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Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:45 am
by suprnova74
Engineer's log:
Day 1: "Engineer". Hah, more like cub scout without his handy-dandy field guide. Well, nothing like fear of death to get rid of my hang-over. I managed to catch a few fish for meals. They are surprisingly docile and they just swim up to me and don't care when i swing my pickaxe several times at them until I spear one. Anyway, the wood-fired smelters provide a nice way to cook those things and they taste like a cross between chicken and oddly enough brussel sprouts. I hate brussel sprouts so this will not be pleasant eating for the next few weeks. As for production, 7 pickaxes later, i think i clearcut the equivalent of the amazon forest just to get some room and clear paths between resources. This site is loaded with copper and iron, but coal is sparse. those trees are coming in handy as a readily available fuel source as well as to support the crazy amount of electric poles I need to connect power to the coal deposit.

My great-great<many greats> grandfather used to watch a ... what did they call it. a "TV" show called Macguyver. This guy could make nearly anything with nothing but a pocket utilipack. I think they called it something else but it's name was lost. Well Macguyer, i think I one upped you today. i somehow managed to cobble together a few boilers and steam engines using nothing but a pickaxe and now have electricity. I have a fair supply of iron and copper plate flowing and got my research going although I threw it up hastily and most is manual fed still. No biters in sight so far, knock on wood -- which isn't hard to do given this forest i'm in.

I got a few assemblers cranking out gears and red research and just started hand-crafting the green research pods to begin researching steel and advanced processing. I see the coal deposit "nearby" -- as in a mile or two jog nearby -- is quite small but have a vast oil field to the NW that I'm hoping to tap into tomorrow and potentially get to solid fuels to supplement the meager supply. I'll need to consider rationing the coal for plastics as i'm not seeing much on the map. I researched turrets but my resources are still sparse and haven't had the spare cycles to craft some along with the clips. Hopefully the biters haven't detected me yet and i'll have a few days to beef up security. I could sure use a drink right now. My nerves are still a bit frazzled. Find attached end of day image of production.
end of Day 1. hot mess of a layout, trees don't help
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Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:47 pm
by suprnova74
Day 2 - Engineer's log. Wow, I am starting to feel like one finally. All I can say is, I'm glad I had a solid science fundamental background and am a quick learner to boot.

Morning: It seems that the holes in the tech datapad's memory can be fixed via research datapacks converted to recovery mode. Quite a few technology schematics became available when I interfaced the datapack to the research center network with the rudimentary red datapack. It appears that the technology was stored in a layered fashion with the most advanced technologies buried deep in the more complex circuts. If I make it out of here, I'll have to suggest a few changes such as making the most critical component and engineer has waterproof.

With that said, I fashioned a long range scanner running and I've ceased using coal as it is, so far, extremely sparse which is concerning for plastics production in the future. I'm now thankful I've had to turn into a lumberjack as the wood is keeping the boilers going until I can get over to that oil or perhaps research solar. Space is still tight making automated lines to make research packs difficult so I'm still hand-feeding a bunch of items. So far I still don't see any biter nests on the scanner. I recall they're needed for certain research so hopefully they're SOMEWHERE, just not near me yet.

Afternoon: I stocked all of the factory/research components as best as I could and decided to take a jog to speed up the scanning and found two biter areas. Just worms at the moment, but it's just a matter of time before something mobile comes my way. I also found a large deposit of coal! It's unfortunately near a biter worm so will wait until i have better weaponry before pursuing. I cleared a path to the oil fields but haven't tapped into them yet. I managed to fashion some of the gears into a rudimentary chain mail which makes me feel a little better with these biters lurking out there. I'm trying to rearrange my layout so it's not so manual intensive and going through steel axes now like wet paper. I'll hopefully be able to get some better gear in the coming days. We'll see how the evening pans out. `

Evening: I realized I must not have slept since I landed as I didn't get much done. I woke up with a triangle pattern pushed into my face when I must have collapsed onto the research center wall.

Day 3 - The day started with a biter surprise as a small clutch of 3 little guys blitzed my base. They surprisingly ran right past me and instead attacked the circuit board assembler. I didn't mind as it kept them off of me and I dispatched them before they took out anything critical, but needless to say, I now have a machine gun, several clips of AP ammo and several gun turret nests setup throughout the area. I have a small construction center focusing on making bricks and wall sections for future placement. The oil production is going well and got sulfur churning out later in preparation for sulfuric acid/battery production. Solid fuels are being stockpiled as my small local coal deposit will probably run out sooner rather than later. It looks like I may have to venture into railroads to make the remote coal field more feasible.
Afternoon: This haphazard mess of a base is getting an overhaul starting with the boiler/steam engine setup. I now am "future-proofed" with a good 25-30 boilers hooked up. I need to redo the layout of the steam engines and add capacity as i'm running near 85-90% as it is. I also need a complete overhaul of metal and research capacities. I'm still manually feeding one of the research centers with green research pods and it is getting quite annoying. I know I keep saying that, but a complete gut-job on this thing is not a pleasant thought.
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Day 4/5: My understanding of the water flow has hampered my energy production as the water flow is dwindling. I've gutted the setup and re-re-re-designed it to a smaller configuration. I'll have to exmine it later when the current config runs out of capacity.
I kept falling into a weird sleep where i dreamt I had a 9 to 5 job and a gaggle of kids to tend. What a horrible nightmare! I think i'd rather deal with the biters than that! Not much to say other than I am in process of reworking the entire factory setup to better streamline those research/recovery packs.
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Day 6: Production has been pretty much entirely gutted and reworked. I am now producting green and red research packs-a-plenty and looking to setup for blue packs. I have plastics and sulfer.

