Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

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Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby Klonan » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:27 pm

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby Gergely » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:31 pm

Oh finally.

The good stuff..

To be honest, I was seriously underwhelmed by the campaign as it is now back when I was new to the game after the steam release.

I'm glad they finally re-do it.

By the way, I am among the 89% of players who did not ever launch a rocket. Despite that, I still spent around 900 hours in the game.
Last edited by Gergely on Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby PEBKAC » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:39 pm

Wow, the changes to the science packs look really clean!
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby ledow » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:56 pm

Was late to the game (0.15/0.16?).

I think I played only two games without aliens (first one without realising that I was on an island until I got to the last science... which was blue at the time I think, the second to try out Bob's mods etc.)

Have sent any number of rockets. Have almost all the achievements (including the no-lasers, solar-only, etc. ones several of which I achieved in the same game as I played once just to clear up the achievements).

Never bothered with the campaign at all.

I remember trying a couple of puzzle-like mini-game things, but by the time I even looked at them, they were just the ordinary belt-cramming that I was already giving up on myself.

Is it even really a campaign-y kind of game? I don't think so, it only has one end-goal and that's not all that clear or even fixed (if you stop at the rocket, you do miss a lot of the game parts about building thing en-masse, long train runs, etc.).

But yes - taking away what the user has built makes for nasty tutorials/campaigns. Let them realise their mistakes organically by ending up in a crushed factory at level 4 and have to remove stuff / re-route it.
Fixing a user to a size is good at the start, so long as it's not claustrophobic.
Make them explore to get the new resources as they are required, and unlock the tech tree (honestly, hiding it is okay but show it visible but "this level is locked in the tutorial"). How you expand that, whether by flicking a switch, touching a part of the map, or making 10,000 drones, doesn't really matter.
But you need PURPOSE. Why am I being forced out of my safe cubby-hole? Is it just to cater to the designer's whims, or is it because there's a beast coming that will need me to laser-up, which needs X, which needs Y, which means I need to get over there safely? If so, make it so that the beast can be taken down with the basic tech, but you just need more of it, because some people aren't as fast as others.

What you're following - if you haven't realised - is the old C&C / Red Alert style tutorials. I think that gives the impression that this game is similar, and I don't think it is.

You need a reason to build something - a cliff that can only be blasted with cliff-explosives between you and the bigger resources / aliens, and otherwise you're trapped on an island. Another island that can only be reached if you have a bucket-load of grass to get to it, but the stone is all the way over there.

"Synthetic" challenges that has an "organic" feel about them. There's a reason to do them, and the designers have obviously made the map like that for a reason, but it feels like you've just landed on a planet and you can see what you want but you can't quite get there yet, without just a deus ex machina of "we put a forcefield here so you can't walk over there until you conform to our whims and collect 500 wood".

Trouble is, Factorio doesn't have that many blockers to open-exploration (cliffs / water are the only two? Everything else is just a case of balancing alien attacks, really). Even an unpowered gate would do... until you can power up this gate, you can't get to the place that has a free car waiting in it for you to play with and find the fun bits out early without having to build them all yourself.

Absent that kind of flow, it's just a forced tutorial.
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby jaworeq » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:59 pm

I understand, that from "trying to be realistic" point of view, distinction between high-tech and production science packs makes sense. With that said, to me as someone who researches unlimited techs I need both packs anyway. So I just go for robots, then build lines for both packs.

As for achievements - those 11% don't include people playing with mods. If you really want to look at steam stats, you would think that half of the people get bored/lost before reaching oil.

Maybe it could be good to allow few key achievements to be achieved in modded game as well.
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby mexmer » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:06 pm

now, now, i planned to have research tree branch that unlocks science packs and more labs in sct, but what can i do now? wait until .17?
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby DarkOmen » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:08 pm

for the campaign perhaps factory restoration and expansion, say a factory that over produces 1 type of material and under-produces others due to either last foreman dying while trying to set something new up, this leads to massive bottlenecks midway limited overall production and defence, with the player goal producing x items a min. for example, bottle neck could be on steel & red circuits, player needs to expand plate & steel production, red/green circuit production to a certain limit of say xxx/min red circuits and xx/min steel for gun ammo etc to complete mission. This leads the player to reorganise the entire overall factory making it more efficient and adding more power where needed. with the over production of material being copper wire or train tracks etc something that might help but not at the moment.

With initial goals being
- Restore factory operation ( Power, Belts, Destroyed furnace / inserters )
- Restore Factory defence ( get ammo production up and running again )
- Expand factory operation:
- Red Circuit: xxx/min
- Red Ammo: xx/min
- Steel xx/min
- Finish research of Train / Locomotion related research.
- Research blue science research item.
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby dog80 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:10 pm

Still why have research that just unlocks intermediates that dont give you anything on their own... the sheir amount of research - i mean the amount of times you have to press ok now research this ... blink ok now this... blink... now this ... repeat 1000 times... got me annoyed a couple of times already... cheers great fff etc blah lol
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby Bajter » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:14 pm

Hey!
Are you planning on allowing a co-op experience in the campaign? It would be very cool to bring over your friends and play through the whole campaign together.
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby abregado » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:27 pm

dog80 wrote:Still why have research that just unlocks intermediates that dont give you anything on their own... the sheir amount of research - i mean the amount of times you have to press ok now research this ... blink ok now this... blink... now this ... repeat 1000 times... got me annoyed a couple of times already... cheers great fff etc blah lol

https://factorio.com/blog/post/fff-238
Tell me what you see... Research Queue.

