Aug 17 games and fuck up

Yesterday I fucked up… a little

I’ve been playing with a Python script to re-arrange the films in my movie directory; it moves everything of a selected file type from directory and sub-directory to a selected directory.

Useful eh?

Thought I might use it to group all of my photos too.

Last night I ran it on a drives root directory for all *.txt files.

Let me rephrase that, I moved every text file from all directories to my root directory.

This was only a backup drive, but I expect there might be a few programs that fail, as config files may have moved… on the upside, I know a good place to look for them is the folder in the root directory named ‘txt files’ 🙂


retro need

Tired of current gen titles, plus mates have borrowed the games I fancied playing, I setup my XBOX 360 and PS3 again.

Such an awesome collection of titles, I can’t wait to introduce to the boy.

Found it mad that there are a few of them that I’ve bought the PS4 remakes of 🙂

This then took me down a retro root and I installed a Linux MAME emulator to go back to my favourite platform title Wardner.

Wardner

Not everyone sees the beauty of the game, but I have fond memories of playing a Japanese version of it at lunch, and after school, being able to get through the full game on 10p.


The rest of my game time as been committed to Elite Dangerous.
A colleague is new to the game, so I logged on with the intention of passing on some credits to help him on his way.

Within the first hour I made 3 insurance claims on expensive ships, simply because I’d forgotten the controls.

Mitigation kicked in and I bought a Sidewinder to bring back the muscle memory and remember what the fuck I was doing.

2.4 is in alpha testing, to be released soon, named ‘The Return’ – Thargoids are coming!
So naturally I’ve been hooked again in preparation.

I’ve been grinding out at Sothis / Ceos, increasing Federation and Explorer rank, currently sitting at Lieutenant / Baron / Expert / Entrepreneur / Ranger… Elite not too far away.

I’m running a Clipper with 2 class 6 First Class cabins, with a single jump I’m making as much as 2.5MM credits, inching up the rank with each departure of passengers.

I’m tempted to follow the Road to Riches, for something different to do, I always enjoyed flying the Asp… also fancy climbing back in a Diamondback and getting my combat skillz back up to speed; think that could be useful with the Thargoids return.

Great that these are not mutually exclusive as my bank balance is looking healthy enough to kit out a few ships to a high grade.

I’ve been tempted to go down the Python route, although not sure why I’m reluctant… maybe it’s the idea that I’ll then have to grind engineers to better equip the ship?

I’ve also joined the Mobius group, which means I can play on-line without the distraction and stife of players who would want to blow away, or steal, my hard earned credits.

To paraphrase Braben, see you all in the black o7

Game Building with Unity – Space Shooter tutorial

Unity

I’ve a couple of ideas for simple games, and after doing a little research decided on giving Unity a try as a platform, and C# as a language.

I was reluctant at first as I found I could only get it to work on Windows… in hindsight I could have probably used a Virtual Box, or even Wine, but there’s still time to change.

Python was my first choice, although Unity won me over with the user friendly GUI and heaps of free content, tutorials, assets, and community discussion to reference.

Not saying that I’m no longer playing with Python, just not for this project.

Unity Personal is a great place for beginners and hobbyists to get started. It includes access to all core game engine features, continuous updates, beta releases, and all publishing platforms.

Unity Personal

Here’s the Wiki Unity extract:

Unity is a cross-platform game engine developed by Unity Technologies, which is primarily used to develop video games and simulations for computers, consoles and mobile devices. First announced only for OS X, at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in 2005, it has since been extended to target 27 platforms.

Six major versions of Unity have been released. At the 2006 WWDC show, Apple named Unity as the runner up for its Best Use of Mac OS X Graphics category.

Unity is marketed to be an all purpose engine, and as a result supports both 2D and 3D graphics, drag and drop functionality and scripting through its 3 custom languages. The engine targets the following APIs: Direct3D and Vulkan on Windows and Xbox 360; OpenGL on Mac, Linux, and Windows; OpenGL ES on Android and iOS; and proprietary APIs on video game consoles. Within 2D games, Unity allows importation of sprites and an advanced 2D world renderer. For 3D games, Unity allows specification of texture compression and resolution settings for each platform that the game engine supports,[7] and provides support for bump mapping, reflection mapping, parallax mapping, screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO), dynamic shadows using shadow maps, render-to-texture and full-screen post-processing effects. Unity also offers services to developers, these are: Unity Ads, Unity Analytics, Unity Certification, Unity Cloud Build, Unity Everyplay, Unity IAP, Unity Multiplayer, Unity Performance Reporting and Unity Collaborate which is in beta.

