For a game about spaceships, Kerbal Space Program's latest expansion has a curiously terrestrial focus not to mention name: Breaking Ground. Out now, it doesn't do much for spaceflight but does give more to do once you've actually landed somewher eout there. Along with new ground-based deployable scientific research gadgets, it adds surface formations to study and, most importantly, robotic pistons and joints and things. Remember: robotics components are for serious scientific expeditions only. Don't get any ideas about building a giant mechanical tarantula to skitter around mission control. And if you're using a mod to add multiplayer, don't you and your pals have any ideas about starting a Robot Wars on the Mun. Science only, okay.
Squad say the Breaking Ground expansion "is focused on increasing the objective possibilities once celestial bodies have been reached by adding more interesting scientific endeavors and expanding the toolset." So munmen will plop down science gadgets for experiments and roam around scanning the landscape for interesting rock formations to study. This is still Kerbal, so apparently ramming into things to create seismic shocks counts as science.
What most interests me is that feature several Kerbal mods added ages ago: robotics. Roboparts arriving in Breaking Ground are "hinge, piston, rotor, and rotational servo in various sizes," I'm told, letting players add all sorts of mechanical doodads to their creations. They also have a controller system to program and synchronise components, creating complex movements and behaviours.
Note: that doesn't mean you should go building warbots, remember? "CorSPACE" here was very responsible with this spidercar:
As promised way back when, this and all other expansions are free to players who bought Kerbal by the end of April 2013.
Newcomers (well, relative newcomers) can get the Breaking Ground expansion from Steam the game's own site for £13/€15/$15. To lure in actual newcomers, the base game has a 75% discount for the next week on Steam. The first expansion, Breaking Ground, is half-price there too and everything's available all together cheap in the Complete Edition.
I'll just go perform my routine check on the piston storage cupboard an- oh god no. Hey! "Banana Dog"! No! This is irresponsible!