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Why is there a conflict of interest at all between realistic and unrealistic aerodynamics?


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The problem here is not black and white, or even a grey area. The problem is that this problem is an entire color pallet. There are so many options that can result in "un-fun" with no realism, and very fun ones with a bunch of realism.

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There's basically a graph that directly correlates between fun and realism (A bit similar to the uncanny valley graph) But I personally believe there's a lot more realism that can be crammed in before the drop-off point.

There is? Wow. So I shouldn't be having any fun when doing anything in real life because it's 100% realistic?

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I think every member of KSP's view of realism vs fun is inherently biased off of when they got the game. I would definitely consider 0.17 to be funner than the game right now, with less parts and a simpler game, but someone who joined in 0.90 might find it a blast.

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Reading this discussion is so much fun, which makes it unrealistic apparently...:rolleyes:

Like bill said above, this isn't a black or white issue, there are numerous shades of gray (>=50). One thing is for sure though, realism is not linked to fun, and since fun has an abstract not a concrete meaning it is perceived differently by everyone.

To the point then, any in game aerodynamic model that will function like plausible real-world aerodynamics is better than what we have now, not least because it will make it easier for new players as it will feel vastly more intuitive. Opposed to popular belief, we will not have to join NASA to be able to fly craft in a 'realistic' aerodynamics model, we wont need to calculate weather systems, nor will we need to create the universe even if we would like to make an apple pie from scratch

EDIT: now excuse me while i join cadaverific on this topic:

dead-horse.gif

Edited by Yakuzi
damn smart phone aint that smart
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Would you want to cope with having to use complex weather forecasts to plan launches and landings, and having to land your already barely stable airframe with unstable crosswinds and near ground turbulence by using the not so realistic "pushing asdqwe keys" control method? How would you eyeball how to enter the atmosphere in order to get where you want based on what is supposedly going on in the upper atmosphere? Miss a launch window due to bad weather and wait a few years for the next opportunity?.

I actually would quite like this as long as the effects were fairly gentle. But, it probably should be a mod, or at least an advanced option, otherwise new players would have even more to learn before flying anything.

What I expect and hope for is:
  • Metric size determines drag, not mass
  • Higher speed = more drag
  • Slim & Pointy = less drag than Flat & Wide
  • Parts sticking out will be ripped off when going fast enough

If we get that I'm already happy;.

I'd suggest adding something about how shape effects how a vessel will point when reentering the atmosphere. In my experience with NEAR and FAR, it's harder to design things with heat shields that will point the right way, but then, they reliably do once you get them right.

I will never be an astronaut. I will never explorer the solar system. I play KSP.

This is the main thing I get out if KSP too. KSP has a combination of spaceship design, spaceflight, and the ability to explore another would as a little astronaut that no other game truly matches.

To me, developing this aspect seems far more important than setting up gameplay elements like points to score and things to unlock. Those elements can be got from almost any other game.

Edited by Tw1
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The OP in it's current form is pretty busy, so all apologies, etc... but TLDR.

The main source of the conflict in my mind is that KSP is not intended to be a game, not a simulator.

If the realism is ramped up too far, the skill and knowledge required to play it will be out of the reach of the casual player.

In the context of the original discussion, however... the stock aerodynamic model is unrealistic to the point of frustration for new players, and that doesn't serve anybody's interest and isn't much "fun" for anyone.

Ideally, people should be able to make airplanes that work because they *look* like airplanes and have them work out reasonably well. No wonky exceptions because of game engine peculiarities or anything like that.

But OTOH it should not be so correct that the engineering required is beyond the abilities of the casual player to achieve. Gotta strike that balance.

Best,

-Slashy

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I think it goes back to Harvester's desire to rank "fun" above most considerations when it comes to the details of KSP. The only problem is that "fun" is a relative word. However, given the popularity of KSP, most people appear to agree that the game is "fun" enough to keep at it.

