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tntristan12

The Career Mode Triangle (TM)

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Okay, so it's not actually trademarked, but you have to admit "Career Mode Triangle" has a certain (triangular-shaped) ring to it... Literally!

Okay, let me explain what I'm talking about. It's been said by the devs that the three main modes of "currency" will be science, reputation, and... well... currency. Each one could conceivably have its own tangible benefits, and I'd like to flesh out a bit what those benefits could be. Note that this isn't *just* a suggestion, and we can in fact discuss these things. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has to say! Perhaps each leg of the "Career Mode Triangle" (CMT) could look something like this:

Science:

--> As with its current implementation, you can use science to research new technologies at the R&D center.

--> Science could be turned into patents that can be sold for Currency (i.e. Science --> "Sell Patent" --> Currency)

--> Science could also be turned into journal publications for Reputation (i.e. Science --> "Publish Findings" --> Reputation)

Reputation:

--> Perhaps Reputation can be the "currency" that allows you to hire better, more experienced, more courageous, more intelligent pilots that provide side-benefits to the craft they are piloting. Exactly what those benefits may be is open to interpretation, and is a subject for another discussion.

--> Reputation may also effect the prices of parts that you can buy in the SPH or VAB, as contractors will be more comfortable selling you their expensive rocket parts at lower prices when they have more faith in your ability to not destroy them all the time.

--> Reputation can be negatively effected by cancelling contracts, failing to complete all of the requirements within a certain time period, or killing Kerbals (either accidentally or...)

--> Reputation could be used to motivate brilliant scientists/engineers around the world to work to discover new Science (i.e. Reputation --> "Drive Science!" --> Science)

--> Reputation could also be used to draw government / corporate sponsorships and earn Currency (i.e. Reputation --> "Draw Funding Support" --> Currency)

Currency:

--> Quite simply used to purchase rocket parts for construction.

--> May also be used to hire scientists / engineers to work at the R&D branch, thus lowering the cost to research different tiers of the development tree.

--> Currency can be recouped by recovering rocket parts and crew intact.

--> Currency could be spent on research projects at the R&D branch to draw Science (i.e. Currency --> "Fund Research Project" --> Science)

--> Currency could also be spent on public awareness or advertising campaigns to drum up some Reputation (i.e. Currency --> "Launch PR Campaign" --> Reputation)

The amount of each exchange could be a simple 1:1 ratio, but that's boring! Instead, each exchange could have a rate of return driven by a number of other factors. For example, Currency --> Science might produce more Science if there are better researchers and scientists working at the R&D branch. Reputation --> Currency may return an amount of Currency directly proportional to the amount of Reputation you currently have (the more popular you are, the more money you get). Maybe some Science patents are worth more money than others. Et Cetera...

Science, Reputation, and Currency could all be generated in varying ratios by doing certain tasks. For example, being the first Kerbal on EVA is probably worth more Reputation than Science, but meeting all the requirements for contract completion is worth more Currency and Reputation than Science. Collecting a soil sample is a Science based achievement, but some of the other things come with it. I'm interested in discussing the types of scenarios that will yield more of one currency than the others.

That's my idea! What do you guys think?

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Nice ideas, I like 'em!

Here my little idea about reputation: When you unlock a node in the tech tree currently, it seems that there would be an entry cost to be able to use that part; it not really apparent in stock, but if you install a mod that adds parts to a node you have already unlocked, you have to manually go to the R&D center to unlcok each individual part; i was just thinking that every part has to be unlocked using reputation with the company that makes it (and maybe money as well), just to add more use for reputation.

Also, reputation-to-money conversion could be done by the KSP exploiting money out of companies or tax dodging; your money would increase, but your reputation would go down. You could even do it by having to ask different companies for additional funding, as people wouldn't like it when you keep asking them for more money....

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What an excellent, well written post. I always felt a bit uneasy about the idea of reputation being interchangable, but the way it's described above is very well thought out and adds a lot of depth to the concept.

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I like having to choose between buying uber rocket parts, researching uber rocket parts, or getting uber scientists/crew

This really hinges on the stupidity of the kerbals having an effect on the returns you get from a mission

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Something you should keep in mind is that whenever Squad has talked about the economy, they did not say "currency". They say "budget". That is a subtle but important difference.

You can have currency in absolute amounts, like a bank balance. You spend something, it goes away. You earn something, you now have it. But budgets don't work that way. A budget is no absolute, overarching figure, but rather something that applies to a certain task or process individually - regardless of how often that task or process is executed.

For example, a budget in KSP might manifest itself in the shape of a "launch cost allowance" - in other words, you can launch as often as you want, but each individual launch cannot be more expensive than X. You need to fly your missions within the envelope of that sum. If you can, then that's fine, you can keep flying that way. But if you find that you just can't construct the spacecraft you need within the budget, then you must find ways to increase it.

A budget is provided by an external source, such as a government. You don't own any of the money, it remains theirs. And you cannot earn any extra money (since that would be just a one-time sum, while the budget itself is completely unrelated and stays the same). Your budget increases when you deserve it - for example, when you successfully complete contracts, building confidence that you do not squander the funds entrusted to you.

