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Astrofox

What Would You Like to See In KSP?

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Now that Kerbals are specialized in 0.90 to be either Pilot, Engineer, or Scientist, I'd like a way to tell them apart when in flight. Maybe a different space suit for each class, or a label in the crew windows (lower right corner). That way I don't get my rover down to the planet only to realize I didn't bring an engineer along to fix that flat tire.

Also, how about a way for Kerbal's to get their experience upgrades without having to return to Kerbin? If my little green guys get experience from landing on a couple moons while exploring the far side of the solar system, it would be nice to have them upgraded without making the trip all the way back. What if they volunteer to stay on some other planet? How bout if they work on a space station for a year or so, shouldn't that count as experience too?

You can determine who is who by entering the map mode while focussed on a vessel containing crew. Then on the right hand side there are two buttons, on of which tells you the names and specialities of the crew members.

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In Career Mode, a contract number would be handy. Once I got over 10 active launches with multi-year duration, keeping track of the alarm clock actions and tying them back to contracts became difficult, especially when one trip was fulfilling two or three contracts. Posting an inactive node reminder like "remember to get some science around X this time" still didn't help tell me which contract to look for on what was now a very long list and so many of them have very similar wording. I missed so much in the end I went back 15 launches. Trivial I realise. Great game BTW.

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Use isp correctly and correct g0 in ModuleEngines(FX), deal with heat properly. There are probably a few other little things.

Get rid of part testing contracts, those are terrible.

More planets. Seriously.

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- Antenna range (satellite networks)

- A long term goal (consecutive missions (very hard in the end game) which lead to the discovery of anything)

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- Antenna range (satellite networks)

- A long term goal (consecutive missions (very hard in the end game) which lead to the discovery of anything)

I would like to see this too. Or at least a re-working of the current contracts flavour text to a) make them more readable, B) add a bit more variety to them (rapid unplanned disassemblies and checking to see whether Kerbin is perfectly round are getting very old) and c) if an out and out storyline isn't going to work, then at least have some sort of history or meaning to your contracts. Say, for example, that I do a bunch of part test contracts. It would be nice if the flavour text changed to show that you were building a reputation for good (or bad) test results. Likewise, the text could change according to your current reputation. "Make no mistake, this is a tough mission. We're not even sure if it's possible. But if anyone can pull it off, its you!"

Contracts are essential since contracts are currently the only way of making money. Therefore it would be nice if you could string them together into something that actually resembled a career, rather than just presenting them as a series of random stuff to grind in order to make money.

Other things that would be nice.

A two-kerbal capsule that is unlocked relatively early in the tech tree. It would be a 1.25m part and probably wouldn't look that different to the Mk1 Capsule. Basically, I'm thinking Voskhod and Gemini vs Vostok and Mercury - a slight evolution of existing hardware rather than a radically new capsule. The main reason for this is to unlock multi-crew flights much sooner and to give players a reason to do them. At the moment, other than completion, there doesn't seem to be much point to Engineers or Scientists. Scientists especially - by the time I've unlocked sufficient tech and building upgrades to make them useful in a Mk 1 capsule, then I'm pulling in so much science from other sources, that their bonus feels a bit wasted. Being able to send up a pilot and scientist together in the early game would be a different way to earn some early science.

Moving the HOT-2 to an earlier position in the tech tree and adding another early science instrument. I'm thinking a Geiger counter, or suitably kerbalised version thereof, if 'radiation detector' is thought to be a bit too serious. Again, adds some extra things to do at the sub-orbital or LKO stage of a career game.

Adding a camera series of parts. Starting with big clunky things that actually add weight to a payload and ending in lightweight systems that weigh about the same as current science instruments. Mainly used as a source of rep, gained by bringing home photographs of celestial bodies from space, or just views from space. Again, something else to do in the early game and also adds some point to uncrewed probes. Photographs have been a staple way of generating interest in spaceflight pretty much since spaceflight started - think movie footage from the Apollo missions, or pictures of deep space from Hubble, or more recently the rover's eye footage from Mars and the Rosetta mission. At the moment though, photography is completely lacking in KSP.

