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Published February 13, 2013

On Monday the 11th, Damion Rayne; one of KSPs community managers, had a Q&A session with Johnathan and Barrien of TEST alliance. This Q&A session covered the upcoming 0.19 patch and any other general questions about the future of KSP.

First off, Damion gave us some information on what to expect in 0.19:

A Resource system is being added where a player can mine resources from a planet in space to create fuel for fuelling ships off Kerbin. It works on the same idea as the kethane mod, but has much more scope and is more in-depth. Also resources will be finite, so once you mine them out, they are gone forever.

 

Full sized Version

Also rovers are being added in 0.19. Instead of putting wheels on your capsule, you can put a seat on a rover, take your kerbal out of the capsule and take it for a spin.

They are also working on a new patcher to replace the current one.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Q: Will we be able to build ships on other planets?
A: Eventually, yes, however it won’t happen in 0.19 or the next few updates.

Q: Can we build ships in flight?
A: Not in 0.19, however it’s on our list of things to do for the next updates.

Q: When will re-entry heat be added to the game?
A: This patch, 0.19!

Q: Any release date for 0.19?
A: No. Just in case we can’t make it.

Q: Are we going to be able to import two saved ships at once?
A: Yes, but not in 0.19, or 0.20.

Q: In career mode, will there be specific mission, or will it just be finite resources?
A: We are working on our R&D and achievements system now. We have a vague idea at the moment, however achievements will be proper achievements (not fluffy ‘well done! you logged in’ ones) and this will drive what R&D you will have available.

 

The full Q&A

Q: Will an alchemy system (where you can combine two resources) and invent things on our own be implemented, or is this too forward looking?
A: At the moment, no. An Alchemy system would be too complex to implement, and we have other concerns.

Q: With this new system, we will still be able to build and fuel everything on Kerbin?
A: Yes, this will not be affected. Anything that is built on Kerbin in the VAB will be fully stocked. In the future however, we would like to implement a market where you have to buy resources, but that will be for the career mode.

Q: Will we be able to build ships on other planets?
A: Eventually, yes, however it won’t happen in 0.19 or the next few updates.

Q: Will we be able to remotely control any resource gathering?
A: Not in 0.19, however we have rebuilt the flight model engine, which will alow you to control ships while you aren’t flying them. However a remote gathering system will take time to create.

Q: With finite resources, has FTL travel and more planets become a priority?
A: No, with the amount of resources available, it would take months of play time to clear. FTL and more planets are still on the table. We want to implement a discovery system first.

Q: What does this discovery system entail?
A: This discovery system means that, from now on, we will not announce in patch notes when a new planet is being added. This will involve using Planet and Space Telescopes to scan the sky for them.

Q: Is orbital construction being implemented?
A: We’re looking at it; however we don’t have a plan in place at the moment.

Q: Will there be other ways to mine resources?
A: You can use scoops to collect gases and hydro-scoops to collect water. We are planning on changing our water model to implement more actions on water and a drone system to help find resources.

Q: Will harvesters run when you game is turned off?
A: At the moment, No.

Q: Will resources be in ‘veins’ or anywhere on the surface?
A: It will be like P.I. in EVE, where resources are grouped into an area.

Q: Will you be able to recycle old parts for resources?
A: Not in 0.19, however this is something we really want to implement.

Q: Will the resources be randomly located?
A: We don’t know at the moment. We would like to have it randomly seeded; however this is up in the air.

Q: Will I have to have focus on my drills to collect resources, or can I leave it to run and then go and build spaceships?
A: As of 0.19, you will need focus on them to have them work.

Q: Can we build ships in flight?
A: Not in 0.19, however it’s on our list of things to do for the next updates.

Q: Will the new patch increase the basic game requirements?
A: No.

Q: Will we be able to mine asteroids?
A: Not in 0.19. We have only discussed that idea at the moment.

Q: Will we need to create a communication system to control all these resources?
A: No. We would like to try it, however it would be complex to implement in the way we would like to do it.

Q: So we are getting proper telescopes?
A: At the moment, telescopes will be controlled by NPC kerbals. We might try a player controlled telescope, but we think it might be boring.

Q: Will players be able to toggle solar panels, legs etc. In the VAB before we take off?
A: Eventually, yes, it will be a system called tweakables. So stay tuned.

Q: Will NPC’s be implemented?
A: No, we’re not doing other NPC races. We may do NPC kerbals, but not within this year.

Q: Will there be weather added on Kerbin?
A: It’s on the back burner. We want to do a proper volumetric real time weather system, but we don’t want to set your computer on fire. So at the moment, it isn’t a priority.

Q: Any modules to help assist landing on planets?
A: We don’t like modules which do things for you. We want you to do it for yourself. Eventually we will let you train the kerbals to do things for you.

