From the local and international offices of Squad, we are the team behind Kerbal Space Program! We will be answering as many questions as we can, starting at 1:00 PM CST and ending when we’re dragged kicking and screaming out of the office.

Answering your questions will be mostly us but fellow team members will be pitching in as well. Fire away!

Edit: We're about to start answering questions, and thanks for your patience. The scroll bar on this AMA became subatomic pretty quick!

Edit2: This has been an absolute blast, and we would love to do it again! Us as Squad want to thank the Reddit community for your incredible support, and we cordially invite you all to hang out on /r/KerbalSpaceProgram, as most of us do when we can find a bit of free time.

We leave you with this picture. The stars aren't aligned quite right, but once they are we'll be happy to take a clearer one.

Comments: 1861 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

curtquarquesso1218 karma

Kerbal Space Program has single-handedly inspired me begin a career path towards the aerospace industry, and I can't thank you all enough for that. It's probably going to be one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I'm so glad I'm doing it.

1. Has Squad had any talks with NASA, or any other space agencies about cooperative work? Curriculum? Promotion? Workshops? NASA Official Parts Packs? I'd really like to see KSP live up to it's potential as a major educational tool.

2. Does Squad have a main office, or are all of you scattered about? (because I might send you cookies...)

3. Be honest. What's one thing that the KSP community does that drives you insane? we can not do that thing anymore...

4. Is Squad cut out for the current demand for KSP development, or do you see Squad expanding in the near future?

P.S. Anyone have a question they want to tack onto this post?

EDIT: Question from /u/nojustice below:

"How much have you grown as a programmer since beginning this process? Any anecdotes about either eureka moments, or having implemented something by hand only to learn later that there was a built-in that offered the same function?"

KSPDevTeam746 karma

  1. Has Squad had any talks with NASA, or any other space agencies about cooperative work? Curriculum? Promotion? Workshops? NASA Official Parts Packs? I'd really like to see KSP live up to it's potential as a major educational tool.

Calisker: We have talked to the amazing team at NASA, which is pretty remarkable in its own right. Having real rocket scientists as fans of the game has been a real positive for us! As for the education part, we will have more information coming soon about our plans for KerbalEDU, which will be a new education venture with TeacherGaming, the folks who created MinecraftEDU.

Plus, we're always open to working with educational partners. For example, we're currently helping the New Zealand Department of Conservation with an upcoming event for CIS Day. We are honored to be helping them out in a small way as well as showing support for what they're doing for mapping and satellites education.

  1. Does Squad have a main office, or are all of you scattered about? (because I might send you cookies...)

Calisker: HQ is in Mexico City but several members of our team work remotely, including myself.

Samssonart: The Mexico HQ street address is in our contact page for all your cookie donations.

  1. Be honest. What's one thing that the KSP community does that drives you insane? we can not do that thinganymore…

Samssonart: When people don’t read

Ted: Probably how easily misconceptions or assumptions can spread. However, it's important to note that this isn't unique to the KSP Community and is widespread with humans in general haha.

Maxmaps: Assume we have a 200 person team working on the project. Although it is kinda flattering…

HarvesteR: What I usually call the ‘can’t you just’ syndrome. But this, like Ted said, isn't specific to the KSP Community. In fact, we’re actually blessed with having a community like we do. You don’t have to search too hard to see what other game communities can be like, so we really can’t complain.:)

Rowsdower: In almost any game community, there can be a misunderstood sense of overwhelming expectations.”Why isn’t this in the game?” “It’d be easy to do so and so…” “I want this now” and so forth. When you look past all that, though, the KSP community is one of the smarter, more cooperative communities out there. You have to take the bad with good, but we’re very fortunate that the good shines brightest.

nojustice71 karma

/5. How much have you grown as a programmer since beginning this process? Any anecdotes about either eureka moments, or having implemented something by hand only to learn later that there was a built-in that offered the same function?

KSPDevTeam192 karma

Harvester: Let’s put it like this: Before KSP, I had never worked with C# for anything over 300 lines of code. It’s been a massive learning experience from day one, and we keep on learning every day.

