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[24.2] Karbonite Ongoing Dev and Discussion


RoverDude
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  1. 1. Which logo style by Alexustas (on page 2) do you like best?

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This seems pretty interesting. It's exciting to see the advances in gameplay potential from all of this. I had one concern when reading about using the stock antennas for initial version scanning models. Using an MM config to attach additional functionality to them would conflict with Remote Tech and a few other mods. I'd like to suggest that you just create new part configs that use the current models as reference with new names. Then you can update the models later and not conflict as heavily with other mods that use the antennas as antennas. :)

Should be fine since I am adding modules not sealing it or overriding ones that RT probably uses :) MKS already overrides these in the same way

Hey Rover, I put the following up as a thought to resourcing models a few weeks back:

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/84630-Proposal-for-resourcer-modders-Automatic-Resourcing-Mod-Model?highlight=model

Given your automatic logistics hub, ORS, and now your desire for Kethane, it seems this would be a good time to put in my two cents by saying: 'Go read that'.

I'm a big fan of 'Set it And Forget It' type of setups. Mainly because it's real hard for a single player to keep up with a huge empire if they're forced to do all the work of every little activity themselves.

Also, if you're picking up fuel aspect, some kind of support for those of us using Real Fuels would be nice. Not exactly sure how it would implement just yet. But perhaps a generic 'universal' tank that has a fixed volume, but automatically stores any resources placed into it in any combination of volumes up until it's full. That way you can just fill that one tank, and then transfer it to the less flexible tanks.

I like that - lemme ponder :)

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Personal opinion: There are two big approaches to making a resource mod. One is the simulation track, which is where people are saying "well if we think of Kethane as a liquid...". And that's great. But, imagine a starting gamer who's just learning what an orbit is, and you tell them they're going to need to plop down several hours between learning what your resource system does and flying the parts into place if they want to refuel because of THE REALISM- that's basically just a side quest. For many players, the real goal is "I want to refuel a craft mid-mission" so they can explore more. The part you need for that has a drill on one end and a gas pipe on the other. Maybe two parts (drill+pump), with the option for a third (drill+pump and storage tank). You could balance it by being horribly inefficient so it only gets a little fuel out of each zone (but enough to refuel a decent-size craft in a couple of hops), then higher up the tech tree people can unlock all the crazy sim bits so they can strip every available resource off Mun and have their mega-base.

KSP is great for if you're a parent and your kid wanted to know what orbiting is. You fire up the game and within a few hours you have your kid building rockets that can hit orbit. In that same situation, if a kid hears about mining asteroids, I'd like to be able to just stick a drill in and make it bleed.

I'm a programmer, although zero experience with modding KSP. But I'll try to keep tabs and lend a hand if I possibly can.

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Personal opinion: There are two big approaches to making a resource mod. One is the simulation track, which is where people are saying "well if we think of Kethane as a liquid...". And that's great. But, imagine a starting gamer who's just learning what an orbit is, and you tell them they're going to need to plop down several hours between learning what your resource system does and flying the parts into place if they want to refuel because of THE REALISM- that's basically just a side quest. For many players, the real goal is "I want to refuel a craft mid-mission" so they can explore more. The part you need for that has a drill on one end and a gas pipe on the other. Maybe two parts (drill+pump), with the option for a third (drill+pump and storage tank). You could balance it by being horribly inefficient so it only gets a little fuel out of each zone (but enough to refuel a decent-size craft in a couple of hops), then higher up the tech tree people can unlock all the crazy sim bits so they can strip every available resource off Mun and have their mega-base.

KSP is great for if you're a parent and your kid wanted to know what orbiting is. You fire up the game and within a few hours you have your kid building rockets that can hit orbit. In that same situation, if a kid hears about mining asteroids, I'd like to be able to just stick a drill in and make it bleed.

I'm a programmer, although zero experience with modding KSP. But I'll try to keep tabs and lend a hand if I possibly can.

KSP is one of those games where the criteria changes from person to person. Some see a convenient realistic space simulation sandbox just waiting to happen (RSS junkies). Others see an easy learning tool where everything is simplified.

