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Dangers of Space 2

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I while back I posted a thread suggesting to add a feature to the game that would increase the challange of traveling long distances thrue space. I talked about radiation, micro meteorites that could complicate a mission if you don't take them into account before starting your journey.

But now with the R&D protion of the game along with the tech tree and the science portion of the game being realized, I think I found a better way to implement this. Instead of random accidents and errors that the player can't really prevent, how about this:


I can imagine that the first few missions in your career (at least I imagine so) would be to launch up into orbit sattalites and scientific equipment to get a picture of your place in the solar system.

Now with these sattalites you can scan the skies for, well anything I imagine. Moons, planets, asteroids (if they ever get implemented). But also for instance clouds of high radiation of high density of micro meteroids. Now with this information you could map out the solar system into area's of high risk and low risk. Meaning that if you for instance are planning to travel to Jool one day you might encounter one of these "clouds" or area's of high risk.

STEP 2: Now you have three choices:

- Do I go balls to the walls kerbal style and just go for it? (Jeb playstyle)

- Do I wait for an oppertunity to bypass this area, a launch window so to speak. (Bill playstyle)

- Do I buy expensive new protective technology which will allow me to wander savely into this area but is a greater fiinancial risk. (Bob playstyle)

Now there is a chance that you make it relitively unharmed if you go Jeb, you could make this assumption on the data you have gathered. But if you go Bill or Bob you know for sure you won't be harmed.


Now that you've got three diffrent playstyles, you can devide unlocks on the tech tree (and other rewardsystems to come) based on those playstyles.

- Jeb will get you better engines and more boosters, and newer cockpits etc.

- Bill will get you better scanning and scientific equipment, which will in term increase revenue because you are also laying an infrastructure for communications.

- Bob will get you other technologies like lifesupport and protective systems and structural parts.

Ofcourse these dangers of space shouldn't bug you right from the beginning, you should get a chance to at least get some kerbals and some sattalites in orbit. But maybe it could be dynamic. Meaning that no two savegames will likely ever have the same map, and these clouds could be influenced by all the planets over time.

This is just an idea to make interplanetairy travel a bit more exciting and part of the game, rather than just a tedious wait.

It could add a difficulty factor to the game for people who want a real challange, and for the people who want less of a challange mayb and option to turn it off.

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This is a very well thought out idea. I do like some of your points (mapping high/low risk area's and deciding whether to traverse them, with a pucker factor of 100!) and how it would affect the game.

However, the Dev's have already stated that they have no plans to implement anything into the game from a "difficulty" perspective, and this sound very much like it.

However, however.... :D Similar to the Kerbtown mod, a mod that introduced something like this would be epic beyond belief. "We do it because it's hard"! Giving the choice to the player to install and try to beat. In this case, oh hell yeah!


Edited by LeadMagnet
FFS = Fat Finger Syndrome
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A mod could be an idea too, but I guess we'll also have to wait and see which direction the game is gonna take in terms of campagin features. Because it might end up that this doesn't really fit in the final version of the game.

However if someone were to take on this idea right now it could make its way into the final release in my opinion. Im no good at coding, at least not yet. neither do I really have the time or the recources to undertake such a project.

But thats why I posted it here, in my opinion anybody is allowed to take this concept and try to realise it.

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There was a discussion some weeks ago about introducing an asteroid belt into the game. While this isn't exactly the same, it is similar. Inserting new objects into the games orbital mechanics.

I do have the coding skills, but my graphics skills suck (actually, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being a suck, I'm a 1). I've been giving the asteroid idea some thought and trials. But, a regionally loaded mod, in certain sectors of the kerbol system, designed to kill you!?....

