Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by featherwinglove » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:42 am

Zavian wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:02 am
But does that actually improve the gameplay, or simply lead to players being annoyed that they need to build lots of separate isolated power networks, and spend time calculating how much power each section of their base needs, and then building an appropriate power supply network. Then recalculating and rebuilding when they want to extend/upgrade any section. Personally I think I would find that more annoying than interesting. (None of the new decisions sound interesting to me, just more grunt work).
I think this should be optional, turn it on in the difficulty page, and 0.001 loss factor per pole seems reasonable, as it takes 105 poles to drop the grid to 90%, voltage research cutting that down and allowing more poles, along with electricity distribution tech to reduce the number of poles reduce the rate at which the number of poles increase. I'm pretty sure few are going to find it fun running through the older parts of their base replacing older poles, and that's not amenable to fast replacing. The idea is not to build separate power grids unless there is a lot of distance separating them, e.g. mining outposts. (Even there, there might be a bit of a balancing game in clearing out the biter nests necessary to support local power vs. running a line out from home. "Oh, I just automated science 3, I might as well use it for voltage research instead of having to grenade all these trees for a new power plant.") As for "spend time calculating", I generally respond and plan for the problems in my game in an iterative manner that doesn't involve meticulous planning. I'm also usually over-capacity on power generation.

An effect I think it could have that's kinda Factorio-like, is the possibility of a guy making a huge solar powered factory once he's run out of coal, and then he researches nuclear, and then he builds his compact nuclear power plant off somewhere, and then he cuts off his solar farm because the loss factor of all those power poles is hurting his nuclear power plant's output more than it's worth. This is realistic because just about every solar power system that I know of puts its solar energy into the building on which it is mounted, and little if any of it leaves that building, just drastically reduces the amount of power it needs from the grid.

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by Zavian » Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:15 am

featherwinglove wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:42 am
Zavian wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:02 am
But does that actually improve the gameplay, or simply lead to players being annoyed that they need to build lots of separate isolated power networks, and spend time calculating how much power each section of their base needs, and then building an appropriate power supply network. Then recalculating and rebuilding when they want to extend/upgrade any section. Personally I think I would find that more annoying than interesting. (None of the new decisions sound interesting to me, just more grunt work).
I think this should be optional, turn it on in the difficulty page, and 0.001 loss factor per pole seems reasonable, as it takes 105 poles to drop the grid to 90%, voltage research cutting that down and allowing more poles, along with electricity distribution tech to reduce the number of poles reduce the rate at which the number of poles increase. I'm pretty sure few are going to find it fun running through the older parts of their base replacing older poles, and that's not amenable to fast replacing. The idea is not to build separate power grids unless there is a lot of distance separating them, e.g. mining outposts. (Even there, there might be a bit of a balancing game in clearing out the biter nests necessary to support local power vs. running a line out from home. "Oh, I just automated science 3, I might as well use it for voltage research instead of having to grenade all these trees for a new power plant.") As for "spend time calculating", I generally respond and plan for the problems in my game in an iterative manner that doesn't involve meticulous planning. I'm also usually over-capacity on power generation.

An effect I think it could have that's kinda Factorio-like, is the possibility of a guy making a huge solar powered factory once he's run out of coal, and then he researches nuclear, and then he builds his compact nuclear power plant off somewhere, and then he cuts off his solar farm because the loss factor of all those power poles is hurting his nuclear power plant's output more than it's worth. This is realistic because just about every solar power system that I know of puts its solar energy into the building on which it is mounted, and little if any of it leaves that building, just drastically reduces the amount of power it needs from the grid.
Your reply seems to have missed the key point. How and why does this improve gameplay? Discussing how to implement and balance your suggestion is irrelevant unless your proposed change going to result in an better/more enjoyable game. (If it isn't going to make Factorio a better game, then let us save the developers the time it takes to read new replies).

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by featherwinglove » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:32 am

Zavian wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:15 am
Your reply seems to have missed the key point. How and why does this improve gameplay? Discussing how to implement and balance your suggestion is irrelevant unless your proposed change going to result in an better/more enjoyable game. (If it isn't going to make Factorio a better game, then let us save the developers the time it takes to read new replies).
You're just saying you don't like it in a way that implies that I (and many others) haven't given much thought as to how it is going to enhance Factorio. There are obviously a lot of players who would like to see this implemented...
Koub wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:53 am
viewtopic.php?p=301132#p301132 btw this overall suggestion (power losses over distance) is one of the very oldest in Factorio's history : viewtopic.php?f=6&t=119
And the devs' answer has always been "No". It doesn't mean it will never be "Yes"...
I want it to be "Yes" even if I have to install a mod to get it. Heck, I might even make the mod myself if there's a cheap way to get counts of a particular type of entity on a power grid. (Cheap means UPS-friendly, not necessarily easy to code.)

