Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

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

Post by Rebmes »

Love the post, great outlook, keep pressing forward ^^

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by whymeintrouble »

Great news! Will be happy to give you more of my money!

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by tolomea »

JaJe wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:58 pm
Why not making a true 3D Factorio game to compete against satisfactory?
Why compete, better to be different / unique.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by maxp779 »

I like everything I just read :mrgreen: I will wait patiently until the expansions release. No rush tbh because im still 100% hooked on regular factorio!

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by Axios »

Deinitely agree to a big expansion pack! One copy already sold! Thanks Wube, take your time.

Probably one of the few games that nowadays deserve a "shut up and take my money!" even before announcing the title of the expansion pack.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by Oozenthor »

Aaaw, I was hoping for Hextorio, Factorio using hexagons instead of squares.
And throw in an additional 12 pentagons in every map and you get a round planet!
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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by psychomuffin »

Thank you to all the devs, modders, and everyone that worked on this game! It was truly awesome!

Here are some more ideas for what you can do:

-Do a TED talk! Now... maybe a lot of other games do operate like you, and we just don't see it, but for me, I loved your weekly FFFs and all your transparency about the development. I think you could do a talk on your work flow, or your design beliefs, or your dedication to coding the game to be VERY efficient on even low end computers. Too many other devs tell the players the plays what they should like, or blame players for not using interfaces correctly, or they just code and expect people to have high end computers because they just feed computations and hope players CPUs can brute force it. Anyways, there is a lot you can alk about that I think other companies really need to adopt.

-What else you can do is be consultation team to help other companies make better games! Help them with the design process and making coding better! I think a lot of other games can really use that!

-Also, What about making a completely different game! I would love to see what your talents could do when set to a different game!

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by starlinvf »

Pawz wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 11:38 am
Frankly, a way to pull in some of the more.. ok I'll say it, the ladies --- that would be amazing. Something to itch that Stardew Valley type gameplay.. collecting, farming, caring for critters, dungeon diving...

Factorio has always been laser focused on 'the factory must grow' and I feel like they truly have achieved that. Something to suck in the other half would be amazing...
But that doesn't work without diluting the main game in the process. Terreria skirts that edge so hard, it got its leg stuck in the last few big updates. Pre-MS Mminecraft managed to avoid it, where as Post-MS Minecrafted dived in head first. Which says a lot, as both of those games are more freeform. The issue I recognize is how it prominently hijacks the entire rest of the game to serve a self perpetuation.... the kind that can spiral into unhealthy activity, and subjugate design choices away from things that aren't that loop. Thats super bad when the loop can be infinitely expanded, and the "mileage per content" starts hitting a trend of diminishing returns.

"More options", despite popular misconception, is not always better. Humans have a finite capacity for comprehension, and there exists an optimal scope where we feel like we have infinite choices, but not face the real existential crisis of having to approach a massive glut of content based on subjective value. If its not apparent yet; other games have struggled with the problem of players ignoring huge % of the game, due to insular tendencies. It makes for better monetization (more things that people might incidentally spend on)... but it doesn't always translate into making a better game. Long lived games are showing these kinds of cracks..... Warframe, WoW, Destiny.... entire swaths of game content either forgotten, avoided, or powered through, just because its an obstacle to the current "end game".


Factorio isn't really designed to expand outward... and its upward mobility is effectively capped by having a fixed end goal of the Rocket. Everything thats been added, including mods, have all been about what you can cram within those boundaries. Things like Mega Factories are an exercise in benchmarking, as there aren't really any new problems to solve..... and all the research at that phase serve to trivialize expansion.

The whole "the factory must grow" meme is ultimately just a side effect of how the game operates through accelerating growth and scale. An embodiment of Moore's law in practice. But growth for the sake of growth, and serves no other purpose or goal beyond "more consumption", is how the entire game's medium keeps easily falling into these traps.

Thus I don't think trying to become Stardew valley services the design of the game. Because even Stardew Valley was made with all of its designs serving a meandering approach to play. It would be like injecting laser focused goals, and building massive networks of resource interdependence into Stardew Valley...... it would utterly ruin what the game is good at.



