Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Regular reports on Factorio development.
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Drury
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Drury »

AndrewIRL wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:26 pm
Drury wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:18 pm
That reads so funny to me, I just blindly dropped a couple dozen euro on them before they even had the name of the company figured out.
How did you even know they existed? I certainly didn't know until Steam told me about this cool indie game I might like.
I'm actively on the lookout for cool games, keeping tabs on gaming news, gaming forums and such. I learned about it from the latter.
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Rebmes »

Congratulations for reaching 2 million copies sold, and good job with the tutorials ;) you're doing something right if a small number of players flunk out of your game...

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by torham »

zebediah49 wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:50 am
I have a potentially simple solution for including the *bit* of a nudge for adjusting the tutorials (the whole game, really) towards automation over manual crafting:

Remove the handcraft recipes for science packs......snip

I very much agree with this post. I personally think that the burner stage is a bit too short, and it basically forces you into electricity in order to progress and survive. I think adding a few burner T0 buildings would give us more freedom in to how and when to expand the early base. It would give us the option to start the map without the obligatory water lake at the start. Water would become a strategic resource that improves production, that needs to be scouted for, like every other resource.

I think a burner assembler would be awesome. To finish the loop either a burner science lab, or a less efficient stirling engine would be awesome.

PS: Also, congrats on 2M sales. You all rock! :D

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by torham »

Optera wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:04 pm
I bought Factorio through steam and haven't played a single minute through steam after finding out you can get the game as stand alone version directly from the website.
Steam is nice and all, but I really prefer to have games just working without forcing me to be online.
You can still do that?? I thought that once I redeemed my steam transfer code, I have lost the ability to download and run the game stand alone. True, I have never tried after the steam transfer, if only because steam keeps Factorio up to date all the time. It would still be good to have a backup on disk, in case a blizzard knocks out the internets, as it just happened this morning...

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by xeln4g4 »

Your old tutorial made me just fall in love with Factorio, i havent tried the new one but i think your point is true. So going back to old might be a very good idea, if someone doesnt spend at least 2-3 hours for a game with 97% positive reviews, he doesnt deserve the fun of factorio. After this time you are either stupid or you must know (the potential) and what is the game about (which is certainly not grinding but actually its opposite).

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by BattleFluffy »

I want to extend my condolences to those who spent so much time and effort on this new tutorial. It must be really gutting to see it scrapped. I am sorry for your loss.
However... with that heavy-heartedness aside, I fully support the move to scrap the tutorial.

Factorio players are smart. They can work it out on their own without the need for spoon-feeding.
Thankyou for trusting in the player's intelligence - something almost no other developer does.

This is a win for the puzzle elements of the game.
It's also a win for community cooperation, giving new players more reasons to engage with veterans and exchange techniques.
And it's a win for the focus of the game, no longer are man hours being spent on things that most players will only ever play once - or may not at all.

At the end of the day if people are unable to work out on their own the benefit of using an Assembling machine over hand crafting everything, this probably isn't the game for them anyway. If I have to sit down and explain to someone why automating things is better than doing everything by hand, I think there's a more fundamental problem than a lack of an ingame tutorial - this game just isn't for everyone. Some people just won't find it fun (fools!) and they can stick to Modern Warfare or whatever floats their particular boat.

Using tutorials in an attempt to widen a game's appeal beyond its natural audience ends up providing a motivation to dumb things down. That's because the people that aren't the natural audience need a lot more hand-holding to be able to make any progress. It's the route many games go down unfortunately - making it all much easier so even really stupid or undetermined players can win. :P

I would like to strongly advocate for Factorio having the bare minimum of tutorials! Thank you for making this courageous step.


PS - Welcome back Kovarex :D

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Filter62 »

Oh, getting rid of bad ideas sometimes painful, especially if conciderable amount of work put in it, but it's still better than trying to fix it.

