Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«3 »
  • Post
  • Reply
RyokoTK
Feb 12, 2012

I am cool.




Factory Town is a factory-building game made by Erik Asmussen, currently in Early Access on Steam. The developer describes it as a cross between factory-building bonsai tree simulator Factorio and city-building misery simulator Banished. If you're a fan of Factorio especially, the DNA of that game is incredibly and immediately apparent in this one.



In Factory Town, you start with one lonely base building and a handful of workers, and the end goal is to max out the complex tech tree to upgrade your base to level 10. This is done with the gathering and manipulation of many different resources -- there are classic materials like stone, lumber, and iron for your buildings, but in this game you also have a limited population capacity (that increases as you progress) so you need to have houses for your workers, and provide those workers with food, goods and luxuries to make them happier (read: work harder).



Where Factory Town diverges from Factorio is that the latter has a focus on economy of scale and physical continuity. There are only a handful of resources, but you need to produce iron plates by the tens of thousands and move those iron plates at 50+ per second to many different locations. In Factory Town, the scale is smaller, but there are many more resources that you can gather from all over the place. Progression through the tech tree begins with simple materials like raw grain and lumber to convert directly into yellow coins and basic materials like planks, but then later techs require red coins, acquired from more complex intermediate ingredients like clothing (cotton -> cloth -> shirt) and medicine (herbs gathered from a farm, plus cotton -> cloth -> bandages = poultice). End-game materials like magic stones and potions are the highest level of material.



You operate as the hand of god in this game, so if any materials are sitting in your base or in a barn building, it all contributes to your "shared inventory" and you can build structures and hire workers instantly from a menu. However, intermediate ingredients need to be made in structures like workshops and forges, and you can't place the materials there yourself, so you have to use various logistic tools. Gravity and 3D space matter in this game: you can move items around via chutes, which are cheap and require no tech, but chutes can't move items uphill. Chutes and transport belts take up space, so if you just lay down belts all over, then your wagons can't get around, and wagons are much better and more flexible at moving goods (until you hit a traffic jam)... so build bridges and scaffolding to suspend your belts above ground! Wagons also require some of your population cap, but belts don't... and you need to manage traffic, because wagons certainly can't clip through each other.




Plus, you have to figure out how to get all of those saleable goods to your markets and apothecaries to actually get money and happiness for them. The nitty-gritty requires a lot of management and fine tuning -- luckily, deconstructing buildings is instant and offers a full refund of material cost, so as you expand your factory, tearing down old junk to make more room for belts and roads is as seamless and easy as can be.



The capacity for big mega-factories still exists, of course. Gotta pave the world somehow.



Of course, like everything else on Steam these days, Factory Town is in Early Access and definitely implies a lot of the usual baggage. The game runs smoothly and looks palatable enough, especially for a one-man show, but right now the game is missing an explicit end-game goal (comparable to the rocket in Factorio) and struggles with the interface and understanding what the hell you're supposed to do are very real. These problems are acknowledged by the dev on the forum for his Steam page, and he seems invested in making it better.

Overall, it's a game that looks like a mobile game knockoff of Factorio but really is rather complex and scratches many of the same itches that Factorio does. And as of writing (March 14, 2019) it's not even !

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Kibbles n Shits
Apr 8, 2006

burgerpug.png

Fun Shoe

I like this game. There are some real UI annoyances and pathfinding issues (most notably with carts, thankfully you don't need too many of them) but otherwise the core game play seems pretty solid. I love building vertical spaghetti.

Foxhound
Sep 5, 2007

Holy shit


It's unpolished for sure, but still very fun!

WithoutTheFezOn
Aug 28, 2005
Oh no

This fact was not obvious when I started playing: If you have an item selected, shift+(1-8) will assign that item to a hot key slot.

