Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post all other topics which do not belong to any other category.
Post Reply
Quixilvr
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2019 6:57 am
Contact:

Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Quixilvr »

TL;DR - Using other people's blueprints as part of your learning and exploring of the game can be a great experience, but just plopping down someone else's blueprint can rob you of part of the fun of the game (thus cheating yourself).

I recommend playing through the introduction tutorial, then playing through a default vanilla game and making your own spaghetti base (like we all seem to do our first time) to figure things out your first time through. This helps you to understand the basic game mechanics and helps you to recognize and appreciate when you figure out best practices and better ways to do things later on. After your first full time through, then it might be a good idea to explore other people’s blueprints to get ideas and inspiration for your next time playing through the game.

In the academic world taking someone else's work and passing it off as your own is cheating or plagiarism. However, in the business world (especially in software development) taking the work (or code) that someone else has done and using it to create your own solution to solve your own problem is called appropriation, and it's much more time-efficient than trying to reinvent the wheel and create something from scratch. This is where the concept of open-source software comes from in the first place.

Factorio is an open-world sandbox game where you get to experiment with creating and automating things any way you can think of, and everyone ends up creating their own unique solutions to get there. Occasionally we all come up with something genius we want to keep for future reference and share with the world, which is the whole reason blueprints were added to the vanilla game in the first place. While building and figuring things out is fun, sharing, collaborating and learning from others is fun too. Learning doesn't have to be an individual experience, there's wisdom in learning from the experience of others.

I recommend avoiding using other people's blueprints if you:
  • Don't want to.
  • Haven’t played through the full game by yourself yet.
  • Prefer to figure things out and build things on your own.
  • Enjoy spending lots of time in trial in error.
  • Don't want someone else to doing the design work for you.
I recommend using other people's blueprints if you:
  • Feel stuck in your game progress.
  • Are looking for inspiration for better ways to play.
  • Like to learn from and reverse engineer other people's ideas.
  • Want to master the concepts of the game more quickly (especially if you have limited time to play).
  • Don't want to have to research and test out all the math for optimal production and throughput ratios, or reverse engineer complex circuit logic on your own designs.
What do you all think? Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Fishy
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Fishy »

I would say in a sandbox game like Factorio, there is no cheating. No ladder, no competition, ect. There seems to be a bit of competition in speedrunning, but it also seems to be a pretty small community of players, with very few (or none) that are "new" players.
If using other's blueprints enriches the experience (in their mind at least) for a player, than by all means!

Having said my opinion on the OP's basic question, I must say that I also agree with 100% with all the points addressed, but I wont think any less of somebody who uses any thing they want to get the best experience that they can for themselves out of the game, blueprint, mods, or otherwise.

Nemo4809
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:49 am
Contact:

Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Nemo4809 »

Quixilvr wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:39 pm
In the academic world taking someone else's work and passing it off as your own is cheating or plagiarism.
Still, even in the academic world, progress is built standing on the shoulders of giants.

In Factorio, I guess it depends on what your personal goals are.

The game doesn't consider it cheating though to my knowledge - no penalty for importing blueprint strings.

User avatar
leadraven
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 355
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:23 pm
Contact:

Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by leadraven »

Some people must reinvent the bicycle from time to time, but most are better off just using it.

I like to design things by myself from scratch, so I don't use others blueprints. Sometimes I look for some advices and examples, but after that I reproduce what I saw to understand how it works and how to improve it.

Koub
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 5489
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 8:54 am
Contact:

Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Koub »

Using others' blueprints is a "I win" button. In a non competitive game, where one don't have to fight others, the only one one's cheating is oneself.
When the main goal of a game is solving a puzzle, using an already solved puzzle removes a significant part of the game's interest.
That being said, if someone DLs blueprints and uses them to jack off in front of the uber magabase others have designed, who cares ?
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

User avatar
5thHorseman
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 944
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:21 pm
Contact:

Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by 5thHorseman »

Short answer: No.
Longer answer: Nooooooooooooooo.

