Thursday, November 5, 2015

Earth History Campaign Mission V + updates!

Hey fellow kerbonauts! It's high time we released another Earth History Campaign Mission. If you have no idea what EHC is, I suggest you read our previous blogpost.

EHC Mission V
Here are the blueprints,
are you up to the task?

This time, Kerbals are more ambitious than ever and set their sights on orbit. Following the blueprints of R-7, one of the most popular rockets in the history of spaceflight, they make their way out of the atmosphere. There's a whole teaching guide to go with it, too. Check them out on the EHC-website!

We also want to thank some of our community members for the invaluable feedback on the missions.(cheers, BalrogGamer!)

We know: it's been a while since the last update. We had some changes in KerbalEdu-team and one of the newest TeacherGaming-employess, Raido is taking over KerbalEdu development from Marko (who's starting to work on our very first own game!). The transition took a while and we also needed to add some new features to the Mission Editor. That's why we needed...

An update! 

To play the latest EHC Mission, you'll need to update the game to its latest version.

Here's a quick summary of the changes:
  • Mission Editor: Added conditions for apoapsis, periapsis and orientation.
  • Mission Editor: you can now group conditions! Ever wanted to make complicated missions with multiple conditions? Now you can! You're no longer stuck with simple AND & OR. 
  • Mission Editor: tweaks to automatic saving.
  • Added the ability to load parts and crafts with the mission file.
  • Added parts to R-7.
  • Minor bug fixes.
Overall, once we are done with the EHC Missions, our plan is to go over a list of fixes we wanted to do for the game. The next update should include a longer list of changes.

That's all folks! We promise to be faster with the next missions!

-Mikael, TG

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A small step for Kerbals..

Hey guys! Summer is drawing to a close and it’s time for another school year. KerbalEdu dev team hasn’t (only) been sunbathing. It’s time to show what we’ve been up to for the last couple of months.
What do you think happens when Kerbals get their hands on a piece of human technology? You can stop wondering and find out in the latest update to KerbalEdu: Earth History Campaign!


What is Earth History Campaign?
Earth History Campaign (EHC) is the first major content update for KerbalEdu that introduces students to the history of spaceflight, basics of gameplay and some essential physics concepts.
We’ve listened to your feedback and it seems one of the biggest hurdles in bringing Kerbals to the classroom has been the high threshold for new players to get into the game. While the Kerbal Space Program is an awesome sandbox for exploration and engagement, we recognize there is a learning curve to the game. To help players getting started, the first missions introduce new game concepts alongside physics and history of spaceflight.
Missions
Earth History Campaign will walk the player through the history of spaceflight from the earliest rockets and prototypes like V-2 & Opel RAK through the Apollo flights to the founding of International Space Station.
The first four available missions start from the early days of rocketry, tests taking place mostly around the space center. You’ll explore acceleration, trajectories and work by drag racing on the runway, launching rockets at cabbage patches and reconstructing historic rockets.
The four missions act as the interlude to the Earth History Campaign while more missions will be revealed throughout the following months. Stay tuned to our blog, Twitter and kerbaledu.com to make sure you don’t miss the new missions!

Teaching with KerbalEdu
We designed Earth History Campaign to give you a suite of ideas about how to find teachable moments in the normal gameplay that students encounter in KerbalEdu. Missions move from very scripted first steps into spaceflight to progressively more open-ended scenarios, where students solve problems themselves. Most of the missions are based on regular gameplay that is only interrupted to guide the students to understand the physics working on the background.
You can use the same tools we did to design your own missions using the Mission Editor: http://kerbaledu.com/kerbalmissionlibrary/node/41
Getting started
You can find Earth History Campaign missions from their own site. They can all be directly launched from the browser. On each mission’s page you’ll find a short description of the mission, learning goals, lesson plans and additional materials.
Remember, you’ll need to update KerbalEdu to the latest version to play the EHC missions! Log in at www.kerbalspaceprogram.com/kspstore to download the up to date version.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

KerbalEdu updated to 1.0.4e638!

