The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Posts Tagged ‘factorio

What new computer games are you playing?

I’ve done ~100 runs of Hades and its now where I make a run every other day or so, and slowing down. Polygon named it game of the year, and I can’t argue with that… for my computer game of the decade I think Slay the Spire edges out Factorio, just because its more of a Pringles game (“one more run”) and has a natural stopping point. Factorio needs more flow than I have right now … whenever I stop for a day I don’t really want to reload the factory and continue. Hades could be a third, but its a distant third. (But it edges out games like Civ IV and many others).

So — as I have some vacation — any other games worth trying/playing?

Written by taogaming

December 19, 2020 at 10:01 am

I would be remiss in not point out that ….

Factorio released 1.0.0. This game has been stable the entire time I’ve played it (even the “experimental” versions, as long as you didn’t download them the day of release and have a number of mods …. the devs investigated bugs caused by multiple mods colliding. The blog is often of interest to professional programmers such as myself as they investigate how to optimize the algorithms to deal with players running every-increasing maps. The game is not statistical … it tracks every single item on the map, so if you are processing 10,000 plates a second, it knows where they all are).

So, if you’ve ever thought about it, now is a good time to jump into it. There is a demo, too.

Release Trailer

2020 Gameplay Trailer



Written by taogaming

August 14, 2020 at 9:02 am

Posted in Artificial Opponents

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Thoughts about recent games


  • Regarding Jeff G’s comment about “it just ended.” Before we encountered the end we had a similar problem where its not clear what scenarios we can do. But I think we forgot to write down a party acheivement. (And we did the final scenario early, because the TaoLing missed one of the requirements had to be fulfilled multiple times. So, room for improvement and/or better design for campaign books. No doubt one or more of the apps handles this, but I don’t have any apps. (Update— based on Sean’s comment below, I’m using “the end” as Jeff did … the end of the main villain, the ‘big bad.’ It is not the ending of the game or even the scenarios (of which I’ve now played a bit north of 1/3rd). I did not mean the town record or anything. I don’t particularly care about ‘the story,’ it’s a nice thing to have, but not why I play board games. Another note, last night I opened some content that revealed a little puzzle-y thing. I have zero interest in this and just glanced a spoiler thread to confirm that I miss nothing of value).
  • I also agree that the money could be a bit looser. I keep expecting something to say “Double all money you receive” or otherwise discount things, because things like enchanting a mid-level card are basically impossible or something you have to sell all your stuff to do.
  • After three dozen-ish games we had seven or eight characters retire. One was a cheat, because we just said that taking a character up to level 9 is enough of a reason to retire (if you haven’t hit the others). Once you have a dozen or two games in the campaign some of the cards get much easier because they require a specific thing you’ve acquired or you have unlocked the final scenario you need to beat. One character started and retired after ~5 games. (Another took about ~8). Some scenarios are — while not literally required — big enough to fulfill 50% or more of your requirements. (If my new character had started ~4 scenarios earlier, he could have retired after a single perfect scenario, despite his goal being quite generic)! But we’ve already played that, so I’m not going to “go back”). Other scenarios do nothing to help your goals. It is hard to tell for some goals which scenario is which.
  • There is actually a really good mix of scenarios, and the fact that there is fan based content and other expansions is nice. I’m clearly going to make this to fifty games, and I suspect I’ll get to 100 just by finishing the 99 base game scenarios (or dungeons).
  • Achievements are also based on party dynamics. The TaoLing often plays characters that go invisible and suck up gold and treasures, which makes any looting based achievement harder. Possibly the game could have had “starting advancements” for the first characters (two for the scoundrel, two for the brute, etc) and then randomized the rest. But given the components that was just perhaps too much. Or perhaps some cards could say “Do not use for your first character!” at the top and you just draw two until you have reasonable choices.
  • I think we’ve gotten a fair number of rules wrong, but it really doesn’t matter too much.
  • You set your levels based on “Average party level / 2 rounded up.” As a practical matter we’re pretty much been at Level 3 for most of the campaign. I do like that some scenarios vary the levels for individual monsters. I wish more did that.


  • I’m enjoying the new science recipes, but I quickly turned off biters again. Once 0.17 is stable I may play a biter-enabled game… probably a train map SpaceX…


  • I taught a few gamers (who had expressed an interest) bridge for a few hours. Tournament this weekend….


  • I played QMG:Prelude. I’m down on (non-varietal) expansions, but I’ve got to admit this was a bizarre fun little mini game that totally changed the feel. Germany started on the ropes (because a UK army, which we just said was actually a French army, started in Western Europe. German blitzed it, built an army using a pre-war card, and then knocked the UK out of the North Sea, but that failed and the UK attacked Western Europe again!). By mid game it became clear that this was an Allied win, but would it be an unconditional surrender on T15 or later, and the Axis just managed to hold on for a conditional surrender on T20. This also makes Economic Warfare early on better, because the prelude response cards require a discard to activate.


  • I’ve finally pledged a kick starter for the 2nd Root expansion, despite not having played the first. But I did play a game with the Vagabond (and lost), but enjoyed it.

Bios Megafauna et al:

  • Apomorphies, cratons, and a bunch of other words I don’t understand? Why yes, I did get a new Eklund game. (Actually, three. I suspect these are all in the play once and then get rid of, but who knows. But it will take me a while to read the rules…It seems like SMG has finally learned how to put the rules in the right order, but they have two interleaved color coded sets to work out. At least Bios Megafauna’s rule book is a type that I seem to be able to read, Neanderthal’s type was hard to make out. My poor eyes….

Written by taogaming

March 15, 2019 at 9:33 pm

Don’t Pray for Mojo. Automate the Prayer Process for Mojo!

