OS Neutral Kerbal Space Program

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Huntn, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. Huntn, Mar 19, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #1
    Kerbal Space Program and can be also found on Steam for Mac and PC

    Pulled from Steam Games Thread...

    As you can see I started a new thread specifically on Kerbal Space Program as a search did not reveal an existing thread and I did not want to overload the Steam Games thread. I'm also working on a Quick and Dirty Guide for my own sake. This is a game that actually requires some study. ;)

    Update: In an online guide, someone said you could warp time 4X? Maybe it depends what mode you are playing?

    I think that they need to allow a time warp during burns. I for one don't really want to spend an hour during a burn. :)
     
  2. rcp27 macrumors regular

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    #2
    KSP has consumed unspeakable amounts of my spare time. It's seriously fun (but still a bit buggy).

    If you hold down Alt/Option and press "." for timewarp, you can enable "physical time acceleration" that lets you go up to 4x time acceleration during burns. Still painful for really long burns, but better than 1x
     
  3. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #3
    Thank you!

    What do you guys think of the different game modes (Sandbox, Science, and Career) for a new player? My first swing through, I seemed to run out of money in career mode. However I was oblivious of Contracts at the time. I'm thinking that Science Mode as generally rewarding when making discoveries. I'm fearful that Career mode will throw up serious road blocks for lack of funds. I can just pretend I'm the US Space program in the 60's when the $$$$$$ was the limit. ;)
     
  4. rcp27 macrumors regular

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    #4
    Science is definitely better than sandbox for a complete beginner because it slowly introduces you to parts that add complexity. If you play on "easy" or "normal" career, funds shouldn't be too hard. If you're really worried about running out of money on career, you can go into "custom" mode and bump up the fund rewards for contract completion to 1000%, and funds become basically a non-issue.
     
  5. Huntn, Mar 19, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015

    Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #5
    In Space Engineers and Minecraft, I much prefer Creative mode. Don't want to waste time harvesting. However KPR is different because science/technology is being discovered, even it is very vague. I like that idea. What is nice about Career in KSP is giving the player quests, goals to achieve. But about 5 flights in I ran out of money, while later realizing it was because I was not doing contracts. When I think of the early years of space travel, the income that was generated was minimal as compared to the overall cost so, I'm not sold on a self paying space program. ;) I'm still toying with the idea of easy or modified career vs scientific mode.

    What mode do you play?
     
  6. Huntn, Mar 20, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015

    Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #6
    I just saw a Contract that said observe the planet above a certain altitude in this vicinity. I accepted the contract, but when looking at the globe map, I saw an icon which I think was the area, but found nothing on my Nav Ball to be used as a waypoint. Is this something that needs to be set? Thanks!

    Looking for info about planting flags. In the "science" mode, a flag was available. In the "career" mode, I don't see that option, standing on land, standing still. In career, is flag planting an upgrade?
     
  7. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #7
    Looking for help on surveys of Kerbin. When I select a contract to explore over an area above or below a specific altitude, I can find the target area on the world map and activate it which is supposed to put a marker on my nave ball. The problem is that in many cases I cant see the marked on the launch pad prior to launch and maybe it's operator error, but it appears to be in the opposite direction of which way I want to go. Maybe due to the ball, I'm supposed to point my tail at the marker and then wing my trajectory on the map page. This really bugs me because the last thing that astronauts should be doing is wagging their pitch with a wet finger up to test the wind. Space flight should mostly require calculations and computers, not wags. :p
    Thanks!
     
  8. rcp27 macrumors regular

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    #8
    For finding locations for location based contracts: if you go to the map mode, there will be a marker on the planet indicating the location. You should be able to click on it and get an option like "set as target" or something similar (it's a while since I've done it, so I might have some details wrong). Then it will appear on the navball with an indicator to guide you to the right location.

    In career mode, upgrades to the space centre buildings are required to unlock EVA in flight, collecting surface samples and planting flags. I'm not 100% certain which upgrade gives which ability, but I think flags is level 2 astronaut complex (and obviously requires EVA to be unlocked, which I think is level 2 mission control).

    If you have more KSP questions, I highly recommend heading over to the official KSP forums, as people are really active here, and I seem to be the only other KSPer on the macrumors forum, and I don't post all that frequently. The community there is quite helpful and friendly.
     
  9. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #9
    Thanks. I am posting there. As I said "activate navigation" does not really help in flight so far. There is a waypoint manager mod I'm going to try out.
     
  10. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #10
    Waypoint Manager makes a huge difference, including a heading to the way point, can you imagine? :p Its pretty much automatic, although there are settings for how you want it to work. Activate a designated point on the map and when you lift off, immediately you'll have a heading (select in its settings), plus you'll see an icon in the distance that eventually appears on the surface and tracjks under you.

