Kerbal Space Program Launches Patch 1.1

One thing which makes Kerbal Space Program [official site] different from most, if not all, other space games is failure. In the short bursts I’ve played our Best Space Game of 2015, I’ve not saved the world or fought off alien invasions; I’ve struggled to assemble the most basic of rocket ships and have fumbled more take offs than I care to admit. My fleeting moments of success, though, have been great fun. The game’s “Turbo Charged” 1.1 update introduces a range of new features aimed to help amateurs like myself along, while also upping the challenge for those space veterans among us.

By making the jump to Unity 5, Kerbal’s latest patch offers a “large boost in performance”, and adds a new user interface that’s been written from the ground up. The new KSPedia will act as the go-to manual for just about everything in the game, so say developers Squad, which will include everything from basic explanations of building and flying, to more advanced concepts such as docking, “in-situ resource utilisation”, and basically everything you need to know about planning a successful interplanetary mission. Which for me is, ahem, everything.

The update also extends the game’s tutorials which now cover everything from basic and advanced construction and flight, to docking and landing on Mun. Maybe you want to learn how to nail the perfect gravity turn, or use a spaceplane to reenter the atmosphere before landing back at the Kerbal Space Center? Perhaps you’re keen to discover the best way return a craft from Duna without a heat shield, or how to orbit Kerbin and land the Eagle? Squad are confident the new tutorials will help you with all of that. But then they’ve not seen me in the cockpit.

Of the update, the developers said:

“After almost a year of hard work our major update is finally here! In the package you’ll find a large boost in performance due to the upgrade to the Unity 5 game engine, 64 bit binaries for Windows and OSX that will help you mod the game to ridiculous lengths and the brand new KSPedia reference guide for all the information you need to play the game!”

Kerbal Space Program’s 1.1 update is available now on the KSP Store and Steam, and will “soon be available on other third party platforms”. Full patch notes can be found over here.

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  1. Cinek says:

    Performance increase from Unity 5 is basically the make-or-break of this patch. KSP always struggled with performance, especially around space stations, or really anything with a higher number of parts (they used to have the bug with Advanced Grabbing Unit, where adding two halved your FPS, but at least that one was already fixed).

    • tehfish says:

      Well, every other game i have that the devs have updated to unity 5 has had utterly incredible performance increases, sometimes 200%+.

      So i’m pretty sure this will be fine :)

      *wanders off to download the new installer*

    • FriendlyFire says:

      A native 64-bit client is also a big deal for modding.

  2. Unsheep says:

    Unless you are playing a space game on the easiest settings you’ll get plenty of opportunities to fail, just sayin’. The many hours I’ve spent re-doing maps in Sins of a Solar Empire, Star Ruler, Galactic Civilizations and so on, are a personal attest to this.

    I fully agree with your sentiment though. It’s the challenge that makes Kerbal so fun and exciting to play. Playing around with physics is rarely this addictive and fun.

    I’m glad to hear they’ll make the interface more instructive and informative, and introduce some better tutorials. The game’s learning curve has deterred a large number of people I think. So great news.

    • GrammarCop says:

      Those aren’t space games. They’re Civilization with a differently colored map for the background image, and are nothing at all in the least like KSP.

  3. ZombieFX says:

    In other news:
    Another game has been released.

  4. DThor says:

    This is one of those games I grabbed on sale but sits there glumly looking at me from my sims category after only a few pokes. While I love space games and sims (Universe 2 is awesome), I positively loathe crafting based games, and that was the aspect of this that kept me from getting into it. I realize it’s engineering, not crafting, but just having all those bits and pieces to chose from with no feedback as to what bits will lead to what result until you’re done felt like “your 5 oak branches and 3 dingleberries have resulted in a slippery stick”. Hopefully this update will help drag me in.

    • Hafnia says:

      If you jump right in with Sandbox, this game can be amazingly daunting.

      I’d recommend you go with Science or Career mode, which gives you a much more natural progression of parts and ambitions. It’s much easier to understand (and remember) what a gizmo does when you only have 2 to choose from and new ones are chosen by yourself.

      • Aninhumer says:

        Career mode also withholds a bunch of things that make things easier though. I think it’s probably easier to just start playing around in sandbox and see what happens.

        • Czrly says:

          … like radial decouplers. Seriously, you really can’t do much (excluding cheese) without radial decouplers.

          The cheese is at least tasty, though, and nets you a tonne of science.

    • GernauMorat says:

      Well, the feedback is “hmmm well that caused my rocket to start revolving head over heels at mach 3, then split into 7 pieces as the boosters fly off on their own and the crew capsule flies on in a short lived ellipse before hitting the ground at 250 meters per second”. So the process can be rather fun.

      • Cinek says:

        While the feedback should be: You have that much Dv, that T/W ratio for this, that and this stage. With your current power supply you have an excess of X units for stage Y, while your stage Z has a power balance of -N units, which means it will remain functional for M seconds.

        Decision to hide all the mandatory information from the player was ridiculous, and the fact that devs still refuse to to acknowledge it is even more laughable. KER is a mandatory mod at this point if you don’t feel like wasting hours to find out something that under any normal circumstances should be a well known fact before launching any mission.

        • Spunjji says:

          I’m not sure your perspective there is universal. Personally I have an awful lot of fun with this simply because of the obfuscation of the mathematics. It’s an area of this stuff that turns me off.

          In spite of that I’ve managed to successfully launch missions to Jool and land components of a base on Laythe without ever touching a single Delta-V calculator. It involved a LOT of trial-and-error, but I enjoyed that.

          I get it though – if you’re looking for a sim, it’s lacking. But we’re not all after that in our spare time. :)

          • Cinek says:

            I’m not talking about a a delta-v calculator. Just a damn display. This combined with one of many delta-v maps is enough to do a 5 second check if your rocket is large enough to accomplish everything you want without any trial & error nor large overestimations of what is required for the mission.

            The more tools you have available the quicker you’ll learn and the better missions you’ll have. Noone forces you to use anything, just like noone forces you to use every part that exists in the game, but proper tools can vastly improve your experience. I’m not a fan of achieving anything in spite of game’s efforts to make it more annoying than it should be.

          • TechnicalBen says:

            In reply to Cinek. This is a game first, sim second.

            The gameplay is “try it, see what happens”. I’ve done quite a bit with no mechjeb and no mods. Just flying by the seat of my pants.

            Others will use charts, and there are some good youtube videos where people know the DV so well, they just see the fuel units and know “I only need 10 units to do this little burn” etc.

            Then there are the mods. Personally I only use Mechjeb for the stats and to automate flights I’ve already done (or boring multiple nodes etc).

            But it is all there in the game, and they keep the complex stuff (keeping it simpler, but not “stupid”) out to broaden the sales base to keep the team going .

  5. Wowbagger says:

    i’m still waiting for it to be on sale, because i’m too stingy to pay £30 for it. I think it will be a fun thing to play with my Son when he’s more focused on things.

  6. AnTREXon says:

    Couldn’t help but review it.

    Such an awesome update!

  7. TechnicalBen says:

    No! I need sleep. I have work to do… I think I’ll download and have to wait for a week of work before I give this a try… as now the constructions can be twice the size! :P

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    phuzz says:

    Great! Now I can finally mange to drag myself away and stop playing KSP because all the mods I use will be broken for at least a week or two ;)