Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

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hystericpause
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by hystericpause » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:48 pm

Hi Devs,

The campaign sounds great. You mentioned smooth transitions, so here's a thought...

First a little background, I love sims type games and I would love to see mods that added some house building and decorating into this game. Obviously building a house is not a sensible thing to do if you're trying to GET THE HELL OFF THIS PLANET, but some shelter from storms and a dark place to sleep couldn't hurt, so..


...why not have the player build himself a newer or more advanced little house as each part of the campaign? That way you have a very specific starting point or point of reference for the player, that can help with the orientation. "This is the old part, where my house of wood was, I just abandoned my house of steel and have now near the end of the whole campaign I moved into my fully upgraded scifi house to keep me safe during the night.

Anyway just a thought, if not for the devs then maybe for the modders out there ;)

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by Sander_Bouwhuis » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:08 am

zOldBulldog wrote:
Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:
zOldBulldog wrote:Since there is a rework in progress I figured I'd complete the existing campaigns before they went away.

This reminded me of why I had abandoned them (the nuisance of biters and how much they interfere with initial learning and experimentation) and made me think of a solution:

Why not make the campaigns a two or more playthroughs process, similar to how many games unlock a new level of difficulty once you beat the initial one. The first pass through the campaign being with no biters (focused on the mechanics from first steps to launching a rocket), the second pass with regular biters (and tutorials on how to deal with them), and later ones with increasing levels of difficulty.

Of course, there would have to be an option that allows veterans to skip ahead to harder difficulties, maybe unlocked by how many times you beat the game or by how many hours of play you have accumulated.
PLEASE!!! DON'T LOCK AWAY CONTENT!!!!!!!!!!

This is a terrible idea!!!!!! Everything should be available from the start. No lootboxes to unlock better grenades, no difficulty levels locked until you are forced to play the game in a certain way.

PLEASE!!! DON'T LOCK AWAY CONTENT!!!!!!!!!!
ROFL. Did you read the last paragraph? key word there is *** OPTION ***
Your last paragraph literally says : "option that allows VETERANS to skip ahead to harder difficulties, maybe UNLOCKED by HOW MANY TIMES YOU BEAT THE GAME or by HOW MANY HOURS of play you have accumulated"

When someone buys the game, they should be able to access EVERYTHING without having to play an arbitrary amount of hours or having to beat the entire game just to play other modes/settings.
No, no, no... please leave it like it is now!

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by zOldBulldog » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:45 am

Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:
zOldBulldog wrote:
Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:
zOldBulldog wrote:Since there is a rework in progress I figured I'd complete the existing campaigns before they went away.

This reminded me of why I had abandoned them (the nuisance of biters and how much they interfere with initial learning and experimentation) and made me think of a solution:

Why not make the campaigns a two or more playthroughs process, similar to how many games unlock a new level of difficulty once you beat the initial one. The first pass through the campaign being with no biters (focused on the mechanics from first steps to launching a rocket), the second pass with regular biters (and tutorials on how to deal with them), and later ones with increasing levels of difficulty.

Of course, there would have to be an option that allows veterans to skip ahead to harder difficulties, maybe unlocked by how many times you beat the game or by how many hours of play you have accumulated.
PLEASE!!! DON'T LOCK AWAY CONTENT!!!!!!!!!!

This is a terrible idea!!!!!! Everything should be available from the start. No lootboxes to unlock better grenades, no difficulty levels locked until you are forced to play the game in a certain way.

PLEASE!!! DON'T LOCK AWAY CONTENT!!!!!!!!!!
ROFL. Did you read the last paragraph? key word there is *** OPTION ***
Your last paragraph literally says : "option that allows VETERANS to skip ahead to harder difficulties, maybe UNLOCKED by HOW MANY TIMES YOU BEAT THE GAME or by HOW MANY HOURS of play you have accumulated"

When someone buys the game, they should be able to access EVERYTHING without having to play an arbitrary amount of hours or having to beat the entire game just to play other modes/settings.
No, no, no... please leave it like it is now!
I must question the motivation behind your statement.

The campaigns are supposed to be a tutorial and a new player - who doesn't yet know what to build and when to build it - doesn't have a chance In hell to survive long enough to learn the needed lessons.

Under the current approach he must either build a spaghetti mess with little or no planning, rushing to finish before being overwhelmed by biters, learning very little, or fail. Totally defeating the purpose of a TUTORIAL

If for some crazy reason there is someone that wants added challenge even while learning, then it would be as simple as to change the unlock condition to something easier (like having completed the individual mission once) or even to have it unlocked from the start (just have it default to the easier option and let the suicidal player change it if he wants).

