Blog

Almost 10 000

Posted by Tomas on 2013-02-22

Hello everyone,Yesterday evening I was looking forward to writing a post about how you guys are great and how you have managed to push us through the 10 000 euro barrier in the Indiegogo campaign. I didn't write it. We didn't reach the magical number and I simply went to bed. Today in the morning it was already suspicious that nothing was happening. Usually during the night here in the Europe we would get like 200 euro or more in contributions. I suppose that is from the guys over in the US. But today it was an absolute zero. Something was fishy. I tried to do the 1 euro contribution via the Paypal but it failed with a following message:We are sorry, we are experiencing temporary difficulties. Please try again later. If this error occurred while making a payment, avoid duplicate payments by checking your Account Overview before resending a payment For some browsers, this problem can be resolved by clearing or deleting cookies. Message 3608I tried to use the Chrome anonymous window but with no success either. However the strange thing is that we have been getting emails all day today from users saying that they contributed to our campaign. This thing is very perplexing to us. We have contacted both the Indiegogo and the Paypal support and are waiting for their answers. Unfortunately there is nothing more we can do at the moment than to wait. We can't really verify the users claiming they have contributed to our campaign. If this is your case please be patient. We will get in touch with you once the systems start working or once we hear from Indiegogo/Paypal what has actually happened. We appreciate all your support and we hope this will not harm your experience from playing Factorio.

Getting the Alpha

Posted by Tomas on 2013-02-13

Hello everyone,we are overwhelmed! Literally. We are getting loads of emails every day with people requesting the access to the alpha version of the game. We answered every single email (or at least we believe so - if you haven't received a reply within 24 hours, please notify us again). It just makes us really happy to see how many people enjoy the game we are working on. Despite that we decided to stop providing free alpha per request. Alpha will still be provided to users who contributed to the Indiegogo campaign. This was a hard decision to make. Please let me explain. Our original intention was to provide a public demo only. The alpha was supposed to be released in March 2013 in case our Indiegogo campaign would have been successfully funded. However things have developed differently. In our blog post from the 31st Dec 2012 we stated that the alpha is available to people who 'liked the demo and send us the email requesting the access'. That was at the time when we had like 5 people playing the game and we started sending the demo to our friends and relatives to gather the feedback. In the beginning of our campaign we got like an email a day from the people saying that they are super excited about our project, already contributed and then went through all of our blog and find this note about giving away alpha. So we gave them the alpha because we were just so happy that someone actually went and read through all of our previous blog posts (well to be fair there were like 7 of them at the time). Our campaign looked futile in the first week. Actually we were really close to giving up. We were aware of the many mistakes we did in setting up the campaign and we were constantly failing to generate the interest in our project. Therefore we decided to try out offering alpha immediately to the people who backed our project. We believe this step significantly improved our chance of success. Within a week there gathered an amazing small community of backers playing the alpha, discussing the game on our forums, posting their factory creations and generally enjoying themselves. Now the situation is different. We are receiving dozens of emails a day from people asking for the alpha because they read somewhere on a forum that we will provide them with free alpha when they ask for it. And we have suspicions this could get even more extreme. We are trying to be truly open and we don't actually mind giving the alpha away to people who really want to play it. But:We find it a bit unfair towards our backers who got the alpha after contributing.We are still far from reaching our goal at Indiegogo and we would like to motivate people to support us.This adds a lot of work to us. So this is our motivation. We hope you will find it fair. We are happy for any feedback.

Indiegogo campaign progress

Posted by Tomas on 2013-02-11

Hello everyone ! We thought it would be a good time to recapitulate a bit on the current progress of our Indiegogo campaign. We are at 1.5k Euro with 20 days left to get onto 17k Euro at the moment. Here is what happened so far. We made some big mistakes. Probably the biggest one being starting a crowd funding campaign without a solid community to back us. There were couple of our friends who knew about our campaign upfront and that was it. Another crucial error was the financing goal we chose. The amount we agreed on reflects our rough estimates on what it will take to deliver the final product. However we should have gone with lower amount and rely on setting up a pre-order later on on our web site. Despite having fixed funding it is quite possible that the amount we asked for put a lot of people off. There were more mistakes but these two stand out. The start of the campaign was really slow. No one knew about our game and it was a struggle to spread out the word at all. Actually like 5 days into the campaign we were pretty much ready for resignation. But then the Futile Position (symptomatique name for our situation) wrote a short post about Factorio. We got a small spike in pledges and some emails with a positive feedback. On top of that a friend of ours started to actively help us with the campaign. We were back on. Since then the awareness was slowly increasing. There is a great thread and nice community around Factorio at the Face Punch forum .We have been getting a lot of supportive emails recently. People urging us to not give up and expressing their hopes that we will continue even if this crowdfunding fails. Reading emails like this is a huge motivator. On top of that we got another spike yesterday. Nathan Adams from Minecraft noticed our game, backed it and tweeted about it. And we got like 20 pledges within two hours. Couple of people offered to help us spread the word by featuring the game on forums and youtube previews. Things really started to look a bit brighter yesterday. So here we are now. Still far behind the expected funding schedule. But encouraged by a lot of positive feedback and interest in our game. We have spent past months working hard on Factorio. Programming like crazy. Burning through our savings. Getting strange looks when explaining to people what we do. And not knowing whether what we are building will have any meaning at all. It is then even more rewarding to read on the forums people discussing their factory setups, sharing screenshots of their creations and generally being excited about the game. No matter whether the Indiegogo campaign fails or succeeds. Things like these make the project a success in our eyes already. Finally we would like to say a big thank you to all our current supporters and people sending us feedback. We are really grateful to you and we will try hard to stand up to expectations.

