Posts by V453000

Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Posted by Albert, V453000 on 2019-11-08

Color correction Albert, V453000 Factorio is in a state that even though is not yet finished, it is very close to its 1.0 version. That means that most of the work is done and we are polishing the game in order to make it bright. That's what we've been doing for the past 2 weeks. Literally making it bright. Since years I wanted to do this post-production work. But I didn't dare to do it until most of the graphics were finished. I was afraid of breaking the consistency of the look and our production pipeline. Now it's different. There's only a couple of entities to re-design and some other stuff to do, but in general this missing details are not affecting the possibility of working in the post-production. Factorio is a dark game. I mean conceptually. All these things about industrializing a planet, polluting an entire world just for the sake of the factory, and killing all its inhabitants are not precisely happy concepts full of light. This old article could explain better my thoughts regarding this concept. But the look of the game was dark, too dark. So we cleaned it up without betraying its spirit. Like restoring an old painting. The difference can be subtle, but very effective. We added more light, and a little bit of color saturation. Adding these general changes to the entire sprites collection is not an easy task. Many sprites were badly affected by this general correction. V453000 was fixing individually the broken sprites and icons in order to keep the consistency with the new context. We took the chance to work on the terrain a bit further. Not only this color correction was applied, but the contrast and integration with other terrains was also improved. Also experimenting with the color of the trees, trying to achieve a more colorful feeling with the excuse of an alien planet. I have to say the Alien Biomes mod was opening my mind - a little - to experiment with the color a bit further. In order to break this general brown feeling, we added a more orange tonality to the sand biome. Here is where you can see the difference more. Going further to too saturated colors is dangerous, after all, the terrain is a background that should provide a good and comfortable contrast with the entities and the icons. Touching terrain colours means touching map colors also. We were very keen to keep the visibility of the map information and the similarity with the terrain. The result is a more vibrant look in the entire game. We tweaked the night also. Thanks to posila and Wheybags, we can use LUTs (Look up tables) to dynamically modify the colors. Instead of playing with the alpha channel of a solid black layer on top of the game. Now we can gradually move to a different color palette for night with more control. So the colors are losing their saturation and becoming more blue and cold. This is important, because part of the annoying darkness of the game comes from this black layer. We are still experimenting with this LUT, and the transitions of day/night cycles. I'm pretty sure also that I will have to touch the map colors for some missing details and fine tuning. Possibly there is some entity that is not in its best shape with these new color palettes, and maybe we keep tweaking the terrain. But I feel very confident with these additions and I'm very sure that these changes will improve the experience of playing Factorio. After playing with these colors, the feeling is good. I hope you see it the same way.

Friday Facts #311 - New remnants 3

Posted by Albert, Dom, V453000, Bilka on 2019-09-06

Hello, Another week has elapsed, which brings us another week deeper into the declining weather of autumn.

Friday Facts #305 - The Oil Changes

Posted by Rseding, V453000 on 2019-07-26

Lua Mod GUI additions Rseding Mod GUIs have been an interesting part of Factorio modding since I started working at Wube. They allow scenarios and mods to add GUIs that look and feel like the base game. When someone new to Factorio modding is introduced to how they function, they almost always have the same questions: Why is mod GUI part of the game state? Why do mod GUIs need to be deterministic? How can I edit the base game GUIs? And then comes the explanation: The actual widgets are not part of the game state and are not deterministic. The part that mods have access to however is. In an environment where mods have to operate deterministically, if a mod is allowed to read some data that data must be deterministic. In that simple bit of logic; if a mod can read the checked state of a checkbox then that checked state needs to be deterministic. If the mod didn't have access to read that state it would need to store the last-known state and update it every time it got the changed event. Try to imagine that: every single mod implementing their own system for remembering last-known-state about GUIs they're using. Instead of leaving that entire mess to mod developers we decided long ago that we would manage that "last-known-state" for them. The basic data about what a given mod wanted to show on screen is recorded so mods can read and change it as they want and not need to be concerned with constantly updating it every time some changed event happens. Additionally it means that the game can use that "last known state" to restore what the player sees if they save, quit, and load the game. That still leaves the last question: "How can I edit the base game GUIs?". Using the above example it's much easier to explain that: as a mod - you can't. The base game GUIs are not implemented using this same system - they're just pure collections of widgets. None of the "last known state" is saved anywhere and it's all lost when saving, quitting, and loading. However, that leaves a divide: we need to implement each widget type through the "CustomGui" system in order for mods to be able to use them. With this latest release I finally figured out a way to do tabbed panes since they're special in how they work compared to everything else. Additionally I figured out a semi-friendly way for mods to put things directly on the screen in a way that the player can drag them around - instead of being limited to some fixed area (left, top, center, etc). Another system which I've been thinking about for quite some time is some way for mods to position GUI elements relative to base game GUIs. For example: a mod wants to add a pane which shows on the left of the character inventory GUI. Currently it's not possible - the base game GUI isn't readable by mods so they can't do anything with it. My idea is some system where a mod can say "I want to add this GUI, and I want it to be shown relative to the character GUI on the left side" and then any time the character GUI is shown it would also show the mod GUI. There are some critical parts to this new system. It needs to: Be easy to expand (either automatically works with all new base game GUIs or works with minimal effort). Not break with simple refactoring. Not cause other programmers trouble by existing. Not prevent base game GUIs from working how they need to work. So far none of it seems impossible. I don't know when I'll have it working, but I'm looking forward to what mods will do with it.

