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The KSP Caveman Challenge 1.11.x


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With @Mr. Peabody's blessing, I am honoured to bring to you the fifth iteration of the venerable KSP Caveman Challenge:

KSP Caveman Challenge

Facility upgrades are forbidden.

Terrible runway and launchpad.

Part count of thirty and vehicle mass limit of 18.0 tons.

No fancy patched conics, no maneuver nodes and no Deep Space Network.

Abhorrent fear of technology as primitive as can be.

Acquire 1188 Science Points to unlock twenty nodes of the technology tree.

IvGhzqr.png

 

Challenge Rules:

Stock career mode (DLC expansions are allowed)

EVA construction is allowed and even encouraged

Use of Green Monoliths to unlock tech nodes is allowed

No mods that alter game play (mods used for graphics, radio chatter, ect. are fine)

Use of the KER and/or MechJeb mods, or other mods that provide more information than the stock game does, is not permitted

 The Making History option "Allow other Launchsites" is not permitted (it makes Caveman life too easy)

No use of Mods or Cheat Menu in separate games

No cheat menus or any other shenanigans

No kraken/ladder drives or similar contraptions

 

The minimum amount of proof needed for a challenge entry is screen shots of:

Your difficulty settings. (Including advanced/custom settings if needed.)

Your Science Archives, showing where the bulk of your science came from.

The KSC to show no buildings were upgraded.

Your tech tree to show that you completed Tier 5.

 

However, we strongly encourage you to also post interesting screenshots in occasional updates to this thread. It's always fun (and interesting!) to see the different approaches people take to the challenge.

 

 

Help Resources:

Previous challenge threads are the best compilations of previous attempts and useful information, but there are some other places you should check out as well. For your convenience, they are all listed below.

Spoiler

 

There are 7 levels of challenge to aspire to, and one Special Award:

rKRJVqas.jpg TALC: Complete Challenge in Easy Career Mode

You should be able to make quick work of this soft-rock career

M6Ly4Bmt.jpg Apatite: Complete Challenge in Normal Career Mode

The minimum amount of flare.

Bhl49vHs.jpg Vanadium: Complete Challenge in Moderate Career Mode

A tool's hard edge can make all the difference.

Spoiler

 

2vIhwYNs.jpg Topaz: Complete Challenge in Hard Career Mode

Happy, shiny caveman.

Spoiler

scMvIdxs.jpg Corundum: Custom Difficulty

This career would not wear down a tough caveman...

mlMO0Grt.pngSopFB2Kt.png

Spoiler

 

7vLAIE9s.jpg Diamond: Custom Difficulty

For brilliant cavemen, possessed of fire.

FoLzCLDt.pngAv1mTfdt.png

Spoiler

O2jp041s.jpg  Nano-crystalline Diamond: Custom Difficulty

Hard caveman. Good luck, you'll need it!

FoLzCLDt.pngKe9WEBpt.png

Spoiler

1NNziEqt.png The Trilobitic Order

Legendary cavemen & cavewomen

Spoiler

ZocVZxQ.png

 

Badges:

Spoiler

Talc

1TD0ybLb.png

awarded for completing talc

Apatite

D3F2S8kb.png

awarded for completing apatite

Vanadium

6J15REAb.png

awarded for completing vanadium

Topaz

wxAzkaHb.png

 awarded for completing topaz

Corundum

i6aT3Rcb.png

awarded for completing corundum

Diamond

mr7Jtydb.png

awarded for completing diamond

Nano-Diamond

YGkzNorb.png

awarded for completing nano-diamond

Badge of Honour

PfUP1skb.jpg

awarded for completing everything!

Order of the Trilobite

1NNziEqb.png

awarded for exceptional merit & dedication

     

 

 

Edited by JAFO
Updated Order of the Trilobite list
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On 1/12/2021 at 2:02 AM, Popestar said:

Any chance I can get my name engraved on the wall now?  It never happened in the old challenge, and I assumed it would happen here.  :)

Sure. I'd assumed @Mr. Peabody would have added you as his last official act as moderator of the previous challenge, but I'm more than happy to add you as the first entry for this one instead. Your badge will be in your inbox shortly.

