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The Skyhawk Science System - a new, realistic tech tree for KSP - [v1.0.1 - "Whoops!" (1/11/22)]


CessnaSkyhawk
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Downloads: Github | Spacedock (coming soon!) | CKAN (eventually)

Useful Links:  Mod Support | Planet Pack Support | Bug Reports | Roadmap  

Dependencies: B9PartSwitch, Bluedog Design Bureau, Community Resource Pack, Module Manager

Recommended Mods: See Mod Support  

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Introduction

I've been a KSP player for quite a while now, and have used a large amount of mods since I first started. There's been a lot of amazing tech trees released so far - CTT, Kiwi Tech Tree, Tetrix, and more, but for whatever reason none of them "clicked" for me. Part of this was due to the fact the Bluedog Design Bureau, one of my favorite mods, wasn't supported by most, and the rest was just due to differences in how I felt part unlocks should be balanced. For a while I just would fix this by writing custom patches for the already existing trees, but eventually, this past September, I decided it would be easier to just solve my concerns once and for all by creating my very own tree. Now, four months later, here we are! The Skyhawk Science System has been careful curated to support most of the current popular mods in a way which allows for a realistic, but still fun progression from sounding rockets to interstellar starships, and also, adds in a few mechanics to both increase realism and provide some interesting choices for players.

What do I Get?

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  • A large tech tree with well over 100 nodes which supports a huge number of mods, specifically focused around the excellent Bluedog Design Bureau, and its selection of US rocketry-based parts. 
  • A modified science experience, with rebalanced classic experiments, and a couple custom ones to boot, to allow for a balanced playthrough, which encourages you to launch missions you may have never considered before. 
  • Stock resources, and those from some major mods, have been renamed to more realistic substances (Liquid Fuel --> Kerosene, Monopropellant --> Hydrazine, etc)
  • The addition of LOX boiloff, and alongside it, a hypergolic (Aerosine50/NTO) fuel mix, to allow for a Real Fuels-eqsue variation in propellant choice without all the complexity
  • A universal tankswitch for all parts, allowing for far more flexible rocket construction. This feature also uses upgrades to ensure tanks are only unlocked once you have a use for them, so your early game rocket tanks aren't cluttered with far future propellant options until you need them.
  • A Community Resource Pack based logistics tankswitch to allow for easy cargo modality among all sorts of different mods.
  • An upgrade system for SAS levels which encourages you to try alternative methods such as spin-stabilization, kOS, or good old-fashioned hand-flying, without being too harsh.
  • A heavy nerf to reaction wheels, bringing them to much more realistic values, in order to encourage the usage of RCS thrusters.
  • With Rational Resources (and its Nuclear Family addon), adaptive fuel cells and nuclear thermal rockets which can run on multiple propellant options, making them both much more flexible.
  •  Lots of funny quips and puns in the descriptions for each and every science node

Frequently Asked Questions:

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  • I don't like "x" part of the tech tree. How do I disable it?
    • While I've tried to keep the patching as simple as possible, there are still a lot of moving parts to the tech tree, and thus not everything can be easily disabled. There are a few that can be, however. If you want the "realistic names" removed, go to the SkyhawkScienceSystem/Patches/Resources folder and delete "ResourceRenaming.cfg. If you don't want LOX boiloff, delete the 'LOX_Boiloff.cfg" file located in the same location.

Bug Reporting:

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  • If you believe you've found an issue, please go to the issues page of the github, and create a report there. Alternatively, you can just make a post in this thread. Please DO NOT harass mod authors about any issues related to the tree, or support of it.
  • In particular, I have a feeling that the science values in the latter half of the tree aren't very well balanced. If you get to that point in the playthrough, and have some thoughts either way, please let me know - it will really help me make things better.