In terms of marketing, you want to pander to the widest demographic possible. KSP has the advantage in this field in that the basic game can be easily run by anyone who can at least point and click, while the mods are more or less easy to install and can expand it to those looking for 'more'.

In my experience since my first treks into online gaming 15 years ago, you have to consider the end result carefully and where the player is going to be in the end. You're right in that people often see something and want to get right to it and not spend forever and a day setting it up. But there does need to be a challenge to it or it becomes unfulfilling.

At the same time, you want examine the ladder-climbing and grind mechanics. The worst dynamic to put in place is monotonous time grinding or repetitive tasks. Consider from the perspective of a player who starts over from scratch due to say, KSPs game-breaking major updates. They want to get BACK to where they were, not spend a week just grinding for 'XP'. In this case, you want to ensure that in terms of how the learning curve and grind executes, if the player is a skilled veteran, they can easily blitz through it.

In terms of tasks, you want to avoid the same monotony. Building a base, mining operations, mid-mission refueling... These are 'new and exciting' until you do them a couple of times. Then when you move on and you're trying to do something greater, it becomes a necessary evil, and an annoying monotony. Once the player can do these tasks themselves, you want their next step to be learning how to automate these tasks. Then you want to 'set it and forget it' so you can focus on designing for your next objective.

From a 'fluff' perspective, the mechanic is kind of like saying that you pioneered the operation, now it's someone else's problem to maintain.

But the important part of the concept is that you want to keep the player progressing and doing something new and better with every mission. If the player keeps having to repeat the same half-hour long monotonous operation every ten minutes of new gameplay, then you've got a problem. It's even worse if, for the sake of 'realism', you're forcing ONE PLAYER, who can only do one thing at any given time, to simulate the tasks that would be REALISTICALLY maintained by a dedicated team of hundreds. (Remote Tech Satellite orbit maintenance, or Kethane drilling ops... That kind of thing.)

You don't want to saddle the player with an ever growing list of things to maintain. Even with the argument of 'realism', that becomes unrealistic. That's one of the nice things about what RoverDude is trying to build here. It looks like his general game philosophy is similar to mine. You do the work learning and setting up - the part that's fun - then you move on because it's automated if you did it right and you only need to check on it occasionally to ensure it's running as it should.

The second part is ensuring the learning curve is challenging enough to do to be rewarding, but not so hard as to frustrate. Going full realism with mods can lead to the latter of course if you're not familiar with things. And of course, there's also giving the player the proper tools for doing a task. You don't plot interplanetary intercepts and not give a player the means to at least figure out the transfer windows. And you don't throw little kids a game with complex spaceflight math without easy to use calculators and explanations that render the work little more than arithmetic. Even a really complex task can be made simple in concept with the right tools. If you build the game engine right, you can shock the world when an 8 year old is working on the same competency level as a NASA engineer. And you can do it with full realism in mind. You just have to shape the learning curve the right way.

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This is actually something I've been thinking about since my playthrough with kethane. Setting up transportation infrastructure was fun, as was transporting a few fuel loads, but it got tedious. I came up with the idea of KOTS (Kerbol Orbital Transportation Services), based upon the real-world Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) that NASA employs to resupply the ISS. With .24 released, my shipping mod finally has what it needs to get off the ground. Of course, nothing is free unless you aren't playing Career mode; shipping supplies throughout the Kerbol system does cost funds... Here's the link if you're curious.

Edited by Angel-125
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Hey all - so here's where we're at:

Karbonite resource now set up in ORS.

In the box will be a single resource - Karbonite. If you have MKS/OKS, EL, whatever - you get more stuff. I want to keep this as a narrow focus, because there are plenty of choices out there already for adding more stuff.

Initial parts will be an extractor, a converter, and a tank. Antennas will use stock.

On the drawing board will be multiple tanks, generators, jet engines, rocket engines, etc. with different form factors, from micro sized to jumbo, and the community is free to add more, as all plugin code will be CC

I am doing 'white mock up' parts using stock models for all of the parts both for release and noted above so we can get balance, etc. set up.

Mechanic to randomize maps is being worked. Need to research how to swap out the ORS textures at runtime.

Building 'on rails' resource extraction. Both this and the random maps are not required for release, but are nice to haves. Will also be looking at on-rails generators so that these can 'catch up' when your mining op reloads if these were left on.

