El_Cid

Kerbal Space Program

94 posts in this topic

Downloaded this last night....curious mix of Spore (at least in the design screen) and those flash launch games.....curious idea and it suggests that the full version may allow you to develop your own space ship parts, which seems like fun to me.

 

This alpha/demo allows you to use a few different parts, but mostly basic parts, then launch your ship and fly it, if you create an unstable build then the ship becomes harder to fly, apparantly uses real physics, so yeah, definately one to watch.

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I finally gave this a shot, and I could easily see where some further features will come from and could see hints of others again.

 

Out of roughly half a dozen launches with four different rockets, my record is almost 60km.

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I only tried with the most basic of rockets and I forget how far I got with it.

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Just made over 150km with a fairly simple rocket. Three liquid rockets with a fuel tank each to lift me up, then a single liquid rocket & tank once the first three run out of fuel.

The only thing I put on it for stability was a wing on each of the lower fuel tanks. And I controlled the stability manually most of the time rather than use SAS.

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I'm going to have to give this a bash then and see what I can come up with with the parts that are supplied with the demo, see if I can beat 150km......that is if I can tear myself away from the caveman2cosmos civ4 mod I'm playing (v14 and continuously improving.......but also a whopping 2.5GB unpacked!!)

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236km, with the same rocket but managing the throttle better. The trick is to keep your velocity low for as long as you're in the atmosphere; in practice this means to keep velocity near 100m/s in the first stage and go for broke in the second stage. The third and final stage should have nothing but the crew and a parachute.

 

Edit: 505km thanks to throttle control and some weight reduction. I removed the top decoupler and the parachute. With better stability management, I am confident I could get higher.

Edited by PiMan

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Someone is really getting into this game :-D

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I'm done with that rough design. I added a second fuel tank to the top stage, and I managed a distance of 2000km before getting bored. I was still travelling at well over 2000m/s at the time, which is not enough to escape gravity entirely, but I was going to be flying for a while.

I tried alt-tabbing to just let it run, so I could see the flight stats a few hours later, but trying to get back into the program resulted in a black screen (the program was clearly still functional though since spacebar made the sound I'd expect it to).

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New design with lots of fuel and triple liquid rockets for the first stage and minimal fuel and single liquid rocket for the second stage. I had a successful launch and I've left it running overnight. I'm 27 000 kilometres up and travelling at slightly under 500m/s. Kearth is so small that my rocket almost entirely obscures my view of it if I have my camera at the right position (default zoom).

 

For reasons unknown to me, my G-force is fluctuating wildly. Might report that as a bug.

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So you got into space then?.....I wonder if they've put any other planets/moons in the alpha release.....maybe try pointing yourself towards the sun and see what happens.....although if it's working on real physics it might take a looooooooooooooooong time to get anywhere, the full version will hopefully include some sort of speed-up-routine like Elite.

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Space from Earth is considered to be 100km up. In this the atmosphere is as good as gone from 35km.

 

Both the use of other bodies, such as moons and planets, and the creation of a speed-up feature, are planned for future releases.

 

I made a slight modification by adding another fuel tank to the final stage and I was going much faster. At roughly 70 000km up, the planet is completely gone (at least when using the smallest resolution).

What I'd like to do is make a rocket that can reach 1 000 000km in less than a day. My last rocket was due to do it in a mere 4.5 days.

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Hmmm.....incredible that you get so much out of what is effectively a demo, go you!

 

I got fed up as soon as i realised that I couldn't do any R&D (of the in-game kind rather than the R&D you're doing!!), however I can see the potential and wil lbe keeping an eye on this one, I still aim for my next purchase to the pre-order of Xenonauts....although I'm also thinking of getting another controller and buying Sacred 2 for the Xbox 360 as a hopeful replacement for Champions of Norrath from the PS2 (only game my partner has wanted to play more than I have on a console!!)

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I spent all day yesterday playing this! It´s a lot of fun. I think i just love this type of game, where you construct something and then see, how well it works.

 

I only construct the ships, though. I never steer them. STS only. And thrusters always at ~95% (100 if needed). That´s my test environment, so to say. The tests end, when the last thruster burnt out. The aim (for me) is highest speed. My best so far: 3042.2 m/s.

 

Kerbal isnt earth, btw. It seems to be a lot smaller. Dont know about its gravity though. I think, for the final game, they should make it some high-G planet, as to increase the challange of getting to space and decreasing mission-time. I can imagine this becoming a really good game. Just imagine, you´d have to pay for your rockets, and had some sort of mission to achieve and reputation to lose. Starts would be as nerve-wrecking as the real ones (well, almost ;D ). I think, i´ll get headphones with a microphone for this game, even if it serves no purpose, only so that i can take them off with one hand, while already raising the other in relief, after a successfull launch in best Houston tradition.

