Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

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SkerrittT
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Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by SkerrittT »

There are no doubt many things that could be added to the one big expansion pack announced by the Factorio Team.
I thought that I would jot down a few thoughts that might be OK for the pack.

additional raw resources,
new manufacturing methods,
additional component manufacture,
terrestrial robot army defenders, - what was I thinking
Bridges,
Tunnels,
Air Cargo Planes,
Cargo Ships,
Ability to create a passenger rocket and travel to a new planet and build on that planet,
The new planet might have new resources that facilitate onward travel,
Off world resource mining - resources brought to this planet from other planets
Cargo Rockets to/from other planets

Its going to be great to see what the Factorio team create ! :)
Last edited by SkerrittT on Tue Feb 09, 2021 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by valneq »

From what I understand, most of these exist as mods. Only bridges and tunnels (for trains?) are not possible with the game engine right now.

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by meems »

my opinion was the dev team never really grasped what made Factorio a success. There were so many aspects added to the game that they had slaved over that while technically impressive didn't improve the game.

Factorio's main appeal over other games was :
resource logistics
factory optimisation
trains
factory architecture

same goes for the mod community, most of the mods didn't enhance the gameplay. Although I admit i didn't dig around much looking for the pearls.

I wonder if in the expansion pack they will do a unprecedented deep review of what made factorio great. Though if they do it begs the question why they didn't do it during factorio dev.

I will review the dev blog to gauge how savvy about and how focused on gameplay they were.

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by maxp779 »

A stronger gun turret! :)

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by Kane »

Ships and planes would definitely make me not want to buy the expansion. I highly doubt that would end up showing up.

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by Krazykrl »

Right now, Factorio has the "what" already designed. It's a fantastic granular sandbox of logistics and spaghetti. The thing that's lacking is the "why". The tutorial and NPE already has systems planned (or in place) that furthered some sort of objective goal.

Currently the objective is "do science"; everything else is the logistics for supporting this goal. An expansion pack would need to be some sort of production goal beside the science already implemented. This campaign should probably be related to "how did the engineer get here" and other mysteries.

As for low-level feaures:

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by meems »

>Currently the objective is "do science"; everything else is the logistics for supporting this goal.

Yes, I always thought the focus on creating sci packs was a lame, quik-fix solution to giving the game mid term goals. Yet they were enmeshed into the game over the years. If I was game designer I would reduce use of sci packs by 90%. Improving tech should stay, but it should not be obtained primarily by sci pack production.


>additional raw resources
Yes, if I was game designer, I'd put some more in. Metals and rare metals are something worth competing and haggling for in vs multiplayer. Say 10 base metals, then another much sought 5 rare metals. Iron and copper is all thats needed to setup a factory complex. But high tech components need more metals.

terrestrial robot army defenders,
The problem with more focus on war is that there are already a thousand games that focus on that. Factorio didn't get big because of its combat system. There should be less focus on war, more focus on logistics.

Bridges,
The current landfill solution to water is lame / lazy, negating water as a geographic feature. Bridges would be more involved, and would be an 'asset' to defend and compete over. So in principle they are better.

Cargo Ships
Actually ships are the obvious 1st choice as to what the motivating goal of factorio should be. Personally I think the whole factorio idea would be far better off set in space, where asteroids become assets for their landarea for building, metals, and defensive geography, like the old game K240. Then construction of space ship fleets becomes an excellent motiviation for building a factory. Owners of different asteroids with different assets, would have to cooperate to build all the components for advanced spaceships, guilds and alliances would organically form, and so would competition.
This will also be how combat is relegated, from a realtime user controlled combat to a more strategic indirect system.

Land area
Restriction of landarea is one the most obvious and simplest game design concepts that would greatly improve the game. The logistic solution ' just expand into more territory ' kills so much potential logistic problems in vanilla, yet where do the devs note this? It just hasn't occurred to them in 10 years. With asteroids, landarea becomes a valuable asset.