Credits:

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  • Thank you to @Nertea@hemeac and @theJesuit for creating their tech trees, CTT, KTT and Tetrix respectively, which inspired me to create SSS, and which where also used as baselines and guides for it.
  • Thank you to @CobaltWolf, @Invaderchaos, @Jso, and @Zorg for creating BDB, which is the mod which creates the foundation for the entire tech tree. It is truly, in my opinion, one of the very best mods available.
  • Thank you to @Clamp-o-Tron for their work on More Fuels, which was the mod which was the basis for the current hypergolics system. I wouldn't have gotten anywhere close to here without having it as a jumping-off point.
  • Thank you to @JadeOfMaar for Rational Resources, which was a key part of certain features of SSS, and also, specifically for the help with calculating the ISRU values for Aerozine50 and NTO
  • Thank you to all the various contributors who provided suggestions, helped beta-test, and just in general helped motivate me to actually finish this project. 
  • Lastly, thank you Squad for making such an amazing game which has held my interest so long, and allowed me to express my passion for space exploration in a way nothing else ever has

Licensing:

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The Skyhawk Science System is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. However, some portions of it, specifically icons I borrowed from CTT and KTT, fall under the respective licenses of their original owners.

 

Edited by CessnaSkyhawk
Update!
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Congratulations on release! I've been watching this since you started in September and I've been loving playing with it for the past couple weeks! After a year or so in heavily modded sandbox, this tech tree has really revitalized my love for career mode.  The love and care you've put in the mod really shows and I can't wait to see where this goes from here! :)

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Will look into this further as my schedule settles down.  

But a curiosity question.   Do your patches support Monocoque and balloon tanks for the various fuel types.    EG Agena is the purest Monocoque tank I know of, fully 80 percent of the tank is the structure of the stage.   If you are using the "variable" name applied like the latest editions of BDB, it can be a simple new variable to gain the benefits of the lighter mass/unit volume of a monocoque tank.

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2 hours ago, Pappystein said:

Will look into this further as my schedule settles down.  

But a curiosity question.   Do your patches support Monocoque and balloon tanks for the various fuel types.    EG Agena is the purest Monocoque tank I know of, fully 80 percent of the tank is the structure of the stage.   If you are using the "variable" name applied like the latest editions of BDB, it can be a simple new variable to gain the benefits of the lighter mass/unit volume of a monocoque tank.

At this point it has a simple variation to allow for balloon tanks for the types which BDB had stock balloon tanks for. I will, however, look into this as a enhancement for the future - could be a pretty cool idea

Edited by CessnaSkyhawk
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1 hour ago, TaintedLion said:

Is the ability to change fuel in tanks unlocked later in career mode? I'm building a Vanguard and the second stage needs hypergolics, and I can't switch the fuel type in the tank, even though I've unlocked the Alpha engine.

It’s an upgrade which should be unlocked in the tech node “Early Orbital Hypergolics” - same as the Alpha engine (unless you have CRE, in which case it’s in Liquid Fuel Sounding Rockets). In fact, I think it uses the alpha engine as it’s icon. If you’re in career I think you’ll probably have to pay for it if you have tech entry cost enabled, which might be why it hasn’t appeared. 

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4 hours ago, CessnaSkyhawk said:

It’s an upgrade which should be unlocked in the tech node “Early Orbital Hypergolics” - same as the Alpha engine (unless you have CRE, in which case it’s in Liquid Fuel Sounding Rockets). In fact, I think it uses the alpha engine as it’s icon. If you’re in career I think you’ll probably have to pay for it if you have tech entry cost enabled, which might be why it hasn’t appeared. 

Uhh still nothing here. There's no node called "early orbital hypergolics", and I never enable tech entry cost so idk what's going on.

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2 minutes ago, TaintedLion said:

Uhh still nothing here. There's no node called "early orbital hypergolics", and I never enable tech entry cost so idk what's going on.

That’s odd.  You have B9 Part Switch installed, correct? And the nodes name should actually be early orbital hypergolic engines, although if you have the engine it should be unlocked already… Do you think you could send me a screen shot of the tech node the alpha engine is in?

