External Demand Generation

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echonic
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External Demand Generation

Post by echonic » Wed May 21, 2014 6:25 pm

The game needs forces that generate a demand for all your production efforts. Once you have demand to go with all the supply that you generate as part of the core gameplay you have the foundations for some incredible stuff.

The developers no doubt have plans for this as part of end-game, but I had some thoughts of my own.

Colonist Towns
If colonists created towns as they arrived, spread out around the world, you'd have a reason to connect them via rail. They would needs construction materials and various supplies to sustain their colonies.

Trade
To go with the above and also maybe things like Merchant Ships passing by the planet, you should be able to trade surplus of some goods for other things you need. As far as Merchant Ships maybe they provide resources you can't recover at all on the planet, allows you to open up a whole new production line once you setup trade with them.

Empire Demand
You're a part of a larger civilization and that civilization has needs that need fulfilled. They occasionally put in requests with a date where they intend to expect delivery.



Those are just a few ideas, all of which also imply adding other systems to support the demand they generate. The core point is demand, in my humble opinion, is the factor that this game needs to grow into something even more amazing than it is.

What are other ideas for demand generation you guys have?



edit: Should I have split this up into post explicitly for each Demand idea? I wasn't sure since the point was supposed to be Demand not the ideas themselves. =(

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Re: External Demand Generation

Post by ssilk » Wed May 21, 2014 6:56 pm

Should I have split this up into post explicitly for each Demand idea? I wasn't sure since the point was supposed to be Demand not the ideas themselves.
No, it's ok like so. See https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... 394#p27872
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Re: External Demand Generation

Post by Teurlinx » Wed May 21, 2014 8:15 pm

I like it, simple & elegant way to spice up the late game without leaving the core factorio gameplay of building a factory.

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Re: External Demand Generation

Post by Hometruck » Wed May 21, 2014 9:18 pm

I like this idea, possibly the trades with the fleet could give you technology that you could not unlock on your own, maybe special weapons, or maybe cool vehicles that you cannot manufacture yourself.

All in all, it sounds like a cool idea.
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Re: External Demand Generation

Post by GewaltSam » Wed May 21, 2014 10:01 pm

While I like the general idea a lot, I still think there shouldn't be any settlers running around. I wrote it somewhere else, but I think the desolation and loneliness of the engineer(s) only add to the atmosphere. You don't need finished settlements with settlers living there for something like that, though. Make it so the arriving settlers need some good infrastructure, maybe pre-built towns or a shuttle airport with hangars, resources and other stuff on the area (I like the idea a big construction site with gigantic resource needs where you build all that is needed for the coming colonization). There are many ways to add to the existing idea of arriving colony ships; my personal opinion is that your job is done and the game ends when the settlers finally arrive. I think it's also possible to put actual settlements and settlers into the picture, but i think it would work better the way i described it. But that's just my humble opinion :)

EDIT: Of course it would not be out of the picture to have some kind of contact with the colony ships which are orbiting the atmosphere, or a way to contact earth (who got some demands for you). But I think there's a reason you automate everything and have no help in doing so. That's why, for me at least, settlers actually living on the planet while you work on automation won't be a good idea.

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Re: External Demand Generation

Post by echonic » Wed May 21, 2014 10:11 pm

GewaltSam wrote:...and the game ends when the settlers finally arrive.
That was one of my biggest things is I don't WANT the game to end! Just an infinitely expanding set of demands around the planet that require you to constantly grow. :D

Though I definitely think what you are saying would be a good way to actually have an ending, maybe if there were scenario/campaign modes like that I think it would be awesome!

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Re: External Demand Generation

Post by GewaltSam » Thu May 22, 2014 12:20 am

echonic wrote:
GewaltSam wrote:...and the game ends when the settlers finally arrive.
That was one of my biggest things is I don't WANT the game to end! Just an infinitely expanding set of demands around the planet that require you to constantly grow. :D

Though I definitely think what you are saying would be a good way to actually have an ending, maybe if there were scenario/campaign modes like that I think it would be awesome!

That shouldn't be a big problem. Think Civilization: You got different ways to achieve a win there, but the game continues after that. Also, i guess it's not that big of a problem to give generic tasks following the "main goal", or to make that goal optional (could be configurable at the beginning of a freeplay map).
The game doesn't have to end at a specified point, although i think it's a good idea to come to a point where it says "You've won! Continue playing?", all the better if you still got things to do after. But it will be kind of generic, i guess there's no way around that ("now go build 1k laser towers..." "build another settlement containing 100 houses to the west..." "bring us another 2k alien artefacts" and so on).

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Re: External Demand Generation

Post by echonic » Thu May 22, 2014 1:24 am

GewaltSam wrote:But it will be kind of generic, i guess there's no way around that ("now go build 1k laser towers..." "build another settlement containing 100 houses to the west..." "bring us another 2k alien artefacts" and so on).
That's a good point to bring up, something like that would get repetitive and boring for sure.

There's two ways I initially was seeing the settlements would have to work to stay relevant and fun:

1) Sustained supply lines - There should be some level of established needs a settlement would have like where it falls apart if it doesn't have it. So you'd set up a train route through the town every 30 minutes, give or take, that delivers various amounts of goods. Maybe it could even be up to you where the kind of good determine how the settlement develops.

2 Success/fail events - Instead of them necessarily needing an exactly quantity and type of good you would have something happen in that town that you need to help deal with. Like maybe they are getting harassed by biters more frequently and can't defend themselves on their own, so you can go in and build some automated defense for them however you want, or maybe deliver them weapons and ammo, or maybe take matters into your own hand and seek out the biter bases and clear them out so the town is safe.

Just some initial thoughts. You're right that having strict quantities to just randomly deliver would get really generic!

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Re: External Demand Generation

Post by Snakey » Wed May 28, 2014 8:47 pm

I think it would be great to have some external demand generation even earlier in the game! Say: A trader asks you for a big quantity of a certain item even before you have robotics. You are now challenged to create a layout for a big production site. As a reward you get items like special science packs or defence structures. This is a great challenge in my opinion. The bigger something is in Factorio, the more complex it gets. This forces you to really develop a good layout.

Then the next request comes in for a different item. You now have to change your factory to a very different production chain.

I would make this optional - if you do not want to create a mass production, you can achieve the same end with different means like combat against aliens. The player can now choose between different play styles: go for mass production and trade, go for combat or do both. That would also satisfy the people who do not like combat so much.

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