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Ken Burnside
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Attended University of Alaska Fairbanks
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Ken Burnside

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Objects in Motion is now at 5350 words after friends at NASA checked it over, and another friend marked all the places where I used jargon in need of explanation.

Off to editorial!
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+Foo Quuxman Your fringe theories theories will never be accepted.
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Objects in Motion, the sequel to The Hot Equations, is at 4250 words. Going to send it off to some beta readers who work for NASA to make sure my simplifications didn't introduce any horrific errors, then do a polishing run, then send it on to an editor to hammer into final form.
I'll post announcements of availability when it's in final format.
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Ken Burnside

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So, is it safe to try the new Google+ layout? Have they fixed all the things people were kvetching about?
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Heh... It's actually easier to use for most people. As Charlie rightly points out, it's dependent on whether you've got one of the "issues" or not. Most people are bitching because they got used to the clumsy old version, to be honest.

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Ken Burnside

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These are hypothetical ships for the Empire/Directorate War!

When the Maranhao DN was built by the Empire of Brasil, it introduced a new weapon, the Extended Range Proton Cannon.  The Sao Paulo, under production as a Rio de Janiero light cruiser, was pulled from the production queue and refitted with ER Proton Cannons as a test bed.  While they were eventually removed and put on a Tamandare-class CS, there were exercises run on the assumption that the Sao Paulo would be the new light cruiser, or a variant light cruiser, for imperial doctrine.

The Meditation DDT was never built; insofar as records have shown, it was never even considered by the Directorate.  However, the Empire of Brasil, having had experience with torpedo boats in the oceans  during the Great War, and simply assumed that one would be built when the Directorate had more information on how their torpedoes worked, and doctrines to use them.

Port Centauri is the base that the Empire built in Alpha Centauri after the war was concluded; it could have been built during the war but the press for new hulls to support the two pronged expedition to Alpha Mensae kept the Empire from focusing its resources. 

All SSDs are in 2D and 3D formats. 
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+William Black does good work!  If you like my products, you'll like this.
 
My Patreon Page Is Now Live
Patreon is empowering a new generation of creators. Support and engage with artists and creators as they live out their passions!
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+Ken Burnside Thanks for the re share, greatly appreciated!
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Merry Christmas!  Happy Isaac Newton's Birthday!  As I write this, the big printer downstairs is whirring and converting blank paper into the books for Squadron Strike, Second Edition.  It's been a long gestation process, and a couple of big shipping days for Attack Vector ate into time that I should've put into this, but it's done now.
 
What's changed?
 
First of all, we rewrote how Interceptor works. Interceptor weapons generate a number of points per shot of the weapon and the defender allocates them to targets. The player running the target rolls 2d10-, adds any armor to the result, and wants to exceed the amount of points allocated. It's harder to completely oversaturate someone's point defense, and reduces the amount of die rolling while streamlining decisions. While Interceptor is the big change, several other weapon traits have been tweaked.
 
The fighter rules got several tweaks. At long last, Mode 0 and Mode 2 fighters are supported by the game. There are two more pages of examples of pivots and rolls, based on things we learned doing the AVID Assistant, and the rules for each Movement Mode put the rules for fighters and torpedoes in that section of the rules. 
 
The all new Empire/Directorate War setting, where first contact happened in 1939, pits the Empire of Brasil against the Directorate of Sapiency is now the default in-the-box setting. It comes with eleven new ships (in both 2D and 3D versions), as well as two setting booklets. Volume 1 is a 52-page self-contained tutorial; you can leave the rulebook in the box and learn the game in stages just from this.  Volume 2 continues the narrative that starts into the tutorial to the end of the war.  Commander Robert Heinlein, USN, makes an appearance in the narrative.
 
The laminated cards have been updated. The Move Card now has a blank firing arc diagram, so you can record a firing arc translation there and compare it to the firing arc diagrams on the SSDs.  The back of the Reference Card has a few more useful tables, including a much better Large Salvo Combat Table.
 
What hasn't changed?
 
Squadron Strike is still the most robust weapon design and ship design engine on the market, able to make ships from most settings with high fidelity and as much or as little detail as you'd like.  Getting your friends with smartphones playing Squadron Strike has never been easier with the new tutorial and the AVID Assistant (Jon, convert that into a link).
 
There are multiple entry points:
If you've heard of Squadron Strike and would like a cheap way to try it out, check out the Squadron Strike Starter Kit. (http://www.adastragames.com/products/squadron-strike-starter-kit)

If you've already purchased Squadron Strike and want to pick up the upgrade kit, it's $35 for Standard or $45 for Deluxe (http://www.adastragames.com/products/squadron-strike-deluxe-second-edition-upgrade-kit)

If you're looking to get PDF copies. we have those for sale at $15 - there's a lot more content than the previous edition. (http://www.adastragames.com/products/squadron-strike-second-edition-complete-pdf-bundle)

If you're looking to buy the boxed game, it's $64.95 for Standard or $74.95 for Deluxe (http://www.adastragames.com/products/squadron-strike-deluxe)
Want an easy entry point into Squadron Strike? Check out the Empire/Directorate War, through seven scenarios in this self-contained tutorial. The file also includes box miniatures and tilt blocks that you can print on card stock and assemble, ready to play, along with all the SSDs needed to play the seven scenarios presented.
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Ken Burnside

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Intrigued by Squadron Strike, but looking for an easy point of entry?

