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Dreamer - SNC Dreamchaser Mod - V1.2 UPDATED! Now with (some) FAR support!


artwhaley
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Update V 1.2 - Includes a brand new IVA with completely custom props, so there's no more Alcor dependency. I also fixed a couple of texture mapping issues and made it a little easier to control in the atmosphere. It's STILL tough to land, by design. Please keep feedback coming - I'm not actively playing the ship much, at the moment, so you guys are the only way I'll know what needs work!

DREAMER RELEASED! A roughly 2/3 scale model of Sierra Nevada Corp's Dream Chaser space plane!

Download:

https://kerbalstuff.com/mod/267/Dreamer%20-%20SNC%20Dream%20Chaser

Let's start with the pics -

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And new pics of the updated IVA:

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What's included -

  • Two versions of the body - one that's true to the original, and one that adds a small payload bay. The payload bay is one of a few changes that I've made to the Dream Chaser (all of them optional... you CAN build and set it up to fly true to the prototype if accuracy is your thing.) because I want this to be a mod that people can actually use - rather than being like some of the awesome mods on here that realistically capture every detail of a real world craft... but don't really have any 'playability' - so you launch them once to marvel at the model... then either delete it or let it slow down your game load times forever... but never really PLAY with it. These are game pieces... not museum collectibles.
  • Two versions of the nose section - one that just has internal space to attach pieces - batteries, computers, small rcs tanks, etc... and one that adds an Orbiter Delta-Glider style docking port in the nose.
  • Three payload bay modules - a generic tank (comes preconfigured for TAC life support, but the idea is that you can edit the .cfg file to add any resource from any mod that YOU use... so reconfigure it for snacks or karbonite or anything else), an LFO tank that adds additional delta-v to the ship, and a KAS workshop module that, if you have KAS installed, gives a winch, a pipe attachment, and a storage crate, turning this into an awesome little maintenance and upgrades platform.
  • An Atlas V two-stage launcher to lob the thing into orbit. This is lower detail, as I wanted to spend CPU cycles and memory on the ship you actually fly all mission, not on the launcher you discard in three minutes. But it's there, and both stages terminate at 2.5m so they're useable with other payloads... though you'll probably have to have an adapter fairing of some sort for the upper stage, because the top of the centaur isn't flat.
  • The other little parts to make it work - wings, tail, landing skid and wheels, a rear docking port (true to the prototype design) OMS engines and a 2.5m adapter.

I've now added integrated airbrakes. They're attached with the tail model, and the tail is where you click to control them. It's possible to reenter and land the ship in both stock and FAR without them... but they make it a LOT less scary.

The launch vehicle adapter is 2.5m, so you can hypothetically launch it on top of any 2.5m parts from the game... but... there's a lot of aerodynamic surface on this thing, and it's way up front in the launch configuration. My Atlas V has increased gimbal range to let you counter act the instability instead of fins (just like the real thing) so if you launch this on stock parts, you may need quite a few fins at the base of the rocket.

The IVA requires: (not necessary if you don't want to IVA)

Raster Prop Monitor - http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/57603-0-25-RasterPropMonitor-putting-the-A-in-your-IVA-(v0-18-3)-8-Oct

The Ship Requires:

Firespitter. It makes the landing gear and airbrakes work. Does anyone NOT have this at this point? http://snjo.github.io/

Notes:

The centaur loads with less than full fuel tanks... and the Dreamer loads with more fuel than you probably need. I highly recommend planning your missions and adjusting the fuel in these two stages appropriately. As it loads, the launch stack will put the Dreamer into orbit with aproximately 400 m/s left in the Centaur, and 1100m/s in the ship itself. You could make a mun orbit and return with that... If you fully fill up the Centaur, you can almost make the Trans Munar Injection burn on the Centaur alone, before you ditch it. If you fill up both tanks AND add the LFO payload bay module... you can BARELY make a complete Duna transfer, aerocapture, escape and return. If these delta-v numbers are too high for you... feel free to take some of the fuel out in the VAB to tune it to how you want to play! :)

There's an electric generator built into the capsule. And the output is HIGH. I've had to do this to make the batteries last all the way through re-entry. I suppose I could turn the power down on the flywheel system. I'll play with that. But at the moment you'll never run out of electricity. Which is a little hacky. I need to get this into balance.

The mod supports DRE and FAR. The Far support should be considered a WIP. Please give feedback. The ship isn't designed to be EASY to fly, but if it's uncontrollable it's probably a bug.

