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  #241  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:46 PM
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I seem to remember, at a fairly young age (at least I thought I was ahead of the curve) realizing that many "games" were just exercises in luck with minimal interaction (usually just moving a token around a board) and declared that I would no longer play any board games that didn't require some thought. I think this came from playing Monopoly with my family and then playing Trouble or Shoots & Ladders with my friends and thinking the latter were "for babies."

I also remember trying to play luck games as fast as possible. I think my friend and I could play shoots & Ladders in under 10 minutes.
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  #242  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by McClain View Post
I seem to remember, at a fairly young age (at least I thought I was ahead of the curve) realizing that many "games" were just exercises in luck with minimal interaction (usually just moving a token around a board) and declared that I would no longer play any board games that didn't require some thought. I think this came from playing Monopoly with my family and then playing Trouble or Shoots & Ladders with my friends and thinking the latter were "for babies."

I also remember trying to play luck games as fast as possible. I think my friend and I could play shoots & Ladders in under 10 minutes.
http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=2321
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  #243  
Old 11-21-2012, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
If you want to run this yourself, you can copy the following and paste it into the address line of your browser. Your browser may hang for a second while it calculates.
Alternately, if you have NoScript, your browser will yell at you for being the kind of idiot to fall for a social engineering attack.

Nonetheless, best LP I've read in a while, Mogri.
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  #244  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:10 AM
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Or in Chrome, it does a google search for it, but ignores all words after "2" because queries are limited to 32 words. And it doesn't give an answer!
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  #245  
Old 11-21-2012, 07:01 AM
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best lets NOT play. ever.
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  #246  
Old 11-21-2012, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
Alternately, if you have NoScript, your browser will yell at you for being the kind of idiot to fall for a social engineering attack.

Nonetheless, best LP I've read in a while, Mogri.
That's ridiculous. Everyone knows engineers aren't very social.
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  #247  
Old 11-21-2012, 11:01 AM
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I think you've stumbled, Zen-like, upon a new form of LPing: anti-LPing. Clearly this is where you break down a game's rules and demonstrate why it is a terrible, terrible game. With science!

We need more anti-LPs of classic luck-based children's games. Any takers?

EDIT: Heck, here's a free one for you. The mechanics behind everyone's favorite childhood game, "Cops and Robbers" (or any of its many variations).

* Player 1 fires at player 2, declares that player 2 is hit.
* Player 2 denies that he was hit or explains why the hit did not count.
* Repeat while randomly swapping player 1 and 2's positions in the game until either player tires of the game and either accepts the hit or attacks the other player physically. In the latter case, the game is considered a loss for both players and both will probably be sent to their rooms for an hour by their parents, who are being completely unfair according to both players.
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  #248  
Old 11-21-2012, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Yimothy View Post
Or in Chrome, it does a google search for it, but ignores all words after "2" because queries are limited to 32 words. And it doesn't give an answer!
I swear I used to be able to do this, and am very upset as I use javascript in the address bar all the time to avoid certain javascript restrictions (or did, until I discovered better ways).

Still can place it as a bookmark and get your answer that way.
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  #249  
Old 11-23-2012, 09:04 PM
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Rotten Flesh: eating a whole pile of it at once will give you a nice boost to an empty hunger meter. The food poisoning resets, but it doesn't stack.
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  #250  
Old 11-26-2012, 09:24 AM
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Finally, going straight at that intersection would have taken you down deep, all the way to my mine at bedrock level. It's not much to look at, but this is where I dug out lots of little chunks in search of diamonds. You need at least three diamonds to finish the single-player game; without them, you can't craft a diamond pick, which is the only tool in the game that can gather the obsidian required to build Nether portals.
Am I the only one who uses the lava bucket and dirt frame method of getting to the nether? I believe my first time killing the ender dragon I hadn't even found a single diamond yet because I just hate branch mining.

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The official way you're meant to do this is to craft Ender Eyes and use them while walking around the normal world. Using an Ender Eye causes it to drift upward in a straight line in the direction of a stronghold--specifically, the End portal within the stronghold. After a certain distance it will either fall back to the ground, where you can collect it or use it again, or blink out of existence. However, triangulating a stronghold's location with Ender Eyes can, if you're unlucky, take hours and hours and burn through a supply of Ender Eyes, which are already extraordinarily tedious to create.
I have to ask how you are spending hours finding the stronghold. I believe they appear within 600 blocks of spawn, so if you start at sunrise you should get there before nightfall. Going with 10 enderpearls should be enough to get you there unless you are extremely unlucky, going with 20 should be guaranteed. The most annoying part about finding the stronghold is grinding endermen, which for me spawned so rarely and dropped so infrequently that I spent more time looking for them than I did doing anything else in the game.

