taniwha

[1.3.1] Extraplanetary Launchpads v5.9.0

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Balanced? What part of EL do you consider to be not balanced?

As for reskinned: won't help with the ore and metal bins: the mesh is incomplete (but I pushed fixed models last night).

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So, one thing I noticed (Or that is just quirky with my copy) is that there are ore and metal bins... but no rocket part bins. Only the already-full rocket part containers. Is this a problem my end or are they missing in the download?

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Balanced? What part of EL do you consider to be not balanced?

As for reskinned: won't help with the ore and metal bins: the mesh is incomplete (but I pushed fixed models last night).

No, I meant that I want parts with the same balance as stock EL but easier to move around. (workshop, I'm looking at you)

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Ah, yes, the workshop. Not very practical, I agree (in 0.21, I modified the HOME hab module to act as a workshop). A new one is on my todo list.

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Some thoughts on my end... If they're already addressed or planned, apologies.

- Auger needs a complete redesign.

That thing is complete nightmare to design around no matter how you approach it. Kethane's large-inline and small-radial drills are good examples... Though I would expect that a slightly different design would come to light for this.

- Parts Workshop needs a complete overhaul.

It's been addressed as a redesign already, but I thought I'd just chime in and say: 'Yes, it looks like a brewing stand, not a rocket parts construction system.'

- The Default CFG file needs better formatting.

I ran into this when I went to tweak ore spawning. It seems that the formatting for the EL resources config doesn't like plain txt file format until after you force it through wordpad once. This is less about working the mod in general and more a note to the mod-programmer in charge that there may be some issues with file formats after build. In this case, opening the config in notepad initially resulted in an unformatted wall of text. It was fixed by opening it in wordpad, saving there, and reopening in notepad with some hand-typed cleanup of values.

- 'Runway' module really needs to unfold into an actual, usable runway, or there needs to be some kind of additional module one can launch and deploy that creates a physical runway where it was deployed. Runways are more than just flat places to land, they're clearly marked and lit so that one flying an aircraft can make their approach without having to guess as to the exact nature of the landscape. My two-cents on this would be to incorporate something like Kerbtown plugin, and when a 'runway' module is deployed, is spawns a runway much like KSC's main runway, with the slightly elevated landscape area and all.

That's my thoughts tonight. Have an awesome morning.

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skykooler: That would be great if you can. I expect to get some time for modeling and coding (especially my blender .mu addon) from the 20th.

AdmiralTigerclaw: ...

  • The auger isn't that bad, really, if you're creative enough to not attempt to fly it :). It is, however, very... dull (not even particles).
  • The parts workshop... tbh, I don't particularly like its mechanic, let alone its model, but I understand it was really meant as a place holder. I have plans to really expand the resources you collect and the refined products, and then make the workshop produce actual parts from those resources. Small parts would be producible individually if KAS is available while larger parts would be producible only as part of a "vessel". Also, the pads would not function without a workshop present.
  • Config file formatting: hmm, I wonder why it wasn't extracted in the right mode. It's marked as a text file (albeit with unix formatting) and thus I would have expected it to be extracted in text mode. *shrug* Revenge }:>
  • I'm not sure I've even looked at the runway...

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skykooler: That would be great if you can. I expect to get some time for modeling and coding (especially my blender .mu addon) from the 20th.

AdmiralTigerclaw: ...

  • The auger isn't that bad, really, if you're creative enough to not attempt to fly it :). It is, however, very... dull (not even particles).
  • The parts workshop... tbh, I don't particularly like its mechanic, let alone its model, but I understand it was really meant as a place holder. I have plans to really expand the resources you collect and the refined products, and then make the workshop produce actual parts from those resources. Small parts would be producible individually if KAS is available while larger parts would be producible only as part of a "vessel". Also, the pads would not function without a workshop present.
  • Config file formatting: hmm, I wonder why it wasn't extracted in the right mode. It's marked as a text file (albeit with unix formatting) and thus I would have expected it to be extracted in text mode. *shrug* Revenge }:>
  • I'm not sure I've even looked at the runway...

