Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

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factory33
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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by factory33 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:02 pm

jodokus31 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:11 pm
mm.lion wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:54 am
factory33 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:21 pm
PacifyerGrey wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:33 pm
newllama wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:14 pm
In the old campaign, "A New Hope" level 2 the player discovers a large base that has been decimated by biters. I remember that this was the level that my imagination really kicked into high gear. I think that without that glimpse into the future I might not have had the curiosity to continue through to freeplay. I feel strongly that the current demo would benefit from something like this. It also gives you guys a chance to show off all those cool new remnant assets you created.
Maybe the devs could update the old campaign (or the part with the base rebuilding at least) to the current rules and map generation and so on, since it seems quite popular. It could be included again in the game as a bonus "nostalgia" scenario. :)
Would be some work but I assume less work then making more content from scratch.
After release of course...

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by BlueTemplar » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:45 pm

T-A-R wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:26 pm
doppelEben wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:06 pm

The execution of this app represents f.E. a risk for the PC.

Overheating and unresponsible up times, perhaps. Quite ironical as windows is the biggest threat here IMHO. Ok enough kidding.

Isn't that warning standard on Windows? Everything downloaded from the worldwide scam net forms a potential threat if you are unsure about the source where it is downloaded from..
[...]
Yeah, don't you get this warning these days, for every executable, every single bit of which wasn't specifically checked by Microsoft ?

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by ManaUser » Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:22 am

abregado wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:28 am
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.
Fair enough. And I'm not certain there was literally nothing left, I collected everything that seemed worth while, but there could have been a single some little bit left.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by Sphinx » Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:26 pm

I tryed the demo scenario. The only thing as veteran that stoppend me was when the game told me to "Research the Blackbox. I was looking around for 5 Minutes where on the map the Blackbox is located until i realized that its a normal research.
I could be a translation problem: English: Research and explore. German: research and explore use the same word "Erforschen"

In the end i was surprisingly stressed be this map. And though it's to hard for an introduction i must be doing something wrong :)

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by abregado » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:07 am

idgod wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:40 am
"Research the Crash site black box"..... okay I was "trapped" about 2-5mins... I thought I have to search for the black box in a wreck part which are now accessable. I couldn't find anything, I thought this was my fault or a bug, that I cannot find a item anywhere, until I checked the technology tree.

Change to "Research the Crash site black box in the research tree" possible for newbs like me? :D
Im going to change the name of this technology, as a lot of people thought they need to find an item.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by abregado » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:18 am

newllama wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:14 pm
In the old campaign, "A New Hope" level 2 the player discovers a large base that has been decimated by biters.
This will most likely make it in, but it is for the final art pass on the map. For 0.17 stable it isn't classified as high priority.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by jodokus31 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:25 am

abregado wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:18 am
newllama wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:14 pm
In the old campaign, "A New Hope" level 2 the player discovers a large base that has been decimated by biters.
This will most likely make it in, but it is for the final art pass on the map. For 0.17 stable it isn't classified as high priority.
Nice :)

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by abregado » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:27 am

Thanks for the long feedback.
vampiricdust wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:01 am
Compilatron is still a pain. He sits right where I want to build my steam engines. Lot better than the first version of this Introduction scenario, but perhaps he should sit closer to the water where he's less likely to be in the way.
Yeah, this is because it has only one wait point. Ive got a Card to give it more than one wait position, but it isnt implemented yet.
vampiricdust wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:01 am
The bitters feel way too aggressive and I think this mostly due to the game's objectives pressuring players to rush through them rather than play around and experiment. The faster you rush through the objectives, the harder the game gets. I think putting in more objectives to building up the base before going into the bitter attacks would be welcome.
If you do not consider the scripted cutscene attack in the first half, they are far less aggressive than in a default freeplay game.
vampiricdust wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:01 am
There was nothing about pollution and as a new player, I wouldn't even know that was a thing. The bitters just seemed to attack ever more, so often by scripted events that gives a sense of bitters will always attack in increasing amounts. I think after the bitters expand from the west, having a short explanation that buildings generate pollution and will trigger more attacks would give players a clue that defenses have to grow with the production.
It is explained briefly that killing spawners will lower the amount of attacks you suffer. This is the least abstract way of explaining pollution.
vampiricdust wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:01 am
There was also nothing to tell players about fish and the HP restoring powers of sushi. Having Compilatron chill by the shore after the move, then have him mention how tasty those fish look, might be a nice way to hint at this for players without telling them.
It was decided that fish are an easter egg item, not a core gameplay mechanic.
vampiricdust wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:01 am
Also, I was surprise to see the bitters expanding on their own. As a long time player, I already know this, but I didn't expect it after clearing some nests out. It might be worth mentioning when the bitters expand from the west to bring up that bitters will try to fill empty areas if left undefended. Calling this level a tutorial is very misleading. Not enough is explained of how hostile the bitters will be when the focus is assumed to be on how to make stuff.
Here we have a catch 22. If i tell a new player that they can stop biters from re-colonizing, they will put a turret in every dead base and never see it happen. If i just let it happen, the player sees it and then counters without any explaination.
vampiricdust wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:01 am
There were no prompts from the Compilatron when I using more power than I produced. It might be good to have a trigger for Compilatron to suggest making more steam engines in the same way he prompts for out of fuel items. Pointing out that powered buildings work more slowly when under powered would give players something to watch for.
Compilatron does show you when you have low power... if you only have one steam engine. If you have two or more steam engines it only shows you if you have low steam (not enough boilers). It is assumed that if you build more power that you already know how to increase power production.
vampiricdust wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:01 am
The last thing I will add is that I think the items in the GUI should be put into columns and organized together like they would be in the Free Play tabs. It's confusing as the number of craftable items increase.
Im waiting on the new Character/Inventory screen to be done before I change it. Currently if the Introduction recipes are grouped into the 4 categories, it is more confusing for new players at the beginning, since there is only 1 recipe in each category.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by abregado » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:41 am

