Side effects of playing KSP include:
- getting an intuitive feel for basic orbital mechanics
- finding yourself reading up on actual math to better understand what's happening with your rockets (and how to build more efficient one)
- no longer being able to watch most space movies due to frustration caused by the filmmakers not grokking basic orbital physics
(RE the last point - after Gravity, Interstellar, The Martian and The Expanse series, getting basic spaceflight wrong should no longer be accepted in popular media. Looking at you, makers of The 100.)
Meh. I've a degree in Physics and I still enjoy Star Trek.
I agree with the rest.
1.) In general Star Trek isn't really about physics, its about sociology or (in the better episodes) political science.
2.) Star Trek gets physics so wildly wrong that its not as grating as a show/movie that tries really hard for realism and still fails utterly. If there's an uncanny valley of scifi physics, Star Trek is definitely standing miles from the opposite side.
The only consistent exception to this is Voyager which does start to get on my nerves as a particle astrophysicist. I mean c'mon guys thats too many made up particles. Settle down.
I've never watched Star Trek, though curiously I know another show set in space about politics, the anime Legend of the Galactic Heroes; it runs about 100 episodes with a few feature films too. If you're interested in politics, specifically in this case the play between a democracy and rule by one person.
It's also rather quaint, the imperial military is styled in a 19th century German style complete with uniforms, and the republic is styled in a modern futuristic style, not without berets though.
It's great fun, but I don't suggest it be discounted because it's an anime, which is a response I have received before.
Dude, it's hydrogen, you need to have different concerns there.
At least they did acknowledge that firing a weapon in a deuterium-rich atmosphere might not be wise, depending on concentration.
Eh, just push the non-chewy bits to the edge of the plate and enjoy the rest of the culinary confection.
Presumably, if you inhale enough dideuterium monoxide vapor, you may experience a similar effect. It would not be acutely toxic, though--more like an occupational exposure level of hazard. Deuterium gas is likely as harmless as light hydrogen gas.
If a retcon is necessary to preserve one's enjoyment of the show, Riker may have already been aware of the hazard level for humans, but was asking for a more informed opinion from the chief engineer, who has presumably read and memorized all the MSDS sheets, for the benefit of any nonhuman organisms on board. Vulcans and Romulans, for instance, experience an anaesthetic effect from TLTDH, similar to the effect of NO2 on humans. It would not be out of character for Star Trek to invent a bizarre species-specific toxicity if the plot demanded one.
How much D2 can you breathe in before you suffocate anyway?
Of whatever amount you do breathe, how little is absorbed?
Of the tiny amount that is in fact absorbed, how much ends up exchanging D atoms with your body?
I don't know the answers to these questions, but my bet is the airborne process is orders of magnitude less efficient than drinking D2O.
Their main concerns should be:
1. Suffocation from lack of O2
2. Risk of explosion if the D2 percentage is in the danger zone
3. If that think was leaking out of a reactor, maybe there were some byproducts leaking out with it? Like, I dunno, tritium? That would be really, really nasty to breathe in.
Sneakers, Hackers, Swordfish, etc. :)
And that's not counting knowing where the school password post-it note is kept, and getting yourself sent to the principal on a regular basis so you can keep looking it up.
Or just letting your computer run for an entire day to determine which phone numbers in a given set of area codes have modems on the other end.
Wargames does take a few shortcuts for storytelling, and it is a bit silly in the best possible way, but the actual hacking is genuinely good, and not boring.
I remember watching the first few episodes and Elliot is doing one of his monologues about the technology he uses and his hacking activities and I was like hold on! That all mostly made sense! What's going on here? :)
Swordfish is more of a "caper" movie with a cheap tacked-on hacking bit. Bad guy wants money, uses hacker and LOTS OF CRIME to get it.
But in Swordfish it's completely ancillary to the movie that it's computer hacking that's going on. The goal is money, not any part of any "hacker ethos" or anything.
It's definitely the worst of the three.