Still, I agree that there should be an above ground marker. I wouldn't put a limit on biome, because the biome generation seems weird as of 1.2, and I can spend my entire life never seeing a proper mountains biome. The biggest thing that would help would be making it so you can sleep til night. It wasn't a big deal in the beta, but now that you have to kill things to get to The End, being able to just do fighting would be very nice.

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[*]Leaves: Useless
I don't know if this is still true, but in 1.2 leaves were the fastest block to mine, needing only one tick. So for building dirt ladders, they are faster to take down. Is that enough to make them not useless, probably not, but just something to think about.

Last edited by namelessentity; 11-26-2012 at 09:44 AM.
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  #251  
Old 12-16-2012, 05:49 PM
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Dr. Strangerocket
Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Navball
Introduction: Getting Into Orbit (with special guest satellite Orb Orbiter!)

Welcome to this micro-LP of Kerbal Space Program v0.18! We're going to have 4 parts to it, covering the 4 most important activities in KSP (as of now): orbiting, docking, landing on a celestial body, and getting back to Kerbin. Let's get started!



The first part of any good space program is to build a space ship. Duh, right? And for that, you need a control hub. You can do both manned and unmanned flights in Kerbal Space Program as of 0.18, so we're going to make the most of the latter's addition and do an unmanned flight.



One important note about unmanned flights is that they do not have any power-generating capabilities, but require power to be controllable. This means that you need to provide them with the means of powering themselves. A battery pack is pretty much a must no matter what option you go for.



I decided to make this particular orbiter use a large fuel tank, but that would look a bit funky. So an adapter is in order! But the adapter is facing the wrong way...



Easily fixed! You can rotate parts about with Q, W, A, S, D, and X in the vehicle assembly buildings.



Then I remembered that I should probably also add an ASAS unit (which automatically adjusts for all sorts of annoyances involving rogue rotation). You can see here that disconnecting parts of the ship to put new ones in is not an issue.



And so we have our orbiter! It's got a large-size fuel tank, a low-power engine, some RCS blocks (micro-jets that help you change orbit; don't go into space without them!), and some RCS fuel tanks. But that rocket, large as it is, won't be enough to get into space on its own. This calls for a lower stage! So a decoupler is added to the engine (note the shroud covering it), and we can build a launch stage now.



Even at this, we'll have problems getting into space, so let's add a third stage with some radial decouplers and additional engines. Note the use of the symmetry tool in the lower-left corner to add parts in unison.



And even with all that, we still can do better! Let's add 6 more good-sized tanks to the top there. This will have the added benefit of providing a bit of weight balancing to the rocket.



I even added a few smaller fuel tanks below those, just because I had room for it. Now, these tanks are useless just sitting there like that, so we'll add fuel lines! Fuel lines feed from whatever tank you start them on to whatever tank you end them on, so make sure you get the directional feed correct.



All that's left now is Space Tape struts! As a general rule of thumb, anything that can wobble, will wobble, so you want to bolt it down nice and hard. Even if they're technically connected to each other, struts will make them stick even harder and wobble even less.



And before we finalize, let's add some solar panels and look at action groups. Action groups are custom commands bound to specific keys, and a lot of parts actually have automatic action group designations. But this lets you refine them even more. Here you can see me adding a solar panel toggle bound to the 1 key.



And one last thing before we go: let's put the main rocket so it fires alongside the sub-rockets. You can drag any part in staging to any staging level, so don't forget to confirm your staging before you launch!



Orb Orbiter is now on the launchpad, and due to a small design flaw, is a bit unstable. Try to have as much surface area touching the ground as possible. If that's not possible, or if your ship seems to weeble and wobble no matter what, consider using launch struts to force it to stay put.



Liftoff! Note that SAS is on. This is very important to note, as SAS makes launches go much more smoothly.



As we gain a bit of altitude, I turn off SAS briefly and adjust my angle slightly. Rockets are best fired at an overall angle on the way up, using what is known as a pitch-over maneuver. For simplicity's sake, I tend to do 5 or 6 one-time maneuvers instead of a constant readjustment as is seen in real space flights.



