Northstar1989

[1.2.2] Netherdyne Mass Driver Mod- Version 1.3.2 is now LIVE!

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13 minutes ago, rspeed said:

Yeah, I'm looking into this now. I imported the .mu into Blender to take a look at the collider and I think I found the problem. It appears that no colliders were created manually, so Unity defaulted to creating duplicate meshes as colliders. That's a problem for the three rings, since they're concave, and colliders in KSP have to be convex. I'm guessing that results in their colliders essentially being discs, which would explain exactly what you're seeing. I'm gonna do a bit of tweaking and give it a proper collider to see what happens.

As for why this would suddenly break, my only guess is that KSP used to ignore concave colliders, and at some point it started "fixing" them.

 
 

Well if you manage to get it hollow I will see if I can integrate with KerbalMagnetMod

Edited by FreeThinker

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27 minutes ago, illectro said:

The next question is then how stacking the rings is supposed to work, and why there's no delayed activation behaviour (so control can be switched)

You should see two types of mass driver parts in the VAB.  The "Master" part activates all slaved parts in the line of direction of fire, to produce greater total acceleration.  Note, however, that this might not work right if the part is placed *above* the rings.

The mod was originally designed for payloads to be placed *below* the rings and accelerate the craft as it passed through each ring in succession.  The only reason it works at all on payloads placed above the ring (so it's accelerating a craft without it ever passing through the rings like it should) is that each ring has a certain "fudge-factor" where it recognizes and acts on craft a bit above and below the ring.

With multiple rings stacked, the ones further down in the stack might not act on the craft at all, as it never passes through their recognition-zone.  This is of course not an issue when payloads are fired *through* the ring as intended...

I'll be testing the mod shortly to make sure I can reproduce the issues with payloads being unable to pass through the center of the ring when fired myself (note that I'm pretty sure the center of the ring was always technically solid- the only way payloads could pass through it was when *fired* by the ring from below...)  If it is indeed an issue, I'm hoping @rspeed or @FreeThinker have the insights and expertise to fix it...

 

Regards,

Northstar

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47 minutes ago, illectro said:

The next question is then how stacking the rings is supposed to work, and why there's no delayed activation behaviour (so control can be switched)

I recall a "Start Countdown" action in the context menu -- that's what it's supposed to do, start a ten-second countdown to fire so there's time to switch to the craft.  I saw it in your livestream (the edited recording of it, anyway); did it not work?

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17 minutes ago, Kerbas_ad_astra said:

I recall a "Start Countdown" action in the context menu -- that's what it's supposed to do, start a ten-second countdown to fire so there's time to switch to the craft.  I saw it in your livestream (the edited recording of it, anyway); did it not work?

Really... I must be sicker than I thought.

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1 hour ago, rspeed said:

So hey, it works. Is it okay if I attach the file here, Northstar1989?

What works?  Your fix for the colliders?

Anyways, sure.

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3 minutes ago, Northstar1989 said:

What works?  Your fix for the colliders?

Yup. Boop.

Edit: Whoops, I uploaded a TGA version by accident. Someone already grabbed it, but not really a big issue.

Edited by rspeed

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1 minute ago, rspeed said:

Yup. Boop.

Awesome.  So just replace the corresponding file from the mod golder with this to get it to work?

Will test, then update OP if works.

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1 minute ago, Northstar1989 said:

So just replace the corresponding file from the mod golder with this to get it to work?

Yup.

Do you have a repo anywhere like Github or Bitbucket?

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9 minutes ago, rspeed said:

Yup.

Do you have a repo anywhere like Github or Bitbucket?

Not yet...  Tbh I'm not even completely sure what the definition of a "repo" is- I have very little actual coding experience, and I'm kind of untaught as to how I do this whole maintaining a mod thing.

My only real assets as a mod maintainer are, sadly, the ability to do good real-world research (the Mass Driver performance is designed to be *exactly* the same as the StarTram Gen 1 design in terms of force output, for instance- even if that happens to be a little OP'd in the Kerbal universe unless you play with Real Solar System...) and the fact that I never stay away from KSP for too long- I always return to it after "life" happens.

Other than that, I'm sadly lacking in skills or knowledge.  So please educate me as to what a repo is, and how to use one!

 

Regards,

Northstar

Edited by Northstar1989

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A source code repository. Basically a place you can post the source where others can submit modifications. It's not something you can just jump into, though.

