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Devnote Tuesdays: The "Beta Than Experimentals" Edition


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<p><strong>Felipe (HarvesteR)</strong><span><strong>:</strong> Didn’t we just write one of these, like a few days ago? Wow, it’s Tuesday already! :o I’ll blame this one on relativistic effects… Anyhow, in the blur of time that passed between the last dev blog and this one, things have gone from totally crazy to proper madhouse insane. Experimentals is going at full steam, we’re pushing fix after fix here, and trying to make sense of the simply enormous amount of feedback we’re getting from the test team. Again, not only are we faced with technical issues that need solving, we’re also working on balance and gameplay issues, which are in a way much harder to deal with, as any change at that level is not likely to be a small one. The main issue of course, is time. The release deadline is making a most unsettling whooshing sound as it rushes towards us, so the main goal for this last stage is to try to resolve as many issues as we can in however much time is still available. The good news of that is that the release (and well-deserved rest) is really not too far off. The not so good news for us is that it’s all uphill from here, against a headwind, wading through molasses, and any other metaphorical difficulties you want to add to that.</span></p>

<p><span>On more specific news, I’ve gone through the new Crew Pilot system yesterday, and set it up so that, as explained already, Kerbal Pilots are needed to provide SAS and Autopilot assistance, but also so Probe Cores are also able to do the same. That was done by a rewrite of the old ModuleSAS part module, which before was pretty much just empty. Now it’s used in probes, to specify the level of SAS service provided. .Higher-level probe cores provide more AP features, and are of course, much more expensive. I’ve also spent a good deal of time revising the R&D placement for probes, so that you’ll find a nice gradual progression from the simplest model (the Stayputnik) to the top-of-the-line ones all along the control/unmanned branches of the tech tree. This means the so-far very similar probe cores now finally have actual differences between one another.</span></p>

<p><span><strong>Alex (aLeXmOrA):</strong> </span><span>This week I’ve been solving some hosting issues with our Squad website and checking that it was working as it should be. Also, I’m now doing some changes to the KerbalEdu license validation UI because it’s time to update it too. I’ve been in constant communication with TeacherGaming, so we can set everything as it is planned to be.</span></p>

<p><strong>Marco (Samssonart): </strong><span>This update is in that sad part for all of you Devnotes fans. It’s been a busy week, but not a particularly interesting one to talk about. We’re playing the experimentals game now. It consists of checking the tracker constantly, hunting for bugs to fix, locating one that seems a suitable one for oneself, investigating it, trying a fix and waiting for feedback about it. If the fix was acceptable, all that’s left is to pray that the fix didn’t break something else. If it wasn’t acceptable in the first place, well it’s back to square one. That’s been last week for me in a nutshell.</span></p>

<p><strong>Daniel (danRosas)</strong><span><strong>:</strong> This year, we’ve learned to measure our lives in Dev Notes. There’s no week that I don’t turn around, poke the guys and tell them about it, and we’re almost at the end of another good year. On my side, I’ve learned a lot from this last few months, I’m still a little over the edge thanks to the extreme crunch time we went through, but will make it up on the holidays. This week we’ve been wrapping up the upgradeable buildings feature, tweaking small details, positioning of the assets, fake occlusion, materials, and so forth. Also managed the change the loading screen with the help of Mike. It’s looking sharp and new now. It’s been some good experimental season. Almost no big bugs to squash on our side, since the implementation was handled by the rest of the team. </span></p>

<p><strong>Jim (Romfarer)</strong><span><strong>:</strong> Another week of trying to keep up with fixing the bugs coming into the bugtracker. As much as this is interesting and useful in itself, I have another bit of news which should be more interesting. Today the Propulsion category for parts is officially being deprecated and all parts contained within are split into “Engine†and “Fuel Tankâ€Â. If your modded parts still use the Propulsion category, don’t worry, the change is backwards compatible in the sense that all parts tagged with Propulsion will be split into the new category based on whether they have the “Engine†partmodule attached.</span></p>