Remotely hacking the sprinkler system in Hackers was so unrealistic when it came out but today it's scary how real that could be.
If they're as close to a decently-sized black hole as dramatic movie pictures require, I suspect they would be close enough for the separation not to be gentle at all, assuming their individual limbs wouldn't separate.
In case of mostly anything else, Newtonian physics apply correctly, and the relevant thing is mass (and distance from the center). The escape velocity from a body is sqrt(2GM/d) where d is the distance from the center of mass, M is the mass of the object, and G is the universal gravitational constant.
Note that if the sun was replaced with a black hole of the same mass, the orbit of the earth wouldn't change.
Jupiter density: 1.33 g/cm³, escape velocity: 59.5 km/sec
I think it's more than just density.
I wouldn't be surprised if that's in the script somewhere but ended up on the cutting room floor.
Plus, the ship's engines don't appear to use propellant - they use the standard sci fi "eeire blue glow" trope. Seems like antimatter is the best explanation to me.
Also, he had Kip Thorne as an advisor. I remember criticism of the "slow-time planet" (including by Bad Astronomy) being shot down by Kip pointing out he actually calculated it as an edge-case solution for a specific rotating black hole.
And in case of "blowing up" they could use those am engines as LAS (they apparently had enough thrust), so what risk are you speaking about?
Seriously, bitching about science stuff in Interstellar, very large but actually very well crafted scifi is kind of dumb. It's big enough that you find SOME mistakes, but most of the time you'll be wrong (or blaming them for not explaining every detail), and it has pretty correct science overall. Just hating for sake of hating.
But I'll disagree on Gravity and Interstellar getting spaceflight right. Unless you are going for very basic.
When it's only tangentially related, we're far more forgiving.
It can even get downright dangerous when policymakers start getting their ideas from them. For example, shows like "24" that have suspects giving up accurate and truthful information under torture, when any expert in the field of interrogation knows it doesn't work that way.
There's a more insidious explanation for this specific case: Viewers are being conditioned to accept torture as a legitimate interrogation technique, at the direction of $AGENCY.
Actually, that's when I feel compelled to give it a pass. We watch movies all the time that start on a ridiculous assertion. Allowing one major mistake I have to let go, but in the beginning and service of the plot as a whole is okay with me, as long as most of the rest is done well. Having something that just plain seems wrong but without any reason beyond laziness is what really gets me.
For example, without allowing for the core problems of orbital physics of the debris and the relative distance and speed if different space stations, there is no movie. I found the rest of the movie enjoyable enough that I allow for those mistakes in service of the whole (in a similar way that I allow for a lot more in a superhero movie).
Except at the times when a ship is disabled in an attack, and then changes course and "sink" into the nearby planet.
But yeah, I do agree. It's much easier to watch that kind of atrocity in a movie that makes no effort to look realistic than it is to watch something like gravity.
Once you have cheap, powerful thrusters like starwars/startrek has (thrusters that can hold the mass of the whole ship against gravity in any direction, independent of the main engine), it makes little sense to actually bother going into orbit, unless you actually want to turn the thrusters off.
Instead, just pick a point on the planet and hover over it. Or pick a circular orbit-like path around the planet for maximum coverage. Just pick whatever position or path through space makes the most strategic sense.
If you have a ship operating like this, and it loses power to it's thrusters... then of course it will 'sink' into the nearest planet as gravity suddenly becomes the primary force acting on the ship.
edit: I forgot that they had another ship waiting for them in LEO already, so maybe the fuel point doesn't apply. But, it's still plausible that the earth rocket had to carry a much larger payload than the lander had to carry.
Why everybody brings up this honestly stupidest ctiticism about the movie is beyond me. It's like you lack both imagination and understanding how space missions work.
Maybe later in the game you don't have to do that or something, I don't know because it wasn't the experience I was looking for. I was hoping for flight computers and programming trajectories.
My favorite that does exactly as you mention is KOs (Kerbal OS). It's basically a programmers interface for it, allowing for really precise control.