End of day. I'm having a difficult time getting the blue research pack production set up. Trying to pull so many layered components into the final assembly line is quite the challenge. I'll have to sleep on it and get it reworked. I noticed the satellite survelliance data was not being received as often as expected. There must be unusual solar flare activity in this system but it seems to have cleared up.
Biters have been quite passive. I'm sure they're just saving up for something. I wonder if I can manage to send a request for a technology update to add a method to bridge the gap to those islands on the map. I've tried that already for the damaged items but it seems the network thinks I already have them so will not re-transmit. Well, I have plenty of space to explore and build upon for now, so that will be down the road quite a bit.
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Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:28 pm
by suprnova74
Day 7: TANKS! Did I mention i Love 'em? I built my first one and took a jaunt around the area. I drove through a biter colony and merely steamrolled over the swarm that came to check me out. Awesome! I wonder if they have blueprints for a car/tank wash to get this ichor off. I unfortunately overestimated it's stopping power and ran over a chest with probably 50-100 clips of ammo. Note to self, do not drive full speed through the factory.

I believe I made my layout too dense leaving little room for growth. I find myself doing that repeatedly. I may have to tear out a good portion of my factory again and reset up everything. I keep getting starved for copper wire, green circuits and iron plates and have minimal room for expansion of that production.
I also need to replace those high polluting steel furnaces with the unfortunately bigger electric variants to reduce the pollution footprint. I checked the map and the pollution footprint is getting a little crazy. From my crash course seminar, I think the biters don't like pollution much and even may evolve into stronger versions if i create too much.

I also depleted all of the nearby coal for explosives and plastics. The smelters and boilers are all running off of solid fuel at least but the coal shortage will hamper plastics and blue research pack production. I luckily have about 3k or so stashed in chests so that should keep it going until I get a chance to hook up to that large coal deposit to the SouthWest
Day... ? Finale
I've lost track of the days other than there must have been an odd spacial phenomenon as i suddenly got a burst of info received by my datapad. it was for a tech to fill in water areas which I needed to acquire more alien artifacts. Either that or the corporation is watching and knew i was stuck.

Anyway, it's been several weeks and I found the biters have responded poorly to my presence. They're still relatively docile unless I get too close thankfully, but they got HUGE. I found it most difficult to turret creep their hatcheries if it was too big of a lair. After about 100 or so laser turrets destroyed I gave up as I managed to collect enough to get the tech to send a communications satelite out. I spent the last week or so collecting enough resources in order to build the silo, rocket and satelite. Just as the satelite entered orbit, i hear the blessed static clearing of a communication from home. They're coming to colonize! Finally, I won't be the only human soul on this rock. This will be my last log entry until their arrival. Satellite aerial shots included below.
Final Score
Final Map
Final Base shot
They've asked for me to scan nearby planets for potential colonization and I've found a good candidate i think. Map coordinates included. It seems those biters are on every planet nearby. How they spread intergalactically is anyone's guess. I've found a pretty rich planet, but the biters are well entrenched and seem a bit hostile. I luckily found a pretty large landing site so it should give you plenty of breathing room to get settled. To whoever receives this transmission, hopefully your training will be better than mine.

Code: Select all

sorry for the lackluster finale. i've been a bit under the weather so my creativity is subpar.

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:59 pm
by NotABiter
Planet Date: 04:47:35

Someone back at central probably thought this was funny:
This ain't my first rodeo, though.

Stone is rather sparse, but hey - walls are just luxuries anyways. (See that herd of cats to the south? Come on in! No walls stopping you!)

Iron is a bit more of an issue, but it isn't quite as bad as it looks because those tiny deposits of iron run a bit richer than average. At least once I get done with the tiny deposits in the landing area, I can look forward to stomping on lots of cats to get access to... a scant few more tiny deposits. I'm not really worried though - if I were I wouldn't be researching solar when I'm sitting on giant piles of coal and oil.

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:24 am
by NotABiter
Planet Date: 18:12:05

The iron richness is definitely not making up for the small size of the iron deposits. To avoid recurring pressure on iron, I quickly moved to lasers. (There are still some scattered gun turrets - I'm not making any new ammo for them though.)

In the below overview shot, at top center is the main factory. To the west of there is oil processing, and to the east is some iron mining. (Can't see the iron patches? That's because they're ridiculously small.) In the mid-east is the solar "starter array" (just solar cells and basic electric poles). To the mid-west is an array of the standard solar layout I use later in planetary development (using substations, with each block having either a mix of solar cells and accumulators or pure accumulators, and with blocks separated by medium poles and lights to allow walking between them and if need be, routing materials between them). In the south-west there is some more iron mining, and in the south just below the copper mining is a standby power supply.
Currently fighting is being done with combat robots, but that's a bit iron intensive. Lasers are more iron-efficient, but only if you're not getting lasers destroyed all the time, and against larger bases that means lots of lasers firing for an extended period of time which means lots of energy used quickly. Running out of power in the middle of such a fight can be bad news. So while solar is good for low pollution and for "build it and forget" (no need to play with coal mining to keep supplies going), at least until my solar reaches gigantic proportions, standby power is a good idea to ensure the lasers can always fire (or at least some of them can).

The below standby power supply provides 40MW which, while not nearly as much as I would like, is at least enough to keep things from going too pear-shaped when the solar accumulators run out. The coupling accumulators pictured below are the linkage between the steam power and the rest of the grid (which are not directly connected by power wires) - when solar isn't providing enough power but the solar accumulators (not pictured) still have juice, only a small fraction of total power comes from the steam engines so they remain mostly idle, but when the solar accumulators run out the steam engines automatically ramp up to full power.
standby power
I am using four different sets of coal miners for these, so if coal runs out for one of them I still have 30 MW of backup power available until the issue is fixed. (I should probably have some buffer chests in there to increase the chances of noticing empty belts before power is needed. Maybe even do something with smart chests and logic circuits... or not.) Eventually that will be made much larger and switched over to an infinite supply of solid fuel, but that's still a long ways off.

At the moment the iron ore supply is running pretty thin - only enough to keep about 8 electric furnaces going. The tastiest nearby iron patches are to the south, so I'll be headed there next.