<p><span><strong>Max (Maxmaps):</strong> .</span><span>Recording the video for the update has been a little challenging this time around. Content is… vast. I had three different scripts I canned, recorded three different videos all clocking at around 15 minutes, then realized it was best to be concise. My weekend did involve trying to complete a contract that required me to hit a 17k altitude survey spot (which I decided to do on a spaceplane because… reasons) but I managed it in the end. The update nears, experimentals are progressing and some pretty cool negotiations regarding KSP merch have gone down. Speaking of them, thanks to everyone who participated in our survey, the data collected was incredibly helpful. </span></p>

<p><strong>Ted (Ted):</strong><span> It’s been another incredibly busy week. Unfortunately this week doesn’t have much in the way of interesting events to talk about, it’s been mostly full of the more routine, but very necessary, tasks involved with this stage of testing. There’s been a lot of collating of feedback, running builds, answering tester inquires in IRC, checking up on resolved issues, the list goes on! I guess this dev note is more to let you know that I’m still working away here and have most of my marbles! Hoping you all thoroughly enjoy 0.90 when it drops, everyone is working incredibly hard on it here.</span></p>

<p><span><strong>Anthony (Rowsdower):</strong> Anyone want to hear about the research projects I’ve been running? How about the proposals I’ve been making? No? Oh, well, I guess you’re right. They’re a bit boring right now, but it’s the end result you’re going to want to know about and will definitely be hearing more on - *knock on wood* - in the near future. Call this the groundwork stage for a few things *I hope* are on the horizon. So yeah, I’m sorry for the non-update here, but those have been my projects and I’m sticking to em.<br/></span></p>

<p><strong>Rogelio (Roger):</strong><span> Finally the fixing season on the upgradable buildings models is done. This last week we were busy on the last details. It was a hard but pleasant experience. I learned a lot of production scheduling and time measurement. It’s the first time I got to work with people living in other countries (Nick) and it was nice to get his feedback as well as Dan’s. I’m just glad to have these guys on the art team. Their skills are amazing and we did our best to give you guys new facilities on KSP. .90 is almost done, but we’ll keep working hard </span></p>

<p><strong>Kasper (KasperVld):</strong><span>Time flies when you’re having fun or when you’re busy and I meet both criteria. We’ve begun testing the new forum software we were talking about last week and things are looking good so far. The system is bare bones right now, but definitely feels more modern. <br/></span></p>

<p><span>0.90 then: We’ve been in Experimentals since last week, and things are looking great. The mechanics that were added really feel like career mode has become one entity. Things tie into each other like never before and on the harder difficulties you’ll be selecting where you’re spending your money very carefully. Kerbal experience also creates a feeling of attachment to your Kerbals. That’s not even the start of it! <br/></span></p>

<p><span>Finally, here’s a cheap plug for <a href="

"><strong>KYLE KIDD</strong></a>'s YouTube page. It is a great place to find mod reviews and examples of them in action.<br/></span></p>
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Daniel (danRosas):...On my side, I’ve learned a lot from this last few months, I’m still a little over the edge thanks to the extreme crunch time we went through, but will make it up on the holidays.
This to me is a seriously strong indication of what many already suspect: that .90 is targeting release before Christmas.
Jim (Romfarer):...If your modded parts still use the Propulsion category, don’t worry, the change is backwards compatible in the sense that all parts tagged with Propulsion will be split into the new category based on whether they have the “Engine†partmodule attached.
This confirms that the stock code has the ability to dynamically categorise parts. I think that was kinda stated before, but it's a bit more indication of the kind of thing that's actually possible.
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I wasn't aware you had deadlines for releases?!? I always thought releases happened when they happened. :D

I know you probably want to get it out before the holidays, but I'd rather have a good release late than a buggy release at all. If it doesn't happen till after New Years ... well ... we're mature enough to not throw a fit over it. You do good, hard work getting things just right, and we know it and appreciate it it.

Party on!

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Will there be an opinion to revert back to the old SAS behavior? May be useful for beginners using Easy mode and sandbox players who only like to use one type of probe core for everything (e.g. me).

But... Giggleplex... That's CHEEAATS!

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I hope the new forum software really is good, because I love and have got used to this one. Every forum I go on that doesn't use vBulletin® or looks similar, I get lost on.

Anyways, new update sounds awesome, thanks for all the hard work. :) I agree with Giggleplex that it would be cool to have an option for the old SAS logic.

