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Nertea

[Planning] Community Tech Tree

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I'm so disappointed with this.

You want to keep things simple. That's fine, but can I suggest that for your next project you make a community tech tree that's actually a whole new community technology tree, and not a forced progression tree?

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Nertea,

The tree that I downloaded earlier (from the front page of this thread) doesn't have the node "Nanolathing". Is there an equivalent where the stocl parts that live there would end up?

Edited by DaveS

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Hey guys I really love this idea! I just have one question, Sorry if this was already answered and I just did not catch it earlier. But If a mod does not support this will you still be able to use their mods with this tree? I would assume that you are building off the stock tree and if they don't want to support this their parts will just fall into the stock nodes. correct me if i am wrong but that's my understanding.

Anyway this is a fantastic idea and I really hope this comes through and if you need some help let me know.

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I'm so disappointed with this.

You want to keep things simple. That's fine, but can I suggest that for your next project you make a community tech tree that's actually a whole new community technology tree, and not a forced progression tree?

Can you illuminate on the difference?

@armytwin2 - I assume they would either use their own tree or stock. And I fully expect you will see new MM configs that move bits around, too. At the end of the day it's just plunking stuff in nodes.

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I'm so disappointed with this.

You want to keep things simple. That's fine, but can I suggest that for your next project you make a community tech tree that's actually a whole new community technology tree, and not a forced progression tree?

Why? Don't these kinds of things all ready exist?

A total overhaul of the tech tree seems like something that should be made for some specific vision, like BTSM. Whereas this is basically, take the stock tree and expand it so that the nodes aren't so overcrowded and so that you have a little more variety in tech tree progression.

Doing anything more than expanding the stock tree would be a tremendous amount of work. And asking addon creators to support more than one alternative tree would likely be a total non-starter.

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This is looking great, and it looks like we're adopting it for RP-0. :)

I'm now going to be the packaging and standards dude who wants us all to agree on naming and conventions. I know some folks will be bundling the CTT, and I know others will require that it be downloaded. So the important question for us to answer now is: where in GameData will this sit?

I recommend GameData/CommunityTechTree/tree.cfg. That means we don't end up with multiple mods putting it in different places and us ending up with duplicates. It means that ModuleManager will produce a pass for CommunityTechTree, so parts can :REQUIRE or run :AFTER that. It means that CKAN packaging will run out of the box.

In terms of updates, we've got a few options. New versions can release with the same path, but then players run the risk of ending up with an old version of the CTT if a mod bundles an older version of it. If we're targeting TechManager (which I hope we are), then the tree should be ModuleManager friendly¹. One possible solution then would to then have tree.cfg be invariant across new versions, and changes be made by having update files (tree-update-1.1.cfg, tree-update-1.2.cfg). Those update files will run after the original tree.cfg and can update it appropriately. This means someone installing an older bundled CTT won't be changing any files, and the player won't end up with a surprise backgrade to their tech tree.

CKAN installs are of course immune to all of this, because the CKAN will always install the most recent compatible version of the CTT. I'm happy to do the CKAN packaging, although having releases on Github or Kerbalstuff will help a lot there, as our bots are then able to detect new releases automatically.

Thanks again for all your hard work on this, Nertea, I very much appreciate it! :)

~ Paul

¹ Anonish, I'd love your confirmation that my beliefs on the awesomeness of TechManager and ModuleManager are correct here.

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Anonish, I'd love your confirmation that my beliefs on the awesomeness of TechManager and ModuleManager are correct here.

I see no reason MM can't modify one or more tech trees before TM reads from them. CTT will be relying on that for part assignment.

I'll suggest not calling it 'tree.cfg' though. TM 1.2 (1.3 soon) supports a slightly different format for trees. Any tree file found under GameData can be called whatever you want. CTT.cfg or CommunityTechTree.cfg or whatever.

