Jan 15 2015

Eleven Month Update

0.90 A Go

I had to take over 2 weeks off from the game after Xmas due to work out of the country, and I just got back this past weekend during the @KSA_MissionCtrl “upgrades”. There was nothing special about that event on twitter, I scheduled it back at the beginning of Dec just as a means to easily jump ahead a few days to help push out my lead time. But it actually happened to coincide with me getting 0.90 up and running from Sunday to Tuesday. For the most part it was a painless transition from 0.25. It took me almost three days because I had to catch up on all the forum threads for the mods I was updating, some of which had several pages worth of posts to go through. This is just so I’m aware of any known issues going in. I only installed the mods needed to run my current save, there are several more (mostly part packs) I have yet to get caught up on and install if I want to build a new ship.

The only thing that tripped me up moving over to 0.90 was a Remote Tech issue with the latest 1.6.0 version, but some simple testing revealed they had just changed the name of the property in the SFS file that defines the cone angle of a dish from RTDishRadians to RTDishCosAngle. A simple Find/Replace All and everything was just peachy. To make completely sure all systems were functional I loaded up my Mun III craft file in the VAB. I needed to reset the properties of the Smart Parts sensors since they had a big update for 0.90 but other than that the craft seemed fine. I did a straight-up/straight-down launch and recovery and everything went off perfect, all staging events, triggered action groups, and chute deployments. Switching around to various satellites in orbit I haven’t noticed any artifacts or exploding craft.

Recognized by the ESA

I’ve had the pleasure of being retweeted/mentioned before by the @B612Foundation/@SentinelMission and the Canadian Space Agency @csa_asc, but I was pleasantly surprised when the European Space Agency took notice of a reply I made to one of their tweets showcasing a new piece of software they developed to display orbital data of their spacecraft, giving an example of my own flight tracking software:


That attention netted me 16 retweets, 28 favorites, 47,241 impressions and almost 100 additional followers. Now if I can only get the attention of @NASA….

I’ve tried some other opportunistic tweets as well with hashtags for publicity-sake, but not with much success so far. The two I did were #2014In5Words and #RuinADateInFiveWords. The idea is that anyone searching for the hashtag has a chance of seeing my tweet and maybe being all like “Oooh what’s this?” – but neither hashtag generated any additional followers. I’ll still keep an eye out for more I can reasonably participate in, and I’m always watching @csa_asc, @esa and @NASA tweets for any I can respond to with something related.

I might break 1000 followers by next month, although the rate of new followers has flat-lined just this past week.

And for the record, I do hope to do something similar in the future (actually showing orbital tracks on a map)

Turning down the science gains

I’ve tweaked my science gains down to only 5%. The general idea is that I don’t want to be able to gather all the needed science simply by visiting biomes, but also make use of alternative science gathering like space telescopes, space stations, habitats, etc. I currently have enough science to purchase a new tech node in the tree but I still haven’t really decided what I want to get.

Sticking to the story

A couple more twitter agencies have popped up in the last month, as usual you can get the full list here. Despite the group email list I established with pretty much all the active ones, there hasn’t been a lot of planning going on related to the storyline some of us are trying to collectively adhere to. I can’t really complain though, because I’m certainly not going to force people to play the game the way I do. Everyone else is pretty much coming around and tweeting whenever they have the time and making up things as they go. I’m doing mostly the same thing except my stuff is already at least a month into the future, so it can be tough to keep things in synch. Ultimately I’ve decided that my initial feelings on this whole enterprise of collective twitter accounts sharing the same universe was correct – do-able, but not on a tightly-coupled basis. So I’m generally letting everyone do pretty much what they want when they want and only ever directly acknowledging the events that fit into my own story.

Bringing old tweets back to life

Back in May I wrote about how twitter’s profile changes forced me to work around the new tweet formatting in order to get the type of tweets I use for my mission dispatches. Well, the downside to that is when I scroll back through KSA’s twitter history, I can only go so far before twitter refuses to load anything older than 2 months or so. Some of my story arcs extend well beyond 2 months (I just tested a Kethane drill in Dec but was tweeting about Kethane R&D as far back as July, if not earlier) so recreating those old tweets isn’t possible since the font used by twitter isn’t free. Thankfully, I realized I can just use my twitter archive to find the tweet in question, copy the text from the archive page and the time from the actual tweet it links to, and paste them over a tweet copied from my @dsimkora timeline.

More videos coming

I’ve said I didn’t want to spend too much time with videos but I’ve made a couple more for Jan/Feb that I’m very pleased with and to be honest once I had the idea for them I couldn’t not do them. I’m hoping for some good reactions from the community towards two in particular. The one I’m most excited about drops at the end of this month

Until next month…

The current operational date of the KSA as of this writing is 09:00 UTC on 2/19/15 and 2 astronauts are about to embark on another attempt of a historic mission…

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