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Devnote Tuesdays: The Forum Upgrade Edition


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<p><strong>Felipe (HarvesteR)</strong><span><strong>:</strong> So last week I got the new UI widgets pretty much in a presentable state, now moving forward with the rest of the to-do list. Funds are implemented to an essential level, which means they’re far from complete, but the game does already calculate the cost of vessels and charges you for it, or prevents you from launching altogether if you can’t foot the bill. Figuring the cost of a vessel was an interesting thing to work on. Initially, the idea was that the cost of vessels would just be the sum of the cost of every part, but it seemed much more interesting to factor in the cost of the resources contained in each part as well. So for instance, the 10.0 units of Monopropellant on a mk1 pod make up for 12.00 of its 600.00 total cost. On an SRB, on the other hand, the cost of the fuel is a much more significant percentage of the total. Also, this does mean that if you set the amount of fuel in the Editors to less than full, you can make the part slightly cheaper (or a lot in case of SRBs). This system was a lot more tricky to put together than just adding up fixed costs, but it should be much more interesting to play with. I had to go over the cfg values for a lot of parts, to make sure their costs weren’t set to anything less than the cost of the resources they contained (that would have been awkward). Several parts have had some stats tweaked, but most importantly, I’ve tweaked the costs and Isp values on the Mainsail and the Kerbodyne LF Booster. The Mainsail is now the more efficient one, so it should be a more appealing option now, when comparing the two. </span></p>

<p><strong>Alex (aLeXmOrA): </strong><span>I left everything ready to do the upgrade of the KSP Forums last Thursday, but due to some last minute issues we had to postpone it for today. As you can see, the Forums are now in maintenance mode while I’m running the upgrade script. This process should be completed for this Thursday’s afternoon and then the Forums will be running in the last vBulletin 5.1.1 version. After that, I will start implementing the project I’ve been working with Bob and Miguel (more about that later).</span></p>

<p><strong>Mike (Mu):</strong><span> Well it’s been a week of changes and improvements to the contract systems and adding some new features to really push the game towards having an actual career mode! Have also created some new controls which add colour and variety to our text. We’re finally moving towards a much more consolidated UI which feels a lot better.</span></p>

<p><strong>Daniel (danRosas)</strong><span><strong>:</strong> Going through the polishing of the animation. And since it’s the first time that we are more than 2 guys doing art for different Kerbal related things, I’m starting to supervise those processes, with a little help from Lalo. It’s being fun and challenging :) I’m really confident that there will be plenty of new stuff to show in upcoming months. And probably you have noticed that the name Hugo has appeared on the lower section of the Dev Notes. Hugo is helping out during his summer break, say hi!</span></p>

<p><strong>Miguel (Maxmaps): </strong><span>Working on some organizational reporting systems for my work as well as helping scout small, cool things that can be thrown into 0.24 for a better experience. </span></p>

<p><span><strong>Anthony (Rowsdower):</strong> Well the forum is down so you know what that means? Fun with spreadsheets! It’s time to organize things and get into ship shape. It’s also time for some creative thinking. I’ve got a contest idea that you all may have a lot of fun with. In a World Cup sort of mood yet?<br/></span></p>

<p><span><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc9fc608-3ff8-caef-9953-432c76d26cf1"><strong>Jim (Romfarer)</strong><span><strong>:</strong> As Mike mentioned, I’m in the middle of consolidating the UI’s in order to make them look more similar. We have also had a lot of small changes and additions to the ui’s over the last months so many of them are due for a polish.</span></span></span></p>

<p><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc9fc608-3ff7-3d2c-2e3a-91fb10f9fe46"><span>Rogelio (Roger): </span></span></strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-dc9fc608-3ff7-3d2c-2e3a-91fb10f9fe46"><span>It’s been a long week polishing textures and lightning the set but the render is looking pretty good. </span></span></p>

<p><strong>Hugo (the intern): </strong><span>Finished a couple pieces (OMS Engine and Vernier Engine) for the game. Im now helping Daniel and Rogelio with models for their animations. I just finished a firecracker and I’m currently working on a kitbash of a space rocket. Im excited to see how these things start turning out.</span></p>

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Looking great!

I'm scared that now that I'm getting the hang of the career mod and I'm advancing at a regular pace the new features push me down again, but hell yeah, bring it to on!

:mad:

PS.:

No annual account wipe? :D

image.php?u=65078&type=sigpic&dateline=1374596325

:D

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Quite a few Notes in daily kerbal this week. Nice to see everything was smooth sailing. Hi Hugo!

Am I in the mood for a world kup? Is that even a question?! Awesome news and awesome news to come I'm sure ;).

And what are these, "Vernier" and "OMS" engines...

Edited by Avera9eJoe
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<p><span><strong>Felipe (HarvesteR):</strong>I’ve tweaked the costs and Isp values on the Mainsail and the Kerbodyne LF Booster. The Mainsail is now the more efficient one, so it should be a more appealing option now, when comparing the two. </span></p>

Oh REALLY? Nice to hear, and I'm glad I'm doing my first Eve Return Mission in 0.23.5!

<p><span><strong>Anthony (Rowsdower):</strong> In a World Cup sort of mood yet?<br/></span></p>

Sokker? I'm imagining 22 people on a huge KMP server trying to Claw an asteroid into the other team's base. But I have a vivid imagination. :D

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Whoo! Devnote Friday! Really looking forward to seeing how Career mode turns out. Right now, 0.23 feels kind of like the easy option for Career (while still being hard, of course), and then .24 will be the next difficulty level :)

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but the game does already calculate the cost of vessels and charges you for it, or prevents you from launching altogether if you can’t foot the bill.

that's weird: in real life, it's the design/testing/building cost + propellant which is a lot more high than the launching one, so the game will allow players to build things they can't launch ! Typically Harvester I might say ! (or "shoot first, ask question later")

Like he said in this interview, Harvester decide displaying numbers on screen is bad and despite success of all mods that feature numbers on screen (VOID, Mechjeb, KER, steamjauges ...) he still refuse to do it, pretending KSP is a "trial and error" game, so with his logic, we all players have to guess (and spend a lot's of time in many launches) how to travel to other bodies like Duna for example, it would be a seriously painful way to play and drive a lot's of players out because noone have enough real life time to waste of foolish guesses whereas maths and tools exists ! It will become a more serious issue with budgets !

