more than one craft with a pile of RTG's as the only power source, because why not.  The only time fuel cells were used was big mining rigs when nothing else had the power output to run the drills & converters far from Kerbol.   In career, a small fuel cell (actually, a small Universal Storage LH2/LOX fuel cell) is my standard power source for small manned craft, with maybe a small fixed panel or two to supplement it.

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12 hours ago, Acid_Burn9 said:

Or big battery reserves. And don't forget about power management like turning reaction wheels off to conserve energy.

And again placing 1 RTG to specifically have at least some power source in darkness is different from spamming them, to have unlimited energy regardless of conditions. 

I was more just trying to say i hope KSP2 has more ways to generate power than RTG's; which have a very defined and specific niche that they fill IRL and in KSP.

And that if we did have more ways, that you'd likely see RTG spam decrease dramatically as a result.

I cringe whenever i see people put 20 RTG's in a bay and use them for power, not just because it's absurd and inefficient but because by that point you have so much nuclear material you may as well just use a proper reactor instead which would be far more efficient. So i don't think RTG spam is valid, just think it can be "Solved" from multiple angles.

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I too play career, and agree with a lot of what's being said. I see career mode like this:

KSP is a private space program, companies employ us to fulfil their orbital tasks. KSP could be a public space program, funds could be delivered via a "3 month budget" type system that increases as we achieve things, like a crewed Mun landing or Duna drone capture, or it could be somewhat proportional to science rewards (as exploration is about learning things after all).

This means you could properly throttle income, and it does allow disadvantage for just time warping to the next budget, because that might mean you miss a transfer window anyway, but it also means you're not left with an unplayable career because you accidentally "dissambled" all of your early rockets.

It could have a hard cap as well, which would leave you with a nudge to go build off world, use ISRU to build rockets yourself rather than buying them because the money isn't just lying around by the millions for your interstellar drive.

I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with funds, it just takes the right approach to feel satisfactory for the player and not be an arbitrary hurdle, which is a fine line sometimes.

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Excellent post Acid_Burn9, I find myself in total agreement with everything you say.

I play career mode almost exclusively, Sandbox I use only to test new designs, Science I've only ever tried once, so no Career mode might possibly be a real breaker for me as far as KSP2's concerned.  I agree it can be a little grindy, I think Kerbalism sorts this out when you can get all the science available in one visit, although you may need to stay in the biome a while as it isn't gained immediately.  Maybe KSP2 should think of a system like this?

Having said that, we still don't really know what's being planned in KSP2, maybe this Adventure mode may be a less grindy Career mode in all but name?  So as usual I'm just going to sit back and watch what we finally get when the game is released.  Only then will I decide if it's for me or not. 

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I play career mode all the time, only use sandbox for mod debugging and have never even started a science game. Grinding through the early part of the game with limited resources (funds and facilities) at your disposal is part of the challenge and while slapping together a gigantic rocket will do the job just fine in sandbox or even science mode, on a low-budget career it's far more satisfying to do the same at minimal cost and also forces you to be more creative in your design process.

Contracts are a bolt-on feature that isn't required in any way and which I only accept to either a) get free Kerbals (my interplanetary ships are big, current one has a crew of 60!) or b) if I'm going there anyway, or possibly c) if I was thinking of going there in future but the contracts made it more worthwhile, like a little while ago when I got three or four Moho contracts so threw some rovers in that direction and scraped up every last bit of science I could get from its surface without sending a Kerbal. Some contracts are stupid (test a Mammoth sub-orbital over Bop!?), some are useful to get hold of tech you haven't unlocked yet (I got one for the NERV and got some use out of it before unlocking the tech tree nodes) but almost all are rubbish because they're procedurally generated and add little or nothing to the 'story' of career mode, or what little of it there is considering it's so open-ended.

A funds-less mode in KSP2 is basically science mode, or career-lite, which somewhat cheapens the whole thing (pun semi-intended). While a lot of the later game stuff will be about resource accumulation rather than outright buying stuff and career games lose their funding impetus when you can accumulate tens or hundreds of millions even with the gains turned down to 10% or skipping contracts altogether, I would choose to have funds included every time.

KSP without funds would be like NASA or ESA throwing 20 rovers at Mars instead of one- sure you'd get a whole lotta science out of them, but it's not remotely realistic; nor is stapling a hundred of Curiosity/Perseverance's RTGs to the ISS and running it off those instead of the solar panels. Funding adds realism and game balance in a simple and easy way, the one game I've seen actually remove an in-game currency didn't work well at all, and it isn't even the cause of the problem; why would anyone want to remove it?

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On 5/29/2020 at 8:54 PM, shdwlrd said:

It wasn't the contracts per se, it was the mechanics behind it that killed the career mode.

Now what KSP2 is trying to do is remove the minutia that plagued the career and science modes in KSP1 and make it more straight forward.

It's good to question if funds and contracts would be included or not. But with such little information about the adventure mode outside of an idea and mention, you can't say what will be in there or not. It's just not worth getting up in arms over right now. 