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You need to learn the basics of source control management systems. The "git" in github. Good thing to learn, but not something you can pick up in a few minutes.

Edited by rspeed

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27 minutes ago, rspeed said:

Yup. Boop.

Edit: Whoops, I uploaded a TGA version by accident. Someone already grabbed it, but not really a big issue.

The version you uploaded is missing the texture file "Model004".  Did you leave it out intentionally? (and if so, why did you include the Model 000, 001, 002, 003, and 005 files?  Did you alter the textures at all?)

Edited by Northstar1989

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004 was just black, so I left it out and used the base color instead.

I'm not sure how to specify JPEG textures, so 000 and 001 might need to be distributed as PNG. The others have just been compressed.

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2 hours ago, illectro said:

Really... I must be sicker than I thought.

Apparently.  Nice video though.  The Mass Driver seemed a little OP'd though- even for such a tiny capsule... (it provides a constant force, so it can accelerate smaller rockets more quickly)

Then, double-checking my sources, I noticed something I missed before.  The StarTram design on which it is based is supposed to be able to accelerate a *13 meter long* 40 ton payload at 30 g's.

That means that the rocket is being acted on by about six and a half 2-meter long Mass Driver sections at any given time (each section from this mod is 2 meters long) or with the mod's fudge-factor (mass drivers act a little beyond their edges), about 8 on average...  Additionally, the Mass Driver was only supposed to produce a max force of about 11767.98 kN previously- I had it set to 15200 kN!

So, I will be turning down the force and energy-consumption of the mass drivers 8-fold from the *intended point* in the next update, or about 10.3-fold overall.  Sorry this will make shooting Kerbin from the Mun a little harder- but it will ensure that performance remains realistic... (I guess you'll need to learn the Master/slave system for the parts and launch an 10-part stack to the Mun next time- which will look even more awesome!)

I will also be turning down the part mass 4% , from 25 to 24 tons to compensate- and as the previous mass was a tad unrealistically high...

 

33 minutes ago, rspeed said:

004 was just black, so I left it out and used the base color instead.

I'm not sure how to specify JPEG textures, so 000 and 001 might need to be distributed as PNG. The others have just been compressed.

You used the "base color"?  What does that mean?

Anyhow, I didn't notice, but 002 through 005 were already PNG- but ought to be JPEG.  I will run them through a JPEG converter program- it might lose a bit of resolution, but they're basically just solid colors so it shouldn't matter...

Edited by Northstar1989

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I updated with the new collider and textures.

Version 1.1.1 for Kerbal Space Program 1.2.2

Released on 2017-02-23

Fixed colliders of Mass Driver, allowing parts to pass through the rings (credits by rspeed)

It can be downloaded from Spacedock

Edited by FreeThinker

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15 minutes ago, FreeThinker said:

I updated with the new collider and textures.

Version 1.1.1 for Kerbal Space Program 1.2.2

Released on 2017-02-23

Fixed colliders of Mass Driver, allowing parts to pass through the rings (credits by rspeed)

It can be downloaded from Spacedock

Thanks!

Unfortunately though, I'm about to release are-balanced version.  Some new, more accurate calculations accounting for the length of the vehicle that would pass through StarTram shows that each each section should only produce a max of 1471 kN of force instead of 15,200.

However part mass will also be reduced from 25 tons to 24, and I'm looking at some reductions to part cost as well as calculations using StarTram figures of $19 Billion for a 20 km long track shows that each 2 meter long section should only cost $292,307.69 when averaging the entire construction, R&D, energy storage costs, etc. over the number of 2-meter sections... (I'm trying to balance this vs. the $61.2 Million list-price of a Falcon 9, but it's hard to do any direct comparison between real life dollars and KSP "Funds"...  I'm assuming players can do a Falcon 9 analog for about 32,000 Funds- does that sound reasonable?)

Edited by Northstar1989

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OK, so I decided the SLS (estimated development cost $30 Billion, vs. $19 Billion in total costs for the StramTram track, which seems a bit conservative) was a more appropriate vehicle to compare prices to.  As such, I tried to balance costs vs. the SLS style parts, assuming a big chunk of the costs are in the R&D, rather than the actual materials (which are relatively cheap electrified aluminum coils...)

