General Question How is Kerbal more famous than Orbiter.

Shifty

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Why is KSP more popular? Because it's a sandbox game, whereas Orbiter is a simulator. Most people prefer the freedom provided in a sandbox game.
KSP started as a sandbox and got popular that way. I still prefer sandbox play to the career mode. I think a large part of KSP's success is the other issue that's been touched on in this thread: all add-ons for KSP are required by the KSP license to publish full source code, the add-on community there has evolved around a culture of permissive licensing, and add-ons are trivial to install and uninstall. KSP, like Skyrim and Minecraft, owes a significant portion of its popularity to the add-on makers. And the add-on culture there--unlike here--is open, robust, replete with tools, guides and tons of source to learn from, and continuously churning.
 

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Second: rotational RCS will always work fine, even if you create nonsense. I did not even notice a higher fuel consumption if you create nonsense.
Reaction wheels in KSP are so overpowered that rotational RCS is unnecessary. RCS is primarily useful for translation, and, in particular, docking. And if you aren't careful about thruster placement, docking becomes a huge pain.
 

Urwumpe

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KSP started as a sandbox and got popular that way. I still prefer sandbox play to the career mode. I think a large part of KSP's success is the other issue that's been touched on in this thread: all add-ons for KSP are required by the KSP license to publish full source code, the add-on community there has evolved around a culture of permissive licensing, and add-ons are trivial to install and uninstall. KSP, like Skyrim and Minecraft, owes a significant portion of its popularity to the add-on makers. And the add-on culture there--unlike here--is open, robust, replete with tools, guides and tons of source to learn from, and continuously churning.
So - A voluntary open-source creed would help?
 

Linguofreak

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I see you never tried to do an orbital assembly of a mothership with a booster stage and several packed space stations on it to be dropped around moons of Jool. :)
Performance drops quite fast as part count goes up.
I'd never pack all of that into one vessel. I'd send a separate vessel for each moon. You've generally got a fudge factor of a few days for interplanetary launch windows, so you can space out your departures.
 

statickid

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:2cents:

Never played Kerbal and probably never will- not even interested!

I play orbiter to learn about spaceflight and explore the solar system. Now that Orbiter has a 3-D Earth, I also use it to explore earth.

Building silly, half-baked spaceships to fly in a fictional cartoon planetary system just doesn't sound very fun to me for whatever reason. I'm in no way hating on the people who do, just not my thing. It doesn't seem like real exploration to me. I like Orbiter because I can look at the moon with my telescope, and think "I wonder what it would look like flying through those mountains or over that crater..." then go do it. Something about the non-fiction aspects of Orbiter resonate with my interests in a way that Kerbal never can or will.

I'm only soap-boxing this because I have a feeling that the aspect of "play" brings a larger crowd to Kerbal. It's cute and funny and golly you might accidentally learn something playing it!

I think another reason is that Orbiter has a prohibitively steep learning curve and nothing to indicate that you've done something "right" (or even wrong for that matter) except maybe you accomplished what you were trying to do. Most ships don't even break or blow up. So if you did something wrong, it's almost like you have to KNOW that you messed up.
 

Pipcard

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Building silly, half-baked spaceships to fly in a fictional cartoon planetary system just doesn't sound very fun to me for whatever reason.
That's what Real Solar System and Realism Overhaul are for. Realism Overhaul even takes into account propellant settling so you have to use ullage motors (such as RCS) before performing a burn with the main engine(s). But Orbiter 2016 is still more accurate with Earth's terrain (and it supports n-body orbital physics as opposed to "patched conics").

For example, this is a mission I did based on a JAXA manned lunar mission concept. (there are "visual enhancement" mods being used for the clouds and atmospheric scattering)

Unfortunately for you, you still can't change the silly green aliens if you're not interested in having them. At least there's a human skin color mod (more realistic-looking texture mods look very creepy).
 
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Shifty

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Building silly, half-baked spaceships to fly in a fictional cartoon planetary system
There are ways that KSP's spaceships are more realistic than most of the ones in Orbiter, particularly if you play with some of the realism add-ons. Any of the DG-based ships in Orbiter are purely fictional, as are capital ships like the Arrow and the rotating lunar station. "Silly" and "half-baked" aren't quite the appropriate terms for what KSP does. Its ship editor is serious and full featured. You can certainly make some "silly" creations, but they likely won't get far off the launch pad. Successful ship building requires care, precision and knowledge. It took me 40 hours of play before I could land a ship I'd constructed on Kerbin's inner moon. It's not true that KSP is merely a toy: its focus is just more on rocketry and orbital dynamics than on spaceflight.

