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KSP2 shouldn’t need Sandbox (or maybe it should?)


Pthigrivi
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I must ask the sandboxy people:

You want to build an interstellar vessel right away because why would you wait, you're in sandbox, you can do anything. But you know well the fusion engine is bigger than VAB, and the size of the building isn't going to change just for sandbox, what are you going to do about it? Making sandbox mode in KSP2 requires resolving dozens more problems than simply keeping science/funds/upgrades out of the equation. Not to mention that we're now controlling a lot more than single KSC and single rocket at a time.

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40 minutes ago, t_v said:

Still, I think most of these discussions are just for the sake of discussion, not because they'll add anything to the development process

No no they wait for us to blindly fumble about for hair-brained and half-baked solutions and I'm sure KSP2 will look exactly as I imagine it. 

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28 minutes ago, The Aziz said:

I must ask the sandboxy people:

You want to build an interstellar vessel right away because why would you wait, you're in sandbox, you can do anything. But you know well the fusion engine is bigger than VAB, and the size of the building isn't going to change just for sandbox, what are you going to do about it? Making sandbox mode in KSP2 requires resolving dozens more problems than simply keeping science/funds/upgrades out of the equation. Not to mention that we're now controlling a lot more than single KSC and single rocket at a time.

I'd imagine the player would just have the ability to drop an orbital assembly building in LKO and build the ship there, no?

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Sandbox is amazing. What if i do wanna make a dome city? what if i want to have infinite funds? what if i want to do whatever?

We should only have non-sandbox and sandbox, at the VERY VERY least.

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Half of what I do in KSP is messing around with funny planes and fireworks and FAR. I don't really want to be constrained by anything in this pursuit, so while I do think that KSP shouldn't need a sandbox mode (the way Minecraft wouldn't be horribly annoying if Creative mode was removed), it should have one anyways.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Catto said:

Sandbox is amazing. What if i do wanna make a dome city? what if i want to have infinite funds? what if i want to do whatever?

We should only have non-sandbox and sandbox, at the VERY VERY least.

Small aside but there have been a number of discussions about whether KSP2 needs money at all. My preferred solution would be a fuel farm/resource warehouse that would be stocked over time with raw resources that you would use to build parts just like you would later at colonies. It could also be upgraded to produce materials faster and more exotic fuels with larger storage caps. For Sandbox mode it would just be set to "unlimited" for all resources so you could build whatever you wanted at KSC. As noted however some parts are so huge they won't be accessible outside of orbital shipyards, so you're still gonna have to do some legwork before skipping ahead to an interstellar mothership.

Edited by Pthigrivi
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2 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

Part of it is that KSP1's solution might not work for KSP2. For instance if population growth is driven by 'boom events' in Adventure mode then removing that underlying mechanic may mean you can't grow your populations in Sandbox, which means you'd also have to remove any impact your population had on resource collection rates. Some players may want the ability to collect resources anyway and just have big empty bases, and others may not want all parts to be free with no resource cost so they can just make crazy things without going through the rigmarole of harvesting and processing at all. So even if there is a listed 'Sandbox mode' it's not exactly clear what would be in or out besides a fully unlocked tech tree. 

Why not add and remove Kerbals using the traditional methods of transfers, ship them in or out. Or why wouldn't the BAE have the ability to add or remove Kerbals? (Yes, I'm making an assumption about some of the functions of an editor, but it does make sense.)

Just like other games with sandbox, all parts are free and unlocked, but all the other rules apply. They also enable other functions (cheats) you normally can't use in whatever their progression mode is called. (That's one thing KSP1 messed up on.)

There's nothing stopping someone from being creative. You may have to jump through some hoops to get what you want. (You have to do that now in KSP1 anyway.)

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2 hours ago, whatsEJstandfor said:

I'd imagine the player would just have the ability to drop an orbital assembly building in LKO and build the ship there, no?

What about orbital parameters? Because that's pretty much a Set Orbit from alt+F12 window. Plus, and I pointed it out before, does the off world building also have access to unlimited resources? Same goes for colonial VABs, including their location. Anyway, what I'm trying to say, is that there should be a fine line between what was intended for a gamemode, and a cheat menu. It was discussed before, if I still have to use it to get anywhere, why bother with separate gamemode where I can just click on "infinite resources" checkbox whenever I want.

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3 hours ago, The Aziz said:

I must ask the sandboxy people:

You want to build an interstellar vessel right away because why would you wait, you're in sandbox, you can do anything. But you know well the fusion engine is bigger than VAB, and the size of the building isn't going to change just for sandbox, what are you going to do about it? Making sandbox mode in KSP2 requires resolving dozens more problems than simply keeping science/funds/upgrades out of the equation. Not to mention that we're now controlling a lot more than single KSC and single rocket at a time.

