Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Regular reports on Factorio development.
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SHADOW13
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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by SHADOW13 »

While I would prefer to see "Free updates forever", this is rather difficult from developer point of view and only works when the game is too successful and requires constant updating to keep the users playing I think.
"Factorio 2" would be an interesting approach but I think the Factorio-style games are now exploding, you'd find yourself with a lot more competition
As for "Small DLC packs", those are mostly replaced by mods at this point, it would be difficult sell.

That leaves with "One big expansion pack" (or maybe more than one, depending how they sell) ... Maybe Paradox model (paid expansions with free updates)

As for what to add to the expansion, I think you already have it. Think about all the original ideas from the beginning of Factorio, all those things you wanted to add but ended giving up on those ideas. Post-end game stuff? Going into space and landing elsewhere? More enemies (completely different type, maybe add zerg-style creep)

If you have time and willing to work on the game more, maybe go back to those old ideas that you had to give up in the past due to time-constraints or complexity (at the time)

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Crazy_Human
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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by Crazy_Human »

so when can I purchase the upcoming dlc? even though I know that it would take a long time before it is ready but you have earned my trust when it comes to delivering on the product

aaron311
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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by aaron311 »

Hi Wube,

First off, I want to say that - like everyone here - I really think highly of y'all and what you've accomplished. So if you think an expansion is the right way to go from here, I am absolutely inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt and will be doing so. That being said, I felt I owed you a bit of feedback as to my initial thoughts re: this announcement.

----

While I am certainly not even close to true 'diehard' Factorio player, I have played Factorio for hundreds of hours now and - at least for my particular play style - the game still feels a bit unfinished in a few aspects. Specifically, Factorio is a game about constant automation and refining that automation, yet I find that the logistics / robot network capability in the game lacks certain core features that prevent true automated solutions for a number of common problems you will encounter when you scale up your base toward the end of the game.

For instance, the missing feature of outputting signals for items the local network is missing (ghosts, logistic slot requests, upgrade requests, etc) rather discourages logistic network segmentation (because how can you truly automate generic re-supply of that separate network). But on the flip side, the inability to optimize how robots satisfy requests in a large logistics network discourages simply making 'one network to rule them all'. Lastly, signal transmission over long distances (i.e. from remote outpost back to main base) seems a bit impractical, although perhaps I'm just missing an obvious technique to prevent long-distance signal wires from accidentally joining.

To date I've partially addressed such problems with a combination of various mods:
* Logistic Signals
* Ghost Scanner
* Wireless Circuit Network
* Tactical Construction

These mods all have limitations that stem from the core game engine, and to be honest I was hoping these limitations might be addressed in a future update. Certainly an expansion does not preclude this but I wonder if a shift to an expansion indicates a change in focus to 'new features' vs 'improving existing ones'.

----

Anyway, just some thoughts. I recognize that perhaps my playstyle (focusing on optimizing logistic network operations) might be a minority one.

Again, I think the world of Factorio and Wube. I just felt I should share some feedback.

Best wishes and may your factories continue to grow!

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by Zicolo »

Great job guys. Factorio is amazing and numbers clearly show that.

Here are a few things I’d think about going forward:

1- Enemy dynamics: Truth be told, factorio enemies are dumb and boring. They are reactive and brute force is their only strategy. They insufferably lack in variety and how they can engage the player in different ways and different stages of the game. Some players even turn them off to have a more pleasant gameplay and that to me is interesting that a crucial element of the game can be eliminated with almost no real impact on the quality of the gameplay, if not enhancing it.

Enemies suggestions: Just adding variety or including enemies with higher health is not gonna cut it. The enemy dynamics should be intertwined with the core game dynamics, keeping the gameplay feel fresh and with a lot of twists.

2- Core Game Progression: feels amazing specially in the early game and mid game when the game is new to you, but after you’re done with the vanilla playthrough, the replay value decreases each time you try the game. It becomes a basic loop of get the ingredients and make so many factories to make yet another item that you must have for some reason. After the few initial hurdles, you don’t know why you are doing all this anymore. It feels like work rather than a game. And the most frustrating moment is when your base is almost complete. No more motivation to move forward. All you can think of is to reset the game. You have tons of resources and items stacked but no meaningful way of spending them and enjoying the process. Aside from doing a megabase which is more work but somehow less joy for most people.

Gameplay suggestions: Can the mid and late game also become more engaging? Could there be scenarios with enemies, world expansion, new experiences the player can go towards? Can there be new game dynamics that make the game look very different each time you play it (Like chess!) So each game feels totally new and engaging. I know this might be a bit tough. But think of the possibilities!!