I think I just shorted out my keyboard drooling on it!! :P

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I heard the KSP dev's say like this once: "we don't like the idea of random space danger in KSP cause then the player won't be able do anything to avoid them". I admit i agree with them. KSP gameplay is about choices, reflexion and finding solution, not luck. Giving the choice to the player is always the best solution for this kind of gameplay. So this is a great idea but (there is always a but):

Is jeb playstyle choice is a real choice? Actually, as time doesn't mean nothing in the actual gameplay why would the player take risks when they can timewarp and avoid them. Because its long and boring? I think its not a good answer.

It give us different type of gameplay with Jeb's choice and it depends on how random are your random elements :

FULL RANDOMNESS (bad cause player can re-roll the dices to cheat):

Player choice:

"Anyway, i decide to go jeb style and take the risk > Boom, my ship explode in deep space, 3 dead Kermans > quick load, lets try again. > this time i survived, no damage."

Player thoughts:

"lol "; "that was easy rolf"; "i beated you, gamedesigner!"; "danger is no so stressful in this game"


MEDIUM FATAL RANDOMNESS (bad, because even if the player can't cheat here, a random and fatal constraint can be frustrating as the player can be stuck in a bad position because of his unawareness)

Player choices:

"Anyway, i decide to go jeb style and take the risk > I survived, no damage."

Player thoughts:

"I guess i have been lucky"; "that was stressful"

-Later in the game -

Player choice:

"Anyway, i decide to go jeb style and take the risk (again) > Boom, my ship explode in deep space, 3 dead Kermans > quick load, lets try again. > Boom, my ship explode in deep space, 3 dead Kermans.

Player thoughts:

"Damn there is a real a real game constraint here."; "It worked last time and now i have my ship in Kerbin orbit and i spent 3 hours to design it and get it there"; "now i'm stuck"; "I won't do that again";

"Lets wait and do it Bob or Bill style, Jeb style a a too risky choice"


NO RANDOMNESS (good, cause player is aware of what he is doing and the repercutions his choices will have)

Player choice :

"Anyway, i decide to go jeb style but i don't "take" risk cause i know there are present >. I survived but my ship is damage, I knew it would be.

Player though:

"I had it comming but it was my choice and its not as fatal as death"; "challenge accepted, I can finish the mission with a damaged ship"


Those are juste example. You can aslo have a medium non-fatal randomess (damage or no damage but never death) wich would be the best gamedesign solution as the player can make new choices after a random constraint event.

Poker for example: you can be the unluckiest player in the world but make the good choices that will make you win. (the random constraint his a bad hand here but its not fatal).

This game wouldn't be fun if you couln't win because you are too unlucky.

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But if you map it out is the space danger really the same thing as what the devs were referring to? If the player can see it and knows it could be a problem it's not random space danger. It's sorta like flying through a storm. You can see it and can choose whether to go around or not.

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I sort of get where you're aiming at winn75. But I don't think that the player will abuse the quicksave function like you discribed. The reason for this is because when you choose a certain playstyle you know you're gonna miss out on certain things till a certain degree, so you deliberately make the choice to take a risk. And like bommerdog said. Its not really as random when the player knows exactly how to avoid it.

Now I think that this could also be easily resovled by disabeling the quicksave feature for the Jeb playstyle. After all, you are taking a risk, and if you try to avoid that it really isn't taking a risk. Now as long as that risk is rewarded properly it could be a succesfull gameplay mechanic. That is one option.

But besides that, it should never be a completely mindless risk in my opinion. It should be part of the gameplay in every way possible.

What I mean by that is that this whole mechanic could fit into the R&D portion of the game:

- Ive scanned region R with equipment B.

- Equipment B has a 45% accuracy rate meaning that region X has a dangerfactor of 8:10.

- My craft can handle a dangerfactor of 7:10 so I won't choose to traverse that terrain quite yet.

- HOWEVER, I can choose to unlock equipment C on the tech tree to get a more accutrate reading (because you will have more knowledge of that area that way). Or unlock equipment D to upgrade my craft to handle a dangerfactor of 8:10.