The point of Sandbox isn't to "do anything", it's to do things without having to also worry about funds and other arbitrary restrictions, worrying only about Delta-V, restrictions on size due to the physical scale of the building, and other such core (emphasis on core) challenges and restrictions. Money and resources is not a core restriction, it's a pointless leash to keep us from honing in our engineering and pilot skills. Having a box of LEGO is KSP and not having to worry about earning enough to use a larger piece is sandbox. You still have to think about how the weight is distributed and how you're going to move the completed set around - that doesn't mean we want to spend hours grinding arbitrary points to use the pieces we want. We find building vessels and figuring out problems fun, but not grinding petty contracts to spend on a slightly bigger booster. Please do think about what sandbox is actually about before telling us what we're thinking (I must stress this, we're not thinking "I can't wait to play sandbox to do anything - including launching a 5km long vessel from a ground VAB",  that's what the cheats console is for; we're thinking "I can't wait to slowly construct a space station then design an interstellar vehicle and slowly figure out the challenges associated with that, all without worrying about being kept from doing the very core gameplay loops of KSP because I don't have enough points from doing mind-numbing and ultimately pointless contracts and missions that detract from the very meaning of KSP")

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3 hours ago, The Aziz said:

I must ask the sandboxy people:

You want to build an interstellar vessel right away because why would you wait, you're in sandbox, you can do anything. But you know well the fusion engine is bigger than VAB, and the size of the building isn't going to change just for sandbox, what are you going to do about it? Making sandbox mode in KSP2 requires resolving dozens more problems than simply keeping science/funds/upgrades out of the equation. Not to mention that we're now controlling a lot more than single KSC and single rocket at a time.

You are presuming we are going to design ships in the VAB and not in some sort of blueprint mode.

I'm not presuming we're NOT going to do that. But I'm open to the idea that it's possible.

I am willing to presume - however - that whatever way we'd build a ship 10x bigger than the VAB in "career mode" will be available in "sandbox mode" from the start.

Edited by Superfluous J
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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Superfluous J said:

I am willing to presume - however - that whatever way we'd build a ship 10x bigger than the VAB in "career mode" will be available in "sandbox mode" from the start.

Except we’ve learned that in KSP2 there are single engine bells that literally do not fit in the VAB. It wont fit or have the TWR to launch from the pad. You’re still going to need an orbital station to even place those parts. 

16 hours ago, shdwlrd said:

Why not add and remove Kerbals using the traditional methods of transfers, ship them in or out. Or why wouldn't the BAE have the ability to add or remove Kerbals? (Yes, I'm making an assumption about some of the functions of an editor, but it does make sense.)

Yeah I mean we just don’t know. I do recognize I was being indelicate by referring to Sandbox functions as “cheats” but as we’ve all kind of whittled down the differences, things like “free resources everywhere” and “unlock all tech nodes” and “magically-free stock orbital platform” and “add free kerbals whenever” kinda sound like… cheat codes normally? Am I crazy? Regardless difficulty toggles for each seems best, but it begs the question what the default looks like? Or is it an la carte solution that gives Sandbox players what they want individually? because it's not all the same thing. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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3 hours ago, Bej Kerman said:

The point of Sandbox isn't to "do anything", it's to do things without having to also worry about funds and other arbitrary restrictions, worrying only about Delta-V, restrictions on size due to the physical scale of the building, and other such core (emphasis on core) challenges and restrictions. Money and resources is not a core restriction, it's a pointless leash to keep us from honing in our engineering and pilot skills. Having a box of LEGO is KSP and not having to worry about earning enough to use a larger piece is sandbox. You still have to think about how the weight is distributed and how you're going to move the completed set around - that doesn't mean we want to spend hours grinding arbitrary points to use the pieces we want. We find building vessels and figuring out problems fun, but not grinding petty contracts to spend on a slightly bigger booster. Please do think about what sandbox is actually about before telling us what we're thinking (I must stress this, we're not thinking "I can't wait to play sandbox to do anything - including launching a 5km long vessel from a ground VAB",  that's what the cheats console is for; we're thinking "I can't wait to slowly construct a space station then design an interstellar vehicle and slowly figure out the challenges associated with that, all without worrying about being kept from doing the very core gameplay loops of KSP because I don't have enough points from doing mind-numbing and ultimately pointless contracts and missions that detract from the very meaning of KSP")

I think you will be very surprised at what the core elements of KSP 2 will be. 

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7 hours ago, The Aziz said:

I must ask the sandboxy people:

You want to build an interstellar vessel right away because why would you wait, you're in sandbox, you can do anything. But you know well the fusion engine is bigger than VAB, and the size of the building isn't going to change just for sandbox, what are you going to do about it? Making sandbox mode in KSP2 requires resolving dozens more problems than simply keeping science/funds/upgrades out of the equation. Not to mention that we're now controlling a lot more than single KSC and single rocket at a time.

I personally put the difference between "sandbox" and "cheatmode" right about here.

In sandbox you would still have to build a colony and follow colony progression rules, and mine resources to build the orbital VAB and that use that, with resources, to build the interstellar ship you want.

In "cheatmode" you just spawn whatever, since colony buildings are free, and orbital VABs require no resources, and there are no resources to mine, transport or population to manage colonies basically become spawn cheats, no reason to go the roundabout way, you just spawn the orbital interatellar ship you want in orbit.

Your "single mothership to 3 solar systems" tour ship is not going to be different or any less impressive if you launched it from a non-working free orbital VAB compared to just spawned using the cheat menu.