Another KerbalEdu update is out! This update is mostly about bringing KerbalEdu up to date with the current version of Kerbal Space Program, 1.0.4. It contains mainly bugfixes, both in the base game and in the edu features.

Improvements and fixes related to the edu features are listed below. For the improvements and fixes in the base game since 1.0.2 see http://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/1.0.3 and http://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/1.0.4.

Improvements


  • You can now set KerbalEdu to create the savegame files to a folder outside the installation directory. You can specify this directory by creating a file named edusettings.cfg in the installation directory and writing there the line:
  • externalSavesDirectory = your/external/saves/directory
  • In addition to yaw and pitch angles, you can now also specify the camera distance in the “Lock Camera” event action
  • Launching missions in zip files from URL. You can now post mult-part missions that use the LoadGame event action to mission library.

Fixes


  • Fix; Vehicle mass only shows stage 0 mass after removing and putting back decoupler in Kerbal 2 stock craft.
  • Fix; Vehicle mass differs from Craft Stats information.
  • Other fixes and improvements to design data & data select view.
  • Fix; After pausing the recorder the unpause button seems to get chopped from both sides.

If you own KerbalEdu, you can download the new version by logging in at https://kerbalspaceprogram.com/kspstore/.

You can access our Mission Editor the same way as before, by logging in at http://kerbaledu.com/kerbalmissionlibrary with your KerbalEdu account (the account you have registered at kerbalspaceprogram.com).

Monday, June 1, 2015

KerbalEdu updated, now based on KSP 1.0.2!

Hello! It has been a while coming, but at last it is time for the first post-release update to KerbalEdu. The main thing in this update is that we are bringing KerbalEdu up to date with the current version of Kerbal Space Program. So it is 1.0 time (or more accurately, 1.0.2e615)! As always with KerbalEdu, no feature from regular KSP has been removed. So you will now get all the cool features that have come to KSP since the last version KerbalEdu, which was based on 0.90.0. All the edu features will of course still be there too, with additions and improvements. Oh, and we now have a Linux version for you too.

If you own KerbalEdu, you can download the new version by logging in at https://kerbalspaceprogram.com/kspstore/. Yes, right now!

It is recommended that you uninstall the old version before you install the new one. Remember to backup your savegames first!

Mission editor has also been updated. You can access it the same away as before, by logging in at teachergaming.com/kerbalmissionlibrary/ with your KerbalEdu account (the account you registered at kerbalspaceprogram.com).

Here is a video about KSP 1.0, and a list of the changes in the new version of KerbalEdu:



General

  • KerbalEdu is now based on Kerbal Space Program 1.0.2. All the features in the release version of KSP are now included in KerbalEdu.
  • Female Kerbonaut model
  • Improved aerodynamics
  • Improved component heating and cooling through atmospheric friction, solar radiation exposure, convection and more
  • Resource gathering from planets, moons and asteroids
  • Procedural fairings
  • Internal views for all cockpits
  • Parts relating to above, such as ablative heat shields, air brakes and mining drills
  • See http://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/1.0, http://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/1.0.1, and http://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/1.0.2  for more complete lists of changes since 0.90.0.
  • Linux version. In addition to Windows and OS X, KerbalEdu is now available for Linux as well.

In-game edu features

  • Edu button for showing and hiding edu UI windows moved to KSP’s own toolbar.
  • Game view no longer zooms when zooming the flight recorder graph.
  • Flight recorder can also be zoomed with the + and - keys in addition to mouse scroll wheel.
  • Added Sputnik satellite part and new stock craft: Kockheed NF-104A Sunbrawler, Kassault Chimera IIIC, and KB-52 carrying KX-15. In preparation for the Earth History Campaign.
  • Remove Desing Concerns view. Was redundant now with the design checklist added in KSP 1.0.