Just because you don't like it, doesn't make it a good idea to deprive everyone who does of ever having the option just because we can't convince you that you should like it. If it gets implemented, you can turn it off, or not turn it on, or not install the mod, whatever the case may be. This is what's pissing people off regarding the removal of the axe, to the extent that we can't even mod it back in.

Now, if you don't think I have attempted to explain how this would enhance the game, click on the little arrow next to "wrote" here:
featherwinglove wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:18 am
The gameplay motivation is...
If you disagree, I'm fine with that. I just don't want the option to be completely unavailable because not everyone likes the idea. Not everyone likes the idea of biters; now you can turn them off completely. If I remember correctly (which is hard 'cus I think this happened before I joined the forums), somebody thought, "You know, I really like trains, but the game doesn't really have a built-in motivation to use them," realized that the problem was that ores weren't distant enough and in plentiful enough patches to make a rail network worthwhile, and wrote a mod called Resource Spawner Overhaul. Now that our substation is high-res, I'm again a little annoyed that I can't find an excuse to use it.

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by theolderbeholder » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:53 pm

I fail to see the point of penalizing electricity distance by the number of poles used. As the wire is isolated against the pole anyway the current does not really care about passing above an isolator. Technically, there is no limitation against putting 110kV on a line of wooden masts. It will turn people small, black and ugly if they come too close (wooden masts tend to be shorter than steel ones), but we might double that as a defence network :mrgreen: .
So apart from being a chore to the player, there is also no science to back this up.

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by bobucles » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:12 pm

But a passive energy drain per pole dosen't punish electricity over distance. It punishes the power poles themselves. The location of the power generators won't be important because the vast majority of power poles are used to cover the factory itself. You could have your huge power plant a distance of 10 large poles from the main base, and thus you pay 10 large poles worth of energy drain. But the main base itself can have hundreds of smaller poles or substations inside it and pays hundreds of poles worth of drain. Even if the main factory is a tightly knit maze the sheer number of small poles is going to dwarf any kind of price that a few large poles have to pay.

Wasn't that the goal to be punishing energy transmission over long distance? A flat drain per pole isn't going to do it.

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by eradicator » Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:28 pm

Zavian wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:15 am
How and why does this improve gameplay?
Any sort of loss can and will simply be countered by building larger power plants. The three power options fuel, solar and nuclear are all dirt cheap to expand. With nuclear probably being cheapest.
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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by featherwinglove » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:26 am

theolderbeholder wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:53 pm
I fail to see the point of penalizing electricity distance by the number of poles used. As the wire is isolated against the pole anyway the current does not really care about passing above an isolator. Technically, there is no limitation against putting 110kV on a line of wooden masts. It will turn people small, black and ugly if they come too close (wooden masts tend to be shorter than steel ones), but we might double that as a defence network :mrgreen: .
So apart from being a chore to the player, there is also no science to back this up.
This is a rather smart comment! Of course, my goal isn't realism as much as it is to create a problem for large power poles and substations to solve. My local grid (in Regina, Saskatchewan) just upgraded the local streetside power poles from 4.16kV to 25.0kV. They replaced all the actual power poles, but the new ones are still wood. As far as I can tell (and I should have asked the guys while they were here) they didn't replace the actual aluminum wires up there, although they replaced pretty much everything else. Of course, nothing in my proposal implies that wooden power poles can't carry the higher voltage, as the voltage research to reduce the pole loss factor (and I think that should be infinite so it's like, "Hey, make your base infinite!") doesn't care what kind of poles you're using.
bobucles wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:12 pm
But a passive energy drain per pole dosen't punish electricity over distance. It punishes the power poles themselves. The location of the power generators won't be important because the vast majority of power poles are used to cover the factory itself. You could have your huge power plant a distance of 10 large poles from the main base, and thus you pay 10 large poles worth of energy drain. But the main base itself can have hundreds of smaller poles or substations inside it and pays hundreds of poles worth of drain. Even if the main factory is a tightly knit maze the sheer number of small poles is going to dwarf any kind of price that a few large poles have to pay.

