Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Skorj

  1. You just give some sort of mission goal or reward for completing objectives before a certain in-game date. This comes up a lot in industry sim games. Either you have some external stressor -- your base gets raided every so often or something like that to create a cost for just waiting -- or you make hitting a milestone before a deadline the stated goal of the game. Hmmm, "hitting a milestone before a deadline", I'm sure it will be fine.
  2. As far as implementation in a game where the surface is a height map, so overhangs or caves are hard to do, caves are best done using "portals". This works quite well for caves, but can be screwy for tunnels. Gameplay wise, it would make sense for cave entrances to be targets for missions. Land near the cave, then explore inside with a rover. It's a good reason to use a rover instead of just landing where you want to be.
  3. Depends what you mean. Juno: New Origins is KSP without the Kerbals. It's not a great game, lacking the depth of KSP1, maybe OK to pick up on a Steam sale but doesn't really add anything. Rocket Science tried, but it seems they spent a lot of effort on the visuals and didn't land the gameplay, too expensive for what it is IMO. If they ever get the base-building pert of the game done, it would offer something new. Spaceflight simulator is a fun little 2D rocket sim game, works better as a mobile game. I really wish I knew of others! There doesn't seem to be a rocket sim game with gameplay beyond "build a rocket and land it in different places", and KSP1 does that the best I think.
  4. Personally, I've just never liked sandbox games. I want a goal, and a challenge to reach that goal, and the kind of challenge that engages my engineer brain. If resources are unlimited, then there's no optimization needed, no engineering engagement, no challenge, and no fun. Self-imposed challenges can be fun after the first playthrough, but that first playthough needs to be good. I played KSP1 science mode up though Mun landing, and have never touched it (science mode) since. Without the constraint of funds there was a few fun hours of learning the basics, to be sure, but then I was done. Obviously, my opinion is thus that the game is pointless without some constraint at the beginning that forces optimization. I'm assuming here that launching everything from Kerbin is intended to be just the early game, and so funds (or some functionally equivalent resource) is ideal for that early game. Funds are great there because they make sense as a reward for any kind of mission whatsoever, and so don't restrict the game design or require much design effort for something that's early game only. Whatever progression makes sense to get the player past the early game, the funds reward structure can be made to incentivize that. Once past the early game, when you're launching from somewhere else, it's also easy using funds to make it impractical to keep launching everything from Kerbin, but have funds be a total non-concern for any other launch location. For example, you have the funds to get a first colony started in a low delta-V location like Minmus or Gilly, but you need that colony to make further progress, at which point colony resource extraction is the new interesting constraint. Indeed, I don't think it's at all controversial to say "funds were badly done in KSP1". Players thought they needed to grind tourist missions and similar, which many people found boring, because of the game's total failure to communicate just how much money you got by ignoring the mission system and exploring new places. IMO, almost anything different than KSP1 funds would be better. But I would add small twist to what you said here: funds should become irrelevant only because you start building colonies and extracting resources directly. That is, making funds irrelevant should be the in-game reason you need to engage with the colony system and not just launch everything from Kerbin. Just as for the late game some exotic resource only found on hard-to-reach places should force engagement with the game's full logistics system, whatever that turns out to be. The point where you also can't just launch everything from early colony locations due to new constraints.
  5. Come on now, every software development manager I've ever worked for knew with unbreakable faith that 9 women could have a baby in 1 month! But to your point, that's why I think control mapping is a great project: it's a safe and easy change for new hires and junior programmers to do, people who we wouldn't want trying to fix the remaining game-braking bugs (and no doubt breaking 6 other things in the attempt) until they know the codebase better. Or even as something somewhat relaxing to do to recover from crunch, as the case may be.
  6. I assume they aren't changing anything in the next 2 weeks. But then a whole new patch cycle starts. I've said this about several EA games: make your players happy with the state of input and menus, as a priority. It's great bang-for-the-buck for removing "friction," improving accessibility, and generally making a game more pleasant to play, because it's very quick to fix compared to anything to do with the internals of a game. It also requires little understanding of the overall codebase, and many improvements can be done piecemeal, which makes it great for ramp-up projects for new hires, small work to do between big projects, and so on (or for small indie teams, buy this stuff from the store). Adding/improving controller support, best practices for keybindings, menu usability, color pickers for anyplace color is used in the UI, these are all small projects which can be done in isolation from other changes, and produce player-visible results right away.
  7. This sounds like an easy win (not that they'd want to add anything last minute, of course). Flight controls aren't just useful for atmospheric flight, they're really handy for docking too, any sort of fine maneuvering really. And it's just control mapping, so about an isolated a change as you can have in real software.
