With an ‘overwhelmingly positive’ 97% Steam rating from 140,000 user reviews, it’s clear there’s a passionate audience for Factorio and its intricate, complex brand of factory automation, and this new tool seems like a very worthwhile addition for its more advanced players. Parametrized Blueprints are a way to quickly build a desired layout repeatedly in the management game, while still maintaining your customization options.
“I’m going to cover a feature I just finished,” Kovařík says in his latest Factorio development blog. “I was thinking about this idea for years already. I always thought the feature was too hardcore to be included, but I learned that it is usually a mistake to underestimate the players, so I gave it a go, and decided to share it right away.”
As an example, he shows a series of train unloading stations being built, with rails, a train stop, and filtered inserters to correctly unload the desired items. “This is nice,” he explains, “but whenever I build the blueprint I need to reconfigure all the filtered inserters for the target item, and also change the name of the stop, and it is tedious.”
Parametrized Blueprints solve this problem by not having a specific item configuration, but instead acting as a generic blueprint that players can determine a series of preset parameters for. These will then be presented for you to fill out with the specifics whenever you choose to build something with that blueprint.
You can even assign certain parameters as dependent on others, meaning you won’t need to implement every single required parameter if some are determined by others. For example, you can auto-assign ingredients of an item to other parameters, or set that a second numerical parameter will always be double the value of the first, meaning you only need to enter the first one when building.
“Factorio has been compared to programming many times,” Kovařík concludes, “and this is just another part of the analogy. I would love to hear your feedback about this feature. Is it too much? Is it understandable? Can you not wait to use it? Let us know on the usual channels.” While I’m far from the best Factorio player out there, I can already think of some great ways to make use of this new option, so I’m curious to discover what others will do with it.
If you’re after more tools to play with, have a look through our pick of the best Factorio mods. We’ve also lined up the best simulation games if you love messing around with intricate systems.
Related Forum: PC Gaming Forum