Kerbal’s Making History expansion blasts off today


During my brief love affair with DIY rocket sim Kerbal Space Program, I visited the London Science Museum and came out having learnt genuinely useful lessons about when to use my second stage rocket boosters. I could have looked that up online (and yeah, I did that too), but isn’t that fantastic? I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t have wound up in the museum anyway, but Kerbal had to have been on my mind when I was deciding whether to visit. Nice one, video games.

I’d sort of forgotten Kerbal existed since then, but today’s launch of its first expansion has blasted it back onto my radar. Making History is free for anyone who bought the game before April 2013, and adds a new mission builder that lets you devise fiendish tasks for yourself and other players. That’s the Making part: the History part lets you reenact landmark moments “from spacewalking to crash landing on the Mun”.

Some people might be happy to splash around in Kerbal’s sandbox mode, but I doubt I’d have gotten into the game without the Science and Career modes giving me some direction. The mission builder sounds like it’ll provide excellent alternatives to the looser goals laid out in those modes, and I’m sure the community will come up with some ludicrously challenging adventures. Custom scenarios can feature “launches, landings, rescues, malfunctions, explosions, repairs, and other events”.

If the missions designed by other players seem too daunting, then the ones included in the “History Pack” might offer some respite – though I doubt they’ll be a spacewalk in the park. They all have you recreating moments from mankind’s real world space exploits. I can only hope they skip the parts where we sent all those animals to their deaths. The history pack also includes some “new parts and astronaut suits inspired by the Space Race”.

Kerbal Space Program: Making History is free if you bought the base game before April 2013, as will be any other future expansions. Otherwise, it’s £13/€15/$15 from Steam, GOG, the Humble Store, and the devs.


  1. GrumpyCatFace says:

    Best $15 I ever spent, by far. I got the expansion for free, but I would have happily paid for it.

  2. Mezelf says:

    It’s free if you bought the game before THE END of April 2013, which can also be written as “before May 2013”.
    Do you not actually read the comments on your own articles? This is the second time (by a different author) RPS has made this error. Last time it was written exactly like this also, and it caused confusion which was corrected after literally 1 minute of research by commenters.
    But fuck research, right? Fuck actually reading your sources and writing with accuracy and clarity, yes? You’re RPG writers, you’ve got better shit to do.

  3. mike69 says:

    Confusing comments about dates aside I’m glad you pointed out that it was free for some users. I just checked and I bought KSP on March 22 2013 (how the time flies…) And so got this for free without even realising, I was considering buying it yesterday!

    Maybe it’s due to my contact preferences but it’s odd that Steam emails me to let me know when games leave early access but not when they’re added to my account for free! This isn’t the first time I’ve discovered a free gift, makes me wonder how many I’ve missed…

  4. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    I had time for a quick play yesterday, so of course I went straight to building a Saturn V.
    Of course, this soon after an update, precisely none of my mods were working, so for the first time in ages I was flying free-hand, with no mechJeb taking the wheel.
    I managed to get all the way out to the Mun and land, and I finished last night after having managed a Munar-rendezvous :)
    I did have a quick go in some of the new scripted missions but at present they don’t do the best job of explaining what you need to do, verses what’s optional. There’s also no option to revert flights, so you’re back to the start of the mission every time you make a little mistake.
    Loving the new parts though, I’ll be building my own Voshkhod tonight!

  5. Titler says:

    Also got the expansion for free; I actually preferred sandbox mode, because the requirements for unlocking parts were all rather bizarre and got in the way of the actual challenges I wanted to try and beat.

    One thing the game always lacked, and I hope the new mission builder will tackle, is a way to simulate your own missions before attempting them.

    That might ruin some of the fun for others, but being unable to tell in game if you’ve even got enough fuel to complete the first burn, having to put it into a 500km+ orbit first just to be able to speed up time enough to be able to try and move to another planet in any reasonable real life time frame, then having to reload multiple times because even MechJeb is fiddly calculating the transfer… and only after 100 tries finding out no, you don’t have the fuel in practice finally broke my interest in the game.

    • Shadow says:

      The Kerbal Engineer addon gives you a lot of metrics about your spacecraft, which include the deltaV of each stage even as you’re designing the rocket in the VAB/SPH. It’s an essential mod for me.

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