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Duna atmospheric effects


ChubbyCat
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I wonder if Duna will have clouds? Normally I would think no, because there’s no water, but gasses other than water vapor can clump together into clouds, right? Do you think there will be other effects implemented besides clouds such as wind or dust storms? Maybe even thunderstorms on certain planets? It would be interesting to have weather that can damage/effect colonies.

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In the 4th feature video, we saw clouds on a planet that looked a bit like Eve. Those clouds had different opacities, sizes and heights than the ones on kerbin, so I’m hopeful that all the planets will have clouds represented. For weather, I think it would be amazing if it were a fully integrated feature and affected everything from visuals to aerodynamics, but I’d be ok if it was only visual for performance concerns. Lots of games have physical weather systems, but KSP 2 could be unique in having extraterrestrial weather systems different from anything we’ve seen in other games. Not even the most powerful lightning storm on Earth could give a faint impression of the immense discharges that Io’s flux tube delivers on Jupiter’s atmosphere, and I hope we get to see some truly spectacular weather. 

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1 hour ago, ChubbyCat said:

I wonder if Duna will have clouds? Normally I would think no, because there’s no water, but gasses other than water vapor can clump together into clouds, right? Do you think there will be other effects implemented besides clouds such as wind or dust storms? Maybe even thunderstorms on certain planets? It would be interesting to have weather that can damage/effect colonies.

There are high altitude clouds on Mars from time to time. I also hope we get to see dust storms and dust devils. My understanding is dust storms are nowhere near as dramatic as you'd think, just a steadily increasing haze. Im on the fence but I think it might be okay to make storms a little more dramatic looking for effect. After all its not an exact replica. Jupiter isn't green Io isn't anything like Laythe. Watching big soft derecho's approach on the horizon of Duna would be dope.

Im not personally into weather actually damaging anything, but it could definitely temporarily effect wind-turbine and solar panel output. 

Martian clouds:

curiositycap.jpg

marsclouds.jpg?mw=600

Dust storms:

1177

1174


 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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1 hour ago, Pthigrivi said:

Im not personally into weather actually damaging anything, but it could definitely temporarily effect wind-turbine and solar panel output. 

I understand that it would be really annoying if a big storm destroyed an important base or caused you to crash on landing (and reloading wouldn’t help because you would still be in a storm), but for me that means that those systems simply need a bit more thought as opposed to a flat no-damage system, which to be fair I would still be fine with. 
 

Essentially, I would like the weather to be built so that players have to take it into account when building but they won’t be surprised if/when weather damages their operations. Building a base on an asteroid, you essentially don’t have to worry about any sort of structural integrity because there is microgravity, but building a base on a planet, you have to support your structures so that they do not fall down. If you build your base without supports, it will not stay intact. The same could be said for the weather system, as in a vacuum there will be no significant lateral forces on the base, but in a thick atmosphere winds can push base modules sideways, and if you do not build with at least a bit of sideways support, your base will fail. The most important thing in this for me is to give the player a clear indication of how much reinforcement they need to withstand weather, as with gravity they can just watch their base fall but with wind they would have to wait until a storm to test and build their base, which is not ideal. 
 

As for ships, the same thing applies where I would like them to be affected by strong wind, but probably not other random weather. Getting hit by lightning is not a design flaw in your ship, it is a completely random event that you had no control over, and cannot prepare against. Wind however can be built for by designing craft that are aerodynamic and can fly through air at many angles. On the technical side, because KSP already uses a lot of changing reference frames, they could simply make the aero model think the vessel is moving at the wind speed in the opposite direction to where the wind is going and calculate from there. It would add more navigational challenges and opportunities, such as using wind to reduce reentry heating, take off for free, or gain some delta-v for orbit. On the whole, I think it would add a whole layer of optional challenge (avoided by simply not landing in storms) that would provide a lot of fun. 

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Here’s an example- Titan’s orbital velocity is about 590 m/s so let’s say you need about 700 m/s of delta-v to be safe Titan’s upper atmosphere has wind speeds that reach up to 270 mph which is 120 m/s which constitutes a significant fraction of the total delta-v requirement, so you might be pushed to go into an orbit in the opposite direction if the winds were pushing west. 

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1 hour ago, t_v said:

Here’s an example- Titan’s orbital velocity is about 590 m/s so let’s say you need about 700 m/s of delta-v to be safe Titan’s upper atmosphere has wind speeds that reach up to 270 mph which is 120 m/s which constitutes a significant fraction of the total delta-v requirement, so you might be pushed to go into an orbit in the opposite direction if the winds were pushing west. 

