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What science would you like to see added?


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So I know there's lots of 'add moar science' threads already- but a lot of them seem to just say 'add moar science bits.' So I'm curious. What science do YOU want to see added?

Personally I'd love to see sample gathering. Air, Water, Soil... you know. Check for composition. Maybe even a way to 'see it under a microscope.' (you know, a static image that loads when you get a certain sample.) Be kinda cool, I think :) Anyone else?

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Mass spectrometry, stellar spectroscopy (i.e. absorption/emission spectra), sample mining (core samples, mineral/rock deposits, picking up that random stone over there that looks pretty...), weather equipment, etc.

Basically, I want it all :P

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I'd like to see an addition to the game where some parts are locked until you make some sort of research building to unlock the parts.

Is that actually 'science' though? I was thinking more science like... well, the sensors and such ideas above o.o

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In terms of more science-based parts/features/gameplay, I'd personally like to have the ability to determine each celestial body's chemical composition through statistical analysis of samples collected by probes/Kerbals. I wrote a tome about this a while back, but since it has been relegated to an archived thread, I figured I'll repost it here to seek feedback:

As may have been hinted by Squad in certain places, a resource system featuring sample collection / analysis / return as well as mining / processing / storage has been suggested for an as-yet undetermined future release of KSP. This would be an additional justification / goal for players to send spacecraft to other planets/moons (in addition to flying Jeb and his flag there, of course :D) - the ability to do real science.

While the actual implementation is still quite far off in the horizon, I figured I'd start a thread anyway detailing some of my ideas and musings, which could be potentially applicable to both the stock game and mods such as Kethane, Extraplanetary Space Centers and tek Industries Science.

What Squad has WIP'ed so far...

(Note that these may not necessarily represent the what Squad will ultimately implement - I've simply relinked them from the last known reddit thread for your viewing convenience)

My own musings...

Initial Surveying / Sampling

  • At the very beginning of a new savegame, players would immediately be able to view Kerbin's resource map for its surface, oceans and atmosphere, without needing to do any additional prospecting / science (I presume Kerbals would already know their home planet's composition well enough). Conversely, the resource map for other planets would initially be blank.
  • The scanner array(s) would be used to provide very rough surveys of other planets and moons from orbit - they would probably detect the presence of certain resources and locations where they are generally found, but little about their actual quantity / proportion / purity.
  • Ground-based robotic or crewed missions would be required to obtain better data through sample collection / statistical analysis missions
    • Units of rock, liquid and gas samples would be collected by Kerbals on EVA or dedicated robotic arms
      • Rock samples provide data for surface makeup
      • Liquid samples provide data for ocean makeup (or additionally, underground crude oil-like substances such as the namesake of the Kethane mod)
      • Gas samples provide data for atmospheric makeup

      [*]Each sample obtained would contain differing proportions of selected substances found on that planet/moon

      • The rationale for this is that one does not simply have samples purely made up of whatever
      • Sample #005 may contain 45% Metaxium / 10% Blutonium / 30% Alium / 14% Kerbon / 1% UNKNOWN SUBSTANCE 06
      • Sample #021 may contain 67% Metaxium / 30% Zanotite / 3% UNKNOWN SUBSTANCE 02

      [*]The more samples one gathers, the more accurate the final resource map for that planet would be

      [*]"Known" resources are those that are already also found on Kerbin - it is enough to simply identify them and the proportion present in each sample

      [*]"Unknown" or "Rare" resources are those that are not found on Kerbin - a sample return mission is required so that Kerbal scientists back home can properly study it

      • Once sample(s) containing unknown substance(s) is/are successfully returned, new resource names are automatically added to the resource map list
      • e.g. UNKNOWN SUBSTANCE 06 will automatically be renamed to Jebedynium, for instance

Prospecting / Mining / Processing / Storing Resources

  • A combination of orbital scanning and ground sampling would be used to determine which sites give the best purity for whatever resource the player is interested in mining
  • Resources would be mined via various parts
    • Certain part types would limit where resources could be obtained
      • Drills acquire solid resources from the surface
      • Drills with pump attachments acquire liquids from below the surface (again, think Kethane)
      • Pumps acquire resources from oceans
      • Intakes acquire resources from the atmosphere

