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KSP2 mod advent following the modscene journey in KSP1


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Posted (edited)

I've been thinking lately about KSP1's mod scene and how it evolved through the years to become what it is, now, on the 'eve' of KSP2's release. More specifically, I've been thinking about what mods came first, what mods became immediately popular, what mods created offshoots and whole dependency subgenres, what mod endured and were refined, what mods faded to obscurity, what mod came and were either supplanted, incorporated, or made defunct by being rolled into the actual base game. As time went on, mods were less and less about making an idea possible, but to work in conjunction as a part of a mod suite with mods made by other people. The RO/RSS scene is a good example of this crystallization in time, as a complete sub-community ultimately congealed around a very, very specific goal. Many may know, but few remember that it effectively all started when someone supersized Kerbin to be earth-sized. Everything else was natural, predictable progression.

I daresay modders haven't forgotten the 'good old days.' I expect the modscene to just about explode immediately, just as soon as people take stock of what is, well, stock in KSP2. In a meta sort of way, I'm almost more interested in seeing what modders will prioritize than to see what KSP2 is in and of itself. We can only speculate, of course, but it's kind of a recurring daydream for me at this point. Whatever the sequel brings into the fold as being part of the stock gameplay, we can be certain that it will not be as deep and as complex as what some people want it to be. Life-Support is perhaps the subgenre I expect to see the greatest amount of man-hours poured into right off the bat, no matter how much of it was rolled into stock KSP2 gameplay. Then, as the more casual players come to grip with what exactly the stock game can offer, and what it can't do, we'll see QoL and Utility mods being pushed in a second wave following growing demand.

If nothing goes wrong, and I'm usually the pessimistic sort, I think KSP2's initial market grasp will be considerable. When the first game came out, space was not even close to be as popular a topic as it is today. The world has changed a lot since June 2011 (I think some of that change can safely be attributed back to KSP1). Even just the accessibility to videogames in general has made great leaps in the intervening years. KSP1's ongoing development since does help in figuring out how it will work out, but nothing is certain. As long as the launch isn't a total botch job, I expect things to get very interesting in 2023.

There's a really good thread up already about what mods people want to see be part of the base game, but since there's no way to please everyone, I imaging a lot of people will be let down, however gently. Whatever is and isn't, I'm looking forward to see how things will progress in the coming years. In my case, I could easily wonder who will be the next Scott Manley, or if the man will reprise his instrumental role? Could he even still be as major a role as he was early on even if he wanted? Like I said, the scene has changed so much since it all started. It's all so wonderful to think about.

 

EDIT: Just in case, I'll clarify this much. I don't consider stock KSP1 to be 'feature-complete' and a modded game only inches closer to an impossible ideal. I consider modded gameplay to be integral to the experience. When I speak of the modscene and modders in general, I understand their existence to be inseparable from the game itself. They are, as far as I am concerned, part of the development process just as much as the actual development team. I don't expect this to change with the sequel. Vanilla is just a flavour.

Edited by Axelord FTW
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2 hours ago, Axelord FTW said:

We can only speculate, of course, but it's kind of a recurring daydream for me at this point. Whatever the sequel brings into the fold as being part of the stock gameplay, we can be certain that it will not be as deep and as complex as what some people want it to be. Life-Support is perhaps the subgenre I expect to see the greatest amount of man-hours poured into right off the bat, no matter how much of it was rolled into stock KSP2 gameplay. Then, as the more casual players come to grip with what exactly the stock game can offer, and what it can't do, we'll see QoL and Utility mods being pushed in a second wave following growing demand.

Having in situ base and station building, complex resource systems, extraplanetary launchpads, colonies and orbital shypyards to build motherships will cut a lot of the "community dependency" type of mods, those assets and systems are going to be there from D1, already developed and stock.

If we both want to make a more complex colony system, we won't have to start from solving KSP allergy for anything resting on the ground, we can skip most of the steps, system and assets required. One thing is making a "colonies lite" mod with KSP1, that has like 3 parts for stations, none for bases and 3 for resource gathering, a completely different one is starting with the game already having a colonization system in place, even an over simplistic one.

It's basically the difference between developing a factory mod for Minecraft or an hardcore mod for Factorio. In the first case you're mainly implementing new systems and assets, in the second one you're editing recipes and already existing systems.

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It's why I think the 'roadmap' of mods for KSP2 will follow a vastly different path altogether. Though, I'm iffy about giving KSP2 too much leeway until I've seen it for myself. It promises a lot, and I've long since learned to take those kind of things with a hefty grain of salt. I think standalone tweaks, QoL and Utility mods will play a bigger role in KSP2, and only later will 'modpacks' become more commonplace and various playstyles solidify.

 

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Posted (edited)

If it isn't something that the devs just surprise us with by including it in the "mod support" umbrella term, I feel like one of the first things we'll see as a mod is some form of ModuleManager type mod.
ModuleManager is probably the single most-used mod across all versions of KSP that it has a released version for, or at least it certainly is so for the more recent releases.