Unity is notable for its ability to target games to multiple platforms. Currently supported platforms are Android, Android TV, Facebook Gameroom, Fire OS, Gear VR, Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, HTC Vive, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Hololens, Nintendo 3DS line, Nintendo Switch,[14]Oculus Rift, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation VR, Samsung Smart TV, Tizen, tvOS, Wii, Wii U, Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Store, WebGL, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Unity formerly supported 5 other platforms including its own Unity Web Player. Unity Web Player was a browser plugin that was supported in Windows and OS X only, which has been deprecated in favor of WebGL.

Unity is the default software development kit (SDK) for Nintendo’s Wii U video game console platform, with a free copy included by Nintendo with each Wii U developer license. Unity Technologies calls this bundling of a third-party SDK an “industry first”

Wiki Unity


Unity – Space Shooter tutorial

I’ve been working through this awesome tutorial for the last few days, completing all but the final section.

Bug checking and seeing a working final product has been satisfying, Adam Buckner is a great teacher who I owe several pints to for his great guidance.

I now feel confident enough to try a couple of my own ideas, and will hopefully finish this last part of the tutorial and publish the finished product to Android.

In the mean time here’s a link to a Mega repository containing a working Linux version of the Space Shooter game I built from the tutorial, have fun 🙂
Mega: Linux Space Shooter

Here’s a summary of the course contents, I went in as a n00b and found it understandable and achievable.
Continue reading

April 17 updates

Both Android and Ubuntu received official updates today 🙂

Made a clean install of Ubuntu 17.04, everything works well out of the box.
Then there’s the compulsory: 17 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 17.04

Was surprised at the size of the Android security patch at over 300 MB to version 7.1.2!
All was well until a week later my phone bricked; I pulled it out of my pocket and it wouldn’t respond to my thumb print.

Thought nothing more of it, charged it overnight thinking the battery was drained, but it wouldn’t start the morning after 🙁

Tried booting into bootloader with zero success. So returned it to the store I picked it up from, stoked there’s a 2 year warranty… hope to get it back in the next few days.

In the mean time I’ve been using a fresh unboxed iPhone 6 we had sat around the house (don’t ask) and I’m shocled to say that I’m warming to it… or not as opposed as I thought I would be.

pros

  • all the google apps I use are installed; mainly Gmail, Google Drive & Play Music
  • podcasts easy to subscibe, although the default player isn’t as intuitive as I’d like
  • think the sound and quality is better from Play Music
  • quicker to take photos, great quality… although not sure how the quality compares to Nexus 5x
  • photos upload to Google Drive
  • battery lasts longer than 5X, charges fast, but not close to the speed of USB-C

cons

  • no NFC – can’t use Yubi Key
  • can’t set Firefox as default browser, but do get Firefox Focus

My biggest gripe though is the fingerprint unlock button.
I’m used to the 5X opening first time, with fingers and thumbs able to open up the screen.

The iPhone unlock seemed to work first time for the first week but now only works periodically, frustrating.


Also been playing with OpenSUSE in VirtualBox.

It does everything I need and looks great.
I miss apt-get, but maybe not enough to be a barrier to try it as my main distro for a while… then again I have my graphics card working perfectly in Ubuntu so not keen on rocking the boat.

The Thargoids have arrived

Thargoids
No posts lately as I heard that the Thargoids have arrived in Elite:Dangerous last Friday 🙂

How has this caused my hiatus?

I rushed out and picked up a new graphics card (Radeon RX 480) and a 256 Gig Samsung SSD so I could play the game with ease.

That’s when the trouble began! I found I couldn’t migrate Win7 easily off a partition on a 2TB HD to the SSD; or rather I could, but Windows wouldn’t open.

I also had issues installing the Radeon drivers on Debian. I tried and failed to rebuild a kernel (first attempt), and I didn’t know there were new Linux kernels available, still not sure if they would work.

So I re-installed Ubuntu, as I knew there were Radeon drivers available. So after installing Ubuntu on my original SSD I found after many attempts that I couldn’t install Win 7 on my new SSD… but I could install Ubuntu on it, and Win7 was happy to install on my original SSD.

Best part of 3 days it took me to remove my old graphics card, slot in the new one, plug the new SSD into a SATA port on the motherboard, install 2 new operating systems, and setup Steam and Elite:Dangerous, including the Horizons DLC!