      [*]Parts of the same type would be able to mine all types resources found in their specific region, and differ only in extraction rate and efficiency

      • i.e. Pumps PX-100 and PX-200 are able to acquire the same resources, but the PX-200 works twice as fast

    [*]Refiners would be able to purify solids into any mineral-based resource desired

    [*]Chemical processors would be able to purify any liquids or gases desired

    [*]Bulk and fluid storage tanks are able to store any proportion / type of refined solids and liquids respectively (e.g. any combo of minerals can go into one bulk storage tank)

Using Resources

  • Liquids and gases can be used to fuel rockets or supply life support systems (similar to Kethane)
  • Minerals or metals can be used to fabricate basic spacecraft components such as fuselages and fuel tanks (like the "ore" used in Extraplanetary Space Centers)
  • Rare resources would most likely be semi-conductor like minerals used for making more hi-tech components such as SAS, command pod instruments
    • May also reduce the cost / weight & increase the performance of basic components

    [*]Refined resources can be flown back to Kerbin - if resources are involved in career mode, this could be a source of financial revenue / means of replenishing part stocks

...And how to potentially implement them (from a code perspective)

Initial Surveying / Sampling

  • The resources map proportions for each planet and moon are actually predetermined and hard-coded into KSP itself.
  • A proposed resources.cfg for each savegame would contain:
    • An initial seed for the random deposits location/quantity generation (sharing seeds results in identical deposit locations)
    • Resource names and proportions available on each planet / moon (initially blank - populated through gameplay)
    • Deposit locations / purity (initially blank - populated through gameplay)

    [*]When players start with simple orbital scans of various planets and moons, the persistence file is updated to store the names of the resources found on said planet/moon, along with a quantity of 0%

    • This would be displayed in-game as "present" i.e. Kerbon - present

    [*]When players collect physical rock/liquid/gas samples:

    • The presence and proportions of resources are NOT stored on a per-sample basis (massive data overhead!)
    • Rather, Kerbals on EVA and robot samplers would simply have a incremented "SampleCount" up to their "MaxSampleCapacity"

    [*]When these samples are offloaded into analysis parts:

    • The code simply loops through the the number of samples deposited
    • For each sample/loop iteration, dummy variables are used to temporary hold resource names and quantities
    • The composition of each sample is randomly generated, but strongly determined by the hard-coded proportions for each planet
      • e.g. Assume Duna is hard coded to have 75% Metaxium on its surface
      • Therefore any given rock sample is more likely to mostly contain Metaxium
      • The actual quantity of Metaxium returned as outpost from any particular sample may actually be anywhere between, say 25% to 50%

      [*]The results for each sample are averaged out and written back to resources.cfg map, as the "actual" resources map proportion for each planet/moon

      • i.e. only the final running average for the whole planet/moon is stored

      [*]The more samples one collects, the closer the savegame's data tends towards the hard-coded ideal values

    [*]Example:

    • At the start of the savegame, nothing is known about the Mun's composition
    • Internally in KSP, the Mun may have hardcoded resource proportions of 10% A, 20% B, 30% C and 40% D
    • When a player scans the Mun, resources A, B, C and D will be detected but their quantities will be unknown
      • i.e. A - present, B - present, C - present, D - present

      [*]When a player analyses their first rock sample, the random number generator may assign said sample as having 70% A, 20% B and 10% D

      • Mun Resources map is now updated to A - 70%, B - 20%, C - present, D - 10%
      • Obviously this is grossly inaccurate compared to the overall hardcoded figure, but remember that we've only taken one sample

      [*]By rock sample #025, the figures might get averaged out to:

      • A - 12%, B - 18%, C - 33%, D - 37%
      • Basically, the more samples we take, the closer we tend towards the "ideal" hardcoded proportions

Prospecting / Mining / Processing / Storing Resources

  • Improved orbital scans would result in deposit locations/quantities/purities being written to the resources.cfg savefile (much like kethane's own kethane.cfg)
  • Deposit quantities would limit how much resources can be extracted before the deposit runs out
  • Deposit purities would determine the extraction rate for any extractor part
  • Processing efficiencies would further influence the amount of purified resource actually obtained
  • Storage is already implemented in-game

As usual, thoughts and critiques are appreciated.