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I've been playing with this just a tiny bit, considering right now I'm waiting for nertea and rover to adapt their mods to this so it isn't so empty, and I've been playing with making an MM config to move some KSPI stuff into the tree and so far this tree is everything someone who uses lots of mods could hope for. Only real problems I have had are that for some reason MM keeps wanting to shove everything into the last node when I try to target the warpdrives but I admit that's probably just my inexperience and not techmanager. Good job nertea for coming up with this.

EDIT: ok so since that was easy to fix I can put up a MM cfg for the KSPI parts until fractal decides to support if someone wants to tell me a good site to use for something so simple, not really the putting up type but since I'm here I figure I should contribute.

Edited by Serino

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Just so we're clear I'm asking for a new community tree, not to change this one. There's value in the current one for gamers who don't bother modding much and it keeps things simple.

Can you illuminate on the difference?

The difference is that in a technology tree, you get to choose what technology you research by clicking specific technology branches. Technology.

Whereas in stock you have things grouped according to no discernible pattern. Sometimes it seems like parts might just go together according to what you want to do, like:

Survivability - The first "choice" you get.

Ok so you have an LV-909, a parachute and landing legs. That seems like what you need for a suborbital flight, and you can get some science from that, but do you actually need landing legs? None of the craft designed to land back on earth had them until Dragon 2 afaik.

Sometimes things might be grouped thematically, but the link is tenuous at best, like:

Flight Control

It's nice. We have a reaction wheel, control surfaces, and a cockpit, woo!.. And a single rectangular wing segment. That's weird. Why no other wings?

What technologies are available when is a separate matter for discussion, although it's related. The other equal annoyance with the stock tree is that it just makes so little sense as a tree of technologies.

Harvester used to say that this game lets you do your own thing, and he'd do what he could to give people an open experience. Well when it comes to the tree he failed miserably. At the very least he could have given people a choice of manned vs unmanned at the first branching point.

Why? Don't these kinds of things all ready exist?

Yes but there has not been a group effort to adopt one community standard. There have been many, and it is not as easy to maintain them when a) the single author is not active B) the mod developer has to choose one among many or all of them.

A total overhaul of the tech tree seems like something that should be made for some specific vision, like BTSM.

The vision would be a sensible tree with actualy technology branches, but no dependencies like BTSM. That's the main thing that put me off of BTSM.

Doing anything more than expanding the stock tree would be a tremendous amount of work. And asking addon creators to support more than one alternative tree would likely be a total non-starter.

I reject that outright. I wouldn't mind changing a single word in my 30 - 40-odd configs, especially if the nodes were easy to choose based on technology.

On top of that mod makers often create special MM configs anyway, as do mod users if they feel it's needed. Do you not think that there would be someone among B9 users who would do it themselves? There's very little difficulty here. It's just a single word.

Edited by Cpt. Kipard

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Cpt. I think what is being said is that this is easy to do community style its just a bunch of node names and places. Your main problem seems to be where things are in the nodes and nertea said they will not be defining what goes where in the tree, its just a tree. It's up to other modders/players to create the MM configs to move parts around on any mods that dont support CTT or to move parts around.

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@Cpt Kipard - sounds like you just volunteered to build the MM configs to support your technology tree idea. Should just be some MM files and a dependency on either CTT or another tree of your choice.

I look forward to seeing your release thread.

(Edit) and that was not meant to be snarky. Rather, it sounds like you are passionate about the idea, and feel it is not nearly as difficult as others have said. So I encourage you to rock on and start building this thing, and can't wait to see it come to fruition.

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@Cpt.Kipard The difference between this and what you are suggesting is that since this tree is "all the stock nodes plus some new extended ones" then all that any random mod you choose needs to do to support this one just fine is work with stock. If the mod author (or a user) chooses to move the parts in it into one of the new community nodes, then that's great, but if they don't then that's great too.

For a completely reworked tree, with a whole new structure, you essentially lose that "stock plus" part and have "a whole bunch of new nodes". Which means that every single mod out there that has parts is no longer compatible with it until someone does do the work of assigning the parts in it to one of the new nodes, which is a heck of a lot more work than the current solution which can be as little as zero for most mods.