Wasn't that the goal to be punishing energy transmission over long distance? A flat drain per pole isn't going to do it.
Exactly! :D You described precisely what I was looking for: punishing electricity distribution over great distances is not the effect I'm looking for, I'm looking for an excuse to use those expensive and now pretty substations. Also, I think real-life doesn't punish transmitting electricity over great distances as much as it does distributing it within metropolitan areas and large factories. The latter often take their power in at grid voltage (I remember working at a scrap yard that had an electric shredder that started up at 4.16kV and then used a massive rheostat to step it down to 3.00kV for when it was running - a local bottled water contractor dropped off water every week to top it off, as the tap water would cause damage.) I know that power factor correction is a line item on the power bill for large venues (and a catchphrase for scammers trying to sell useless fire hazards to plug into your home) because large inductive loads like massive conveyor system motors and metal shredders can cause the phase on the neutral return line to go out of synch, wasting power, and there are things like isolation transformers to compensate and filter loads. I don't know how good of an approximation of this my proposed mechanic is, but I strongly believe that realism in this area would tank performance for something I doubt would be so interesting that players are going to rush out for the latest AIO-cooled 2700X to keep their megafactories rolling at 60UPS. Koub and I agree on that I think :mrgreen:

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by mrvn » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:22 pm

ratchetfreak wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 2:11 pm
mrvn wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:07 am


On the other hand as shown by the save game size major parts of the save game are static data. So large parts of the save game would neither page fault nor copy anything.

And for the rest so what if the game is slower? At least you could still play while it saves.

OK. Saving in factorio is quite fast so it's not that annoying. I've recently played Anno 1404 and when autosave hits you can nearly go and make coffee.
Pages are allocated in 4kB blocks (or more depending on your kernel). Even a single byte being changed in a 4kB block means pagefault, copying that block, updating the mmu.

Factorio is memory latency bound which is a result of it needing to touch a lot of different places randomly.This means the first few frames after the fork or until the save process is complete are going to be lag hell.It at the same time you run out of ram and swapping gets involved you may as well head to the bathroom.
Which only means you should have been using allocators in your code. Allocate all decorations in one chunk of memory that doesn't change. Allocate inserters in a different chunk of memory that changes a lot. Now you only have a fraction of pages that change every tick.

Another benefit of this method is that iterating over all inserters will touch far fewer pages and cache lines meaning the hit rate of the TLB and data caches is greatly improved leading to a faster game.

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by bobucles » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:48 pm

I'm looking for an excuse to use those expensive and now pretty substations
But there already is a valid reason to use substations. They are more effective and easier to use. There was no need to add any extra mechanic at all to push players into using higher tier poles. Just use them for the extra utility they already have.
I don't know how good of an approximation of this my proposed mechanic is,
I'm going to go with "not at all". Absolutely nothing changes between powering a low tech burner base or a high tech beacon base. The same goal exists -Cover the base in blue tiles to make it work- and the solution -build more coverage- does not change. If there was any plan to make high voltage bases different from low voltage bases then it isn't visible at all. The mechanics that you describe aren't doing it.

Keep in mind that all this fancy voltage transmission gameplay remains nearly invisible to the player. There is no system for displaying complex power relationships and if something goes horribly wrong the player is left with very little feedback for what went wrong. So once again the question is "WHY". A system of tracking invisible things that break your base in invisible ways doesn't sound like fun. Factorio already has much better ways of showing things go wrong with belts, items and inserters.

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by posila » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:13 pm

Yeah, substations have some extra utility, and if you feel like they are not the best option for everything, that's great as it means we managed to design an actual choice for (at least one) player.

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by obuw » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:22 pm

ske wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:30 pm
obuw wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:57 pm
I made a suggestion about this a while ago: *please* consider making it so the autosave is done on each client. So when they rejoin the game, they can use the latest existing autosave they have, and only receive the information about events that took place since then. It would tremendously improve the load times in multiplayer.
If your UPS gets close to 60/s the time it'll take to apply the delta will go towards infinity. Even with 120 UPS catching up will take half as long as the time since the last save has been. E.g. if the last save has been 10 minutes ago it will take 5 minutes to catch up to the state when you started joining. But then the game will have progressed by the same time you took to catch up and you have to catch up that amount. And then again that remaining amount. This cycle repeats infinitely. Is joining even possible then? Only a philosopher who owns a turtle can answer that.
Your point is kind of moot as the game already does this applying delta business when you join a game. It first sends you the game (which can take several minutes if the host has a shitty upload speed) then it makes you catch up. And there are no "goes towards infinity" problems.

