Infinifactory: By The Maker Of SpaceChem And Infiniminer

Zachtronics has linked the SpaceChem molecule to the Infiniminer molecule to create and announce their new game: Infinifactory. It’s “Like SpaceChem… In 3D!” says the site, which sounds like a very good thing when you consider that SpaceChem broke the brains and captured the hearts of just about everyone at RPS who played it.

There’s only a little information about this new game, but it’s about designing and running factories and optimising them via histograms just as before, but now you’ll be doing it in “exotic alien locales” with a “next-generation block engine”. Alright. It’s due in Early Access later this year.

There’s not much more information available than that – it’ll have Steam Workshop integration so people can create their own puzzles, and there’ll be a story-driven campaign with over 30 puzzles.

SpaceChem was beloved for its ingenious puzzles, the room it created for player creativity, and the odd twists of its progression and story. Infiniminer meanwhile was a multiplayer game that developer Zach Barth made beforehand. It was never finished or released commercially, but it’s best known now as part of the inspiration for Minecraft. Combining the two is an interesting idea because they’re cool things independently, and because it’s sort of hard to picture how you represent the complexity of the former in a block engine like the latter.

Zachtronics’ last game was Ironclad Tactics, a neat, comparatively simple collectible card game. There doesn’t seem to be an Ironclad molecule connected to this new game, though.

29 Comments

  1. frightlever says:

    Ah well, it was a good run Factorio.

    link to factorio.com

    • trjp says:

      I love Factorio – I love that it’s NOT 3D in particular becuase that makes it possible to do much more complex and ranging designs IMO

      People should check it out if they’ve not done that already – don’t be swayed by the “on, another survival game” start to the demo, that lasts about 2 mins and then ‘amazement’.

      It’s only real flaw is that it’s often more fun to watch other people play than it is to play yourself – fortunately “multiplayer”.

      • SAM-site says:

        If by any chance you’re in need of a little Factorio viewing good times, allow me to SHAMELESSLY RECOMMEND my own play-through.

        At one point or another all 13 of my subscribers have described my video commentary as “okay” and I’m comfortable with that. My other half describes it as “like watching paint dry” before heading back to some game or other with a “story”.

        Colonel Failure’s Languid Exploits with Automation

        (If one is not permitted the occasional brazen promotion of videography, please do remove this. It’s pithy though!)

    • FredZepplin says:

      I predict that Infinifactory will have one more dimension and be half as interesting as Factorio. I don’t think we need to worry about Factorio. It’s amazing.

  2. Tiax says:

    Holy fuck, yes!

  3. SominiTheCommenter says:

    There doesn’t seem to be an Ironclad molecule connected to this new game, though.

    Only because the waldos couldn’t reach there without wrecking the entire pipeline.

  4. Tom Walker says:

    I loved SpaceChem, but even having gone back to it recently, I’m just not clever enough to get more than halfway through it.

    I work in the software department of a company that makes computerised industrial machinery.

    • JeCa says:

      That’s interesting, I thought anyone with programming experience would find SpaceChem much easier. Having only limited programming experience from my university studies (primarily MATLAB, whose flexible syntax and terrible execution speed mostly makes it an extension of my math education anyway), but a fair bit of chemistry, I thought SpaceChem mostly was like trying to perform simple tasks within an extremely contrived programming language. Is it so far from the kinds of abstractions made within practical software development that none of your skills are useful there anymore?

      • LionsPhil says:

        I have a PhD in Computer Science and do software dev for a dayjob.

        I got about halfway through SpaceChem too. It’s like trying to program in concurrent Befunge, but worse.

      • csuzw says:

        I think programming experience definitely helps. It’s all parallel processing/synchronization problems.

        It’s probably my favourite game ever. I’ve completed it and the expansion and I still feel like I’m terrible at it when I look at half the solutions that other people have come up with.

