Kerbal Space Program Is Seven Days Away From Launch

We’ve known that Kerbal Space Program [official site] was moving towards its 1.0 launch since January, but there are now just seven days left until the physicsy-sandbox space sim leaves beta. Developers Squad are marking each day with short, teasing videos introducing some of the new features, and the first is below with the first glimpse of women Kerbals.

Kerbals are the brave explorers-slash-unfortunate victims of your attempts to colonise the galaxy, either screaming in terror or grinning with unknowing calm in the corner of your screen during every launch. Recent work on the game has been dedicated on giving a structure to what was once just a sandbox, through a campaign mode with set missions and limited resources. That mode made your Kerbals more precious than ever, so it’s nice that Squad have finally taken the time to add a little variety.

The other coming features in 1.0 were outlined back in January, as Pip explained:

Game Over – you can actually lose your job at the Space Centre if you’re careless with your funds or your reputation. As someone who has routinely smashed Kerbals into the ground this fills me with a sense of dread and career mortality.

Engineer’s Report – a panel which warns you of acts of stupidity in your craft design like leaving the engine out.

Deep Space and Planetary Refueling – a system and parts which let you process matter from things such as asteroids in order to make helpful substances. Fuel and oxidiser are the examples given.

Once 1.0 is out, does that mean that space stops expanding ever outwards and instead begins to contract towards an inevitable big crunch? Nope – developers Squad will continue working on the game with free updates, bringing it to 1.1 and then beyond. Presumably the other video teasers will be similarly shared via the game’s Twitter account, if you’re keen to see what being sacked looks like.

39 Comments

  1. MiniMatt says:

    New aerodynamics and a re-entry heating model are also new and (if you’re me) rather exciting features. This should greatly expand the options for sending Cessnas into space.

    We’ve also seen new utility/cargo bays for shielding sensitive bits from the horrors of space (or for just stuffing Kerbals into as some sort of space-tourism cattle-class).

    KSP is one of those games which fits early access models well, but I understand why some folks are wary of the tag. It’s my fervent hope everyone holding out for a 1.0 release will buy forthwith such that my frankly irresponsible investment of time into this game over the last few years doesn’t look like such an outlier.

    • ikehaiku says:

      Not only it fits Early Access right, but it’s also the perfect exemple of Early Access done right. The backbone of the game was there at the beginning, updates were out at a steady rate…and more importantly, Squad did not pulled out of Early Access just for the sake of it

      • bptrav says:

        Yep all the core gameplay (ie the sandbox) was there from the start. The career stuff is just a set of rules and abstractions on top of that core gameplay. Of course they’ve added some new parts and even engines in that time, but it was tons of fun right from the start building your own stuff and creating missions. It has had a lot of great player-created mods almost from the start too.

        To be fair this type of game does lend itself better to Early Access than something that is more story based and/or linear, but there have been plenty of bad open world/sandboxy Early Access games too (looking at you every zombie survival game)

    • Synesthesia says:

      I was wondering about this. Is this confirmed? Why isn’t it in the article?

      • MiniMatt says:

        Yep, aerodynamics is very much 100% confirmed – link to forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com – being just one comprehensive official dev explanation. Obsessive forum lurking reveals many more official statements, but the short of it is a much more “realistic” aero system, with the limits being where realism inhibits “fun”. Key changes will see lift calculated as a function of velocity squared, and the pointyness of objects being relevant – current model sees drag coefficient being fudged as a function of a part’s mass rather than it’s slipperiness.

        Re-entry heat was first officially mentioned some time back – link to forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com – and again, obsessive forum-fu reveals many, many more official statements and explanations.

        As for why the RPS post doesn’t mention these, that’s rather a question for Graham, but I’d suspect him being a rather busy fellow, and recipient of a gazillion press releases per picosecond, going some way to explain. They’ve, rightly, devoted quite a lot of attention and glee to little green astro-escapades in the past so I wouldn’t begrudge them the odd oversight otherwise spotted by only the most obsessive kerbonauts.

        • Cinek says:

          Original aerodynamics were a total f*** up. I couldn’t build a flippin airplane that would fly in any stable way until I installed FAR. My first weeks with KSP were mostly spent learning all the things that weren’t working properly and how to bypass these idiotic problems that never should be there in a game that promotes itself as “realistic”. I really hope new system will be better and actually start making some sense.

          • behrooz says:

            If you’re interested in realistic aero, I think FAR is still going to be where it’s at, although it’s entirely possible that the upgrade of stock aero will also add more effective part information to make FAR even more realistic/effective.

            Playing with aerodynamics using FAR is kind of like a fractal rabbit hole, the closer you look at it, the more there is to think about.

  2. Chris says:

    Female Kerbals eh? Well it’s only a matter of days till Kerbal Space Porn climaxes its way onto Youtube.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I doubt Rule 34 waited until it had to be hetero.

      Haven’t had a chance to watch the video yet, but looks like a pretty neat design they went with in the banner image. There’s been some godawful fan attempts at female Kerbals ’round t’Internets that I’m glad they seem to have ignored.

  3. TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

    Good! more victims!

  4. DrollRemark says:

    But… but… I was just stating to play other games again…

  5. Skeletor68 says:

    I am so bad at this game. I played about a year ago and was routinely getting majestic solar powered satellites in orbit, but couldn’t get anything around the Mun. I tried the current career mode recently, was terrible at it and just didn’t seem to make enough science to get anywhere useful.

    Can anyone a recommend an entertaining youtube lets play that goes from absolute beginner onwards?

    • JohnnyPanzer says:

      Just look for videos by Scott Manley on youtube. He’s by far the best Kerbal teacher, and all his videos are great, regardless of your level of competence.