The Atlas V 402 launcher is low detail, but it exists. I've put the .blend files in the abandoned model thread and you're welcome to start with my cfg files.... so if anyone is looking for a mod project, a day texturing what's already there... a couple of days building fairings and payload adapters, and a day modelling the single nozzle Centaur engine and you'd have a stand-alone Atlas V mod ready to release. :) All I ask is the option to include any improvements you make back into this mod if they fit with it! :) I may move on to this project eventually myself... but I've got a couple of projects ahead of it, so please feel free. I'll gladly help someone along, if it's their first project! :)

Edited by artwhaley
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you might want to tell people where to put the files/folders to your mod. i've tried various methods and only two seem to work but even that seems to have parts that have no attach node or just don't seem to want to connect at all.

will give more detailed description later.

EDIT: ok it doesn't work with the way i'm trying to put stuff in so help?

1) the right wing has no attach node. neither does the payloads (all of them) or the landing gear.

2) some if not all the textures are bugged out for me (nose docking port, engine for booster stage)

3) loaded craft does not work due to things mentioned above.

would recommend fixing file structure since the "parts" folder seems to be just all the meshes,models,textures and .cfg files thrown in so i can't check if it's the configuration files or not.

BUT

1) it's a great model and good textures.

2) the engines, although buggy, will work

3) don't be disheartened and keep cracking on with this and i might use it later on when it's not so much junk in my GameData.

Edited by AntiMatter001
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Flies like a slightly less aerodynamic brick. Haven't tested at orbital speeds but crew has died in every abort test. Doesn't generate enough lift to glide.

I've landed successfully several times with stock aerodynamics. Handling is weird though.

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you might want to tell people where to put the files/folders to your mod. i've tried various methods and only two seem to work but even that seems to have parts that have no attach node or just don't seem to want to connect at all.

will give more detailed description later.

EDIT: ok it doesn't work with the way i'm trying to put stuff in so help?

1) the right wing has no attach node. neither does the payloads (all of them) or the landing gear.

2) some if not all the textures are bugged out for me (nose docking port, engine for booster stage)

3) loaded craft does not work due to things mentioned above.

would recommend fixing file structure since the "parts" folder seems to be just all the meshes,models,textures and .cfg files thrown in so i can't check if it's the configuration files or not.

BUT

1) it's a great model and good textures.

2) the engines, although buggy, will work

3) don't be disheartened and keep cracking on with this and i might use it later on when it's not so much junk in my GameData.

Everything is still looking/loading correctly for me... as in all attach nodes are working, textures are correct, etc. I just downloaded the file from KerbalStuff and replaced my folder and everything is working. All you should have to do is throw the AxialAerospace folder in your Gamedata folder.

As to the aerodynamics... I've struggled with the tuning for that... namely because it SHOULDN'T fly well in the atmosphere. It's easy enough to up the lift on the wings, but vertical launch, horizontal landing spaceplanes have to carry their wings through all phases of flight, even though they're only needed for the last few minutes, and the rest of the time they're just weight and drag making the job of being a spaceship harder. Thus, they carry as little wing as possible to allow for a safe landing. The shuttle came back at a 20 degree glide angle until the final flare... and also handled like a brick.

So, I don't want the ship to be so hard to fly that it's not fun... but it also shouldn't glide well.... It's hard to land a spaceplane. I do want to give it a little more control surface area though - sometimes it's hard to get the nose up just before touchdown, though the couple of times this has happened I've had enough time to add rcs, and that always brings the nose right up. SO... I consider that it's hard to handle to be a feature, not a bug... but I'll take a look at it again and make sure it's hard to handle in the right way. Specific thoughts on how it should handle would be really appreciated - things like maneuvers that are particularly difficult, situations that are unrecoverable, etc. :)

When you mention abort tests, are you talking zero-zero, as in sitting on the pad? That might be impossible, without activating OMS and flying the dreamer off the stack until you have enough altitude to set up your glide.... and presently the dreamer does have enough TWR to do that, though I wouldn't count on that always being the case in future releases... I think those OMS engines are OP. I'm just impatient when it comes to burns... so... :) But in actuality, your crew probably SHOULDN'T survive most ascent stage aborts before stage 1 separation. Neither the ship, nor the second stage have the TWR to outrun the first stage if something goes wrong while it's still burning.

Is anyone else having problems with the textures or attach nodes? I'll post pictures of the soon to be released new IVA tomorrow. I'm removing the Alcor dependency by making my own props and it's shaping up very nicely, so far.

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Everything is still looking/loading correctly for me... as in all attach nodes are working, textures are correct, etc. I just downloaded the file from KerbalStuff and replaced my folder and everything is working. All you should have to do is throw the AxialAerospace folder in your Gamedata folder.