 

I use KSP1 Commnet and IRSU modules as a point of reference, sandbox doesn't make them stop working.

 

3 hours ago, Bej Kerman said:

grinding petty contracts to spend on a slightly bigger booster.

Your view on progression is colored by how terrible of a system KSP1 has.

I can't talk for other people but as someone excited for the new Adventure mode I'll be the first one to jump back to sandbox if anything as badly designed as KSP1 contracts system or as badly balanced as science shows up.

That's why I want colonies and their population and resource requirements to work in sandbox too, slowly building my space infrastructure in the wake of my exploration missions is more than enough of a "progression mode" for me.

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8 hours ago, The Aziz said:

I must ask the sandboxy people:

You want to build an interstellar vessel right away because why would you wait, you're in sandbox, you can do anything. But you know well the fusion engine is bigger than VAB, and the size of the building isn't going to change just for sandbox, what are you going to do about it? Making sandbox mode in KSP2 requires resolving dozens more problems than simply keeping science/funds/upgrades out of the equation. Not to mention that we're now controlling a lot more than single KSC and single rocket at a time.

No, just want to play with all the shiny new parts before they become available in progression. Learn how they work. And design some ships and colonies before I really need to.

3 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

Yeah I mean we just don’t know. I do recognize I was being indelicate by referring to Sandbox functions as “cheats” but as we’ve all kind of whittled down the differences, things like “free resources everywhere” and “unlock all tech nodes” and “magically-free stock orbital platform” and “add free kerbals whenever” kinda sound like… cheat codes normally? Am I crazy? Like what is the best a la carte solution that gives Sandbox players what they want individually, because its not all the same thing.

You're right, we just don't know. But there has to be a base to start from. Most things we know about the game so far don't really need progression to work. (Except population boom events, but there are workarounds.)

Look at any game that has a sandbox mode. They either started as a sandbox type environment or sandbox was added afterwards. They all have the same basic principles in common. They all have some rules that you can't break. In KSP, the rocket theory, and general physics are those rules. (No, I'm not counting anything that can be considered a bug. Kraken based infinite propulsion drives.) The rest can be bent or ignored.

So I can turn off the need for EC, that's one rule that can be ignored. But trying to place the Daedalus engine in KSCs VAB isn't going to work. It's physically larger than the VAB and makes sense that you can't do that. Want to abuse the part colliders to make a series of gears, well you're bending the intended use and some attachment rules for the parts.

But can you ignore or bend the rocket theory, or general physics, no, you can't. You will always need a TWR of 1+ to lift straight off from a gravity source. You will always need enough horizontal speed to orbit a planetary body. You will always need an equal and opposite force to counter act a force that was applied.

So most sandbox games have rules for them. It's just most people see the lack of arbitrary bindings as a freedom to do what they please. So any rules that makes sense for KSP2 sandbox, I'm not going to complain about.

PS. I personally think Squad is to blame for people thinking they can whatever sized thing they wanted in the KSC. They didn't truly force size limits on the space you were building in. You could always move the craft out of bounds to build larger than the editor could actually handle.

Edited by shdwlrd
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2 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

Except we’ve learned that in KSP2 there are single engine bells that literally do not fit in the VAB. It wont fit or have the TWR to launch from the pad. You’re still going to need an orbital station to even place those parts. 

Blueprint mode. Design ship 100x larger than vab. click "place in orbit" instead of "place on launchpad"

I'm not saying it will be there. I'm saying it'd be a very simple thing to do.

You don't NEED to build a ship in a VAB. The ship doesn't have to "fit" anywhere during the planning stage. And in a proper sandbox mode you should be able to place it anywhere at any time, including upon creation.

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Based on most answers, I see - in short, no more arbitrary limitations. But they need to be defined. Let's not talk about contracts and science points because it's most likely not going to happen anyway. So what exactly are the (currently known) elements of gameplay that make progression mode different from sandbox?

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5 hours ago, The Aziz said:

Based on most answers, I see - in short, no more arbitrary limitations. But they need to be defined. Let's not talk about contracts and science points because it's most likely not going to happen anyway. So what exactly are the (currently known) elements of gameplay that make progression mode different from sandbox?

An easy starting point is the need for resources. You don't want the lack of resources to interfere with creativity. So no resources for spawning crafts or buildings from the editors. Also the ability to turn on or off the need for resources during the flight. 

Another point is the progression itself. You are limiting the availability of parts or functions you can use until you reach a goal. You would want free reign with the parts selection and functions you want to use.

Spawning points, the ability to build CAB/OAB makes this kind of moot, but that is an arbitrary point for an open world type of game.

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I do like the idea that whenever you launch something from the Sandbox VAB, you'd be able to dictate where exactly you're launching it FROM.

And by "where", I mean "what coordinates on the surface of which planetary (EDIT: planetary body)", or "what specific orbit of which planetary body", or "which existing launch site" (such as launch pads on Kerbin, or any colonies you have set up).

The idea here is to make it easy to use Sandbox as an "R&D simulation" for designing craft for your main adventure mode save. That's most of what I'm looking for out of sandbox, because as much as I hated KSP 1's progression system, the problem was the specific way it was implemented, not the general intent.

