Factorio 0.6.4 is stable

Posted by Tomas on 2013-08-23, all posts

Hello everyone,

Factorio 0.6.4 release has just been marked stable!

Following our usual release procedure the 0.6 release has been around for a while. Users from the forum helped us to find the most annoying bugs and now the release is considered "serious bugs free".

The release has been packed with features and new stuff. Here are the most significant gameplay improvements:

  • The world map (and a minimap). These allows for a much better orientation in the world.
  • The steel furnace (faster) and the electric furnace (requires no coal). Smelting resources is one of the basic tasks in the factory and these new furnaces provide interesting alternatives to using brute-force approach of many stone furnaces.
  • Logistic robots can suplly the player directly. In the later stages of the game the player can focus more on managing and extending the factory and not running around collecting the created items.
  • Modules and beacons. It is now possible to influence machine properties (speed, productivity, energy efficiency) with inserting module items. This way the assembling machines in the production bottleneck can be sped up without extending the production line.
  • Improved terrain generator. The trees now follow the same fractal terrain generation as the terrain. This makes them look more realistic.

Apart from the features we have focused a lot of energy on speed improvements as well. With larger factories the players often experienced slowdowns because too many objects have to be updated every tick. We have made optimizations to the way items move along the belts. These were the biggest "performance eaters" (there are often tons of items on the belts in the factory) so this helped quite a lot for the big factories. We also optimised the way graphical rendering works. This is mostly notable on the Windows operating system (our graphical library uses a different backend - d3d on the windows compared to the linux / mac - openGL). Another major improvement has been made to the core loop of the game. The graphical rendering can now run parallel to the game update using different threads. This can take advantage of at most two threads. And finally the render preparation phase (collecting the sprites to be rendered) has been parallelised as well. This can take advantage of multiple threads, we empirically tested that the best results are shown for 4 or 5 threads (given that there are enough cores for these threads to run on).

Last but not least our artist has also done a lot of work. There is a new terrain and plenty of objects have new graphics (labs, car, chests, logistic robots, etc.). The game is less contrastive compared to early versions with RGB colors, on the other hand it is also more aesthetically pleasing now.

As usual you can find the full changelog of the changes at our forum in the news section . The changelog is now available also directly in the game in the "About" dialog.

As mentioned before, the work on 0.7 is in the full speed now together with preparations for the Steam Greenlight campaign. So stay tuned for more news.