This is a suggestion on what could be a possible feature in campaign mode.
Space Sailors could accrue XP once they are "born" in designer mode and the moment they are placed into the actual flight environment (alone or as part of a craft) the Space Sailor information can go into your Company's "database" which will have all the information in regards to the number of Space Sailors in your company and their respective experience. This way they could be used again and their experience gained would continue to accrue.
Each Space sailor created in designer mode and brought into the campaign mode would have an upfront cost plus salary cost. The salary would be basic if the Space Sailor has one profession but would increase dramatically as the Space Sailor accrues XP in other professions. this would make players focus on a few initial space sailors and would also make each Space Sailor have a particular focus in one discipline initially (Flight, Engineering, Science). However as the player advances in Career Mode, Space Sailors can evolve in their careers and expand into other fields, eventually allowing for high-XP Space Sailors to be masters in all professions. This would help to expand end-game content by allowing players to continue to level-up all their Space Sailors in all professions and not be capped by one profession.
- The experience accrued can be divided into the following categories:
- Flight Time: This XP can only be gained while in atmospheric flight.
- Space Flight TIme: XP gained only as part of suborbital/orbital missions (time above Kármán Line)
- Spacewalk time: XP gained as part of a spacewalk.
- Engineer XP: Gained while setting up/refurbishing/repairing equipment
- Science XP: Gained only while conducting experiments or gathering data/operating science instruments.
Note 1: I think it would be fair for Space Sailors to be able to gain both Flight XPand Space Flight XP while controlling a spacecraft , however Flight XP is only accrued in atmo.
Note 2: Space Sailors in cargo bays, passenger areas or not in control of a craft should not accrue XP as they are passengers.
Higher XP could have some benefits, for ex:
- Unlocking the grapple would only be possible after a couple of training EVAs and gathering enough Spacewalk XP, and unlock being able to manipulate satellites while in EVA missions
- Higher Flight Time XP means being able to fly faster and more complex aircraft (ex. glider vs powered aircraft, fixed vs retractable landing gear, conventional jet vs afterburning jets)
- Higher Space Flight Time XP unlocks interplanetary missions, complex spacecraft (more than 2 stages)
- Engineer with sufficient XP could allow the pilot to unlock use of Vizzy for Vizzy-controlled craft (for ex. both pilot and engineer would need sufficient XP to operate a vizzy-controlled craft as pilot and co-pilot.)
- Simple science experiments, recon/data gathering missions unlock more complex science missions and abilities
Once Space Sailors begin developing their respective skills, they would be responsible for the following:
- Pilots: They control aircraft/spacecraft.
- Engineers: They would have a lot to do, for ex. responsible for EVA repair/recapture missions, science/flight hardware equipment refurbishment/repair while in fligth or in-mission, maintenance of life-support systems (air, water, food, waste), set up/construction of space station/base modules, set up
of science/engineering/maintenance equipment (ex. equipment and tooling bays, fuel production modules, mining equipment).
- Scientists: While engineers are in charge of setting up equipment, scientists would operate the science equipment and interpret all the scientific data. They could also be in charge of hydroponic modules/bays that could generate air and food. The scientific data gathered could be used in locating ore deposits and areas for rocket fuel production or water/oxygen mining (from ore or the soil).