The demo is out

Posted by Tomas on 2012-12-31

After a lot of work we have managed to release the first version of the demo. It is not graphically complete and there might still be bugs and issues, but we nevertheless decided to make it publicly available. Go and get it. The demo consists of a 3-level demo campaign which teaches the basic game mechanics, controls and concepts. Together with the demo we made alpha version of the game available 'per-request'. The alpha version contains 2 additional campaign levels, freeplay mode and map editor. On top of that there are many more game elements which are disabled in the demo (different inserters, assembling machines, faster transport belts, solar panels, weapons, etc.) If you liked the demo and would like to try the alpha version let us know by email. We wish you all the best in 2013 and we will work hard to bring you Factorio as soon as possible.

Deadlines flying by

Posted by Tomas on 2012-12-15

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.Douglas Adams Today was our internal deadline for a public demo. Well it just whooshed by without leaving any demo behind. The code and functionality is pretty much there in place. However we are still waiting for the graphics. It takes time and gets frustrating, but we carry on. Just to stay on the safe side I won't mention any more deadlines, even though we still have some internally :). As you might have noticed the webpage got a new look. This comes in multiple flavors:logo We settled on simple text in interesting font with a dominant element being the wheel representing the factory.icons We are using free svg icons taken from raphaeljs projecttemplate We moved to slate bootstrap template. As for the work on the game itself we continue along exhausting path full of fighting bugs and adding small improvements. Recently we focused quite a bit on speed improvements as well. Things get challenging once you have a factory with transport belts moving around heaps of ores, coal, iron plates, etc. Oh and weapons. Are you getting tired of those creepers attacking your factory ? Well now you can get rid of them by way more means than just shooting from the rifle. There is a machine gun, rocket launcher, flamethrower and mines are just around the corner. We also have news regarding the team composition. You don't get these that often with teams of our size :) Petr is now a full-time member of the team. Until now he has been working on the project part-time while doing his daily job as a database developer. Well, he quit and now he is a full-time "Factorian".

Coding till 4 am

Posted by Tomas on 2012-11-21

Hi guys ! Here is another update on our progress in making the Factorio game reality for you. Again huge amount of things has happened since the last post. We are putting our energy into shipping the demo release before X-mas as promised. If necessary we are ready to put in couple of all-nighters as well. At the moment coding sessions lasting till 4 am in the morning are becoming more and more frequent. People sleep, cats scout the dark streets and we are sitting by the computers fixing bugs and tuning the tutorial :) Slowly we are getting into the phase where we need to focus a lot of our resources on non-programming tasks as well. Things like communication with our freelance partners, processing feedback from early testers and discussing marketing strategies have become part of our daily routine. On the other hand this gives the job an interesting flavor. In our regular programming jobs we were shielded away from all non-programming tasks by dedicated people and now we finally start to appreciate the amount of work they have to deal with. Recently we have spent quite some time with the web pages as well. The whole thing is running on Heroku and we are slowly discovering the possibilities it gives us. When the demo release is finished it will be downloadable directly from this web page. In order to achieve that we need to setup user authentication system, get our release packages to some file provider (probably Amazon S3) and handle couple of other small things. Later on we plan to have an automatic downloader in the game itself, however that is still sitting there as a ticket in one of our future milestones. We are always looking for ways to improve game controls and make the interaction for the player as seamless as possible. Now it is quite easy to organise the players inventories using filter slots, crafting is less tedious thanks to automatic interproducts crafting and there is a nice shortcut to view what is going on in machines visible on the screen (like what is in the chest, which items are being processed by furnaces, etc.). We personally feel that every such improvement, even though small in itself, adds to the playing experince. Hmmm, that would be about it. Oh we have welcomed a new member in our team. He is small, prickly and doesn't say much. You can have a look at his profile in our contacts ;)

Steadily forward

Posted by Tomas on 2012-11-02

Hello everyone ! Quite a lot have happened in the last two weeks and we would like to share it with you. The biggest and most visible change is that our graphic Albert finished the basic tileset with transitions. In effect the game finally starts to look more realistic. At the moment the tileset is as follows: deep water, water, grass, dirt, cobble and sand. You can check for yourself updated screenshots at the Preview page. The drawback is that the entities with dummy graphics now look even more ridiculous :). But that will change soon. In the past weeks we spent a lot of time working on the tutorial campaign. Tutorial campaign has 4 levels and will be part of the demo release coming out before X-mas. The campaign introduces the player into the game plot and teaches him the basic mechanics of the game. How to mine the resources, craft recipes and build parts of the factory. There will also be encounters with allien inhabitants of the planet and they probably won't be happy to see intruders into their territory ... We are already working with private beta testers (meaning friends of ours) to make sure that the campaign is enjoyable and it does a good job in explaining the game concepts. Apart from graphics and the tutorial we did a lot of small tasks and bugfixes. For instance the generators (they produce electricity) now emit vapor which can cover your factory and give the whole scene a bit of industrial feel. And if you make a lot of them you just won't see much of your factory in the end. Well that will probably change :). With the core stuff for the demo pretty much finished we focus our energy on improving the game experience. Like for example we have added some ambient sounds giving more realistic atmosphere of the game. Or the game player interaction. We have spent a good deal of time with that. Trying to figure out how to make the controls easy yet powerful. So in the end you will be able to control the game with a single big button. Just kidding, we are not Apple. So go buy a new keyboard and stay tuned ...

Here we are

Posted by Tomas on 2012-10-24

Hello everybody ! We are three friends from Prague, Czech Republic working on a computer game called Factorio. This is a first from series of blog posts where we will share information about the game and about the process of making it. The game development started with couple of Michal's ideas for a "game that he would like to play but that is not available out there". Not late after that he found himself quitting his job and working on the game full time. Soon he was joined by Petr and eventually by Tomas. We have been working on the game on and off for almost half a year now. Factorio is a game about building a factory. You will need to mine resources, build machines, automate production and fight alien creatures. The main character finds himself alone on the alien planet. His task is to prepare the planet for colonization fleet coming from the Earth. In order to achieve that he basically needs to clear the planet from hostile alien creatures that constantly keep attacking him. He starts with his bare hands and knowledge how to create couple of simple things. As he progresses he mines available resources, builds more complicated machines, unlocks elaborate recipes and creates automated factories. At the moment the game is playable. However, it contains only basic functionality, it is still a bit buggy and it does not yet look as silky smooth as we would like it to be. While our graphic Albert is feverishly working on the looks we are finishing the demo version with tutorial campaign which will be available soon for free. We are doing all this without any external support. This means that we don't get paid and we have to finance all the expenses ourselves (mostly graphics). For this reason we need an early verification whether the game will be enjoyable and thus whether it makes sense for us to continue in development. That is the reason why we want to get the demo out as soon as possible and see what you guys have to say abou it. So stay alert, it will probably be flying out before X-mas. As you have probably noticed, quite some content on this page looks rather funny. Like screenshots, video, half finished pages, etc. Please bear with us, we are working on it :)