NEW PATCH FOR KERBAL SPACE PROGRAM

2015-11-11

With new parts, contract updates, more than a few changes to physics, and about 100 bug fixes, the just released version 1.0.5 update to Kerbal Space Program is more than ample proof that Squad is far from done with Kerbal Space Program. Many of the features have been covered in a fantastic video by Scott Manley, friend of TMC and space game aficionado, in a preview video embedded below.

After the release of 1.0.4, Squad had talked about the next update being version 1.1. The 1.1 update will bring the game to Unity 5, include 64 bit support, and add multithreaded physics calculations. However, the transition to 1.1 has taken a bit longer than they had anticipated. Rather than wait, the players were treated to a small(er) release, as Squad wanted to share some of the features that were ready. The patch notes can be found of the second page, but there are several very important features that bear talking about individually.

First up in the rather diminutive 24 megabyte download, and my favorite part of every update so far, we have a variety of new parts alongside the reworking of several old parts. Jet Engines received a lot of love with three brand new models: a small .625m jet named ‘Juno’, the super maneuverable 1m afterburning ‘Panther’ and a ‘Goliath’ 2.5m underslung turbofan. Each one has their own special place in the update.

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Full afterburner can get an aircraft moving. Note the reworked Mk.1 Cockpit

The ‘Panther’ engine allows players to engage an afterburner to get a sizable boost in power for a disproportionate loss of fuel economy. Switching between modes works much like the dual-mode SABRE engines, minus the rocket part requiring oxidizer. Players looking to build extremely agile aircraft should give a close look at the ‘Panther’; its unmatched thrust-vectoring range allows otherwise unremarkable jets to dance across the sky. Appropriately named, the ‘Goliath’ engine emulates many airliner-style turbofan engines, sacrificing speed for superior fuel efficiency and lift capability. The ‘Goliath’ also features thrust-reversal (much like its real-life counterpart), giving more braking options for the budding cargo or passenger plane tycoon. The ‘Juno’ 0.625m engine heralds a new set of parts for smaller planes. A small air intake and small liquid fuel tank that are also included with this update, making for practical miniature probe core planes, or even a jet-powered wingsuit for players wishing to emulate Jetman or evenRocketeer with their Kerbals.

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No longer a watery grave, it is still a last resort kind of landing spot. Also pictured: ‘Goliath’ turbofans and the new MK3 Cargo Ramp

Several other parts got a rather extensive makeover. The Mk1 external and IVA environment look drastically different, alongside other remodels to Mk1 parts, plus a new look for the Aerospike engine. Making small fighters is even more fun, even if they still aren’t practical in the vanilla game. If the new jets don’t strike your fancy, or you are just fond of some of your older designs, the ‘Wheesly’ and ‘Whiplash’ engines sport new models. A new rocket engine called the ‘Vector’ adds an extreme gimbal range to the lineup of available parts, allowing players to create very maneuverable rockets, or even some off-center center of gravity rockets that don’t spiral out of control.

Speaking of out of control, the thermodynamics model has been reworked again. Parts will now have a core temperature in addition to a skin temperature. This will cause parts to explode in a more predictable and logical pattern. The physics of landing on water is no longer an out of control one-way ticket to death and destruction either. In addition to reworking the physics of water so that you can actually land on it at a reasonable speed and survive, buoyancy has been completely reworked. Together, these changes make sea planes an option, though it is still perhaps not as viable an option as it is in the non-pixel world. Squad has added in depth-based achievement tracking, allowing for presumably new contracts to explore the depths of the sea as well as the expanses of space.

This new tracking folds into a rework of the whole progress tracking system that will allow for contracts for the first Kerbal spacewalk, crew transfers, and flight on other atmospheric planets and moons. The system will also track whether the achievement was manned or unmanned, and respond with more appropriate contracts that are challenging, but not out of your reach. The example given by developer HarvesteR was that, if you’re just launching spacecraft into Kerbal orbit, you won’t get contracts for Eve and Duna. Likewise, if you already have several space stations in orbit around Kerbin, you might get a contract to launch another habitation module that houses four crew and attach it to one of your stations rather than launch the fourty-first 16 person space station this year. This should help keep space less cluttered for those players who like a clean system, in addition to providing even more gameplay opportunities.

