The Kerbal Space Program wiki last edited by DasBoot on 12/22/14 07:42PM View full history

Overview

Kerbal Space Program is still in development, although an Alpha version is available for free from the game's website. Players are given the ability to build and test rockets, exploration vehicles, and space planes of their own design.

The latest version of Kerbal Space Program is v0.90, which was released on December 15, 2014, for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Gameplay

Building your rocket is easy

There are currently two modes available: Career and Sandbox.

Career

The player begins with a very limited selection of parts (no wings, large engines etc). Additional parts are unlocked spending "Science" to progress along the technology tree. Science is generated by conducting experiments with experiment parts. Kerbals can also gather science by recording crew and EVA reports or by collecting surface samples. Science must either be beamed back via communication equipment or recovered from vessels that have landed back on Kerbin. Science is available in finite amounts on each planet or moon meaning that there is always a reason to explore. As of version 0.90 all planets and moons have multiple environments (biomes) that generate Science when experimented on. Certain experiment containers can only collect Science from one biome at a time, but can be 'cleaned' when docked with a mobile processing lab and then reused.

Players must also manage their space program's finances and reputation in career mode. Throughout the game there are contracts the players can carry out in order to gain reputation, money, and additional science points outside of performing experiments. The contracts can be as simple as flying to a certain altitude and testing a specific part, or can be more challenging and involve performing several tasks each having to meet some rigorous requirements. In career all the parts to build your rockets and spaceplanes have a cost. So, users are encouraged to complete contracts as efficiently as possible to maximize profits.

Sandbox

In Sandbox mode all the parts are unlocked from the beginning.

Gameplay consists of two separate phases. The first is the construction phase in which the player assembles the rocket from the available parts. These include fuel tanks, rocket engines, solid fuel boosters, parachutes, guidance systems and the command module itself. Designs can also include decouplers, which are parts that can be activated in flight to separate sections of the rocket which are not needed. For example, empty fuel tanks and boosters can be separated to reduce weight, which will help increase speed. Once a rocket is complete, the design can be saved and then taken to the second phase, the rocket flight.

The rocket's flight will begin on the launchpad. The player will have control over the rockets thrust and direction, as well as being able to activate guidance systems which can help keep the rocket on course. Many rocket designs will consist of several "stages," with each stage being activated with the press of a button. Only one stage can be active at a time, so the player will need to activate each stage when they feel the time is right. A simple example would be activating the first stage on the launchpad by firing the rockets engines. Once the engines are out of fuel, the player would activate the second stage to release them from the rocket. The player will also need to keep an eye on engine temperatures, as high temperatures will cause rockets to explode.

The rocket's flight takes place on and above the fictional planet of Kerbin. Atmosphere and gravity affect the rocket's control and speed depending on the distance from the planet, meaning the player will need to keep this in mind if they are attempting to orbit or land safely back on the planets surface. If the rocket is manned, the Kerbalnauts can be killed by explosions or impact with celestial bodies. If the player wants to attempt a safe landing they can attach parachutes to help slow the command modules, or even fire rockets to slow themselves down.

Players are now able to dock ships in the game, allowing the construction of space stations in orbit around Kerbin or any other celestial body in the game. There is also a flight planning mechanic that allows players to plan future maneuvers that can help players fly to other planets, or establish orbits.

There are currently seven planets in the full game: Moho, Eve, Kerbin, Duna, Dres, Jool, and Eeloo. Many of them have moons for a total of 15 bodies to explore.

Moho, the small rocky planet closest to the sun has an inclined and slightly eccentric orbit. It's small size and proximity to the sun may make it difficult to explore.

Eve is a slightly larger planet covered in an extremely thick atmosphere, high mountains, and oceans of mercury. It has a single moon with a highly eccentric and inclined orbit called Gilly.

Kerbin is Earth-like with large oceans, frozen poles, a dense atmosphere, and even familiar continental formations. It has two moons: Mun and Minmus.

Duna is a small Mars-like planet with ice forming at both poles and a rocky moon called Ike in orbit.

Dres is classified as a dwarf planet that orbits the Sun between Duna and Jool. Dres has no atmosphere, and is a very rocky planet.

Jool, the gas giant is the largest planet and has four bodies in orbit. There are four unique moons: Laythe, Vall, Pol, and Tylo as well as a captured asteroid called Bop to explore. Jool's immense gravity and long distance from Kerbin make it the most difficult planet to explore and return safely.

Eeloo is a dwarf planet and is the farthest planet away from the sun most of the time. Eeloo's orbit intersects Jool's orbital path making Jool the farthest planet from the sun depending on the time.

Collaboration with NASA

Kerbal Space Program: Asteroid Redirect Mission was released on April 1st 2014 in an update which was developed by Squad in collaboration with NASA. It mirrors NASA's ongoing Asteroid Redirect Mission allowing players to: Identify potential asteroid targets for investigation, redirect the orbit of asteroids and to explore them with crewed missions. The aim of the mission pack is to raise the profile of NASA and it's technology development initiatives and deep space exploration programs. The mission pack also involves new mechanics and parts such as grappling devices and even larger fuel tanks.

System requirements

PC

MinimumRecommended
  • OS: Windows XP
  • Processor: Core 2 Duo
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: SM3 512MB VRAM
  • Hard Drive: 1 GB HD space
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Processor: Core i3
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: SM4 1GB VRAM
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB HD space

Mac

  • OS: Snow Leopard
  • Processor: Dual Core Intel
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: SM3 512MB VRAM
  • Hard Drive: 1 GB HD space

Linux

  • OS: Linux (Most distros should work)
  • Processor: Core 2 Duo
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Hard Disk Space: 1.5 GB HD space
  • Video Card: SM3 512MB VRAM

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