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Author Topic: Kerbal Space Program!  (Read 41662 times)
Jeff Kelly
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Reply #105 on: May 13, 2015, 05:25:41 AM

So I had to remember my physics college courses and read up info on the web to work out an efficient way to launch. When you realize that you should turn in a specific direction after launch and work out how a gravity tun works and when you also realize that you don't need to burn the entire duration of a flight only until you're able to reach a height of 70 km or more things get easier. Then you realize you have no idea how the science mechanic works.

It's insane fun but needs much more info and tutorializing built right into the game.
brellium
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Reply #106 on: May 13, 2015, 12:36:38 PM

It's insane fun but needs much more info and tutorializing built right into the game.
Did you actually try playing the tutorials?

‎"One must see in every human being only that which is worthy of praise. When this is done, one can be a friend to the whole human race. If, however, we look at people from the standpoint of their faults, then being a friend to them is a formidable task."
—‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Shannow
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Reply #107 on: May 13, 2015, 01:24:43 PM

I agree with Jeff the lack of any in-game direction is a little disheartening.
I seem to have run out of contracts in career mode. How do I get more?

Someone liked something? Who the fuzzy fuck was this heretic? You don't come to this website and enjoy something. Fuck that. ~ The Walrus
Bann
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Reply #108 on: May 13, 2015, 03:52:44 PM

What ones have you done already? Once you complete the one to orbit Kerbin, a bunch of new ones (test various parts, take surveys of specific parts of Kerbin) should show up. It seems like once you either do a certain action or unlock a specific node in the tech tree, new types of contracts show up. For example, you'll get contracts to launch satellites into specific orbits around Kerbin after unlocking the appropriate tech thing on the bottom right.

As Manley says in his videos, anything to test a part while landed on Kerbin/launchpad you should automatically do immediately for the free money (and occasional rep/science)


Science is something I've been grinding lately. Each type of experiment (early on - Observation, Goo canister, Science Jr, EVA) can be performed for full value in each seperate Biome (Launchpad, flying above Kerbin's Shores, Upper Atmosphere, Kerbin Near Space, Space High Above Kerbin, etc.) The trick is to realize that there are like 10 different Biomes in your space complex - Each building is its own Biome. I build a little science gocart in the Space Plane Hanger and load it up with my Scientist Kerbal, then just scoot around the complex to all the different buildings performing each experiment, collecting the data, resetting the instrument, then storing the data in the capsule. You can rack up a few hundred easy science this way.

Shannow
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Reply #109 on: May 17, 2015, 11:53:02 PM

The last contract I did was to hit a certain speed, even have a kerbal in orbit but no contracts (and no reward for that).

I put a scientist in a rocket and its bloody uncontrollable. I get a whopping 3 science or whatever for a biome mission.


Not worth 40 bucks in current state I'll say that.

Someone liked something? Who the fuzzy fuck was this heretic? You don't come to this website and enjoy something. Fuck that. ~ The Walrus
Jeff Kelly
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Reply #110 on: May 18, 2015, 04:15:15 AM

Don't put a scientist in a rocket unless you have probes, batteries and solar panels or crew modules that house more than one Kerbal. A pilot or a probe module offers stability assist (SAS, activate it with the 'T' key). A probe body uses electricity (hence the need for batteries and solar panels) a pilot does not.

A pilot can operate experiments as well, he just can't reset certain experiments, like the mystery goo or the Science jr., making them one shot only. Most of the early science you'll get comes from crew reports and EVA reports anyway. You'll easily get thousands of science points from crew and EVA reports for the different biomes, in orbit or on the surface of Kerbal, Mun and Minmus, without using any other experiments and so a pilot will suffice.

EVA capabilities require you to upgrade astronaut complex to level 2 but you'll have more enough money to do so after you've managed to get a Kerbal into orbit and gotten the funds from all the implicit missions (like height and speed records)

You'll also get more science for returning the experiments and the crew back to Kerbal than by transitting the results back.