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Smashed Kerbal creations are not required, but are absolutely encouraged.

There are other quality of life tweaks included in 1.0.5, most notably the addition of the navball when controlling Kerbals in EVA. This will be most useful when players have contracts for surveys in specific locations, and be a general boon to players of all skill levels. Science transmissions will show the appropriate gain of reputation, funds, and science caused by active strategies. There is also a new strategy called Leadership Initiative Strategy for the more independent player, boosting rewards for achievements at the cost of contract rewards. Add in a very heavy dose of 100+ bug fixes, and you have the highlights of a rather hefty update in a small package with a very small numerical increase.

This is far from an all-inclusive list of the updates, and players interested should absolutely jump on the official forums, or check out the second page and give the patch notes a good read. This update may not have been the update many players were looking forward to, but it is a far cry from a disappointment. For some players, it may not be enough to pry players away from the launch of Fallout 4, or the Amarr Succession Trials, but this update to Kerbal Space Program adds even more polish to one of the best space games out right now.

Parts:

  • Added ‘Juno’ 0.625m jet engine

  • Added 0.625m air intake

  • Added 0.625m Liquid Fuel tank

  • Added ‘Panther’ afterburning jet engine

  • Added ‘Goliath’ giant turbofan engine

  • Added S3 KS-25-1 ‘Vector’ Rocket engine, with super-large gimballing range

  • Added Mk3 size Cargo Ramp

  • Added Mk3 engine mount piece

  • Added Mk1 crew cabin, seats two

  • Added new Mini-ISRU part

  • Mk1 Cockpit model overhauled

  • Mk1 Cockpit IVA space overhauled

  • XM-G50 Air intake model overhauled

  • Mk1 Fuel, Structural and Intake Fuselage parts overhauled

  • T1 Toroidal Aerospike engine model overhauled

  • J-33 ‘Wheesley’ Jet engine model overhauled

  • J-X4 ‘Whiplash’ Jet engine model overhauled

  • Engine Nacelle and Engine Precooler parts overhauled

Contracts:

  • Added Station and Base Contextual Contracts, requiring you to modify/expand existing bases and stations

  • Added Satellite Contextual Contracts, requiring maintenance operations to previously deployed satellites

  • Added Survey Contextual Contracts, which target existing landed vessels to request (applicable) survey missions of them

  • Part Test contract generation logic has been modified. Each part now has a much more specific set of constraints before it generates, to give it much more consistent and realistic altitudes, speeds, and envelopes.

  • Passive Progress Rewards: gives a light reward automatically to any new achievement. These are given independently of accepted World-Firsts Contracts, but are not as substantial.

  • Contract Decline Penalty: A small reputation penalty is incurred when a contract is declined, to prevent Mission Control from being abused as a slot machine.

  • New early game part haul contracts – easier part tests that only require you to bring the payload to a designated location.

  • Early game focused surveys balanced to be much more forgiving.

  • New part tests added for fairings and heat shields.

  • Many milestones added that involve the player doing hidden fun stuff.

Strategies:

  • Added Leadership Initiative Strategy: increases passive rewards for achievements, at the cost of reduced contract rewards. Useful to boost self-driven playstyles.

Progress Tracking:

  • Added new World First contract types for space walking, crew transfers, and flight on atmospheric planets.

  • There is also now a fourth record “track” for oceanic depth.

  • Many progress nodes now track progress in separate manned and unmanned tracks. This allows several contracts to appear at more relevant times.

  • Base and Station, plant flag, kerbal recoveries (rescues), crewed surveys, tourism, and some World Firsts contracts now require manned progress.

  • Satellite contracts now require unmanned progress.