And it's not like all this time was for nothing, some ideas and sprites could be used in old tutorials. :mrgreen:

P.S. I'm not a fan of new tutorial, it was kinda boring. Old ones is better, like playing good old RTS. New one doesn't give this feeling. And I still think Factorio needs some real solo campaign with story. =D

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by nafira »

BattleFluffy wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:09 am
Using tutorials in an attempt to widen a game's appeal beyond its natural audience ends up providing a motivation to dumb things down. That's because the people that aren't the natural audience need a lot more hand-holding to be able to make any progress. It's the route many games go down unfortunately - making it all much easier so even really stupid or undetermined players can win. :P

I would like to strongly advocate for Factorio having the bare minimum of tutorials! Thank you for making this courageous step.
I totally agree.
When I played the tutorial back in 0.15, it didn't strike me to automate things at first. I ended up moving thing from a point to another and doing science by hand. The map was so small that it felt "unnatural".

The best tutorial I had was the "Hints" that appears at each loading. THIS is the stuff people need to understand. Sure you can make mini-tutorial to help people that don't want to explore the Internet for info, but they're not going to learn train signaling without trying and failing and trying again until they master it.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Deadlock989 »

Agreed, Factorio doesn't need anything more than a couple of minutes of "tutorial".
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by bobingabout »

Well, personally. Although there are elements in the old tutorials and scenarios that I do like, and missed with the 0.17 release, I also think the structure of the new tutorial is better.

Perhaps what you need is another new tutorial, something somewhere between the two.

Instead of just forcing the player to start using the crafting machine at the start, perhaps have them setup a more involved smelting line instead?
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Spiff »

I like that the old v0.16 campaign is coming back. Will it be updated with the new recipes? Will it have more missions after building the plane? I found that the new v0.17 campaign mission wasn't as fun and didn't really seem like the same game. I spent way more time on combat and didn't really feel like I could automate much. That being said, I don't see why you would remove content. If you leave it in, the people who wanted to play it could and the people who didn't like it could ignore it.

For reference, I played through the demo 2-3 times, the v0.16 campaign twice, the v0.17 campaign mission twice, a v0.16 freeplay game, and a v0.17 freeplay game. I wiped out the biters on the campaign missions each time. I typically play the campaigns of games more than freeplay, so I would like more campaign missions if at all possible. How much effort does it take to add each mission of a campaign?

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by kbk »

Despite I didn't really like the overall intent to make game simpler for bigger audience — ahh, I still miss the old Basic oil processing so much, — I was rather cool with the NPE tutorial and so I'd really want to say that completely scrapping what has taken a year of development is kinda harsh. I think you guys at Wube still might want to keep the NPE campaign after tweaking it a bit to be more suitable for experienced players (cut out the most basic phases, technologies, tasks and restrictions, strip compilatron of its building capabilities...). It may even turn out to serve as another speedrun playthrough benchmark.

You might also consider melding the NPE assets into the regular game mode for a rather limited use. I'd like to share a rather huge proposal on this matter.
You are hereby warned
Once the NPE campaign is taken down in favor of the old tutorial this becomes not a priority stuff though.

As for me there are many polishing and balancing things that are yet to be done, for example, the entire circuit network subsystem still longs for HD retexturing, and the burner phase looks to me so linear and understuffed that you gotta run through it ASAP because you have nothing else to do, and then the first rocket launch phase pretty much does the same for the exact opposite reason of not having to have to do everything else. Moreover, I hope the game will eventually start telling some backstories, like on why the protagonist doesn't leave the planet on his rocket or how come someone can run around with a stack of locomotives on their back with no subsequent health issues, let alone speed decrease. Maybe multiple win conditions will emerge in one way or another too some day...
Hope everybody have had their happy holidays. Keep up the good work and have a very productive year!

