I am currently spending some time on a Kerbal Space Program Career Mode game which I started after version 0.25 came out. I love the way the contracts system forces you to actually play in a completely new manner compared to the “old” sandbox and “just science” modes. It sets you up for some very interesting missions that you wouldn’t otherwise have contemplated.
I am playing with some mods that greatly enhance the overall experience for me:
DMagic Orbital Science: this adds several scientific instruments with accompanying contracts
Station Science: which actually provides a point to having space stations. It’s still a bit rough around the edges though, since I’ve had numerous experiments that I completed without being able to fulfil the accompanying contracts
KSPRC – Renaissance Compilation: artworks remake. I don’t think I can make do with stock visuals anymore 😉
KSP sometimes throws you contracts with insane requirements. One of the most wonderful of these is testing the S3 KS-25×4 Engine Cluster while landed on the Mun. It’s the biggest engine, so you would normally discard it first in flight, but this contract forces you to take it all the way to the Mun, land it there intact, and then test it. It’s quite a challenge, but as my fellow KSP fan @Terraphermy put it so eloquently: it pays well.
Another nice example is a contract where I was asked to test an experimental nuclear rocket motor on an escape trajectory out of the Mun. On a whim I decided to slap some scientific instruments on there, and with the excess delta V the test vehicle had, it’s now on an extended mission, on its way to Dres. I love how the game invites you to improvise like that.
My kerballed program has been mostly geared towards stations around the Kerbin system so far.
The unkerballed program has been reaching out further, with probes having gone out to Duna and Eve.
Currently I’m assembling my first Kerballed mission to Duna (in the current game), and testing some designs that may be suitable for a landing on Eve. Lots of challenges left 🙂