  • The algorithm to choose planets for all contracts is now more reliable. Max CB “distance” has been reduced to two. This means you will no longer see contracts for Duna and Eve right after taking off from Kerbin.

Science and Comms:

  • Science Transmission messages now show strategy changes to science, funds, and reputation.

  • All antennae now cut a transmission that has been interrupted due to power loss to prevent severely devaluing the resulting science.

  • Added an option to antenna context menus to manually enable partial transmissions.

  • Interrupted transmissions no longer delete science data. The data will attempt to return to the container it came from.

  • Transmission from orbital surveyors and science labs was tweaked slightly to look and behave more like standard science transmissions.

NavBall:

  • The navball is now available on EVA to assist in surveys.

  • The EVA NavBall follows the orientation of the camera, rather than that of the Kerbal. This allows looking around to get your bearings.

  • The navball throttle and RCS lights are hooked up to the EVA jetpack.

  • The IVA navball now functions with survey navigation.

  • Survey navigation icon will now automatically target the next/closest adjacent waypoint in a survey upon completion of a targeted waypoint

Thermodynamics:

  • Introduced the concept of ‘Core Heat’. Allowing part systems to work much more expressively with temperatures, reducing unwanted cross-talk between temp effects on internal logic and heat transfer to other parts.

  • Radiators should have a significant impact on core heat, allowing ISRU modules to operate at peak efficiency.

  • Incredibly hot cores should bleed off some of their heat to the parent part, with the vessel very slowly getting warmer over time.

  • Parts should not explode from core overheating, but ISRU modules may shut down.

  • Thermal efficiency should be consistent across all warp levels – no cheating!

  • The mini-ISRU is balanced in that it cannot operate indefinitely. It will eventually shut down due to overheat and have to be allowed a cool-off period.

  • The RTG is also part of this mechanic, making it a viable heater (Kerbals have the added advantage of not requiring any potatoes for unplanned long-duration stays on desolate planets).

  • Fixed thermodynamics issues from 1.0.4 regarding unclamped conduction, shielded conduction, and other runaway cases.

  • Reworked upper atmospheres of planets for better aerocapture experience. Added convection and shockwave temperature multipliers per body.

  • EVA kerbals handled properly.

  • Lowered max internal temperatures of crewed parts.

  • Heating from engine exhaust rebalanced.

  • Thermo at high warp is now no longer instantaneous, and is moddable via new interfaces.

  • Unloaded vessels will have thermo applied for the unloaded time on reload.

Buoyancy and Water:

  • Displacement is now calculated per part using dragcube information to estimate total actual volume of the part.

  • Bodies now have an ocean density: Kerbin/Laythe is 1 tonne/m3, Eve is 1.5.

  • The lowest and highest points of parts are calculated with respect to the water, and a submerged fraction of volume is calculated to modify buoyancy force.

  • Impact speed (tested against crashTolerance) depends on impact angle, with a configurable minimum multiplier.

  • Drag in water uses drag cubes and an accurate dynamic pressure calculation.

  • Drag scales from high on first vessel contact down to a lower value after a few seconds.

  • Drag also ramps back up when the vessel is below a minimum velocity (to model the highly turbulent flow when starting from a stop, and to make sure vessels do come to a stop).

  • Lift behaves similarly, starting near zero for the madly turbulent flow of initial contact or first movement, up to a reasonable value.

  • Various hollow parts have their displacement tuned to account for hollowness.

  • Solar panels lose flow rate underwater, rocket engines lose Isp.

  • Added underwater fog and tint, fixed camera issues underwater.

Physics:

  • PhysicsGlobals now properly create the default values when Physics.cfg is removed. It includes many new values.

  • Drag coefficient changes based on the same factors as turbulent convection (a Pseudo-Reynolds number). This means higher drag high up in the atmosphere, and slightly lower drag when going very fast very low.

  • Asteroids have correct drag cubes now.

  • Fixed issue with radiator dragcubes being incorrect when the panels rotate.

  • Add missing drag cube overrides for hollow parts.

