[MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.2.0

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Ragu
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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v2.1.1

Post by Ragu » Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:23 pm

is there any chance that balance changes from Khad's Fixes will be integrated in new mod version?

personally i want -
easier portable solar panel (purple science only need for this - next equipment need only 2-3 types of scince pack)
and changes for robot frame and T2 semiconductor (because they need so advanced materials for time when you can research)

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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.0.0

Post by Repofme1 » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:48 pm

Alright everyone, welcome back to Repo's Lab!
Greetings, fellow nerds.
Hello everybody and welcome back to my laboratory. And remember, safety is number one priority.

...

Hm. Oh well.

...

Hi all!

I'm finally back, and now with some time on my hands again. I put some time into a 0.17 update over the past couple weeks, and I took this chance to rebuild the mod into something that feels (so far) much better balanced and less tedious, while retaining the same essence that I was always seeking. I've quite enjoyed being back into Factorio, and especially the mod reconstruction, really more than I even expected. I have a decent list-function system in place (well, perpetual work-in-progress, but mostly there), so my workflow improved dramatically - actually spent a big chunk of the time thinking out chemistry and materials :D ! I even made a couple new 3D models for machines, although not in Blender - I'm more familiar with traditional engineering CAD, Fusion 360 in this case.

And you all! Just.. wow. Only from skimming a few recent posts, I see that you've still been working on improving the previous version! This kind of blows my mind, since I know how incredibly tedious it was, not to mention inconsistent. Especially comparing the old one with my recent experience playtesting 3.0.0, which now feels way more coherent, balanced, and simply fun! I want to express my sincere appreciation to jodokus31, Therax, and eradicator especially, along with everyone who helped keep the mod alive.

Anyway, I updated the original post with the new mod description and version, which is on the mod portal. It only extends up to the early electric era, after which is a large fracture where it hits vanilla content I haven't reached, but still. I'll try to give some attention to GitHub in the coming days, but I might just get sidetracked thinking about silicon carbide...

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Re: [MOD 0.16] Xander Mod v2.1.1

Post by khadgarion » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:12 am

Ragu wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:23 pm
is there any chance that balance changes from Khad's Fixes will be integrated in new mod version?

personally i want -
easier portable solar panel (purple science only need for this - next equipment need only 2-3 types of scince pack)
and changes for robot frame and T2 semiconductor (because they need so advanced materials for time when you can research)
I never did get around to fiddling with more of the tech tree... But Repofme1 is more than welcome to use any changes I made. All I did was make a few things more progression cohesive (in my eyes anyways).

I'll be keeping watching for updates :)

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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.0.0

Post by eradicator » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:59 am

Repofme1 wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:48 pm
I'm finally back,
Welcome back ;).
I've left the field to the other two (one), but thanks for the thanks anyway. I'm assuming 3.0 is another breaking change that won't play nice if people try to load their old maps with it?
Repofme1 wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:48 pm
I have a decent list-function system in place (well, perpetual work-in-progress, but mostly there), so my workflow improved dramatically
I've pondered that after you last left. You said you were using spreadsheets to do all recipe balancing. As far as i know spread sheets can be exported as CSV txt files. So i thought it might be easiest to simply write a CSV parser. Is that what you do now?
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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.0.0

Post by Repofme1 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:51 pm

eradicator wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:59 am
Repofme1 wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:48 pm
I'm finally back,
Welcome back ;).
I've left the field to the other two (one), but thanks for the thanks anyway. I'm assuming 3.0 is another breaking change that won't play nice if people try to load their old maps with it?
Repofme1 wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:48 pm
I have a decent list-function system in place (well, perpetual work-in-progress, but mostly there), so my workflow improved dramatically
I've pondered that after you last left. You said you were using spreadsheets to do all recipe balancing. As far as i know spread sheets can be exported as CSV txt files. So i thought it might be easiest to simply write a CSV parser. Is that what you do now?
Correct on the map breaking again, I'm afraid :( . On the other hand, starting up isn't nearly such a pain now, but then again it would still be advisable to not sink more than a few hours into 3.0.0.

