Dyson Sphere Program

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Impatient
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Dyson Sphere Program

Post by Impatient »

There is a new factory builder/space exploration game in early access out on steam:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1366 ... e_Program/

Does anyone have an opinion on it?

Steam reviews are "overwhelmingly positive" so far. In the user reviews Factorio and Satisfactory are mentioned all over the place in comparisson.

As far as I can see from the screenshots, logistics are abstracted to a certain degree (only connections have to be built, it seems, but individual items are simulated).

A fun fact is, that the game also features a builder character and requires the player to physically go places with it. FAQ say that they plan to have enemies and combat. They emphasize exploration of galaxies and planets in their FAQ.

Factorio is mentioned once in their FAQ on the steam discussions, when explaining a feature. I deduct, that the devs vision is influenced by factorio and that they see their game in the same genre as factorio and probably will try to appeal to its userbase in some ways.

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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by adamwong246 »

I don't see support for mods and combat is "coming soon" :|

It's certainly "prettier" than factorio. Those spherical maps look nice. But factorio can run on a toaster and graphics aren't that important to me. I'm not sure what the third dimension really adds to the gameplay.

It looks like the kiddy version of factorio to me. Which is great but factorio is more fertile. (I should probably play the game before I pass judgment)

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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by disentius »

Been playing for a few hours, and it does have a factorio vibe. The 3d building is awesome, and the production upscaling you need to actually build a Dyson sphere is pretty big. So far i like it. It is also very feature complete already, and: no crashes yet. I will easily sink another 100 hours in this, i think.

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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by Koub »

I'm probably going to try it one day, the same as Satisfactory. But I don't feel the urge to rush and buy it.
Wube created a new genre with Factorio, which is a feat on its own. Sometimes, games inspired by other games are more fun than the original, or different enough to be fun differently.
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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by 5thHorseman »

It's a very good game. It's like Factorio enough to scratch that itch, but different enough to give a new experience.

The spherical surface and 3D building options give new opportunities and challenges. There are inherent construction and logistic puzzles just like in Factorio.

You can't really do a Bus, at least not like in Factorio; there just isn't the room. My pre-rocket starter base in Factorio would easily wrap all the way around a planet's equator. And water is harder to deal with in this game. There is "landfill" but it's expensive and you actually need to flatten mountains to first fill seas, and if you run out of mountains you ain't gonna fill no seas. At least, not for now. Maybe that's something I can do later when I go off world. But for now, a bus is limited a bit by the inability to claim huge swaths of land in which to lay out production areas.

Speaking of that, you don't need huge swaths of land to lay out production areas. In Factorio you need 4 red belts of iron plates to feed your factory. you need that in copper just to feed circuits, plus more iron. you need arrays of smelters making this stuff. In Dyson Sphere, I'm getting close to leaving the first planet and I've got 2 miners on coal and 1 miner on each other ore patch. There just simply isn't the need for more than 1 of most things, and more than 2 of anything else. Except oil, which I've got 2 pump jacks and .... 8? 6? Something like that number of refineries. And power, of course. I've dozens of wind turbines and maybe 10 coal plants. And the solar power array they gave me to start.

There is no combat, or life of any kind outside of plants. It's in alpha. Things are missing. That's life. Factorio is a highly polished game. I know it just went gold this year but we all know it could have easily released years ago. Comparing most any game - most any software package - to Factorio is lopsided. If Factorio is your baseline for game polish and usability, you'd best resign yourself to never playing another game again. :)

Okay I could go on longer but that's probably more than I'd read of someone else's ravings, so I'll stop it here. In short, as I said at the start, it's a very good game.
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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

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Koub wrote: ↑
Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:10 pm
Wube created a new genre with Factorio
Sim Tower, Sim City, these are basically identical to Factorio.
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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by eradicator »

Looking forward to it, content volume sounds ok. But am a bit skeptical about how 3D will work out. In the end it'll depend on how much time they can/want/will spent on polishing the interface. Also as it's Unity Engine it'll probably not have the greatest performance (so far true for every Unity game i've ever seen). And a general-purpose engine just can't be optimized as well as a custom engine.