Asking if using other's blueprints are cheating is like asking if sailing is the same thing as swimming. They share a lot of similar qualities but there are big restrictions on the definitions that cause them to not be the same.

And this whole "cheating yourself" thing is a facade. If you really enjoy hand crafting, assemblers are "cheating yourself." Are assemblers cheating?
Factorio For Beginners Come along with me as I detail (hopefully) every single thing you can do in Factorio with a focus on explaining to beginners, in a lighthearted, slow paced Let's Play style.

User avatar
planetmaker
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:30 am
Contact:

Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by planetmaker »

Quixilvr wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:39 pm
TL;DR - Using other people's blueprints as part of your learning and exploring of the game can be a great experience, but just plopping down someone else's blueprint can rob you of part of the fun of the game (thus cheating yourself).
(...)
I recommend avoiding using other people's blueprints if you:
  • Don't want to.
  • Haven’t played through the full game by yourself yet.
  • Prefer to figure things out and build things on your own.
  • Enjoy spending lots of time in trial in error.
  • Don't want someone else to doing the design work for you.
I recommend using other people's blueprints if you:
  • Feel stuck in your game progress.
  • Are looking for inspiration for better ways to play.
  • Like to learn from and reverse engineer other people's ideas.
  • Want to master the concepts of the game more quickly (especially if you have limited time to play).
  • Don't want to have to research and test out all the math for optimal production and throughput ratios, or reverse engineer complex circuit logic on your own designs.
What do you all think? Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?
Well, you summarized it quite well yourself, and I do agree on those points. Just stamping down existing blueprints without ever designing anything is boring. However I do believe that all your proints can co-exist in one person and one game even.

You can use other people blueprints - to focus on the aspect of the game which you *now* want to improve and fiddle with (like, I now need power, I just grab a good reactor blueprint and continue with optimizing my rocket production). Later I might return to the power issue and design my own reactor. I will compare my design with the other. I will see where the other fares better, where mine does better and worse and I will try to make one which takes-in the lessons from both.

Speaking for myself, I think using blueprints from other people is absolutely legit. I use them all the time - as I do use my own. I use existing blueprints as inspiration as to what can be tried and constantly adopt blueprints and make newer 'improved' versions of them which suit me, the current map and my playstyle more. But then, my playstyle is to tinker with setups and make them nice, efficient, compact - a goal which always sounds the same, but which depends on circumstance. In turn it takes me ages to get anything done quickly on any map ;)

I don't have the feeling that any blueprint robbed me of part of the fun - they act as source of knowledge and design which I draw from; often it's not only a matter of efficiency but also design. And generally you get better quicker, if you exchange ideas with others - here in the form of blueprints.

MassiveDynamic
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by MassiveDynamic »

Koub wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:06 am
Using others' blueprints is a "I win" button. In a non competitive game, where one don't have to fight others, the only one one's cheating is oneself.
When the main goal of a game is solving a puzzle, using an already solved puzzle removes a significant part of the game's interest.
That being said, if someone DLs blueprints and uses them to jack off in front of the uber magabase others have designed, who cares ?
Well said Koub, I was thinking the exact same thing as I was reading all the comments above.

One personal pet peeve of mine (he said redundantly) is when people join multi-player servers and start dropping bad blueprints that show the creator’s and the “blueprint dropper’s” complete lack of game knowledge.

But I assume most of those who do such things are either
[Moderated by Koub]
2. Griefers
[Moderated by Koub]
5. My relatives


Edit... sorry Koub that you confused sarcasm with personal attacks.
Last edited by MassiveDynamic on Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Beamup
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:30 pm
Contact:

Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Beamup »

My view is that using other people's ideas for inspiration - but figuring out how to make them work in detail on my own - is a very interesting middle ground. Importing blueprint strings, well, I'll do that for experimentation and inspection - but not serious use. Looking at somebody else's build and thinking, "Wow, that's a really insightful way of doing X - let me see how I can incorporate that concept into my own builds" is IMO a vastly richer way to play than limiting myself to those ideas I can personally come up with in isolation.

