Seablock Playthrough--in Screenshots! (Entry 4)

Post pictures and videos of your factories.
If possible, please post also the blueprints/maps of your creations!
For art/design etc. you can go to Fan Art.

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whizzball1
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Seablock Playthrough--in Screenshots! (Entry 4)

Post by whizzball1 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:29 am

Seablock in Screenshots
A text tutorial

I used to be a video content creator who created supershorts--short videos that condensed lots of information and gameplay for Factorio and modded Minecraft into a few minutes. Thanks to college, I no longer have time to produce videos, so instead, I've decided to use screenshots and text to do the same sort of thing. Entry by entry, I'll go through Seablock, explaining my process and providing helpful tips and tricks. As I come up with good designs I'll upload blueprints.

I'd love any feedback that you guys can provide, whether on the format or on my builds, so that I can play this modpack with great fun and great success. How can I make this more engaging, even though this isn't a video? How can I make this or that build more efficient? And so on.

Table of Entries
Entry 1: Tiny Rocks and Tiny Plants (Don't be turned off by how long this is. Others are shorter!)
Entry 2: MInimal Red Science
Entry 3: A Big, Useless Algae Loop
Entry 4: A Smaller, Tileable Algae Loop


Entry 1
Tiny Rocks and Tiny Plants
(Don't be turned off by how long this is. Others are shorter!)
1 Mods 1.PNG
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2 Mods 2.PNG
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3 Mods 3.PNG
3 Mods 3.PNG (447.97 KiB) Viewed 3794 times
Seablock involves draining an infinite ocean to get lots of metal so that you can go back to space. But it requires an awful lot of science to get there, so Angel's Mods, Bob's Mods, and SpaceX are here to save the day and make things simpler more complicated. Luckily, I have some extra QOL mods to make everything slightly less painful, like Afraid of the Dark (because the night is evil), Bottleneck and Helmod (because bad ratios are evil), Squeak Through (because buildings are evil), and helpful logistics mods (because building is evil).
4 Peaceful.PNG
4 Peaceful.PNG (460.04 KiB) Viewed 3794 times
Biters are also evil, so I'm turning off everything that makes them worse. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I need them later, so I'll just make them as unassuming as possible.
5 How You Start.PNG
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6 The Home Chest (what should I do with circuits).PNG
6 The Home Chest (what should I do with circuits).PNG (316.11 KiB) Viewed 3794 times
7 ALT to show items.PNG
7 ALT to show items.PNG (50.43 KiB) Viewed 3794 times
I've never known a home as cosy as this one. It has lots of useful items that you shouldn't use too fast, especially those electronic circuits. What should I do with those? I don't need them, but I'm sure they could be helpful in the early game. (By the way, if you're new to Factorio, you can press ALT to show important items. Apparently lights are really important, and I'm okay with that.
8 CTRL-Click to get all items.PNG
8 CTRL-Click to get all items.PNG (470.21 KiB) Viewed 3794 times
CTRL-Click on a chest to get everything it has and strip it of all identity. Now my inventory looks small. (You can open it up with E.)
9 Goal.PNG
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Behold, our first goal: crush stiratite, somehow. What is stiratite, you ask?
10 Right Click to Break Home; Sand.PNG
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We'll figure that out later. For now, let's hold right-click to destroy our home forever and then grab a bunch of sand. That will surely make solid, stable ground. (It will!)

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If you use the + and - on the numpad that you may or may not have, you can change how big or how small your destruction of the ocean will be.

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This is FNEI, which comes with Seablock and lets you search crafting recipes.

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Click on the chest (or whatever item is on the left) to start selecting an item.

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Then click "Craft" to find all its crafting recipes.

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You can click an ingredient to get its recipes. Right click for its usages. Stiratite ore needs mineralised water needs crushed stone needs slag needs, well, just water. (Good thing we have so much ocean, right?)

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You can get infinite fuel, very slowly, by foraging for cellulose fiber. Turning it into wood pellets doubles the efficiency.

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Circled crudely in blue is an electrolyzer, which takes water and turns it into oxygen and hydrogen (which I immediately eject into the atmosphere using flare stacks, outlined in green). All that's left is a big heap of slag. Meanwhile, the power of airbending (or, more accurately, getting hit really hard by air) powers my factory in the red area.

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Next, burner ore crushers powered from the void (which is full of wood pellets) crush stone and stiratite. The stone goes to a liquifier in green that makes mineralised water which is crystallised using a crystallizer (outlined in blue) into stiratite and another strange ore called saphirite. I have to manually take all the items and put them where they go.