I liked the idea that you would have restrictions upon what you could build that could be improved, I liked the idea that building rockets had a cost, I liked the idea that you would have a technological progression. The problem is that there wasn't any "glue" holding the whole thing together into one integrated system, so if you broke one part of it the rest of it broke too.

Figure out how to make a kraken drive in KSP 1 (Aka break the physics engine)?
Congratulations, since you unlocked all the landing gear you now have the best rocket engine in the game (made of landing gear).
Not only best in terms of nearly infinite thrust, but best in terms of it being pretty dang cheap, and not even needing fuel (just electricity, the idea is that you use a motor to rotate it and a piston to apply force to a radially-symmetric array of landing gear that are bottomed-out on their travel limits).

And that breaks the economy, because now you don't have to pay for rocket fuel or even for a gigantic pile of rocket fuel tanks (which are way too expensive when empty in KSP 1) or rocket engines.

... And now I'm starting to wonder if I could make a ROTARY kraken engine (as in it provides torque not thrust) and connect that to an electric motor to also get free electricity with no need of sun or even an RTG, but that's not on topic.

 

Point is, I want a way to test my craft in KSP 2 with no consequences to my adventure mode save. Structural issues can take a while to figure out on some craft types (mostly the extremely large ones), and I'd like to be able to do so without having to spend the resources to launch 20 versions of such a gigantic craft that aren't quite right, and only the 21'st one is something I'm willing to actually use.
I'd prefer to be able to launch those 20 "not quite right" versions of that craft in the Sandbox (aka testing) mode.

Additionally and relatedly, I'd like it if in adventure mode we could recycle old ships and get 100% of the resources back from it (maybe only 90% of the propellants in it, it's hard to truly evacuate a fuel tank even in the vacuum  of space cause usually you need "something" to push the propellants out).

Of course, if and when I do tire of the Adventure mode, I'd ALSO like a sandbox mode to come back to, in order to "play the game my way" so to speak, as others have said.
Who knows, maybe I want to place MORE severe restrictions on myself, maybe less, maybe I just want to play the game "Starting in one of the other solar systems", who knows but I want to be able to do it.

Edited by SciMan
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2 hours ago, SciMan said:

The idea here is to make it easy to use Sandbox as an "R&D simulation" for designing craft for your main adventure mode save. That's most of what I'm looking for out of sandbox, because as much as I hated KSP 1's progression system, the problem was the specific way it was implemented, not the general intent.

Though its not been entirely confirmed how it will work there is some evidence that KSP2 will have a simulation tool for doing just that. For folks who want sandbox exactly for this reason making it an accessible tool rather than a whole different game mode with a separate save would mean you wouldn’t have to exit and reload saves or manually copy craft files between them. This seems much more convenient.
 

 

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Very interesting discussion. I’m surprised having a “normal” sandbox mode for KSP2 is seen as so difficult.

I only play sandbox, tried science for a little bit but it immediately became a chore to grind the parts I wanted and became unfun so I went back to sandbox.

Reducing sandbox to being accessed from a cheat menu is infeasible IMO. Something nice about it is despite having all parts and not having to worry about economics, it still feels like I have to face the challenge of space travel. But if I had to go into a menu and select a bunch of options alongside things like “Infinite fuel” or “Infinite electricity” it would feel more like a simulation program- like a guy sitting at a computer running a design through a supercomputer- instead of a space flight game- like I’m actually in the pilot seat trying to get my lander down to the Mun. This could also be confusing for younger first time players.

I don’t see “normal” sandbox implementation being an issue at all for KSP2. Here’s how it would work-

- Obviously, all parts are unlocked. No tech trees and no currency (whether that be science points or whatever)

- Orbital VAB comes automatically unlocked. I don’t recall how the orbital VAB is supposed to work (space center in space on rails?) but depending on how it is implemented this would either be a) the standard orbital VAB already present upon starting a new save (if it is like a space center in space functioning like a celestial body as mentioned above) or b) a stock VAB built from stock parts automatically being present upon starting a new save (if it is built out of pieces somehow)

- Colonies completely function as in other modes, and are treated like spacecraft. Whatever is needed to keep them running that is special- food, water, certain raw resources, etc.- is treated like fuel, which is still finite in resource mode. Colonies can’t just be set up wherever and function without support, just as a spacecraft can’t be sent to the Mun without burning fuel. If players can do ISRU in KSP1 sandbox there is no reason why mining, farming, boom events and whatever for colonies in KSP2 sandbox is unthinkable

- No BAE by default. Colonies are bases, a colony would start from a base in real life so it makes sense the player would at least be required to build a base and go through standard progression to get to a colony in the game. In the same way I can’t just build a base and put it on the Mun in the standard (without the real cheats like teleport) KSP1 sandbox game, players can’t (are not allowed to) just build colonies. So the BAE needs to be unlocked just as it needs to be in the progression modes, not as “a progression mechanic being present in sandbox” but because that is just how base-colony building works, not only from a logical sense but based on how KSP1 sandbox mode worked too

- As part of colonies functioning as normal you still need to resupply them, so the auto-resupply mechanic will be available in sandbox too. Again, this isn’t a “progression mechanic”- supplying a base or colony is no different than refueling a ship at an ISRU outpost in KSP1 sandbox

Note- when I say “normal” sandbox, I mean sandbox as a selectable game mode

EDIT- All colony parts are unlocked too, you just need to build a simple base or whatever sized base required to unlock the BAE at the site

Edited by SunlitZelkova
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8 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

Very interesting discussion. I’m surprised having a “normal” sandbox mode for KSP2 is seen as so difficult.