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by SkerrittT »

Yes your so right.
terrestrial robot army defenders,
The problem with more focus on war is that there are already a thousand games that focus on that.
I don't even know why I included that given that I mostly play (build) without aliens !

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by meems »

I was reading the dev blog vhttps://www.factorio.com/blog/post/fff-245 . i can be scything as f.
>" Being brought in to create content on a very mature...

Its virtually impossible to enter a dev team based on game design skills. He'll have got in for coding skills.

>One such problem that has been confusing players for a long time now is the fact that the most important ingredient for progression - the science packs - are unlocked in arbitrary technologies.
Honestly I think 'sci packs' have been a thorn, a 'false god' in western games since Sid Meir's Civilization made them standard in 1991. All game architects have mindlessly followed his lead since then. Name me one game that has a nice tech progression system ( other than just plain prerequisite buildings or time delays ) that doesn't revolve around sci packs. No such game exists. In 30 years no game owner has allowed a single synaptic brain signal to be used in creating an alternative tech progress system. Sci packs are a crude way of simplifying tech progress when u want your game to focus on other aspects, such as combat. But in a game like factorio where tech in the form of logistics is at the heart of the game, sci packs are absolutely redundant.

> "Production vs. High-tech science : the purpose was to create a choice for the player whether after Science pack 3 they want to continue with a more 'production' or 'high tech' oriented method. Looking back, the idea is definitely good, "
This dev mind is so far away from where its supposed to be - organic gameplay - , instead he's pouring / lording over player single decisions in an aspect of the game that doesn't need to exist. If ever you find yourself pouring over decisions like this as a game designer, you know you've failed.

I guess this dev is one of the lead architects for the 'one big expansion pack'

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by Drury »

valneq wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 2:30 pm
From what I understand, most of these exist as mods. Only bridges and tunnels (for trains?) are not possible with the game engine right now.
thats just cuz you're bad at searching the mod portal fam

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by starlinvf »

meems wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:59 pm
my opinion was the dev team never really grasped what made Factorio a success. There were so many aspects added to the game that they had slaved over that while technically impressive didn't improve the game.

Factorio's main appeal over other games was :
resource logistics
factory optimisation
trains
factory architecture

same goes for the mod community, most of the mods didn't enhance the gameplay. Although I admit i didn't dig around much looking for the pearls.

I wonder if in the expansion pack they will do a unprecedented deep review of what made factorio great. Though if they do it begs the question why they didn't do it during factorio dev.

I will review the dev blog to gauge how savvy about and how focused on gameplay they were.
But there are a huge number of games like that. Factorio's big stand out feature is its presentation, and to a slightly lesser extent its rock solid performance at scale. The standardization of AMs having both discrete and non-discrete inputs and outputs also offered a huge amount of design flexibility. Combined this brings a level of coherence most other games either struggle with, or would be broken out to be a major focus of the design game play.


And by saying "while technically impressive didn't improve the game", it also overlooks the fact that the game is so well optimized for its main Playthrough goal (rocket launch), that you can't really expand it without breaking that optimization. This is why the debate about "what should be an expansion" and "what should be a mod" almost universally leans toward Mods; as an Expansion feature should open new design approaches, and not just "complicate" existing ones.



Personally, I would rather explore the possibility of taking the data management structure of the game, and apply it to a different background setting. Spend some time exploring new game play concepts as a whole; and either A. Develop a new game. or B. Port some of those novel concepts into Factorio. Some might consider it a waste of time... but taking an opportunity to disconnect from factorio's design offers a chance to get creative, and innovate.

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by blazespinnaker »

meems wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:59 pm
my opinion was the dev team never really grasped what made Factorio a success. There were so many aspects added to the game that they had slaved over that while technically impressive didn't improve the game.