Regarding workflow - In previous versions, I had been using spreadsheets to store the content and keep it organized. I considered some kind of code to interpret these into Factorio, and although people offered ample help, none of the setups ever sat comfortably with me. I guess because I didn't understand things fully, or it didn't 'feel right'. One thing that bothered me was the apparent redundancy of lists in Excel and Lua. Anyway, in starting to write version 3, I realized that I can make sufficiently condensed, human-readable lists directly in the code. Currently, I am using this as my main content structure, as well as spreadsheets for a few other bits (mainly graphics constructions, source image, adjustments, etc.). And for whatever reason, it went surprisingly fast - all the new material for 3.0.0 (all the gameplay content and about half of the function code) took me only two weeks of intermittent attention. Speaking of functions, there lies another example of my sometimes very conscientious nature. When I last left it, the mod had (via a contribution on GitHub - can't remember who) a recursive function to replace graphics for entities and such. I knew about recursion, and generally how it worked, but for some reason I couldn't seem to trace out how this function worked. And yes, this makes me :geek: rather less knowledgeable in comp sci than most of you out there :ugeek: , but bear with me. Anyway, the point is I was never really happy with using it. For version 3, however, I took some little time to focus and understand it, because recursion is obviously great for thoroughly traversing n-level lists for unknown n :ugeek: :ugeek: :P . Then, I wrote my own function to replace graphics, and another one to do any given key,value pair. These, for some reason, felt much more elegant and satisfying to me - maybe it's just style, maybe it's actually more efficient (or maybe not - I don't know). Anyway, the point is that I can unfortunately get very picky about things which I consider my brainchild. Probably way more here than you asked for, but oh well :D .

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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.0.0

Post by jodokus31 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:26 pm

Repofme1 wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:48 pm
I'm finally back, and now with some time on my hands again.
Nice to hear...
I'm currently deeply stuck in seablock and almost abandoned Xander. I wanted to check out therax' great fork, but somehow not much motivation.

I see, the mod has changed from scratch. Looking forward to see more progression.
Maybe, I have a peek in the next time...

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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.0.0

Post by Therax » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:24 pm

Repofme1 wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:48 pm
I'm finally back,
Glad to see you back! I've been putting a lot of time into educating myself on various industrial processes with the idea of continuing to extend XM2, but the uncertainty of knowing if/when you'd be back and turn the world upside-down again has been a real drain on my motivation. (Also I'm awful at graphics, even recolors of vanilla assets.) And now you're back, and you've turned the world update-down again, and I can throw away everything XM-related I've done. ;)
Repofme1 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:51 pm
Regarding workflow - In previous versions, I had been using spreadsheets to store the content and keep it organized. I considered some kind of code to interpret these into Factorio, and although people offered ample help, none of the setups ever sat comfortably with me. I guess because I didn't understand things fully, or it didn't 'feel right'. One thing that bothered me was the apparent redundancy of lists in Excel and Lua.
I know jodokus wrote a CSV parser and migrated some portion of technology loading to that method.
Repofme1 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:51 pm
Anyway, in starting to write version 3, I realized that I can make sufficiently condensed, human-readable lists directly in the code. Currently, I am using this as my main content structure, as well as spreadsheets for a few other bits (mainly graphics constructions, source image, adjustments, etc.). And for whatever reason, it went surprisingly fast - all the new material for 3.0.0 (all the gameplay content and about half of the function code) took me only two weeks of intermittent attention.
It looks like our discussions on how to structure data for your "lists" bore fruit then, since you appear to be using the structure I suggested. :)
Repofme1 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:51 pm
Speaking of functions, there lies another example of my sometimes very conscientious nature. When I last left it, the mod had (via a contribution on GitHub - can't remember who) a recursive function to replace graphics for entities and such. I knew about recursion, and generally how it worked, but for some reason I couldn't seem to trace out how this function worked. And yes, this makes me :geek: rather less knowledgeable in comp sci than most of you out there :ugeek: , but bear with me. Anyway, the point is I was never really happy with using it. For version 3, however, I took some little time to focus and understand it, because recursion is obviously great for thoroughly traversing n-level lists for unknown n :ugeek: :ugeek: :P . Then, I wrote my own function to replace graphics, and another one to do any given key,value pair. These, for some reason, felt much more elegant and satisfying to me - maybe it's just style, maybe it's actually more efficient (or maybe not - I don't know). Anyway, the point is that I can unfortunately get very picky about things which I consider my brainchild. Probably way more here than you asked for, but oh well :D .
That would have been me. Don't worry about recursion being hard to grok. I still run into professional software engineers with 3+ years of experience doing it for a living who don't really get it.