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<p><span>On more specific news, I’ve gone through the new Crew Pilot system yesterday, and set it up so that, as explained already, Kerbal Pilots are needed to provide SAS and Autopilot assistance, but also so Probe Cores are also able to do the same. That was done by a rewrite of the old ModuleSAS part module, which before was pretty much just empty. Now it’s used in probes, to specify the level of SAS service provided. .Higher-level probe cores provide more AP features, and are of course, much more expensive. I’ve also spent a good deal of time revising the R&D placement for probes, so that you’ll find a nice gradual progression from the simplest model (the Stayputnik) to the top-of-the-line ones all along the control/unmanned branches of the tech tree. This means the so-far very similar probe cores now finally have actual differences between one another.</span></p>

So, crafts with single-kerbal pods will be only suitable for pilots?

Also, will such situation be possible: Pilot in a single-pod craft lands on a slope, goes on EVA. Ship respectively loses SAS, falls down and bursts in flames for the glory of Kraken?:huh:

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Will there be an opinion to revert back to the old SAS behavior? May be useful for beginners using Easy mode and sandbox players who only like to use one type of probe core for everything (e.g. me).

At the very least you could add (manually or with Module Manager) the SAS module to all command pods and/or cores.

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Marco (Samssonart): This update is in that sad part for all of you Devnotes fans. It’s been a busy week, but not a particularly interesting one to talk about. We’re playing the experimentals game now. It consists of checking the tracker constantly, hunting for bugs to fix, locating one that seems a suitable one for oneself, investigating it, trying a fix and waiting for feedback about it. If the fix was acceptable, all that’s left is to pray that the fix didn’t break something else. If it wasn’t acceptable in the first place, well it’s back to square one. That’s been last week for me in a nutshell.

Not meaning to sound ungrateful, but there's tons of community-raised bugs (and sometimes fixes), some of which have been waiting to go into a build for quite a while. Specifically Mr Claw's most excellent "Stock Bug Fix Modules". Any chance of (some of) those making it in? Especially the Kerbal ejection / ladder slide one? Pretty Please? :)

Well, not that it matters for me - won't get to play till mid-January again anyway :(

Still, totally stoked about the upcoming release and hoping I'll at least be able to get a look at the 0.90 release somewhere before then! So do keep up the excellent work, and enjoy your holidays once you get to them!

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So, crafts with single-kerbal pods will be only suitable for pilots?

If you refuse to put probe cores on your ship, yes.

Also, will such situation be possible: Pilot in a single-pod craft lands on a slope, goes on EVA. Ship respectively loses SAS, falls down and bursts in flames for the glory of Kraken?:huh:

Again, yes.

It really looks like probe cores will be a necessary addition to ships from now on. Especially those without lots of seats.

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My weekend did involve trying to complete a contract that required me to hit a 17k altitude survey spot (which I decided to do on a spaceplane because… reasons) but I managed it in the end.

Hmm, so the aerial survey contracts require a specific altitude?

This is just one more reason I want an electric propeller part!

If I'm going to be, say, flying around Duna or Eve to complete an aerial survey (the aerial survey contracts are valid on other planets with atmospheres, right? Right??!), I'd very much like to have a STOCK way to propel myself around without having to rely on ion engines or expending MASSIVE amounts of fuel with rocket-planes. Electric propellers would be a GREAT way to accomplish this.

Regards,

Northstar

P.S. Electric propellers would create a reason to have better methods of generating ElectricCharge in-atmosphere. Larger static solar panels anyone? Nuclear reactors perhaps? (both would also be useful for powering Resource Mining, if this feature does get added as planned...)

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<strong>Anthony (Rowsdower):</strong> Anyone want to hear about the research projects I’ve been running? How about the proposals I’ve been making? No? Oh, well, I guess you’re right. They’re a bit boring right now, but it’s the end result you’re going to want to know about and will definitely be hearing more on - *knock on wood* - in the near future. Call this the groundwork stage for a few things *I hope* are on the horizon. So yeah, I’m sorry for the non-update here, but those have been my projects and I’m sticking to em.<

Well, now we want to know. Spill the beans.

Go on. Spill 'em.(I'll bring the mop!)

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