Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Regular reports on Factorio development.
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Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by Klonan » Fri May 12, 2017 5:52 pm

Another dose of your weekly development news: https://www.factorio.com/blog/post/fff-190

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by Trepidati0n » Fri May 12, 2017 6:01 pm

Personally, I'm glad for a fairly benign friday facts. You guys deserve the break!

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by bobingabout » Fri May 12, 2017 6:11 pm

So that's the true reason why you changed steam. it makes sense.
Creator of Bob's mods. Expanding your gameplay since version 0.9.8.

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by Vinnie_NL » Fri May 12, 2017 6:20 pm

I'm wondering what you are doing with the 3D printer in the office. I imagine you print the game models so the office is decorated with real life Factorio items :) And which printer do you have?

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by Nikey646 » Fri May 12, 2017 6:21 pm

The way achievements for multiplayer are being handled seems like a subpar solution. You've pretty much made it so that if you want achievements in multiplayer, you need to be there at the start of the server, even more so for servers that are long running.

I have the perfect example, a personal server for friends, has 80hrs total play time. Due to personal reason, I've got maybe 20hrs, but i helped setup the core infrastructure to get the base to the point where it was producing all the science before i had to stop playing for a bit. At this point the map was at about 12hrs total play time on there. I come back, to find the map at about 30hrs in and we finish setting up everything required to launch rockets (They purposely didn't launch rockets for me). I played for maybe 6hrs on the map, and it's now at 80hrs due to friends. I've got, if I'm lucky, 25% of the total play time of the map, and now I'm going to be locked out of achievements. What a terrible solution, it's disappointing that this has occurred.

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by Drury » Fri May 12, 2017 6:24 pm

Vinnie_NL wrote:I'm wondering what you are doing with the 3D printer in the office. I imagine you print the game models so the office is decorated with real life Factorio items :) And which printer do you have?
The game wasn't enough for them, so they have an entire factory set up in the office where 3d printers exchange parts to fabricate products.
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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by BHakluyt » Fri May 12, 2017 6:26 pm

Hi to all the Factorio people

I made few notes for the final release of Factorio:
- Sience packs 1-3 are numbered while the other new additions have names. Please name all science packs uniformly, for example: Mechanical Science Pack (or stick with Science Pack 1,) Automotive Science Pack (or SP2,) Electrical Science Pack (SP3,) Military Science Pack (SP4,) Production Science Pack (SP5,) High Tech Science Pack (SP6) and finally Space Science Pack (SP7.) I vote to use the names rather than numbers: its more intuitive and it sounds cooler and does reflect what type of items are needed for it and more or less what type of research it unlocks.
- Trains: It has been said many times that Factorio drew much inspiration in its origin days from Transport Tycoon. A big part of what made that franchise so good was the tunnels and bridges. In the hunt for Realism vs. Simplicity, please consider to add either or both of them. Also I do note that Factorio takes place on a level plane while TT have hills.

Your game is in alpha and I have not yet seen that you have really committed in writing to release it this year. I mean, when you buy it you know that you are putting your money on a gamble. (Gamble reffering to alpha games. Factorio is very much a sure bet already.) So why do you have to release it this year? Is five years too long for an alpha? I have bought the game and really do not mind for V1.0 if it were released next year. V0.15 amazed me with all the little additions and changes and it made the game an even greater experience. It seems like you guys did a lot of work in a short time and can see your commitment to making one of the greatest games ever. But in a way I am just asking you to make a product I have already bought a bit better...

Personally I envision Factorio V1.0 to have the Spidertron, train tunnels and/or bridges and the first rudimentary space stations for really advanced research, like higher tier power armour, superfast maglev trains that run inside concrete vacuum tunnels and more radar-map-to-view-blueprint-construction-all-seeing-eye-kind-of-nano-bots infused in your blood kind of stuff. But otherwise there is some good ideas for a DLC. Put me down for a pre-order already on that one.

As always, thanks for the hard work and awesome game.

And please don't stop with the Friday Facts. I live for them!!!

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by silverkitty23 » Fri May 12, 2017 6:40 pm

The main issue was that while it looked different in the pipes, when you read the contents of a storage tank, it would tell the circuit network that it contains water. Additionally the circuit network had no signal to represent steam, so easily settings conditions for managing nuclear power setups was not possible.
The problem making with making steam separate from water is you've still got the issue of Steam at 165 (good for engines) and Steam at 500 (good for turbines) - and now heat exchangers only take water so you can't pre-boil the steam in boilers. The second problem is at least easy to fix (make exchangers accept water or steam). But you still have "easily setting conditions for managing X" issues still apply when you can't distinguish Steam165 from Steam500. And if you have a mod that requires Some Other Fluid at Some Other Temperature, you can't "easily set conditions for managing" whatever needs that hot fluid.

