Posts by Albert

Friday Facts #413 - Gleba

Posted by Albert, Earendel on 2024-05-31

IntroductionAlbert Making a new world in Factorio is relatively "easy", just create a new set of tilesets for the ground, add some new models of trees, create a bunch of new decoratives, some decals (optional), a new skin for the cliffs (optional), and bam! you get a new planet. Well, to be fair, you also have to play with the terrain generation noise and autoplace algorithms, experiment with proper LUT's, and adding some new shader won't hurt either if you want to succeed. The problem of making it from this simplistic perspective, is the danger of falling into a superficial automatism. So probably all your planets will end up looking the same with just different colours. Gleba is the one planet that has all the things needed to make a new Nauvis-like planet in Factorio, but it is still different on many other levels. What makes Gleba very special, at least to me, is how we twisted the core-concept of the planet and pushed the necessary elements in a specific way to make it more unique. Before having its final name, Gleba was internally called "biological planet", and an obvious direction for that would be a planet looking like a jungle. This would be fine for a new biome in Nauvis, but for an exotic planet, never explored, and full of life (more than ever), this time we needed something more alien looking. With not too many clichés in it, extravagant, and if possible playing with new colour palettes. Ah! But also with some link to the reality of Nauvis. And it needs to look very different from Nauvis. Ufff, Okay!. So we started to think about the microcosmos of the world of lichen, fungi and algaes under the sea. Something that exists in our reality, which it's believable already, but it has all the requirements mentioned above. In this video we made the effort of showing what exactly we have in mind for the look and feel of Gleba. The planet is still work in progress. But we better show it now because we will need to keep showing elements of Gleba in future posts. The map was handmade, but with a realistic vision of the autoplace algorithm and the map generation. The "trees" used are concept art used as placeholders. The cliffs are also placeholders, some tilesets will get tweaked to integrate them better. Some doodads will be added and modified. Colour grading is less or more missing, and the rain shader on the foreground will be tweaked. For a planet full of life (more than ever!), now it looks very static, but we are planning on adding some more animated "things" to really bring some life to the experience. And overall, we are avoiding to show, on purpose, the red area of the planet (look at the map during the last frames of the video) that one is too early to show. This video would be 55% worse (or more) if Petr wouldn't have composed and recorded this soundtrack for Gleba. You do remember our dear Petr, right? from the FFF#406 Space age music. The track is not exactly as it will sound during the game, now he is finishing some remixes of the tracks to make them flow perfectly fine for the gameplay requirements. Now our usual galactic tour operator will guide us through the sophisticated nuances of the nature of the biomes and habitats of Gleba.

Friday Facts #407 - Automating a soundtrack

Posted by Albert, Donion on 2024-04-19

Hello, Today we continue our musical journey.

Friday Facts #406 - Space Age Music

Posted by Albert on 2024-04-12

It was November of 2021 when we started conversations with Petr Wajsar, a very talented Czech music composer, to create the soundtrack for the Factorio expansion. Since then we have been working together on the soundtrack of Factorio Space Age. Conceptualising and finding solutions to our not small amount of problems, and filling the expansion with quality music, specially designed for the best possible Factorio experience. Petr is a very special musician, because besides being a proven master of electronic music, his education and experience in the conservatory makes him capable of composing music using the full range of a classic orchestra. His modern style of going to more experimental solutions, makes him very flexible at creating the score of the Factorio Space Age expansion.

Friday Facts #372 - 2022 recap

Posted by Albert, Klonan, Twinsen, Vinzenz on 2022-12-30

Hello, another year has come and gone. We know this year we were very sparse with any details about the expansion, and it is what you all really want to hear about. Trust me we really want to tell you about it, and in time we will. There are still major sections of the gameplay being changed and adjusted, and if we tell you about them now, the information would quickly become outdated and inaccurate. For now, we can offer this Christmas postcard Albert has made, which has a sneak peek of some new item icons. As well, we do have some other topics we can discuss.

Friday Facts #339 - Beacon HR + Redesign process

Posted by Albert on 2020-03-20

The beacon is one of the last entities left to convert to HR. As always, before 'just re-rendering' we take the chance to re-think the concept and modernize it. This post will try to go a bit deeper in the process of redesigning such an entity.

Friday Facts #327 - 2020 Vision

Posted by Albert, kovarex, Klonan on 2019-12-27

2020 Vision Albert, Klonan 2020 is going to be quite an exciting year for us. We have our 1.0 date set to the 25th of September, and there is a lot of preparation to do. It is no doubt to any of us that we would not be able to have any success without the great community that has developed for the game over the last years, and the support of all our players and fans. As is almost tradition, Albert has prepared a commemorative postcard/wallpaper to celebrate the last FFF of the year. Click to view full resolution Here's to a great year to come!

