Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

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Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

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Reika
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Reika »

Not many games remain in continuous refinement for years, actually getting steadily better. I am very pleased that Factorio is one of the exceptions. I am also glad that you are open to the idea of abandoning new ideas if they do not work out - too many designers refuse to do this.

That said, I would have liked more explanation on the new tutorials and what exactly made them so problematic relative to the old ones; the FFF is rather vague and rather brief, only a single sentence mentioning "breaking progression".
Last edited by Reika on Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Blacky007 »

today it is FSF
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by IronCartographer »

Glad to hear the tutorial situation is being revisited. Continuity and careful consideration are great, but I always felt something was lost in the switch from the old tutorial campaign. It's hard to explain, but it had a lot to do with the pre-built structures giving tiny design hints rather than rubbing your nose in it. Each map felt like a true sandbox, even if it was finite, with scripted win conditions.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by kovarex »

Reika wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:26 am
That said, I would have liked more explanation on the new tutorials and what exactly made them so problematic relative to the old ones; the FFF is rather vague and rather brief, only a single sentence mentioning "breaking progression".
There were more problems, but these are those that can't be just tweaked out:
  • Mechanisms that are there only for the needs of tutorial, but not in the game later on - complatron, scrap mining, custom electricity generation, custom assembling machine that can't be moved or the recipe changed, compilatron chest (that can't be opened and ntrasnforms into a normal chest), not being able to craft intermediates.
  • Gives wrong impression about what the game is about. (connected premaid buildings with belts to satisfy objectives).

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Deadlock989 »

I don't think Compilatron will be sorely missed.

I still live in hope that the 0.17.60 oil changes will be reversed as well.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Recon777 »

Regarding tutorials and progression, wouldn't it make more sense for the tutorial to simply send the player through 10-5 minutes of each important phase of the game?

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by pichutarius »

Glad to hear about the tutorial. Im team old tutorial, its easily 3x better than the new one, and its how i get hooked into this game.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Chaoseed »

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Jap2.0 »

Congrats on two million.

Reika wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:26 am
I am also glad that you are open to the idea of abandoning new ideas if they do not work out - too many designers refuse to do this.
This - so, so much. I think this is really reassuring for some of us who have questioned a few of the design decisions and even your direction as a company in the past year or so while receiving seemingly little consideration. I (and I think many others) appreciate this as a sign that you do reconsider some of these things and not just go bullishly in whichever direction you last turned.

On the tutorials: I think this was a nice change. I played both for far longer than they were meant to be played, and didn't really stick entirely to what I was "supposed" to be doing in either - in that way, I kind of turned them into puzzles for myself within their respective constraints. I did enjoy both of them, but in different ways. The second, I only enjoyed after a little while and because I made those challenges for myself. The first tutorial - the demo - that was what made me fall in love with the game.

Now, certainly there are objections that could be made. One could be that I still have yet to match the excitement from two points in the game: the first time I played the demo (old tutorial), and the first time I played freeplay (the full game). That certainly is valid, but I don't think even back in what, 2015 (?) - was it really that long ago? - I would have enjoyed the new demo as much as I did the old. While it may seem "low production value," it has a certain charm, and the simplicity has other added benefits too. For example, the older demo seemed like it gave you more freedom (as opposed to the strictly guided nature of the new). The old demo pointed you in the right direction. The new one shoved you there with a 20-foot fence on either side of the narrow path it wanted you to take. I can also tell you (from perusing the bug reports forum, as well as by other ways) that the old demo could break in a while lot less ways.

Getting back to the subject of the previous paragraph, another objection that could be made is that I wanted to break the new tutorial, or that I was biased against it. Both of these are true, but over final thing I can see myself objecting in is that I didn't like the new tutorial as much because it didn't follow the order of the game I was used to. A new player would have no such inhibitions. This completely backs up Kovarex's point - the order just felt wrong, and had I been a new player I'm not sure what I would have done when I started freeplay. Oftentimes I found it doing something completely different from what I expected, which (as an established player) turned me off both consciously and subconsciously.

For the new demo, I had to force in challenges to make it fun for myself. In the old demo, I added challenges on at the end to make it fun longer, which is in some ways similar to freeplay, and also shows just how much freedom you had.

That said: I thought many times about porting the old tutorial to 0.17. While I'm not as attached to the newer one, is there any chance that it'll stick around as a scenario in 0.18? While I don't think it should be a tutorial, I think if it was stripped of some of the heavyhanded teaching elements and tutorial feel it could be a fun scenario in the vein of wave defense. Actually, thinking about that a little, maybe stepping on its toes a little to much. But just something to consider.
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by SupplyDepoo »

RIP Clippy, err... I mean Compilatron.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by mrudat »

I would think that the most effective form of tutorial would be something like a quest list, pre-populated with the steps you can follow to go from hand-mining to launching a rocket, with each step linking to an actual tutorial that walks you through how to achieve it, possibly launching a laboratory map so you can practice the new layout for sufficiently complicated steps.

I'm fairly certain someone put something like that together as a mod/scenario, but I haven't been able to dig up a link yet.

