Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

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Tricorius
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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Tricorius » Sat May 05, 2018 2:26 pm

If you had to pick one entity that represents the game to you the most, which one would it be?
Logistics bots

:: ducks, hides ::

Ok, seriously, I think I’d go with inserter arms as well, for reasons already listed.

I concur on oil and blue science...still a very sharp learning curve. I currently only stay in basic oil a very short time, but I build in two tanks per oil type, then bleed off light and heavy into flamethrower ammo packs (I play with heavy biters so I bee-line to military tech).

There are other ways to vent the extra oil, but it is far from intuitive. My favorite, when a have an absolute massive oil field near the base (for instance, with a lucky rail world mapgen) is to immediately switch smelting operations over to solid fuel. But again, this is not a “starter condition” scenario.

I think buildings (and possibly other entities) need an icon alert (like the “no-power” icons) when they are full / “backed-up”. As is, they simply stop production, and retain their internal buffer. Of course, this would be irritating when you *want* them to backup...but I’m sure smarter people than I can fix that issue.

Edit: parhaps the above alert is a global alert, like the logistics bot network storage full alert, which can target and jump you to the problematic location, and once you clicked it, it doesn’t retrigger. Meh, I dunno.

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Dev-iL » Sat May 05, 2018 9:00 pm

Tricorius wrote:I think buildings (and possibly other entities) need an icon alert (like the “no-power” icons) when they are full / “backed-up”.
Are you familiar with the "bottleneck" mod?
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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by MicFac » Sat May 05, 2018 10:39 pm

If you had to pick one entity that represents the game to you the most, which one would it be?
Like many others said already it's the inserter.
I first thought about rails, belts, bots but insterters are always needed. For automation there's furnaces, assemblers, chemical plants and more, for transportation there's belts, bots and rails/trains but inserters can't be replaced and are needed in almost every setup.

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by bobucles » Sun May 06, 2018 2:45 am

And the game company's opinion wins. I and many others don't want borderline or overt homophobic taunting etc. in my game, the devs listened to that opinion and have decided to weed it out, nothing else to say on the matter.
You say it's necessary. I say it's petty and not required at all. Parental control is an ancient topic and it comes up every time a game meets the realities of the internet. Today's internet issues are no different from yesterday and many old solutions are still valid.

What I do think is that when someone pays for something and then they don't get it, they are entitled to compensation. Many laws and court cases definitely assert that the customer is very frequently right. That makes the decision to remove backer names a major one. It can not be approached lightly or casually dismissed.
I'm not sure why people treat everything in the weekly blog as something that's still up for debate. You're being informed of a decision taken. It's usually pretty clear when it's a topic they're less decided about and want feedback on.
Is there a point to this or is ending other people's discussions some kind of hobby? I have valid concerns and compromises that could make everyone happy. What's the big deal about it?

I also think that the priority of my concerns is higher than the priority of uncomfortable words.

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Ghost Hin » Sun May 06, 2018 6:07 am

I think the tutorial should separate from the main campaign. It will give the player much greater flexibility to choose if they want to follow a storyline and scripted campaign or go with the sandbox mode once they learn the basic mechanic of the game. Rather force them to having to go through the storyline which could put off some players who want the freedom to explore the game on their own.

In terms of making the tutorial. There are couple ways to achieve what you guys have in mind.

Separate the tutorial in different steps.

First level would be simple controls, zoom in and out, mine couple items and craft couples items. You can also show the players where they can find different charts. 5-10 mins.
Second level could start off with full inventory to build a small steam power plant with research 1-2 techs at the end. This level will teach players how to use electricity to kick off automations as well as research. 10-20 mins.
Third level would get into automations, use a pre-build base that allow automated research while teaching the player how to setup a very basic base that could produce couple items. Show the players how they could use the output from one assembling machines to feed another one for more complex items, the basic of building into a megabase. 20-30 mins.
Last level would be combat where you could show a fully built megabase where most sides are covered. Teach the players to finish building the defense and teach them how to fight. 10-20 mins.

This way, you could save the time for the players having to build the base themselve (You can't get to a megabase for at least 15-20 hours at first try) but allow them to see what could be possible. At the same time, they learn the basic and the core of the games, which I think are, Controls/inventory/crafting, Power/electricity/research, Automations/basebuilding, Combat. The end game itself is just those 4 core concepts with increased complexity. The tech tree itself should be mostly unlock, other than what you want to show the players the relationship of item and research requirement. You could just show it as part of a task, and then unlock couple other related techs so the game would progress to the next point instead of forcing the players to unlocks them which takes time.

Keep the whole tutorial from start to finish between 45-60 mins should be short enough for the new players stay interested while give them a taste in the scale of what could built into.

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by izealot » Sun May 06, 2018 6:47 am

I want to know more about teaching with Factorio. I've always wanted to do this but am waiting until 1.0

Curious if it was used in a classroom or after school activity?

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by golfmiketango » Sun May 06, 2018 7:06 am

I think Civ solved the tutoring problem perfectly, and there's no need for Factorio to reinvent the wheel with all these complicated scripts...

For example, to prepare the new player for the eventuality of combat, just have a modal "Disembodied Military Advisor Lady" dialog-box pop up, a few minutes into each new game, containing screenful after screenful of meandering, detached analysis of the various scientific theories about the possible presence of native life-forms, mostly consisting of a long aside about the geological evidence of an extinct creature dubbed by space-paleontologists as the "Creeper" and speculation about asexual reproduction and metamorphosis, ultimately conveying absolutely nothing relevant to gameplay, except for a brief concluding note, that the player really ought to build some turrets at some point, as "who knows what might be lurking in the wilderness?"

