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Ahoy Kerbonauts! Senior designer Tom Vinita here with a short update about part modules for you today!

Part modules are the extra optional bits of functionality that are added to the part in order to allow it to perform specialized functions. For example, if we add Module_Engine to a part, it now has the ability to provide thrust, consume resources for that thrust, and many of the other essential functions required in a rocket engine. If a part doesn’t have any modules, then it tends to be something simple like a truss or an I-beam. Kerbal Space Program has a lot of different parts, and so it follows that it has a lot of different modules. One of our design goals with Kerbal Space Program 2 is to create a simulation that feels as close to Kerbal Space Program’s as possible while building fresh improvements along the way. If you build a rocket that worked in KSP, it is our goal for that rocket to perform in largely the same way if you rebuild it in KSP2. To that end, the team is going to painstaking lengths to document and remake, and enhance KSP’s extensive list of part modules in addition to all of the new part modules coming in KSP2.

To see one example of this in action, let’s take a look at lights: Fairly simple in concept, right? They turn on, and they turn off. Well, KSP’s lights have a little more going on than that, and they’re useful in a variety of important situations. At the start of the process for bringing a part module into KSP2, a designer first studies KSP’s documentation and common uses of the module in question during general gameplay and wacky uses the community has come up with. From there, they write a series of user stories that define a list of use cases that this part module must be able to accomplish. A short example for lights would be:

• As a player, I want a tool to help me see the ground when I’m landing on the dark side of a planet.
• As a player, when I’m docking I want to be able to see my vessel and the vessel I’m docking with, even when both vessels are in shadow.
• As a player, I want to customize my vessel with a wide variety of light patterns, whether they’re stylish, goofy, or both!

Once these user stories are defined, the designer studies the player-facing tweakable values of the part—in this case things like the blink timer and the dynamic light color—and the list of values that are exposed in the part’s data for fine-tuning its behavior. The designer provides detailed documentation for everything being brought forward into KSP2, and looks for spots where the module can be enhanced.

With all these values defined and the module’s functions outlined, the spec is handed off to an engineer who does the hard work of programming the module. Once the module has been written, it falls to a designer (usually myself) to attach that module to all the necessary parts, tuning the numbers of each part along the way as necessary. You can check out the results of this process below, with the new and improved Mk1 Illuminator showing off its new ability to pitch!
 

That’s a look at some of the work that goes into making sure all the fun stuff you can accomplish in KSP can still be done in KSP2, as well as an example of finding a way to make that fun stuff even better in KSP2. Shine on!

-Tom

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This got put out at 11:00 AM central time by "Intercept Games" instead of KSP Star at noon like usual. Does this mean we are getting a video at noon? Please?! (wishful thinking intensifies)

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2 minutes ago, TLTay said:

This got put out at 11:00 AM central time by "Intercept Games" instead of KSP Star at noon like usual. Does this mean we are getting a video at noon? Please?! (wishful thinking intensifies)

I Want to Believe | Know Your Meme

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6 minutes ago, TLTay said:

This got put out at 11:00 AM central time by "Intercept Games" instead of KSP Star at noon like usual. Does this mean we are getting a video at noon? Please?! (wishful thinking intensifies)

Howdy, I usually do the posts at 9am PT and It's 9am PT now. Also, despite this going up via the Intercept Games account, this is still officially today's Show and Tell post. I won't be sharing anything further from my account. 

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2 minutes ago, Minmus Taster said:

I Want to Believe | Know Your Meme

I hope there's more, its always good to get new info n this was interesting, but it's also probably the smallest bit of news we've ever gotten

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6 minutes ago, JustDark said:

I hope there's more, its always good to get new info n this was interesting, but it's also probably the smallest bit of news we've ever gotten

As cool as this was I think this info would fit a little better in a dev diary, still very interesting!

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Will we be able to set an action group (or the KSP2 equivalent of that) to turn the lights in a specific direction, this coupled with changing the colors on the go could be so good. I'm imagining a space plane with a docking lights mode, a landing lights mode and "where the is Jeb again, find him" mode... 

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22 minutes ago, KSPStar said:

Howdy, I usually do the posts at 9am PT and It's 9am PT now. Also, despite this going up via the Intercept Games account, this is still officially today's Show and Tell post. I won't be sharing anything further from my account. 

We shall remember you!

Btw pitching lights are GENIUS!!!

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58 minutes ago, Minmus Taster said:

I Want to Believe | Know Your Meme

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@Intercept Games As a longtime developer of KSP 1, I'm definitely intrigued by how the new part module configs are put together, and how a modder will create new part modules. I have no illusions that any of the KSP 1 config files and plugin code will port over to KSP 2, and likely my art assets will need changes too, but if their creation remains similar to how it's done today with C# handling the plugin code and the ability to debug on the fly, then I'll be delighted. And thanks for sharing the design process of your part modules, it sounds familiarly nimble... ;)

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1 hour ago, Minmus Taster said:

As cool as this was I think this info would fit a little better in a dev diary, still very interesting!

It definitely feels like a brief dev diary, but if you think about it Intercept is calling these Show & Tells. They've all been completely "show" in the past, and this was by far the most "tell" we've ever gotten - and still got some "show"! I personally really liked this and hope we get more. Not to mention, I'm one of the apparent few here that doesn't want to see much of the game and wants to be blown away by it on day 1 but can't resist the temptation to see every Show & Tell.

I did manage to look away from the terrain of Gilly, Pol, and the Mun a couple weeks back though. Progress.

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Sounds like new parts will be much easier to make. Make a model, attach a <specific> module(s), tweak it to your liking, done. 

If proper API is available of course, even a total noob with code (I can write a basic calculator in C++ yay) could create a part mod.

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2 hours ago, Intercept Games said:

 To that end, the team is going to painstaking lengths to document and remake, and enhance KSP’s extensive list of part modules in addition to all of the new part modules coming in KSP2.

I hope the highlighted word is a accurate in most of its entirety. :D Huge optimisations would be really appreciated by all. 

2 hours ago, Intercept Games said:

The designer provides detailed documentation for everything being brought forward into KSP2, and looks for spots where the module can be enhanced.

It would be great to get this publicised in the future, in some manner, for the mod developers to also get some information on not only the modules but each parameter. The current API falls down somewhat in this regard.

Edited by Poodmund
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36 minutes ago, Coo said:

Can I translate and reprint this article to BiliBili (a Chinese video website)?

You can share, but please make sure to state that Intercept Games is the owner, and link to this post as the source. 

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34 minutes ago, KSPStar said:

You can share, but please make sure to state that Intercept Games is the owner, and link to this post as the source. 

Thank you very much, and I will abide by the reprint rules. 

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• As a player, I want my lights not to lag the game into oblivion if I use more than two. 

Probably should add that as well. In the first game the performance (at least in my experience) suffers immensely when more than two lights hit the surface shader of the planet. In space it works quite fine, but on the surface it's a nightmare. 

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Interesting  for me to learn that  they are trying to preserve so much of the way different parts performed in KSP1. I was not really expecting to be able to build the same ship I built in KSP1 and have it work the same in the new game. That seems to constrain a lot of the parameters of the new Kerbalverse significantly.

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