Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

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

Post by BattleFluffy »

abregado wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:04 pm
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...
You're right, there is a balance to be struck. I spent a few minutes just now thinking about what needs to be balanced with what.
I think mainly its important to balance between "opening the game to as many players as possible" and "compromising the game".

I understand your point of view in that regard - since the tutorial and the free play are mostly independent, ie changing something in the tutorial does not typically change anything in the freeplay.

As a long time veteran player who was shown the basics by a friend, I have never played any of the tutorials. So I really can't comment on their quality or suitability. Maybe that's why I feel it's better to spend all the development effort on things that impact the free play; the tutorials are not relevant or useful to me.

I often skip tutorials in other games. I would probably have skipped Factorio's tutorial too.
I do see the benefit of them, and I can definitely learn to play a game faster if I follow a tutorial, but I just hate them. They feel insulting. "Oooh, I need a tutorial because I'm too stupid to work it out on my own."
I'm not being elitist here, this is just my personal feelings when I grudgingly decide to do a game tutorial. In contrast, struggling to work out the UI and mechanics on my own feels much more rewarding. Factorio has one of the best and cleanest UI's in any game, and the game mechanics are world class, thanks to all your efforts. Figuring things out was a joy.

I guess as a veteran player I will always be biased, because I already know how to play, so why would I want the developers to expend their precious time on something I won't benefit from?
Someone needs to speak up for the new players I suppose. Perhaps some of them do not feel like me about tutorials, and will happily follow one and learn how to play faster that way. Perhaps some players who will eventually become natural Factorians initially need to be told about WASD. I agree it's important to bring these people into the fold. However I don't think that a tutorial is a time-efficient way to do this, I think that job should be up to friends of the individual player, the community, wiki articles, or a short "help" document on the main menu.

I definitely see your point of view Abregado.. but I still think a full blown tutorial is too much, and even in some sense runs counter to the experimental spirit of Factorio. "Your goal is to launch a rocket <Press tab>" is enough in my opinion, and any more starts to feel too hand-holdy. I feel that the precious dev time is better spent on things that improve the free play, because that's where the vast majority of player time is spent.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Optera »

Inari wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:41 pm
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
Steam requires you to install steam and be online to install.

Downloading Factorio from Wube allows:
- archivng installer versions and install offline
- portable installation, everything in one directory
- multiple versions on the same system

If you don't need them good for you. I would not have developed mods with those features missing.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Inari »

Optera wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:07 am
Inari wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:41 pm
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
Steam requires you to install steam and be online to install.

Downloading Factorio from Wube allows:
- archivng installer versions and install offline
- portable installation, everything in one directory
- multiple versions on the same system

If you don't need them good for you. I would not have developed mods with those features missing.
Sure, makes sense. Just didn't read that into needing a game to work without being online ^^"

multiple versions and archiving versions even can work with Steam, but you'd still need to be online to install archived versions you haven't yet around (and you can't archive the installer itself, only the installed thing)

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Bilka »

DanGio wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:09 pm
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.
I want to highlight this post and connect it with the FFF:
kovarex wrote:The progression in the beginning is roughly this:

Manual Mining -> Automated mining -> Automated logistics -> Automated production & science.
The NPE touches all points in this progression, though as pointed out in the FFF, the first step is way too short in kovarexes view. (Let's ignore his exaggerated 5 minute automation number). "First steps" on the other hand, as pointed out by DanGio, touches only the very first two points. The other two steps are never taken because automated science is impossible, and automated logistics is pointless and slower than manual logistics. When I replayed "First steps" on Saturday, I got annoyed by the first level, because you're not even given your typical free furnace and mining drill, no, you have to do a lot more handmining than in a freeplay game. So, "First steps" stretches out the first step (heh, pun) compared to freeplay.

To sum up, doing all steps, but the first step shorter is being replaced by doing only the first two steps, but the first step longer.
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 #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by abregado »

epr wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:27 pm
You must be a big fan of marvel movies.
Not a bad example to use here, although perhaps it takes the idea too far since Marvel movies involve a medium switch (comic->movie). My guess is that Marvel movies have done great things for Marvel comics, and that the comic community is bigger and tighter than before. I would expect that the Introduction demo/tutorial would have done similar things for our community (email feedback would tell me that is already has begun to).
Deadlock989 wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:43 pm
Not at any cost.
Agreed, but that does not mean that if the cost is low it isn't worth it. My task was to give a wider range of players an opportunity to be enraptured by this game, and at what cost (to the spirit of the game). Kovarex is the one who decides if the cost is too high, and has done so.

