Kerbal Space Program

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by TheGodBen, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Anybody else given this game a try? I played the demo before and got a few rockets into orbit, but I just bought the full version the other day and am having a blast (sometimes literally) trying out new designs for a successful Munar mission.

    If you don't know what the game is, it's a sandbox space exploration game where you design your own rockets and spacecraft and try to achieve your own goals. You have to account for weight, thrust, balance, drag, structural integrity, fuel, and orbital mechanics to get your little Kerbals into space and back to planet Kerbin safely. Right now the main goal is to land safely on Kerbin's two moons, Mun and Minmus, but you can do anything you want, such as putting space stations into orbit, or building planes capable of transcontinental flights. It's still in alpha so it's a bit buggy, but they're adding features all the time, and the next update is going to add a bunch of planets to the solar system so that there's more to explore.

    I performed my first attempt at a Mun landing last night with this rocket, getting prepped for a night launch.

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    Here's the ship after achieving orbit of Kerbin, preparing to slingshot to the Mun.

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    Here's my Munar lander in orbit of the Mun, with Kerbin off in the distance.

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    Sadly, the landing didn't go as planned and it tipped on its side, breaking off the crew capsule. Bill Kermin becomes the first Kerbin to walk on the Mun...

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    ...but he's trapped there forever.

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    Unless I choose to send up a ship to rescue him at some point. I should probably practice landing the ship first though. :alienblush:
     
  2. Peak

    Peak Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Not really my type of game. I do watch all the KurtJMac-videos, but it's a bit to much of simulator and not enought of a game (yet?) for my taste.
     
  3. Mr Silver

    Mr Silver Commodore Newbie

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    I like the idea of the game, but I'm not digging the Blender style graphics. For me personally, anything that deals with space flight should feature cutting edge graphics. A simulator especially, although Microsoft are leading the simulator race with their "not-exactly-ultra-realistic" Flight Simulator series.
     
  4. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd say it's a good balance of simulator and cartoony fun. You can do the complicated stuff like landing on the Mun and all the planning and testing that goes along with that, or you can just build crazy rockets and planes and see if you can make them work. Here's a silly example of a rocket-powered helicopter thing that I saw on the forum.

    It's an indie game being developed by a half-dozen people in Mexico, the graphical quality is going to be closer to Minecraft than Halo. And keep in mind that the planet Kerbin alone is over 1,000,000 kmĀ² and you can land at any point on it, and it's planned for there to be about a dozen planets and moons in the game for you to explore. The textures aren't going to be the best quality, but that doesn't in any way detract from the fun of the game or its challenge.

    That being said, the 0.17 update that's coming out sometime this month will allegedly improve the graphics a bit.


    I finally managed a successful Mun landing last night, and I had just enough fuel left over to return somewhat safely to Kerbin.

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  5. Saturn0660

    Saturn0660 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I downloaded the demo of it yesterday. I'd have to say i'm hooked on this game. However, i'd like to see what buying it give me over the demo. But a few screen caps.

    Moving along.
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    We have a problem.
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    Punch Out Punch Out....
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  6. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The retail version gives you more places to go, more tools to help you get there, and more to do when you arrive. The demo only has two worlds, Kerbin and Mun, while the retail version was just updated and now includes 5 planets and 8 moons to explore. The retail version has about 5 times as many parts as in the demo, including larger rockets, landing gear, and jet engines so that you can design space planes. The retail version also includes the ability to control the rocket from the cockpit, and go on spacewalks with your crew (which is a lot of fun when combining jet packs and low gravity). There's also a bunch of graphical improvements and bug-fixes and physics tweaking. Eventually, they plan to include a career mode where you'll have to worry about budgets and limited parts, as well as an expanded solar system (they're planning more planets as well as asteroids, comets, rings, and so on), and docking.


    You definitely have a problem when Jebediah starts freaking out. ;)

    Here's some pics from my first trip out to Duna (the Mars stand-in).

    This is my ship. It wobbles like crazy getting into orbit, but it just about manages.

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    Here it is in orbit of Kerbin.

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    The view from inside the capsule as the sun sets.

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    Kerbin and Mun in the distance as I head out into interplanetary space.

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    113 days after lift-off, I finally approach Duna and its moon, Ike.

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    In Duna orbit.

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    Jebediah Kerman becomes the first Kerbal to set foot on Duna. Here's hoping he has enough fuel to get back.

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    And here's a bonus picture of my first successful landing on the tiny ice moon Minmus.

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  7. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    What OS does it run on? I don't buy that many games nowadays because they're formatted only for PCs, and I'm far too lazy to worry about emulating a Windows type extra OS just to play them. :p
     
  8. Saturn0660

    Saturn0660 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Mac and PC both
     
  9. Saturn0660

    Saturn0660 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I love this game.. A few more pics to post.