Well, let me make a more precise point about the auger.

The auger is an unwieldy pain in the rear. If you mount it on a vehicle, you either have to mount it so that the shaft protrudes down into another part of your vehicle, or you mount it so high up that the model does not intersect with the surface once you've set down. (I'm not even sure it requires a surface-intersect or not like the Kethane drills.) It doesn't pack itself up or unpack itself, meaning that it is perpetually 'in the way' visually. The auger is also heavy, but is a radial part. Which means that whatever you build probably has to have two strapped to it for CoM balance purposes. sticking it on the bottom of something just, once more, runs into the issue of it protruding through objects.

Now, I've managed to build a kerbin to minmus lander after quite the struggle that managed to get around all the issues, but it took some serious creative approaches...

DrillPlat_zps3599c583.jpg

...And nova-punch five meter farings. Yet it still looks like it would be boring out the sides of the lander hull and only barely intersects ground.

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I definitely agree that the Auger needs a new model that's easier to use and also more visually appealing.

To be honest, that applies to almost everything in this pack. The utility is nice, but some of the models... are not. No offense intended but they could really use some work.

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The auger is an unwieldy pain in the rear. If you mount it on a vehicle, you either have to mount it so that the shaft protrudes down into another part of your vehicle, or you mount it so high up that the model does not intersect with the surface once you've set down. (I'm not even sure it requires a surface-intersect or not like the Kethane drills.) It doesn't pack itself up or unpack itself, meaning that it is perpetually 'in the way' visually. The auger is also heavy, but is a radial part. Which means that whatever you build probably has to have two strapped to it for CoM balance purposes. sticking it on the bottom of something just, once more, runs into the issue of it protruding through objects.

I can understand the need for aesthetics on the final product, but why can't you suspend your disbelief during the transfer stage and just let the auger clip into your ship while you're flying it to its destination?

Though I do agree in principle. It shouldn't be that way. But because it *is* that way, I see no problem just assuming - during transport - that the auger bit just isn't there even though it looks like it is.

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I can understand the need for aesthetics on the final product, but why can't you suspend your disbelief during the transfer stage and just let the auger clip into your ship while you're flying it to its destination?

Though I do agree in principle. It shouldn't be that way. But because it *is* that way, I see no problem just assuming - during transport - that the auger bit just isn't there even though it looks like it is.

It's an incomplete product that needs work, thus my comments on what needed to be worked on. My reasons why are many. Some trivial, some less so.

With the auger, it's both aesthetic and practical. It's ugly, unwieldy, and I have no idea where the hitbox is and if it even needs to intersect the ground to function. Instructions on these characteristics don't exist, and I cannot easily test it because testing the auger requires a functional ore deposit under it, which more often than not requires me to engineer something that can piggy-back it to a deposit, which in turn requires both engineering time and flight time beside multiple crash tests.

These issues by themselves are each small, but small issues like this stack into multi-hour headaches. Now, I'm thinking from a 'selling a product to customers' perspective, so my criticisms are based on the idea: "If I give this to a layman end user, will they like it?" And I answer that easily under the following method: 'If it drives me, an electronics ENGINEER up the wall with frustration to the point the only reason I even make it work is because I'm a stubborn git with time and then some to spare, then the layperson-player who gets this is going to lose interest.'

Now, that doesn't mean I'm saying the mod author needs to jump on this right this second. I understand things take time to get to, and I'm okay with that. But I AM saying 'this really does need to change'.

Is the auger the highest priority thing to be worked on? I don't know. I'm sure CTD-causing bugs and mod core functionality are higher up on the list. However, the auger design is what I encountered, what frustrated me greatly, and what in my opinion needs to be improved upon before more features get implemented. Because in a nutshell, the auger's current design is poor as well as counter-intuitive when it really should be intuitive and fun. I give my critique, my suggestions, and my reasoning, nothing more, nothing less.

