Monday, July 2, 2012

Kerbal Space Program

This weekend, I stumbled upon a wonderful little indie game that blends my current professional focus with my idea of fun, and explosions... lots of explosions.

The game, called Kerbal Space Program, puts the you in charge of building and launching rockets capable of putting little, green "Kermen" into space. You begin by assembling your rocket from various parts in the game's Vehicle Assembly Building. Then you head out to the launch pad to fire it off and see what happens.

The game does not currently have specific missions, but you can set your own goals from completing a successful sub-orbital hop, to reaching orbit, to landing on the MΓΌn. KSP features solidly realistic orbital mechanics which equates to a very high learning curve. After playing for several hours, I have had a couple sub-orbital launches, but still haven't managed to reach orbit. I suspect that I will need to do some number crunching, or at least jotting down in order to achieve that next milestone.

Having spent the past year and a half developing a space exhibit for the museum where I work, I am very pleased to see a game like this. Though the physics are difficult to master, the simple process of tinkering with virtual rockets and blasting them to space or smithereens is a lot of fun.

The game is currently in an open beta test ala Minecraft. There is a free demo version available for download with limited features. If my description sounds intriguing, I encourage you to check it out. If you get sucked in like I did, it is currently just $15 to pick up the latest test version, which will continue to yield updates as the game progresses.

Let's light this candle!


  1. Everything sounds good save for the price. As I don't play games that much (no damn time!), it would probably be something I'd buy and forget to play again. Perhaps when (and if) the price is lower I'll be more inclined. Nevertheless, thanks for the heads up as it does sound intriguing.

  2. I've heard good things about this game from other places too. My problem is the same as Mr. Bates though, money paid to play a game a few times before I forget about it and do other things is a bit of a waste right now.

    If it's as good as people say though, it should eventually get a big release and hopefully become more practical to pay then play.

  3. Price concerns are definitely a valid reason not to buy. Though, I don't think the price will drop as development continues. If they're following the MC structure, it'll go up as more features get added until it freezes at the official release date.

    We'll see how long the game sticks with me. I'm a big spaceflight enthusiast, so I suspect it'll be a while at least.

    I have a weird thought process when it comes to game pricing. I almost always balk at $60 games, and usually at $30 too. But given the cost of some other forms of entertainment (I paid more than $15 for my ticket to see Brave in 3D with the fiancee's little brother) I feel like a $15 game is a decent value based on price/time entertained.

    Of course, a tennis ball, or a stack of scrap paper and pencils still give an unbeatable yield in fun to cost.


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