 

Exactly this. I get that the OP might think his post will be seen by the devs so in the event some of his concerns are valid perhaps it will change some minds. Or not. *shrug*

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@Acid_Burn9 you have missed a glaring and critical problem with career mode.

Before I elucidate what I mean let me preface it with the fact I have been playing since days (2-3) after the release of 0.21 in July or so of 2013. Now, lets recap:

Career mode cons:

1. Dismal implementation of contracts. Sorry but taking random parts to random altitudes and/or speeds and pressing buttons isnt fun or fulfilling. Nor is any of the other things it asks you to do. (Details on this in point 2.)

2. Absolutely no story. Not even a hint of a whisper of a shadow of a thought of one. Sorry but if you want me to go to place y reason x needs to be more than because I have done action z. Oh I got into orbit on accident and now im asked to take this decoupler to the mun and test it? Bah. 
 

The core sin in my eyes really is the utter lack of a compelling story. I was excited when career mode was announced. I was disheartened after 60 minutes. I kept trying it out with each update for a while hoping it would improve. Gave up. It never did. Give me substance and a compelling story. Why are the kerbals doing this? What is driving them to put things in space? Why are they themselves going to space? Career mode has none of this. Its why I am hoping adventure mode can deliver. 
 

I am a die hard sandboxer. In sandbox my canvas is the universe. I can write my own compelling story in sandbox that career as it is in KSP1 simply cannot give me until it has a full tech tree and the grind is over, a point that screams just start in sandbox and avoid the grind. Please do not misunderstand, I am all for grinding if the story is compelling, but I need there to BE that compelling story. Career lacks that. 
 

You like career mode and that is awesome. I however cannot stand it. I hope adventure mode gives us both that which we all, you, me, everyone will find compelling and satisfying. As Scott Manley says: fly safe!

134906202020

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I think that as soon as you set-up your first self-sufficient colonial VAB or orbital shipyard money gets automatically replaced with the resources needed to build the crafts, you'll find yourself in the situation of not spamming RTGs not because they cost a lot but because they're difficult to craft and require a lot of resources.

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On 5/29/2020 at 8:28 PM, Acid_Burn9 said:

  Firstly let's talk about why the Career Mode was called "too grindy" in the first place.

   The contract system in the original game pretty much consist of the list of the simple objectives and rewards with some RNG integrated, and feels like it was done in a hurry by someone, who had little idea about how to realize the feature in the first place and took completely wrong approach. As a result of that most of the contracts were about pressing certain button at certain speed/altitude for a minor payout. I'm not arguing, with the fact, that it was indeed very boring. It was. But it is important to note, that is an issue NOT with career mode itself, but rather with the way contracts were implemented, so it shouldn't be used as a reason to not include the career mode into the sequel. The thing that is also worth noting, is that a lot of people, who've tried career mode, abandoned it almost instantly, without investigating the game mode further. Because of that they've had no chance of understanding good and important concepts, that this mode introduced to the game, so the community opinion about career mode being garbage was born. But i am not one of those people. I am one of the few, that gave the Career Mode a chance to prove itself. And spoiler alert - i wasn't disappointed.

That's not completely fair to the people who came up and implemented it in the first place. It would be good to note that the original game had nothing in place to provide any goals; it was sandbox and nothing else. Then Science came along and someone (I forgot who) came up with a mod that provided contracts; that system was later integrated in the game.

Let me repeat that: there was nothing. NOTHING in the game to provide any story/action/adventure/gameplay. Let me show you how much there was:

...

That's right. Nothing.

To claim that this is all due to someone who had no clue what they were doing is injustice to those who, in the early days of the game, set out to create something out of nothing and had to scale The Wall Of Interesting Play will little more than two elastic bands and a handful of thumb tags.

Stating that the contract system was build on very little concrete foundations in the game resulting in where we are now would be a more fair representation and a bit more kinder to those who spent a good amount of their time and talent early on in the game to turn it into something more interesting.

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On 5/29/2020 at 9:13 PM, dnbattley said:

Firstly I agree with the characterisation of sandbox players as building without consideration of money: I often watch Matt Lowne's (excellent) videos and giggle at their absurd cost: e.g. 200k to get to Duna?!? What??? I agree that a mode that forces design compromise adds depth to the game, though it was always an issue to me that the "normal" mode rapidly becomes too easy, while the hard mode starts off too tight for cash (I also realise you can set custom levels, which I do).

Yeah, 200k to get to Duna, that's ridiculous! My first career mission there was only half that if you lose a zero somewhere in the accounting.

Very well said, and I absolutely agree that designing for cost provides interesting challenges. My million-fund mission was overbuilt, no doubt about that, but I still did have to make sure that all the contracts I was taking on meant I still turned a profit from it, and it was fun learning why you shouldn't use Vectors for everything.

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, RyanRising said:

Yeah, 200k to get to Duna, that's ridiculous! My first career mission there was only half that if you lose a zero somewhere in the accounting.

Very well said, and I absolutely agree that designing for cost provides interesting challenges. My million-fund mission was overbuilt, no doubt about that, but I still did have to make sure that all the contracts I was taking on meant I still turned a profit from it, and it was fun learning why you shouldn't use Vectors for everything.

