Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by Azzinoth » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:35 pm

Since you mention WoW. Please enable shortcut drag and drop like WoW, to allow reordering the toolbar.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by eradicator » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:45 pm

Kovarex wrote: We were thinking about a belt building tool, similar to the rail building tool. It would just connects ends, and even find underground connections etc to get to the point of destination. It would be super convinient. But suddenly, solving the belt puzzle wouldn't mean much, and having the belt factory would feel like much smaller accomplishment.
Hm.... Everything in any game it depends on which parts of the game you want the player to feel accomplishment for. For example blueprints and copy/paste shift the "feeling of accomplishment" one metalevel up, from the assembler level to the factory level. Because bots take the "how fast can you click" factor out of the "how fast can you expand" formula. But you have to "earn it" first. Some mods delay this earning so much, that i feel relief - not accomplishment - when i'm "finally out of pre-bot hell". Which is ofc due to my expectation that factorio is not about manully placing every single inserter, but about designing a large assembly complex.

Luckily in vanilla bots and blueprints are available after a few hours, and correspondingly the metagame is all about large scale construction, which wouldn't have happend without "convenience". And without the popularity of "megafactories" the engine might never have been optimized as far as it is now because there would've been no need to, and too few test cases to benchmark with.

Concering a "belt-planner"...: Large scale construction already happens with blueprints, so it wouldn't be affected much. Megafactory builders already plan their to-be-blueprinted assembly lines very carefully but there might be some small gains if the planner makes undergrounding easier and thus increases the speed at which designs can be iterated over until a good one is found. Beginning players however would never learn "how to route a belt around the corner"™ if it was all automatic to begin with, which would be a huge loss.

Conclusion: If the belt planner was locked behind a late-stage technology (logistics-4? even later?) i think it could still have some benefits for the metagame. But i see your point of it being a double-edged sword.
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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by dmsilev » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:40 pm

Instead of a belt planner, how about a belt brush that can lay down 4-wide or whatever belts (including handling corners)? There isn't any real skill involved in doing that by hand pre-construction bot, so it doesn't remove any of the design challenges from the game but could alleviate some of the tedium.

(Yes, mods exist that do this, I know.)

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by MasterBuilder » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:57 pm

I agree, a belt tool shouldn't just connect ends, but there's a balance that's convenient without removing the puzzle:

I rather like the way https://mods.factorio.com/mod/replicating-belts did this.

Basically, you place two of these entities, and belts are auto-placed to fill the gap between them. It does **NOT** make curves or handle corners in any special way.
It just makes straight lines easier. You can do curves by placing a rotated replicating belt in the corner of the curve. But again, this doesn't remove the puzzle, just makes it easier to lay belts where you know you already want them. There's a quick .gif on the mod page demonstrating this.

IMHO, if there was a vanilla feature that allowed the player to drag-place belts in a straight line you could achieve the same effect without removing the spaghetti problem, or the puzzle at all.

For instance, if I want a couple of belts to cross a couple of other belts, I could lay down the underneathies, then the connecting belts between. And then repeat this process a bunch of times for each belt I want to cross. It's just a straight line, and there's no puzzle there. Even if you argue that there was a puzzle to get the first belt to cross, repeating it 7 more times to get all 8 across doesn't add more puzzle to solve, just more repetition.
Automating just this part adds QoL (removing the repetition), without affecting the puzzle; having to figure out where to to weave and snake belts to in factories.
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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by irbork » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:18 pm

We know that there was a considerable amount of time spent playing WoW Classic in the past few weeks since the 0.17 stable was delayed so much.

As far as optimizations of work go there is one good idea. Just try to do it like Coffee Stain Studio where only like 2 weeks were affected by holiday season. I know that continuing with the student way where holiday season begins the end of June and last for 3 months is quite tempting, but optimizing it would be really good.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by <NO_NAME> » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:21 pm

"Debugging is like being the detective in a crime movie where you are also the murderer and the victim."
I am a translator. And what did you do for Factorio?
Check out my mod "Realistic Ores" and my other mods!