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Why use the Auger? I used the drills from the Kethane-mod with a refurnished part.cfg for Ore. Looks so much better :) Especially the bigger ones look impressive..

2qbfzgn.png

And I 'solved' the problem with that awkward tall rocket-part factory as below. Thought it might as well serve as a watchtower of the base :cool:

2vv9dt2.png

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It's an incomplete product that needs work, thus my comments on what needed to be worked on. My reasons why are many. Some trivial, some less so.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you that it's a problem that needs fixed. To me, though, it's one of the smallest problems with the mod. I'd like my stuff to not explode when it is built more than I'd like a new auger. :) And I'd like more attachment points for all the parts, and the smelter to not explode when it falls over. I mean, seriously. The thing looks like it's a solid block of cast iron.

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Some thoughts on my end... If they're already addressed or planned, apologies.

- Auger needs a complete redesign.

That thing is complete nightmare to design around no matter how you approach it. Kethane's large-inline and small-radial drills are good examples... Though I would expect that a slightly different design would come to light for this.

- Parts Workshop needs a complete overhaul.

It's been addressed as a redesign already, but I thought I'd just chime in and say: 'Yes, it looks like a brewing stand, not a rocket parts construction system.'

- The Default CFG file needs better formatting.

I ran into this when I went to tweak ore spawning. It seems that the formatting for the EL resources config doesn't like plain txt file format until after you force it through wordpad once. This is less about working the mod in general and more a note to the mod-programmer in charge that there may be some issues with file formats after build. In this case, opening the config in notepad initially resulted in an unformatted wall of text. It was fixed by opening it in wordpad, saving there, and reopening in notepad with some hand-typed cleanup of values.

- 'Runway' module really needs to unfold into an actual, usable runway, or there needs to be some kind of additional module one can launch and deploy that creates a physical runway where it was deployed. Runways are more than just flat places to land, they're clearly marked and lit so that one flying an aircraft can make their approach without having to guess as to the exact nature of the landscape. My two-cents on this would be to incorporate something like Kerbtown plugin, and when a 'runway' module is deployed, is spawns a runway much like KSC's main runway, with the slightly elevated landscape area and all.

That's my thoughts tonight. Have an awesome morning.

This....this so much. I agree totally in saying the parts need a desperate overhaul due to their unfinished and clunky quality. The plugin systems is great, but the parts let this mod down. I would like to add hexcans to this list - custom tanks should be made to replace them as they look really weird and definitely not like something that goes in space (Correct me if I'm wrong on that one, I may well be, but I have never seen NASA store fuel, rocks or anything in hexagonal boxes with pictures drawn on them which vaguely resemble polystyrene. Sorry if I come out a bit blunt, but that's how I feel about this mod. Good luck developing it - the orbital stuff is really promising!

Edited by TimMartland

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It's an incomplete product that needs work, thus my comments on what needed to be worked on. My reasons why are many. Some trivial, some less so.
Constructive feedback is generally welcome, and I appreciate that yours is as well defined as it is, but I think you're approaching this the wrong way.

This isn't a product, incomplete or otherwise. It's the result of a succession of people with a hobby and a willingness to share. Skykooler started it, Taniwha adopted it from him when his interest/time waned. And as stalwart as he's been, sooner or later someone will probably adopt it from Taniwha. Like so much on these forums it's a community driven project centered around a person or two at a time who have the dedication to drive it forward as best they can. Expecting somebody to spontaneously develop modeling skills and/or donate their time simply because the models aren't good is unreasonable.

It's understood that the equipment is as ugly as Jeb's health record and unwieldy to boot. They know. There's pages of it. Some effort has been and is being made, that's how we got the newer launchpad.

If you care enough to make these changes happen faster, then contribute. Make concept art, suggest mechanics and form factors, do the math for the weight/output/power consumption.

If you'd rather leave it to others then either suffer through or work around. It's the price we pay for paying nothing else. I use Infernal Robotics for the drills. The ability to move them around and rotate them makes them far more manageable.