Here's adjustment #2! We're really gaining some altitude, huh?



And #3! It might seem like we're high up, but the atmosphere's edge is still many kilometers away.
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  #252  
Old 12-16-2012, 05:52 PM
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Near adjustment #4, the sub-rockets are about to burn out...



And there they go! Time to use staging. Hit that Space bar!



And with a tiny "boom", off they fall! A few of them hit each other on the way down and blew up, which is fine since 1.) they were going to do that anyway, and 2.) it didn't hit the ship proper.



Adjustment #5 (the last one, incidentally, 'til we hit apoapsis) puts us at a nice 90 degrees.



From here, we're going to the map for a bit. Take note that controls are disabled by default in map mode; you have to bring them up and definitely should for what we're doing next.



At the moment, our apoapsis (highest point in the flight; you probably know the Earth-specific term for it "apogee" already) is within the atmosphere. But with our continued thrust...



...It sure doesn't stay there! The atmosphere ends just a hair shy of 70km above the surface. But we don't want to stop there!



Instead we're going to get our apoapsis up to around 100km. Keep in mind, as we're still technically in the atmosphere, drag is going to reduce that value a bit at least until we get into space. Once we're this far out, it's time to kill the engines.



This is the first (and definitely best) point you can access the quicksave feature from. Your ship has to not be under acceleration to use it, you see. Hit F5 to save, and hit F9 if things go bananas and you need to return to that point. Beautiful.



Now that we're out of the atmosphere, we can play with the maneuver node system (new to 0.18)! Simply click anywhere on an orbit, and you will get the option to add a maneuver there (as well as a very good estimate on when you will reach that point). This is also the time to extend solar panels if your ship has them.



Maneuvering allows you to adjust on any of the six degrees of movement(prograde/retrograde, clockwise/counterclockwise, and up/down). Right now we want to burn prograde, so let's drag the yellow circle indicator out a bit, shall we?



Because I'm fancy, I went for a circular orbit maneuver. The periapsis and apoapsis don't like to behave for this, so you will have to adjust clockwise/counterclockwise (the blue indicators) to get them where you want them.



All of the information you need for your maneuver is handily shown around (and on) the navball. What we want to do is point towards our target node (which is a dark blue mark), wait for the T: indicator to get close to 0, and then fire when we're close enough for comfort.



Here you can see the maneuver beginning. But we're not gonna have enough fuel, huh?



Fortunately, I thought ahead and added a rocket to the satellite! Be careful when decoupling large heavy stages, as you almost certainly will get knocked a bit off course when doing so. Speed discretion is key!



As I fire, I adjust my aim slightly from the maneuver node and do it the old-fashioned way. My goal is to keep apoapsis from rising too far as periapsis (there still within the atmosphere) rises. To this end, you end up firing more and more towards the sky as the orbit circularizes.



Eventually I decide "good enough for government" and call it quits at about 102km/94km. That's actually a very good orbit, more than stable enough for docking purposes. Speaking of, guess what we're doing next time?
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  #253  
Old 12-16-2012, 08:36 PM
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Rocket Science: The Video Game
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  #254  
Old 12-17-2012, 07:50 AM
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This is the kind of game my brother and I would think about how cool it would be if a game existed like this. The kind of game that you immediately go "man what if the game had so and such in it" Probably why there is apparently a very active mod community.

I've got to send this to my brother. First because he would get a kick out of it. And second so he can explain it to me. My space program would probably have a lot of failures.
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  #255  
Old 12-17-2012, 09:08 AM
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Dr. Strangerocket
Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Navball
Part I: Docking (with special guest station Dock Dachshund!)

Now that we've gotten the principles of ship design and orbiting down, it's time to take things to the next level and master the most interesting of orbital maneuvers: we're going to dock two ships together.



First we need to build ourselves something to dock to! Our helpful guest station Dock Dachshund will be today's example. Here we can see the most useful piece in any station, the 6-port docking hub.



This hub has one small (read: big) problem, however: it comes with no docking ports on it by default! So you'll have to add your own Clamp-o-Tron ports. Remember, you can use Q, W, A, S, D, and X to reorient the ports to attach properly. May as well put a Clamp-o-Tron on all 5 available faces!



And now Dock Dachshund is ready to fly! It's a little overengineered, but that was the idea. We want as much fuel left over in it as possible when it gets into space, after all!



