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Published May 23, 2013

Two months after KSP's transfer to Steam, the developers have come out with update 0.20.

First up: the long-awaited "command seat", allowing Kerbals to pilot vehicles from outside the confines of a capsule or cockpit. This is most explicitly useful for manned rovers - which can now be constructed in the Apollo style - but most players almost immediately decided to stick a seat on a solid rocket booster. It turns out about as well as you'd expect. RIP, little green man. Other useful and harebrained applications are already making this part a hit with the community. Other new parts, like probe cores, wheels, and station cupolas, are handy as well.

The most eye-catching new feature is the flag system. Players can design and deploy flags and plaques, either by using templates provided by Squad or by importing flag images of their own. We can finally imitate Armstrong and stick a symbol on other worlds. Players have really taken to this, choosing emblems from EVE, symbols from other video games & sci-fi series, or images meaningful to them personally.

0.20, apart from the flags and parts, includes lots of quality-of-life stuff. Particularly welcomed by long-term rocket designers is the end of the tyranny of the "root part," the first part chosen. Previous versions required the first part to be a capsule and didn't allow for deletion. Now players don't have to scrap their whole rocket and start over when they decide they'd rather have a 3-man capsule instead of a lander can.

Squad has been going through a hiring-and-firing phase lately, particularly in the PR & "Community Management" positions after the DLC issue was handled poorly. They have also deviated from their earlier plans to focus on creating a complicated resource extraction and management system (like that provided by the Kethane mod), instead focusing on much-needed improvements to the UI and optimization. The community seems very pleased with this update, seeing it as a step in the right direction. The move to Steam seems to have paid off dividends as well - earlier expansions routinely brought down Squad's servers upon release, but enough players moved to the Steam version that there was no difficulty updating.

The developers also released this trailer, showing off the new rovers and command seats:

Enjoy the expansion; don't forget to add parachutes!

Alikchi
I play the video game "EVE Online" with an emphasis on suicide ganking and the metagame. I'm interested in history, politics and culture. Follow me on Twitter for my retweets of other peoples' jokes at @alikchialeika.

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