Thank the Linux gods that I have a weekly backup of my Home directory that’s easy to bring back with Deja Dup.

For the rest of the 2 weeks I’ve been flying around space 🙂

Elite:Dangerous Vulture

I didn’t jump straight back into my Clipper; after accidents when coming back to E:D after a break in the past. So I mapped my keys to a wired xbox controller (I still find the ergonomics suit my large hands better than the PS4 pads) and took my Vulture out for a ride.

I didn’t take many risks, practiced takeoff’s and docking, all was going well, so thought I’d try comabat.

Now I remember this ship could hold its own so I was quite confident approaching a Conflict Zone, even after time away.

I was destroyed within 5 mins, WTF! It felt like the ship had been nerfed, or it could have been my new lack of skills.

So I cashed in the insurance and bought one of my favourite ships in the game, an Asp. I moved over what hardware I could, and sold the rest.

For the next few days I flew my Asp around Imperial space, running data, fetch, and delivery missions, not wasting weight on weapons. I didn’t realise immediately that I had purchased an Asp Scout, and not the model I’d had fun exploring and trading with in the past, the Asp Explorer… or am I just confused and was there only the Asp available on launch? Shit it was over 2 years ago!

Elite:Dangerous Clipper

Anyway I was then confident enough to have my Clipper delivered to me and things have been going well, except for one failed planetary landing that cost me another insurance claim.

The game seems to have improved in many little ways, and now it’s easier on the eyes with my new graphics card, and stutter free.

I’ve even done something that I once though pedestrian, and have installed a docking computer on the Clipper, loving the sylish landings and how Frontier have kept the classical music that kicks in with the computer as on the original.

So I’m cruising around Harm with some nice one jump return 3.2k/tonne loops, working on saving credits to afford maybe a Python next so I’m not limited to large landing pads.

Loving picking Elite up again, and I haven’t set out yet to find the Engineers, Alien Ruins, or the Thargoids 🙂

from Ubuntu to Debian

Yesterday I did something that I’ve been considering for a while; I burned my installation of Ubuntu and installed Debian.

I’ve been a long time fan of Ubuntu, since before the Unity days, I stuck with the Canonical distro through the Amazon debacle, and the community as been awesome and supportive over the years, and I have loyalty to them.

Although yesterday the KDE plasma installation started having issues, as ever with Ubuntu I find it easier to create a fresh install of the OS rather than try and fix the issues when I’ve installed a broad selection of drivers and programs and I’m not sure which ones have gone tits up.

I was tempted to try the latest Fedora 25, that I’ve been playing with in VirtualBox, but I’m a little too attached to apt-get 🙂

The Debian experience

  • installation has been a straightforward
  • biggest pain was having to install the Debian non-free firmware… or more identifying that I needed to install the Debian non-free firmware 🙂
  • I installed synaptic and deja-dup to access my backed up home directory, which also gave me my .bashrc file back with aliases
    • now have all my usual programs installed, and everything is running as quickly as ever
  • I love the option when installing to add different desktop environments, I’ve been playing with Gnome 2, Gnome 3, KDE, Xfce, Mate, but settled for now on Cinnamon
  • and as a great bonus Steam and Kerbal Space Program installed without issue 🙂

Everything seems to be stable and running well… think I need to change the headers on this blog from Ubuntu to Linux 🙂

first techy projects of 2017

Status

Things I’m playing with over the Xmas NY break 🙂

  • installed KDE desktop, not sure why I haven’t tried it before, although I did try Mate a few weeks ago that I can’t get to work correctly
  • excited about season 2 of Street Fighter V I’ve reinstalled it on the PS4, and I’m more frustrated and annoyed by Capcom’s servers than ever
    • repetatively the server connection keeps dropping, the only solution I can find is to close the game and re-load
    • the novelty of getting to practice with Akuma wore off quite quickly, I couldn’t even find a single game 🙁
  • I’m excited about Elite: Dangerous coming the the PS4 this year, although not sure I can be motivated to put the hours in again, and I don’t think Commanders will be able to migrate over saved profiles
  • currently downloading the one game I’ve purchased on Steam Kerbal Space Program yet again.
    • I’ve just searched and found that it’s already available for the PS4… not sure how I missed this!