  • Kerbal EVA drag cube can now be specified in Physics.cfg.

  • Fix issues with override drag cubes and root parts during revert/quickload/vessel switch.

  • Fixed issues with female kerbal ragdoll rigidbodies.

  • Fixed a bug in calculating how solar flux diminishes in atmosphere.

  • Jettisoned Fairing panels now exist in a new layer (L19) dedicated to non-part physical objects.

  • Contact with L19 objects does not cause vessels to shift into ‘landed’ state.

  • Kerbals are allowed to stand on L19 objects, regardless of their own landed state (similar to how they behave when on ladders).

  • Contact with L19 objects only allows Kerbals to stand and walk while within a surface-level altitude/speed envelope. (contact with these objects in orbit has the same effect as bumping into anything else).

  • Eve and Jool had upper atmosphere changes to thin the top band. Duna now shares the molar mass of Eve but has a lower presure than before, leading to the same density (and drag) at sea level but better physical characteristics.

Misc:

  • Fix surface horizontal velocity being incorrectly calculated.

  • Launch clamps are now properly kept at the launch pad, they will not follow the current vessel.

  • Fix an issue with localisation and settings.cfg. Fix an issue with plugging/unplugging controllers breaking/losing settings.

  • Save and load kerbal trait in save games, trait is generated from name hash only if not specified in the save.

  • Fix issue with solar day length not being calculated correctly when setting Kerbin’s rotational period.

  • Workaround for kerbals becoming debris added, to prevent serious issues.

  • Sped up finding a given AvailablePart (especially relevant when populating the Load Craft menu).

  • Sped up craft loading slightly.

  • Sped up FlightIntegrator and in particular the Occlusion part.

  • Fix some bugs in resource requests that would lower throttle or miss resources. Optimized resource calls.

  • Jets now use a fuel mode that draws an equal percentage from all reachable parts (no-crossfeed parts will block crossfeed).

  • Fixed an issue with camera pitch underwater.

  • Fixed an issue with error spam from failed raycasts when >600m under water.

  • Fix an issue with fast EVAing kerbals leading to NaNs.

  • Fix an issue with compound parts and zero look rotation vector logspam, also slight speedup.

  • Optimized several contract/progress parameters to not require any code running in update-loops (they’re event-driven now)

  • Fixed orientation of the sun light in IVA

  • All older careers will have their contracts upgraded to new versions, maintaining compatibility.

  • Many new career cheats added.

  • Contracts.cfg now fully comments itself.

Editor:

  • Fix an issue where non-root parts spawned in the editor did not have their partInfo set correctly.

  • Fix an issue where symmetry mode could be increased past its limits.

Part Class and Modules:

  • Fixed some issues in RCS, made RCS toggleable in the editor and gave it a thrust percentage slider.

  • Solar panels and radiators: fixed curve issue with solar panel efficiency where when at high temperatures the generated EC could go negative.

  • Solar panels and radiators now use dynamic pressure instead of (linear) velocity when calculating breakage.

  • Fix Solar panels and radiators to support sun tracking drag cube changes even if no extend/retract animation is specified, add support for an offset angle when tracking the sun.

  • Solar panels can now extend and retract in the editor.

  • Solar panels now respect aero shielding regarding EC generation.

  • Parachutes: fixed exception spam in parachute module in the editor, fix where parachutes would cut on decouple.

  • Parachutes now have a disarm option when armed and not yet deployed

  • Parachute stack icon background shows red when unsafe and yellow when risky.

  • Parachutes no longer flutter identically.

  • Parachutes no longer instantly snap to the velocity vector.

  • Parachute tooltip in the editor shows safe deployment speed near sea level on Kerbin.

  • Allow alternators and FXAnimateThrottle to be bound to MultiModeEngine, to an indexed engine module, or to a named engine module.

  • Fix some issues in ModuleAlternator, add support for a threshold below which no resource will be pushed/pulled.