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This....this so much. I agree totally in saying the parts need a desperate overhaul due to their unfinished and clunky quality. The plugin systems is great, but the parts let this mod down. I would like to add hexcans to this list - custom tanks should be made to replace them as they look really weird and definitely not like something that goes in space (Correct me if I'm wrong on that one, I may well be, but I have never seen NASA store fuel, rocks or anything in hexagonal boxes with pictures drawn on them which vaguely resemble polystyrene. Sorry if I come out a bit blunt, but that's how I feel about this mod. Good luck developing it - the orbital stuff is really promising!

The hexcans were just added as a stopgap until I finished the actual parts, which are unfortunately still unfinished.

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Constructive feedback is generally welcome, and I appreciate that yours is as well defined as it is, but I think you're approaching this the wrong way.

This isn't a product, incomplete or otherwise. It's the result of a succession of people with a hobby and a willingness to share. Skykooler started it, Taniwha adopted it from him when his interest/time waned. And as stalwart as he's been, sooner or later someone will probably adopt it from Taniwha. Like so much on these forums it's a community driven project centered around a person or two at a time who have the dedication to drive it forward as best they can. Expecting somebody to spontaneously develop modeling skills and/or donate their time simply because the models aren't good is unreasonable.

It's understood that the equipment is as ugly as Jeb's health record and unwieldy to boot. They know. There's pages of it. Some effort has been and is being made, that's how we got the newer launchpad.

If you care enough to make these changes happen faster, then contribute. Make concept art, suggest mechanics and form factors, do the math for the weight/output/power consumption.

If you'd rather leave it to others then either suffer through or work around. It's the price we pay for paying nothing else. I use Infernal Robotics for the drills. The ability to move them around and rotate them makes them far more manageable.

I offer ideas and feedback as it occurs to me. And as I writer, I'm well aware of the concept of 'not actually a product, not the guy's actual job, and a hobby' but I ALWAYS treat things as a product concept and I defend my arguments from that standpoint.

As for contributing something, I can do that, but I've not been in a position where anything I've been making suggestions to was accepting random contribution from people. (Always been a 'make the team' kind of mentality.)

I'll start work on a design and mechanic if that's what you'd like. Someone else will have to create the model and textures though. My strong point is electronics engineering, not 3D model design.

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I've set up a basic launchpad, but whenever I build something on it, everything is normal for about 2 seconds,then the launchpad and the thing that was built fly into the air(or vacuum). Anyone got a fix?

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I really don't get the obsession with mounting augers and smelters on rockets. A rather hair-brained idea, if you ask me. I haven't put this on the front page because I didn't use the stock pad or workshop (Hooligan Labs pad and HOME2 hab module modified to be a workshop), but This is the early stage of the base I built on Minmus in 0.21.

minmus-base-0.21.jpg

The probe and junk (literally: crash site) in the background, the pad, and the HOME2 unit are the only things I flew to Minmus. Evertything else was built on-site: the two hemispherical tanks and the auger/smelter unit (the smaller versions of each). In fact, that rocket parts hexcan on top of the HOME2 unit was empty :). I started the base with 8.1t of metal in the hexcans (not really identifiable) just to the left of that little probe just above the left end of the HOME2 unit. I built the two tanks (using KAS winches to drag them off the pad), then built the auger/smelter unit and dragged it off the pad.

I have definite plans of replacing the augers and smelters, but if you don't like the current ones, you'll like probably like the ones I have in mind even less }:> (FYI: to produce iron at the same rate as the large smelter, blast furnaces around 5000m3 are used. You gonna fly that?!?)

After a chunk of play:

minmus-base-0.21.final.jpg

Everything not in the first shot was built on-site and then moved around with cranes (great fun at 2fps :P).

