Planning vs Winging it

Post all other topics which do not belong to any other category.
Samael1105
Manual Inserter
Manual Inserter
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:50 pm
Contact:

Planning vs Winging it

Post by Samael1105 »

In theory, I really like this game. The problem I run into is planning. First off, I'm not very good at it. I just don't seem to have an eye for distances, and figuring out optimal throughput and such is very hard for me. Second, the shear scale of planning needed for a decent factory, let alone an optimal one, feels like a brick wall between me and getting into the game. It always starts to feel more like homework than a game and I get put off continuing.

So I guess my question is, can I enjoy and win this game by winging it? Or is proper planning absolutely necessary to both optimization and victory?

User avatar
TheRangerLOL
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:56 pm
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by TheRangerLOL »

There is no winning Factorio, Factorio wins you.

But seriously though, I'd put more priority on actually enjoying the game. I mean, if you're not having fun, then why are you playing?
The one and only.

Squelch
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 346
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:31 pm
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by Squelch »

Even the best laid plans will fall by the wayside.

Factorio is all about problem solving. It's true that planning is part of that, but think of those plans as an overview, and not something to try and strictly follow.

As your factory grows, you may set out to build one particular part of it, but there are always maintenance and emergencies to deal with. Treat each of these as a new problem to solve while still keeping an eye on what you set out to do.

The way I started playing, was to fail multiple times. Each time, I got a little further with the lessons I learned from the previous game. In time, you will find that it becomes second nature when judging what to build where, and how certain parts of your factory interacts with the rest.

Don't get hung up on making the most efficient or neatest factory. That is like homework, and the path to those lofty goals is filled with dragons, and you probably won't come to love trying to reach those ambitions. Wing-it, wing-it many times, and you'll find that each new game has a new feel, and every one will be enjoyable. There is no winning, just your own satisfaction in solving the problems, and believe me, you'll always have new ways to try things.

Good luck, and don't get too ambitious too quickly, it will come. This community is one of the most helpful going, and every one of us have gone through the same doubts and frustrations. Simply reach out for help, and it will come.

Yoyobuae
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 499
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by Yoyobuae »

Something that helped me was to lay down ghosts before actually building things. Using the copy&paste and blueprint "Snap to grid" functions you can setup a whole layout in minutes. Don't like the layout? Cut&paste the ghosts into a new location. Once the building ghost are in place then it's easier to build it. Just press Q key to pick the item needed to build it. This is very useful even before bots, you'll just have to manually place things instead of bots doing it for you.

The second thing that helped was to realize that nothing is really permanent (except landfill, that is). Don't be afraid to relocate things.

MassiveDynamic
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 251
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by MassiveDynamic »

You can launch a rocket without building a “perfect” factory.
In fact it’s easier to learn how to plan after you reach the late game and have nearly unlimited resources and fast robots.
If you enjoy playing the game, just play for fun.

Serenity
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 980
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:16 am
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by Serenity »

Samael1105 wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:12 pm
Or is proper planning absolutely necessary to both optimization and victory?
It depends on what you consider victory. The victory condition is launching a rocket, which is not as difficult as it seems. You don't need a lot of production for it, as you can just wait longer. Any goals beyond that are your own.

Eventually you gain more experience and can judge what you need and roughly how much space it takes. You can also make blueprints with designs you like and see how much space that takes up. Even then there will always be cases where you misjudge and run out of space somewhere.

User avatar
TheRangerLOL
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:56 pm
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by TheRangerLOL »

Also, it may be intimidating for new or inexperienced players who see really cool pictures or videos of other people's factories that have been streamlined to the max or have some very intricate layout that uses all sorts of things in it's system. However, some of these things are done by people who have been playing the game for a very long time, or perhaps have IRL experience with some of the advanced concepts that they're using. Others may be doing it as an "expo" of sorts, making art out of science, while others might just be doing it as a hobby, their own personal pet project to make something way overly complicated and unnecessary and cool (because, y'know, Factorio).

In reality, you don't really need a lot to launch the rocket (or even just just enjoy the game for that matter) , as someone else said, and you can even do it with the most basic of designs and planning.
The one and only.

CaptainSlide
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:30 am
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by CaptainSlide »

The only way to win in Factorio is to derive some enjoyment out of the process of building and problem solving. Play how you want. There are a number of you tubers who offer some good advice, there are also some who are way to pedantic with placement and ratios and what not, who basically just suck the fun out of the process. It's fun for them, but maybe not for you.