Q: Will there be a first person view for EVA?
A: It’s been discussed.

Q: When will re-entry heat be added to the game?
A: This patch, 0.19!

Q: Can we create flight plans?
A: Not in 0.19, but it’s on the planning board.

Q: Will planet visuals change as you mine a planet?
A: Not in 0.19, and probably not at all, because of how our planets are handled.

Q: With the re-entry heat system, will there be any modules to mitigate heat?
A: We don’t want to add modules which will formalise the shape of a ship, like a heat shields system might. We don’t know if we want to add new parts or have all the modules have heat dissipation built in.

Q: Will we get kerbal customisation?
A: We don’t know at the moment.

Q: Will the engine be optimised to allow us to use more than 300 physics parts before the engine goes crazy?
A: Because KSP is a 32-bit program, we only have so many resources available. We are also very CPU heavy and because we’re 32-bit we can only use one core. We are currently testing a 64-bit version with the unity 4 engine, which will allow multithreading. We are also looking into putting more computation on the graphics card. Optimization, however, will always be an ongoing task.

Q: Any chance of n-body physics?
A: Not any time soon, as it would require us to re-write our entire physics engine.

Q: Are we going to be able to build bio-domes?
A: That’s colony stuff, and its way down the road.

Q: Any plans to write your own engine?
A: No. It would take years.

Q: Will you let us time-warp with ion engines active?
A: No, as time warp stop the code running.

Q: Any changes to the docking mechanics?
A: No, they’re fine as they are.

Q: Will you be able to transfer between capsules without using the EVA system?
A: Not in the near future.

Q: Will docking modules get built in lights?
A: I don’t know; however, it’s hilarious when you crash your ships.

Q: Are we getting a water and food system for kerbals?
A: We can add a resource system, however we have no plans for it for now, but it is something we would like to do.

Q: Any more scientific experiments being added besides the thermometer?
A: Yes, but not any time soon.

Q: Any release date for 0.19?
A: No. Just in case we can’t make it.

Q: Will we be able to build custom buildings, something like Minecraft?
A: Not soon, probably not ever.

Q: What's the status on the plushie?
A: We are working on store merchandise at the moment. It’s more tech oriented at the moment, however we may expand.

Q: Will harder to reach planets have more resources?
A: We are looking at it. First it is specific planets may have different resources. Then upgrade to planet type.

Q: Will more planetary vehicles be added, like boats?
A: We are looking at the buoyancy model, which will allow you to build a floating base on the water.

Q: Is there a time line for the buoyancy update?
A: Two to four updates worth of work. We’re starting in 0.19 and should carry on through.

Q: Trains?
A: NO TRAINS!

Q: Are there plans to change the VAB so you can delete the command module without deleting everything else?
A: I don’t know, but I will talk to the devs about it.

Q: What happening to the launch tower?
A: We hate it, we are going to remove it at a later date.

Q: Any space station specific parts being added?
A: There will be generalized construction parts for space stations. They are currently being worked on, and we need to add other systems first before we add them.

Q: Are we going to be able to import two saved ships at once?
A: Yes, but not in 0.19, or 0.20.

Q: In career mode, will there be specific mission, or will it just be finite resources?
A: We are working on our R&D and achievements system now. We have a vague idea at the moment, however achievements will be proper achievements (not fluffy ‘well done you logged in’ ones) and this will drive what R&D you will have available.

Q: Will kerbals ever get injured, instead of just dying?
A: I don’t know, but I like that idea.

Q: Are you re-adding empty tanks we can launch?
A: Yes, we are going to re-add them.

Q: Would you rather fight 100 kerbal sized krakens, or one kraken sized kerbal?
A: One kraken sized kerbal. It would probably fall on its face.

Q: Anything to say to the community?
A: We have one of the best communities on the internet. You guys are enthusiastic, helpful, mature, and awesome. We love watching videos and live streams and just seeing what you guys are doing with our game. HarvesteR thought people would like this game when he made it, but we got one of the best communities on the internet. We are very humbled by how awesome you guys are.

WRAP UP

In the end, 0.19 is looking to be the leaping point for a whole new type of KSP experience. With KSP starting to get ready for more advanced space stations and exploration, it seems that the galaxy is the final goal for this brilliant space simulator. With the addition of ground vehicles and resource gathering it won’t be long before you own your own space empire. NASA: eat your heart out, we got Jeb.

We would like to thank Damion for the time he spent with us answering our questions, and hope this answered some the questions you the readers had about patch 0.19 and the future of KSP.

Targie McRed
Hi, My name is Targie. I've done everything from High-sec wars, to Low sec Pirating; from Wormholes to 0.0 wars. I'm currently in TEST alliance, where I annoy my corp. mates with bad stories. Follow me on twitter . @TargieMcRed for article updates.