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Can a mod move this thread to an already existing one? search failed to find it and apparently I'm blind when I did a quick visual scan of the PC boards b4 posting . I am an idiot thanks in advance
First let me state that I am usually one of the last to promote "crowd sourcing" or "early access" schemes as they offer little to no consumer protection.
Having said that however I came across a little demo on Steam that impressed me greatly. The title of this little gem is Kerbal Space Program ( no I have no idea wtf a Kerbal is):
I was bored at the time so I figured wth and downloaded the demo
54 hours played later(according to Steam)it took me 5 hrs (played) just to reach a stable orbit and once I discovered the joys of calculating/plotting planetary intercepts I was hooked.(side note: as it has a pretty healthy mod community if one finds orbital transfers, intercepts, docking, landing, lifting, orbital construction, or piloting in general un-fun; there are various auto pilot mods to take care of some or all of the "fiddly bits" for you. There is no "official" auto pilot as yet, that is planed further down the road.
a couple of screenshots of my first Mun (yes Mun not Moon)Landing in the demo...well landing is such a subjective word
The game is currently in alpha testing; Uses the Unity game engine; currently has only sandbox mode available(although the next update is going to start implementing career mode elements); has a fairly healthy mod community; Early access if you choose to do it is $23 US. It is single player. Worked with Windows/MAC/LINUX
The demo has 1 planet and 1 moon
the full game has an entire solar system loosely based on ours
The premise behind the game is design/build/launch rockets, landers, rovers, space planes, space stations, and scientific probes while not blowing S*** up. The freedom of the design elements of the game is pretty impressive in itself (at least to me) I spend way too much time in the VAB(Vehicle Assembly Building) Again referencing the community if you find this part tedious..yup ready made designs are there for the breaking. Approved mods can be found in the spaceport site.
Of course like any alpha there are "issues" the biggest to my mind is the limitation the engine introduces. At some point one learns that performance drops off significantly with increasing part counts. As stated earlier it uses the Unity game engine an independent community designed engine. This means unlike a lot of games KSP relies more on CPU than GPU it also can run on only 1 processor core. These means past a certain point increasing performance requires Overclocking your rig or using less parts in your designs. 300-600 parts tends to be the avg big drop-off range. The issue is significant enough there is even a cpu performance database
I've found KSP to be an extremely addicting little game(452 hrs played according to Steam) so if one is willing to look past it's rough spots (it is alpha after all) it can be incredibly enjoyable
A few screenshots of my time in KSP: Need to edit for screenshots ; Forums ttwerking out