As for an eureka moment, I have two that always come to mind that marked moments where if we lived in an RPG game, a heavenly light would have beamed down over me with a “Lvl Up!” message. The first one was when I realized that the solution to have planets rotate without completely breaking physics was to use a rotating reference frame, and how rotating frames mean applying centrifugal and coriolis forces. A quick look through Wikipedia confirmed that this idea was in fact correct, and I think the levelling up special fx would have happened right about there.

The second ‘level up’ moment was when I realized that the simplest way to implement docking was to merge vessels. Up until then, we were struggling on this feature, and having a really hard time attempting to wrap our heads around how to manage multiple vessels connected together, and the many, many edge cases that would arise from it. Merging vessels was dismissed as an option at first, because it would mean vessels would lose their identities. I realized though, that that was a simpler problem to work around than all other alternatives, and the level up fx came up a second time.

There were many other such moments, and yes, looking back at old code can be a very shameful experience sometimes, but such is the way of programming. I’d hate to find code that I wrote a long time ago and think it was better than code I’m writing now. ;)

c7Studios: Before KSP I had only worked with C++. Moving to C# and the concept of scripting was a pretty major adjustment for me.

It's been a great learning experience, and I work with an awesome team that is always very helpful and supportive of learning new skills.

I have to agree with Harvester on old code. Every time I go back I have to wonder what I was thinking at the time. It's just like with artwork, when you go back and look at old work, you can very easily spot the flaws that you didn't see at the time.

BRTD_Y704 karma

How do you feel knowing that real "rocket scientists" are playing your game at NASA?

Also thanks for the great game guys, it is a real educational tool.

KSPDevTeam671 karma

Maxmaps: This is a humbling feeling to say the least. To know that they choose to spend their spare time on our game is incredible, heartwarming and motivating as can be.

the_good_time_mouse538 karma

How many of your users registered using email address?

KSPDevTeam765 karma

Samssonart: There are a few, but remember, people don’t usually use their work addresses to buy games, even if they’re about what they do for a living.

lemtrees499 karma

(phone commenting is difficult).

Though I check the subreddit almost daily, after one week of playing KSP several months ago (totalling 80 hours of game play) I have decided to not play KSP anymore. Why? Because you reminded me of why I went into physics and math in the first place. I've quit my dead end IT support job and am living off of savings while working to change my career goals back down the path I sought so long ago: to put people into space.

Thank you for changing my life Squad.

Post Squad reply edit: If anyone from SpaceX, Planetary Resources, JPL, NASA, Virgin Galactic, Boeing, etc, needs an IT support engineer with corporate experience that may or may not try to move out of that position within a year, please contact me directly. Note: I've made up everything in my comment history and none of the things I've said I've done or implied I've done are true.

KSPDevTeam305 karma

From the whole team: We are stunned, humbled and wish you the absolute best.

cydonian-monk393 karma

How many Kerbals died to bring us this IAMA?

(Are Kerbal loss counts part of the anonymous statistics the game sends back to you? If so, what is the count? Are there are any really oddball stats you've gathered?)

KSPDevTeam506 karma

Maxmaps: Our stats tallying system doesn't currently track that particular variable, but it may be something we look for in a future update!  

Bouncingbunny13353 karma

How are you reacting to KMP multiplayer mod?

KSPDevTeam448 karma

N3X15/Rob: We're all astonished with the number and level of modifications that have been created for our game. We hope they keep coming!

illectro249 karma

I'm tired of telling people to install texture reduction packs - what's the progress on 64bit Unity support for windows/OSX

KSPDevTeam247 karma

Harvester: So far we haven't had good results with the 64-bit builds, they've mostly been unstable and crashing randomly.

We're always re-testing them on new Unity releases though, and lately, there's been a few good steps forward in that area, so a 64-bit build could be a reality in the not-too-distant future.

KaBob799231 karma

Will KSP ever have comets?

KSPDevTeam284 karma

Maxmaps: Once we're done making all the huge bodies in our solar system interesting and important to visit, we'll have time to consider smaller ones.

TheGonadWarrior214 karma

What do you like most about your own game?

Which feature makes you go "Damn. I can't believe we pulled that off."?