@dnbattley 

as @Kerbart aptly puts it: 

9 hours ago, Kerbart said:

It would be good to note that the original game had nothing in place to provide any goals; it was sandbox and nothing else. Then Science came along and someone (I forgot who) came up with a mod that provided contracts; that system was later integrated in the game.

Let me repeat that: there was nothing. NOTHING in the game to provide any story/action/adventure/gameplay. Let me show you how much there was:

...

That's right. Nothing.

There is nothing wrong with building obscenely large ships or intricately designed missions. 

I want to stress the following:

1. I do not now, nor ever will I begrudge anyone their fun or opinion about how they play/think of KSP.

2. I will not stop stressing that Career Mode and even Science Mode for that matter are lacking. They were and are on paper and in theory spectacular ideas that on paper and in theory have great potential, but, in practice fall short. Career Mode falls       far far shorter than Science Mode does. 

   2a. Career Mode: Lacks any real depth. Lacks a genuinely enthralling and compelling story. Lacks a real direction. 

   2a-a. Direction: Why are the Kerbals shooting for the stars? What is the driving force that gives them the desire to see what is beyond the next horizon or rather, in space and on other planets?? Why should I <generic "I" here, not me specifically for                  the purposes of the question> become emotionally attached to the kerbals?

   2a-b. Answers to the question in 2a-a from MY perspective: In career? I cannot find a reason as the grind and lack of direction kills my desire to spend time in the mode, and from 3rd update after it was introduced I have not touched it. In Science?                  The direction and purpose of exploring the Kerbol System is soured by the nonsensical progression of <yes there is a mod that fixes this, but, since I am not fond of either of these modes, its moot> Kerbals going up before probes kills my                        desire. In Sandbox? Ah sandbox, the blank and open canvas of pure unadulterated story. I am not restrained by meaningless contracts that make so sense and likewise I am not constrained by the odd and nonsensical progression of the tech                tree. The universe before me is my canvas, and my story is waiting to be told in ways that are simply not possible in the other two modes.

3. I will not stop stressing that Career and Science modes missed their potential by <in my opinion, which I think some share, I may be wrong, but, I could swear I have heard/read this sentiment before from others> simply being poorly implemented.         Adventure Mode may be the Career Mode that Career Mode was meant to be. BUT, we will not know for over a year or so +-.

This of course is just my thoughts and feelings and opinion on this. 

Fortune cookie mode activate: In the end, we are all playing KSP or in the nearish future, we are all playing KSP2 because we seek to entertain ourselves. That right there, self enjoyment, self fulfilment is what matters the absolute MOST. Play for YOU. Find your enjoyment, and hold onto it. In these times enjoying ourselves is what we need most.

010806212020

010906212020 fixed a word in my fortune cookie mode :D

Edited by AlamoVampire

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52 minutes ago, AlamoVampire said:

@dnbattley 

as @Kerbart aptly puts it: 

There is nothing wrong with building obscenely large ships or intricately designed missions. 

I want to stress the following:

1. I do not now, nor ever will I begrudge anyone their fun or opinion about how they play/think of KSP.

2. I will not stop stressing that Career Mode and even Science Mode for that matter are lacking. They were and are on paper and in theory spectacular ideas that on paper and in theory have great potential, but, in practice fall short. Career Mode falls       far far shorter than Science Mode does. 

   2a. Career Mode: Lacks any real depth. Lacks a genuinely enthralling and compelling story. Lacks a real direction. 

   2a-a. Direction: Why are the Kerbals shooting for the stars? What is the driving force that gives them the desire to see what is beyond the next horizon or rather, in space and on other planets?? Why should I <generic "I" here, not me specifically for                  the purposes of the question> become emotionally attached to the kerbals?

   2a-b. Answers to the question in 2a-a from MY perspective: In career? I cannot find a reason as the grind and lack of direction kills my desire to spend time in the mode, and from 3rd update after it was introduced I have not touched it. In Science?                  The direction and purpose of exploring the Kerbol System is soured by the nonsensical progression of <yes there is a mod that fixes this, but, since I am not fond of either of these modes, its moot> Kerbals going up before probes kills my                        desire. In Sandbox? Ah sandbox, the blank and open canvas of pure unadulterated story. I am not restrained by meaningless contracts that make so sense and likewise I am not constrained by the odd and nonsensical progression of the tech                tree. The universe before me is my canvas, and my story is waiting to be told in ways that are simply not possible in the other two modes.

3. I will not stop stressing that Career and Science modes missed their potential by <in my opinion, which I think some share, I may be wrong, but, I could swear I have heard/read this sentiment before from others> simply being poorly implemented.         Adventure Mode may be the Career Mode that Career Mode was meant to be. BUT, we will not know for over a year or so +-.

This of course is just my thoughts and feelings and opinion on this. 

Fortune cookie mode activate: In the end, we are all playing KSP or in the nearish future, we are all playing KSP2 because we seek to entertain ourselves. That right there, self enjoyment, self fulfilment is what matters the absolute MOST. Play for YOU. Find your enjoyment, and hold onto it. In these times enjoying ourselves is what we need most.

