Sep 15 2014

Seven Month Update

I didn’t leave myself a lot of notes for this month’s update, but plenty of cool stuff went down to talk about. First off, I’m happy to say the KSA is already operating through to the new year – current operational date is 1/4/15. I had hoped to extend my lead out to a full 4 months but still getting to 3.5 is pretty good. I’m wary of the fact that at some point as things become more complicated I could drop close to a 1:1 ratio in terms of real days versus in-game days as the amount of tasks I need to perform per in-game day increases. Thankfully when needed I can introduce plots to momentarily slow things down to make it easier for me to catch up on in-game time. I have also slowed down operations in general – meaning that now after launching a new satellite into space while in the game it takes me a few minutes to deploy everything and stuff, I make it take a day or two. The time it takes to build rockets has also been gradually increased, which I feel is realistic given the increasingly complex tech being employed.

Some new image techniques, giffys

Last month I mentioned how I’m still sticking to still images mostly for my media, and that continues to hold true so far. But lately I’ve also experimented with creating videos with GfyCat that have turned out to be relatively quick and easy to produce, so I have a liftoff from the water tower camera, some booster separations, etc. I’ve also started using floaty to overlay images on my screen and make it much easier to create VAB scenes with multiple craft under construction. And I’ve also gotten better at laying out and producing rocket blueprints. I’m dying to show off the first one at the end of October. THE END OF OCTOBER!! God dammit that’s too far away 🙁 Well, it’ll get here eventually.

Twitter analytics

I enabled analytics for the twitter account, a relatively recent feature, and while I haven’t really been leveraging it yet for anything it’s interested to look through. Every now and then I have a good reason to reach out to try and interact with an actual space agency. The B612 Foundation and the Canadian Space Agency have so far been real great in playing along with the account. Just this past weekend, the KSA put out two of these outreach tweets. And both were successful. The B612 Foundation retweeted this tweet, and the CSA retweeted this one. Even Scott Manley got in on the RT action, although sadly he’s still not a follower 🙂 All told, these two tweets netted me 14,614 impressions and over 50 new followers. Here’s a look at how that compares to normal daily operations:


What’s more amazing is how high my daily impressions have remained over the weekend, although they are now slowly dropping back to normal. Still, my 28-day average impressions is still 1.7k, which is pretty cool. Here’s a look at my total follower count progression since the account opened and I’ve marked significant upticks and why:


A couple of the smaller bumps are also from /r/ksp posts over on reddit. My largest was of course from the main KSP twitter, but they haven’t deigned to repeat this act, although I’ve tried several times since. I’ve gone quiet for a while with that and will try asking them again further on down the road.

Mission Architect is amazing

I’ve been taking the time to fully grok the complex but powerful Mission Architect software from Arrowstar, and boy has it been worth it. At first it was just a means to plan my interplanetary missions, but now I realize it can be used for so much more – even for missions I have already launched! There was an atmospheric asteroid impact on Kerbin recently, and I was able to load the asteroid’s orbit into MA and see where it would hit kerbin, how fast, and when, without having to time warp ahead, note the data and then revert back. Planning my first interplanetary mission, I can not only see the trajectory my craft will travel along, I can get data like how far away it is from Kerbin, exactly when it will be closer to the target planet than Kerbin – I can even import the orbits of other craft so I can check to ensure that line of sight to my communications satellites will remain unbroken during the craft’s travel between planets.

Mission Architect is pretty complex and has a steep learning curve, but was developed by someone who does this stuff in real life and so he’s very helpful with support and learning the ins-and-outs of the software can be very rewarding. Check it out.

Crew rosters on the mission reports thread

If you haven’t been by the mission reports thread lately check out the new crew roster feature. I’m really happy with how that turned out, and look forward to updating it with new info as missions progress.

Another kOS program for RCS maneuver control

Because I’m playing with signal delay, and because one of my interplanetary craft is using just RCS, and because the RemoteTech2 Flight Computer can’t be programmed for RCS thrust, I’ve programmed yet another kOS script that puts this functionality in place. It’s been tested around LKO but I’m looking forward to the real test around my target planet soon. I won’t reveal where I’m going, but know that I’m nearly there.

Okay, enough updates, I need to get back to playing!

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