It seems like you've created a patchy solution, when what you really need is something more permanently useful. Like if the signals for each fluid included the temperature, so you might have several water signals at once. It might seem like a mess, but it's more flexible and permanent and would allow you shuffle steam/water at different temperatures around.

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by mukreb » Fri May 12, 2017 6:47 pm

I was indeed one of the persons that got hit by a lot of achievements all of a sudden while taking a quick peek on one of the multiplayer servers out there :( Any way to 'delete' this achievements so I can get them myself?

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by Klonan » Fri May 12, 2017 6:54 pm

silverkitty23 wrote:
The main issue was that while it looked different in the pipes, when you read the contents of a storage tank, it would tell the circuit network that it contains water. Additionally the circuit network had no signal to represent steam, so easily settings conditions for managing nuclear power setups was not possible.
The problem making with making steam separate from water is you've still got the issue of Steam at 165 (good for engines) and Steam at 500 (good for turbines) - and now heat exchangers only take water so you can't pre-boil the steam in boilers. The second problem is at least easy to fix (make exchangers accept water or steam). But you still have "easily setting conditions for managing X" issues still apply when you can't distinguish Steam165 from Steam500. And if you have a mod that requires Some Other Fluid at Some Other Temperature, you can't "easily set conditions for managing" whatever needs that hot fluid.

It seems like you've created a patchy solution, when what you really need is something more permanently useful. Like if the signals for each fluid included the temperature, so you might have several water signals at once. It might seem like a mess, but it's more flexible and permanent and would allow you shuffle steam/water at different temperatures around.
We will tackle those issues when we get around to the further polishing and UX redesign in the future, but for now we consider them less important than the inconsistencies and signal issues

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by Draxinusom » Fri May 12, 2017 7:02 pm

I've been trying to do some "intelligent" things with the new nuclear power production and found that there is no way to get electrical grid information into the circuit network. I as player can click any pole, substation to get nice graphs out, but feeding any information into the network to for example spin up alternative power generators before a brown out etc. consists of creating very clunky contraptions. So I went and thought I just make a mod myself, as I'm fluent in Lua. But no, there's no api at all to get any information from electrical networks. I basically just want to send current production and/or demand wattage out into the circuit network but it's a no go.

Of course I built my own clunky workaround to at least get the information when demand outgrows production (use a single accumulator who you monitor for charge less than 100) but it's clunky and for example fails if the accumulator never gets fully loaded again before hitting the demand spike next time.

Is there any reason why we can't get electrical grid information except as a player clicking a pole? Exactly now with the new power plant with its own peculiarity of demand agnostic power production there are lots of things one wants to implement but simply cannot because the information is only given to the player but not to the network.

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by safan » Fri May 12, 2017 7:05 pm

BHakluyt wrote: Personally I envision Factorio V1.0 to have the Spidertron, train tunnels and/or bridges and the first rudimentary space stations for really advanced research, like higher tier power armour, superfast maglev trains that run inside concrete vacuum tunnels and more radar-map-to-view-blueprint-construction-all-seeing-eye-kind-of-nano-bots infused in your blood kind of stuff. But otherwise there is some good ideas for a DLC. Put me down for a pre-order already on that one.
Don't forget there is an economical aspect: they should stop at a moment where they have ennough cash to finance their next project. Factorio 2 or something else. DLC would be a pretty good solution. (see paradox) Working too long at 1.0 could mean that by then, everybody who is remotely interested in the game would have bought it and there would be no new buyers, resulting in insufficient reserves to continue. Let them stop at a moment they find the game complete. Space stations in particular seems ideal for a dlc.

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by Xterminator » Fri May 12, 2017 7:10 pm

It's good to know the real reason Steam was changed, and from a development point of view it makes sense. Unfortunately it completely invalided a lot of cool nuclear setups, but that's the price of playing in experimental I suppose. :P

The change to Coal Liquefaction to make it require Steam is interesting and does add a bit of a uniqueness to it. After looking at it though, it makes me wonder if perhaps cracking should require Steam as well? Now I don't know much about real life cracking of any sort, but in-game it seems a bit too inconsistent that Coal Liquefaction requires Steam, but then a somewhat similar thing such as Cracking requires water. This becomes especially apparent and almost annoying when you set up a Liquefaction build and implement Cracking in the build to turn access heavy to light, and the light to petro.

