Verbally referred to as "Hardcore Heaven II" to distinguish it from the original series regarding Minecraft. Other differences will include vastly improved video (especially audio) quality, and far smarter gameplay since it is not my very first game of Kerbal Space Program (it isn't even my first game of Release.) "Done Technical" is an homage to Etho's Lab regarding Minecraft, since we both live in Canada (probably much further apart than the average distance between foreigners in Europe) and we both use VirtualDub. There the similarities end: He's got an x64-capable 8-core Haswell rig while I have a 2-core Meron-2M laptop (meaning there is even more distance between the GPUs!) but hey, it's rocket science! GALCIT navigated Explorer with 30 women using pull-handle calculators, NASA ran Mercury with IBM 7090s, Gemini and Apollo with System/360 mainframes and flew the Space Shuttle for 30 years using System/4Pi avionics all of which make this old laptop seem like a Cadillac next a bunch of Tonka Toys. I will make due. ...even if everyone else has Bloodhound SSCs on me. TL;DR: Hardkore Heaven will be totally awesome compared to Hardcore Heaven, but it's still going to suck in the overall scheme.
Video details: 1280x720 recorded at about the speed that KSP runs at on the computer during ascent. All commentary is post-commentary not only for this reason, but I tend to get very quiet when things go wrong so listening to "old me" wouldn't very interesting. It is encoded with VSDC using the H264 codec. I'll have longer, lower bitrate (800-1200kbps) episodes concentrating on space operations and shorter, higher bitrate (probably 1200-1600kbps) episodes concentrating on surface operations such that the upload size is always around 50MB.
I Hate Planes but will probably do some anyway. I consider them surface vehicles in the context of the above bitrate considerations (rapid terrain movement is the need for higher bitrates.)
Episode 1: KSP Release Done Technical
The details have been moved to User:Featherwinglove/Hardkore_1.
Episode 2: Disaster!
Career Mode Play to 0.22 to 0.90
For new players of Kerbal Space Program, who have either flown a few flights in Sandbox mode or want to jump straight into the Career mode blind. This tutorial was developed for 0.23. It assumes that you know, or can figure out, how to navigate Space Center, editor, Tracking Station and flight scenes and know the basic controls. It further assumes that you don't want to kill any kerbals.
- In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Kerbin. You start on the latter (which is far older than most new players of KSP know) and want to explore the former (which has been vastly improved since KSP was new.) The best way to start is by taking a Command Pod Mk1 (not much choice there) and putting an RT-10 underneath it, and a Mk16 Parachute on top of it. This can be further improved by right-clicking on the RT-10 in the VAB and reducing its thrust to 70% using the Thrust Limiter. While you're at it, you might as well right-click on the command pod and drain out the monopropellant, since there's no way to use it yet. This vehicle is rather touchy, so you might want to turn on precision (Caps Lock by default). The parachute can't save the motor, but your kerbal will survive. This vehicle can get a lot of science: by right clicking on the Command Pod and selecting Crew Report, you can get enough science to unlock not only Basic Rocketry, but several more by doing so in different flight situations and lobbing the vehicle to different biomes on Kerbin. You can also EVA and get reports and samples from the surface, as long as you don't mind the game teasing you about the method used to get there. Only one flight is necessary (and if you want to build airplanes later, you probably want to save these reports for that anyway.) If you don't want to scare your kerbal, you can add more RT-10s to the side of your vehicle in pairs (turn on the appropriate symmetry) and add some flexibility by putting them in different stages. Make sure you don't split any pairs or you will get to see the deadly kerbal version of the w:Zurabatic Cartwheel. If you put parachutes on top of each motor, they will slow it enough to land without trouble. Heads-up on an early trap: ignore the Communotron 16, you don't have the power to do anything useful with it, and trying to do so will kill your reaction wheel batteries and leave you tumbling helplessly to your kerbal's doom.