Ideally, the tutorial steps would be defined in the data phase, so that, for example, you could easily override/extend the tutorial for the overhaul mods.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by 5thHorseman »

SupplyDepoo wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:05 am
RIP Clippy, err... I mean Compilatron.
Amusingly Compilatron - or more accurately his image turned into the wonderful Construction Drones mod - are the only thing I actually liked about the tutorial :)
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by morsk »

If they really cut Compilatron, can they at least give us spoilers for what would have happened to him at the end of the campaign? I wanted to know if he'd secretly betray us, or if we'd leave him behind, or adopt him as a pet or something.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Thrall »

kovarex wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:58 am
Reika wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:26 am
That said, I would have liked more explanation on the new tutorials and what exactly made them so problematic relative to the old ones; the FFF is rather vague and rather brief, only a single sentence mentioning "breaking progression".
There were more problems, but these are those that can't be just tweaked out:
  • Mechanisms that are there only for the needs of tutorial, but not in the game later on - complatron, scrap mining, custom electricity generation, custom assembling machine that can't be moved or the recipe changed, compilatron chest (that can't be opened and ntrasnforms into a normal chest), not being able to craft intermediates.
  • Gives wrong impression about what the game is about. (connected premaid buildings with belts to satisfy objectives).
i watched all the videos in the friday facts, and after that, i was quite disappointed that you only reffered to the tutorial as an example.

In fact, there where so many design choices you made in the 0.17 releases, that where only there to make the game attractive and more playable for new players, i was kind of hoping you would reconsider the approach you took on "completing" the game.

dont get me wrong, factorio is still my favorite game of all times!

But releasing a friday fact with a reference to the "decline of the game industry" video - and 5 seconds later celebrating 2 million sales - made me think a lot about what direction factorio took in the past year or so. i hope you are going to choose the right way

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Drury »

morsk wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:07 am
If they really cut Compilatron, can they at least give us spoilers for what would have happened to him at the end of the campaign? I wanted to know if he'd secretly betray us, or if we'd leave him behind, or adopt him as a pet or something.
He'd probably turn into a bike and ride off.
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by zebediah49 »

I have a potentially simple solution for including the *bit* of a nudge for adjusting the tutorials (the whole game, really) towards automation over manual crafting:

Remove the handcraft recipes for science packs.

That would mean that players would be forced to lay down an assembler to create the science packs, at which point automating taking them from the assembler to the lab is pretty obvious of a next step.

This would also imply having a starting-tier assembly machine (probably just make the current Mk. 1 available). Thinking about it, that makes plenty of sense -- it currently costs only *ten* handcrafted red science packs to research how to make a generic universal fabrication machine. You start with belts, mining drills, and inserters; why not just make it the full four?

Alternatively, a Burner assembling machine would allow the tutorial to get you straight into automation without requiring electricity first. It's more of a logistic headache (what with requiring coal), but that makes upgrading to electrical ones all the more delicious.

E: Upon further consideration, I very much like the idea of T0 burner assembling machine for bootstrapping. It provides a way to set up purely item-based automation lines with no electricity. We have a burner drill, and burner inserter; both of them are nearly useless except for bootstrapping, so that's no excuse to skip it. A burner lab would complete the set; I'm not sure how I feel about that one.

However, burner variations on them mean that the "mine -> furnace -> assembler -> lab" loop can be introduced early and first. Research can be done just with iron, copper, and coal items; successful decoupling achieved. Adding the electricity system makes it faster better and cleaner, but doesn't fundamentally change it. Adding fluids allows for blue-and-higher tier science.

If we're talking about logical overhauls to improve pedagogy, I would also lobby for a water-free combustion generation solution. (For inspiration, I would consider an external combustion Stirling engine. They look pretty cool. That would decouple the introduction of the electrical system from the introduction of the fluid system; just like adding electricity to the items-processed-by-buildings system, the new system and complexity allows more efficient options.
Last edited by zebediah49 on Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:10 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Reika »

kovarex wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:58 am
Reika wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:26 am
That said, I would have liked more explanation on the new tutorials and what exactly made them so problematic relative to the old ones; the FFF is rather vague and rather brief, only a single sentence mentioning "breaking progression".
There were more problems, but these are those that can't be just tweaked out:
  • Mechanisms that are there only for the needs of tutorial, but not in the game later on - complatron, scrap mining, custom electricity generation, custom assembling machine that can't be moved or the recipe changed, compilatron chest (that can't be opened and ntrasnforms into a normal chest), not being able to craft intermediates.
  • Gives wrong impression about what the game is about. (connected premaid buildings with belts to satisfy objectives).
These are definitely very true.
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Dev-iL »

On one hand, it's interesting to see how the old tutorial would play with all the new UI changes (i.e. expanded tooltips). On the other hand, I'm sad to hear that the NPE ended up being another aspect of the game that gets scrapped after I volunteered my time and effort into improving it (string-wise) :(. I'm wondering what's going to happen if I get into modding... :twisted:

Perhaps it would be possible to keep it as a custom scenario?
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by abregado »

zebediah49 wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:50 am
I have a potentially simple solution
...
E: Upon further consideration,
Welcome to the rabbit hole!
One of the things that Kovarex and I agree on, is that the burner phase of the game is currently the right length. Any shorter and you may as well remove it, and any longer it would become annoying.

When I originally deconstructed the game and organised it's parts by priority, one of the parts Kovarex liked very much was Progression. Sadly both of us failed to realise how important the burner phase was to that progression, so I rated it as a lower priority to Research progression.

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