Because, as the other thread pointed out with data from a pool, every player is talking about a different gamemode when they talk about "Sandbox".

 

8 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

I only play sandbox, tried science for a little bit but it immediately became a chore to grind the parts I wanted and became unfun so I went back to sandbox.

That's a problem with how badly designed science is, not a merit of sandbox.

This is what "KSP2 shouldn't need sandbox" means, sandbox shouldn't be a shelter from terrible gamemodes, the gamemodes should be all equally well designed.

 

8 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

 Something nice about it is despite having all parts and not having to worry about economics, it still feels like I have to face the challenge of space travel. But if I had to go into a menu and select a bunch of options alongside things like “Infinite fuel” or “Infinite electricity” it would feel more like a simulation program- like a guy sitting at a computer running a design through a supercomputer- instead of a space flight game- like I’m actually in the pilot seat trying to get my lander down to the Mun.

But Sandbox is also that, I'm using it too as the gamemode to go around the terrible progression of KSP1, but we have to acknowledge and make it work for people that want to build a trebuchet out of giant colony parts for their entry of the "How far can you launch a fully loaded and unpowered Kerbal X rocket with a sling or catapult contraption" challenge.

 

8 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

This could also be confusing for younger first time players.

Younger first time players should not be sent to sandbox, but to the tutorial portion of the main gamemode, which, this time around we already know is going to be the "Adventure/progression" one.

 

8 hours ago, SunlitZelkova said:

I don’t see “normal” sandbox implementation being an issue at all for KSP2. Here’s how it would work-

- Obviously, all parts are unlocked. No tech trees and no currency (whether that be science points or whatever)

- Orbital VAB comes automatically unlocked. I don’t recall how the orbital VAB is supposed to work (space center in space on rails?) but depending on how it is implemented this would either be a) the standard orbital VAB already present upon starting a new save (if it is like a space center in space functioning like a celestial body as mentioned above) or b) a stock VAB built from stock parts automatically being present upon starting a new save (if it is built out of pieces somehow)

- Colonies completely function as in other modes, and are treated like spacecraft. Whatever is needed to keep them running that is special- food, water, certain raw resources, etc.- is treated like fuel, which is still finite in resource mode. Colonies can’t just be set up wherever and function without support, just as a spacecraft can’t be sent to the Mun without burning fuel. If players can do ISRU in KSP1 sandbox there is no reason why mining, farming, boom events and whatever for colonies in KSP2 sandbox is unthinkable

- No BAE by default. Colonies are bases, a colony would start from a base in real life so it makes sense the player would at least be required to build a base and go through standard progression to get to a colony in the game. In the same way I can’t just build a base and put it on the Mun in the standard (without the real cheats like teleport) KSP1 sandbox game, players can’t (are not allowed to) just build colonies. So the BAE needs to be unlocked just as it needs to be in the progression modes, not as “a progression mechanic being present in sandbox” but because that is just how base-colony building works, not only from a logical sense but based on how KSP1 sandbox mode worked too

- As part of colonies functioning as normal you still need to resupply them, so the auto-resupply mechanic will be available in sandbox too. Again, this isn’t a “progression mechanic”- supplying a base or colony is no different than refueling a ship at an ISRU outpost in KSP1 sandbox

We don't know how exactly the colonies are going to work, but we know enough to paint a picture of the kind of gameplay the devs are building for them.

  • We know the population grows with something called "Boom events", that happen when you reach a new exploration achievement.
  • We know that there are colony tiers, starting with modules brought from outside in kits to be inflated/assembled at the colony all the way to using resources to build new colony parts to then being able to build a VAB and thus new rockets.
  • We know that there will be the automated supply runs.
  • Lastly, we've seen different technologies for power plants and powering colonies, suggesting a deeper gameplay element in that direction, the presence of a geothermal plant even suggesting that the system may be depending on the environment for what buildings you can build.

What all of that is telling us?

What all of this system is telling us about the progression gameplay overall? Especially once I throw in the fact that you will have to discover new solar systems with some telescope. Which is the only time they revealed anything about the science system and again it's something you do because you need the info you get, not some random abstract points.

Here to me lies the main potential problem with making a separate sandbox mode of any kind. KSP2 seems to be "De-abstracting" as many things as possible.

 

Let me explain, in KSP1 career you had to grind an abstract resource (funds) by doing abstract contracts, yes, the rocket you launched where real, but the mission objective was not.

"Mine 500 Ore from EVE and transport it to Minmus" There's no entity requiring that, no reason to do it, nothing on Minmus using that ore.