      • number2301 says:

        Particularly, look at his tutorial series, and then Interstellar Quest. It’s on an older version of KSP, but the physics are still valid.

    • phelix says:

      Scott Manley’s basic Youtube tutorials come to mind. He goes out of his way to explain everything in a layman-friendly way. He also majored in astrophysics and Space Wizardry™, so he knows what he’s talking about.

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      phuzz says:

      Another of the thing’s they’re working on for v1.0 is better tutorials (they’d not really had an love for a while now), so hopefully they’ll do a better job of explaining how you land on the Mun.
      As JohnyPanza says, Scott Manley’s videos are a good place to start, plus then you will always read the words: “Hullo, I’m Scott Manley” in a Scottish accent.

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        phuzz says:

        *edit
        Here’s his guide to landing on the Mun, although he recommends you try landing on Minimus first (it’s further away, but the gravity is so much lower, it’s more forgiving for the actual landing, you can even get a kerbal to take off just using their backpack thrusters)

        • DrollRemark says:

          Yeah, so many of my early Mun missions were thwarted by bad landings – either completely failing to decelerate in time for touchdown (for the love of Jeb, always make sure to land on the light side), or burning up too much fuel in doing so that I couldn’t get back again.

          But hey, what’s KSP without breaking a few spaceships?

          • Orageon says:

            True that the Mun is a harder endeavor than Minmus, but it also has a lot of biomes so it is really a good incentive to work on those mun landings.
            I have only played since recently (0.9 I believe) in science mode and managed mun and minmus several times to get science. But now I need to go further and Eve and Duna are intimidating :-)
            This game is really neat, educative, and there is an okay progression flow, while leaving plenty of sandboxy time for messing around as you learn new kinds of maneuvers. Building a Mun space base or an orbital station/refuel are great projects and instructive. It still needs mods so that they have more purpose science-wise etc though.

            One thing is for sure, this is for me kind of GOTY material…

          • rochrist says:

            Yeah, I got a few Kerbals down there. Getting them back, not so much.

      • phelix says:

        Regarding his Scottish accent: I just re-watched all 4 seasons of The Thick of It and now I sort of wish there was a Scott Manley-Malcolm Tucker crossover.

        “LAND YER ROCKET DOWN THERE YA WEE CLOBBERY USELESS FUCKIN’ CLOT”

        /coat

        • LionsPhil says:

          Dig around for the ones where Scott is playing KSP with his Dad. It makes his accent come back thicker.

    • defunct says:

      I have to agree with the Scott Manley tutorials. However, another thing to remember is, this game is a HUGE time commitment. It’s not a ‘oh, I’ll just spend 5 minutes and fiddle for a bit’ game. And the skills required take time, if you’re not already an astrophysicist. I’ve FINISHED other games in less time that this game requires to just learn how to do stuff, like take off, orbit, and land! And that ‘rescue that dude orbiting the earth’ mission was just too much for me.

      • hollowroom says:

        Doesn’t make any difference if you’re an astrophysicist or not, we play it here at ESA, and I’ve seen many an orbital dynamicist utterly bork a re-entry. Usually with hilarious results.

        I’m of the opinion it should be part of the interview process.

    • Matt_W says:

      Better than a Let’s Play, try Pecan’s comprehensive guide. It’s very detailed, walks you through design and flying principles from baby-steps to interplanetary travel. You can view it on-line in the forums or download a (90 page!) pdf version. All the ships he walks you through are available to download as well. A ton of work and testing went into this guide over about a year of development.

      • Matt_W says:

        Ah, I see he’s recently split the tutorial into a Beginner’s Guide, linked here, and a vehicle building tutorial, which is linked above.

    • Cinek says:

      Use navigation nodes. This game is a walk in the park with nav nodes.

  6. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Good to hear it’s ready for liftoff. Not sure if I’ll have a go at it, though, since I’ll probably be awful at it. Good fun to watch others play. I particularly like Hank Green’s play sessions.

  7. Sirius1 says:

    That’s one happy looking female Kerbal there. I’m guessing nobody told her what was coming when she was interviewed.

  8. DrManhatten says:

    Still the game of this decade. Nothing comes remotely close on the amount of hours and joy I got from this one so far. But frankly that is to some large extend to some of the great free mods/add-on out there

    • JohnnyPanzer says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I’ve played games since the early 80’s, and nothing comes close to this. I have well over 800 hours played and almost as much poured into reading guides, doing research and planning my missions on paper.

      It manages to tick every damn box in my playbook.

      • DrManhatten says:

        And that is even before it reached Version 1.0 Maybe RPS should maybe make a series about this instead of DeusEX a mediocre wanna be MGS clone.

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          Panther_Modern says:

          How is Deus Ex a clone of Metal Gear Solid? They started developing it a year before the first Metal Gear Solid even came out. Deus Ex was a 1st person nonlinear FPS/RPG in the vein of Ultima Underworld, and MGS was a 3rd person stealth game about Mechas.

          The similarity is extremely superficial

  9. Unruly says:

    Maybe I’ll give it another shot sometime, when I finally dig out my PC for gaming again, now that it’s hitting 1.0.

    I played one of the early alphas, before it was listed on Steam, by “appropriating” a copy, and while I could get a ship into space I couldn’t do much else. There also seemed to be little rhyme or reason behind structural stability, but that may have been something to do with the snap-fit bit not seeming to work well yet. The lack of a tutorial of any kind certainly didn’t help, and the wiki that they provided for learning the basics was less than helpful. I definitely saw the potential though, and had fun launching kerbals to their doom for a while before my frustration at not being able to do anything else drove me away. So now I may just have to throw some money at them and see how it’s come out.