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My Game Fears: Nightmares with Kerbal Space Program

Hey ditts, welcome to my long overdue second chapter of the little series I decided to call My Game Fears. Last time i shortly shared with you my struggle to advance against the unknown in Ico, you can check it here.

Nightmares with Kerbal Space Program.

KSP it's a cute space simulator where you are in control of your own space agency, on the earth-like planet Kerbin. The game it's currently on Steam via† Early Access, you should totally give it a try and download the Demo, that's right. An early access game with a demo! The learning curve is very steep as you have to follow real life aerodynamics and physics rules (although the physics are not totally faithful to real life, there's a mod for that and IT HURTS), you'd be lucky if you can achieve an orbit on your firsts flights.
The game consists primarily on the construction of rockets, satellites, rovers and
planes/spaceplanes with the sole propose of gathering scientific data, get science points and unlock more rocket parts to do more science! the developers are slowly adding more features like contract missions and reputation. You have a whole Solar system to explore so hours and hours of exploring are ensured.

Now you might be asking, OK but what's so terrifying about this game?


This kind of views.

There's a kind of phobia called Astrophobia which contains the fear of infinite space void, collision of asteroids with earth and GIGANTIC CELESTIAL BODIES (I'm not sure to call my case a phobia though). In my case I have a hard time looking at things like planets or any big rock from a close up (like pic above), zoomed or moving like GIFs of the moon or the quietness of Saturn and it's rings. This is a big contradiction for me since I'm very curious and enthusiast about any kind of topic related to Space but can't even look at the screen when using Google Earth or look at the moon through a telescope more than couple of seconds. This brings us back to KSP, a game where 100% of the time you will be looking and living in fantastic 1st person the [s]horrors[/s] wonders of space travel.

On my common practices to avoid ugly surprises it's for example when I change between space and ship view, the game could be technically be played with only space view position of the navball and the flight stats buuut that would be really just plain boring. So what I do while orbiting a planet and switching to ship view I first look away, cover my eyes and look only at the border of the screen, just in case the thing it's there. The most extreme case was when I sent a ship to the sun to see how it looked, thinking I had the guts to.

I didn't. i Just looked away the whole time and took a screenshot.

I've made and keep making the mistake to do time warp (since distances are freaking enormous and you don't want to do the whole travel in real time) while in ship view going straight to Kerbin (Earth) for a capture and landing. What it get is a fast forward view of the planet getting bigger bigger and about to crush me.
Glitches have gave me scares too. For some time the camera wouldn't turn upside down when I was going for a land. Normally you'd want to have the planet below you so you know you're falling and stuff but what happened was that the planet appeared above me so It gave the impression that it was falling on me.

These situations have triggered a couple of nightmares through the year, one of the most vivid ones was me on a mission to Jupiter. Inside the ship cabin heading straight to Jupiter at ridiculous high speed. The planet started as a tiny spot in the back of space, getting bigger and bigger every second. I was strapped tight into my seat and the windows were just right in front of me. The moment I hit the atmosphere the speed is such that the air around does not merely blaze, it forms a tunnel of fire with giants fireballs coming right at me. So I'm falling towards a planet that has no ground at such speed that the air became a fire tunnel with fireballs coming at me.

That shit was intense.

Other dreams involved things like the moon getting closer to the earth, so close that it occuped half the sky or another planet getting our of it's orbit and crashing with the sun, all mind you rendered with the game's graphic quality!

So have this game helped me get over my planet fear? Well no that much, it made it worse† by giving me dreams of being a Kerbal in Space and had bad things to happen. It constantly feeds me with new scary views and situations. But also it's so challenging and rewarding when something comes out good (landing without crashing or running out of power) that you just want to keep playing it despite all. And I still have the hope that someday I'll be able to look at the ocean relief on Google Earth.

Besides look how gorgeous mods make it.

Oh and as a side note Iím not even afraid of heights, flying on planes is one of the best things and would totally jump on parachute if I ever get the chance.
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About Alphoysonone of us since 9:30 AM on 05.06.2011

Hey! I'm Tom, 21 and from Argentina. Young designer/developer student.
I've been using the same pair of glasses since 2006 and to keep the glass from falling I sewn the frame with a needle and thread, guess that describes myself perfectly.