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kfsone
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The majority of people out there describe KSP2 as a "quirky rocket simulator": it's "a game about building and flying or crashing rockets".  What about landing? "I guess, I never really bothered with that".

When you say "Moon landing" to someone, they think about guys bouncing around on the moon playing golf, setting up experiments. You might do that once in KSP1 but that quickly teaches you that there's no value to it.

We started to get closer to that kind of aspect towards the end of KSP1s development, but it wasn't really "game play". All the other science experiments were still instantaneous. The only really interesting science project I remember from KSP1 was one where you had to drop seismometers to support triangulation.

The next thing people think of is photography (well, "pictures"). The famous reflected-in-visor picture, landing site pictures, etc. People get most excited about pictures of Mars when there's the "landing site" oval on them. In KSP1 that gets wrapped up with biome discovery, and again it's instantaneous.

Finally, there's the aspect of discovery and innovation. The KSP1 knowledge trees felt, from the offset, like procurement not discovery. There's a total lack of causality between what I do as a player and what my scientists uncover back home, the research tree was also terribly tuned - sometimes you struggled for weeks to get one absolutely critical node, and other times a single flight unlocked you so many nodes that you miss out on critical additions because you just never got around to trying them. A huge chunk of player retention and playability probably went over many players' heads because of this.

Given the success of KSP1 there is clearly a decent sized audience that just wants to see their designs land on other planets, but with KSP2s emphasis on base building, there REALLY needs to be reason to want to have a base. I've recently been trying to force myself to build a mun base in KSP1 and ... it's hard overcoming the obstacles given that once it's built, my next step will be to leave it.

My point is that I am going to suggest some feature flag ideas that I think would create a richer, more engaging, deeper experience for people who aren't already hardcore KSP1 devotees following IP loyalty rather than things I think should be mandatory play requirements.

1- Science areas:

Instead of a single science currency, a split science research system that tempers different knowledge areas and allows different science instruments the opportunity to serve multiple roles in producing science units. Trivially: Orbital Mechanics, Physics, Chemistry; or you could split it into more complex categories like "materials science", "super conductivity", etc, etc.

Thinking point: Taking pictures of different surfaces at different resolutions might contribute to guidance systems and landing systems; Sampling atmospheres might contribute to flight controls and surfaces...

2- Science activities:

Even if you reduce it to what an away team might do with their "tricoders" in the most mundane episode, there's purpose and input required. In KSP1 you can click EVA, right-click, left-click "surface sample" and hit b in under 3 seconds. Instead, try to _reward_ the player's success in arriving by _making use_ of their interest in being there. Create run-times for experiments, create interference between experiments, maybe use error bars that diminish with science/skill/research, create non-terminal failure scenarios that tie back into research & discover. E.g: flight instruments that are subject to initially undocumented shielding-related failure that leads into upgrade research, a science instrument that turns out not to work when exposed to sunlight on the Mun leading to housing upgrades, telescopes that lead into cooling upgrades, etc, etc.

Choose a smallish lexicon of 'experimentation' actions - try turning it off and on again, try running in sunlight vs dark, try doing it at a different altitude or a different velocity or in a different atmosphere, try moving it 100ft from another instrument, etc. Even if science still worked KSP1 instantaneous style, this would give the instruments infinitely more "hands-on" time value.

Thinking point: what can you take away from this instrument to become a carrot for interacting with it more directly a handful of times without making it so annoying I'll never bother?

3- Science mysteries (anomalies):

When we send a probe to mars, we are incredibly focused in the instruments placed on it for their operability but more importantly to the area they are going to and the science they will conduct. Some of our recent landers have very high-res cameras not for the photo ops - although that helps with funding - but for things like inspecting how the rover interacts with the soil/terrain or looking at the results of geological/mineral instruments.

In KSP1 when you build a probe for Juno you just shove all the available science instruments you can on it and ship it, since the restrictions on instruments tend to be very coarse grained: atmosphere or not, daylight or not. You don't have to worry about temperatures, radiation, non-boolean levels of light, magnetic field, etc. And there's no overlap for you to lean in to.

Thinking point: can we _excite/reward_ the player for losing signal with the first probe to arrive at Juno due to previously undetected conditions that introduce additional mechanics/gameplay?

Thinking point: instrument specialization vs mass -- a probe with 100 generic instruments producing as much/less science than the same probe with a good combo of 3 more specialized instruments (see also science areas).

4- Risk:

In KSP1 "story" mode, flying and crashing becomes not-an-option, and there's no soft middle-ground for testing things you build in story mode making it very easy to get bankrupted with no real way to recover, unless you're willing to keep fast forwarding until you get a small enough mission you can fly with enough payback to get you flying again - although that can take actual real time days (or not flying, just fast forwarding, checking missions, saving & reloading).

