The video game Factorio is a complex game with as many ways to play as there are players. The unofficial Factorio Factions project wanted to really showcase this in a way that fans could relate their play-style to. The three factions were derived from the different styles of factories: those with automated bots, networks of conveyor belts, and rail lines for trains to carry the factory’s goods.
A Factory at War
The project needed to clearly promote the different factories and their unique properties. Without this, the project’s purpose – demonstrating different ways to enjoy the game – would fail to engage viewers.
During the planning stages of the design, a debate over “the most efficient factory” created a mock favoritism for either bots or belts. This would ultimately create the platform for the Factorio Factions – stepping up the drama. Applying different attitudes to each faction, and playing on the whole debate over which was most efficient, created the memorable trio that are the Bot Uprising, Belt Rebellion, and Train Crusaders.
The final design was extremely well received – ranking among the top 15 posts on the Factorio subreddit at the time with 2.9k upvotes, and reaching over 16k views in my public gallery to date. The community not only brainstormed other slogans for propaganda, but also demanded additional versions. A wide selection of wallpapers was released as a result. Future additions were planned, but, as discussion of related game changes became heated, they were cancelled to avoid promoting community negativity.
Factorio Haunts My Dreams
At the end of 2017 Steam, Valve’s digital distribution platform, created a community vote for a selection of awards. Factorio was nominated for the “Haunts My Dreams” category for its addictive nature plus the fact that many fans even dream about the game. The Factorio Haunts My Dream project was thought up as a fan-made unofficial promotional poster.
Parts of a Bigger Machine
Factorio is a complex game with many small parts strengthening the core gameplay. The concept of having Factorio on your mind could mean one of a million different things for different individuals. Without being too complex, the design aspired to relate to all players and not simply those playing a certain way.
The common threads among all players were research production – technological advances derived from coloured vials – and basic parts that are in constant demand. Electronics chips were a notable and pivotal part for all factories, and so the brain is represented as one but rotated to appear as a heart.
One must enjoy Factorio to have it on their mind, after all.
The final poster focused on what it means to have Factorio on your mind: constant planning for the basic supplies your factory needs. It also outlined the day on which users could vote for the “Haunts My Dreams” award. While the competition proved stronger in the end, the design was received well with over 300 upvotes, 28 comments, and over 300 views in my public gallery.