Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

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Plawerth
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Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by Plawerth »

Something that has long annoyed me about this game is the forced bitmapped 2.5D perspective... when there isn't really a reason to keep doing that.

Powerful 3D cards are now common, and last I recall this is primarily a non-console game, with many people sitting on near volcanoes of 3D rendering.

Meanwhile the 2.5D view has various irritations that make building difficult, like the fact that rail signals in some cases can not be symmetrical because the signal would be in an odd hidden position on the "far" side of the forced-perspective view.

It doesn't seem like there would really be any problem at all making this is true 3D game. There is in fact very little new content or art production work that needs to be done to make it work. Actual 3D models are already used to make the 2D bitmaps.

3D models that ALREADY exist, and are sitting on the developer's computers at Wube, could be used today to make this game truly 3D with a camera that can be zoomed and tilted in any direction.

Including all the way down to an eye level view of the world of the player character, with huge logistics bots zipping around their heads, trains whipping past them, walking amongst huge moving machines and belts of materials trailing off into the distance, with towering biters, spitters, and worms above them..

It is just plain weird that work on a full 3D Factorio has not already been done.

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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by CaptainSlide »

IMO it would not be worth the time and money investment.

The nearest other game I play to Factorio would be Surviving Mars. That has many of the features you speak of in a 3d environment. And sure, it is some impressive eye candy when you zoom in, but when your actually playing the game you spend most of your time looking down from on high placing stuff and managing your base. The ability to rotate the map just confuses where things are in your head, you might think your headed East when in fact your going West or some other random direction.

Your suggestion would definitely improve the eye candy, but it would in no way help with the game play or the overall intent of the game which is to grow your factory to meet some arbitrary goal.

The game play not the graphics is what makes this game great. I am old enough to remember when game play was worth a lot more, because graphics actually couldn't be any better so the game had to engage the mind with a story or making you think/problem solve. As graphics got better developers slowly but steadily forgot that games were meant to be fun and put more resources into making your PC melt. For a long time games got prettier, but they didn't get better. I thank Wube for remembering that game play should always trump aesthetics.

One of my all time favorite memories was a game called Xwing. It was the first proper Star Wars based flight sim. It ran on a 486 computer, came on about 3 floppy disks and absolutely made the PC cry. I spent about a week futzing with memory settings just to get it to run on the 8 Mb (<- not a typo) of memory I had. It had about 50 missions (and 2 expansion packs for another 2 dozen), cut scenes and a compelling story. Depending on how good you were, it had weeks and weeks of game play. These days you can buy AAA+ rated games that look fantastic, takes 50-100 Gigs or more to download and will melt even the best PC's and they are done and dusted in 20 hours or less of repetitive mind numbing game play. No thanks.

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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by JackGruff »

I imagine this is what needs to be done at a minimum:

- Make the choice of the engine or graphics library
- Create a pipeline to convert the original 3D assets to game ready assets (including LODs)
- Get the custom GUI to work on the new 3D library
- Rig the biters and player characters for animation
- Run into god-knows-what performance issues
- How are the bots going to avoid clipping into each other?
- To make it worth it, 3D should offer players more features and choice. This means more game design and considerations to the interface.
- Ensure the artistic direction is correct

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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by J-H »

I've never seen a 3D game that's as pretty as its 2D equivalent. It's also usually a performance hog, and runs into issues with boring and same-y skyboxes.

I think Wube made the right choice.

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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by pointa2b »

Plawerth wrote:
Wed May 26, 2021 1:35 am
...
As much as I'd love for Factorio to be 3-D VR with a boatloat of more features, hardware is far behind what would be required to make it very impressive. As in, probably 10-15+ years minimum. But sign me up if/when that ever gets developed. It would be nuts.

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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by MEOWMI »

You have to do incredible amounts of optimization to get a 3D game that looks great and runs great. Other similar games, like Dyson Sphere Program, sort of gets around part of this by having small, spherical planets so you don't have to render all the graphics at once, but that wouldn't work for Factorio (and I would argue would make for a worse game, Factorio belongs on a planar world), and you can already see how DSP has much higher hardware requirements than Factorio and doesn't reach as high framerates.

Then there's the issue of controls. A 3D environment means a much more challenging task for creating highly responsive controls. Again, DSP, which is in an early access state, has controls far worse than Factorio just by being a 3D game that faces all the additional design difficulties. It's not that DPS's controls are programmed poorly (although that can contribute to the problem), it's that a 3D game is just harder to make. You just need to look at the inserter placement controls in DSP, especially with any amount of buildings around, and you'll feel how much clunkier it is.

In the end, I think it comes down to the fact that 3D graphics require beyond-AAA-studio level of optimization effort in order to make them run really well, for a game that doesn't strictly speaking need it. 2D graphics can already look really good, and I think Factorio is on par with other games in that regard.

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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by quyxkh »

To be fair, Satisfactory does a great job of trading some of Factorio's remaining sophistication for an awful lot of gorgeous. But it *is* a trade. Trains, combinators, inserters, lanes, basically every detail of the logistics and combat is much simplified or just plain gone. It does have compensating complexities, the 3D in Satisfactory gives spaghetti more ways to get bonkers, there's more to discover about the world you're in and did I mention the gorgeous? It's a different game.

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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by eradicator »

MEOWMI wrote:
Thu May 27, 2021 8:27 pm
Again, DSP, which is in an early access state, has controls far worse than Factorio just by being a 3D game
+1
Really enjoyed DSP while playing. But at least half of the play time is wasted on adjusting the camera. Cos in 3D buildings are always in the way no matter from what angle you look. Factorio cheats around this by using very odd projection to let you always see the tiles behind even the tallest building. They even redesigned the mining drill twice because the original redesign covered parts of the belt behind it. And they redesigned the beacons to be flat for the same reason.