  8. Not sure where you were getting that idea from my posts. The launch cost for a basic rocket should be the same amount of funds, metals (or whatever material) and fuel regardless of where you launch it from. In the early game, metals and fuels would be unlimited, but funds would be tight. So you need all three for consistency but only funds matter. Mid-game, you're maybe launching from Duna. The funds cost of the rocket is now trivial because you have lots of funds, not because the cost changed. The metals and fuel costs now matter a lot, because you need to somehow get them on Duna, not because the amounts changed. I hope that's clear. So the focus of gameplay naturally changes from "I need cheap launches from KSP" to "I need ISRU". And later still you need lots of metal and fuel, so the gameplay evolves to "I need a colony that makes these resources at a scale where I no longer care about them." In the late game, none of the resources for basic rockets are scarce at all, you've finished that part of the game. Now it's all about whatever resource powers near-future tech, with exploration to find it and perhaps unique challenges in extracting it. And for the end game you need that, not just as simple ISRU, but as an automation/colony challenge to make vast amounts of it for the interstellar ship. OK, I'm utterly baffled by where the "grinding" comment came from. I assume you've ever played Factorio or some game in the genre it created, so you know it not about grinding. You simply can't progress the game that way, you have to embrace the new mechanics. And as you do the resource you worry about shifts over time. Yes, I totally a agree that "X or Y" can be more fun than "X or 10X", but that's much more dev work. Forgive me if I suggest that's not a useful direction, all things considered. (As a point of reference "451 games" (a kind of immersive sim) are all about "X or Y" to pass every challenge, and while I find them immensely fun they're so expensive to develop that only a few have ever been made.) That being said, Factorio is a whole lot of fun and it barely has any "X or Y" elements at all (coal liquefaction, and belts-or-bots are the only ones that comes to mind, and the game was a success before those). There's an amazing amount of player agency and choices to make in how you solve the problem, rather than which problem do you solve. You also talk about player choices that skip some steps, and while that can be fun for expert play, a lot of that doesn't have to be designed in. Expert players will find all sorts of skips you never designed in. But I don't think you should make content that, on a first playthrough, many players will skip (other than easter-egg type stuff), because again that's an expensive approach. Limited dev resources are usually better spent making content that all players will see. Of course, KSP does have replay value, so it wouldn't be a waste, but to me any sort of (designed-in) "alternate path" stuff should be added after the game is finished. It makes good DLC/expansion content, after all. But there is some "X or Y" in this approach and even a bit of "skip" choices, in that at each transition point between "how do I produce enough Resource A" and "how do I produce enough Resource B", there are interesting choices to make. E.g., as you start making a colony on Minmus, do you try to bootstrap that with lots of launched from Kerbin, or lean into colony ISRU and have it mostly build itself, or as an expert player decide "you know, I bet a colony on Gilly is a better long-term bet, and almost as easy" and skip Minmus altogether, There's no real problem with rocket parts and fuel being unlimited on Kerbin, any more than inexhaustible ore patches are necessarily a problem with automation games. You don't need to limit them on Kerbin, you just need something that makes launching resources from Kerbin at scale impractical. For the mid-game, when you're e.g. trying to build a colony on Duna, I would go with simply he funds cost. Lets assume you need really substantial amounts of metals (or whatever the construction resource is) to build and expand the colony. While the funds cost launching individual rockets might be a non-issue at this point in the game, the cost to launch 1000 is a different matter (or as Pthigrivi suggests, time could be the bottleneck.) As soon as you add automation to a game, the challenge becomes about scale, because the gameplay is about producing unlimited resources. Just because you have some unlimited source on Kerbin doesn't trivialize the game, but is rather the start of the chain. For building on Duna, you could try to launch everything from Kerbin, but as long as that doesn't scale well that's fine. As long as launching from e.g. a Minmus colony is a much easier approach, it's fine. Assuming here that a Minums colony would become much more efficient toolchain for launches to Duna than KSC launches, which wouldn't be very hard to design in.
  9. Perhaps a bit of an aside, but I see people worrying about the possibility of a failure state. This is a game. Failure states are expected. Without a failure state, you have some sort of interactive visual novel, or idle game, not a game in the usual sense. A failure state is a feature, not a bug. And unless you're deliberately playing some sort of hardcore or ironman challenge, you can just load an earlier save if there's a big problem.
