Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Regular reports on Factorio development.
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Hiladdar
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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by Hiladdar » Fri May 03, 2019 7:40 pm

Regarding marketing,

Videos and mods, with a relatively open architecture! What was done in both those categories was unleash the creative genius of your player base that can be leveraged into brand recognition. There are several well known major video channels dedicated to the game with play through or tutorials, as well as several thousand mods (1648 for .17 or 2251 for version .16 as of this post) for a pre-release version of the game. This can be leveraged into marketing campaign which will greatly increase the true value of the game. Marketing is not sales, but both marketing and sales are very closely tied to each other. Where as marketing is name recognition and developing a positive image of a brand, sales focuses more on income flow.

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by bluerock » Fri May 03, 2019 7:44 pm

I still think that if included and implemented well, a high resolution spidertron attack vehicle for end game could go a long way toward helping the game sell itself (even more than it does now). One of the best sales methods is players talking up the game by word of mouth. You need cool things to talk about. Trying to describe the game by talking about ordinary things such as tanks and rockets, doesn't quite sound as intriguing IMHO.
Last edited by bluerock on Fri May 03, 2019 8:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by Philip017 » Fri May 03, 2019 7:46 pm

I still prefer ghosts to these remnants, hopefully ghosts are still used once construction robots are researched, i will definitely rush construction bots to get my ghosts back.

i have really enjoyed the game, and very much hope that you will be very successful in the future, i have got way more than my $20 worth out of this game.
and have no problem buying it for a good friend that i know would enjoy it but is having a money problem at the moment. and have done so for a few already.
i also encourage my friends to try your demo to get a feel for the game.

:idea: i would like to recommend that you update the steam store page with a newly rendered version of the famous video made back in v12 with the new graphics of 17. i am specifically referring to the one that automatically plays when you load the store page. it may also be relevant to update the screen shots as well. i know you are probably going to do this at 1.0 anyway. but it's been a few years since the page has been updated! and you have sold over 2 million copies :!: not 110k. 8-12 months has turned into 40+ :roll: v14 to 1.0 turned into 15, then 16, and now 17, i am sure 18 is around the corner and as you improve more things 19 will follow. don't feel rushed to finish, or make 1.0 something that absolutely has to be the next version. i hope sincerely that even if you release a 1.0 that 1.1 will follow and you will continue to develop the game further, even if they are minor changes. :D
https://store.steampowered.com/app/427520/Factorio/

:o i realize that you broke a number of mods and soft mods while changing 'player' to 'character', lets hope this change smooths over soon, i know a lot of mod authors are probably working furiously updating their mods because of this change. 8-) this is what experimental versions are for after all, and yes it is definitely better to do a change like this before you release a stable version, or wait for the next release. ;)

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by Treij » Fri May 03, 2019 8:16 pm

Those new remnants look super cool, although I would appreciate an option (in graphic settigs) to revert them back to old ones. It is easier to tell them apart from non-destroyed entities. Will that be in game?
Also I fell in love with this idea:
MrFaul wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 5:05 pm
Jo I would buy a really expensive limited special edition with a high quality hand made hard cover book that includes:
  • All accumulated Friday Facts up to this point
  • Art work
  • Maybe Popular blueprints with description (and a exchange string QR Code)
  • Tips and tricks
  • Factorio dev history
  • Lore
  • 3-5 keys to gift to friends
I just imagine this really thick in scarred brown leather bound book on your shelve with its gold glistening embossed lettering "Factorio" on its back.
I think this game, its story and their developers deserve this kind of recognition.
This is just awesome.

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by Lockman » Fri May 03, 2019 8:22 pm

I'm not sure what outlets you could throw them at but player stories have gotten me into more games than anything else in the past few years. I first heard about Factorio from CGP Grey. He described a game so addicting it had taken over part of his life. A relatable story to be sure.

When I did buy the game, I was amazed by it's ability to turn my time into a virtual factory. At the time, I gamed from a recliner. I remember falling asleep playing Factorio, waking up, and just carrying on with Factorio. The game has a fantastic loop of challenges and satisfying solutions.

With the release of .17, I bought a second copy for a friend. He's an engineer at a large semiconductor company. I struggled trying to describe the game's appeal and he was quite skeptical about playing it. We played for about three hours a night for a few days. The next night, I was running a few minutes late and received a text, "the factory must grow."

We are now working our way toward 1kspm on our second map.