But it makes no sense to advocate that to satisfy less than 1% of new players - those crazy enough to want their tutorial run to be as hard as possible - you should ruin the tutorial for the rest, with no options at all. It is absurd. Why in the world do you want that?

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by Sander_Bouwhuis » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:07 am

zOldBulldog wrote:I must question the motivation behind your statement.

The campaigns are supposed to be a tutorial and a new player - who doesn't yet know what to build and when to build it - doesn't have a chance In hell to survive long enough to learn the needed lessons.

Under the current approach he must either build a spaghetti mess with little or no planning, rushing to finish before being overwhelmed by biters, learning very little, or fail. Totally defeating the purpose of a TUTORIAL

If for some crazy reason there is someone that wants added challenge even while learning, then it would be as simple as to change the unlock condition to something easier (like having completed the individual mission once) or even to have it unlocked from the start (just have it default to the easier option and let the suicidal player change it if he wants).

But it makes no sense to advocate that to satisfy less than 1% of new players - those crazy enough to want their tutorial run to be as hard as possible - you should ruin the tutorial for the rest, with no options at all. It is absurd. Why in the world do you want that?
I think we might be talking about different things here. I'm ALL for having tutorials (in campaign format or in some other format). Factorio is very hard to get into.

I just don't want to limit people who want to play how they want. Keep everything open and available from the start. A lot of games have modes like 'tutorial', 'campaign', 'sandbox/skirmish'. The player should be able to select any mode they want from the moment they install the game.

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by zOldBulldog » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:14 pm

Sander_Bouwhuis wrote:
zOldBulldog wrote:I must question the motivation behind your statement.

The campaigns are supposed to be a tutorial and a new player - who doesn't yet know what to build and when to build it - doesn't have a chance In hell to survive long enough to learn the needed lessons.

Under the current approach he must either build a spaghetti mess with little or no planning, rushing to finish before being overwhelmed by biters, learning very little, or fail. Totally defeating the purpose of a TUTORIAL

If for some crazy reason there is someone that wants added challenge even while learning, then it would be as simple as to change the unlock condition to something easier (like having completed the individual mission once) or even to have it unlocked from the start (just have it default to the easier option and let the suicidal player change it if he wants).

But it makes no sense to advocate that to satisfy less than 1% of new players - those crazy enough to want their tutorial run to be as hard as possible - you should ruin the tutorial for the rest, with no options at all. It is absurd. Why in the world do you want that?
I think we might be talking about different things here. I'm ALL for having tutorials (in campaign format or in some other format). Factorio is very hard to get into.

I just don't want to limit people who want to play how they want. Keep everything open and available from the start. A lot of games have modes like 'tutorial', 'campaign', 'sandbox/skirmish'. The player should be able to select any mode they want from the moment they install the game.
I am also for not limiting people.

Maybe you missed the fact that in Factorio the Campaign ***IS*** the Tutorial. Ideally they should be two separate things, but they are not (at least not yet, and I didn't see any signs that they plan to separate them in this change).

While Tutorial and Campaign remain the same the focus has to be on Tutorial, for which... the biter assaults are a problem, since it takes a lot of time and experimentation
to learn the necessary skills... time you don't have if you are being constantly assaulted, which leads to developing a lot of terrible habits.

That is why I proposed that the Tutorial (not a new/future "true" Campaign mode) have two phases - over the same missions but with two different emphasis. The first phase focusing on the skills needed to build bases, and the second phase or pass focused on doing the same thing... while also defending from biters. It is under that perspective that I made my recommendation, and even that *could* have an option to jump straight into full combat during the early tutorial... at your own risk, but that option should not be the default mode for the typical player.

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by eradicator » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:32 pm

o_O. Playing through a minor variation of the same mission is still playing the same thing twice, which is boring, and boring tutorials are bad tutorials. And i'm pretty sure the devs are intelligent enough to not spawn in behemoth biters in the first mission. Have some faith. There's plenty of RTS games they can look at to get a feeling for what a good pacing is for enemy attacks. I also doubt that there will be "real" biters - at least in the first half of the campaign - i expect all attacks to be scripted (==limited).
Also the campaign already has a difficulty setting, unlocked and defaulting to easy:
campaign_difficulty.png
campaign_difficulty.png (44.79 KiB) Viewed 1363 times

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by zOldBulldog » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:45 pm

eradicator wrote:o_O. Playing through a minor variation of the same mission is still playing the same thing twice, which is boring, and boring tutorials are bad tutorials. And i'm pretty sure the devs are intelligent enough to not spawn in behemoth biters in the first mission. Have some faith. There's plenty of RTS games they can look at to get a feeling for what a good pacing is for enemy attacks. I also doubt that there will be "real" biters - at least in the first half of the campaign - i expect all attacks to be scripted (==limited).
Also the campaign already has a difficulty setting, unlocked and defaulting to easy:
campaign_difficulty.png
Google "New Hope 4" and look at those that can't beat it. It is because it is a race against time, if you don't build the plane fast enough you can't stop the assaults.

