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So long, KSP, and thanks for all the memories...

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With the imminent arrival of KSP2, I think it's time to reflect on the fun, shenanigans, headaches, and adventures we've all had along the way...

My first interaction with KSP was actually before it was even really public. I remember back in, oh, late 2010 or so when HarversteR came onto the Orbiter Forums and started sharing his new project: a funny little spaceflight game where you build your rocket from parts and then fly it. Needless to say, on a forum dedicated to a much more hardcore spaceflight sim, we all viewed it with some curiosity and encouraged him to press on. I looked at it, thought it was kinda eh, and went back to wrestling with my beloved Orbiter.

For those who don't know of Orbiter, I can't say I blame you. It's a fairly niche product. Full n-body simulations, fully to scale solar system... and none of the flexibility in designing ships, planes, rockets, etc, that KSP has. It's the passion project of a single man in England, and only gets updated every couple years. (2010 to 2016 was the last update gap that I paid any attention to.) It's a proper simulator, like Microsoft Flight Simulator or Digital Combat Simulator, especially with projects like the aforementioned XR family or the G42-200.


But, I finally dipped my toes into the KSP party in December 2011, with (I believe) V0.12 being my introduction. I downloaded it onto a flash drive and played it on the computers at college instead of doing homework. :blush: (And yes, it was small enough to do that kind of stuff back then.) Those early days where we had only the sandbox, Kerbin, the Mun, and the Three Brothers. No tutorials, no fancy plugins, not even multiple flights at once. Lessons learned from hard experience were shared in the forums, and were taken to heart. Some, like how to properly escape the soup of an atmosphere we had back then, have largely fallen to the wayside as irrelevant. Others, like the rule of thumb for flying to the Mun ("The Munway opens at Munrise"), still hold true to this day, and I occasionally lean on them, even in the days of MechJeb, maneuver nodes, etc. Something to be said for that kind of simple, seat of the pressure suit flying, ya know?


And then 0.14 hit. And hoo boy, what a difference. Multiple flights at once, and all new Kerbals! Persistence! We could do rendezvous missions, but that was about it. No docking, no EVA. But hey, you could land on the Mun next to the ship you crashed. That's a rescue, right? :wink: Plugins became a thing. First iterations of autopilots like MechJeb cropped up, as well as ones long since forgotten. (Anyone remember Lazor Guidance? :rolleyes:) I definitely remember an early plugin for hunting monoliths and such... an AWACS rotodome with a two-color light to tell you if you were travelling towards and anomaly, or away. Simple, but effective. And the parts packs mods back then... I think the legacy of only a few live on. C7 plane parts started out as a mod before they rolled them into the stock game, iirc, and Firespitter still lives on in a much updated form, but beyond that... things like NovaPunch, one of the classic packs back then? Gone. I don't know if many of those early mods and plugins survive anywhere anymore, as we shared them on the forums directly back then. No SpaceDock or CurseForge or CKAN available.  And after The Great Forum Derp of 2012... well, lots of that stuff got lost.


After that, things seem to kinda blur together. EVAs, the rest of the Kerbol system, docking, tutorials, rovers, probes, electricity, communications, asteroids, ion engines, Science, career mode, banishment of the soup atmosphere... Everything came together to make the core of the game we came to know and love.

And then, the much awaited V1.0 hit. Much celebration from the community. We got ISRU, reentry heating, all new Kerbals (again!), fairings, and a whole lot of fun. (Especially with ISRU. You didn't need to get a mod to refuel your Jool 5 mission anymore!) It was a glorious time. The community was going full tilt. Challenges, missions and exploits being shared, cooperative saves... All of that had been present before, but now it took on a whole new level of energy.


Which was good, as the pace of updates slowed down moving on from 1.0. Less tinkering with core mechanics at a rapid pace, and more methodical, well tested updates. New parts, new capabilities, new functions, all introduced with great success and much appreciation from the community. Parachutes for Kerbals? I can't imagine KSP without those personal 'chutes anymore, tbh. literally game changing. EVA Construction? Definitely a case of the community inspiring the devs to make their own version. (KAS/KIS is a staple of mine ever since it got introduced, and it actually pairs quite well with the stock version.)  Fireworks? Oh, man. Not gonna lie, I made a few attempts at Orion drives with them and holy cow was that fun while it lasted. Robotics? Another community inspiration, and I'd almost argue better than the mod that inspired it. I certainly have made good use of the robotics on many an occasion.


Through all of this, though, the community has been the heart and soul of the game. Between the diversity of mods available, the challenges we pose to each other, the missions we share to inspire others, and the help we give to those who are staring at a learning curve that seems insurmountable... We're always there for each other. And I can't thank all of you enough for that.


Now, as we prepare for the arrival of the successor to our beloved booster burning, Jeb launching, Kraken summoning game, I ask all of you...  what are your favorite memories from the OG KSP?