I'll also suggest youtubers but only in a specific way. Stay away from the streamer and youtube marketing mills and focus on collaborating with players that "get it." Katherine of Sky is a perfect example. A dev play though combined with some level or interview/Q&A at the same time would be fascinating.

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by bobingabout » Fri May 03, 2019 8:40 pm

Mod breaking changes. Okay, yes, you should have done it for 0.17.0, but that's in the past.
I'd rather you do what you did and do it now, before a 0.17 stable, that or wait until 0.18. I've had similar dilemmas myself, in fact I'm contemplating splitting a mod up, and yes, I'd rather do it now in 0.17 experimental, than wait to also break it for stable only players. The other option is wait for 0.18, but who knows when that might be.

and although, yes, I agree that character needs doing, I'm still against the renaming some technologies to the MK2 convention away from a -2 suffix. In my opinion, it should be going the opposite way around, remove all the items and technologies with mk2 in their name, and replace them with the more conventional -2 suffix used on everything else. From what I recall, the only places mk2 is used is on armor and equipment, it seems crazy to rename roboport and power armor technologies.
Creator of Bob's mods. Expanding your gameplay since version 0.9.8.

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by geomod87 » Fri May 03, 2019 9:10 pm

A popular news outlet you should look into would be Arstechnica.com. They do a "war stories" series about the challenges of game development. They also cater to the exact content you mentioned in the blog post. Definitely could be a valuable partner in getting the factorio story out there.

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by Dixi » Fri May 03, 2019 9:12 pm

In an article about GameDevTycoon, their creators complains, that their game is bought legally for less then 10% of users. Their statistics looks artificial, since it's 1st day of sales. As I heard, a lot of players prefer to download "free torrent demo", to see what games looks like. Some of them might buy it a few days later if they like the game.
I wonder is there any statistic about Factorio - what percent of players prefer to stay with "free torrent version"?

About a way, how you should advertise Factorio. I'm not sure, what to advice, but I'd like to share my story of finding this game.
1st time I heard about Factorio, was some years ago. Text was telling, that the game is about "building big factories" and I saw a screenshot, of massive nuclear power station or nuclear fuel production part (I don't remember now, nether was able to understand at that time). I said to my friend, that the game, that let one build such massive repeatable structure is really oriented for "advanced minecraft fans" (I dislike it, because of graphics) and is very likely too boring, and we turned to a next game.
About a year later I watched some "lets plays" about Factorio on youtube, and decided that this game worth to try. Currently I like this game very much, played a few maps, launched some rockets, completed 35 of 38 Steam Factorio achievements, and build one reasonable size 2k SPM base. Tried to plays with Bob or Angel mods several times but never got to pink science in a modded game.
So I think, in game adv, you should mention some way, that Factorio, while letting one to build big and complicated factories is still easy to learn and understand.
Last edited by Dixi on Fri May 03, 2019 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by Seaish » Fri May 03, 2019 9:34 pm

It sounds like what you are looking for is a noclip documentary, like Astroneer's (but hopefully not as sad). I don't know how they decide which games to cover or if they have time, but you could probably contact them to see.

You should reach out to the game-related sites of course, like Kotaku, Eurogamer, Polygon, Rock Paper Shotgun. They should be easy to find since their job is to show up in search results. This is where the "core gamers" would expect to find news about the game. People who read these would be more likely to already know about Factorio, but it also gives them something to share with their friends/the internet. Being more than just an announcement and a review would be key here.
FlynnFact wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 4:49 pm
For marketing, I would reach out to anything related to Engineering and Science.
I like this idea. Probably won't get too many takers, but would be worth it for finding people who haven't heard of the game yet. I think Ars Technica might be interested in something that's both business-related and technological.

The usual content creator crowd like KoS, Xterm, Nilaus, etc. will of course make content like usual, but it might be interesting to do an interview with them, invite them to the office, or something like that. This is just gambling with the YouTube algorithm: it might put these unique videos into new people's homepage, might not. Then you can also reach out to other streamers like Markiplier for just gameplay (which I hear is how a lot of people found out about the game originally). Depending on how much time you want to spend on it, you could do developer multiplayer sessions with content creators and/or the userbase.

For large numbers of smaller streamers, sounds like your options are either giving out keys with something like keymailer, or translating money into views with bounties. This doesn't intrude on anyone like conventional ads, but also doesn't have any added value, so it's not the best method.