010806212020

010906212020 fixed a word in my fortune cookie mode :D

While i agree with most of this; i think 2a and 2b are the source of most disagreements you'll find among the KSP community when asking if a "Story" should be implemented or similar.

Because to me the direction of Career Mode isn't an issue; it's just an extra set of constraints to make how i choose the direction i want actually require more than just picking the best parts or brute-forcing the issue.

And humans didn't need anything beyond curiosity to decide to explore the stars, so i wouldn't think Kerbals would either.

Now mind you; those are just my own personal opinions. But i think it would be very difficult to implement a story that would satisfy both of us, and that's why i think KSP and KSP2 aren't for the worse without one. With all of that out of the way; i think career mode for sure should be massively overhauled to accomplish it's maximum potential. And is why i was pretty disheartened when it came out from the PCgamer article that they're intending on simplifying it to the point of pointlessness instead of attempting to make it better.

 

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I agree with the point about not throwing the baby out with the bath water regarding a progression dynamic in career mode.

I always play career mode because it makes you think and provides a challenge which gives a sense of accomplishment when you overcome a difficulty and gives you a sense of purpose. Currently I am playing with 10% science which makes for interesting  dilemmas.

That said I have long felt the key elements of career mode progression are at a pre-alpha level of refinement in KSP.

The mission system is full of RND repetition instead of a structured and crafted progression. It needs to respond more to player accomplishments.

The next big offender is the tech tree organisation. The unlocking mechanic is a good one but the arbitrary way parts are bundled together is a lost opportunity for a progression aesthetic. Most 4X games provide a better example of how to do this. The tech tree should tantalise the player. One part should lead to another, one engine to another engine etc and key abstract techs like composite materials or monocrystalline vapour deposition or high velocity heat exchangers etc should provide unlocks across multiple part progression trees. 

Lastly KSC buildings development progression is clunky.  This could be refined to provide more meaningful choices about what to add to buildings in return for functionality, such as craft weight and part counts for example.

I have been waiting a long time to say alll that, glad I finally got it off my chest! :D 

 

 

 

 

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@Incarnation of Chaos Lets look at story real fast and compare to real world. Let us return back to the bygone era of the early 1960's. John F. Kennedy is our President and he makes this speech. He gives us the goal of before the end of 1969 of putting a human on the moon and returning him safely to Earth. I would copy that entire speech, but lets face it, its a long one and no one wants a huge wall of text, but, I encourage you to read it. If it was not for his speech that day driving us forward in a race against Soviet Russia we most likely would have never gotten to the moon that fast. At 0040 Eastern Standard Time on December 14, 1972 Gene Cernan ascended into the Lunar Excursion Module and was the LAST HUMAN TO THIS DAY to stand upon the surface of our moon. It has been 47 years, 6 Months, 7 Days and nearly 4 hours as of this post. Why have we not gone back? Because we have not had the drive to return. Our story as a nation, heck as humans has not given us the impetus to push for more than slinging probes at the moon in these ensuing 47 and a half years. The story for KSP does not have to be doled out in chunks like you see in quests in say Final Fantasy XIV's main scenario. It can be a singular opening cinematic to career mode that gives us the story, and contracts or missions or what ever you want to call them can flush out the story. 

That right there in my opinion would be light years beyond what there is now. Once we are in this now hypothetical scenario where the Kerbal President <or what ever you wanna call the Kerbal leadership :) > has given us the goal to do SOMETHING like putting Jeb and Bob and Bill on the Mun or Minmus before the game clock hits X year X Month X Day, and what we do from the end of that cinematic until we achieve that goal, and even beyond it, can be the story itself flushed out. I think something like that would be the best work around. It is just constraining enough to be challenging, but, free enough to well, be free to go as needed. 

My opinion ofc.

031706212020

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, AlamoVampire said:

@Incarnation of Chaos Lets look at story real fast and compare to real world. Let us return back to the bygone era of the early 1960's. John F. Kennedy is our President and he makes this speech. He gives us the goal of before the end of 1969 of putting a human on the moon and returning him safely to Earth. I would copy that entire speech, but lets face it, its a long one and no one wants a huge wall of text, but, I encourage you to read it. If it was not for his speech that day driving us forward in a race against Soviet Russia we most likely would have never gotten to the moon that fast. At 0040 Eastern Standard Time on December 14, 1972 Gene Cernan ascended into the Lunar Excursion Module and was the LAST HUMAN TO THIS DAY to stand upon the surface of our moon. It has been 47 years, 6 Months, 7 Days and nearly 4 hours as of this post. Why have we not gone back? Because we have not had the drive to return. Our story as a nation, heck as humans has not given us the impetus to push for more than slinging probes at the moon in these ensuing 47 and a half years. The story for KSP does not have to be doled out in chunks like you see in quests in say Final Fantasy XIV's main scenario. It can be a singular opening cinematic to career mode that gives us the story, and contracts or missions or what ever you want to call them can flush out the story. 