You'll get points for:

- crew report in space high over planet
- crew report in space low over planet
- crew report while flying high over planet (requires a planet with an atmosphere)
- crew report while flying low over biome (requires a planet with an atmosphere)
- crew report while landed/splashed at biome
- EVA report in space high over planet
- EVA report in space low over biome
- EVA report while flying high over planet (requires a planet with an atmosphere)
- EVA report while flying low over biome (requires a planet with an atmosphere)
- EVA report while landed/splashed at biome

Upgrading the science center to level 2 will give you the ability to collect surface samples. You'll also get additional science points for recovering spacecrafts. Celestial bodies also give you multipliers for the amount of science points.

Tip: A device (thermometer, baryometric sensor etc.)  is only able to store one data point at a time, the same goes for crew reports and the command module. However you can EVA, collect the data and then store it in the crew module. THis will reset the ability of those devices to measure new data points (and the ability to take more crew reports).

None of that is covered in a tutorial or explained in a manual by the way.
Jeff Kelly
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Reply #111 on: May 18, 2015, 04:39:52 AM

Did you actually try playing the tutorials?

Yes and they explain the bare minimum if that and most often only resort to 'click on X to do Y' without telling you anything about the underlying mechanics. If it weren't for Scott Manley's KSP tutorials I'd not even know how to get anything into space or even why it would work/not work.

Essential things the game doesn't tell you.

- Orbital mechanics 101
- How orbiting really works. (How to stay in space and the basic ways to manipulate your orbit)
- How rockets operate in atmosphere and in orbit (aerodynamic flight vs. astrodynamic flight. Atmosphere vs. vacuum)
- Thrust to weight ratio and why that's important
- Delta V and why that's important
- Specific impulse and why that's important
- Gravity turns and why those are important
- Launch windows
- SAS. The fact that it exists, why its important and how to get it
- RCS. The fact that it exists, why its important and how to get it
- Basic ways to efficiently get into and out of orbit
- How to efficiently change the inclination, apoapsis and periapsis of an orbit (basically what the icons on the nav ball really mean and how to use them)
- The reason for polar orbits and aequatorial orbits, prograde and retrograde orbits and when to use them
- How to design an orbital approach for docking or rescue missions
- How to design an interplanetary approach/interaction.

That's just the basic gameplay mechanics part, the game is equally failing to tell you anything about how to do science.

Basically the makers of the game rely on the kindness of internet strangers to do the tutorials, help systems and explanations of the gameplay for them. An 'early access' symptom they share with many other developers out there, because coming up with a decent way to help ease new players into the game is hard, writing an in game help system is boring and it's easier to rely on the eagerness and enthusiasm of the early backers to do the 'boring stuff' while you implement new features. It's also totally unbecoming of a $50 game.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 04:50:09 AM by Jeff Kelly »
Jeff Kelly
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Reply #112 on: May 18, 2015, 04:51:45 AM

They should have simply scrapped the tutorials they have and simply asked Scott Manley to do and narrate a series of tutorial videos like the ones on his youtube channel. Would have been much more useful and worthwhile for new pllayers.
apocrypha
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Reply #113 on: May 18, 2015, 05:02:49 AM

Agree entirely that KSP is seriously lacking in tutorials and help for new players. Unusually, however, the forums are extremely helpful. If you can overcome any reluctance to look outside of the game for help, whether it;s Scott Manley, forums, Reddit, whatever, then it's a fantastic game.

If having to regularly tab out (play windowed) and use other resources is a no-go for you then this is not a game that you will enjoy. Squad should provide in-game links to the plethora of excellent resources out there.

Some useful links (some of these may be out of date, I haven;'t played since 0.90):
A basic info sheet from the Wiki.
Better delta-V map of the system.
Interplanetary transfer planner - this is indispensible.
Launch window planner - also incredibly useful.
Key bindings.
Another Kerbol system travel guide.


"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
Jeff Kelly
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I'm an apathetic, hedonistic, utilitarian, nihilistic existentialist.


Reply #114 on: May 18, 2015, 05:11:04 AM

I seem to have run out of contracts in career mode. How do I get more?

Contracts open up in several ways.

- After you've completed all of the initial 'implicit' mission objectives, like height and speed records (the last on being 'achieve a speed of 2500 m/s' or basically get into orbit)
- After unlocking new science
- Implicitely once you've reached certain milestones (successful reentry, successful orbit, reached a new celestial body etc.