I'm going to assume (hopefully safely) that if you're reading this part, you already read the introduction and know how to get a ship into orbit. So let's skip ahead a bit, shall we?



Here we have Dock Dachshund at a nice, mostly stable 100km-ish orbit around Kerbin's equator. This is pretty much the orbit to put a station in, as I hinted at last time. Now, for the vessel that will dock to it!



This should do nicely. It's a modified variant on the game's stock lander, which is fine for demonstration purposes.



Once we get up into space and at a fairly good orbit (ProTip: try for a 100km/75km apoapsis/periapsis to save yourself fuel later in the process!), it's time to target our station.



There's a lot of useful indicators the targetting system now gives us, but the one we're interested in here is the descending (or potentially ascending) node (whichever is closer).



Now we set up a maneuver node and use the purple indicators only to adjust our angle of approach. It's best to get around +/- 0.3 degrees (0.0 degrees is, of course, preferrable). Then we point at our maneuver node (as before, a dark blue marker on the navball), wait 'til we're at or nearly exactly at the right time to fire, and, well, fire!



As ever with maneuver nodes, you don't have to match the speed and direction perfectly; it's more of a helpful suggestion than anything else. Just try to get within 0.3 degrees.



The next step in a low-stress docking procedure is to find the nearest intercept (it'll be an orange or purple marker) and set up a maneuver there to put our periapsis or apoapsis at that point. This will make our eventual intercept a lot easier. You should use the light-blue clockwise/counterclockwise controls on the maneuver node for this.



You'll know you've got it right if you have both intercept indicators at the same point.



As you can clearly see, the 100km/75km orbit I've got Dachshund Docker in allows it to gain a little on Dock Dachshund every single orbit. We'll be there in no time! And by "no time" I mean "about 5 hours". Time Warp! (Controlled with . and , keys; it does exactly what you think it does.)



At the closest intercept, it's time to adjust things. Hopefully that'll be within about 10km or so, but it's fine if you're further out; it'll just mean that things are going to take a bit longer.



At the closest intercept, we manually adjust our orbit so that it matches the station's fairly closely. This is easiest to do if you make sure the navball is still set to Orbit and not Surface or Target.



Unless you're some sort of rocketing master, you're probably going to need to do some adjustments. And now is the time to set the navball to Target mode (just click on the part that says Orbit). Once you do this, retrograde (the yellow X) will be the one to fire towards until it's at or close to 0.0m/s.



Now we want to get our prograde (yellow circle) and normal (pink circle) vectors aligned and move towards them. From here on out, it's all navball work. The translation controls (I, J, K, and L) and forward/backward (H and N) are your friend here, as is RCS!



Just an important note: if you have your Clamp-o-Tron located somewhere strange (or need to open the shield on it), be sure to set it to your ship's control point (and open the shield; duh).
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  #256  
Old 12-17-2012, 09:10 AM
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Now it's just a matter of keeping prograde and normal on each other (this is tricky since we're orbiting, so don't think this part's automatic or anything), and keeping our speed sane. A good rule of thumb is "100 seconds to collision at all times", ie. at 800m apart we'll be going about 8m/s. I suggest you not go too high above 30m/s, either; it's very hard to slow down safely when you're using RCS as your main means of propulsion!



At about this distance is a good time to switch focus quickly to your station and do some reorientation.



Target your incoming ship, control from the Clamp-o-Tron you want to dock with, switch on RCS, and quickly orient your station so it's pointing at normal. ProTip: Time Warp puts the simulation on rails and instantly stops all rotation, so you can avoid having to kill your rotation manually by quickly turing Time Warp to 5x and then right back to 1x! Turn off RCS before you do, though, or it might tell you the ship is under acceleration and not let you Time Warp.



Eventually you want your incoming speed down to about 0.4m/s or so. You can dock at a faster speed (probably about 1m/s is the fastest I'd advise), but it's a lot less messy this way. Trust me.



When you get down to 0.4m/s (or whatever your target intercept speed is), switch back to your station and do the whole "orient normal" routine again, as it will doubtless have gotten a bit out of alignment. I suggest two alignments here because it's generally not fun to rotate a half-ton space station 180 degrees when you're 40 meters from the target.



From here, it's all routine. Keep normal and prograde matched and centered on your position, be sure you've got your Clamp-o-Tron ready (ie. not covered), and let physics do their thing.