I'm not saying it is a bad idea, just trying to explain why your way is considered to be more work than this way.

But, like Rover, I'd love to see you do this, and I'd definitely be downloading it and giving it a thorough poking :) (Sadly, I barely get any time to play KSP, let alone mod it, or I'd be volunteering to help).

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What about keeping the stock nodes, rearrange and add nodes as needed, then use MM to move the stock parts into sane/reasonable/fun nodes? That way, existing mods that use the stock tree aren't completely out in the cold, but there is much greater freedom for mods that adopt the CTT. That seems to hit a sweet spot between bolting nodes onto the existing stock tree (see: "lipstick" and "pig"), and chucking the whole thing into the ocean for a shiny new tree (see: "baby" and "bathwater").

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@madlemur - I think everyone agrees that conceptually that's a great idea, but who's definition of sane? That's why it's out of scope for this project - this is just some sorely needed framework stuff.

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@madlemur - I think everyone agrees that conceptually that's a great idea, but who's definition of sane? That's why it's out of scope for this project - this is just some sorely needed framework stuff.

OK. I'm with you... CTT is just the definition of a set of common tech nodes. Perhaps a sample configuration of a suggested node structure, and maybe a sample or two of reallocated stock techs. Then, mods could include the configuration for their own parts, and how they fit into the tech nodes.

I'll admit I'm making the assumption that it's reasonably possible to rearrange the nodes, and parts are assigned to the nodes by name (or id), not by position.

Then the issue seems to be coming up with a reasonable taxonomy of tech nodes. Which is an admittedly Herculean effort (as you well know with CRS/ORS). Then it's up to the mod makers to provide the appropriate tech nodes for their parts without respect to where they may be located in the tree. Once parts are properly categorized in their respective nodes, then a tech tree can be chosen. Perhaps manned pods come much later in the tree, or the aerodynamic nodes are all early and cheap, letting a career begin with planes, then move into rocketry.

This presents an opportunity for someone to release a game flavor "mod" that is just a shuffling of the tech tree.

Once the taxonomy is determined, there are just a couple of required covenants, the main one being there can/should be a way to infer overall ordering of subgroups of nodes (rocketry->advanced rocketry->heavy rocketry->super heavy rocketry). Not that they have to be directly sequential, but that each node appears no earlier in the tree than the previous (although they could all be at the same level). But even that is a suggestion, not an enforced structure (if you break it in your tree, you should be nice enough to state that fact up front).

I know I'm rambling and babbling. Typing with stolen brain cycles at work... :P

End use cases:

"I'm playing with B9, KW, the USI catalog, and Kipard's realistic tech tree." -- Tech tree is "just another mod" that stands alone from other mods

"Cool! I love that tree with NovaPunch2, TAC, and Orbital Science!" -- Doesn't matter what mods you use it with; as long as the parts fit the taxonomy, they should fall into place logically

"I'm using it as the suggested tree for my new mod that I'm working on, but Rover's 'Such stars, much space' tree works, too!" -- Mod authors can suggest trees, but should categorize tech based on the taxonomy

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Interestingly, that's exactly what RP0 is trying to do, although with the assumption that people are using Realism Overhaul, and moving nodes for a fun realistic career. Taking node names as given, and also what parts are in nodes to some degree (although we will be shuffling parts some), and rearranging them and their links.

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@Cpt Kipard - sounds like you just volunteered to build the MM configs to support your technology tree idea.

What I volunteered for is to make MM configs for my mods (and maybe some others) for a potential reorganised tree framework that doesn't exist yet. Unfortunately I don't have the time to make that tree myself. I'm already lagging with the promises I made to my mod users and collaborators.

I just thought some of you might want to work on a reorganised framework on the side, as a parallel project to this one or after it.

