Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Regular reports on Factorio development.
Silden
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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by Silden » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:56 am

I just love that new feature of giving you an alert if a train is out of fuel!
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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by CDarklock » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:40 am

BlueTemplar wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:30 am
I have several hundred of gameplay hours by now, and I've actually never launched a single rocket !
(But I don't use Steam (anymore, and never with Factorio), so...)
I have to, because Steam controller. Best input device EVAR. I actually wore one out and had to buy another one. Also I run a lot of non-Steam games through Steam so the controller works, most notably Minecraft.

It took me almost 200 hours to launch my first rocket, and over 100 of them were in the same game. I ragequit for months at a time after progressively longer games, because it's a hard game to get into. It sat in my Steam inventory for a year and a half with about 40 hours of playtime until last month.
Technically, you *can* still lose a Factorio game after winning it ! :P
I've done that! Because the next thing I did after launching my rocket was build a train, and then I could have sworn I got IN the train but I was just standing really close to it on the tracks.

Got an achievement tho
But Factorio is indeed exceptional in many ways.
Factorio is in a class of its own. You can compare it to certain other games, but the comparison is always superficial. And I think the key to that is the professionalism and attention to detail Wube brings to the table - the GUI changes in 0.17 are extremely high quality, and most game UIs are absolute garbage.
P.S.: One can always try to do better of course. Having barely more than half of players manage to research Oil is a bit sad, and that percentage probably drops below 50% for actually finding Oil, setting it up, and using some of its products...
It's confusing, and my first efforts were... well, stupid. I ran hundreds of metres of pipe all over my base and did not put a single pump in any of them to help throughput and prevent backflow. The closest thing to help I found was "make sure you have enough pumps," which to me meant offshore pumps and pumpjacks. So I stuck pumpjacks on all the available oil patches and fed them all into the same long pipe. This did not help at all. The oil wasn't so much a problem as the water, which wasn't getting across the base to my boilers, so power was going out and laser turrets were shutting down and biters were getting in and I had about thirty offshore pumps but it was not doing me any good.

Ultimately I moved all my boilers right next to the lake and the problem went away but I didn't know why. It was from an FFF about fluid system changes that I finally got the light bulb moment, a week or so later.

Things like that are the biggest issue with Factorio, IMO. Oil is a wall. Railways are a wall. Circuit networks are a wall. And if you smack into them hard enough, you don't want to play anymore. There's this tacit assumption in a lot of tutorials that you just know this stuff, and there are also a whole lot of tutorials that... well... suck. Even the good ones are overwhelming; Katherine of Sky is the go-to new player resource, and when I looked her up on YouTube the playlist is 93 videos long.

That's like eight seasons of anime. I might as well start watching the Monogatari series.

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by starxplor » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:17 am

5thHorseman wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:59 am
starxplor wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:39 am
f you are in hour 150 and you die of bitter attack, you have no one to blame but yourself.
That was an example. As a player who won't accept losses in this game I don't know what the rest of you expect.

What is an approximate maximum number of hours in which losing all your work would not be your own fault?
How about 0.5? This game has bitters. If you do not want to deal with maintaining balance between production, expansion, and defence, you can turn them off entirely. Otherwise, design your strategy around the settings of your world, going slower if you need to avoid agro-ing bitters until you have either walls and/or turrets.

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by Mike5000 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:43 am

You asked for feedback on the new tutorial, although I don't recall seeing you specify where exactly to post it.

In 2017 I downloaded the demo, played the excellent tutorial, loved it, and bought the game.

Hopefully the new 0.17 tutorial will improve before going stable as I gave up on it and would never have bought the game after spending entirely too much time running around putting fuel into burner inserters.

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by 5thHorseman » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:54 am

starxplor wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:17 am
5thHorseman wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:59 am
starxplor wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:39 am
f you are in hour 150 and you die of bitter attack, you have no one to blame but yourself.
That was an example. As a player who won't accept losses in this game I don't know what the rest of you expect.

What is an approximate maximum number of hours in which losing all your work would not be your own fault?
How about 0.5? This game has bitters. If you do not want to deal with maintaining balance between production, expansion, and defence, you can turn them off entirely. Otherwise, design your strategy around the settings of your world, going slower if you need to avoid agro-ing bitters until you have either walls and/or turrets.
You may be misunderstanding me. I have no problem with biters. They crash, burning, into my walls often. My only problem is with the idea of making them ramp up infinitely, which is not and I hope never will be in the game.

