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Developer Insights #15 - Writing for Kerbal Space Program


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5 minutes ago, Anth12 said:

I sometimes see a specific writers of episodes for TV shows. I am pretty sure that the writer of the episode is actually the one who came up with the initial script, then there would have been a lot of meetings after that to hone it to its final product.

Its good to hear that you are in an team atmosphere like that.

Its not exactly the same but collaboration like that makes me think of the phrase Practice Makes Perfect but on a much higher level when others are added into the process, especially when everyone is wanting the product to be the best it can be.

It's a lot like that. But not quite so many meetings as a TV show (I hope). 

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14 minutes ago, theJesuit said:

That is what the pistons are for.  The explosion occurs and energy momentum is absorbed by the plate at the back.  The pistons are like shock absorbers.  Think of them as an elevator (lift) that works really hard to keep you still by moving the car up and down if a giant lifted the whole building and started shaking it vertically.

Totally... as that shockwave hits the plate ideally its going to depress through the first half of the energy and then push back against the second half (or not quite half cause pulse dissipates?) but whenever I see them firing it doesn't look like the pulses are close enough together to make the acceleration constant, like the force would be dampened but still lurching and variable? Like wouldn't the detonations need to happen like right on top of each other?

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18 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

Totally... as that shockwave hits the plate ideally its going to depress through the first half of the energy and then push back against the second half (or not quite half cause pulse dissipates?) but whenever I see them firing it doesn't look like the pulses are close enough together to make the acceleration constant, like the force would be dampened but still lurching and variable? Like wouldn't the detonations need to happen like right on top of each other?

The idea is that the pushed plate takes the full impulse of the bomb and spreads it out over a much longer time period. Maybe at the extreme, the pusher plate would still be receiving force while it is extending back, but more likely the bomb stops exerting force before the pusher plate makes it even halfway to the main craft.

If the plate was just a simple spring, it would exert more force when it was more compressed and less force while it was less compressed, making the acceleration... unpleasant. But it can be engineered to exert a pretty constant amount of force at any point in its compression, although this might require some motors or something. However, you are right that the bombs need to happen pretty frequently, as the next bomb needs to hit the pusher plate before it reaches maximum extension, or the entire ship will lurch and probably have a bad time structurally. 

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27 minutes ago, whatsEJstandfor said:

Why do you think it's stupid?

Let's see. Springboarding off of a nearby nuclear explosion once or twice a second? While utilizing how much of total energy of said explosion? Original concept tried to get around the issue by having a "cigar-shaped" nuclear explosions, which is... if you have the kind of tech required to contain this amount of energy, why not make it cone-shaped (or even better vectored) and use most of the resulting impulse? Orion reeks of typical delusions of an era when cars were shaped as rocket ships (or as public thought rocket ships should be shaped) and entrepreneurs imagined (and defrauded investors using ideas of) nuclear cars, trains, planes - nuclear everything (of which only sensible ideas survived and got to fruition, like subs and ships).

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2 hours ago, Just Jim said:

I'm not sure I understand which science blurb text you mean. The experiments?

yeah when you run an experiment you get a small "blurb" of text describing something about what happened or the data collected for example the classic "It seems we are very much in space right now. The sky seems to be mostly below us." on a low kerbin orbit crew report, in ksp1 while many of the experiments had text for them there are many holes where it defaults to things like "You've recorded your observations about the situation.", personally i loved the system in ksp1(even more so with the mod "Crowd Sourced Science" as it spiced up and expanded biome/planet support) and was wondering if we would see something like this returning or being expanded upon in 2?

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16 minutes ago, Violet said:

yeah when you run an experiment you get a small "blurb" of text describing something about what happened or the data collected for example the classic "It seems we are very much in space right now. The sky seems to be mostly below us." on a low kerbin orbit crew report, in ksp1 while many of the experiments had text for them there are many holes where it defaults to things like "You've recorded your observations about the situation.", personally i loved the system in ksp1(even more so with the mod "Crowd Sourced Science" as it spiced up and expanded biome/planet support) and was wondering if we would see something like this returning or being expanded upon in 2?

Yes, we are expanding on these as well as trying to keep them "Kerbal" sounding. it's something I'm already working hard on... and having a lot of fun with.
One thing I think I can safely say is in KSP1 is some of the experiments repeated themselves a lot. The barometer is a great example. In low orbit it would read something along the lines of "The readings are zero, almost as if it was in a vacuum." Great joke, but it repeats the same thing in orbit of any celestial body.
But in KSP2 each and every experiment "result" will be new and different and unique to the location and situation and type of experiment. And Kerbal sounding...  :valhappy: :happy:

Edited by Just Jim
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15 minutes ago, Violet said:

Very good to hear! im sure the shear number of experiment results must be a massive amount of work, thank you!

There are a lot, yes. I really don't have a number off-hand. Lots and lots... 
But each celestial body is different, and it's already been said in our past videos that we're ramping up a few CB's in the Kerbol system to be more interesting. So I've got a lot of good material to work with, and that makes things a lot easier, as well as fun.  

Edited by Just Jim
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1 hour ago, Pgabrielmnecraft said:

I think its cuz of the radiation of the bombs, well, at least i like this engine, has an good purpose

The pusher plate fixes that.

54 minutes ago, J.Random said:

Let's see. Springboarding off of a nearby nuclear explosion once or twice a second? While utilizing how much of total energy of said explosion? 

Are you saying they aren't efficient enough? Because they're already so much better than liquid fuel rockets that it does not matter. Are you saying the acceleration would kill humans? Because it wouldn't (refer to: "Pusher plate fixes that").