KSPDevTeam286 karma

Ted:As QA Lead, I often find myself in awe over the content that the Team produces and saying something along those lines - right before completely breaking it. A specific feature is hard to pick, but the thing I like most about the game would definitely be the imersive aspect of it; just how long you can spend devoted to one mission and the little green payload that it carries. If I had to pick a feature, it would probably be EVAs as they brought a whole alternate dynamic to the game and really put things in perspective.

danRosas: It's not precisely an in-game feature. But from what I do, to create a believable back story for the Space Kraken, so far. And leave the door open for future stories with that character. It's amazing to read all the positive comments, because you're the ones that make him a part of the Kerbal Universe.

HarvesteR: That's a good question... It's hard to pick a favorite thing. I guess I have a couple:

On the gameplay side, one of my favorite features is the random name generator that names the Kerbals. Even today it comes up with some combinations sometimes that we never saw before, and it never seems to get old.

That wasn't so much of a technical challenge though, as for those, I would say my top 'wow, was that me?' moments are the Patched Conics and Maneuver Nodes, the whole docking system which actually merges vessels, the PQS terrain, and most recently the reentry fx shader, which was a pretty hare-brained scheme to begin with, so I'm still a bit impressed that it works at all.

Vangaurds211 karma

Not to hog the AMA, but I have a few questions for team members. I've got to hop in the car so excuse me if these have been asked already or eleswhere...

One: If money and resources were no barrier, what would your wildest dream for the direction of KSP be?

Two: Your game as a whole is almost unanimously liked or loved by its players. What kind of emotions do you feel given the amazing progress you've made, and that you've created a fun videogame that has changed lives and influenced careers, etc?

Three: If you ever have downtime to actually play KSP, what has to be your favorite part? What are you happiest with?

Four: Alot of the player base are space fanatics. I know I live my life under the glorious leadership of NDT and Cmdr. Hadfield, but do people on the team also have their heads above the clouds?

Thanks guys!

KSPDevTeam251 karma

One: If money and resources were no barrier, what would your wildest dream for the direction of KSP be?

Maxmaps: Full virtual reality simulation from the IVA viewpoint. I just want to feel like I’m going into space. May be a terrible idea if I mess up the staging, though.

Two: Your game as a whole is almost unanimously liked or loved by its players. What kind of emotions do you feel given the amazing progress you've made, and that you've created a fun videogame that has changed lives and influenced careers, etc?

Ted:I've only been at Squad since July, being a volunteer in a couple areas of KSP for a year prior to that so the effect it has on me is probably a bit less.

But overall it's incredibly surreal and feels incredibly humbling that people love something that you put a lot of your time into and it makes it all the more worth it.

Rowsdower: One - KSP: The Movie, starring Ed Norton as Jebidiah. Two - KSP is a unique, highly creative game that sort of parallels the creativity and drive of the staff behind the scenes. Consider the game to be our ship. How can we keep building it? How can we make things better? How far can we go? It’s the one place where the biggest ideas are the ones least scoffed at. It’s extremely inspiring to see that members of the community have taken those same lofty goals upon themselves and made such enormously positive life changes because they, like we, dreamt big and chased it.

Three: If you ever have downtime to actually play KSP, what has to be your favorite part? What are you happiest with?

Maxmaps: Powered landing. I am terrible at it but when I pull it off it is the most rewarding thing ever.

Ted: Gameplay-wise, I find building space stations and interplanetary vessels the most satisfying and entertaining thing to do.

Samssonart: Career mode, definitely, and currently we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Rowsdower: Fire. I’ve seen a lot of it, so I’m very happy with the way the game’s fire looks - and crashing. Yep, fire and crashing. It’s satisfying.

HarvesteR: I have a lot of fun building ridiculously-shaped aircraft and tweaking them until they actually fly. That’s actually how the Albatross 3 came to be… You should see the other 2 before it. ;)

Four: Alot of the player base are space fanatics. I know I live my life under the glorious leadership of NDT and Cmdr. Hadfield, but do people on the team also have their heads above the clouds? Thanks guys!

Ted: I definitely look up to a lot of significant or popular figures in the Aerospace Industry and tend to always follow the current residents of the ISS on Twitter.