Obviously, though, there would still be ways to increase the budget by using science and/or reputation, they'd just be named slightly differently. For instance, you could use your reputation to perform "Lobby Work" - convincing the government/your benefactor that your space program needs more budget, or even just plain cashing in on political favors. Your budget goes up, but your reputation goes down because there are now less favors owed to you, and asking for money never made anyone popular. Or, you could use your science pool to "Educate" the public about how awesome space is and the awesome technologies you have researched. Your budget goes up because the now space-enthusiastic public demands that it be increased, but your science goes down because the people who would usually research new rocket parts are busy writing publications and giving TED talks.

Edited by Streetwind

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For example, a budget in KSP might manifest itself in the shape of a "launch cost allowance" - in other words, you can launch as often as you want, but each individual launch cannot be more expensive than X. You need to fly your missions within the envelope of that sum. If you can, then that's fine, you can keep flying that way. But if you find that you just can't construct the spacecraft you need within the budget, then you must find ways to increase it..

Brilliant! I think a lot of problems would be solved if KSP gets "budgets" and not "currency". For example, exploding rockets on the launch pad are no longer such an issue (even without "revert to launch") because you'll have a budget for the next launch, not a huge hole in your bank account. Recovering and "reusing" parts won't be a big issue either - unless driven by reputation or a contract.

There will almost certainly be a away to permanently increase your per-launch budget as a career progresses - maybe by spending science and reputation. But it would also be neat if there was a temporary way to increase a budget by spending science and reputation - just for one launch. The long-term/short-term trade-offs could be a fun dynamic.

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Well, the rocket exploding on the launchpad would likely decrease either your reputation or your budget, or even both - you clearly failed a launch! However, it still is much more forgiving - you're far less likely to shoot yourself in the foot by failing once through a stupid mistake. You'd maybe lose 10% of your budget (at most), not bring your bank account into the red in such a way that only desperation can help it recover.

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Please please please make one of the opportunities for a rep increase be something like "a marketing company from Mekiko has produced a game that features space travel. It has proven incredibly popular, and some of your scientists have been caught playing the game when they should have been working on the real thing. Do you: (A) fire the scientists, (B) ignore it, © open a dialog with the game developers in order to publicise one of your future missions?"

This must be done.

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I think using some parts should have an impact on reputation or you should need some reputation for using certain parts. For example, if your LV-N crashes into a populated area, you lose reputation, and they won't let you use the nuclear engine if you're known for crashing rockets.

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I like this thread.

I feel your proposed idea of what the game well end up like wont be far from the truth.

You must not forget the existence of contracts, which will add the event driven aspect of the three main currency's in your triangle. I also do not believe career mode will end up very complicated. I do not see the dev's making things difficult to understand logistically. This of a quest system, with the three currencies as rewards.

The game isn't suppose to be a heavy grind or extremely daunting to an average player. So i bet once all the currency is implemented career wont be to difficult. But it will be more difficult than it is now.

@Streetwind - like your idea but what about SSTO ships? The idea of a large budget, and a recovery system, makes SSTO's very viable in Career mode as an effective transportation unit, at the cost of a large initial investment (SSTO engines are expensive)

With a fixed launch budget SSTO's reuse ability wouldn't matter in general use.

Edited by MKI

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I like the ideas here. I especially like the fact that failure to complete contracts on time damages Reputation. Though Rep should also be negatively affected by telling the public that you will go to Duna in the next decade, but it always is the next decade. So they take a hit because the public says "Where are my Duna colonies? Where are my Tourist space stations? etc."

I'm a bit weary of the contracts system as I fear it may lead to a checklist space program than a Kerbal one. I would also like integration of Easter eggs into the science system, and more easter eggs to visit to make rovers worth while. For currency I am unsure about the bit about using Rep to draw funding support. NASA has not had to draw funding from the public, at least not in the form of pledge drives, donations, etc. Though I think that if all of these things get implemented, it will be more about managing a space program than about actually going to space. (Which isn't bad, as long as the things that you have put forth remain in career mode remain in career mode.)

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This is the first thing I thought of when I read this post:

LUHpAHK.png

Meet The Kerbal TriforceTM:sticktongue:

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I know this is an old thread, but I figured I'd bring it back up since we just got 0.24, and now presumably the devs have some leeway in terms of which way 0.25 could go... So if you haven't read this OP go ahead and take a look at it! I'd really like to see some sort of interchangeability in the next update. It'll give career mode a bit more cohesion. Thoughts?

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Honestly, we should all be giving visibility to anyone who wants to talk about doing more with the current systems. I wrote up a blog and a forum post as well; not because I think my ideas are correct or right, but because these are important dialogues we need to be having now. Perhaps we can do a 'megathread' where we take the various posts and get a visible discussion going, if not for Squad, it might be a good basis for looking into modding it.

I hate to say it, but it really feels like Squad is trying too hard to avoid making Career mode into something. It could just be the unfinished nature of it, but there are a few insane people complaining that Career mode should be sandbox with currency and that's just ludicrous! And I feel like their passionate insanity is giving us things like 'science mode', the option to play the more unfinished version of career mode because some non existent group is afraid of change.

Whoops, ranted out there. Point remains, I endorse in-depth discussions about career mode and utilization of the systems therein!

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