One of the great things about this company is that it is willing to take a risk to try something new, and it is not afraid to reassess prior decisions. This boldness is a large part of why I accepted a job offer here in the first place.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Mendel »

That picture gives me some hope that Space Exploration mod or something like that might become part of base game... which would be awesome!

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Calus »

Personally, I bought the game after pirating it (Sorry :/ ).
I fell in-love quite quickly, and I ended up buying to support the game. Regarding your statistics, I bought the game through the website on purpose - I asked around, and people said Steam takes some percent off your sales.

Keep up the amazing work, I'm really looking forward to this year's launch!

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by posila »

BattleFluffy wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:23 am
...
In the end of the day, we are making the game we want to play (and actually, the game kovarex wants to play). Obviously, we don't need tutorial for ourselves, but how would we want to learn the game if we didn't know it?
When I come home, I am exhausted and just want to relax. I have low patiance when it comes to learning new games. If it makes me read wall of text, I am not gonna read most of it, probably miss some crucial info, get frustrated with the game and throw it away. If it expects me to watch youtube tutorials or search wiki for info; not gonna play it. And what I am absolutely not gonna do, is to register to the game forum to ask "how to get started".

Ideally, I want to be thrown into the game and figure things by doing, but still keep making progress in the game (so the game needs to teach me how to play it, not wait until I randomly stumble upon all core mechanics). Mario 1-1 is kind of cliche example of this, so this video about Mega Man X is more fun to watch imho (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FpigqfcvlM)
However, Factorio is not played on controller with just couple of buttons, it's played with keyboard and mouse. So I don't know a way how to teach players basic concepts (like opening an inventory, quick-transfer shortcuts, etc.) without showing hints to press E or Ctrl+Click things...

Anyway, ideal tutorial for me is such that doesn't feel like I am playing tutorial. I think the Introduction campaign met my expectations of "getting straight into the action" and being able to play (and figure things out) in my own pace. The old campaign is not terrible, but it starts too slow, makes wrong initial impression, and you can get stuck if you miss some new info it throws at you. But it was able to teach me and many others to play the game to begin with ... so, I guess it's good enough.

One more video I want to share: This problem seems hard, then it doesn't, but it really is from 3Blue1Brown. Point of which is that people are terrible at estimating how difficult something is for other people. Now, I don't know if you say things like '"Your goal is to launch a rocket <Press tab>" is enough in my opinion, and any more starts to feel too hand-holdy' because that's really how you enjoy to learn to play new games, or because you largely underestimate how difficult it is for people to figure out how to even start progressing through the game.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Swich »

FactorioBot wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:23 am
Here it is! (beep boop)

https://factorio.com/blog/post/fff-327
Hi guys!
I'm a great fun of Factorio. It's not that easy to understand what it means for me, but what I can tell is that I'm a gamer with 25 years of gaming experience, and last years I decided to manage my game addiction, so currently I played only few hours in a week. And Factorio is one of three games, which I still playin, and, I think, will do it as long, as you will develop it. I'm ready to help you with buying some future DLC, I hope many of other people will do the same, so you will feel that your work and your game is really important.

Usually, I just read your FFF, it's really great tradition, and I love every saturday, cause I can read one more FFF.But it's last FFF in this year, so I want to appreciate you guys, and say Thank you for all your work.

If you want some advice, what I think can make Factorio much greater, is some kind of story, or quests. Just pay to someone, who want to write a text, so you will pass the Factorio, and read some text. You can make some variation to this: change the world generation a little (for example start location), make different bitters. Look at rimworld, it's all about story generation. I know, you don't have people, but there is one player, so you can tell to us some kind of story about him. And you can make some kind of quests, which is bounded with some technologies.
For example every time you changed tutorial, I played it from begining. I love stories, I love some kind of tasks, it make gaming process much meaningful for me. I know you told that you think in same way, that there is a need for some kind of scenario, but, I advice you to make that story in some kind of random generation. FOr example why don't create some random artificial objects on map, which will connect to story, and will placed after reaching some technology?

