While the news has been slow on our side for the past few weeks we’ve been discussing update 1.1 and we have some exciting news to share. Now that the Unity 5 update is nearly complete we put it through internal testing and found that we had made enough major changes that we wanted to share these with you a bit more quickly than we originally intended, so we’ve moved the 1.1 update forward.
This means that the scope of the update will be reduced slightly in favor of speeding up the release schedule. The Unity 5 update in itself brings major changes to many game systems, and delivers a very solid performance boost, via the new version of PhysX being able to multithread across your processor cores. Perhaps more importantly the Unity 5 update has proven to make the game far more stable on 64 bit platforms, meaning a 64 bit client for Windows and possibly Mac OSX is something we’re looking into very seriously for this update. Also part of the engine update are the overhauls of the UI, wheels and various other systems that you’ve been reading about in the dev notes.
Helping us accomplish this is modder extraordinaire NathanKell, who is new on the team and will be working closely with the existing developers to polish existing systems and implement new ones:
Aside from a new developer, performance increases, reworked systems and new platform support we’ll be adding new content to the game as well. Porkjet, RoverDude, Arsonide and NathanKell have been working on a number of features.
- New Parts
The Mk1 cockpit has been reworked, not redesigned from the ground up, keeping the original style that we all enjoy and incorporating in real-life counterpart cockpit designs. The Mk1 parts that received an overhaul a while back are also being slightly reworked to bring them closer in style to the rest of the beautiful spaceplane parts that Porkjet has modeled.
It doesn’t stop there with the spaceplane parts though, Porkjet has also been working on 0.625m jets and associated parts, as well as spicing up the Basic Jet Engine and Turbo Jet Engine. You’ll all be seeing more of that at a later date, as well as a few parts that are currently still being designed and developed.
Porkjet made an album with his work so far. Click this link[imgur.com]!
- Antenna Diversity and Probes
A feature we’re sure you’re all familiar with by now, if not you should read this article[forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com]. RoverDude is still hard at work further refining this feature and incorporating the feedback we received from you, the community. Onwards to QA from there!
- Contextual Contracts
Having Contracts that set full missions for you is great fun, but the real sense of achievement comes from watching something take shape and evolve over time. With Contextual Contracts, we’re hoping to provide the contracts KSP give you with a level of continuation from where you currently are in your space program. Therefore, instead of receiving endless contracts to build a base, you receive an initial contract and then additional ones to add a lab, for instance, or adjust a satellite to meet new requirements. We’re talking adding depth, not breadth to the contracts system, something we’re hoping improves the gameplay dynamic and furthers the potential that Career Mode allows players to have.
Lastly, we’re planning on adding the framework for localisation into the next update, paving the way for implementing localised versions of KSP. But more on that later!
Of course, a major engine update and these new features all require extensive QA testing. To bring this all together we will be focussing two or three weeks in QA purely on the engine update, after which the new features will also undergo testing and we’ll have a final part of testing focus on bugs in general to make sure we catch as many bugs as possible, both new and existing ones. All in all it will take us a while to finalize testing still, but we’re very happy to move forward and spend this time to provide a more stable and fluid experience for everyone.
Keep an eye on our usual development news channels (Devnote Tuesdays and Squadcasts) in the near future. We’ll be keeping you up to date on any developments we can share!