Maxmaps: A passion for space is pretty much a job requirement around here!

czokletmuss179 karma

Laythe - is it habitable? There were countless threads about this, let's solve it once and for all :)

KSPDevTeam292 karma

Ted: Habitable by whom? ;)

Repptix136 karma

How did Steam help KSP in terms of people discovering the game?

KSPDevTeam195 karma

Samssonart: It definitely helped getting the game out there a lot, Steam ensures that your game will be visible to an average of 4 million gamers a day, and that is no small thing.

chordnine111 karma

Do you expect to continue working on the KSP franchise for years to come? Will the game continue to grow and stay relevant through development, sequels, or expansion packs OR will you finish the game and allow the mod community to grow it from there?

If you do plan to finish KSP at some point, what other projects do you have in mind?

Side note: want to personally thank you for investing so much time and energy into this game. It has reignited my passion for exploration and adventure!

KSPDevTeam85 karma

Maxmaps: As far as the currently visible future goes, we are nowhere near done with the development of Kerbal Space Program. We'll keep updating the game as we add things to it like we have been so far.

And thank you for playing KSP, without fans like you this game would still be just a mad dream in HarvesteR's head.

Radav919109 karma

Have you considered expanding the Kerbol system further, or adding other star systems?

KSPDevTeam236 karma

HarvesteR: We've certainly thought about it a lot, but right now, we feel it's more important to have more things to do in the current solar system, than to go on adding more places that in the end will just be more variations of the same terrain system.

Take for instance when we first added docking, It gave a whole new importance to simply being in orbit around Kerbin. Or how with the addition of R&D, even landing on different spots on good old Kerbin now had all new purposes.

This is what I mean with 'more to do on the current system'. I think in the long run, these sorts of things will increase the depth of the gameplay far more than just adding more places to visit, without having new things to do when you get there.

wee_ag101 karma

LOVE the new Career Mode. What can we expect to see in its future development?

KSPDevTeam186 karma

HarvesteR: As for what's coming in the near future for Career Mode, We've got a couple of major features that we are already planning, which will be closely integrated with the existing gameplay, and I daresay if it all goes as planned, should make for a pretty awesome overall experience.

More specifically, we've got Contracts coming soon, which will let you take on proper objectives, to earn funds and reputation (or lose them) should you succeed (or fail).

Then there's the Funds and Reputation mechanic itself, which will require you to spend funds to launch ships or hire crews, and manage your space program's reputation to get better contract offers and generally keep Kerbalkind pleased with your progress towards conquering space.

This is just a very brief explanation of those features. We'll get into more detail on them as we get there.

ArcticNano97 karma

Firstly, Kerbal space program is one of my favourite games of all time, not only because it is fun but also because has taught me so much. I just wanted to thank you guys for creating such a great game and learning experience :D

My question is what do you plan to do to make bases and stations more of a useful option when playing? For now they serve no real purpose, as any science can be done with a lander and return craft. However, I think they are a very fun project for players and could potentially be extremely interesting. So what features will improve this? maybe resources? More advanced IVAs? I am interested in your opinion on this.

As always, keep up the great work and I hope this game becomes the most successful game ever :)

KSPDevTeam121 karma

c7studios: The lab module that's coming in 0.23 should help to make bases more relevant. You won't be able to constantly reset and transmit data to get more science. Having a landed base on site will allow to process experiments and transmit them at a higher return.

Atsch92 karma

The big question I have is how you will develop the game after release, concerning the future updates. Will you take:

  • The Mojang approach: Continually develop the game, and provide free upates in a manner similar to now.

  • The EA approach: release KSP 2 pricey with minor changes and a buttload of DLC.

  • The Valve approach: release KSP at a normal price and rely on the modding comunity for updates.

  • The MS approach: Provide updates but every major version costs

  • The squad approach: well, this is kind of my question. I guess this is just here if you have something radically different in mind. Or just ignore it.

Alphaetus_Prime106 karma

They've said that they will continue with regular updates and that they might release expansion packs that are significantly removed from the game's main focus.

KSPDevTeam99 karma


stonepickaxe78 karma

What feature was the hardest to implement in KSP?