For example once you've reached the Mun contracts like 'plant a flag on the Mun', 'take science from orbit/on the surface', put something into a specific orbit etc. will begin to show up.
Jeff Kelly
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Reply #115 on: May 18, 2015, 05:52:35 AM

Is there a mod that upgrades the nav ball? I can't read the markings on it (degree scale and directional markers like N,W,S,E) because they are so tiny even though I'm sitting right in front of the monitor. So most of the time I don't even know which way is north or south making it hard to launch into orbit if you are not on the launch pad
apocrypha
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Reply #116 on: May 18, 2015, 05:58:26 AM

Yeah, there's Enhanced Navball but it looks like it's not been updated for 1.0 :-(

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
Viin
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Reply #117 on: May 18, 2015, 09:19:46 AM

Is there a mod that upgrades the nav ball? I can't read the markings on it (degree scale and directional markers like N,W,S,E) because they are so tiny even though I'm sitting right in front of the monitor. So most of the time I don't even know which way is north or south making it hard to launch into orbit if you are not on the launch pad

Is the resolution high enough or too high? Small on mine but not terribly hard to read (I think I'm running 1400xSomething in windowed mode). North has an orange line from the horizon to the center of the sky, maybe you can see that.

I agree the tutorials really do miss a few key things, how to do science and how to get into orbit being the major ones (since you can't do jack without knowing how to do those!). Watching the first 2-3 Manley videos helped, need to watch the rest. I thought the in-orbit tutorial was decent (enough that I could fly by Mun and sling shot back to Kerbal with only one burn), but then I'm not doing anything complex yet - who knows what I'm missing.

Upgrading the tracking station was a big help, with level 2 you can add/plan maneuvers in advance and play with the trajectories/delta-v. Don't know how you'd get anywhere outside an orbit without it.

Quote
- SAS. The fact that it exists, why its important and how to get it
- RCS. The fact that it exists, why its important and how to get it

The in-orbit tutorial talks about these and how to use them, but not how to get them.

Quote
- How to efficiently change the inclination, apoapsis and periapsis of an orbit (basically what the icons on the nav ball really mean and how to use them)

The in-orbit tutorial has this too, though maybe you are saying there is a more efficient way than how they say to do it?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 09:21:20 AM by Viin »

- Viin
Jeff Kelly
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Reply #118 on: May 18, 2015, 12:02:23 PM

Is the resolution high enough or too high? Small on mine but not terribly hard to read (I think I'm running 1400xSomething in windowed mode). North has an orange line from the horizon to the center of the sky, maybe you can see that.

I run the game at 1440x900 on my "Retina" Macbook Pro. (Basically 2x resolution since the display is 2880x1600). It shouldn't be to high resolution but my eyesight is not too great and the tiny digits are very hard to read. The fact that they've used white lettering against an orange and blue background doesn't help.

I'll try advanced nav ball's "high contrast" mode once it gets updated for 1.02
apocrypha
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Reply #119 on: May 18, 2015, 12:17:23 PM

Best thing about the Adv Navball mod is that you can scale up the entire navball, and move it around at will. Might be worth giving it a try anyway, it might work under 1.x even though it's outdated.

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
Jeff Kelly
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I'm an apathetic, hedonistic, utilitarian, nihilistic existentialist.


Reply #120 on: May 18, 2015, 12:39:27 PM

As for the SAS and RCS part: I redid the tutorials just to make sure and they barely say more than 'something like SAS exists that will make flight more stable" and "there is something called RCS thrusters to maneuver in orbit".

What they fail to tell you about SAS for example is what it really does (as in how it keeps the craft stable and what the limits of the system are). You realize that they should have told you how it works in detail when you deploy your chutes and the inertia of the reaction wheel the SAS uses makes the crew module go sideways with the resulting torque tearing the chutes clean off. It took me quite a while to figure that one out on my own.