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My first time playing was in 2016 (Yeah, I know, pretty late, huh?) And I instantly fell in love with the game. It had everything I had ever wanted in a space flight game, and I haven't stopped playing since. With KSP2 coming out, I am definitely exited, but like many, I will never say goodbye to such a wonderful game, and I encourage the Devs to keep working on what has motivated my to the point, that now Im going to college to get in the space flight industry! I didn't even want to go to college! This game is needed to plant the seedlings of wanting to learn in the minds of children these days. This game let me express what I want to learn about, what I want to do, let me make my own choices, learn from my mistakes, and have fun! We need these games to learn, to experience, to grow! This game has done more for me than most schools or books, even people! I dont think that the Devs understand what they have accomplished, or what they mean, but if they read this, Thank you for all your work, effort, and patience. I hope that all of you understand what a big difference you make, even if it is just a game, because I can almost grantee that there are many more like me.

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I found KSP on Google in 2014 when I was looking for a full-sized sim at local airports to keep my currency since my local FBO was closing down due to the owner getting sick (RIP :( ).


The lack of realism in planes is infuriating so, I tend to skip the plane missions in Career starts.


I look forward to KSP2 and hope to dust off the sim yoke if aero flight has been fixed.

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I remember, many years ago, my nephew posting something on social media about sending a mission to the moon in KSP that ended up failing in spectacular fashion.  At the time, I had never heard anything about the game.

A few years later, I noticed that it had appeared on the PSN store as an "Enhanced Edition".  I looked at the trailer and screenshots and passed on it because it just looked kinda "meh" at face value.

Man was I wrong.  I ended up getting it on a whim in June of 2019, mainly because my nephew had enjoyed the game, and immediately fell in love with it as I started playing.  I have always had a love of spacecraft, the universe, and everything we do and don't know about it, and was now living vicariously through Jeb and his peers.

The learning curve was steep (and the tutorial system left a lot to be desired), but the return on investment has been some of the most rewarding gaming experiences of my lifetime (and I have been gaming since 1978 on many different platforms).  First orbit, first rendezvous, first docking ... all met with an enthusiastic "Yes!!" and a fist pump.

KSP Enhanced Edition on PS4 has been a rollercoaster of emotions.  I remember my first "successful" Mun landing.  It was a tall, thin lander that ended up touching down on a slope, toppling over, and beginning to slide into a crater .... which hilariously unlocked the "Mun Rover, Mun Rover" trophy in true Kerbal fashion;

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Then there was the time Valentina got some tourists stranded on the Mun because I didn't have a strong handle on Delta-V requirements yet.  Her craft wasn't equipped with a docking port, so I had to get really creative with the rescue mission.  I ended up outfitting a lander with a Klaw on the bottom and, after much effort and RCS shenanigans (which were compounded by my lack of understanding of the navball), was able to land on top of Val's craft and refuel it enough to get her and the tourists home.

My first actual rover landing on the Mun was right out of the X Games.  I brought it up in an Mk3 cargo bay on a probe vessel.  I slowed down enough that the craft was vertically oriented with a slight descent, and opened the cargo bay.  The staging was set up so that when the rover was decoupled, sepratrons on the vessel pulled the cargo bay clear and allowed the rover to freefall.  The rover had a tiny engine (Ant?) and some RCS, and I was able to orient it in such a manner that it landed onto the slope of a crater like dropping into a half pipe.  From there it was riding on a prayer to remain as straight as possible as it slowed down naturally to the point where I could safely turn and come to a stop;

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I have since then built a KR-71 Kerbalbird MkII jet, and successfully flown it into orbit, built a stock replica of a B-52 Stratofortress that I ... er, Bob used to carpet bomb the KSC, launched a 12 vessel simultaneous expedition to the Jool system (I didn't want to wait for another transfer window, so I launched them all in succession) to establish an orbital refueling operation there, and stranded Sonkin Kerman, who would become the legendary objective of many failed rescue attempts, on the surface of Eve;

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This is where the heartbreak comes in.  I lost all of that because the save system on console versions of the game (specifically PS4) is absolute dogexcrements.  It autosaves the persistent file during screen transitions from one area of the game to the next (or at least that's what appears to be happening), such as leaving the tracking station to go back to the KSC.  This is unfortunately also when the game is most likely to crash, resulting in corruption of the persistent save file.  Since all the quicksave files for your career can't be accessed individually outside of the game, that career becomes unplayable.  This is still occurring in 2023.  The only way I have been avoiding losing another career save is by backing the file up to the PS cloud storage upon normal shutting down of the game application.  That way, when a crash corrupts the save, I just download the uncorrupted file from the cloud, and lose the last session instead of the entire career.  It's not ideal, but it's better than losing everything.

I recently tackled a Moho landing and return to Kerbin to unlock the platinum trophy for the game, which was tremendously satisfying.  I also built my version of the NASA space shuttle and launched it into orbit without ever opening the map screen.  I haven't been able to gracefully land the shuttle yet, but I did land it;

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I have a massive spaceship that I constructed in orbit around Kerbin, that involved several multi-port docking maneuvers.  This ship will likely never see action, primarily because we still don't have EVA construction and I can't add much needed structural supports.  I still love this game, and always challenge myself with new goals.  I just wish the console version hadn't been left in the dust.  We're still on 1.10;

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I'll edit this post once I find the associated screenshots and pictures related to the above adventures (if there are any).

Edited by Demordrah
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