I needed to use this guide to get Steam to load on Ubuntu 16.04

rm ~/.steam/steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6
rm ~/.steam/steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/amd64/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6

tidal cycles

http://tidalcycles.org/

No time to install and code just now, but I’m very excited of playing with this application in my (salaried) work space

TidalCycles (or Tidal for short) is a language for live coding pattern. It allows you to make musical patterns with text, describing sequences and ways of transforming and combining them, exploring complex interactions between simple parts.

To see and hear Tidal in action, check out some videos of performances and demos.

Tidal allows you to express music with very flexible timing, providing a little language for describing patterns as step sequences (which can be polyphonic and polymetric), some generators of continuous patterns (e.g. sinewaves, sawtooths) and a wide range of pattern transformations. Tidal is highly ‘composable’ in that pattern transformations can be easily combined together, allowing you to quickly create complex patterns from simple ingredients.

Tidal does not make sound itself, but is designed for use with the SuperDirt synth, and can control other synths over Open Sound Control or MIDI.

Tidal is embedded in the Haskell language. You don’t have to learn Haskell to learn Tidal, but as you get deeper, it might help to pick up an introduction. You could try Graham Hutton’s “Programming in Haskell”, Miran Lipova?a’s Learn you a Haskell for Great Good. Or, you could try learning just by playing with Tidal..

Acorn BBC flashback – Thrust

Super Transball 2

There were a couple of games I’d seen before; a teacher booting up a 5 1/4 inch disk of Elite being the most memorable [this is how long ago it was, none decimal measurements in fractions], on a BBC Micro
BBC Micro
However the first game I had the privilege of playing, and becoming a trial, was Thrust
Thrust

Thrust is a 1986 computer game released on most home computers. The perspective is two dimensional platform-based and the player’s aim is to manoeuvre a spaceship by rotating and thrusting, as it flies over a landscape and through caverns. Gameplay of Thrust was heavily inspired by Atari’s Gravitar.

So how stoked am I to find Super Transbal 2 on the Ubuntu software library, free of charge 🙂

“Super Transbal 2” is the sequel of “Transball” and “Transball 2”, Inspired in THRUST type of games (and concretely in ZARA THRUSTA for the Amiga 500). In each level of Transball, the goal is to find the SPHERE, capture it and carry it to the upper part of the level. The main obstacle is the gravity, that impulses you towards the ground. But many other obstacles, canons, tanks, doors, etc. will try to make difficult your journey…

This so takes me back to my childhood lunch breaks, and is an amazing reproduction of what I remember as the original.

The download is tiny… although detrimentally so is the game play window, but everything else, including the tough challenge is as awesome as the original

yubikey-neo + KeyPassX + KeyPassDroid + OwnCloud

KeyPassDroid

yubikey-neo + KeyPassX + KeyPassDroid + OwnCloud portable secure password vault

Searching through F-Droid for yubico I came across a link to KeyPassDroid; I’d come across a password safe solution on the yubico site using KeyPass, but was shied away as it mentioned the premium version… I don’t mind paying for shit, although if I can solve the issue with free open source alternatives I’ll spend hours trying 🙂

So the solution that I’ve pulled together:

  1. created a KeyPassX database on my Ubuntu machine with all login email details
  2. set password up in 2 steps
    1. self entered password
    2. password stored on yubikey-neo
  3. setup key
  4. saved key and KeyPassX database to OwnCloud
  5. from Android download key and database opened with KeyPassDroid
  6. password acquired on demand via NFC from yubikey-neo

Sorted, a free solution… excluding purchasing of yubikey-neo and host fee of website that allows for OwnCloud space.

Guess free alternatives could be Google Drive or MEGA for online file storage, and a more simple one step password 🙂

Quite happy with how it works, lets’s hope I don’t lose the yubikey-neo in the near future 🙂

Cyanogenmod 12 arrives for Nexus 4

CM 12

I was so stoked Friday to find Cyanogenmod 12 arrives for Nexus 4!

The boards said it was stable, or that snapshot is the new stable, so I thought why not.
I’ve been doing this since the Nexus 1, so I dropped into the usual update process; I backed up everything and took advantage of being able to install direct from my copy of CM 11.

Everything went well, apps and info were restored from Titanium, at first CM 12 was buttery smooth… but then the day progressed, and smooth turned to chunky.

I was receiving a black screen every time I unlocked, the phone rang to the same black screen; only the power button did anything, thank goodness it actually answered the call!