Even more importantly they don't tell you that you need certain components to actually get SAS. Either you have a component that has a reaction wheel pre-installed or you need to attach one. They also neglect to tell you that controlling your craft via SAS uses up electricity that has to come from somewhere. Either from the alternator of your engine, from a battery, fuel cell or solar panel. They also don't tell you that you need a pilot to be able to activate the SAS. So you either need a dedicated pilot or a probe body like the Probodyne OCTO.

It's basically the same with RCS. The most glaring thing they neglect to tell you being that you have to manage direction and center of thrust of all RCS modules attached to a craft in assembly and to keep it somewhat in the same planes or the craft will spin wildly and be uncontrollable during orbital maneuvering.
Jeff Kelly
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I'm an apathetic, hedonistic, utilitarian, nihilistic existentialist.


Reply #121 on: May 18, 2015, 12:53:34 PM

The in-orbit tutorial has this too, though maybe you are saying there is a more efficient way than how they say to do it?

They explain the absolute basics of the nav markers. The important thing about them is though that certain maneuvers are more or less efficient depending on where in your orbit you do them. There are also nodes that are absolutely necessary to pull off certain things while other types of maneuver might make things harder or even impossible to do

For example radial in and out adjust the trajectory without changing the velocity (prograde and retrograde burns always do) and are essential for everything that requires orbital adjustments without changes in velocity.

Normal and anti normal are used during atmospheric breaking and gravity assist etc.
apocrypha
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Reply #122 on: May 18, 2015, 01:29:49 PM

Kerbals are expendable. Infinitely. Don't be afraid to fail repeated while you learn about things.  awesome, for real

Radial adjustments are incredibly inefficient, ideally you'd rarely use them. Also changing orbit height is impossible to do without changing velocity, and vice versa. They are entirely dependent on each other.

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
Shannow
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Reply #123 on: May 19, 2015, 09:22:07 AM

Small things make a difference, like figuring out I needed to actually activate the Science Jr to get science out of it. While that may seem really f'ing obvious, it isn't.

If I do take a ship with a Science Jr attached and say land in a different biome, if I then activate it will I get a science boost for Sci Jr. experiments performed in that biome?

Someone liked something? Who the fuzzy fuck was this heretic? You don't come to this website and enjoy something. Fuck that. ~ The Walrus
cironian
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Reply #124 on: May 19, 2015, 09:54:48 AM

Also, you don't have to wait until you get the bigger command modules to send multiple Kerbals: Stacking 1-Person modules works well enough to bring both a pilot and a scientist along. I used that setup for my first Mun orbit yesterday and it was really worth it, since the scientist can keep resetting the Science Jr and goo pod after taking the data. (The scientist has to go EVA for this)
bhodi
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No lie.


Reply #125 on: May 19, 2015, 01:01:18 PM

The game's immensely frustrating to a newbie, I'd imagine. I don't feel it deserves the 1.0 moniker at all, considering the new aero model broke a bunch of the tutorials, introduced a number of crashing bugs, and then they all went on a collective vacation so there were no hotfixes.

That said, it's still an amazing game (especially once you install some mods). Download CKAN https://github.com/KSP-CKAN/CKAN/releases/tag/v1.6.16 which is a really convenient mod manager. Mods I'm using:

(make it pretty)
Distant Object Enhancement + default config
Environmental Visual Enhancements - High Resolution
HotRockets
PlanetShine + default config
SmokeScreen - Extended FX

(add some usability)
Kerbal Alarm Clock
Navball Docking Alignment Indicator
MechJeb 2
Kerbal Engineer Redux
ScienceAlert
Precise Node
Transfer Window Planner
Waypoint Manager
Chatterer

(new stuff)
Contract Pack: Tourism Plus + Kerbin Space Station
Kerbal Inventory System
Kerbal Attachment System
bhodi
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No lie.


Reply #126 on: May 19, 2015, 01:10:14 PM

A few tips for those of you who have somehow missed this game.

Weight is king. Don't use a large 3 person pod when 3 smaller pods are much, much lighter. Why put landing legs on when you can use fuel tanks as landing legs? Dual purpose!
If your rocket is spinning out around 15km up, you're either going too fast or there's too much drag in the front. put some fins on the back. No, more fins. Try the delta deluxe winglets
Updated DV chart for 1.0: http://i.imgur.com/9vVZMxq.png
right click on parts in the builder to get actual useful stuff. Knowing your DV is mandatory, so use kerbal engineer or mechjeb. ISP = efficiency.
Minmus has better science than the Mun and is easier to get to/from.