KSPDevTeam80 karma

c7studios: I think it just depends on how you rate difficulty. Every update brings new challenges to overcome. Sometimes the hardest thing is truly understand a problem so you find a proper solution to it.

Puzzlemaker175 karma


First question: I noticed a lot of mods bring a whole heck of a lot of cool stuff to the game, and a lot of them look like they should be part of the base game in some form. I know you have moved mods into the game before, are you planning on doing it with any others?

Second question(s): The current model for drag is a placeholder, right? Are you planning on updating it? What are your plans for it?

KSPDevTeam65 karma

Maxmaps: We love mods, we absolutely do. Every now and them some show us brilliant things we may have missed and we're happy to make our own versions of them (or hire the modders involved!). Other times they go to places where we're not interested in going but a part of the community is and we're very pleased to have their needs covered.

We can't really say 'we're making X stock in the future', but we're constantly on the lookout for things popping up in the modding scene.

Mobythenarwahle56 karma

What are your plans on expanding the engine? (Multicore support/ physical timewarp > 4/ no stuttering when hugecrafts)

KSPDevTeam81 karma

Samssonart: A lof of this is dependant on Unity, we usually go through the change log of a new Unity update the second it is announced and see what improvements can be made with new Unity features and bug fixes.

C7: We're constantly working on polish and performance in between adding new content to the game. 0.23 is bringing an upgrade to the base engine, along with a large amount of performance optimization and overhauls.

Sir500055 karma

How have "let's players," such as KurtJMac, Scott Manley, Robbaz, and the like, affected the development of the game? Do their in-video suggestions influence future updates, be it gameplay mechanics or little easter eggs?

KSPDevTeam50 karma

Maxmaps: We learn a lot from streamers and Let's Players, and they often had pretty good suggestions and viewpoints on things we may have missed.

FrankerZd53 karma

What inspired the names Bill, Jeb, and Bob, and their personalities?

KSPDevTeam107 karma

HarvesteR: The names for Bill, Bob and Jeb were the ones I could remember from the 'early days' of playing Kerbal Space Program with actual fireworks (please don't try that at home, I'm thankful to this day no one lost any limbs). When they were first added, they weren't meant to be any more special than other Kerbals, but because we didn't have a crew generator implemented, we hard-coded those three in as placeholders.

When we saw how attached people were getting to those three, we knew we had to make them special in some way. This actually changed the plan for how crews were implemented in the end (originally you'd just get a random crew for each mission).

Now, crewmembers are persistent and become available again after returning home (or respawning), so each crewmember has the potential to become as special as the original three.

As for their personalities, those are defined by a fuzzy-logic AI that produces their facial expressions as you fly. All Kerbals have three personality parameters: Courage, Stupidity, and a third one that could best be thought of as a genetic trait that afflicts a certain percentage of the Kerbal Population. That 3rd parameter originally was meant to be applied to whichever Kerbal was piloting the ship, but we thought it was a lot funnier to have a few guys who are always having a great time when others are scared out of their minds.

Dinker3153 karma

How much weight do you put on the players' suggestions, like in r/ksp? Do you guys appreciate our input (obviously some things are more reasonable than others), or do you find it sort of a hinderance to what you have in mind for the final product?

Anywho, thanks for all the hard work you guys do. I have convinced a few people to pick up a copy of the game because of how great it is. Best $23 I've ever spent.

KSPDevTeam46 karma

Ted: As I came from the Community myself, I make sure to keep in touch with it and read through the various Community's suggestions. If I see something that is a unique and fresh suggestion, I bring it up with the rest of the Team for sure.

c7studios: We value the opinions and suggestions of the community. We've implemented that feedback into KSP to improve the experience and gameplay. At times it can be hard to keep up with though. But, our community team does a good job of finding the best feedback and suggestions to bring to our attention.

Pesqueeb51 karma

No questions. Just "thanks" for such an awesome game. It's been a really long time since a game has sucked me in like KSP.

