Factorio 0.5.2 release has just been marked stable!
The 0.5.0 has been released more than two weeks ago however it took a while to stabilize. We listened to our users and fixed loads of annoying bugs.
The biggest thing in the release was probably the visual update. Factorio finally got a decent looking gui and menus. Though many people claim that they don't care about the (gui) visuals we think this is really important. The broader audience often judges the game already by looking at the first menu screen. And the old looks were not really helping there. As part of the gui update we tweaked some UIs - for instance the recipe gui now contains the tabs for different categories. This allows for easier navigation in the growing list of available recipes.
Apart from the gui the visuals of quite a few entities were updated. There are still a lot of patches and inconsistencies in the game, however we are slowly improving the arts and (hopefully) preparing the game for wider audience. There is a new boiler, steam engine, pump, pipes, mining drills, locomotive, splitters, lamps and radar. The next target for visual face lift is the terrain=)
Another important (yet technical) improvement is the new auto updater. This allows the players who have purchased the alpha version of the game to receive new versions automatically when they are released. The game connects to the server on the startup and after login / password authorization, checks for updates. This feature can be switched off if the user wishes so. When automatic updates are switched off Factorio will not try to establish any connection over the network. We respect users privacy. Factorio has no DRM protection mechanisms. The point of auto updater is to make the life of people who bought the game easier by removing the hassle of downloading and reinstalling the game when new version is released.
As usual the release contains tons of little improvements. You can find the full changelogs on our forums in the news section . We have also recorded a video about the major changes in 0.5.x. You can check it out at our youtube channel.
Stay tuned - there will be more Factory news coming in the summer.