And there you have it! Easy-peasy.



The best part about LKO stations like this is that they serve as perfect refueling stations for longer missions. Speaking of, next time, we're sending Jeb and crew to see the Mun up close and personal.
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  #257  
Old 12-17-2012, 05:53 PM
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Dr. Strangerocket
Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Navball
Part II: Landing on the Mun

It's time to beat rocket-feet to the nearest body to Kerbin, and learn a few things about orbital maneuvers in the process.



But first, we need to undock. This is very easy indeed: just pick the Clamp-o-Tron and tell it to let go.



Then fire your RCS retrograde (the N key) for a second or two, and bam, you're all safely undocked.



And now we shall discuss the secret to a successful celestial intercept. The trick is to fire as close to where your ship WILL be to the body when it hits its apoapsis. What you see here is a textbook-near-perfect intercept with the Mun. You would be hard-pressed to get a more precise shot, and in fact if we weren't going to the Mun this would be a fantastic way to slingshot our ship into the solar system via a principle known as a "gravity assist".



Goodbye, Dock Dachshund. You will forever live in our hearts, and in low-Kerbin orbit too.



There's nothing special about this, really. Get to node, fire, quit firing when you're pretty close to the target.



Even if you're off from your node, with distant bodies, it won't matter much. I was easily able to adjust a very nice gravity slingshot position even with the discrepancy.



Farewell, Kerbin! We'll see you again real soon, 'kay?



Mun, baby, here we come!




As we approach the Mun, the strangeness in the predicted course corrects itself and we see it from the perspective of a Munar orbit. That makes a lot more sense!



At this point, we just want to wait 'til we hit periapsis. Since we're so very close to the surface for that (which was 100% intentional; expert Mun landers don't do landings "the slow way"), we can sit pretty for a while.



Let me tell you, the first time you see the Mun racing up on you like this, it's downright terrifying. You feel like you're gonna hit it, instruments telling you that you won't be damned.



Right on schedule at periapsis, we begin firing full-power retrograde! That's gonna continue until...



...we achieve near-zero velocity! Now we can just gently (read: not-gently) drop to the Mun's surface. Yeah, quicksaves can help a lot here. So can lights, which I didn't put on this lander because I'm hardcore and that's how I roll! Don't forget the landing gear, either.



Once you're close enough to the surface, start firing away to avoid becoming a permanent smear on the landscape.



The Eagle Dachshund has landed. Mostly.



Now that we're here, let's take a little Munwalk. Left-clicking on the crew hatch lets you pick a pilot for EVA, or you can click on the EVA button on their portrait.



EVA controls are pretty much standard faire for any modern game: WASD to move about, Space to jump, and Shift/Ctrl to ascend/descend with the jetpack (toggled with R when not moving).



So there you have it. Jebediah Kerman, first Kerbal on the Mun, as ever. Next time, we get him and his brothers back home safely!
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  #258  
Old 12-18-2012, 09:22 AM
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Dr. Strangerocket
Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Navball
Part III: The Journey Home

Now that we've learned how to get an orbit, dock, and land on another celestial body, it's time to go back to Kerbin sweet Kerbin.



Do try not to leave any of your crew stranded on an extraterrestrial body. That's just mean.



You might think we're running low on fuel, and if we were on a body with an atmosphere, you would be disasterously right. But when making a return trip from an airless body, you barely need any fuel at all. We're gonna get home with fuel to spare, believe it or not!



Liftoff is so amazingly easy, it's downright shameful that we needed so much to get off of Kerbin. I mean come on, this is effortless!



Getting your orbit circularized is also a total joke. With no air, only gravity is a concern when trying to get your ship around, and that's easily dealt with by just thrusting sufficiently skyward and with enough power. You don't even need a very high orbit, since there's no atmosphere.



As before, you want to point your ship to where your target will be. This is comically easy when going from an orbiting body to its source of orbit; you have 180 degrees to work with that will always get you an intercept! Look how little delta-V (that's rocket-talk for meters per second) we need to get back to Kerbin, and compare it to how much we needed to get to the Mun. And that's not even a very efficient burn; I could easily shave off another 50m/sec if I cared enough to. Insane.



Just "fire and forget" as usual, and you'll be on your way home faster than you can say "needs more boosters".



See what I mean? Dead easy.



Goodnight, Mun. See you next mission. Hello Kerbin. See you in short order.