It took me something like 75 hours to launch my first rocket in my first game. Do I care? No. Because it was 75 hours of fun well spent. If I put my mind to it I could probably do it now in 10 or less, but wheres the fun in that? I am currently playing a modded Warptorio 2 game with death world settings, first rocket at 54 hours, which is not bad considering the limited build area and wildly rampaging biters, and I've not been in any particular rush.

Also the game doesn't necessarily end at the rocket launch, there is so much you can do after that and in particular there are a number of mods that add greatly to the after launch experience.

Just remember the premise of the game, your stranded on an alien planet and the goal is to get your butt of that rock. There are no bosses, no bean counters, no wives to answer too. Just you, your ingenuity and some Biters. Do it your way and enjoy the experience, learn from that experience and do it better or differently next time.

User avatar
ssilk
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 12723
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by ssilk »

My first game was an undescribeable mess. my green circuit production: 10 assemblies feed by one belt of wires. :) And then the trains came out, barely playable, and I built a train which goes about 100 tiles.

But I played it! Yeah.
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
Have you used the Advanced Search today?
Need help, question? FAQ - Wiki - Forum help
I still like small signatures...

User avatar
eradicator
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 5202
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:03 am
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by eradicator »

Samael1105 wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:12 pm
So I guess my question is, can I enjoy and win this game by winging it? Or is proper planning absolutely necessary to both optimization and victory?
Some people might actually argue that building spaghetty chaos that drives everyone else insane is the only correct way of playing it. And all the people who spend more time "planning" than playing are doing it wrong.

Just play the game building what you need right now. Don't watch videos, don't read guides. Don't overthink. In particular: completely ignore anything related to "mega" factories - those are basically a different game. If that doesn't draw you in then maybe factorio isn't (yet) a good game for you. If it does you'll probably have accidentially learned at least some planning skills by the time you fire your second rocket.
Author of: Belt Planner, Hand Crank Generator, Screenshot Maker, /sudo and more.
Mod support languages: 日本語, Deutsch, English
My code in the post above is dedicated to the public domain under CC0.

Pentium100
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:37 am
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by Pentium100 »

I usually do not read guides as it is more enjoyable to figure things out by myself.

As for planning - well, when I was building my coal -> solid fuel plant, I just did some quick ratios, but then looked at what is happening. Is the light oil tank getting full? Add more light oil->solid fuel chemical plants. Are all tanks empty and I am not getting enough solid fuel per minute? Add more refineries, then watch the tanks and see if I need more chemical plants.

The end result is not optimal, but it is good enough for me.

User avatar
TheRangerLOL
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:56 pm
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by TheRangerLOL »

Pentium100 wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:33 am
I usually do not read guides as it is more enjoyable to figure things out by myself.

As for planning - well, when I was building my coal -> solid fuel plant, I just did some quick ratios, but then looked at what is happening. Is the light oil tank getting full? Add more light oil->solid fuel chemical plants. Are all tanks empty and I am not getting enough solid fuel per minute? Add more refineries, then watch the tanks and see if I need more chemical plants.

The end result is not optimal, but it is good enough for me.
If you wanted to get fancy enough you could solve all of that noise with circuits, but honestly, oil and liquids are rarely ever such a problem for me that i have to hook up circuits anywhere to help smooth the process. Obviously circuits aren't the only solution, but my point is that there is rarely only a single solution.
The one and only.

Squelch
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 346
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:31 pm
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by Squelch »

ssilk wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:01 am
My first game was an undescribeable mess. my green circuit production: 10 assemblies feed by one belt of wires. :) And then the trains came out, barely playable, and I built a train which goes about 100 tiles.

But I played it! Yeah.
Pentium100 wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:33 am
I usually do not read guides as it is more enjoyable to figure things out by myself.
TheRangerLOL wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:36 am
Obviously circuits aren't the only solution, but my point is that there is rarely only a single solution.
eradicator wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:30 am
Some people might actually argue that building spaghetty chaos that drives everyone else insane is the only correct way of playing it. And all the people who spend more time "planning" than playing are doing it wrong.