So then this afternoon, after having had enough with the sluggish feel and no real benefits I decide to revert back to CM 11.
Running through the process Cyanogenmod ran into an eternal boot loop, after installing the ~120 apps… oh noes!

But I’m a veteran at this, I have backups, no need for a cold sweat just yet!

9 hours later I finally have my phone back to how it looked this time yesterday 🙂

CM 12 removed TWRP for Clockworkmod… those backups I had couldn’t be loaded!

I get lazy when it comes to playing with ADB, and I like my hand to be held, blessed that these 2 sources were available:
Universal Naked Driver Solves Your ADB Driver Problems on Windows
15 seconds ADB Installer v1.4.2

I’m not proud that I used Windows, and I will try and get au fe with ADB in Linux to ensure it never happens again, but Wugfresh’s Nexus Root Toolkit has me spoiled, it means I don’t usually need to think and stress too much to resolve my Android boot loader crisis.

Anyway normal service has been resumed 🙂

Make the most adorable little WiFi router

So between learning my way around an acoustic guitar and trying to finish the main story of withcer 3 before Metal Gear Solid 5 arrives, I’ve been trying to set up my Raspberry Pi as a VPN router… again 🙂

Here’re a few of the links that have helped my journey

To run the initial config at any time:
[code]sudo raspi-config[/code]

Raspberry Pi – Static IP address Essential, so I can work from a single screen… and use the other for guitar tutorials and Netflix 🙂

Setting up a Raspberry Pi as a WiFi access point aka Make the most adorable little WiFi router

This is useful if you don’t use linux dailyLinux Useful Command Reference Guide

I now have the router working 🙂
I can connect the Rasp-Pi to a VPN 🙂
But for some reason connecting a device to the router doesn’t then access the VPN 🙁

You can guess how my weekend is going to pan out

How to Show Text-Entry Address Bar or “Breadcrumbs” in Nautilus

Status

Since there is no longer a toggle button, users with only breadcrumbs will need to hit Ctrl+L to show the text-entry address bar (and Esc to go back to breadcrumbs) You can also hit the / key and it will show the address bar, but empty (well, except for it beginning with “/“), ready for you to type or paste an address (so if you want to copy the address of the current folder, use Ctrl+L). Note that once you refresh a window, it will go back to breadcrumbs, so if you want to make it stick as the default, use the tip at the end of this article.

Ubuntu Genius

This has been bugging me for a while 🙂

0 A.D. Alpha 17 Available For Download


I only got into 0AD a couple of months back, and here’s a serious free update 🙂

Full details here: webupd8

Notable changes in 0 A.D. Alpha 17 “Quercus”:

  • Major Core Combat Rebalance:
    • if you send only one unit type to battle, it fares poorly against regiments of the same size that mix more than one type, e.g. melee and ranged units;
    • technologies as a whole have been made more expensive and unrelated technologies have been “unpaired”;
    • some stats have been adjusted to make training some units viable
    • buildings are now a bit easier to destroy;
    • formations were removed temporarily, but they will be reimplemented again some point, in a more balanced way.
  • Naval map support: the computer opponent now uses transport ships to colonize other islands and attack enemy bases, but naval combat (i.e. ships against ships) is not yet implemented;
  • Units On Walls: Units can be garrisoned in wall segments, and appear on the walls at predefined prop points;
  • Users can now view profiles of other players from within the lobby;
  • 2 new maps: a Oasis (skirmish map) and Schwarzwald (random map);
  • Implemented triggers: A “trigger” makes an action occur in the game if a specified event takes place;
  • A new Mod Selector allows users to enable or disable mods, save them or just restart into them to test them out. This way, it is a lot easier to test and play mods. This can be reached at: Main Menu -> Tools & Options -> Mod Selection. Also, modders can now easily make small changes to the game without having to copy and modify many files.

Another Linux flavour with bonus cache


I was playing about installing yet another Linux flavour via VirtualBox; CrunchBang. I’ve been a fan of Slackware for a while, so thought I’d give it a try.

It was a pleasent surprise, it worked well from boot, with a nice installation script that gives the option to install all of the bells and whistles extras. It’s feels light, but in a lumbuntu sort of way; not short on functions, but not resource heavy.

CrunchBang is a Debian GNU/Linux based distribution offering a great blend of speed, style and substance. Using the nimble Openbox window manager, it is highly customisable and provides a modern, full-featured GNU/Linux system without sacrificing performance.

