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Author Topic: Factorio - Automate All the Things!  (Read 11323 times)

Deozaan

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Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« on: December 08, 2016, 03:28 PM »
Factorio is a game that has been in development for a few years now and as far as I can tell came to Early Access earlier this year. I feel that the trailer video doesn't give a good sense as to what gameplay is like:



So, based on that video, I've looked at the game from time to time, but I've never been intrigued enough to actually give it a try... until recently, when I saw this gameplay video:



Finally I got a better idea of what the game was about, and what it was like. My interest was piqued enough to look deeper into it instead of just dismissing it after viewing the video and remembering that it was an Early Access title. I normally avoid or ignore Early Access games, but when I saw that Factorio had a demo, I decided to give it a try.

I spent a few hours with the demo, playing through the relatively short campaign/tutorial twice. It left me wanting to explore more fully what it had to offer, so I got the full version. That was about 2 weeks ago, and I've become addicted! I've spent nearly all my free time binge-playing Factorio. I have logged almost 40 hours on one save file, trying to perfect my factory and automate all the things. And the crazy thing is that there are still large aspects of the game that I haven't yet (or have barely) touched.

The pattern I've found when playing the game goes something like this:
  • See I only have about 2 hours before I should go to bed. Start up Factorio.
  • Re-assess where my factory is and what I need to do next, and start working on it.
  • Check clock. Cool. Still have 1:45 left until bedtime.
  • Add a new production line of a new product to my factory.
  • Check clock. Cool. Still have 1:30 left.
  • Realize that my new production line has caused a shortage of some other basic material. Figure out what the holdup is and try to restore throughput of source materials.
  • Check clock. Cool. Still have 1:00 left.
  • While adding more furnaces to increase my iron/copper/steel production, realize I could make better use of the space if I arranged things differently.
  • Tear down my smelting area and start rebuilding it to fit my new design.
  • Get halfway done with my new design.
  • Check clock. Darn. Only have 0:30 left.
  • Continue working on my new design.
  • Realize I did something wrong or it needs to be tweaked just slightly (OCD-esque tendencies) for "maximum efficiency" in my factory.
  • Tear some down and rebuild to fit my new new design.
  • Meanwhile, some research has finished and new technologies/products are available.
  • Continue working on my new new design.
  • Finish my new new design.
  • Take a look at new technologies/products and see what products are necessary to create them.
  • Create a new production line for the new products.
  • Realize this new production line causes a major shortage of other products/materials.
  • Figure out what's needed to fix the shortage. This often requires simply producing more of the short material, or increasing iron/copper/steel production so that both (or 3, or 4, or more) products can be produced simultaneously at the maximum frequency.
  • Check the clock. Crap! It's 2 hours past bedtime. "I better wrap up this last thing I'm working on and get to bed."
  • etc.
  • etc.
  • etc. and so forth.
  • Sun comes up and I realize I've been repeatedly "wrapping up" about 50 different things that will all "only take a couple more minutes and then I am done for the night for sure."

I never would have thought that I'd enjoy dealing with the logistics so much. Dealing with inputs and outputs and coordinating the flow of one thing to another place at a certain rate. And on top of that, having to occasionally set up and maintain defenses to protect your hard work from being destroyed by the aliens (I guess technically you are the alien who crashed on their planet). And then the sweet feeling when you finally get something automated that you used to have to do manually, and that took forever to do. . .

So, again, normally I avoid/ignore Early Access titles because they're a gamble. But I've definitely gotten my money's worth already and expect to get much more out of the game in the future. Try the demo, and if you like it, I definitely recommend buying the game.

Factorio's website.
Factorio on GOG.com.
Factorio on Steam.

mouser

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2016, 03:51 PM »
Reading a little about Factorio and watching some videos -- it's fascinating.  It's probably not a game i would enjoy playing -- for me it seems to fall into that civilization-style simulation category that looks to much like "work" to be fun for me, but wow is it impressive.  What an amazing simulation based system.

3of0

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2016, 03:53 PM »
I can confirm, my experience with Factorio is the same as Deozaan's.  Years ago while it was still in development.  I love Factorio, and if you love to automate all the things, then I highly recommend it as well.

Deozaan

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2016, 03:58 PM »
Some screenshots! These are nearly full-screen resolution (2560x1440) so they may appear quite large. Hence the thumbnails.

This is my base I built in my first "real game" and I thought I was doing pretty well even though I had basically no idea what was coming, and therefore no way to plan for it.

Factorio - Sandbox Science.jpgFactorio - Automate All the Things!

But I soon realized that I was trying to cram too much into too little space, especially when dealing with oil or other liquids/gases. So I started a new map and decided to give myself plenty of room to grow. Now it's feeling a bit cramped, too.

This is a part of my new map/base I built when I had a better idea of what I was doing and would need (the one I've spent nearly 40 hours building). This is the science production and research labs section.

