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Exploring The System - A design tutorial campaign 0.90 Final


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I'm sorry this is all taking so long - all I can say is work, holiday, illness, New Year, distractions and procrastination.

Chapter 8 planning is now complete - it will consist of a science module, drone lander and manned-landers for low-g, med-g, Tylo (sort of) and Laythe (another spaceplane) plus supporting cast of assorted launch-vehicles.

THIS weekend, promise ^^.

I think.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It is done at last!

Final 0.90 update complete - although I must note there are only 34 vehicles, so I must change the banner some time.

Links to the PDF, stock ship .craft files and hi-res pictures in the OP as usual.

I may get around to updating the text in this thread or just delete the BB Code version - does anyone use it?

Apart from the problems I've been having personally and with KSP I have to say knowing that all this will be rendered useless by the changes in version 1.0 has really sapped my will to continue. Anyway, as mentioned before, this is the last time I'll publish this in this format - with the release of KSP everything will change.

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Well I can't leave it alone. It just doesn't feel right not to update the BBCode in the thread, so I'm going through reformatting all the original. Got to chapter 5 so far, 6 - 8 may well happen tomorrow; sooner rather than later, in any case.

Next up, which I hope I can get written before 1.0 comes out, will be "Induction To Construction, a complete beginner's guide to KSP".

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Hello Pecan,

Firstly thank you for the brilliant guide. But has the Tractor light turned into the tractor medium and where is the old tractor medium that didn't have any engines?

Why has it gone?

Well done, you must really be paying attention to each version!

Yes the 'tractor medium' used to be 'tractor light'. It has changed because 'tractor light' will, in other related tutorials, be an altogether lighter vehicle with only two engines.

What was 'tractor medium' has gone for two reasons, i) it was never very effective in practice, ii) I wanted Chapter 8 to be just about landers.

This has all been a pretty major re-organisation of the campaign rather than a straightforward update. I think the logic works better now and each chapter has a clearer purpose - although I still want to 'unweave' the Cartographer vehicles and missions from Chapters 4 and 5. In short -

  1. No vehicles
  2. Simple vehicles
  3. Satellites
  4. Manned orbital / satellites
  5. Lunar landings / satellites
  6. Tiny things that stay in space (satellites & tugs)
  7. Big things that stay in space (stations & tractors)
  8. Landers

Suggestions and requests are welcome, if you don't think this arrangement works.

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Fair enough. The tractor medium, the current one is what I'm about to attempt sending to Jool over the weekend, that is with extra fuel tanks docked to it and seeing as I play career mode I'm waiting to unlock the large docking ports and then I'm going to build the old version of Tractor medium.

Built your heavy cartographer a few minutes ago, but again due to career mode I haven't got seperators yet so I've adapted and now have 6 I beams with mini decouplers ready to shoot 6 satellite into respective orbits around Jool and its moons.

Launched it a few minutes ago for testing and it works and I realised the beautiful ship and those nifty satellites won't ever see Kerbin again and, whats this? A touch of sadness. Goodbye Kerbin, goodbye world, Hello Jool, hopefully.

Would like to see something with the Claw in your guide, maybe for refuelling satellites.

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Fair enough. The tractor medium, the current one is what I'm about to attempt sending to Jool over the weekend, that is with extra fuel tanks docked to it and seeing as I play career mode I'm waiting to unlock the large docking ports and then I'm going to build the old version of Tractor medium.

Built your heavy cartographer a few minutes ago, but again due to career mode I haven't got seperators yet so I've adapted and now have 6 I beams with mini decouplers ready to shoot 6 satellite into respective orbits around Jool and its moons.

Launched it a few minutes ago for testing and it works and I realised the beautiful ship and those nifty satellites won't ever see Kerbin again and, whats this? A touch of sadness. Goodbye Kerbin, goodbye world, Hello Jool, hopefully.

Would like to see something with the Claw in your guide, maybe for refuelling satellites.

Yep, that's the way. As long as you don't try to take too much payload at once with a single tractor medium ('light' as was) it's quite capable of ferrying all the other things anywhere in the system; just dock extra fuel to it. The old 'medium' carried so much engine mass for its extra thrust and was so time-consuming to assemble in orbit that I pretty soon stopped using it.