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Of course, I want to expand and make tons upon tons of metal. That means I need lots of machines and lots of power. Power is an issue for later, but I can fill my lack of machines pretty easily right now—if, of course, I can make circuit boards. Welcome to a new rabbit hole.

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Circuits need wooden boards needs paper needs cellulose pulp needs alginic acid needs brown algae needs saline water needs water in a Hydro Plant. Got that? Because I don't.

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Luckily, Helmod does. To get a wooden board every 30 seconds I need, well, all of that stuff. But it's only one machine each! That's doable. Energy? Not so much.

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But who cares? Let's make brown algae anyway. Here's a hydro plant in red making saline and purified water. The purified water (the bottom output) is getting tossed into a clarifier (in green), which instead of making water clearer makes it nonexistent. Meanwhile, the saline water is getting turned into brown algae and also disappearing somehow.

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Now for some more land. This production line is sufficient to make one sand every second, but that's way too much for me (and I also can't make that many electrolyzers right now, oops). So I'm downgrading to one sand every ten seconds. Not super tenable, but we'll get there.

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On the power situation, each turbine appears to make roughly 10 kW, so all my turbines together will make about 1.2 MW.

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So here's a setup for ten crushed stone every ten seconds. Now that I have inserters this is actually automatable.

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To start getting to power I need a lab. But I need wood processing first.

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Green algae takes mineralized water and a new, easy to get, probably clean gas called carbon dioxide. All you have to do is liquify wood pellets.

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Green algae gets us cellulose fiber in a nice feedback loop. 10 algae gets 5 cellulose fiber but you only need 2.2 to get 10 algae. Convenient!

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Soon we'll be able to achieve better power, but that's something for the next entry.

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For now, here's a quick brown algae setup.

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And one final image of the factory.
In the next entry, I'll create a power loop (I hope!). If you have any feedback on this format or my setup, tips on power, questions, or anything else, please make a post. I also want to know if this will garner interest.
Last edited by whizzball1 on Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:37 am, edited 7 times in total.

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Entry 2: Minimal Red Science

Post by whizzball1 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:28 pm

Entry 2
Minimal Red Science
1 4 science every 5 seconds.PNG
1 4 science every 5 seconds.PNG (596.37 KiB) Viewed 3661 times
I was researching red science using FNEI and discovered that one assembler for each component of red science, if each runs at full speed, can support four assemblers of red science. "Sick!" I thought. "This will be easy." Four science every five seconds sounded great. So I went through the list of things needed. 6 iron furnaces? Sure. 5 crystallisers and 5 liquifiers—that's fine. 44 electrolyzers—piece of cake.
2 half of half of half the efficiency.PNG
2 half of half of half the efficiency.PNG (7.91 KiB) Viewed 3661 times
"Wait!" I said. "That's insane!" There's got to be a better way to make crushed stone. Any tips? Anyway, dividing by eight made everything more manageable. Or so I thought.
3 new pipe mod.PNG
3 new pipe mod.PNG (97.94 KiB) Viewed 3661 times
Hey, there's a new mod out there that highlights pipe systems and tells you whether they're complete or not. Now, why could I possibly need that?
4 a monstrosity.PNG
4 a monstrosity.PNG (915.93 KiB) Viewed 3661 times
Because I'm low on space, need to shove electrolyzers into a minimal space, and need to dump out mass amounts of oxygen and hydrogen. This pipe system took three iterations before I realised I needed space for inserters. Then it was even longer before I realised I would need to do all the oxygen moving on one side and the hydrogen moving on the other so that I didn't completely waste my space.
5 that I can barely comprehend.PNG
5 that I can barely comprehend.PNG (768.46 KiB) Viewed 3661 times
Picker Pipe Tools is a great mod. How else would I have possibly known whether my oxygen was actually connecting to my hydrogen at some point? It made this spaghetti slightly more manageable.
6 I need this for red science.PNG
6 I need this for red science.PNG (115.62 KiB) Viewed 3661 times
I had to research automation real quick by hand-crafting (hand-crafting!) red science.
7 first science setup.PNG
7 first science setup.PNG (1.27 MiB) Viewed 3661 times
But now I'm free! And by free I mean totally tied up in spaghetti. Behold with terror my first ever red science setup, which makes one red science every ten seconds. Electrolysers isolate a mineral-rich mess (slag) from dangerous gases (that are then vented into the atmosphere). Slag gets crushed (and not inserted nearly fast enough) into crushed stone (which is not extracted nearly fast enough) which is liquified (again, not inserted nearly fast enough).

