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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:22 pm 
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The official thread for BTSM can be found here:

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/thr ... post837988

Please try to post over there where possible, instead of this thread, unless you feel the points you re bringing up are not appropriate for the KSP forums, to help get the word around about BTSM :)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:34 pm 
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Very awesome, will be interesting to see a very well designed tech tree in the game rather than the usual sandbox. Props for being able to do this and still manage BTW/RTH.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:38 pm 
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Gareleus wrote:
Very awesome, will be interesting to see a very well designed tech tree in the game rather than the usual sandbox. Props for being able to do this and still manage BTW/RTH.


Well, give it a try before calling it well designed :P

I sincerely doubt it will be for everyone. I'm very much doing this for myself as a player, and if others happen to enjoy it as well, that's a bonus :)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:42 pm 
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Oh, and pro-tip:

This is a vanilla thing, but you can assign experiments to action groups so you can just trigger them with a hot-key. I only discovered this while working on this thing, but it makes the research system a much more pleasant experience in general, so I thought it a tip worth passing along :)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:51 pm 
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Oh, and another thing worth mentioning: if you use stuff like the thermometer as an instrument in the GUI, rather than as an experiment, it fucks up the GUI and prevents it being able to be used as an experiment later. That's a vanilla bug.

I may get rid of the instrument functionality entirely to bypass this in BTSM, as they're really not useful in that role anyways, and it's just going to create confusion for people trying this out since you get those parts much earlier in the tech tree here.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:47 pm 
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Played through to tier two, and the progression feels nice not to fast although to be honest the only reason I took a break to write this AAR was to let my mind think of a design that could net me enough science to gain liquid fuel. Very enjoyable so far, mainly in the sense that I can't take ten seconds to "slap something together" and be in orbit. One thing might be worth mentioning is that the spammy clicking with vKSP is gone now especially with the action groups, it may have been me but I never found a good reason to use them. Cheers on first release though!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:50 pm 
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Liquid fuel is relatively easy to gain, although I'll warn you that if it's the first tech 3 node you unlock, you're in for some hell ;)

That's actually the path I've been taking to make sure that the tech tree is always possible to progress through in the worst case scenario.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:55 pm 
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FlowerChild wrote:
Gareleus wrote:
Very awesome, will be interesting to see a very well designed tech tree in the game rather than the usual sandbox. Props for being able to do this and still manage BTW/RTH.


Well, give it a try before calling it well designed :P

I sincerely doubt it will be for everyone. I'm very much doing this for myself as a player, and if others happen to enjoy it as well, that's a bonus :)


I just discovered this myself before coming back to this thread! Does it log it multiple times for you when you press it as well?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:57 pm 
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Mason11987 wrote:
I just discovered this myself before coming back to this thread! Does it log it multiple times for you when you press it as well?


Nope. One instance of an experiment at a particular location or altitude, and that's it.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:01 pm 
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FlowerChild wrote:
Mason11987 wrote:
I just discovered this myself before coming back to this thread! Does it log it multiple times for you when you press it as well?


Nope. One instance of an experiment at a particular location or altitude, and that's it.


Sorry, what I mean is that it appears when I hit 2 if logging is set to that key, then I have to delete multiple items that pop up. I'm probably just not use to how action groups should work though.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:18 pm 
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Mason11987 wrote:
Sorry, what I mean is that it appears when I hit 2 if logging is set to that key, then I have to delete multiple items that pop up. I'm probably just not use to how action groups should work though.


You likely have multiple parts assigned to the same key, and thus are generating multiple reports.

Tends to happen if you place multiple parts using the symmetry mode, in which case you can't assign them individually to action groups. Instead, you have to place each one individually to get it to assign alone. Again, this appears to be a vanilla problem.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:22 pm 
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FlowerChild wrote:
Mason11987 wrote:
Sorry, what I mean is that it appears when I hit 2 if logging is set to that key, then I have to delete multiple items that pop up. I'm probably just not use to how action groups should work though.


You likely have multiple parts assigned to the same key, and thus are generating multiple reports.

Tends to happen if you place multiple parts using the symmetry mode, in which case you can't assign them individually to action groups. Instead, you have to place each one individually to get it to assign alone. Again, this appears to be a vanilla problem.