Theres also another Case Study I think is worth bringing up in this type of discussion. "Recctear: an Item shop tale", and it how structured its game mechanics to work for both sides of the paying off your Debt.... which is the central "goal" of the game. The game itself is rough in a lot of spots, its general design is actually brilliant enough to be a template for a while sub-genre. So the main plot line is trying to run an item shop, in order to pay off a bank debt and avoid homelessness. But this mainly serves as way to tie together 4 different types of games into a single ecosystem. The Item Shop, The Crafting system, The Dungeon Crawling, and a Visual Novel. As a whole, each has needs and outputs which interconnect to the other systems to help advance them. The item shop (which was the main selling point of the game) is your main economics engine. You obtain items (bought or collected), and sell them for a profit. The crafting system processes raw materials and other items, and turns them into more valuable items. The Dungeon provides raw material, and utilizes Adventurers/Characters you socialize with through out the game. The visual novel is character arcs. Aspects of these are even governed by a repeating Calendar; meaning certain opportunities are only open during certain time windows, time of day, and/or being at a certain location in conjunction with the other two.

But the gems is how they all interact. Character arcs and introductions are triggered and/or advanced by the state of your shop, obtaining certain items or levels on dungeon crawls, or crafting certain things. You can only craft certain items by having met certain characters, advanced their arcs far enough, and/or taking them into the Dungeon. When going into the dungeon (which you have to be accompanied by other characters), you can sponsor them with gear, and find rare materials or advance story arcs. Those characters even buy things from your shop; and if they get gear, that becomes part of their default load out, so you won't need to loan them gear on every dive. Which means you can craft gear and put it in the shop, and they might buy it..... which you can under price during barter to make sure they take it. Did I mention you negotiate prices on every sale? And that theres a whole Exp system that rewards being able to figure out each customer's optimal price point? Which means they'll buy from you, and sell to you, items at a more favorable rate? And that it increases the odds of them bringing in rare items to sell to you, which you can use to craft better items, which you can give to adventurers, which makes them stronger and boost your relationship with them, which advances their story arcs, which opens up new characters, new dungeon events, and new materials to craft with, which you can sell in your shop, get the cash, level the shop up, unlock new goods from the merchant's guild, craft even more new things, remodel the place, attract a new character to the shop, later find out one of the other characters knows them, story hijinks ensue, they join your friend group, so you craft some loaner gear for a dungeon crawl, make it to new a level of the dungeon and.... wait.... clues to the shop keeper's missing father?

Its game with a finite amount of things you can do. But that list is so large, and conditioned in such a way, that you can spend hundreds, if not a thousand+ hours in it, and NEVER run into characters or find certain items. Because your habits never steered you into the conditions that allow you to find them. The game is effectively open ended, and the only "requirement" is the bank debt that drives the first several hours of the plot. But the character arcs create definitive end points that you can complete, while also opening new things along the way. You can "discover" all the crafting recipes; but they're so numerous, not many people had the resolve to complete the list.

On its face, it has all the things many modern games claim to. But the vast majority of games use these as trivial end points, or massive check lists for people to grind through. The flaw is that they are all ends in search of perpetuating a means. The way Recettear uses them, they all serve to help and advance each other in a way that you blindly stumble on opportunities (and new concepts) while in the process of doing something else. And everything is so perfectly framed, that everything you do feels like its naturally justified.

So its an absolute shame that the game's collection of minor flaws (mostly lack of polish) tend to slog things down in a way that make its insufferable for a modern gamer. And theres been about a half dozen games that have tried a similar premise.... but end up focusing too much on a single aspect, that it side lines others into an almost vestigial existence.


The whole reason I lay this out, is that most games end up shrinking the player's awareness in way that makes them totally lose sight of a higher purpose. And it results in the player eventually realizing they aren't actually building toward anything, despite that being the supposed driving force of everything they do. But if a game is too clear on its purpose, players will optimize to that specific goal, and ignore everything else.

Factorio works, because the Eco system has defined boundaries that keep the player heading in the direction of only a hand full of long term goals. It inevitably converges.

Minecraft was a game with no defined goal (sans the End Dragon, which is technically an in-joke), but its eco system is circular in a way that any short goal both stems from, and feeds into another goal. And through the process of reaching one goal, you discover an opportunity for another goal that intersects with one or more things you're already doing, were planning on doing, or have already done. And when you've done all you think you've wanted to do in one place; you simply head out in a random direction, and discover something that starts the process all over again. It inevitably starts over.