    Are the Devs letting the mod community flesh in their game for them? ;)
     
  11. PCsmooth macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Kerbal Space Program is an excellent game for people who appreciate space and a number of challenges which come with space travel. This is really where you get to design space planes or your very own rockets, rovers or anything your imagination can think of. Well a lot of them crash and burst if you're a newcomer to the game. I have logged over 600 hours and I can still have a hard time.

    The modding community is quite active and there are ton's of great mods out there if you need them.

    That brings me to the disadvantage: For the casual gamer that prefers to investigate space fast and simple, without lots of work and preparation will most likely find this game "too much work" and since the game continues to be early accessibility, the tutorial is somewhat dated. It's possible for you to anticipate some functionality problems and several bugs on older computers.
     
  12. rcp27 macrumors regular

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    #12
    I have to say, when the contracts system got its overhaul in 0.90 I had a go at a couple of waypoint based contracts, but didn't particularly like the way they work, so I've mostly avoided them since then. I find the satellite-in-specific-orbit contracts much more to my liking, and if you have an optimised launcher, you can make a lot of money with them (my standard package is about 6,000 funds total to get a satellite anywhere around Kerbin/Mun/Minmus).
     
  13. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #13
    I assume the following is true, but would appreciate confirmation. As a space plane designer, this is very important to realize! I watched a Scott Manley Youtube Video on Space planes where he said all of the airfoils in the game are symmetrical and produce no lift at 0° angle of attack (AOA). These are the kinds of airfoils you'd see on a rocket for stability, but not on a plane designed to fly in the atmosphere. Instead they rely on "barn door effect", wind hitting the bottom or top side of the airfoil at something more than 0° AoA to produce some amount of lift. How much I don't know, but is it safe to say from a design standpoint that all/most of the lift being produced is based on thrust from the engine?

    The description of a dihedral wing adding to stability means there is some amount of atmospheric physics, but I've always thought the effect had to do with a lifting wing. I just don't know how much. But based on the videos I've watched there appears to be enough barn door lift to glide a plane to a landing. It's just that from a realistic aviation standpoint, flying through the air, I don't think barn door effect cuts it. For most airplanes a lifting wing is required. For KSP, think about this, for all those fancy space planes with fancy cool looking wings, they may serve little purpose except to look cool and add weight.

    If this is true (there are no lifting airfoils) I assume it is because KSP physics don't correctly model wing lift as you would see in a traditional flight sim. I realize this game is primarily about space, but being so physics inclined, it's a shame if they can't model a regular wing. After all the Space Shuttle wing produces lift... History of the Space Shuttle.

    Regarding the Mod community: Waypoint Manager to the rescue! :):)
    Regarding too much work, I'd counter that for the casual gamer, getting into space is not that hard if you watch a couple of tutorial videos. However there are other aspects that do require more work. Overall, this is a most outstanding game for kids who are interested in space flight. I mean, it makes you think and learn about physics, however, reference my first paragraph in this post...

    The mod I mentioned makes those contracts doable imo.
     
  14. rcp27 macrumors regular

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    #14
    I'll preface this by saying my day job is as an aerodynamic engineer, so I know a fair amount about this subject.

    An aerofoil section with zero camber (that is curve to the centre line of thickness) will produce zero lift at 0° angle of attack, but that does not mean it relies on the "barn door" effect for lift at positive AoA, they can be designed as aerodynamically efficient lifting surfaces. While a plane wing will generally have camber and be mounted on the body so that the wing has a positive AoA when the airframe is at zero AoA, it is entirely possible to produce an aeroplane with a zero camber, zero AoA wing that flies perfectly well.


    The aerodynamics model in 0.90 KSP is basically garbage. This is a known "feature", and has provoked a great deal of discussion in the community. On the features list promised for the next update (1.0), is a complete overhaul of the aerodynamics system so that it actually works reasonably realistically. If you want similar functionality without waiting, take a look at the ferram aerospace (FAR) mod. Be warned, however: FAR can make designing aircraft and spaceplanes much harder.

    In the current stock aerodynamics, it is entirely possible to build a space plane that can de-orbit and (if your atmospheric insertion is done right) land on the runway at the KSC entirely as an unpowered glider.

    The wing sections are actual lifting aerofoils, but their physics modelling is compromised due to the "special" aerodynamics of the stock game. The thing with a "traditional" flight sim is that the physics model of each aircraft is carefully designed for that aircraft in advance, and tuned to give realistic performance within the limitations of a real-time computer simulation. In KSP, because you are building the aircraft out of discrete components, the aerodynamic performance has to be calculated in real time based on individual component characteristics, which is entirely different from a traditional flight sim.