The last "3D Factorio Clone" i've played was "Factory Town" and the lack of blueprints and the nessecity to manually build "underground/overground" belt bridges made the experience much less smooth than factorio - where an underground belt can magically go down and up again in the space of a single tile without having to care about steep angles looking ugly.

And then there's the unsolvable problems that 3D inheritely has: On the factorio forums i often see people complaining that they can't build $something compact enough, but in 3D even the simplest split+bypass would require three(!) height layers and thus use much more space. And additionally be less easy to read because belt bridges will block vision of underlying layers. So 3D simply will never scale like factorio, arrays of thousands of machines just don't work when everything is huge, but DSP might have found a good way around that with the per-planet abstraction.
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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by Koub »

ptx0 wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:48 am
Koub wrote: ↑
Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:10 pm
Wube created a new genre with Factorio
Sim Tower, Sim City, these are basically identical to Factorio.
I have played countless hours SimCity and Sim City 2000, and never playing Factorio gave me the "well ... that feels like Sim City" impression. Maybe subsequent Sium City sequels changed significantly enough to give that feeling, but
Factorio is immensely different from these games. Satisfactory and Dyson Sphere Program are a lot closer to the Factorio feel than Factorio can be to Sim City or Sim Tower.
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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by bormand »

I'm not very far in the game yet, but I like it.

Graphics is neat. Tutorial system is non-invasive and don't tell you what to do next. Limited accumulators of the mecha encourage automation. Little starting planet pushes you to build spaghetti. Core mechanics are much simpler than Factorio ones, but still interesting and logical.

I don't see much replayability for now, though.

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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by Deadlock989 »

I think it has a lot of potential. I'm not far into it but have already noted several things I prefer to Factorio (e.g. click-to-move, action queues), and having just one lane on a belt is a blessed relief (although the belt inserter/loader equivalent is uninspired). I haven't gotten off planet yet so whether the "grand scale" of the mid- and endgames as described is actually any fun to play remains to be seen. At the moment the main thing that's bugging me is the cringemaking translationese of the English localisation.

I find the look of DSP pretty primitive and uninspiring compared to Factorio 1.1. 3D vector graphics aren't automatically better. Visually the machines and factory elements just don't have much style and none of the eye for detail that Factorio's artists have given us. It's barely a step up from Planetary Annihilation, although there are some nice touches like the atmospheric effects at "sunrise". I'm finding the curved rotatable 3D surface to build on weirdly disorientating but I expect that will pass, the third person top-down perspective is certainly much more welcome than Satisfactory which I found literally unplayable. The GUI is also unimpressive. Still, it took Factorio 7-8 years to get it right and DSP feels weirdly closer to Factorio's roots in modded Minecraft than Factorio does.

Looking forward to seeing where DSP goes with modding, if anywhere.
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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by bormand »

Deadlock989 wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:09 pm
cringemaking translationese of the English localisation
The thing that bother me most is a lack of fast-replace. Adding new splitter or upgrading inserters sorters is very annoying. But they promised to address this soon.

Dependencies in the tech tree are a total mess, like in old versions of Factorio. It's sad when you unlock cool stuff, but can't build it yet because some ingredients were hidden in unrelated branches.

Mid game is a bit boring, since I have no titanium on my starting planet, but need a lot of it to bootstrap interplanetary logistics. Chicken and egg problem, and manual flights are pretty long at current tech level. Maybe I missed some alternative recipe...

Anyway, remaining part of the tech tree looks promising, and I hope that end-game wouldn't descend into manual(?) copy-paste over a dozen of planets.
Deadlock989 wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:09 pm
I'm finding the curved rotatable 3D surface to build on weirdly disorientating
The hardest part is to navigate between factories when they are spread over the globe. I always end up spinning around the planet until I randomly find my factory.
Deadlock989 wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 28, 2021 12:09 pm
there are some nice touches like the atmospheric effects at "sunrise"
Yeah, and first rings of Dyson Swarm around the sun look beautiful.

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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by steinio »

Yeah the grind is a bit annoying.