This is where you are supposed to be learning about Oil Processing, Red Circuits and products produced from Oil.

I had no problem beating it "now", but there is no way a beginner can learn, experiment and still beat the mission. Failure when you are supposed to be learning will demoralize most players.

Personally, when I was new I got frustrated/annoyed at the start of New Hope 3, so I abandoned it and went to New Play. It wasn't until having several hundred hours of experience that I again bothered with the "tutorial" campaign of New Hope 3 and 4, by which time it felt "right". As a tutorial... the time/resource and biter pressure **before you even know how/what to build** totally defeats the purpose.

Of course, if they separated the tutorial from the campaign... that would be a different story. Then it would make sense for the Campaign to be challenging.

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by eradicator » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:44 pm

zOldBulldog wrote:Google "New Hope 4" and look at those that can't beat it. It is because it is a race against time, if you don't build the plane fast enough you can't stop the assaults.
The campaign is being redone from scratch by a much more experienced team now. But at least i understand your argument now.

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by thereaverofdarkness » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:30 pm

I agree that any difficulty settings should be available immediately, and I expect the dev team to actually test the difficulty settings and verify they work.
eradicator wrote:And i'm pretty sure the devs are intelligent enough to not spawn in behemoth biters in the first mission. Have some faith.
This is the dev team that gave us the biter base size setting without realizing it did nothing, and even incorporated changes to the base size setting into the default setting known as Death World. I trust they wouldn't spawn in too great a force for a veteran player to handle, but I'm skeptical they would ensure that the difficulty choices make a difference. We need to let them know what has already gone wrong, and press the issue, before they accidentally make the same mistake they've already made at least twice in the past.

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by eradicator » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:05 pm

thereaverofdarkness wrote:
eradicator wrote:And i'm pretty sure the devs are intelligent enough to not spawn in behemoth biters in the first mission. Have some faith.
This is the dev team ...
Both experience wise and actual-people-wise it's not quite the same, hopefully enough not-the-same to not make old mistakes again.
thereaverofdarkness wrote: ...that gave us the biter base size setting without realizing it did nothing,...
That thing is reaaally old though. It was probably meant to do something later and was just forgotten about :P.
thereaverofdarkness wrote: ...and even incorporated changes to the base size setting into the default setting known as Death World. I trust they wouldn't spawn in too great a force for a veteran player to handle, but I'm skeptical they would ensure that the difficulty choices make a difference....
They're redoing the whole thing especially for new players. So i expect them to not "accidentially balance for veterans" O_o, difficult as that may be.
thereaverofdarkness wrote: ...We need to let them know what has already gone wrong, and press the issue, before they accidentally make the same mistake they've already made at least twice in the past.
Yes, always true. The guy above didn't actually mentioned what was wrong though before i complained. Much akin to "it's broken" being the worst imaginable bugreport, we need to tell them as precisely as possible ;).

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by bobucles » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:00 pm

I expect the dev team to actually test the difficulty settings and verify they work.
You can expect that, but the devs are experienced players of their own game. It becomes very difficult to tweak an easy difficulty setting when you consider most of the game to be straightforward.

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by Oktokolo » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:49 pm

bobucles wrote:It becomes very difficult to tweak an easy difficulty setting when you consider most of the game to be straightforward.
Don't know, if they dare to go that far - but they could use noobs to test the difficulty progression of the new campaign. Of course they would burn some on the way - making them experienced Factorio addicts. But it could work and noobs are a renewable resource.

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by zOldBulldog » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:56 pm

Oktokolo wrote:
bobucles wrote:It becomes very difficult to tweak an easy difficulty setting when you consider most of the game to be straightforward.
Don't know, if they dare to go that far - but they could use noobs to test the difficulty progression of the new campaign. Of course they would burn some on the way - making them experienced Factorio addicts. But it could work and noobs are a renewable resource.
That is one of the best ideas I heard so far.