That right there in my opinion would be light years beyond what there is now. Once we are in this now hypothetical scenario where the Kerbal President <or what ever you wanna call the Kerbal leadership :) > has given us the goal to do SOMETHING like putting Jeb and Bob and Bill on the Mun or Minmus before the game clock hits X year X Month X Day, and what we do from the end of that cinematic until we achieve that goal, and even beyond it, can be the story itself flushed out. I think something like that would be the best work around. It is just constraining enough to be challenging, but, free enough to well, be free to go as needed. 

My opinion ofc.

031706212020

Spoiler

I doubt we would've gotten to the moon at all if not for the Cold War, but that doesn't really change my overall point. We've always had a nearly inherent curiosity about what's beyond; despite the fact that political and societal goals rarely align long enough to see it thru. Even JFK didn't actually care about space; it was still about getting a big propaganda win for the USA against the USSR at a time where they had demonstrated time and time again that their capabilities surpassed ours (At least as far as the public was aware; reality is more complicated)

If we really want to boil it all down; Space has always been coupled at the hip with Military endeavors. The Germans during WWII developed the V2 as a way to attack the British isles after their airforce had been shattered after years of war; we knabbed their scientists and used them to build ICBM's and eventually the Saturn V. Today many of the current launch providers work closely with their respective governments due to that close association with ICBM technologies, and launch satellites for their intelligence agencies. But that's the human story, and that's not the one we have to tell in KSP.

Personally i think retelling the story of the Cold War thru the lens of the space programs is something that's been done and overdone for decades, and that wouldn't add much of anything to the game. Yes it would provide a structure, defined objectives and a clear pathway to a clear goal, but it wouldn't really do anything new or interesting.

And i think that present-day is a much more exciting time than Apollo, and that's due to the fact that the massive developments in space haven't been coming from massive government projects. They've been coming from a variety of privately owned companies, pushing the boundaries of what's possible and carving out their niche in the launch market before getting crushed or going bankrupt while trying.

Kerbals have been hinted to have an almost fanatical drive to practice aeronautics and rocketry even during their past history. So why retell this story? Why retell Humanities story? Why not tell a different one; one that's inspiring and campy in all the right ways? Why not take the fierce competition we see today, and go full kerbal with it! Instead of retelling our story; make the player compete with other space agencies and create their own story in the process, this would provide the same structure and direction people want (Company X is going to achieve orbit in 2 weeks; we have to beat them to it!) while not railroading the player into just replicating the progression from Mercury>Gemini>Apollo for the 300th time.

It would also provide plenty of easily adjusted levers for difficulty or progression; making milestone deadlines come sooner, reducing time between other companies progression, reducing funds or science or removing any of the latter entirely.

Edited by Incarnation of Chaos
Really? That's what you "Censor" that to?

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@Incarnation of Chaos I am not saying we need to replay the cold war again. As you said, its been done ad nauseum. What I am saying is, the story could be something LIKE that. Some kind of great drive. You said it yourself, the kerbals are hinted at being super driven to the point of near fanaticism to do science. Ok, so, lets roll with it, and see what happens. I am going to warp it just a bit however. 

This game takes a page in a sense from Arthur C. Clarke and his novel 2001: A Space Odyssey. How does it take a page in a sense from this novel? The monoliths. They are in many places, but, most prominently there is one not too far from the runway and launch pad at the KSC and can be seen from the space center screen. The opening of the game could have a real "monkey touches monolith" moment, and in that instant, the drive to explore and do science is instilled in them. They become focused on understanding everything there is about that monolith and the hunt is on to find more of them. What is the fastest way to search a planet? Put a camera in orbit. A polar orbit! This idea of course is but one of many possible ways such a story idea could be introduced. 

Now is what I am suggesting the only way this can be done or how it SHOULD be done? Nope. It is a suggestion. A way I think we could see career or rather Adventure Mode fleshed out and give us something coherent from which we can work and push forward. Lets just say, for sake of arguments and hypotheticals that once again, they use the Moonshot speech as the skeleton from which some epic idea is born. And for sake of arguments and hypotheticals, lets say, it follows the style of the moonshot speech but focuses on my monolith thing in the above paragraph. Ok. We have our scene. What is our stage? Our stage is the game. Ok, now, the stage and scene are set. Cast? The kerbals of course. Scene, Stage, Cast. Check. Script? That my friend, is on you. It is on me. It is on all of us. As the immortal bard William Shakespeare wrote in his play: As you like in Act 2: Scene 7: "JAQUES: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players."

If it were done as I just suggested in the paragraph right above this sentence, then, I would say this: Let us then, take the skeleton we are provided and provide unto it the flesh of our scene, the breath of our stage, the life of our cast. Let us then, fill our story, our scene with the heart of our words, the destiny of which only we can write. Let us then take to the world our play. Let us show the world what we can do with but the framework of a stories barest suggestion. We are the authors, let us write. We are the directors, let us direct. We are the cast, let us act. We are our story. Let us share it.

 

042406212020

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, AlamoVampire said:

2. Absolutely no story. Not even a hint of a whisper of a shadow of a thought of one. Sorry but if you want me to go to place y reason x needs to be more than because I have done action z. Oh I got into orbit on accident and now im asked to take this decoupler to the mun and test it? Bah. 
 

