I’ve found something called Kerbal Space Program

kerb010Hello Hypothetical Readers, long time no see.
I’ve been busy with a lot of stuff lately and I’m terribly sorry for not giving this blog much attention, I do want to keep it active, post new stuff and even make videos. However, in the last weeks I’ve started playing Kerbal Space Program (KSP for short), a game I’ve been curious for quite some time, and it also meant I had to put aside a lot other stuff in real life. This game is so addictive its not even funny.

It all began a few weeks back when, after seeing some videos on youtube, it got me so intrigued , I just had to try it out. So I got myself a “full demo”, and this game is also for linux so it works great, then I began my trip to space land.

Turns out this game is quite realistic in terms of space navigation, to better describe it, orbital mechanics and stuff. So it has quite a steep, slow learning curve as you go, its just the sort of challenge I like in games. I’ve began with some crap rockets and bad maneuvers, trying to get into orbit, then making bigger ships and attempting intercept courses. The learning path is quite similar to what you actually  happened on real world space programs, you first get into orbit, then train on orbit alterations and maneuvers, figure out how to rendezvous with other objects, then go for a lunar interception and return from it, finally a lunar landing, which is indeed quite a challenge. It took me about two weeks to get all that stuff sorted out and even then there is a lot of room for improvement.

So this is the short story of my first career game, about halfway along it I’ve found about the in game screen-shot feature and starting shooting it away. It was also then that I’ve found all the mods and add-on, that really adds up to the game, a lot, from game playability, to aesthetics and more immersion stuff. After finding more and more stuff I’ve decided to start a new game from scratch to get a proper career progression feel.

The actual short story

orbital_mechanicsStarting out on Kerbal is quite difficult, you really don’t know much of what you’re doing, it take lot of attempts of trial and error to  figure out you’re really bad at this, then you go the manual or official wiki page and read on how to do proper stuff.
it was on my first Mun mission, with a small test probe that I thought would be a tremendous success, but turn out to be a big failure, that I started reading about proper rocket design, fuel efficiency and delta-velocity concept. I had to read on specific impulse concept and only then figured out that for proper rocket building I would indeed had to do some math. This all I began on the first mun probe that had enough fuel to get there but not close enough out. When properly building your rocket you end up with much smaller but more efficient designs, and not to mention you will have an idea on how much you will need for each step of the way. So everything is planned and you put on the ship only what you actually need.

So after two Munar probes, permanently stuck on the Mun, I’ve started to properly design ships and better trajectories that are more speed efficient. I’ve finally was able to get a couple of probes to land and return safely. I then started out on the first manned mission that would get to the mun, have a separate lander that would land and return several times, recover the data from those stuck probes from before, adequately named Apollo I. For this I was already using a great helper add-on called Engineer redux, which basically does all that math for you, saving great amounts of time. Some people say it retracts the challenge of the game, but after I’ve already figured out all that theoretical stuff by myself and being able to actually do it manually, I just felt as a huge time saver.

The mods I’ve tried out by this point, the Engineer redux, for all that calculation and planning stuff; MechJeb, for more in flight information and fine tuning; and Ferram, for realistic aerodynamics.
The gallery below show some of the pics I’ve picked to better present the story, they are properly described. Since this game was more about learning, it has more of a feeling of accomplishment but less of actual storytelling. My current game has a lot more of that and is being more well documented, so I intend to post more on that later, as well as giving helpful lessons too.

So that’s it, hope you enjoy the gallery, as always I have a tendency to just ramble on about stuff and end up loosing focus. See ya later.

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