Checking out the Factorio Demo – Automation for the people
I decided to check out the Factorio Indiegogo campaign again and was pleasantly surprised to see that things appear to be looking up for the developers of the factory building simulation. Indeed, as I write this, they have raised €6,848 of their €17,000 goal with 12 days to go. I wrote about Factorio several days back and noted that they have a demo available. I noted, at the time, that I hadn’t gotten to play the demo, but I certainly found the premise of the game promising. After playing the demo, I definitely get why business has picked up for the devs from Czech Republic. Factorio, even in its earliest levels is absolutely fascinating. I mean that. You start off the game with nothing and have to learn how to build a basic factory. This is no small process. Indeed, you have to gather raw resources (resources like iron and coal lay about the map). At first, you do this by hand, moving your character about the screen to gather resources. However, before long you can build a machine to harvest, say, iron for you. But what’s this? It just drops the iron on the ground. I do not like my iron on the ground. So what do I do? Well, I build a box to hold it. This seems like progress, but that’s stretching the definition of the term ‘factory’. It’s more of just, like, a drill. I don’t know. Then things start to get real. You can build an arm that grabs resources from one space and puts them into another. So, now, your arm grabs the iron and puts it on a conveyor belt. The belt then transports the iron to a smelter-type-deal that turns the iron into iron plates. But your smelter needs coal, so you build another harvester to get coal and the apparatus to bring the coal, automatically, to your smelter and put it in the smelter. At this point, I am near joyful tears. I mean, that’s a factory. It’s a little like playing The Incredible Machine. There are no madcap results that I am aware of, just that feeling of setting up your pieces and then watching it all work just right. It’s fantastic. I haven’t played the full game, and really only played part of the demo, but color me suitably impressed. The combat, when the aliens come and attack you is suitable hectic. All running away and blasting the things. I would strongly encourage you to play the demo, which I believe to have three levels. If you like, you may give them money to help fund the development of Factorio on Indiegogo. A copy of the game runs €10 through said campaign.