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Everything posted by Tigga

  1. You can do mission planning without anything external controlling the direction your ship faces, the staging or the thrust levels you're at. Icons on the navball, or a target trajectory in the map mode (ie. tell the mission planner you want to get to a place, and rather than doing it for you it shows the trajectory on the map mode, for you to try to achieve). Still up to you to make sure the nose is pointing the right way, to make sure the burn is for the right amount of time, to stage, to make mid-course corrections if you've slightly mistimed or misdirected something, ... basically to control the craft efficiently. Planning is completely different from an autopilot. Well you could have the current ones, and the silly ones and be able to pick between them. Of course it's a silly idea, but it illustrates my point about MechJeb being available by default.
  2. To use MechJeb the player merely has to download it off the internet and follow some simple instructions. I'd say probably a lower barrier than editing a file, but they're fairly analogous. At the moment if you want to play with these things to make it easier you have to go out of your way to do it. Having it so that the default is easier is very different. It all comes down to the effort required to enable a change. If it's in by stock no effort is required, everybody will be playing with MechJeb, a large amount of the restrictions will be removed from default play and players will be missing out in the challenge. A lot of people will design a rocket, land on a far away planet using MechJeb, and put the game away saying it's too easy. Not all people, as people find different things fun, but a significant proportion of people. As soon as there is a barrier - explicitly downloading something to change the game, or editing the parts configs - you are deliberately altering the game. This is very different from having things on as default. In one the game is too easy, while in the other you are making the game easier for yourself. My main point above was that arguing that "options are good and if you don't want it don't use it" while sounding rational, doesn't actually take into account how humans work.
  3. ... and why not buy it now anyway? .17 will be out soon enough, and you'll be able to learn from all the improvements between the beta and .16 before getting to .17 craft.
  4. I wouldn't want to see MechJeb as it stands as part of the main install, nor do I ever expect it to happen. I do expect some improvements in the automation, such as a more stable ASAS, or one that can control thrusts levels on engines independently to compensate for imbalances. I also expect some of the information that MJ gives to be transferred to the default HUD in some way. All the more advanced auto-pilot functions - launching, landing, transfers, exact orbiting etc - I'd prefer to see them left out of the core game. As a gamer one could argue "but it's optional, so why not include it?", however one of the skills of being a good game developer is working out what is needed and what is not. You have to put in place restrictions, otherwise the sense of achievement for a gamer playing the "stock game" is diminished. If the "add everything because it's optional" argument is valid surely we should have infinite fuel tanks, or indestructible components available as default? Optional, but very likely to ruin the fun for a lot of new players.
  5. You - it crashes quite a bit for me. Usually when running for quite a while. Alpha.
  6. YES fuel bug. The fuel bug exists if, at any point, you run with less than 100% throttle. By running at 2/3 throttle you decrease your fuel usage to 4/9 of max usage (2/3 squared). You're therefore effectively increasing the specific impules of your engines by 50% by using the fuel bug.
  7. A submarine type object wouldn't need a liquid to function as a submarine in the atmosphere of a gas giant - for aerodynamic (or more generally fluid dynamic) performance liquid and gas are essentially the same type of thing; a fluid. What matters more is the density and viscosity of the atmosphere. I'd imagine due to the very high gravity of the gas giant the pressures, and hence densities would get rather high rather quickly. This means that you'd have plenty of buoyancy (like a submarine) and wouldn't need very big wings. We don't really have that range of situations on earth as we only really have two substances we design stuff for (air & water). In the upper atmosphere you'd want to look like a super-sonic jet, as you descend you want to get more like a jet liner, then a glider, but I'm not really sure what the transition between glider and submarine would look like. Interesting...
  8. I think it depends on what type of player you are. I don't use Mechjeb as I see the game as ~50% rocket design, ~40% getting the rocket to go to where you want it to go as efficiently as possible, and 10% ~building things like munbases. Mechjeb hence removes a large part of the game for me. Other people weight these factors differently. There seem to be a lot of people who really enjoy building fun things like a satellite network, or a munbase with rovers, and I imagine for them Mechjeb removes a less fun part of the game to allow for more of the fun part. Other people want to see how efficiently they can make a rocket complete a mission, and for consistency and efficiency they use mechjeb to remove a load of variables when optimising. Again, removing the less fun part for more of the fun part. There's no "right" or "wrong" way to play games in general, especially a sandbox game like KSP is now, so I guess it's just about working out what you find fun.
  9. I'd imagine that currently all the terrain on each body is procedural. There's not much point for something as simple as a single solar system, but if they were to make multiple systems it'd procedural. There's nothing about procedural generation that means it has to be different for each player. As vexx says, if you base it on the same seed for each player you'll get the same results.
  10. Even Jeb is shocked by it! 14 seconds he seems to lose it. Not seen that before!
  11. I can't see how this would work. The planet wouldn't be big enough to block out Kerbol until you're very close to it so the shielding effect would only cover a tiny proportion of the distance you had to travel. I'd also be surprised if concavities are supported by the terrain engine, or ever will be. They make the whole thing an awful lot more complicated.