A YouTuber, Scott Manley, has a pretty good (albeit old) video on the topic.
Two particular mods worth mentioning are MechJeb, the autopilot for everything, and kOS, which lets you code up your own guidance system.
In reality all the control of a space launch takes place in the first seconds when the vehicle is subsonic. After that it's just pointing to the direction of travel because any angle of attack in the atmosphere would cause excess aerodynamic stress.
That's why launch controllers say "nominal" that often. There's nothing that can be done, just hoping that the vehicle stays within the planned bounds.
All the accumulated errors from atmospheric conditions and other randomness are corrected by the second stage burn once outside the atmosphere.
I could call Shakespeare a Jazz musician, and and still be closer to being correct than they did.
It had a couple mulligans like the different space stations being in really similar orbits, but otherwise was pretty good.
For it to then hit the ISS, at a far different altitude and inclination is even more problematic.
Actually ... if you imagine two debris fields spaced opposite in the elliptical orbit, or simply a debris ring, then you would have the devastation occurring every 90 minutes. It's even less likely trying to think of how this could happen accidentally, but you could certainly set up a situation like this intentionally.
If that's not just a post hoc rationalization, the film certainly doesn't seem to convey that effectively, though.
It's like they told the screen writers "make a teen drama" but then didn't check the script, and the writers get extremely dark in places. The only thing thing they assiduously avoid is rape.
During the height of my KSP addiction, I wrote a binder for Orbital Transfers.
I can basically lookup the required angle and dV for a transfer from any orbit to another orbit between any two planets and if not in the table, make a good approximation (and then just eyeball it from there)
It's probably my #1 Game that I would have my kids play, if I ever have some, just to teach them what real space physics are.
I mean, it's understandable, the n-body problem is hard.
> Principia is a mod for Kerbal Space Program (KSP) which implements N-body and extended body gravitation. Instead of being within the sphere of influence of a single celestial body at any point in time, your vessels are influenced by all the celestials. This makes it possible to implement missions that are more complex and more realistic than in the stock game, especially if used in conjunction with a mod like RealSolarSystem which has real-life celestials.
It's a game design decision not to include gravitation from multiple sources.
Also, they show decompression way more realistically. Its not like a bomb goes off when a hole opens up in the side of the ship, which is nice.
assuming an epstein drive is possible yeah it opens up more or less direct brachistochrone trajectories between here and mars. Just wait until the planets align and burn.
>minus the epstein drive which is basically magic
It's canonically a fusion rocket, isn't it? So beyond today's means, but hardly "magic".
And most of the story wouldn't even change if it took longer to go places. The only difference would be that they couldn't show normal gravity inside a spaceship and attribute it to acceleration. It's a slight distortion that saves them money on special effects.
(This is not merely a detail, it's one of the core plot points of The Expanse, as tolerance to gravity is what makes Martians and Belters almost a different species from Earthers; the former can not live on Earth, and so they don't care much about it.)
I don't actually recall what the in universe explanation of it was outside of it running off water as its fuel. Either way its specific impulse is crazy.
nb. i'm in complete love with the show and that particular scene can be best described as... pretty.
Reversing to hide behind a moon seems dodgy though.
Not sure if that was the point!
If you land and launch again.
NYC to Berlin is well within the originally required flight range of the B-29 (5,333mi at 400mph with a 2k lbs load). It wouldn't be an intelligent thing to do, but it isn't physically impossible.
So it isn't two known and far distant locations like New York and Berlin, its more like New York and an unnamed city.
It's a real space station name. The one they use is much bigger than the real station with the name, but it might be intended to be a future development, or it could be a fictional station with the same name (a city called New York, but with a population of 200 million and located in central France, to borrow your analogy), or they could have just intended the existing station and not bothered to research anything about it besides it's name and nationality.
The conclusion was probably not, but under perfect storm circumstances (and especially timing) a fragment or two might not be out of the question.
Not having played KSP, but would do so with my kid, what age do you think would be suitable for them to start playing?