I would agree that currently in Freeplay the player is several steps ahead of themselves, unless they are speed runners. Generally I am researching Blue Packs/Plastic/ect and I still have not set up Pumpjacks. The Campaign will give us an opportunity to simultaneously smooth out and speed up the giving of technology, or at least to deliver technologies in a "recommended" order.
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby MrHick » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:35 pm

"Achievement statistics show that only about 11% of players on Steam have ever launched a rocket, which currently means 'won the game'."

I do not think this information is correct, majority of players probably tries some type of mod in there game.
The game has built in mod portal that disables achievements and a lot of people do not pay attention to them anyway.
Just checked my steam account and after 1700 hours (on steam)I do not have that achievement and I shoot up thousands of rockets.
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby laige » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:41 pm

Please keep the old campaign as a scenario pack as I really liked a few of those missions. For example the one that teaches us to use trains; seemed really good.

Perhaps a missions pack would be nice. Perhaps you could add the world used in the trailer to the mission pack also.
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby Lubricus » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:00 pm

About the question to do production or high tech science first is simple, production science is much easier to do than high tech so it will be production science first 100% of the times.
What bother me about the balances between different science pack is that blue feels much harder than production.
The free-play lonely? The music is sad but I have all type of machinery and robots to keep me company.

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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby bman212121 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:07 pm

they want to continue with a more 'production' or 'high tech' oriented method. Looking back, the idea is definitely good, but we want to make it more clear.


By that logic I would really think that provider / requester / buffer chests would fall under production wouldn't they? You could use those for going the production route without ever needing to worry about fancy high tech things like Artillery, Uranium ammo, or the rocket silo.
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby EntroperZero » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:12 pm

laige wrote:Please keep the old campaign as a scenario pack as I really liked a few of those missions. For example the one that teaches us to use trains; seemed really good.

Perhaps a missions pack would be nice.


Yeah! I actually highly enjoyed the smaller, self-contained missions as a nice alternative to freeplay mode, which just seemed overwhelming as a newbie. Sometimes it's good to throw away your base, because you're not going to build a nice, well-oiled machine in your first several tries anyway. I liked that each level focused on one or two key concepts at a time, but still remained in the context of a larger overall story/goal. And I think it had a nice cadence to the complexity of base-building, where you had some missions that were simpler, and two particular missions that were somewhat more freeform, but more digestable than freeplay (the first when you build the car after setting up initial research, and the second being the final mission).
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby Jap2.0 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:24 pm

I'm a bit curious as to how the demo will tie into all of this. I think it's very important that you keep the demo - it was a big factor in bringing me into the game (I saw a little on youtube which got me interested, but the demo was what really made me want to buy it). I spent upwards of 15 hours in the demo before I could buy the game, and I got... surprisingly far, considering that there are no splitters, underground belts, or long handed inserters.

A few things other people have brought up:

Most of the time I build production science first, because I'll have to build both anyway at some point, it comes first in the list, and it's cheaper.

And yeah, that 11% statistic is wrong for so many reasons.
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby Amarula » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:27 pm

Really like the ideas behind the new campaign, especially the clearer focus on the purpose of each phase and maintaining player investment.
I am of two minds about the pre-placed factory structures: yes they certainly show concepts and workable designs, but I have found a tendency to find one design that works and just keep using it, unless I am forced to find a better way. For example, my first science pack factory fed directly into a research lab. I quickly discovered that the factory couldn't keep up with even a single lab! and I needed to place the science packs into a chest or at least onto a belt to get enough packs made to keep up with demand. I guess what I am saying is I hope the campaign will include the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them.
I am curious about the "feeling of loneliness" supposedly conveyed by Freeplay; I guess I am a homesteader at heart, undaunted by the thought of heading out into unexplored wilderness so I feel excitement not loneliness ;-)
I understand the concern expressed by dog80 around adding yet more elements in the technology tree. However, it seems to me that being able to queue a sequence of technologies to be researched (and add and remove and reorder elements in the queue) would solve this issue much better than limiting additions to the tree. (and at the same time, not losing all your research progress if you shift from one topic to another would be great!)
On the other hand, if the only purpose of separating out the science pack research nodes is to be able to see what you are getting, why not just create an icon that includes the science pack, so for example instead of just a furnace, have the research node display the furnace together with the science pack. The argument that you don't know what technology you are getting from a particular science pack is not persuasive to me, the image for the research node already shows you across the bottom of the image which science packs are needed to research that technology.
Thanks again for these weekly updates with the peek behind the scenes into what the team is thinking and what is driving the decisions!
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby Gergely » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:29 pm

Lubricus wrote:The free-play lonely? The music is sad but I have all type of machinery and robots to keep me company.

Factorio really should have better music for late game that is not so depressing.
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby Jap2.0 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:45 pm

Amarula wrote:(and at the same time, not losing all your research progress if you shift from one topic to another would be great!)


They've changed it so you don't.
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Re: Friday Facts #245 - Campaign concept

Postby abregado » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:50 pm

Jap2.0 wrote:I'm a bit curious as to how the demo will tie into all of this.


https://factorio.com/blog/post/fff-241
The Demo is currently just the tutorial parts of the Campaign, but will change to be a completely separate experience designed to teach the game concepts AND show what Factorio is all about. The demo is a thing that will stick around, everyone here is committed to the idea that at least part of the game should be accessible for free.

So far I would say the testing versions of the NPE feel less like a tutorial and more like a playable trailer (but I am biased).
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