Factorio: Introduction – Building Blocks

June 25, 2018 0 By

“I’m a caveman!” I tell my Wife, who looks at me questioningly.

“I’ve been trying to load all my labs by hand, I didn’t even think of automating science, it seemed impossible!”

This does little to clear things up for her.

And so I’m off again with ten plans in the back of my mind. I’m back to Factorio , the game of automation. At its core, Factorio is a resource collection and management game, but if you peel back the layers just a little bit, you realize how much you’ve gotten yourself into.

In this series I’m going to dive into my experiences with Factorio. My evolution from complete and utter simpleton to (hopefully) engineer of a nuclear mega base.

Today I want to discuss how exactly this game hooks you. And don’t kid yourself, this game has claws.

Reminiscent of playing with blocks, the player is given a small set of tools to begin with. It’s like a small child given their first set of large simple blocks. You start the game forced to mine ore and resources by hand,  soon crafting a pickaxe and moving on from there. You’re learning how the world works and the rules you have to abide by. Rather rapidly, the player’s knowledge expands and the blocks you can play with are now much more complicated. You’re introduced to the concept of furnaces and coal fueled machinery. Akin to discovering Lego, the player now sees how the world can fit together and quickly abandons their old building blocks for the improved ones.

Factorio evolves from there as you’re tasked with making better tools for yourself and finding efficient ways to use them. The game is filled with ‘aha!’ moments of triumph that quickly evolve into ten other things you want to learn or accomplish.

The hook is that drive to build and evolve. Unlike some other similar games, the motivation doesn’t necessarily feel tied to exploring the environment(Though this is necessary for expanding eventually).. The motivating factor is to better understand how to make the game systems work efficiently and then implementing that understanding to yield the greatest result. The reward when you first successfully automate a process you’ve been manually plugging away at is utterly satisfying.

The hook is that part of our nature that wants the accomplishment and satisfied feelings associated with solving big problems(relatively speaking). It is the sense of triumph you feel when you have overcome a dilemma that originally felt not only impossible, but incomprehensible.

The hooks are in me now. Next time I’ll discuss my humble beginnings as a “Caveman” and how I feel you can best enjoy the game