Infinifactory

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KSubzero1000
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Infinifactory

Post by KSubzero1000 » May 24th, 2018, 11:30 pm

So let me tell you about Infinifactory.

It's a first-person logic puzzle game about constructing self-sufficient, three-dimensional factory machines through the use of individual building blocks. What makes it stand out from other puzzle games is its systemic nature. Apart from some of the tutorials, the player's job is never to find the developers' predetermined solution, but to create their own instead. The puzzles are composed of resource containers and an end goal, sometimes also minor terrain elements. That's about it. Everything else depends on your understanding of the various systems and ability to come up with creative solutions. Thankfully, the game is always perfectly fair.

In fact, it's the amount of creativity this game allows that fascinates me the most. I've looked at some other people's solutions to contrast with my own, and I couldn't believe what I saw and how stupid it made me feel in comparison! :o

It's Minecraft with a purpose, basically.

This game also does what a lot of great puzzle games do: It actively rewires your brain to better operate within the game logic. Instead of thinking with portals, this time you're thinking with conveyor belts and challenges that once seemed flat-out insurmountable will soon look ridiculously easy in hindsight. The learning curve is a bit steep, but it's an incredibly satisfying feeling to see your precious little machine that you've put so much thought and effort into finally work as intended after hours of planning and fine-tuning.

I'm usually not too fond of systemic game design, but the end result here is truly special. Far from a graphical powerhouse, no story to speak of - and yet I can't wait to get back to it tomorrow. Currently discounted on PSN. Best 8€ I've spent in a looong time.

...I think my syntax is even poorer than usual, but I've been playing this infernal thing the entire evening and now my brain is completely mush. Also, I'm hungry.


Here's the recent Matthewmatosis video that first introduced me to this game:


Here's an excellent video by Mark Brown dedicated to puzzle games:


And here are four different gifs from the exact same early level that perfectly exemplify the insane mechanical diversity this game allows:
Spoiler: show
Image

Image

Image

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I get how impenetrable it may look at first glance, but trust me: it's worth it.

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Chopper
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Re: Infinifactory

Post by Chopper » May 25th, 2018, 8:53 am

Gif#2 is a fair representation of my coding style all right :lol:

How is placing the blocks and belts with the controller, is it easy or awkward?

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Infinifactory

Post by KSubzero1000 » May 25th, 2018, 9:06 am

It's really easy! I'm at the halfway point now and I haven't had any control issues to speak of. The world uses the same invisible cubic grid system as Minecraft, so you never have to align things in a pixel-perfect fashion. Also, gravity is basically disabled during the construction phase, which means you don't have to worry about things falling apart while you're building them.

The game is also available on PC and Mac, should you prefer a keyboard & mouse interface.

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by kintaris » May 29th, 2018, 2:41 pm

I bought this in the PS sale based on your recommendation Ksubzero. I just need to find time for it!

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by KSubzero1000 » May 29th, 2018, 3:06 pm

Oh, nice! Very happy to hear that. :P
I don't think you'll be disappointed if you enjoy creative puzzle-solving.
Spoiler: show
It's the gifs that sold you on it and not my delirious flavor text, admit it!

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by kintaris » May 29th, 2018, 3:57 pm

Alright, it was :lol:. I am a puzzle gaming fan and seeing blocks and lines flowing in a logically sound manner is kind of like giving my brain a bath.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Infinifactory

Post by KSubzero1000 » May 29th, 2018, 8:20 pm

I know there must be some significantly more elegant and optimized solutions out there, but it's so incredibly satisfying to see every single individual building block of your machine finally work as intended!

Pretty sure this must look like low-rent trash to some, but I'm having an absolute blast.

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by KSubzero1000 » November 26th, 2018, 2:00 pm

So I've been back to this recently in order to tackle the ridiculously intimidating endgame stages. I started a "quick session" yesterday at around 20:00 which ended at 3:30 in the morning when I had to forcefully separate myself from the console because I couldn't stay awake any longer. Today, I'm a zombie. Worth it.