Why would 60/s UPS make it go towards infinity anyway? It doesn't take 1 second to transfer 60 UPS worth of data. I think your math is flawed here.
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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by Rseding91 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:43 pm

obuw wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:22 pm
ske wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:30 pm
obuw wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:57 pm
I made a suggestion about this a while ago: *please* consider making it so the autosave is done on each client. So when they rejoin the game, they can use the latest existing autosave they have, and only receive the information about events that took place since then. It would tremendously improve the load times in multiplayer.
If your UPS gets close to 60/s the time it'll take to apply the delta will go towards infinity. Even with 120 UPS catching up will take half as long as the time since the last save has been. E.g. if the last save has been 10 minutes ago it will take 5 minutes to catch up to the state when you started joining. But then the game will have progressed by the same time you took to catch up and you have to catch up that amount. And then again that remaining amount. This cycle repeats infinitely. Is joining even possible then? Only a philosopher who owns a turtle can answer that.
Your point is kind of moot as the game already does this applying delta business when you join a game. It first sends you the game (which can take several minutes if the host has a shitty upload speed) then it makes you catch up. And there are no "goes towards infinity" problems.

Why would 60/s UPS make it go towards infinity anyway? It doesn't take 1 second to transfer 60 UPS worth of data. I think your math is flawed here.
It takes 1 second to *apply* 60/s UPS of delta. The issue is when applying delta takes more time then just downloading the applied delta. Also delta has time to transfer over the network as well so it's not free of that.
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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by ske » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:54 pm

obuw wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:22 pm
ske wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:30 pm
If your UPS gets close to 60/s the time it'll take to apply the delta will go towards infinity.
Why would 60/s UPS make it go towards infinity anyway? It doesn't take 1 second to transfer 60 UPS worth of data. I think your math is flawed here.
I didn't formulate that clearly enough. The each delta of 1 second game time takes 1 second to apply as you mentioned. But during this second there will be another delta waiting. So, catching up will take infinitely long because there are always new deltas coming that you also need to apply and they are coming faster than you can apply them. If you've ever seen the loading bar when catching up get shorter and shorter, that's probably the reason.

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by yukinyaa » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:36 am

new substation graphic looks like combustion engine lol

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by bobingabout » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:56 am

posila wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:13 pm
Yeah, substations have some extra utility, and if you feel like they are not the best option for everything, that's great as it means we managed to design an actual choice for (at least one) player.
I usually only really use substations for solar farms. That or "Just can't be arsed to place power pole" builds in later stages of the game. Maybe some places where power poles don't seem to make as much sense (like in my Hydrazine power plant, It was almost solid pipes and chemical plants, there wasn't much space to add poles between)
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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by featherwinglove » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:45 am

bobucles wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:48 pm
But there already is a valid reason to use substations. They are more effective and easier to use.
Not for me. The one thing I'm usually out of is red circuits (or Bob equivalent ECBs), and I don't like wasting them on glorified power poles. I also often have trouble fitting them into tight builds because they're so much bigger than a normal power pole. I am indifferent at best.
bobucles wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:48 pm
featherwinglove wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:26 am
bobucles wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:12 pm
But a passive energy drain per pole dosen't punish electricity over distance. It punishes the power poles themselves.

Wasn't that the goal to be punishing energy transmission over long distance? A flat drain per pole isn't going to do it.
Exactly! :D You described precisely what I was looking for: punishing electricity distribution over great distances is not the effect I'm looking for, I'm looking for an excuse to use those expensive and now pretty substations. ...

I don't know how good of an approximation of this my proposed mechanic is,
I'm going to go with "not at all". ...

Keep in mind that all this fancy voltage transmission gameplay remains nearly invisible to the player. There is no system for displaying complex power relationships and if something goes horribly wrong the player is left with very little feedback for what went wrong.
What the actual :shock: ?? You switched between (apparently) understanding my objectives perfectly to talking complete nonsense, and I sure wish I could figure out what the heck happened.

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by capester » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:06 pm

Those tables in the Tshirt room look suspiciously like the ikea table I just bought...

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by christian » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:03 am

Just bought 2 shirts! Yay you guys are finally in stock.

How long does it take to arrive in the US usually?

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by Unknow0059 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:26 am

I really like the color for the solar panels. It's pleasing to the eyes.
Uh... yea

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Re: Friday Facts #270 - HR Substation & Save/Load overview

Post by featherwinglove » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:46 pm

Unknow0059 wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:26 am
I really like the color for the solar panels. It's pleasing to the eyes.
This post looks really cute next to your avatar :lol:

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