Secondly, there's no payback from flying and crashing in KSP1. When Jeb slams into the ground because the wings came off, there is only what you learn directly about the flight, which is no help if you won't have the money to fly again without reloading the game.

This leads to people _not_ enjoying the most fun part of ksp simply because it's stick followed by stick, so as soon as those wings come off, esc -> revert.

I think reputation was never fully realized in KSP1, it should be a sort of backup currency that can be leveraged to produce money at the cost of having to do "photo op" missions. Get kerbals to test-fly some shonky variant of a new engine for someone; get some 3d pictures of Duna to showcase Kony's new K-Ray KvK Player (hmm, these pictures are great, but we really need them to be more blue than red, the K-Ray player has a risk of fire if more than 90% of the pixels are red instead of blue...)

Thinking point: failure sure be rewarding enough that most of the time players will risk failure-with-a-cookie vs failsafe-without-a-cookie, but sometimes there needs to be a choice/alternative: I shouldn't be unable to move on to duna because I have not yet returned people from the surface of eve.

 

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I'm going to start by saying that the play modes from KSP1 will be scrapped and replaced with a different progression system. Also, there has been many threads discussing science and how it could play into progression throughout the game. 

For things to do with bases and colonies, you're missing the whole resource discovery, gathering, conversion; along with craft production and launching. That is the basic usage for bases and colonies that has been confirmed. Outside of that, we don't know what the devs have planned.

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Agreed. Grass from the KSC grounds should not contribute to the development of heat shields for distant probes, in any shape or form - having different science types would help alleviate that silliness, I think. Grass from the KSC should only contribute to things regarding botany.

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2 hours ago, Bej Kerman said:

Grass from the KSC grounds should not contribute to the development of heat shields for distant probes

I don't know man, considering how they have endured the dumpster fire at mine, id say they are more then a good case study for heat shields  ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) 

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10 hours ago, kfsone said:

Choose a smallish lexicon of 'experimentation' actions - try turning it off and on again, try running in sunlight vs dark, try doing it at a different altitude or a different velocity or in a different atmosphere, try moving it 100ft from another instrument, etc. Even if science still worked KSP1 instantaneous style, this would give the instruments infinitely more "hands-on" time value.

Thinking point: what can you take away from this instrument to become a carrot for interacting with it more directly a handful of times without making it so annoying I'll never bother?

Hot take but I feel for science to not be repetitive they have to be more handcrafted and unique then "activate this machine you brought with you in various locations" or "wait 40 hours for this thing to complete". I dont think there's a big enough carrot other then a literal skinner box to offset boring and repetitive gameplay.
Perhaps fitting in with the goofy but grounded theme of KSP, unlocking a better reaction wheel or RCS means doing a back-flip on a rover on the mun or other body with low gravity.
Getting a better heat shield may be surviving a kerbin atmosphere entry above some velocity. These are pretty rough examples but the idea is just so you have a neat set of fun engineering-related challenges to do when arriving at a new planet that tests your skills gradually, gives a bunch of concrete but open ended goals and really plays into your ability to build rockets and solve problems in various ways.
I'm not saying to remove KSP 1 style science instruments entirely, just that maybe they should be de-emphasized somewhat in a rocket building game in favor of actually interesting challenges that put the engineering focus of the game first. Or at the very least have the science instruments require these kinds of challenges to be functional rather then be used as a shallow token of a progression vehicle.

Edited by Xelo
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14 hours ago, Bej Kerman said:

Agreed. Grass from the KSC grounds should not contribute to the development of heat shields for distant probes, in any shape or form - having different science types would help alleviate that silliness, I think. Grass from the KSC should only contribute to things regarding botany.

Yeah I mean the grass at KSC just shouldn't be worth anything. Editing is often the most important process in design--the whole Elon mantra about removing parts and steps being more important than adding them back in.

@kfsone There are some things I like here and some things I'd caution against. The biggest thing is that KSP1 has some wonderful mechanics when it comes to assembling vehicles and traversing space but the career and science systems are already massively weighed down by grind. I think the key is to understand why some gameplay systems work and are fun and why others don't and are not. Lets start with some things I like:
 

18 hours ago, kfsone said:

The majority of people out there describe KSP2 as a "quirky rocket simulator": it's "a game about building and flying or crashing rockets".  What about landing? "I guess, I never really bothered with that".

When you say "Moon landing" to someone, they think about guys bouncing around on the moon playing golf, setting up experiments. You might do that once in KSP1 but that quickly teaches you that there's no value to it.

