EDIT: According to the changelog, "Elon Kerman" has been added to the name pool.
http://xkcd.com/1106/ (have a look at the alt-text)
To get the best experience out of KSP you should play sandbox, but never quicksave! And keep playing the same "profile" every time.
This makes you actually solve problems instead of just quick-loading to retry ... So you had to burn too much fuel to save the situation after almost crashing into old space debris you left ten years ago!? Ahh there's an old space station around the moon we can dock with...
Destroyed an engine while landing on a foreign body? Figure out how to maneuver without it. Or take a walk to the unmanned prototype vessel you had forgotten about, that might have enough fuel to get into orbit ...
It will also make your hands shake a bit from adrenalin, when landing, or docking, after a one hour mission, knowing you would have to restart the mission if you crash.
You also need to have a joystick or pedals for thrust and RCS. Yes! You can throttle the RCS! That makes it much easier for docking.
After a long mission to get there, "aerobraking" in Jool's atmosphere to get into a capture orbit, orbiting Laythe, landing, planting the flag: I realized I forgot to build a ladder on my spaceship to get back into it.
Sure, I could temporarily cheat and turn off gravity long enough to get into the ship, but that would be too easy...
So I staged a rescue mission to recover my kerbal, this time requiring a spaceship that not only had a ladder but was large enough to fit two kerbals instead of just one. I sent it on its way, and even docked with the orbital component of the original ship to combine fuel resources, and landed within a few hundred yards of my old kerbal. I had to leave a weight on the keyboard on the shift and W key for 15 minutes or so while he walked towards the new ship. I took off, rendezvoused with the orbiting stage, escaped orbit, and slingshotted off the orbit of another moon to get me back to Kerbin with just barely enough fuel to make it, but I made it just the same.
I really love this game.
1. The new aerodynamics are less forgiving. Make sure your rockets are bottom heavy.
2. Heat really makes re-entry much less forgiving too. I'd advise new players to turn off heat effects. For a veteran player (like me) it's certainly making career mode a fresh challenge. I've lost three kerbals already.
His videos really helped me understand the orbital mechanics and get more enjoyment out of the game. He knows the best way to transfer and and gave me handy rules of thumb I could follow.
It's an autopilot that does amazing things for you. It especially helps getting platforms that are kind of squirrelly into space (e.g. http://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/Asparagus_staging)
I naturally started with the training scenarios and the very first one was pretty confusing.
I feel like the tutorial would need a rework by someone who was not involved with the game for months/years.
The problem is that if you are seeing the interface and everything for months on end, and then you write the tutorial, you will likely leave out some things that are "obvious" to you but maybe are not obvious to new people who see everything for the first time.
In case of the first training tutorial where you just build a rocket, why does the text in the end just say "click the red button on the top right when you are done"? Or better yet, why not disable all other buttons that will also take you out the game?
I thought after the rocket is built I could click the "launch" button to test it. Because that button was clickable. But all it did was take me back to the start screen.
So I though I made a mistake and clicked on the first training scenario again. And now the tutorial would not even progress. It says to click on the command module but when you do, nothing happens. I then had to alt+f4 out of the game and start it again.
I think if they divide all the training scenarios this way, they should probably make it so only the things regarding a specific scenario are clickable and don't result in such undefined behavior.
I then tried the second training scenario and the guy at one point said to "click the AP button and click warp here"
It took me way to long to find this so called AP button. Since I was looking at my rocket when the tutorial said to click this button I of course searched high and low on the screen for this button to no avail.
It wasn't until I hit "m" to get to the space view and saw my trajectory path I noticed "AP" at the high point of the path. To me, it looked just like a text next to the path but when I clicked it I saw the "warp here" button.
It would have been way better for the tutorial to first say "hit m to get to the space view, see your trajectory path and click on the AP which you see at the highest point of the path." Just mentioning an AP button without indication where it can be found and more importantly if it really is identifiable as a button and not just looking like an informational text label would help out a lot.
Personally, I like tutorials better that would freeze and then super impose an arrow while pointing at the thing you are supposed to press next while simultaneously stating so in text as well. Doing it like this makes sure there is no way anybody would not find the button and go searching for it unnecessarily.
Oh, and also a defined end of the tutorial. If the second one is just supposed to let you take of and get to the ap and then burn your remaining fuel, after doing so, why not put up a message saying the tutorial is now done and maybe two buttons. One to return to the menu and one to stay where you are and feel free to mess around with the ship some more.
With the plethora of options and things to do this game is very powerful so I feel it is of the utmost importance to get the tutorials right. I don't think using big arrows to guide one through the complex menues would be pandering or holding the users hand too much. Just saying in text "You may have noticed this new button in the lower right" is not really helpful. I just thought "no, I didn't notice it, which one do you mean, there are like a half dozen there". If you want to tell the user about it, point an arrow at it, tell the user to click on it and then explain the window that pops up.
All in all I already know I will spend many hours with this game but I would probably get "into the action" quicker if the tutorials were laid out a bit better.
... and a lot of ways in which it actually is. But most importantly, it's fun. Like, really fun. :) If it inspires a new generation of players to get excited about the reality underpinning the model, it will have done more than its job. And I think it has a good shot at making that happen.
All this after Squad declared 0.90 to be "feature complete" and claimed that any further work between 0.90 and 1.0 would be bugfixes and smaller refinements.
Can't wait to get home so I can fire this up. I wonder if my tiny SSTO spaceplane will still work (probably not)?
EDIT: Also, apparently KSP supports up to 10 joysticks now. Like, hot damn. That's a lot of joysticks.
EDIT2: The nuclear engine doesn't need oxidizer anymore. No more having to hack part definitions on my end in order to make it behave realistically! Yay!
But otherwise, yeah, you're not supposed to bring back more than crew and the experiment results, unless you build a space plane.
(The site is down. "Kerbal Space Program website is in maintenance mode while we are performing a Server Migration,")
It seems like two of the things added by this release are more realistic aerodynamics, and procedural fairings. Did they basically integrate FAR into KSP? I never played with FAR because it wasn't quite casual enough for me, but this seems like a pretty substantial release that Squad put a lot of work into.
I guess I know what I'm doing tonight.