Have Some Questions Before I Buy.

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starlinvf
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Re: Have Some Questions Before I Buy.

Post by starlinvf »

jacozilla wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 11:43 am
Well for what it's worth to devs taking feedback, I'll certainly keep game on steam wishlist and check back, but not buying atm purely due to how the demo tutorial seems to make the game so hard and vague in some areas.

Youtube intros like Katherine of Sky's videos made Factorio seem super fun and confirmed my buy decision. The demo tutorials 100% reversed that decision.

If I had more free time I might pick it up as a risk worth it for $30, pretty fair price given all the positive feedback (my personal opinion doesn't change that I accept a great many do indeed love the game as-is).

But with so many competitor games available, will just check back later and see if the impression given by demo tutorial gets any better.
Honestly the big issue is the fact that the kind of game Factorio "is" suffers pretty heavily in anything but the most basic Tutorial scenarios. Teaching a Concept in the game ranges from simple to "I hope you like linear algebra", depending on what kind of function being accomplished. This runs a bit at odds with "conventional" game design, since most solutions to puzzles have to be "Player intuitive"; where as Factorio is trying to get the player to "engineer" a solution, which is enabled or limited by what knowledge they have. This demands a LOT more deliberate thinking then most games demand of players.... so putting a lot of pressure or artificial constraints has the opposite effect of what this is normally for.

Generally in game design, putting pressure on the player is a means to force them into committing to an action. But if they don't understand what action needs to be taken, they get frustrated easily. Nearly every game has that one situation where something wasn't designed quite right, or the level designer worked on an assumption that the players weren't doing.... and those usually end up being what gets complained about for whatever reason at hand.

Factorio's 2 biggest hurdles in this regard is Trains and Bitter escalation. Trains have a lot of abstract signaling/pathing logic thats not easily visualized, even with the UI elements. They are arguably the second most complicated game mechanic behind handling Combinators. And the low threshold for pathing failures during build out can cause players to give up on it, when Belts are much easier to work with (despite the huge limitations they impose over distances). Bitter attacks create a problem of huge sets backs, that demand a lot on the fly factory restructuring if you weren't aware of them. This creates a situation where they either attack too early (before you have a grasp on defense logistics), or way late in the playthrough (when the factory is too optimized toward pure production)... and depending on what state your design is in, will determine how hard it is to rig enough defenses now that they're starting an attack cadence. Which is why a lot of people tend to lean toward peaceful mode once they find out about.


They really should rename it from Campaign to Tutorial, Tutorial Missions, and make it the Second listed option for single player. This makes the Freeplay mode look less of a "side mode", and more like the game's Main game mode that it is. As for the missions themselves..... thats a lot harder to answer. It has to be dumbed down enough that most casual players can at least tackle it with a high margin of error; but present the problems in a way that naturally reinforces a desire to optimize designs as you go. With that wide a range of player performance levels, theres not a good way to direct player learning without some seriously smart puzzle design.

Using Creeper world 3 as an example, nearly ALL the levels have to have very precisely tuned Escalation rates that the player is trying to race against. The concept is pretty basic. You have a limited capacity for building rates, which is applicable to both sides (both player and creeper). But while the Creeper's escalation rate is mostly fixed, the player's escalation rate is an accelerating curve. And during play, the goal is to hit the tipping point where you can go on the offensive and attack the spawner nodes. Older versions of this game were more basic timed survival scenarios. Where most of the challenge was to not over tax your resources, which cascades into a catastrophic defeat. 3 also had a built-in level sharing repository. And while crawling through those, I started to realize how much effort must went into the main campaign levels, to not have them snow ball out of control too easily. Factorio would have that same problem in any scenerio where biters are involved.


So in the case of trying to build a better Factorio tutorial mission/campaign, a major problem is some of the game's more esoteric quirks that forms the back bone of the efficiency meta. Teaching those are kind of hard. Learning them on your own, almost impossible in some cases. But thats also where most of the game's real strengths are...... so you want the players to be mostly focused on those thought processes, or it'll result in them chesseing something to get around it. Because they'll think the "threat" is the actual puzzle, and not the factory design part of it.


So its going to require some top notch puzzle design that I'm (personally) having a ton of trouble theorycrafting for example purposes. You also have to be extremely aware of where a player's attention might go. As them focusing on the wrong concept, is whats going to make things very frustrating to beat.

karezza
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Re: Have Some Questions Before I Buy.

Post by karezza »

Thank you!
DaveMcW wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:42 am
Settings -> Interface -> UI Scale -> Custom

xTM
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Re: Have Some Questions Before I Buy.

Post by xTM »

I am thinking about buying Factorio, but since I have kind of busy weeks ahead I wanted to wait for the 1.1 update. Are releases of patches announced some time ahead or just dropped out into the world?

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Re: Have Some Questions Before I Buy.

Post by Impatient »

To answer your question straightly, they are dropped out of the sky. Though developer activity, which can be followed when reading the forum, sort of announces them. Everyone expects 1.1 within the next four weeks. There is no guarantee though. Maybe the designers are working on a new feature, which takes time. Wube follows the "It is done, when it is done" approach. Which IMO is the way to do it, as it ensures there is some level of quality, when something is released.

Because you mention you want to buy it, but you want to wait for the next update: Factorio is a high quality game since when I bought it four years ago. The devs just keep adding features and bugs are fixed all the time. For a newcomer to the game, the game can be considered bug free as of 1.0, except for some edge cases, which a newcomer will most likely never notice.

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NotRexButCaesar
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Re: Have Some Questions Before I Buy.

Post by NotRexButCaesar »

xTM wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:36 pm
since I have kind of busy weeks ahead I wanted to wait for the 1.1 update
I can understand not buying it if you don't want to get addicted, but 1.0 is definitely a more finished game than most at the moment. 1.1 is just adding things that long time players have been asking for for a while.
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Re: Have Some Questions Before I Buy.

Post by valneq »

xTM wrote:
Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:36 pm
Are releases of patches announced some time ahead or just dropped out into the world?
From what the developers announced so far, the 1.1 branch will first be released as an experimental update. Players who don't explicitly opt into experimental updates will not be forced to switch to 1.1 anytime soon. Then, early adopters can try things out and report bugs (if any) and mod authors can start adapting their mods to the next experimental version. Only when the developers deem their experimental branch reasonably free of bugs will they mark it stable so that everybody gets an upgrade notification for it. Even after a development branch is "stable", you can still expect bugfix releases to be published, but those are usually more of the "out of the blue sky" type.

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Re: Have Some Questions Before I Buy.

Post by xTM »

Well and there is the update (at least experimental). :D Thanks for your answers anyways!

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