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:28 am
by NotABiter
Planet Date: 31:17:20

Have grabbed quite a bit of territory to the south in order to mine iron. Have also automated destroyer capsules with a 4:4:8 destroyer:distractor:defender factories setup. Maintaining the ability to expand into new iron sources is priority #1 at this point. Started putting up a defensive wall, but it only covers about 30% of the perimeter at present.

Planet Date: 34:22:41

I continue grabbing territory. Almost the entire perimeter is now walled.

I have started another solar array in the south (which is now just empty space since it was mined out), and now have nearly 60MW of solar power along with 5GJ of accumulator capacity.

Planet Date: 40:47:03

Big changes are brewing. The lesser of the two is that I now have some rail up and running. It's not much for now, but will be one of the keys to continuing expansion.

Right now an overview of my territory shows some rather large untapped copper fields - and very little iron. So the greater change that I am working on is (effectively) converting copper and sunlight into iron. Beacons and level 3 modules have been researched, and soon the process of putting them to use for all things iron will begin.

Planet Date: 43:11:20

My first two circuit factories using modules and beacons are online. They use the same module/beacon layout that all of my new "high productivity" factories will use for the time being: 4 level 3 productivity modules in the factory itself, 21 level 2 and 1 level 1 efficiency modules in the surrounding beacons, and 1 level 3 speed module in the surrounding beacons. This provides each factory with the following stats:

power: 42kW (-80%), productivity: +40%, pollution: 1.08 (+200%), speed: .8125 (-35%)

The +200% pollution rating isn't really the whole "pollution truth" though. Not even close.

Default pollution for an Assembly machine 3 is 1.8. Adding 4 level 3 productivity modules adds the +200% pollution rating - but does not make pollution 3*1.8 = 5.4 but rather pushes pollution all the way to 22.68. This is because power also affects pollution - those 4 modules push power usage up 320%, so the total pollution rating is 5.4*(1+3.2) = 22.68. When power is at -80% (as per the above module+beacon setup) rather than +320%, it goes the other way: 5.4*(1-.8) = 1.08. That's a "total" pollution rating that is actually 40% less than an Assembly machine 3 with no modules.

But that's not the end of the story either. That 1.08 rating is pollution per unit time. Because of the -35% speed, it takes that much longer to run through each goods-production cycle, which means more pollution. So pollution per cycle is going to be multiplied by 1/(1-.35) or ~1.54. Cumulatively, that makes the pollution .6*1.54 = .924 that of an Assembly machine 3 with no modules.

Still not done yet. The only really useful metric of pollution is how much is generated per item produced, so you also have to take the +40% productivity into account. On average the machine has to run through 1/1.4 as many cycles to produce the same amount of product, so that makes relative pollution .942/1.4 = ~.673.

And with that... we're still not done. That's because when computing pollution on a per item produced basis, such as on a "per green circuit" basis, you also have to take into account that for the same number of green circuits you are consuming fewer iron plates. That means your smelters are doing less work - and therefore producing less pollution. Fewer iron plates also means less iron ore, which means your miners are doing less work - and producing less pollution. When applied to items later in the chain such as red circuits and blue science packs, it reduces the amount of work done and reduces the pollution generated for an even larger number of earlier stages. And it compounds when multiple stages are using productivity modules. And that is all to say, at this point the computation is too complex for me to bother doing it! We'll just call the pollution generated "plenty low enough".

Using level 3 efficiency modules, the pollution could be driven even lower (by allowing the speed to be driven higher). I currently don't have plans to do that.

As can be seen below, each green circuit factory is affected by 12 beacons.
green circuits
Oh, and I also have steel production upgraded to use modules and beacons:
Since only two productivity modules can be placed in smelters (as opposed to 4 for assembly machines), not so many efficiency modules are required to get the pollution back down, so rather than using a 12 beacons per smelter setup I am currently only using 8 beacons per smelter, and they are positioned so each interior beacon is shared by 4 smelters. (Eventually each interior beacon will be shared by 8 smelters once I have multiple columns of "productively enhanced" smelters, and "interior" is interpreted in a 2D rather than 1D sense.)

Finally, here's an updated overview:
Iron plate smelting has been moved to be north of the "Iron Depot", while copper plate smelting is south of the "Copper Depot". (No trains are actually running copper yet.) The steel smelting is just to the east of the iron plate smelting, and the combat robots are being produced in the section underneath the letters "pper " in "Copper Depot".

The rail is planned to have intersections every 256 tiles (my standard layout). (You can see two standardized intersections in the overview picture so far - they won't be of much use though until more rail is in place.) Because my intersections aren't round-abouts (they instead function like normal street intersections for cars), some temporary turn-arounds are required at the edges of the system.

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:24 am
by NotABiter
Planet Date: 52:33:09

Shifting of iron ore smelting to +20% productivity is nearly complete.
Iron Smelting
Currently the speed on those is at -15%. Eventually I will switch to using level 3 speed modules which will get that closer to normal.

Those beacons suck a lot of power, so solar power has been nearly doubled and is now at 144MW.

The +40% productivity green circuit production has been doubled, and is probably done expanding until rocket launch as I don't foresee having enough iron coming in to need more. Speaking of iron, I have expanded into the south-east for a few more iron fields. I have started adding +40% productivity red circuit production as well.

Planet Date: 55:01:44

I now have 7 red circuit assemblers running at +40% productivity. I can't add any more (in their current line) until I expand north a bit. However, I haven't shut off the old 8 red circuit assemblers yet because switching all things iron over to +MAX% productivity is bottlenecked by module production which is bottlenecked by red circuit production.

As always, here's an overview image:
As can be seen, the perimeter wall is finally complete (sort of, it's still only a single-thickness wall and light on lasers). The line of red circuit assemblers is above the "ot" in "Iron Depot".