Mods make the game a lot less frustrating. Science Alert and precise nodes, especially. Install mods, this isn't a game that's meant to be played vanilla. Stay away from 'cheaty' mods if you really have to, but at least install usability ones. Mechjeb's SURF/SURF function allows you to change the tilt of your rocket with a click and it's KILL ROT function is way better than the default SAS. You don't have to use autopilot if you don't want.
Pennilenko
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Reply #127 on: May 19, 2015, 03:46:11 PM

Awesome list of mods plus manager.
Dat mod list. Totally revitalized the game for me, thanks.

"See?  All of you are unique.  And special.  Like fucking snowflakes."  -- Signe
Jeff Kelly
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I'm an apathetic, hedonistic, utilitarian, nihilistic existentialist.


Reply #128 on: May 20, 2015, 03:25:09 AM

Yeah the game has still a few annoying kinks.

The biggest annoyance has to be the way maneuver nodes work. They are very fiddly to work with. They are attached to your trajectory plot in map view which makes them wobble when the trajectory wobbles (for example when you have a very circular orbit and apoapsis and periapsis keep constantly switching places because of it, the node is impossible to interact with). When the trajectory changes significantly the nav node snaps off and is stuck in space somewhere which makes time warping dangerous (game tries to warp to a node that is no longer on your orbital trajectory and won't stop by itself). This has killed one of my crews as the game warped me right into a planet at 1000x time acceleration.

The aerodynamic model and reentry modelling is unpredictable and not deterministic. I have been flying one rocket design more than twenty times now without any problems and suddenly last mission the parachute fell of due to "high temperatures and g-forces" even though it was pretty much the same approach vector and nothing indicated any problem. It kept doing that every time I reloaded from the last save and tried again. Until I quit and restarted the game and then suddenly everything was fine again.

The game sometimes places your rocket on the launch pad at the exact same coordinates it was placed in the VAB. So if you design a rocket that is "hanging" in the air above the VAB's floor and has no clamps, it will sometimes drop from that height on to the ground when you hit "launch" and possibly topple over (or break apart as has happened to me). Or it might just simply stand too much on one side and fall over because there's a ramp on the launch pad.

The physics modelling is instantaneously interacting with your design once you're on the launch pad which will lead to all kinds of weird mechanical stresses that can lead to unpredictable results. (Like a rocket suddenly compressing due to mass and gravity modelling kicking in and then falling over due to the sudden mechanical interaction and forces).

I also can't seem to be able to attach wings parallel to my fuselage at all. They always end up slanted upwards or downwards

I don't think it deserves the 1.0 moniker, really.

It's still loads and loads of fun though
Jeff Kelly
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I'm an apathetic, hedonistic, utilitarian, nihilistic existentialist.


Reply #129 on: May 20, 2015, 03:30:21 AM

For example last nigth I managed my first nearly perfect launch. Launched into the right orbital trajectory, had a perfect interaction with minmus, had aa perfect landing maneuver (it was so soft that I didn't even notice I had landed until a few seconds later) and I came back with fuel to spare.

That gave me a sense of accomplishment and 'rush' I didn't have in years playing games.

...and then I fucked it up right on the next mission when I crashed Kerbals into things by accident again.
bhodi
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No lie.


Reply #130 on: May 20, 2015, 12:35:56 PM

I also can't seem to be able to attach wings parallel to my fuselage at all. They always end up slanted upwards or downwards
The wing thing is a bug, if you click the snap type icon (next to the 1x 2x, lower left) it'll reset and attach properly.
Jeff Kelly
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I'm an apathetic, hedonistic, utilitarian, nihilistic existentialist.


Reply #131 on: May 21, 2015, 05:32:25 AM

Does anybody of you know of any info or useful tutorials about RCS systems. Especially how to place RCS thrusters in a way that you can actually navigate a vessel in all directions?
apocrypha
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Reply #132 on: May 21, 2015, 05:40:28 AM

Well there's the RCS Build Aid mod, if it still works.