The primary aim of the CrunchBang project is to produce a stable distribution offering the best possible out-of-the-box Openbox experience. To achieve this goal, CrunchBang pulls many base packages directly from Debian’s repositories, which are well-known for providing stable and secure software. Packages from CrunchBang’s own repositories are then customised and pinned to the system to produce what is known as the CrunchBang distro.

Put simply; CrunchBang could be thought of as a layer built on top of Debian, specifically to provide a great Openbox experience.

Anyway the other bonus was a link to this cool library of programming books, that I found linked on the community page: GitHub Free Programming Books

Enjoy 🙂

static sound from Linux box – solved

Status

I thnk the background static has been going on for a while, I’ve been ignoring it like tinatus 😉

Today though, I had had enough, and needed to find a solution.

One quickk search later I found the cause, on some update the mic’s had been activated in Alsamixer, a couple of clicks later, all sorted, clear sound restored 🙂

Ask Ubuntu: Constant noise in speakers and headphones

The most probable cause of constant noise coming in from the speakers is usually mic boost. In order to disable this:

      Open a terminal.
      Type alsamixer and press Enter.
      Reduce the Mic Boost and Internal Mic Boost to zero. Refer to screenshot.

Kerbal Space Program First Contract

Kerbal Space Program
First Contract has arrived to the Kerbal Space Program

I love this game! No better value for small purchase price


Delle(DK)

Jul 15 @ 7:03pm
24.0 Official FAQ
Official link to the FAQ that is posted below. ..: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/content/294-Kerbal-Space-Program-First-Contract-The-FAQ

What is KSP: First Contract?
This is a new update to Kerbal Space Program, also numbered 0.24, as each update to the game has a number attached to it. It is free for existing players and new players will install this version when they download the game.

When is it coming out?
We’re crunching the last few issues as we speak. It’s been a game of whack a bug that we’re just about ready to win.

What are the main features of KSP: First Contract?
The biggest update to KSP is the inclusion of Contracts to Career Mode. Players will choose available contracts in Mission Control, earning three in-game resources:

Funds: Kerbin’s very own currency.
Science: This was already in-game, and it is how you unlock new parts in the game’s tech tree.
Reputation: Just like on Earth, companies that stay on budget, on time and avoid any um, complications, will see their reputation grow. This means better, more rewarding contracts. Fail to complete your contracts, miss deadlines or lose Kerbalnauts and your reputation will suffer.

What are the smaller features of KSP: First Contract?
We don’t like to think of there being small features, especially when new UI (user interface), rocket parts, updated parts and update Tech Tree are among them. Read more HERE[forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com].

What bugs were fixed in KSP: First Contract?
Ted: One of the big bugs of 0.23.5, the size 3 decoupler causing crashes or StackOverflowExceptions is fixed in 0.24. As well as asteroids being tweaked so that they collide into each other. We’ve had a vast number of other bug fixes on the way, such as stack separators being able to be root parts and thus causing krakens. There are too many to list, unfortunately, but hopefully you’ll notice that your ‘favorite’ bug is squashed.

HarvesteR: During these experimentals, we’ve been finding new and old bugs and fixing them as usual, but we really have fixed a larger-than-average number of very old bugs this time. I think this is partly because the Contracts system led us to work on areas of the game that hadn’t been looked at in a while, and possibly because we are nearing some stage of development where things are starting to come around full circle. We’ve caught bugs with parts, with Kerbals, with fuel flow – some were as old as 0.14 in fact.

Why did this update take so long to develop?
Like several other features in the past, we’ve been working on the Contracts system in the background for several months already. In fact, We’ve started work on Contracts early this year. However, there is a big difference between a functioning game system and a fun gameplay mechanic. This is why we needed to take our time on this one, to make sure the contracts were not just working, but were also a fun addition to gameplay. That plus the extra time needed to polish and bugfix added up to a pretty massive update, indeed. We’re very happy with the results we’ve achieved now and everyone who’s worked on the update or tested it agrees it was time well spent.

What did testing involve?
This time around, we were not just hunting for bugs, we were also listening to every bit of feedback from the testers about game balance, which is something that you can only improve by playtesting, and required a lot of careful adjustments of hundreds of values. We’ve already tweaked parameters on over a hundred parts, if we’re not mistaken, correcting inconsistencies and making sure their values make sense for what they are. We’ve also had to do multiple iterations for balancing the rewards (and penalties) of the contracts themselves, to make sure they reward you consistent amounts for what they’re asking.

