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Devnote Tuesdays: The 0.24 Update Goals Edition


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<p>Hi. HarvesteR here.<br/><br/> Once more, here we are at the beginning of a new update, and I want to share with everyone our goals and ambitions for the upcoming <strong>0.24</strong> release of <strong><em>KSP</em></strong>.<br/><br/> We continue pushing forward with Career Mode, but this update has a few other neat things that should be very welcome additions, be you a Career-driven achiever or a Sandbox tinkerer, something in between, or even extrapolating the ends of that spectrum! We’ve got a lot to accomplish but we feel like this will be a great way to kick off a big 2014 for <strong><em>KSP</em></strong>.<br/><br/> Anyhow…<br/><br/> These are our main goals for <strong>0.24</strong>:<br/><br/><br/><strong><u>Contracts</u></strong><br/> The first iteration of the contracts mechanic is coming up. At the Mission Control Facility, you’ll be able to take on contracts from a list of offers. Each contract will give you a set of objectives to fulfill, possibly with added requirements, and a deadline. These contracts are going to be dynamically generated off a number of different basic mission templates, and filled out with detail based on how far you’ve advanced in your Career. A feature this large is most likely not going to be complete in a single update, but we feel like we’re off to a very good start with our initial plan. <br/><br/><strong><u>New Mission Control Screen</u></strong><br/> It’s been there for a while, but so far no Kerbal has dared enter that mysterious building at the space center. Oh, plus the fact it didn’t have an inside also made it extra difficult. We’re adding a new Mission Control Screen, accessible through the already-there Mission Control Facility, which will present you with a UI where you’ll be able to pick out contracts and decide whether to accept them or pass them by.<br/><br/><strong><u>Improved Part-to-Part Joints</u></strong><br/> There is one unassuming line in the Unity 4.3 changelog that made a world of difference to us. I’ll quote it here in fact: “Physics.” Joints can now have separate anchor points configured for both connected rigidbodies. What this means is that the era of rockets ‘dancing’ on top of their engines is coming (finally) to an end. We are completely re-doing the joints, to have much more control over how they link together, and not least, how much we want them to be bendy and wobbly. We’re not eliminating the wobble altogether, as that would actually be removing a lot of what makes failures fun. We’re aiming to have better control over it, so we can have wobbly bits where we want them to wobble, and more rigid connections where things are supposed to be firmly attached.<br/><br/><strong><u>Multiplayer’s First Steps</u></strong><br/> This isn’t so much a feature at this point, but it’s worth mentioning in any case. We’re starting work on the core components of multiplayer now, so by the time we’re about done with Career Mode, we’ll already have a solid platform to start building multiplayer features on top of it. Right now, the primary goal is to write the server backend that will run things. There won’t be much to show of this for a while, but we’ll keep everyone posted about the progress being made.<br/><br/><strong><u>Tutorials Revisited</u></strong><br/> It’s been a long time since we did the in-game tutorials now. They harken back to ye olden times of version 0.17, and when you consider that 0.18 was when we added maneuver nodes and docking, you start to get a sense of just how much has changed in the game since the tutorials were written. Needless to say then, they’re in dire need of a revision, and that’s what we plan to do on this update, and if time allows, also add a couple of new ones. <br/><br/> And as always, the usual batch of small tweaks and bug fixes that we do as we go along.<br/><br/> And we can’t say this enough, this list <em>isn’t</em> a preview of the changelog for the next update. <strong>These are our ambitions, not promises.</strong> Some of this might not make it in, while at the same time other things not on this list might be included as well, so the bottom line is, don’t take this as if it was written in stone. <span>(It was, in fact, written on <a href="http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/66906-Our-Logitech-Rocket" target="_blank">my sweet new G19s keyboard, which the kind folks at Logitech sent to us.</a> And no, they didn’t make me say this).</span><br/><br/> Anyhow, that’s all the news for now, stay tuned for more as it develops.<br/><br/> Cheers!</p>

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Well, it looks like the sandbox single player gets the short end of the stick again, from a standpoint of added content/playability. Yeah, woo hoo, better part connections. I have that now with the Joint Reinforcement mod, so whoopty-doo.

Eh, the game is fine as it is for me, but it would be nice to have more landing legs & landing gear, more command pods, better FX, sounds, memory use, etc., more... just more. :)

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Well, it looks like the sandbox single player gets the short end of the stick again, from a standpoint of added content/playability. Yeah, woo hoo, better part connections. I have that now with the Joint Reinforcement mod, so whoopty-doo.

Didn't they say that the sandbox mode specifically is done?

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Not super excited about the stuff scheduled for 0.24, aside from the Contracts. Those will no doubt make the Career more enjoyable, but the rest is not that interesting. I already play exclusively with Kerbal Joint Reinforcement, so those improved part-to-part joints won't add anything new. The tutorials are obviously irrelevant for someone who already knows how to fly.

Interesting take on the MP category though I wouldn't classify it as being high-priority.

I think it's a case of if they do the groundwork now, it'll be less work than when KSP's code base is even larger in the future.

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I'll say I'm really looking forward to contracts being implemented, it will undoubtly spice up career mode and make it way more interesting than it is now.

Also, I'm happy to hear you're starting to work out the basics for multiplayer, hopefully we'll se something coming up in 3-4 updates :)

I wish you the best of luck!

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Good to hear about the joints, I was wondering if maybe it was just me, does this mean I won't have to put in quite so many struts?

Count me in the camp that says low priority on multiplayer (partly because my bandwidth is only high enough for this kind of think late at night also I get pulled away from computer too frequently to be reliable in a game).

It's nice to see what you are working on keep up the good works!!

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Woohoo! Keep up the good work fellas.

I second this question, however:

With Unity 4.3, do we finally get a 64-bit client? At least for OS X, even if Windows is still unstable?

I'm waiting for 64-bit support to play again, as I've just grown tired of the ram-related crashes. I check back every Tuesday to see if there's any progress on that front. Someday!

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Is the game's space program going to be a private aerospace company, only funded by contracts? Or will it be at least partially governmental, with some steady subsidizing? It occurs to me that the amount of subsidizing could be a pre-game selection which would serve as a difficulty setting. :)

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The way I would do funding...

You have a limit to how expensive your rocket can be. This does not deplete any pool of funds. It just sets a limit to how much each rocket can be.

Then I'd have things like the contracts completion and science research bump up the limit. I might have some contracts also reward specific parts.

We shall see what they do.

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I second this question, however:

I'm waiting for 64-bit support to play again, as I've just grown tired of the ram-related crashes. I check back every Tuesday to see if there's any progress on that front. Someday!

Unity 4.3.3 is out right now, and I don't think there have been any changes to the 64 bit issues. You can probably find out more on the Unity forums, but all of that is out of Squad's hands.

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I'm a little concerned about the Contracts. To me this implies that the next logical step is currency, and I'm pretty sure that with the large portion of things I've seen I think that would be a detriment, wouldn't it?

Well, KSP is supposed to be a space program simulator (unless I'm wrong on that), and a large portion of running a space program is getting projects, keeping them on time and on budget, and launching them, so contracts and currency are logical components of a career mode. I'm sure sandbox will still be sandbox.

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I'm so happy Squad! Contracts should be awesome, and not having to use joint replacement (which I never got around to installing) will be amazing!

Count me in the camp that says low priority on multiplayer

I vote for this as well. Multiplayer can wait forever. I'd just like to see full careers get enables first and maybe you could be convinced to add a few more planetary bodies out in the wild. A Gas Giant or Venus like planet that crushes/melts anything that tries to land on it (or descends too far) would be cool too.

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