Orbiter has more realistic gravity and a better flight-sim model, both in terms of atmosphere simulation and cockpit instrumentation. (Though, again, there are KSP add-ons that close both gaps.) The XR2 is probably my favorite vehicle to operate in any sim; I love all the switches, the voice feedback, the flight and damage models, and the responsiveness and utility of the craft. And I also love the sense of scale that Orbiter provides. But they both have their strengths and weaknesses as space sims. And KSP's weakness is not that it's cartoonish or less serious than Orbiter.
 

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There are ways that KSP's spaceships are more realistic than most of the ones in Orbiter, particularly if you play with some of the realism add-ons.
Sorry - but at that point my brain decided to activate the Donald Trump Memorial Filter for Alternative Facts.

So, by picking one of the most unrealistic vessels in Orbiter against something crudely realistic in KSP, you REALLY think you make a valid comparison?
 

Shifty

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Sorry - but at that point my brain decided to activate the Donald Trump Memorial Filter for Alternative Facts.

So, by picking one of the most unrealistic vessels in Orbiter against something crudely realistic in KSP, you REALLY think you make a valid comparison?
What comparison would you prefer? Atlantis? I mean it and the ISS are the only realistic vessels that aren't addons. Even with more realistic spacecraft addons like ASMO or Shuttle Fleet or SSU or any of the rocket addons, the focus is more on a realistic flight and instrumentation model than on fuel loading/transfer, staging, and the rocket equation. KSP has a different focus and is more realistic in the directions it focuses on. In particular if you're using realism overhaul with RSS, you have to worry about fuel types and mixes, ullage, limited ignitions, fuel outgassing, life support, comms networks, re-entry heating, saturable reaction wheels, etc.
 

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its focus is just more on rocketry and orbital dynamics than on spaceflight.
Without having any experience in KSP - could you elaborate what you mean by this sentence? I was under the assumption that (controlled) spaceflight equals orbital dynamics + rocketry, so I don't quite get where the difference in focus is.

Anyway, as I said in a different thread - for me it makes sense to separate the platform from the content.

One question is what a platform reasonably allows you to do in terms of realism - quite a different question is how realistic any one vessel is. I can have the most terrific aerodynamics solver in existence and still feed it with cartoon flight dynamics - that doesn't say anything about the quality of the solver.

It's a fact that one can operate not so realistic vessels in Orbiter - I just don't see why this would count against the platform.
 

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As far as KSP, I think it was their forum that did me in. I thought the whole thing was pretty neat, and enough of a game to get people to learn something by accident. Then their forum blew up. For a long while it seemed like it was a bunch of trolls that wanted "moar rockets amirite!!!!" Or bronies that amounted to about the same thing.

One user refused to even take a look at Orbiter because 1] it wasn't realistic enough for him and 2] you couldn't texture (it would seem he didn't pay any attention to the mods). A serious conversation on the forum became an impossibility, so I bailed.
Interestingly enough:

1) Of the time I spend running either program, I spend far more time in KSP than in Orbiter.

2) Of the time I spend interacting with the community for either program, I spend far more time here than on the KSP forums.
 

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With all that praising of KSP, I'm a bit confused about Pipcard's conflict. If KSP is:
  • more realistic than Orbiter with things like RSS/RO
  • more fun than Orbiter due to it being a sandbox instead of a simulator
  • more popular due to a larger community than Orbiter
  • better suited for developing due to the "easier" language used and a more permissive license culture than Orbiter
then what the hell are you folks waiting here for? Orbiter will certainly not change much in these points in the foreseeable future.

In all that statements, I can see only one point in favor of Orbiter: it is free as in beer, whereas you have to pay for the KSP base program. But since those in conflict presumably already payed for it, I really don't understand the hesitation. Go away and have fun with it.
 

Pipcard

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With all that praising of KSP, I'm a bit confused about Pipcard's conflict. If KSP is:
  • more realistic than Orbiter with things like RSS/RO
  • more fun than Orbiter due to it being a sandbox instead of a simulator
  • more popular due to a larger community than Orbiter
  • better suited for developing due to the "easier" language used and a more permissive license culture than Orbiter
then what the hell are you folks waiting here for? Orbiter will certainly not change much in these points in the foreseeable future.

In all that statements, I can see only one point in favor of Orbiter: it is free as in beer, whereas you have to pay for the KSP base program. But since those in conflict presumably already payed for it, I really don't understand the hesitation. Go away and have fun with it.
I've been part of this community since 2009 (but really started to get into Orbiter in 2011). I cite Orbiter as my inspiration for wanting to become an astronautical engineer, way before I bought KSP in 2013. Learning Orbiter was what made orbital mechanics intuitive for me; before, I didn't even know what "delta-v" or "burning prograde at periapsis" meant. Thus, it holds a special place in my heart. That's why I feel conflicted.
 
