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BALSA Model Flight Simulator Playtest


K^2
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There is an open beta/playtest on Steam right now. I don't know if there are limits on entries, but I clicked "Request Access" and was granted it immediately.

BALSA on Steam

Haven't heard of BALSA? It's a model airplane building game from HarvesteR, original creator of KSP. (Old thread with some more info.)

And here's a video from Shadow Zone talking about the game based on previous play-test.

 

I'm off to try it out for myself!

 

Edit: Ok, there's working multiplayer and guns you can install on planes. I'm back from participating in several dogfights, and this game is already looking very fun.

Edited by K^2
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I'm having a lot of fun in the editor, KSP players will feel right at home.

I'm still missing a COM and COL indicator, that would help a lot. But if you enjoy flying planes in KSP, go get it!

 

Edit: Found it!

Edited by Chemp
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I think that I didn't mess around enough (I only had about 30 minutes), but there seem to be too many cross-sections without enough parts per. I pick a cockpit, and there is a nosecone, but no fuselage. Someone please tell me I missed like a whole page of parts or something?

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2 hours ago, Meecrob said:

I think that I didn't mess around enough (I only had about 30 minutes), but there seem to be too many cross-sections without enough parts per. I pick a cockpit, and there is a nosecone, but no fuselage. Someone please tell me I missed like a whole page of parts or something?

If you're on Career mode, you'll gradually unlock more and more parts as you gain XP.  Otherwise, the ones available are what there is for now - We are naturally planning to add more parts as soon as possible, and the game is ready for modding just like KSP   

 

Also, there are a couple of Adaptive Fuselage parts too - those will automatically bridge between any two types of cross section, and they have adjustments for length, slant and tilt (this also works with propellers)

 

Edited by Moach
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6 hours ago, Moach said:

Also, there are a couple of Adaptive Fuselage parts too

Yeah, I was about to say. I really like these! Makes it a lot easier to connect parts together than trying to find the right adapter in the list of N to N-1 items.

 

Also! I managed to create a simple checkpoint race. It's not great, but it's functional. Unfortunately, Workshop upload for custom scenarios is either broken or I derped in figuring out how to use it. So here's a file link instead for anyone who wants to try it. (File needs to go into scenarios/missions folder wherever you have BALSA installed, which is probably under your Steam/steamapps/common/BALSA...)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1QUl99GbB5qEB9sTKMuTVXKqAsHwUPNBO/view?usp=sharing

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14 hours ago, K^2 said:

...Unfortunately, Workshop upload for custom scenarios is either broken or I derped in figuring out how to use it....

It's a Steam related issue - Players can only use the workshop for games they own.  This seems to rule out games they're about to own by way of play-testing... It's nothing we can fix on our end, alas. Quite an inconvenience. But it should pretty much fix itself when the game is actually released proper

 

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3 hours ago, Moach said:

It's a Steam related issue - Players can only use the workshop for games they own.  This seems to rule out games they're about to own by way of play-testing... It's nothing we can fix on our end, alas. Quite an inconvenience. But it should pretty much fix itself when the game is actually released proper

Unfortunate, but makes sense. FYI, it looks like the Steam API returns file ID 0 as a way of telling the program that something went wrong. Might be useful to check for that and give some sort of notification to user. Currently, the game assumes that everything went fine and links you to the non-existing page.

As for scenario editor itself, I can definitely feel the "work in progress" of it all, but even in the current state it shows great potential. Again, I don't know if something's broken or I failed to discover the right UI for it, but I ended up having to place checkpoints by editing the SCM file in Notepad. Everything else worked for me, though, including the trigger linking, which I didn't do a deep dive into, but it looks very powerful. Can't wait to see what people will be making with this in the released version.

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Ill keep my eye on it, reminds me of a similar game by the name of Simple planes by the same devs as Simplerockets 2. I have over 5,000 hours in SP and its a great game, But i will admit the devs are quite inactive and theres no ingame multiplayer, but its fun too make up your own aircraft and fly them!

