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Video: How modular design made Kerbal Space Program possible

June 9, 2014 | By Staff

June 9, 2014 | By Staff
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More: Console/PC, Indie, Design, Production, Video, Vault

"The real benefit was that we only had one module to check in order to debug every one in the game."
- Kerbal Space Program developer Chad Jenkins elucidates the value of building your game with reusable "modules" of code.

Squad technical artist Chad Jenkins spoke at length about how modular design principles made Kerbal Space Program possible as part of the Independent Games Summit at GDC 2014. Jenkins claims that investing time in building flexible, reusable content creation systems can help indie teams save a significant amount of time and effort remaking assets over and over again. During his talk he explained how Squad did just that, tossing out its original design structure and building one that enabled them to update and expand Kerbal Space Program with (relative) ease.

It's a good talk that sheds light on how the modular design of Kerbal made the game easier to mod and upgrade by both its developers and the players themselves, which ultimately contributed greatly to the game's commercial and critical success.

We've taken the liberty of embedding the free video of "Sandbox Lessons: Modular Design in Kerbal Space Program" above, but you can also watch it here on the GDC Vault.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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