A Brief History
Squad’s Kerbal Space Program, the leading suicidal space physics simulator on the block, sees the player taking control of the KSC, otherwise know as the Kerbal Space Centre, commanding a crack/cracked team of Kerbal astronauts who have trained all of five minutes to become a fully operative member of this elite group. Under your guidance and constructive genius, or lack there of, it is their goal to go where no Kerbal has ever gone before.
Kerbal Space Program has now officially left beta than ever and entered the orbit of release. It has certainly been a long time coming. From it’s humble beginnings in June of 2011 it has come a very long way, a journey in which the odd bug was certainly a common occurrence and time in which many brave Kerbals lost their lives in the name of discovery and progression.
Heat Generation and Improved Aeroynamics
The release version sees many improvements on the previous with a more accurate flight dynamics model and heat generation. Drag and lift models have been reworked to convey a much more realism. So be aware your old designs of planes, STO’s and rockets may well be very much outdated – by that I mean they will probably spontaneously disassemble and explode. Luckily we do have heatshields, which will help on re-entry.
Another welcome addition is the use of fairings. These allow you to create a more aerodynamic rocket by surrounding the payload this making a smooth and aerodynamic surface. This helps to lower drag and therefore heat making your craft able to withstand even most stressful of launches. They also stop any items functionality from inside the fairing, so that means no solar panels, science or antennas can deploy. It also means wings inside the fairing can’t produce lift. Plan accordingly, fairings are set to be a big part of mission planning.
Squad have now given us the capability of mining asteroids and planets then refine that into usable fuel for our spacecraft. This was something added in mods previously, but I felt they were either to overzealous or infringed on the gameplay too much. However, this certainly allows for a lot more re-playability and player driven missions in the game. I can imagine myself setting up mining outposts designed to support outward refuelling stations on the edge of the Solar System. Just designing the logistics of that would add hours on hours of game-play.
You can view their development blog here for more.
What’s in Store for The Future?
Squad say they are committed to multiplayer career and sandbox modes for KSP. Now that the full release is out I’m sure there will be some big news on multiplayer in the very near future.
KSP is available on Steam for $29.99 or £22.99 with a 25% off promotion. If you don’t already have it and are into simulation games and have a sense of humour you’d better pick it up. You won’t regret it.