Mineralized water goes into a crystallizer, ores get crushed and smelted (while stone gets turned into landfill; huzzah!), and finally, we get red science.

I am so sorry.

Any feedback on this system? How can I improve it? Well, getting enough power is probably more important. I've placed down all my windmills but the funding from happy environmentalists is barely enough for me to run my research. (Boo them; I'll have to make dirty steam boilers now.) So that is where I'm heading next.

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Entry 3: A Big, Useless Algae Loop

Post by whizzball1 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:23 pm

Entry 3
A Big, Useless Algae Loop

So I set out to make a power loop. I wanted to make it big—I wanted one wood pellet every second. This effort turned out to be ill-advised—the loop failed to sustain itself and I'm not fully certain why. (Luckily, I have a better one! Next entry, though.)
Stay tuned to this entry for design tips and such that I learned from this loop. (We'll see if they're any good.)
1 Required Science.PNG
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To make this, I needed Logistics to get splitters and underground belts and long inserters.
2 All that we need.PNG
2 All that we need.PNG (1.19 MiB) Viewed 3603 times
I didn't use Helmod for this because it was a loop, so I did all the math on notepad. I wanted 1 wood pellet per second total. Got some weird ratios, but nothing that bad; electrolyzers took a lot of power, and I just now realized that I didn't even make enough of them. All in all, this was a mess.
3 This may not have been worth it.PNG
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A huge mess. Note the mineralized water setup on the left and the algae loop making CO2 and power on the right.
4 Electrolyzers and crushers (fuel needed).PNG
4 Electrolyzers and crushers (fuel needed).PNG (1.2 MiB) Viewed 3603 times
Fuel was needed for the ore crushers—my first mistake. Pipes are less of a mess this time. I use too many pumps, but it reduces pipe spaghetti, so, oh well. Many inserters are needed to get this design working—each inserter extracts 5/6 items per second so it's not the fastest thing in the world.
5 The Algae Loop.PNG
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This is the algae loop. 7 (7!) algae farms make tons of algae, so much so that if they were running at full speed (which they almost do), they would perfectly saturate a yellow belt. 8 assemblers make fibers make 4 assemblers worth of pellets, which is approximately 1 pellet per second.
6 Three farms almost saturate one side of a belt.PNG
6 Three farms almost saturate one side of a belt.PNG (186.15 KiB) Viewed 3603 times
Three farms almost saturate one side of a belt, so after the first three I switch sides of the belt. (I can't wait for near inserters.)
7 Lane balancers ensure full compression from all sides.PNG
7 Lane balancers ensure full compression from all sides.PNG (411.76 KiB) Viewed 3603 times
These lane balancers ensure that all 7 algae farms work together for both lanes of a yellow belt. If you have full compression of a belt, split into two pieces, and you feed those pieces into both sides of the splitter of any one of these lane balancers, you get one full belt out. It's great!
8 Bottleneck.PNG
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The Bottleneck mod tells me, with the green dot, that all of these assemblers are working at full speed and they all have space to put their outputs. A yellow dot means they are not working because they are full of outputs. A red dot would tell me that they don't have enough ingredients to work at full speed.
9 Priority Splitters.PNG
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10 Priority Splitters.PNG
10 Priority Splitters.PNG (184.28 KiB) Viewed 3603 times
If you left click on a priority splitter, you get a menu that lets you choose priorities for inputs and outputs. That is, given an input priority, a splitter will take exclusively from the side you choose until it needs to take from the other side. With an output priority, a splitter will feed exclusively to the side you choose until it needs to feed the other side.

That's how I balance my carbon dioxide and power production. Pellets go to CO2 first and, once that lane is backed up, go to power production. Once power production backs up, pellets are safely stored. This ensures that the loop always has (1) enough ingredients to run and then (2) enough power to run. And we get all the excess without having to worry about stealing too much. Hurrah for priority splitters!

Unfortunately, this loop is very inefficient. I barely get any excess wood pellets. My next one, however, will be tileable, efficient, and cheap—I'm looking forward to displaying it.

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Entry 4: A Smaller, Tileable Algae Loop

Post by whizzball1 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:14 am

Entry 4
A Smaller, Tileable Algae Loop

My last loop was big—far too big. Someone on the Discord suggested I divide everything by ~4 and see what I can do with just 2 algae farms. The result was great. Let's take a look at my notes and see what we got. (Blueprints at the bottom.)