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There is? Wow. So I shouldn't be having any fun when doing anything in real life because it's 100% realistic?

Wait, hang on. Aren't you playing this game in real life? So even though the game isn't realistic, real life is realistic and playing KSP is a realistic simulation of you playing a space simulator that is not realistic. So... should you be having fun?

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the worst situation in Kerbal Space Program, is looking at a failed flight, and not knowing why things happened that way.
This needs highlighting. It's one of the most important things for the game to get right, exposing things to the player well. The map view and the manoeuvre nodes do this excellently for the spaceflight but we've no useful tools for atmospheric flight, or for that matter for rocket structures.

Perhaps colour tinting for various things would work. FAR does that - you can have it highlight the parts creating the most drag or most lift. It can even colour in stalled wings IIRC. In-flight Centre of X indicators could be very useful, not just for planes but also asymmetric spacecraft. Maybe something entirely different will work well.

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The OP in it's current form is pretty busy, so all apologies, etc... but TLDR.

The main source of the conflict in my mind is that KSP is not intended to be a game, not a simulator.

If the realism is ramped up too far, the skill and knowledge required to play it will be out of the reach of the casual player.

In the context of the original discussion, however... the stock aerodynamic model is unrealistic to the point of frustration for new players, and that doesn't serve anybody's interest and isn't much "fun" for anyone.

Ideally, people should be able to make airplanes that work because they *look* like airplanes and have them work out reasonably well. No wonky exceptions because of game engine peculiarities or anything like that.

But OTOH it should not be so correct that the engineering required is beyond the abilities of the casual player to achieve. Gotta strike that balance.

Best,

-Slashy

Sorry about that. I tried spoilering the major passages I edited in after the fact; is it more readable now?

As for your point, I more or less agree, although I think delegating most of the low-down engineering to your computer/Kerbal peons is realistic enough in itself. But yes, definitely - people should be able to make aircraft that work like aircraft.

This needs highlighting. It's one of the most important things for the game to get right, exposing things to the player well. The map view and the manoeuvre nodes do this excellently for the spaceflight but we've no useful tools for atmospheric flight, or for that matter for rocket structures.

Perhaps colour tinting for various things would work. FAR does that - you can have it highlight the parts creating the most drag or most lift. It can even colour in stalled wings IIRC. In-flight Centre of X indicators could be very useful, not just for planes but also asymmetric spacecraft. Maybe something entirely different will work well.

Yes! This needs to be a thing. Some kind of intuitive, active overlay of your craft that shows values and severity of forces/tension/etc changing in real time in flight and/or in the VAB.

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Wait, hang on. Aren't you playing this game in real life? So even though the game isn't realistic, real life is realistic and playing KSP is a realistic simulation of you playing a space simulator that is not realistic. So... should you be having fun?

Wait... This is like that problem with trolleys and fat men, right? I know this. You put a penny on the tracks so the trolley can squash it. Now that's fun!

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Slight tangent, but showing how UI matters, and how you can teach players (the game aspects, and/or physics). They don't want to add dv numbers to the VAB, apparently. Fine. How about Werner in the VAB has a desk or something you can click on. There is a white board, with him gesticulating, and on the white board is a parabola, crudely drawn. At the top is scrawled an altitude. Not perfect, not the best ou could possibly reach if you flew a perfect launch, just a rounded off to the nearest 5-10km height based upon the current stack. If it has roughly enough for orbit, the crude parabola leads into a crude circle. If you can reach another body, the drawing is a crude Kerbin, with an orbit drawn, and a swooping arrow with the name of the body in question at the point (or a list for the same gross dv range).

Lets the new players have some idea what they are making.

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Slight tangent, but showing how UI matters, and how you can teach players (the game aspects, and/or physics). They don't want to add dv numbers to the VAB, apparently.

Yeah, I agree, that's kinda dumb (IMO).

