Jul 15 2014

Five Month Update

Another month! With amazing progress as well. The KSA is currently operating on Oct 26th, so I have almost 3.5 months of lead time built up, and increasing slowly. The twitter account is up past 250 followers – it’s 261 at the time of this writing but the number does fluctuate but +/- 5 follower every week or so. I think I’m solidly past 250 now however. I’m still working on ways to boost follower count but it’s a secondary goal so I’m not really dedicating too much attention to it, after all I want to play the game!

kOS Rover Driver

It’s getting to the point where KSA is almost ready to ship a rover off to Mun. Rovers in general in the game are a pain because they require a lot of maintenence. If you want to get somewhere, you have to drive there. That means sitting in front of your computer with the W key mashed (maybe held down by some object)… maybe for hours if you need to go far enough. Booooooorrring! So to solve this problem I have written my own software in the kOS scripting language to handle the driving for me. I just lay out a course of waypoints and tell the rover to get going. Then I can walk away or sleep or do other stuff while the drive is happening. It’s pretty sweet and still undergoing testing but has been very successful so far. I’ve had my rover drive itself from the runway on KSC all the way out to the desert on the opposite shore, more than 150km away. No crashes. I’m currently working on some more advanced routing code so the rover can try and find a new route to a waypoint if it encounters a slope it can’t climb. Here’s a peek at the real-time output window:


When it’s complete in the next day or two I’ll do a release of the script on the mods forum showcase.

Asteroid Roleplay Update

Made a few additions to how I’m handling asteroids (discussed initially in the May update). First is I added a multiplier to apply to each day’s amount of asteroids to be discovered/missed. I’ve started small with 1.5x and via the twitter announced that additional land-based scopes were added to the tracking network. I’ll probably add more land scopes early next year for a 2.5x multiplier and eventually a space telescope will bump that up further, especially if I say it’s dedicated to asteroid hunting (like the sentinel mission). Secondly, for every rock I need to pick from the numerous untracked objects in the system, when I select Kerbol to center my view on it I now generate random clock positions to place Kerbin. So at 6 o’ clock Kerbin will be straight down. This changes up the order in which I pick through the unknown objects since it changes the orientation of the whole Kerbol system.

Hunting for future asteroid encounters

I’ve been using Kerbal Alarm Clock now instead of the save file hack to jump easily to asteroids and it’s let me go through all the ones I’m currently tracking and find out if they will ever re-encounter Kerbin within 50 years. I do this by placing a maneuver node on the orbit, right-clicking and using the +1 orbit button to iterate through future orbits looking for an encounter. Some I’ve found are coming back around in less than 5 years. One I found will actually hit Kerbin on its next encounter 9 years from now. Even if I don’t play things out that far into the future, the fact that it will hit in 9 years means next year I could send out a mission to nudge it. However, despite doing all this I’ve recently discovered that all these future encounters may not be accurate :/ So we’ll see what happens.

Other twitter space agencies failing

There have been a couple more accounts looking to tweet their space adventures, but none of them so far have been able to keep it up. I’m hoping that the silence from some of them is because they are building up a lead-time to re-launch the account. To anyone interested in doing what I’m doing – you need a lead-time. Despite the fact that my income-generating work takes up a minority of my time and I’m single with no real obligations to anything but myself, I still have trouble maintaining my lead time. If you’re working a lot to pay the bills, have a family or a girlfriend or any other responsibilities that will keep you from playing the game every single day, then take this into account and build up a sustainable lead time before you actually start tweeting.

Public imgur gallery submissions

I just started posting my KSA images to the public imgur gallery. The method for doing so isn’t really upfront and obvious so I never bothered figuring it out until recently. That will be my work for the month on figuring out a way to possibly get more followers 😛 Regardless, I like seeing the comments people leave.

Edits, edits, edits!

Yea so despite the fact that I re-read everything to come at least once a week, I still managed to miss a tweet in July where I said something would happen on 6/7. One follower was like “man it’s going to take a year??” haha, and I was like “d’oh!”. That’s the second mistake I’ve let slip through, thankfully none of them have been plot-breaking so far. But to make sure that doesn’t happen I need to sit and read through the entire transcript of tweets yet to come (I keep em all in a simple text document). Moar editing!!!!

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