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:54 am
by NotABiter
Planet Date: 69:59:04

Back at Planet Date 18:12:05 I said my backup power supply "will be made much larger and switched over to an infinite supply of solid fuel, but that's still a long ways off". Well, the time has come. The new backup power (picture and additional information are here) is 120MW with 2+TJ of buffered-up solid fuel ready to go (though since boilers are only 50% efficient, that's only 1+TJ of actual power buffered up - still enough to run the steam engines at 100% for 2:00:00).

Before creating this beast I did some tests to verify it would actually perform in an emergency (tests I never did on my original backup power supply), and what I found is that my old power supply would have failed me if I really needed it! What would have happened is that it would have run at full power for a few seconds, and then power would drop off huge amounts (like 50% or more). The problem was water, or lack thereof. Even with a dedicated water pump for each 10 steam engines, there was just not enough water for them to run anywhere near full capacity. More specifically, going through even a moderate amount of pipework causes water flow to fall off tremendously. After some experimentation, I found that adding a few electric pumps just before each set of 14 boilers and 10 steam engines provided enough water to keep everything running at 100% even under sustained load.

And after all of that it turns out... I probably don't need a backup power supply anymore.

To understand why, take a look at the current factory:
The rail: Yes, I have rail running right through the middle of my factory - it just kind of turned out that way. Yes, I have been hit by a train. (Why no subways tech devs?) No, it didn't kill me - I'm using 6 to 8 MK2 shields which was apparently enough, but I have been a bit more cautious since then. You can see one of my standard intersections to the right - it lets trains go left/right/straight without any unnecessary curving about. Using those intersections connected by adequate lengths of a pair of one way rails with periodic signal lights, deadlock just never happens (unless you introduce it with a poorly designed train stop). The "rail system" also acts as the backbone of my power grid - all intersections are electrically connected to all 4 of their neighbors via poles running between the straight tracks, and when I want to make sure something stays on "The Grid" I connect it to one of the rail poles (as opposed to, for instance, the power running along the perimeter wall which will go away the moment the wall is expanded outward). Following this policy ensures I don't accidentally end up with, for example, isolated sections of solar power that aren't connected to my main factory.

Off to the left, the two belts just to the left of my main copper belt are iron and steel plates - or they would be if I had any iron at this point. (Actually there is a tiny bit still being mined and collected at train stop "Iron 3", but the factory is clearly between train drop-offs.)

Also off to the left you can see the tracks branching off for the iron depot (north) and copper (south). Those are actually not very good because they don't let the train enter/exit in its preferred direction. (I usually do better ones, but I guess I just never got around to it this time.)

All of the beacons are north of the tracks. That also means that all productivity module usage is also north of the tracks with one exception, that being science labs. Since science labs don't make any pollution anyways and their power consumption isn't that bad, they don't need beacons, and because I am sharing beacons between adjacent factories to reduce power spent on beacons (and the number of modules needed) I didn't want to put the science labs near the existing beacons (and thereby be in the way of future expansion). Across the top, it's iron and steel smelting on the far left, then green, red and blue circuits, sulfuric acid, batteries, gears, and then red, green and blue science. Yes, my science production is wimpy, but I really don't need more than the iron coming in can support. (These are all designed to be expandable upwards if needed.)

Now back to not needing the backup power supply any more... Just below green circuits production there is "The Big Pole" (the one surrounded by lights). My strategy has been:
1. Stay alive: Make sure to stockpile enough bots/ammo/lasers/walls/etc. to conquer the next territory.
2. Make progress: Do expansion/science/whatever until the iron runs out, or at least slows down too much.
3. Use stockpiles from #1 to expand and grab more iron fields.
4. Repeat.
By the time I'm going out attacking (which is when I need lots of power for lasers), I don't really need the factory to be running - especially all of those power-hungry beacons. So before I go fight, I just pull "The Big Pole" - that cuts off power to (nearly) every beacon being used for production. Clicking on the grid indicates I have 225 beacons consuming 108 MW of power. After pulling the pole that drops to 4 beacons consuming 1.9 MW, freeing up about 106 MW - more than enough for slaughtering the natives. (The 4 beacons that don't turn off are the northern-most ones on the red circuit line - they're close enough to the north wall that the poles that power the lasers are also powering them.) Pulling "The Big Pole" doesn't stop any mining (and I usually don't stop the trains), so any iron trickling in keeps on trickling while I go fight.

My goal of using iron as efficiently as possible (thereby making this planet viable) is almost complete, at least for science where there's only one place left where productivity modules can be added to make the iron stretch a bit further. (Can anyone back at central guess where that might be?)

In the latest overview:
you can see the new backup power supply was placed in the east (right under its dedicated oil patch) in an empty area compatible with the rail layout, so now rail can go through where the old backup power supply used to be (though I will have to rip up a bit of solar to make way). Then my rail system will have its first natural loop.

You can also see 4 unoccupied "boxes" sticking out of my perimeter. Those are places where I had "reached out" a bit to grab little bits of iron.

Usually by this stage of development (making lots of modules) I would be running low on copper and have plenty of iron, but even with all of the productivity boosts I have added, iron continues to be an issue. If you blow up the overview image you can find a couple of pixels of iron ore field left (by "Iron 3"). Meanwhile, I have easy access to two large copper fields that I haven't even tapped, and a third that I have but is in no danger of running out any time soon.

A lot of iron has been spent on combat robots - expanding has been costly. I am now building up a supply of lasers (I have 600+ ready-to-go lasers at this point) so I can use them for expanding rather than combat robots. Lasers are reusable (as long as you don't get them destroyed), and repair packs and shotgun piercing ammo are relatively cheap, so if I can expand using those (and poison capsules where needed) and avoid using the combat robots, I should have that much more iron I can use to make actual progress. (Though, my fighting technique has made some progress on this planet, and I think I still have some room for improvement there.)