We started to get closer to that kind of aspect towards the end of KSP1s development, but it wasn't really "game play". All the other science experiments were still instantaneous. The only really interesting science project I remember from KSP1 was one where you had to drop seismometers to support triangulation.

As some of us have discussed in the past this is kind of the core of it. The thing thats fun about KSP is the building and flying part, and anything that takes you out of that (say, manually right clicking half a dozen experiment parts whenever you cross an invisible biome line) is going to detract from the experience. The reason the seismometer experiment was interesting is that it contained a simple spatial puzzle formed from the physics of the game rather than being just another thing to click. 
 

18 hours ago, kfsone said:

Given the success of KSP1 there is clearly a decent sized audience that just wants to see their designs land on other planets, but with KSP2s emphasis on base building, there REALLY needs to be reason to want to have a base. I've recently been trying to force myself to build a mun base in KSP1 and ... it's hard overcoming the obstacles given that once it's built, my next step will be to leave it.

This is something Im keenly interested in--how prospecting and colonization and habitation all work together to unlock the ability to live off the land and build new vessels and new outposts and have a whole interplanetary infrastructure that snowballs. Again the most important thing is that it fits into those core systems--designing working machines (colonies and resource chains) and using them to build new exploration and resource gathering vessels that you can fly to the next important destination. We haven't seen a deep dive yet on this from Intercept but I have high hopes. 
 

18 hours ago, kfsone said:

Thinking point: instrument specialization vs mass -- a probe with 100 generic instruments producing as much/less science than the same probe with a good combo of 3 more specialized instruments (see also science areas).

This brings up another important point--experiments should be more specialized. If anything I would argue there are already too many experiments and they are applicable in way, way too many places. As you point out instead of designing a purpose-built drop probe that analyzes a planets air column and gives the player important information about aerocapture they just stick every experiment available onto every probe and manually run them every time they pass into a new biome. This can be solved not by adding more things in but by stripping things out--eliminate any experiment that doesn't provide flight data and make all collection automatic so players can focus on flying the probe to where it needs to be. Instead of putting a probe in a polar orbit and hitting run, or hitting run and waiting an arbitrary period, give the probe a scanning FOV and max range and let it scan as it orbits the way SCANsat does. Reward players for the total percentage of the surface scanned and let them figure it out the optimal orbit to do that. Instead of just clicking "take sample" integrate special ground scatter and anomalies in smaller regions and require samples to be physically returned so the process is about getting somewhere specific and back or designing a mobile lab that can traverse the surface. Again the key is that creatively solving spatial and engineering puzzles is fun and repetitive clicking and waiting is not fun.

I'd also add that it looks like KSP2 is really tying to get a huge number of players at least to the point where they could build their first interstellar vessel. That means getting players to establish colonies and stations on multiple planets, exploiting resources and exploring enough to tech all the way up to interstellar rated engines--in a game that at present most players never even land on the Mun. Yes, the tutorials are part of that, but the other part needs to be pacing--stripping away any time-sink that distracts from that process of building colonies and bigger badder vessels. That is to say any task that isn't leading to or involved with landing on new planets, establishing colonies, or harvesting resources should probably be cut from the game. I'd personally cut every contract type except world firsts and establishing colonies. I'd cut Kerbal skill leveling at the individual level and make those passive rewards across your campaign. I'd cut reputation entirely. You might even be able to cut money entirely and just focus on raw resources alone (there have been many debates on this). Now, there could be exceptions--tourism could be a first-step to teaching players about automated supply routes. Satellites might be necessary to sniff out resources. Planets could have special anomalies and unique ground scatter that made them more interesting, but even those are really there to teach players how to land precisely and build and drive rovers, which prepares them for resource harvesting and delivering colony modules down the line. If the task isn't advancing the progression toward building colonies and going interstellar it shouldn't exist.

Edited by Pthigrivi
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The challenge is to make things not too grindy. I can see how — on paper — it sounds really cool if you can only build a base after doing a full survey (magnetosphere, resources, seismographic, etc) but the trick is to wrap that in game play in such a way that it's not just checking the boxes.

For instance, you can build a base anywhere but it requires less maintenance if you picked a spot in a seismological stable area, your Kerbals will live longer and reproduce more if it's not exposed to insane amounts of solar radiation, etc. So it's not just box-checking but your research will help you in making better decisions. And if you don't care about that you can still go ahead and plant your Jamestown anywhere you want.

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On 7/13/2022 at 11:15 AM, Bej Kerman said:

Grass from the KSC should only contribute to things regarding botany.

I'd actually say ground should contribute to terrain; meaning research into wheels and landing gear. Mind you, KSC's ground would only provide the least interesting wheels. Also, don't make the KSC seperate biomes.