Mission Editor

  • Events editor UI updated to have events selectable from a side menu instead of all events being in a long single page list.
  • KSP built-in scenario modules are now hidden in the editor and automatically added or removed according to scenario mode.
  • Stage and Set active vessel event actions added. You can now set the active vessel and tell a vessel to stage using the event actions in the editor.
  • Time elapsed event condition updated. You can now trigger an event based on the time elapsed since a specified event was triggered.
  • EduTechConfig scenario module added. Using it you can now configure which parts are available for vessel construction.
  • Close tutorial window event action added. You can leave a tutorial window open without a close button, and close it from a later event.
  • Better RCS, SAS, landing gear, and lights handling in Set flight input event action.
  • Ability to set infinite electric charge cheat option added to CheatOptionsSet scenario module.
  • Set tech availability event action added. Using it you can now set the availability of a tech (part list) configured in EduTechConfig.
  • Vessel spawn dialog visible event condition added. You can now trigger an event when a player enters the vessel spawn dialog (dialog that is shown when runway or launchpad is clicked).
  • Remove vessel event action added. Removes a vessel from play.
  • Revert to launch event action added.

And lots of small improvements and bugfixes everywhere.


One thing left out

Now you may have noticed that this list does not include the Earth History Campaign preview I talked about in my earlier blog post. I decided to leave it out since there is quite a lot of work in making it to work with the upgraded atmosphere in 1.0, and I thought people would like to have the 1.0 features in Edu sooner rather than later. However, some parts of it, like the new stock vessels, were included.

What’s next?

Next I will continue working on the Earth History Campaign, while also trying to keep up with new versions of KSP more frequently. Stay tuned!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Earth History Campaing

New game mode coming to KerbalEdu

Hello again! It has been a little while since the last KerbalEdu blog post. Not to worry though, development towards the next version is going along well. In addition to bugfixes and tweaks, we have a quite big item under development: The Earth History Campaign is going to pit the Kerbals against the Americans and the Soviets in the Earths cold war era space race!


X-15 Launch
Earth History Campaign will be implemented as a new game mode alongside the current modes of Sandbox, Science, and Career. It will begin with a tutorial mission where the player will learn the controls of the game while testing the RCS systems of a rocket plane that curiously resembles the North American X-15. After that, the player is instructed on a recon mission investigating reports of a crashed UFO, which turns out to be the Sputnik 1 satellite. The Kerbals find out that they are somehow receiving transmissions and artifacts from aliens that call themselves humans, and that those humans are competing in a space race. Naturally, the kerbals decide to participate in that race and win it!


Testing RCS, learning controls
From the first strictly scripted missions, the Earth History Campaign will progress gradually towards more open ended and dynamic contracts. Kerbals will receive transmissions and artefacts from Earth and create new parts that resemble the actual hardware used during the space race. The player is then given the task to use these parts to build rockets and space vehicles and complete the same missions the humans are planning, preferably before they do. After completing each mission, the player will receive the plans (saved craft) closely resembling the actual vehicle used in human history and be given the opportunity to try flying it. There will also be non-spaceflight related transmissions received from Earth, giving historical tidbits from the space race era.


Sputnik found
Using Earth History Campaign to teach

In addition to teaching the history of the space race, the Earth History campaign will serve as a tutorial and example of using KerbalEdu for both teachers and students. The whole thing will be created using a new version of the KerbalEdu mission editor. Teachers will be able to load EHC into the mission editor and see how it has been created, and use it as an example and basis for creating their own scripted missions and even campaigns.

Earth History Campaign missions/contracts will also be designed so that a single mission can be played through during a single 45 minute lesson at school. It will also be possible to start the campaign at any mission, so teachers can freely decide how to schedule it in their classes.

When is it coming out?

Not very soon. I am currently almost the only developer working on KerbalEdu, and EHC is quite big a project. It is certainly not going to be ready before autumn, and will probably take until the end of this year. It may even still be decided we are not going to do it at all if it starts to seem too daunting a task. That said, the first couple of missions are starting to be somewhat in working order and will be demoed on the 2015 Teachergaming Tour (http://tour.teachergaming.com/). A preview of EHC might also be included in the next KerbalEdu update, which will be coming out some time after Kerbal Space Program 1.0. More on that in the next blog post.







Friday, December 19, 2014

First integrated release

KerbalEdu has now been released!