  • FXAnimateThrottle can now optionally depend on engine output or engine currentThrottle, not on the vessel/UI throttle state. Can also modify anim speed rather than time.

  • Added support for layers to ModuleAnimateGeneric, ModuleAnimateHeat, and FXModuleAnimateThrottle.

  • FXModuleAnimateThrottle can now weight its animation based on wether the engine is active or not (used with multimode engines).

  • Allow MultiMode engines to share throttle state when switching and to have automatic switching be disabled (and the toggle for it not show up).

  • Made ModuleAnimateHeat more tunable due to new thermo.

  • Docking ports now have gendered as an option, and support limited docking angles.

  • Docking ports crossfeed state is now persistent and can be toggled in the editor and by action group.

  • Docking ports can have their ‘decouple’ mode set to stageable.

  • Docking ports node type field supports comma-delimited lists of valid types.

  • Fix an issue with shielded docking port orientation causing logspam in the editor.

  • Various Claw bugs that could break games are fixed.

  • Fix Airbrake action group persistence.

  • Give airbrakes the same thermal tolerance as other airliner parts.

  • Fix issue where the airbrake had no orientation vector set, thus resulting in continues “Look rotation vector is zero” messages when trying to attach in the editor.

  • Lower some out-of-norm crash tolerances for aero parts.

  • Ladders now properly have multiple drag cubes (due to their animations).

  • Fixed ladder extend/retract failing after a load in the editor.

  • Shrouds no longer glow on revert and can be set to only detach when the node opens, not just when the part is activated by staging.

  • Shrouds can be toggled off in the editor.

  • Control surfaces deploy state is now properly persistent.

  • Offset cargo bay interior nodes so the inside and outside nodes do not precisely overlap, to aid in part placement.

  • Procedural fairings set part mass in the editor as well as in flight, properly offset CoL, CoP, CoM depending on fairing state, properly reset drag cube after deploying.

  • Fixed issues with intake logic and display airspeed. Intakes can now have mach curves which can affect their efficiency at different mach numbers.

  • IntakeAir is no longer displayed, since it was confusing, instead engines show whether their current requirements are being met.

  • Engine modules support new curves for modify Isp based on air density and current mach number, so multFlow no longer exists as a toggle.

  • Fixed an issue where throttle was not reset to zero on flameout.

  • Engine modules now show percentage of their current propellant requirements being met.

  • Fix flow cap not being used in tooltip info.

  • Corrected an issue with the ‘fuel flow’ display.

  • ModuleAnimateGeneric events and action can be independently enabled/disabled per scene.

  • Make hatch obstruction check distance tunable per part.

  • Allow no-activation-when-shielded to be toggleable in cfg for engines and RCS.

  • Fix bandwidth calculation typo for ModuleDataTransmitter.

  • Activate gimbals when an engine activates, not only when an engine activates from staging the part.

  • Fix Brake Torque tweakable on wheels to have fuller range, allow adjusting stiffness in cfg.

  • Fix flow cap not being set in jet engine cfgs.

  • Intakes and engines can be set in their MODULE config to be disabled when under water (disableUnderwater).

  • Decouplers can have their staging and their crossfeed toggleable.

  • Fixed several edge cases where CargoBays would not update the shielded status of contained parts correctly.

  • Connected cargo bays now propagate any state updates to all bays in the connected space, ensuring all bays refresh when any of them does.

UI:

  • Units have been added to various part tooltips and Thermal Data, and the part tooltip has more and better information shown.

  • Thermal Data shows when skin temp shown is the exposed temperature only or the unified skin temperature.

  • Heatshields now show data when Thermal Data is enabled.

  • Fixed temperature gauges bug where it was using internal max temperature, not skin max temperature, despite comparing that against the current skin temperature.

  • Made edge highlight separately toggleable from the gauges.

  • The settings menu now shows the various settings, and F10 toggles through all four possible arrangements.

  • Flags no longer count as active flights on the Resume Game interface in the Main Menu.

  • Fix issues with FlightLogger’s values not accounting for reference shifts.

