Monday, December 26, 2016

Kerbal Space Program - Initial Thoughts

About the Game (From the Steam Store Page)

In KSP you must build a space-worthy craft, capable of flying its crew out into space without killing them. At your disposal is a collection of parts, which must be assembled to create a functional ship. Each part has its own function and will affect the way a ship flies (or doesn't). So strap yourself in, and get ready to try some Rocket Science!

The game offers three gameplay modes: Sandbox, in which you are free to build anything you can think of; Science Mode, which lets you perform Scientific experiments to advance the knowledge of Kerbalkind and further the available technology; and Career Mode, in which you must manage every aspect of your Space Program, including administration strategies, Crew Management, Reputation, as well as taking up Contracts to earn Funds and upgrade your Space Center Facilities (or repair them).

Add to this the ability to capture asteroids (a feature done in collaboration with NASA), Mining for resources out across the furthest reaches of the Solar System, Constructing Bases and Space Stations in and around other worlds; plus literally thousands of mods from a huge active modding community, all add up into the award-winning game that has taken the space sim genre by storm.

Previous Playtime

6 hours

What Was I Thinking When I Bought This

Actually, this game was a birthday present. Thank you again, Danny. However, it wasn't a random one. It came from my Steam wish list. I just thought it looked neat. A game where you built simulated rockets and fired them off into simulated space. I'd never played anything like it.

Expectations and Prior Experience

The last time I played this game,  it was still in alpha. I remember a few comical mishaps on the launch pad, where I assembled the parts wrong and exploded before I got off the ground, and later I had difficulty correctly estimating the amount of fuel or thrust needed to get out of the atmosphere. And don't get me started on parachutes. However, I really enjoyed the process of learning through trial and error. It's rare that a game feels so educational.

I'll admit to being a little intimidated by the game, now that it is out of alpha. My plan is to try career mode and stick to it, but given all of my previous failed experiments, I worry that I might bankrupt the Kerbal Space Program.

However, I'm sure that the worst case scenario is me embarrassing myself with successive disasters. Oh well, if that happens, at least I'll have something interesting to write about.

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