Don't forget that one would need 10,000 of these parts, stacked end-to-end, to get a 20 km long track! (Which would actually be possible, from a raw physics-sense, in KSP now that load-distances can exceed 27 km.  Good luck with that part-count though!)

Costs:

Mass Driver "Master" Coil (necessary for any stack to work)

- Part Unlock Cost: 42,000 Funds

- Part Purchase Cost: 1200 Funds

MassDriver Network Coil (requires Master to function)

- Part Unlock Cost: 16,000 Funds

- Part Purchase Cost: 150 Funds

 

So, a stack of 5 coils costs 1800 Funds (3x a Mk1 pod), a stack of 11 coils costs 2700 Funds, etc.  This is intentionally designed to make longer tracks of coils more cost-effective, which is realistic.  Don't forget that 11 coils weigh 264 tons and will be extremely expensive to lift to orbit, though, and it's 58,000 Funds just to unlock the parts!

 

Let me know if these costs seem reasonable cor balance purposes.  For now I'll be releasing an updated version shortly.

Edited by Northstar1989

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47 minutes ago, FreeThinker said:

@Northstar1989

I attempted to convert ArlonLS version of Mass Accelerator to KSP 1.2.2

For the moment you can download it from a dropbox.

Please let me know if it works

CertifiedSilly1.2.2?  What's with the file name?

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Alright, so it appears that a PNG is actually smaller than a JPG for all the texture files except texture 001, so I converted that one and left the rest as PNG's (I will be updating the OP with the new version shortly).  Not that the format matters too much anyways except for download size/speed- as I understand it KSP internally converts all textures to .DDS format now, which is what made the DDS converter trend and related mod largely obsolete?

 

Regards,

Northstar

Edited by Northstar1989

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3 hours ago, FreeThinker said:

For the moment you can download it from a dropbox.

I was just about to send you a message asking where I could download your version.

I'm also working on a bit of an overhaul of the model. Mostly just to make it look more natural when stacked.

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2 hours ago, rspeed said:

I was just about to send you a message asking where I could download your version.

I'm also working on a bit of an overhaul of the model. Mostly just to make it look more natural when stacked.

You can get the latest official version (which includes the fixes to the colliders/textures as well as re-balanced parts) here:

https://spacedock.info/mod/1227/Netherdyne Mass Driver Mod [Official]

The version FreeThinker included in the Dropbox link is something slightly different- a fork created by @ArlonLS a while back that included some changes to the basic system for lining up payloads for the mass driver, as well as changes to the power of the mass drivers to make them less powerful, as I understand it.

I never really got a clear picture of exactly what changes he made, and he never followed up on my invitations either here or by private message to simply become a co-author of the mod: on the condition that he maintain part-balance to be based on real-world data as closely as possible (so if he could find some reason the figures for StarTram were unrealistic, or as it turned out happened I did some of my math wrong, most notably by forgetting to account for vessel-length, and made the mass drivers 10x more powerful than they were supposed to be- then he could use corrected numbers!)  Having never used, inspected, or even seen in action his fork of the mod I can't personally vouch for it- although now that FreeThinker has updated it for 1.2.2 I suppose I might as well take a look at it soon- especially since FreeThinker requested it...

 

Regards,

Northstar

Edited by Northstar1989

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Well this is embarrassing!

It appears I only upgraded the node size from 2 to 3 on the network version of the part, and not the "master" part!

Which struck me as kind of odd that I was even doing this in the first place, because I had upgraded the node size YEARS ago (back in 2014 to be precise) as well as reduced the part mass from 25 to 10 (which some examinations of images of 25-ton coils of Aluminum, and how much that really was, convinced me was the right move- for balance AND realism reasons) and made several other adjustments...

Aluminum%20Coil-6.jpg

 

@FreeThinker it APPEARS that something about the recompile reverted the Mass Driver back to its original stats, causing me to have to go about re-balancing it all over again!   Do you have any idea what might have caused the config to revert back to an earlier form like this, @FreeThinker?

Anyhow, after some careful consideration I decided to return the Mass Driver back to its mass of 10 tons I used from 2014 on instead of 24 or 25 tons, and made sure to increase the node and part strength again to reduce the chances of the mass driver ripping itself apart!  Struts may still prove beneficial for extremely long stacks, however!

 

The upshot is this- another update!  Check out SpaceDock for version 1.2.1 just as soon as I can get it uploaded! which is now uploaded!

 

Regards,

Northstar

Edited by Northstar1989

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