Kerbal Space Program Lead Dev Quits For Planets New

One thing I love about spaceflight simulator Kerbal Space Program [official site] is that I’m yet to find two players who’ve shared identical experiences. I’ve only ever played in short bursts myself, but mastering takeoff still heads my to do list. Others I’ve chatted with speak of grand space voyages and interesting discoveries. Heck, Adam even prefers the game as a spectator sport, which speaks volumes for its wide-reaching appeal.

Which is why it’s a surprise to learn that lead developer Felipe Falanghe has announced his departure from Kerbal Space Program after five and a half years of service.

Taking to the KSP subreddit, Falanghe spoke fervently of his time working on the spaceflight sim – from a “little unassuming idea”, to what exists today – but stressed his desperate need to “have something new” and to create “more than one game” in his lifetime. He recalls times gone by where single decisions had scope to change the entire direction and ethos of the game, yet that’s no longer the case now. As such, Falanghe reckons the game is now complete on a conceptual level. He says:

“This isn’t to say KSP’s development is complete, however. Far from it. Plans for KSP reach far into the future, and there are enough ideas to keep us all going for years. The console versions are coming up, there are new updates in development, the list goes on. For myself, however, I desperately need to have something new, to create more than one game in my life.

“I need to make one thing perfectly clear: development on KSP will continue as always. No features, upgrades, bugfixes or anything of the sort are being discontinued because of my leaving.”

What’s next for Falanghe isn’t clear, but it’s good to know he feels confident that his pet project is in good hands. And of course we can almost definitely certainly probably now look forward to another game from Kerbal’s creator. “This isn’t goodbye,” says Falanghe. “It’s just farewell for now. In the meantime, however, I hope you all enjoy playing KSP as much as I enjoyed being part of its making.”


  1. Luciferous says:

    He will be missed, but the game is in great hands. I will be looking forward to see what he comes up with next.

  2. Cooper says:

    With the new update that finally removes the horrible RAM usage limit (which made significant modding nigh impossible) I think it’s fair to say that KSP is in rude health and can afford this loss.

    Be interesting to see wha happens next…

    However I am surprised that the announcement is leaving the company rather than annoucing that Squad are shifting some of the devs to a new project…

    • LionsPhil says:

      Aren’t Squad, or at least weren’t they before this took off, primarily a marketing company? Possibly they didn’t want to leverage this opportunity to make a permanent pivot in their core business paradigm.

      • Cooper says:

        Maybe, but they would have to be a very substantial marketing firm in Mexico for the money KSP has made to not be the vast majority of their current business…

        • Ethaor says:

          You’d be surprised at how much money small marketing companies can shake!

      • australopithecus says:

        Ah, LionsPhil, this made me spray my coffee all over the keyboard. Thanks a lot. ;)

        Shows how far gone we are that a collection of meaningless corp-speak weasel words can be taken at face value by those replying.

    • RabbitIslandHermit says:

      From what I’ve heard aside from this guy most of Squad’s devs are extremely poorly paid (like, 2000 USD a year) people drawn from the community who understandably usually don’t last long. Most of the money they made off of KSP is apparently being shoveled into various passion projects like one of the owner’s record label. It’s disappointing to say the least.

  3. Xerophyte says:

    I’m going to be cynical and guess that he’s got a nice offer to go do interesting work somewhere that isn’t Mexico. Squad asking SteamSpy to take down the estimated ownership data for KSP simply because being known as a financially successful developer in Mexico City was a bad idea does not speak to a calm and safe working environment.

    Best of luck to him and Squad both, in any case.

  4. Zanchito says:

    I’m delaying playing the game until all the big features promised for the latest patch are in, just using the time to go through my backlog and letting the game get even more complete before spending large amounts of time in it. Am I right in understanding there were some fairly big aerodynamics changes that got delayed because of complexity?

    • LionsPhil says:

      I admit I haven’t played since before 1.0 because I already put my hours in back then and needed a break, but 1.0 was when there was a huge aerodynamics rework, which was sorta-but-not-actually building in what the FAR aerodynamics and DRE (deadly re-entry [shock heating]) mods used to do.

    • Catterbatter says:

      I’m not sure what you’re waiting for! KSP has been an absolute blast to play practically from the beginning. It is less hilarious ever since the update that strengthened the connections between rocket parts (.23 or so?). They’ve added in more “game” type mechanics, but tbh if landing a spacecraft on another planet isn’t enough to satisfy you, you may not enjoy KSP.

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      phuzz says:

      Right now is as good a point to jump back in as ever. There’s still new features planned, but by the sound of it, that’ll be the case for several years, so if you’re waiting until it’s feature complete you’ll never get any explosions done.
      I’m not sure when you last played, but 1.1 was the big update that changed a lot of stuff, and we’re on 1.1.2 now (ie most of the obvious bugs have been fixed)

      • Wisq says:

        And 1.1 also introduced stable 64-bit (beyond just Linux), which is what a lot of us were waiting for. Mods galore! My old 80-mod Kerbal would die from the 32-bit memory limit around the time I started landing on the Mun. My new 130-mod Kerbal blows up the 32-bit build before I even reach the main menu.

  5. Czrly says:

    All the best to him. I hope his new career starts with radial decouplers unlocked from the get-go.