On a possibly related subject, the last time I tried doing anything with (space)planes and gave up - a year or more back, mind you - what defeated me wasn't a bad aerodynamic model so much as stock KSP/Unity being absolute pants at reading joystick or gamepad input, and me being equally terrible at flying by keyboard. I gather this has finally improved somewhat?

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In essence, HarvesteR is taking a crap shot at trying to understand what he thinks people want, while managing to miss the point completely. I haven't looked at past pages, but I'm pretty sure a moderator or two past just to parrot what everyone else is being talking about and already know once again for some strange reason.

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TBH, I'm generally in the pro-realism crowd, but the mach effects and added stability problems of FAR are a bit much.

NEAR is generally more fun - but I'd like the "wing interactive effects" of FAR to stay. Long thin wings should perform better than short, fat wings, when we are trying to design an efficient glider.

Wings that look like squares should not perform as well as wings that look like what a sailplane or U2 has

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There's already quite a bit of stuff in KSP that isn't ultra realistic, such as Kerbals surviving without supplies, planets not having gravity that varies slightly over different points, as well as planets being too small for their gravity. Thankfully, there's plenty of mods that cover that.

Personally speaking, my main grief with the current atmosphere model is the 'soup' that exists low down in the atmosphere. I think adding a far type system would make it too much of a learning curve, especially for new players.

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Wings that look like squares should not perform as well as wings that look like what a sailplane or U2 has

Planes with square wings should not fly! It's totally realistic...

AA0.jpg

On a serious note though, I know you mean 'not fly as well', but given the current abilities of the square wing part it can only barely lift a fuselage off the ground, and that's with high speed jet engines. I don't think it needs a nerf.

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I just don't get why time after time, people feel the need to have the stock game be exactly what they want. The ability to make the game what you want, within reason, already exists.

I'm playing with 29 mods right now, FAR being one of them. Obviously, the stock game is not exactly what I want. And you know what? I really don't care if the stock game ever becomes my idea of what is best for the game or makes the game better. The argument that updates break mods goes both ways. If something like FAR became stock, there would be a mod to revert it back to the crappy aerodynamics. That mod would have the same issues with updates that FAR has now. It's ok though as long as it's what you want and not others?

In all honesty, even when Squad changes aerodynamics finally, it still won't be what any of us want and we'll still be using FAR anyways making this whole argument pointless.

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I just don't get why time after time, people feel the need to have the stock game be exactly what they want. The ability to make the game what you want, within reason, already exists.

It's still productive to discuss what you think would be best for the game overall. This thread addresses the assumption that many seem to be making, that a more realistic atmosphere would be less fun. Many people have made various points to the contrary, explaining why they think a more realistic atmosphere would be more fun, even for newer and less-skilled players.

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What I love about KSP is that it is both a game, and a simulation.

I just hate space game in 2d (like sin of a solar empire), or with unrealistic behavior (piloting spacecraft like atmospherics planes). But I can't be addict to simulations like Orbiter where creating a new rocket is making a new mod.

I think the current stock aerodynamic is unrealistic not to make it easier for the player, but to make it easier for the developpers because aerodynamic is one of the less computable/forseeable thing in physic (and they obviously could not make such a great game whole at once). FAR and NEAR has proved a decent model is possible.

Sometimes, realism fight again fun because it adds complexity (even though one might love complexity), and require a longer learning phase before actually playing, but I'm not sure it's the case of aerodynamic.

If they just fix the infiny glide, compute the lift the right way and figure out how to compute the drag properly (with cross sectional aera and stream line consideration), the game won't be more difficult, and will even be more intuitive, hence easier and funnier!

I think stock KSP shouldn't be the more realistic possible, instead, it rather should be the less unrealistic possible. I mean Mach effect, orbit decay, structural failure, n body simulation are great stuff, but can reasonnably be ignored because of the complexity they would add to the game. However, control surface generating lift at 90 AoA, nosecones adding to drag, lift proportionnal to the velocity an more generally aerodynamic in its current state is unrealistic in a counter intuitive and misleading way, and can only be tolerated as a placeholder.