It's amazing how this game manages to grab ahold of my brain and refuses to let go afterwards. Hours of planning, building, test-running, observing, second-guessing, rectifying, re-imagining, re-building. The constant need to stay aware of both the small and the big picture. It's the joy of architecture without all the dust and paperwork. There are very few victories in gaming that taste as sweet as seeing your beloved assembly line that you've spent so much time perfecting finally become self-sufficient.

I won't post any endgame footage because I want people to experience it for themselves, but needless to say this game is going places.

Somebody play this already!

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Chopper
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Re: Infinifactory

Post by Chopper » November 27th, 2018, 4:44 pm

I keep forgetting about it but intend to play it someday; sounds great.

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by Simonsloth » November 28th, 2018, 9:41 am

Chopper wrote:
November 27th, 2018, 4:44 pm
I keep forgetting about it but intend to play it someday; sounds great.
Yeah me too the enthusiasm has put it on my wishlist.

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by Chopper » June 22nd, 2019, 11:55 am

This is a lot of fun but my imagination is failing me often. I am basically using long belts and spacers to achieve my ends

Image

I looked up a puzzle last night after I'd done it and was shocked to see how he was dividing his blocks at the start into groups of two and three - I was just firing the blocks that didn't match over the edge :lol:

It elevates itself from a normal puzzle game for me because I feel like there's a tangible end goal and I'm building something, no matter how basic - not just 'Puzzle Solved! Next..'.

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by KSubzero1000 » June 22nd, 2019, 12:08 pm

Chopper wrote:
June 22nd, 2019, 11:55 am
This is a lot of fun but my imagination is failing me often. I am basically using long belts and spacers to achieve my ends
That's to be expected and I was thinking exactly the same thing at first. The game really comes into its own when optimizing puzzles, not merely "solving" them. Once you become more accustomed to the intricacies of the game's mechanics, you'll be looking back on your initial solutions in utter disdain. Mark my words, you'll soon be surprised by your own ingenuity.

Chopper wrote:
June 22nd, 2019, 11:55 am
I looked up a puzzle last night after I'd done it and was shocked to see how he was dividing his blocks at the start into groups of two and three - I was just firing the blocks that didn't match over the edge :lol:
I know, right! Looking up videos post-solution inevitably turns into "Wait a minute, THAT's an option??" :lol:

You can sorta get away with wasting materials at first, but later puzzles are carefully constructed around the exact quantity of inputs.

Chopper wrote:
June 22nd, 2019, 11:55 am
It elevates itself from a normal puzzle game for me because I feel like there's a tangible end goal and I'm building something, no matter how basic - not just 'Puzzle Solved! Next..'.
Just what I wanted to hear! :heart:

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by Chopper » June 22nd, 2019, 5:25 pm

KSubzero1000 wrote:
June 22nd, 2019, 12:08 pm
That's to be expected and I was thinking exactly the same thing at first. The game really comes into its own when optimizing puzzles, not merely "solving" them. Once you become more accustomed to the intricacies of the game's mechanics, you'll be looking back on your initial solutions in utter disdain. Mark my words, you'll soon be surprised by your own ingenuity.
I was looking at some of the achievements on the early levels, which were about optimisation, but when I went back to try them out, I still had all my unlocks (rather than just the one block type I started that level with, for example). I was wondering if these achievements were designed to be doable straight out of the gate, or if you were supposed to go back to them with a full arsenal? I guess it doesn't really matter.