- - - Updated - - -

This is actually something I've been thinking about since my playthrough with kethane. Setting up transportation infrastructure was fun, as was transporting a few fuel loads, but it got tedious. I came up with the idea of KOTS (Kerbol Orbital Transportation Services), based upon the real-world Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) that NASA employs to resupply the ISS. With .24 released, my shipping mod finally has what it needs to get off the ground. Of course, nothing is free unless you aren't playing Career mode; shipping supplies throughout the Kerbol system does cost funds...

Take a look at Orbital Logistics with MKS/OKS :)

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I'd like to say that I 100% DISAGREE with Revkev. I don't want a simplified resource system for kids with "drill goes in, gas comes out", I want a realistic system. In-situ resource utilization is a complex, impressive technology and it's in-game difficulty should reflect that.

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I'd like to say that I 100% DISAGREE with Revkev. I don't want a simplified resource system for kids with "drill goes in, gas comes out", I want a realistic system. In-situ resource utilization is a complex, impressive technology and it's in-game difficulty should reflect that.

nope!... I on the other hand dislike how mods tend to bloat themselves as they grow and add unnecessary complexity as if dealing with the mod is the only thing the player has to do *sites the place "metal" has in Extraplanetary launchpads resource chain, and the interstellar mod in general* I believe the core stock version of the mod should be at least as simple as kethane currently is and people with more of a desire for realism and complexity can expand on it from there themselves

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nope!... I on the other hand dislike how mods tend to bloat themselves as they grow and add unnecessary complexity as if dealing with the mod is the only thing the player has to do *sites the place "metal" has in Extraplanetary launchpads resource chain, and the interstellar mod in general* I believe the core stock version of the mod should be at least as simple as kethane currently is and people with more of a desire for realism and complexity can expand on it from there themselves
how about we make it like the biomass mod: the standard version and biomass science+ which has more complex stuff then the standard version? it would be optional, which to choose.
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I'd like to say that I 100% DISAGREE with Revkev. I don't want a simplified resource system for kids with "drill goes in, gas comes out", I want a realistic system. In-situ resource utilization is a complex, impressive technology and it's in-game difficulty should reflect that.

In what way, good sir?

It's one thing to talk the Big Talk, but do you even have a mental image of what you want? Does that mental image fit with the constraints of the game engine? You know what they say: 'Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.'

In your opinion, what does a realistic system look like?

To give an example, I want more uses for Kerbin than to just be a giant landing pad after a mission. I want to make use of building aircraft designs I've built ranging from an SR-71 to a vehicular cargo transport plane so I can set up shop. Problem is, there's nothing to do setting up shop anywhere on Kerbin. I could go resourcing, but there's no place on Kerbin I can get resources from that the Mun or Minmus wouldn't be better suited for thanks to no atmosphere and low gravity. The LARS idea I have in my link a few posts back could make use of it though. And that required me to sit down and do some thinking.

To work off the resourcing example, I again ask you how you would define it. Because I could easily get realistic to the level of cruelty. Defined realistic processes, realistic maintenance issues, manning (kerbaling) costs, accidents, inefficiency, waste, where to PUT said waste... Do you want to play Kerbal Splace Program, or Lunar Industrial Complex Simulator 2014?

Just imagine The Sims meets Minecraft meets meets Logix Pro meets Multisim meets Lab View meets D&D meets 4chan (/b/ to be precise) meets an industrial engineering course from MIT... Assuming the thing doesn't melt your CPU.

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how about we make it like the biomass mod: the standard version and biomass science+ which has more complex stuff then the standard version? it would be optional, which to choose.

I'm not familiar with the biomass mod every time I've tried to look it up it seemed to be unmaintained or whoever was reviving it was hideously bloating the complexity I'd need some links in order to see what you are talking about cause I don't have time to read the whole thread to get the whole story.

Anyway my point is its easier for modders to add complexity as a separate mod than to take it away from a large existing one so the basic core karbonite mod should be made to be simple. This has the added benefit of being easy to maintain and update.