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/171157/Squadron-Strike-Second-Edition-Starter-Kit?src=slider_view

This is everything you need to play other than dice and maps and writing implements...all for $5.

Also available on the Ad Astra Games webshop:

http://www.adastragames.com/products/squadron-strike-starter-kit
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Ken Burnside

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The follow-up to The Hot Equations is at 2400 words. #amwriting #ammathing
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What Winchell said. :-)
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The resolution of the game we started on the 7th of January - having failed at blocking the Alpha Mensae-Alpha Centauri wormhole, the Brasilian forces transited back to Alpha Centauri in hot pursuit.

This was turn 7; the prior six turns had happened on the 7th of January.

The Directorate forces had transited on turns 4 and 5, while the first Imperial ship had transited on turn 6, heading into a trap.

Due to the randomness of the wormhole transit, the Brasilian ship came right between the two Directorate cruisers with one practically in his gunsights. Having struck a quick blow, his only hope was that reinforcements would arriv soon enough to rescue him from a 2-on-1 fight.
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+Dan Eastwood​ you should share this with Bryce...
 
For the percussionists in the audience ...
A Comic for, and about, anyone who has ever been in music.
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I just put this on The Book of Faces where he will see it, and also tagged 3 of his friends (professional Jazz percussionists all). The reaction might be entertaining. https://www.facebook.com/EastwoodDC/posts/10208467925358406
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Ken Burnside

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The new Squadron Strike Ship Designer Spreadsheet is up!  Check it out!

Changes in 31.1.1.9

Ship & Fort tabs
- Added code to the label for Bridge that tells you how many APs the bridge is generating, and how many squadrons or directly commanded ships it can command.

Fort tabs
- Made assorted fixes in cell references in the top four rows.  Never copy and paste something from the Ship tabs to the Fort tabs. Only sadless results.
- Adjusted the dropdowns for equipment quantities so that their validation looks like this:

Fort XML tab
- Fixed an error in cell M1087 and others:  Changed the name of the lookup range to "Forts_Name_Table" from "Ships_Name_Table."

=IF(RIGHT(N58,5)="Regen",INDIRECT(VLOOKUP(N58,EquipmentDataTableFort,9,FALSE)),INDIRECT(VLOOKUP(N58,EquipmentDataTable,9,FALSE)))

Ship & Torpedo Tabs
- Removed data pulls for torpedo toughness and armor, missile armor, beam range, and torpedo and missile warheads from the ship and fortress tabs.

Weapon Traits Tab
- Changed "Inherits Speed" to "Inertialess Launch."  Inertialess launch means the torpedo doesn't inherit any speed from the launching unit.
- Deleted "Shield Leaks" and "Armor Leaks" traits, as they've never worked in a way that's fun.  I recommend any existing designs using them switch over to Ignores Shields and Ignores Armor.

Weapons Tab
- After seeing several people make torpedoes with more thrust than they need, I changed the way torpedo range is shown:  The range is now Thrust times 1 for the first bracket, thrust times 3 for the second, thrust times 6 for the third, thrust times 10 for the fourth, thrust times 15 for the fifth, thrust times 21 for the sixth and thrust times 28 for the seventh.  This WILL dramatically alter the costs of torpedoes, because the formula now actually matches the distance they travel - there will almost certainly be another note added to these release notes about changing the torpedo divisor.
- Added a toggle that puts the correct distance traveled when using Mode 0 torpedoes.
- Changed the dropdowns for maximum torpedo thrust so that thrust 4-9 is available for Mode 1 and 2, and thrust 6-12 is available for Mode 0.
- Changed the dropdowns for maximum torpedo endurance so that Mode 1-2 are limited to 1-4 turns of endurance, and mode 0 can go to 7
- Altered the concatenator that feeds into the weapon tables so that the labels list speed, velocity or distance for mode 1, 2 and 0 respectively, and just show the right number (speed, velocity or distance) based on thrust, movement mode and endurance.
- Changed the formula that determines the final cost multiplier of a torpedo, since fewer fudge factors are needed - we're getting the actual distance the torpedo travels as part of its price calculation.

- Navy Tab
Added data pulls for your faction's defense levels, along with beam range, torpedo toughness and armor, missile armor, tech level and fighter armor and sheilds - stuff that's defined before ship construction
- Removed data pulls for torpedo toughness and armor, beam range, missile armor, and torpedo and missile warheads from the "ship defenses block"
- Added data pulls for Weapon Parameters and rearranged a few spots on the tab.

Parameters Tab
- Got rid of over 30 unused named ranges and tables.  Still hunting more.

