Satisfactory looks a lot like first-person Factorio

We’ll build machines to build machines to build machines to build a mysterious massive machine in Satisfactory, the next game from Sanctum and Goat Simulator developers Coffee Stain Studios. If that sounds a lot like Wube Software’s fantastic Factorio, you’ll probably think it looks a lot like it too after watching the new trailer. “It’s x but y” is always a crude way to describe a game but… Satisfactory sure does resemble Factorio but first-person. Which, really, I am up for.

There we are, sent to an alien planet by our bosses to construct a gigantic device of unknown purpose for their ‘Save The Day’ program. Like in Factorio–words I seem to be saying a lot–we start out scrabbling in the dirt, picking up minerals and clearing vegetation with our own hands. But start crafting powertools, building automated mines, building conveyor belts to transport minerals, machine to process the minerals, conveyor belts to take the resources to machines which craft them into components which are taken by self-driving tricks and trains to machines which combine those components with other components to… it’s one huge factory-automating engineering sandbox.

Add to that a pretty planet to explore, local wildlife trying to murder you, vehicles, and the mystery of what the heck our ultimate machine even does, and it all looks a lark. A shamlessly Factorio-y lark, but a lark none the less.

Being in three dimensions should make for some interesting/nightmarish factory construction, with things snaking over, under, and through each other. It’ll support some multi-level constructions too, and will offer jetpacks, catwalks, and bouncepads to help us navigate that tricky Z dimension.

Oh, and if the alien spiders put you off, here’s some comfort from the FAQ: “I’m also arachnophobic. So I made an ‘Arachnophobia Mode’ which turns the spiders into cute cat sprites. I spent two hours on it so it looks terrible, but at least they aren’t spiders anymore. But I guess you probably shouldn’t watch the trailer again.”

Satisfactory is coming to Steam, er, whenever it does. Having recently missed an alpha testing deadline, Coffee Stain are too cautious to commit to a timeline. Fair does.

As for Factorio, it’s out now in early access, costing £21/€25/$30 on Steam and GOG.

Check out our E3 2018 tag for more announcements, trailers, news, and goodness knows what else.

49 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Factorio is always fun to start but I hit a wall around blue or green research bottles, whichever is farther along. It just becomes too annoyingly complex and the aliens keeps attacking and you have to rebuild everything for the hundredth time to blah blah blah.

    Still though, this new game looks pretty. Might be a fun lark until it hits that point again, right?

    • Elos says:

      I recommend peaceful mode or just turning off biters alltogether if they annoy you, those settings are there for a reason. Lots of us play without biters.

      Also, I don’t know when you’ve last played Factorio but they changed the science pack progression etc. quite a bit recently so there aren’t as big jumps in complexity anymore.

      If you hit a wall, try destructuring the problem to smaller parts and do those one at a time. Like for blue science start by just making thing that produces Electric Mining Drills. You need a lot of those for your mining setups anwyas so it’s a good start. Then you’ll need to start making small amounts of steel to get an engine assembler or four going and so on. At the end you have all the components so you can just belt those together and start wondering where to get enough minerals to feed this thing…

      Katherine of Sky has a very good tutorial series on youtube that you can take a look tips: link to youtube.com

    • Nosada says:

      I adore Factorio, but I’m with you on the Alien attacks. My solution: disable aliens entirely, play the game as the most complex puzzle you’ve ever seen. Add some mods to increase the complexity even further, and build a base so large your CPU ends up struggling. It’s a far more passive game that way, but given the time, you can develop far more complex solutions to any problem, and the fun comes from building the most efficient production supply.

      EDIT: What Elos said.

    • beleester says:

      Blue science is definitely a bit of a difficulty spike (oil processing is a lot to take in all at once), but once you’ve got oil going you open up a whole lot of options, including laser turrets, which will make base defense trivial for the rest of the game.

      If you’re having trouble with bugs, consider going for Military science first – it’s both easier to build and forces you to automate the production of guns and ammo, something you should be doing anyway to secure your base.

      (All the science packs are designed to make you automate something that you need in bulk, but Black science is especially blatant about it.)