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by Jap2.0 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:57 pm

Oktokolo wrote:
bobucles wrote:Noobs are a renewable resource.
:P

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
There are 10 types of people: those who get this joke and those who don't.

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by eradicator » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:58 am

Oktokolo wrote:
bobucles wrote:It becomes very difficult to tweak an easy difficulty setting when you consider most of the game to be straightforward.
Don't know, if they dare to go that far - but they could use noobs to test the difficulty progression of the new campaign. Of course they would burn some on the way - making them experienced Factorio addicts. But it could work and noobs are a renewable resource.
I thought about that when i wrote above post. But i dared not to write it. Chilling effect wins the day :x.

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by abregado » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:18 pm

zOldBulldog wrote: Maybe you missed the fact that in Factorio the Campaign ***IS*** the Tutorial. Ideally they should be two separate things, but they are not (at least not yet, and I didn't see any signs that they plan to separate them in this change).
The Campaign and Tutorial will be two different things. One designed for New Players (an experience if you will) and the other longer full campaign.


Also... sadly, Noobs are NOT a renewable resource. In game dev you need to be careful not to use them all up too quickly. They can only be used once!

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by zOldBulldog » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:02 pm

abregado wrote:
zOldBulldog wrote: Maybe you missed the fact that in Factorio the Campaign ***IS*** the Tutorial. Ideally they should be two separate things, but they are not (at least not yet, and I didn't see any signs that they plan to separate them in this change).
The Campaign and Tutorial will be two different things. One designed for New Players (an experience if you will) and the other longer full campaign.
Excellent news!

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by sdg2001us@yahoo.com » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:18 pm

I used to build rockets before the technology tree was changed with the new science packs. Launching rockets now requires an hundreds of hours and a massively complicated base. 11% of people who purchase the game build rockets because they have the time and attention span to do so. The rest of us have other things to do, like work and/or have a real world social life. These days I come back to the game for a while and tinker with it until I get frustrated or frankly bored. The game is effectively unplayable in its vanilla state. You have to have lots of MODs and other people's blueprints if you really want to get anywhere with the game. I never even get to the rocket stage and now I have complex nuclear power thrown at me. Not happening. I refuse to even tinker with it. And now the game is going to be massively multiplayer, and PvP as well. I suppose in .17 it will also prepare your taxes and keep your appointments if you can figure out the combinator logic to make it happen. I really feel at this point that the development of this game has gone off the rails.

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by eradicator » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:45 pm

sdg2001us@yahoo.com wrote: I never even get to the rocket stage and now I have complex nuclear power thrown at me. Not happening. I refuse to even tinker with it. And now the game is going to be massively multiplayer, and PvP as well. I suppose in .17 it will also prepare your taxes and keep your appointments if you can figure out the combinator logic to make it happen. I really feel at this point that the development of this game has gone off the rails.
Nuclear power is purely optional. It's not required for launching one rocket. And frankly a good old coal power plant will get you through the first 50 hours of a map just fine. And judging by the rest of your post 50h is no where near what you play. Also nobody said anything about "massively multiplayer", and normal multiplayer has been part of the game for years now. As has PvP. If anything the FFF says that there's going to be more singleplayer with the campaign. So unless you describe your problem in a lot more detail than a few enraged sentences nobody can help you. I certainly don't see your problem, all i understood was that you said you have "a real world social life", and for some reason expect factorio to fit into the toilet breaks.
Also the tax idea is nice, somebody should make one, no need to wait for .17 :P.

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Post by Oktokolo » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:17 pm

sdg2001us@yahoo.com wrote:The game is effectively unplayable in its vanilla state. You have to have lots of MODs and other people's blueprints if you really want to get anywhere with the game.
You can make blueprints yourself too. But if you just start with a 12 or 16 belt bus and keep adding production on the sides as needed, you should be fine with just improvising all the stuff as you go. No mods required (but QoL mods are called that for a reason).
Smelting and energy production are braindead simple even if you don't switch to electric smelting as it gets available - just keep adding smelter columns and steam plants. But switch to solid fuel and rocket fuel as each becomes available because else you will burn through coal patches way too quick.
Other production steps are not too hard too - as long as it does not have to be the best design possible. Just look, what is needed, drop assemblers in rows and connect inputs and outputs to the bus.
If you go for a monolithic base and leave plenty of space between stuff, you should not have any problems. It is all about logistics and the only problem with logistics is that it needs space.
I normally play some hundreds of hours before going for the rocket. But the rocket is not more complicated than all the other stuff - just real grindy to make sure that you have all required materials in quantities available.

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