The core sin in my eyes really is the utter lack of a compelling story. I was excited when career mode was announced. I was disheartened after 60 minutes. I kept trying it out with each update for a while hoping it would improve. Gave up. It never did. Give me substance and a compelling story. Why are the kerbals doing this? What is driving them to put things in space? Why are they themselves going to space? Career mode has none of this. Its why I am hoping adventure mode can deliver. 
 

I am a die hard sandboxer. In sandbox my canvas is the universe. I can write my own compelling story in sandbox that career as it is in KSP1 simply cannot give me until it has a full tech tree and the grind is over, a point that screams just start in sandbox and avoid the grind. Please do not misunderstand, I am all for grinding if the story is compelling, but I need there to BE that compelling story. Career lacks that.

Honestly, I like the lack of an overarching narrative. I just want to build a space program and fulfill requests for customers. I would like to see that the contracts being asked to complete would have some sort of continuity between them, but a narrative driving the whole thing, to me, would seem out of place and constraining. For instance, space x/blue origin... whats the "narrative" here? Build rockets, build bigger rockets to fulfill customers needs, acquire money, build bigger rockets, fulfill more challenging customer needs, acquire more money, establish space infrastructure, repeat until humans can go anywhere... 

No need for a threatening the world story, or one kerbals dream to finally go to the moon plot device to drive this. Just make your own story through the history of your own space programs failures and accomplishments. The entire point of career/science mode is to slowly progress through the large assortment of different parts so you can get a grasp of how/when to use things and career mode forces the player to do so efficiently opposed to sandboxes "here's every part in the game... have fun figuring that out with no guidance". By the end of career mode you've essentially gotten to sandbox mode with monetary limitations until you have more money than you can spend.

Would having a screen pop up at the beginning of career mode saying something along the lines of:

"Kerbins climate is becoming unstable and the global political inaction of the world has left the species with only once choice... You must create a space program capable of transporting the population of kerbin and colonizing other planets that are even harder to live on than Kerbin will be after it has been ruined. Scientists estimate you have 250 years to complete this mission! Good luck kerbal, the fate of all kerbal-kind is in your hands"

Then the game continues as normal...

Would something like this really make the career mode that much better? In my opinion it adds nothing more than another window I have to close when I start a career.

Edited by mcwaffles2003

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@mcwaffles2003 Would having a cinematic popup in the beginning of career mode that gives us the seed of our story be beneficial to career mode? ABSOLUTELY. It is precisely because there is absolutely zero cohesive meaning in career mode, with absolutely zero sense in how the tech tree progresses or in what contracts pop up that makes career mode an absolute abject failure in my eyes. I have been playing KSP off and on since July 2013. Back when this game was absolutely sandbox only. There was NOTHING beyond the box. I like many was beyond thrilled to hear of a career mode being offered to us. I was beyond dismayed when I tried it out and it was utterly lacking. I thought, Ok, this is just the first whack, lets set career mode aside and return to the box until the next update. Next update? Same. Still lacking where it mattered. All the places I have listed off. Story? None. Linear, sensible progression? None. Contracts that make sense? Nope! I thought, ok, still early, lets see the next update. Next update. Still lacking a meaningful story, or meaningful progression. I decided then and there to give up on career, and so far, I have not once yet regretted that choice. I have been more fulfilled in sandbox than in career. Steam has me recorded as having 471 hours in KSP since I got it. This does not take into account the time I stripped KSP from the steam folder and played it there, so, I think I am missing several hundred to maybe a thousand hours of time. BUT, in all of that time I have spent roughly 3.5 hours being completely disappointed by career mode. 

I am not saying you must follow my path, far from it, but, do not discount the path simply because you are disinterested in walking it. I want more than sandbox, but, I refuse to play Sandbox + Pointless Grind, which, in my opinion is exactly what career mode is. A pointless, nonsensical grind. I have said it before, I will say it again. We play this game for ourselves. I just do not think it is too much to ask for and then hope for a career mode that provides more than a nonsensical grind that goes in a thousand ways at once with no sense of cohesive direction.

I crave more. I need more. If the game cannot or will not provide me the more I crave in a career mode, I always, always will fall back on my canvas that is the sand box. So far, the game cannot provide me the more I desire in career mode, but has provided it to me in spades, hearts and clubs a thousand thousand thousand times over in sandbox. Isnt that what matters though? We find what works for us, and hold onto that? I will forever be a proponent of a well written, well constructed career mode that gives me something to get invested in, and until that happens, I will write my own story in sandbox. 

my opinion ofc.

052306212020

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Posted (edited)

@AlamoVampire

Would you care to give me a more fleshed out idea of what kind of story you would find suitable?

Personally, as I said earlier, I feel narrative would undercut the experience. Instead though I would enjoy continuity between contracts. Something like multiple companies that rely on having payloads put into orbit for a purpose and as the game progresses those companies continuing contracts would supplement their own purposes. For instance, one company would like to make a telecommunications array where you are given a premade payload(s), in the form of a non-editable sub-assembly, and are needed to place those in specific orbits, perhaps with certain interconnected conditions like they must maintain a certain spacing. Perhaps the local govt could contract out having some of their telescopes and other types of scientific instrumentation put into orbit/landed or crashed on bodies/etc...