Stardew Valley is similar to factorio, in that its a game about setting up processes. However, unlike Factorio, its not about design and automation. Instead it about evolving habits, and then constantly adding small disruptions to keep those habits from stagnating. Its a subtle, but significant difference in that you aren't playing "the game", so much as you're playing yourself. Its less of a full eco system, and more like a series of adjacency. Like a Swarm Intelligence version of a higher purpose. The advantage here is that it flows easily.... but it also tricks you into thinking the game is bigger then it actually is. Its not inherently bad- but it also means its not something that you can transpose on something else as a solution. THAT is essentially my problem with that premise.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by tolomea »

Oozenthor wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 5:50 pm
Aaaw, I was hoping for Hextorio, Factorio using hexagons instead of squares.
And throw in an additional 12 pentagons in every map and you get a round planet!
The number of bugs those 12 pentagons would cause...
Still cool idea

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by silenceko »

Great news!

I hope for flying and digging bugs, just like the bugs in starship troopers --> AA and hardened concrete (or even some alienloot too) to block diggers would be cool. This with an implementation of automated vehicles (different tanks) would spice this up :)

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by Kyralessa »

psychomuffin wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 6:12 pm
-Do a TED talk! Now... maybe a lot of other games do operate like you, and we just don't see it, but for me, I loved your weekly FFFs and all your transparency about the development. I think you could do a talk on your work flow, or your design beliefs, or your dedication to coding the game to be VERY efficient on even low end computers. Too many other devs tell the players the plays what they should like, or blame players for not using interfaces correctly, or they just code and expect people to have high end computers because they just feed computations and hope players CPUs can brute force it. Anyways, there is a lot you can alk about that I think other companies really need to adopt.
I'd love to hear kovarex talk about Wube's fix-bugs-first (and perhaps also fix-even-the-really-obscure-bugs) philosophy. I've worked at a lot of software shops, and I've never run across one that wholeheartedly believes that bugs need to be fixed before adding new features. Wube is unique in the software industry, and I'd love to hear a talk about what effect they feel that it's had on the game, on public perception, on how they work as a team, and so forth.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by Impatient »

I have to say, I am really glad Wube hired Earendel. Why? Because Earendel is exactly my taste for an additional game designer for Factorio. When I read the threads "What is next for Wube" and "Factorio 2" I thought: "Hire Earendel to plan a new expansion. Earendel showed so much skill and inventiveness and captured, what a lot of players wanted to have in Factorio, this person is the perfect addition."

Congrats to Wube for deciding to hire Earendel!

And shoutouts to Earendel! I am looking forward to what you come up with for Fxt.
Last edited by Impatient on Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by nuhll »

1. i hope they add different planets (without that round, keep the grid like it is, the planet can be "hidden" like in oxygen not included)

So a mix from factorio, oxygen not included and dyson spehre, that would be epic.

2. Much more recipes

3. maybe different age, WHAT about a DLC per AGE? Like maybe release a factorio 100 years later...? If you start your rocket in factorio you crash to factorio: new lands (what ever) and if you start ar ocket there you can go to factorio: insert name here.

Also you could do a "factorio 2" just with differnt rules, like its not square its round what ever... try different things..

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by Recon419A »

First, let me say that I'm excited for an expansion.

Second, people keep asking what the devs can add that modders can't, and as someone who's played tons of both vanilla and many different mods, the answer for me is balance. A lot of overhaul mods like AngelBob's or even SpaceX have issues with balancing - they strive to be realistic or flesh out a cool concept without really paying attention to what it does to the gameplay. In AngelBob's, for instance, you have a concept of ever more and more complicated production chains which add additional outputs, improving your production but causing things to jam if balanced improperly. At various phases throughout the game, however, there's nothing to do with the additional resources: things like Silicon, Geodes, or Slag end up backing up and not really contributing to the game. Similarly, Space Exploration is a really cool concept for a mod, and many of the things it adds are amazing, but it still struggles with balance: early on, rockets cost so much more than delivery cannon capsules that even if you're sending 500 stacks of a resource you effectively never want to use a rocket, which breaks the fantasy of the game. Time and again, I've come to understand that one or another modset which I thoroughly enjoy has glaring balance issues that make it frustrating to play, hard to learn, and unnecessarily complicated - adding complexity without difficulty and respective payoff. Frequently, such modsets also have things that make you heavily meta-game - such as by avoiding certain ways of making things or transporting them which then effectively become "dead research" in the tech tree. Even if Wube simply duplicated the gameplay of a mod like Space Exploration - which seems likely with them bringing Earendel on board - or AngelBob's, I'm sure they could do it better, bringing to bear all of their expansive knowledge of game balancing and intentional game design.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by ptx0 »

oggyswe wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:34 am
for the expansion thing have you thought about maybe multi planet stuff with new planets and new resources and enemies? aka you finish the base game and then travel around and building fantastic factories and transporting stuff around?
yeah just clone Dyson Sphere Program.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by ptx0 »

