Kerbal Space Program

Kerbal Space Program

ThatBum Apr 16, 2013 @ 4:26pm
Career Mode
So, after the latest dev statement[], there is much speculation about what the career mode is going to be like, which is allegedly the focus right now.

I personally am looking forward to career mode, no matter how it manifests. If you have a set budget when building a rocket, it will force you to build something simpler, and simpler usually works better. Maybe this will reduce the "my giant rocket won't get into orbit" complaints.

I'm wondering how career mode is going to mesh with the current 'trial and error' style of play that is dominant now, though. If your failures are going to cost money and set back your progress, you'd have to be more careful with your rocket design and learn faster. Though, I suppose that is what sandbox mode is there for. Perhaps you could design your stuff in sandbox mode and actually run them through missions in career mode?

Another point. Missions. How's that going to work? Is it going to be a scripted sequence of events that you can eventually finish completely, or procedurally generated based on your progress level? I'm also not sure if missions will award money to make the next rocket, or if you'll just be given the money regardless of the previous mission. A good idea would be to have a base rate that you can build a rocket from, and previous mission would add to that rate. so, the better you did last mission, the better you can make your rocket, but there's never a situation where you don't have enough money to continue.

I don't know what to think about the whole 'tech tree' concept. It could turn out to be a good game mechanic if it was done really well, but I have this sinking feeling it's going to hold players back, like levels in an MMO or something.

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Showing 1-14 of 14 comments
King Matthew Apr 16, 2013 @ 4:44pm 
The tech tree idea, I dont think they should have a teck tree but as you do missions, you would earn new technology. All the parts that are in the game now would be default in the career mode. Only the very advanced stuff would be the things you earn, like the upcoming mining drill, or the modules that would turn the rocks you mine into fuel.
This is just an idea, tell me what you think.
Last edited by King Matthew; Apr 16, 2013 @ 4:44pm
Ebice Apr 16, 2013 @ 4:44pm 
I would do career mode like this:
You start with access to only a few parts. The basics, a command small command pod, 1 engine, ect.
Your budget is per rocket. You start with say $1000 to build your first rocket, and a goal. Reach 70km alltitude, or reach orbit. If you succed your budget gets a little bigger, and maybe some new parts. If you fail, you have to try again, with the same budget and parts. So, trial and error still works.

I would have training for the kerbals, and have their level of training affect how the rocket flys somehow. So killing kerbals looses you the training on those guys. Having an abort plan becomes important.

For the most part I'm waiting for whatever the dev's come up with. Givin what they've made so far, I'm sure it will be worth the wait. But, patience takes way too long to learn. Why can't I time warp till v0.20. :(
Fly Apr 18, 2013 @ 5:13am 
So far it's always been worth the waiting time, and I guess they want to make sure to do it right. Balancing a career mode ain't trivial, it mustn't be too hard but also not too easy, finding that sweet spot in between is anything but easy.
Apollo Apr 18, 2013 @ 5:29am 
"I'm wondering how career mode is going to mesh with the current 'trial and error' style of play that is dominant now"

Personally I think that career mode world will have a simulator (ie. sanbox mode world) within it. But you only have parts that you have access to use. The simulator itself may be an early tech tree item itself.
Zombo Apr 18, 2013 @ 5:38am 
I am really looking forward to career mode. Ive already been sorta doing that on my own. Ive set a number of objectives, and im trying to complete them with as little loss and waste as possible. I have spent lots of time building different designs, so I dont really need to experiment. And ive got a nice library of ships already, which I ported over to my new game.

I hear that you will have to recruit and train kerbals, and their abilities will vary based on that training. Im hoping that you will need to build experience to open up possibilities, mission wise. So for instance, until you get a crew with enough skill, going to the Mun will be out of the question. Im also hoping that your successes and failures determine your budget, similar to real life.

The one thing I really think this game needs though, is competition from an AI competitor. Similar to the space race of the 60's and 70's. So being first to the Mun is important, and forces you to push the envelope so to speak.
Last edited by Zombo; Apr 18, 2013 @ 5:42am
Stooge Apr 18, 2013 @ 6:54am 
I like the idea of a career mode and look forward to trying it out. I just hope they don't remove a sandbox mode. They might have stated that they won't, but since the forums are STILL down, I can't be sure. I am pretty confident, though, that they would not be stupid enough to remove a full sandbox mode. Considering that all the players of the game right now are completely used to and comfortable with sandbox (after all, we don't have any other option!) I simply cannot imagine they would remove it for the final release.