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by Impatient » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:25 pm

Great read! I like it when people share their findings. The findings being on a meta-level makes them even more interesting.

I summarize your findings about wow as "the pitfalls of removing struggling". To struggle before accomplishing something makes the accomplishment subjectively more valuable than accomplishing right away. Absolutely. In other words, making a game more easy, makes it less rewarding. Players are interested in rewarding experiences. Thus, in general, making it more easy is the way to make it less interesting instead of more interesting.

Thinking that, a thing that immediately came to my mind, was the the 0.17 feature to prevent fluid mixing. :-) How did this feature change the game?

1. It removed possibilities for failure.
2. It removed complexity.

Regarding 1.) the possibility for failure for me is equal to the possibility to struggle. We established, that struggling makes the game more rewarding and interesting. New players from 0.17 onward will never experience different fluids in the same pipe network. They will have no moment, where they think "damn, I fucked this up. Now I can remove all these pipes" and also they will never have the rewarding moment where they think "nice, this time I set up the pipe networks in a clean way".

Regarding 2.) my post deviates a bit from the topic, but still stays close to it. In my opinion having complex game mechanics in a computer game is one of the most valuable assets a game developer can have. Most of the computer games suffer from being too simple. Reasons? The designers didn't come up with complex mechanics, because they couldn't think of any or the basic idea was not good for any or they were to lazy to implement them. And that is a pitty, because mastering complexity is challenging. Surviving or passing a challenge is rewarding. Rewarding games are interesting. There is the connection to the main topic.

Example EU4

Factorios basic idea is good for a lot of complexity. Keep it! Don't remove it, because you want to make it easier for a broader audience. That is not the way to make it more rewarding and interesting. Look at the most popular mods: Angelbobs and Bobs mods. What do they do? Anglebobs adds an big amount of complexity regarding the tech tree and required production lines. And players like it. You did a great job with the uranium processing and consumption technologies. What you added to the game there is wonderful. Bob additionaly does another very interesting and important thing, regarding complexity. And that is the last thing I want to pack into this post.

Bob also offers mods which help to DEAL with complexity. Eg bobs inserter mod (where very long handed inserters which rotate in different angles and grab from various distances can be created).
IMO the way to go regarding complexity is, to keep it or smartly increase it and at the same time to provide tools to deal with it.

A prefect example where you provided such a tool is the rail section overlay. Now players can see where sections start and end and where they need to set train signals. You did not remove signals (meaning removing complexity) and let the engine do all the thinking to help players out. Instead you provided a tool, that shows the complexity and helps players to find their way through it. IMO this would also have been the perfect way to go with the pipe networks, after you formed the opinion, that you want to help players.
(IMO the almost exact same approach: Once a player grabs a buildable item that has something to do with fluids, an overlay is displayed, that shows colored lines above pipes and other fluid related entities. Each distinct pipe network in a distinct color.)

Keep up the great development. Regarding both: The game features and the development of the design and development process. ;-)
Last edited by Impatient on Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by ske » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:37 pm

When you are not teleported to the dugneon and have to actually travel there, it keeps the immersion of the game, the world is there to be explored, not just an arcade where you push and play.
Can you please make the detailed radar view in the normal game way worse than it is now?

We have the map. That is OK in my opinion. It looks like a map and works like a map.

Then we have that detailed view that almost looks as if the player was actually standing at that position. This is very convenient. Too convenient in my opinion. That is not a map and not radar. It would be better if it was a static black-and-white image that only occasionally updates as the radar scans the region. This way the player would get an overview of that region but to really see it for real, the player would have to actually go there.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by Jim-Bar » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:51 pm

Do you know when Gog is going to update on their part? They are still on the 0.16.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by meganothing » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:03 pm

deef0000dragon1 wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:20 pm
On some of the stuff brought up in the WoW section, I think that it is important to understand WHY they added the tools they did. If for example, you were the only person in your group of friends who plays, or if you aren't very good in chatting, being able to find a group to play this content might be almost impossible. With the tool however, that content is opened up to you. not to say that it doesn't have the downsides mentioned, but it DOES have it's upsides and it was made for a reason. Sometimes QoL for one person = Accessibility for another person.