Then remind the player to look up the correct keystrokes for doing so in their printed manual, available in convenient meatspace format to those who legitimately purchased the game and didn't lose it or spill anything perishable on it.

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Deadlock989 » Sun May 06, 2018 9:05 am

bobucles wrote:I also think that the priority of my concerns is higher than the priority of uncomfortable words.
Who cares?

Take your vague threats of legal action and put them where your mouth is.

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Koub » Sun May 06, 2018 9:23 am

[Koub] Disagreeing is totally OK, but there is no room for aggressivity in this forum. Please stay cordial, or I'll have to moderate. This is not a battlefield.
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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Deadlock989 » Sun May 06, 2018 9:46 am

Koub wrote:[Koub] Disagreeing is totally OK, but there is no room for aggressivity in this forum. Please stay cordial, or I'll have to moderate. This is not a battlefield.
This reminder would have been appreciated earlier, around the time that people starting chucking the term "snowflake" around.

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Koub » Sun May 06, 2018 11:19 am

I'm sorry, but I happen to have a life outside of this forum, and I cannot moderate every post in real-time 24/7. I do my best, and if it's still not enough, then so be it. Most of the time, it doesn't matter, because people usually behave. And when people get a little heated up, a simple reminder is all what's needed.
I also like to let people express themselves as much as possible. Moderation kicks in on last resort.
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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Sander_Bouwhuis » Sun May 06, 2018 12:03 pm

Dev-iL wrote:
Tricorius wrote:I think buildings (and possibly other entities) need an icon alert (like the “no-power” icons) when they are full / “backed-up”.
Are you familiar with the "bottleneck" mod?
Yessssss, this!
This mod is so useful, it should probably be in the base game. I fully recommend this mod!

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Elbrecht » Sun May 06, 2018 5:30 pm

Making the first tutorial level easier and more conformant to Factorios core gameplay sounds very right.

My Idea for that would be:
Use the crashed escape pod. Its reactor can be a power source with large power area. The remains of the escape pod can contain some circuits so the player can directly build an electric miner, electric smelter and a crafting machine. (Goal: Survival -> Ammo needed)
The Idea here is: Tease what is possible later. No need for a pickaxe

The next level then goes to the basic. No unlimited power, no starting ressources. Mine by hand, power stuff with coal and wood.

This way, the player directly knows where the game is headed.

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by tuxfanturnip » Sun May 06, 2018 6:02 pm

Regarding backed-up machines: This could be saved by the coming UI redesign. It doesn't have to be a map notification to get the attention of a player looking for a problem. One of the first things anyone would do, fairly intuitively, is start looking inside machines... but currently even the info window doesn't actually tell you what's wrong unless you know how backed-up machines work. There could be a little indicator, maybe a green/yellow/red light, next to the machine inventory, which would give a status message when moused over, or even just have a permanent place as a line of text at the top: (green) "Fully operational", (yellow) "Paused: Output full", (red) "Stopped: insufficient ingredients". It could also be applied to inserters, since it's especially unintuitive when an inserter stops because an a assembler has "enough" materials but isn't technically full: (yellow) "Paused: Destination sufficiently full"

It could also include some already available information from the map indicators, but fully explained in text: (red) "Stopped: No power connection", maybe a yellow indicator when machines are slowed down by insufficient power, or even, for logistic chests, (red) "Stopped: Not in range of a logistics network"

If this kind of indicator were a standard part of machines' UI, it could become a go-to for new players troubleshooting their designs, and an opportunity to explain all the small things that can go wrong explicitly but only when needed.

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Zavian » Sun May 06, 2018 6:30 pm

It most definitely should not be a map notification. Many factories will have one or more backed up machines almost constantly. (Things like splitters and undergrounds, radars, rail signals, power poles, or even that mine where you know you added too many mining drills, but who cares, they will start working when some of the other drills run out). A bottleneck style notification is fine, we don't need a constant map alert just because an assembler making rail signals is backed up. But ideally the animations of working machines are visible enough that something like bottleneck isn't required.

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by <NO_NAME> » Sun May 06, 2018 11:38 pm

Please, remove only clearly offensive name like "Hitler did nothing wrong" but leave the funny ones like "has exploded".
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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by TRauMa » Mon May 07, 2018 1:24 am

I get why you included the backers.json in the checksum for online play, so if you changed it as people describe here, you'll get a mismatch and can't join.

But could you consider letting the game updater work with a custom json file? Even if it'd just overwrite the custom settings or mangle the file, right now it refuses to apply the update, so you have to revert the change, make the update and then change it back, restarting factorio twice if you don't know scripting/third party updaters.

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by steinio » Mon May 07, 2018 4:34 am

<NO_NAME> wrote:Please, remove only clearly offensive name like "Hitler did nothing wrong" but leave the funny ones like "has exploded".
Who decides what's funny?
Easiest would be to delete all non names.
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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Sander_Bouwhuis » Mon May 07, 2018 6:48 am

TRauMa wrote:I get why you included the backers.json in the checksum for online play, so if you changed it as people describe here, you'll get a mismatch and can't join.

But could you consider letting the game updater work with a custom json file? Even if it'd just overwrite the custom settings or mangle the file, right now it refuses to apply the update, so you have to revert the change, make the update and then change it back, restarting factorio twice if you don't know scripting/third party updaters.
Not sure whether v0.17 will fix this, but I hate the fact that when someone connects to my server all the settings have to be the same. Why is this non-sense? Just automatically apply the NECESSARY settings when connecting, and apply your own settings when playing on your own.

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Re: Friday Facts #241 - New player experience

Post by Koub » Mon May 07, 2018 8:12 am

What would happen if people with different backers.json want to play multi, and a name is chosen for one player's building that is not present in the other one's ?
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