On KSP itself, huge weakness for me in the game is that it is virtually unplayable stock. Absolute minimum you need to install a data providing mod like Kerbal Engineer Redux for both building rockets to quickly assess dVs and TWRs etc and in flight to help with figuring out burns etc. In stock you are reduced to having to use spreadsheets to build rockets and trying to land from visual clues only. The stock game badly needs something like KER. KAC is also helpful to quickly find transfer windows etc.
The whole point of the Hermes spacecraft as used in The Martian, though, is that it has a high specific impulse, low thrust ion drive, that runs continually during the entire orbit (using power from a reactor to do so). Andy Weir, the author, is a programmer, and he actually wrote a physics simulator to calculate the required orbit; see here: http://www.galactanet.com/martian/hermes.mp4
So it's definitely not a Hohmann transfer orbit since there is thrust applied throughout, and you are consequently reaching your destination faster than such a transfer would arrive. It ends up being a low thrust brachistochrone orbit.
So anyway, the point is that, since you're continuously applying thrust anyway, you don't need perfect alignment, it just takes you longer if the alignment isn't correct. Andy Weir is a serious hard science fiction nerd, to the point that you can download the data that he simulated for these orbits and verify for yourself that they are in fact correct for the stated specifications of Hermes' ion drive.
Totally agree with you that the Engineer plugin is absolutely essential for playing KSP, though. The game is so frustrating without that because there's so much trial and error with randomly flipping craft thanks to the new aero model if the TWR is off for any of your stages (and it will be until you've played awhile and developed an intuitive sense of what kind of rocket is reasonable -- a proficiency you won't likely reach if you didn't have Engineer from the beginning to help get you there).
It wasn't until I shared this frustration with a smart friend, and he pointed out that it actually is possible if the space station has a rotational period equal to its orbital period, that I realized I was wrong. The author was indeed being smarter about the science of it than I was, and had done the research. And, forget just the future part of it; the ISS actually currently flies with a specific constant relative orientation through the atmosphere so as to minimize air resistance, using, you guessed it, a rotational period equal to its orbital period, plus occasional corrective actions from gyros and thrusters.
And plus solar panels, which get realigned to minimize atmospheric drag when the Sun is behind the Earth.
This is especially true if an orbiting object has attached to a tether. Gravity gradient stabilization can keep a tether aligned to the local vertical.
If just the sun is accounted for, Andy Weir's trajectories are okay (I believe). However putting planets in complicates things. Ion engines really suck at climbing in and out of deep planetary gravity wells.
Neil deGrasse Tyson's trailer for The Martian had Hermes leaving low earth orbit and arriving in Mars orbit 124 days later. Which is nonsense. With 2 mm/s^2 acceleration it would take 40 days to spiral out of earth's gravity well. Not only does this wreck the 124 day trajectory Weir so painstakingly calculated, but most the slow 40 day spiral would be in the Van Allen belts. This astronauts would be killed by radiation.
Also there's no way you can grow that many potatoes on mars with a solar array that size.
This is literally one of the two cases in which Andy explicitly said he used artistic license and departed from realism. The other one being super-efficient radiation shielding on Hermes which he didn't in any way explain in the book.
Until mars gets a much larger atmosphere and a magnetic field living on the surface is going to require living under ground.
Never in my life have I ever found myself digging up my old graphics calculator to just play a video game. KSP is honestly my favourite time-waster ever!
I must have played Age of Empires a good 1,000+ hours. Possibly even more.
That works out to 6 cents per hour of entertainment.
Also it's a pretty hard game on its own. If you're a fan of challenge i'd suggest you try it.
>no longer being able to watch most space movies due to frustration caused by the filmmakers not grokking basic orbital physics
Oh boy, this again. Are you not able to watch movies with guns because Rainbow Six taught you how guns work and now you're just too woke to suspend disbelief?
Something about this game causes people to feel the need to signal all their knowledge of science by putting down things for not being pure enough.