Its a bit contrived, but the point stands of figuring out why leads to understanding more than analyzing just the what.
Well, to continue with your example it would probably have been much better if Wow had kept the incentive for socially inept persons to learn how to find a group or get organized themselves and do without those who don't learn. After all I can't imagine how an MMORPG could work with a core audience of such players. I.e. for them other players could have been replaced with NPCs without a noticable change, removing any reason for all the technology to bring a massive amount of players into the same world.

Understanding what an MMO is and how you can destroy its appeal for the majority of its players is more important than trying to keep everyone playing at all costs

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by vedrit » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:08 pm

I think the belt "planner" would be a good idea....mostly.
The only thing I think it should do, though, is place regular belts - no underground - and place them as close to a straight line from A to B as possible with a grid (Any intersecting objects marks that belt as invalid. Do not "path" around it). Make it more a convenience tool for placing long stretches of straight belt, and leave figuring out how to belt inside a dense factory to the player.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by meganothing » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:12 pm

MasterBuilder wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:57 pm
I rather like the way https://mods.factorio.com/mod/replicating-belts did this.

...

For instance, if I want a couple of belts to cross a couple of other belts, I could lay down the underneathies, then the connecting belts between. And then repeat this process a bunch of times for each belt I want to cross. It's just a straight line, and there's no puzzle there.
Sure nice, but now copy&paste handles such cases nearly as well and much more (it is not restricted to straight lines). I.e. Make a long straight line out of one short line that you then copy&paste. Make one belt that crosses the a couple of belts, then copy&paste the parallel belts.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by vedrit » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:13 pm

ske wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:37 pm
When you are not teleported to the dugneon and have to actually travel there, it keeps the immersion of the game, the world is there to be explored, not just an arcade where you push and play.
Can you please make the detailed radar view in the normal game way worse than it is now?

We have the map. That is OK in my opinion. It looks like a map and works like a map.

Then we have that detailed view that almost looks as if the player was actually standing at that position. This is very convenient. Too convenient in my opinion. That is not a map and not radar. It would be better if it was a static black-and-white image that only occasionally updates as the radar scans the region. This way the player would get an overview of that region but to really see it for real, the player would have to actually go there.
I don't know about you, but I come from a time when you didn't have the more detailed view when zoomed in to radar-covered areas. I don't really use that feature much. Maybe place some ghosts, or change train schedules, but that's about it. Otherwise, I tend to go to that place myself directly (or someone I'm playing with will go)

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by Klonan » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:35 pm

Jim-Bar wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:51 pm
Do you know when Gog is going to update on their part? They are still on the 0.16.
As far as I know, GOG users should get the stable, we marked it as stable through the web interface.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by posila » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:51 pm

Klonan wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:35 pm
Jim-Bar wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:51 pm
Do you know when Gog is going to update on their part? They are still on the 0.16.
As far as I know, GOG users should get the stable, we marked it as stable through the web interface.
macOS and Linux builds were not marked as stable, I did it just now.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by eradicator » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:11 pm

MasterBuilder wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:57 pm
It does **NOT** make curves or handle corners in any special way.

Automating just this part adds QoL (removing the repetition), without affecting the puzzle; having to figure out where to to weave and snake belts to in factories.
I'm notoriously bad at dragging belts in a straight line. If i have to drag a straight line of more than 10 tiles, then at least one of them will be in the wrong "line". This can be worked around by keeping the mouse static and "dragging" the belt by walking with WASD. But moving around is often annoying or simple not possible if the factory is crowded. So even a simple "make a straight line here" tool like in any image editor would be a great help for me.
meganothing wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:03 pm
deef0000dragon1 wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:20 pm
if you aren't very good in chatting, being able to find a group to play this content might be almost impossible.
After all I can't imagine how an MMORPG could work with a core audience of such players.
I only ever played one MMO - "Saga of Ryzom" (when it was still called "Saga of..."). Most people probably haven't even heared of it, but it did one thing right: It had a persistant world without instancing, and hunting mobs alone was basically suicide beyond level 5. This meant that everyone was constantly looking for a group, which made finding groups really easy - you just had to walk over to a known good hunting spot and there were probably already a few people around willing to group with you. It also meant that guilds had to compete over World Bosses and everyone could watch them from afar doing it. And the persistant world meant that if you wanted to go somewhere and there were strong enemies on the way you needed a group just for *travelling*, and fast-travel was only implemented later and was too costly for low level players to afford, so deciding to go to another "country" meant that you would be staying in that country for some time, because going back would be another 2~5 hour journey which you might not survive.