Satisfactory First-Person-View suffers from this even more. 90% of the game are "jumping around to see the stuff you want to see". And you never get to see the whole picture like in factorio.
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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by Durr »

MEOWMI wrote:
Thu May 27, 2021 8:27 pm
Then there's the issue of controls. A 3D environment means a much more challenging task for creating highly responsive controls. Again, DSP, which is in an early access state, has controls far worse than Factorio just by being a 3D game that faces all the additional design difficulties. It's not that DPS's controls are programmed poorly (although that can contribute to the problem), it's that a 3D game is just harder to make. You just need to look at the inserter placement controls in DSP, especially with any amount of buildings around, and you'll feel how much clunkier it is.
They could work around this by restricting construction to the current 2D view, and just having the 3D render as a different way to experience your factory with limited interaction. It would be awesome to ride a train through the factory.
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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by astroshak »

Construction in 2D, with 3D only for some joyride?

Nice as that may seem, I’d rather they focus their attention on making the 2D game more awesome with the expansion, rather than working on porting it (partly) into 3D.

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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by JimBarracus »

astroshak wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 1:44 am
Construction in 2D, with 3D only for some joyride?
what comes to my mind is mashinky.
Basically a train simulator, where you can jump on a train and take a ride in a detailed 3d model with several fixed camera positions.

This combinated with a cinematic mode like back in the day in driver1.

But I think the world would look bad without tinkering a lot.
I mean the world is perfectly flat and the animations wouldnt be great in first person.

The models are also refined to look good in 2d.
Its definitly not like clicking on a button that says "convert game to 3d".

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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by Zool »

I have played both Factorio and Satisfactory a lot (Factorio around 5000 hours), and if you look at the differences, you also see pretty well what the problems are in a 3D world.

Satisfactory is managing to reproduce far more factories and belts in a 3D world then I thought would possible, but at the same time its multiplayer game is a real mess compared to Factorio. The absense of easy ways to duplicate a setup keeps the player busy building easiest things again and again that factorio you simply scale up with your roboter army

The trainsystem in Factorio is awesome and offers many challenges when its growing, but these challenges are mainly about optimizing the throughput of the system. In Satisfactory, even the most basic functions of trains are a mess, and so far away from factorios standards as it can be.

Modding in Satisfactory is much more complicated, and in result the mods are hardly matching the variance and quality of what you find in Factorio.

3D is amazing to watch, but the eyecandy takes the focus away from the process design itself. Factorio is like process design purity. Optimize the process itself without getting distracted by unneccessary surroundings.

Still I love both games for very different reasons.

In factorio, you try to build for perfection, challenge yourself with absurd mod combos (seablock ftw), and stuff keeps escalating in size more and more

In Satisfactory, I rather try to build a base thats inside beautiful buildings, and the architect in me starts to escalate.

But the processes themselves would just be a small to midsize base in factorio, without the advanced tools like signal system, condition based train automation, and so on.

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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by ptx0 »

Zool wrote:
Fri May 28, 2021 3:43 pm
Modding in Satisfactory is much more complicated, and in result the mods are hardly matching the variance and quality of what you find in Factorio.
http://ficsit.app

wat?

there's tons of mods. there's even great mods. and they're always being updated, and getting better. Area Actions added blueprints with copy/pasting of belts/pipes/electrical.

they do seem slow at what they do. they're pushing more builds, anyway, than before. but still not great continuous deployment.
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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by ssilk »

I really, really, really would love a pseudo 3d (or 2,5d or isometric view) Factorio.

Think to a beautiful isometric view like in Rollercoaster Tycoon or OpenTTD.
Look.
Image
Image


How nice would that be with this superb Factorio-Graphics-Style? I think absolutly great.


And there are many more advantages for this changed view instead of this non-isometric view, that Factorio currently has.
- Pseudo 3d (isometric) has a long history of successful gameplay (and how to use it).
- There could be much bigger sprites/buildings used then. The current problem that a building in front hides, what's behind is much less relevant, because of 45 degress view.
- There could be buildings out of many sprite-blocks. That is of course already possible and done, but with pseudo 3d this cries for making custom buildings out of many sprites. Which can lead to generative houses, each is looking a bit different.
- There can be completly new game mechanics. The world generation should include of course height. So at the deep points there will be lakes. At the high points more minerals. And much more.
- The landscape plays a much bigger role in playing. To build a factory you need of course flat land. If there is not enough available it must be either planed or zou build around it.
- Great opportunities with tunnels, underground-buildings, bridges etc.
- Water as realistic resource: There could be rivers (from high to low land). Lakes can loose water, if you pump out too much. Production of energy from waterfalls. On high areas more rain will fall...
... continue ...

Disadvantegs:
Some effort of rendering will go into calculation of what sprites are in front and behind.
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Re: Can there ever be a full 3D rendered Factorio?

Post by Eketek »

In my estimation, significant improvements can be made without a major rework to the assets and without requiring a lot of system resources (aside from extra video ram) - instead of baking everything in during pre-rendering, consider putting geometry & material properties into a set of textures to be packaged into the game and using shaders to combine the textures at runtime. The main improvement here would be dynamic lighting (lit surfaces change based on Sun posirion during the day and based on light positions during the night). It should also allow for per-pixel depth sorting and nice fog/pollution effects.

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