Monday, February 17, 2014

Kerbal Space Program, Career Mode

Ok so this mornings post was in sandbox mode, and I learned alot from it. Here's hoping I carry this hard earned knowledge in to Career mode. From what I'm seeing here career mode adds talent trees and limits the parts available based on the talents you train in to. Lets see what happens as I explore it.

Ive started off with four talent points, unfortunately the first talent that will bring with it four new parts costs five. I suspect I need to launch something in to the air so off to the hangar assembly plant. I built this for my first attempt, a fresh take on the Clature mk1 v1.

Cockpit with parachute, two fuel tanks, simple thruster. TIP : When you assemble this, make sure you create a second stage and move the thruster too it. To do this, mouse to bottom right corner, when you move the mouse over the orange icon a plus / minus button will appear next to it. Hit plus and then drag the thruster icon down in to the new stage. If you dont do this you will deploy your parachute and fire your engines at the same time.

Launch went smooth, 14km total height. Jebediah seems to of enjoyed the trip. Hold shift down to max throttle, space bar to fire engines and then 't' and 'r' so that the rocket at least attempts to keep itself pointed in the right direction. Space bar again when I ran out of fuel and stopped gaining altitude to deploy parachute.

Ok and thats how you earn science which is spent on talent points. I received 5 science points for successfully recovering the vessel (ie, I didn't kill the pilot). Talent trained, I received some new fuel tanks, thrusters and a decoupler, very nice! Also after I trained the only talent on the screen, three more talents choices showed up each requiring fifteen science points to unlock. Rocketry, Aerodynamics and Survivability. 

Anywho, back to the hangar assemble for v2. I removed the two small fuel tanks and replaced them with two larger versions. Longer burn equals greater height! I also added a decoupler so I don't have to worry about the parachute carrying the weight of those larger fuel tanks on the way down.  Now something else I was given with my talent purchase was a "Mystery Goo containment unit". Description suggests that I should attach it somewhere and see what happens and thats just what I've done. There are girder pieces you can place and whatnot so I popped one of them inbetween the capsule and the decoupler then attached four containment units to the girder. Decoupler is after the girder/containment unit combo so that I bring the girder/containment unit combo down safetly with the capsule. Four containment units simply because I like symmetry... and also because aerodynically, it makes sense.

Don't forget to add a third stage. You should have three stages now. 0 should be parachute, 1 should be decoupler, 2 should be engines. Shift down to max throttle, space bar to fire engines! Once fuel ran out, space bar to decouple the fuel/engine assemble. Max height I reached this time was 70km. Afew things worth noting, anytime after firing your engines you can hit 'm' to view the world and see your flight path. Also at any time you can speed up time or slow down time with ',' and '.' keys but not when you are full throttle.

Oddly, this flight only earned me .8 science... this could be a serious grind to advance in career mode. v3 is a simpler design. Capsule, decoupler, fuel tank, fuel tank/thruster combo, four antennae's to see what those do. Learned something new on this flight, fuel tank/thruster combo will not drawl from the spare fuel tank without an external fuel line. Something not available to me yet.

Well there's not a whole lot of options for me here this early on so back to the v2 design, with a third fuel tank for even greater height. Just for kicks I installed the containment units and antennae again. I'm going to try getting in to orbit this time....

Well, I definitely got up there in height and by putting the rocket at an angle later in the flight I definitely got some curve to my flight path. 165km up this go around. Jebediah appears thrilled that I haven't gotten him killed yet :) Got two cool photos of re entry, here :

Well now, apparently new heights are the key to earning science. Got 8 more points for that trip. Anywho, thats enough for this post, feel free to ask questions in the comments and I'll happily help where able. I'll post again later when something significant happens. For now, I'm just going to keep inching higher and higher while trying to earn more science.


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