Ambaire
Sep 3, 2009



Oven Wrangler

When starting out, if you reclaim the free foot paths around your base, you can gain up to 19 additional wood for a quick two huts once you gather a couple more. True, it makes them slightly slower, but it's a negligible amount compared to having 4 more workers.

zedprime
Jun 9, 2007


I don't understand how any part of this game resembles Banished. I guess the crafting as a city shaped thing? I thought everyone played it for the Malthus demonstration.

The UI is very bad but I don't care, this game simulates discrete manufacturing in a way Factorio and Production Line wish they could. The graphical theme is a city but it's totally a factory and the workshops are benches, the carts are forklifts, the conveyors are material flow systems. I'm getting a little hard just talking about it.

Chakan
Mar 30, 2011


The game is good so far, though I'm definitely running into a funny problem where I'm loathe to just destroy a large forest, but I need the land to expand better. As a result I'm expanding pretty slowly as natural resources are consumed & playing it pretty zen as I get to the first of the blue science coin research.

I will say the forestry building seems like a pretty bad deal, compared to setting tree planters and putting down new trees yourself, though the math may change at some point.

zedprime
Jun 9, 2007


You can automate log removal into a sawmill with a forestry building. Once you bulk produce bread the yellow coin tax isn't half bad.

RyokoTK
Feb 12, 2012

I am cool.


Chakan posted:

The game is good so far, though I'm definitely running into a funny problem where I'm loathe to just destroy a large forest, but I need the land to expand better. As a result I'm expanding pretty slowly as natural resources are consumed & playing it pretty zen as I get to the first of the blue science coin research.

I will say the forestry building seems like a pretty bad deal, compared to setting tree planters and putting down new trees yourself, though the math may change at some point.

It's a much more efficient building in terms of pop cap than workers are.

WithoutTheFezOn
Aug 28, 2005
Oh no

And throughput. It’d take a lot of chopper dudes (and probably a barn or silo) to match the 0.5 wood per second (not counting speed bonuses) of a forester.

Once you have the proper techs (and a small stock of raw resources) it looks like you can make a resource patch wherever you want. But the harvest buildings take coins to run. Red for foresters and coal/ore mines and blue for the magic rock things.

Go ahead and burn down the forest.

RyokoTK
Feb 12, 2012

I am cool.


Spaghetti factories are still absolutely a thing.



This is a self-sufficient outpost for generating berry cakes to sell for purple coins.

Since you can terraform and suspend belts above other belts, and plant crops/trees/ores wherever you want once you get the resources and tech for it, I was able to plant pretty much everything I need next to some kitchens in a cozy-looking village.

In the background is an outpost for manufacturing rails. I really like the organic feel of the factories in this game relative to Factorio.

Kibbles n Shits
Apr 8, 2006

burgerpug.png

Fun Shoe

I feel kind of bad for automating away my poor little dudes jobs. It's like an accidental indictment of capitalism. Oh well, there will always be a need for water bearers, unless there is a way to automate that as well that I haven't reached yet.

RyokoTK
Feb 12, 2012

I am cool.


Kibbles n Shits posted:

I feel kind of bad for automating away my poor little dudes jobs. It's like an accidental indictment of capitalism. Oh well, there will always be a need for water bearers, unless there is a way to automate that as well that I haven't reached yet.

Grabbers can pull buckets of water out of wells

WithoutTheFezOn
Aug 28, 2005
Oh no

Kibbles n Shits posted:

I feel kind of bad for automating away my poor little dudes jobs.
They’re just working inside the buildings.

zedprime
Jun 9, 2007


Economic progress is locking people inside buildings and giving them stuff to make them work harder.

Factory Town works the same way.

ninjewtsu
Oct 9, 2012



There's a lot of design in this game that I love.

Your basic logistics unit, the worker, harvests raw materials and can transport things, but because they can only carry 1 thing at a time and take up space (can't clip through each other, causing traffic jams), they're not really a viable means of long distance transportation. So at first, you build all your facilities next to the raw materials.