IMHO this is whats lacking most in the career mode contract system, purpose through continuity. A narrative could be established, but I don't think it would be the thing that fixes the larger problems in career mode. 

As for the:

2 hours ago, AlamoVampire said:

with absolutely zero sense in how the tech tree progresses

I disagree, the tech tree progresses fairly logically and in a game balanced manner, though the fact that it can be completed without leaving the kerbin system is absurd. It's not like the "tech tree" in real life has always progressed in a perfectly logical and incremental manner. Look at lasers for instance, they could have been developed in the 30s but took until the mid 50s. All the required tech, optical techniques, and the knowledge required was available but the atom bomb and nuclear reactors came first somehow. Why would it be so hard to imagine sending a rocket to the moon before developing advanced jet engine technology? It's just a matter of focus and motivations. Also, how ridiculous is it that we sent people to the moon with less computational power than a pocket calculator?

Edited by mcwaffles2003

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@RyanRising @AlamoVampire Please allow me to clarify that I neither object to, nor offer judgement on, players spending millions of credits building super-size rockets and missions. My point was that design efficiency and cost-related compromise is a fact of (real) life and, for me, the additional restrictions in career mode offer an additional dimension of play, not present in other modes, which I appreciate, and which has heightened my awareness of such inefficiencies.

I personally believe starting in career has dramatically benefited my design building skills, which persist even when playing in sandbox, as I now more commonly do.

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Posted (edited)

@mcwaffles2003

I honestly feel like I am going in circles and truly I honestly do not appreciate it.

going to start from the bottom up of your post.

the tech tree is beyond illogical. Sorry but sending Kerbals up BEFORE probes makes NO sense. Look at NASA and ROSCOSMOS. Russia sent up Sputnik, then a couple of dog carrying missions, then people. NASA sent up Explorer 1 and a few other probes, then monkeys then Alan Shepard went up as our first American in space, while the first Russian was Yuri Gagarin. If  you want a logical tech tree progression you have but to take a page from either NASA or ROSCOSMOS. 

The nuclear weapon came first because of war. We did NOT have the tech or knowledge to put man up first before probes. We had rockets sure, but, we had no way of knowing at the time, the 50's mind you, of how our human physiology would react to a microgravity environment. Anyone who thinks that it was wise or simple to put either Shepard or Gagarin up first before knowing for absolute certain what the actual risks were is asking for folly. The fact of the matter is space itself has killed 19 people. I cite this for more in depth coverage of the fatalities <in FLIGHT fatalities related to the worlds space programs>. 

55 minutes ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

Also, how ridiculous is it that we sent people to the moon with less computational power than a pocket calculator?

My phone sitting on my desk next to me, an iPhone XR has more computational power than ALL OF NASA at the time of Armstrongs first step on the lunar surface. This is a simple fact of technological progression. BUT, if it was so easy to send people to the Moon 50 years ago with next to no <comparatively speaking to 2020> computer power, why have we not done so since 1972? It isn't a matter of lack of motivation. Its a lack of the technology. We cannot in 2020 reproduce the Saturn V's F-1 Engine. We do not have the ability today to do it. No blue print or technical schematic survives to this day. We are only NOW starting to scratch our way back towards the moon. 

 

It is precisely the fact there is no narrative that is the problem. The funny thing is, you actually agree with me. 

55 minutes ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

IMHO this is whats lacking most in the career mode contract system, purpose through continuity.

THIS is where the narrative comes in. If you take contracts that function in a logical way with continuity between them you ultimately end up with a narrative. Each time. Every time. Cannot be avoided. 

Now, lastly, I come to the top of your post. To recap the few times I have put it forward: I used this speech from JFK as one possible example of a possible narrative. I also cited the monoliths around KSP as a way to warp Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey as yet another example of how a narrative could be done. After jumping from those narrative seeds, it is on us to flesh the story out in our own way. Which is something I stressed a few times above. I have said all I can.

@dnbattley fair enough :)

082806212020

083006212020

 

Edited by AlamoVampire

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15 minutes ago, AlamoVampire said:

@mcwaffles2003

I honestly feel like I am going in circles and truly I honestly do not appreciate it.

Sorry, I do not intend to ruffle any jimmies here, I missed your earlier post, my mistake.

16 minutes ago, AlamoVampire said:

@mcwaffles2003

the tech tree is beyond illogical. Sorry but sending Kerbals up BEFORE probes makes NO sense. Look at NASA and ROSCOSMOS. Russia sent up Sputnik, then a couple of dog carrying missions, then people. NASA sent up Explorer 1 and a few other probes, then monkeys then Alan Shepard went up as our first American in space, while the first Russian was Yuri Gagarin. If  you want a logical tech tree progression you have but to take a page from either NASA or ROSCOSMOS. 

I thought you meant in that a player can advance very far along one branch before advancing modestly in another (I also play a lot of probes before crew). My mistake and apologies.