Recon419A wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:27 pm
First, let me say that I'm excited for an expansion.

Second, people keep asking what the devs can add that modders can't, and as someone who's played tons of both vanilla and many different mods, the answer for me is balance. A lot of overhaul mods like AngelBob's or even SpaceX have issues with balancing - they strive to be realistic or flesh out a cool concept without really paying attention to what it does to the gameplay. In AngelBob's, for instance, you have a concept of ever more and more complicated production chains which add additional outputs, improving your production but causing things to jam if balanced improperly. At various phases throughout the game, however, there's nothing to do with the additional resources: things like Silicon, Geodes, or Slag end up backing up and not really contributing to the game. Similarly, Space Exploration is a really cool concept for a mod, and many of the things it adds are amazing, but it still struggles with balance: early on, rockets cost so much more than delivery cannon capsules that even if you're sending 500 stacks of a resource you effectively never want to use a rocket, which breaks the fantasy of the game. Time and again, I've come to understand that one or another modset which I thoroughly enjoy has glaring balance issues that make it frustrating to play, hard to learn, and unnecessarily complicated - adding complexity without difficulty and respective payoff. Frequently, such modsets also have things that make you heavily meta-game - such as by avoiding certain ways of making things or transporting them which then effectively become "dead research" in the tech tree. Even if Wube simply duplicated the gameplay of a mod like Space Exploration - which seems likely with them bringing Earendel on board - or AngelBob's, I'm sure they could do it better, bringing to bear all of their expansive knowledge of game balancing and intentional game design.
.. that's really unfair to say they don't pay attention to what happens to the gameplay.

on one hand, you're right - Space Exploration's balance is off because the author Earendel doesn't actually play the mod himself. he just tests small pieces and relies on user reports for balance issues - but when users experience balance issues, common response is "that's just how SE is". for instance, your complaint about rockets being expensive... yeah, that's.. intentional. I didn't feel it broke the fantasy. the problem for me is the lack of reward for all the extra work.

Angel's mods on the other hand, I'm not sure if you're confusing Seablock with Angel's... the main issue there is how many countless variations of mod settings or mod loadouts that they are trying to support, because everyone wants AngelBob's to run alongside insert major overhaul name here. but Angels gives you plenty of reward for extra work.

if "things jam up sometimes" is bad, then in vanilla, there also exist questionable balance decisions. if you want to have a balanced lubricant production, you have to void excess petroleum gas via solid fuel burning in boilers. commonly used are Radar for a power sink on an isolated network connected to boilers for voiding..

for me, if they add "Space Exploration" as a goal in Factorio, I just don't see the point. there needs to be some kind of reward for the additional effort of cross-surface logistics. Spidertron is already here and it's a Utility science addition.

what new things could be unlocked after Space science that aren't simply "more tiers of equipment"? personally I'm fine with this idea. making higher tier Productivity modules and beacons that need rare materials from space to craft seem like a fun idea, because of additional build layouts that get unlocked. but a lot of people hate the idea of "just adding more tiers" and even wrongly categorise mods like Bob's or Angels as just that.

they've got linked-chest in the game engine. a late-game tech would possibly be the teleportation chests, but a game that has so much focus on conveyor belts will lose a bit of the magic bypassing things like trains and belts. what's the gameplay gained here?

sorry to say but anything that comes will probably just feel like "more things to build for no good reason". I'll happily eat my foot if I'm wrong.

one more thought: if wube brings anything to the table, it's actually... being very opinionated. this isn't a bad thing. the reason Angels is bad is because it tries to please everyone. Wube is not afraid to say "no" and shoot down bad requests right away.
Last edited by ptx0 on Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by gyorokpeter »