I'm not sure that my point of view is best, but I will hope you will notice that post and think about it a little.
Anyways, I trust in you, and will keep supporting you work!

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by featherwinglove »

I'm stopping by to say that my blown gasket is clearly not worth replacing from over a year ago, when the developers lost both the plot and their conscience (the most recent vestiges of which I've seen remain the refusal to do sales and somewhere I encountered a promise never to do the EGS exclusive "thing".) This post shows that maybe, for the first time in a year, it just might be worth my time to post a sharp rebuke to get Wube back on track and at least headed towards territory where I might begin to update my installation and promote the game again (I haven't played a newer version than 0.17.3 back when it was new, and that version was so painfully (and predictably) flawed and disappointing that I haven't booted up 0.17 since.)
kovarex wrote:Luckily, I wasn't the only one feeling that way.
You were warned repeatedly and vehemently about the error of the path Factorio took which you described just before this text appears in the FFF. "I wasn't the only one" is the mother of all understatements: you were almost the very LAST one feeling that way! Back then, the arguments tended to center around only the most visible change reflecting the flawed 0.17 direction: the removal of hand tools, "the axe", to the extent that it could not even be modded back in, and this happened despite the fact that mods which enhanced hand tool functionality were downloaded many many times more often than mods which emulated the removal of the axe, something like a hundred times more often! (Such mods had functionality such as eliminating axe wear, speeding up entity mining to the extent that axes were never necessary, and super tools with extreme power and durability such that they never need to be replaced once first built. If you need citations, just ask; I can find them in my downloads folder if not on the mod portal.
As for the forum threads, the easiest way to find them is to look at my post history.)

The way you guys were treating the community in that era went from baffling to absolutely horrendous, ranging from ignoring and brushing off player concerns as emotional to truly baffling replies that seemed to be ignorant of extremely basic game mechanics to actually locking and totally ignoring the threads about modding tools back into 0.17 much as they were up to 0.16. I got really strange horn-tooting PMs from one of the moderators indicating that this whole enterprise was headed to the same place that Blizzard found itself at Blizzcon 2018 in announcing a mobile game to an audience of PC gamers who had paid a door fee to be in the auditorium. A year later, Blizzard found itself in a far worse place: the almost unwitting international agent of the murderous Chinese Communist Party, destroying the e-sports careers of three people over an 8 second statement of support for the freedom of Hong Kong. Every one of my favorite 'tubers canceled their World of Warcraft subscriptions in disgust. But you guys?
kovarex wrote:I had few months of "vacation" from work by playing world of warcraft classic and generally getting some distance to be able to help with the finishing of Factorio with some perspective and a clear head. Now I have returned from the lands of Azeroth...
I was actually surprised by this as it seems markedly inconsistent with the moral stance on pricing, sales, transparency and feedback - that even if it was all lip service, you were at least smart enough to avoid casually voicing support for Blizzard Entertainment, what is now the gaming industry's abomination openly supporting totalitarian censorship in the Far East.

Conclusion: It'll be a pleasant surprise if this goes anywhere. If it actually does and someone wants to let me know, you might want to put my username in front of protonmail.com and/or head over to https://minds.com/featherwinglove and leave a comment under one of my gaming-related posts. It is quite likely that I'll stay logged out of the forums for another couple months at least because I'm not expecting to be listened to now, just as me and the rest of the axe gang were so thoroughly ignored this time last year. It is extremely rare in my experience and observation for anyone to change their direction after a metaphorical "STOP, THERE'S A CLIFF!!" warning. However, on seeing this faint indication that you've sensed the presence of said cliff, there's a possibility. Maybe I'll check back without being prompted. Maybe.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Deadlock989 »

featherwinglove wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:24 pm
Maybe I'll check back without being prompted. Maybe.
Please - don't bother.
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by nevniv »

featherwinglove wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:56 pm
That's the end of it. There is really no point in me ever logging into this forum again. It is a complete waste of my everyone's time . . .
FTFY - now please follow your own advice, supreme being :lol:

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Koub »

[Koub] I'd rather not see this thread become a battlefield.
[Edit]To be more precise :
@Featherwinglove : Please refrain from being toxic to this community again. If you want to be constructive, fine, if you only want to pour poison, all you'll get is a ban.
@The others : Please don't feed the troll.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by Drury »

You can't truly appreciate accessibility until you've made a game, had someone play the game for 5 minutes - and then drop it, telling you it's fun but not their thing... far before they even got to engage with the main hook of the game.