Just play the game building what you need right now. Don't watch videos, don't read guides. Don't overthink. In particular: completely ignore anything related to "mega" factories - those are basically a different game. If that doesn't draw you in then maybe factorio isn't (yet) a good game for you. If it does you'll probably have accidentially learned at least some planning skills by the time you fire your second rocket.
These are all wise words.
There is no right way to play Factorio, so don't let anyone convince you otherwise. All of the guides and videos are from people demonstrating how they do it. There may be some tips to learn from them, but ultimately, they are not recipes for success on your particular map.

Do it your way.

Pentium100
Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:37 am
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by Pentium100 »

TheRangerLOL wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:36 am
If you wanted to get fancy enough you could solve all of that noise with circuits
I use circuits to shut all that collection of refineries and chemical plants down when output boxes get full. I am converting coal to solid fuel because I get "free energy" out of it, so might as well make the conversion process more efficient.

blazespinnaker
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 532
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by blazespinnaker »

I don't like the phrase problem solving, I prefer invention. You are inventing new factories and the delight and spark of joy with each new invention is what keeps you coming back.

And winging is a lot of fun and definitely how you should play if you prefer not to plan. This is supposed to be fun.

Try to experiment tho while winging so you learn something each time. It's how I got into it. I avoided the forums and hints and videos because I wanted to enjoy the experience of discovery, but I was all about the winging it. Looking back, I obviously was very very very non optimal for a long time, but it was fun. If you get frustrated a bit, get the creative mod or use the sandbox and play around to understand how things work. It will give the chance to build stuff and learn without any stress. Or at least play with the biters turned off.

One hint I will give though, is look at the time to craft things. If something crafts in 30s and needs something that crafts in 5s, then it's reasonable to assume that if you had 1 assembler of the 5s thing, it will craft 6 things in 30s (30/5). Those 6 things that got crafted will be enough to supply 6 assemblers that take 30s, as in 30s they will only need the 6 things total.

It's a little bit more complicated than that, but not much. For example, red circuits (6s crafting time) need 4 copper wire, and copper wire assembler builds 2 copper wire in 0.5s So, that means 1 copper wire assembler can craft 6s/0.5s * 2 each time = 24 wire in 6s. 6 red circuit assemblers will need 6*4 wire = 24 in 6s. So, 1 copper wire assembler can supply 6 red circuit assemblers.

Of course, you need to supply the assemblers with raw material, but you can wing that very easily. Just keep adding stuff to the belts until it stops running out. Also, of course, the RC needs green circuits, which will need their own copper wire, which I didn't include in my calculation above.

The hint is useful because it can be demoralizing to build a lot of assemblers and they aren't being used. But when they get used all the time, it's very cool, and they build a lot of stuff and you are happy.

If something works, save it as a blueprint. Re use it. Make the robots build it for you. Keep improving it over time. Eventually everything will start to get really awesome and you will enjoy all the stuff you invented.

Oh yeah, one more hint - map mode (m). If you have a radar placed down you can place down ghosts in map mode anywhere the radar is and if the is a roboport nearby, the robots will build it for you. No constant running around like a chicken with its head cut off. When I enabled and discovered that, the joy of playing the game increased 10 fold. I found running around very very grindy, slow, and repetitive.

Also, the trains are a lot of fun.
OptimaUPS Mod, pm for info.

User avatar
TheRangerLOL
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:56 pm
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by TheRangerLOL »

blazespinnaker wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:26 pm
I don't like the phrase problem solving, I prefer invention. You are inventing new factories and the delight and spark of joy with each new invention is what keeps you coming back.
Ohoho, but one could argue that you didn't truly invent it, but rather that it was always there, you simply discovered it. I prefer to use words like create or discover over invent, as invent implies ownership.
blazespinnaker wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:26 pm
Also, the trains are a lot of fun.
They are very fun, once you get the hang of how they work. Fortunately there are some very good train resources out there to help in understanding how those damnable signals work.
The one and only.

nafira
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:20 pm
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by nafira »

Samael1105 wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:12 pm
In theory, I really like this game. The problem I run into is planning. First off, I'm not very good at it. I just don't seem to have an eye for distances, and figuring out optimal throughput and such is very hard for me. Second, the shear scale of planning needed for a decent factory, let alone an optimal one, feels like a brick wall between me and getting into the game. It always starts to feel more like homework than a game and I get put off continuing.

