Good bye innocence

August 9th, 2009

The Ground-Crew of SSM2007 has allowed us to play around with the beta version of the upcoming Service Pack of the game. The Service Pack offers great improvement in realism, therefore making it is a SSM veteran heaven! 🙂 To find out what’s new, and why you would probably sit in front of the “Download” page with the finger on the refresh button, you’ll have to click the “read more”.. You didn’t expect us to reveal it so easily did you? 😀

Because you are undoubtedly on edge I’ll say it right away.. Main features of the upcoming SP would be a new, more realistic, LOS system, complete with RBAR, TORVA & ISS Fly-around 🙂

Some of you veterans are jumping with joy, I’m sure.. but the rookies had better be ready mentally – if you find that rendezvous and docking are tricky and complex – it’s gonna be even more challenging now. the Commander’s Manual (which GC will be updating) will be a vital piece of info – and the NASA checklists will become even more valuable.
I must admit, at first it was a complete head-scratcher for me. I had to re-learn the RNDZ and docking. Not to mention the brand new ISS Fly-around procedure. However, after a few hours for toying around with the new SP, I can safely say that I don’t know how we managed without it 🙂
Lets go over some of the new stuff. But It is important to remember that this is an early beta version, so things may change as the the final release approaches.

 

RBAR approach - 2
The new LOS system offers a different reference point, it is now “looking up” from the PLB and offers us a real RBAR guidance. till now the approach was on the RBAR, but with the nose of the shuttle pointing at the target, somewhat less realistic of-course, originally created to make our life easier.. as for the LOS itself, the behaviour is significantly more realistic and the system responses have changed quite a bit. Alas, as you can see from this run of STS-100 it looks promising and the transition to the new system should be almost natural.
Unfortunately, I haven’t found a good way to capture behaviour with screenshots – so you’ll have to wait to the complete video tutorial that will arrive with (or even before) the SP.
Along with the RBAR, comes naturally, the TORVA approach.  The NASA checklists are our new best friend – the ssm-fans team is adapting the checklists to SSM, which is currently being reviewed and revised. Again, cool stuff. the GC have really outdone themselves 🙂 Screenshots aren’t really helpful, but this clip might do the trick.. 🙂 (if you look carefully you might even get some hints on the way the new LOS works)

Final addition, which is major fun, is the ISS fly-around. this will probably be the hardest to Master of the three – again reading the NASA procedure carefully will make it easier to understand the concept. I’ve ran the Fly-around several times, yet I still have my thoughts about the intuitive way to do it – not to mention figuring out the NASA way of doing it (unfortunately for us, the checklists do not reveal all the secrets)… I will have all this sorted out for the video tutorial of course. As for now, here is a short clip of one of my early attempts.. I’m afraid I’ve drifted a bit too far away on this time around.. I guess it’s “practice makes perfect” on this one (as with any other skill on SSM and on real life)..

As you can see, we at the SSM-Fans team are excited about this one.. As mentioned before, we are also hoping to release a new set of video tutorials after the features will be finalized (before the official SP is released) to allow you to see how the the new LOS, TORVA, RBAR and Fly Around are implemented in the sim and understand the basics before tackling it for the first time..
Once again, we would like to remind you that all what you have seen here is still under Beta testing and according to the GC spokesman, some additional realism changes were made since this beta patch was sent to us, so we are all up for an additional surprise or two down the road. We would also like to thank the GC again for this opportunity – for this is a certainly a milestone in SSM2007 evolution.
We will be back with more!
on behalf of the SSM-Fans Team,
Uri_ba Signing off

 

Posted by uri_ba

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