If you have no power pole, you need to open inventory and can then craft it.
But can you automate the production of power poles later?

Smelter and assembler are seperate researches?

Well overall the flow is totally like Factorio but slower at start, at most because of the slow moving speed
of the player. Adding fuel continously to the armor sounds like a suggestion from this forum went wrong :D
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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by bormand »

steinio wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:18 am
sounds like a suggestion from this forum went wrong
You can recharge from the power grid, so at least some suggestions went right. With better fuels and some upgrades you can walk and fly more freely. And early mall with intermediates is very useful, like in Factorio.

The thing that I can't understand is why assemblers have higher tiers, but refineries and chem plants don't. Wait. Where I seen that? :D

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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by Deadlock989 »

bormand wrote: ↑
Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:16 pm
The thing that I can't understand is why assemblers have higher tiers, but refineries and chem plants don't. Wait. Where I seen that? :D
Worse for me is that they don't stack vertically. Belts and splitters can stack vertically so you can have a vertical bus - but no crafting machine can ever use anything higher up on the bus because they can all only pull from near ground level. So a lot of interesting designs are immediately out of the window, and trying to save space by having a vertical bus actually results in insane splitting/merging shenanigans (and trying to work with belt heights is a bit of a GUI nightmare). Labs ("matrices") and storage can stack vertically but all those other equally boxy machines can't - why not? It'd be an interesting take on the boring Bob's style rainbow upgrades for every machine - instead of having 7 tiers of every machine, you'd just pile them higher.

Other peeves: why are splitters so huge, belts have to be spaced at least every 4 tiles in a bus if you want to use splitters to merge/split from the bus; OCD triggering from where the grid suddenly changes with latitude and all your belts get little kinks in them; why are sorters so incredibly slow, to the point where you have to get to mid-game yellow science to have an inserter that doesn't suck and require you to have belts bending around two/three sides of machines.

Some analogue of "fast replace" is coming soon according to the news which will be great and sorely needed (it's a nightmare that you have to rip up machines/sorters/belts to replace them with an upgrade at the moment, I'm just not bothering and letting the game run slow until that patch comes in). But I've gotten to the stage where I seriously miss blueprints or even basic cut and paste. Oxygen Not Included also never got C&P or blueprints in its vanilla version which is madness, but in that case at least mods provided them.

One thing it has inherited from Factorio is the boredom of "science packs". You unlock a new pack, and suddenly you don't need to build anything new because three hours of research can be queued up without needing any of the new products any of that new research unlocks. Then, wham, you hit the wall of the next set of unlocks at 100mph, because those suddenly needs violet or aquamarine science packs and you have nine different chains of intermediates to sort out. At first when I saw the early research needing different combinations of intermediate components instead of "packs" I thought it was going to be different, but it seems like once you have the first science pack unlocked, you never see that kind of research again.

I'm enjoying it as a game in itself, and some of the looping/enriching/multiple output recipes are nice puzzles without being too frustrating - but apart from the 3D planet novelty, it currently feels like "3D Factorio but worse".
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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by Hannu »

I bought it at Friday and used a weekend. I have researched about half of "yellow" research topics (science tier 3/6) and plan to begin the purple science (tier 4/6) soon. I have interplanetary logistics running and Dyson swarm at beginning phase but have not yet research other solar systems (I think it needs purple science).
I feel very positive. Content seems to be at OK level, comparable to stock Factorio content. 3D building is interesting and the way they build nearly rectangular grid on relatively small sphere is ingenious. Building tools are well thought and programmed but quite primitive and it is more tedious to build large assembling systems than in Factorio. Factorio megabase like huge systems with several thousands of entities are clearly impossible but it is no my choice of style in Factorio either.

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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by sorahn »

Other peeves: why are splitters so huge, belts have to be spaced at least every 4 tiles in a bus if you want to use splitters to merge/split from the bus;
It's not terribly obvious at first, but you can use <tab> to switch between 3 different types of splitters. When you do that you can get a bus going with only having the belts 1 tile apart. Bus lanes go on the ground, and splits go on level 2 above them. And I would recommend running a bus on lines of latitude so you don't end up with stupid kinks in it as the grid changes.