Edited by sumghai
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In terms of more science-based parts/features/gameplay, I'd personally like to have the ability to determine each celestial body's chemical composition through statistical analysis of samples collected by probes/Kerbals. I wrote a tome about this a while back, but since it has been relegated to an archived thread, I figured I'll repost it here to seek feedback:

Wow, pretty amazing. Blown away. You tome that is.

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One thing I'd really like is spectrometers and radiation detection equipment.

I thought they said they weren't going to add life on other planets- wouldn't exobiology be null? Or is that specifically aliens as in 'green dudes?'

... er, other green dudes.

I've asked a few staff that question before, none seem to be sure what was meant by "no aliens" though they didn't make the decision so that's expected. I'm not sure who did make the decision.

I agree that finding some form of life would be really cool though.

Edited by That guy who builds stuff
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Add a purpose to all antennas that the game already has.

If we add some sensor like temperature or pressure it will like to see its corresponding gadget to indicate the values.

Also other instruments already mentioned to measure rocks or to find micro organism.

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I really like everything in that flow chart of resources. Was that actually something they posted themselves? I would love to see everything in that flow chart in the game someday and they even mention water being used for life support...it's like every little thing in that flow chart is something I want in KSP...hopefully they add food and oxygen in addition to water for life support with a couple different ways to generate each. Could have just storage tanks for food, water and oxygen in the beginning...or just x amount of each for crew-able parts, since they've already got labeled compartments for such things. But then, you'd have recyclers, purifiers and little kerbal gardens that get better as you research more advanced technologies(maybe just three or four levels of such things).

Would be very good, I think...make a planetary base really feel alive with all of that stuff going on. Hopefully they add bigger and smaller drills and refineries as well as more varied scanning methods with surface missions yielding the most accurate and reliable results.

Aside from that, I'm still wanting this encyclopedia thing someone suggested oh so long ago to be the backbone of KSP's science. Starting with just a few fuzzy images of Kerbin, Kerbol, Mun and maybe Minmus too, you'd have to discover other encyclopedia entries for planets by using the observatory. The entries would be really low-res and out-of-focus images of distant planets like Duna or Jool with simple, maybe even comical descriptions for them. Then, after sending a telescope into orbit, you can get much more clear and zoomed-in pictures of those distant bodies. Sending probes would reveal even better pictures with basic scientific data to fill in the descriptions. Finally, sending ground probes or even kerbonauts with various scientific experiments they'd be able to perform(even if it's just right clicking a part and watching it do something small) to the surface would give you the final descriptions and images of the planet or moon. Couple this encyclopedia with the KSP museum they mentioned that one time to show off your achievements, crafts and things...I feel like science and discovery would be a very captivating part of KSP's career mode.

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In terms of more science-based parts/features/gameplay, I'd personally like to have the ability to determine each celestial body's chemical composition through statistical analysis of samples collected by probes/Kerbals. I wrote a tome about this a while back, but since it has been relegated to an archived thread, I figured I'll repost it here to seek feedback:

That looks great!

Only thing I could suggest is: the ability to include various instruments like those on some of the famous remote unmanned probes would be neat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_10#Scientific_instruments

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_1#Scientific_instruments

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Horizons#Mission_science

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I really like everything in that flow chart of resources. Was that actually something they posted themselves?

Yes. It was a screenshot of the mind map that HarvesteR and Novasilisko created sometime last year IIRC. Unfortunately HarvesteR has stated (on one of the livestreams, and maybe on a post somewhere if someone wants to track it down) that they'll be going with a much simplified version because of "suspension issues", whatever that means.

Caveat: Squad reserves the right to change their mind about anything at any time, for any reason.

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I'd like to see cameras. (I know there are mods but that doesn't mean you can't make it stock)

Also, perhaps a general "chemical analysis" instrument for rocks and liquid. It may need someone to make up fictitious elements (like kethane) though.

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All very good suggestions. Having all this "stuff" would be very cool. What would be more interesting is to have a method of recording and storing this data, maybe in a new KSC building? A place to look at the data collected during missions, photos (radio and optical telescopes), etc. Inclusion in the careers update?

I know there is a couple mods that allows for science data export/saving, but don't know if they are current.

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