    • Evan_ says:

      After a while, biters are just another logistic problem to handle. It’s easier if you don’t try to produce enough power for a wall of lasers – enough bullets to to feed a wall of guns is a lot less stressing for your facilities.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Go out and destroy their bases, they only attack if their bases are covered by your pollution. Kill them before they can smell you.

    • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

      I don’t much like the aliens myself; but I also get the impression that if ‘too annoyingly complex’ and ‘have to rebuild everything for the hundredth time’ are considered downers I’m not sure that getting rid of them will fundamentally contribute to peace and understanding between you and Factorio.

      At the tech level you mention I think construction robots are available, though possibly not logistics ones; so, if you are into optimizing the modules that convert your various resource flows into other resources flows at the correct ratios you’ve reached the “blueprints and make it so” stage where the early-game doing-things-manually-kind-of-sucks effect is largely lifted and it becomes a question of whether you grock scaling up or whether the game’s resource demands(which are very much aimed at people who do grock scaling up) suddenly start looking absolutely ludicrous.

      I’m honestly on the very, very, low end of being good enough at this part to hang in there(I find petrochemical piping much harder to wrap my head around than belts; no sorters, can’t walk across it, can’t run parallel pipes without having them connect unless you allocate additional room), so I sympathize; but my experience has been that(while I still play without them rather than with them) the aliens are really only the tip of the iceberg if the core resource flow optimization thing doesn’t click with you.

      Getting mauled to death by biters is more visibly final; but if the prospect of scaling up production enough to keep the ammo coming is a problem the prospect of “Oh, yeah, that requires 100000 science packs; which is 2452345436 iron, 9879787 copper, 452345 oil and a complex network of mixed assemblers and chemical plants” will be as much of a problem; but bore you to death by attrition rather than just killing you.

      The one thing(that really soothes whatever strange gaming anxiety that also dogged me when I was playing an RTS where I couldn’t heal units, even if the speed of gameplay was such that healing wasn’t a viable strategy at competitive levels, it always felt so wasteful and imperfect…) that turning off the bugs, or at least their aggression, does allow is satisfyingly thorough, high pollution, resource extraction.

      Rail networks and efficient large scale expansion are where my mind starts to bounce off; so I feel ever so much better when every stage in the extraction and processing of my precious finite resources is stuffed to the gills with productivity modules. Normally the absurd pollution and energy requirements of this tend to be prohibitive until so late game that it doesn’t matter anyway; but it feels so much better.

      • Evan_ says:

        Hint: use underground pipes whenever possible – so roughly always. You can walk over them, and fluids won’t mix if you lay parallel pipes.

      • ZigomatiX says:

        I wanna add that when you reach a certain size/complexity in your factory, a few QoL mods become quite necesary.
        Regarding pipes, SqueakThrought greatly helps navigating spaghetti filed refineries =)

    • Kyle700 says:

      you can adjust the biters aggression in the early stages, or disable them using peaceful mode. you can also just kill them all in the immediate vicinity using a console command, which I prefer. It allows us some leeway to start the game off, but doesn’t get rid of the biters when its a lot more fun and easy to deal with them. For example, once you get bots, it is a lot easier and more fun to defend your base from them using clever logistics supply puzzles. Factorio does have a jump in difficulty. But if you stick with it, you’re rewarded with an incredible logic game, and most things get far easier over time

  2. c-Row says:

    0:17-0:26 looks like the exploration from No Man’s Sky but with more purpose.

  3. brucethemoose says:

    This is pretty much everything I ever wanted in a game.

    Take my money!

  4. dangermouse76 says:

    This looks great. It would be awesome if all the workers stopped for a lunch break everyday and just danced to Daft Punk songs for a bit.

  5. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    So, Infinifactory but more realistic graphics then?

    • Premium User Badge

      Malarious says:

      I know you’re being cheeky, but Infinifactory and Factorio don’t have that much in common. Infinifactory is a 3D Spacechem. It’s unthinkable to spend 30 hours on a single Infinifactory map: in Factorio, you *might* be able to launch a rocket after 30 hours, if you know what you’re doing.

      Infinifactory is a puzzle game. Factorio is a strategy game. You solve cute one-off problems in Infinifactory. In Factorio, with every hour you spend, you expand your industrial sprawl across the planet, and it only stops when you say “enough”.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Wait… You can say “enough” in Factorio?