(If you decide to take on another level of the Caveman Challenge [and I hope you do!], please do note there is a slight change to the rules, compared to the previous challenge. MechJeb is also disallowed, now. In all previous challenges, it was not permitted, but somehow, in the last challenge, it was not explicitly banned. In this version of the challenge, I have gone back to the traditional rules, in that both KER and MJ are not allowed.)

Once again, congratulations on your achievement, @Popestar! An oustanding effort, especially for someone relatively new to KSP. I can't wait to see how your next challenge attempt goes!

Edited by JAFO
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1 hour ago, FloppyRocket said:

Is there some more information about how to submit documentation for this achievement?

All I did was just post progress updates and images here in the thread.  I did have a word doc with launchband science data that I uploaded to Google Docs, and then I linked that here.

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53 minutes ago, Popestar said:

All I did was just post progress updates and images here in the thread.  I did have a word doc with launchband science data that I uploaded to Google Docs, and then I linked that here.

Thanks. I'm curious what images are required? Images of each ship you launch, and the science earned on each mission, or just the initial game settings and the tech tree at the end?

Edited by FloppyRocket
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@FloppyRocket

The settings and the tech tree are required.  Any other images are totally optional.  For myself, I'm obsessive, so I went bonkers with documentation.  You can go into the previous thread and see what I did, but keep in mind that is not required.

Edited by Popestar
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2 hours ago, Popestar said:

@FloppyRocket

The settings and the tech tree are required.  Any other images are totally optional.  For myself, I'm obsessive, so I went bonkers with documentation.  You can go into the previous thread and see what I did, but keep in mind that is not required.

Thanks much.

I have some mods installed that I understand are not allowed for challenge (mechjeb, for science, x science). 

Is there an easy way to disable these mods, so I don't have to uninstall them?

 

Edited by FloppyRocket
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1 hour ago, FloppyRocket said:

Is there an easy way to disable these mods, so I don't have to uninstall them?

Unfortunately not. The easiest way is to temporarily uninstall them by simply cutting and pasting the mod folders (found in the GameData folder of your KSP installation) to a separate location for the duration of your challenge attempt. After completion, you then simply cut and paste them back again. That way, you won't lose any settings changes or customisations you've made.

Alternatively, if you have the hard drive space to spare, you can make a copy of your entire KSP folder in another location, uninstall the requisite mods from it, then run the main KSP executable in the duplicate folder. In fact, you can do this any number of times, so as to have several custom KSP installations.  CKAN is designed to be able to manage several KSP installations at once, for this very purpose. (Using a copy of your main installation is also a good technique for preventing Steam updates from breaking mods in the middle of a game campaign.)

Edited by JAFO
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I'm fairly surprised that there isn't a UI for disabling mods within the game - because having to modify your installation seems like a big kluge. It also makes it difficult to run more than one different activity setup at a time.

It's weird that this hasn't ever been developed, given the age of KSP.  Maybe the architecture of the game doesn't allow for it.

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1 hour ago, Popestar said:

Full disclosure:  I will be starting a new caveman career for Nano-Crystalline next week.  Why?  Because I can!

Kudos! Do be sure to read through the NCD attempts of others (mostly, if not all in the last CC series) beforehand. Not only is it SERIOUSLY grindy, but it pretty much requires doing interplanetary missions to succeed. If you've never done interplanetary yet, you may want to give that a shot first in a regular game, so as to have a clear idea of what's entailed.

 

2 hours ago, FloppyRocket said:

I'm fairly surprised that there isn't a UI for disabling mods within the game - because having to modify your installation seems like a big kluge. It also makes it difficult to run more than one different activity setup at a time.

It's weird that this hasn't ever been developed, given the age of KSP.  Maybe the architecture of the game doesn't allow for it.

I think there really hasn't been much demand for being able to disable mods. And most people who want to run "more than one different activity setup at a time" simply make multiple installations of KSP, each set up for specific types of play. I regularly have 3 or 4 different KSP installs... one fully modded, one just for Caveman runs, one of the previous version (also modded), and one for experimenting with things like RSS.

Edited by JAFO
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And most people who want to run "more than one different activity setup at a time" simply make multiple installations of KSP,

That is also a kludge that wouldn't be necessary if the UI supported it within the game.

