0- I’ve never understood what “FAQ…” means?
Ah, oh, um… It simply comes from the English “Frequently Asked Questions”. In France, we cleverly translated it as “Foire Aux Questions” to respect the acronym. Not bad, right? It doesn’t mean exactly the same thing, but you’ve got the gist: here, a bunch of questions we anticipate and to which we provide our answers 😉 Let’s go?
1- What’s KSC?
Kerbal Space Challenge is primarily an association, a real one. It consists of 10 permanent members, aiming to promote Science and Space through today’s digital tools. The idea is to propose and supervise challenges on a given theme, usually historical missions (Sputnik, Apollo, Viking…) and to offer participants the opportunity to take on the challenge in Kerbal Space Program, a super fun video game you must discover immediately if you don’t know about it. But that’s not all, we make it a point to ensure that registrants can do what they love, what motivates them, and use their passions and skills to create a portfolio that reflects them: prose, math, videos, music, poems, powerpoints, posters, illustrations, LiveStream… Everything is good to highlight your participation! Think outside the box, be original, and seek to communicate your interests and our shared passion for Space 🙂
2- KSP, then…?
Kerbal Space Program is one of the main platforms for our challenges. It’s a game that flirts with simulation, putting you in charge of a space program. Far from a management game, the idea is to provide you with parts, like solar panels, tanks, thrusters, cabins, parachutes, radio-isotopic generators… and assemble them like Legos to build rockets, rovers, planes, submarines, etc. Your only limit is your imagination! The second phase, of course, is piloting your machine, and you get to explore a stellar system similar to ours, with its star, planets, and moons. And with mods, it goes even further! We’ve prepared a little introduction article about this amazing game, so enjoy ^^
3- Speaking of mods, do you have a little guide to understand their installation?
Absolutely! And it’s right here ^^ Mini-tutorial on installing KSP mods. There are some subtleties sometimes, but the essentials are there, and we try to detail some mod installations on a case-by-case basis, as time allows.
4- But won’t I corrupt my installation with mods?
Nothing is risk-free, but mod installation is straightforward in KSP. Moreover, you can learn to back up and copy your KSP installations, so you don’t have to worry about a thing! And that’s right here 🙂 Mini-tutorial on managing KSP installations.
5- Okay, cool. But I’m a beginner at KSP, do you have tutorials, help?
Absolutely! KSC aims to host the most comprehensive tutorial on KSP, named “Follow the Guide!”. And it’s a lot of work… By the time you read this, maybe no tutorial will have been released yet, or perhaps several chapters will be out, or maybe it’ll be complete! No, that’s impossible, there’s always more to learn about KSP 😉 Anyway, you can find them in the dedicated section: Tutorials and Guides. Oh, and of course, join us on the forum to ask your questions!
6- Oh, you have a forum! What’s its purpose?
Yes! The forum is there to serve as a platform for exchanges between challenge participants or just members of our little community. Don’t hesitate! It’s structured to accommodate just about any topic you’d want to discuss, especially if they relate to Space, Science, KSP… But there’s some room for miscellany 😉 Make this platform your own, bring it to life; it’s a great way to share our common passions! And of course, suggest your challenges, it’s the perfect place for that ^^ By the way, did you know we’ve also taken over the historic KSP-Fr site since 2019? It hosted most of the community activity for many years, and many resources can be found there!
7- And your articles? Can we comment on them?
The other side of our digital platform is the website hosting the forum. So, on the website side, a straightforward interface to feature our official publications, mainly concerning news about Space, film releases, major KSP updates, or any other topic we like introducing to you 🙂 Direct commenting isn’t possible on this interface for various reasons, but rest assured, a topic is created for each article, allowing you to discuss it! Pretty handy, right? You’ll find the topic link at the end of each publication ^^ Like here, in fact, since you’re reading an article that follows this rule.
8- How often do you organize challenges?
It varies, but we’re aiming for one official challenge per quarter. Preparations require quite a bit of work, and even more so after the challenge, to “evaluate” the participations, highlight them, and summarize them in a concluding article. And besides these main challenges, we offer many other activities, like screenshot competitions, craft competitions, article writing, community life, etc. It’s a lot of work ^^ Don’t hesitate to organize your challenges in the dedicated section: forum challenges!
9- Your challenges seem… Complicated, right?
Not at all! They’re flexible enough that beginners can join with our help, and experienced players can show off their expertise. Balancing this is tricky, demanding the right approach each time. We’ve decided to use a registration system based on different categories to participate according to your gameplay style and level. To know more, check out our article: participation categories.
10- So, even a complete beginner can join?
Yep, yep, and it’s one of our core values, providing personalized guidance as much as we can to players discovering KSP at the same time as the challenge or shortly before. The Junior category is entirely dedicated to this type of participants: for each challenge, we prepare a set of crafts (rockets, ships, modules…) and saves at strategic moments and locations, right after a potentially tricky point. The goal, of course, is to unblock you and let you continue the challenge, though we’ll do our best to answer questions and help with your machines 😉 As always, we’ve got more info in the dedicated article: Junior Category.
11- How long do these challenges last, and what should we provide at the end?
We usually go for a month, giving plenty of time to familiarize yourself with the theme, and also to interact with other members and participants: it’s more about sharing and helping each other than competing ^^ Spend some time chatting now and then, helping out, teasing about your progress… The forum is there for that, and we open a section dedicated to the current activity!
Regarding the portfolio to submit, that’s where we stress the most: enjoy yourself. Show us that you’ve respected the basic requirements in KSP, but craft your experience of the challenge based on your desires and skills. Whether you’re into math or prose, can draw or edit videos, are a LiveStream star or dive deep into historical archives or exobiology, as long as it somewhat addresses the challenge, your ideas are welcome. Aim to explain, illustrate, and teach, seizing the opportunity
12- “Great! Thank you! Any questions from you?”
Nope, let’s not switch roles! ^^ Oh wait! A/S/L?
(Note: “ASV” is an abbreviation for “Age, Sexe, Ville” in French, which means “Age, Gender, City”. In English, the equivalent would be “A/S/L”, standing for “Age, Sex, Location”.)