KerbalEdu has now been released. What was until now a mod prototype available for some is now a fully integrated official educational remix of Kerbal Space Program available to everyone. You can buy it from our brand new website, still at the same address, www.kerbaledu.com. You no longer have to be a school or other educational institution to buy it, private persons can get it too, starting at $27. However, schools, museums, libraries etc. will still get it at a discounted price!

It has all the features I went over in my last post, didn’t even need to drop any in the final testing. Overall the development has gone very smoothly, more nearly on schedule than any software project I’ve ever worked on that is not an exercise task of some course or something. Having started development about a year ago by Anjuli, with me coming to work on it in January this year, it has also been one of the fastest real projects I’ve worked on. It has also been the most fun. It combines some of the things I like the most, computer games, creating computer games, and spaceflight. I have also gotten to use all the esoteric knowledge about spaceflight gathered by years of reading about it in various places in and off the web. All the time spent lurking around nasaspaceflight.com forums finally paying off :)

It is also not over yet. There will be updates, more missions added, maybe more features even. Development will continue as long as there is enough interest by all of you to keep it going, and judging by the recent increase in NASA’s budget and the antics of SpaceX and others (haha, got to release KerbalEdu before they returned their first first stage :) ) interest in spaceflight is only growing. Which, considering the future of humanity, is a Real Good Thing™, and I’m hoping by creating KerbalEdu we are doing our very own small part in that.

So I hope you will have as much fun playing it as we had creating it, and that you will learn something (it is supposed to be educational after all), and as one famous youtuber would say, fly safe!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Featuring, features

We are so close to release now that we know what features will make it in. Here is a complete list of all the edu features that will be in the first integrated release of KerbalEdu, with a screenshots of each one. Note that new features will still be added in updates, so there will still be more to come.

Mission Library & Mission Editor


The KerbalEdu Mission Library is a web page where teacher-created missions for KerbalEdu can be uploaded or downloaded. A mission in the library might be simply a lesson plan for using existing content in the game. It might also include a ready-made savegame with a link that can be given to students to make lesson setup easier. Or a mission might include an entire scripted scenario where the player/student is led through a series of learning activities. Missions can be created and edited using the Mission Editor, which is a web-based application integrated into the Mission Library.


Design Helper



Desing helper is a window that is shown in both SPH and VAB. It has three tabs, Design Concerns, Design data and Data select. Design Concerns shows interactive notes about what might be wrong with the craft that is being built, Design data shows selected data (like mass, amount of fuel etc.) about the craft being built and Data select is used to select which data is shown on the Design data tab. Data shown in Design data can also be pre-selected in the Mission Editor and Data select tab hidden, so that students only see the data relevant to the current mission/lesson.


Resource Flow Analysis



Resource flow analysis can be enabled from the button at the bottom of the Design Helper. It shows which parts use/produce what resource (like Oxidizer or Liquid fuel) and from/to which part.


Flight Recorder



Flight recorder records various physical data about the flight. This data is shown in-game as graphs, and can be exported to .csv (comma separated values) format, which can be opened in almost any spreadsheet software (for example excel) for further review. A .png screenshot of the in-game graphs and a .pdf fligth report can also be exported.


Function tool



Function tool is a graphical interface for creating mathematical functions. These functions are evaluated real-time during a flight, and their results are recorded in the flight recorder. It can be used to demonstrate various physical laws and equations.


Force arrows



Force arrows is a part that when attached to a vessels shows the forces acting on it as "holographic" arrows.


Energy spheres



Energy spheres is a part that when attached to a vessel shows a window with two spheres visualizing the relation of potential and kinetic energy of the vessel.


Scenarios

The following Edu scenarios will be included in the release
Edu Free Fall


Scenarios that have a simple spacecraft falling directly down from a height. There are 4 versions of these, two for Kerbin and two for Mun, with different drop heights.

Edu Motion


For studying the basics of motion. A rocket car on runway, with equally (50m) spaced markers and a stopwatch. Two versions, with force indicator arrows and without.

Edu Drak Racing


A drag racing scenario! Try to get to a set speed as fast as possible, and maintain it as long as possible. With or without arrows.

Edu Ramp with Energy Spheres


A huge skateboard ramp with a rocket car in it. For studying the conservation of energy.