Friday Facts #325 - New Explosions and Particles

Posted by Albert, Dom, Klonan on 2019-12-13

Hello, The year is wrapping up, and we have been hard at work finishing off some topics before we take our Christmas break. As you can imagine, releasing any new version of the game without a few weeks to do bugfixing wouldn't be wise, so you can rest easy this holiday period without the worry of a surprise 0.18 release.

Friday Facts #324 - Sound design, Animated trees, Optimizations

Posted by Jitka, Ian, Albert, Allaizn, Rseding on 2019-12-06

Factorio logo patches Jitka We would like to introduce our new fabric Factorio logo patches, which are now available at our e-shop. These sew-on embroidered patches are ideal for clothing, hats, backpacks, etc. The dimensions are 2.5 x 12 cm. As we are uncertain how large the demand for these patches is going to be, we have only limited stock available at the moment. Please note that our online store ships only once a week every Wednesday, and it is highly possible that the orders placed now will not be delivered before the 25th or December, this applies especially for orders shipped outside of Europe.

Friday Facts #323 - Animated water

Posted by Albert, Ernestas, posila on 2019-11-29

Water animation - Concept Albert Since the very beginning of the project, we have focused a lot in the side of the factory, providing better designs for the machines, and expressive animations that give a sense of life and credibility in this area. We put a lot of effort also in the environmental side, adding different tile sizes, improving textures, adding doodads, cliffs, trees, decals, and constantly improving the map generation for a better feeling. But apart from biters and the factory, nothing else moves in this Factorio planet. So the environment is nice looking but it feels somehow unreal due this lack of motion. Today we proudly present the first experiment in this area: Animated water. This animation doesn't try to grab your attention, it's just there. Slowly moving. I personally bet that this animation, with the proper sound design, will provide the natural feeling that the planet needs.

Friday Facts #320 - Color correction

Posted by Albert, V453000 on 2019-11-08

Color correction Albert, V453000 Factorio is in a state that even though is not yet finished, it is very close to its 1.0 version. That means that most of the work is done and we are polishing the game in order to make it bright. That's what we've been doing for the past 2 weeks. Literally making it bright. Since years I wanted to do this post-production work. But I didn't dare to do it until most of the graphics were finished. I was afraid of breaking the consistency of the look and our production pipeline. Now it's different. There's only a couple of entities to re-design and some other stuff to do, but in general this missing details are not affecting the possibility of working in the post-production. Factorio is a dark game. I mean conceptually. All these things about industrializing a planet, polluting an entire world just for the sake of the factory, and killing all its inhabitants are not precisely happy concepts full of light. This old article could explain better my thoughts regarding this concept. But the look of the game was dark, too dark. So we cleaned it up without betraying its spirit. Like restoring an old painting. The difference can be subtle, but very effective. We added more light, and a little bit of color saturation. Adding these general changes to the entire sprites collection is not an easy task. Many sprites were badly affected by this general correction. V453000 was fixing individually the broken sprites and icons in order to keep the consistency with the new context. We took the chance to work on the terrain a bit further. Not only this color correction was applied, but the contrast and integration with other terrains was also improved. Also experimenting with the color of the trees, trying to achieve a more colorful feeling with the excuse of an alien planet. I have to say the Alien Biomes mod was opening my mind - a little - to experiment with the color a bit further. In order to break this general brown feeling, we added a more orange tonality to the sand biome. Here is where you can see the difference more. Going further to too saturated colors is dangerous, after all, the terrain is a background that should provide a good and comfortable contrast with the entities and the icons. Touching terrain colours means touching map colors also. We were very keen to keep the visibility of the map information and the similarity with the terrain. The result is a more vibrant look in the entire game. We tweaked the night also. Thanks to posila and Wheybags, we can use LUTs (Look up tables) to dynamically modify the colors. Instead of playing with the alpha channel of a solid black layer on top of the game. Now we can gradually move to a different color palette for night with more control. So the colors are losing their saturation and becoming more blue and cold. This is important, because part of the annoying darkness of the game comes from this black layer. We are still experimenting with this LUT, and the transitions of day/night cycles. I'm pretty sure also that I will have to touch the map colors for some missing details and fine tuning. Possibly there is some entity that is not in its best shape with these new color palettes, and maybe we keep tweaking the terrain. But I feel very confident with these additions and I'm very sure that these changes will improve the experience of playing Factorio. After playing with these colors, the feeling is good. I hope you see it the same way.