      • Aninhumer says:

        Not only are the abstraction skills of software engineering not that useful, they’re actually kind of counter-productive, because you’re used to decomposing things into small easy to understand units, which isn’t really possible under the constraints SpaceChem imposes. Indeed, much of real world software engineering is about avoiding ever having to write that kind of complex code, because it’s much harder to get right.

      • Bart Stewart says:

        I pounced on SpaceChem on the theory that, as a puzzle game about using holistic thinking to build functional and elegant systems, it was pretty much tailor-made for me and the kind of fun I like.

        But I also got maybe a third of the way through it before admitting that a BS in Computer Science, years of experience coding, and a predilection for systems design were not going to be enough. Apparently whatever all that stuff is good for is not the same thing as intuiting symbolic production systems.

        It was pretty satisfying when I finally found a process that would work. Then I’d make the mistake of looking at the graphs. And then all I could see was that my slightly-worse-than-middling solution, which took me hours to bash out, wasn’t even close to one of the optimal solutions that was probably sketched out in three minutes by a teenager who thinks “it’s easy, lol.”

        I still love the idea of SpaceChem; I think it’s a brilliant game. It’s just very depressing to have to acknowledge that I personally suck at something I thought I was supposed to be good at.

      • Philotic Symmetrist says:

        I think there is a correlation in aptitude for SpaceChem and for any sort of programming; from what I’ve been told, however, as far as skills go it is hardware level programming/ electrical engineering that bears a much closer resemblance to the tasks you perform in SpaceChem.

    • It's not me it's you says:

      Yup, lifelong professional programmer here as well with an interest in AI and ML and I couldn’t get particularly far into Space Chem without my brain frying. This new game looks potentially excellent though, if it hews a little closer to the ‘build a monstrosity of a machine over the course of your time with the game’ side rather than the ‘solve this clever little puzzle, you’ve got 3 pieces and a bit of string’ side.

    • JeCa says:

      Well, at least I don’t have to worry that my enjoyment of SpaceChem meant I made the wrong life choice in not becoming a programmer. µKnowledge!

  5. Laurentius says:

    Spacechem is the best..

  6. Stuart Walton says:

    “Histograms are back”

    OCD-sense tingling.

  7. NZLion says:

    I didn’t know this was forthcoming, but it’s a nice surprise when I am working my way through SpaceChem again :)
    I never got my head around the alchemy on my last run at the game. fingers crossed for this time :)

  8. Hillbert says:

    Well, this is just absolutely fantastic news.

  9. edwardoka says:

    *throws money at screen*

  10. LionsPhil says:

    My body is ready.

    My mind aches in apprehension, though.

  11. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Yes, please. I still return to the waldo-twiddling of SPACECHEM now and then. It’s one of the games in which you can strive for elegance as well as success.

  12. DantronLesotho says:

    This,. This is what I want.

  13. Molay says:

    I look at this newest game with a little bit of skepticism to be honest.
    I absolutely loved Spacechem. So simple, and yet incredibly deep and mindboggingly complex at times.
    I wonder if by going 3D we will lose out on the simplicity to convey information to the player, aswell as being able to easily modify and redesign parts of your logic abomination you used to have in Spacechem?

    The game being in good hands, I suppose it might turn out all right, perhaps even an excellent game. I’m just not sure yet how “going 3D” will benefit it exactly.

  14. AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

    Holy crap, I only now got the pun in Ironclad Tactics’ name.

  15. Dr. Doctor Doctor says:

    I’m betting it’s a reboot of Zachtronic’s lesser known puzzle programming game: Manufactoria. Surprised no one has pointed that out yet.

  16. Lambchops says:

    SPACECHEM.

  17. Clipsterman says:

    As someone who has played the game already, I can confirm that it is actually pretty fun. Me and a group of friends went to Seattle and got to go to Zachtronics, where we played it and talked with the developers. Granted, we only played for like an hour, so I don’t know for sure how hard the puzzles are gonna get, but from my experience so far, and the fact that they made goddamn Spacechem, I’d say that won’t be a problem.