 

Constructing the rockets is still a bit fiddly, though. Make sure to use the symmetry-mode. Without, it´s nigh-impossible to construct something powerful and stable. It´s a bit annoying that you can only attach boosters to the side-decouplers. And something should be done about the sequence-planer: It´s quite a fuzz to change it, once the rockets gets a bit bigger - the way it scrolls makes me crazy! There seems to be also some bugs, where it wont recognize that you shifted an engine away from the 1st stage and will still start it at launch, regardless.

 

But despite the critizism, by all means, if you have an afternoon to spent, try this one out. I had lots of fun from the start right upto now and there is still some to have for me, i guess. And this is an alpha. You know, it´s one of these games, where failure can easily be as much fun as success (and sometimes even more). It´s surprisingly fun to sit in tension (and these rockets still dont cost you and there is no pressure at all, yet!) pre-launch, hit space to start the first stage, just to watch everything going ´fubar´. This fun is compounded by watching the little guys (the crew) displayed in small windows... I had the most absurd flights. One of my rockets didnt have enough thrust to real get off the ground - just very very slowly... It still went sideways though (wind?), and i had fun watching it doing so, until it hit the hangar... Or another time, i had packed 5 boosters right next to each other into the final stage right below the command capsule (this + parachute are obligatory to me). All went well with the prior stages and i thought it was a really good launch - until the final stage started and the 5 boosters overheated in like 3 seconds, resulting in sudden death... muharhar... fun! Try it! Now!

 

EDIT: The headphones just gave me a cooool idea! What if they´d make a two-player mode, with the players on two different comps. One is ´Houston´ the other is ´the crew´ - and they´d both have (paritally) different instruments, so they had to talk to each other. And the in-game communication software would make it sound like ´Houston, we have a problem.´ You know, 70´s space chatter-ish. Possibly with delay for longer missions.

- ´Stage 1´s out in 5...4...3...2...1´

- ´Starting stage 2!´

- ´Confirmed, stage 2 started.´

- ´Looks good, so far´

- ´She´s tilting a bit.´

- ´That´s still okay - but keep an eye on it.´

- ´She starts to spin and whiggle - we are losing her.´

- ´Turn off SAS and try to compensate manually.´

- ´5 seconds for 2. 4...3... this is hard! ...1 - decoupling 2.´

- ´Dont start 3 just, yet - wait till she´s nose-up!´

- ´Duh! --- 3 started...´

- ´Uh-ohhhh´

- ´Yeah, you say it... I am working on it! --- ahhhh gnnnn urrrgggg...´

- ´20km and climbing at 300m/s... you need to keep her straight a bit longer!´

- ´I AM TRYING!´

- ´Final stage in 5...-this one will start right after decoupling - so watch it- 2...1´

- ´Whaaaaa! That wasnt exactly good timing! 12G! I am getting sick! Passing out in 3...2...´

- ´Aborting mission. Decoupling boosters. Prepare for decent!´

- ´F***!!! We almost had her up...´

- ´Do you think winglets would help?´

....

Edited by Mr. Scruffy

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The planet is 600km in diameter, and gravity at sea level is the same as Earth. This means that you only need to go 300km up before gravity is 1/4 Earth (whereas you'd need to go 6300km up to quarter gravity in reality).

Escape velocity is somewhere between 3000 and 3500m/s iirc.

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3811.7 m/s is max record, now. Had a max. of ~3500 in the current flight... I´ll wait for a bit to see...

 

Seems like you can run multiple instances of it in windows... yay! :D (I think i am going crazy...)

Edited by Mr. Scruffy

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I don't think my laptop could handle more than one instance. It makes my fan go crazy as it is.

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3865.2 m/s - and i think i´ll leave it at that, for now.

 

For the final stage (before the capsule with parachute), i use a single liquid booster with 4 fuel tanks. Beneath that, is the second stage: 2 fuel tanks, with a tri-coupler with 1 fuel tank and a liquid booster on each end. To get the whole thing of the ground, i simply use 3 rings with 6 booster each, attached with decouplers to the central fuel tanks.

 

First the 18 boosters lifts the rocket to about 5km height, going dangerously close to oveheating each other. Then the second stage brings the final stage up to about 30km, where the atmosphere ends, before decoupling. The ship travels at ~500m/s at that point. Burning the content of the fuel tanks further accelerates it to ~800, ~1400~, ~2500 and ~3800 m/s respectively.

 

Now, i really want to ´land a man on the moon and retrun him home savely... not because it is easy, but because it is hard...´ :D

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You'll have to wait for a moon to be added, Mr Kennedy.

 

Also, you could get better speed with the same rocket if you lower your throttle while in the atmosphere. Don't waste too much fuel when the atmosphere is pushing you back down.

As I stated earlier, I aim for a speed of around 100m/s while in the atmosphere.

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But with a body of such density below me, isnt it a good idea, to get away from it ASAP (i guess my boss sometimes things the same)? But i might give it a shot, today. Or perhaps you do? The construction plan is right there - how fast can you get that rocket?