Factorio's main appeal over other games was :
resource logistics
factory optimisation
trains
factory architecture
This is a great list and I couldn't agree more (I'd add 'deterministic scale') but I think you're generally missing some of the devil is in the details and also the concept of fun versus work. Whoever lead certainly understood this and worked hard to make sure the details were right for gameplay (eg, map mode). They also appreciated that sometimes what makes things fun isn't always pure calculation and planning. They kept things at a level where ad hoc mindless play is still fun.

In a way, you have already arrived at the former by not looking at the mods. You probably already understand that they can't get the details right without access to core code. It's a problem of all mods in all games.

The latter I struggle with, as there are a bunch of things that I think would make factorio more interesting (encapsulation / recursive design), but probably less fun for the masses.

TBH, I think the right approach is to continue improving the details and add more scale (multi core, maybe even GPU based processing!) - plus some architecture at scale additions like the recent train additions. Lore, story to go with it is good. Having a strong motivating back story is always important, even if it is a simple one. Witness dyson sphere program, a fantastic concept and story, but makes absolutely zero sense for a factory game. Crash landing and teching up / creating factories from scratch makes sense, creating dyson sphere factories and tech from scratch? Uhm, wtf?

Peace with aliens is a great start. I hope they continue down that line of thought.

Someone may come along and out factorio Wube if they did these things. Fortunately for Wube, everyone seems to be distracted by eye candy and doesn't really get what makes factorio great.

Honestly I think 'sci packs' have been a thorn, a 'false god' in
Oh dear god yes. The hand waving done there is terrible. A great opportunity, Wube.
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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by meems »

well we're going to find out. If the expansion pack is any good then we'll all buy it. But I'm skeptical. Tanks, Cars, Character upgrades, SpiderTrons, day and night, were all unnecessary. Role / Character orientation play is a poor choice in a 4X, factory management game. The game has an absurdly inconsistant reality : how does a man store hundreds of tons of factories, cars, trains and steel in his pocket? How does he craft them in seconds? He is a onmipotent god is some respects, and a man in others. Its a dumb distraction and handicap, and adds nothing to the logistical core of the game.
Just remove the character and use god mode. The devs wasted years of their lives into the character aspect of the game, so they wouldn't have the heart to throw it out... But the new game, it gives them a chance to remove this and other fundamental flaws.

Can they do it? I'm skeptical. A dev with excellent coding skills and energy to work long and hard rarely have a clue about gameplay.

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by blazespinnaker »

Fun is a tricky concept. We play to forego reality and therefore realism isn't necessarily required. Ultra realistic games, imho, are just turning us into passive consumers with no imagination. We might as well be watching something like Bandersnatch.

Tanks, cars, spidertron, it's all a part of the hero's quest. Yes, at some point /editor and game play are not much different, but you really have to earn it to get there.

And, well, they certainly sold enough copies and everyone seems to want to plagiarize their work rather than doing something new and different - so they must be doing something right.

When someone comes along and does a better job, I'll be the first to claim Wube as second rate. Until then..
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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by meems »

>they must be doing something right.
No need to arm wave. Its the logistics; the conveyor belts and the trains.
From the 1st instance I saw demo, I knew immediately the logistics was a new innovation in gameplay and one that would be a new experience, great fun, and when I played it I found I was right.
Everything else in Factorio had already been done in other games, and was less interesting, less fun, and a leech on the new core gameplay. When I saw that the devs were pouring thousands of hours into these other generic parts of the game I knew that they had not grasped what they had. But try telling them that. They are cut off from the world, in their own concrete bunker, impervious to reason. The only way to communicate with them is via mods and it takes months or years.

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by Bauer »

The devs are extremely good at learning from the community what is interesting. Most good ideas from mods have been integrated in the game already. I love playing with mods like the sea block mod pack, py, etc., but frankly, all this is "just" more of the same. Sure, mods can generate more complexity by adding more receips but I haven't come across anything that's fundamentally different.

There are two things I wish that are (AFAIK) not possible with the current game engine.