Equipment Tab
- Made a parallel table for shield regenerators called EquipmentDataTableFort to feed into the context sensitive quantity dropdowns.  This completes the last bit of fudging (I think) needed to make fortresses work.

HACS Viewer Tab
- Deleted this tab, as I wasn't going to be using the information from it in the way it was intended, and it's easier to start the Fleet Strike card process another way.

Changes in 31.2.1.0

Campaign Tab
- Generated values for the maximum campaign levels used for deflectors, ablative shields, armor and component armor.  This gets used for setting the multiplier for 2xHits Shields, Halves Armor, Ignores Deflection and Ignores Component Armor.
- Fixed a bunch of formula errors that take the campaign levels of defenses and generate averages from them in cells 
- Set the "Max Beam Weapon Range" dropdowns to 7, 15, 23, 31 and 35 so that the breaks match the actual widening of the arcs on the hex map.  This also caused changes on range-specific weapon traits.
- Altered the Space Control RDP pricing formula on the campaign tab to account for the change on the Parameters tab.

Weapon Trait Tab
- Altered the cost of the multipliers on 2xHits Shields, Halves Armor and Ignores Deflection traits so that they went up as the campaign maximums recorded on the campaign tab increased.  Changed the RDP cost divisor from 3 to 2 to make them a bit more expensive.  It should no longer be the "complete no-brainer" to take them.
- Changed the ranges on Interceptor r6 and r9 to r7 and r11
- Changed the ranges on Overloads from r6 and r9 to r7 and r11.

Ships XML Tab
- Added four more ships to the dropdowns, so that you can generate a single SSD for an entire 19-ship fleet.

Forts XML Tab, Ships XML Tab, Ftr XML Tab, Wpn XML Tab
- Updated the weapon row headers to return the proper abbreviation for the RNG column, which changes to SPD on Mode 1 torpedoes, VEL for Mode 2 torpedoes, DIST for Mode 0 torpedoes, and RAD for Bubbles.  The new tag in the XML is called "bracketName" and will require a new version of SSPDF to work.

Parameters Tab
- Changed cell D81 (discount missiles get for range) to 0.85
- Changed cell AA110 (the value subtracted from RoF to generate RoF costs to 0.35 from 0.2 - quite simply, nobody was taking RoF greater than 1, because the redundancy of having multiple weapons was a no-brainer
- Extended the CA_2_Drop dropdown by two more rows. Considering a clever trick on the ship tabs that will make the CA_2_Drop unnecesary.
- Doubled the numerical values of Space Control, so that it's a little more tempting to spend RDPs on and make a specialized fighter for.

Ship Tabs & Fortress Tabs
- Changed cell DC37 to =AVERAGE(DC34:DD36), which fixes a really baffling problem where items using the "Average" Defensive Increment were way too expensive. This also fixes a problem that shows up with Profile numbers when set to "Average" in the universe tab.
- Made some cosmetic changes to make updating these tabs a bit easier.

Weapons Tab
- Changed cell AN17 (and it's 13 cognates) to =IF(E5="Torpedo", AM17*E8+(E7+4),IF(E5="Missile",I6+4,0))  The change is the "+4" which used to be a "+3" - this is the assumed number of point defense points needed to guarantee a kill when generating missile spam numbers.  It effectively assumes point defense is 70% effective against missiles with known Armor values rather than 68%.
- Made sure the concatenated weapon tables now show RNG, SPD, VEL, DIST or RAD for the header of the first column.
- Moved the weapon trait back end stuff to a less cluttered place, and did some cosmetic rearrangement of things.

Equipment Tab
- Changed the size of boosters and retroboosters to make them more appealing to play.
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+Vaclav Ujcik Not really, no.  Buried deep in the spreadsheet, there's a fudge factor for what types of systems increment the size of a Cargo box in hull spaces, which could be seen as a proxy for number of crew.
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Ken Burnside

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A reminder: Wargame Vault is putting up a 25% off sale starting at 1000 Eastern from the 24th through January 4th.

http://www.wargamevault.com/

Ad Astra is participating in this!
Wargame Vault is the largest wargame download store.
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again with the spinning circle.. someone needs to do some homework to figure out how to stop this.. I end up muting them, and that's no good to anyone.
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Work
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Writer, game designer, page layout wonk, graphic designer.
Employment
  • Demand Media
    Technical Writer, 2008 - present
  • Ad Astra Games
    Creative Director, 2006 - present
  • MCI Inc.
    Technical Writer, 2001 - 2003
  • Steve Jackson Games
    Print Buyer, 2004 - 2005
  • Amarillo Design Bureau Inc.
    Marketing Director, 2005 - 2006
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Game designer. Purveyor of recreational mathematics. Writer.
Introduction
Game designer, freelancer writer.  Based out of Milwaukee, WI. Purveyor of recreational mathematics.  Sometimes poet.
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Designer of the only playable set of 3-D space combat games to reach the market. Designer of a very small RPG. Sometimes fencing instructor.
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  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
    English, History, 1988 - 1990
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