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- Build time

- Stage recovery

- Simulated sound effects (sonic booms, vapor trails, no sound in space)

- IVA's that I can move around in.

- Building things with Kerbals on EVAs

- Heat shields, procedural fairings

- More lively space center and Kerbin (animals, cars, Kerbals running around, maybe sea life)

- Reflections on parts

- Windows I can see into

- Reentry damage on parts (scorching)

- Much better sound effects for everything

- Part failure (Kerbals are idiots and therefore that should transfer to their building habits)

- Cartooney clouds

- Dust clouds on launch and landings as well with rover wheels picking up dirt

- weathering on parts (Duna makes parts look REDDER from the dust)

- Planet shine!

- Rocket and plane roll-out cutscene (put rocket on crawler in VAB, drive crawler with rocket on top to launch pad, park and launch. Planes start near hanger, roll out onto run way and take off)

- Launch pad fueling (what is the point of all those fuel tanks on the pad if we can't use them to fuel up our rockets? What kind of nuttjob life form would transport a fully fueled rocket onto a launchpad on a rickety crawler?)

- Solar storms, radiation hazards, life support.

- Tweak everyting in VAB and SPH

- Wind tunnel to simulate our rockets and planes in to make sure they are performing well before we build and launch them

- Multicore threading, optimisation, make the game run smooth as butter on highest settings without glitches, krakens, freezes, crashes, slow framerates etc. No more bugs.

... look at the list I've made from what I think would make a tolerable vanilla KSP experience. I wouldn't have called KSP 1.0 until all of this PLUS what they've already announced has been put into the game.

What I would have done without in KSP:

Science as currency

Administration (who cares about that stuff! This isn't a business simulator!)

Destructible buildings... was this really needed for vanilla KSP?

Spaceplane + parts. Nobody uses these for anything useful. Payload bay is too small for any useful cargo.

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OK, this post may sound a little negative because I'm going to point out what I think are the biggest problems with the game. So let me lead of by saying:

I love this game!!!

I spend way too much of my time playing this game!

Keep it up!

OK, having said that, now I'll be critical. One thing about my enjoyment of the game is that I'm a big geek. So there are aspects of the game which I'm willing to put up with which more "normal" people might not put up with. I assume Squad wants the game to appeal to a broad audience, not just geeks. I think they'll need to fix at least a few of the following before they achieve this wide appeal.

#1: time spent waiting

There are a lot of times in KSP when you just have to wait. Prime among these are:

- parachute descents

- flights of airplanes (time warp is very limited in atmosphere)

- resource transfers

Resource transfers could probably have an interface which allows them to proceed in the background so you don't have to wait for them. What about parachute descents? Could you "skip to ground" once the parachute deploys fully so that time skips ahead to (say) 10 m above the ground so you can see whether the craft breaks up on touchdown? I'm not sure what to do about airplane flights.

#2: right click! Aargh! Right click!

Why is right clicking so unreliable? The part can be lit up green because the mouse is hovering over it but it can still take several right clicks to bring up its right click menu. Sometimes buttons in right click menus can take a few clicks to make them work.

#3: non-intuitive and/or annoying aspects of the VAB/SPH

The root part (and how to change it) is still very counterintuitive.

When clicking certain "non parts" (e.g. the staging sequence, pop ups such as the subassembly save window) you tend to click whatever part is behind them. Mouse click capture needs to not "pass through" these things.

#4: limited information available

In flight there is information which it makes sense to have that you can't get. Altitude above ground would be really nice! Phase angles to objects should be obtainable without a mod, and without slapping a protractor up on your screen. In the map view it would be good to be able to display arrows pointing in various directions (e.g. towards target, towards sun) so that you can orient your view better.

#5: (minor but easy to fix?) targeting locations for contracts

When you target a location, such as a location for a visual inspection contract, why doesn't it use the same pink direction to/direction away symbols on the nav ball that it does for other targets? The direction away is really useful when you need to retro-burn.

OK, now I'm starting to get nitpicky, so I'll stop.

Cheers!

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