That is exactly what's happening. Thanks! I'm trying to get enough science to get the liquid fuel (last in tech 3). Tricky...


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:24 pm 
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Mason11987 wrote:
That is exactly what's happening. Thanks!


Yeah, it's a pain in the ass. I tried just about every key combo I could think of to try and select individual parts placed in symmetry mode for action groups, and couldn't figure it out. Also searched through the control list on the wiki and got nothing.

Wound up placing them individually to get around it, but that of course can lead to your rockets being slightly off balance.

FlowerChild wrote:
Thanks! I'm trying to get enough science to get the liquid fuel (last in tech 3). Tricky...


Keep in mind what I said about the Gravioli meter detecting different biomes in low orbit. That's basically where your science is at right now.

Also, you get science for recovering vehicles as well once you have survivability and parachutes, so remember to take advantage of that part.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:44 pm 
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FlowerChild wrote:

Keep in mind what I said about the Gravioli meter detecting different biomes in low orbit. That's basically where your science is at right now.

Also, you get science for recovering vehicles as well once you have survivability and parachutes, so remember to take advantage of that part.


Recovering vehicles! Ha, this is the first I played of Kerbal since the career mode, didn't know this was another way of getting it. I was just leaving stuff everywhere.

Edit - And my left over parts got me the 20 I needed!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:29 am 
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So if I never played Kerbal and have no idea how to even play it would you recommend that I start with this mod? Also can anyone recommend a good youtube series to get oriented with Kerbal? Thanks!!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:42 am 
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saucyjohn wrote:
So if I never played Kerbal and have no idea how to even play it would you recommend that I start with this mod? Also can anyone recommend a good youtube series to get oriented with Kerbal? Thanks!!


Errrrr....I dunno if I'd say this is a good thing to start with man, especially given it's not even close to complete or balanced.

Would you say BTW is the best way to start MC? I'm not sure I would. I have very particular views when it comes to gameplay and challenge.

I dunno. Someone else would probably be better to answer this question :)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:02 am 
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FlowerChild wrote:
Would you say BTW is the best way to start MC? I'm not sure I would. I have very particular views when it comes to gameplay and challenge.

Oh hell yes. Unfair expectations and such. I know that I only briefly toyed around with KSP (maybe 2 hours), so I can't comment on this mod, but for BTW, I always advise people to skip vanilla.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:09 am 
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Oh wow, FC working out some much needed gameplay for KSP?
Dreams come true!

*scurries off to try it out*

I'll leave some feedback, when I'm through.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:29 am 
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EDIT: you...you... that release number!

So i've been playing BTSM for an hour or so now. I picked this specific moment in time to comment because i've had a unique experience. My heart is racing from the mission to orbit. I've never watched the apsis with such a mix of determination, hope and expectation. a GREAT feeling.

So far, the mod is not...hard. It's not as hard as i expected it to be. In fact, it's quite straightforward and i like that. The mission at hand is pretty clear (although took some agony to figure out the gravioli detector only works in space...)

Some screenshots and my experiences so far:

My first rocket. I watched some Scott Manley and i made this ungodly device. Spoilers: i'll recover from this disease in a couple of screenshots.
Spoiler: show
Image

Without ANY form of wings or whatever it's as reliable as you expect it to be.

Spoiler: show
Image


Surprisingly, the temperature sensor gives enough data to advance in the tech tree:
Spoiler: show
Image


So with better boosters i tried the scott-manley approach again

Spoiler: show
Image


I -literally- crashed and burned. no science gained.
Spoiler: show
Image


So of course the only way to fix this is to go even bigger with the following result:
Spoiler: show
Image


Yea...
So, recovering from this disease i finally pulled it together and made a proper rocket.
Spoiler: show
Image


Using some good old science, i added the wings under a slight angle. Now, the rocket spins like crazy but also goes up nearly vertically. This is the final altitude:

Spoiler: show
Image




Leaving me here:
Spoiler: show
Image


Torn between the three possibilities i decided that more science = better (MOAR POWR! being right for once) and went for wings and gravioli detectors. Which was surprisingly....effective.

