It has been mentioned a couple of times in various threads, but Factorio deserves its own thread. There’s a limited alpha demo available for free and pre-orderers gain access to the full alpha which is very playable with tons of features already implemented.

It has a kind of the same vibe as many other crafting + survival games in that you start with a lonely dude with nothing more than a pickaxe and you need to harvest basic materials (wood, stone, copper, iron and coal) which you can refine and craft various things.

And while the basic idea has been done to death lately, the new thing that Factorio has at its core is an intricate automation and infrastructure optimization game. The manual labor phase of the game only lasts a short while and soon you’ll be putting up coal-powered automated mines and inserter arms that do all the harvesting and basic smelting without manual oversight (except adding more fuel occasionally):

And since providing every machine with coal to burn gets cumbersome, you can also pretty quickly setup basic electricity generation using pumps, boilers and steam engines.

You can also automate full production chains like, for example, the simple wall producer which mines stones, turns them into bricks which are fed into the manufacturing plant which assembles them into wall segments that I can then pick up from the chest and place where I want.

And why would I want walls? Because the planet you are stuck on is populated with aggressive alien life which gets especially pissed off once you start spewing out pollution and encroaching their territory with your ever expanding factory complex. You can craft a gun and defend the base by yourself but there are also various defence structures like automated sentry turrets which in the next screenshot can be seen protecting the coal mine that got attacked the previous night.

Finally, here’s an example of a more complex factory: my fully automated research base which smelts iron ore into iron plates, manufactures iron gears from the plates and conveyor belts from the gears as well as refines copper plates -> copper wires -> electric circuits and then assembles those into level 1 and 2 science packs that are fed into the labs in the bottom left corner.

It’s far from optimal (I’ve only just started playing my first sandbox game) but it churns out research at a steady pace without any intervention on my part.

It’s an extremely addictive and satisfying game, especially if you are a fan of e.g. building complex railway networks in something like Transport Tycoon Deluxe. The UI is a bit clunky in places but otherwise even the alpha seems quite polished and bug free already. And there’s tons of technology I haven’t reached in my game yet like automated supply and repair bots, military bots, vehicles etc. The devs are also planning a cooperative multiplayer mode for the final release version.

If you want to see more, there are several Let’s Play videos of Factorio in youtube e.g. here and here.

Looks cool. I’ll try the demo out later.

Top-down Minecraft meets SpaceChem?? I feel tingly…

I enjoyed the DEMO of this, but haven’t bought it yet.


I’ve actually been watching Mal’s playthrough of Factorio and, while the game seems interesting and would probably scratch an itch for me, it’s not something I’ve actually thrown in on yet. I need to see where they continue to develop the game, since the experience seems a bit samey to me with the amount of content that’s in there right now.

Lots of potential, though.

It has a kind of the same vibe as many other crafting + survival games in that you start with a lonely dude with nothing more than a pickaxe and you need to harvest basic materials (wood, stone, copper, iron and coal) which you can refine and craft various things.

At this point I was rolling my eyes and saying “no, another one noo!!” but I see the game is different enough from the competition.

Well that could be the reason… or that the game isn’t actually complete yet.

I played through the demo and it was actually quite fun. It’s definitely on my radar, as it certainly scratches the systems-building itch for me. I also haven’t thrown in on it yet, because it’s still an alpha and I’m waiting to see how the Chick parabola goes on this one.

What’s the other game that’s also still in alpha and also about setting up on an alien world, but IIRC it’s got more of a Dwarf Fortress thing and less of a Spacechem thing going?

Thanks for starting this thread, since this seems to offer the same kind of appeal modded Minecraft does (i.e. Buildcraft, Forestry, IndustrialCraft, etc.).

It was a joke, I was hoping the allcaps would give it away.


ps: I forgot the name and thought it was ‘factoria’. Produces interesting google results.

I played the demo a while back. I love the concept, but hate a lot of things about the implementation. I hate dealing with the ultra-fast running monsters. More importantly, I frequently found that systems didn’t work correctly. Arms would not pick up fuel off the conveyor belt, which meant the generator would go down, everything would grind to a halt, and before I could reboot it by manually loading it up with fuel the monsters would kill me.

Yup, that’s it, good work. Now I’m off to check up on it.

I’ve always been tickled about the industry in these survival-crafting games. If the world ends tomorrow, there are going to be a lot of kids trying to put together a smelter. This game sounds like it takes that to the extreme, unless there’s some sort of magic sci-fi cube involved. Obviously it’s no big deal when we’ve got regenerating and respawning soldiers in videogames. I just think it’s cute.

It reminds me more of an automated assembly-line Dwarf Fortress. At least the last time I played it years ago, it required plenty of manual input to get from raw materials to finished products. Is this just one character? That would miss out on all the charm of little ants running here and there. Or dwarves, as the case may be.

I love that the first picture you posted shows the character punching trees. I think every single survival-craft game that comes out from now on should lead their marketing campaign with tree punching.

For some reason, what bothered me the most about this game was that you could build an electronic circuit from just iron and copper plates. Come on guys, what are you going to use for an insulator? You going to do all the PCB routing by hand? YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE ANY SEMICONDUCTORS, let alone a design shop or a foundry–how are you going to make a cleanroom?!

And yet, I have no problem with our little dude being able to pull a steam turbine out of his pants. Go figure.

How about fabricating centerfire ammunition from 2 iron plates and his bare hands? Never mind that there’s nothing to create propellant, what part of a cartridge is iron?

Thanks for the heads up on this one. Really its my sweet spot. Agreed about the monsters being too fast. My screen flashed red a few times while I was in inventory mode and I was dead. Annoying.

Aside from that the game is really fun and my kind of thing.

Several years ago I used to play the Exalted tabletop RPG. It has an anime sensibility, with the characters performing various ornately-named techniques (called charms), even for non-combat skills. One of the coolest ones in the game was called Craftsman Needs No Tools, which was a high-level Craft charm that allowed you to craft anything, as long as you had the raw materials, with your bare hands. Now I’m picturing that method used for making ammo, and it is quite an amusing mental picture.

It’s been a month or two since I played this last, but I paid for it and have had a lot of fun so far. The graphics and everything else feel kinda crude at this point, but the basic premise of setting up assembly lines and feeding resources into various things seems pretty addictive. It’s the kind of game that makes you setup an assembly line, then make yourself crazy over the next half an hour as you experiment with laying it out in the exact most efficient manner haha. :)

I haven’t seen anything like this yet in my dozens of hours of playing but according to a post in the official forums if you don’t produce enough electricity it will slow down your inserters, causing them to miss objects on a moving conveyor belt.

I agree that the monsters are way too fast at the moment but it has mostly not been a big problem for me. The attacks always come from the nests so I just place a couple of turrets at the edge of my base in the likely attack directions and rarely need to deal with the bugs in person.

My main base just ran out of iron in my sandbox game so I’ve now built my first, small satellite mining base that is connected to my main factory site via a fully automated cargo train with automatic loading/unload on both ends via a system of inserters and conveyor belts. It’s glorious.