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On 7/12/2022 at 10:08 PM, kfsone said:

Thinking point: Taking pictures of different surfaces at different resolutions might contribute to guidance systems and landing systems; Sampling atmospheres might contribute to flight controls and surfaces...

Somewhat unrelated, but I would LOVE a Pokemon Snap -esque picture-rating system that rewards the player for taking pictures of different things in different locations.

For example, you could get a contract to take a picture (using a camera part or a kerbal-held camera) with any of the following conditions:

- Must be in orbit/landed on a specific planet

- Must be in/over a specific biome

- Must be at a certain time of day (midday, midnight, sunrise, sunset)

- Must/must not feature 1 or more vehicles

- Must/must not feature 1 or more kerbals

- Must feature kerbals doing a specific pose

- Must feature a flag

- Must feature a monolith

- Must feature multiple celestial bodies (maybe specific ones e.g. "sunrise on Laythe while Tylo and Jool are visible")

 

I take way too many screenshots in KSP as it is, so it would be great to gameify it and make it a fun challenge to search for the coolest photo locations in the galaxy. I think even just a really great photo mode would be a fun activity to do on planetary surfaces or in space stations, which is something KSP has never really had.

 

PS: Stock placeable cameras that you can switch to would simply be awesome in general. Especially for Falcon style landings.

Edited by joratto
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1 hour ago, joratto said:

Somewhat unrelated, but I would LOVE a Pokemon Snap -esque picture-rating system that rewards the player for taking pictures of different things in different locations.

For example, you could get a contract to take a picture (using a camera part or a kerbal-held camera) with any of the following conditions:

- Must be in orbit/landed on a specific planet

- Must be in/over a specific biome

- Must be at a certain time of day (midday, midnight, sunrise, sunset)

- Must/must not feature 1 or more vehicles

- Must/must not feature 1 or more kerbals

- Must feature kerbals doing a specific pose

- Must feature a flag

- Must feature a monolith

- Must feature multiple celestial bodies (maybe specific ones e.g. "sunrise on Laythe while Tylo and Jool are visible")

 

I take way too many screenshots in KSP as it is, so it would be great to gameify it and make it a fun challenge to search for the coolest photo locations in the galaxy. I think even just a really great photo mode would be a fun activity to do on planetary surfaces or in space stations, which is something KSP has never really had.

 

PS: Stock placeable cameras that you can switch to would simply be awesome in general. Especially for Falcon style landings.

This could be a fun mini game even if it's and unofficial forum based game.

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Yeah, I mean I like it as a forum game, but you can do that with screenshots. As an actual gameplay mechanic Im less convinced. This is a philosophical point but creating rewards for doing things that are outside core game experiences--building and flying--will almost always be a time consuming distraction. More time fussing and clicking rather than building and flying. This would be in contrast to things like making sure you had sufficient reactors to power a craft or life support to sustain a colony that would be driven by engineering challenges--making sure inputs and outputs and base-costs are optimized. You don't need a minigame manually looking for stars to visit, just build the telescope, make sure it has enough fuel and power, and put in a good orbit and unlock some basic orbital information and the option to target extra-kerbolar planets. If you land with a rover on a new planet the reward should be automatic rather than requiring 15m of fiddling. If there's a key science anomaly you landed very nearby, okay! Drive to it, take a sample, call it a day.

Edited by Pthigrivi
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On 7/12/2022 at 9:13 PM, Xelo said:

Hot take but I feel for science to not be repetitive they have to be more handcrafted and unique then "activate this machine you brought with you in various locations" or "wait 40 hours for this thing to complete". I dont think there's a big enough carrot other then a literal skinner box to offset boring and repetitive gameplay.
Perhaps fitting in with the goofy but grounded theme of KSP, unlocking a better reaction wheel or RCS means doing a back-flip on a rover on the mun or other body with low gravity.
Getting a better heat shield may be surviving a kerbin atmosphere entry above some velocity. These are pretty rough examples but the idea is just so you have a neat set of fun engineering-related challenges to do when arriving at a new planet that tests your skills gradually, gives a bunch of concrete but open ended goals and really plays into your ability to build rockets and solve problems in various ways.
I'm not saying to remove KSP 1 style science instruments entirely, just that maybe they should be de-emphasized somewhat in a rocket building game in favor of actually interesting challenges that put the engineering focus of the game first. Or at the very least have the science instruments require these kinds of challenges to be functional rather then be used as a shallow token of a progression vehicle.

I definitely do not want to suggest that KSP2 should be No Man's Sky :) But if - as the show and tells have suggested - they want more of a base-building focus in KSP2, there's got to be some justification for having kerbals out in the yard, so to speak. You're never going to make it non-repetitive unless you're _really_ doing science somehow - but you could flesh it out by taking something like surveying that requires you to keep moving equipment around. 