After that i never understood "modern" MMOs. From what i can tell most of them are basically Singleplayer games - you can hunt monsters alone, you do quests alone, you can travel instantly, you can break everything up into 30 minute "sessions". The MP content is often endgame only. And everything has these really small instances. I mean, what part of it is "Massive" if Dungeons can only be entered by 10 people at a time. It's as if companies can't be bothered to make good SP games anymore, so they try to make one game that carters to everyone, and end up with something that does most things ok, but nothing excellent. Maybe "MMO" just means something else today, maybe it means "SP game with lots of MP content", whereas it used to mean "MP only game".
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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by Optera » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:18 pm

So now that the thought of "optimizing for convenience and streamlining the experience doesn't make a game better" sunk in can we revert basic oil processing to output heavy, light and petroleum? ;)

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by Philip017 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:44 pm

for faster features and working bug fixes at the same time, do yourselves a favor and us too as players, if a new feature has some bug, the developer of the feature should probably switch gears and work on the bug fix for it as well.
i know you have a member of your team that loves to fix bugs (rseding) and i am sure his talents are put in high demand when bugs happen, but as you say, switching gears to work on both at the same time to help with happiness is a good idea.
creativity and logic do work hand in hand, some people will probably be better at one or the other, and probably prefer to focus on that, so a good balance in the family of developers is needed.
enjoy your much needed vacations and come back refreshed.
i look forward to your next idea for features of the game.

ps, i prefer to start with robots, so pushing them further back just encourages me more to use a mod that starts me with some, i remember one of the devs talking about burner robots to start with, so perhaps this 'feature' could be looked into further. thanks again

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by RocketManChronicles » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:48 pm

Optera wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:18 pm
So now that the thought of "optimizing for convenience and streamlining the experience doesn't make a game better" sunk in can we revert basic oil processing to output heavy, light and petroleum? ;)
I was waiting for someone other than me to point this out. As far I feel, the 'new' Basic Processing is way too convenient that makes oil processing way too easy. I mean, at the core, it is essentially refineries with built-in flare stacks. But, the decision was made; Thank God for mods to revert this awful decision.

Anyway, with the discussion in the FFF, please please keep all of this perspective in consideration when you do decide to change the game as dramatically as Basic Oil Processing. Just because it seems to make the NPE 'better,' does not mean it makes the gameplay fun. Use the same considerations as reality vs fun as has been done along the way.

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Re: Friday Facts #314 - 0.17 stable

Post by RocketManChronicles » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:51 pm

Philip017 wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:44 pm
for faster features and working bug fixes at the same time, do yourselves a favor and us too as players, if a new feature has some bug, the developer of the feature should probably switch gears and work on the bug fix for it as well.
i know you have a member of your team that loves to fix bugs (rseding) and i am sure his talents are put in high demand when bugs happen, but as you say, switching gears to work on both at the same time to help with happiness is a good idea.
creativity and logic do work hand in hand, some people will probably be better at one or the other, and probably prefer to focus on that, so a good balance in the family of developers is needed.
enjoy your much needed vacations and come back refreshed.
i look forward to your next idea for features of the game.

ps, i prefer to start with robots, so pushing them further back just encourages me more to use a mod that starts me with some, i remember one of the devs talking about burner robots to start with, so perhaps this 'feature' could be looked into further. thanks again
Try the Construction Drones mod. They are ground based and can accomplish a lot of what you want for the start of the game until you unlock the airborne robots.

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