Story 2014-04-02 3HC Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program

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in games on (#3HC)
How do you deal with a software release that goes bad? Ask Squad, creators of the fantastic Kerbal Space Program , a fun game where players create their own space program and try to build a space-worthy craft, capable of flying its crew out into space without killing them. The collection of parts must be assembled to create a functional ship. Each part has its own function and will affect the way a ship flies (or doesn't).

But shortly after hyping the release of a new patch to the game ("Asteroid Redirect Mission" or ARM), Squad was bitten by the notorious Space Kraken: a game breaking bug was discovered that pushed the patch release into "sometime in April." Fans were not happy. Fortunately, Squad took the high road. They publicly admitted to the P.R. error and asked their fans for understanding. Then they quickly issued fixes for that bug as well as a small game-save bug that cropped up, putting all their energy behind making things right. With fans appeased, anticipation again mounts for the Kerbal Space Program to leave Alpha development phase.

Though development does still have a long way to go, KSP is already rich with content and has a large modding community. If you have any interest in physics based space games, this one is genuinely a step up from anything else, even Orbiter. You'll need a high-end gaming computer at the moment. Check the forums for details, including issues regarding 64 bit and Linux support.

Asteroids was never this much fun, or as difficult!

(cross submitted to Soylent News)
[2014-04-02 14:53 UTC: re-edited for clarity: the PR was about the asteroid redirect patch]
Reply 14 comments

I don't mind the editing....but.... (Score: 5, Informative)

by pslytelypsycho@pipedot.org on 2014-04-02 13:15 (#Y9)

....this is not accurate:

"But shortly after hyping the release of KSP"

The hype was over the NASA affiliated ARM patch. KSP is likely 2 years away (or more) from official release.
The edited version is much more readable than my original drivel. But the P.R. blunder was about the ARM patch, not the general release.
Just clarifying.

Ronn
Pslytely Psycho...

Re: I don't mind the editing....but.... (Score: 3, Informative)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-04-02 14:51 (#YD)

Editor here: apologies for that. I had trouble figuring it out from what was supplied. Let me re-edit the text.

A litle confused about the info here (Score: 1)

by guises@pipedot.org on 2014-04-02 13:42 (#YB)

How can a game be "fantastic" when it isn't even finished? How do you evaluate that? Is this just riding on hype, or is this a Google style permanent beta?

Re: A litle confused about the info here (Score: 4, Informative)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-04-02 14:57 (#YE)

"Fantastic" was supplied by me as editor. So, it's neither hype nor permanent beta, just a non-gamer editor who had a look at the Kerbal website and thought it looked pretty damned fun. Basically, sloppy editing. Sorry about that - I'll accept a reduction in *cough* salary (joke: I'm a volunteer).

Re: A litle confused about the info here (Score: 1)

by pslytelypsycho@pipedot.org on 2014-04-02 17:28 (#YH)

No worries, I had never submitted a story before. I'm sure that my sparse writing style left much to be desired.

Re: A litle confused about the info here (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org on 2014-04-03 02:14 (#YM)

Is Kerbal a NASA program?

My knowledge of it only comes from XKCD: Six Words and ADD (title text only)

Re: A litle confused about the info here (Score: 3, Informative)

by pslytelypsycho@pipedot.org on 2014-04-03 04:45 (#YN)

No, Kerbal Space Program is a fictional video game made by Mexican marketing company Squad. It utilizes real world physics and is quite popular amongst the JPL workers and others affiliated with NASA.
NASA contacted squad with the idea of sponsoring a package simulating current aspirations within NASA.
Squad of course jumped on the idea as it provided a lot of advertising and exposure for the fledgling game company.
They ran a 24 hr marathon leading up to the release of the NASA patch, and then found a bug severe enough to not launch it at that time. (it was launched a few days later on April 1)

But no, NASA has no connection to KSP other than lending some technical expertise and an official NASA flag within the game. (As a side note, the ARM mission is amongst the most difficult things I have done in this game. Truly amazing for an alpha state game.)

Re: A litle confused about the info here (Score: 3, Insightful)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-04-03 11:05 (#YS)

Finally I understand that XKCD! Never got the joke until now. Live and learn. Yay Pipedot!

Re: A litle confused about the info here (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-04-03 18:45 (#YV)

where does KSP appear in the ADD comic?

Re: A litle confused about the info here (Score: 1)

by sleazyridr@pipedot.org on 2014-04-03 19:20 (#YW)

It's in the alt-text;

Courtesey of explainxkcd.com "Title text: 20 balloons float away while I'm busy permanently tying one to a tree to deal with it for good. Unfortunately, that one balloon was 'land a rocket on the moon in Kerbal Space Program.'"

Re: A litle confused about the info here (Score: 1)

by matthew@pipedot.org on 2014-04-03 18:14 (#YT)

You could try it... I would say it's fantastic. I dropped less than $20 on it and I've put more than 40 hours into launching rockets and attempting landings on planets and moons.

Anyone with an interest in space flight, orbital mechanics, science, etc. should definitely take a look at it.

Re: A litle confused about the info here (Score: 1)

by pslytelypsycho@pipedot.org on 2014-04-04 01:38 (#Z5)

Absolutely, without trying to sound fanboi-ish (?) I bought it 16 months ago for $17.00, version 0.18, after playing the 0.13 demo for OVER 100 HOURS! I have 816 hours as of today. Only the Civ, TW, several racing series and 'in real life' Chess (King of Games), and some of them I played for many years before Steam could remind you of how much spare time you apparently actually have. Steams hour tracking is to some an accomplishment, to me it's a condemnation.

The current demo limits you to 25 parts and I think is either version 0.18 or 0.19. It's come a long way since then!

Link to the Demo/purchase page. (No popups, self playing videos, redirects, tiresome political posturing or ads as far as I know, adblock on. So enjoy a stroll to a website without malware, in your face ads or other bullshit.

https://www.kerbalspaceprogram.com/demo.php

How is it spell check doesn't recognize the word malware? It's certainly common enough. It wants to change it to Waldemar. WTF?

Re: A litle confused about the info here (Score: 1)

by gumpish@pipedot.org on 2014-04-07 22:47 (#10H)

I've put in around 100 hours over the course of the past few months...

Though I didn't REALLY get into it until career mode appeared and I had to try to accomplish goals with a restricted set of parts.

I maxed out the science tree and just this week finally got around to landing a Kerbal on Eeloo and getting them back home.

The challenges still remaining for me are landing and returning from every possible celestial body (such as Lathe and Eve), but assuming I'm able to complete them I don't see how I could put 800 hours in...

Maybe if there was some reason to construct space stations or surface bases... (or obviously interstellar travel)

How have you managed to put that much time in on the game? (Uh.. hope you get notified about this reply...)

Re: A litle confused about the info here (Score: 1)

by pslytelypsycho@pipedot.org on 2014-04-16 11:34 (#137)

Hehehehe, I managed to put that much time into it due to a back injury that has had me grounded for a little over a year now. I don't watch very much television.

I built a space station, mainly to practice orbital rendezvous, in preparation for launching an orbital built 'grand tour' ship.

The main propulsion and living quarters (acting as a makeshift station) are in orbit, but I need more testing on my atmospheric lander,(designed to be used on airless worlds afterward as it drops it heat shielding) and need to build a satellite (the ship carries four, so I'll just duplicate it).

Using LLL, NP, FAR, DR, TAC, KAS, Spherical tanks, and visual enhancements...
Hope you get notified of this reply as well, I just came back to lift the XKCD link above to the ADD panel.