One of the main gameplay mechanics is all about understanding orbital physics, and fiddling around with that for tens if not hundreds of hours will leave anyone with a grasp of it on an intuitive level.
Once the brain is that trained, is it so hard to believe that the process can take on an aesthetic experience? Ant that seeing it done wrong is like a false note in music?
No, it's not the same because most movies are not meant to be a reproduction of the real thing.
The people I know who shoot recreationally do get annoyed gun use in movies. Not "all movies are unwatchable", but OP specifically gave examples of movies he didn't object to. Sit down with a trap shooter and watch American Gangster - they'll probably grimace as the protagonist needlessly racks the gun over and over to make a cool noise.
If the rebuttal is "but that's real, not a game!", I think the point is being missed. Target shooting is not combat, after all. If someone spends hundreds of hours on a recreational version of something, they're that much more likely to be irritated by failures of research or realism.
It used to be very annoying to watch certain parts of movies when I was younger. Computers and the internet were treated so haphazardly, it was cause for celebration whenever a contemporary computer interface was shown that wasn't entirely bullshit. This isn't relegated to just these topics, I assume there's a wide swath of annoying Hollywood misrepresentations on topics where there's a sizable subculture, and interest enough to sometimes be included in popular media, but with enough obscurity to the general public that Hollywood can basically make up whatever they want about it and most people won't know any better. For example, I imagine a good majority of car chases and slides around turns probably look like crap to stunt and race drivers, professional and amateur.
The effects of this range fro harmless to possibly shifting popular consensus in harmful directions (I could argue that a lot of early fear regarding the internet was misplaced, and the expectations of the public were so off that it may have retarded some basic security awareness for some time).
The annoying part is that all too often it's just a small matter of knowledge that keeps the representation from matching reality, and the only thing that stopped it from happening was a lack of care on the director's part for the subject they were representing. That's what the real shame is, because how hard is it for a director to get someone to sit in and consult on those topics?
Suppressors are safety equipment, not badass silencers that let assassins shoot in near total quiet. But because the public only knows the movies, if you want to get a suppressor for your gun you need to pay 200 dollars. Imagine if we made it so you had to pay money to buy a muffler for your car, because Hollywood kept having cars with mufflers running dead quiet.
Or another one is bullet lethality. Handgun bullets make tiny holes in things without a lot of punch, so there is virtually no chance a single bullet from a pistol is going to knock a bad guy down. Maybe if you get very lucky and nail him in the precise right spot in the spine or brain, but otherwise he's still going to be alive and fighting for minutes or even hours. The police aren't putting 15 rounds into a suspect because they're dicks (well, they might be dicks I dunno) but because handgun bullets aren't very good at stopping people. You can only rely on volume of fire and hope you get a good shot to the central nervous system. Heck, even if you annihilate someone's heart the guy's still got about 10 seconds (called the 'dead man's ten') of useful oxygenated blood to work with before he's incapacitated - more then enough time for him to raise his gun and take you with him.
Computer/Hacker Movie inspired GUI: http://geektyper.com/
How about art with pretenses towards realism/naturalism (which is not all art, nor should it be) can be more enjoyable for living up to that? And learning something is not a hostile act of self-indulgent performance by the learner, even when that learning might change their perspective on a piece of entertainment media.
I believe that constantly seeing mega-structures fail incorrectly (e.g. CG buildings falling over) actually contributes to 911 conspiracy theories.
EDIT> It's also a cool feature / talking point. Uneducated person watches a space movie. "Huh, why is the ship pointing backwards, etc." <-- this can serve as a hook for learning.
The two biggest 911 conspiracy believers that I know are both involved in CGI for their day jobs.
Star Trek does lots of this with "inertial dampeners" and their "deflector shield". It's total handwaving, but at least they did it. It helps sell it, like "oh, ok, well... I guess that makes sense?"
Much like most movie and TV "hacking", or even basic programming is totally irritating (to the point it's a trope now). Same deal, different subject.