I’m not sure where you got the 590m/s number from, but Titan’s orbital velocity is quite a bit higher than that- it’s larger than Earth’s moon by almost 50%, so even with its slightly lower gravity orbital velocity is around 1800m/s. In comparison, 120m/s is less than the difference you get when launching equatorial prograde versus polar on Kerbin; it might make a small difference, but regardless of their direction you probably wouldn’t want to fly out into winds that are close to being category 5 hurricane force, twice over…

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Sorry for getting calculations wrong, I was trying to find a good example of weather providing an effect, and I stopped with Titan. In any case, 120 m/s is not insignificant for the most efficient players, and it would be cool to see weather being used in that way. 

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I like the idea of wind having an effect on craft being a difficulty setting. It shouldn't be hard to model - you just need to subtract wind velocity from part velocity during any aerodynamics computations, and if it's an optional toggle, it'd keep most players satisfied. Having to do cross-wind landings would be fun, IMO, but I also get why some people don't want it.

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Gut check do we think landing in KSP is hard enough already though? You really want to zero out all your lateral motion and come down vertical for the last 100m so you don’t tip, especially if the ground is sloped. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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1 hour ago, Pthigrivi said:

Gut check do we think landing in KSP is hard enough already though? You really want to zero out all your lateral motion and come down vertical for the last 100m so you don’t tip, especially if the ground is sloped. 

In KSP, generally, if you're landing powered, you're in (near) vacuum, and wind wouldn't matter anyways. And in places where wind can be a factor, you currently just wait for the craft to finally settle down with zero input. With wind, it would mean either being a bit more selective about landing spot or bringing in something you can steer and flare. And there are a lot of options here. You can bring a space plane, a capsule with deployable paraglider wing, a deployable autogyro rotor, or even go with hybrid approach of switching to powered landing before touchdown by cutting the chutes. There are plenty of options, and none of them are terribly complicated to work with. In case of Kerbin, you often don't even care about specific landing spot and can just splash down to avoid any of this complexity. So I don't think it creates unwarranted hurdles in most places.

Duna might make for an interesting exception, where the atmosphere is thin enough to prevent parachute landing and thick enough for wind to matter during landing. Now, whether Duna is the right place for that kind of a crank in difficulty is a fair question, but I think some planets with this difficulty should exist. And the wind speeds and atmosphere density on Duna can probably be tuned for it not to be too bad there, making it a good training ground for other planets in other systems that are much harder.

Personally, I don't think making every planet easily accessible should be a goal. There should be enough interesting planets to go to and explore with moderate challenge. So long as that's true, a few planets that are an absolute nightmare to land and/or take off from is perfectly fine. And wind can be just one of the challenges for such a planet.

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1 hour ago, K^2 said:

In KSP, generally, if you're landing powered, you're in (near) vacuum, and wind wouldn't matter anyways. And in places where wind can be a factor, you currently just wait for the craft to finally settle down with zero input. With wind, it would mean either being a bit more selective about landing spot or bringing in something you can steer and flare. And there are a lot of options here. You can bring a space plane, a capsule with deployable paraglider wing, a deployable autogyro rotor, or even go with hybrid approach of switching to powered landing before touchdown by cutting the chutes. There are plenty of options, and none of them are terribly complicated to work with. In case of Kerbin, you often don't even care about specific landing spot and can just splash down to avoid any of this complexity. So I don't think it creates unwarranted hurdles in most places.

Duna might make for an interesting exception, where the atmosphere is thin enough to prevent parachute landing and thick enough for wind to matter during landing. Now, whether Duna is the right place for that kind of a crank in difficulty is a fair question, but I think some planets with this difficulty should exist. And the wind speeds and atmosphere density on Duna can probably be tuned for it not to be too bad there, making it a good training ground for other planets in other systems that are much harder.

Personally, I don't think making every planet easily accessible should be a goal. There should be enough interesting planets to go to and explore with moderate challenge. So long as that's true, a few planets that are an absolute nightmare to land and/or take off from is perfectly fine. And wind can be just one of the challenges for such a planet.