But in KSP2 you will have a reason to mine, a reason to scan for resources, a reason to launch a telescope to search for other nearby solar systems, a number of mission to do to establish a real, working colony. With colony problems, rockets to launch to solve those problems and make it grow, become bigger and then, when it's big enough, become an assets in your further exploration by acquiring the ability of building and launching new missions from there.

It's the same gameplay loop of KSP1 contracts:

  • PROBLEM:
    • Contracts: You accept a random contract because you need the funds it rewards you to fund a new mission.
    • Colonies: You want to build a new colony because you need its capabilities in the form of exotic fuel production or a new launch center to enable a new mission.
  • SOLUTION:
    • Contracts: You design and launch a mission or a series of missions to perform the random task assigned you by the random contract.
    • Colonies: You design and launch a mission or a series of missions to perform the really working task of building the really working colony at the location you decided among all possible options.
  • REWARD:
    • Contracts: You can now forget the useless busy work the contract had you do, here's your fund, do one or two mission toward your actual goal.
    • Colonies: Your new colony is an active part of your working space infrastructure, the missions to build it part of the program that brings your exploration further, it's all so integrated there's almost no difference between the mission you make to explore and the ones you make to enable further exploration.

 

Even if the colony system is simple, even if it doesn't take all that much effort to set up a colony, even if the resources are all everywhere and you never need to set up long range resource transfers, even if it's all instantaneous as soon as you touch the ground with a "make a colony" module. Even in the worst case scenario colonies are going to be more involved and complex than contracts and are going to steal their place in the gameplay by fulfilling the same role but while being more integrated into the game.

KSP2 colonies are what KSP1 contracts pretended to be. Minus the abstraction.

IF contracts will return in KSP2 it will be in a completely different role in the gameplay, no longer the main driving force of progression but probably, if money is still a thing, something to throw hints to new players in the early game and help you fund something useful like a commnet network while also allowing you to farm little amounts of funds while you get your off-world automated farming of some valuable resource, good or service to sell back to Kerbin up and running.

 

What if colony building and their progression is  THE progression?

What if resource collecting to feed the colonies with parts and fuels is THE new, way less abstract, currency?

What would that mean for the difference between "Adventure mode" and Sandbox?

 

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Disagree to first post question :D    I play sandbox modes all the time to see how the mechanics or mods work and sometimes I just want to build stuff and not grind for it all. I'd like a sandbox mode in KSP2, I'd  be kind of bummed if there wasn't one.

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2 hours ago, Master39 said:

Because, as the other thread pointed out with data from a pool, every player is talking about a different gamemode when they talk about "Sandbox".

I think that then may be a problem with the way the question was asked. The question is so vague that some people are getting up and arms that this implies eliminating "sandbox style gameplay" and some are talking about a form of sandbox other sandbox players don't use, which misconstrues the "pro-sandbox" position.

@Pthigrivi :wink:

2 hours ago, Master39 said:

That's a problem with how badly designed science is, not a merit of sandbox.

I wasn't clear, but what I meant to say was not that I dislike it because of the particular way science mode works in KSP1, I just don't want to deal with tech trees or a grind at all.

I.e. I don't want to have to spend hours just to be able to use the NERV.

2 hours ago, Master39 said:

This is what "KSP2 shouldn't need sandbox" means, sandbox shouldn't be a shelter from terrible gamemodes, the gamemodes should be all equally well designed.

I don't think the use of sandbox as a shelter from the poor progression-based game modes is a problem pertaining to sandbox, it is a problem pertaining to those poorly designed game modes.

A KSP1 style sandbox existing in KSP2 would not detract from the other game modes in KSP2, only poor design choices for those other game modes would.

2 hours ago, Master39 said:

We don't know how exactly the colonies are going to work, but we know enough to paint a picture of the kind of gameplay the devs are building for them.

  • We know the population grows with something called "Boom events", that happen when you reach a new exploration achievement.
  • We know that there are colony tiers, starting with modules brought from outside in kits to be inflated/assembled at the colony all the way to using resources to build new colony parts to then being able to build a VAB and thus new rockets.
  • We know that there will be the automated supply runs.
  • Lastly, we've seen different technologies for power plants and powering colonies, suggesting a deeper gameplay element in that direction, the presence of a geothermal plant even suggesting that the system may be depending on the environment for what buildings you can build.

What all of that is telling us?

What all of this system is telling us about the progression gameplay overall? Especially once I throw in the fact that you will have to discover new solar systems with some telescope. Which is the only time they revealed anything about the science system and again it's something you do because you need the info you get, not some random abstract points.

Here to me lies the main potential problem with making a separate sandbox mode of any kind. KSP2 seems to be "De-abstracting" as many things as possible.

One thing I did not mention in my post was how the colonial VAB would work. In this case, I would see the mining of resources to build rocket parts for assembly in that VAB to be treated like fuel- just another physical constraint, not a progression mechanic.