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:08 am
by NotABiter
Planet Date: 71:38:48

Made a major expansion to the north. There will be plenty of room for that red circuit line now.

Planet Date: 75:03:35

Set up miners and rail in the north to collect the bits of iron there. As I have noticed that I'm using quite a bit of rail (and lights as well), I added +40% productivity iron stick production. The old "Iron 2" train stop has now been converted to "Oil 1" and is supplying barrels of oil to my new "Oil Depot" train-stop located to the west of the copper smelting (which is itself just west of my main oil refining/cracking). At the same time I also finished the rail line's first natural loop.

Planet Date: 80:05:04

Expanded in the south-west - enough to fill out the corner and then some. Added an "Iron 5" train-stop to collect from there.

Planet Date: 81:24:36

Earlier (69:59:04) I indicated that there was still one piece left to make science as iron-efficient as possible. That piece is now in place:
max iron
(The splitters are unnecessary here but are a part of the schematic that allows for relatively long lines of miners without overloading the belt. And yes, I'm being unreasonably optimistic -- there are no iron fields that big on this planet.)

With that final piece in place, I can now present my analysis for my iron efficiency when doing science. The below is based on using level 3 productivity modules whenever possible for all direct/indirect iron processing: 3 in each miner, 2 in each chemical plant, 4 in each assembly machine, 2 in each science lab. Only direct and indirect consumption of iron ore is considered. (E.g., consumption of copper ore/plate/wire is ignored and not mentioned.)

The "normal" and "max productivity" fields below are the item's cost measured in terms of "in-ground iron ore". (Note that when you put productivity modules in a miner, the cost in terms of "in-ground iron ore" is not the same as the cost in terms of "extracted/above-ground" iron ore.) The in-ground cost is given for both the "normal" case (no productivity modules) and the "max productivity" case (using the maximum number of level 3 productivity modules in every device at every step - miners, smelters, assembly machines, etc.). To the right of each item is listed any iron-bearing ingredients for that item, along with the default amount of each required (i.e. when no productivity modules are used).

Code: Select all

iron ore: iron ore in ground
   normal: 1
   max productivity: 1/1.3{miner} = 0.769230769231
iron plate: iron ore
   normal: 1
   max productivity: 1/1.2{smelter}/1.3{miner} = 0.641025641026
iron gear wheel: 2x iron plates
   normal: 2
   max productivity: 2/1.4{assembler}/1.2{smelter}/1.3{miner} = 0.915750915751
red science: iron gear wheel
   normal: 2
   max productivity: 2/1.4{science assembler}/1.4{gear assembler}/1.2{smelter}/1.3{miner} = 0.654107796965
electronic circuit: iron plate
   normal: 1
   max productivity: 1/1.4{assembler}/1.2{smelter}/1.3{miner} = 0.457875457875
transport belt: iron plate + iron gear wheel
   normal: 1 + 2 = 3
   max productivity: (1 + 2/1.4{gear assembler})/1.2{smelter}/1.3{miner} = 1.55677655678
inserter: electronic circuit + gear wheel + iron plate
   normal: 1 + 2 + 1 = 4
   max productivity: ((1 + 2)/1.4{circuit + gear assemblers} + 1)/1.2{smelter}/1.3{miner} = 2.01465201465
green science: inserter + transport belt
   normal: 4 + 3 = 7
   max productivity: (1 + 1 + (1 + 2 + 2)/1.4{circuit + gear assemblers})/1.4{science assembler}/1.2{smelter}/1.3{miner} = 2.55102040816
sulfuric acid: iron plate (making 5x sulfuric acid)
   normal: 1/5 = 0.2
   max productivity: 1/5/1.2{plant}/1.2{smelter}/1.3{miner} = 0.106837606838
battery: iron plate + 2x sulfuric acid
   normal: 1 + 2/5 = 1.4
   max productivity: (1 + 2/5/1.2{acid plant})/1.2{battery plant}/1.2{smelter}/1.3{miner} = 0.712250712251
advanced circuit: 2x electronic circuit
   normal: 2
   max productivity: 2/1.4{red assembler}/1.4{green assembler}/1.2{smelter}/1.3{miner} = 0.654107796965
fast inserter: 2x electronic circuit + 2x iron plate + inserter
   normal: 2 + 2 + 4 = 8
   max productivity: (3{iron plates} + (3{circuits} + 2{gear})/1.4{circuit + gear assemblers})/1.2{smelter}/1.3{miner} = 4.21245421245
smart inserter: fast inserter + 4x electronic circuit
   normal: 8 + 4 = 12
   max productivity: (3{iron plates} + (7{circuits} + 2{gear})/1.4{circuit + gear assemblers})/1.2{smelter}/1.3{miner} = 6.04395604396
steel plate: 5x iron plates
   normal: 5
   max productivity: 5/1.2{steel smelter}/1.2{iron smelter}/1.3{miner} = 2.67094017094
blue science: battery + advanced circuit + smart inserter + steel plate
   normal: 1.4 + 2 + 12 + 5 = 20.4
   max productivity: ((1 + 2/5/1.2{acid plant})/1.2{battery plant} + (3{iron plates} + (2{green circuits}/1.4{red assembler} + 7{green circuits} + 2{gear})/1.4{green circuit + gear assemblers}) + 5/1.2{steel smelter})/1.4{science assembler}/1.2{iron smelter}/1.3{miner} = 7.20089623151
one unit of red + green + blue {+ purple} science:
   normal: 2 + 7 + 20.4 = 29.4
   max productivity: {0.654107796965 + 2.55102040816 + 7.20089623151}/1.2{science lab} = 8.67168703053
As can be seen above, research on this planet can now be done using about 3.4 times less in-ground iron ore than normal. Shotgun piercing ammo requires only about 1/2 as much in-ground ore as normal. Destroyer capsules, lasers and rail are similarly cheaper, so expansion becomes cheaper and more of the claimed iron can be used for non-physical-expansion purposes. The growth difference between N^2 (area) and 4N (perimeter) also helps when it comes to lasers/poles/lights (though that's not particularly accurate as my base is more of a double-tall rectangle than a square, so more like 2N^2 vs 6N).