  10. When you say ... my thought is: that's what the gameplay is in a game with resource management. At some stage in the game you need X to progress. And not just a store of X, it's an ongoing supply of X far beyond anything you've seen in the game before. So, in order to advance the game, you solve the problem of producing X in sufficient quantities that it's no longer the bottleneck. And at that point you've moved to the next stage of the game. The bottleneck resource defines the problem to solve, that problem being: get all you need. If you can avoid them. the whole mechanic is pointless; you overcome them. I mean, this is the basis of every craft-and-explore game, many colony sims, a whole collection of genres. Sure, you could go a different direction, but it's hard to have an in-character need for colonies if you don't. Obviously in sandbox mode you're building things just to build them, and that's great, but in some replacement for career mode you need colonies to be good at something, and it sure seems to fit that that something is resource production. Yes, in theory you could have multiple paths past a given stage in the game involving a choice of different resources, but that's just a lot more dev work to get to the same place. One of those resources will be the most efficient path, and most people will do that and ignore the rest: that's just how most people play games these days. I mean, if the dev team was way ahead of schedule and looking even more stuff to add to an already complete game, go for it. But that's not the world we live in. I can answer that. First, you don't need to "develop" funds or explain what they are or how they work. Good game design leverages "prior player knowledge" about the world. As for your suggestion: it doesn't reward you for launching rockets! Unless I misunderstand, this sound like a resource you get more of only as game time passes, which sound likes an idle game. It sure doesn't sound like a resource you get more of by reaching orbit, then reaching the Mun, then landing on the Mun and returning. All of the tutorial-like steps the early game needs to be about. With funds, it's trivial to tie rewards to these goals without breaking immersion. If I have a tank of something that slowly filled that limited my ability to do the fun part of the game, I would immediately assume my goal was to make that fill up faster, to get an unlimited supply of it. I'd be looking for a way to build more mines, because in the language of games you just told me that was my goal. I just don't see how that would make sense to accomplish by getting my first Kerbal out of the atmosphere, or demonstrating my mastery of orbital rendezvous and docking, or any of the key early game "learn to rocket" goals.
  11. After writing the below, I realized something, and thus this pre-addendum: it's vital that whatever resource or currency is used, it's not also the score. There must be a goal separate and distinct from "get more funds/ore/whatever". Resources should be the obstacle, not the goal. Perhaps we're talking past each other because of this? Maybe I can explain my point better. At each stage in the game something will be the bottleneck resource. Games with multiple resources generally work out this way - you may need 4 resources to build the thing you want, but you have lots of 3 of them and so you ability to build that thing comes down to the 4th. The rest almost don't matter (unless you're deliberately doing some odd challenge run or something), except as "color" or world-building. In the early game, and by early game I mean precisely where there is only one place you're launching from, there are no other places to move resources to. A resource other than funds makes little sense here - it doesn't fit for the early game to be about building iron mines on Kerbin or hitting a coal patch with a pickaxe something, it's not that kind of game. This isn't Minecraft or Factorio; we should get the resource needed to launch rockets by launching rockets. And before "near future" tech is unlocked, needing some sort of resource that you can't get on Kerbin in order to launch from Kerbin just seems silly. So, just for the early game, funds seem ideal. (Or some other non-resource abstraction, but I think "reputation" has a bad reputation in KSP). You don't need to explain "funds", or why they're a bottleneck, it's a natural fit for being some kind of space agency, details left unexplained. But then you're past the early game. You're launching from somewhere that's not Kerbin. You've reached the mid game, and now a resource is the bottleneck. Now that makes sense. You may still need funds to launch from e.g. Minmus, but you have plenty. What you don't have is ore on Minmus, and it's ore, ready and usable for the rocket-building-thingie, that you care about. (Or fuel, or whatever.) Funds are only even relevant for verisimilitude, or perhaps as the reason why you have to move to ISRU, instead of launching everything from Kerbin. In no way am I suggesting that, just because funds exist, you can use them to cause ore to magically appear mined and ready on Minmus. There's no reason to build the game that way, and plenty of reasons not to. But to constrain launching early tech rockets from Kerbin? To give a benefit for building reusable rockets early? Funds are just the natural fit.