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Hi guys. Just wanted to let every know that I’m likely going to be unable to do much, if any work on SSS for the next week and a half or so due to a variety of irl reasons. If something goes wrong with it, please make an issue on GitHub or leave a message here and I’ll address it when I’m back online. 

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I'm not sure what you're considering outside the scope of this mod, but have you considered patching engines such that you can't adjust their thrust down to like 1%? This is kinda similar to the reaction wheel nerf in that it makes you require RCS (or some tiny low thrust liquid fuel engine) in order to do tiny orbital corrections.

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This is a personal zFinal patch that limits the minThrust to 25% and could be edited accordingly. It only looks for entries without minThrust or with a minThrust = 0, so any already existing custom value is not affected:

Spoiler
 

removed

@Kwebib DO NOT USE THAT PATCH

This patch is not working in this way as it needs code (which would be Realism Overhaul).
Just with this patch an engine never can throttle down.

Sorry for the confusion.

Edited by Gordon Dry
DO NOT USE THAT PATCH
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On 12/28/2021 at 11:26 PM, CessnaSkyhawk said:

That’s odd.  You have B9 Part Switch installed, correct? And the nodes name should actually be early orbital hypergolic engines, although if you have the engine it should be unlocked already… Do you think you could send me a screen shot of the tech node the alpha engine is in?

ZvChCcR.png

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8 minutes ago, TaintedLion said:

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I’ve got one last thing for you to check - in the advanced KSP settings do you have part upgrades enabled ? That’s the only other thing I could see that’s causing it. If that doesn’t help, then I’ll have to take another look at my code once I have access to my modding pc again next weekend. 
 

Also for those suggesting an engine thrust limit patch I’ll definitely take a look at that once I’m back to developing again. 
 

Happy New Year everyone!

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20 minutes ago, CessnaSkyhawk said:

I’ve got one last thing for you to check - in the advanced KSP settings do you have part upgrades enabled ? That’s the only other thing I could see that’s causing it. If that doesn’t help, then I’ll have to take another look at my code once I have access to my modding pc again next weekend. 

Just checked that, you need to have the part upgrades enabled to access the fuel switch. Kinda sucks for those who don't want that setting on.

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I made an issue on the Github repo, but I'll post in here as well. (see https://github.com/CessnaSkyhawk/SkyhawkScienceSystem/issues/35)

Mechjeb support is incomplete; the mod features (ascent guidance, SmartASS, etc) don't have their techs set correctly.

In the module MechJebCore there is a thing called MechJebLocalSettings. In the latter the technologies for each feature are set like MechJebModuleCustomWindowEditor { unlockTechs = flightControl }(cf. MechJeb2/Parts/MechJeb2_AR202/part.cfg). The parts that you've assigned to techs in ModSupport/MechJeb2/MechJeb2.cfg are just the placeholders for the features being unlocked in the tech tree.

EDIT: A quick MM config to move all the techs to the starting node, for now, based on a config in MechJeb2/Parts/MechJebNoCommandPod.cfg:

@PART[*]:HAS[@MODULE[MechJebCore],!MODULE[KerbalEVA]]:AFTER[MechJeb*]
{
  %MODULE[MechJebCore]
  {
    %MechJebLocalSettings
    {
      %MechJebModuleCustomWindowEditor { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleSmartASS { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleManeuverPlanner { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleNodeEditor { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleTranslatron { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleWarpHelper { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleAttitudeAdjustment { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleThrustWindow { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleRCSBalancerWindow { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleRoverWindow { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleAscentGuidance { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleLandingGuidance { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleSpaceplaneGuidance { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleDockingGuidance { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleRendezvousAutopilotWindow { %unlockTechs = start }
      %MechJebModuleRendezvousGuidance { %unlockTechs = start }
    }
  }
}

 

Edited by bigyihsuan
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