Kerbal Space Program 2 is on final approach... with multiplayer.

The original Kerbal Space Program is one of those games that's been on my wishlist for years. Celebrating a well planned space mission with brutal physics and a sheer whisker between success and catastrophic (and hilarious) failure, it seemed like the perfect dreamy, star-eyed sandbox I'd love to play... if I had more free time.

image

Perhaps the best thing about it is the fact that in this day and age, it's a game that actually still has mod support, which led to all kinds of crazy user-made mods, and the subsequent videos of what people got up to as a result:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inkkLAfFIbY

Well, it's been announced that a sequel is on it's way, due for release next year. The addition of multiplayer is a welcome change (and might force me to actually get it!) but the real shock here is that modding will apparently remain. Modding! In 2020! Who knows what grand multiplayer modded adventures we have in store for us?

Check out the awesomeriffic trailer for the new game here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_nj6wW6Gsc

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun

Yeah, that was an awesome trailer. I just hope the actual game will look that good during normal gameplay and run reasonably fast(the base game has had performance issues at times, and also depending on how good/bad your rig is).

I also see that the kerbalnauts now have different hairstyles and every member of a given gender aren't just identical clones of each other.

I've been meaning to jump back into KSP for some time. I think I'm gonna have to do it now. The only thing that's been holding me back is how easily time seems to disappear into it.(JUST ONE MORE MISSION/LANDING/BURN/LAUNCH). OTOH, since you rarely have any time/resource pressure on you, it's easy enough to just play for a bit and put it down. I get bogged down more in the design stage then anything else, honestly, looking for ways to perfectly tweak a given spacecraft/aircraft and/or figure out how to keep it from flipping end over end the moment the first set of boosters drop.

Oof... wish they'd just not had the "singing" at the start, kinda kicked me out of the hype for a bit.

Dalisclock:
Yeah, that was an awesome trailer. I just hope the actual game will look that good during normal gameplay and run reasonably fast(the base game has had performance issues at times, and also depending on how good/bad your rig is).

Performance is heavily related to the number of parts having physics applied at any given time. That said, the move to 64 bit has been a big improvement for most people, and mostly eliminated those floating point error issues you'd get earlier. I'd imagine KSP2 will be built from the ground up to accommodate these kinds of improvements.

Also, looks like they're finally adding the mythical second gas giant..

evilthecat:

Dalisclock:
Yeah, that was an awesome trailer. I just hope the actual game will look that good during normal gameplay and run reasonably fast(the base game has had performance issues at times, and also depending on how good/bad your rig is).

Performance is heavily related to the number of parts having physics applied at any given time. That said, the move to 64 bit has been a big improvement for most people, and mostly eliminated those floating point error issues you'd get earlier. I'd imagine KSP2 will be built from the ground up to accommodate these kinds of improvements.

Also, looks like they're finally adding the mythical second gas giant..

I imagine one of the big reasons they're doing KSP2 is because of KSP being programmed in Unity. Not get me wrong, Unity can do some pretty cool stuff, but it has limitations and the devs(Well, Squad, who is not developing KSP2) have outright said it's one of the reasons Lagrange points are never going to be in KSP(Unity apparently can't handle it or it's way too hard to program). Which now makes me think we're probably be seeing LaGrange points and some other things not in the first game.

And don't get me wrong, KSP has been playable since long before it hit 1.0 but each new update has added a fair bit of new features over the years and hopefully KSP is a bit more complete at full release. Also, please have MechJeb be standard and not a mod. I know there are purists who hate MechJeb but nobody is forcing them to use it. Besides, real life spacecraft do have flight computers and autopilots.

Kerbal Space Multiplayer. Well I know what Markiplier is gonna be doing instead of Minecraft

Silentpony:
Kerbal Space Multiplayer. Well I know what Markiplier is gonna be doing instead of Minecraft

Crashy McSplodey 3.0?

The Rogue Wolf:

Silentpony:
Kerbal Space Multiplayer. Well I know what Markiplier is gonna be doing instead of Minecraft

Crashy McSplodey 3.0?

Apparently the youtube player is shot again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rwi_0DEd_0

But yeah, it turns out NASA had early access to the game. :)

Silentpony:
Kerbal Space Multiplayer. Well I know what Markiplier is gonna be doing instead of Minecraft

Not being quite for three consecutive seconds during the entire let's play with obnoxious non-humor, and yelling constantly, at an even more obnoxious volume mix? I mean, I gotta give him props for seeming to be generally on the level, avoiding controversy, and doing a lot of good charity work. If there were one LP'er to support on the basis of the outcome of his work, it's him, but god damn are his videos unwatchable for me.