Once you've got some planks stored up, you can start messing around with chutes. Chutes let you gather resources remotely and transport them to manufacturing centers, but can't go uphill ever, which limits both where you can place manufacturing centers and how many chutes you can have going there (because chutes can't go up-then-down, you can mess with vertical space some but you've still got some heavy contraints), and also only raw resources can be transported via chute, so your manufacturing centers are still decentralized and small, but you're no longer married to the precise position of raw resources and thus can actually have some form of manufacturing "center"

Once you get wagons, you can start doing some forms of mass transportation, but the limitations are still severe. You can transport large quantities of produced goods around (which previously had to be hand carried one by one by workers), but wagons can still get tied up in traffic jams, so any large scale material transport still has to remain local. You can build a long path for your single, expensive, low-quantity end product (say, axes to your general goods store), but you won't exactly be running any trucker fleets.

The first conveyer belts you get are slower than chutes, and awfully expensive to make, but they can go uphill and don't cost any population, unlike wagons. You can finally start getting a little largescale with your production centers, especially if you have the planks available to go fully 3d with your belts, but the slow speed and larger cost of belts makes making really really big manufacturing centers untenable. Transporting goods from really remote locations is way more possible, now that you can travel uphill, but you'll start getting bottlenecked by the slow conveyer speed if you really try to go all out with it.

And so on. It's really cool how every new logistical option you unlock changes the way you think about base organization. You start off being forced to have single buildings getting fed by directly adjacent raw materials, and slowly you incrementally unlock the capacity to increasingly centralize your manufacturing, and constantly look back at your already existing manufacturing and say "ok, well now that I've unlocked new logistics, this entire layout is sub-optimal. I guess it's time to destroy everything and rebuild it again." like the game is constantly giving you a new puzzle to solve as soon as you've conquered the current one, and optionally you can look at the old puzzles again with new tools, giving entirely new solutions.

My biggest complaint is that there's no real goal you're working towards other than "be big" and there's nothing really providing any form of pressure on you. The game is essentially a sandbox, there's no biters providing you with some kind of stressor to manufacture against, and there's no threat of starvation or winter or any such mechanic that might force you to ensure that your economy is effecient.

ninjewtsu
Oct 9, 2012



Honestly chutes are just such a cool concept for the game's design. They're really useful but have interesting limitations and introduce you to thinking about the game's 3d space with some level of detail. Also, a single item traveling down a really long track of chutes starts getting really loving fast and that's just satisfying to see

Alkydere
Jun 7, 2010
Capitol: A building or complex of buildings in which any legislature meets.
Capital: A city designated as a legislative seat by the government or some other authority, often the city in which the government is located; otherwise the most important city within a country or a subdivision of it.

Some of the biggest things that took me a while to figure out:
-You can input a z-level or two above a building's floor, which still lets you have a path underneath.
-You can just drag a line for chutes/conveyors/paths and the game goes "Oh I'll just add the supports for you!" Excellent if the end point you drag to is on scaffolding so you basically mage a bridge and a lot easier than making the path by hand.

Edit: am I doing something wrong or does the Move tool just not work?

Alkydere fucked around with this message at Mar 15, 2019 around 08:21

Jesustheastronaut!
Mar 9, 2014
Probation
Can't post for 3 days!


drat will be keeping an eye on this game, sounds really fun but I agree with the previous poster that talks about these type of games needing a goal or at least something that's working against you.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011

Gaze into the 8-ball.


ninjewtsu posted:

My biggest complaint is that there's no real goal you're working towards other than "be big" and there's nothing really providing any form of pressure on you. The game is essentially a sandbox, there's no biters providing you with some kind of stressor to manufacture against, and there's no threat of starvation or winter or any such mechanic that might force you to ensure that your economy is effecient.

I think the happiness mechanic is meant to be this. That's the part that requires a certain flow of goods that gets more demanding as you grow, and you need enough to upgrade your base - the designer said at one point he considers Base Level 10 a soft endgame goal. There's potential there.

