Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

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AndrewIRL
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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by AndrewIRL »

Tutorial: New changes are welcome, I liked the old one but it gave the new player the wrong impression about the combat balance. I watched a friend, new player, go through the tutorial and then start a freeplay game. He went through EVERY option and nerfed the biters as much as possible. It was tough convincing him to leave them on at all. New players shouldn't come away terrified of biters.

Demo: Seems a little generous. I must be a mean Scrooge or something. I'd remove splitters, underground belt AND pipe, and long handled inserters from the crafting. Maybe remove the car as well. When they hit a milestone gift them some items (not the ability to craft) to show them what else is in the game, but only one milestone on a playthrough.

Play demo first time: Hit milestone - get a tank
Play demo second time: Hit milestone - get modular armor with some items
Play demo third time: Hit milestone - get 20 laser turrets

At some point the player will realize these are all from the full game and if they want to have ALL these cool toys in a single playthrough, rather than one per game, they'll need to buy the full game.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by abregado »

AndrewIRL wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:33 pm
Tutorial: New players shouldn't come away terrified of biters.
This. We will put some serious tough biter challenges in the full length campaign.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by DanGio »

so, the new assembling machine design will be close to what we see now on the introduction. Does that include size ? :)

(FFF-301)

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by Faark »

abregado wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 8:52 pm
Ahh I think you finished the quest to put turrets near iron, then moved the turrets further out afterwards (or had turrets in both places). I will look into it but it isn't one that everyone will suffer from. Try reloading and removing your outer most turrets in the meantime.
Thanks. Yes there is a line of turrets very far west, and one to the east. I removed the western one and the animation goes a little further, but then crashes with a different error :(

Code: Select all

The scenario level caused a non-recoverable error.
Please report this error to the scenario author.

Error while running event level::on_tick (ID 0)
__base__/lualib/colony_controller.lua:533: attempt to index field 'next_build' (a nil value)
stack traceback:
	__base__/lualib/colony_controller.lua:533: in function 'instant_spend_on_colony'
	__base__/lualib/npe/cutscenes/west_spawner_close.lua:107: in function 'action'
	__core__/lualib/story_2.lua:192: in function 'update'
	__base__/lualib/npe/storytable.lua:138: in function '?'
	__base__/lualib/event_handler.lua:7: in function <__base__/lualib/event_handler.lua:4>
colony_controller.lua line 533 looks like a simple NPE, but removing it just makes the game freeze instead. I'll attach my savegame (pre turret removal), but removing the belt in the way of the enemy base about to spawn seems to have worked. Or do you want me to make a proper bug report in the support section?
Attachments
Scen17_v1.zip
(2.05 MiB) Downloaded 12 times

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by Blaster »

So, I played through the intro once again. Cleared the map of biters eventually. I see they spawn in on the left constantly as well.

Nice easter eggs in the map.

Oh, and why should I build walls when I can just make walls with buildings? Dragon's Teeth Furnaces works better, because I don't have to be arsed with setting up brick smelting, and I don't have to research gates to get through.
Attachments
Intro-Post-Stable.zip
My save.
(2.76 MiB) Downloaded 29 times
Walls? The Terran Defense works just fine
Walls? The Terran Defense works just fine
endgame-intro.jpg (709.52 KiB) Viewed 1562 times

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by Goose »

at chords [-97,31], a strange invisible hitbox is shown to the player. Appreciate Y'all!
Image

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by Blaster »

Oh, almost forgot to mention. The bounding boxes for the diagonal cliff edges are too big. If you look at my save, you'll see places where I had to move belts 1 tile over because I thought they would build across visually, but apparently I can't squeeze a belt in with a couple pixels between it and the cliff.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by warlordship »

I just tried out the demo a bit. It's my first time doing it since the original pre-steam version. So my thoughts may be a mix of things changed in this newest changes and of the changes since the original overhaul.
------------
1- The debris scattered around is strange. Half of them are minable (for gears), the rest - at a quick glance - seem to be worthless. I got as far as starting research, so I found a use for the assemblers, lab, and power. The ship-shaped chunk is still a mystery to me, and I even went back to it to try to mine it for more gears (see me running out of gears, below). The storage chunks blend in with the dirt they sit on too well. I didn't find the second one until I tried to loot EVERY chunk in the base.

2- The robot tore up my current iron production to lay down some inefficiently placed miners and belts and furnaces. It also appears to have placed way more items than I gave it. It was strange to hand the guy one or two burner inserters only for him to lay down 5, plus more miners, and more belts. I'd recommend you have him request ALL that he puts down (to show that this is what you can build with what you made already) or build less.

3- Also, what happened to the belts and miners I already placed and used in order to make the belts and inserters he asked for? It felt a bit rude he tore up a functioning setup in order to set down a sub-par setup that put belts on top of ore.

