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have we discussed how bankruptcy is impossible in 0.24 as it is?


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What happens if I run out of money?

The best "ekonomists" (rimshot here) in Kerbin have claimed that it’s technically impossible to run out of money, though I’m sure people will still manage it. As you are given advances for contracts and you are constantly offered new contracts, you should be pretty safe.

I'm sure (read: I hope) they'll change this down the road and contracts are great, but they're kind of hollow if you can never actually lose, right? You fail a contract, you don't have enough for the next contract, you get an advance on said contract, the contracts are bottomless, as I understand it.

I guess it makes sense with news like this:

If I stage a part on ascent, can I recover the Funds for it if I attach parachutes?

Unfortunately, you can’t currently recover Funds from debris that were destroyed by the game for going out of the active physics range (>2.5km). You can only recover parts which are attached to the vessel you’re recovering, so reusable spacecraft are a very attractive prospect, for the same reasons as in real life. The more parts you can land back, the less you have to spend to re-launch.

Since a huge chunk of your cash is going to get lost with every lifter you use, so a single botched mission could run you into the ground, but I was sort of hoping for a risk of failure with this update.

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This....kind of defeats the point? I don't get it. We have sandbox mode to be able to play without any restrictions so I figured career would put you in a place where you would have to think a bit differently. If you can just get an advance on the contracts I don't see any reason whatsoever to pay attention to my funds.

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Because if you get an advance, it means you accepted the contract. Many of them have deadlines, which means that once you accept them, you have to do them within a certain amount of time or else face failure. The more you fail, the worse your contracts, the smaller your advances, the less interesting are the things you can do on your advances.

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So while you can't lose the game, you can end up having to go back to grinding basics for a bit to rebuild your budget and reputation.

EDIT: Or maybe you can? I'm sure Danny will find out what happens when your reputation nosedives.

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I can't see a game over screen as likely - because what it would simulate is akin to the scrapping of NASA, the unlearning of all tech, a replacement agency starting from scratch again, relearning all the same tech, relaunching those first apollo missions etc.

NASA, or any governmental space agency, is unlikely to be simply scrapped, with governments saying "That's it, no more space exploration for the human race", regardless of how disastrous their future missions may pan out. Kerbals have a lot higher tolerance for disaster than we humans. What might happen would be for funding governments to say "that's it, you're not doing your experimental blue-sky-thinking space exploration for the sake of scientific endeavour, we're going to channel your efforts into established, profitable space work for a while till you can prove you can do that" - that's a scenario I could see as the closest KSP gets to a failure state, ie. a temporary restriction or heavy channel on activities.

Secondly, and more importantly, from a gameplay perspective, repeatedly starting again provides limited enjoyment. KSP has within it the potential for hundreds of hours of enjoyment, and going through the tech tree and working within the constraints of contracts will provide only some of those hours enjoyment. But ultimately, the bulk of those hundreds of hours of enjoyment will not be spent repeatedly going through the tech tree but by essentially sandboxing at the end - saying "I'm going to setup a shuttle-tug running between Eeloo & Moho, or design a single-stage-to-Duna space plane" - doing stuff for the sake of simply having fun doing it.

I like restarting career modes - I like doing it once or twice every release. But I don't think I'd get much enjoyment of repeatedly restarting career mode much more often than that.

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One persistant problem with these kinds of things is figuring out if career should be balanced for new players who struggle to get to orbit or for people like the typical forum user who has already been playing for a couple years, builds space stations, and participates in challenges. For experienced player a "game over" screen isn't likely to be an issue and isn't something that they are every likely to see, for a new player its likely to come quickly and be and lead to negative reviews.

To me it seems like a reasonable compromise to have a limitless supply of boring (to us) contracts that help a new player attempt the basics while restricting an experienced player from doing fun missions after repeated failures. From my perspective having to follow up a failed Laythe mission with a bunch of Mun/Minmus landings to regenerate funds is practically equivalent to a bankruptcy screen without taking off the training wheels for new players. If its tuned that way or not is something we will see shortly.

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Chances are some of the modders will add bankruptcy as part of the game.