Other things that you probably already know about: update the website (still thinking about adding food?) and steam page, make a new trailer or two, add spidertron.

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by thecatlover1996 » Fri May 03, 2019 9:48 pm

Regarding spreading the word on Factorio: you could try to mention it in the Friday Facts. I'm sure that most of the people that read the Friday Facts, will also enjoy Factorio :lol:

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by ManaUser » Fri May 03, 2019 10:18 pm

IMHO, the wall remnants look a little too flat compared to the others, like the wall was ground into a fine powder... What about some nice toppled chunks?

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by starholme » Fri May 03, 2019 10:24 pm

geomod87 wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 9:10 pm
A popular news outlet you should look into would be Arstechnica.com. They do a "war stories" series about the challenges of game development. They also cater to the exact content you mentioned in the blog post. Definitely could be a valuable partner in getting the factorio story out there.
I second this! Ars Technica is the ONLY news site I've ever paid a subscription for. I check it at least every couple hours when I'm awake. They do some good reviews, and have a large audience that would be right up your alley.

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by bobucles » Fri May 03, 2019 10:24 pm

Factorio is about building factories. The best way to advertise that is to show some factories! Everything from spaghetti, green bases and rocket farms to trains, crazy circuit builds and comfy BBQ. There is an incredible scale between small and large that other games simply don't have, and an enormous attention to algorithm optimizing that most developers don't ever consider.

The factorio world can handle a hundred thousand independent, working objects while most games struggle beyond 2 digits of moving things. There's some impressive technical stuff happening under the hood. How many months went into perfecting belts into moving thousands of items for a handful of CPU cycles? That sort of stuff shows the dedication of the team and helps advertise the strong points that aren't easy to show off.

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by exi2163 » Fri May 03, 2019 10:27 pm

I like the idea of a collectors edition. Back in the old days you would get a nice box, printed manuals and sometimes artwork and other stuff with your game. Collectors editions bring back some of that old glory and a bit more.

For marketing i really liked the idea of a dev actually playing along the youtuber (Gronkh / long journey home) and explaining key strategies and design decisions instead of just giving them the key and tell 'em to "get cracking". Might also work for factorio.

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by mrcalzon02 » Fri May 03, 2019 10:56 pm

i just want to say, buying factorio is some of the best cash i have ever spent :) and yes a Few youtubers who have covered the game before out of love or for free getting a message from you going "Hey ill pay you to do a play through for release day"

Getting a few of them to work together would be an awesome event. (personally i would love to see a big collab multiplayer with like Yogscast crew,Aavak,Markilplier and a few others :P perhaps in a mulitplayer event hosted by you or one of them which would be streamers only ?( perhaps titled "How many you-tubers does it take to launch a rocket?"

maybe a bit of art perhaps of all the streamers who do a big launch day event. ( a collection of launched rockets in space with their little avatars riding the rockets :idea: each rocket having a theme of the build style of that streamer creator )

Perhaps you could have a competition? 2 would actually be best( a pre launch multi day promoter competition and a open public one) maybe have teams and a set start time, which ever team reaches space first wins? with prizes for 1st (super awesome metal trophy+something?/cash prize) 2nd small cash prize/pizza coupon. 3rd some cool prize like a 3d printed factorio gear trophy and so on.

also is there a press bundle? if not make one !

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by bw_mutley » Fri May 03, 2019 11:15 pm

Things like pricing $30 instead of $29.99, no sales, no micro-transactions, game stability over features, no selling-out to big companies that would use the game as cash grab while destroying the brand (we actually declined to negotiate "investment opportunities" like this several times already, no matter what the price would be), the same would be when it would potentially come to any exclusivity deals, which is its own subject...
Dear developers, I have said it before, but it seens as you never have enough of amazing me. You are simply awesome. You are true representatives of old school game comunity. I am sure I will buy at least another copy of Factorio as a gift to my nephew when you realease 1.0. You have my support and I will do as I can to spread the word about your work, and I know there is a legion of players who will be glad to do it.

Best regards!

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by Drison » Fri May 03, 2019 11:19 pm

From kovarex:
The famous quote of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and also "No bullshit policy" is something we take very seriously all the time during the development since the early days. Things like pricing $30 instead of $29.99, no sales, no micro-transactions, game stability over features, no selling-out to big companies that would use the game as cash grab while destroying the brand (we actually declined to negotiate "investment opportunities" like this several times already, no matter what the price would be), the same would be when it would potentially come to any exclusivity deals, which is its own subject...
Kovarex, I love the work you guys do, but as a gamer, and a "big company" corporate overlord, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with your statement here. Specifically your denigration of adding new features...