Edited by Cpt. Kipard

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@Cpt. Kipard and @madlemur from what has been said, and the short but informative ways RoverDude has explained it, this is only meant as a tree that all mods, current and future, can use. Since it is just the tree and nothing else then it can easily be set for both of you using MM configs to reassign any of the parts to any of the nodes. This way those who want to play with stock tree+ can and those that want special configurations, more realism, planes first, probes before manned, can have those configurations as well. Since all part assignment is done either by the mods themselves, for those mods that support this, or by MM configs, for those that don't or for rearranging, then this tree supports having any of the parts wherever you want which is, from what I have read, one of the goals of this tree, along with the tree for all mods goal.

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This still keeps the stock node names and structure. I'm asking for a complete overhaul.

And please can people stop saying what THIS tree is? I'm not asking for THIS tree to be changed.

Edited by Cpt. Kipard

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This still keeps the stock node names and structure. I'm asking for a complete overhaul.

And please can people stop saying what THIS tree is? I'm not asking for THIS tree to be changed.

Then I would suggest doing a separate thread, because I am really at a total loss as to what you want - ie. you obviously have *something* in mind and are asking people to make what you have in mind, but none of us are mind readers ;)

From my standpoint, the stock node's names and pathing are fine, so I (personally) have no reason to want a second structure. If you have your own vision for what you want (and given your evident frustration with tree node arrangement), then the best thing is to do your own tree, because you're the only person right now who has any idea (specifically) what you want.

Granted, it won't be the one I use so it's going to, by it's very nature, require a ton of work on someone else's part - but there very well may be someone who wants to help you out with it.

In either case, I'd say your request will get a better audience in the Tech Manager thread proper, and you might even find a volunteer to help you out.

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This still keeps the stock node names and structure. I'm asking for a complete overhaul.

And please can people stop saying what THIS tree is? I'm not asking for THIS tree to be changed.

Yes, it does. The stock node ids should remain intact so that there will always be a baseline for mods to put parts into the/a tech tree. Names can be changed, parts can be reallocated, and the structure shuffled.

What you ask for is at one level higher than this project aims. You're asking for a concrete tree with names, structure, and part allocation. From what I'm gathering, this project's aim is to provide a consistent taxonomy and set of nodes for mods to place their parts into. Perhaps also provide a default structure (Stock+). From there, it's reasonably simple to go in and rename and restructure nodes, and reallocate parts. It seems to me that the audience you need to be targeting are the people who are/will be actually crafting the specific tree configurations.

edit: Damned ninjas...

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This still keeps the stock node names and structure. I'm asking for a complete overhaul.

And please can people stop saying what THIS tree is? I'm not asking for THIS tree to be changed.

That's asking for a very specific tree with a specific purpose. While these guys are nice and willing to help a lot you are asking them to put a lot of work into creating a tree and assigning parts to it with no knowledge of what mods that will be used in it and that takes quite a bit of time even with that knowledge. That would take time from them working on their own mods, publicly released or not, for something which may or may not be used by anyone other than you. If you are looking for just a tech tree like this one is where MM configs do all the part assignment it's a little more feasible but from what I can glean from your original post is that you want discreet paths for each "type" of progression, plane parts, rocket parts, control parts etc having their own separate progression path with little to no interdependency. If this is true then what benefit does such a tree have over what is being developed here other than jack up the science cost needed to progress further and limiting the player on their choices. Even reality doesn't do that a discovery in one area tends to lead to breakthroughs in one or more other fields which may or may not be related.

edit: fat fingered the keyboard in a few places.

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I just found this post a couple of days ago and I must say that I'm very impressed. Mostly because one of the main issues I've been having with KSP since I started playing is the stock tech tree. It's just so impractical, there's no sense in it.

However I've found that there's still no file to download (I know it's says [Planning]) and it'd be great if it was... So my question is, when will be the first release?

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I just found this post a couple of days ago and I must say that I'm very impressed. Mostly because one of the main issues I've been having with KSP since I started playing is the stock tech tree. It's just so impractical, there's no sense in it.

Are you aware that this tree still retains the stock tree as its foundation?

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