4- Do the miners run slower than in normal? It felt like the burner miners were mining coal WAY slower than they do in freeplay.

5- The game doesn't teach storage to me soon enough. I had settled in with the thought that I can't/shouldn't build anything the game hadn't taught me to do yet. But early in the game it wanted you to use the burner miner to mine coal, but hadn't taught about storage. It took me a minute of sucking up the coal on the ground before I re-checked the inventory and saw wood chests were available. I had by that time used a spare furnace as a coal storage before I found chests.

6- Why take so long to give us a toolbar? I just suddenly discovered it was down at the bottom quite a few quests in. I had already wanted it earlier, when you had me place burners and furnaces. It feels like asking the player to open their inventory several times to get items before giving us a toolbar. Which you didn't teach, btw.

7- I think people can get the idea of toolbars from other games, but the way you clear icons in this one differs VASTLY from other games. It's only because I know to middle-click a slot to clear a filter that I can move stuff. I started thinking of other games that have toolbars, and they let you drop an item onto an existing slot to over-ride it. Maybe allow that here, but bring back "locked" slots again to prevent over-writing of set filters.

7.5- Related, why can you select a toolbar slot and see EVERY SINGLE ITEM IN THE GAME? Without the categories (which you leave out in this section), it's a bit scary to see a giant sprite-sheet. Since you can't even build some of them (nuclear, liquids), maybe consider removing them from being put on the toolbar in the campaign. Even better, maybe do not include anything in this list until you can build it - via research. Leave it in the base freeplay game, but maybe restrict it here.

8- You prevent us from making gears by hand, while still asking for us to hand the helper some burner inserters. I had ran out of gears by this point because I was building lots of belts to get copper going (or to re-arrange iron production, I can't remember). I had to suck up gears off the belt, which I felt was a bit strange to do. It'd probably be pretty easy for a new player to use up their gears, then wonder why they can't make any more inserters.

9- Why use chests before a machine is usable? I suggest you make the assemblers like chests that only have room for the exact amount of each item the building demands. This way, once the building becomes operational, the inserter will already be set up for taking the plates off the belt and putting them into the machine to make gears. Similarly, the same can be done with the science assembler. Have it ask for X of each item, but inserted directly into it. Then, once it has enough, change it into an assembler that takes in the ingredients. I had to move a belt because I removed the inserter and chest for one of these two assemblers.

9.5- Related, I was producing more gears than copper, and made enough gears. The assembler still needed copper. I was doing a double-sided belt with gear/copper, as you do for red science. They both ended at the chest for the assembler. If I had no copper on the belt, the inserter kept putting in gears. It was strange, as it no longer needed any gears but kept inserting them anyway. What if I set the inserter, then before I got copper set up and belted it had sucked up several hundred gears? Can the chest be filled by the wrong item, and clogging it? I hadn't checked to see if I could remove an item from the chest (I couldn't access the iron plate chest before the gear assembler was fixed). It ended up picking copper over gears in the end, but I didn't test to see if that was because it PRIORITIZED copper (because it was full of gears), or because of the way it picks items on a belt facing it.

10- The space between the assembler ship chunk and the lab ship chunk wasn't clear enough to indicate I could put an inserter there to direct insert science. Maybe clear the space there a bit so it looks EXACTLY one square wide, and would be a good spot for an inserter. I wonder if there is a good opportunity there to teach direct insertion to the player as an option rather than assembler > belt > assembler.

11- Why does the robot have so much health? He seems to have a lot more details in his pane than I expected for a tutorial/intro, and saw him with 100K or more health made me instantly want to shoot him to see if he is even targetable (can't be melee'd, at least). If he isn't targetable by me or biters (later on), then why show health?

12- The power plant serves as a power pole AND generator in one. Which makes me wonder why we don't have that already on the 4 current power generators. It'd be handle, and could help simplify some builds. Imagine a solar panel blueprint that doesn't need to leave room for the substations in it. It may help some new players who can't understand why their steam engines are not working, since you didn't put THEM under a power pole. Having a power pole connect to them automatically would be interesting. I'm not sure how solar panels would work like this, but having a wire come from a pole on the steam engine/turbine or accumulators would be neat. You could even let them chain wires from engine to engine, so it indicates all the engines in an array are part of the same array. Giving them a small power provider range around them (even one square) would help sync up with them being like a power pole.

*- (Now that I think more about that, can we please get this? Let power producers give out a wire connection, and auto-connect to nearby poles/producers.)