Maybe add a C&C or Civ type game to the end. So you can use your resources and all those factories to conquer the world and other civilizations. Anything that beats the current endgame void.
Last edited by Zicolo on Sat Feb 06, 2021 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

maniak1349
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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by maniak1349 »

Congratulations on the milestone! You guys are the best. Looking forward for the expansion.

bman212121
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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by bman212121 »

I think you guys came to the right conclusion. It seems like the average Factorio player is a bit older and has experienced all of the possible combinations of games in the past. Expansion is 100% the right answer to get behind if you want to continue making the same game but add new functionality. DLC is so much more work for everyone to deal with versus simply picking up one product and having a common base between all players.

So congrats to Earendel for joining the Factorio team! It would be criminal if AAI mods doesn't make it into the expansion as they are an amazing way to automate even more parts of the game. We just need that first party support dug deep into the engine to make them function as smoothly as you'd like them to. I'm really looking forward to seeing if you can convince everyone to get behind AAI and run wild with it!


Other comments for expansion. Probably the most untapped resources in my opinion are the lack of any interaction with water and air. Huge parts of the map are basically unusable because there are no boats, no bridges, no ability to swim, etc. Seems like there is some prime opportunity for alien fish to defend their water that you're polluting, but also have new and creative way to move items over large distances that doesn't require trains. It would also be nice to get planes / helicopters, but those might not automate quite as well.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by KatherineOfSky »

Congrats Earendel!!!! WOOOT! So glad you are on the team!

Welcome, welcome to Jerzy and Lucas! Hope you find Wube to be a lovely place to be. There are many adoring fans awaiting your contributions to the addiction we know as "Factorio" :D

I'm excited about the decision to create new content for the game. We all were "whispering" about it after we saw the job posting a tiny bit ago. Looking forward to "all the things" and I'm curious of the direction the game will go. Factorio is one of my favorite games of all time, and I shall be waiting eagerly for news, previews, builds, etc. of the new stuffs!

Thank you, team, for creating such a great game, and I am looking forward to the future :D
Tutorials, wild playthroughs, and more! https://www.youtube.com/c/KatherineOfSkyGaming

bill1970
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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by bill1970 »

One other of those odd statistics:

Price I paid: $20
Hours of gameplay (so far): 1610

So that means the game has cost $0.012 per hour. Talk about value for money!

I'll be looking forward to the DLC and buy it as soon as it is available. I owe you!

movax20h
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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by movax20h »

Nice.

I fully agree, one big expansion is way to go. Please just release it before 2030 :).

I think other options are just silly unless you have close to billion of dollars in capital to sink into development.

I hope of course the the bug fixes and minor improvements will be made in 1.1, modding improved if there is opportunity, and performance improved. (fluids? who knows). Factorio will have a good long life anyway.

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T-A-R
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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by T-A-R »

An obvious improvement area for Factorio would be combat area. Adding unit control (spidertron, AAI vehicles, Mining drones), and a better enemy AI could pull Factorio in a pleasuring Command and Conquer way of game. Leaving behind the engine with 1.1 would be a huge waste.

But instead of redesigning "Factorio" (to what extend?), i would rather see a new label slammed on another Wube game using the same engine. This way the artists can go all the way, without limiting themselves with the current user sediment (mea culpa) of a 8 year old game (remember the fire hydrant beacon or changed bot sounds).

Factorio being finished is both sad but very beautiful at the same time. Not finishing would be the worst. No-one could ever dream at the start of the project that this would end in 2,5M sales without even being on "sale"/DRM. I'd say mission succesful. Both funds and trust for a new chapter is gained with it.

Since so much love is involved, from both devs and players, it will be hard to close this chapter, leave it and look forward fresh again. We became attached to something unique. The strive for perfection is infinite. But thereby unobtainable by definition(!).

Not requiring pre-release sales is a luxury position. Devs should enjoy any freedom they gained. That same freedom left us with a complete, very moddable, base game.
I used to play a lot of (now) Paradox games, but the DLC mania made me quit them one by one, creating only a void for Factorio to fill.

But if you think there is room inside Factorio for an official DLC which will beat all mods, that sets the bar high. I wonder what you will come up with. At least this keeps all focus on base Factorio for a little longer, which the game is worth, for everyone (devs, modders and players).

You have been keeping your principles high, and gained trust by a certain amount of people for that. To make the best product do what you enjoy most.
Thanks for being part of the journey so far. It has been a great ride, and i'm all aboard the hypetrain for what is coming.
Last edited by T-A-R on Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jodokus31
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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by jodokus31 »

I'm glad, that factorio lives further and the development does not stop!
Good luck and congratulations to Earendel.
Best game ever

zoigo
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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by zoigo »

This all is so great, thanks for all these years!