Now the secret to aired bodies is, they are devilishly easy to land on. Wanna know why?



Here's our orbit as we enter the atmosphere.



And here's our orbit a few seconds later. This, my friends, is called "aerobraking", and heat generation problems aside, it is the cause of so much delight in the ease of landing on an aired body.



Turn off SAS, point at the retrograde vector, and set your parachutes as "ready to deploy" via staging. And then, just sit back and watch.



Seriously, the rest of the flight is practically automatic.



I mean you might think you should panic at this point, but nope.



Out come the parachutes! And you're on your way safely to Kerbin, gently drifting at 10m/s.



Though if you plan to land sans gear, you'd better slow down at the last second. Otherwise...



Yeah. And that is why you do not put your landing gear up when coming back to Kerbin if you're going to hit the terrain.



But fear not! Jebediah, Bill, and Bob Kerman all survived to tell the tale. Their rocket is toast, but quite frankly, that was kind of a given since Jeb Kerman is a daredevil and all.

So! Now you know everything you need to know about the most important aspects of Kerbal Space Program. I hope you enjoyed this little tour of virtual rocket science. See you next LP!
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  #259  
Old 12-19-2012, 03:27 PM
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That was really interesting. This is totally one of those games you always wished was real, and then when it turns out to be real you are like "it can't be as good as what I imagined" and then when it is all there is left to do is play it and be happy.
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  #260  
Old 12-19-2012, 10:55 PM
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That was really interesting. This is totally one of those games you always wished was real, and then when it turns out to be real you are like "it can't be as good as what I imagined" and then when it is all there is left to do is play it and be happy.
And then be thrilled with each new release as more things get added and you realize there's so much you hadn't thought of doing before that you can now.

To wit, I decided to land not one, but TWO rovers on the Mun in one go:



Here you can see Not!Jeb gloating about his successful landing to the camera before releasing the Mk. 3 "Dreidel" rovers. As for Jeb, well...



He decided to go to Minmus with his brothers, and bring two much heavier Mk. 4 "Crab" rovers with him just to say "neener neener". He even landed on a hill without breaking anything, because Jebediah Kerman is a daredevil like that.
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  #261  
Old 12-24-2012, 01:08 PM
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Dr. Strangerocket
Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Navball
Holiday Special: A Duna Adventure

Those boys at KSP have outdone themselves this time, so here's a short add-on to the Kerbal Space Program micro-LP: the Duna rover "Informer"'s mission!



After getting an orbital intersection with Duna, Informer then fired near apoapsis of the intersection to readjust the orbit for a proper Duna intercept on the second pass. This works exactly like how we change course to intercept when docking; it's just that we're only making two passes instead of dozens since the mission would take decades if we did it "the slow way".



As it is, the mission will be almost a year long. Here, you can see the previously mentioned "gravity assist" maneuver being used on Duna's tiny moon Ike. After getting into a high-Duna orbit (and releasing a small transmitter satellite for transmission back to Kerbin), the Informer began planning a maneuver and happily discovered that Ike was there to help with a bit of the braking maneuver for the low pass on Duna.



The Informer's inward-bound course heads around Duna and towards Ike...



Here you can see the start of the Ike gravity assist, as well as a lovely framing of Ike, Kerbol, and Duna. Once in position at low-Duna orbit, Informer then circularized orbits again, released a second satellite for surface recon, and then began an adjustment burn that put its periapse at 15km.



Duna's atmosphere is very thin, and ends about 41km above its surface, so aerobraking is a much trickier business than on Kerbin. The 15km periapse is pretty much the ideal point for a controllable intercept. Also, just like Kerbin, you can't quicksave while in the atmosphere, so do your quicksaves before you get into your landing maneuver!



Informer's target was the northeastern edge of Duna's cross-shaped maria (lowland). Here you can see the parachutes deploying about 4km above the surface.



As on Kerbin, the parachutes open properly around 500 meters or so (with a little rocket assist). Even at that, the incoming speed is 15m/s, too fast for a damage-free landing. So, more rocket assist!



One hair-rasing but not-too-tough landing and reorientation later, and Informer is sitting pretty on Duna's surface, completely intact and functional. It even still has 80% of its fuel left for roving!



And so Informer now roves across Duna, gathering all sorts of valuable data for the boys back at KSP. It has two extra probes it can deposit as well, meaning that the mission will provide a wealth of geological and atmospheric information.