At the same time - per item #4 - I think you should get a healthy stream of science from actually using parts, which plays back into the focus on flying and building. In KSP1, you build rockets. Building bases is really "end game" grind. They've said that building bases is going to be a major factor in KSP2, but all I can think is: why?

To me, building rockets and stations is to building bases what lego mechanics is to having 2 blocks of lego. I'm not everyone and KSP1 has done well, so this just comes back round to the different options for and levels of play - there are definitely folks who'll find bases meaningful if they can move their kerbals around in them, so long as there's also a hook, such as giving them the option to play at IVA level and stand your kerbals at specific research displays to finess where your science/innovation progress goes.

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On 7/13/2022 at 10:16 AM, Kerbart said:

The challenge is to make things not too grindy. I can see how — on paper — it sounds really cool if you can only build a base after doing a full survey (magnetosphere, resources, seismographic, etc) but the trick is to wrap that in game play in such a way that it's not just checking the boxes.

For instance, you can build a base anywhere but it requires less maintenance if you picked a spot in a seismological stable area, your Kerbals will live longer and reproduce more if it's not exposed to insane amounts of solar radiation, etc. So it's not just box-checking but your research will help you in making better decisions. And if you don't care about that you can still go ahead and plant your Jamestown anywhere you want.

You're underscoring a point I hoped I had made in the OP;

So far all indications have been that KSP2 has invested significant work into base construction. There will be people who are playing KSP2 for building rockets who'll have _some_ need of bases here and there, but really don't care too much about solving life support issues or "doing" science that doesn't get them their next engine; and there are going to be people who want to build space-housing, and don't care about "doing" science to be able to build 1.875m connecting tubes...

Deeper play-styles should be opt-in, so you can decide you want to have to run the full gamut of space-program missions to build your first base on Duna: send a digital watch with a camera and an fm radio to get your first 80x60 black and white image; get enough reward from crashing a few landers that you won't even think of reverting and send your first few probes, send a high-res camera so you can unlock suitable landing stuff like legs or drogues that fit the place you're going to.

Given the mission stuff added to KSP1, there's clearly some market for that, KSP1 just didn't have to substance to really sell it beyond the core aspects of "build rockets" of KSP1 itself.

 

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On 7/13/2022 at 8:15 AM, Pthigrivi said:

Yeah I mean the grass at KSC just shouldn't be worth anything. Editing is often the most important process in design--the whole Elon mantra about removing parts and steps being more important than adding them back in.

@kfsone There are some things I like here and some things I'd caution against. The biggest thing is that KSP1 has some wonderful mechanics when it comes to assembling vehicles and traversing space but the career and science systems are already massively weighed down by grind.  [...]

Again, one of my reasons for the post was that base-building has been clearly indicated to be a big part of KSP2. I would argue that - per my #4 - the "grind" in KSP1 is that you are _either_ building vehicles and traversing space, or you're trying to build a base and the flying/building is an inconvenience to you. Please realize I'm only saying that one is a grind to a person focused on the other, in particular because - even in story mode - KSP1 discourages you from learning from your mistakes, it's too expensive. You can't pull off a Starship in Story Mode unless you're willing to put a larger amount of time into doing funding missions. Instead, you revert your way thru to a starship.

And that's because there's just no good tie-in between the fundamentals - building and flying - and the progression system. The amounts of science you get from a bad launch are pitiful, there's no wind-tunnel/test stands to mess with for experiments you can afford not to revert.

 

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11 minutes ago, kfsone said:

They've said that building bases is going to be a major factor in KSP2, but all I can think is: why?

I think its mainly todo with how repetitive and tedious launching from kerbin is, esp as you venture further out. If you could just not do it in a gravity well then, that leaves alot more room to explore and alot more of those minmus scale missions where its measured in days rather then months (Even when there is time-warp i still saw a thread where some people on this forum felt 'bad' for leaving the ksc idle while a long mission is running).  They could've gone with just "oh a new KSC spawns on a new planet once youve done enough science there" but thats shallow, people want to build these bases themselves, and hence colonies exist.
My argument before was based off the feeling that, once youve "got a colony" or are essentially done looking at the planet, the planet just is 'whatever', another rock to launch from, albeit in a more convenient dV position then the last. It would be nice to have these science engineering challenges tied to these places that encourage exploring the planet and the suite of parts ksp has, even after youve moved on to the next. So that even while you're at the next star system, theres still a reason to go back and take another shot at these activities, perhaps to optimize, perhaps to revisit one you couldn't do before with the level of technology you once had. This time with much more freedom, eventually leading to vehicles designed for the unique challenges of each planet which I find particularly attractive.