For me the campaign is the only thing missing thing from the game. I really need that "official hand" to show me an objective to do. I always end freeplay immediately after the first rocket because there is nothing left to do. I also never play mods because they are not "official".
Achievements are "official" and therefore they are another way to add objectives but those work only once.
The campaign should not try to mimic freeplay. It should seize the opportunity to give the player different starting conditions, different objectives and different restrictions. Introduce some campaign-only elements that blend with the rest of the game but still force players to come up with designs that are different from freeplay just due to the presence of those elements and/or restrictions. Also take the opportunity to create some lore and story to justify why the player needs to do the current objective. For example in Starcraft 2, campaign is vastly different from multiplayer, almost like two separate games that share the basic game mechanics, so the two provide a complementary experience.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by Originus »

Dear Wube,
thank you for the past years of hundres of hours of having fun playing factorio and thank you for the great insights by the factorio facts!

Enjoy your success and continue as you plan - it sounds like a great plan!

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by Templarfreak »

I have to say that, the prospect of any kind of expanding upon the game is not especially appealing. In the form of an expansion, or DLC, or whatever, doesn't matter. Not that I am against the idea, quite the contrary. While there are many great mods out there, they usually don't care if they change the base game too heavily. That's fine, there is a reason mods do this. It is because there isn't a whole lot one can do to the base game that feels like it is legitimately expanding upon it in a meaningful way. There's a pretty big reason for that.

The game is pretty much as complete as it can get. Anything else would be difficult without having huge feature creep or adding in things that are too against the idea of the core game. There is only a couple ideas that could work. One is auto-placing blueprints. That is something that I don't think there could be any satisfying way to implement. Mods have done this before, but in an insanely complex way that would not work for the base game. The other idea is doing something with surfaces. Additional surfaces is not a feature the base game utilizes at all. Surfaces would be the trickiest thing to use, though. It would be very hard to make it seamless with the rest of the game. To make it feel like it actually belongs. There is one more avenue of this game that is largely unexplored, and I'll get to that later.

The fact of the matter is, to truly expand upon the base game one or both of those two ideas are the best and easiest routes to take. The issue is, while those may be the easiest ideas of all, they are still going to be very difficult to work with. Either idea could be very easily messed up. It's not that I doubt Wube's capabilities and talents. Hell, if anyone could do it, it would be Wube. The problem is that this would be the biggest hurdle for the game yet. ANY mistake can ruin the entire expansion, and that is a lot of unreasonable pressure to put on anyone.

Any other kind of expansion other than that would just feel kind of... Disappointing? Let me draw a comparison to Factorio's newest love-child: The Spidertron. People needed the Spidertron. It solves so many problems, some of which people didn't even know were problems to begin with. It was honestly one of the smoothest new additions to the game ever. It perfectly encompasses everything that the game stands for. It raised the bar so well. Every major addition to the game has felt the same. Trains. Control Circuits. Robots. Nuclear power. The big science redesign. Artillery. Every single one of these fundamentally changed the game in a big way. They all felt right within Factorio's identity, they all are extremely useful, and they don't overstep their boundaries. This is a lot of standards to live up to, and an expansion would have to raise that bar even higher to meet that.

The only other major idea I have would be a big personal combat rework. Power Armor MK2 is very limiting for today's Factorio. It was fine 3 or 4 years ago, it worked and achieved its purpose. In my eyes, though, today personal combat is the most underdeveloped aspect of the game. It feels weird to say it, but just having combat armor that you put modules in feels very basic and simplified for this game. It needs an entirely new angle. Compared to all the modern UI changes, combat armor also feels very clunky. All one can really do is swap modules in and out and change which combat armor you're wearing. Power Armor is also so about dishing out damage and attacking things and this feels wrong. So my main conclusion with all of that in mind is that the direction power armor needs to go in needs to be unorthodox. It should make you think more laterally instead of forward. It should mostly be about supporting something else and providing utility. It does some of that already, namely in Personal Roboports, Exoskeletons, and Night Vision. It can go a step further, though. Why continue to think inside this box of modules for it? It could go in an entirely different direction.

The only other way forward, beyond those ideas, would be to create new problems for the players. That way, these new problems could have new solutions. The issue with this idea though, is the same problem with other additions. How do you do that without it breaking the personality of the game too drastically? To make it feel like it is truly apart of Factorio? On top of that, Factorio is already a precariously balanced game with what the player has to manage. There is already a lot of problems the player has to solve. Solving them, new problems showing up, solving those, and so on. Adding more may start to become overwhelming. If it gets too crazy, it may again result in feature creep problems. So even doing this for Factorio is risky and tricky.