Though as a setting, sure. If it doesn't take too much time away from coding the actual game.
"So you completed the game with a spaghetti factory? Well I hand crafted a rocket and threw it into space with my bare hands!"

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by SpoonUnit » Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:59 am

Mike5000 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:43 am
time running around putting fuel into burner inserters.
I did that for a bit and then realised that I was mindlessly following the tutorial requirement of researching Logistics, but could very quickly research electric inserters.

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by meganothing » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:35 pm

SpoonUnit wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:59 am
Mike5000 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:43 am
time running around putting fuel into burner inserters.
I did that for a bit and then realised that I was mindlessly following the tutorial requirement of researching Logistics, but could very quickly research electric inserters.
Mmmh, might this be the lessons the tutorial wants to bring across, but forgot to hint at? Maybe the designer thought too much in terms of an exam instead of a tutorial.

Probably this would be valueable feedback for the tutorial designer

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by CDarklock » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:45 pm

Mike5000 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:43 am
You asked for feedback on the new tutorial, although I don't recall seeing you specify where exactly to post it.
"Ideas and Suggestions."
Hopefully the new 0.17 tutorial will improve before going stable as I gave up on it and would never have bought the game after spending entirely too much time running around putting fuel into burner inserters.
I'm on my second full pass through the tutorial, and there are a lot of serious annoyances if you don't know what you're doing. I think that's what they really want and need to know about, for the tutorial to do its job.

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by CDarklock » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:03 pm

SpoonUnit wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:59 am
Mike5000 wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:43 am
time running around putting fuel into burner inserters.
I did that for a bit and then realised that I was mindlessly following the tutorial requirement of researching Logistics, but could very quickly research electric inserters.
With your initial mining automation, you have nine burner drills, inserters, and furnaces that need fuel... but you do not have a lab or any way to research anything.

This is tedious and annoying and not fun. It doesn't last long, though. I kind of feel like if this is too much for you to handle, you're not gonna like this game.
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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by Agamemnon » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:54 pm

I'm not sure how I feel about the conveyor/biter interaction bugfix. I saw it less as a bug and more as an emergent gameplay feature. I guess conveyor belt defense is gone now. I strongly suggest bringing it back in some form so it doesn't bug the biters completely but is still usable as a defense tactic.

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by CDarklock » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:09 pm

Agamemnon wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:54 pm
I strongly suggest bringing it back in some form so it doesn't bug the biters completely but is still usable as a defense tactic.
I halfway agree. I feel like the player should not be as affected by belts because he knows what a belt is and can intelligently compensate for it, whereas the biters don't have the slightest clue why the ground is sliding around under them. So they should be more affected, but not so much as they used to be.

I think of it kind of like riding in the back of a van with a dog. You're sitting there just fine, but the dog can't stay in the same place and is freaking tf out.

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by Cyclonut » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:01 am

Mathematician wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:47 am
Cyclonut wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:36 pm
Then, I could put an alarm/horn and make sounds at 90, 95, 98, 99% so I would not miss the launch.
Try this:

Not exactly what you mean but very close. I constructed it on my 2nd base where rocket production was slow enough so I have been launching them manually. Horn goes off when there is 10 of every rocket part in requester chest. It basically says: "Silo stopped getting parts. The rocket is probably waiting for launch." Of course it will give false alarms with high RPM factories. Timer included so it will shut down after few signals and not annoy you any more.
I agree, though, that silo percentage output signal would be nice.
Thanks Mathematician, sounds like a good work-around. But your Copy blueprint string button does not seem to have contents behind it, or I just don't know how to access it, can you please check? Your instructions however are well understood. The false alarm will sound also when some of the items are late, while others are still there or coming.

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by starxplor » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:20 am

5thHorseman wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:54 am
starxplor wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:17 am
5thHorseman wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:59 am
starxplor wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:39 am
If you are in hour 150 and you die of bitter attack, you have no one to blame but yourself.
That was an example. As a player who won't accept losses in this game I don't know what the rest of you expect.

What is an approximate maximum number of hours in which losing all your work would not be your own fault?
How about 0.5? This game has bitters. If you do not want to deal with maintaining balance between production, expansion, and defence, you can turn them off entirely. Otherwise, design your strategy around the settings of your world, going slower if you need to avoid agro-ing bitters until you have either walls and/or turrets.
You may be misunderstanding me. I have no problem with biters. They crash, burning, into my walls often. My only problem is with the idea of making them ramp up infinitely, which is not and I hope never will be in the game.