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On 7/13/2022 at 8:15 AM, Pthigrivi said:

This is something Im keenly interested in--how prospecting and colonization and habitation all work together to unlock the ability to live off the land and build new vessels and new outposts and have a whole interplanetary infrastructure that snowballs. Again the most important thing is that it fits into those core systems--designing working machines (colonies and resource chains) and using them to build new exploration and resource gathering vessels that you can fly to the next important destination. We haven't seen a deep dive yet on this from Intercept but I have high hopes. 

This is really where I'm speaking to with the science stuff: we're aligned in thinking about the clicky science being a distraction from "rocketeering", but I think from a purely design perspective that when players are building bases they're going to need an investment stake: rocketeering means you're building bases for resupply, etc, so they've already got their stake and forcing them to prance about placing seismometers or triangulating theodolite measurements is going to kill their enjoyment.

Building space-stations/bases, tho, if you're not playing rocketeer, and if you're not - oh god I hope not - wandering around in the base playing some kind of minecraft/space-engineers housing game, then you probably came to KSP2 base building because you wanted to play the SpaceX starship debarkee and there needs to be stuff that encourages you to waddle around with kerbals and feeds back into the other gameplay systems without crippling them for rocketeers.

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On 7/13/2022 at 8:15 AM, Pthigrivi said:

I'd also add that it looks like KSP2 is really tying to get a huge number of players at least to the point where they could build their first interstellar vessel. That means getting players to establish colonies and stations on multiple planets, exploiting resources and exploring enough to tech all the way up to interstellar rated engines--in a game that at present most players never even land on the Mun. Yes, the tutorials are part of that, but the other part needs to be pacing--stripping away any time-sink that distracts from that process of building colonies and bigger badder vessels. That is to say any task that isn't leading to or involved with landing on new planets, establishing colonies, or harvesting resources should probably be cut from the game. I'd personally cut every contract type except world firsts and establishing colonies. I'd cut Kerbal skill leveling at the individual level and make those passive rewards across your campaign. I'd cut reputation entirely. You might even be able to cut money entirely and just focus on raw resources alone (there have been many debates on this). Now, there could be exceptions--tourism could be a first-step to teaching players about automated supply routes. Satellites might be necessary to sniff out resources. Planets could have special anomalies and unique ground scatter that made them more interesting, but even those are really there to teach players how to land precisely and build and drive rovers, which prepares them for resource harvesting and delivering colony modules down the line. If the task isn't advancing the progression toward building colonies and going interstellar it shouldn't exist.

I disagree slightly - not stripping away time-sinks, but providing flexibility.

Plenty of people just aren't going to give a dingo's kidney about bases, even in KSP2, and plenty of people are going to come to KSP2 just for the base building and are going to be going absolutely stir crazy that they can't just request part delivery and spend all their time putting their base together. (My wife is an MMO-housing addict and she keeps asking me questions about building bases in KSP2; 'Is it multiplayer? Can you fly the parts I need so I can focus on building my colony?')

I don't think you can make a 1-size-fits-all general play mode for KSP2, not with rocket building, colony building and interstellar travel - it's too diverse.

But if I've found one thing about KSP is that's every time I've come back to it after a few months/year hiatus, I totally get into some one particular thing. This time - for reasons in the OP - I've ended up spending weeks focused entirely on building this one mun base.

I imagine - I hope - KSP2 won't just add breadth, but will invest KSP1-learnings to also give some depth to the different focus-channels/time-sinks so that the game is more than just a choice between "rockeet" and "get to the mun->build a base->fly to Alpha Kerbturai->victory" :)

If the entire slog of building your first mun colony has the sole purpose of launching your first interstellar, if building the colony can't also be fun and rewarding in/of itself, then a lot of players might not bother engaging with the work needed to work on the second.

Conversely: a lot of players aren't going to bother spending months or weeks building a mun base just to punch a ticket that lets them fly to another star?

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5 hours ago, kfsone said:

They've said that building bases is going to be a major factor in KSP2, but all I can think is: why?

This is a great question. We don’t know a lot yet, but we do know a few basic things:

- The primary purpose of colonies will be to gather and process raw materials into new rockets that can be launched from those colonies, and exotic fuels which may not be available on Kerbin. 

- Some parts will be so big they must be built at orbital construction platforms, which are fed resources that are gathered at colonies. This is how you’ll build interstellar vessels. 

- Colonies will start by landing one or a few starting modules until you start gathering resources and become self-sufficient, after which you can produce new modules on site. 

- There will be a Base Assembly Editor interface that allows you to build bases in much the way you build vessels in the VAB, moving them about and adding new ones which are paid for with resources. 