I know what you mean about sending Cartographers on a one-way trip too. The satellites never worried me as I knew they were doing a job but it always seemed wrong somehow to deliberately crash the transfer vehicles when I'd finished with them. Such waste is the impetus for fully-reusable vehicles in the last chapters :-)

I've avoided the claw because I think anything that's intended to refuel should have a docking port - see SciSat and Science Module in the new Chapter 6. Simply stabbing them with the claw always seems a bit vicious so I only use it for asteroids and, to be honest, there just doesn't seem to be a logical place for such a one-time mission in the flow of the campaign. Personally, I think the rendezvous requirements are harder than for interplanetary too, so it's somewhat beyond the scope of this as a tutorial. In the early drafts I toyed with making a 'Cartographer Jewel' to deliver satellites to all Jool's moons in one go but that got quite large compared to the other vehicles in the early chapters and suffered from the same one-time drawback. Of course, the same could be said for the Tylo and Laythe landers here but I think it's safe to assume someone will want to land several times, in different biomes.

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  • 1 month later...

Take a breath; sometimes it's hard to remember to breathe.

Sometimes a document downloaded (and presumably read) by tens of thousands of people, including 2 who were specifically proof-reading it, can still contain the most embarrassing errors.

In this case I'd messed-up the distinction between breath/breathe, as above and only spotted it a week or so ago.

The only other changes are minor typographical ones and not nearly as cringe-worthy. No ships were used in testing this version.

This should be the final version of this that I post ... KSP 1.0 is coming.

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  • 2 months later...

Apologies if anyone thinks I am necro-ing this thread, but I really wanted to thank Pecan publicly for the effort he put into this design campaign! I found it unbelievably inspiring and helpful when I started playing KSP a month ago. I was playing v1.0.2 so I was unable to follow the exact designs or recommendations, but then I like to be inspired rather than instructed so it was perfect. I have my own designs for most things like tugs and stations, but they're fundamentally same conceptually. Also have a drill & ISRU lander with Tanker truck of my own design (tanker docks with driller and tows it to good spots) to refill fuel modules which rather than launching them.

Anyway, Pecan, thanks for everything in this thread. Your work was appreciated greatly by me.

:D

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Thank you.

Life is still keeping me away from KSP but I hope to publish version 1.whatever tutorials starting from next month. They will probably be produced in order of difficulty, so a basic beginner's guide first.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Very nice work on the comprehensive tutorial. I did a read through and am now trying the missions in order. I am having fits with the first few. For example the two-step placebo sat launch sits on the pad with a TWR of around .88. Also the first satellite mission seems to be light on delta v to get it into orbit. Is this likely a difference between 0.9 and the current version of the game? I know some engines got tweaked. Thanks again for all the hard work you put into this.

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From the OP:

Note: It is extremely unlikely that any of these vehicles will perform correctly in KSP version 1.0

This document is now moribund. Its replacement will be part of a set of KSP guides to be published on Amazon

If the mission profiles and designs at least give you inspiration then there is some value left though :-)

Thank you for your comments.

(Incidentally, I've been covering for a work colleague who is off sick - it's only open-heart surgery, the wimp! - and am only just starting on the successor to this. At least another month, depending on how well I can learn all the new components).

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Held-up for legal reasons.

Squad have not even bothered to respond to my requests to use screenshots. In fact, they haven't even bothered to provide the attribution ("...is copyright of Squad", etc.) text that is normal publishing practice.

No big deal. I'll use line-art rather than screenshots. The only question now is whether it's worth publishing before version 1.1

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  • 5 months later...
On 30/8/2015 at 4:04 PM, Pecan said:

Held-up for legal reasons.

Squad have not even bothered to respond to my requests to use screenshots. In fact, they haven't even bothered to provide the attribution ("...is copyright of Squad", etc.) text that is normal publishing practice.

No big deal. I'll use line-art rather than screenshots. The only question now is whether it's worth publishing before version 1.1

Hi CMDR Pecan, is there any news about your project? :0.0:

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So much has changed and so much is likely to change that I'm not planning on publishing until 1.1

I've just ordered a new computer so I'll be able to see it in all its glory too :-)

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