I've known about Factorio for quite some time, but only just now did I actually get it. So here's my first impression/experience:
I first decided to heck with the tutorial, how hard can it be to just figure it out as I go? Well several minutes later of getting literally nothing accomplished, I conceded and played through the tutorial. It does a great job at teaching the fundamentals and it was actually a decent challenge. I died once to biters when I ran out of ammo, and another time to my train. I thought the tutorial was a bit long, but there was a huge amount to learn, so I don't think it could be any shorter really. Maybe don't marathon play through it in 1 shot? My next decision was to mess around with the map settings. I cranked the resources to max, as well as trees, and slightly decreased the biter attack thresholds while increasing my starting space. I wanted to have a fairly low pressure situation to just figure out how everything works together before having to worry about defense. But as my factory began to grow larger than I ever imagined, I started to wonder... Where are the biters? The trees were quite thick, and it took me a while to chop a path to not get very far. Once I got grenades, exploration went faster. And once the grenades were upgraded to destroy trees with 1 toss, it was even fasterer. But still, no biters to be found. Maybe I made the starting space encompass the entire world map, and inadvertently disabled the biters that way? I had to know. I didn't want to get too much further invested into this factory if there were no biters. If I had known there was a tank, and that it could drive through trees, I would have made that my #1 research priority. I soon found some very large nests of biters compared to what I had seen in the tutorial. And not yet having cannon rounds, I had to run away a couple times. Returning to base, I finished researching cannon shells, loaded up on outpost supplies, and set back out to create a bunch of radar outposts. I wanted to know where the pollution was going in the unrevealed map, and also where the biters would attack from. It turns out my main defenses were protected an empty peninsula, and I had a massive wall just a few hundred tiles from where a 6 tile wall would stop the same path. I thought the explosive cannon rounds would make quick work of the biter nests, but I had to attack and retreat to repair several times just to take out a middling sized group of them, and then ran out of cannon rounds. Time to get those in the production line.
Overall, it is 1 of those games for me that is hard to stop playing. But also it's a relaxing game to play (at least with my nerfed biters custom map settings), which is a nice break from work.
Here's the map view of my newly established radar outpost perimeter:
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