        • Darloth says:

          So they say.

          I’ve never actually MET anyone that could do that though.

          Probably just hearsay, really.

        • Nosada says:

          I can’t, but my PC can. Trying to get to 10 rockets/min was pure hell and I had to give up at around 3-4/min because my UPS dropped to sub 30’s.

      • Premium User Badge

        phuzz says:

        To be honest, I’d always assumed Factorio was just Infinifactory but bigger (and I didn’t get on that well with Infinifactory, it was like Spacechem but the 3D made it harder to tweak your designs).
        It sounds like a slightly different sort of game, maybe I should give it a go next time I’m looking for a new game.

        • Luaan says:

          Infinifactory is really a puzzle game – you’re given new tools, then you learn some tricks with those, and by combining all that you’ve learned and gained, you try to solve further puzzles. Optionally, you can tweak your solutions to score higher.

          In Factorio, most of the problems are straightforward in theory. There are some smart tricks you can do with what you have, but it’s not necessary to enjoy the game. Most of the puzzle aspect is about making layouts that are easy to build, compact and/or pretty – the main difficulties are on the strategic level, where you need to manage your growing base and improve resource throughput. It’s primarily a logistic game.

          Satisfactory seems very similar to Factorio, but as far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier. I’m also curious how well they handle the challenges of 3D and first-person perspective. I just hope they manage to make it a solid, stable game with reasonable performance.

  6. Marclev says:

    So … it’s an Infinifactory clone?

    [Edit: LOL, beat to it by 4 minutes! Congratulations Phuzz]

  7. Xerophyte says:

    I wonder. On the surface of things it looks like part Factorio, but also part FortressCraft Evolved and similar Minecraft-with-automation games. Which might be cool, but I found the little I played of FortressCraft deathly boring even though I love Factorio.

    Factorio gets a lot of its core gameplay loop from carefully limiting and controlling how you can transport things throughout the game. Occasionally it introduces a new upgrade or new transport system to let you make something more efficient, and then asks you to produce 3x as many electronic circuits for the next tech level. It’s a very satisfying and constantly evolving procedural logistics puzzle.

    Turns out that if a game were to allow free — or at least freer — 3D construction and just has you shove belts into buildings then there’s a lot less resistance. You spend less time thinking and planning and more time just placing your stuff while implementing the One Obvious Plan (see also: factories using only logistic bot transport in Factorio). It’s not clear to me what sort of game the nice folks from Skövde are going for exactly: logistics puzzler, procedural action exploration, Minecraft-with-belts-and-automation? I’ll follow with interest but personally I’m definitely hoping they focus on the Factoriolike puzzle aspects, more than the plunder and explore aspects.

    • brucethemoose says:

      With the lack of voxels, very Factorio-ish trains and other logistical things, it looks more Factorio than FTB or Fortresscraft to me.

      Which is a good thing. And I’m saying that as someone who loves FTB to death.

    • KDR_11k says:

      FortressCraft is insanely slow paced and awkward compared to Factorio. Just the basic way that conveyors work is a pain…

      • brucethemoose says:

        Yeah, Im a massive FTB and Factorio fan and FortressCraft just felt akward.

        However, I didn’t play it long at all, and that was over a year ago… Maybe it’s better now?

    • Luaan says:

      Even in the trailer it seems they avoided many of the issues that plague Fortresscraft.

      Really, Fortresscraft just has so many issues with the design. The interface still isn’t very polished, and the game doesn’t really want you to keep expanding your factory – it’s just too wonky and resource intensive, and the payoff is kind of slow. It’s telling that the dev had to impose stack size limits on ore – for a lot of things, it was a lot easier to just carry the ore by hand :D Most bases I’ve seen still have just one conveyor belt for each ingot (100/minute throughput) even at the very end of the game – the effort needed to expand beyond that just isn’t worth it. Matter transmitters work, but are all sorts of clunky and the base layouts tend to look quite awful. The logistics options are still quite limited (thank god for cargo lifts; but later tiers are rather expensive to build and maintain) – there are many new additions, but they’re not very easy to use (and build). Many recipes are just annoying – a lot of the intermediate products you have to make only have one use. And while many of the machines are pretty, the game as a whole is still just ugly (though at least some of the most painful things have been long gone now – like the horrid snow biome). I haven’t seen a FTC base I would call “pretty”, while I’ve seen many beautiful bases in both Minecraft and Factorio. Most people just don’t bother, since pretty much no matter what you do, your base is going to look like a mess, and the decorative blocks don’t help much (and get horribly “over exposed” with all the lighting effects).