In conclusion, I think that there are simply too few avenues to really fully expand upon this game. The most obvious and easiest ways are all ways that are still very difficult to achieve. I don't have any answers for any of what I've brought up, but I hope this has been a helpful read. Maybe at least this has helped you guys think of different ways other than what I've mentioned to expand upon the game. This is one of my favorite games of all time, and I love it to death, and it would make me so sad if its first and possibly only major expansion didn't live up to the rest of the game. I know it may seem unfair to have such high expectation, or picky or selfish on my part, but I really do have the best interests for the game at heart by saying all of this.
Last edited by Templarfreak on Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:58 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #365 - Future plans

Post by Recon419A »

ptx0 wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:40 pm
...
First, I want to clarify that I'm not hating on mod authors. I love Space Exploration and AngelBob's both and I've actually been involved with them to some degree.

That being said, I like your last point in particular. Wube isn't afraid to take an idea and define very clearly what it is and isn't, which mod authors can sometimes struggle to do. Certain concepts from every mod - like the Metallurgy processes in Angel's mods or the fact that you need exotic resources for higher-tier modules and beacons in Space Exploration - are spot-on and really improve my gameplay experience. Some mods - like AAI Industry - actually hit this balance nearly perfectly, in large part because they're simple and add one or two things that are balanced really well.

On the flip side of the coin, certain things are always in progress or always serving competing interests. While Angel's mods have had refining in them for a long time, it's only now with the component and tech overhauls that they're starting to have uses for certain resources like lead. Almost all of the real-world uses for materials like lead and zinc have already made it into the game, and in the net, there's not enough uses for them to consume the available supply. I've even found myself at various points looking through FNEI to ask questions like "is there anything I can do with this?"

In contrast, vanilla provides clear and straightforward ways of dealing with excess ingredients. You mention lubricant production as an example, but it's not one I've run into: heavy oil is generally the least of my worries unless I'm not adequately cutting off my cracking. Even if I did need massive amounts of lubricant, there are other uses for oil: it can be burned as fuel (and even prioritized as fuel via power switches connected to the circuit network), converted into rocket fuel for space science (which becomes incredibly relevant in the late game), or converted into nuclear fuel for trains. If I'm having a repeated shortage of heavy oil, I could even convert over the bulk of my production to use coal liquefaction, which has clear tradeoffs in the amount and types of oil it produces. That being said, the fact that I've never had to resort to voiding or to setting down arrays of tanks is evidence of good design.

I totally agree with you on this point:
ptx0 wrote:
Fri Feb 05, 2021 8:40 pm
the problem for me is the lack of reward for all the extra work
That's more or less what I was trying to say when I talked about "unnecessary complexity." Some things, like going to other planets to get Holmium or setting up more complicated smelting chains to cast sheet coils, have a very clear tradeoff in that they reward additional setup and upfront cost with better performance down the line. You have to work harder, but your factory will benefit quite clearly from the additional time and effort you put in. In effect, you feel like your hard work has been rewarded. This is a cornerstone of good game design.

I get what you're saying about adding more tiers. At times, I've felt like mining drill upgrades from something like Bob's mods encourage a gameplay that's about getting new materials so you can get faster drills to get new materials using exactly the same blueprints. In contrast, I think something like AAI does - where it adds machines of different sizes that have more module slots - is something that rewards additional design. I've had a lot of fun setting up factories to smelt my resources in AAI because the unusual furnace size increases my enjoyment. It feels like a genuinely different design challenge than setting up rows of three-wide furnaces. LIkewise, anything Angel's does - like setting up electrode-based electrolysis or smelting metallurgy - feels like a different challenge each time.

I would ultimately love to see a marriage of all the best elements of each of these mods - space with additional resources, rewards for setting up more complicated or slightly different designs, and meaningful progression that changes more than just the tiers of your machines. I think Wube is ideally positioned to take some of the best elements of mods - like they did with fluid wagons, nuclear power, and personal roboports - and turn them into full-fledged aspects of the game that take all kinds of balance into account - not just the literal recipes but the rewards for player agency as well.

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