factoriouzr wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:15 pm
Thanks for the reply. There are multiple developers however and the game has been fully playable for a long time now, why not split the resources on bug fixes and new features? There are no game breaking bugs anymore.
We work in cycles. Since every feature is "owned" by the developer who created it, it is important that all developers are able to work on bugs for a period of time.
factoriouzr wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:15 pm
Also since you say that your team is focused on resolving issues, then why has the single player campaign gotten so much development time as it's not a bug, it's a new feature you are adding? What you just said contradicts what you are doing with the campaign.
The campaign is primarily worked on by me, and Im not considered a programmer, nor have I worked on any game features.
TLDR; I work on the campaign and Im not allowed to touch the engine :D

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by RocketManChronicles » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:06 am

abregado wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:27 am
vampiricdust wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:01 am
There was also nothing to tell players about fish and the HP restoring powers of sushi. Having Compilatron chill by the shore after the move, then have him mention how tasty those fish look, might be a nice way to hint at this for players without telling them.
It was decided that fish are an easter egg item, not a core gameplay mechanic.
This was a pleasant surprise when I first discovered it in my early days of Factorio (<20 hours) and actually do like that it remains as such.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by abregado » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:44 pm

Sphinx wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:26 pm
I could be a translation problem: English: Research and explore. German: research and explore use the same word "Erforschen"
Would it not be better to use the word "entdecken" for explore? I realize its translation to english is closer to "uncover" but I think it would be a suitable word.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by Impatient » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:20 pm

abregado wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:44 pm
Sphinx wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:26 pm
I could be a translation problem: English: Research and explore. German: research and explore use the same word "Erforschen"
Would it not be better to use the word "entdecken" for explore? I realize its translation to english is closer to "uncover" but I think it would be a suitable word.
I am a german native speaker. If you want a german translation for "explore" (geographically), which is distinct from "erforschen" you have these options:


- "erkunden" ... to gather information. Often associated with physically going to a geographic area and gathering info about it
- "aufklären" ... closer to "to scout", military term, gather information primarily about enemy units, but also geography
- "auskundschaften" ... also closer to "to scout", gather information primarily about enemy units, maybe spy on them (the prefix "aus" in this context is associated with extracting information from something)

"entdecken", which you were asking about, is more associated with something passive, often happening by chance or luck. Eg Christopher Colomb is called a "Entdecker" in german. He went to find a route to india and "entdeckte" (past tense) the americas.

My choice would be "erkunden" (https://dict.leo.org/englisch-deutsch/erkunden).

To make "Research and explore" even more clear I would use "forschen" instead of "erforschen". "Forschen" has a broader meaning. "Erforschen" is associated with researching something specific. The tech tree can be associated with "Forschung" (noun) and I would "erforschen" a specific technology.
R&D (Research and Development) is translated to "Forschung und Entwicklung" in german. (https://dict.leo.org/englisch-deutsch/forschen)

Everything added together my choice and recommendation for "Research and explore" would be and is
"Forschen und erkunden". It sounds good in german, makes sense and can not be mistaken. Both verbs have in common that they mean to find something new, but in their respective areas (tech and geographical area).
Last edited by Impatient on Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by abregado » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:37 pm

