This is Your Brain on Factorio

This is Your Brain on Factorio

So I’m on zero sleep. I decided last night at 3am that it wasn’t worth waiting in bed, hoping to fall asleep anymore, having to wake up at 8am anyway. Being incredibly tired, beyond tired, loopy even, I think, “what to do?” I don’t have much to do to pack before my flight tomorrow, and I’m useless for anything productive…maybe a little Factorio?


@austin so glad you are playing Factorio, it’s my favorite game. I have about 400 hours and don’t plan to stop, going for achievements now! How far are you? That is if you even plan to launch a rocket ;).

I have spent many hours “optimizing” bad designs.

@MikeFarnham that’s incredible! I didn’t even play Civilization V that much (I only made it to 250 or so) but Factorio is on track to demolish my old records. I screwed up my Steam stats by leaving the game open overnight, but I probably have a solid 30 hours put in so far. I’ve made it to the point where I’ve generated military science packs, but my “spaghetti factory” couldn’t make it much farther than that so I started a new game (then another, then another). Now, I can get my smelting operation up and have the first, pink science packs being automatically manufactured in less than an hour.

In my current save, I’m almost to the point where I can choose between the logistic science packs or military – I think I’m going to go with logistics first, but that could change. The main thing is, I’ve learned to space out my sub-modules like the smelting units, gear production, science pack production, etc. that way I can correct mistakes later on, re-route belts as needed, rebuild entire sections of the plant, etc. I’ve learned to use the map editor as well to experiment with new designs – that’s how I came up with my smelting setup.

Any tips for avoiding really bad designs? I’m still new enough to the game that I’m making mistakes constantly. Reminds me of when I first started to code :laugh: I’m really enjoying it.

@austin The one change I made on my last play through was the richness of the ore patches, but I love playing vanilla. I’ve actually only restarted a few times, I basically keep optimizing what I have, expanding, building longer and longer trains. Once I launched a rocket a just kept feeding the machine to see how quickly I could launch rockets.

Just keep playing, as long as you are holding off the biters you are good, take a lot of territory early and automate the gun reloading. You can always change stuff.

Also helps to plan out a main bus with all the essential ingredients, keeping it fed is the largest challenge. But I love spaghetti and can hardly avoid it, especially with oil!

Honestly the most universal tip I’ve seen is not to look for tips. You’re only gonna be new once. I will say instead of starting a new game just start a new factory somewhere else on the same map. Enjoy the eureka moments and good luck with fluids. :slight_smile:

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@MikeFarnham nice! I’ve heard of people doing the same, trying to see how many rockets they can launch per minute. Sounds like fun, once you get into the late game (I’m not quite there yet, though). A main bus with essential ingredients sounds awesome – I’ll get there eventually. :wink: I have been claiming a lot of territory early on and making sure my military research stays steady (I get a machine gun ASAP, every time). Automatic gun reloading is a stupendous idea…I just recently automated my coal distribution, to an extent, so that seems like a natural next step.

@Thelastundead thanks! That makes a lot of sense – it’s always more fun to discover things on your own. I have heard about fluids as well, and how finicky oil production is…but I’m looking forward to trying to hit the right balance. :slight_smile:

It’s funny, but something I didn’t mention in the article, is that I get distracted the same way I do if I’m not 100% focused while coding. Like I’ll try to automate my coal distribution, then those damn biters destroy part of my iron line, so I fix that, then I notice the belts are backed up, so I add a couple of assembly machines, then I need to get more iron and copper plates to make some fast inserters…it never ends and I love it. :heart_eyes:

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The analogy to coding is a good one. I was just thinking that if I played this coop with someone, we’d have to establish our interfaces first.

Playing my 5th or 6th restart and have gotten through Red, Green and Blue science research. Need to figure out what to do next. Am more than a little bit tempted to tear everything apart and rebuild it from scratch using the highest possible tech that I can now.

It’s the most replayable game I’ve ever played because there are so many variables that can affect you. I’m playing in peaceful mode right now and I know that eliminates a completely different dimension of research and strategy. But honestly, I’m still figuring out how to use all the tech that I have.

@austin How did it go? I still can’t stop playing. :smile: