Factorio Trailer Looks Like A Fun Factory, Has Demo

By Graham Smith on May 2nd, 2014 at 11:00 am.

Like a circuit board of fun.

I used to play Command & Conquer almost exclusively for the base-building; I’d turtle-up, build walls around my home, and get frustrated when enemies would bother me by attacking. If you share my addiction to anal-retentive building placement and efficient production lines, you need to watch the trailer for Factorio immediately. Not only does it evoke the grit of mid-’90s sprite graphics, it’s a game entirely about conveyor belts and machine arms. There’s even a demo! Cor.

The game’s website has a tidy description:

Factorio is a game in which you build and maintain factories.

You will be mining resources, researching technologies, building infrastructure, automating production and fighting enemies. Use your imagination to design your factory, combine simple elements into ingenious structures, apply management skills to keep it working and finally protect it from the creatures who don’t really like you.

Which means there will be enemies, but at least they’re not the game’s actual focus.

RPS last covered Factorio in February 2013 when it was merely another IndieGoGo hopeful. It comfortably (efficiently, you might say) leapt across its €17,000 target, but we lost track of it afterwards. I hadn’t heard of it at all until yesterday, as RPS’ own writer factory only spat me from its womb last October.

If you’re intrigued there’s a demo to try, and if that works for you there’s an alpha available immediately for €10/$13 and (at current conversion rates) £8.22. If you really enjoy the game, there are higher tiers offering extra bonuses such as special challenge maps or getting your name in the game.

It’s a day for music videos apparently, so here you go:

, , .

39 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Cooper says:

    I played the demo -ages- ago and remember bouncing off pretty hard.

    What you could do with it looks proparly amazing. In reality everything is built really slowly and has to be meticulously planned and the basic building itself is just kinda dull.

    I cannot see how something similar to what is in the video is possible without dev tools to just plop anything you want down or dozens of dull hours.

    • elevown says:

      Or- they changed a few numbers. If you played it ages ago they may well have changed it vastly- its veyr easy to divide all resource requirements / times by 10 or whatever if they got feedback saying it was too slow paced.

    • Gammro says:

      I actually bought the game after playing the demo for an hour. I loved it, and it’s still a game I like to play. There’s been massive improvements, both graphically and gameplay additions. But it’s still a niche game. The game can certainly progress somewhat slow, and not everyone will like that. The people who like buildcraft are probably people who might like this game.

      However, that base was built in a regular game by one of the developers. It’s obviously touched up for the trailer, but it’s certainly not impossible and I’ve build bigger bases before.

    • KDR_11k says:

      It’s pretty feasible to go that big (most of the structures aren’t expensive, it’s the research that costs), the real limit is your ability to plan out all the supply routes so that all the different production lines get the right resources.

  2. Caal says:

    I picked up Factorio after watching Quill18 playing it and I’m glad I did. It’s been my after work chill out game for the last couple of weeks. As Gammro mentioned above it’s a pretty niche game but if you enjoy your city builders or any games where you like building up economies I’d give this one a try. My only problem I have right now is that it is a sandbox game so eventually you max out your tech and there’s no real end game except continuing to expand your bases. Hopefully the developer has some ideas in mind for building on that part of the game play.

    • toxic avenger says:

      Just looked up Quill18 because I’m always looking for new strategy based channels. So far, I’m really glad you mentioned it, thanks!

    • Notelpats says:

      Same here. I saw Quill18 playing the game and 5 minutes in I instantly bought the game, and then played it 4 hours straight.

    • Hahaha says:

      Arghhhh my ears are now bleeding

  3. Premium User Badge

    RaveTurned says:

    Factorio was mentioned in the Kickstarter Katchup columns (or kolumns?) way back in Febuary/March of last year during it’s Indiegogo campaign. At that time, Adam Smith said of it:

    …I’m hoping that even more people play it and realise that it might be one of the most intriguing strategic-puzzlers ever committed to code. Word of mouth has done wonders for the game already – when I played it, I immediately knew that there were four or five people in my life who have been waiting for this kind of thing for a long time.

    If that sounds like it might be your bag, and you haven’t played the demo yet, do so.

  4. Premium User Badge

    DrollRemark says:

    Reminds me a little of M.A.X., that was a strategy game (albeit turn-based) of around the mid-90’s vintage too.

    Now there was a game for base building. Every key structure had to be linked together (via above-ground, visible, destructible piping) to pass resources on. You could build roads to double movement speed, put walls up to stop enemy ne’er-do-wells sneaking in, lay down mines, and plonk the all-important radars and defensive turrets wherever you could.

    I used to only play skirmish maps where I could take over a small island in a remote corner of the map and try to build the most perfect little base imaginable. The biggest trouble was always that the A.I., whilst not without it’s flaws, was always bloody good at picking off the weakest spot in your defences.

    • The First Door says:

      Oh! Now that rings a bell… was that the one where you had to send out scanning units to find out where the ores were on the map?

      • Premium User Badge

        DrollRemark says:

        Yep, that’s the one. Little circled numbers on each grid square that denoted the maximum of a resource mineable per turn.

        • The First Door says:

          Good gravy! I’ve not thought about that game in years, but I played the crap out of it when I was younger! Thanks for the reminder!

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      M.A.X. was fantastic, I’ve never since anything quite like it since.

      There’s an open-source clone (that can run using the original sounds and graphics) over here: https://www.maxr.org/ . Though releases are few and far between, I believe it’s rather playable in multiplayer. Don’t think they’ll ever make an AI or remake the campaign or mission though.