The earlier suggestion that instead of "game over" and re-start, you are forced to perform 'governmental' or company contracts before you're free to return to roaming the Kerbol system is one I could get behind. That way you're not losing and progress, but at the same time you'll be punished for profligacy with heavy (temporary) restrictions.

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Based on preview videos early contract advances are enough to cover the craft costs, so bankruptcy requires failing contracts as simple as 'get into orbit' which pretty much takes purposeful effort to screw up.

I see contracts as a guide for what to do next and funding source for personal projects none of the companies care about, bankruptcy in this case can result from investing too much into entities such as large stations that serve no business purpose. For a player comfortable with interplanetary missions diverting effort and resources into collecting passengers from LKO for the 9001st time is plenty game over enough. I do wonder if there is a mechanic for those actively trying to fail, I don't think anything will prevent me from taking all the advance funds to build a ship with as many kerbals as possible and making a crater with it.

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NASA, or any governmental space agency, is unlikely to be simply scrapped, with governments saying "That's it, no more space exploration for the human race", regardless of how disastrous their future missions may pan out. Kerbals have a lot higher tolerance for disaster than we humans.

NASA was created as a legal fiction for political reasons (ie not flying "air force" personnel over russia). It's existence is and was never assured. In the early days there was a USAF man in space program (see the x-15 and gemini-B). There were also Navy and Army rocket programs. Today we still have the USAF and the the X-37, the NRO and their many spysats, and private organizations like SpaceX. And that's just within the US.

NASA can and might be disbanded if things go horribly wrong. So should the kerbal program. It is an essential part of Squad's advertised goal of "Tycoon" gameplay.

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I can't see a game over screen as likely - because what it would simulate is akin to the scrapping of NASA, the unlearning of all tech, a replacement agency starting from scratch again, relearning all the same tech, relaunching those first apollo missions etc.

NASA, or any governmental space agency, is unlikely to be simply scrapped, with governments saying "That's it, no more space exploration for the human race", regardless of how disastrous their future missions may pan out. Kerbals have a lot higher tolerance for disaster than we humans. What might happen would be for funding governments to say "that's it, you're not doing your experimental blue-sky-thinking space exploration for the sake of scientific endeavour, we're going to channel your efforts into established, profitable space work for a while till you can prove you can do that" - that's a scenario I could see as the closest KSP gets to a failure state, ie. a temporary restriction or heavy channel on activities.

Secondly, and more importantly, from a gameplay perspective, repeatedly starting again provides limited enjoyment. KSP has within it the potential for hundreds of hours of enjoyment, and going through the tech tree and working within the constraints of contracts will provide only some of those hours enjoyment. But ultimately, the bulk of those hundreds of hours of enjoyment will not be spent repeatedly going through the tech tree but by essentially sandboxing at the end - saying "I'm going to setup a shuttle-tug running between Eeloo & Moho, or design a single-stage-to-Duna space plane" - doing stuff for the sake of simply having fun doing it.

I like restarting career modes - I like doing it once or twice every release. But I don't think I'd get much enjoyment of repeatedly restarting career mode much more often than that.

I don't see a Game Over screen being so much the "scrapping of the Kerbal Space Program" so much as "You're the Director/Head of the program and have failed to meet said goals, you're fired and replaced by some other Kerbal".... and so on. Not scrapping or "throwing away science", just having a new leader take over because of a inept first one.

Just brainstorming on how a Game Over could work someday.

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Seems fine to me as-is. I think it would suck if a couple of failures could give you a total game-over.

If you lose funds and reputation for failing, then that means instead of going bankrupt you can still end up in a tight spot and start making backwards progress.

If you run out of surplus funds and have only the contract advance funds available, then I imagine it will be more difficult to complete the contract. Fail, and you end up with less reputation and easier/cheaper contracts. Eventually you'll reach a point where you can complete one or two to get back on your feet. But being put into that downward spiral, even if only temporarily, seems like it could be punishing enough without the need for a game-over.