      Mind you, it still scratches an itch for me – my Steam account does show 400 hours played :D Some phases of the game are awful, some are good fun. The level of polish is still pretty bad (especially the interface), though it’s slowly been getting better over the years. Some QoL improvements are just tiny things that really make things a lot more fun – for example, the recent change that Excavators go straight through veins of ore as well (which you wanted anyway, since you probably want that shaft for a lift). The fact that the low-grade lenses give you flat power-transmission bonuses rather than the percentages makes them actually useful in the early-game; though they’ll probably need some balancing (right now, you rarely have a need to upgrade lasers before you get to tier 3). Even the continuous additions to your starting equipment do wonders to alleviate a lot of the tedium of the very early game.

      But Satisfactory seems like it might be a very strong competitor for Fortresscraft. We’ll see if they can actually deliver :)

  8. automatic says:

    I wished those games would include more ecological tech for a change. If we can’t do this even on sci-fi games where everything you can imagine is possible what this says about our real world perspective? Harvesting natural resources to exhaustion and killing wildlife is sort of a dead end, you know? You can’t copy and paste or proceduraly generate nature. And afaik space exploration haven’t discovered other habitable planets yet. Why not include some sort of preservation mechanic? Non-destructible harvesting… Those treadmills would look 1000% more interesting in the midst of a forest with animals walking harmlessly around it instead of a ravaged terrain imo.

    • brucethemoose says:

      That’s basically what Eco is.

      link to strangeloopgames.com

    • melancholicthug says:

      Well, Agent Smith pretty much already said it: we’re a virus. A disease on the world, mate.

      • automatic says:

        Seems like we didn’t watched the same movie. Smith was the virus all along. His only purpose was destruction and he longed for his own destruction. He represents the part of human conscience that sees change from a catastrophical paradigm as a threat. He was a product from the original human civilization that destroyed almost all life on earth and worked to keep it going by illuding the humans plugged to it they were still living a functional life. Watch it again.

      • automatic says:

        I think of Smith as that part of us that does not want to jump from a bike heading to a wall because it would hurt to fall from a bike.

    • Luaan says:

      Well, Factorio does have solar panels that are about 1000x more efficient than our own. To supply your base, you still have to plaster them all over the terrain – end-game bases that use solar usually have something like 10:1 ratio of solar to the rest of the base. And the mining is entirely non-destructive.

      And mind you, I usually play the game trying to minimise all of my impact. But there’s no truce with the locals – no matter how clean or ecological you are, they will keep going at your throat (unless you disable them). Indeed, the locals spread through the planet like wildfire soon after you land, and multiply at scary speeds :D

      The hard thing with ecology in games is making it feel just. Anviliciousness is bad. Over-selling your pet “ecological” ideas is bad. Pretending the alternative has no drawbacks is bad (unless it’s actually true, though even then you have to be careful). Making systems interact with each other believably is good, but giving the players reasonable incentives to be “green” and giving them tools to monitor how much of an impact they’re having is surprisingly tricky. After all, it’s not easy even for our planet-spanning civilisation, and so many of the things recommended (or worse, mandated) by the “greens” turned out to be even more horrible than what came before. It’s extremely hard to compare two approaches to anything – much less trying to find the optimal solution to a problem that has hundreds of potential solutions, each of which has different viability based on a hundred different changing conditions all over the world. There’s no list of solutions ordered by “ecological rating” – each of those solutions exists within a larger system of economies that affect each other. Judging them in isolation is worthwhile, but it still gives you only a tiny bit of guidance for real-world implementation.