Will the update break my saves?
Ted: I’ve tested 0.23.5 saves here and they’ve upgraded fine. However, please do note that they were stock saves, modded saves might behave differently. Furthermore, because of the way contracts are implemented, they’re appropriately generated for an existing save so the upgrade should be seamless.

Harv: Keep in mind, however, that due to a small bug in the progress tracking system in 0.23.5, it’s possible that some contract offers on those saves may not reflect your actual progression (offers being more advanced than your achievements would warrant). This has been fixed on 0.24 and should not happen on new saves. It should only be noticeable on saves where very little progress has been made (as in not even reaching orbit).

How will budgets and contracts work?
Players will be budgeted based on their funds so they’ll need to take contracts with missions they can afford to accomplish. Contracts will have varying deadlines but all of them will be offering a chance to acquire Funds, Science and Reputation. On accepting, many contracts also give you a Funds advance, which should come in handy if you’re running so low on funds you can’t afford even to launch the next mission.

Are contracts available outside of career mode?
No, Contracts are a keystone feature of Career, and it wouldn’t be Sandbox mode if you had to do contracts there.

Will “classic” (0.23-style) career mode be an option?
Yes. This was something we managed to get into the update at the very last minute, but we felt it was essential to still allow the game to be played in the way people have gotten to know it. When starting a new game now, you’ll see three game modes: Sandbox and Career, which we already know, and ‘Science’, which has the Contracts, Funding and Reputation modules disabled, so only Science is active. This makes the game function in a 0.23-style mode.

What is the name of the money currency?
Funds. We’ve gone over many, many ideas for what to call them, but nobody wanted another ‘K’ name, and all the suggestions were, well, not good. One of the QA Testers came up with the fan theory that they’re called Roots (given the symbol). That one was actually not that bad, but they’re really just called Funds.

Who are these companies giving out contracts?
The biggest names in part production in Kerbin as well as civil societies and scientific organizations.

Will contracts and science interact?
You can receive science rewards for completing some of the contracts. Gathering more science won’t directly change the contracts offered, though unlocking new parts with the science will. Some other contracts will even ask you to perform experiments, so you can even get science while completing contracts sometimes.

How is reputation earned/lost?
You can earn Reputation by completing contracts and recovering Kerbals. You lose it by failing contracts and killing your Kerbals.

What happens if I run out of money?
The best “ekonomists” (rimshot[instantrimshot.com] here) in Kerbin have claimed that it’s technically impossible to run out of money, though I’m sure people will still manage it. As you are given advances for contracts and you are constantly offered new contracts, you should be pretty safe.

What happens if I choose not to take a contract?
The contract will simply expire after a certain amount of time and you will be offered a new one after some time.

Are there refunds?
No refunds! All sales are final, especially at Jeb’s Junkyard and Spaceship Parts.

Do contracts expire?
They do indeed. Note that you have two ‘expiration dates’ for contracts. The first is the actual date which is when the offered contract expires. The second is the deadline, which is when the contract must be completed by.

Can the manufacturer logos be modded and customized?
You can edit a config file for the Agencies that allows you to customize the mentality of the Agency and the logo that it uses.

Are Contracts moddable?
Yes. it actually went through several rewrites to make sure it was fully moddable and that any ideas were possible within the system. You can add new contract types and create lots of interesting interactions.

What else is moddable?
You can add new agents and new mentality types, new parameters (objectives) for contracts, relationships between agents, company backstories and more. You can even add in your own logos As usual, we want to give you as much creative freedom as possible.

What types of contracts are there?
There are five types of contacts, after you get through the initial series of contracts.

How many times can a contract be taken?
Technically, only once, since each contract is uniquely generated. However, the game will continuously generate new offers, and with the exception of very basic contracts like ‘first launch’ and such, most other contract types will be offered again and again in some form or another.

Does it cost funds to recruit and train Kerbals?
Currently, Kerbals don’t cost any Funds to recruit or train. This is a planned feature for an upcoming release however.

Can we spend reputation on anything?
Not yet. Reputation does affect the difficulty and amount of contracts that you may be offered, though. On later updates, we do have plans to make currencies interchangeable for one another, at varying degrees of efficiency (depending on your economic situation).

If I stage a part on ascent, can I recover the Funds for it if I attach parachutes?
Unfortunately, you can’t currently recover Funds from debris that were destroyed by the game for going out of the active physics range (>2.5km). You can only recover parts which are attached to the vessel you’re recovering, so reusable spacecraft are a very attractive prospect, for the same reasons as in real life. The more parts you can land back, the less you have to spend to re-launch.