So KSP1 style sandbox is still possible in KSP2. The only difference would be that solar systems would start automatically discovered and you would not need to find them. The other, of course, being no currencies or tech trees of any kind. All parts would be unlocked. In the orbital and Kerbin VABs, there would be unlimited access to these parts (assuming you don't need to mine resources on Kerbin itself to manufacture parts). At a colonial VAB, you would be required to mine resources to manufacture parts- just as you still need to fuel/refuel in sandbox in KSP1- but there wouldn't be any need to climb a tech tree, for example as long as you gather the required resources you could manufacture a NERV immediately without having to progress through any tech tree (assuming of course you have built the necessary manufacturing facilities).

The same works if in situ resources are required for producing colony segments.

I don't see environment affecting what can be built being particularly ground breaking from KSP1 sandbox. This would also be treated like a fuel- you just can't build X type of building somewhere in the incorrect environment in the same way you can't send a spacecraft lacking in delta v to whichever place you like.

2 hours ago, Master39 said:

Let me explain, in KSP1 career you had to grind an abstract resource (funds) by doing abstract contracts, yes, the rocket you launched where real, but the mission objective was not.

"Mine 500 Ore from EVE and transport it to Minmus" There's no entity requiring that, no reason to do it, nothing on Minmus using that ore.

But in KSP2 you will have a reason to mine, a reason to scan for resources, a reason to launch a telescope to search for other nearby solar systems, a number of mission to do to establish a real, working colony. With colony problems, rockets to launch to solve those problems and make it grow, become bigger and then, when it's big enough, become an assets in your further exploration by acquiring the ability of building and launching new missions from there.

It's the same gameplay loop of KSP1 contracts:

  • PROBLEM:
    • Contracts: You accept a random contract because you need the funds it rewards you to fund a new mission.
    • Colonies: You want to build a new colony because you need its capabilities in the form of exotic fuel production or a new launch center to enable a new mission.
  • SOLUTION:
    • Contracts: You design and launch a mission or a series of missions to perform the random task assigned you by the random contract.
    • Colonies: You design and launch a mission or a series of missions to perform the really working task of building the really working colony at the location you decided among all possible options.
  • REWARD:
    • Contracts: You can now forget the useless busy work the contract had you do, here's your fund, do one or two mission toward your actual goal.
    • Colonies: Your new colony is an active part of your working space infrastructure, the missions to build it part of the program that brings your exploration further, it's all so integrated there's almost no difference between the mission you make to explore and the ones you make to enable further exploration.

 

Even if the colony system is simple, even if it doesn't take all that much effort to set up a colony, even if the resources are all everywhere and you never need to set up long range resource transfers, even if it's all instantaneous as soon as you touch the ground with a "make a colony" module. Even in the worst case scenario colonies are going to be more involved and complex than contracts and are going to steal their place in the gameplay by fulfilling the same role but while being more integrated into the game.

KSP2 colonies are what KSP1 contracts pretended to be. Minus the abstraction.

IF contracts will return in KSP2 it will be in a completely different role in the gameplay, no longer the main driving force of progression but probably, if money is still a thing, something to throw hints to new players in the early game and help you fund something useful like a commnet network while also allowing you to farm little amounts of funds while you get your off-world automated farming of some valuable resource, good or service to sell back to Kerbin up and running.

 

What if colony building and their progression is  THE progression?

What if resource collecting to feed the colonies with parts and fuels is THE new, way less abstract, currency?

What would that mean for the difference between "Adventure mode" and Sandbox?

The difference is the presence of a tech tree. Even if it wasn't just arbitrary points being rewarded, many (including myself) just don't want to deal with a tech tree. We want to be able to build what we want when we want.

This of course assumes some form of points are still accrued to unlock different levels of the tech tree. On the other hand, utilizing colonies for progression could be even more restrictive in gameplay, because not only am I forced to do things to unlock a certain part, but I am now specifically forced to build a colony.

The entire tech tree itself could be regarded as arbitrary. Why do I have to wait so many levels to build an Orion drive when these things were proposed for construction and launch to happen in the 70s and 80s?

An example of how a grind can be annoying is in War Thunder. That game uses arbitrary points (research points) to unlock new aircraft. But even if the game was reworked to do something tangible like capturing objectives or hitting a certain target to unlock new things, people would still hate the grind. I think this could be applied universally across games with tech trees (although I am welcome to be corrected).

Some people don't want to deal with that sort of thing, no matter how meaningful/non-arbitrary it is.

That said, I am now leaning towards sandbox being a bit more of a cheat/option rather than a separate game mode. The way I see it has transformed, and now, for all intents and purposes it would just be the standard game mode but with the tech tree completely unlocked and solar systems visible.

So my view is now this. We don't need sandbox game mode, but we do need sandbox.

Instead of a cheat option though it might make more sense to place such an option in the realism settings menu when you start a new save.

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35 minutes ago, SunlitZelkova said:

I think that then may be a problem with the way the question was asked. The question is so vague that some people are getting up and arms that this implies eliminating "sandbox style gameplay" and some are talking about a form of sandbox other sandbox players don't use, which misconstrues the "pro-sandbox" position.

@Pthigrivi :wink:

I wasn't clear, but what I meant to say was not that I dislike it because of the particular way science mode works in KSP1, I just don't want to deal with tech trees or a grind at all.

I.e. I don't want to have to spend hours just to be able to use the NERV.