17 minutes ago, AlamoVampire said:

 

My phone sitting on my desk next to me, an iPhone XR has more computational power than ALL OF NASA at the time of Armstrongs first step on the lunar surface. This is a simple fact of technological progression. BUT, if it was so easy to send people to the Moon 50 years ago with next to no <comparatively speaking to 2020> computer power, why have we not done so since 1972? It isn't a matter of lack of motivation. Its a lack of the technology. We cannot in 2020 reproduce the Saturn V's F-1 Engine. We do not have the ability today to do it. No blue print or technical schematic survives to this day. We are only NOW starting to scratch our way back towards the moon. 

We've been capable of sending people to the moon since then, there has just been no will to do so, as you stated earlier. Modern techniques don't allow us to recreate the old F-1s (the blueprints/schematics are available, but the engineer notes didn't survive and most parts of those engines were hand built with little un-noted nuances) but there are unbuilt schematics for modern F-1 b alternatives which would have greater thrust with orders of magnitude less parts if built. 

quick reference:

Spoiler

 

 

23 minutes ago, AlamoVampire said:

It is precisely the fact there is no narrative that is the problem. The funny thing is, you actually agree with me. 

THIS is where the narrative comes in. If you take contracts that function in a logical way with continuity between them you ultimately end up with a narrative. Each time. Every time. Cannot be avoided. 

Now, lastly, I come to the top of your post. To recap the few times I have put it forward: I used this speech from JFK as one possible example of a possible narrative. I also cited the monoliths around KSP as a way to warp Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey as yet another example of how a narrative could be done. I have said all I can.

Perhaps here there is misunderstanding between us. When I here story I think of an overarching plot that guides a player along. But if simply having sequentially related contracts with an opening "debut" counts as story enough to you then we are in agreement. But as for a more prominent story with quest lines,  fleshed out predetermined lore, and such... I am more averse to that. 

For instance, Factorio, if you have ever played it, begins along the lines with "You're an engineer and you've crash landed on a barren hostile planet... Please get off the planet" In my opinion, that is not much of a story, perhaps a narrative, but more than enough to get the game going and all that is shown until the "Game Finished. Victory!" screen

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@AlamoVampire i absolutely agree on your opinion about the state of Career and Science but I have to disagree with your stance about needing a "fixed" narrative for one reason:

Emergent Narrative:

Quote

Some games do not use a pre-planned story structure, even non-linear.

In The Sims, a story may emerge from the actions of the player. But the player is given so much control that they are more creating a story than interacting with a story.[6] Emergent narrative would only partially be created by the player. Warren Spector, the designer of Deus Ex, has argued that emergent narrative lacks the emotional impact of linear storytelling.[7]

Left 4 Dead features a dynamic system for game dramatics, pacing, and difficulty called the Director. The way the Director works is called "Procedural narrative": instead of having a difficulty which increases to a constant level, the A.I. analyzes how the players fared in the game so far, and tries to add subsequent events that would give them a sense of narrative.[8][9]

Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress also have emergent narrative features due to the abstraction of how elements are represented in game, allowing system-wide features to apply across multiple objects without the need to develop specialized assets for each different state; this can create more realistic behavior for non-player controlled entities that aid in the emergent narrative.[10] For example, in Dwarf Fortress, any of the living creatures in the game could gain the state of being intoxicated from alcohol, creating random behavior in their movement from the intoxication but not requiring them to display anything uniquely different, in contrast to a more representational game that would need new assets and models for a drunk creature. Because these are abstract and interacting systems, this can then create emergent behavior the developers had never anticipated.

From Wikipedia

The game doesn't need to tell you a linear and fixed story, just give you the element to easily create one yourself, the career and science modes of KSP1 fail to do this because they were build "Just to add some progression" and not designed with emergent gameplay in mind.

I always create and tell my own story with games, that's why I have more than 1000 hours on Skyrim but I dropped The Witcher 3 after 4 hours, and KSP is no different.

If well designed you colud offer the player 3 different starts in the tech tree (Planes, Probes, Rockets) and have a better (emergent) narrative through contracts and missions than a single fixed "scenario" without damaging the replayability in the meantime.

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Posted (edited)

I agree fully @Master39, what's unique about KSP is that you can make your own reason for exploration. If it's a fixed one it damages some of the creativity of the game. You can make it about a war, stopping an asteroid etc. I think the contract system dosen't need a predetermined objective, it needs a sense of continuity. In the early days you might need to test things, but not later on. You might need to plant flags, but not later on. New contracts might pop up later on that focus on station building and exploration, as well as possibly challenging you to find easter eggs. I agree with the OP's premise, but not your need for a story.

Also, contracts that have continuity don't necessarily always make a narrative. The closest thing to continuous contacts are the world records society one's and would you agree those make a narrative?

If anything, it just allows slightly more imagination in the game.

Edited by DunaManiac

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For me the story isn't why I'm finally doing career mode after playing close to a 1000 hours in sand box and science sandbox.

 It is for the challenges it has thrown at me. I have pretty much exhausted the all the challenges I can think of to throw at myself. 

 I look at at it as an important and fun(if flawed) difficulty setting. And a story generator second.

 

 

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