Saved this one for later... it was a biggun. A lot of this reply is me just explaining why things are the way they are, which is great for me to check Im not crazy.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]From the start, when you click on "Play", then "Start campaign", the player is prompted with a choice... and THEN another choice, both of which are generic and redundant. No (real) choice available, but yet the player is asked to make one. Doesn't feel right.
Its on the list, but not a priority for Stable 0.17
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
The text on the Campaign screen was barely enough for me to entirely get the point of the game.
This text is old. I will have ti update it eventually but should probably be higher priority than it is.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
First and foremost, the Hints listed in the "More hints" list are way too important to be hidden by default.
Reducing clutter is the main reason why it is hidden by default, which is a design choice across the entire gui. If the player is really stuck, then they start searching for more help and find the hints. A lot of the hints you feel are important and not shown by the bot most likely were shown by the bot... just not to you. Each time Compilatron needs to show you something, I check if you already did the thing a number of times and if so then I wont show it to you.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]Right at the level start, Hints to teach the player basics WASD controls arrive way too late. Of course, the player can try it for themselves, but it doesn't hurt to show it earlier imho.
I tested the level with Compilatron telling you immediately to press WASD to move. This created a strong desire in the players to wait to be shown what to do. Waiting and doing as you are told for every little task is not going to get a player far in Freeplay Factorio, so I wanted to prime players psychologically to do their own thing.

CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]Everytime the game turns into "lesson mode", explaining how panels work, there's a problem: you are teaching the player how to manipulate things, but in a situation where they cannot try it for themselves (player can only press TAB).
[*]There are also rare situations where two hint boxes stack on top of each other,
This whole system of showing boxes when the game is paused is placeholder until the new GUIs are done. I hate them as much as you do.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]There should either be an offscreen pointer on the side of the game view,
There is a design consideration in the game that the GUI never interacts with the Game World. Objects are either in the World, or they are in the Interface. We want to avoid placing arrows in the GUI which point to entities in the world. Also a lot of our GUI covers the edges of the screen, so such arrows will be functionally crippled anyway.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
located objectives could be eventually appearing on the minimap once it is researched, but I believe that they don't.
This will be in soon. Quest locations will get a Map Marker, Compilatron will get a map marker when it is stationary. Ill have to add a short piece on opening the map as well.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]After having crafted the Stone Furnace, the game never tells players how to actually build said Furnace. There is an instruction to grab it from the inventory, but placing an object on the floor isn't intuitively a "building" action, especially if the player's inventory contains both objects (can be dropped), tools (can be used) and buildings (can be built). The game should explicitly tell the player (at least on the very first building of the tutorial) how to build an available and crafted building.
Focus testing showed that new players had very little trouble understanding how to place structures, even without assistance. If they know they can pick up items from their inventory, and they see the "ghost" on their cursor, they seem to intuitively understand they can left click to place.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]Compilatron could be using ghost buildings to suggest where the player should place the first Tutorial buildings. It would clear a lot of confusion, and smoothly introduce the concept of ghost buildings.
I tried this much earlier, but brand new players cant tell the difference between ghosts and real structures. It is easy for those of us who have played 100's of hours.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]The "Insert coal" instruction is way too vague, way too early. It implies that the player knows about different minerals, about what they look like, that some minerals are in fact fuel, that fuel is a thing in Factorio... so many things that the player should know before being remotely able to understand what the "Insert coal" instruction is about, and what is expected of them. The game should start by tasking the player to look for the mineral, ask them to put it in the built furnace, and THEN show them "oh by the way, this mineral is actually a fuel, you can insert it to power machines, like with this furnace".
Additional information has also been added to all Tooltips in the Scenario (not that anybody seems to notice this). These extended tooltips explain that Coal is a Fuel item. Again, during early focus testing we saw that new players did not understand what the Fuel slot icon means, and they would just put items in slots randomly to figure it out. This is why we removed the ability to put ANY item in the Furnace output slot (no idea why it used to be like that!). Once the new Furnace GUI is done, this problem should solve itself.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]Talking about Furnace, I would suggest putting icons similar to the Fuel icon on the two other slots to symbolize input and output.
The new Furnace gui should solve this.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]To finish with Furnaces, I believe the game never explains that Furnaces will clog up and that, at some point, the player should consider emptying the right slot in their inventory...
I deliberately do not teach that you should be emptying your furnaces by hand. You should be automating the removal of items from them with inserters. This is partly why Compilatron builds such an odd set up for iron, with one furnace being emptied into a box and the other onto a belt.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]When tasked to build a Burner Mining Drill, the player can easily miss how to actually do that.
In focus testing this was a problem. It was solved by breaking the coal deposit into those small 2x2 blobs and by including "Mine Coal using the Burner mining drill" in the quest line. After that, players rarely had trouble figuring it out.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]For a couple of objective achievements, the green floating message doesn't appear, because there's an open window/panel in front of it. If you play without hearing the sound, one might easily miss it and get confused.
Ill check this out, it sounds like a bug. Do you remember exactly which ones were missing?
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]The game never teaches the player that Trees are not just part of the backdrop (like the floor and the plants) but are actually harvestable.
[*]I've just realized something that is absolutely NON-intuitive, and might easily throw off newcomers: a couple of coal gravels sitting at the mouth of a mining drill can clog it, but a BIG wooden box is NOT obstructing the mining drill.
When Compilatron asks you to build a Wooden Chest in front of the Drill, the player should get that they need wood. Funny, I added an extra step for Compilatron to say "Wood is gathered from Trees" but I was told off for being too sarcastically rude. Also in some languages the word for Tree and Wood are the same, so the statement made no sense!
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]The ATL key shortcut should probably be taught way earlier. When the game points out that some "structures contain items" would be a good place to teach this.
During the earlier step, I want the player to practice left clicking and to explore the contents of the boxes. Showing it to them beforehand just reduces the effectivness of this lesson. Plus, very early on the in level, Time is at a premium, and ALT mode is simply not as important as how to interact with the world.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]Some texts mention building things "beside" other things... idk... it fells like a very weird choice of word. "Next to" is probably less weird.
Could you give an example? Im not sure what you mean.
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
[*]Each time Compilatron says "Engineer required", the cutscene should trigger when the player is in close proximity, NOT when it actually touches Compilatron.
Actually, you dont need to touch, instead there is a very small radius around Compilatron. I need to be sure that the player is expecting something to happen and that they do not accidentally trigger something. Clicking on Compilatron was considered as well, but we decided that it should not act like a structure, else the player learn they can click on biters (very dangerous).
CXZman wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:20 pm
... it reasonable to expect all newcomers to already have basic knowledge over how the game is played. Factorio is a one of a kind experience, with very unusual control schemes and interaction concepts, and about a third of them are absolutely ignored/never really mentioned in the Tutorial. It feels to me, as a working game designer, dangerously incomplete, regarding the tutorial's ability to provide newcomers with what they need to know so that, later on, they get to enjoy playing the rest of the game.
A lot of concepts are discoverable by the player if we give them a safe space to experiment. A lot of other controls, the ones that you and I use as 100+ hour players, have been deemed to be "power features" and new players dont need to be shown them. There is a lot of value to the "Today I learned (after 5 years) that you can X in Factorio" reddit posts, but also to the player getting a kick from figuring something out on their own. I dont feel like teaching everything is necessary.