- In Basic Rocketry, you don't have radial decouplers, struts, probe bodies, good upper stage engines, fuel ducts, etc. which makes it a bit tricky to achieve orbit without resorting to explosive decoupling (this tutorial assumes you're not interested in that.) It is good practice to add a decoupler under the command pod so that the landings are gentler and nearby explosions don't scare your kerbal. The ability to separate the command pod from the booster and let the latter fall away and crash allows the safe use of the heavy LV-T30 engine. Perhaps you are here because you're having trouble figuring out how to survive with Start-class vehicles using this engine: the basic rule of thumb is not to bother and stick with the RT-10 until you have the TR-18A Stack Decoupler available. Another trick is to use a "double barrel" staging arrangement: put something under your command pod. For example, an FL-T400 Fuel Tank (actually, a bipropellant tank, but whatever) on top of an LV-T30 engine. To the sides of this, attach a pair of Tanks or RT-10s, and then attach your first stage, consisting of FL-T400 tanks stacked on top of LV-T30 engines. Fuel doesn't feed across radial attachments, so you need to attach engines to the bottoms of all columns of tanks. This will probably result in an extremely overpowered vehicle where you'll be working the throttle a lot, so you might want to move either the attitude keys or the throttle keys so you can fly with both hands if you don't have a joystick (this can be done via Controls in the Settings accessed from the main menu.) The only control torque available are the torque wheels in the Command Pod, so you can't make a very big vehicle, and need to keep it balanced. Plan B: the Goo Tank becomes available as a science part and can be added to Start-class suborbital vehicles to get science from landing in different biomes and flying at low altitude (I recommend descent, since you're probably too busy piloting to do it right after lift-off), high altitude and near space. A little secret to getting multiple crew reports is to EVA your kerbal, have him take the report from the command pod while he is outside it, and then have him put it back in. This can be done by right clicking on the command pod while he is just outside it (preferably hanging onto the rungs if you're suborbital!)
- Survivability. That tech has three absolutely essential parts, so research it before anything else on the third column. Instantly, you can go from struggling to make orbit (or not making orbit at all) to routinely landing on Minmus and the Mun. Because you can't transfer fuel from radially attached tanks (well, you can alt-right-click, but that is both unreliable and upsets vehicle balance) the much lighter LV-909 is nearly a must-have for your first orbital vehicle. An appropriately sized LV-T30 based vehicle will be too long for the command pod to control and too floppy to be reliable without struts. The LT-1 Landing Strut is what lets you land on the Mun. (In older versions where the Mun existed, but the landing gear didn't, it was nearly impossible to land a kerbal on the Mun and return him safely to the Kerbin - although the bugginess of the early Map View and lack of maneuver nodes are contributing factors as well.) A booster with six or seven LV-T30 engines each fed by a single T400 (which will have an excessive amount of thrust!) topped by an LV-909 propelled T400 with three landing legs and four Goo Tanks has enough performance to make it to Minmus and back (new biomes in 0.23: lots of easy science!) A similar booster launching a lander with four LV-909 barrels and six legs can easily explore the Mun. I guess I should clarify that you either need to add Mk2-R parachutes (the third essential part in Survivability) or have your kerbal remove the data from the Goo Tanks prior to landing on Kerbin.
Ascent Schedule to 0.10.1 to 0.90
A simple rule of thumb for launching from Kerbin (easier to memorize than the table here) is that the ideal ascent speed is 70-100m/s and doubles every 7000m. This gives you the most altitude per m/s of Delta-v expended; slower if you have a lot of solid motors, faster if your vehicle is mostly liquid propelled. So it goes like this:
- Initial: 70-100m/s
- 3500m: 100-140m/s
- 7000m: 140-200m/s
- 10500m: 200-280m/s (best to start gravity turn at about 9000m with an edge-of-marker pitch kick.)
- 14000m: 280-400m/s
- 17500m: 400-560m/s
- 21000m: 560-800m/s
- 24500m: 800-1120m/s
- 28000m: 1120-1600m/s
- 31500m: 1600-2240m/s
- 35000m: 2240-3200m/s
By the top of this altitude phase, you should be leaning over quite a bit into the gravity turn, but it is best to level off up at 50000m despite the implied ideal speed reaching orbital velocity at just 35000m. The reason for this is because you're after the speed and not the altitude, and will get a lot of drag losses going horizontal. At 2000m/s, the drag acceleration in level flight is something like this:
- 31500m: 1.00g
- 35000m: 0.50g
- 38500m: 0.25g
- 42500m: 0.10g
- 46000m: 0.05g
- 50000m: 0.02g
The most efficient way to ascend to orbit is to gain enough speed to raise your apoapsis to about 100km before cutting off in level, or slightly climbing, flight at about 52000m (a speed of 2475m/s if you're not in Map View). Residual drag will drop your apoapsis somewhat so you want it well above the atmosphere. If, for example, a 75000m circular orbit is your goal, it is not very efficient to climb directly to that altitude because gaining altitude by thrusting at low speed is inefficient (barring the use of high specific impulse, low specific thrust engines like the LV-N to give you the extra delta-v to waste while encouraging such lofts by not having enough acceleration.) It is more efficient to gain as much speed as possible at the lower altitude and follow it with a longer and more horizontal coast to the target altitude.