I do also want a career mode, though. It would be nice to have to actually factor in costs of rockets, budgets, etc. Planning a space station with a restricted budget would be awesome. Would really give you a feel for why we haven't colonized space in real life.
steven_tburn Apr 18, 2013 @ 7:02am 
I think a good career mode in any game also doubles as a tool to ease new players into how things work. By now virtually all the people playing can do what they need to do, orbit, interplanetary missions and so on, but newcomers who may not buy the game until its more finished wont have our level of experience. A good starting point may well be similar to this:
1. Unmanned probe out of Kerbans atmosphere/into orbit (weather or comm sattelite maybe)
2.Manned orbit
3. Unmanned Mun visit
4. Manned Mun visit
......and so on, with necessary parts being unlocked along the way. This was pretty much the way I learned the game while playing the demo, albeit with a lot of help from Scott Manley :-)
Nats Apr 18, 2013 @ 2:13pm 
I really dont know what to think about the career mode myself. It will give the game some direction thats for sure but at the moment the main strength of the game is its openness and being able to do what you want, set your own goals. I am not sure I will want to be constrained to only doing 'career' missions. I love the ideas of program management, having to balance financing budgets, mission goals/rewards and resource management. I think those on their own would be enough direction for the game without an enforced 'career' mode.

I mean I am not sure how deciding yourself that you want to create a large Duna colony or Mun base, or exploring new planets will fit into doing set 'career' missions.

I suppose the best way for me would be to provide greater financial rewards for doing the special 'career' missions but providing a small financial reward for doing anything else successfully - for example taking off and landing a plane, orbiting, landing on a moon, returning etc will all have a financial reward attached to them albeit a small one. Whereas carrying out a spy satellite insertion mission might carry a large reward.

I would like the option to play the whole game doing my own things and no special missions though if possible.
The Omnipotent Q Jun 11, 2013 @ 9:07am 
I think that the career mode will add a more "game" type aspect to Kerbal Space Program.

The missions could be certain goals which randomly select from different classes of missions (Easy, Medium and Hard) so getting a successful flight to 70Km would be in the easy category a manned mission to Minmus would be in Medium category and interplanetary missions would be in the Hard category. The game then selects a mission based on how much time has been played, previous missions and distances traveled

The tech tree could also be on a similar scale (low, medium and high tech levels) and certain items are unlocked as missions are completed e.g. If a easy mission was completed then you would receive a new piece of technology depending on, how many Kerbals were killed, what parts were safely collected, and how much money was spent (The less the better).

Currency would be given over time e.g. 1000-10000 a day because the cost of rockets should be as accurate as possible compared to real-life to get a better "feel" for the game. The large amount of currency per day because the rocket costs would range from 10000 for a low orbit probe to 1000000+ for interplanetary landers.

This may be over-complicated but I think it would flesh the game out to appeal to a wider range of people :)
Zombo Jun 11, 2013 @ 12:37pm 
Im hoping its less "step by step mission" oriented, or beginner mode, and more like an open RPG. Where you have numerous choices, and different rewards for each. And costs for failures of course. Rewards for success, and budget cuts for failure. FIRED if you fail too much.

A tech tree is also a great idea. But not for basic parts, I would like it for exotic parts. Ion engines, Nuclear engines, a more powerful main engine for bigger launch vehicles. ASAS. Bigger/better pods, etc etc.
Last edited by Zombo; Jun 11, 2013 @ 12:46pm
Alpha8 Aug 9, 2013 @ 11:26pm 
a telescope would a best option to search for the planets and then go for the launch
also it would be good to add a enemy to see a space race kind of thing
Kim Wong Dong Aug 10, 2013 @ 10:59pm 
maybe in space there are valuble items on planets you can retrieve and bring home for extra points like minerals that could be only found on Duna
Alpha8 Aug 11, 2013 @ 4:12am 
like the idea of minerals and all......
a wheather system and some tress would be good to support things like wheather sattelites or gps sattelites
Streaming Phoenix Aug 11, 2013 @ 8:03am 
Since this was posted, the devs have talked in greater detail about resources, so there was no point really ressurrecting this thread.
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Date Posted: Apr 16, 2013 @ 4:26pm
Posts: 14