Thanks again, it feels like good practice to discuss the process, and my only other outlet is the FFF, which is one way.

TIL: You can drag and drop save games from a folder onto the game client and it will load them.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by abregado » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:41 pm

userchron wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:07 pm
Tech Tree made no sense, because once you start doing green science, you can research military 2 and finish the tutorial, why the other research?
A little known fact is that if you click "Continue" when the game says it is finished, you just continue to play. Nobody ever understands this and just presses Quit. It will be addressed when they GUI is redone (very low priority)

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by Bilka » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:57 pm

abregado wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:41 pm
userchron wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:07 pm
Tech Tree made no sense, because once you start doing green science, you can research military 2 and finish the tutorial, why the other research?
A little known fact is that if you click "Continue" when the game says it is finished, you just continue to play. Nobody ever understands this and just presses Quit. It will be addressed when they GUI is redone (very low priority)
The "finished game GUI" is already redone.
I'm an admin over at https://wiki.factorio.com. Feel free to contact me if there's anything wrong (or right) with it.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by Koub » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:36 pm

abregado wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:37 pm
TIL: You can drag and drop save games from a folder onto the game client and it will load them.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by Pi-C » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:56 pm

abregado wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:44 pm
Would it not be better to use the word "entdecken" for explore? I realize its translation to english is closer to "uncover" but I think it would be a suitable word.
I wouldn't say it's close to "uncover", but to "discover": Columbus discovered America. When they went on their expedition, Lewis and Clark explored America.
A good mod deserves a good changelog. Here's a tutorial (WIP) about Factorio's way too strict changelog syntax!

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by eradicator » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:25 pm

Impatient wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:20 pm
Everything added together my choice and recommendation for "Research and explore" would be and is
"Forschen und erkunden". It sounds good in german, makes sense and can not be mistaken.
I give that a +1 for the record.
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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by BlueTemplar » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:56 pm

abregado wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:41 pm
userchron wrote:
Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:07 pm
Tech Tree made no sense, because once you start doing green science, you can research military 2 and finish the tutorial, why the other research?
A little known fact is that if you click "Continue" when the game says it is finished, you just continue to play. Nobody ever understands this and just presses Quit. It will be addressed when they GUI is redone (very low priority)
Oh, so that's why the "expanded map" (that was previously accessed by clicking on "Continue"?) was presented as being "new" in this FFF?

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Re: Friday Facts #306 - Experimental Demo

Post by aka13 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:53 pm

Koub wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:36 pm
abregado wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:37 pm
TIL: You can drag and drop save games from a folder onto the game client and it will load them.
Holy fucking shit
Pony/Furfag avatar? Opinion discarded.

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