The most insidious part of this kind of failure is that it doesn't show on critic scores. People who lose interest in the game are usually not going to blame it out of courtesy (even though it makes logical sense to do so - it is the dev's responsibility to get people hooked). It does reflect on word of mouth though - and I'm noticing Factorio has a rather bizarre image in the public consciousness. It is seen as this nerd bait game, something that requires feverish dedication to enjoy. The worst thing is they're only partly wrong. The game does play itself after a certain point, but getting up to that point requires a fair bit of blind faith that you'll get there eventually, since the new player experience can be described as anything but "playing itself", as it were. And there's no reason it should remain that way, either.
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by morsk »

Factorio doesn't need any kind of tutorial; Minecraft had none, and didn't even explain how to make a Crafting Table. Making people search for help means making them generate web traffic about the game, which improves its place in algorithms. And no in-game tutorial will ever pitch the game as hard as some desperate Let's Player who will say anything to get us to Like, Comment, and Subscribe.

I'm not saying "no tutorials", just that they aren't needed. And they can make things worse. I distinctly remember calling Factorio "a bad indie puzzle game" based on the campaign I played in 0.15. KatherineOfSky's steam guide -- once I was lucky enough to find it -- made the game look amazing. It could be an ad. The starter missions didn't.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by torham »

Koub wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:36 pm

@The others : Please don't feed the troll.
Dammit man, I really wanted to reply to that! :D

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by steinio »

Drury wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:35 am
You can't truly appreciate accessibility until you've made a game, had someone play the game for 5 minutes - and then drop it, telling you it's fun but not their thing... far before they even got to engage with the main hook of the game.

The most insidious part of this kind of failure is that it doesn't show on critic scores. People who lose interest in the game are usually not going to blame it out of courtesy (even though it makes logical sense to do so - it is the dev's responsibility to get people hooked). It does reflect on word of mouth though - and I'm noticing Factorio has a rather bizarre image in the public consciousness. It is seen as this nerd bait game, something that requires feverish dedication to enjoy. The worst thing is they're only partly wrong. The game does play itself after a certain point, but getting up to that point requires a fair bit of blind faith that you'll get there eventually, since the new player experience can be described as anything but "playing itself", as it were. And there's no reason it should remain that way, either.
I hate 'playing itself' games. Look at transport fever or any other economy sim. If your first route makes profit why expand at all? The bank account fills without extra work.

Factorio is not that type of game.

A tutorial is not necessary at all. Just some good timed hints maybe with some intelligent 'player is stuck' detection or 'first building of type' trigger.

Some extra love must go into the gui description like the hotbar. If I need to Google how to play it's a shitty game but to much holding hands makes it boring too. God thanks I don't need to find the sweet spot myself.

As I started to play the first time I played randomly on friendly biter mode not knowing what biters are at all. Built my train track around a spawner and wondered what this ugly animals are there until I drove accidently in them with my car...
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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by posila »

steinio wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:23 am
A tutorial is not necessary at all. Just some good timed hints maybe with some intelligent 'player is stuck' detection or 'first building of type' trigger.
As always, we failed to communicate properly what we exactly mean. We should have used "new player experience" (as we used to in older FFFs) instead of "tutorial". Because, in the context of FFF, I read your post as "A tutorial is not necessary at all. Just some good tutorial" :)

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by torham »

I really liked the Rimworld tutorial. Game starts as normal, lets you do your thing and watches your actions. after a while, it prompts you about things you haven't done yet, but should have, if played well. "did you know you have priority manager for jobs?" "Here is a short list of stuff you really need to survive, concentrate on that". You can disable it completely at any time, and figure things on your own.

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Re: Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Post by eradicator »

How in Yuu Peyes name did that postcard biter survive getting into space...

Regarding the tutorial... having played the game for far too long i don't feel affected enough to comment, but i'd still like a story campaign that sets a nice lore frame for all this insanity.
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