But there needs to be at least a cursory hand waving, and the hand waving and the resulting rules must be logical and not contradict each other.
Although hand waved premises can set up the plot (magic exists and there is a school for magic kids) it's not really fun when the plot is advanced by hand waving new things as they are needed, and the hand waving should preferably just be background things like moving from a spaceship to a planet or walking around in space - in a budget friendly way.
I personally have a problem with anti-gravity spaceships, unless the other technology is at least Star Trek-, Star Wars- or preferably even Culture level.
A fun game to play in most action movies is count how many shots are fired before the protagonist has to reload. I wish I had one of those magic magazines.
I have read several stories online about how poorly SQUAD treated the core development team of KSP: https://www.develop-online.net/news/squad-devs-blast-kerbal-...
Almost any level of support will be better than SQUAD.
5 guys working part time on it would yield more features/year than SQUAD has managed to roll out over the years.
My only concern is mod support, since that's been the main source of new feature growth.
Kerbal Space program has been doing well. I wonder who, exactly, has been raking in all the cash?
Except for those making it, who Squad apparently didn't bother paying anywhere near what they were worth.
Management has never seemed to be invested in the game.
Easier to read and hopefully captured what you were trying to say:
> Reduced monetization likely reduced developer pay.
The lack of effort toward monetization likely is an effect of the same cause as low developer pay.
I was suggesting that the two were linked, but not suggesting the specific causal link from monetization to developer pay of your version.
But you are correct that the original was unnecessarily elliptical.
I also have heard the rumors that the team was not treated well, and that the game was never really the focus of the company. I think it may have been a side project of one of the developers on a totally unrelated product (ie. not even a game).
I second this. I've used many graphics improvement mods in the past. The good thing is, graphics quality is almost an orthogonal performance factor for the game - it's mostly CPU bound due to physics computation anyway.
What I'd love to see is more realistic FX (flames, particle systems, explosions) and better lightning and shadows. Especially the latter would make other worlds more beautiful.
> I think it may have been a side project of one of the developers on a totally unrelated product (ie. not even a game).
The story goes more-less like this: Squad is a marketing company. One of their employees was burning out and wanted to leave, and they offered him to let him develop his side project if he stays. This side project grew into Kerbal Space Program, and now is the most recognizable product of the company.
As for the more recent news about mistreatment of KSP team, this is a completely separate story (and to this day I'm not really sure how much truth there is to it; back when I hung out on /r/KSP the issue was quite muddy).
How long is a developer expected to keep improving a game? Maybe it is the old console gamer in me, but it wasn't that long ago that a game developer was done with a game when it was released. This game has been public for 6 years, been on Steam for 4 years, and been out of beta for 2 years. I don't get how customers can complain about a lack of commitment to the game especially considering the low price the game was usually offered at. I wouldn't blame Take-Two one bit for trying turn a bigger profit with more paid content or a complete sequel.
KSP as it first hit Steam was fun, but obviously incomplete. KSP 1.0 was viable as a finished product, but had obvious, planned upgrades unfinished. After-release support was pretty obviously planned from the beginning.
As for how long, though, I don't know. I'm exceedingly happy with the KSP I got for my money, and unlike some games they could have quit support before now without upsetting me. So as long as Take-Two keeps a decent business model, I'll happily pay for further content.
It's actually the opposite, bug fixes get deferred in favor of more features. Fixes make your player base happy, but they already paid and are therefore not worth any more money, new features drive sales.
Not to mention a lot of the good mods are still on like 1.6 or something because obviously no one is going to diligently update their mod over the course of ten years or however long Mojang wants to keep this up.
I've never seen most of Minecraft's newer stuff for this exact reason. I played enough to get pretty deep into FTB and the other large mod packs, and pretty quickly realized modders put out both content and bugfixes faster than Mojang itself. At that point, you might as well just consider the 'real' game a particularly shoddy branch of mods.
With the exception of perhaps some bug fixes if necessary, KSP 1.3 is done. Stick a fork in it and start work on something else.
