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Greetings

I've just been wondering about the evolution of KSP as a game. While each version often has significant changes, I feel the game has gone through several phases of aesthetics, gameplay capabilities, etc. In light of this I'd like to ask how you would divide up the version history of the game?

For example, I am not that well versed in version history before I started and during my long hiatuses from playing but I can note a few distinct "eras":
1 - Early game: Including the early free versions, notable for the lack of planets and early aesthetics such as the FL-T500 fuel tank and the original command pod
2 - The addition of larger (Rockomax) parts and planets, the phasing out of original ship parts (starting ~0.16 or 0.17 perhaps?)
3 - Change of space Centre design to modern aesthetics, SAS change, addition of career mechanics (starting 0.21)
4 - 1.0 release, changing aerodynamics and adding heating concerns
From here I'm not sure but with the change of textures at some point (~1.5) would make for at least one new era although I'm not all that versed on the 1.x version history (although I played a lot of it) so there may be another in there.

AviosAdku

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3 hours ago, VoidCosmos said:

Yes, in fact that was how I came up with some of the figures.

At severe risk of sounding condescending and my sincerest apologies if that does happen (I'm not the best at conveying ideas at times and I sometimes people end up answering a different question to the one I was trying to ask, not saying that happened here, just worried it may have happened again), my intention was to see how people subdivided the history of the game as it's aesthetics and "meta" has shifted several times, especially if a person has played during those phases and noted a difference in experience. I had a bit of a hiatus between 1.1.2 and 1.7 and even then, I've mostly dealt with the early career stuff so I don't have a good feel for how the paradigms have shifted since 1.0. Also, I only started in 0.20.2 so while I have read of the development of the game beforehand, I never actually played the earlier paid versions (I have messed around with some of the old free versions) so I'm not sure where to draw the line between the eras as 0.13 is a very different game to 0.20.

AviosAdku

Edited by AviosAdku
Adding explanation of lack of experience with early versions
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26 minutes ago, AviosAdku said:

Yes, in fact that was how I came up with some of the figures.

At severe risk of sounding condescending and my sincerest apologies if that does happen (I'm not the best at conveying ideas at times and I sometimes people end up answering a different question to the one I was trying to ask, not saying that happened here, just worried it may have happened again), my intention was to see how people subdivided the history of the game 

 

Okay. I get your point.

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My era list:

0: Prehistoric Era. The Kerbo Log and the KSP Flash Prototype. Not KSP, but important developments that would inspire KSP.

1: 0.1-0.7.2. The Early era. We know little about these versions. What little we do know comes from HarvestR's old blog posts about 0.1-0.4, very early KSP prototypes.

2: 0.7.3-0.14.x: The Classic Era. Classified by gradual changes to gameplay, addition of many core features, and that early KSP art style we all know.

3: 0.15-0.18. Golden Era. Characterized by massive content updates. The 2.5 meter rocket parts, plane parts, planets, probes, docking, space stations, electricity, and a LOT more was added during this era.

4: 0.19-0.24.x. Refinement era part 1. Most feature additions are small tweaks, there are lots of improvements to old features, part niches get filled, and the game begins looking a lot nicer. The main feature that is gradually added in and improved on throughout this era is career mode.

5: 0.25-1.2.x. Refinement era part 2, also release era. Same general stuff as the previous era, but with more of a focus on preparing the game for release.

6: 1.3-1.4.x. Era of Stability. Main focus was localization, and a few small features were added, such as long requested EVA chutes. 1.3.1 was the current version of KSP for a long time, and as such I remember modded KSP flourishing, as mod authors didn't have to try to keep up with KSP updating for a while. However, many mods got left in 1.3/1.4.

7: 1.5-Present. Renaissance Era. While the updates aren't huge, they are relatively frequent, and often come with amazing quality of life features, graphical improvements, and features that have been requested for a long time, such as Delta-V readouts, decals, and gradual introduction of a system similar to KAS. Throughout this era, major graphics overhauls on both planet terrain and part design have been gradually released over several updates.

 

I wonder what we'll see in the future...

 

Broadly these can be further simplified into graphical eras with very fuzzy edges, and quit a bit of overlap.

The first graphical era began in 0.7.3 or earlier, and ran until 0.18 at the earliest (massive part graphics changes) and 0.21 at the latest (new space center). This era encompasses the classic look of all those striped danger tanks and white 1.25m 3 man pod and the late classic look of early grey barrel tanks.

The second graphical era began 0.18 at the earliest and 0.21 at the latest, and ran until somewhere around 1.2-1.4. Middle KSP part graphics, basically every part was redone at some point.

The third era began around 1.2-1.5 and is still ongoing. They redid all the part graphics again to make them have a more cohesive and less junkyard style. We are also in the process of planet terrain overhauls.

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2 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

My era list:

0: Prehistoric Era. The Kerbo Log and the KSP Flash Prototype. Not KSP, but important developments that would inspire KSP.

1: 0.1-0.7.2. The Early era. We know little about these versions. What little we do know comes from HarvestR's old blog posts about 0.1-0.4, very early KSP prototypes.

2: 0.7.3-0.14.x: The Classic Era. Classified by gradual changes to gameplay, addition of many core features, and that early KSP art style we all know.

3: 0.15-0.18. Golden Era. Characterized by massive content updates. The 2.5 meter rocket parts, plane parts, planets, probes, docking, space stations, electricity, and a LOT more was added during this era.

4: 0.19-0.24.x. Refinement era part 1. Most feature additions are small tweaks, there are lots of improvements to old features, part niches get filled, and the game begins looking a lot nicer. The main feature that is gradually added in and improved on throughout this era is career mode.