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3 hours ago, JAFO said:

Kudos! Do be sure to read through the NCD attempts of others (mostly, if not all in the last CC series) beforehand. Not only is it SERIOUSLY grindy, but it pretty much requires doing interplanetary missions to succeed. If you've never done interplanetary yet, you may want to give that a shot first in a regular game, so as to have a clear idea of what's entailed.

This might be a gameplay question, but if you put the parts for a rover on the Mun and then send an engineer up there...can the engineer put the rover together?

Edited by Popestar
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10 hours ago, FloppyRocket said:

That is also a kludge that wouldn't be necessary if the UI supported it within the game.

Sounds a little harsh to call it a kludge.. I can't think of any commercial game that provides that level of support for mods.. feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

 

7 hours ago, Popestar said:

 if you put the parts for a rover on the Mun and then send an engineer up there...can the engineer put the rover together?

It's been a while since I've messed around with KSP, so many of the new features I'm not up to speed with, but my understanding is that yes, in theory that ought to be possible. I might have to try it out and see.

Edited by JAFO
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Well, EVA construction is only available in 1.11, and I haven't upgraded yet.  So that's off the table.  But I will give it my all in the NCD challenge!

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Sorry, did not mean to offend with my comments about kludges, but it seems to me that installing multiple copies of a program is a rather extreme work-around for a simple missing feature (disabling mods).

But I took the advice of moving all the mod folders out of the GameData area.

So, a progress report.  I got going, flew missions around Kerbin for a while, and unlocked the first three layers of the tech tree. Then I realized that without the ability to launch a scientist to do EVAs and reset the experiments in different Mun and Minmus biomes. it's going to be a real grind getting the fourth layer completed. I have only played in career mode once, and that was a very long time ago.

I have not read any of the previous posts from folks who have completed this challenge, mostly because I wanted to discover what the limitations are from playing in this caveman mode. I really don't want to just grind science on Kerbin or around KSP, but that's an option too.

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14 hours ago, FloppyRocket said:

Sorry, did not mean to offend with my comments about kludges, but it seems to me that installing multiple copies of a program is a rather extreme work-around for a simple missing feature (disabling mods).

Oh.. you certainly didn't offend... but managing mods isn't really part of a game's job. That's the job of mod managers such as CKAN. You could always make a suggestion to the CKAN maintainers and see what they think of the idea.

 

14 hours ago, FloppyRocket said:

So, a progress report.  I got going, flew missions around Kerbin for a while, and unlocked the first three layers of the tech tree. Then I realized that without the ability to launch a scientist to do EVAs and reset the experiments in different Mun and Minmus biomes. it's going to be a real grind getting the fourth layer completed. I have only played in career mode once, and that was a very long time ago.

I have not read any of the previous posts from folks who have completed this challenge, mostly because I wanted to discover what the limitations are from playing in this caveman mode. I really don't want to just grind science on Kerbin or around KSP, but that's an option too.

Good for you! Please do provide progress reports, and even some screenshots if you like. It's always interesting to see the solutions people come up with for this challenge.

Edited by JAFO
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I've started on "hard" caveman challenge. Down to 1 astronaut within the hour....sorry Jeb.....

No facilities upgrades huh? No astronaut complex upgrade, so no EVAs except on the ground??

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Correct.  No facility upgrades, which means you can only EVA while on Kerbin.  So I highly suggest hitting every building in the KSC for science, including crew reports and EVA reports.  As well as every biome you can get to on Kerbin.  It also means no surface samples, which isn't so bad considering you can't EVA off Kerbin anyhow.  And, in addition to that, you can't even send an Engineer to the Mun to build something if you have 1.11.  You can send the parts, and you could send the Engineer...but with no EVA, you can't get out of the capsule to do the building.

The best thing I can tell you is to get creative.  I hit everywhere on the KSC I could - including the flag pole - to get science.  You will also get science and funds for all the world firsts you accomplish, so don't forget to land something at the island and desert facilities as well.  The real bummer, as you pointed out, is no EVA off Kerbin.  It made it harder to get what I needed, but the challenge has helped me play better and stretch farther than I ever would have otherwise!

Edited by Popestar
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