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by abregado »

Jap2.0 wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 5:33 pm
Abredago, Kovarex et al. are still here. Actually, they're the ones who made this decision...
I'd like to point out that I was not involved in the decision to scrap the NPE/Introduction. Kovarex is the vision leader and I support his (and the other directors) decision. I still fully believe that it was a good solution to the goals provided.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by abregado »

xeln4g4 wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:07 am
After this time you are either stupid or you must know (the potential) and what is the game about (which is certainly not grinding but actually its opposite).
BattleFluffy wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:09 am
Factorio players are smart. They can work it out on their own without the need for spoon-feeding.
Thankyou for trusting in the player's intelligence - something almost no other developer does.

Some people just won't find it fun (fools!)

Using tutorials in an attempt to widen a game's appeal beyond its natural audience ends up providing a motivation to dumb things down.
Both very dangerous trains of thought. Elitism is something I try to avoid as I believe it will cause many problems. This game is great and wanting to share it with more people seems sensible...

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by DanGio »

posila wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:29 pm
by tutorial is meant the Introduction campaign in 0.17 (sometimes referred to as NPE - new player experience), and First Steps campaign in 0.16 and older versions.
Does everyone understand what exactly will replace 0.17 Introduction ? At first, I was OK with the decision, but then I realised I was mixing up my memories of New hope and the ones of First steps. So I played First steps again, just to be sure what to expect… Ugh.

Replacing 0.17 Introduction with 0.16 First steps will remove a LOT of content : in First steps, you get to mine, smelt, lay down a few belts and radars, and that’s it. The science and technologies aren't even introduced, and the fastest, "smartest" way of completing the mission is to craft everything manually, without any assembling machines or turrets or... :?: Also, the last First steps objective, that will become the demo’s klimax, is to explore 50 chunks with radars. The chunks aren’t even revealed, because the map is 5*5 large.

Now, as I read the FFF, the decision is made. I agree that 0.17 Introduction lacks a bit of freedom, and that Compilatron instructions are too precise and don’t rely on player’s mind enough. But 0.17 Introduction has some great qualities that I would miss a lot if they were trashed, so here are the ones I would really like to see in the final version of tutorial :
- 1 long mission is better than 3 short missions so the new player don’t think that you’re trying to make minimal content look generous.
- Science has to be in the demo, because it’s so important in Factorio, because the tech tree as presented in the demo sells the game so much, and because the long crafting time leads to use assemblers.
- Less game interrupting hints (0.16 “BLING” interruptions are annoying)
- The open end is great. Letting the player continue research, or even just roam in the base after mission completion is very cool.
- The expendable Hints section is good. You aren’t bothered if you don’t need them, but you can also read them again later.

Quite related : I also hope the simplified tech tree shown in FFF 291 will be kept in the campaign following the tutorial. Seemed to offer interesting gameplay options.

Edit : lots of small edits 😱
Last edited by DanGio on Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:19 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by epr »

Both very dangerous trains of thought. Elitism is something I try to avoid as I believe it will cause many problems. This game is great and wanting to share it with more people seems sensible...
You must be a big fan of marvel movies.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by T-A-R »

I'll buy (preferably a collectors version) on GOG / factorio.com once the storm of updates is over. Steam is just the most convenient way of handling the ever updating game. Only reason to keep Steam after that is Portal 3:p (nope).

Though i'm sorry for the work, i honestly think the right choice is made. And eventually this knowledge will end in a even better game. Some more conclusions on these NPE experiments are welcome.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Inari »

Optera wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:04 pm
Steam is nice and all, but I really prefer to have games just working without forcing me to be online.

But Steam doesn't require you to be online to play since like... forever

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Deadlock989 »

abregado wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:04 pm
Both very dangerous trains of thought. Elitism is something I try to avoid as I believe it will cause many problems. This game is great and wanting to share it with more people seems sensible...
Not at any cost.
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Jap2.0 »

abregado wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:57 pm
I'd like to point out that I was not involved in the decision to scrap the NPE/Introduction. Kovarex is the vision leader and I support his (and the other directors) decision. I still fully believe that it was a good solution to the goals provided.
Noted, thank you.
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