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Your Kerbals will do the dirty in Kerbal Space Program 2

Kerbals will celebrate achievements by increasing the population.

The headline feature of Kerbal Space Program 2 is the promise of leading your Kerbals away from their home planet of Kerbin to colonize distant planets. For Kerbals, that means some extremely long trips, and once they’ve arrived at their new home, they’ll want to start establishing a new Kerbal society – and that means they’ll be having Kerbal sex.

As with the original game, Kerbal Space Program 2 will allow players to fast-forward in time in order to skip over the interminable periods of traveling through the mostly nothing of space. But Star Theory wants to encourage players to lay off the time zoom, and to do that they’ve tied colony expansion to players’ moment-to-moment activities.

“As you achieve things in the games, Kerbals celebrate by… increasing their population,” says creative director Nate Simpson (via Edge magazine #337). “And that’s a great way of decoupling colony progression from time zoom, because a lot of time-based mechanics are completely undone by the zoom.”

Decoupling is an amusing choice of words, since what Simpson is talking about here is clearly Kerbals getting it on. How that works exactly is not abundantly clear – KSP is of course a family oriented game, so we’re not going to be catching any Kerbals in flagrante, at least not without visiting some of the darker corners of the internet.

But we’ll know what they’re up to, especially when baby Kerbals start showing up in our interstellar colonies.

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Beyond the sheer physics of Kerbal sex, this system raises some interesting questions. How does time work in KSP 2? It makes sense to be able to ‘zoom’ out to 10,000x speed, but what happens to the Kerbals back on Kerbin, and on the far-flung colonies, during that time? Countless generations of Kerbals could live and die in the time it takes to reach another habitable planet elsewhere in the galaxy, even if Kerbals have access to faster-than-light travel.

We’ll just have to wait and find out when Kerbal Space Program 2 comes out next year.