But when it comes to Kerbal videos, my go-to's are Scott Manley and Robbaz. Which, yeah, I'm fully aware of the irony of crapping on Markiplier's production values while tooting the horn of a self-professed goon and unashamed goonswarm apologist, but Manley is under zero delusions about what goonswarm is and what it does, makes zero excuses for that goonswarm is basically the purest form of CCP's ideals within EVE, his videos have extremely good production value and are insanely educational, and he maintains a really good rapport with his following. He's probably my favorite LP'er other than Jingles, and Robbaz is there because Robbaz makes comedy gold.

With regards to KSP2 and the trailer, my two big takeaways are Jool looks goddamn amazing in that trailer, and I'm loving the interstellar drive is already getting the nickname of the Jebstein drive.

So, speaking of Scott Manley, he did a pretty excellent video about the KSP2 trailer, talking about what it shows as well as other public knowledge resources about it.

https://youtu.be/D353IVwY_1g

For those who don't want to watch a video, key points.

* KSP2 is not developed by Squad. It's being developed by Star Theory Games (formerly Uber Entertainment), while Squad will continue post-release development of KSP1.
* There will be some form of interstellar travel in KSP2 beyond the original solar system.
* There seems to be a much greater emphasis on theoretical and science fiction drive systems within the available parts. Among those visible in the trailer are a nuclear pulse rocket (orion drive), some kind of fusion rocket and what Scott speculates is some kind of VASIMR analogue. Other unnamed drive systems are also visible.
* There is also going to be a bigger emphasis on building space colonies and planetary habitation. We see some examples of colonies in the video (and they look pretty similar in scale to some of the in-engine screenshots). They will apparently be able to gather resources from the planets they're built on and (eventually) serve as bases for building their own spacecraft.
* However, many parts visible in the trailer seem to be identical to stock KSP parts, implying there will be a visual and stylistic continuity.

In short, I wasn't sure about this originally. I like KSP1s emphasis on using grounded technologies to simulate some of the challenges of real historical and contemporary spaceflight, and adding super advanced technology sort of feels like cheating to me. But the more I think about it the more I realise I'm actually quite excited. It seems like KSP2 is setting to tell a much grander "story", and ultimately to recreate the kind of technological environment in which it would be plausible to visit the outer planets or even other solar systems. Meanwhile, KSP1 will always be there if it turns out it's not for me, and if KSP1 is going to continue to recieve support I can't help but see it as a win-win.

evilthecat:
So, speaking of Scott Manley, he did a pretty excellent video about the KSP2 trailer, talking about what it shows as well as other public knowledge resources about it.

I'm actually surprised he didn't point out in his video the ringed exoplanet shown in the trailer is really similar to the planned, but never implemented, Saturn analog for KSP1. Nor that the moon in the trailer had a lot of similarities with Titan, or its closest analog Laythe. He seemed more interested in grouching about the moon's proximity to the rings, which strikes me as a rare miss on his part since it looked to me like the moon was well outside the rings' orbit, at least either the rings or the moon itself has an inclined orbit which has interesting implications all to its own, and moons and rings are perfectly capable of existing in the same system (the moon simply clears its own orbit inside its Roche limit).

Eacaraxe:
I'm actually surprised he didn't point out in his video the ringed exoplanet shown in the trailer is really similar to the planned, but never implemented, Saturn analog for KSP1. Nor that the moon in the trailer had a lot of similarities with Titan, or its closest analog Laythe. He seemed more interested in grouching about the moon's proximity to the rings, which strikes me as a rare miss on his part since it looked to me like the moon was well outside the rings' orbit, at least either the rings or the moon itself has an inclined orbit which has interesting implications all to its own, and moons and rings are perfectly capable of existing in the same system (the moon simply clears its own orbit inside its Roche limit).

So, I think the reason he was cautious about making that assumption is that the planet in that shot may not be a gas giant at all.. it certainly looks like a gas giant with those thick clouds, but it could also be the "ringed super earth" mentioned in the promotional material, just with a thick atmosphere and clouds.

The point about the rings is valid because a moon that close on any orbit would influence the orbit of the various bits of debris that made up the ring and eventually, over a long time, disperse those bits of debris, breaking up the ring. Heck, Saturn's moons do influence its rings, just not enough to completely break them up.

evilthecat:

* There is also going to be a bigger emphasis on building space colonies and planetary habitation. We see some examples of colonies in the video (and they look pretty similar in scale to some of the in-engine screenshots). They will apparently be able to gather resources from the planets they're built on and (eventually) serve as bases for building their own spacecraft.