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I'm not familiar with the biomass mod every time I've tried to look it up it seemed to be unmaintained or whoever was reviving it was hideously bloating the complexity I'd need some links in order to see what you are talking about cause I don't have time to read the whole thread to get the whole story.

Anyway my point is its easier for modders to add complexity as a separate mod than to take it away from a large existing one so the basic core karbonite mod should be made to be simple. This has the added benefit of being easy to maintain and update.

In short, what you mean is that Karbonite needs to set its scope and stick to it. That's probably what really gets to you is that the mods that are 'bloating' don't establish their scope.

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Hey all - so here's where we're at:

Karbonite resource now set up in ORS.

In the box will be a single resource - Karbonite. If you have MKS/OKS, EL, whatever - you get more stuff. I want to keep this as a narrow focus, because there are plenty of choices out there already for adding more stuff.

Initial parts will be an extractor, a converter, and a tank. Antennas will use stock.

On the drawing board will be multiple tanks, generators, jet engines, rocket engines, etc. with different form factors, from micro sized to jumbo, and the community is free to add more, as all plugin code will be CC

I am doing 'white mock up' parts using stock models for all of the parts both for release and noted above so we can get balance, etc. set up.

Mechanic to randomize maps is being worked. Need to research how to swap out the ORS textures at runtime.

Building 'on rails' resource extraction. Both this and the random maps are not required for release, but are nice to haves. Will also be looking at on-rails generators so that these can 'catch up' when your mining op reloads if these were left on.

- - - Updated - - -

Take a look at Orbital Logistics with MKS/OKS :)

Don't tell you you've already built a KOTS-like system that lets you transport resources from base to station anywhere in the Kerbol system... :)

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Replying to the thread in general on scope (and trust me I already have my share of complex multi-step mods).

Intent will be to start with a simple scope.

One resource. Find, mine, convert, store, and use. Handful of parts - detector, extractor, converter, tanks. And some accompanying engines/generators.

But since the entire thing is CC, folks are absolutely free to extend it. Swap out the converters and make a more complex process, change conversion rates, add resources, go crazy. ORS is there. The parts will be all CC. Any custom plugins will all be CC.

I totally get that this may not be everyone's ideal one way or the other, but it hits the widest audience, it's a proven formula, and it leaves it the most open to extension and enhancement (it's easier to take stuff away than to add new stuff).

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Coding challenge: If anyone wants to volunteer for this, PM me. Want to make sure only one person works on this to minimize cross efforts.

What I would like to see is some code that procedurally generates a 640x480 greyscale PNG. basically I would like to have randomized ORS maps, so each player's experience is different. This is not a launch requirement, but one that I think would add some nice depth. I'm envisioning something procedural where it affects the density, scatter, size, etc. of the deposits in grayscale for ORS. Bonus would be for it to take an existing PNG (like the default greyscale ones I use for MKS/OKS, but could be anything) as input so that the randomness has some correlation to terrain.

Bonus: Ability to add to this map after the fact. The play would be that players could, on land, 'explore' a point and have a chance of generating a new hotspot for the given resource :) So we'd need to change the ORS map. Conversely, there could be a mechanic where a spot's density decreases over time due to resource depletion, encouraging the player to find a new hotspot.

Has anyone taken you up on this yet? It should be pretty simple.

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Will the procedural map code be bundled with the code to make things work on rails, or will they be separate plugins that are both included in the Karbonite download? Also, how is ORS working with .24? I'd heard that it was causing crashes.

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I'd like to chime in a suggestion on the chemical formula.

C8H10N4O2, or in kerbal k-standard: K8H10N4O2

It contains the carbon, hydrogen and oxygen needed for pretty much any fuel/oxidizer formula that stock could be, and the nitrogen needed for monoprop. Plus it can be solid and its liquid form is already associated with boosting energy.

Yes, caffeine.

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HI I was considering joining the line at the door waiting for the first version from the moment I first saw this, having read through and discovered that you actually intend to be able to harvest the resource everywhere including the oceans, I've become very interested, in what form would the ocean borne Karbonite be found, hopefully not in the same way as the nigh on impossible to get at deposits of kethane on the ocean floor, I've built mods to attempt this very thing(extracting kethane from seabed) and It has in truth been a total waste of resources, if played as part of a career the costs would bankrupt a player quite quickly. Plus as I'm not really a spaceplane builder fairly pointless apart from the challenge. If you are considering maybe the Karbonite being in solution with sea water, what kind of concentrations would be required to make for creating a viable recovery method? I'd be happy to take on the challenge that the recovery presents from a parts point of view, I do have several unreleased ships, LCV's and subs may may prove a useful base.