Wipfmetz
Oct 12, 2007

Sitzen ein oder mehrere Wipfe in einer Lore, so kann man sie ueber den Rand der Lore hinausschauen sehen.

Fun Shoe

Haven't gotten far into the game, but my economy doesn't seem to be "ever-growing unto eternity" as Factorio.

Hoping for some rebalancing there.

Because otherwise the game has nice ideas, like chutes, a population as a flexible ressource sink or balancing the worker pool between harvesting/transport/production boosts.

Wipfmetz fucked around with this message at Mar 15, 2019 around 10:17

Alkydere
Jun 7, 2010
Capitol: A building or complex of buildings in which any legislature meets.
Capital: A city designated as a legislative seat by the government or some other authority, often the city in which the government is located; otherwise the most important city within a country or a subdivision of it.

Well I've done it. I'm finally at the point where I have cloth and cloth conveyors automated



Had to build, rip apart, rebuild so much poo poo to get it done...but there! I also have fresh berries and potatoes being fed to my workers for more happiness/yellow coins. Also thanks to whoever gave the hint that grabbers can grab water pails from wells. Made things that much easier/more convenient. My next project is replacing those wagons with belts to auto-feed some of the products into the stores directly.

zedprime
Jun 9, 2007


Alkydere posted:

Some of the biggest things that took me a while to figure out:
-You can input a z-level or two above a building's floor, which still lets you have a path underneath.
-You can just drag a line for chutes/conveyors/paths and the game goes "Oh I'll just add the supports for you!" Excellent if the end point you drag to is on scaffolding so you basically mage a bridge and a lot easier than making the path by hand.

Edit: am I doing something wrong or does the Move tool just not work?
The move tool is poorly named. It is a tool for moving loose items (like the wrong products in a chute or belt) into your shared inventory

Alkydere
Jun 7, 2010
Capitol: A building or complex of buildings in which any legislature meets.
Capital: A city designated as a legislative seat by the government or some other authority, often the city in which the government is located; otherwise the most important city within a country or a subdivision of it.

zedprime posted:

The move tool is poorly named. It is a tool for moving loose items (like the wrong products in a chute or belt) into your shared inventory

Yeah I figured it out. Also works for workers you managed to get stuck inside your construction.

I had to figure out that you get full resources back when destroying something.

WithoutTheFezOn
Aug 28, 2005
Oh no

Wipfmetz posted:

Haven't gotten far into the game, but my economy doesn't seem to be "ever-growing unto eternity" as Factorio.

Hoping for some rebalancing there.
What do you mean by ever-growing? Constantly have new stuff to make? Make orders of magnitude more stuff? Coin pile getting larger?

A couple of things I’ve noticed:

Localized discrete production like someone else mentioned. Possibly because I’m not comfortable with transport yet, but the Factorio idea of “I’m going to make a metric boatload of <thing> over here and just convey it all over the map to feed multiple work cells” doesn’t work and needs to be forgotten.

At first glance the repurposing of coins seems like a clever idea.




Also as a side note, it takes about 15 buildings to make a sandwich. Must be good chicken sandwiches.

Wipfmetz
Oct 12, 2007

Sitzen ein oder mehrere Wipfe in einer Lore, so kann man sie ueber den Rand der Lore hinausschauen sehen.

Fun Shoe

WithoutTheFezOn posted:

What do you mean by ever-growing? Constantly have new stuff to make? Make orders of magnitude more stuff?

Yes. All of that, and the base and mining network covering more and more of the world.

Within the first hour of Factorio you'll understand that you'll spend the next few hours or days to build a huge industrial moloch.
I can't really pinpoint why I'm missing that feeling here.

I'm not even sure if this pretty and colourful world is even meant to be consumed by an dystopian "factory".

Wipfmetz fucked around with this message at Mar 15, 2019 around 15:20

RyokoTK
Feb 12, 2012

I am cool.