 

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2 hours ago, K^2 said:

Unfortunate, but makes sense. FYI, it looks like the Steam API returns file ID 0 as a way of telling the program that something went wrong. Might be useful to check for that and give some sort of notification to user. Currently, the game assumes that everything went fine and links you to the non-existing page.

As for scenario editor itself, I can definitely feel the "work in progress" of it all, but even in the current state it shows great potential. Again, I don't know if something's broken or I failed to discover the right UI for it, but I ended up having to place checkpoints by editing the SCM file in Notepad. Everything else worked for me, though, including the trigger linking, which I didn't do a deep dive into, but it looks very powerful. Can't wait to see what people will be making with this in the released version.

You can edit waypoints by adding a "Waypoint Route (Local Player)" module and clicking "Edit Route" - then note as it says on the top-left, hold Shift to place new waypoints. You can also hold space together with shift to adjust the height of each marker as you place them. 

 The module shows a convenient roller-coaster-track like representation of the route being created, with hex markers previewing the orientation and size of each waypoint.

You may them adjust the waypoints some more with the gizmo after they're in place.  Note that the selection bubbles only appear when in "Edit Route" mode. There's also a known bug that if you save the mission while editing, it'll get messed up and you won't be able to edit properly until you press "reload" (which should be fine, since you just saved the mission)

 

The Racing scenario setup still uses the older waypoint route system, which doesn't consider the possibility of missing gates or getting penalties for turning around and flying the wrong way.  But you should be able to use it for route editing and then just copy the waypoints from the .scn file onto the racing route module if you want. They're really the same structure and should load just fine

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Moach said:

then note as it says on the top-left, hold Shift to place new waypoints

That's the bit I missed! Thanks. The rest worked as advertised.

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12 hours ago, Moach said:

 

Where should we post feedback? On Steam somewhere? I'm in the tutorial and I'd like to invert the mouse's Y axis, but pressing Escape only gives me the option to skip the tutorial, not access a settings menu or back out to the main menu.

... OK, so I finally gave up and clicked that skip option, which turned out to be a main menu option. But now it appears there is no invert mouse Y axis option in the settings. I'll give the gamepad configuration a try...

... the analog sticks both control the camera, there's no way to move...

... I threw the plane before the transmitter tutorial section was ready for it (because that's what the previous tutorial steps taught me), so when it said to take my plane to the marked area, I went to pick it up, but couldn't, possibly because the nose snapped off. So I went back to the workshop as the tutorial had previously taught me to do after a crash and clicked Fly again, which generated a new plane on the ground, but I can't pick it up.

... Alright, walking to the marked area without my plane prompted me to press F9, which allowed me to pick up the plane. So far so good.

Edited by HebaruSan
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On 8/28/2021 at 8:21 PM, Chemp said:

I'm still missing a COM and COL indicator, that would help a lot. But if you enjoy flying planes in KSP, go get it!

 

Edit: Found it!

I found the CoM, but I'm struggling with CoL. How do you read the Aero Stability arc thing?

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"Center of thrust" reports backwards thrust, but dropping my plane on the runway and starting the engines pushes it backwards. Maybe the arrow is direction of travel rather than thrust?

EDIT: Confirmed, the "pusher prop" option produced forward thrust, contrary to its description of being for props mounted at the rear of the nacelle, which these are not.

Edited by HebaruSan
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  • 2 weeks later...
4 hours ago, Chemp said:

It's available on Steam with a discount ending 21 September.

@Moach Is there a difference between the playtest and the bought version right now?

 

yeah, the bought version is the real one - playtest is probably not gonna get updated once it's closed.  It'll probably live on as a demo later though, KSP had done this as well.

In practice, there is one very key difference in gameplay, which isn't even of our making but a quirk of Steam, which is:  Play-Tests don't get to use the Steam Workshop for sharing stuff.   (I'm actually quite excited to see what comes up in there as ppl start using it)

 

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I got the full game without playing the play test. Good fun, gotta tweak my HOTAS (or just wait for someone else to do it ;D)

 

in the mean time... gotta learn how to build planes again haha

 

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