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i was doing a thing

obnoxiouslylargedeployableroundthing_zps1f1e47a4.gif

trying to get a bit 32m circular launch pad to fit into a 3 meter tube. i wrote a lua script to figure out where to make the many multitudes of slices into a wide flat cylinder so it can fold into a triangular volume. frankly it was more math than modeling, mostly just an algorithm test. this model was actually based on a version that still had some bugs, but it worked out and since it was a pita to slap together i dont want to start over.

i plan on also modeling a set of landing trusses that will deploy as part of the animation. this will allow you to build up a more substantial number of parts on the base without worrying about them hitting the ground and making the structure unstable. will also have a detachable center column to make it easier to attach a descent stage that you can jettison upon landing, though in this case there is about a 1.7 meter void in there so i may just have a docking port in the base that links up to a 1m dock. you can run a series of tanks through the middle.

figure i can cheat on the collider and just use a cylinder collider that will expand to match the landing disc diameter as part of the animation. this means less clipping with whatever gets spawned up top. the other option is to just make all the panels colliders (they are all convex anyway), but i have a feeling that will wreak havoc with collision detection.

Edited by Nuke

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I really don't get the obsession with mounting augers and smelters on rockets. A rather hair-brained idea, if you ask me. I haven't put this on the front page because I didn't use the stock pad or workshop (Hooligan Labs pad and HOME2 hab module modified to be a workshop), but This is the early stage of the base I built on Minmus in 0.21.

minmus-base-0.21.jpg

The probe and junk (literally: crash site) in the background, the pad, and the HOME2 unit are the only things I flew to Minmus. Evertything else was built on-site: the two hemispherical tanks and the auger/smelter unit (the smaller versions of each). In fact, that rocket parts hexcan on top of the HOME2 unit was empty :). I started the base with 8.1t of metal in the hexcans (not really identifiable) just to the left of that little probe just above the left end of the HOME2 unit. I built the two tanks (using KAS winches to drag them off the pad), then built the auger/smelter unit and dragged it off the pad.

I have definite plans of replacing the augers and smelters, but if you don't like the current ones, you'll like probably like the ones I have in mind even less }:> (FYI: to produce iron at the same rate as the large smelter, blast furnaces around 5000m3 are used. You gonna fly that?!?)

After a chunk of play:

minmus-base-0.21.final.jpg

Everything not in the first shot was built on-site and then moved around with cranes (great fun at 2fps :P).

You fly what it takes to get the initial mining operation set up. And I would expect small drilling and smelting components to be shipped to an offworld site rather than a dozen launches to lift parts payloads out to it.

Also, I've hand-sketched an in-line 2.5 meter twin bore for placing on rockets. No scans of it since I don't own a scanner. (Trouble with flatbed scanners is they tend to take up desk space. I'm packed into this room like a sardine can, so I don't have room for it.) But it's essentially twin pocket covers sliding into the sides, and the drill deploys horizontally before telescoping out to 3X the component's packed length. Drill concept itself is triple rotating teeth that spin around a hollow core.

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Actually, it was three launches (for balance reasons: freighter takes lots of three), and I shipped metal (8.1t total), not parts. Shipping parts is extremely tedious (I tried it my current test save: gave up and edited the parts into the station). I shipped metal, a workshop, and a pad.

Now, don't get me wrong: I very much agree that new models are needed, but I have higher priorities right now: getting everything to work. That said, do not get your hopes up: I have no intention of making it easy to fly a rocket with functional high capacity mining equipment.

[edit]Actually, six if you don't count the launches to build the freighter: I forgot about the launches for the workshop(2) and the pad(1). The freighter took a total of 3: 1 for the core and 2 for the two sets of 3 extra fuel tanks. So, a grand total of 9 launches... if I hadn't crashed the metal tanks 60m from the workshop (just too far for the KAS cable). That took several more launches of a KAS extension cord (kept misjudging the required delta-v).

Edited by taniwha

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I don't want it to be easy. I would however like a few connection points on the structures BESIDES the ones that are about 20 meters in the air above and to the side... :)

I would also like, if my smelter drops from a couple meters to the ground, for it to not explode.

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Everything not in the first shot was built on-site and then moved around with cranes (great fun at 2fps :P).

Most of your operation uses multiple other mods, which still makes EL + Squad parts alone not enough.

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