 

Or maybe i rather not try it today - this game has proven bad for my mental health: Last night, i was playing EU3 and whenever i hit space to un-/pause the game, i feared my beer bottle might lift off the table in unexpected ways... been dreaming about rockets, too. And dreams can be so weird: ´If i stack three beer-bottles and attach two of such columns to the water bottle - will it make the cig-pack on top go 3,000 m/s ? What about the bottle-refund?´

 

I really hope, they get the rest of the game right, too, and dont make it too straightjacketed. It shouldnt be like Lemmings, level after level, with a certain way to solve each - but rather like ´They stole a million´, where you choose which contracts to sign... If they get these things right, i´ll most certainly be willing to pay full-price for this game, even if it is not triple-A-standard technically. Once they get cash rolling in, they can start on improving the graphics and expanding the game (more missions and features). Tests should cost money. There should be an ´iron-man´-mode disallowing saves unless quiting the game (otherwise, you will test a configuration till it works for your contract - say ´get 5 tons into orbit´ - until it works, an then load a save made prior to the costly tests). It needs lots of different kinds of missions, from unmanned satelites to manned orbiting, and the same with other celestial bodies. And there should be ´internal´ investment, such in trying to build up your own space-station between missions, so you can do better R&D for some components and also open up new kinds of missions.

 

EDIT: BTW, i like how it seems that the most realistic rocket (within the games´ alpha limitations) is also the most effecient one. I tried a lot of plans, but in the end, a two-staged liquid rocket with massive solid boosters to kick it off prevailed. If the 18 boosters would be two or three massive ones, it´d look very real. Very shuttely.

 

EDIT2: Wether the final two stages are stable enough to slowly coast through the atmosphere without tilting is another open question... Remember its the capsule, 2 decouplers, one tri-coupler, the SAS, 2 liquied thrusters and 7 fuel tanks total stacked on top of each other - it´s quite a tower.

Edited by Mr. Scruffy

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I'm not sure how familiar you are with physics, but I'll describe it like friction.

 

You have a ramp, and a block at the top of the ramp ready to slide down. While staying still, it has fairly high friction, and the friction is calculated differently from friction of moving bodies. As soon as it starts moving, its friction drops significantly, but as it moves faster, the friction increases.

 

The rocket staying still needs a large impulse from the rockets to get off the ground, like the block. Get it moving, and you want to keep its "friction" as low as you can. Get it beyond the atmosphere, and suddenly it is like you're sliding on a frictionless ramp.

 

Like breaking the sound barrier or trying to reach the speed of light, you need proportionally more energy to get equal steps closer to your goal, as you get closer. 100m/s might not be the best speed to hold at in the atmosphere, but it is the speed that works for me, and it certainly works better for me than full throttle.

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But it violates my test-conditions (btw. i feel a bit belittled by your physics 101 - i learned that in like 7th grade? Probably earlier... - i once visited the community college of southern neveda - a physics lesson there, and despite me only being a guest, i ended up as co-teacher, explaining stuff to the students more than the teacher did, within an hour - it was quite awkward, actually. I couldnt believe they were counting squares to estimate the total energy of a sun-ray - instead of forming the integral. Heck, they didnt even know what a meter was! So talking nano-meters made little point... anyways - just trying to restore my rep, here). I mean, sure, if i exceed escape-velocity at some point, i probably should just turn off the engine, and fire them up again, once i reach traveling speed far away from kearth´s gravity, for maximum velocity.

 

But the reasoning behind my thought was: If kearth pulls on my ship with 10m/s each second at ground level, and when that is only 1/4 at 600km altitude (IIRC)... At ground level i have to accrelate 10m/s² to maintain my current speed. For simplicities sake, let´s say that gravity is 1G from ground level to 20km up and say i could get there within a minute. Now, say, i take two. That´s 60 seconds * 10 m/s² = 600 m/s lost to gravity right there. That´s one side of the equation. The other is the atmosphere of course. It´s impact might get less in a cubic way depending on speed and (IIRC it´s actually ^4 - ´hypercubic´, or tesseractian, if you prefer that :p ) and lineary with altitude. You can actually observe your craft hitting a speed-wall in the lower atmo, if it goes fast enough.

 

I´d say it´s okay to go full-throtle, even in the atmo, as long as you are actually observing decent acceleration (an acceli-meter would be a handy instrument) - but once you are hitting the wall, there is little point in trying to go faster.

 

But again - for my tests, it was a must to keep the conditions - they were to easy to cheat otherwise, esp. after i had reached a certain point. Without conditions, not only would i have to accelerate less in the atmo, but also i would have to tilt my ship to the horizon, once i am out of it. And then, as said, after escape, i´d have to wait a day or so and try for the max in ´deep space´, or, alternatively, while falling back to kearth. Without the condition of ´straight up in one all-out-go´ a contest for speed is too blury. Well, at least it wouldnt be so much about construction anymore.

 

I have been watching a couple of tube-vids meanwhile - yeah, had i known, that multiple SAS-units make sense... hahaha. Always had just one on and did never correct the course manually. I also visited the site, and am happy to see, that 0.9 seems to be semi-announced for the 6th (IIRC) and will feature a better stage-management -exactly my main gripe at this point. Yay!

Edited by Mr. Scruffy

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