The function I wrote was trying to be too smart for its own good. It was very specialized to trying to adapt vanilla graphics to XM's purposes, and it did things like try to continue using shadow sprites from __base__ while translating the main sprites to the mod directory. That worked, but used Lua's string pattern matching system (which is not the simplest system to understand in its own right), and still ended up with a bunch of special cases. What you have now is both much simpler to write, understand, and use, and serves the needs of the mod well enough.
Anyway, I updated the original post with the new mod description and version, which is on the mod portal. It only extends up to the early electric era, after which is a large fracture where it hits vanilla content I haven't reached, but still. I'll try to give some attention to GitHub in the coming days, but I might just get sidetracked thinking about silicon carbide...
I probably won't be playing it until more of the progression and tech tree are filled out. As of this moment Github still isn't updated either. The lack of consistent updates to the publicly shared source is a really big barrier to collaboration on the mod. If that's something you're still interested in, I'd hope for at least a push to Github at the end of each day you spend working on the code. It's at least mildly frustrating to have 6 PRs awaiting attention, knowing that they'll all need to be discarded or completely re-written because there have been no updates to master in 6 months. Not being accessible via Discord for over a year didn't help either.

If not, that's fine too. As you've said before, XM is your baby and I love watching what you do with it. I'll go back to playing IR and writing adjunct mods that play nicely with big modpacks, including but not limited to XM. Once again, XM is what inspired me to start writing Factorio mods at all, so I have to thank you for all your effort. FWIW, the recently added early-game "Chute" entity in Miniloader was specifically added to address the XM problem of getting huge quantities of coke out of blast furnaces in the burner era. :D
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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.0.0

Post by eradicator » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:01 pm

Therax wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:24 pm
and I can throw away everything XM-related I've done. ;)
Honestly with the infrequency of updates and the "you have to start from scratch again" approach i'd rather play your "stable"(?) fork than the unstable "master" branch. I don't have the time, motivation or patience anymore to throw away yet another 100 hour map, and i still grieve for my not-even-half-finished Xander 1.5 base that i abandoned when 2.0 came. Haven't actually played Xander since then :/. To put this into perspective: At my pace I estimate i'd need at least a year to launch a rocket in Xander. In my recent MP IR world Deadlock has already wasted 5%+ of my playtime with minor recipe changes. As a modder myself (spending a lot more time on modding than playing) i know the urge to "make the mod better", and i know sacrifices have to be made, but as a player i'd sometimes rather ragequit than fix yet another silent recipe change that broke my factory. So i'll be waiting a long long time until i touch 3.0. I guess that's what i get for playing early-access mods of an early-access game ^^. Should probably at least have a look at the new graphics...
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Upcoming 3.1.0, and Conversation

Post by Repofme1 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:36 pm

Hi all - well, the few of you who are still paying attention to this topic

I do like reading your comments, because they remind me of some of the really good moments we've had :) . It's quite satisfying to know how my (mis)adventures have inspired people, and even affected the base game a bit. And while you apologize for abandoning the mod, you are still here talking with me about it.
--
Honestly, I can't blame you, or reasonably expect much enthusiasm for version 3, especially after what I've put you through. A year gone dark, uncooperative GitHub, and ground-wrenching reconstructions would probably see me quit as well if I wasn't so possessed with (by? of? linguistics :D ) this project. And that's okay. Hard to believe I put out such a giant (and UNTESTED) mod thinking it was anywhere near playable :x . And once I realized this, maybe I didn't emphasize enough my feeling that one should not sink too much time into it. Over my handful of test worlds through the entire XM development, I think I haven't put more than about 12 hours into any single one, and not more than 50 in totality.
--
Although the balancing in previous versions was atrocious, something must have changed in me this past year, because the material I'm writing now feels totally different in-game. My latest test world has run about 11 hours, after which I'm up to middle green science and a first short railway. This world has just about topped out with the XM content so far; I'll post the save once the new version is actually out.
--
I plan to publish my current progress soon, as 3.1.0, but again it's only working up to middle green science, so I would recommend waiting a while before playing a real world. A suggestion: do what I do when I evaluate a big mod. Load up a brand new world in the map editor (which is much better now than it was a couple years ago), and page through the items, tech tree, recipes, etc. In the past my go-to for evaluating a mod would be the zip file directly, but the map editor is now way more efficient. I think the zip itself is now better for looking at code, structures, and similar under-the-hood details.
--
Graphics, and even some gameplay content, are generally similar to previous major versions, at least at the high level. You won't find any visuals on the caliber of Industrial Revolution, but they're passable by my standards. Probably the look and feel says as much about me as vice-versa. I've (LONG overdue :( ) added a bit in the main post describing some of my mental concepts behind the mod - the superposition, and how it works into my understanding of model accuracy in building a mod for a computer game.
--
I do plan to upload the 3.0 and 3.1 releases to GitHub, but with the efficaciousness of my new workflow, and need for everything to be just so, I'm uncertain of the worth in close collaboration for the next little while. I remember how generously help was offered me for previous versions, and that you're looking up industry on your own brings me a smile :) , but I think I need some time to work things out myself.