As to the aerodynamics... I've struggled with the tuning for that... namely because it SHOULDN'T fly well in the atmosphere. It's easy enough to up the lift on the wings, but vertical launch, horizontal landing spaceplanes have to carry their wings through all phases of flight, even though they're only needed for the last few minutes, and the rest of the time they're just weight and drag making the job of being a spaceship harder. Thus, they carry as little wing as possible to allow for a safe landing. The shuttle came back at a 20 degree glide angle until the final flare... and also handled like a brick.

So, I don't want the ship to be so hard to fly that it's not fun... but it also shouldn't glide well.... It's hard to land a spaceplane. I do want to give it a little more control surface area though - sometimes it's hard to get the nose up just before touchdown, though the couple of times this has happened I've had enough time to add rcs, and that always brings the nose right up. SO... I consider that it's hard to handle to be a feature, not a bug... but I'll take a look at it again and make sure it's hard to handle in the right way. Specific thoughts on how it should handle would be really appreciated - things like maneuvers that are particularly difficult, situations that are unrecoverable, etc. :)

When you mention abort tests, are you talking zero-zero, as in sitting on the pad? That might be impossible, without activating OMS and flying the dreamer off the stack until you have enough altitude to set up your glide.... and presently the dreamer does have enough TWR to do that, though I wouldn't count on that always being the case in future releases... I think those OMS engines are OP. I'm just impatient when it comes to burns... so... :) But in actuality, your crew probably SHOULDN'T survive most ascent stage aborts before stage 1 separation. Neither the ship, nor the second stage have the TWR to outrun the first stage if something goes wrong while it's still burning.

Is anyone else having problems with the textures or attach nodes? I'll post pictures of the soon to be released new IVA tomorrow. I'm removing the Alcor dependency by making my own props and it's shaping up very nicely, so far.

ah i may want to point out i'm not running windows i'm running linux and i'm running it in the 64-bit version

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Teaser images of the *coming soon* IVA. The front seats are basically done - I just need to put some flashing lights in front of the back seaters. But... I keep getting distracted playing with the RasterPropMonitor code to see what new stuff I can coax out of it.

pLOsHVh.png

rL0bb7o.png

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Updated to release new IVA, along with improving atmospheric flight parameters a bit. :)

Great work artwhaley!

The iva is incredible, I really like the permanent camera monitors and target seat, Now other Kerbals can get some hands on experience without Jeb hogging everything!

I even managed to Land it with this update, obviously no where near the KSC but we can't all be perfect! It sure beats flying backwards through the atmosphere when i was using last week, but I think that may have been down to FAR!

vO73rTZ.jpg?1

Thanks for the update, got anything else planned for the future?

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Thanks for the update, got anything else planned for the future?

I'm trying to get the thing compatible with FAR/Near at the moment. It's going better than I expected. I almost wish I'd held off on the update, as I may have another one ready this weekend.

A warning - the next update will be save breaking, as I'm having to move all of the part's origins in Unity, so any saved version of the ship will probably wiggle your parts into weird places.

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Updated - added beta support for FAR. Please let me know how it works for you!

Also added airbrakes, which are integrated into (and activated by right clicking) the vertical stabilizer (tail fin.)

A couple of other small fixes. Switched cargo bay and nose cone to use stock animation module. Firespitter is still required for the gear and airbrakes.

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Updated - added beta support for FAR. Please let me know how it works for you!

Also added airbrakes, which are integrated into (and activated by right clicking) the vertical stabilizer (tail fin.)

A couple of other small fixes. Switched cargo bay and nose cone to use stock animation module. Firespitter is still required for the gear and airbrakes.

would it be possible to make the cargo bay more square internally to make it easier to place payloads other than the included modules?

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  • 4 weeks later...

the custom IVA props are the best i have seen! it looks clean and modern a lot of work must been put into it :D

I think all is needed is a better texture, and personally i perfer the dream chaser to have window set up like this:

index.php?action=dlattach;topic=29416.0;attach=445400;image

Edited by K.Yeon
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I love the nose to nose picture! The size on both is probably motivated by the size of the launch stack?

K.Yeon, thanks for the kind words about the IVA! It's my first real attempt at it. There will be more coming in that style soon, for my LanderTek lander parts. :)

I do agree that the external model could use another texture pass. I keep hoping someone fantastic is going to volunteer to do it... as it really is the best I'm capable of at the moment. As I learn more, I'll revisit it eventually!

And, of course, the more interest that gets shown in it, the more likely I am to shift time back towards this project. :)

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