  12. I think a proper understanding of the word "currency" would help here. In both finance and games, a currency is simply an easily tradable resource at a given time and place. "Currency" includes but it not limited to "funds" or "money" as people usually think of it. In games, there are often multiple currency tiers as one progresses, and those currencies are often resources. E.g. in the early game the currency might be iron, then gold in the midgame, then unobtainium in the endgame. I think that would be a great model for KSP2. As many have said upthread, funds make a lot of sense for the early game, but then you get to a point where they stop mattering. This is a feature not a bug. It makes gameplay change in interesting ways as you progress. Once you're building stuff off Kerbin, something will inevitably be the bottleneck, and thus effectively the currency for that part of the game. Designing that in deliberately will give better results than otherwise. As an example, without worrying about whether these specifics are any good: Early game, funds are the limiting factor that makes reusablity good and keeps rockets from being too huge. Mid-game, ore (mined and ready) on nearby planets is the currency (the bottleneck resource) for building early colonies. Late-game, archeological relics of the interstellar civilization that visited Kerbin from one of the other systems are the bottleneck to progress, which have to be sought out in specific interesting places across the Kerbol system. End-game, helium-3 is the bottleneck for building the interstellar ship, requiring a complex toolchain of surface and orbiting colonies around many planets to make in quantity. The point of this example is that the kind of "mission" you have to do to progress changes at each stage, without the need for a mission generator or specific story line. Start by figuring out reasonably efficient boosters, and getting to nearby bodies. Move on to ISRU and initial colonies, where funds are no longer a limit but ore is. Move on gameplay around searching for relics and landing at interesting and difficult places. Move on to proving you can use all the game mechanics in a complex and integrated way, then launch the intersteller ship. This is just a solid game design approach that gets used often in "explore and craft" games for good reason.
  13. This is the best KSP2 discussion thread I've seen in a long time. Glad to see a reasonable discussion. I think too much backlash has been directed at Nate though. Not because I want to defend him, but because "there's a lot of red paint in this story" as the saying goes. I was shocked after an hour's play just how low the standards of the dev team were. Missing features aside, the kind of bugs we saw were such a bad sign. As a rather experienced non-game dev, it just made me wonder how anyone can live with that sort of quality in the daily build everyone on the team is using. I can't blame the junior devs, because you can't know better until you learn better, but where was the engineering leadership, where were the senior engineers? It really makes me wonder whether the senior dev guys left during that studio takeover (and it usually is the senior guys who go when the situation gets unpleasant, because they're the ones who can easily find jobs elsewhere). That would also explain the lack of focus in KSP2. I've heard that fragments of all of the feature sets we didn't get have been found in the code, the beginnings of career mode and colonies and multi-player and so on. Working on everything at once and not finishing anything is such a basic leadership failure, I'm really wondering how that happened.
  14. Glad you're enjoying it. But please stop conflating "incomplete" and "low quality". These are unrelated. I certainly expected the game to be incomplete - it says so on the Steam store page. They were very upfront about the included content. That's not the issue here. Quality is a different topic. Bugs don't get fixed all at the end as part of "finishing". Sure, that approach was common last century, I was there for it, but there's a reason everyone changed to iterative development. It's understood now that "if there's not time to do it right, there won't be time to do it over". But I'm belaboring the point, so I'll stop.
  15. No. No it doesn't. EA does not mean low quality. EA is not an excuse for low quality. Low quality EA games almost never improve in quality over time. EA is for games that aren't finished yet, games lacking content, not games lacking quality. Here's the fundamental truth of software development: there's no magical future time when all the bugs get fixed. The quality of software is a direct reflection of the professionalism of the team, because that's what professionalism is. As time goes on, the reasonable expectation is more content at the same quality level. Of course, this is just "on average". There is always hope. I'm holding out hope for KSP2. If you sell a product, game or otherwise, it's expected to work. The only excuse for low quality in a game release is when no one on the team has ever worked in game development before (like the passion project that was KSP1). Obviously it would be unfair to expect professionalism from people who are not professionals. But that's not the case here.
  16. To be fair, I could forgive the devs for thinking no one would ever actually go to Dres. I guess they didn't go in QA testing either. Or perhaps the real truth is that the QA department was a hologram.
  17. I still don't understand the point of fuel-specific tanks. It's just more dev work for fewer usable parts.
  18. I had the maneuver node be wrong in the opposite direction. Needed to burn a minute or so after it thought it was done. How does something so basic get so messed up?
  19. You thought Clippy was dead. You thought him forgotten. But he was just waiting.
  20. This was epic. Says it all, really.
  21. You're in "docking mode". Somehow the game can get itself into this state. I believe the Delete key toggles it back to normal mode. KSP1 had this toggle as well, but I don't recall ever doing it by accident.
  22. For rocket control: try the delete key! Craft can get toggled into docking mode in the VAB for some reason. If WASD stops working, try IJKL. If IJKL works, you can toggle it back with Delete.
  23. Center mouse button works to scroll. Or at least it did for me. I far prefer shift-scroll, but it's something.
  24. What I did in KSP2 today: Went to the Mun. Too many bugs. Just can't play this mess in its current state. Uninstalled. Maybe it will be good one day. But today is not that day.
  25. Indeed, refunding is my current plan. Given the game a week though, maybe they'll be on the ball with fixing the most basic functionality. It could happen.
  • Create New...