Now once you've made that decision you can adapt your playstyle to which part of you want to unlock, you can either scan the area more precisely to narrow down the riskefactor (Bill playstyle), or build a more capable craft (Jeb/Bob playstyle).

Keep in mind that I refer to scientific knowledge as sort of an amount of XP that builds up, not actual knowledge that the player has to process, altough it could be presented in that manner though.

Edited by CyclonicTuna
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Sometimes I really think Squad is being narrow-minded with development. They have taken so many ideas that would add so much to the game and put the official kaibosh on them, what a waste! This, multiplayer, advanced orbital mechanics with lagrange points and barycenters, an idea I had for dynamic terrain, and other great ideas all are on the never gonna happen list but with that list, I think Squad is cutting their nose off to spite their face. The community wants it, a smart dev team would listen to that.

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Odds are quicksave will remain since there are just so many ways your craft can break, (and you can lose money since it's career mode) that you couldn't have known about without testing. I know you could test in sandbox but this would require doing all your flights twice. Once in sandbox to make sure it works, then again in career mode to actually do it.

Also how do we know career mode won't have some kind of time limit on some missions. I.E. You will get paided x but only if you get our payload to Duna before y.

This could encourage Jeb play-styles to get there quickly, or Bob play-styles to have the technology to be safe regardless of you passing through radiation clouds.

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Well I'm sure there is a possibility that there will be some missions with time restrictions but certainly not all of them. And if diffrent missions encourage diffrent playstyles than that's only a posivitve thing in my book. That way you can steer the player a little bit into trying all playstyles.

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Sometimes I really think Squad is being narrow-minded with development. *snip* The community wants it, a smart dev team would listen to that.

A bit off topic :) I hear this (or something similar) all the time. As a software developer myself, I have to balance what customers want with what is feasable in the alloted time, how much the development budget will allow and does the new feature take the current version out of projected lifecycle. Squad has to decide what they can and cannot do, in the alloted time, within budget, pleasing the majority (90% is our cut-off) of users. It is not narrow mindedness, just simple economics. Software (even games) have a very short shelf life. In 5 years, if KSP is still around (and I pray it will be) it will be many, many versions down the road. I guarentee it will not look, act or play the same. It probably won't even be in the same engine! Anyway....I do digress..

I heard the KSP dev's say like this once: "we don't like the idea of random space danger in KSP cause then the player won't be able do anything to avoid them". I admit i agree with them. KSP gameplay is about choices, reflexion and finding solution, not luck. Giving the choice to the player is always the best solution for this kind of gameplay. So this is a great idea but.... *snip*

As CyclonicTuna has pointed out, if you know it's there and you go looking for it, that isn't random at all. You see a Lion at the zoo, if you stand to close to the cage, you may get hurt. If you get in the cage, you will get hurt!

I think the idea of the OP is that the player can decide. Chose to "push the envelope", see what happens. A completely (or even partially) random event that stops game-play.... This ain't Runescape!! :D

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I think the plan is to have radiation in-game (being emitted by the Sun and Jool and suchlike), so perhaps that will have an effect on Kerbals. It could probably be handled the same way resources are, so as well as jetpack fuel, each of your Kerbals have a meter called "radiation dose", which starts at 0%, and rises when they're in an area of high radiation (which could be mapped out by sending a probe first). The rate of increase would be higher when they were on EVA, and lower if they were in a special (heavier, more expensive) command module for visiting the Jool system, or spending a long time in orbit.

I'd also like to see "life support" features, which I think might be planned, this mod: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/showthread.php/26935 already does it, so I doubt it would be too hard for the devs to implement it themselves. Same principle, spacecraft use up oxygen and produce CO2 depending on the number of Kerbals in them. You can increase the oxygen supply and add CO2 scrubbers, but if the oxygen hits 0 or the CO2 hits lethal levels, then the craft can't support Kerbals any more. I assume the same could be done to take into account food and water, and it would be awesome!

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