      Indeed, if you want to try your hand at this – go download the Angel’s and Bob’s modpacks for Factorio. Suddenly, you get a huge load of recipes that have multiple outputs – that’s one of the things that makes planning so hard in real-life. As you progress, each of these products might go through all the stages of “essential”, “nuissance”, “valuable complement”, “utter waste”… the associated processes may be very ecological in one way and utterly awful in another, and all this can change based on what the rest of your base is doing. After you get a good dose, imagine that in the real-world, even producing a single shoe involves more complexity than the whole of Angelbob’s. We just don’t usually see it, since the free market is so unbelievably good at solving those problems, without anyone actually understanding all the complexities (and in most cases, this includes even the ecological impact – sadly, while the exceptions are pretty rare, they’re also often huge in scale). Now try to imagine how you could predict the outcome of even one small change in the whole system.

      Even when you get players that agree a green approach is good, they’re not going to agree on what a green approach actually is. Some might think water is the obvious clean power source – some would choose nuclear. Some think biofuels will solve our problems, while others think biofuels have been a proven failure many times over, and are both uneconomical and unecological, surviving only on unfair taxation. Some think that we need to stop using oil right away, while others will point out that half of our civilisation depends on the byproducts of oil production.

      If you build up complex systems that interact with each other in an interesting fashion, you can get a great sandbox – if you just push your view of what an ecological (or whatever) ideal might be…

  9. BlacKHeaDSg1 says:

    So this is how should Scrap Mechanic look like ;)

  10. Evan_ says:

    The thing is… Factorio felt complete 4 years ago. We didn’t understand why don’t they just release it. Billions of tiny improvements happened since then, and a metric ton of content was added. That’s by the devs only, for there is a vivid modding scene too, to customize your experience however you want it.

    That game has years of love and dedication in it, and that feels. I can hardly imagine a modern, flashy 3d game that could pull of the third of the complexity it’s ancestor has. And third is my best possible estimate.

    Though I feel it will still be a great game if they only manage to incorporate a fraction of Factorio’s magnificence. Sure I’ll buy it to see how well they did.

    • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

      I don’t disagree; but would also note that on the ‘loving refinement of complex systems that don’t necessarily require substantial additional art assets’ scale we could probably just say “Dwarf fortress > all the games” and call it a day; yet there are still plenty of other games that are worthwhile.

      Doesn’t mean that this will be one of them(if it ends up being cheerier than, but ultimately as simplistic as, Planetbase that would be a real shame); but there’s plenty of room in the zone somewhere between Factorio and Minecraft.

  11. Retne says:

    Looks interesting.
    The price seems a little cheeky given the final price of Factorio is less and this is a beta version.
    Be nice if they did a 2/3/4 player pack.
    But yeah, other than that I agree with what everyone else said (and speak as someone who has ~700 hours in Factorio)

    • kalzekdor says:

      Where did you find the price? The steam page doesn’t list it, and the FAQ on their site just says something along the lines of “We haven’t decided yet.”

  12. JarinArenos says:

    Holy crap, this trailer could NOT push my buttons any harder. Every new scene just making me drool even more.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Serrit says:

    What’s worse – enemies that are spiders, or enemies that look like cats that you know are secretly spiders? *shudders*

  14. racccoon says:

    It looks like a good game, think though they played far too much on the same graphical concepts, if they had had another graphics person who was out side of that box and designed differently it would of been a better match than repetitive designs shown in mass.

  15. fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

    The cute little dog/lizard guy still looks decidedly chipper given the number of workers around who will presumably need something processed into nutrient modules on a regular basis…

    Speaking of eating cute animals who may be angling for mascot status; did the color scheme and general materializing of buildings give anyone else the impression that this might be very much how Alterra Corporation does things when things actually go as planned?

  16. Harlander says:

    Why not just not put spiders in in the first place? There’re other ominous critters that don’t create such widespread pathological fear.

    • Evan_ says:

      Call me oldschool, but I feel invoking widespread pathological fear is a desirable property of antagonists and other assorted critters.

      Guess that’s why Darth Vader wears the helmet of german soldiers.

  17. EstebanLB01 says:

    Like Farlight Explorers, but more complete and mature

  18. Kyle700 says:

    looks great. hopefully has mod support

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