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by RocketManChronicles »

abregado wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:48 pm
AndrewIRL wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:33 pm
Tutorial: New players shouldn't come away terrified of biters.
This. We will put some serious tough biter challenges in the full length campaign.
I hope (HOPE) that the final mission is an absolute battle for survival. Throw everything and the kitchen sink at us. I want to barely survive to the point that victory is the sweetest feeling in the world!

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by JD-Plays »

abregado wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:59 pm
I'm just whipping up a fix for this. My bus to Frankfurt (and then on to Australia for holidays) leaves in 40 minutes so I think i can squeeze in a bug fix for you all.
Thanks for this, Coming to visit are you? I'm assuming that the choice to visit in winter was to avoid the EU heat wave... got bad news its still 25c most days

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by Jap2.0 »

Ah, nice. I have lots to say about the demo, but we'll work our way into that.
V453000 wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:54 pm
Even though it was not my idea, I was very significantly responsible for the changes and they would not have happened without my agreement, therefore you can fully blame me for them... and sacrifice me to the dark gods if that is what you desire.
V, you know that most of us aren't dumb enough to sacrifice (just) you, right? :P
Oktokolo wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:00 pm
The demo craftables list looks like you should expect a lot of screenshots exhibiting production lines with two tiles between assemblers and belts instead of the usual one.
Always thought long-handed ones to be a derivative of yellow ones.
Yeah... we still have yellow inserters, right? They're in one of the screenshots.
Optera wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:04 pm
Having read comments before playing the tutorial I went into it like I would on deathworld. I survived rather easily.
I did the same, not playing the demo until quite a few versions in. I went in full deathworld mode and didn't find it especially hard. (Sure, it was by no means easy, and less so before I got my defenses up, but after that there was no challenge.)
The old demo has a very limited amount of content, and only about 2 hours of playtime.
Hmm, I got... I don't know (the game won't load/show playtime for the saves anymore)... maybe 15 hours out of it? I got some interesting puzzles out of it.

Underground belts, splitters, and the like will extend gameplay significantly. The major limitation before was that there was no way for two belts to cross, which complicated things a bit.

Is the introduction in the game exactly the same as the demo?

Other tech tree quirks:
Are we following the paradigm of "everything must rely on the technology for that science pack"? Because if so... it doesn't.
The three military techs could use some differentiation. Like, you know, a "1", "2", and "3".
...why is there a robot carrying capacity tech?
Some of those techs are completely different items, but I guess they symbolize decently.
Why shooting speed but no damage?

I went into the game; apparently the whole tech tree is visible from the start (contrary to what I for some reason believed). Observations:
Hey, you followed (iirc) my advice and the electric inserters tech now has a picture of a yellow inserter!
(And yes, yellow inserters are still there)
In-game, more stuff relies on green science, but not everything.
Apparently it's basic, 1, and 2. Still with no numbers.
Repair packs, apparently? Not sure if that's the best icon.
Infinite shooting speed, but no damage. Resource balancing?
Advanced material processing is the only technology without a description.
Is it just me that "progress never ending" (mining prod description) sounds weird to? It kind of works, but I'd go with "never ending progress" or "progress unending".
Apparently "science juice" is now an official term.
Weapon shooting speed says that it just increases the shooting speed of gun turrets, but the name and "bullet shooting speed" bonus seem to imply otherwise? (it's at the very end, so I can't test right now.)

All in all, I'm excited to try it.
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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by ManaUser »

One quick nitpick: In the evacuation stage it asks me to pick things up. But I'd already picked up everything I wanted in the previous step (OK, yeah I've played it before, but to me "prepare to evacuate" implies "pack your stuff" so I doubt I'd be the only one to respond that way). Not sure precisely what would be a better way to handle this... but it's a minor rough edge IMHO. Had to place some thing and pick the up again to continue.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by fnkrjnkie »

eh.... honestly the demo having the huge wave of enemies is a terrible decision. Biters/enemys in general should be disabled by default in the demo and the game. Leave the biters on as an option for for people wanting more of a challenge. They really do seem to be not liked as a general consensus. But I can understand as a developer disabling biters also takes away a huge chunk of the game aka researching military/weapons/etc.... But honestly.... the game is still great and fine without that. It really should just be an added difficulty experience. Not a default one. Just a personal opinion

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by Gergely »

wheybags wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:17 pm
Gergely wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:15 pm
Finally!!! What I have actually been waiting for!
What have you been waiting for?
The demo version so that I can show this game my friend without having to essentially send him a copy of the DRM free full version.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by abregado »

Blaster wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:14 pm
Oh, almost forgot to mention. The bounding boxes for the diagonal cliff edges are too big.
This is being looked at.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by abregado »

ManaUser wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:33 am
One quick nitpick: In the evacuation stage it asks me to pick things up. But I'd already picked up everything I wanted in the previous step.
If there is nothing left to take, the quest should auto complete. Ill look into it.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by abregado »

JD-Plays wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:51 am
Thanks for this, Coming to visit are you?
Sort of "visit". I'm from Melbourne originally but I am immigrating to Europe. This will be my last trip home for several years.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by abregado »

Thanks for the long feedback.