Friday Facts #304 - Small bugs; Big changes

Posted by Klonan, Sanqui, V453000, Posila, Twinsen on 2019-07-19

Hello, We are down to 28 bugs on the forum. The last bugs are often the ones we have been putting off for a reason, they generally require some more meaningful changes and decisions. That is why this week we have a lot to discuss.

Friday Facts #301 - Crash site: First state

Posted by Ernestas, V453000, Albert, Rseding on 2019-06-28

Crash site: First state Ernestas, V453000, Albert For many weeks now the GFX department has been focused on preparing replacements for the placeholder graphics of the campaign crash site. The subject as usual is not that easy because we had to first solve the main concept of the crash site. It happens that those new entities belong to the Factorio universe, but they come from a different reality than the usual DIY/diesel punk of the game. So we had to invent a new way to design machines that look like Factorio but that are not too familiar. Here a proof of concept of the look: The concept is that the big (medium) spaceship broke into pieces as it crash landed, and lost many components that the player, during the introduction, will repair and use for his own profit. The look of the spaceship remnants are a little bit based on the designs of the 60’s/70’s pulp Sci-Fi. Fortunately we can keep the look of Factorio due the accident, which allows us to destroy and dirty up the machines show many inner mechanical details. It is also part of the concept that all the machines that the player builds, are based on an existing technology from his home planet. So the machines that we see in the regular game are like 'cheap' versions of the original ones. For the lab, we keep the dome shape and the beams inside in order to keep consistency with the regular laboratory. So slowly the player gets used to the meaning of the shapes. The generator is similar to a substation -more or less-, connectable like a pole but it also produces electricity. Sometimes we really have to invent. This works like an assembling machine. The design is more based in the (yet unshown) redesign of the assembling machines, rather than on the actual 'classic' ones. These cylinders are like chests. We decided to make them cylindrical instead of a box for this difference in technology level that we are speaking about. The player will recognize them for the shape, color, and they also always have a number printed. You don’t really want to know the meaning of the numbers. All this new content is a work in progress, and we made these new entities first for the testing of the campaign. Based on feedback with testers we will have the chance to tweak and adapt whatever is necessary. In the case of the introduction, the positioning of the entities can have a large impact on the flow of the gameplay. Once we are more sure of the final placement, we can see how all the pieces will fit together. The next round for the crash site is the main crashed spaceship, and some other assets that converts the scene into a full composition, more proper for the introduction of the game.

