Monday, 5 October 2015

UnOff. Factorio FAQ: Stability & Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions
for the computer game
(UnOfficial FAQ: Stability & Requirements)
(official link, though)
Link back to the index.

QHow stable or complete is Factorio?
A: Very and very. I have limited experience with "early access" games: I got burned once, very badly, by Double Fine, releasing a game with very, very few features and then abandoning it before it was even 20% complete, and while I enjoy 7 Days to Die a lot and it has had a lot of additional features (things the player character can do) added to it since I started playing their alpha 7 back in spring 2014, there is a certain element of bug-fest to playing it. Compared to that, I'd describe Factorio as "late alpha", pretty much complete, with only a few user interface imperfections.

sapientius, non contentius labora

QHow stable is multiplayer? Is MP cooperative or PVP?
A: Factorio works very well played as cooperative multiplayer, where 2 or a few more players work together to build and expand a factory. I played a few hours of MP over LAN in alpha 0.11.10' ish and that worked fine even with latency set very low (in a12 the devs added something called latency hiding which is meant to reduce "felt lag"). Then a month or two later I played a long (about four sessions of 3-4 hours each) 0.11.22 MP game over Internet, and that worked very well too, once we switched to using Evolve to handle our connection (we first spend almost an hour trying to get port forwarding and router configuration to work, failing, and compared to that, Evolve is almost silly easy to use - I recommend it highly).

I have no experience with PVP multiplayer, but my very indirect impression is that it's not what Factorio does best. If you want to play a game about shooting and killing your friends, go play Counter-Strike or whatever.

(I think we used a latency tolerance threshold of 33 ms for the LAN game, and probably 67 or 50 ms for the Internet 11.22 game, but with the new latency hiding system in alpha 12 it's my impression that it might be desirable to actually set a higher threshold, perhaps 100, 125 or 167 ms, without this causing percieved/felt lag.)

I have not tried the coop play style where you have a server running continuously, and then players can log on to it and play whenever they want to.

sapientius, non contentius labora

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