Factorio - Improved Science.jpgFactorio - Automate All the Things!

And here's a small part of my iron ore input and smelting.

Factorio - Forge.jpgFactorio - Automate All the Things!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 05:17 PM by Deozaan »

Deozaan

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2016, 04:01 PM »
Reading a little about Factorio and watching some videos -- it's fascinating.  It's probably not a game i would enjoy playing -- for me it seems to fall into that civilization-style simulation category that looks to much like "work" to be fun for me, but wow is it impressive.

I already responded to that:

Try the demo, and if you like it, I definitely recommend buying the game.

mouser

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2016, 04:07 PM »
Deo, does a game like this give you an ideas for similar simulation-style games you might make?

Deozaan

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2016, 09:14 PM »
Not exactly. I can't really think of any way to make a similar game without it being a Factorio "clone." Factorio seems fairly unique. I've never played anything quite like it.

It's almost like an inverted RTS. Instead of occasionally plopping down some buildings for the sole purpose of getting more units you can command (micromanage) to win battles, you occasionally fight battles so that you can continue to gather the resources needed to micromanage your buildings. And eventually, once you've got your factory set up nicely, even a lot of the micromanaging is automated.

erikts

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2016, 11:43 PM »
Any chance to watch the video of your game play?
I am saving to buy Big Pharma. Has anyone play it?

mouser

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2016, 01:46 AM »
I am saving to buy Big Pharma. Has anyone play it?

There goes another year of Deo's life.  :huh:  ;D

Deozaan

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2016, 11:48 PM »
Any chance to watch the video of your game play?
I am saving to buy Big Pharma. Has anyone play it?

I suppose I could record a gameplay session, but I'm not great at making commentary as I play. I wouldn't be entertaining like a Let's Play YouTuber can be. Speaking of which, you can find plenty of Let's Plays of Factorio on YouTube.

I haven't played Big Pharma. I've heard it is similar to Factorio. Looking at the video for it, it seems simpler and more cartoony. Those aren't necessarily bad things. But it also looks more limited. Factorio has maps that are unlimited, so you can expand as far and as wide and go as big as you want.

Deozaan

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2016, 04:23 PM »
A few days ago I finally "won" the game on a map.

But it was a "cheater" map that I used some console commands to spawn a bunch of ores in one location just to see how it would work out, so it doesn't really count.

Factorio - Finished.jpgFactorio - Automate All the Things!

panzer

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2017, 05:10 AM »
Reminds me of The Codex of Alchemical Engineering, The Magnum Opus Challenge, SpaceChem and Infinifactory ...

Deozaan

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2017, 03:49 AM »
Since my initial "cheater" victory, I have completed a challenge on a new map to win legitimately in less than 8 hours. I barely made it, finishing in 7:49:29.

Factorio - There is No Spoon.jpgFactorio - Automate All the Things!

Deozaan

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2017, 05:31 PM »
Any chance to watch the video of your game play?

Not sure if you actually wanted to see me specifically play, or just gameplay in general. If you want gameplay in general, there are plenty of nice Let's Plays on Youtube (as I already said).

If you specifically wanted to see me play, I'm working on a new series of videos.

https://www.youtube....roo7Hz2YWxI9NY4NUEYK

Audio quality isn't great. Sorry. I've already recorded several videos and am working on uploading them bit by bit, so if I get any feedback on any of the earlier videos, you won't see me respond to it in video until perhaps much later.

Enjoy! Or don't. :)
« Last Edit: September 01, 2020, 01:39 AM by Deozaan, Reason: updated link to playlist with improved volume »

p3lb0x

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2017, 04:05 PM »
One extra small thing to shove into Factorios already large pot of praise. I bought the game and sent the developers a small encouragement email and apology for pirating the game earlier (The Demo wasn't a good showcase of the late game in my opinion, and from what I heard). They responded humbly and thanked me for the praise. Definitely seem like nice and listening people.
Stop mousering people so much - Mouser

Deozaan

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2020, 11:26 AM »
Factorio 1.0 has just released! I think I'm about to lose another 30-80 hours of my life... :o :D





You can get it from Steam, GOG, or directly from the developers.

erikts

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2020, 01:16 PM »
Not sure if you actually wanted to see me specifically play

Yes, I wanted to watch fellow DCers playing actual games  :Thmbsup:

Deozaan

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2020, 01:40 AM »
Not sure if you actually wanted to see me specifically play

Yes, I wanted to watch fellow DCers playing actual games  :Thmbsup:

In that case, I suggest you watch this playlist instead:

https://www.youtube....roo7Hz2YWxI9NY4NUEYK

It's all the same videos, but I increased the volume in them all because for some reason it was almost inaudibly low in the original videos.

panzer

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2020, 02:36 PM »
When you get tired of Factorio, you can try Shapez:
https://tobspr.itch.io/shapezio
https://perso.pw/shapez.io/ (free version)