Friday Facts #297 - New resource icons

Posted by Twinsen, v453000 on 2019-05-31

Inserters are now smarter Twinsen A few days ago I was investigating a rather minor bug report related to "Rotational Asymmetry in Belt/Inserter interactions" (aka Inserter was not behaving identically when rotated). This was a classic case of floating point equality comparison. The Inserter would move it's arm and then it would pick up the item if the current arm orientation is equal to the desired arm orientation. Because of some chain of calculations related to rotation, some precision was lost and the equality check would fail for 1 tick, delaying the item pickup for 1 tick in some Inserter rotations. So I fixed that by finishing the inserter movement if it's close enough. Now the inserters should be a tiny bit faster in some rotations, plus all rotations should again be symmetrical and identical. While analyzing the code and Inserter behavior for that bug, I also noticed that inserters with stack bonus would do nothing for 1 tick after picking up an item from a belt. I changed it so inserters will start moving to a new target immediately after they pick up something. This also sped up the Stack Inserter by a tiny bit. Both the speedups were enough to fix another bug that was often regarded by the other devs as "not a bug": A Stack Inserter was not fast enough to pick up all the items placed on a belt by another Stack Inserter. Furthermore, because of different timings, the amount of items a Stack Inserter would pick up would depend on how far that Stack Inserter was from the item source: We released the change on Thursday. Something strange was quickly discovered after release... From Nefrums speedrun stream. As someone from Twitch chat noted "Inserters are so fast now, they even don't care about the side of belt". Remember that I fixed the rotation problem by finishing the Inserter movement if it's close enough. Well, what ended up happening was what now the Inserter would stop 0.0001 degrees short of perfectly vertical. That was of course closer to the other belt lane so the item would be dropped there. Previously it was always dropped perfectly vertical, and the lane decision algorithm would choose the right lane. The fix was easy and it's probably released by the time you are reading this. So with everything fixed, inserters are now more consistent, predictable and intuitive, things that I think are important for a precise game like Factorio. Some situation might end up being slightly slower or will consume a bit more electricity, but generally inserters are now faster.

Friday Facts #283 - Prepare to Launch

Posted by kovarex, Albert, V453000, Bilka, Sanqui on 2019-02-22

Playtesting kovarex We have been playtesting a few days this week. There were some things we had to fix on the fly, but we still were able to play quite a lot, so I would say that it went surprisingly well. We have been able to get 3 multiplayer bases into a late game stage.

Friday Facts #275 - 0.17 Science changes

Posted by V453000 & Albert on 2018-12-28

It's the last Friday of 2018, and as such the last Friday Facts before the New year of 2019. We all hope everyone has had a great 2018, and looking forward to a lot more automation fun to come in 2019. Albert has produced a postcard for you all to share to give the year a good send-off.

Friday Facts #269 - Roadmap update & Transport belt perspective

Posted by kovarex & V453000 on 2018-11-16

Roadmap update (kovarex) A lot of people have been asking recently, when can they expect a new release and when is the game going to be finished. The original plan was to finish everything, and release the final version of Factorio ideally before the end of 2018. This was the plan at the beginning of the year. We worked in our usual way of "it is done when it is done" for quite some time, but then it started taking a little bit too long, and we weren't even sure what is a realistic timeframe to finish it in. To help this issue, we tried to become a little more organized in the past few weeks. We went through our list of all the development tasks, and tried to finalize it. We removed all the things that we decided to cut, and added all the missing things that we need to do before the game is finished. Then we tried to make some kind of time estimate for each task, to get a general idea of when everything will be finished. We started to be more conscious of who is working on what, and how much time each task is taking, to know how accurate the estimates are. The result was, that if it all goes well, we could be done in 6-9 months. This is probably not something you wanted to hear. After a few rounds of discussions, we decided split the releases of 0.17 and 0.18 in the following way: 0.17 plan It will contain all the things we have done up to this point, mainly: New render backend, which helps performance and solves a lot of issues (FFF-251) The graphical updates: walls, gates, turrets, belts, biters, spawners, electric poles (FFF-268, FFF-228, FFF-253) The GUI reskin (FFF-243) New map editor (FFF-252) Resource generation overhaul (FFF-258) Robot construction tools (FFF-255) Rich text (FFF-237, FFF-267) And more... It will also include some things we know we can finish soon enough, mainly: Redoing some of the most important GUIs (Action bar, character screen, main game GUI, train GUI, play GUI, tooltips) Fluid optimisations And several smaller things, which depends on how it goes We will release this during January 2019, we will announce it more precisely in advance. 0.18 plan It will become the final 1.0 version once it is stable. It will contain mainly: New tutorial New campaign Final mini tutorials Revision of rest of the GUI All remaining high res graphics graphics and final polish We obviously don't know exactly when is it going to be ready, but we hope it to be sooner than 9 months from now.