KSPDevTeam43 karma

Maxmaps: We wouldn't be able to do anything without your support, so thank you for playing KSP!

jfjohnny542 karma

As anyone plays more and more KSP it becomes clear that time is a huge element of gameplay. Launch windows, transfer burns, and rendezvous maneuvers all require accurate timing if you want to be efficient. Recently, there's been a lively discussion in the forums focused on if the building of rockets should take time, as opposed to the 'instant' build speed of the current game, and what sort of planning and strategy elements that could add to the management aspects of Career mode. Do you have plans to introduce this or other elements of time management into KSP Career mode at some point in the future?

KSPDevTeam89 karma

HarvesteR: I assume this is about having time actually passing in the simulation while you’re building? I’m not sure I’d like to have that, since when you’re building a ship, you're focused on construction, and I wouldn't like it if the game kept interrupting me over things that are happening outside the construction facility. In KSP, you take on the role of many different ‘jobs’ on an actual space program. You get to be Mission Controller, Aerospace Engineer, victim intrepid Pilot, so the game helps you out in doing all those jobs yourself by leaving you free to not care about other areas while you’re focused on a single one.

uber_kerbonaut42 karma

What other features have fallen off the table permanently? Like decals?

KSPDevTeam23 karma

HarvesteR: Very few things ever get discarded altogether. What usually happens is that they evolve and morph into other (better) ideas, so nothing is really a complete waste. That said, some features are of higher priority than others, of course, so we always have to make a choice about where to apply our time and effort.

czokletmuss42 karma

Radiation - will it be implemented? If so, how are you planning to do this? Will it be integrated into life support or science system?

KSPDevTeam29 karma

Ted: Radiation would be a beneficial gameplay addition to more veteran players. But we try to avoid gameplay mechanics that will leave a player puzzled for too long or a mechanic that’s largely out of the player’s control. That doesn’t rule it out, just means that when it comes to it, it’ll take a bit of working out.

kspfan100040 karma

In one of the denotes chad (c7) said that there would be secondary propellants. What does this mean. Are we going to get different fuel types. Thanks :)

KSPDevTeam102 karma

c7studios: This means that an engine can switch propellants that it's using to an alternative. For example, if your engine is running on air from intakes, it could seamless switch to using oxidizer as a backup. It will be useful for creating hybrid engines.

Standaman9439 karma

How do you decide what features to add when balancing the game between being a space-flight simulator and a fun, accessible game? Is there anything you wanted to add that would make it too serious and not fun, or plain silly and not realistic enough?

KSPDevTeam44 karma

c7studios: We tend to decide by doing a lot of playtesting and iteration. An idea that sounds fun on paper can end up being quite tedious. Feedback from testers and fans is very useful to help make these decisions as we develop the game

Smizel33 karma

Hi Squad! I want to say thank you for making such an amazing game! Do you have any plans to "flesh out" Kerbin? Like adding cities or rivers?

KSPDevTeam26 karma

Maxmaps: Not on the near future, but there is plenty of room for Kerbin to grow.

mattythedog32 karma

What games do you like to play in your spare time? (apart from KSP of course :P)

KSPDevTeam85 karma

N3X15/Rob: Spare time?

Samssonart: A little bit of everything, RPG’s , Beat ’em ups, survival horrors. I also tend to try about any indie game that looks like it has a novel gameplay. Oh, and I’m not so much of a FPS fan.

Ted:I've found that KSP has severely tilted my game tastes towards sandbox games, so I tend to play them. Currently though, I've been playing a bit of Chivalry and did play GTAV for a month and a bit.

Maxmaps:Just about anything and everything, really. WoW Raiding takes a decent chunk but my steam list is downright shameful.

HarvesteR: I’m usually very picky with games, because I tend to spend a lot of time playing the same title. Currently, that game is DayZ. I’ve spent countless hours surviving the zombie apocalypse, to the point where I’m feeling pretty confident I’d be able to hold my own if it really happened, as long as I can get hold of a hatchet.

Kato_201132 karma

What gave you the idea to make KSP?

KSPDevTeam61 karma

Maxmaps: It all started when HarvesteR was a young guy in Brazil playing with fireworks and turning them into rockets by taking out the explosive payload and placing little tinfoil figures inside which he called Kerbals.