EDIT: Just for fun, here's a mock-up of the schematics for the Informer, pre-launch codename Auto-Rover Mk. 3.



Well, that's all for this holiday special! This is KSP command, signing off.

Last edited by Sky Render; 12-24-2012 at 02:05 PM.
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  #262  
Old 02-28-2013, 07:21 AM
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Yimothy Yimothy is offline
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Default Help me, Talking Time! Let's play Daedalian Opus!



Hi guys, and welcome to Let's Play Daedalian Opus! What's that? You're not familiar with it? Of course you are, silly! I'll admit, not so long ago I'd never heard of this gem, but shortly after reading the article I just linked I came across a copy in a second-hand store. Admiring its wondrous box, I remembered reading about the game. Couldn't remember if it was supposed to be good or anything, but the price was low and I picked it up. I played for a while, got hopelessly stuck, and gave up.

Until now! Here's the plan for this LP: I'll play the game until I get stuck. Then I'll post some images. Then, hopefully, one of you tyrants will solve the puzzle (don't look it up on GameFAQs or whatever, please) for me and I'll be able to continue!

Will I be able to make this LP entertaining? Will anyone help me? To be honest, I doubt it. Oh well!



Here's Doctor P. He talks kinda slowly. Luckily, I can control time:



Much better!



Here's me, I guess. I'm a cute little fellow. I set off in high spirits.



My mission, to form a rectangle from three pentominoes.



The stars were with me from the outset. Suddenly:



A complication! This piece doesn't fit, no matter how I turn it. This is a tough game: the first puzzle is impossible. But! I put all my effort into it:



This is the way! (Turns out that the start button flips the pieces.)



I pray all my missions meet with such success.



As I was leaving, the fairy called me aside. She gave me a treasure beyond compare!

Obtained: pudgy block.

Also note that the UFO gave me a password, in case I want to save myself thirty seconds next time I play the game. For some reason this inter-level screen is interactive: you have to hold right to walk across, and up to enter the building. I guess that gives you time to write down the password.



So, a slightly bigger rectangle, and a new piece to fit into it. Let's see what happens:



Yeah, it turns out I suck at puzzle games. Still, I persevere, and before I know it:



Aww yuss.



Another password, and I get access to the stretchy block.
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  #263  
Old 02-28-2013, 07:23 AM
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Puzzle three goes almost as well as puzzle one. Maybe I don't suck at puzzle games after all?



That is nice, Daedalian Opus. Thank you. I now have the corner block.



This time I'm making a square. Let's watch!



I tell ya, this game would be a lot easier if you got to use two of the pudgy block.



Applying all my brainpower, I solve the puzzle and keep moving, scoring access to the U block.



Let's see what puzzle five has to offer:



I'm starting to wonder if my previous successes owed more to luck than skill. This is taking forever!



Ha ha! I'm free! I get the snaggy block.



Things are starting to get complicated in my pentomino selection area. So many options!



Not like that...



Another puzzle solved! Although I appear happy to receive it, that cross block looks like bad news to me.



There's so little space for blocks now that the game is solving puzzles for itself down there. Perhaps there's a clue to solving this puzzle in the arrangement of the blocks?



Unfortunately, if there is I'm too dense to pick up on it. This one has me stumped! Help me, talking time!

It's a 5x8 field, which happens to be the size of the medium difficulty board on this website. Just make sure you only use the pieces that I've collected so far. Here's another online pentomination site. It gives you more space to work with. Unfortunately, I can't find one that lets you define your own shapes. If anyone does, I'd like to hear about it.
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  #264  
Old 02-28-2013, 08:03 AM
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Hint:
The hint is that it is the right side "plus" the left side. The little "plus" symbol is not used.
Answer

This is actually really fun, so thanks for introducing me to it.
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  #265  
Old 03-01-2013, 02:22 AM
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Welcome back to Let's Play Daedalian Opus! As you may recall, last time I was stuck on level 7. Let's enter the password and get back to it:



What the what? I pressed A on the title screen and got this instruction screen. Handy! Anyway, I went back to the title screen and hit the start button.



OK, so here's where we left off. Now, namelessentity gave me a tip last time:
Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessentity View Post
Hint:
The hint is that it is the right side "plus" the left side. The little "plus" symbol is not used.
Devilish! Giving me a new piece, but not requiring its use! Let's apply this knowledge.