Without mentioning there is actually no stock scenarii or stock documentations explaining how to do it and no such help is planning at all.

(I perfectly know there is a lot of community made tutorials and tools, but don't forget many people don't even aware there is mods despite the links in the main game menu !). By the way, spaceport link in game have to be updated.

Maybe this love of trial & error way to work explain why KSP development is so slow (you may learn a lot, especially in area with no interest to your very own goal but it's impossible to plan anything with such way of working).

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that's weird: in real life, it's the design/testing/building cost + propellant which is a lot more high than the launching one, so the game will allow players to build things they can't launch ! Typically Harvester I might say ! (or "shoot first, ask question later")

I see your point here, but you also have to think about how easy this is to implement in game, as well as how easy it would be for new players to pick up on. I suspect that with budgets implemented, researching parts may also come with a cost, as there is already a non-science 'cost' for researching each tech node.

With on screen info, I personally think the current way is pretty good. While I couldn't play KSP without MJ data readouts, had they all been there when I booted up the game the first time, I would have just given up in confusion. This game already has a very steep learning curve, and i don't think squad wants to make it any steeper.

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... A lot of good points ...

Numbers on screen are only useful when you understand them. Many people find FAR hard to use because they don't understand the numbers, so they fall back on trial and error. The same is true for MechJeb - it takes trial and error to understand when a ship has enough dV to reach orbit/Mun/<insert your destination here> OR you have to search for and find one of the many dV resources on the internet which you can only do once you know the right jargon!

This state of affairs is all fine and dandy for experienced players, but for new players number don't help, they actually hinder and - WORSE - put people off. "I can't play this game because I have to know all these numbers!" Yet people can can learn by trial and error. If they can use trial and error then they don't need the numbers.

To emphasise this point: I was playing KSP long before MechJeb et al, and doing it by trial and error was the fun part. Now I am more experienced and working on more complex missions I am happy to use MechJeb to save time, and MechJeb is there to fill that need.

KSP is being written for new players, because that is the only way it will make money. Think ahead to KSP v1.0 going on general sale: that is when all the big reviews come out. Think how many copies will sell if every tutorial talks about a vertical learning curve and endless frustration trying to understand all the numbers? Game reviewers are game enthusiasts with a skill for expressing themselves by the written word, and they aren't necessarily at all academic. If the game gives them the impression you must understand the numbers then they will warn potential players of this, and only the geeks and nerds will rise to the challenge.

Since the numbers are unnecessary for basic gameplay and we CAN play by trial and error (via the magic of roll-back), then why put effort into providing the numbers? Any extra feature takes man-hours and calendar hours to implement, and delays the release and increases the cost. The numbers won't be a big selling point (indeed the opposite), so there is, from the point of view of a developer, no clear rationale for expending that effort.

I, like other advanced players, love using MechJeb for the dV calculations. But there is no need for Squad to copy that functionality - we have the mods available and they work well.

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that's weird: in real life, it's the design/testing/building cost + propellant which is a lot more high than the launching one, so the game will allow players to build things they can't launch ! Typically Harvester I might say ! (or "shoot first, ask question later")

I believe it will still be possible to revert to VAB and get your money back if your design is not successful.

Like he said in this interview, Harvester decide displaying numbers on screen is bad and despite success of all mods that feature numbers on screen (VOID, Mechjeb, KER, steamjauges ...) he still refuse to do it, pretending KSP is a "trial and error" game, so with his logic, we all players have to guess (and spend a lot's of time in many launches) how to travel to other bodies like Duna for example, it would be a seriously painful way to play and drive a lot's of players out because noone have enough real life time to waste of foolish guesses whereas maths and tools exists !

I'm a living proof that KSP can be played great without any numbers that are not yet in game.

As I am not using MechJeb or any similar mod, I need to overengineer my missions a bit. In sandbox it means no problems, however in Career I can expect people using MechJeb and optimized designs will have an edge over me. If the game is intended to be played without MechJeb, then I am pretty sure it will be balanced to be playable that way, too.

In my opinion, what the game needs is not more numbers on screen (in most cases) but rather better testing tools. Having an option to launch my VAB/SPH creation on Eve surface so I can test that it can reach orbit, but without option to save it in the persistence file, I can be sure I'm sending valid design on my real mission.

Without mentioning there is actually no stock scenarii or stock documentations explaining how to do it and no such help is planning at all.

The game is not finished yet. Such things are usually done at the end of development when it's clear how it really works - otherwise they'd need to keep updating them all the time.

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Hugo (the intern): </strong><span>Finished a couple pieces (OMS Engine and Vernier Engine) for the game. Im now helping Daniel and Rogelio with models for their animations. I just finished a firecracker and I’m currently working on a kitbash of a space rocket. Im excited to see how these things start turning out.</span></p>

Oh Mah God. Space shuttles are now easier- and soviet rockets possible also the Atlas-Mercury... O_O

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No - Rowsdower mentioned a few posts back that the files have been backed up to hard disc. However, at this point there is no information on what will happen to them beyond that. There was a suggestion that mod creators will be able (at some point) to ask for copies of their mods if they have lost them.

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