Blaugust 2015 Day 13
As much fun as stock Kerbal Space Program game is for me, it is even more fun with mods. Some of the core mods that I don’t like to play without just to give better information. The stock game expects players to experiment and play through try-fail cycles, but I’m more of a planner than a pantser.
The first mod I ever installed and still my top must have is called Kerbal Engineer Redux. It add lots of information to the Vehicle Assembly Building, the Space Plane Hangar, and to in-flight craft. The most important number is the deltaV, which is literally the amount of change in velocity a craft has. A certain amount of deltaV is required to reach orbit around Kerbin, and more is required to transfer to the moons or other planets, not to mention entering orbit and landing. Basically anytime you try to move your craft to a different orbit, land, or take-off you are spending deltaV, so knowing how much you have on a rocket is great for planning a mission.
The second mod I picked up is called Chatterer. It doesn’t affect gameplay or visuals, it adds sporadic radio chatter between the Kerbal crew on your active craft with mission control. It sounds like a small thing, but it adds quite a bit of atmosphere to missions. It’s not really a must have mod, but it’s gin nevertheless.
I keep a full list on this page, I’ll talk about a few of the parts mods soon.
So that was a longer than intended break, especially since I thought doing my January write-ups had gotten me recharged. I just took a break from writing though not gaming.
In February I rediscovered Minecraft, or more specifically I discovered mod packs. I was introduced to YouTuber Direwolf20 from watching a Haat Films video (whom i started watching because of their excellent Minecraft release trailers) and from there found the Feed the Beast mod pack.
I already knew about modding but hadn’t messed with it at all because I didn’t want to bother manually patching JAR files. Well, the modding scene has advanced substantially since I last looked. For FtB, I just had to download a launcher then pick a pack, let it download and play. It’s about as easy as installing and launching an MMO. I’ve been playing heavily ever since.
Mods have made a world of difference in my enjoyment of the game. Setting up power systems and automating mining scratch nearly the same itch as playing the Anno series. When the game starts to get stale, I add another mod. I’ve been able to customize my copy of the Direwolf20 pack easily by downloading some other Forge compatible mods (the modding framework FtB uses) and adding them via the launcher.
If you loved Minecraft in the past, but got bored then I highly recommend checking out one of the FtB packs. There’s the big ones like Direwolf20 and Ultimate that contain a large cross section of mods and then there’s more focused ones like Magic World and Tech World. Personally I think the Direwolf20 pack is a great starting point as you can watch his current Season 5 Let’s Play and get a introduction to all of the mods as he starts a new world and builds from there. Don’t bother starting from Season 1 though, Dire starts a new season with every major version change so Season 5 Episode 1 covers starting out with the current release of the mod pack (at least at the time I write this).