Dyson Sphere Program - 3D Factorio on a Galactic scale

This debuted this past week or so on Steam in Early Access and it already has 10k+ overwhelmingly positive reviews. Think Factorio in 3D and with not only multiple planets, but multiple solar systems. It’s already playable from beginning to end and I haven’t seen a single bug or crash in 30+ hours.

It’s kind of mind blowing when you first start out and realize the scale as the title of the game indicates your goal is to build a device that encompasses an entire star.

Performance has been great, but I have a pretty high end rig. The FPS has remained above 60 at all times, despite having thousands of machines, belts and drones going all over the place on multiple planets. Definitely graphics card bound, the CPU seems to be heavily optimized.

Games like this live and die based on quality of life enhancements and this one already has a bunch of them. There is no blueprint system yet, and I don’t see how they will implement it easily because unlike Factorio you are on a globe, and not a flat plane. This creates all kinds of challenges which will become obvious after you have played for awhile. Pro tip - build on the east and west axis and not north to south. Pay attention to the 3D grid they impose in build mode, it will reveal why building north to south often ends in tears.

Another QOL feature I miss is the inability to do in place upgrades for belts and things, but they have committed to getting this out before the Chinese New Year. Which brings me to another very minor concern - there is some definite Engrish going on but not as bad I expected after reading some comments.

It’s absolutely worth buying and playing right now, it’s in great shape as is, and even if the developers walked away today I would still put it very close to Factorio and above Satisfactory.

The busiest section of my currently rapidly evolving base -

And one thing I saw repeated here in Brian’s Space Game thingy thread where I learned about this game - don’t worry about starting over or fixing spaghetti layouts. It’s always better to just build over in a new spot than to start the game over. Later as you advance down the tech tree you will get access to new tools to help tame the spaghetti.

Another tip - Turn on God Mode in Options. This badly named because it’s really just a camera change that makes laying down multiple structures easy because it literally learns the direction you want to move in for subsequent placements, making it much faster when you are trying to tackle something like uh, encircling the entire equator with solar panels.

Why is it in early access?

They could have absolutely released it as a finished product. It already has a metric ton of content and is pretty polished. It’s only been a week so who knows what pace they will keep up but they have been doing a great job releasing patches and communicating with the community.

I’m not picking on you, but it’s been out for 11 days; how could anyone know this?

I have been playing it for 30+ hours already and I can see what is there? I mean you can certainly argue what is a metric ton of content - and if you give examples of Factorio with it’s mods of course DSP is not going to fare well in terms of quantity. But there is a lot here in just the base game with no mods right now. I think I am half way through the content but I can already tell I am going to be spending a lot more time just increasing the scale to build a sphere.

I haven’t even gone extrasolar yet.

Are mods planned?

In their FAQ they say there are plans for mods.

I’ve been swallowed into Satisfactory for the past month and this is my biggest complaint from Coffee Stain Studios. They dribble out cute & simple videos about new stuff, but zip, nada, zilch on all the QoL things that Satisfactory needs.

I read through the Steam community threads and replacing / upgrading belts is the #1 thing asked for right now.

While I’ve loved Satisfactory, they are still projecting “March” for their next upgrade, and I’m about done with learning the map and not wanting to progress on my 2nd start any further until the upgrade is out, and was looking at DSP as a good thing to try out.

Thanks for the updates & keep them coming!

It’s genuinely wild how long Satisfactory is taking to make. They really are taking their sweet time over there. It’s been what almost a year between updates?

DSP is a nice change of pace. You can tell theyve played a lot of these games. I’d say the UI is still a little rough, it’s not got nearly the QoL that Factorio does or anything, but it’s actually not bad and it’s complex and unique enough that it’s definitely a neat game. I’m kinda stuck on Yellow Cubes right now though because there’s no titanium on the base world, and the only other one that has titanium doesn’t have oil, so I’ve gotta get that interplanetary thing set up.

I just ferried enough titanium back and forth a couple of times to jump start yellow and get interplanetary towers done. But before I could move on to the next cube I started running out of basics like copper and iron plates so I am rejiggering deliveries with the towers.

How does this game handle resources? Do they run out, do they regenerate…?

Looks cool, but I still have not finished Factorio and this one only seems to add eyecandy… Or I am wrong?

Most resources run out eventually, but oil and I assume water do not.

So what do you do when they run out? In Factorio you have an infinite map, so you just look for resources elsewhere. In Anno, you can “reseed” resources using technologies. What about DSP? You look for another procedurally generated planet, I assume?

Believe so. Haven’t really got to that stage yet, only just got my interplanetary transport up and running and red/yellow research refactored. Also I think late-game recipes let you bypass some of the finite resources. Even early/mid game, you can eg build graphite from either coal or oil.

Sounds nice. I almost bought the game on impulse, but I saved it for later. I’m most definitely intrigued by it, though, and I’ll certainly buy the game at some point, probably sooner than later. ;)

There are enough differences that it isn’t a straight-up Factorio clone, though it is obviously a very shared heritage. Building stacking, 3D orientation of belts, non-linear map grid, and having to expand to other planets for resources opens up similar-but-different puzzles in building the logistic networks. It seems to break the “just build a bus” model widely used in Factorio. So - enough differences to be unique, while still feeling familiar.

In general, I’d say it is worth exhausting Factorio first. Factorio is ‘complete’, has mods for days, and a large established community. DSP is still early access (granted, like Factorio it is a pretty complete game out of the gate) so pushing it off a while will mean ever more is there when you do get to it.

Or be a spaz like I tend to be, collect all the things and then never complete any of them because of lack of focus.

How’s controller support?

Not the kind of games that one would be using a controller with. Maybe you can in a “I beat Dark Souls with a Guitar Hero controller” kind of way, but I can’t imagine anyone would play these style games with a controller normally.