- Life support will exist in some form but will be forgiving—no ships full of dead Kerbals. Instead colonies will lose productivity if left without basics (whatever those are.)

So when we say base building we don’t mean Animal Crossing. Colonies are more like big vessels with more complex resource processing equipment, offworld VABs, huge reactors, etc. Weve seen habitation modules and greenhouses early in development but we don’t yet know how those will be integrated. I don’t think there will be any internal minigame beyond the things we’re already used to—making sure you have sufficient power, radiators, balanced ratios for fuels and ISRU. Sorry to tell your wife but Id be pretty surprised if IVAs were important or customizable in any real way. 
 

We should know more in the coming months. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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The most satisfying part of KSP for me is the science scores. Once you unlock the whole Tech Tree, the only thing Science is good for after that is a little extra cash. I've got the whole Tech Tree unlocked by my first new planet. Mun/Minmus and a few labs are enough to get the whole tree. The only real reason to go as far as Jool is to see if you can.

I'd love it if KSP2 had some 'late game' reason to keep going with science. Something more practical than a little extra cash. By the time you've got five or six million, you can pretty much build whatever you want.

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Basically the reason I haven't really gone to the other planets in KSP 1 isn't lack of ability.

It's lack of need. If I needed to go to a given planet to unlock a given kind of part, I'd probably do it.
Of course, that's only if the game is also not engineered in a way that you "totally don't have to have that part to get everywhere", so maybe make the Delta-V different or re-balance the engines so that using advanced propulsion like the ion engine or Nerv is worth the many hassles that they have (low TWR and special needs of electricity and non-minable Xenon, or low TWR and proclivity to become far too hot), rather than just using the ubiquitous Rhino or Poodle or Cheetah or LV-909 vacuum LFO engines "and so what if I have to have an extra stage to get there, it beats having the burn take half an hour or more of IRL time that I can't skip".

So for instance you might need to go to Moho to unlock the radiator type parts, Minmus for LFO/monoprop ISRU, Mun (maybe crashing a few times) for something like landing gear, and you'd have to make Kerbin orbit to unlock heat shields.

Even then, those would only be the "starter parts" of those types of technologies. You'd be able to use the science points you get from doing all of this to unlock more advanced versions of these parts.

And heck, you'd probably have to send something out of the solar system in order to unlock the notion of an interstellar-capable drive system (this is easily doable in KSP 1 with a Jool flyby, takes a few years tho).

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On 7/18/2022 at 5:20 AM, stephensmat said:

The most satisfying part of KSP for me is the science scores. Once you unlock the whole Tech Tree, the only thing Science is good for after that is a little extra cash. I've got the whole Tech Tree unlocked by my first new planet. Mun/Minmus and a few labs are enough to get the whole tree. The only real reason to go as far as Jool is to see if you can.

I'd love it if KSP2 had some 'late game' reason to keep going with science. Something more practical than a little extra cash. By the time you've got five or six million, you can pretty much build whatever you want.

Disclaimer: I do think KSP2 has to give people a dashboard for their gameplay experience. The KSP1 science tree was a compromise between sandbox and hardcore simulation that was satisfying the way a lethal overdose must be. 

Typically, skill/research/science trees in games have two very important roles that were entirely absent in KSP1:

1- Theme parking: Do your thing to earn more of your thing. D&D lets you choose where you spend your skill points because if you want to play a rogue, you don't want the game foisting str and wis on you; New World turned off a big chunk of players by downgrading the drop chances of player-appropriate gear to encourage trade; if a player wants to build orbital bases, how did their last science spend force them to take 7 new wing-surfaces?

2- Guide rails: Part of the beauty of KSP1 was abusing parts in constructive ways. Those 7 new wing-surfaces might actually have a decorative purpose for building your orbital, but it's pretty unlikely, and KSP1 exasperated that issue by eventually throwing so much stuff into each science gain that you would never bother to engage with a lot of it (I *still* occasionally discover new stock parts or their roles, after all this time).

Making me pay 1500 science for 7 wings I don't want so I can pay 3000 for a landing gear I do want and a bunch of "crap" I don't care about ... feels like dealing with my bank.

Total finger-in-the-air: I'd instead have "advancement" nodes with multiple unlock conditions and possibly no science, and which start with a minimal number of parts the way the root of the tree does, to encourage you to try.

I mean, there's not much point in getting landing-gears until you have the ability to go somewhere to land: so surely you need to either have tried to land back home or done a fly-by behind another body before you start on landing stuff? (In this particular play configuration)

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2 hours ago, SciMan said:

So for instance you might need to go to Moho to unlock the radiator type parts, Minmus for LFO/monoprop ISRU, Mun (maybe crashing a few times) for something like landing gear, and you'd have to make Kerbin orbit to unlock heat shields.