Not sure I will optimise much myself, I'm feeling sated just getting out of the level. A really annoying one at the moment where I can't get the timing right for the final block :x

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by KSubzero1000 » June 22nd, 2019, 6:25 pm

Chopper wrote:
June 22nd, 2019, 5:25 pm
I was looking at some of the achievements on the early levels, which were about optimisation, but when I went back to try them out, I still had all my unlocks (rather than just the one block type I started that level with, for example). I was wondering if these achievements were designed to be doable straight out of the gate, or if you were supposed to go back to them with a full arsenal?
I grabbed almost all of the trophies as soon as possible, so I think they're all feasible straight out of the gate. Some will be easier than others though, and they're obviously much easier to do with all the late game building blocks.

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by Alex79uk » June 23rd, 2019, 1:04 am

Have either of you played Human Resource Machine? I think you might like it. I really enjoyed it, and it really does tax your brain. But it has all that going back and optimising side of things you seem to be getting out of this game.

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Chopper
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Re: Infinifactory

Post by Chopper » June 23rd, 2019, 7:32 am

No, haven’t played it, though I enjoyed their game about burning stuff, which was very relaxing. I’ll keep an eye out for HRM, cheers.

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by KSubzero1000 » July 3rd, 2019, 6:40 pm

I saw the credits roll on Opus Magnum earlier today. I had a good time with it, although I lament what I perceive to be a lack of complexity to the vast majority of the puzzles. Oftentimes the solution would reveal itself to me within a few seconds of opening a new one, which made the rest of the construction process feel laborious as a result. Unfortunately, this game lacks the delightful contrast between feeling completely overwhelmed at first and the heart-pounding satisfaction of finally arriving at a coherent result after hours of fine-tuning. I suppose there is only so much that they could do when designing a pseudo-physics based puzzle game on a 2D plane. Or maybe I've just gotten used to the type of internal logic that these games are built around.

So yeah, Opus Magnum does not quite hit the same heights as Infinifactory for me, but it is more polished, has higher production values and is probably the one I would recommend to new players out of the two since it is definitely more accessible. A really good game all around despite lacking its predecessor's raw impact for me personally. Their early games look a bit too dry for my tastes so I think I'll try Exapunks next.

Thankfully however, Zachtronics kept at least one more trick up their collective sleeve for the endgame. The bonus puzzles severely restrict the player's area of operation which makes them so much more satisfying to navigate and solve. These games really come into their own when they don't just allow the player to brute-force their way through, I think. Can't wait to go back and finish these!
Chopper wrote:
May 26th, 2019, 4:13 pm
I can’t wait till you start posting the gifs
Ask and you shall receive! :P

Here are two examples of the sort of optimization and spatial management that is necessary:

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Image

This is fun.

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by KSubzero1000 » December 15th, 2019, 7:16 pm

"Oh look, it's KSub playing his weird game again. :roll: *click*"


Bought the entire Zachtronics pack again in the recent Steam sale (I'm weak, what can I say?). And despite putting a lot of hours into the other games, it's Infinifactory that has grabbed my attention yet again.

Playing through the campaign one more time, I'm positively surprised by how much I've been enjoying diving into the advanced mid-game levels after spending so much time on the giant end-game ones on PS4 a few months ago. The flexibility and smaller scale of their production units makes it much easier to fine-tune all the little details halfway through without being forced to erase hours of progress.

It's just so incredibly satisfying to carefully design your machine so that all the components end up being precisely where and when they need to with as little downtime as possible. Like clockwork:

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The last one in particular has been an absolute pleasure to optimize as thoroughly as I could. Barely any space left unused. :)

SpaceChem and Opus Magnum are fantastic, but I really, really hope to see Zachtronics make another open ended 3D puzzle game at some point. There is a very specific itch this one scratches for me which can only partially be replicated on a 2D grid. Atavistic nesting instinct, I suppose.


PS: And also, the Steam version has community-built Workshop levels as post-game bonus! :o Christmas has come early this year.

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by Chopper » December 16th, 2019, 11:53 am

I've done the three levels in the gifs so I can tell - very nice solutions!

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Re: Infinifactory

Post by KSubzero1000 » December 16th, 2019, 12:03 pm

Thank you my friend!

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