does game have potential to teach me principles of elecrical engineering?

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LocknRol
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does game have potential to teach me principles of elecrical engineering?

Post by LocknRol »

Hi

I'm a beginner at playing factorio (have just built my first smelters - 32 furnaces each for iron, copper, brick) After a couple of hours play I have begun to think: does this have the potential to teach me basics of electrical engineering?

I've never really gotten my head around wattage, voltage, current, resistance etc, but i think factorio may help and i'm wondering what others thoughts are? The way i see it (and i could be wrong) is that ore and smelting represents wattage in a circuit (power), the number of smelted sheets over a given time represents voltage (in this case 32) and the speed of belts represents current. Resistance being represented by the efficiency of belts. obsticales and the speed at which inserters operate, the number of materials needed to produce an item and the baseline production time.

I just just wondering, am i talking crap?

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Re: does game have potential to teach me principles of elecrical engineering?

Post by valneq »

You are right in a way.

Electrical current is the flow of (electrical) charge through time and space.
In Factorio you move items through time and space.
Both follow the fundamental laws of physics describing transport phenomena.

However, there are differences. Electrical charges attract and repel each other: equal charges repel, differnt charges attract. This is not the case in Factorio: items don't attract each other.

Nonetheless, playing Factorio you will gain a better intuition of transport processes. This might help you in understanding electricity. But don't expect this to happen necessarily.

If you really want to learn about electricity you will have to actually do that, not play Factorio as a replacement. And this forum is not the right place to discuss physics. Maybe the off-topic section … but don't expect to learn just by discussing in any forum.

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steinio
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Re: does game have potential to teach me principles of elecrical engineering?

Post by steinio »

No. The power system is extremely simplified ...
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Re: does game have potential to teach me principles of elecrical engineering?

Post by Serenity »

Doesn't work that way. Belts can hold a finite amount of items and if you want to push more through them they just back up. Electrical systems may have a upper limit at which they safely operate, but nothing is stopping you from pushing more current through a circuit than it can really carry.

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Re: does game have potential to teach me principles of elecrical engineering?

Post by Krazykrl »

Factorio gameplay is nearly identical to software engineering and design.

You begin your factory with some sort of productivity goal in mind (science in most cases). And either you have a set goal (units/minute); or you go ad-hoc, and build-as-you-go.

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Building-as-you-go and fixing stuff "in production" is practically how every piece of software in the world is written. Feature creep in programs is a real-world problem that Factorio's main gameplay loop is built around.

Only a handful of program developer groups in the world have the requirement of creating a specification sheet and to not deviate whatsoever from the design goals of the project. NASA and JPL are among the few members of this subgroup of software engineering; and are among the most highly regarded in software development.

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Re: does game have potential to teach me principles of elecrical engineering?

Post by Hannu »

LocknRol wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:25 pm
I've never really gotten my head around wattage, voltage, current, resistance etc, but i think factorio may help and i'm wondering what others thoughts are? The way i see it (and i could be wrong) is that ore and smelting represents wattage in a circuit (power), the number of smelted sheets over a given time represents voltage (in this case 32) and the speed of belts represents current. Resistance being represented by the efficiency of belts. obsticales and the speed at which inserters operate, the number of materials needed to produce an item and the baseline production time.
Unfortunately that is not a good analogy. Factorio entities have certain nominal throughput but current have linear dependency on voltage (in normal resistive circuits under normal operating conditions, there are more complicated situations in advanced electronics). Factorio's strange liquid physics is not suitable current circuit analogy too, but how about common analogy with real water pipings. Voltage is like pressure difference, current is volumetric flow and resistance is flow resistance. At least it helps to remember that voltage (actually electric field, but it is commonly handled as voltage) is driving force of electric current and current is amount of flow (electrons) in unit time.

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Re: does game have potential to teach me principles of elecrical engineering?

Post by gGeorg »

Regarding learnig useful stuff, start to play with combinators. Reagrding logical gates its golden training ground.

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Re: does game have potential to teach me principles of elecrical engineering?

Post by ssilk »

What’s similar to physics is the conversion of work and energy. Work is energy over time, and that is simulated quite accurate in Factorio.

https://wiki.factorio.com/Work

https://wiki.factorio.com/Units
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Have you used the Advanced Search today?
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Re: does game have potential to teach me principles of elecrical engineering?

Post by jamiechi1 »

If you really want to learn more about Electrical Engineering, get a Spice type simulator program and play with it.
And maybe write your own Spice simulator. LTSpice is a good one.
Go to Xilinx website and play with their tools. Get a microprocessor such as the Arduino and learn how to program it.
Get the Ada disassembler program and look inside the Bios of your PC and learn how processors work.
Learn how to design your own circuit boards. Read lots of books, go to school and learn lots of math.
Learn machine coding and a decent programming language such as C++. (Lua Bad.)
The list is endless ...

And this will take years.

This game, not so much. Although you may learn many things with this game and with making mods for it, there are better ways to accomplish this.

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Re: does game have potential to teach me principles of elecrical engineering?

Post by Adamo »

This game is more for engineers to relax and play with simplified versions of what we do. If you find factorio interesting, you may find engineering interesting. If you want to learn more about engineering, then learn math as well as you can (doesn't have to be perfect), and start trying to use it to make stuff. Learn more physics to learn more ways to use math to make stuff. Math and physics are the basis of most (all) engineering disciplines, so that's what you need to know to be proficient in engineering, generally. One of the ways to pretend to make weird stuff with math is to program your own simulations. Factorio is a fun place to make things that are scientific but it requires a lot of esoteric coding knowledge regarding how the modding system works. But it's still worth it. Example: my nuclear mod is something I used to guide my creation of a toy reactor model I wanted to make. The outputs of the model were the various energies and burn times of the fuels, and some other things.

Learn to think in models. Engineering is about making models (mathematically) that are as simple as possible while still representing some "real" object as best it can.

Good luck, homie.

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