Indiegogo campaign just started !

Posted by Tomas on 2013-02-01

Hello everyone ! It is half past six in the morning and after more than 12 hours of non stop work we finished all the preparations and put the Factorio on Indiegogo. It is up and running. Currently at the 63rd place in the Gaming category. The crowdfunding campaign will last for 30 days. Make sure to checkout the campaign and take the opportunity to become one of the funders of Factorio !

Factorio 0.2.0 released

Posted by Tomas on 2013-01-13

Hi everyone ! So we have a brand new release of Factorio for you packed with new features, improvements and bug fixes. The game is still far away from being graphically complete (surprise) but the gameplay is slowly getting where we would like it to be. So here is a short teaser for some of the new features: Technologies Build labs, create science packs and discover new recipes and improvements.Logistic Robots When your factory gets big use small flying robots to ease the transportation of material.Signals This has already been in 0.1.x, but now it has been tested and verified. Define conditions to switch on / off certain inserters based on number of items in your chests. This is perfect for controlling how many items are produced.Day night cycle Are you scared of the dark ? Well, too bad ...Graphic polish Character animations (mining, shooting, standing), light sources, mining particles, rocket smoke ...Freeplay There is a simple freeplay mode in the full version now. You play on the unlimited map full of enemy bases with scarce resources. Your task is to build a rocket defense for soon-to-land spaceships from the earth. The rocket defense is meant to protect the ships from potential allien attacks. However in order to build the rocket defense you need to research appropriate technologies first. And to spice it up a bit in order to research certain technologies you will need allien artefacts which you get when you destroy allien bases. So you will have to craft that shiny looking flamethrower and go out there get some artefacts. As usual the demo is downloadable without any restrictions and without signup. A lot of features that have been added are not available in the demo though (nor are the 2 extra missions). If you would like to play the full version, just send us an email at "factorio (at) factorio (dot) com" and we will give you a free download key for the full version.

The demo is out

Posted by Tomas on 2012-12-31

After a lot of work we have managed to release the first version of the demo. It is not graphically complete and there might still be bugs and issues, but we nevertheless decided to make it publicly available. Go and get it. The demo consists of a 3-level demo campaign which teaches the basic game mechanics, controls and concepts. Together with the demo we made alpha version of the game available 'per-request'. The alpha version contains 2 additional campaign levels, freeplay mode and map editor. On top of that there are many more game elements which are disabled in the demo (different inserters, assembling machines, faster transport belts, solar panels, weapons, etc.) If you liked the demo and would like to try the alpha version let us know by email. We wish you all the best in 2013 and we will work hard to bring you Factorio as soon as possible.

Deadlines flying by

Posted by Tomas on 2012-12-15

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.Douglas Adams Today was our internal deadline for a public demo. Well it just whooshed by without leaving any demo behind. The code and functionality is pretty much there in place. However we are still waiting for the graphics. It takes time and gets frustrating, but we carry on. Just to stay on the safe side I won't mention any more deadlines, even though we still have some internally :). As you might have noticed the webpage got a new look. This comes in multiple flavors:logo We settled on simple text in interesting font with a dominant element being the wheel representing the factory.icons We are using free svg icons taken from raphaeljs projecttemplate We moved to slate bootstrap template. As for the work on the game itself we continue along exhausting path full of fighting bugs and adding small improvements. Recently we focused quite a bit on speed improvements as well. Things get challenging once you have a factory with transport belts moving around heaps of ores, coal, iron plates, etc. Oh and weapons. Are you getting tired of those creepers attacking your factory ? Well now you can get rid of them by way more means than just shooting from the rifle. There is a machine gun, rocket launcher, flamethrower and mines are just around the corner. We also have news regarding the team composition. You don't get these that often with teams of our size :) Petr is now a full-time member of the team. Until now he has been working on the project part-time while doing his daily job as a database developer. Well, he quit and now he is a full-time "Factorian".