  12. It's hard to say too much without seeing your ship, but as a rule if it isn't pretty close to symmetrical you're going to struggle out of the atmosphere unless you've spent a lot of time tweaking it. If your ship is symmetrical try adding stiffening struts as nhnifong suggests. A third alternative is to use gimballed engines which, if you're using ASAS or flying manually, should act to reduce the roll. Incidentally, I think it'd be a great addition if the were to improve the ASAS module so that it could control engine thrusts individually as well. It'd have to be a lot more gentle then it is with RCS and control surfaces, but it'd really help to sort out craft imbalances. Either that, or we need engines with a much higher directional thrust ability.
  13. The H and N keys can be used to give thrust along the vertical axis. I-J-K-L can be used for horizontal translation.
  14. It's not a n-body simulation that's being proposed though. N-body is bad because it scales with n squared (every body interacting with every other body). Splitting your bodies into planetary on-rails bodies (attract stuff, don't get attracted) and ship "real" bodies (don't attract stuff, get attracted) and it now scales with n. Calculate the sum of the forces on a body (won't be more than 10 objects realistically, especially if you make approximations ignoring insignificant objects, and the maths is trivial) and apply them to the body. All this stuff is going to be trivial to compute. The tricky bit is the time integration for projected trajectories. Most of the time your insignificant object sweep will pretty much give you one object, and you'll be on cubic rails, however when you're not forward stepping in time is potentially intensive. It's pretty hard to judge how much so until you've actually done it. I've little doubt it'd be possible for "free" motion, but having something that updates as you thrust would be a bit trickier. You'd probably have to deal with a low quality projection while thrusting, which might not be ideal. It's the sort of thing I'd feel I'd have to implement to discover.
  15. It's not really if you can determine the positions of the attractors as a function of the time, which you can if they're on rails. You could even make some further simplifications, neglecting masses if they're insignificant, which most of them are likely to be, and if you get down to one mass being significant you can go on rails again.
  16. I do exactly the same... except without the size constraint! I tend to use the thin decouplers to separate my rocket fuel from my jet fuel. It seems to work quite well. My current SSTO attempt is massive, and I've managed to get it into orbit once, though crashed on landing! My main problem is that due to the imbalances that come about after burning my rockets for a little while (fuel tanks draining move my CoM!) I find I have to throttle down at high altitudes and use RCS to keep my nose pointing the right way. At this point the fuel bug hits, so it's hard to call it valid. What I really need is a AASAS which can also control my engine throttles individually. That way as soon as the imbalances start to occur it could correct by lowering the strength of the engines on one side to move the centre of thrust. It has the added advantage that fuel consumption would lower on the side with less thrust, so the CoM would close in to the CoT as well.
  17. I'd be very interested in this. I'd love some way to put some consistency into my flights without having to go all the way to Mechjeb, which looks like it makes things far too easy.
  18. I'm hoping for better craft/body interaction as well. I can't think of any technical reason why it shouldn't be possible, though it's going to be more computationally expensive to plot trajectories and calculate reference point changes, though I'd expect it to be fine as these changes only have to be calculated for one craft, and this simplifies things greatly. Keeping large bodies on rails would be fine.
  19. How fast are you re-entering Kerbin's atmosphere? I've a feeling ships might end up a little bigger once re-entry heat is simulated as at the moment you save quite a bit of fuel by not having to do any work to keep your entry velocity low. You can have your apoapsis pretty much wherever you want but so long as the periapsis is <30km or so you'll touchdown safely. Having to shove all the extra fuel onto the final stage increases the lower stages by an annoying amount! Incidentally I find I can't use ASAS combined with a three man lander either. Just can't get it to look any good. I can sometimes squeeze it in lower down the stack without looking too bad, but I'm really hoping for increased radius versions in .17.
  20. I don't think EVA packs need any change. I don't think they're intended to be powered packs for motion through atmospheres under regular gravity, rather for having fun in low-gravity/free fall environment. Those keys are already taken! Shift is up, ctrl is down. If they were to boost the power in any way this would be needed though.
  21. You don't seem to understand. They can be activated off the launchpad and be configured to only use the fuel from the outermost tanks. All you do as you go up is jettison the outermost tanks (and engines). You don't have to light up any more engines. The inner engines are not dead weight as they're activated at the same time as the outer engines.
  22. My first attempt reached ~435m/s, though I'm fairly sure I'm not doing it quite how you intend it to be done. In the first post you mention nothing about it being stable, nor about never exceeding 1km, so my plan basically involved boosting straight down after gaining a bit of height. Messed up the screenshot, but I imagine my entry would be invalid!
  23. Wait, you mean I can save fuel in my upper stages by using lower stages? Wow! I think jet engines are a bit too powerful at the moment and I'll not be using them on rockets, because it's silly. It's trick to balance I guess because you need them useful for spaceplanes. I guess it's a balance between weight, lift, drag and power which is a little out at the moment. Jet engines should be very fuel efficient, but they shouldn't have the power to lift a massive rocket.
  24. I think my first missions will have a lander, with the aim of escaping the planet but not having enough to re-tansfer back to Kerbin. A second craft with spare crew space and no lander will follow shortly behind and I'll EVA my landing Kerbals to this craft. After I get that sorted I think I'll try a single-craft misison, but I'm not very optimisic!
  25. Did they swap ships and fly home? Incidentally, anybody else find the struts that people seem to always put to keep the top section of their rockets stable really really ugly? They seem to feature on far too many shots of rockets on pads and I can't help but be slightly annoyed by them!
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