Kerbal Space Program’s long journey through Early Access is almost over. The next update will see the game leave Early Access, finally reaching version 1.0.
“As development in Beta has progressed, one thing has become very apparent, Kerbal Space Program is about to reach a state in which every single one of the original goals for the game has been reached, and we can say that our original design document has been fulfilled,“ Felipe Falanghe wrote on the KSP blog.
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While Kerbal Space Program 1.0 will be a complete game, that doesn’t mean Squad’s finished with it.
“What does 1.0 mean for everyone then? Most noticeably, it means KSP will be leaving the Early Access program. And while this does mean we are ready to call KSP a complete game after the next release, it does not mean development itself is complete. Far from it, in fact.
“We see no better way to follow up on reaching our initial goals than to continue development on Kerbal Space Program, beyond Beta, past our original plans. This means that after 1.0 is out, we will continue on with free updates 1.1, 1.2, and so on.”
Since it’s a release update, expect it to be very meaty. Like a burger slapped between two burgers. Inside a cow. Here’s the list of features that Squad plans to implement:
- New Drag Model: We’ve redesigned the way drag is calculated, now it will take into account things such as part occlusion, facing, and got rid of the calculation being based on part mass.
- New Lift System: Corrected the lift so that it is now (properly) a function of the square of velocity, not linear. This allows for far more effective, and accurate, wings.
- Aerodynamic Stability Overlay: A new part of the UI that shows you the stability of your crafts as you build them, so you can easily tell at a glance how air-worthy (or not) your design is, and see the effects of any changes as you build.
- Engineer’s Report: A new panel in the VAB and SPH which will warn you of crucial (and generally frustrating) issues in your design, such as a lack of fuel tanks, engines or landing gear, among many other advanced concepts like those.
- TimeWarp To: Fumble with timewarp and mess up your burns no more, with this new feature you can choose a point along your orbit and the game will take you there as fast as physically possible.
- Deep Space and Planetary Refueling: Adding a new system and a set of parts that will allow you to collect matter from Asteroids and other bodies, then process it into useful things, like Fuel or Oxidizer.
- Game Over: Be careless with your funds and reputation and you might promptly find you no longer have a job at the Space Center.
- New Landing Gears: With the much larger Mk3 parts, we too felt the need for equally much larger landing gears. We’re giving you larger and more diverse ones to fix that.
- New, Larger Wings: Mk3 crafts also require you to make large wings out of way, way too many small ones. We’re adding wings that are not only larger than all others, they also carry fuel, so you can finally make room for a properly massive payload area.
- Kerbal Clamber: Kerbals can now climb over small obstacles and out of ladders up onto flat surfaces; because their job wasn’t dangerous enough already.
- Female Kerbals: Long time in the making, finally joining the team at KSC.
- Economic Systems Rebalance: Strategies, Part costs, contract payouts, they all needed to be fixed, and have all gotten a much needed balancing pass.
- Part Stats Rebalance: We’re making sure no part is too light, too heavy, too powerful, or too weak. Exploiters beware!
- New Contracts: We aim to bridge the gap between the early and late game contracts, as playtesting showed the difficulty curve could use some easing.
- Tier 0 Buildings: The originally revealed buildings have been enhanced and modified to meet our original vision for them.
- Sound Overhaul: Adding sounds to several parts of the game and interface that needed them, as well as improving some existing ones.
- Bugfixes: A lot of long standing bugs are being fixed, and we do mean a lot of them. Beta means bugfixes, after all.
It looks like we’ll need to strap Steve onto a rocket again, so he can tell us how it’s changed since his Kerbal Space Program alpha review.