After some more messing around and trying to get to orbit (It took a while to dawn on me that the detector only works in space) i came up with the following design:

Spoiler: show
Image

By first burning 3 rockets and then the final 2, plus the control from the fins for a 10km gravity turn, i got to...72km. The gravioli detector turned on, science was pumped out and i happily watched the rocket return to the soil, as these well-earned results slowly uploaded (damn does the Gravioli detector take much time and electricity! i had to relaunch once because calibrating took so much energy, i had used up over half my reserves!)

So here i am.
Spoiler: show
Image


I am happy. I am smiling. Let hell come cause i'm ready for it!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:57 am 
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Since I still don't want to be a distraction and/or waste time, I'll keep this very short and omit the 3-page-long list of things I love about what you've done with this FC.

Again; this was way more fun than the original tech tree. I just feel 20 screenshots don't help as much as a short summary of what might be improvable.

Having reached tech tier 3 there's only these two things that I didn't like all that much.


1.) With no ingame way of discerning different biomes other than some vague changes in landscape (you can't even see which spot exactly you are above) I found it a bit tedious to run the gravi experiment every 20 seconds or so just to make sure I wouldn't miss any science on the way. This is assuming you don't have the biome map in front of your inner eye (a "normal" player wouldn't) and don't know how many biomes are to be found where.

2.) I understand the reason for making the gravi experiment orbit only. However, with no staging implements unlocked yet I find myself pushed toward overheat-staging, which feels very much like exploiting a mechanic that's meant to prohibit certain rocket designs. It gets me up to 380,000km easily though (still tier 3), which is why it's so tempting.


I have ideas on how to address these issues, but as per usual: Not telling unless asked. ;)


Thanks for looking into another of my top ten favorite games FC. I know, that when you touch these things, something great will result.

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Last edited by M!C on Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:04 am 
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M!C wrote:
Having reached tech tier 3 there's only these two things that I didn't like all that much.


1.) With no ingame way of discerning different biomes other than some vague changes in landscape (you can't even see which spot exactly you are above) I found it a bit tedious to run the gravi experiment every 20 seconds or so just to make sure I wouldn't miss any science on the way. This is assuming you don't have the biome map in front of your inner eye (a "normal" player wouldn't) and don't know how many biomes are to be found where.


2.) I understand the reason for making the gravi experiment orbit only. However, with no staging implements unlocked yet I find myself pushed toward overheat-staging, which feels very much like exploiting a mechanic that's meant to prohibit certain rocket designs. It gets me up to 380,000km and easily though (still tier 3), which is why it's so tempting.




Well with 1, i was lucky i actually read the detector message and discovered the mountains near KSC are a biome too. once over it, i activated the second gravioli detector and got highlands too earning me enough science for a Mystery Goo.

With 2: i must REALLY suck at overheat staging. i've tried it several times and either my rocket dissects upon launch or it spins out of control. I eventually discarded my last 3 designs and went back to my probe that got me to low orbit, fitted it with some new tech and fired it against Kerban rotation to get more powah!. i suspect there's a grasslands next to KSP and i'll probably have to fire a couple of more to figure out the rest. But yea, the lack of a biome map is annoying the hell out of me.

EDIT:

Remember when i said it's not hard? yea that changed. Getting a Goo container down without the entire craft exploding (or leaving only the probe module) is HARD


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:06 pm 
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Wow, now I must go buy KSP, and I'm broke. Damn you man :P

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:44 pm 
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Hehe...cool stuff, and glad people are getting some enjoyment out of it :)

I was rather nervous that this thing wouldn't go over well, so it's very gratifying to see that others dig what I'm doing here.

With regards to overheat staging: there's really no need for it in the first couple of levels, and hopefully I'll be able to take care of that in the future through economy or what have you.

The first couple of tech levels are meant more as a tutorial as to what makes for an effective launch. How there's a balance to be struck between power, weight, and velocity. I think you guys might actually be surprised to see what happens if you drop a single thruster under a probe core and just go with that.

Here's the last rocket I used to get past tech 2:

Spoiler: show
Image


Pretty straight forward, no need for explosive staging or other craziness, and it even somewhat resembles a real rocket. As you can see in the staging diagram, the side boosters fire in pairs initially, followed by the center column. No stages are separated at any point.

Really, I kind of mean the first couple of tech levels as somewhat of an intro to what makes rockets fly in KSP, as I see soooooo many rocket designs on the KSP forums that seem to indicate people are totally oblivious to what actually gets them in the air.