I see it as kind of like the difference between a forgery of a previous work (uninteresting) and a new work which is inspired by the ideas of that previous work, but materializes them in a new and unique way (can be more interesting even than the previous work, especially to the new work's creator).

Looked at another way, I'd much rather see a screenshot of somebody else's idea, and have to puzzle out how it works on my own, than have a full explanation. But either is better than mindlessly duplicating a blueprint string I don't comprehend, or than restricting myself to what I can come up with all on my own. Like so many things, the interchange of ideas makes for a much richer tapestry than any single individual could accomplish as a hermit.

Looking back on that, heh. I very rarely think in terms of artistic analogies - I'm too pragmatic for that. (OK, it's some sunflowers. So what? Am I supposed to find that somehow meaningful or interesting?) But in Factorio those viewpoints combine in a really profound way, don't they?

Edit: And LOL, I just realized - that's also exactly what I do with D&D! Take synergistic build concepts from other people, mix them up in my desired proportions, add a sprinkle of originality, and poof! Schattentod.

Festivalkyrie
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:54 am
Contact:

Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Festivalkyrie »

Beamup wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 3:58 am
My view is that using other people's ideas for inspiration - but figuring out how to make them work in detail on my own - is a very interesting middle ground. Importing blueprint strings, well, I'll do that for experimentation and inspection - but not serious use. Looking at somebody else's build and thinking, "Wow, that's a really insightful way of doing X - let me see how I can incorporate that concept into my own builds" is IMO a vastly richer way to play than limiting myself to those ideas I can personally come up with in isolation.

I see it as kind of like the difference between a forgery of a previous work (uninteresting) and a new work which is inspired by the ideas of that previous work, but materializes them in a new and unique way (can be more interesting even than the previous work, especially to the new work's creator).

Looked at another way, I'd much rather see a screenshot of somebody else's idea, and have to puzzle out how it works on my own, than have a full explanation. But either is better than mindlessly duplicating a blueprint string I don't comprehend, or than restricting myself to what I can come up with all on my own. Like so many things, the interchange of ideas makes for a much richer tapestry than any single individual could accomplish as a hermit.

Looking back on that, heh. I very rarely think in terms of artistic analogies - I'm too pragmatic for that. (OK, it's some sunflowers. So what? Am I supposed to find that somehow meaningful or interesting?) But in Factorio those viewpoints combine in a really profound way, don't they?

Edit: And LOL, I just realized - that's also exactly what I do with D&D! Take synergistic build concepts from other people, mix them up in my desired proportions, add a sprinkle of originality, and poof! Schattentod.
I like to design things by myself from scratch, so I don't use others blueprints. Sometimes I look for some advices and examples, but after that I reproduce what I saw to understand how it works and how to improve it.

User avatar
Oktokolo
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by Oktokolo »

Whether it is cheating depends on what game you are playing. There are a lots of Factorios.
If your game is not about inventing the building blocks of your factory from the ground up - then it is not cheating if you make sure that you don't have to.
If your game does not contain the need to defend, then playing a peacefull world is not cheating (will still call you a weakling though :P).

ptx0
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 292
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:16 pm
Contact:

Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by ptx0 »

5thHorseman wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:42 am
Short answer: No.
Longer answer: Nooooooooooooooo.

Asking if using other's blueprints are cheating is like asking if sailing is the same thing as swimming. They share a lot of similar qualities but there are big restrictions on the definitions that cause them to not be the same.

And this whole "cheating yourself" thing is a facade. If you really enjoy hand crafting, assemblers are "cheating yourself." Are assemblers cheating?
and anyone using productivity modules or research are cheating themselves out of building additional outposts.

wosthisdo
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Is using other people’s blueprints cheating?

Post by wosthisdo »

I tend to watch vids for inspiration (eg Tuplex) and then experiment. Just to add that, for those starting out who wish to learn by trying, the 'Bottleneck' QOL mod is a great help; its functionality should long have been part of core game.

Post Reply

Return to “General discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users