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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by Deadlock989 »

sorahn wrote: ↑
Mon Feb 01, 2021 1:06 pm
It's not terribly obvious at first, but you can use <tab> to switch between 3 different types of splitters. When you do that you can get a bus going with only having the belts 1 tile apart. Bus lanes go on the ground, and splits go on level 2 above them.
Jeez. That was well hidden.
And I would recommend running a bus on lines of latitude so you don't end up with stupid kinks in it as the grid changes.
I know, it's proper triggering. It doesn't bode well for future blueprints/C&P - how would it even work if grids can shift underfoot depending on latitude? This time around I have gone for a bus around the equator to minimise kinky belts, you can fit a good 20 large machines perpendicular off the bus there before the grid shifts.

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Coming up on purple science and wondering why I would ever need to leave this solar system ... Resources are massively plentiful, at the moment, the only reason to even leave the planet is to get titanium. I'm running something like 150 spm on just three iron patches and two copper patches. Mostly it's just graphite, graphite, graphite. The main bottleneck is refined oil from crude, which only occurs on this one planet ... seems odd to have to invent warp drive to get more crude oil when in the meantime you invented gas giant harvesters ... Perhaps there are more exotic resources in other systems.
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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by sorahn »

It doesn't bode well for future blueprints/C&P - how would it even work if grids can shift underfoot depending on latitude?
Yeah that's going to be something interesting. I have a research center around the north pole. That couldn't be copied anywhere else, it's a proper polar grid. I would be pretty happy to be able to copy a building and have it take the sorters with it. That and a mass-deconstruction planer would not quite make it the same as blueprints, but go a long way towards helping.
Perhaps there are more exotic resources in other systems.
Definitely there are. Some of the more expensive things you can create almost from just mining them out of the ground. Check some of the recipes, and there might be a second one underneath it that can be crafted using some ores instead.

Like the circular graphene thing (forgot what its called, but its part of the recipe for fiber optics) can be made from a "rare" resource, instead of crafted from 3 levels of intermediates

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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

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Deadlock989 wrote: ↑
Sat Jan 30, 2021 2:22 pm
Worse for me is that they don't stack vertically. Belts and splitters can stack vertically so you can have a vertical bus - but no crafting machine can ever use anything higher up on the bus because they can all only pull from near ground level. So a lot of interesting designs are immediately out of the window, and trying to save space by having a vertical bus actually results in insane splitting/merging shenanigans (and trying to work with belt heights is a bit of a GUI nightmare). Labs ("matrices") and storage can stack vertically but all those other equally boxy machines can't - why not? It'd be an interesting take on the boring Bob's style rainbow upgrades for every machine - instead of having 7 tiers of every machine, you'd just pile them higher.

Other peeves: why are splitters so huge, belts have to be spaced at least every 4 tiles in a bus if you want to use splitters to merge/split from the bus; OCD triggering from where the grid suddenly changes with latitude and all your belts get little kinks in them; why are sorters so incredibly slow, to the point where you have to get to mid-game yellow science to have an inserter that doesn't suck and require you to have belts bending around two/three sides of machines.
Idk, there are ways to get compact. Initially I went with this: https://i.imgur.com/KcK1h15.jpg, but the latest iteration (that I'm still building out) has halved the height requirements (through tedious placement of half-height layers... it looks fabulous though): https://i.imgur.com/81O9ndk.png

Splitters are too massive in my opinion to be useful in busses. Fortunately realistically speaking a bus is only a necessary thing for malls, for automating the swarm and sphere creation you should really have dedicated subfactories with direct inputs/outputs.

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Re: Dyson Sphere Program

Post by sorahn »

Splitters are too massive in my opinion to be useful in busses.
They can look pretty nice tho:
Image

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I made the bus wrap the entire planet and now I'm using logistic towers to refill it from the side along the way. At this point I just wanted the bus to have it. Dedicated logi-tower builds seem to be the way to go.

And since we were talking about it before, here's the polar research station which would be impossible to copy/paste to anywhere else on the planet.
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