I could certainly use an alternative to Kethane hunting for the challenge rather than a need, especially if it converts to resources to build colossal ships

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"Kaffeine", keeps your rockets (and kerbals) awake :D

@RoverDude:

I'm glad your mods developed so well and I'm amazed what you did besides MKS!

Keep up your great work! :)

Regards,

Stage

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Since KSPI,EL and KESA together provide all necessary for colonization, shipbuilding, fuel harvesting, etc, what is the purpose of Karbonite?

Also, will Karbonite be placed on every body like Kethane? I'd like to see Karbonite be a little more realistic.

Tigerclaw, let's not talk about the constraints of the game engine. They haven't been an issue, given that RSS, Real Fuels, Kethane, KSPI, etc have all proved possible.It's not a factor. I like your LARS concept, and I'm not suggesting micromanagement. A set it up and let it run approach is fine with me, with occasional maintenance being required at least at first(like in MKS as is now). What I was objecting to is having every resource needed for refueling on every celestial body, with no searching, set up or thinking being required. I don't want to just be able to easily turn the Mun into a refueling depot with any set-up or maintenance.

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Since KSPI,EL and KESA together provide all necessary for colonization, shipbuilding, fuel harvesting, etc, what is the purpose of Karbonite?

Also, will Karbonite be placed on every body like Kethane? I'd like to see Karbonite be a little more realistic.

Tigerclaw, let's not talk about the constraints of the game engine. They haven't been an issue, given that RSS, Real Fuels, Kethane, KSPI, etc have all proved possible.It's not a factor. I like your LARS concept, and I'm not suggesting micromanagement. A set it up and let it run approach is fine with me, with occasional maintenance being required at least at first(like in MKS as is now). What I was objecting to is having every resource needed for refueling on every celestial body, with no searching, set up or thinking being required. I don't want to just be able to easily turn the Mun into a refueling depot with any set-up or maintenance.

As I recall kethane lets you define how resources are generated per planet it stands to reason that karbonite will possess the same functionality meaning you can make the game as realistic as you want, but that being said the core stock version of karbonite as roverdude has been saying it should be ought to be simple(think of it as a tech demo to inspire modders). You can then pick it up from there edit some configs and make your self a more complex and realistic resource processing chain without having to learn to code in c#.

EDIT: Heck you can do that with Kethane right now if you don't mind coexisting with or disabling mod statistics

Edited by passinglurker
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Working on some initial models!

On the left is a ventral drill piece. It could probably use some more detail around the inner ring to spruce it up, but I'm very happy about how it turned out. it folds up pretty nicely and could probably be wrangled to extend further down if needed.

karbonite1.png

On the right is a really basic 2.5m tank, I didn't want to go for anything really fancy or detailed like the NF tanks, so it has a very flat profile. The vents provide a little bit of visual detail.

What I'm wondering is what highlight colour to use? Kethane has a strong green/white vibe, and a lot of other stock fuel systems have particular colours. What should we use for Karbonite? I did some tests with a number of different colours and wasn't satisfied with them.

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Working on some initial models!

On the left is a ventral drill piece. It could probably use some more detail around the inner ring to spruce it up, but I'm very happy about how it turned out. it folds up pretty nicely and could probably be wrangled to extend further down if needed.

On the right is a really basic 2.5m tank, I didn't want to go for anything really fancy or detailed like the NF tanks, so it has a very flat profile. The vents provide a little bit of visual detail.

What I'm wondering is what highlight colour to use? Kethane has a strong green vibe, and a lot of other stock fuel systems have particular colours. What shoulf we use for Karbonite? I did some tests with a number of different colours and wasn't satisfied with them.

Gorgeous!

And yep, Kethane is definitely green. Taking a nod to Alexustas' logos, why not that shade of red he's using?

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