Also keep in mind that the farther away you land from KSC, the less Funds you’ll get back from your recovery efforts. Stick a runway landing though, and you’ll get a full 100% of the value back of all surviving parts.

Can you lose anything from killing Kerbals?
You will lose Reputation for killing Kerbals, although new applicants are still as eager as ever to participate in the Space Program.

Will the mission control building be accessible in sandbox mode, or will it be locked like the R&D facility?
Just like R&D, it’s closed in sandbox mode.

What will the new parts do?
There are a couple new parts added to this version : “O-10 Monopropellant Engine” and the “Vernor Engine”. The first one is a small single-nozzle motor that consumes monopropellant but responds to the main throttle input instead of RCS. The second one is also a small engine, it responds to RCS input but it consumes liquid fuel plus oxy. They are very useful for stabilization purposes, more control authority on heavy launchers, and simpler propulsion systems for small vessels in deep space.

What are the new tutorials and how are they different from the old ones?
All of the older tutorials are still there, but most have been revised, for example, the Mun Part 1 tutorial now includes a crash course on Maneuver Nodes, the flight tutorial now walks you through a simple flight and the recovery mechanic. There are a few new tutorials, To The Mun Part 2 now actually exists, it explains how to get from the Mun back to Kerbin, a tutorial that explains the basics of science is also there, and there’s also a new two part tutorial on asteroid redirecting.

Will fuel and oxidizer have their own costs independently of the parts which use them?
Each Resource has its own cost in Funds, which means you can decrease the amount you’re spending on a vessel by using Tweakables to lower the resources you’re carrying.

Is it true that KSP: First Contract is in 64 bit for Windows?
It is true!

What does 64 bit do?
Ted: The 64-bit build allows the game to address more memory that it previously could. Now, you can load up more add-ons than you could before and (hopefully) KSP should stay stable.

HarvesteR: Please mind that the Win64 executable does have bugs of its own, and platform-specific bugs are for the most part, Unity bugs, not KSP bugs. That means every unity game probably also has this bug, and it means that we can do very little about it from our end, other than wait for a fix on the next unity version. We’ve tested the Win64 version quite thoroughly though, and the issues we’ve found are very minor and not commonly reproduced.

If I already own the game, what do I need to play the 64 bit version?
Ted:You need a 64-bit Windows machine, that has 4GB or over of RAM (otherwise, there’s little use in running the 64-bit version). You’ll also need a dash of perseverance as the 64-bit build can still be a bit grumpy when it comes to some issues. If you’re on Steam, the win64 executable will be downloaded alongside the win32 one automatically.

Samssonart: One more thing here, if you want to use the 64 bit version for the KSP Store distribution, you will have to download and install it manually, the patcher doesn’t support “cross-updating”, you can backup your saves and use them in the 64 bit version though, that much shouldn’t be a problem.

Why was 64 bit implemented only after the hack was discovered by the community?
Ted: We often have a lot in plan for KSP, but get our priorities on the ‘fringe features’ from what the Community is currently interested or vested in. So when the Community is very interested in something like 64-bit builds, that allows us to take a look at what we have in plan and see what can be moved around to accommodate the new interest.

Harv: The fact that there was so much interest in a win64 version of the game that a community hack was invented led us to reconsider the priority for a win64 version. It was planned, like Ted said, but not scheduled until later. The community hack showed us that the demand for it was much higher than we thought, so we set aside some time to rig up the build pipeline to produce win64 builds for this release already.

What’s next for KSP and when might 0.25 be released?
As usual, the next release will be out whenever it’s ready. For the most part, though, we plan on continuing to improve on the recently added Career Features, add the still-pending bits to make Career gameplay more complete, and we’re also working on a few other things, which we’ll talk about later.

Last edited by sal_vager;
Jul 16 @ 9:26am

2 Pi’s gamer geek 1 fried

Status

Good, bad, and great news 🙂

  • Good news; my Onion Raspberry Pi kit arrived from Adafruit
  • Bad news; I fried the board plugging in the USB connectors wrong in error
  • Great news; I picked up another Pi, I’ve installed tor successfully, and can wirelessly access the Onion network. thttpd is installed, now working on building an Onion server 🙂

Here’s a great guide I used to install thttpd on the Raspberry Pi