WithoutTheFezOn posted:

Localized discrete production like someone else mentioned. Possibly because I’m not comfortable with transport yet, but the Factorio idea of “I’m going to make a metric boatload of <thing> over here and just convey it all over the map to feed multiple work cells” doesn’t work and needs to be forgotten.

This is definitely the case. I got a base up to level 8 and ultimately I had lots of isolated bases just to stockpile construction goods. Whenever I needed one intermediate for another product, I just made it on-site rather than trying to haul it in from another location. Most of the long-distance hauling is just for commodities.


Wipfmetz posted:

Yes. All of that, and the base and mining network covering more and more of the world.

Within the first hour of Factorio you'll understand that you'll spend the next few hours or days to build a huge industrial moloch.
I can't really pinpoint why I'm missing that feeling here.

I'm not even sure if this pretty and colourful world is even meant to be consumed by an dystopian "factory".

I've made a few suggestions to the dev on the Steam forum about how to better implement early-game resources into the late game. More expensive commodities like sandwiches or berry cakes aren't really worth the process when simpler products like bread will get you by just as well, and late-game products are far too inexpensive and materially simple. He's pretty well aware that the scaling aspect of the game isn't right, by his own admission, so stay tuned for more of that later I guess.

The feel I got from the Steam forums is that people really like the commodities and happiness aspect of the game. I do too, so I think for now the dev is trying to figure out how to incentivize scaling up into complex goods in the late game.

RyokoTK fucked around with this message at Mar 15, 2019 around 15:49

Alkydere
Jun 7, 2010
Capitol: A building or complex of buildings in which any legislature meets.
Capital: A city designated as a legislative seat by the government or some other authority, often the city in which the government is located; otherwise the most important city within a country or a subdivision of it.

Oh my loving god is finding cotton a godsend. Now I'm not making a unit of literal poo poo with each unit of proto-cloth. Makes things a lot easier and I can use pastures for other things like MEAT or leather (strange how you only get half the cow, either the inside half or the outside half) without drowning in "fertilizer".

Also when starting a new game it becomes so much easier when you realize you can build wherever. I was having so much trouble shoving my little houses right next to the starting building when I could have just built somewhere wide and open.

zedprime
Jun 9, 2007


Stables and farms can run multiple recipes. It's going to take a shitton of food and be a little interesting to output the goods but you could run milk, meat, and leather in the same farm and as long as it's got enough food and water, the recipes actually run parallel.

RyokoTK
Feb 12, 2012

I am cool.


One thing about fertilizer is that it doesn’t work like oil refineries in Factorio. If your pasture is backed up on fert it’ll still produce leather without issue.

WithoutTheFezOn
Aug 28, 2005
Oh no

Also don’t forget that fertilizer counts as fuel. For example, as yummy as it sounds, you can fire up your kitchens with it.

RyokoTK
Feb 12, 2012

I am cool.


Bear in mind though that fertilizer is the worst of all fuels.

Ambaire
Sep 3, 2009



Oven Wrangler

RyokoTK posted:

Bear in mind though that fertilizer is the worst of all fuels.

It is, however, completely 'free', once you have stuff setup. Farms don't need coins to produce crops. Foresters require 1 red coin per log. Mines also require 1 red coin per coal and deplete the coal permanently unless you have the late tier earth magic replenishing it.

WithoutTheFezOn
Aug 28, 2005
Oh no

And there’s a lot of it. Some would say a shitload

I just started a new colony earlier and my one leather pasture is fertilizing two farms and there’s enough left over to fuel half a forge.

E: not full farms, one has 22 squares of grain and the other 10 squares of cotton.

ninjewtsu
Oct 9, 2012



Wipfmetz posted:

Yes. All of that, and the base and mining network covering more and more of the world.

Within the first hour of Factorio you'll understand that you'll spend the next few hours or days to build a huge industrial moloch.
I can't really pinpoint why I'm missing that feeling here.