  • If a part on a vessel is targeted, display the vessel label over the part, not the center of the vessel.

  • Fix Center of Thrust marker in the editor (was not properly calculating direction).

  • Fix an issue where loading a save via the Load Save menu would not properly clear, nor load, AppLauncher messages.

  • Fix an issue where an unreadable agent texture would break agent loading (and contracts generally).

  • Made crew transfer available from the part right-click menu.

  • Made ‘rename vessel’ available in flight for a vessel whether or not it is under command (though a ModuleCommand still must be present for renaming in the flight scene).

  • Fix issues where partname not part title was used.

  • Fix vector to target (on navball) to calculate from current control-from-here transform to target transform, rather than vessel root transform to target transform.

  • Fix an issue where a tweakable being open might spam OnVesselModified events in the editor. This also lowers memory leaks.

 

Input:

  • Double-tapping RMB now enables a mouselook-toggle mode, similar to RMB behaviour in IVA views.

  • Added independent key binding [backslash] for mouselook toggle

  • Mouselook mode can be cancelled by double-tapping LMB, MMB, or by tapping RMB or Esc.

  • Mouselook mode will also self-cancel on any scene changes, but persists through camera mode changes, for uninterrupted panning through multiple view modes.

  • Tapping ModKey no longer releases mouselook in IVA.

 

Graphics:

  • AeroFX now tuned better (and more tunable), leading to mach effects down low without flaming rockets at mid-altitude.

  • The glow parts make when they heat too much (not the same as the highlighting they get when near maximum temperature) has been tuned.

  • Fix issues with flags resetting to default, flags never changing for first two Pad tiers.

  • Fix Val’s missing visor in the main menu scene.

  • Add RenderType to some PQS and Scaled shaders to aid in visual modding.

  • Allow eye position offsets specified for seats in IVA, both for normal view and for the portrait view (different variables).

  • Allow IVA and IVA-kerbal rescaling.

  • Credits scene now has column bars on screen aspects wider than 16:9 (clamping max aspect ratio to 16:9)

  • Support having KSPEvents available even when the vessel is not under command (defaults to false, can be set true for an event).

  • Fix an issue with VesselModule / PartModule instantiation order differing for fresh and loaded vessels.

  • Fix an issue where VesselModule order could not be set, they now can override GetOrder, by which all VesselModules are sorted.

  • VesselModules default to order = 999 but FlightIntegrator has order 0 (this will allow easy setting of some modules to run before FlightIntegrator and some afterwards, 0 is a good delimeter).

  • GameVariables are now aware whether they are called from the rocket (VAB/Pad) or spaceplane (SPH/runway) side.

  • Catch errors during ScenarioModule and Contract loading, preventing breakage when mods throw exceptions during these times.

  • Fix an issue in assembly dependency version checking.

  • Added a new interface IActivateOnDecouple that will call the stated method when the part decouples on the stated node.

  • ConfigNodes/values support comments (which will be serialized on write).

  • Add fallback tech tree URL in case the main URL fails to find a valid tech tree.

  • PartModules can toggle their part being in the staging list or not.

  • Decouplers (and docking ports, but it defaults unstaged) have it on by default. This is part of the base PartModule so all that is needed to implement is add some settings to the MODULE.

  • Resources now have an isVisible flag, which determines whether the resource is visible on the right-click menu. Applied it (as false) to IntakeAir.

  • KerbalEVA now uses the rotPower member.

  • Fix enum parsing in BaseFields (i.e. KSPFields). It should now work.

  • Support tagging models with Drag_Hidden (like Icon_Hidden) so they will not be rendered when rendering drag cubes.

  • Added OnFlightUIModeChanged event, fired from FlightUIModeManager. (notifies of changing between Staging, Docking and Map modes in flight)

  • High-warp (analytic) thermo supports three interfaces, IAnalyticTemperatureModifier, IAnalyticPreview, and IAnalyticOverheatModule for better customization, and uses new fields in Part for tuning.

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