Thermal Dynamics

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Am0rphus
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Thermal Dynamics

Post by Am0rphus » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:39 am

Hello, I'm new to this game and I'm sure that someone must have thought of this by now, and I'm sure that there may be mods that implement these concepts, and please do suggest mods that have something similar to this. However, the goal here is just to add to the pool of ideas to help the game improve, not to change the game to my liking with mods. Let's begin:

I like factorio as it is, but I think that it could benefit with some more environmental factors. First of all, yall have the forest, grasslands, and dessert/sandy environments down, but where is the snow? I feel like a new thermal element should be added to the game map generation. It could work with the moisture factor to control biome generation. For instance, hot and dry areas are obviously deserts, and hot and wet areas could be swamps. Cold areas could consist of cold deserts, cold bogs, tiaga, and tundra.

This would also be a great opportunity to add more types of weaponry. There is already a fire damage factor which flamethrowers use, but what if there was a cold damage. Slow capsules could deal cold damage in addition to slowing the enemy, and cryo weapons could be used to inflict even more cold damage. Imagine liquid nitrogen bullets and cannon shells, or maybe a liquid nitrogen sprayer could act like a flamethrower that deals cold damage. The biters could have their own variants of cold and fire damage creatures that exist in hot/cold environments. I'm thinking that maybe instead of there always being a spitter of varying sizes, eventually if the biters are in a cold environment, they could use regular spitters at first, but then eventually evolve to using "frostbite" spitters(name them whatever)

In addition to that, a player could take cold danage if they are continually exposed to cold environments, and there should be a means of providing heat to the player, perhapse in the form of campfires made from wood and stone, electric heaters that solely rely on electricity, and eventually heat radiators that rely on heat pipes. Imagine using the heat from a nuclear reactor to provide heat to a large area. You could also add a heat module for power armors that makes the previous structures redundant. In hot climates, dehydration could be a main factor. Perhapse the player would need to craft a cantine and fill it with water from time to time to avoid dehydration damage. Perhaps the player would need sources of cool air that could be provided by certain means and eventually by a cooling module in order to eliminate the need to drink water.

Cold and hot places could have certain benefits and disadvantages, some examples of which are listed below.

Cold climate benefits:
- overall slower biter movement, evolution, attack speed, and attack frequency. A big advantage, but there will be a balancing out. Biters are more susceptible to fire damage.
- accumulators could store a small percentage more GJ than normal(an homage to the good old days when your Gameboy batteries died and you were so desperate that you put them in the freezer to get an extra bit of time out of them.)
- reactors could use fuel at slightly lower rates.
- any weapons that would use cold damage would cause even more damage
- would pose a really good survival challenge because of new dangers from the environment and biters and new production and consumption rates from certain buildings.
- robots could retain more charge.

Cold Climate disadvantages:
- accumulators are slower to charge
- increased slow effect from spitter and worm attacks and from acid pools.
- biters could evolve a new type of spitter, a frostbite spitter, mentioned above. It's attacks could have an even more potent slow effect along with acid and cold damage, and it could be the main cause of destroyed vehicles and player deaths in snowy environments. However, it would definitely have to have a weakness to fire damage.
- fire weapons could deal less overall damage, but would still be effective against frostbite spitters, so it would be unwise to not have a flamethrower handy.
- anything that uses fuel could burn it at a higher rate, except for reactors, which could produce slightly less heat.
- bots could move at a slower pace relative to the speed upgrade level that you've researched. But if you implement heat emitting structures then maybe they can move at normal speed within the ranges of these.
oil refineries would lean toward the heavier side, which would pose a challenge to keep up plastic, battery, and processing unit supply. (oil thickens as it cools, so this would simulate that.)
- a colder climate could have longer nights, as they would in real life, and solar panels could stay fully powered for a shorter amount of time.


hot climate advantages:
- biters could be more susceptible to cold damage.
- fire damage weapons could do more damage.
- reactors produce more heat
- anything that consumes fuel would become more efficient with it due to the fact that the environment is leeching much less heat from them.
- slow effect from spitters, worms, and acid pools stays the same but duration is reduced.
- oil refineries could lean more toward producing petroleum gas, which has a much wider array of uses than light or heavy oil. Solid fuel might suffer a bit though.
- due to hotter climates getting more sun than colder climates irl, I believe that solar panels should stay fully powered from slightly longer than normal, and maybe the night could be a little shorter in hot climates.
- robots move faster relative to the level of speed upgrade researched.

Hot climate disadvantages:
- the biggest one, increased overall biter movement speed, attack speed, evolution speed, and increased pollution absorption and attack frequency.
- fire spitters could be a thing, and could cause massive damage to the player and to structures, but would be very ineffective against tanks and walls. They could be the wave that comes after that initial wave, that comes in and assists in destroying your base after a successful breach. The would no doubt be susceptible to cold damage.
- of course there's the dehydration factor mentioned above.
- accumulators would charge quicker but have less capacity.
-robots lose charge quicker.


these are just a few examples of what you could do with a thermal factor in factorio, imagine a new facet that would challenge factory builders to adapt their build styles to their environment.