  5. Premium User Badge

    AndiK says:

    ZOMG!
    This looks like my childhood dreams come true! CONVEYOR BELTS and TRAINS and stuff!!!!! :-o :-)))))))

    … come to think of it: If we go by the ‘childhood dreams’ metric, I appear to still be quite the child. :->

    PS:
    CONVEYOR BELTS!!!!

    • almostDead says:

      Trains are really unnecessary, you have to be a train geek to want to use them. Belts are totally ubiquitous until logistics robots.

      • Gammro says:

        They’re absolutely not useless. The amount of throughput on rails is orders of magnitude higher than can be accomplished by double fast belts(which takes the same amount of space) Not to mention you can easily transport different resources/products over that small patch of land. Then finally, rails are cheaper to build than belts after ~200 squares, something a lot of players do regularly.

  6. Tiax says:

    I’ve been playing this since the first alpha was made available.

    Factorio is just so, SO GOOD. Seriously, if you ever received any enjoyment from playing the Settlers, Anno, Banished or any similar games, you have to try this game.

  7. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    I tried the demo and had some fun doing it. Don’t know if it’s a good idea to buy it though, since I’m hardly in dire need of more timesinks.

  8. edwardoka says:

    I bought it immediately after the indiegogo campaign ended. I occasionally whiled away an hour or twelve in it, but in the sandbox mode because the ever-increasing waves of enemies in other modes were incredibly annoying without being interesting. It looks like they’ve made quite a few changes since I last dipped my toe into it.

  9. sabasNL says:

    Factory mods are the only reason I used to play Minecraft a lot. A game like this could be something for me, will try out the demo for sure.

    EDIT: Tried the demo, quite impressed. At first I didn’t like the critters, but they now make sense because they give you an extra challenge. Will dig deeper into the game and think about buying it.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    There’s something very satisfying about the sheer busyness of what you build. It’s the same smooth satisfaction I get from watching one of my Spacechem reactors function perfectly.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Napalm Sushi says:

    It seems to me that the trailer is best consumed to the sound of this:

  12. Premium User Badge

    DantronLesotho says:

    It seems like such a great concept, I hope they flesh it out with actual crafted levels. I really want this game to be good. I’ll definitely get the demo and try it out this weekend.

    • Gammro says:

      There is already a campaign, but right now it isn’t much and the experimental releases tend to break them. But I think a bigger one is planned.

      • Premium User Badge

        DantronLesotho says:

        I played the demo and bought into the alpha immediately. Then I accidentally played through the demo again, thinking it was the alpha, then I upgraded to the alpha and played through it again, and got a couple stages further in. This game has its hooks in me, and last night I dreamed of assembly lines…

        One thing that annoys the hell out of me though is the sound design. Their compression rate is terrible so everything sounds tinny and watery. I need to go on their forums to see if anyone has reported this. Other than that, I love it.

        • Premium User Badge

          Napalm Sushi says:

          On the grounds of one of the music tracks being straight from Mirrormoon EP, I’m going to guess that the current sound design is a placeholder.

  13. JToTheDog says:

    This is the most beautiful thing I have seen since the first time I saw a pair of breasts!

  14. Danny252 says:

    For all y’alls info, it’s about 60p cheaper to go with USD (£7.94) than EUR (£8.50ish) at the moment. Just in case you’re really into counting your pennies and such…

  15. almostDead says:

    It’s the most stable, and engrossing alpha that I have played in recent memory.

    I recommend anyone to purchase it, I never even played minecraft, and to play the experimental releases.

  16. Humppakummitus says:

    I bought this today based on that trailer and have been both bored out of my skull and unable to stop ever since. I can’t even tell if that’s a good thing or not. Anyway, gotta go automate green vial production now.

    • almostDead says:

      I love your comment, and know exactly what you mean.

      Wait until you heave a great sigh and spend hours creating a blue science pack production system. It’s compelling and draining at the same time.

  17. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    Where did the last hour go, and where are the 10€ more I had earlier off to?

  18. Premium User Badge

    Tunips says:

    Spacechem and the Valley of the Wind

  19. The Random One says:

    Weird, I was thinking about the Factorio alpha just earlier this week… I really liked it, even though the base defence element seemed a tad forced, so I’m eager to try the demo and see what changed. Not that eager though. Just, like, mild eager.

    • Worldwaker says:

      In Sandbox mode you have the option to disable “creeps” entirely, and just build to your heart’s content! There are more and more changes, they’ve just added Oil as a resource recently! Exciting times, altering recipes, changing the creep systems, big moves towards a ‘Release’ Which due to the Dev’s efforts in stamping out bugs, pardon the pun, will indeed be a completed game upon release.

      Right now all we need are more people interested, the game is fully moddable and the decision to make it so was actually brought up by the community itself. There are already a handful of mods, nothing world shaking yet, but time will fix that with proper advertisement, and this trailer is a step in the right direction.

      One of the Dev’s biggest problems was showing people the game’s mechanics without making it look daunting, the new trailer at least builds hype. I’ve got plenty of hours and supported the Indiegogo campaign a loooong while back and by Armok has it changed and will continue to change. (For the better!)

  20. ScottTFrazer says:

    I just purchased this so hard future versions will have my name in them. I’d have never heard of this if it wasn’t for RPS. If you ever meet the devs, be sure they buy you a pint.

  21. doodler says:

    Played through the demo when I got home, didn’t even realize my night was completely gone when I was done…Purchased full game immediately, weekend suffered same fate