The research we needed was Basic Chemistry, Wood Processing 2, Mechanical Refining, Steel Processing, and Steam Power 1.
1 What we need.PNG
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2 What we need.PNG
2 What we need.PNG (32.41 KiB) Viewed 3587 times
  • Yeah, I know, I didn't use Helmod. I like fractions, okay? I used those little smiley faces (ALT-NUM1 for windows users) to mark when I'd satisfied a dependency.
  • The goal of the first section was to figure out how much algae I needed to make 4 algae per second, thanks to charcoal processing. Turned out to be 1.6 algae per second.
  • The second section used those leftover algae to find out how much power I could get from this thing. Later on, I'll tell you how much power I needed and calculate about how much carbon we'll get out from each tile on average.
3 Tiled.PNG
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  • Behold! It tiles, though not necessarily beautifully. The blueprint will have that kink in the corner of the top tile because I wanted to "ensure saturation" even though I'm getting so little charcoal that it's irrelevant.
  • Notice that the electric poles at the top right of the bottom tile are not connected with the poles at the bottom right of the top tile. They would be—but if you shift-click on an electric pole, you remove all connections for that pole, and you can then use copper cable to connect the pole directly.
4 Close-Up.PNG
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The main loop consists of a simple mineralized water set-up, a minimal-spaghetti charcoal setup, and priority splitters for carbon distribution.
5 Algae to bricks.PNG
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Don't expect full compression here, considering that my number of cellulose assemblers is 60/25 and my number of pellet assemblers is 20/15. I love these numbers. At the end, I did something a little janky to reduce space while making wood bricks, but I'm happy with it. Small tiles are good tiles.
6 Charcoal to power.PNG
6 Charcoal to power.PNG (742.53 KiB) Viewed 3587 times
  • Notice first, on the right, there's an inserter taking charcoal from the priority splitter and sticking it into the furnace to fuel it. It used to pull from wood
    pellets, but I changed that on a suggestion.
  • That kink in the CO2 line is there to create a little extra buffer in case things go awry.
  • The buffer for power is longer in this loop than my last one, again, in case the system fails for a short time. (I find that unlikely, because these are self-contained.
  • I am using mark 2 boilers and steam engines to generate power at 60% efficiency. It is important to use mark 2 of both boiler and steam engine, even if you're only using one steam engine like me.
  • I asked the Discord, why? I'm making a total of 1.8 MW. The boiler can make 3.6 MW. Basic steam engines can make 900 KW each. So, according to math, can't I just stick two basic steam engines on this boiler and get full efficiency?
  • Turns out I can't, and the reasons are the temperature requirement of steam engines and the invisible stat of boiler liquid output. All levels of boiler output 60 steam per second, and all steam engines consume 30/s; the steam engines produce more power because they require a "higher" temperature steam to work at full efficiency.
  • My boiler mark 2, running at only 1.8 MW max, produces 30/s of 315 C steam. One basic steam engine uses 30/s of 165 C steam but doesn't produce as much energy as a steam engine mark 2, which uses 30/s of 315 C steam. Basic steam engines would not properly utilise the power of a boiler mark 2. But a steam engine mark 2 would run at 315 C, 30/s, and produce 1.8 MW.
7 Consumption over 10 minutes.PNG
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Now for the important part: when we calculate the excess output of this loop. We are currently using 11/18 of our potential power output (which is 1.8 MW). Thus, we can make 0.7 MW at our home base. That comes out to 11/18 * 3/5 charcoal per second, which is 11/30 charcoal per second. Just these two loops therefore make me more power than all of my windmills!

Now, the question is, could I just make a bunch of wind turbines and make my life a hundred times easier? Well, let's do some calculations: to get 0.7 MW, I need 70 wind turbines or one loop—that's 280 copper, 735 iron, and 140 steel; or 725.5 iron, 156 copper, and 29.8 steel. (Thank you, raw material count!) The steel is what separates these two processes. The 110 extra steel is an awful lot--880 extra iron and a ton of time. So I'm perfectly happy with this design.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for me to tile this several more times so I can finally start expanding my base!

Algae Loop Blueprint

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Re: Seablock Playthrough--in Screenshots! (Entry 4)

Post by glee8e » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:53 pm

I do remember helmod can (somewhat) support loops, but you have to work out how much output will be feed back to the loop and manually set the output X percent higher. (e.g. 3 extra should be produced and looped back for every 4 item exported, so set production to 1+3/4=175%) Quite a shame the mod is no longer in active development.

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