Expansion? Shut up (plz, don't) and take my money!

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by Zomis »

I don't want to complain too much because Factorio is already an awesome game, but... Feature-complete when you can't see your own characters exact HP/MaxHP? I think there is still a few things you can add before you call it feature-complete.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by mistcrawler »

Instead of an Expansion Pack, what about an Expansion PASS?

That way, if you find later that you want to release all the 'DLC' at one time or many times, both you and the fans will be happy and you guys get paid (as long as you're up front about what you're offering, which has never been an issue in Factorio). And if this awesome rollercoaster of Factorio Friday Facts has taught me anything about you guys, it's that you always have new and exciting stuff to try out, so somehow I just don't see one big release being the end of it.

And of course, thank you for bringing Factorio to us!!! This has been such an amazing experience!

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by jape3 »

The expansion plan sounds great! One thing I've been quietly dreaming about is a multi-threaded game engine for games that play on multiple surfaces - like is the case on space exploration. That would finally justify buying a threadripper :D

Thinking back, Factorio is likely the game that I've played for the longest without stopping - I bought the game about mid 2016, and I think the longest "breaks" from the game have been 1 or 2 weeks, the time spent on vacations. And every time the game just sucks you in once you start it again.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by Ekevoo »

We don't want to start building hype too early and drive attention away from the finished Factorio.
I've been playing since .12, but specially in .17, .18 and 1.1 I've felt that I was quite uninterested in playing the game at all while there was an experimental branch going on. Mods would split support and I was missing features I had never experienced but knew were coming.
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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by Trific »

With respect to people wanting better enemies, one place where Factorio lacks is in ways to respond to anything but the sort of basic bland enemies we have right now. Other than biters and the day/night cycle and fires the player might start themselves, the environment plays no role in planning a factory. There's no seasons, no snowfall that might block solar panels, no drought that might dry up water sources, lightning that might start forest/grass fires (now you really want that concrete as a buffer from grass/trees), earthquakes, volcanoes, rainfall, storms, floods, etc. Add things that bring opportunity but at the cost of having to manage risk (potential for massive geothermal power near a volcano, but at the increased risk of damage from eruptions/earthquakes). Having to automate damage recovery, or having some way of melting that snow off the solar panels. Needing to have a blended and widespread power grid to deal with the inherent weaknesses of each type of power (need to pipe heat from those boilers/nuclear reactors to melt snow off your "free power" solar grid?).

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by bman212121 »

After thinking about the future of Factorio, here are a few random thoughts. One of the bigger picture things I'd like to suggest is now is a great time to be planting the seed for future work. There is no immediate need to get work done and you can likely take a bit longer than you plan right now before you commit to releasing the beta of the expansion. If you have plans to expand in the future, now would be the time to bring a few more people on board to the team than you anticipate. There should be more free time for the senior members to get new members involved and up to speed. So later on down the road if you needed to have side by side projects the team should be fleshed out by then and it will be much easier to tackle two projects at once without stretching the core team too thin.

My reason for above is to pitch a possible big picture solution. I think that Factorio could likely sustain more than one expansion pack. Several RTS games in the past have done it and have been successful, so there is a precedent to have more than one expansion. But I'm not sure that the player base would want to wait for one expansion to be complete before work even begins on the next one. So what I'd propose to Wube is classify ideas into two buckets. Near term goals and stretch goals. Take the near term goals and flesh out a cohesive update around them and use that for the base of the first expansion pack. Then take the stretch goals and assemble those into another cohesive pack and start working on it before the beta for the first expansion hits. This would require more people overall but you'll have more time to implement some of the functions you really wanted but had to cut because they would have required too much time to do. This would make a followup expansion for Factorio that would be underway before the first one is finalized. After the second expansion I would guess that Factorio would probably be complete and it would be time to move to Factorio 2 or another game completely. The good part is that after the first expansion is completed it would probably free up some resources to start thinking about what to create next while a second expansion would still be in the pipeline. Once the second expansion is out then the full team could start making the push to fully develop the next title.

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JaJe
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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by JaJe »

Why not making a true 3D Factorio game to compete against satisfactory?

I always dreamed about a game which have the freedom to build like space engineers + no man's sky procedual universe + Factorio. Intergalactic industry.

Each building you craft have a custom performance based on how you build it.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by NotRexButCaesar »

JaJe wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:58 pm
Why not making a true 3D Factorio game to compete against satisfactory?
This is an expansion, not a new game.
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