    The problem isn't about producing a lifting surface, the problem is about producing a computer model of a lifting surface that can be combined with other components in a freeform way by the user that is then expected to work. Real aerodynamics is heavily dependent on the whole aircraft shape, so things like the interaction between nearby components is absolutely vital in a way that KSP can't hope to replicate in its current form. For example, in the case of the space shuttle, the wings actually only produce a fraction of the total lift it has in aerodynamic flight. Most of the lift comes from the lift on the whole body rather than just the wings, and the detailed shape of the fuselage underside, the wing surfaces, and the interaction between the wing upper surface and the fuselage body. If KSP did this all properly, going from "construction" to "launch" of a spaceplane would involve leaving your computer for about a week to run full calculations to determine its aerodynamic behaviour. That would kind of limit the fun.
     
  15. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #15
    I will bookmark this post! Your engineering trumps my piloting. :D I was guilty of making some assumptions about "barn door" and will take your word for it that the KSP physics allows for more than that for lifting. However this link illustrates what we are talking about. The illustration on the right shows "barn door" effect I believe, lift as a result of high pressure on the bottom of wing surface without low pressure on the top of the wing. My impression is that rocket winglets are zero camber due to the fact that you don't want them producing lift, just stability. Maybe the developers focus was on rockets as it should be, but, don't promote building a space plane without providing adequate hardware. The idea of putting zero camber wings on an aircraft, space plane or not just does not sound realistic to me. Can you confirm if the Space Shuttle has cambered wings or not? I assumed they did.

    I have flown for 30 years in both real aircraft and flight sims and Yesterday playing around with space planes in KSP, I could not design one that could take off from a runway horizontally in a stable manner using the stock KSP physics much less using the FAR mod. :p Yes, I got airborne, but it was a dicey situation. The fact is that even with a jet engine, the parts provided at my level of advancement in the game do not allow for building a realistic traditional airplane. First and foremost are zero camber airfoils and who would design a aircraft consisting of a barrel of gas with cockpit, wings, and some wheels attached? ;)

    Until I can figure this simulator out a bit better, I'll revert to verticle lift rockets with winglets attached for a possible flight return to base, based on wings, not parachutes. In the game, I'm trying to do this Kerbin survey mission to fly a long way and do the airborne survey below 17000m. Using the ballistics of a rocket, it would require much trial and error to arrive in the vicinity of the survey point below the proper altitude. I got this silly idea that an aircraft would be easier, lol.
     
  16. rcp27 macrumors regular

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    #16
    I would describe that as a wing that is in full stall, that is the flow is fully separated from the upper surface. In that configuration drag increases significantly and lift drops significantly.

    An aerofoil with zero camber will have a symmetrical lift/angle of attack relationship for both positive and negative angles of attack. For a wing designed to support an aircraft with lift this is not particularly desirable, but for an aerofoil that needs to generate lift equally well in both directions, this is essential. An example is the rudder of a ship or the keel on a sailing boat. In both cases, the "lift" (which is sideways) will need to be the same in both directions. Also the vertical tail on an aeroplane really ought to have symmetrical performance, hence will have zero camber.

    In terms of what KSP does, it really doesn't go as far as actually considering things like wing thickness distribution, camber and such things. It simply treats a part as having a particular lift and drag curve as a function of air properties and angle of attack. Those might be representative of a particular shape of aerofoil section, but trying to relate actual component performance to complex aerodynamics is a degree of complexity way beyond what KSP is doing.

    The space shuttle as a whole has a complex aerodynamic shape governed by the need for it to be stable and controlable in hypersonic, supersonic, transonic and subsonic flight regimes. Its wings have a complex 3D shape and structure that is far more involved than can be simply described by "cambered".

    Building aircraft in KSP is very much about achieving aircraft stability through careful management of centre of lift, drag and mass. In either real world aircraft or in flight simulators, these concerns are dealt with by the aircraft design engineers who designed, built and tested the aircraft. Once the pilot (either real or virtual) gets their hands on the plane, it has had its weight and aerodynamics tuned to make it flyable and stable. In KSP, you have to play the part of design and test engineer as well as pilot.

    You can achieve the effect of camber in KSP by using the rotate tool to give your aerofoils a positive angle of attack relative to the forward direction. It definitely is possible to make both small atmospheric planes for things like "crew report below 17,000 m on Kerbin" and "take off from the runway and fly up to orbit", indeed the ion engine powered probe that I have currently in flight to the Jool system was launched from a runway-takeoff Mk2 parts based spaceplane (fly to orbit, open cargo bay, release probe, unfurl solar pannels, land spaceplane back at KSC, fire up the ion engines for Jool transfer, then wait 7 years for it to get there).