1. Exploring the third dimension

It would be great to build on a landscape with differnent levels. And also to build the factory in a multi-story fashion. Removing sand or stone would generate real pits, coal mining needs to tunnel into a mountain. Bridges could spawn between hills or between differnet parts of higher level factory buildings. It doesn't neccessarily needs a fancy 3d engine. But building in 3 dimensions would add much more compared to what we have with underground belts.

2. More Physics

The fluid system already goes in the right direction. This has been discussed multiple times and we all see room for improvement. However, think about temperature! Nothing really has a temperature. The environment doesn't have a temperature. Furnaces don't heat the environment. Plates don't need to be cooled. Water doesn't flow -- it has no physical properties. We can pump a single water tile endlessly. If combined with #1, we could have real rivers, lakes that dry out because we pumped all the water or that build up with our (toxic) waste water. Make factorio more "oxygen not included"-like.

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by meems »

>The devs are extremely good at learning from the community what is interesting.
Its double edged. Die-hard fanatics who live in the mod community will devour most mods and say it was extremely good fun, when in fact its better described as generic padding or inconsequential shuffling of good stuff. To go with fanatic's ideas can and has led the devs astray.
Am I being too cynical? The test I bring is I'm not fanatic. I played vanilla every 9 months or so since v0.12 to see if there's any new good core gameplay. Is there?
Answer : No.
Its smoother in places, but the last few versions haven't added anything that significantly improves the vanilla experience of building a factory and train system.

>1. Exploring the third dimension
Its giving the player an extra degree of freedom in which to solve logistic problems. Suddenly all the problems of twisting conveyor belts around existing stuff becomes easier by going over or under. Best experienced when making a spaghetti factory. Such core logistic problems are Already compromised badly by the 'just expand into more territory' solution due to the huge 2D freedom.

I do wonder how Zachtroincs Infinifactory game or mineCraft factories manage 3D logisitics.

However I will say this : An Asteriods environment would give u the 3D environment you want to experiment and would not violate 'too much freedom' rule as the interior of an asteriod is small as is the surface. So yes you can have 3D if it and 2D scape is limited.


> think about temperature!
Fluid temperature is already in the game. Maybe pipes could explode or freeze, or stop working due to wrong temperatures, and it could be fun to manage them, but not sure.

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Farming!!

Post by catma »

big expansion pack suggestion:

Farming (or bioproduction of some sort). Due to randomly(weather?) or seasonally changing production and consumption ratios, the factory must be designed with bulk storage in mind, shutting down power in seasons where it is a waste to keep it active somewhere, and systems monitoring animals for changes in needs(because you don't need the expensive antibiotics often, but when you do...).

Also juggle composite changing production such as 1 animal -> 7 meat and 3 leather this time, then 6 meat and 4 leather a minute later because random or seasonal change(1 random or seasonal change per minute per farm type = no big computer lag generated on each tick on each machine for randomization and the related belt inefficiency), so you have to do something to balance production between various animals to plan efficiently against alternating between "stuck due to too much leather per meat" and "stuck due to too much meat per leather" forever. Similar with dealing with uranium processing random results, but more complex!

Farming of course would fit as a subtheme to most big expansions scenarios.

P.S.: how do you get the animals? Same ways the first farmers got cattle. Explore and capture some!!!

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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by eradicator »

I do hope that the pack brings more game mechanics and isn't just "more of the same" as expansion packs are for most other games. I don't need "Tier 4" belts/assemblers/inserters and i don't need "every recipe now requires 10 different ingredients" complexity explosion. A better end-goal/post-rocket gameplay instead of the self-fullfilling prohpecy of "infinite science" would also be nice (they hired the author of SpaceExploration so...).
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Re: Some ideas for the "One big expansion pack"

Post by FasterJump »

Maybe going into ONI's direction with space exploration. And/or exploring some of the 4X mechanisms.

Or making an entire different game while keeping the engine and logistic (belts) of Factorio.

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