Planet Date: 82:41:26

Expanded some more in the north-west. Since the productivity modules slow down the miners, and the beacons can take up half the space of an iron field (preventing active mining of that space until the current line(s) of miners is done so miners+beacons can all be moved over), iron ore production is slower than ever. I will need to bring many iron fields online at a time to get iron production up to something reasonable.

Planet Date: 86:25:42

I now have 5 iron fields online (only one of them big enough for a 2nd line of miners/beacons) and about 32.4k of in-ground iron ore. Stone for wall and rail had been a bit light, so I have started using productivity modules and beacons for stone mining, and have set up stone brick production with modules/beacons right next to the iron smelting (just a couple of furnaces).

Planet Date: 91:21:48

I made a couple of warts on the west all to grab a couple of iron fields. One of the old ones has gone dry, so I currently have 6 iron fields.

I am now trying to expand without using any combat robots at all. I'm still getting used to these new lasers, and these natives which seem a bit more peskier than what I've seen before, so I decided to try something new. I'm just going to wall right into them, then take a turn and wall side-ways, then another turn to finish up the expansion. This will, however, mean potentially getting attacked from 3 different sides at a time, at least until I can fix the situation with my shotgun, so this laser-wall needs to be a little better fortified than my normal wall:
attack formation
Above is pictured the first couple of segments of this "battle wall". I am of course using a schematic so I can have (upgraded) construction bots drop segments in place. During construction and times of more intense attacks I stay up front so I can absorb damage with my shields (rather than letting the lasers get hit hard), and of course I may as well blow off a little steam with my shotgun while I'm there. I do have a schematic for a wall section I can drop on the leading edge if I am going to be in one place for a while fighting. I have way more lasers/walls/etc. than I can carry, but the bots take care of that - I just tell them to deconstruct the previous set of 8 storage chests and they move everything to the forward set. (Interestingly enough, when doing this operation any cargo size upgrades researched for logistics bots also apply to construction bots.) I have the lights red-wired to each other so I can make them stay on all the time - I really hate how the standard light configuration causes them to turn off before its really light outside and not turn on as soon as it starts getting dark.

Planet Date: 96:10:20

I am currently finishing up research, and to speed things along have increased the number of labs from 20 to 30:
My labs are set up so I can add new groups of 10 to the east indefinitely. The science packs are on two infinite-loop belt systems (that split at the top, go down through the labs, merge at the bottom and then loop back up the left side), so if/when packs get low/spaced-out they just keep going round and round until they find a lab that needs them (rather than collecting at the end of a belt doing nothing while upstream labs sit idle).

The base now looks like this:
The train-stops "North West" and "South West" are for my personal travel around the base, as is "New Solar" (where I am currently adding new solar panels and accumulators - I'm currently at 347MW of solar panels and 35GJ of accumulators). I use "Copper Depot" as the home-base stop for personal travel as I am still not moving copper by train (at least not on a regular basis - I have gotten rid of a few smaller copper fields just so they wouldn't be in the way and then it's convenient to use train cars full of copper to reduce the number of trips required to move the boxed up ore).

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:53 pm
by suprnova74
You're doing EXTREMELY well considering the... interesting layout. I was seriously contemplating redoing the map code as it was a bit of a rough config. What mod/item are you using to convert copper to iron?

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:45 am
by UberWaffe
suprnova74 wrote:What mod/item are you using to convert copper to iron?
I think he means he is using productivity modules, which are rather copper hungry in their recipes, to ultimate get more iron out of each iron in the deposits.

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:09 am
by NotABiter
Planet Date: 101:18:17; Rocket at 0%

Expanded some more in the north. There are now 8 iron fields being mined. Have built my first rocket silo and satellite. (Hmmm, so that's what I have to put into a rocket silo to make rockets...)

Planet Date: 102:56:11; Rocket at 11%

Have added facilities to manufacture low density structures and rocket control units, and have set up the rocket silo, all with +40% productivity and beacons of course. I also have a dozen assemblers churning out rocket fuel. (No productivity modules/beacons for them - just a few level 1 efficiency modules.) I have built out the rail system a bit in the north.

Planet Date: 104:24:07; Rocket at 56%

I'm down to just two iron fields... I've been "borrowing" solid fuel from my backup power supply (only a small fraction of what it has stored up) so production of rocket fuel has not been an issue and I haven't over-taxed my main oil facilities so I've got plenty of plastic for the rocket.

Planet Date: 106:32:43; Rocket at 79%

I've finished expanding the north section all the way to the west, and have picked up another iron field. This may be the biggest one yet - I've got 9 miners on it! Actually I picked up three iron fields, the other two will be online momentarily... (they're each just two-miner fields though).

Planet Date: 107:34:49
rocket launched
Only 39,000 bigs and 9,000 behemoths? It felt like more. :-)
rocket production facilities
I tied the rocket silo to the main grid (rather than "The Big Pole") because I wasn't sure it would remember where it was if it lost power.
There is clearly still some room in that chest...
final overview
Solar placement may look a bit "eccentric", but that's just because I only placed solar blocks in places where there were no or very few trees. (I know some others use rather large solar schematics complete with robo ports, but an advantage of using a smaller construction unit is that you can be more selective about placement and not wipe out entire forests in the process.)
If anyone's willing to pay, I've got plenty of copper I can sell. (Must provide own transport!)