Even then, those would only be the "starter parts" of those types of technologies. You'd be able to use the science points you get from doing all of this to unlock more advanced versions of these parts.

And heck, you'd probably have to send something out of the solar system in order to unlock the notion of an interstellar-capable drive system (this is easily doable in KSP 1 with a Jool flyby, takes a few years tho).

Yes, yes, yes: that kind of feed-back loop is what I'd expected as "science", rather like in games like EverQuest 1 where using a skill is how you get experience in it ("You have become better at Sense Heading! (2)")

My playthrus tend to consist of: Orbit, Mun, Minmus, otw to Eve and done. I've added a few base-building / construction mods in the hopes that this time I might set up a station on Gilly and land/launch from Eve, and then maybe reach Duna, but I suspect I'll probably mothball the game again before then because I'm starting to get that sense of fighting the game's aspirations over its capabilities. The fact I'm even considering editing the .sfs file to recover the crane I worked so hard to put on the Mun is a bad sign :)

suncranelanded.jpg

 

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10 hours ago, kfsone said:

1- Theme parking: Do your thing to earn more of your thing. D&D lets you choose where you spend your skill points because if you want to play a rogue, you don't want the game foisting str and wis on you; New World turned off a big chunk of players by downgrading the drop chances of player-appropriate gear to encourage trade; if a player wants to build orbital bases, how did their last science spend force them to take 7 new wing-surfaces?

So, technically KSP does do this, which is one of the reasons having a single science currency vs several makes sense. In theory it offers players more flexibility in the way they develop without pidgeonholing their program. Thats not to say splitting science into aerodynamics, probe tech, structural science, etc. couldn't work, just that it has drawbacks. KSP is also a difficult game in which to manage tech because there are so many parts, supposedly over 600 in KSP2. You do probably want to bundle them, I just think KSP1's tech tree is kind of a mess. 
 

10 hours ago, kfsone said:

2- Guide rails: Part of the beauty of KSP1 was abusing parts in constructive ways. Those 7 new wing-surfaces might actually have a decorative purpose for building your orbital, but it's pretty unlikely, and KSP1 exasperated that issue by eventually throwing so much stuff into each science gain that you would never bother to engage with a lot of it (I *still* occasionally discover new stock parts or their roles, after all this time).

This is kind of what I mean. Whether science comes in several flavors or 1 it does make sense to organize some categories of parts into somewhat linear lanes, so for instance you unlock small starter plane parts, then bigger planes and more powerful engines, then up to spaceplane tech. Those lanes could/should fork as well. Its just that KSP1's tech tree doesn't do such a great job at that, leaving some very basic essentials locked way later than they need to be or in the wrong category entirely. 
 

9 hours ago, kfsone said:

My playthrus tend to consist of: Orbit, Mun, Minmus, otw to Eve and done. I've added a few base-building / construction mods in the hopes that this time I might set up a station on Gilly and land/launch from Eve, and then maybe reach Duna, but I suspect I'll probably mothball the game again before then because I'm starting to get that sense of fighting the game's aspirations over its capabilities. The fact I'm even considering editing the .sfs file to recover the crane I worked so hard to put on the Mun is a bad sign :)

This is mostly due to a more fundamental problem with reward scaling. Whats nice about the biome system is you get rewarded pretty much any time you go somewhere new, even on a body you've already visited. The problem is that biomes are all worth the same which means no place is particularly special or worth directing your attention to, and there are so many biomes players can very easily farm away and complete the tech tree without ever leaving the Kerbin system making for a very repetitive, short-lived game. The solution to the first problem is relatively easy--give less reward for landing any old place and more reward for visiting specific scientific anomalies so players have to work a bit and learn to land and scout with rovers to get the best payouts. The second problem is a little harder, but to me comes down to making experiments more specific in their use, and potentially reducing the number of biomes or creating a system where science mines-out more quickly as you explore a given planet or moon. For instance Minmus could have 3 total biomes--Flats, Highlands, Poles--plus 3 unique anomaly mini-biomes not more than a km across--a Crystal Cave, a Meteor Core, and an outcrop of Glass Spires. If you were clever you could gather everything you needed from Minmus in just 3 or 4 missions, but within 6 and after finding all 3 anomalies you'd need to move on. This would save both on endless repetitive biome-hopping gameplay and make the game much easier to balance, because you could very easily add up all the possible rewards from Kerbin, Minmus, and the Mun and scale that to ensure players would have to move on to Duna, Moho, Eve, and Dres to progress to the next tier. Having big beautiful anomalies an integral part of the game would also encourage players to learn new landing and navigation skills and give a nice visual reward in addition to science for finding something unique. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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