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A full review after completing the game in its current state.
I am not a game dev but I do understand most of these things take a lot of time and I wouldn't expect perfection on a first build so I'd just like to say that the game is incredibly fun and in a great form right now. I've played through all of the content in co-op with 1-2 pals in just about 25 hours and here's what I've gathered. I know you're probably aware of a lot of this stuff but I wanted to give my full unfiltered thoughts anyways.
- The game does a great job of being unique and giving its own take on the factory/automation genre, so I never got bored.
- The cave exploration/terrain manipulation gives so much freedom on building and it gives the player a lot of room to be creative.
- The various checkpoints to unlock being shown all at once gives the player the choice of which direction to go first, so while the game isn't necessarily replayable, it definitely allows each player to play in their own way, and it makes coop a lot more useful rather than 2 people aiming at the exact same goal.
- Being able to build an entire conveyor with turns and verticality is incredible and made building really convenient.
- Power floors are a really unique and clever idea that doesn't take up extra space but still does exactly what I need.
- The erase mode isn't necessarily bad, but I found myself almost exclusively tapping with it because I was afraid I'd miss my conveyor the tiniest bit and erase like a hundred things below it. I'm not sure how you could fix this but I figured I'd mention it. Also on coop it had a problem where my buddy (I was hosting and he joined on me) would erase one thing and it would bug out and erase like 4 different things as well that weren't even remotely where he was looking. Additionally, if I erased a machine it would sometimes erase some/all of the inserters.
- Certain byproducts of recipes became incredibly problematic. If it was your intent to make this a game mechanic then hands down you did a fantastic job and I have no issues with it. However, there were several times I had to set up seven or eight storage crates simply so I could have the security that the kindlevine extract or limestone wouldn't completely stop my factory when it backed up (Later on I was able to reroute a lot of it for more recipes but that was upwards of 10 hours after the problem originally arose). This could easily be solved by adding some sort of trasher, but once again if it was intentional that's completely fine by me.
- I appreciate the speed increase of assemblers and miners but it would be cool if they could hold more items. Maybe triple or quadruple the recipe price/output rather than the standard double.
- If you're married to the idea of linear inserters that's completely okay but I'm sure the community would love it if we could get corner inserters that place/grab from spaces to one side
- It would be nice if we could have a way to get more seeds instead of running around and finding more plants. Maybe it could be a possibility from threshing, maybe you can have the planters generate them, I don't know but it would have been nice.
- Maybe I was just dumb but I can't figure out why you'd let us refund tech tree purchases. That allows us to waste our research cores on stuff required for doors, open the doors, then sell the research for more useful tech. It's definitely not a bad thing because it makes things faster but it just seemed a little pointless to me because I had the cores automated anyways and refunding them makes automation less useful.
- A feature where you could replace all conveyor mk1s with mk2s (like in Satisfactory) would be really convenient but totally understandable if you don't add.
- The most significant issue in my eyes is the framerate. I hate to compare a new work like this to something that's been out for years but I've played through all of Satisfactory with zero framerate issues and I spent almost this entire game on 24fps (I have a 144Hz monitor). Obviously I didn't expect that kind of optimization this soon into the game's life but I personally believe it should be one of your top priorities right now.
- The core composer is a tedious and mandatory waste of time in its current form. Every thirty minutes or so I'd have to run halfway across the map to where I had set up the core composer so I could tear it down and make a new platform for the next one. If you're going to keep them in their current form then you should make them stop taking cores once they fill up, so they can continue down the conveyor to another one (instead of taking an extra 100 first). Additionally, I think they should be compressed. Maybe have them build the cores smaller. This way there is a clear benefit to having the composer build them rather than just placing down a few hundred manually every hour or so.
- Either the thresher needs more output slots or you need fast/stack inserters MkII. Right now the only way to keep threshers running is to have stack/fast inserters removing everything onto the same conveyor and then sorting it afterward. So if you want efficiency you need to make it to late game and by that point it's really only useful for the last upgrade for Victor.
- I had to google how to use the magnet. If there's a description on how to use it in game you didn't do a good job making it clear because I really looked and could not find it. You could give a description in tech tree.
- The scannable research around the map isn't a bad decision but there needs to be a better way of finding it than randomly running back and forth and breaking random rocks until you find it. By the late game there were seven or so of them that I hadn't found so I just googled where to find them because it's way too tedious to search the same rooms under every single rock. Maybe make it beep so you can hear it when you're nearby. Could also make them bigger or glowing or add them to the omniseeker.
- Breaking and and replacing conveyors that were on top of other conveyors or one block off the ground is literally impossible. The only way I could replace them was to break the ones on the ground and then connect those to each other.
- The host of the game would sometimes find ghost conveyors. These conveyors were placed (likely by the other players in the lobby) and they functioned exactly how they were supposed to in every way except that they were not solid or interactable to the host. I would fall right through them and I could not erase or attach to them. The rest of the players in the lobby had no problems with this.
- The other players in the lobby sometimes experienced phantom items in storage crates and on conveyors. Simply put, they would be able to grab these non-existent items and they would disappear from wherever they had been and the player (obviously) would not receive the item.
- Maybe I was just being dumb but I could not figure out what a water mill did. Was I supposed to have one for each crank in the line? Was there a specific wheel/crank ratio I needed? Was just one okay for the entire line? I ended up settling for the 1/1 ratio but I have no idea if that was correct. If there could be a better explanation of their usage in game that would be incredible.
- Make it so if you press R while building power floors you can build upwards instead of sideways. Having to spam double click when I wanted to make a second floor was annoying. I know you're planning on adding walls in the future so if you could make them capable of connecting one power floor to another that would solve this issue.
- Atlantum and chests are the same color on the map, so sometimes I would mine for 5 minutes to get to atlantum just to find a chest. Making atlantum the only green thing on the map would be awesome.
- There's a river along the SC door to the NW of Victor that has a question mark on the omniscanner below it. It also shows a green cube on the map. If you mine to it you'll find some weird square that looks like the base created by the HVC when its connected to nothing and several invisible one way walls. You cannot get the frequency of the question mark, nor can you interact with anything there (I think this is your 0.0.0 bug that i've seen mentioned in the discord).
- Conveyors turn red when the plan you've made to build them is impossible, but monorail tracks do not do that, so you just have to guess. It would be great if they turned red too.
- Sometimes I fall through the ground when respawning (only the host had this issue). Also there's a weird trick where if you run up a cave slope into the ceiling correctly you can go through the ceiling and
get xray vision.
This is everything that I could come up with. I loved playing this game and I'm excited to see what you guys will add.