I was thinking Duna, but Laythe and Eve too. In that early colony-building phase supposedly we’ll be delivering the starter cargo manually, which probably means multiple drops within a km or so. I usually use  a combination of chutes and landing thrusters for this kind of thing which works well enough, but getting dragged sideways in the wind could make for more reloads than Id probably like. Or we could lump the whole starter kit into one big lander, which poses its own challenges. Maybe we’ll get used to leaning against the wind and teasing out the lateral motion and kicking upright at the last second, or maybe Im just one of those folks who would toggle it off. Hard to say without trying I suppose. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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21 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

I was thinking Duna, but Laythe and Eve too. In that early colony-building phase supposedly we’ll be delivering the starter cargo manually, which probably means multiple drops within a km or so. I usually use  a combination of chutes and landing thrusters for this kind of thing which works well enough, but getting dragged sideways in the wind could make for more reloads than Id probably like.

Even with KSP aerodynamics model, I honestly have no idea how we are meant to do this without some sort of a landing planner. I'm sure, many of us can write a script, or at least do some estimate number crunching by hand, but that's not exactly a friendly experience. There are two ways I can see this going. First is taking the simple, "Anywhere on the planet is fine," kind of similar to how recovery works on Kerbin in KSP, with reasonable penalties for distance. It's not ideal, but it'd be better than requiring pinpoint precision with no assistance. The second option is providing a suite of tools for precise landing. That would include trajectory indicators that take aerodynamics and wind into account, showing, say, 90% probability impact area on the planet, and nav aids during landing that can help you stay on that trajectory as you approach.

Even with aids, it will require some practice to perform precise landings, but I don't think any of us have managed docking on the first try without watching a tutorial. If the tools are good, I think it's a reasonable ask. If not, then precision requirements will have to be relaxed. Wind adds a layer of complexity, and that's part of why I think it should be a difficulty option, but it doesn't drastically change the situation with colony supply runs.

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20 hours ago, t_v said:

As for ships, the same thing applies where I would like them to be affected by strong wind, but probably not other random weather. Getting hit by lightning is not a design flaw in your ship, it is a completely random event that you had no control over, and cannot prepare against. 

Just switch SCE to AUX!

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12 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

Gut check do we think landing in KSP is hard enough already though? You really want to zero out all your lateral motion and come down vertical for the last 100m so you don’t tip, especially if the ground is sloped. 

Landing cargo on a planet with sustained 150 mph winds is a challenge. We could use some new challenges.

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9 hours ago, K^2 said:

The second option is providing a suite of tools for precise landing. That would include trajectory indicators that take aerodynamics and wind into account, showing, say, 90% probability impact area on the planet, and nav aids during landing that can help you stay on that trajectory as you approach.

We may need a dash of option 1 as well, but I feel pretty strongly that we want both trajectory factoring drag and a bunch of nav aids for precise landing no matter what. Those tools are the only reason I still have Mech Jeb installed, both for aerocapture and for precise landing. It's just so useful to see the blue landing marker and estimated landing distance to target and gently tug it north and south and west by controlling pitch and yaw. Even for landing space planes you can instantly see the effect of adjusting lift and drag on your way in. And yeah as a difficulty option wind sounds like a nice challenge for avid players. Just playing devils advocate about the difficulty level. Im picturing a new players' first triumphant landing on Duna thwarted cause they didn't cut the chute before it pulled their lander over sideways. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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1 hour ago, Pthigrivi said:

Just playing devils advocate about the difficulty level. Im picturing a new players' first triumphant landing on Duna thwarted cause they didn't cut the chute before it pulled their lander over sideways. 

At least someone is thinking about not making KSP2 so difficult that the challenge isn't fun anymore.

Clouds, dust storms, dust devils would be cool to see. But having tangible effects could be too much.

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4 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

Im picturing a new players' first triumphant landing on Duna thwarted cause they didn't cut the chute before it pulled their lander over sideways. 

On one hand, fair. On another, I've only encountered two kinds of players. These who watched a how-to tutorial first, and these whose first encounter with Duna left a crater. It's very hard to guage the correct parachute setup based on info you have at that point, and Duna is different enough from Mars to only be a rough indication that it requires special prep.

I suspect, Duna with wind will mostly trip up returning players. I think, that would actually be interesting to see. Of course, Duna landing might also come with extensive tutorial. I'm not saying the game should lead you by the hand to this point, but there could be a lot of value to new players if getting ready to land on certain bodies for the first time would trigger an optional tutorial. Duna's a good candidate.

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Agreed. I feel like getting players through their first interplanetary mission and the start of colonization is probably as far as they need to go. And in fairness to my example I sure hope players will know to quicksave before deorbiting by the time they get to Duna. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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