In short, I wasn't sure about this originally. I like KSP1s emphasis on using grounded technologies to simulate some of the challenges of real historical and contemporary spaceflight, and adding super advanced technology sort of feels like cheating to me. But the more I think about it the more I realise I'm actually quite excited. It seems like KSP2 is setting to tell a much grander "story", and ultimately to recreate the kind of technological environment in which it would be plausible to visit the outer planets or even other solar systems. Meanwhile, KSP1 will always be there if it turns out it's not for me, and if KSP1 is going to continue to recieve support I can't help but see it as a win-win.

According to this PC Gamer article, https://www.pcgamer.com/kerbal-space-program-2-dev-reveals-how-baby-kerbals-are-made/
The colony building will be somewhat like building craft in the VAB and apparently once certain milestones are reached, it creates a population boom.

"One of the kinds of of modules you can build is the Vehicle Assembly Building, and once you have a colonial Vehicle Assembly Building, the weights are off your shoulders, right? You're no longer having to drag stuff up out of Kerbin's gravity well. Now the interstellar progression is unlocked, because you can build in either very shallow, or non-existent gravity wells in the case of building in orbit."

Colony growth is obviously a central part of that system, and Star Theory is taking an interesting approach to handling it. Simpson said the developers didn't want to tie population growth directly to the passage of time or related systems, "because when you have time zoom in a game like this, you can game that system." So instead, it's coupled colony growth to achieving milestones in the game, which will trigger a sort of Kerbal baby boom."

But apparently they're not gonna reveal how baby kerbals are made. I'm still hoping they're like Orks and basically sentient fungi that reproduce via spores.Also, if this game gets a subtitle, I want it to be "KSP2: Kerb Harder".

Yeah, there's so much I haven't done in the original game(I haven't even touched the game since the DLCs dropped) that I kinda feel compelled to go back to catch up to be ready for KSP 2. But since it sounds like KSP2 will have a different focus, it feels like they might complement each other rather then KSP2 replacing KSP1.

evilthecat:
The point about the rings is valid because a moon that close on any orbit would influence the orbit of the various bits of debris that made up the ring and eventually, over a long time, disperse those bits of debris, breaking up the ring. Heck, Saturn's moons do influence its rings, just not enough to completely break them up.

No, not really. Rings tend to form inside a planet's Roche limit, and moons form beyond its Roche limit. This moon, simply by merit of being a moon, must be beyond the Roche limit of the body it orbits and is thus far away from the rings.

What you have to remember is anything dealing with astrodynamics is inherently a multi-body problem and relative based upon the mass and density of each body. Every body has a sphere of influence and a Roche limit dictated by its relationship to other bodies; the sphere of influence being the sphere in which the first body is the dominant gravitational influence, and the Roche limit being the sphere in which the first body's gravitational influence is so strong second bodies cannot be held together by their own gravity alone, and will be torn apart by tidal forces.

Satellites are only capable of clearing orbits within their sphere of influence relative to the body it orbits, but at the same time satellites' proximity (and relative mass and density) dictates an upper limit to the amount of matter it can accrete. That's how we end up with bodies like Pan and its weird-ass shape -- it's large enough to have a sphere of influence and clear its orbit (creating the Encke gap), but within Saturn's Roche limit and unable to accrete further which is why there is a ringlet coincident with its orbit. What is thought to hold Pan together currently, is its tensile strength.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-xM_e5x6oc

So basically Scott Manley did an interview with one of the lead devs and it's revealed some more about the game. Among other things, it does sound like space station and surface colony building will be significantly easier then building each piece and having to connect it painstakingly like needs to be done now(or build a godawful huge spacecraft somehow). Tech is going to be more speculative, including Orion Pulse Drives(essentially the idea of detonating nuclear bombs behind a spacecraft to propel it at increasing velocities) and new resources require to build colonies and interstellar spacecraft. No word on if that means orbital shipbuilding/shipyards will be a thing(unless I missed it).

Apparently the game is still being made in Unity, so no Lagrange points :(

So what exactly is Kerbal Space Program? I've heard it mentioned a lot, but what do you actually do?

Drathnoxis:
So what exactly is Kerbal Space Program? I've heard it mentioned a lot, but what do you actually do?

So at it's core, it's a flight/space simulator which gives you an amazing degree of control over the craft you can build an fly. You're given a bunch of parts(which you can either unlock through gameplay or start with them all available) and the freedom to build what you want with them. With that you have a solar system that is an expy to our own to explore, the big difference being everything is scaled down a bit. It's still big, but not 1:1 scale with ours, mostly for the sake of having certain things take less time(such as an ascent to orbit taking 5 minutes or so instead of 20-30). Interplanetary travel still takes months or years in game time(but there's a function to speed up time to cut down on wait times). Most of the tech is modeled on current or near future technology, so nothing approaching light speed engines or engines that don't require fuel(like most sci-fi tends to default to).