Factorio 0.17 released (and 0.17.1 fifteen minutes ago)! Downloading now….

Honestly, I’d burned out after the new years (I would often start a campaign and do an hour or two of mindless zen, then quit), so I’m hoping this will rekindle my joy with the new science format. If not, well, I had a good run.

Written by taogaming

February 26, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Posted in Artificial Opponents

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Just finished Factorio mod SpaceX which greatly extends the endgame. (Basically, if you consider one rocket to be 10Million “effort,” SpaceX takes 2.7 Billion effort). I’ve gotten good enough so that it only took about 51h, (by comparison, my first game took ~40h). That’s the power of geometric growth. I could probably cut that by 10-15h now that I know a bit more about what it entails. Maybe 20. Anyway, it’s a nice mod, makes you build bigger without adding ridiculous complexity (like Seablock or Angel/Bob).

Written by taogaming

November 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm

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Pay no attention…

Factorio 0.16, (the final pre-release, improved graphics and optimizations and a few new features) dropped this week. Expect nothing and ye shall receive.

But I got my copy of Wild Blue Yonder in the mail, so I may actually play that at some point as well, so expect something and ye may receive.


Written by taogaming

December 14, 2017 at 9:34 pm

The Latest

I’d been waiting for Magic Maze to show up at the game store. It never did. However — Barnes and Noble got it, and the TaoLing’s class was having a fundraiser there (anything you but they get 10%), so I got it. B&N has a shockingly good games section. Way too many tie-ins … (seriously, Game of Thrones Settlers of Catan? The pure-non-conflict Euro meets the Red Wedding? Sheesh)  but there are jewels there.

Anyway, after a few games 2 player, I came up with an obvious variant:

Use the four player tiles and rotate them normally, so you only change 1/2 of what you do each rotation (instead of having the same things always grouped). For more weirdness, assign a tile to each hand, and then you have to do the actions with the correct hand.

Magic Maze isn’t great two player, but its not necessarily easier. We managed to lose several times, but now we’re at the “full game” (Scenario 7).

Haven’t tried solo Magic Maze. Doesn’t seem like it would be goodl

After a few weeks off, picked up my Factorio Mega-base again. Coming along nicely. Last time I posted I was at 20 rockets at 55 hours. I improved smelting, got more oil refining. This required breaking the 1 Gigawatt barrier and an hour or two of tactical nuclear devices to pacify the natives and clear out more area for mining.  Anyway, I’m at around 85 hours and 210 rockets. Always something to improve.

Written by taogaming

December 3, 2017 at 11:18 pm

Posted in Session Reports

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Mainly Factorio, still

(This is the sort of thing that only someone who plays Factorio will care about).

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by taogaming

November 4, 2017 at 10:12 pm

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Minor-Miner Update

Now that the boy is in camp, I have some access to the computer again, which means more Factorio. I get 50 hours into a base earlier this summer, but then six weeks away meant I had lost the thread. My power situation was OK but weird (some issue with heat pipes maybe being too far) and my trains were a mess, so I decided to start again. (I still have the save if I figure out the things I could go back to it). I’ve had a few false starts, so I keep resetting after a few hours.  I think I’m going to play the new one … build a small starter base and then build a main bus, and then perhaps a mega base. We’ll see.

I also did go-kart racing (work team builder) which lead to an injury. I knocked a shoe off while getting into the cart (It caught on the edge of the pedal) while switching off in a team-style Le Mans (“Which team can complete the most laps” during the event).  When reaching around/over the steering wheel to replace it I managed to strain every muscle in my core and left arm due to a spasm in that awkward position, which was not an injury I’d ever considered worrying about at a go-kart track. I consistently came close to the tree at the edge of the tight corner, but that just means I wasn’t dawdling….

It turns out that I am pretty good at the (~40MPH) beasts. Surprised me. (A bunch of racing games have given me a decent eye for the best line). Still, 30 minutes in 99° heat (with one break) and muscle spasms meant I was a wreck afterwards.

Thankfully I have tomorrow off to relax my muscles and work on my factory.

In other gaming news, Mrs. Tao did some old school D&D with her coworkers, while my (no-longer-minor) eldest mocked her during her absence.

Strange days, my friends, strange days.

Written by taogaming

July 20, 2017 at 10:51 pm

Posted in Artificial Opponents, Non-Gaming

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Got some Factorio recently

I launched a rocket to get the “no solar panels and no laser defense” achievements. Now I’m working on the mega-base ramp up (and turned off rockets to pause and let the base work on other products). Added nuclear power (which is a huge relief, basically tripling my power and letting me use the steam engines as reserves. In fact, for a while I wasted power, as you can’t tune nuclear. When I add two more reactors I’ll triple it again, I think). So now I’m adding a lot more iron processing (400k plates/hour), and generally clearing out the nearby aliens and otherwise growing. I think I have a dozen trains (ish) running, which is appropriate for a train world.

I also got nuclear weapons, so I’ll definitely have to nuke some aliens in the near future. Maybe also go for depleted uranium bullets…

One of the toughest parts was coming back to a base I hadn’t played in a few weeks … I had no idea where everything was. In fact I had a few really terrible things that needed fixing (including a train stopped in an intersection … I’d never set up a fuel station for it, and it was blocking other trains).

But whenever you solve one thing you simply discover the next bottleneck. I need really ramp up my iron mines (since my smelting can now process a train’s load of ore before the next train arrives) then a bit more iron smelting, then copper.

Then circuits (green/red blue) and then I’ll see if how good my rocket throughput is.

Written by taogaming

June 4, 2017 at 9:30 pm

Posted in Session Reports

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