suprnova74 wrote:I was seriously contemplating redoing the map code as it was a bit of a rough config.
This map actually made productivity modules feel like they had a real purpose - reducing the expense of combat both by making combat supplies cheaper and by reducing the amount of combat that needed to be done, possibly to the point of making the difference between success and failure (though I'm not sure this map was all that close to failure - maybe someone would like to try it and not use productivity modules). Normally their use feels somewhat artificial as I just use them so I don't have to spend so much time setting-up and wiring-up mining (which I feel is not a very fun part of the game - it's about as fun as having to repeatedly clean your house). I would actually like a harder map, though harder in the resources department (or maybe some other area), not in the combat department, which is another area I don't find to be that fun (at least in the current version of the game). I.e., I'd like a map where this isn't true: "I'm not really worried though - if I were I wouldn't be researching solar when I'm sitting on giant piles of coal and oil." (I'm actually thinking the game would be vastly improved if they took out interactive combat altogether and replaced it with abstract combat - so many resources to conquer a territory, based on current tech/pollution/evolution/etc., and so many resources per unit time to defend a given area, based on the same, with better defense resulting in fewer destroyed factory bits over time. The game also needs "plan while paused", "nested plans" and "make guy automatically run around and implement plan {and do repairs}" features to put more emphasis on good designs and less on tedium and rush jobs... or maybe I'll just take those ideas and make such a game some day.)
suprnova74 wrote:What mod/item are you using to convert copper to iron?
What UberWaffe said. The only mod I had installed was the blueprint string mod, and I didn't actually make use of it for this playthrough.

To whomever is next:

I see the next planet in the queue is a ringworld. Shouldn't be too tough - looks like you could even get a workable two-way rail system in there (though not on a regular grid - way too many lakes for that).

The natives appear to be non-hostile, at least if you're not shooting at them. Don't let that lull you into a false sense of security though, and be sure to heed corporate policy: To slaughter or be slaughtered, that is the question. Accumulators per laser is the key. The magic number is eight point three. Have enough juice to get the job done, or you'll just piss them off and that's the end of your fun.

Code: Select all


Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:27 pm
by DoctorWho?
I'll take this. Might use this later to attempt a speed run. Looks interesting >:)

Strike that, someone else can take this one. RL hates me.

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:48 am
by Killgore32

Boy, the back office really screwed up this time. The formula is supposed to be simple, drop a guy with a few materials and technical knowhow on a barren rock, and have him set up an automated industrial complex, build a rocket to the next one, and repeat until we run out of planets to harvest. The pay isn't great, and most of the time there isn't anybody to talk to save the bots and biters. (Neither of which make great conversationalists BTW.) This time I touchdown on the coordinates I received via my brief, to find 3 other pods on an inbound course. Either some wage slave in the assignment department got lazy, or the transmission got glitched and was repeated to more than one of us. Either way, now there are more than one of us here. I just hope my paycheck doesn't get split 4 ways. Oh well, we had better make the best of it, because none of us is leaving without building our escape vehicles.

The initial scan showed this to be a ring-world of some kind. I don't really care much about who built it in the first place, or why, as long as it has the materials the people want back home. After a quick walk around, I can see that there are lots of vegetation and small ponds dotting the area which make a large-scale open-plan operation next to impossible. Native fauna was also reported to be docile, but considering the fact that 4 pods touched down where there should have only been one, I am not taking anything in the brief at face value. Better to drink my morning coffee behind a ring of gleaming defense turrets than get caught in the forest with my pants down if you catch my meaning.

Coal appears to be very sparse, and in fact the only deposit that i have found so far sits right under a bug nest to the southeast. Thankfully, there are plenty of trees to burn and there are some fairly rich oil deposits to the northwest, so priority one is to get a refining operation going. Due to the vast amount of water the ground is also pretty soft. Anything other than miners and simple stone furnaces seems to sink into the muck, so we are having to build stone brick substrate underneath everything as well. Good thing we have extra hands around, because the early steps are slow going so far. My digital imaging device seems to be giving me fits as well, so I will upload some images of the early operation on the next uplink.

Killgore32, and friends, out.


(out of character) So some friends and I wanted to jump on this thread and try it multiplayer, which I know isn't completely in keeping with the spirit of the OP, especially after NotABiter's awesome performance in the hostile environment he had. I am open to suggestions on how to make the challenge fit the extra players. So far we decided to do the marshy ground challenge that was posted on one of the earlier threads, turned off peaceful mode, as well as needing to build 4 separate rockets. Any other suggestions are welcome.

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:09 pm
by UberWaffe
An easy way to make it far more difficult, without resorting to mods, is simply to ban all use of solar energy.
Blame solar flares or ring-world orientation being wrong for solar power.

= Shameless plug coming in =
With resorting to mods (and shameless plug of own mod), use the Science cost overhaul mod.
It allows you to make the research more expensive depending on the 'tier' of the research. (I typically play with red = no change. Green = x6. Blue = x25. Alien = x100).
It forces you to build much larger, and slows the pace as you get to higher tiers (suggested settings makes getting started still easy, getting up to trains not too bad, but anything beyond rather hard).

It is basically like the Marathon mod, but only for acquiring the actual tech, No recipe costs are increased.

Sidenote on play:
With the mod, I typically end up doing a mishmash starter factory that I then completely abandon when I tier up from green only research to the first blue research.
Currently busy with a 2-player bobsmods + science cost overhaul multiplayer game.

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:25 pm
by Killgore32
UberWaffe wrote:@Killgore32:
An easy way to make it far more difficult, without resorting to mods, is simply to ban all use of solar energy.
Blame solar flares or ring-world orientation being wrong for solar power.

= Shameless plug coming in =
With resorting to mods (and shameless plug of own mod), use the Science cost overhaul mod.
It allows you to make the research more expensive depending on the 'tier' of the research. (I typically play with red = no change. Green = x6. Blue = x25. Alien = x100).
It forces you to build much larger, and slows the pace as you get to higher tiers (suggested settings makes getting started still easy, getting up to trains not too bad, but anything beyond rather hard).

It is basically like the Marathon mod, but only for acquiring the actual tech, No recipe costs are increased.