What I always found was that you want to have RCS positioned far away from your centre of mass, and evenly spaced in all directions. So, top/bottom/left/right, and also evenly spaced vertically around the CoM.

You also need a lot of them, or at least quite big ones once your ship gets any larger than a Ford Focus. Don't forget the big ones chew through the RCS fuel. Combining them with reaction wheels is good too, but they seemed to work better to me when placed near the CoM.

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
Jeff Kelly
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I'm an apathetic, hedonistic, utilitarian, nihilistic existentialist.


Reply #133 on: May 22, 2015, 03:35:33 AM

I tried to laucnh my first part of my space station yesterday.

Unfortunately the game doesn't like parts with attached docking ports very much. I tried for hours to design a rocket that could lift a station part with two attached docking ports (one in the front and one in the back) yet couldn't make it work. If I attach them radially all is well but if I attach them at the front and the back everything goes wrong. Parts snap to them when assembling and when disassembling and reassembling parts the docking ports simply vanish. Even if not no amount of strutrs can prevent the rocket from breaking apart under stress. Half of the time I can't even attach struts between two parts especially when there is a stack seperator between them.

Gave up after a few hours and don't know what to do about it.
apocrypha
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Reply #134 on: May 22, 2015, 05:01:13 AM

The problem is the way that the ships are kept in the game as a 'tree' structure. You can go from 1 to many going down the rocket, away from the command module but you *cannot* go many to 1. So multiple docking ports are indeed tricky.

The only solution I found was to make space stations highly modular, get them into orbit using launcher vehicles and make sure that each section is only connected to the launcher vehicle (preferably inside a cargo bay, or at the least covered in fairings) by just one docking port. You can stabilise the whole thing with struts in lieu of a 2nd docking ring, and the struts will disconnect when you deploy the module.

Once it's in space you can dock things wherever you want, so have multiple docking rings on your sections if you want, just don't have them connected to the launch vehicle.

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
Jeff Kelly
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I'm an apathetic, hedonistic, utilitarian, nihilistic existentialist.


Reply #135 on: May 22, 2015, 08:42:45 AM

The "ship editor" needs to be refactored completely once they switch to Unity 5.

Most of the time you deliberately need to position the camera so that you can't see all of the parts involved or the parts won't snap correctly. Biggest offender: solid fuel boosters and radial decouplers. Accidentally delete the root node of your ship and the editor needs to be reset. All of the already deployed parts are grayed out (not attached to the root), you can't switch the root node and you can't place any new part. "Re-rooting" your ship frequently breaks stuff and makes parts vanish also.

On OSX there is no scroll wheel support for zooming in the VAB (everywhere else it works) which makes things even more annoying.

The game also can't handle multiple command modules. I tried to launch a science module with a cupola attached and the game became utterly confused because I technically had two command modlues.
apocrypha
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Reply #136 on: May 22, 2015, 08:58:07 AM

Ctrl-z in the vehicle editor undoes the last thing you did. Very handy when you delete or duplicate the wrong thing!

The multiple command pods thing drove me mad too. I seem to remember that using an unmanned module (probe cores?) lets you overcome that.

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
Jeff Kelly
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I'm an apathetic, hedonistic, utilitarian, nihilistic existentialist.


Reply #137 on: May 22, 2015, 09:43:02 AM

Only if the command module is rotated in the same direction as your probe body. It it points anywhere else it won't work
apocrypha
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Reply #138 on: May 22, 2015, 09:55:18 AM

Ah, poop. Does it still freak out if only one of the command modules is manned?

"Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism" - Rosa Luxemburg, 1915.
Jeff Kelly
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Posts: 5489

I'm an apathetic, hedonistic, utilitarian, nihilistic existentialist.


Reply #139 on: May 22, 2015, 12:17:59 PM

It  even freaks out when none are manned and there's only the probe body in control. On the last try the nav ball was "upside down" because the game thought that the cupola strapped at the other end was the real control module even though the whole flight was unmanned and only the probe body was there.

I'll see what the internet has to say on that matter.
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