This is the part I was saying in the other thread about me thinking this mod might actually serve as a better intro for new players to KSP. You really don't have much to worry about at start here. You can't even control your rocket's orientation or throttle. All you have to do is focus on getting your rocket as high as possible by designing it in a somewhat reasonable manner and keeping it balanced so that it doesn't go into a death spiral. Once I proceed further with this, I may include some pop ups or something at the early tech levels to provide hints on what it is you're trying to achieve and a few hints on how to get there. Anyways, my hope is that by so severely restricting players at start they'll be encouraged to really learn the basics of KSP rocketry so that they'll carry that over into their future play instead of just always being stuck in the "more boosters" design paradigm.

Eventually what I'm thinking of doing, is that instead of providing stock parts at start and potentially going crazy modifying their parameters, I might either add in my own parts, or try to find a friendly part pack author that wouldn't mind me modifying the values on some of theirs to make them low tech versions of stock parts. I'd actually like there to be a bit more progression there where just hitting the upper atmosphere is an accomplishment in the first tech level, and I think I'd actually prefer the once you complete the tech tree, the stock parts have unmodified values from vanilla so that you're building the same kind of rockets in BTSM as everyone else is building in vanilla (or with whatever other mods are required at that point).

For now though, I'm just focused on the gameplay progression itself. That kind of polish can come later if I decide I want to keep expanding on this.

As for the biomes: they're actually really big and evident from orbit once you get a basic understanding of them, and I'm trying to balance the progression so that you really don't have to find them all in order to proceed. Not sure what I can really do beyond that as the nature of the science system kinda lends itself to the idea that you don't really know what's out there until you discover it yourself.

One thing I'll definitely be doing though is modifying the Gravioli detector's part description to give a better indication of how it is used in the mod. I only decided to get into modifying descriptions later in the tech tree and you'll notice that incrementally more parts in tech levels 3, 4, & 5 have custom descriptions as I became more habituated to doing that.

Anyways, all around happiness. Like I said above, very glad that others are getting some enjoyment out of this :)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:04 pm 
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FlowerChild wrote:
With regards to overheat staging: there's really no need for it in the first couple of levels, and hopefully I'll be able to take care of that in the future through economy or what have you.

You have NO idea how amazed i was that a couple of solid fuel boosters could get me to orbit. I never, NEVER would've figured that out. I'm building stuff and i'm baffled that it works (or occasionally: that it doesn't work. i've tried 8 Overheat Staging systems and they just plain suck, so i've given up on that)


FlowerChild wrote:
One thing I'll definitely be doing though is modifying the Gravioli detector's part description to give a better indication of how it is used in the mod. I only decided to get into modifying descriptions later in the tech tree and you'll notice that incrementally more parts in tech levels 3, 4, & 5 have custom descriptions as I became more habituated to doing that.



EDIT: yea i noticed some tidbits here and there. Like how the Goo canister says that it's like animal testing but less fun. (and more importantly: that it HAS to be retrieved)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:39 pm 
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devak wrote:
You have NO idea how amazed i was that a couple of solid fuel boosters could get me to orbit. I never, NEVER would've figured that out. I'm building stuff and i'm baffled that it works (or occasionally: that it doesn't work. i've tried 8 Overheat Staging systems and they just plain suck, so i've given up on that)


Woot! Ok, very cool then as that says to me those first couple of tech levels are having their desired effect on players :)

Hopefully once I integrate some kind of economy model, I can make that lesson even clearer by having really restrictive starting funds that allow a very limited number of boosters to be used.

Quote:
EDIT: yea i noticed some tidbits here and there. Like how the Goo canister says that it's like animal testing but less fun. (and more importantly: that it HAS to be retrieved)


Yup, the Goo cannister was the last bit that I worked on, so I was already habituated to writing descriptions by then whereas I wasn't really bothering with it at start.

I had also put a lot of thought into how I'd be integrating the goo canister into the tech tree as I worked on this and the whole idea of having some kind of analogue to historical animal launches before sending up the first manned missions.

I'm not aspiring towards recreating history here, as my primary focus is in creating a *gameplay* progression (like you'll notice RCS thrusters come before reaction wheels, which was a purely gameplay decision) but what I am trying to do at many stages is at least draw some parallels to it, kinda like I do with BTW.


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