It seems that a few of your points are simply you becoming confused because your regular Freeplay methodologies are not available in this scenario. I will address the other points because you have some good feedback here.
warlordship wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:18 pm
3- Also, what happened to the belts and miners I already placed and used in order to make the belts and inserters he asked for? It felt a bit rude he tore up a functioning setup in order to set down a sub-par setup that put belts on top of ore.
...
5- The game doesn't teach storage to me soon enough. I had settled in with the thought that I can't/shouldn't build anything the game hadn't taught me to do yet.
You are contradicting yourself here. If you are doing only what you were told, why did you build your own iron smelting setup? :D
warlordship wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:18 pm
1- The debris scattered around is strange. Half of them are minable (for gears), the rest - at a quick glance - seem to be worthless.
The low res sprites from a bygone era are going to be replaced eventually, but ALL the minable ones should contain Iron gears.
warlordship wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:18 pm
2- The robot tore up my current iron production to lay down some inefficiently placed miners and belts and furnaces. It also appears to have placed way more items than I gave it. It was strange to hand the guy one or two burner inserters only for him to lay down 5, plus more miners, and more belts. I'd recommend you have him request ALL that he puts down (to show that this is what you can build with what you made already) or build less.
This is to give new players a bit of a speed boost. Since production growth is exponential in Factorio, this helps get them over the very early stage.
warlordship wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:18 pm
6- Why take so long to give us a toolbar? I just suddenly discovered it was down at the bottom quite a few quests in. I had already wanted it earlier, when you had me place burners and furnaces. It feels like asking the player to open their inventory several times to get items before giving us a toolbar. Which you didn't teach, btw.
The toolbar tutorial will come when it and all the GUIs are complete. For now, it is actually more confusing for new players to use than just accessing their inventory.


warlordship wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:18 pm
8- You prevent us from making gears by hand, while still asking for us to hand the helper some burner inserters. I had ran out of gears by this point because I was building lots of belts to get copper going (or to re-arrange iron production, I can't remember). I had to suck up gears off the belt, which I felt was a bit strange to do. It'd probably be pretty easy for a new player to use up their gears, then wonder why they can't make any more inserters.
Yes, the player says "Why cant I built inserters?", looks and answers "oh, they need gears". This is so that player understands that those recipes include Intermediate items. Learning the game with hand crafting enabled just makes Intermediate products invisible. A common question I spontaneously asked veterans was "What are the ingredients for a lab?". Basically, nobody, including those on the developer team, remembered that Labs require belts.
warlordship wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:18 pm
I suggest you make the assemblers like chests that only have room for the exact amount of each item the building demands.
This was tried but just allows the player to hand load the items in, which means they dont build belts and inserters. So I tried it with not being able to hand load, and then it gives the impression that an Assembling machine is made from the items you loaded in (except in this case it is the ingredients for the recipe it is making). The scenario should not overwrite any concepts from Freeplay with special versions.
warlordship wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:18 pm
Can the chest be filled by the wrong item, and clogging it?
Just try it next time and tell me if it is bugged.
warlordship wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:18 pm
10- The space between the assembler ship chunk and the lab ship chunk wasn't clear enough to indicate I could put an inserter there
This is a massive issue and I will fix it asap. Thanks for clearing up why several people did not build an inserter there.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by abregado »

Jap2.0 wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:52 am
The old demo has a very limited amount of content, and only about 2 hours of playtime.
Hmm, I got... I don't know (the game won't load/show playtime for the saves anymore)... maybe 15 hours out of it? I got some interesting puzzles out of it.

Underground belts, splitters, and the like will extend gameplay significantly. The major limitation before was that there was no way for two belts to cross, which complicated things a bit.

Is the introduction in the game exactly the same as the demo?
Ahh, I meant the original pre 0.15 Demo, which is still available on our website. Load it up and have a go. I remember your previous playthrough of the earlier versions of Introduction Scenario. Thanks for the feedback you gave.

Yeah the Introduction scenario is the same in the full game and in the demo. We would expect that it is the first thing a new player plays, regardless of if they paid for the game or not.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by Ojelle »

SPOILER WARNING: If you have not yet played the Introduction Scenario, go play it before you read this.


Goddammit, now I have to play the intro before I can read the FFF!
Alright, it's booting.
Choumiko wrote:
sillyfly wrote:kovarex just posted the thread... but with #118 in the title. I think they had too much beer :D
It's a wonder how good the game is, if you consider how bad they are with the FFF numbers :mrgreen:

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