But as I said before, let me know if this idea has already been mentioned before, and please do recommend mods that might be similar to what I'm suggesting.

urza99814
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Re: Thermal Dynamics

Post by urza99814 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:27 pm

+1, cool idea :)

I wanted to expand a bit more on potential effects on heat pipes and turbines too, as that was the first thing I started thinking about. Right now we have these default temperatures -- usually 15° I think -- which should change with climate too. In hot environments your water would start hotter and take less energy to boil, same for warming up heat pipes... But maybe each boiler can produce less energy due to the lower thermal gradient making them less efficient. Could introduce heat loss too, where stored steam will gradually cool depending on the outside temperature.

Although... They already removed temperature from fluids I think so they might not be eager to add that back in... :)

Another interesting question is how this would interact with infinite map size. It's gonna feel kinda weird to just have random patches of snow or desert, typically you'd expect it to get colder towards the north/south end of the map or at least have some consistent pattern. But then you can't have an infinite map, it has to be a globe, you need to know the limits so you know how fast the temp should change. But it also doesn't make much sense IMO that this guy could walk from one side of a planet to the other, so infinite map with one temperature for the whole map (maybe some small variance) makes more sense from that angle. It would also be fun to account for the local temperature when deciding where to build a reactor or a solar farm or something, which you can't do if the entire map is one temperature.

You could also have seasonal changes, although that gets even more complicated with needing to change biomes over time...

mmmPI
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Re: Thermal Dynamics

Post by mmmPI » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:42 pm

urza99814 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:27 pm

Although... They already removed temperature from fluids I think so they might not be eager to add that back in... :)
There are some ways around it, for example one fluid is called steam 165°, the other one steam 500°, they can't mix and are as different as lube and water yet it makes nice mods that could help you experiment the thermal dynamics a little.

https://mods.factorio.com/mod/Geothermal


urza99814 wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:27 pm
Another interesting question is how this would interact with infinite map size. It's gonna feel kinda weird to just have random patches of snow or desert, typically you'd expect it to get colder towards the north/south end of the map or at least have some consistent pattern
https://mods.factorio.com/mods/Earendel/alien-biomes + https://mods.factorio.com/mod/islands_world

If you tweak the settings , you can have some islands that have 1 biome only, that makes for cool islands, some are cold, and snowy, some are different kind of jungles or deserts, some have lava.

One thing i tried that never worked out was to have pool of lava, as another kind of ocean, on top of those, previous mods there would always be a lava lake next to a water one ,and that would look weird, or snow next to lava, ect.

With the islands things though, depending on their size and scaling you can play a full game with 4 different islands/ biome for example, one having thermal well as the "hot" one, one being a jungle/forest, one a desert, and one a snowy island where it's easy to build but you walk slowly :)

Am0rphus
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Re: Thermal Dynamics

Post by Am0rphus » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:06 am

Some good questions guys,

I feel like there should be temperature zones. A zone would consist of many types of ground types and would span across a long distance. For instance, the temperate zone would have grass, forests, and swamps, while hotter zones could have deserts, dry grass, and swamps, and maybe jungles with mega-trees that give tons of wood and take forever to cut down. Cooler zones could have tiaga(basically just replacing regular trees with pine/spruce trees), tundra, cold bogs, ice lakes, and the like.

With zones, there wouldn't be an island of snow in the middle of the dessert, zones would span large areas, at least large enough to build a sizable base in. It could go along with how far north or south you are but I would still make everything look natural so we don't see horizontal strips of terrain.

What if we did this:
-The temperate zone is the spawn point. The temperate zone doesn't have any thermal advantages or disadvantages, but it's a happy medium. This zone could be infinite from east to west, but could be finite from north to south. This means that if you are in this zone, you will always be in this zone if you move left or right, but you will run into a new zone if you go a distance up or down.
-The arctic zone would be to the north, but I would implement a way to switch it to the south for southern hemisphere people. But basically, this zone could stretch forever north, east, and west, but would be finite in the south. This means that once you get to this zone, you will always be in this zone if you move in those directions, except for down.
- The hot zone would be the opposite, infinite to the south and finite to the north.
- there should be settings to change the sizes of the zones, flip the zones(as mentioned earlier), or make the map only one zone. But I believe that this is the best way to incorporate zones into the game because you have a more finite amount of middle ground(not too finite), but you have vast amounts of areas that add their own twist to the gameplay.

As for fluids and fluid pipes, I had never considered heat loss on them. The zones don't have to affect every aspect of the game, some things that may cause issues could be left out, but there are also things that could definitely be affected.

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