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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.0.0

Post by eradicator » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:11 pm

Speaking of which... i just spent the week on refactoring my own library. So...yea, i do understand why you do this stuff ;). And i'm definetly looking forward to the new version, even if it takes a few more years untli i actually get to play it. What i really liked about the little bit of Xander 1.5 i played was that (as a chemistry noob) i felt that the namings were realistic and that i might learn some basic things about real-life industrial processes. Because most other mods use mostly fantasy names ("Bobmonium" etc). So that for me is the No1 "unique selling point" of Xander.
--
If you need any sort of technical help i'm also here (and the other people too). The balancing was never something i wanted to touch.
--
I usually just "/sudo dev" for evaluating new packs. Then take a look at all the stuff. Not that different from using the editor i guess.
--
Yea, i'm still here. Gotta up that postcount ;).
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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.0.0

Post by khadgarion » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:24 pm

It'd be nice to have a burner powered building that would make clay ball out of laterite. I didn't see anything in helmod that showed an assembler (other than the am1 which requires electricity... Which is a ways away)

Maybe add that recipe to the burner assembler?

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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.0.0

Post by Repofme1 » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:36 pm

khadgarion wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:24 pm
It'd be nice to have a burner powered building that would make clay ball out of laterite. I didn't see anything in helmod that showed an assembler (other than the am1 which requires electricity... Which is a ways away)

Maybe add that recipe to the burner assembler?
It's in the burner Ore Processor. I coded it as type "assembling-machine", but the game ID is "ore-processor-0", so Helmod might not recognize it. The machine is behind one starting tech, Crude ore washing, and the clay recipe is behind the Crude earthen materials tech, which comes right after that.

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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.0.0

Post by khadgarion » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:03 pm

Repofme1 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:36 pm
khadgarion wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:24 pm
It'd be nice to have a burner powered building that would make clay ball out of laterite. I didn't see anything in helmod that showed an assembler (other than the am1 which requires electricity... Which is a ways away)

Maybe add that recipe to the burner assembler?
It's in the burner Ore Processor. I coded it as type "assembling-machine", but the game ID is "ore-processor-0", so Helmod might not recognize it. The machine is behind one starting tech, Crude ore washing, and the clay recipe is behind the Crude earthen materials tech, which comes right after that.
Ahh, okay. I thought I had looked through all the machines / tech. Missed that one, thanks :)

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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.1.0

Post by khadgarion » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:26 pm

repofme1, I thought you may find this interesting, a shot of the map view of my 16.51 xander game. I was trying to get everything train supplied and i stopped about the time my brain melted ;)

http://prntscr.com/pr8z3h

edit: somewhere around 250 hours of gametime I believe (some of that is AFK time).

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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.1.0

Post by Repofme1 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:09 am

khadgarion wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:26 pm
repofme1, I thought you may find this interesting, a shot of the map view of my 16.51 xander game. I was trying to get everything train supplied and i stopped about the time my brain melted ;)

http://prntscr.com/pr8z3h

edit: somewhere around 250 hours of gametime I believe (some of that is AFK time).
Um.

Well, that is certainly quite the accomplishment. I'm impressed that people are still putting so much time into half-baked versions. Again, for reference, my test world is still on 12 hours. I probably haven't even put 250 into building XM 3! :shock:

Also, could I ask you what level of throughput you were going for? My base is extremely small, running 6 labs, on maybe 0.2 science per second - red and green only.