Deozaan

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2020, 12:57 AM »
If you wait until you're tired of Factorio, you'll never give Shapez a try. :P

I have nearly 600 hours logged playing Factorio, possibly many more which weren't properly recorded by my game launcher of choice, plus many tens of (if not 100+) hours watching YouTube videos of other people playing Factorio, and I'm currently fighting off the urge to dive into yet another round of the game. I noticed after my most recent few play sessions that I tend to spend about 30-40 hours at minimum per save, if not 10-30 hours more. At which point I've successfully launched a rocket (or several) and have started to feel the urge to start anew and/or feel I should set the game aside for a while so I can spend some of my free time doing something else with my life. :D

I tried the free version of Shapez a few days ago. I got bored with it before finishing the demo, but finished it anyway since there were only "a few" more levels left by the time I got bored. I think I spent about 2-3 hours total with the demo of Shapez before finishing it. It just didn't scratch the same itch for me.

I guess in Factorio I feel like I'm working toward something "meaningful" but in Shapez I feel like I'm just working toward doing the same thing I'm already doing, but maybe faster or something? I guess an analogy is that Shapez feels like a puzzle game to me, like Sudoku or a crossword puzzle, where once you've spent a few minutes learning the rules you are basically just doing the same few things over and over forever in slightly varying ways. Whereas Factorio feels like a much more dynamic and interesting thing, where after playing nearly 600 hours with it there are aspects of the game I still have barely touched or not touched at all. I'm filled with ideas and aspirations of how I might like to try things differently the next time I play, in order to try to find a (subjectively) "better" or "more fun" way to accomplish something in the game. Almost every time I play, I realize I've been making mistakes every time I played in the past, learn new ways to do things, and of course make new mistakes along the way.

There's nothing inherently wrong with Shapez. But it's just not satisfying to me. It's like the creator of Shapez isolated and surgically removed a very basic and tiny part of Factorio and packaged it up into its own thing. It has some semblance of the full thing, and is an interesting thing in and of itself, but ultimately (in my opinion) it falls short of the full experience and satisfaction I get from solving all the various "puzzles" or problems that present themselves to me in Factorio.

Shapez can be boiled down to basically:

  • "Mining" things
  • Transporting things (on conveyor belts)
  • Splitting or combining things
  • Delivering things to the single, central location.


In Shapez, the miners are free and limitless, and the resources they mine are limitless. Whereas in Factorio, the miners cost resources to produce, and they require some form of power or fuel to run, and the source of resources they mine don't last forever (requiring you to go out and find new patches of resource to mine up).

In Shapez, the conveyor belts are free and limitless. Whereas in Factorio, the conveyor belts cost resources to produce, and at least in the earlier stages of the game, require you plan ahead with how many belts you will need, or have to go back to your belt factory to collect more of them.

In Shapez, the point of gathering the limitless resources and splitting/combining them into certain shapes is so that you can... gather more limitless resources and split/combine them even faster? You deliver certain shapes to the central location in order to unlock upgrades that increase the rate at which miners, belts, or combiners/splitters operate. Yes, you could say that in Factorio you gather and combine resources so that you can gather and combine even more resources even faster. But in the case of Factorio, that would be extremely reductive, whereas in the case of Shapez it's merely a mostly accurate statement.

In Factorio, you're actually making "things" that serve various purposes. Weapons, armors, gadgets, flying bots, ammunition, science facilities, miners, belts, cars, tanks, trains, pipes, assembling machines, power generators, walls, etc. In Shapez you're just making shapes so you can make more of the same shapes (as well as more complex shapes) faster.

I don't feel like I'm doing a very good job hitting all the points I want to make, or explaining the ones I am hitting, but I also feel like I'm talking in circles a bit, so I'll just summarize with this TL;DR:

I find it interesting that even though I spend a lot of time doing in Factorio what is essentially the same thing I did in Shapez, I find it much more enjoyable in Factorio because the thing I'm doing is the means to a much bigger, more complex end that feels much more meaningful and much more like an accomplishment to me. In Shapez, the means is the end, and I can't help but keep asking myself "why am I still doing this?"

Deozaan

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2020, 01:29 AM »
Speaking of Factorio...

Factorio 1.0 has just released! I think I'm about to lose another 30-80 hours of my life... :o :D

I think I was at around 350 hours logged when I wrote that. Now I'm at about 580 hours logged. :-[

I played a full game by myself, a full game multiplayer with a friend, started another Let's Play of the game which I ended up abandoning and I think I just finished playing it normally without keeping recordings of it, and then I played another full game with the self-imposed rule to build virtually everything in "city blocks" after seeing this video by Nilaus:



And v1.1 has been announced with tons of Quality of Life improvements, so I'm definitely going to be playing even more after that launches.

flamerz

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Re: Factorio - Automate All the Things!
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2020, 01:09 AM »
I bought this game but only played the first tutorial.

I should watch some videos to get engaged.