The little green dudes are Kerbals, which are basically there to help lighten the mood(or give you someone to murder, if you're so inclined), but the game's physics engine is (mostly) not a joke. You have to have some idea of how actual space travel and spacecraft design works to actually make much progress, because the physics engine will be happy to remind you you're wrong if you don't. It doesn't model actual astrophysics completely realistically, it's still a hell of a lot better then most games/movies are about it(You can build an X-Wing if you want, and people have, but it won't fly like anything in Star Wars does, at least not in space). Mass, Center of Gravity, Center of Thrust, fuel, aerodynamics, DeltaV,ISP. All of these matter in KSP. Ignore them at your peril.

You will crash, and you will crash again, but it's okay, because failure is a chance to learn for next time. There's an endless supply of kerbals waiting to jump in the next rocket you design and will happily ride to to their deaths if need be. It's why you see steam reviews that go like this "Built rocket, launched, landed on mun, came back, realized I forgot the parachutes after reentry, crashed. 10/10". And yes, probably everyone has forgotten the parachutes at least once.

There's 3 game modes: Sandbox, Science and Career. Sandbox is basically everything is unlocked from the start and there are no restrictions other then your ability to build and fly craft. Basically, do what you want. Science has a tech tree added so you have to unlock parts by collecting SCIENCE by doing various experiments and such. Career is basically hard mode where you have to manage money, reputation, fulfill contracts on top of all of this, not to mention pay to upgrade your spaceport to build bigger rockets. THere's also a custom mode if you want to play with a specific combo of features/difficultly options.

One of the DLC also added the ability to build, share and play custom missions if you need/want set goals.

There's also a very active modding community that the devs are very supportive of that encompasses more parts(some of which are designed around real world space programs and spacecraft), more features(the most basic one being a flight computer with autopilot capability, which still isn't in the base game for some reason) and alterations to the core gameplay(such as needing to provide life support, more realistic physics, more speculative tech). There are also pre-built craft, both as mods and part of the base game, if you'd rather just grab something and go.

The devs have also been very supportive as well, considering the game has been playable(with a few glitches) since Alpha when it was first put on sale back in 2011 and has been continually improved by the devs since then, with each update adding to the game and making it a little better. Kinda akin to No Man's Sky but if No Man's Sky hadn't been super hyped before launch.

Some people have taken the game some weird places and built navies/seacraft too, since it was discovering that some of the parts are actually buoyant. It does get awkward because you don't actually have a seaport, rather a runway/launch pad need the ocean, so you need to actually drive/fly said craft over to the ocean first.

TLDR: To answer your question, What do you do? You basically build aircraft/spacecraft, fly them, build bases, build space stations, take Kerbals to the far reaches of the Kerbol System and back. Make your own fun. Basically, if you want a game that treats space physics in a somewhat realistic manner and gives you almost unlimited freedom to snap together spacecraft/aircraft like legos and then take them out and fly them, this game is for you.

Am prepped and ready to crash.

Dalisclock:
TLDR: To answer your question, What do you do? You basically build aircraft/spacecraft, fly them, build bases, build space stations, take Kerbals to the far reaches of the Kerbol System and back. Make your own fun. Basically, if you want a game that treats space physics in a somewhat realistic manner and gives you almost unlimited freedom to snap together spacecraft/aircraft like legos and then take them out and fly them, this game is for you.

Thanks for the lengthy description! I'm terrible at making my own fun though :/
If a game doesn't give me a story or challenges to overcome I just can't see the point.

Drathnoxis:

Dalisclock:
TLDR: To answer your question, What do you do? You basically build aircraft/spacecraft, fly them, build bases, build space stations, take Kerbals to the far reaches of the Kerbol System and back. Make your own fun. Basically, if you want a game that treats space physics in a somewhat realistic manner and gives you almost unlimited freedom to snap together spacecraft/aircraft like legos and then take them out and fly them, this game is for you.

Thanks for the lengthy description! I'm terrible at making my own fun though :/
If a game doesn't give me a story or challenges to overcome I just can't see the point.

Career mode contracts are challenges of a sort, and the scenarios/missions also far into that catagory on a smaller scale. Everything in the sandbox and(to a lesser extent) Science modes is self imposed challenge/goals(Science makes you scramble a bit for solutions when you don't have parts yet). Trying to build a large orbital space station in sections or, worse, a mars base will definitely have you working your brain(since the transit times are measured in months or years). Or hell, trying to land and come back from certain planets(Eve/Venus is pretty brutal, I'm told)

But tis not for everyone, either. The only thing I can recommend is check out a couple KSP videos and if it doesn't float your boat, give it a pass.

 

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