Thank you for sharing, though. Maybe this should tell me something about the kind of gargantuan beast I've created...

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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.1.0

Post by Therax » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:19 pm

Repofme1 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:09 am
khadgarion wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:26 pm
repofme1, I thought you may find this interesting, a shot of the map view of my 16.51 xander game. I was trying to get everything train supplied and i stopped about the time my brain melted ;)

http://prntscr.com/pr8z3h

edit: somewhere around 250 hours of gametime I believe (some of that is AFK time).
Um.

Well, that is certainly quite the accomplishment. I'm impressed that people are still putting so much time into half-baked versions. Again, for reference, my test world is still on 12 hours. I probably haven't even put 250 into building XM 3! :shock:

Also, could I ask you what level of throughput you were going for? My base is extremely small, running 6 labs, on maybe 0.2 science per second - red and green only.

Thank you for sharing, though. Maybe this should tell me something about the kind of gargantuan beast I've created...
If you're curious, here's my most advanced base on 0.16.51 + the unreleased xander-mod 2.2.0, at 94 hours:
Image

More details here: https://imgur.com/a/RbeyTF2
Red+green+blue at 0.8 science/second into 12 labs. I was just at the phase of automating aluminum production, because goddamn does purple science take all the things, specifically Duralumin alloy and Induction motors for the pump-2.
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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.1.0

Post by jodokus31 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:57 pm

Here is my most advanced base, which had 60 hours in 0.15/0.16 with xander 1.5.
I restarted later, because terrain was screwed up in 0.16, but never got that far again.
I had advanced circuits, but no blue science yet.
Screenshot from 2019-11-13 22-50-02.png
Screenshot from 2019-11-13 22-50-02.png (264.82 KiB) Viewed 216 times

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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.1.0

Post by TheGringe » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:13 pm

Repofme1 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:09 am

Also, could I ask you what level of throughput you were going for? My base is extremely small, running 6 labs, on maybe 0.2 science per second - red and green only.

Thank you for sharing, though. Maybe this should tell me something about the kind of gargantuan beast I've created...
Playing the mod I had fun challenging myself to make everything on site, so you have an isolated factory that just takes raw resources and makes something. Also reducing the amount of belts was something I aimed for. This is my build for 0.4 blue science/s which I finished after quite a while, maybe at 70h. (I used Therax fork with Khads fixes and Bob Inserters)
screenshot-tick-25954807.jpg
screenshot-tick-25954807.jpg (2.99 MiB) Viewed 215 times
I think this mod makes that challenge quite "challenging", frustrating and yet rewarding, which I really admire.

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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.1.0

Post by khadgarion » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:08 am

Repofme1 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:09 am
khadgarion wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:26 pm
repofme1, I thought you may find this interesting, a shot of the map view of my 16.51 xander game. I was trying to get everything train supplied and i stopped about the time my brain melted ;)

http://prntscr.com/pr8z3h

edit: somewhere around 250 hours of gametime I believe (some of that is AFK time).
Um.

Well, that is certainly quite the accomplishment. I'm impressed that people are still putting so much time into half-baked versions. Again, for reference, my test world is still on 12 hours. I probably haven't even put 250 into building XM 3! :shock:

Also, could I ask you what level of throughput you were going for? My base is extremely small, running 6 labs, on maybe 0.2 science per second - red and green only.

Thank you for sharing, though. Maybe this should tell me something about the kind of gargantuan beast I've created...
I did not really have any goals in mind...

I think what was going on was essentially this:
I'd get a new technology, make one production building and get limited amounts of a product to get something else built... Then I would quickly run out of said product. I then decided just to make a gigantic production block for each new resource. I was also experimenting with LTN for the first time so I had a massive train network going. I then tried a few different ways of supplying resources, like pulling from main bus to deliver somewhere else, or only delivering refined resources and making intermediate products in a factory block.

I'm not really sure what worked the best. I was getting too bogged down trying to juggle waste byproducts and balance out fluid / gas production. I wouldn't even know where to start if I got back into that save!

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Re: [MOD 0.17] Xander Mod v3.1.0

Post by khadgarion » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:11 am

No idea why there are two subsequent posts of me quoting myself! Probably some goofiness from posting on mobile.
Last edited by khadgarion on Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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