Though as a setting, sure. If it doesn't take too much time away from coding the actual game.
Ahh, yeah, I didn't realize there was anything here about infinite ramping, which would be impossible to defend against, not just annoying or difficult. I can say that I would turn off biters if the only option was infinite ramping or off (and I usually play with them on).

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by Amarula » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:32 pm

Ranakastrasz wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:19 pm
How..... How did you not manage to escape the forest fire on foot? Did you get stuck on the trees or something? I mean, fire spreads pretty slowly.
Ha ha! I was turning around in a circle, setting everything on fire around me... and then, there we were, surrounded by fire. :oops:

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by BlueTemplar » Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:55 pm

CDarklock wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:40 am
Things like that are the biggest issue with Factorio, IMO. Oil is a wall. Railways are a wall. Circuit networks are a wall. And if you smack into them hard enough, you don't want to play anymore. There's this tacit assumption in a lot of tutorials that you just know this stuff, and there are also a whole lot of tutorials that... well... suck. Even the good ones are overwhelming; Katherine of Sky is the go-to new player resource, and when I looked her up on YouTube the playlist is 93 videos long.

That's like eight seasons of anime. I might as well start watching the Monogatari series.
93 (unclassified!!) videos as a "go-to new player resource" doesn't make any sense...
EDIT : Never mind, looks like that she actually has a dedicated tutorial playlist of 17 topical videos.
EDIT2 : Starting with nuclear power is a bit weird though XD.
EDIT3 : Yeah, watched the first 8 minutes of her Refinery tutorial video, that's pretty good !
(Though yeah, you already need to know the basics of the game.)

And IMHO the wiki explains very well the basic concepts.
For instance it has this nifty little table of maximum fluid throughput vs pipe length...

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by CDarklock » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:18 pm

BlueTemplar wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:55 pm
And IMHO the wiki explains very well the basic concepts.
For instance it has this nifty little table of maximum fluid throughput vs pipe length...
It does explain them very well, if you already know them and are checking to make sure the things you know are there and correct.

When you don't know them, and you don't know the magic words to find them, it's like... impossible.

I was not thinking "the throughput of my pipe is low." I was thinking "pipe not work." Go try and find out the problem from that.

In my own search, I did find a mildly-cryptic sentence on the "fluid system" page:
If a pipe section becomes too long without using pumps, all fluid inside it will be "spread thin", resulting in very slow flow and preventing machines to use its contents effectively.
But I am totally using pumps. Look, there they are, right on the end where they belong. I have like twenty offshore pumps.

At no point did I see anything say outright "a pipe can only be so long before you have to put a pump in it, or it will not work."

EDIT: You are looking at the 0.15 tutorial series. This is the playlist for 0.16
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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by BlueTemplar » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:06 pm

Oh right, I see the newbie trap...

I'll admit, I had heard of "fluid throughput issues" even before getting to the Advanced section of the wiki !
(Though actually never had to deal with them so far in my games...)

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by CDarklock » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:14 pm

BlueTemplar wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:06 pm
Oh right, I see the newbie trap...
The wiki does avoid a lot of them, and has been absolutely invaluable. The single most valuable part, to me at least, was that if you are both smart and humble enough to scroll down and look in the "Beginner" section instead of going straight to "Search" - there is a "List of common game and community terms."

There are very few communities that bother with something like this, and it is incredibly useful.

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by BlueTemplar » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:37 pm

Somehow, I usually end up in communities like that... :)
CDarklock wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:40 am
Technically, you *can* still lose a Factorio game after winning it ! :P
I've done that! Because the next thing I did after launching my rocket was build a train, and then I could have sworn I got IN the train but I was just standing really close to it on the tracks.

Got an achievement tho
What I meant by losing was that you could be forced to stop expanding and run out of resources even after launching a rocket - theoretically possible, extremely unlikely in practice...

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Re: Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Post by emlun » Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:02 pm

Hi! I'd just like to weigh in with a small piece of opinion. The new rocket silo looks great, but there was something about the animation that didn't feel right to me - when the rising animation ends, it looks like it suddenly freezes prematurely because all the motion stops at once. I think a little bit of ease-out on the rocket's rising motion would give the animation a really satisfying oomph, and perhaps even better if the support arms' animation ends just a fraction of a second later than the rocket. Just an idea. :) Thanks for making this fantastic game!

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