So I guess my question is, can I enjoy and win this game by winging it? Or is proper planning absolutely necessary to both optimization and victory?
As I said in an other thread I created about balancing, the faster you go, the more you realise that the game is quite binary on that :
- you either are skilled, plan well, and advance without effort to the end-game
- or you decide to take your time, optimizing things or not, but at your pace, making useless thing, but still enhancing slowly your factory

I prefer the second one, because I don't to rush the first part of the game, but I'm pretty sad that there's no other way to play it.


You will learn small things by looking into this forum, especially on "compact blueprint" section. You will learn game changing tips that will allow you to stop struggling, without even copying any blueprint from here (which I don't do).
Calculating ratio can be made for some basic stuff, but it's useless for advance stuff, unless you're playing on a huge map.


Hope it helps :)

User avatar
Impatient
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 858
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 2:51 am
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by Impatient »

Samael1105 wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:12 pm
...
So I guess my question is, can I enjoy and win this game by winging it? Or is proper planning absolutely necessary to both optimization and victory?
If you start playing this game without the intention to plan anything, you will truly enjoy it. Trust me.

I assume you don't own the game or have played the game yet. But you read on the forums or elsewhere about efficient designs and best practices. Those posts are made by players who have thousands of hours of game time. for us seasoned players, the novel experience of starting to play this game has already faded and we moved on to other challenges we set for ourselves eg increasing efficiency, modularity, or playing with all kinds of mods. but the game can be played perfectly enjoyable without those. In fact, one memory that stuck with me and probably will always remain, will be my first game four years ago, when I didn't know anything about anything in factorio. That base was a complete mess, yet I enjoyed the experience so much, that the memory stuck.
If you approach factorio with the attitude to plan everything from the beginning, you rid yourself of the possibility to have that impressive and enjoyable first games experience almost everyone went through.

my direct answer to your question is:

factorio can be winged. and that actually also is the way, you get the most joy out of it. planning is necessary for optimization but which in turn is NOT necessary to win the game.

Naturally, when playing this game your skills will evolve. after the n-th time of doing something, you will make blueprints. Then you will make more efficient blueprints and discuss the designs with fellow gamers, if you are into that. Or you will face the challenges of multiplayer. Or you will create new challenges for yourself by playing modded games or scenarios. Or maybe you will create your own mods. And somewhen you will be like the other seasoned players, talking nostalgically about their first games. ;)

It is absolutely worth the ride.

blazespinnaker
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 532
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by blazespinnaker »

TheRangerLOL wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:08 pm

Ohoho, but one could argue that you didn't truly invent it, but rather that it was always there, you simply discovered it. I prefer to use words like create or discover over invent, as invent implies ownership.
Yeah, I totally get you, but when I factorio I role play in my head that I'm the sole inventor of everything. Gives me a great, if illusionary ego boost. But it's a game, right? There are worse crimes I imagine.
blazespinnaker wrote:
Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:26 pm
Also, the trains are a lot of fun.
They are very fun, once you get the hang of how they work. Fortunately there are some very good train resources out there to help in understanding how those damnable signals work.
Yeah, though I recommend avoiding all resources as much as you can as they are really spoilers. A huge part of the game is discovery of how the machines work. I loved (and hated!) that the factorio folks avoided putting serious help in the game and left it for the wiki. The game (to me at least) is about experimenting and discovery. I only suggest that if something like trains are confusing you is to play around with them with the creative mod. It's so easy to create any scenario that helps you puzzle it all out.

Once you feel you've discovered enough, then go to the wiki / etc. It's fun finding out all the stuff you missed. But put it off as long as you can! Even if it takes you practically forever. Really, think that forever is good. There is an almost criminally obscene amount of gameplay enjoyment you can get for your $30 with factorio.

The tips about crafting time and map mode though, I think is worthwhile as a starting point. Should ideally be emphasized more by wube as they both increase game play enjoyment 10x.
OptimaUPS Mod, pm for info.

User avatar
TheRangerLOL
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:56 pm
Contact:

Re: Planning vs Winging it

Post by TheRangerLOL »

Well for me, I had completely figured trains out on my own at one point in time, but then i came back after a long reprieve and was like "um, how do these work again?" and i didn't feel like banging my head against the same wall so i just looked them up.
The one and only.

Post Reply

Return to “General discussion”