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Urwumpe

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I've been part of this community since 2009 (but really started to get into Orbiter in 2011). I cite Orbiter as my inspiration for wanting to become an astronautical engineer, way before I bought KSP in 2013. Learning Orbiter was what made orbital mechanics intuitive for me; before, I didn't even know what "delta-v" or "burning prograde at periapsis" meant. Thus, it holds a special place in my heart. That's why I feel conflicted.
Would it have been different if you played KSP instead? After all, its soooo realistic. And better. And more accessible.

Really: Don't take nostalgia for too important if it hinders you. The Atari ST also holds a special place in my heart, still you won't find me using it except on special occasions.

Still... I would rather be one add-on developer among 100, than one among 10000.
 

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Don't confuse being popular (feeling) with being good (rational).
Things can be excellent and original and never get popular.

Ex: I created this video of the Apollo CMS interior in 360º

Have you ever seen inflight Apollo footage presented like this? So why only 55 views?
Perhaps because it doesn't generate much feeling for the crowds...

Taking that further, you may find that astronautical engineers are not as popular as let's say being a YouTuber :hmm:
 

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Would it have been different if you played KSP instead? After all, its soooo realistic. And better. And more accessible.

Really: Don't take nostalgia for too important if it hinders you. The Atari ST also holds a special place in my heart, still you won't find me using it except on special occasions.

Still... I would rather be one add-on developer among 100, than one among 10000.
I had doubts about being able to play KSP in "realistic mode" (RSS/RO) until 2016 because I thought my 2012 pre-built PC wouldn't be able to handle it. Before that, I had a laptop from 2006 that could barely run the KSP demo, but could run Orbiter decently enough.

And for Orbiter, I started off with the unrealistic fairy dust vessels: Delta-glider, XR2, before moving on to more realistic launch vehicles and spacecraft.
 
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Urwumpe

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I had doubts about being able to play KSP in "realistic mode" (RSS/RO) until 2016 because I thought my 2012 pre-built PC wouldn't be able to handle it. Before that, I had a laptop from 2006 that could barely run the KSP demo, but could run Orbiter decently enough.

And for Orbiter, I started off with the unrealistic vessels: Delta-glider, XR2, before moving on to more realistic launch vehicles and spacecraft.
Does it change anything? OK, so you might have been left to MSSS if Orbiter was not around and KSP does not run on your hardware (doubtful though. It runs fine in vanilla on a 2013 notebook here).

Now the big differences in my eyes to KSP are rather:


  • No N-body problems
  • No non-spherical gravity (There is a mod for both in KSP, which doesn't work as advertised)
  • No radiation pressure (Only few here ever notice it or used the callback clbkGetRadiationForce in their add-ons.)
  • Simple exponential atmosphere model (constant scale height), "Realistic Atmosphere" mod available, but still far from Orbiters accuracy.
  • Simpler aerodynamic solvers (limits what you can mod)
  • But explosions, destruction, murder, death, kill instead.
But, I think the biggest difference is: Orbiter never tried to be funny. Except on Halloween.
 

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I've been part of this community since 2009 (but really started to get into Orbiter in 2011). I cite Orbiter as my inspiration for wanting to become an astronautical engineer, way before I bought KSP in 2013. Learning Orbiter was what made orbital mechanics intuitive for me; before, I didn't even know what "delta-v" or "burning prograde at periapsis" meant. Thus, it holds a special place in my heart. That's why I feel conflicted.
So your last conflict point really boils down to nostalgia. I can understand that, but it won't be like you put the software into a trash bin and can never use it again.

Besides that, you certainly know that Harvester published the KSP idea here as one of the first places (if not THE first place), so Orbiter certainly was a stepping-stone to KSP of some kind. You could then ease your nostalgia a bit by reassuring that you are not "betraying", but just following natural progression.

Don't think too hard, nobody here will blame you for focusing more on KSP. And if you feel different later on, you can always switch your focus back to Orbiter.
 

jedidia

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I cite Orbiter as my inspiration for wanting to become an astronautical engineer, way before I bought KSP in 2013. Learning Orbiter was what made orbital mechanics intuitive for me; before, I didn't even know what "delta-v" or "burning prograde at periapsis" meant. Thus, it holds a special place in my heart. That's why I feel conflicted.
I've been a semi-professional musician for a period of my life, and I can easily track the motivation for that down to one single band that somehow completely managed to blow the mind of impressionable 18-year old me.

I haven't done any music in a few years now. Haven't listened to the band in ages. They're still what pulled me heels over head into music, by that influencing a rather large part of my life (heck, I wouldn't even have gotten to know my wife if I didn't pursue the path their music sent me down on), and I have no problems acknowledging that, but I've moved on, even at the time where I was still actively engaged in the scene and playing myself. Sometimes moving on makes you sad, but it's nothing to be afraid or even ashamed of. That's just life.
 
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