Friday Facts #248 - Not Saturday Facts

Posted by Twinsen, Rseding91 on 2018-06-22

Status report (Twinsen)

On Monday June 18th, we marked the last version of 0.16 as stable. There were no major problems, so now we are almost exclusively working on 0.17. Work on 0.17 is progressing well:

  • Regarding the new campaign, we are already internally playing a rough version of the new player experience.
  • We are still trying to figure out the exact and final style and concepts for the improved GUI, but we have some GUI windows implemented in game already, plus many base widgets. We use those to get a feel of what works and what doesn't.
  • The new graphics back-end rewrite is nearing finalization. A closed-beta branch was sent to a few players to test that rendering works correctly across different hardware. The rendering is faster and no major issues were reported so far. But there is still much to do, such as improvements to VRAM usage and many experiments with shaders.
  • Since from the graphics department Albert is working on the GUI and V453000 is working on the new campaign, only Ernestas is left working exclusively on the entity graphics. He is reworking some more entities for high-resolution, so expect some teasers in the future.
  • There are of course other small projects that are ongoing, such as improved pipe-fluid physics and improved map generation, but more on those when they are fleshed out.

Oh, and our coding always goes as planned without any problems.

Modding support (Rseding91)

With every major version of Factorio, we work on improving the Lua API and modding support. In 0.17 I've been looking at cleaning up my back-log of things that I've wanted to implement for quite some time but never got around to. Things such as:

  • Sync mods with a server you want to join.
  • Having multiple versions of a mod installed and being able to switch between them.
  • Letting mods set entities to not require power.
  • Adding support to clone entities/areas of the map from one location to another.

And in general looking at "hacks" that mods are currently doing and seeing if it's reasonable to make the game support what the mod was trying to do in a non-hacky way. Bilka and I have been going over the Mod Interface Requests section of the forums and cleaning it up; implementing things that make sense and taking care of outdated or won't-implement requests. Time and time again Bilka will ask "why can't I do X with a mod?" and the answer is almost always "because nobody asked for it so nobody added support for it". So with that said: if you're a mod developer and think the mod API is lacking something feel free to stop by the forums and ask for it.

Fan Mail (Twinsen)

A few weeks ago Demod was showing us some 3D printed belt keychains he made, and mentioned he wanted to send some to us. I showed it in our team slack channel and many us wanted them. A lot of 3D printing later, he sent us a nice package with gifts for most of us.

Hate Mail (Twinsen)

You can't receive fan mail without receiving some hate mail. We also received an anonymous package telling us to "eat a bag of d*cks", along with a bag of tasty gummy d*cks. The truth is I know who sent it and it was just a small practical joke. They were trying to show their frustration with the matching server in a friendly-funny way. We thoroughly enjoyed shoving them down our throat.

As always, let us know what you think on our forum.