Welcome to the second edition of our official newsletter, KSP Loading… !  Do you want to learn about all the current developments of KSP? Here’s the place to be, so let’s get started!

Update 1.6

Kerbal Space Program 1.6: To Vee or not To Vee is right around the corner, and as with every release the team is very busy wrapping up the final details. As part of our new update delivery plan, To Vee Or Not To Vee is a free update that will be packed with content: Part Revamps, New Features, and more. Here are some of the things we have been busy with for the last few weeks…

Part Catalogue Revamps

Fuel Tank Adapters

Let’s start with more part revamps. As you have noticed, with this update we took the task of giving some well-deserved attention to several fuel tank adapters that, in all honesty, looked a bit outdated to say the least. Last time we showed you the revamped TVR Stack Couplers, well, this time it is the turn of the O.M.B. Demolition Enterprises TVR-400L Stack Quad-Adapter, which, despite its similarities to a TVR Quad-Coupler, allows for a single 2.5m in diameter rocket to branch into four separate 1.25m stacks. Our artists remade this part’s specular, diffuse and normal texture maps, and created two additional variants to match the different variants found in other Rockomax sized parts.

Click here for high-res images

Revamped Nose Cones

Nose cones have helped your rocket stacks reduce their drag for a long time, but were in need of some well-deserved attention. Our artists gave a facelift to the C7 Aerospace Division’s Small Nose Cone and Goliath National Products’ Protective Rocket Nose Cone Mk7, the Aerodynamic Nose Cone and the Advanced Nose Cones – Type A & B. All these nose cones got brand new diffuse and specular texture maps. Additionally, the colliders of the Protective Rocket Nose Cone Mk7 were revised and, with the exception of the Small Nose Cone, all have new variants to match with your preferred style.

Click here for high res images

The Mk2 Lander Can IVA

Last time we showed you a preview of the revamped Mk2 Lander Can, but there was an aspect of this cockpit we kept under our sleeve: its IVA! Our artists carefully modelled this IVA to match the new dimensions and to give our beloved Kerbals space to perform experiments and store their board games and snacks!

Click here for high-res images

The “Poodle”

Originally based off the Payload Assist Module (PAM), the Rockomax RE-L10 “Poodle” Liquid Fuel Engine is a favorite among players for vacuum operations due to its high specific impulse and thrust. It’s because of this popularity and its outdated look that we decided it needed a makeover, so we turned it into a dual combustion chamber closed cycle engine that will continue to excel at landings, orbital insertions and transfers. As you can see, our artists completely redid the engine’s geometry and created brand new texture maps, giving the “Poodle” a very cool and modern look that matches the engine’s versatility.

Click here to see a high-res image

The “Terrier” 

An outstanding engine for orbital maneuvers and landings, the LV-909 “Terrier” Liquid Fuel Engine is also a veteran that received a heavy aesthetic makeover. For this engine the artists completely reworked its geometry and carefully placed some nice details on the engine combustion chamber. Brand new textures maps were also created for the “Terrier” and we are including three variants for you to choose from, including bare and truss mount versions. The new emissive texture (heat map) for the throttle animation of this engine looks pretty awesome, too!

Click here to see the high-res images

New Features

New Idle Animations

To give Kerbals even more personality, we are including several animations for idle Kerbals. These animations will trigger randomly after 10 seconds of inactivity and make taking Kerbal group photos as difficult as on Earth.

Click here to see an animated gif showcasing this feature.

Hiding EVA Helmet

There’s another neat feature included in the upcoming 1.6 update.  You will now be able to remove the Kerbals’ Helmets, as well as their neck ring! But be careful, there is a reason why Astronauts wear Helmets for space travel…

Click here to see an animated gif showcasing this feature.

Dynamic Cube Maps

With Update 1.5 we introduced a new shader that made some parts’ metallic bits interact with light. However, the way this shader looked inside the VAB/SPH and outside in the environment differed significantly. With the upcoming 1.6 update we are adding Dynamic Cube Maps to flight mode. These cube map textures are consistently updated to represent a dynamically changing environment, so metallic parts, such as the Probodobodyne Stayputnik will now also reflect the surrounding environment on their surface.

Delta-v per Stage and Delta-v Tool App

This feature is the Crown Jewel of Kerbal Space Program 1.6: To Vee or not To Vee and probably one of the most requested ones. With the upcoming update you’ll be able to visualize the delta-v value along with a range of other technical data for each stage, as well as the overall delta-v of the vessel natively. Additionally, we are including the Delta-v Tool App: A tool that will allow you to set the vessel environment for how delta-v is calculated in the VAB and SPH. Check the video below to learn more!

The Bug Hunt

The team has also been busy with some good ol’ bug sweeping for both the base game and the Making History Expansion. So far, more than 60 items (between bugs and feedback) have been resolved for update 1.6. For instance, some players were having trouble with the dV calculation and handling of stages with multiple engines and asparagus staging in the Burn Time Indicator; now that has been fixed. The team also corrected an issue with drills; now these can only operate and generate ore when deployed with proper surface contact. The Making History Expansion is also getting a good deal of bug squashing. You’ll be happy to hear that a Null-Reference Exception is no longer generated when changing the “Location” settings in the “Spawn Vessel” node with the described procedure in the Mission Builder. Additionally, Kerbals will now appear swimming in the correct position when spawning on bodies of water. We also took this opportunity to do some rebalancing for the Wolfhound, Cheetah, Kodiak, Mastodon, Cub, Skiff and Bobcat LFO engines. Finally, we want to remind you, dear bughunters, that the bugtracker includes a feature you can use to upvote reports and, thus, help us order the issues by user relevance (Upvotes). Click here to learn how to use it.

KSP Enhanced Edition

As we disclosed in the last edition of KSP Loading…, we are currently working on a substantial update for KSP on consoles and it will include various items that the PC version currently has. It is important to note that there always will be differences between the PC and console versions. For instance, if we were to bring Update 1.5 to consoles, we would have to do an entirely new port, something that would take a massive amount of time and resources to achieve and would retract from the overall progress of the game. Instead, we are working on a console-optimized update that will take bits and pieces of all updates we have released after 1.2.1; some of the ones that people like the most. Just to name a couple examples, this next update will include several revamped parts, the variant switcher, and a number of other things that we will be revealing along the way.

We know that console players also want to enjoy new content and we are aiming to provide our players with a content-filled package that not only will solve known issues, but give console players more reasons to continue playing KSP from the comfort of their couches.

Meet the team

We also want to take this opportunity to introduce you to our new Lead Designer, Paul “Maxsimal” Boyle, who has been an avid KSP player since the 1.0 release. Here are some words of his own:

Hi! I’ve just joined the team very recently, but I’ve been working on games as a software engineer and designer since 2002. I’m a huge KSP & rocket fan – the realism mods really hooked me. And I’m a general nerd-about-town of the sci-fi/ fantasy/ video game/ boardgame/ tabletop RPG/ wargame/ computer/ physics/ you name it type.  I also travel a lot and hang out with my better half and our cats to pretend I’m halfway normal.

I’m really looking forward to helping you explode our favorite little green people in new and exciting ways.

Finally we want to remind you that you can share and download missions on CurseKerbalX, the KSP Forum and the KSP Steam Workshop.

That’s it for this edition. Be sure to join us on our official forums, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for more exciting and upcoming news and development updates!

Happy launchings!