Sidenote on play:
With the mod, I typically end up doing a mishmash starter factory that I then completely abandon when I tier up from green only research to the first blue research.
Currently busy with a 2-player bobsmods + science cost overhaul multiplayer game.
I like the idea of banning solar. Will make finding new sources of oil much more important. I also took a look at your science overhaul mod. Thanks for the plug. I
am on board with the idea, though considering we already started, the only concern is bringing it in after. Of course we are only a couple of hours in, so a restart isn't yet out of the realm of possibility. I'll run it by the others and see what they say. I have some screenshots of what we have done so far, and will do another story update later today. As a side note, the "marshy environment" limitation we placed on ourselves has proven very interesting already.

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:15 pm
by Killgore32

Day 2: All this running around hand feeding everything has really helped burn off a few pounds. The problem with the end of a mission is that once you have little flying robots doing everything for you, you tend to just sit around and watch things happen. First we set up a little power station, and had to chop down a decent sized forest to keep it fed.
First power plant
As I said yesterday, the nearest coal is sitting under a nest of some nasty looking bugs, and we don't yet have the tools to deal with them, so I started hand building those little red and green vials to get a refinery going. After several hours of painstaking work making little vials that seemed to vaporize into thin air, the lab spit out the required recipes to get a solid fuel operation going. Upside is that we aren't having to chop down any more trees, downside is that the smog is getting thicker, and the bugs to the north have seemed to stop what they were doing and sniff the air a little more. I have a feeling they will be doing more than sniff soon, so I built a few turrets as backup. I sleep a little more soundly in the cot at night.
Think that's enough for today, so will report more tomorrow.


Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:51 pm
by Athgaar

Day 3: One of the furnaces went out today. Made this awful, drawn-out spluttering noise. I've done a dozen of these rocks, and never had I heard a stone box with zero moving parts fail so spectacularly until today, so of course I had to investigate. Turns out, one of the other guys had forgotten to put a foundation under part of the belt to the iron line, so a corner of it sank into the muck.

Whatever voodoo pseudoscience it is that keeps belts running for free didn't care one whit about them being six inches underground ("ground" such as it is), so they chugged along, dragging up the scent of death and the stuff of decay and shipping it over to our iron supply. The inserter must've thought the blob of swamp gunk in front of it was a piece of solid fuel, picked some up, and stuck it into the combustion chamber.

Splat. Hiss. Splutter. And the stupid little arm kept going, giving the furnace chunk after chunk of swamp until it was completely smothered, and then a bit more until it thought the fuel situation was under control. I had to spend an hour and a half picking up all the affected parts, scraping all this pungent garbage off and out of them to get them back in working order, and laying them out properly.

It almost had some dry land refined for us, though.


The guy who did it came forward. Names withheld to protect the guilty. He said he'd extend the line to make up for the lost time.

Extend it he did.

OOC: Yes, I'm with Killgore32.

Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:53 am
by Killgore32

Day 5: Woke up this morning to see that one of our team set to work on automating the research. Considering the continued issues with the mushy terrain around here, his first setup was decent enough to speed things along. Calls himself Mountain Man, though I can't recall any mountains on any of the planets I have been to recently, and there certainly doesn't seem to be any on this ring either. Plenty of mudpits and small ponds breaking up any sense of uniform design.
initial science
With a few new things available to build, we turned our sights toward taking out a few smaller nests nearby. Working together, MM and I were able to get a few nests down, but the ones with the big acid spitting worms seem to still be a problem. For now, they have range and firepower on us. In the past, I have used tanks and a fleet of repair bots to take the big mothers down, but not sure how something that heavy is going to work here. Might need to get creative. On the upside, we found a very small but rich patch of coal north of one of the nests we took down. Not as big or as profitable as the big motherlode to the south, but that one is still out of reach. In the meantime, we set up a small remote mining base at the small patch to get us into plastics and explosives. Since it sits in between 3 medium sized nests, we are taking turns making runs up there bringing fuel and bringing back coal by hand.
coal base
Bolstered by that success, MM decided to upgrade our research labs. He seems to live by the motto that anything worth engineering is worth over-engineering. Can't say that I don't admire how well it works, though looking at it does make my head hurt.
Blinded with science
As you can see from that image, we have mastered concrete production, which has gone a long way to bolster the stability of the base, as well as to pave the way,(get it) to support bringing in ore by trains. A long debate took place between the 3 of us as to which was the best way going forward. In the past, I have been a fan of smelting the ore near the mine sites and bringing back finished plates by train to the manufacturing facility. The problem here is that solar panels don't seem to work here. Some mumbo jumbo about the solar alignment of the ring, or the local star being the wrong wavelength for conventional PV generation. So no big solar farms means that electric furnaces are less practical than steel fuel-fired ones. The current plan is to build the smelting facility at the base and truck in the ore from the remote patches as opposed to running fuel out and plates back. The test run is the copper to the south, but once the infrastructure is finalized, we can set up for longer runs.
choo choo
Finally, with better petroleum refining came the ability to make batteries and those oh-so-wonderful laser turrets. Problem is, as mentioned above, no big cheap solar farm means troubles with brownouts when the natives come calling. Faced a couple of close calls when some medium sized biters came from the now well defended base to the north. I managed to double the size of our current power plant, though the Interstellar Engineer's Building codebook subsection 67.485B standards of paving minimum distances away from standing bodies of water caused me no end of headaches and really plays on my need for symmetry in design. I have no doubt that we will need more facilities like this soon, so hopefully they won't look as ugly.
Improved power
For the time being, the defenses are holding and we are making progress. The natives seem to be getting bigger and nastier though, and their raids are starting to scratch the walls. We are going to have to take the fight to them soon.

KG32 out


Re: The von Neumann Thread

Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:45 am
by Killgore32
RL has been getting in the way of posting the story, but we are still making progress. I will hopefully be able to get up to speed tomorrow.