5: 0.25-1.2.x. Refinement era part 2, also release era. Same general stuff as the previous era, but with more of a focus on preparing the game for release.

6: 1.3-1.4.x. Era of Stability. Main focus was localization, and a few small features were added, such as long requested EVA chutes. 1.3.1 was the current version of KSP for a long time, and as such I remember modded KSP flourishing, as mod authors didn't have to try to keep up with KSP updating for a while. However, many mods got left in 1.3/1.4.

7: 1.5-Present. Renaissance Era. While the updates aren't huge, they are relatively frequent, and often come with amazing quality of life features, graphical improvements, and features that have been requested for a long time, such as Delta-V readouts, decals, and gradual introduction of a system similar to KAS. Throughout this era, major graphics overhauls on both planet terrain and part design have been gradually released over several updates

<snip>

That is a really nice breakdown. 

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11 hours ago, Ultimate Steve said:

My era list:

0: Prehistoric Era. The Kerbo Log and the KSP Flash Prototype. Not KSP, but important developments that would inspire KSP.

1: 0.1-0.7.2. The Early era. We know little about these versions. What little we do know comes from HarvestR's old blog posts about 0.1-0.4, very early KSP prototypes.

2: 0.7.3-0.14.x: The Classic Era. Classified by gradual changes to gameplay, addition of many core features, and that early KSP art style we all know.

3: 0.15-0.18. Golden Era. Characterized by massive content updates. The 2.5 meter rocket parts, plane parts, planets, probes, docking, space stations, electricity, and a LOT more was added during this era.

4: 0.19-0.24.x. Refinement era part 1. Most feature additions are small tweaks, there are lots of improvements to old features, part niches get filled, and the game begins looking a lot nicer. The main feature that is gradually added in and improved on throughout this era is career mode.

5: 0.25-1.2.x. Refinement era part 2, also release era. Same general stuff as the previous era, but with more of a focus on preparing the game for release.

6: 1.3-1.4.x. Era of Stability. Main focus was localization, and a few small features were added, such as long requested EVA chutes. 1.3.1 was the current version of KSP for a long time, and as such I remember modded KSP flourishing, as mod authors didn't have to try to keep up with KSP updating for a while. However, many mods got left in 1.3/1.4.

7: 1.5-Present. Renaissance Era. While the updates aren't huge, they are relatively frequent, and often come with amazing quality of life features, graphical improvements, and features that have been requested for a long time, such as Delta-V readouts, decals, and gradual introduction of a system similar to KAS. Throughout this era, major graphics overhauls on both planet terrain and part design have been gradually released over several updates.

 

I wonder what we'll see in the future...

 

Broadly these can be further simplified into graphical eras with very fuzzy edges, and quit a bit of overlap.

The first graphical era began in 0.7.3 or earlier, and ran until 0.18 at the earliest (massive part graphics changes) and 0.21 at the latest (new space center). This era encompasses the classic look of all those striped danger tanks and white 1.25m 3 man pod and the late classic look of early grey barrel tanks.

The second graphical era began 0.18 at the earliest and 0.21 at the latest, and ran until somewhere around 1.2-1.4. Middle KSP part graphics, basically every part was redone at some point.

The third era began around 1.2-1.5 and is still ongoing. They redid all the part graphics again to make them have a more cohesive and less junkyard style. We are also in the process of planet terrain overhauls.

I like this method of documenting KSP history. Kind of sounds fun to say something like, "Oh, I started playing KSP near the end of the 1st refinement era!" Maybe add some dates as well, like how long in years each era lasted? 

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Agreed, nice breakdown @Ultimate Steve

Based off said breakdown (and due to the fact that graphical overhauls often cover several versions), you could probably use both systems of sorting in parallel, the gameplay/development direction era and the (much more loosely defined) graphical era.

By those terms, my experience with the game (before a long hiatus) was primarily in the 1st & 2nd refinement eras and thus the 2nd generation graphics.

AviosAdku

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My personal breakdown of KSP's eras are similar, but distinct since I was playing this game since 0.11 and have a LOT of memories of its earliest builds:

The Before-Times (pre-development): KSP was merely a concept.

Pre-Public Era (0.7.2 and earlier): Initial development, nobody saw anything about this era save what HarvesteR shared years ago about it.

Prototype Era (0.7.3 to 0.13.3): Earliest development, most of the releases during this stretch were focused on fleshing out and stabilizing the base game itself.

Local Era (0.14 to 0.16): Development expanded to make space exploration around Kerbin more interesting (as well as add atmospheric flight).  This era introduced us to quite a few staples, including the EVA.

Interplanetary Era (0.17 to 0.21.1): Focus shifted to developing the solar system, adding numerous planets and moons.  We also saw the emergence of many features related to this, including flags and maneuver nodes.

Career Beta Era (0.22 to 0.90): Though officially only 0.90 was a beta version, the fact of the matter is that the tone and focus of KSP shifted massively starting with 0.22 when the first aspects of Career mode were implemented.  Most of Career mode's staples emerged during this era.

Early Release Era (1.0 to 1.1.3): The first officially complete version of KSP and its various updates to enhance stability and accessibility afterward.

Feature Creep Era (1.2 to 1.7.3): New features started being added, various bug fixes, and tweaks all over the place.  (I personally missed most of this era due to burning out on KSP for a time...  Going over release history, I didn't miss that much, though.)

Facelift Era (1.8 to present): During this time, updates began to trickle in to improve the visual quality of the various planet and moon surfaces.  We also saw the addition of a number of quality-of-life features as well, and a few small gameplay additions.  Technically this era won't be over until all celestial bodies have received a facelift (or until they stop doing facelifts), but it's hard to deny that 1.11 was almost an era-maker on its own with everything EVA construction and enhanced inventory added to the game.

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