Just a thought, and I could definitely be way off base here with what would make sense or work.
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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by IronCartographer » Fri May 12, 2017 7:12 pm

BHakluyt wrote:Sience packs 1-3 are numbered while the other new additions have names. Please name all science packs uniformly, for example: Mechanical Science Pack (or stick with Science Pack 1,) Automotive Science Pack (or SP2,) Electrical Science Pack (SP3,) Military Science Pack (SP4,) Production Science Pack (SP5,) High Tech Science Pack (SP6) and finally Space Science Pack (SP7.) I vote to use the names rather than numbers: its more intuitive and it sounds cooler and does reflect what type of items are needed for it and more or less what type of research it unlocks.
Having the early science packs numbered and the later ones named offers its own sort of clarity. You get an initial "start with this sequence" sense, and a "these are additional directions you can take" understanding with branching into military, production, and high-tech stuff. Space science is somewhat "magical" in a way but it's a pretty cool addition. :P
BHakluyt wrote:- Trains: It has been said many times that Factorio drew much inspiration in its origin days from Transport Tycoon. A big part of what made that franchise so good was the tunnels and bridges. In the hunt for Realism vs. Simplicity, please consider to add either or both of them. Also I do note that Factorio takes place on a level plane while TT have hills.
Tunnels seem both unlikely and unrealistic to try and represent without adding surfaces which the player can dig between. That would be interesting but is probably less likely than adding bridges which could be more easily removed to access whatever was underneath them. Either way, I don't expect them because it would add a lot of complexity to trains--which already have an insane graphical complexity (and thus memory requirement) due to orientations, as well as underlying logic.
silverkitty23 wrote: Like if the signals for each fluid included the temperature, so you might have several water signals at once. It might seem like a mess, but it's more flexible and permanent and would allow you shuffle steam/water at different temperatures around.
It shouldn't be unreasonable to make the fluid measurement output two signals: One for fluid amount/type, and one for a temperature value. It wouldn't be a mess at all!

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by flapje » Fri May 12, 2017 7:20 pm

could it be possible to make achievements world connected. So when you get an achievement on one world it will not show up on a other world. Steam achievements will stay the same.

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by DyceHipple » Fri May 12, 2017 7:25 pm

silverkitty23 wrote: Like if the signals for each fluid included the temperature, so you might have several water signals at once. It might seem like a mess, but it's more flexible and permanent and would allow you shuffle steam/water at different temperatures around.
It shouldn't be unreasonable to make the fluid measurement output two signals: One for fluid amount/type, and one for a temperature value. It wouldn't be a mess at all![/quote]

It would be a mess as you can have multiple tanks with the same fluid at the same temperature...

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by basementjack » Fri May 12, 2017 7:34 pm

No hills or bridges please! (we can put down land if we want to simulate a bridge)

As for multiplayer achievements -
1) Are there separate achievements for multi player vs single player? There should be, every xbox live game works that way.
2) Is there no way to track involvement counters for a player while multiplaying and base multiplayer achievements on what the player does?
suggestions:
[*] MP achievement: You helped a multiplayer map by creating xx number of machines
[*] MP achievement: You helped a multiplayer map by laying down xx belts
[*] MP achievement: You helped a multiplayer map by destroying xx enemies
[*] MP achievement: You helped a multiplayer map by laying xx pieces of track
[*] MP achievement: You've joined xx multiplayer games!
[*] MP achievement: You saved another player from near death (other players health < 10% and you destroyed enemies that were attacking him, and he/she lived)
[*] MP achievement: You helped a multiplayer map by taking part in creating a [something more complex like an oil refinery, nuclear reactor etc..]
Achievements for doing xx number of things could have multiple achievements at the 100, 1000, 10000 points for things like belts & track and 10, 100, 1000 points for more serious things like assemblers
etc...

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by Avezo » Fri May 12, 2017 8:02 pm

To be honest, shouldn't all oil processing recipes require steam instead of water? I assume most of them require boiling up ingridients one way or another anyway.