As for other kinds of mods, I'm not quite sure. Planet packs will certainly come in relatively soon I think, as soon as people get a hang of how to do that with the tools KSP 2 provides (since it actually WILL provide tools to do so, unlike KSP 1 which needs Kerbalism to be able to do that).
Obviously the first few planet packs to come out will be rather bare of features, and will likely be intended to be installed alongside the existing planets and stars, rather than as a replacement for any one of them. But eventually we'll get sets of planet packs that work well with each other, with or without the stock solar systems to complement them.
Heck I'm pretty sure that some of the more popular KSP 1 planet packs will also be some of the first to be making a reappearance, assuming that the tools to create them aren't totally alien of course (and that is an assumption that I have no data to support, but it seems at least partially reasonable)
And along with planet packs we'll probably see things like skybox mods and other things like KSP 1's Distant Object Enhancement (if the vanilla experience leaves something to be desired in that regard at least, I mean I know the KSP 2 developers are going to do their best on that front but there will likely be some people that either have different tastes or claims that the stock KSP 2 lighting experience isn't realistic enough for them).

 

EDIT: Oh yeah and if the stock game doesn't have it (or is missing it in certain places), there will be at least one autopilot mod developed. Likely also a kOS like mod too. Maybe even by the same developers, who knows if the name is gonna be the same or not, but the functionality will likely be similar (might even be easier to set up if the stock game has a way to interface with its own autopilot functionality if it even has that for non "routine" missions.

Edited by SciMan
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I think, one of the first mods will be mod, which disables some feature of the game. Because there most likely will be things that KSP-1 players don't like in KSP-2.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, SciMan said:

Heck I'm pretty sure that some of the more popular KSP 1 planet packs will also be some of the first to be making a reappearance, assuming that the tools to create them aren't totally alien of course (and that is an assumption that I have no data to support, but it seems at least partially reasonable)
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EDIT: Oh yeah and if the stock game doesn't have it (or is missing it in certain places), there will be at least one autopilot mod developed. Likely also a kOS like mod too. Maybe even by the same developers, who knows if the name is gonna be the same or not, but the functionality will likely be similar (might even be easier to set up if the stock game has a way to interface with its own autopilot functionality if it even has that for non "routine" missions.

Probably the one planet pack I'll be waiting for out of the gate is the continuation of Outer Planets Mod. I expect more work will be done to 'tweak up' the Kerbol system over adding new interstellar destinations. 
Likewise, a MechJeb2 will come out relatively quickly, I think. The Smart A.S.S. function is definitely a must for me in KSP1, as the vanilla attitude controls are simply lacking.

Edited by Axelord FTW
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On 5/27/2022 at 10:04 AM, pss88 said:

I think, one of the first mods will be mod, which disables some feature of the game. Because there most likely will be things that KSP-1 players don't like in KSP-2

I thought as well, for example mod that deletes other star systems to reduce loading time, calculations and RAM usage. But on the other hand, hopefully, devs will not use the same "load all assets to RAM" approach KSP 1 had and other stars won't be an issue.

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What I'm looking forward to most is the new modders. KSP1's mod authors have done so much amazing work, but most of it now is in maintenance mode, and it's been a while since somebody's created something big and new from scratch. When you ship a shiny new game to a mass audience, so many new (and old!) pairs of eyes will be looking at it in depth, some of whom will be motivated to write brand new code to scratch an itch. They'll create things we can't yet imagine.

I expect the first generation of mods to be in the "low-hanging fruit" category; simple tweaks and additions that smooth out the stock gameplay as coder-players encounter hiccups or annoyances in the experience. Probably also some ports of various asset-heavy mods; plugins and configs from KSP1 mods will need to be thrown out and rewritten from scratch, but textures, height maps, and models in principle could be converted from old formats to new and dropped in to new frameworks with somewhat less effort.

On 5/25/2022 at 12:42 PM, Axelord FTW said:

EDIT: Just in case, I'll clarify this much. I don't consider stock KSP1 to be 'feature-complete' 

It really can't ever be; it's a fundamentally "open" core concept that you could extend in so many different directions, depending on what aspects of it interest you.

Regarding my own plans, I'm curious to see what KSP2 offers in the maneuver-node feature space. If it doesn't dramatically exceed the first game, there could be a lot of room for mods to improve the transfer planning experience. It's been dawning on me that Planning Node and Astrogator might be able to "play nice" together; Astrogator could auto-generate a planning node from its transfer list in addition to or instead of immediately executable maneuver nodes, and the transfer list could include custom planning nodes that you've created in addition to the automatic ones for all the celestial bodies. I could attempt that today in KSP1, but it seems more natural to wait till I'm forced to start over anyway.

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So, Now that we somewhat know that KSP 2 is coming out in early 2023, Lets talk about modding.  There are hundreds of thousands of mods for KSP. Personally I am thinking of making some KSP 2 mods when it comes out. I would like to see many mods in KSP remade for KSP 2. Some mods may be fine in KSP 2 but any habitat mods may be pushed back because of the new stock parts for habitats. I hope some mods can still be made for more crazy habitats depending on what the Devs add. I hope the Modding community is as big if not bigger in KSP 2

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