My personal guess for the future is that Kerbals will take off as a franchise, maybe even a movie, who knows. Lets face it, kerbals are just frickin cute :-)
Unity can do far better graphics than KSP has e.g. https://unity3d.com/pages/adam. The fact that there are numerous mods which vastly improve the graphics of KSP is pretty good evidence of this!
Where Unity can be blamed for KSP problems is the constant stutters due to GC - Unity uses an ancient garbage collector. Hopefully that's going to get better soon - apparently there was some licensing problem keeping Unity on an ancient version of Mono, now that MS own Xamarin that's probably not a problem.
Essentially, most (unity) games don't allow their users to create content, whereas the essential part of KSP is the creation and simulation of lots of bodies.
I've definitely experienced a substantial slowdown when many entities are on the screen at the same time.
I'm not sure if KSP makes use of the normal Unity physics engine, a third-party one, or something developed in-house.
I mean, this is how my modded KSP looked back in time of 0.25C: https://i.imgur.com/yBahDMr.png. I could name AAA space sims that look worse (esp. in terms of immersion).
Say what you will about No Man's Sky, but that game was gorgeous, which contributed in no small part to its widespread interest. Now imagine how fantastic a game with those graphics but with KSP's mechanics would be.
Sit me down in a room of 20 games, and tell me to identify unity games by simply playing each computer. On the 20% chance that I can't instantly tell by looking, a wee swipe of the mouse and the complete lack of responsiveness finalizes all I need for 100% success rate.
That said, it's not easy though it is certainly doable; it basically means you're using Unity largely as a "rendering pipeline" which may or may not be overkill, depending on the use case/game in question.
You're right -- there's very little written on the topic. Though Unity has a fantastic community, and a large swath of information & user help to be found, a lot of it is directed at the newer/simpler developer (or mobile specifically).
Much of our work, and findings, has been derived from running our own tests & benchmarks as well as reading research/white-papers. In general, we've kind of found that many [advanced] game dev related topics are not well publicized or are fairly tightly-held. Our best source of information for things like highly advanced pathfinding, or low-level & high-volume multi-agent modeling/simulation strategies, have come directly from published academic research which has also been a treasure-trove of information.
We've read more research the last year or two than we did through all of school and the first ~10-15 years of our careers combined! =)
I guess most of the physic slowdown is some improvised custom code around joints that makes the solver choke
The very act of double clicking the icon to boot up unity === terrible performance.
"Maybe she's born with it" was a funny joke I recall when working in Dundee on a Unity Project. I remember moving to a temporary role (More to fill the team for the investors to smile) and they were using Lumberyard and what a total difference.
Unity is a poor mans game development solution and that might have perks, but a game the scope of KSP deserves way way way way more respect.
Well-crafted art assets are far more important to the look of a game than the specific engine that is used. The reason some "lesser" platforms like WebGL or the various open source game engines look so bad is because they are far more accessible to beginners, beginners who don't have access to good assets.
The big thing that I'd like to see are atmospheric effects and better rocket plumes. I very much agree that the simple aesthetic works really well for the game, but there's a lot that could be done.
Would a remake really be necessary for that? Sounds to me like it'd be more of an art asset replacement/upgrade (which was already in the works at one point, IIRC). Modders have already been pumping out all sorts of art assets with pretty high visual quality, and KSP's already on a modern engine (Unity 5).
The graphics are already pretty modern. Maybe not photorealistic, but KSP's more cartoony graphics are part of the charm anyway. If I wanted hyperrealism, I'd be playing Orbiter or installing that one spaceflight mod for X-Plane.
Factorio is nicknamed Cracktorio for a reason :-(
What is this "outside world" you speak of?
(I will also add that Factorio, Minecraft, Dwarf Fortress, and OpenTTD, mentioned by sibling comments, are all excellent. Factorio was definitely worth the cost IMO. I think the only other long-term addiction I've had not mentioned here is Zandronum, a modern Doom port.)