I don't think the use of sandbox as a shelter from the poor progression-based game modes is a problem pertaining to sandbox, it is a problem pertaining to those poorly designed game modes.

A KSP1 style sandbox existing in KSP2 would not detract from the other game modes in KSP2, only poor design choices for those other game modes would.

One thing I did not mention in my post was how the colonial VAB would work. In this case, I would see the mining of resources to build rocket parts for assembly in that VAB to be treated like fuel- just another physical constraint, not a progression mechanic.

So KSP1 style sandbox is still possible in KSP2. The only difference would be that solar systems would start automatically discovered and you would not need to find them. The other, of course, being no currencies or tech trees of any kind. All parts would be unlocked. In the orbital and Kerbin VABs, there would be unlimited access to these parts (assuming you don't need to mine resources on Kerbin itself to manufacture parts). At a colonial VAB, you would be required to mine resources to manufacture parts- just as you still need to fuel/refuel in sandbox in KSP1- but there wouldn't be any need to climb a tech tree, for example as long as you gather the required resources you could manufacture a NERV immediately without having to progress through any tech tree (assuming of course you have built the necessary manufacturing facilities).

The same works if in situ resources are required for producing colony segments.

I don't see environment affecting what can be built being particularly ground breaking from KSP1 sandbox. This would also be treated like a fuel- you just can't build X type of building somewhere in the incorrect environment in the same way you can't send a spacecraft lacking in delta v to whichever place you like.

The difference is the presence of a tech tree. Even if it wasn't just arbitrary points being rewarded, many (including myself) just don't want to deal with a tech tree. We want to be able to build what we want when we want.

This of course assumes some form of points are still accrued to unlock different levels of the tech tree. On the other hand, utilizing colonies for progression could be even more restrictive in gameplay, because not only am I forced to do things to unlock a certain part, but I am now specifically forced to build a colony.

The entire tech tree itself could be regarded as arbitrary. Why do I have to wait so many levels to build an Orion drive when these things were proposed for construction and launch to happen in the 70s and 80s?

An example of how a grind can be annoying is in War Thunder. That game uses arbitrary points (research points) to unlock new aircraft. But even if the game was reworked to do something tangible like capturing objectives or hitting a certain target to unlock new things, people would still hate the grind. I think this could be applied universally across games with tech trees (although I am welcome to be corrected).

Some people don't want to deal with that sort of thing, no matter how meaningful/non-arbitrary it is.

That said, I am now leaning towards sandbox being a bit more of a cheat/option rather than a separate game mode. The way I see it has transformed, and now, for all intents and purposes it would just be the standard game mode but with the tech tree completely unlocked and solar systems visible.

So my view is now this. We don't need sandbox game mode, but we do need sandbox.

Instead of a cheat option though it might make more sense to place such an option in the realism settings menu when you start a new save.

I agree with your point of view in all but in the fact that it seems to me you're presenting it as the only one.

"No tech tree = Sandbox" is not THE definition of Sandbox, it's just yours.

For someone else sandbox is entirely defined by the "Missing crew respawn"  setting (random example).

 

The only part I openly disagree is in making parallels between KSP Tech tree and War Thunder.

KSP Tech tree is just badly designed gameplay, the grind is incidental, it's the easiest way an inexperienced Dev implements progression.

War thunder tech tree is designed frustration, is meant to bore you, to make planes feel unobtainable, it's not gameplay, is a tentacle from the game to your wallet.

On one side you have inexperienced indie devs implementing things in an easy way, on the other you have engineers min-maxing the fine line between making the player quit the game and frustrating is just enough that he'll start to open the wallet instead and buy premium crap.

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9 hours ago, Master39 said:

I agree with your point of view in all but in the fact that it seems to me you're presenting it as the only one.

"No tech tree = Sandbox" is not THE definition of Sandbox, it's just yours.

For someone else sandbox is entirely defined by the "Missing crew respawn"  setting (random example).

True. In all likelihood though these could be easily implemented as options with the realism settings. If “sandbox” becomes an option in the settings menu at the start of a save instead of a selectable mode, other features pertaining to KSP1 sandbox could then appear as options once the sandbox setting is selected.

9 hours ago, Master39 said:

The only part I openly disagree is in making parallels between KSP Tech tree and War Thunder.

KSP Tech tree is just badly designed gameplay, the grind is incidental, it's the easiest way an inexperienced Dev implements progression.

War thunder tech tree is designed frustration, is meant to bore you, to make planes feel unobtainable, it's not gameplay, is a tentacle from the game to your wallet.

On one side you have inexperienced indie devs implementing things in an easy way, on the other you have engineers min-maxing the fine line between making the player quit the game and frustrating is just enough that he'll start to open the wallet instead and buy premium crap.

Also true. The point of the comparison was not to insinuate that in the KSP series any grindiness was/is deliberate or malicious (or may necessarily exist in KSP2), but that if it takes weeks or even days to get something it can be a turn off.

Even if it doesn’t feel “grindy” just having to wait at all can be a pain. No matter how engaging the gameplay I don’t want to wait two weeks to use the NERV and half a year to use a torch drive (if I so desire to use either of those immediately).

Are there better examples of a tech tree being implemented in a good way?

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