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by IronCartographer » Fri May 12, 2017 8:30 pm

DyceHipple wrote:
silverkitty23 wrote: Like if the signals for each fluid included the temperature, so you might have several water signals at once. It might seem like a mess, but it's more flexible and permanent and would allow you shuffle steam/water at different temperatures around.
It shouldn't be unreasonable to make the fluid measurement output two signals: One for fluid amount/type, and one for a temperature value. It wouldn't be a mess at all!
It would be a mess as you can have multiple tanks with the same fluid at the same temperature...
Good point. Replacing temperature with a thermal energy value (easily summed with circuit logic, still separate from fluid volume) might work better then, though it would introduce a new variable/concept for the player.

basementjack wrote:No hills or bridges please! (we can put down land if we want to simulate a bridge)

As for multiplayer achievements -
1) Are there separate achievements for multi player vs single player? There should be, every xbox live game works that way.
Landfill does nothing for rail intersections, though the recent changes to fuel acceleration and braking force certainly do. :)

One of the very appealing things about Factorio is that single- and multiplayer games are so interchangeable. Forcing multiplayer for certain achievements would be a step backwards in my opinion.

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Re: Friday Facts #190 - The quiet days

Post by Drury » Fri May 12, 2017 8:32 pm

BHakluyt wrote:Hi to all the Factorio people

I made few notes for the final release of Factorio:
- Sience packs 1-3 are numbered while the other new additions have names. Please name all science packs uniformly, for example: Mechanical Science Pack (or stick with Science Pack 1,) Automotive Science Pack (or SP2,) Electrical Science Pack (SP3,) Military Science Pack (SP4,) Production Science Pack (SP5,) High Tech Science Pack (SP6) and finally Space Science Pack (SP7.) I vote to use the names rather than numbers: its more intuitive and it sounds cooler and does reflect what type of items are needed for it and more or less what type of research it unlocks.
- Trains: It has been said many times that Factorio drew much inspiration in its origin days from Transport Tycoon. A big part of what made that franchise so good was the tunnels and bridges. In the hunt for Realism vs. Simplicity, please consider to add either or both of them. Also I do note that Factorio takes place on a level plane while TT have hills.

Your game is in alpha and I have not yet seen that you have really committed in writing to release it this year. I mean, when you buy it you know that you are putting your money on a gamble. (Gamble reffering to alpha games. Factorio is very much a sure bet already.) So why do you have to release it this year? Is five years too long for an alpha? I have bought the game and really do not mind for V1.0 if it were released next year. V0.15 amazed me with all the little additions and changes and it made the game an even greater experience. It seems like you guys did a lot of work in a short time and can see your commitment to making one of the greatest games ever. But in a way I am just asking you to make a product I have already bought a bit better...

Personally I envision Factorio V1.0 to have the Spidertron, train tunnels and/or bridges and the first rudimentary space stations for really advanced research, like higher tier power armour, superfast maglev trains that run inside concrete vacuum tunnels and more radar-map-to-view-blueprint-construction-all-seeing-eye-kind-of-nano-bots infused in your blood kind of stuff. But otherwise there is some good ideas for a DLC. Put me down for a pre-order already on that one.

As always, thanks for the hard work and awesome game.

And please don't stop with the Friday Facts. I live for them!!!
The lack of train tunnels makes me die inside when I see all the horrible-looking Factorio intersections with rails just slapped across one another, but I can see why devs didn't put tunnels in. They'd have to be really long to be any good, often leaping out of the bounds of a single screen, which would break visual clarity. Also, since the grid is so much finer than in OpenTTD you can easily place signals inside an intersection which makes things work even without vertical levels of traffic (but still nowhere near as smoothly). I have mixed feeling about this. I'd love devs forever if they implement underground rails, but I'll understand if they don't.

Space stations would be really cool. More all-seeing eye stuff? It's pretty crazy already, I honestly don't know what more could be done about it. More advanced research? What for? Better power armor? I guess they could make infinite research for that. Superfast vacuum trains? Stick rocket fuel in a train, same deal. You're not really suggesting new features (except the space station I guess), just how to make current stuff more OP via numbers. Sounds like a sign of a finished game to me.

I can think of two issues that need addressing before calling it a game:

Combat is still inherently bland, just adding content like spidertron or artillery train won't help its case. I still don't quite get where an artillery train fits gameplay-wise, it makes sense in real life where you can't carry artillery in your pockets and set it up anywhere so you need a train to tow it to the firing position, but in Factorio things are different. I suppose it's easy for biters to stop and eat trains and so trains need some form of self-defense, but artillery is known for not being good at self-defense both in general videogame terms and in real life. And I guess Spidertron is just a flat out better tank?

The campaign is a dead branch. I hope it either gets expanded or removed. It just sticks out like a sore thumb.
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