    It happens.
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    On my way to the sun.
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    Just about as close is I could get to the sun with the fuel I had.
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  10. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    So did they end up disintegrating? :lol:
     
  11. Saturn0660

    Saturn0660 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oddly enough no. Nothing happened. Other then getting stuck in that solar orbit.

    I need more fuel and see if you can ""land"" on the sun.
    However, not sure you can. when i check my orbit it showed me going right through the star. When i was getting close i couldn't control the ship(whipping around) so who knows.

    Someone else try it and see if you can even land there.
     
  12. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    Why would you need more fuel, though? Wouldn't the sun's gravity pull you in? Wouldn't your velocity toward it be maintained, even without fuel?

    Seems like an odd physics model. :p
     
  13. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, the sun doesn't have a surface or proper texture in the demo, it's just a white thing that you can float through. In the most recent version it has a proper surface with dynamic sun spots and solar flares, but you can't land on it because your ship explodes if you get too close.

    Ah, but you're in orbit of the sun, in order to crash into it you'll need to decrease your orbital velocity to zero or thereabouts. That requires a lot of fuel because once you escape the gravitational influence of planet Kerbin, you'll still be orbiting the sun at roughly 9,000m/s.

    It attempts to simulate real orbital mechanics but it can only simulate gravity from one body at a time, so if you're going to the moon then once you reach the moon's sphere of influence you are no longer affected by the planet's gravity. It's a bit unrealistic but a necessary sacrifice to allow the game to run smoothly.
     
  14. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    Ah, it seem to have not "clicked" that he was orbiting the sun. Good point!

    I guess that's better than a direct approach. :lol:
     
  15. Saturn0660

    Saturn0660 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ya, i'm not sure i said i was in a solar orbit first. Alas, no crashing for my. As i'm still on the demo.
     
  16. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was ill recently so I didn't a chance to play, but I finally went on another interplanetary adventure yesterday and landed on Duna's moon, Ike.

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    I'm normally a vanilla player in the games that I play, but I'm really temped to download the rover mod and go on a low-G moon-buggy ride across Ike's mountains and valleys.

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  17. Saturn0660

    Saturn0660 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Almost most made it.. Landed just a ""little"" bit to hard..

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  18. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, 626m/s is a bit too fast. :lol: I try to keep my landings under 2m/s.

    I undertook two interplanetary voyages recently, the first one to Eve. Eve is the game's crazy version of Venus, in that it's the second planet from the sun, is roughly the same size as your homeworld, and has very dense atmosphere. It's unlike Venus in that it's purple and has seas of mercury.

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    Eve is easy to land on but almost impossible to take off from again unless you've built a crazy-huge rocket, so I opted to remain in orbit and send a probe (i.e. an aeroplane fuselage with a parachute) down to the surface. Here it is entering the atmosphere over one of the mercury seas.

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    The probe landed safely at the foot of some mountains.

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    My next voyage was out to the gas giant of Jool, which is currently the largest body in the game's solar system. What I like about Jool is that it's just a bit smaller than the Earth, so this planet is the best at giving you the sense of scale of our own planet.

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    Being a gas giant, you can't actually land on it, so I ejected an empty fuel tank into the atmosphere for science.

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    The results were predictable. Yeah, science!

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    Jool has four moons, my voyage in the Jool system brought me close to two of them. This is from my closest pass of Vall, which seems to be some sort of ice moon. (This was actually before I ejected my empty fuel tanks.)

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    Next up is Laythe, the ocean moon. Laythe is the most hospitable body in the system due to its liquid water, oxygen atmosphere and reasonable gravity at 0.8G. There's not much land though, and what little there is are mountainous sand dunes.

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    Sadly, my craft doesn't have landing capabilities and almost certainly wouldn't have enough fuel to land and take off again. So it stays in orbit taking beauty shots.

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    After much fiddling and reloading, I did manage to land a probe on one of the few landmasses.

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  19. Saturn0660

    Saturn0660 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ya, I ran out of fuel. Thats what I get for changing orbits TWICE..
    tends to use up what you have left. But I gave it a full burn to the end. :lol:
     
  20. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, getting into orbit with enough fuel to achieve your goal is the hardest trick to manage, especially for interplanetary voyages. But rockets to the Mun don't need to be that big or complex, as you can see in this video:

    [yt]v=3aMIsPgRkUs[/yt]

    If you don't already know about him, Scott Manley is an excellent resource for KSP tutorials. He's also an astronomer or somesuch in real life, so he's not only an expert on the game, his videos also contain a lot of real-world space science.
     

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