    My advice: design a small plane with a Mk1 cockpit, single jet engine, delta wing, canard elevators and simple vertical tail. Play with the fore-and-aft position of the canards until the CoL indicator is just a tiny fraction behind the CoG indicator in the SPH. take off and fly around. Play with this particular relationship and see how the way the plane flies and the relationship between how far ahead or behind the CoG the CoL is. That's the key to getting stable and flyable aircraft.
     
  17. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #17
    I did create a basic aircraft that flew decently at low altitudes, with a single jet engine, however, it seemed to get quite squirrely up around 15000 meters which is 49000'. It's kind of a messI mean at one point the plane pitched up and spun about it's axis, before I could straighten it out. So much for a realistic flight mode. ;) However it flew enough that I could complete a survey mission about 270 km away. I knew this aircraft had issues so I designed it with 6 parachutes so I could cut power, slow, and have the parachutes deploy and float me down to Kerbin safely. It worked! However to my chagrin, I landed on the slope and with no brakes (something I overlooked, need to see if there is a brake command), the plane rolled down an include. I saw the water of the coast coming up, so in desperation, I folded the landing gear, the fuselage hit the ground and KABOOM! My Kerbal survived though, so I was able to get credit for my science and my mission. :):)

    I'll probably wait until I advance further and also maybe see the physics update that is due to applied in the future. In the mean time...

    Now I downloaded some ships from This KSP Airplane Design Contest II page. These things are awesome, but boy do the panels flex when turning. :)

    91fNH3q.jpg

    HLENBIl.jpg

    R3pKEu3.jpg
     
  18. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #18
    Looking for info on satellites, specifically Stayputnik. I've noticed during manned flights that a transmitted report carrys much less data than a carried home report. Is this the case with satellites? Must they be recovered to benefit mostly from the science they collect? And do they really need things like mystery goo or a science station attached to them, which from my experience does not get the info back to Kerbin, without recovering the equipment. What is the best way to approach this- should I be putting a parachute on Stayputnik and recovering it that way? Thanks!
     
  19. UniDoubleU macrumors regular

    UniDoubleU

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    #19
    I just got into this game during the past weekend and whoa, SCIENCE! There's still so much to learn in this game, I haven't even achieved orbit yet.

    Anyone would like to share settings to make the game look better while having great performance? The game doesn't seem to be 64-bit and not able to utilised my RAM and VRAM properly.
     
  20. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #20
    Based on the limited ability I've seen to transmit science reports from manned capsules, so much less science captured, is it worthwhile to put a stayputnik equipped with instruments into orbit? I plan on doing this to see for myself, but I had to ask, maybe for not the first time... :eek: Thanks!
     
  21. rcp27 macrumors regular

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    #21
    Crew reports and EVA reports can be transmitted for full science rewards, but all other methods of getting science will only give a small amount of their full science potential if you transmit the data. The only way to get the full science value is to bring the data back and land it on Kerbin. You can do this either by landing the instrument after it has gathered science back on Kerbin, or by sending a Kerbal on EVA, send him over to the instrument and "collect data", then "store data" in his command pod, which has to return (but if you do this the instrument itself doesn't have to).

    The stayputnik and other probe cores allow you to fly unmanned missions, but they don't actually get you more science, unless you use them to bring your science instruments back that would otherwise only be able to "transmit" their data.
     
  22. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #22
    Does the digital transmitter transmit more science than the plain antennas? Actually I don't understand why a transmitted report is like this. Thanks!
     
  23. rcp27 macrumors regular

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    #23
    The different aerial types affect the data transmission rate and the power consumption during transmission, but they don't affect the science gained through transmission as opposed to recovery. In principle it would be more realistic for different types to have different maximum ranges, but this is not yet implemented in the game.

    The reason for limiting the science gain by transmission is because it is much easier to do a one-way mission than a return mission. It's not so apparent if you haven't gone beyond Mun and Minmus, but once you reach other planets where there is a large delta-V requirement for the return, and hugely moreso when you start thinking about taking off from the surface of higher gravity bodies like Eve. Getting to orbit of Eve is one of the easier interplanetary missions. Landing on Eve is trivial once in orbit. Landing on Eve and getting back again is one of the hardest challenges in the game, because it takes so much fuel to get from the surface of Eve back to Eve orbit.
     
  24. Huntn thread starter macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #24
    Thank for the clarification!

    Next: I saw a link to a youtube video on how to build a Mun base. Do you know if a base like this can be used to launch exploration to other planets?

     

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