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NASA was created as a legal fiction for political reasons (ie not flying "air force" personnel over russia). It's existence is and was never assured. In the early days there was a USAF man in space program (see the x-15 and gemini-B). There were also Navy and Army rocket programs. Today we still have the USAF and the the X-37, the NRO and their many spysats, and private organizations like SpaceX. And that's just within the US.

NASA can and might be disbanded if things go horribly wrong. So should the kerbal program. It is an essential part of Squad's advertised goal of "Tycoon" gameplay.

While you may be technically correct regarding the technicalities of NASA and its beginnings, I still struggle to believe the US Government would shut it down. What ever it once was, it is now humanity's main arm in unlocking the secrets of the universe.

Edited by adge
grammar
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While you may be technically correct regarding the technicalities of NASA and its beginnings, I still struggle to believe the US Government would shut it down. What ever it once was, it is now humanity's main arm in unlocking the secrets of the universe.

Really? Humanity? I think the russian, chinese, indian, canadian, french, brits and a dozen other countries with space programs might disagree. And large parts of the scientific community would disagree with the contention that manned spaceflight is scientifically relevant to the "secrets of the universe". Take a look at the work at CERN. And I'll ignore the fact that NASA no longer has the ability to launch people into space.

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Really? Humanity? I think the russian, chinese, indian, canadian, french, brits and a dozen other countries with space programs might disagree. And large parts of the scientific community would disagree with the contention that manned spaceflight is scientifically relevant to the "secrets of the universe". Take a look at the work at CERN. And I'll ignore the fact that NASA no longer has the ability to launch people into space.

I never said manned spaceflight. They do other stuff at NASA too, you know. They launch things called probes and satellites and orbital telescopes (etc)

Also, as you mentioned the British, as a Briton, I see NASA doing more that the UKSA. In fact, I bet the average person on the street has never heard of the UKSA, but they've heard of NASA. Aside from blind jingoism, I doubt any Indian or Frenchman is going to claim their respective countries' agencies are doing more than NASA.

Lastly, "I'll ignore the fact that NASA no longer has the ability to launch people into space". Well, you're clearly not ignoring it when the second string to your argument was " disagree with the contention that manned spaceflight is scientifically relevant"

Edited by adge
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I totally agree with a game over, or at least a state where you have to sell all our patents (re-lock tech nodes) and pick very low profit contracts until you get up again.

KSP already defies all modern concepts of gaming regarding it's dificult and failure itself, it's not less than expected that it would make it clear that you failed when you do.

The issue regarding new players is solved by giving the player the hability to learn inside the game.

The kind of player that would not accept failure is not playing KSP.

Edited by tetryds
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NASA can and might be disbanded if things go horribly wrong. So should the kerbal program. It is an essential part of Squad's advertised goal of "Tycoon" gameplay.

NASA might be, but the US - any country with a space program - will continue to have one under some name or another (barring their being bombed back into the stone age). Any future NASA or ESA or commercial agency replacement will build upon the knowledge already learnt, make use of infrastructure and missions already deployed by their predecessor. So translating this into game terms essentially means.... just changing the name of your space agency; all your satellites keep orbiting, your moon base remains intact, your space station doesn't fall out the sky.

I don't see a Game Over screen being so much the "scrapping of the Kerbal Space Program" so much as "You're the Director/Head of the program and have failed to meet said goals, you're fired and replaced by some other Kerbal".... and so on. Not scrapping or "throwing away science", just having a new leader take over because of a inept first one.

There's some work to do here to make that scenario not just one of - as mentioned above - simply changing the name of your little green space agency. The Hubble telescope is still in orbit if NASA gets scrapped, the Curiosity Rover is still on Mars. So the next Kerbal space agency to take the reins following player mismanagement is likely going to have access to all infrastructure, all pre-existing knowledge and research. In game terms we'll need to ensure it just isn't a "your agency has failed, your new agency is now called X" screen.

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Try and remember how hard you failed when you first played the game and reconsider how difficult it should be to fail. I would love a "hard-mode" with tighter budgets and less tolerance for failure, but I think the devs are right to allow new players to ease into it rather than losing all their progress if they make a few score mistakes.

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