Realistic traits of KSP should teach rocket science, missing realistic traits should teach how real rocket science is hard, and hopefully unrealistic traits should tend to disappear (if at all possible), because they are teaching false things like lift being proportionnal to to the velocity (instead of velocity squared), or reaction wheels being used to control the attitude during the ascent phase of a rocket.

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Planes with square wings should not fly! It's totally realistic...

http://k40.kn3.net/taringa/9/C/9/A/C/3/Jona_ciolfi/AA0.jpg

On a serious note though, I know you mean 'not fly as well', but given the current abilities of the square wing part it can only barely lift a fuselage off the ground, and that's with high speed jet engines. I don't think it needs a nerf.

Obviously, you don't understand what I was talking about. I mentioned FAR's wing interactive effects... I wasn't talking about the square wing part.

I can make a very very big square wing out of multiple rectangular peices.

I also mean that (if you were going to use just one wing section - lets say its a small plane) the rectangular peice that gives you a long wingspan and short chord, should glide better than the one with a short wingspan and wide chord.

Unfortunately, I fear that without mach effects, this means nobody would want to use delta wings, and most people would design long and skinny wings....

:/

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Obviously, you don't understand what I was talking about. I mentioned FAR's wing interactive effects... I wasn't talking about the square wing part.

I can make a very very big square wing out of multiple rectangular peices.

I also mean that (if you were going to use just one wing section - lets say its a small plane) the rectangular peice that gives you a long wingspan and short chord, should glide better than the one with a short wingspan and wide chord.

Unfortunately, I fear that without mach effects, this means nobody would want to use delta wings, and most people would design long and skinny wings....

:/

It sounds to me that you don't like people building planes that don't conform to your views of how a plane should look like rather than an actual concern on the aerodynamics model.

It isn't always about wingspan, and plenty of planes have existed that flew perfectly fine without massive wings (plus they don't even have lifting bodies). I find them retarded, but fascinating to look at because they are real planes that were fully capable of flight.

Douglas X-3 Stiletto

article-2468895-18DB701700000578-835_964x667.jpg

Aero Spacelines Super Guppy

article-2468895-18DB701F00000578-90_964x750.jpg

McDonnell XF-85 Goblin

bizarre-aircraft-12-0114-lgn.jpg

Bartini-Beriev VVA-14 (Ekranoplan descendent)

bartini-beriev-vva-14-2.jpg

12.jpg

Stipa-Caproni

18ca5947yeyuijpg.jpg

Transavia PL-12 Airtruk

1691163.jpg

Convair XFY-1

Convair_XFY-1_.jpg?v=1

I'd very much like to see fellow Kerbonauts design like the crazy Cold War engineers did. They'd make for interesting threads instead of the same boring 'this ain't realistic' excuse when real life planes can get away with looking weird. At the very least I'd prefer that SQUAD get rid of the infiniglide bug and let them decide how they'd want the aero to behave. The priority should be on how to strike a balance of fun and plausibility the aerodynamics model should be and not on how can we force players to conform to a single plane design.

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IMO the 'aero model' should be as good a representation of real life as is reasonably possible. Maybe with some

'tolerances' adjusted or toggleable, but close enough that 'copies' of actual aircraft will fly 'something like' they do in RL. I expect that will also mean 'tweaking' the atmospheric code too, and if it means making the atmospheres thinner and/or higher to get a more gradual change in density with altitude then so be it.

A more realistic aero model along with re-entry heat damage would be a great enhancement to an already great game.

Backwards compatibility should not be an issue, if it's there that's a bonus.

To have any meaningful value as an educational 'tool' the aero model MUST be fairly accurate, or at least sensibly realistic.

No doubt tweaks and adjustments will need to be made on future updates, and that's fine as long as the core aero system is on the right flight path to start with.

Great job so far Squad, go ahead and make it better.

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