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July 29, 2021, 03:38:55 AM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytesting'Factoricule' A strategic management/factory building game - General feedback
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Author Topic: 'Factoricule' A strategic management/factory building game - General feedback  (Read 285 times)
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« on: July 09, 2021, 07:06:57 PM »

Factoricule is a strategic management game wherein you build a factory to assemble three atomic elements (Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Carbon) into the chemicals found in a fruity cocktail. The game is played in browser and is available on https://pricklypeargames.itch.io/factoricule.

The core gameplay loop is sourcing and directing the various atoms and molecules into mixtures so that you can react them into the next product and continue from there. The whole game takes about 30 minutes to an hour to beat, and there is only one level.

Disclaimer - these gifs are sped up to illustrate the process.

The way in which you direct the particles is by setting up conveyor belts and mechanical arms.

In the above image is a demonstration of the adjustments available for the mechanical arms. You can set the input direction (red line) and the output direction (green line) and where the arm grabs and puts things down (by adjusting the length).

The way in which you create molecules is with assemblers, which can be built from the in game menu, or with hotkeys.

Despite only providing two tools to actually move the particles there is a bit of emergent behavior, such as in the below image where a single supply line is split by mechanical arms to produce two different molecules (Water - cyan, and Ethylene - yellow, ultimately becoming Ethanol - chartreuse)

The terrain generation is random, which leads to various factory setups, depending on what your world looks like. Here are a few potential factories.

I am glad to get any feedback, however the things I would like player information about the most are the control scheme, both the UI play (opening the UI: press m or space) and how the game runs when you have built a factory. The processing demand of a factory may slow down computers, I recently looped through the code and massively reduced the processing demand. Hopefully it should not slow down, but if it does, please let me know what specs you are using and include a screenshot of the busiest part of your factory if possible. Additionally, anyone that plays and would like to share what they made, I would be very happy to see what people come up with.

Oh, and in case anyone is curious about it, here's the source code: https://github.com/Packmanager9/factoricule2
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 07:13:25 PM by PricklyPearGames » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2021, 02:33:39 PM »

Disclaimer: I've not played a lot at the moment and haven't progressed very far, I am also not a usual fan of this type of game.

- I think the concept is quite cool for kind of gamifying synthetic routes into strategy-management, even if this wasn't the intention and was just meant to be a backdrop for the management.

- Making only some of the factory-components act like brushes and opposed to one at a time was a very useful idea.

- I played the simple way to play as described on the itch page. I found it strange that there was a character at all, from my experience you could just have the camera move without the presence of any character.

- I disliked the grey-edge that appeared, I think I would have preferred to have the camera stop moving before then, even if it means the character isn't centred (or just get rid of the character as discussed above).

- Would have liked an option to zoom my perspective out more to get a wider view of the different atom sources around me.
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2021, 08:42:42 AM »

Hey PricklyPearGames,

I played your game and recorded my thoughts:

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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2021, 08:10:50 PM »

I played with this a little bit and really enjoyed the way the particles look & feel.
I like how on the one hand, it has a square grid which seems to have a "cellular automata"-type algorithm running on it, but then within the grid's squares there are actual little particles moving around with Newtonian physics. It's fun to watch them slide and bounce around, instead of just looking at the grid squares' colours change.

That said, I have to admit I couldn't get into it very much as a game. It seemed like I would need to play with it a fair amount in order to get a really cool "machine" going. But I really enjoyed looking at the animations in your post showing the "machines" you ended up with. Smiley
I think this might stem from the fact that your goal was to model (to some degree) the actual chemistry of H, O, and C, which just isn't something I'm particularly interested in.

Actually, one thing which would make me want to play more would be an ability to load up some of the example "machines" you've shown. Whether by having a fixed number of them built into the game, or by having some kind of export/import feature, along with a bunch of example files to load.

Anyway, this looks like it was really fun to make - it's not a clone of anything, it seems very "pure" as an attempt to build something based on real chemistry. I would love to see updates to it, or other experiments.

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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2021, 12:56:54 AM »

Excellent pacing, I love it.
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