Unfortunately, I'm still terrible at puzzles. I'll start over:



This time I copied the shape from the lower left, and attempted to fill in the blank space. It didn't work. Let's start over again:



Yes! What's that, nameless? My solution looks familiar? Don't be absurd.



As you can see, it's just that I've finally gotten my puzzle-solving cap on properly, and I've started to clean up.



As you can see. The squiggly block looks like something that's just going to cause me pain in future puzzles. Oh well.



Aww yuss! 52 seconds. I really am getting it together.



Or not. I get the idea to try to make three 3x5 blocks to fill this 9x5 space.



It doesn't really work out.



Let's not look too closely at the time taken on that one.



Yeah, it's pretty clear that I just get lucky sometimes.



Like now.



Hey, it's Dr. P! Oh man, 2339 configurations? I'm freaking out over here!
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  #266  
Old 03-01-2013, 02:24 AM
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Oh! Good advice, Dr. P. I'd better chill out.



The next building is made out of bricks, rather than glass. That's good, because I have a feeling that the wonky block I just got is gonna have me throwing things soon.



Awright, here's the big time! Can I fit all the pentomino pieces together to make one big rectangle?



Yup! I guess with 2339 possible solutions, even I have a good chance of stumbling across one.



I didn't realise Dr. P was the kinda guy to say "dude!". I've only gotten 12 different shapes by my count, but eleven of those can be flipped (the cross cannot), so I guess that makes 23.



Apparently there's only one brick stage. Number 13 is made of stone.



My stars! that rectangle has a bump in it!



I follow my instincts and get rid of the most annoying piece first, taking the bump with it.



That turned out the be the wrong move (note that I've got the snaggy piece in the bump in the solved puzzle), but I managed to solve the puzzle before too much longer.



Puzzle 14 is a different story, though. I'm declaring myself stumped. Can anyone save me in this hour of need?

P.S. I was thinking I might stop posting solutions and leave them as an exercise for the reader (I'd still post as many puzzles as I managed to get up to in each update). Maybe put solutions to the previous update's puzzles at the start of each update. This is kind of a silly concept for an LP, so solving all the puzzles instead of just the ones I get stuck on might make it more interesting. Any thoughts?
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  #267  
Old 03-01-2013, 09:08 AM
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Keep doing what you're doing.

Alternatively, add a gif of you solving one puzzle each update. (Why, yes. I do love your gifs.)
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  #268  
Old 03-01-2013, 11:31 AM
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After going through the unholy hell of solving puzzle 14, I officially hate this game.



Never again.
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  #269  
Old 03-02-2013, 08:06 AM
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Default Just a short one today.

Sky Render, you are a scholar and a saint. I apologise for your suffering, and thank you for the progress it will allow me. Back to the game!



OK, so we're back to where we were.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
Alternatively, add a gif of you solving one puzzle each update. (Why, yes. I do love your gifs.)
Technically, what follows is me copying Sky Render's solution to the puzzle (come to think of it, maybe I should have mirrored it or something), but here you go:



Sorry it goes so slowly. I tried to decrease the delay between frames from .02 seconds to .01, but that just made it slower for some reason.



And here's number 15. The password, if you don't have the patience to get it from the .gif above, is BEAT. I haven't even attempted to solve this one because I don't have a lot of time to put this update together (I'll do a proper update in a couple days), but if you'd like to take a shot, hit up the Goggles website for their bookmark, then go to this site, hit "Go", and turn on the goggles. If I've done it right and nobody deletes it, the shape of puzzle fifteen will appear. Unfortunately you'll have to turn off Goggles to actually move the puzzle pieces, but you can turn it on and off as you go to check you're getting the shape right (if anyone knows how to turn off the pen while keeping the picture, let me know).

EDIT: It looks like the grid on that website changes size with the window, so my goggles drawing won't be the right size unless your window is the same size mine was when I drew it. So you'll have to resize your window until the outline fits to the grid. Sorry this is so unwieldy, guys.
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  #270  
Old 03-02-2013, 11:23 AM
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I like the look of that one better already. The main thing that made puzzle 14 so intolerable is that it was mostly uniform (meaning there wasn't really any clear distinction between "must be used for the edges" and "goes wherever the edges aren't"). In terms of a polymino game, a uniform shape with no distinguishing edge traits is actually significantly harder to solve than something like puzzle 15 as a result.
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