55 minutes ago, J.Random said:

Orion reeks of typical delusions of an era when cars were shaped as rocket ships (or as public thought rocket ships should be shaped) and entrepreneurs imagined (and defrauded investors using ideas of) nuclear cars, trains, planes - nuclear everything (of which only sensible ideas survived and got to fruition, like subs and ships).

Orion drives are much more efficient than standard rockets and were only prevented from prevailing because of a treaty. Rather, what you said is very much reminiscent of what someone would say when they are used to frauds such as Elon Musk trying to reinvent public transport in a privatised matter. No, the Orion drive does not do anything like that. It is extremely efficient and is not just "liquid fuel rockets but different".

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This definitely isnt intended but the name "atomic fusion" makes me wonder if there will be a drive that uses thermonuclear bombs to have a good mix of volume density and low weight, a fusion of fission and well, fusion (perhaps as a precursor to full on fusion drives?). Anyways I think Jebediah's Junkyard descriptions should just have a lot of very insufferable puns in there.  Also I personally hope theres some minor storylines going on between multiple descriptions, some manufacturers that just make cheaper and cheaper stuff before they just stop showing up, the names of two manufacturers eventually merging, one manufacturer that keeps renaming itself an annoying amount of times, etc. 

Edited by Strawberry
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Writing aside, this thread brought up an interesting thing that should be noted.

We're still having experiments. Which creates tons of questions that probably can't be answered now. But since the science system is reworked, I hope we won't have to clutter our craft with dozen of different parts only to get some experiment results from a funky rock. Then these results have to be used as something to develop new technology in one way or another, and I hope it's not "you got x amount of sciencies from these experiments which will be used in our lab to develop new tech" because that's still very much KSP1 science system.

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5 hours ago, Intercept Games said:

So I decided to start my own fan-fiction story “The Saga of Emiko Station”.

Wait... did you also write Mirror?  I love that movie and have re-watched it multiple times.  It has better writing than most blockbusters.

It's great to know that there will be some extra attention given to the in-game descriptions and lore.  There will always be a subset of players that read every codex entry in games and obsess over every detail.  Hopefully we'll get some unique science descriptions for visiting new biomes/planets as a motivator to explore (assuming a science system similar to KSP1).

Also, please make a sequel to Mirror - I want to know if the crew made it home.

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7 minutes ago, The Aziz said:

Writing aside, this thread brought up an interesting thing that should be noted.

We're still having experiments. Which creates tons of questions that probably can't be answered now. But since the science system is reworked, I hope we won't have to clutter our craft with dozen of different parts only to get some experiment results from a funky rock. Then these results have to be used as something to develop new technology in one way or another, and I hope it's not "you got x amount of sciencies from these experiments which will be used in our lab to develop new tech" because that's still very much KSP1 science system.

I really can't say any more on this subject than I already have, sorry. 
 

7 minutes ago, poopslayer78 said:

Wait... did you also write Mirror?  I love that movie and have re-watched it multiple times.  It has better writing than most blockbusters.

No, but I am a really big fan. 
It was made by @Oraldo revak , the talented genius that turned my Emiko Station into an amazing 2 part movie. I am a really big fan of all his work!

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13 minutes ago, The Aziz said:

I hope we won't have to clutter our craft with dozen of different parts only to get some experiment results from a funky rock.

Why not? It's not like Curiosity had a swiss army thermometer instead of a bulky assembly designed for analysing dust.

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10 minutes ago, The Aziz said:

We're still having experiments. Which creates tons of questions that probably can't be answered now. But since the science system is reworked, I hope we won't have to clutter our craft with dozen of different parts only to get some experiment results from a funky rock.

Considering from the sounds of things theres going to be a lot of additional science parts and due to this Im pretty sure they're going to add a lot of qol features for science like racks for the smaller experiments and preset hotkeys to do a bunch of experiments in bulk and things like that. Anyways while understandably I dont think we will get confirmation on this Im willing to bet how the science system will work is you unlock new things to research through going places/doing stuff but you gain science points through experiments and colonies.

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1 minute ago, Dr. Kerbal said:

tea went up my nose when i read this

There are hundreds of parts in KSP1, and I doubt I've used a third of them ever. A game this heavily invested in the editors needs a lot of freedom to imagine.

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1 hour ago, Bej Kerman said:

Orion drives are much more efficient than standard rockets and were only prevented from prevailing because of a treaty. Rather, what you said is very much reminiscent of what someone would say when they are used to frauds such as Elon Musk trying to reinvent public transport in a privatised matter. No, the Orion drive does not do anything like that. It is extremely efficient and is not just "liquid fuel rockets but different".

There is a negative to be said about subjecting a pusher plate to so much stress over a prolonged period of time. A quick fix is to turn the plate into a sail instead, like Medusa.
That being said, efficiency losses with rocket engines are not new. Dude's really complaining about engines not being 100% efficient at all times like that's the norm.

Hell, Vista (See image below) only uses 25% of the potential fusion energy released for thrust due how it is designed, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

VwX7VbX.jpg

Edited by intelliCom
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4 minutes ago, intelliCom said:

Dude's really complaining about engines not being 100% efficient at all times like that's the norm.

On that note, the most energy you could hope to extract from matter is ~40% of the mass, using a black hole. Yeah, from that perspective all engines are bad.

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12 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

On that note, the most energy you could hope to extract from matter is ~40% of the mass, using a black hole. Yeah, from that perspective all engines are bad.

Well heat engines to be precise as a result of the Carnot limit. Engines based on things like chemical conversion to electricity don’t have that issue. 

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