First, let me say that I love Factorio, and have played countless hours (I was playing long before I had an account on this forum). But I believe major elements of your approach to 1.0 are seriously flawed. This isn't intended to be personal, rather, its about business. In terms of my background, I've run a $20M per year software engineering/development shop for a major US-based company (but never done games so take this with a grain of salt).

The problem I see for the Factorio team is that I believe Factorio has already largely reached a market saturation point - I've yet to be in a group of 5+ gamers where at least one of them hasn't heard of Factorio. While it seems that your strategy is to bring the game to more "mainstream" publications and sources, in an attempt to covert those likely non-simulator/strategy gamers to Factorio players, I think that's a risky approach. To me it seems that you've spent nearly a year putting all your eggs in to the big 1.0 "platinum plated" release basket. It's great that you're focusing on stability, and working things to assist new players in getting in to the game, but at the same time have you considered that you're largely neglecting your established fan base? The people whom have hundreds if not thousands of hours in the game? Whom have researched everything and played through multiple times? Please consider, will a new campaign or tutorial really be new content to those players? I'm sure they'd love to have new vehicles, new biter types (flying?), new buildings, new weapons, new biomes (space stations/platforms anyone?). I know I'd love to see some of that.

I think at some point very soon the Factorio team would be best served stepping back from the gold/platinum/diamond plating of the existing, already highly functional baseline and instead work on new features. Just think of how many current players would love to see that? Even if you don't care about the revenue you could rake in by selling some of that as DLCs, new content for long time/dedicated players would be a nice reward for the community that has stood beside you, told all their friends about the game, bought their friends copies, etc..

Bottom line, in my "big company" job I often see dedicated, talented software developers, when left unimpeded, getting too deep in to the process of polishing and perfecting, and thus missing out on the big picture.

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by Ultros » Fri May 03, 2019 11:26 pm

the same would be when it would potentially come to any exclusivity deals, which is its own subject...
This alone makes the alleged "competitor" product not even worth considering.

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by NastyFlytrap » Fri May 03, 2019 11:35 pm

I just wanted to say that the connection between people who enjoy problem solving, and factorio could also be an interesting topic. Im thinking Psychological personality traits that make you want to play factorio because its premise appeals to you, or traits that give you a headstart against more creative people like artists (at the game)

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Re: Friday Facts #293 - New remnants 2 & 1.0 Marketing plan

Post by makeitgraphic18 » Sat May 04, 2019 12:30 am

Drison wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 11:19 pm
Bottom line, in my "big company" job I often see dedicated, talented software developers, when left unimpeded, getting too deep in to the process of polishing and perfecting, and thus missing out on the big picture.
He's well aware of this:

kovarex wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:52 pm
We could polish forever so we need to draw a line. At some point, it is better to call it good enough and move on
That said the community regales in their polishing efforts, and I don't think people would be too disappointed in further polishing even after a final release.

Also regarding dlc from their website, you can also find lots of stuff on the forums.
Possible future content
There are plenty of ideas on our forums. The following list is just a couple of ideas we would love to see in the game in the future, maybe in a Factorio expansion/DLC.

Space platforms
Build and launch space platforms that can travel to asteroids or other planets. The platform would be a factory within a limited amount of space. Use the platforms to mine exotic resources from asteroids, supply goods to trade stations, or land on new planets. But beware, space is full of threats!

Alien interaction
If you are nice to them, they are nice to you. Keep the pollution low and you can learn about the planet inhabitants. Maybe even trade or cooperate with them. Or just take advantage of them. Catch them, study them in research facilities so you can come up with better ways to "deal with them".

RTS elements
In the late game you have this monstrous factory full of machines, trains and flying robots. But you are still a guy running around on your own. Wouldn't it be cool if you could get into your command center and just give orders to your building / combat drones?

Moving underground
So you have tamed the surface of the planet. But how about going below the ground?

Food industry
Now you are alone, but there might be colonists coming here. Better prepare to grow some food for them. Or maybe feed the biters trapped in your research facilities? Also how about using bio-fuels/bio-plastics for your factory?

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