Ironically, the current game involves more explosive payloads than those fireworks ever did.

FITorion31 karma

Is Spaceport 2 going to bring the integration of being able to obtain and apply mods without closing KSP?

KSPDevTeam50 karma

N3X15/Rob: This isn't planned for the current iteration, but we have built the system for adding this in the future. Right now, we're just focusing on delivering a usable website and cleaning up category spam.

Samssonart: Not right now, the back end will support it now though, so who knows.

Inglonias28 karma

Are you planning to add more parts, or are you basically done in that department for the forseeable future?

Love the game, by the way.

KSPDevTeam55 karma

c7studios : We've been adding parts as they're needed to introduce new features. For example, we're adding the new lab module and part in 0.23.

TurtleTorch126 karma

Kerbal Space Program has taught me so much about space, and physics itself. It even has made me change my career choice in live. So anyway:

  1. What was your initial reaction when you realised "This game is going places"? Such as how tuff it would be to keep up with the players?

  2. What is one feature you would love to have in the game, but it cant be done (by restrictions or just too hard to accomplish)?

  3. What did YOUR guys' first rockets look like?

KSPDevTeam24 karma

Ted: 1. Every time I see how popular the game has become I still have to figuratively pinch myself. It's a realisation that never really gets old or one that you get used to. I'm always blown away by the creativity and ingenuity of the playerbase and the incredible things they manage to accomplish and build, not to mention the rate at which they seem to do it at.

  1. It would probably be completely destructible terrain and buildings. Simply because you would watch the planet around you change as you 'advanced' your space program and left little - or large - reminders of why we use 'chutes.

  2. Ack, my first rockets were little more than an SRB with a pod, probably without a chute as well. My first successful orbiting rocket is still in orbit on a save somewhere on my HDD. It was incredibly over-engineered and could probably reach Duna by today's standards. Show less

Samsonart: 1. It's amazing, the game is becoming popular beyond our wildest dreams. 2. Probably a procedural universe, other than Kerbin all planets and celestial bodies would be different every time you started a new game. 3. I believe it was a command pod, a liquid fuel tank and an engine....there weren't many parts back then

PuddingInferno21 karma

Thanks for doing this; it's great to get an inside look into a game we all love so much.

My question involves the tech tree. It's been stated that the current research system effectively acts like a tutorial - it limits the number of parts so new players don't have an enormous list of doodads to play with. As such, the tech tree tends to constrain more advanced players. Why did you decide on this approach instead of having a more in-depth tutorial (say, a couple of missions with increasingly elaborate parts and goals) to ease new players into the game?

KSPDevTeam51 karma

HarvesteR: The tech tree was always meant to work as an introduction tool to KSP. A more 'conventional' tutorial would have probably worked too, but it would be exceedingly long and pretty boring. Plus, I think a game should always give players means to discover it by simply playing, and this is what we set out to do with R&D.

I don't think any player, veteran or first-timer, would enjoy sitting through an overly long 'lesson' on what each part does. And more importantly, they wouldn't get to experience first hand the problems that some parts exist to solve. If you've never experienced the problem of tall ships falling over on the pad, then you won't fully appreciate the fact that launch clamps exist.

In the end, the R&D system works to let everyone experience the process of gradually developing your space program, learning as you go how to overcome the problems you encounter. For new players, this allows them to get into the game without having to sit through an introduction, and for veterans, the restrictions are also a good thing, as they set them (or rather 'us') up with new challenges that require us to come up with new ways to tackle old problems.

coffca21 karma

Does all of your staff lives in Mexico? I noticed that squad is in Mexico city. In that case, any advice for mexican artists?

KSPDevTeam28 karma

Maxmaps: Half of our staff lives in Mexico give or take! The rest work remotely throughout the world. And hey, if you're a 3D artist, you may wanna PM us!

AlmostDifferent11 karma

There has been some confusion about what exactly was done to the behavior of nose cones. Could you elaborate on how they help to stabilize the craft?

KSPDevTeam11 karma

Maxmaps: Nosecones now have a lower drag coefficient than other parts in the game. The way our aerodynamics model works, if you put them on top of something, this will aid that something point in the direction the nosecones are placed on.