I'm not even sure if this pretty and colourful world is even meant to be consumed by an dystopian "factory".

abandon the idea of having a "network" and you'll find that you can very easily plaster the world in factory operations

ultimately your primary enemy in this game is space. resource patches are large and the area between them relatively small, so building any kind of megafactory is a pipedream until you cut down that entire drat forest. i've been setting up a lot of "workers cut down trees into a barn" and "workers cut down trees into a lumber mill that feeds planks into a barn" type stuff, so i can come back 10 minutes later and see the forest gone. planks especially i'll use up at some point (any decent manufacturing project needs lots of scaffolds!) and then that's a nice bit of Actual Space that can eventually be used to create a minecart-run factory center.

once you have enough space and are late enough in the game, you can really go to town with big manufacturing complexes, since you can place resources whereever you want them.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011

Gaze into the 8-ball.


I really love the variety of transport options in this game. I've just reached the magic stage, transporting elemental gems around. The magic pipes add a new layer of logistics - they're on a different plane to everything else you've done (a mercy since they depend on pre-set locations in far-flung areas of the map, and aren't relevant until your town is very well established) but it's a 2D plane so if you want anything crossing over you need to bring it back down to earth for a bit. And with five different resources going through the network you'll need that. I'm impressed at how well the game keeps bringing in fresh logistics challenges; I'd even say it beats Factorio in that respect.

Kibbles n Shits
Apr 8, 2006

burgerpug.png

Fun Shoe

There's a resource removal tool you know. It costs 20 yellow coins a tile so it's a bit steep in the early game but once you have some higher level food rolling into your markets it becomes cheap enough to clear out large sections of trees or rocks or whatever.

ninjewtsu
Oct 9, 2012



since people have posted a few screenshots, i tried seeing how much of my sprawl i could capture in a single screen



this is only maybe half the map, but it shows my housing center as well as some of the more long-distance logistics lines

Alkydere
Jun 7, 2010
Capitol: A building or complex of buildings in which any legislature meets.
Capital: A city designated as a legislative seat by the government or some other authority, often the city in which the government is located; otherwise the most important city within a country or a subdivision of it.

I can't wait until this game adds some visual differences to the levels of your house and central warehouse.

So far though, loving it. This is impressive for an Early Access game. It really feels like every mechanic is already "there" and just needs to be balanced. Some sort of end-game project would be appreciated, but still having a lot of fun.

Also wish mines were earlier/a bit cheaper. It's probably not as bad if you beeline them but it feels like it takes so long to go from the other production buildings (farms, forestry, pastures) to mines and their whopping 50 mine-rail cost. Oh and 2K gold but by that point you should have been drowning your citizens in bread for a while. It's just that your little dudes are so slow mining up resources compared to building a mine and watching stone or ore literally vomit from the earth.

Oh and a neat little trick I discovered. If you have a building that requires water (farm, woodmill making paper, kitchen, power plant, etc.) if you place it on the edge/on top of water it will automatically feed itself from the water beneath it.

Edit: I take it back about mines being way too end game. I just finally got around to building and trying out the minecarts and boy do I feel dumb. Turns out I just wasn't equipping my workforce properly.

Alkydere fucked around with this message at Mar 16, 2019 around 08:45

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

WithoutTheFezOn
Aug 28, 2005
Oh no

Alkydere posted:

Oh and a neat little trick I discovered. If you have a building that requires water (farm, woodmill making paper, kitchen, power plant, etc.) if you place it on the edge/on top of water it will automatically feed itself from the water beneath it.
Yeah and notice the placement ghost icon turns from green to light blue if it will water itself.

And it feels cheaty but you can plop the building wherever, then drop the terrain next to it to turn that into a water hole, then re-raise the terrain so the “pond” is only one tile. Well not strictly awherever, but any place on fairly low land.

This morning's random game tip: K is your friend.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«3 »