Power production in factory automation games is critical to scaling your factory. How do you meet shifting power demands as your factory grows? What new tech can help?
The power system in Techtonica will evolve throughout Early Access, but at launch, we’ll have several tools for players to harness and obstacles for them to overcome. Today, we’re talking about the Accumulator and Power Spikes.
Let’s dig in.
Powering your factories
At Early Access launch, electricity-based power generation will happen through Crank Generators, whether connected to Water Wheels or activated manually by Groundbreakers.
Groundbreakers will also quickly gain access to Accumulators, which capture and store energy output by generators. That energy then flows into machines like Planters, Threshers, and Assemblers to power your automation chain.
A great bank of Accumulators and Crank Generators can get you pretty darn far when it comes to factory output. But what happens when power demands evolve?
Creating a power challenge for late-game factories
As your factories evolve and you explore more of Calyx, your power requirements will change. Some mid- to late-game machines require massive power spikes to operate.
The Monorail Depot is one such machine: you need the stored power in Accumulators to handle the energy spike that launches each train.
We’ll also challenge you with power surges for researching late-game tech. This creates a sort of power-check system to validate that your factories are big enough and efficient enough to handle the technology you’re about to unlock.
We’ll push you to generate lots of power, and Accumulators hold on to that power until your factories make use of it.
Powerful concept art
When we were working on designs for the Accumulator, we wanted a better way to visualize their charging status than, say, a light bar.
That’s when we landed on spinning. The Accumulators spin when charging up. Once they reach capacity (or power stops coming in), they’ll stop spinning and the lights will indicate how full they are.
Here’s some early design work.
Obviously, we’ve broken away from the blocked bank in favor of single Accumulators, but the angled sketch mid-rotation remains. You can also see that we tend to sketch players into our concepts to get a sense of machine scale.
Finally, here’s the Accumulator after our art team iterated on the initial sketch work with some 3D models.
That’s it for this week’s update, Groundbreakers! If you want to talk factory turkey, come hang out in the official Techtonica Discord.
Until next week!