Coding till 4 am

Posted by Tomas on 2012-11-21

Hi guys ! Here is another update on our progress in making the Factorio game reality for you. Again huge amount of things has happened since the last post. We are putting our energy into shipping the demo release before X-mas as promised. If necessary we are ready to put in couple of all-nighters as well. At the moment coding sessions lasting till 4 am in the morning are becoming more and more frequent. People sleep, cats scout the dark streets and we are sitting by the computers fixing bugs and tuning the tutorial :) Slowly we are getting into the phase where we need to focus a lot of our resources on non-programming tasks as well. Things like communication with our freelance partners, processing feedback from early testers and discussing marketing strategies have become part of our daily routine. On the other hand this gives the job an interesting flavor. In our regular programming jobs we were shielded away from all non-programming tasks by dedicated people and now we finally start to appreciate the amount of work they have to deal with. Recently we have spent quite some time with the web pages as well. The whole thing is running on Heroku and we are slowly discovering the possibilities it gives us. When the demo release is finished it will be downloadable directly from this web page. In order to achieve that we need to setup user authentication system, get our release packages to some file provider (probably Amazon S3) and handle couple of other small things. Later on we plan to have an automatic downloader in the game itself, however that is still sitting there as a ticket in one of our future milestones. We are always looking for ways to improve game controls and make the interaction for the player as seamless as possible. Now it is quite easy to organise the players inventories using filter slots, crafting is less tedious thanks to automatic interproducts crafting and there is a nice shortcut to view what is going on in machines visible on the screen (like what is in the chest, which items are being processed by furnaces, etc.). We personally feel that every such improvement, even though small in itself, adds to the playing experince. Hmmm, that would be about it. Oh we have welcomed a new member in our team. He is small, prickly and doesn't say much. You can have a look at his profile in our contacts ;)

Steadily forward

Posted by Tomas on 2012-11-02

Hello everyone ! Quite a lot have happened in the last two weeks and we would like to share it with you. The biggest and most visible change is that our graphic Albert finished the basic tileset with transitions. In effect the game finally starts to look more realistic. At the moment the tileset is as follows: deep water, water, grass, dirt, cobble and sand. You can check for yourself updated screenshots at the Preview page. The drawback is that the entities with dummy graphics now look even more ridiculous :). But that will change soon. In the past weeks we spent a lot of time working on the tutorial campaign. Tutorial campaign has 4 levels and will be part of the demo release coming out before X-mas. The campaign introduces the player into the game plot and teaches him the basic mechanics of the game. How to mine the resources, craft recipes and build parts of the factory. There will also be encounters with allien inhabitants of the planet and they probably won't be happy to see intruders into their territory ... We are already working with private beta testers (meaning friends of ours) to make sure that the campaign is enjoyable and it does a good job in explaining the game concepts. Apart from graphics and the tutorial we did a lot of small tasks and bugfixes. For instance the generators (they produce electricity) now emit vapor which can cover your factory and give the whole scene a bit of industrial feel. And if you make a lot of them you just won't see much of your factory in the end. Well that will probably change :). With the core stuff for the demo pretty much finished we focus our energy on improving the game experience. Like for example we have added some ambient sounds giving more realistic atmosphere of the game. Or the game player interaction. We have spent a good deal of time with that. Trying to figure out how to make the controls easy yet powerful. So in the end you will be able to control the game with a single big button. Just kidding, we are not Apple. So go buy a new keyboard and stay tuned ...

Here we are

Posted by Tomas on 2012-10-24

Hello everybody ! We are three friends from Prague, Czech Republic working on a computer game called Factorio. This is a first from series of blog posts where we will share information about the game and about the process of making it. The game development started with couple of Michal's ideas for a "game that he would like to play but that is not available out there". Not late after that he found himself quitting his job and working on the game full time. Soon he was joined by Petr and eventually by Tomas. We have been working on the game on and off for almost half a year now. Factorio is a game about building a factory. You will need to mine resources, build machines, automate production and fight alien creatures. The main character finds himself alone on the alien planet. His task is to prepare the planet for colonization fleet coming from the Earth. In order to achieve that he basically needs to clear the planet from hostile alien creatures that constantly keep attacking him. He starts with his bare hands and knowledge how to create couple of simple things. As he progresses he mines available resources, builds more complicated machines, unlocks elaborate recipes and creates automated factories. At the moment the game is playable. However, it contains only basic functionality, it is still a bit buggy and it does not yet look as silky smooth as we would like it to be. While our graphic Albert is feverishly working on the looks we are finishing the demo version with tutorial campaign which will be available soon for free. We are doing all this without any external support. This means that we don't get paid and we have to finance all the expenses ourselves (mostly graphics). For this reason we need an early verification whether the game will be enjoyable and thus whether it makes sense for us to continue in development. That is the reason why we want to get the demo out as soon as possible and see what you guys have to say abou it. So stay alert, it will probably be flying out before X-mas. As you have probably noticed, quite some content on this page looks rather funny. Like screenshots, video, half finished pages, etc. Please bear with us, we are working on it :)