Factory Town finally did achieve its Early-Access-Release and can now reach a huge audience on Steam. While the gameplay reminds me of Factorio or The Settlers, Erik Asmussen, the only developer behind the title, brings his very own style into the title.
It neither plays like Factorio, nor Satisfactory, nor any other similar game. Even though it seems super easy to compare these games, they only have the basics in common: Gather resources, craft items, research, craft better items and repeat. Still, the game is totally different.
At the beginning the player only owns a base, which is the warehouse at the same time. The first production line for planks can be started with some available workers. In order to finally get more workers, to produce more goods, you need housing for your workers. Slowly a village is building up.
The different types of coins are essential to build factories and automation systems. You can earn coins by selling items to your houses, which they are in need. Houses for example need food, clothing, medicine and items from many more categories.
Not only coins will be gathered by selling items: If your houses are very well supplied with items, the happiness of all your workers will increase. This will directly lead to faster working villagers. Then it necessary to sustainably produce these items and bring them to the village via complex conveyor systems.
Base Level 1
At the beginning we cut a few trees. The wood is needed to build houses to hire additional workers. In the upper left corner you can see the numbers for that. At the moment we have 4/4 workers and 0/4 houses. Through each house we can hire two additional workers.
The mined wood is stored by the workers in the base. This currently offers our only storage facility with limited space. To mine raw materials, you first select a worker. Then click with the right mouse button, e.g. on a tree. The worker is now on the direct way to chop the wood. Now right-click to select the building to which the wood is to be brought. In the picture above, the worker brings the wood to the base. There it is stored.
With the wood, I built houses, which increases my maximum number of workers. The houses are placed so that they are not far from cereal fields. This is the simplest resource to sell food to the houses. Four additional workers now supply our houses with wheat. Through the sale you do not only get yellow coins, but also increase the satisfaction of your workers.
Between the buildings I have built pathways on which the workers can run faster. I placed a sawmill close to the base, which is supplied with wood via a slide.
The sawmill needs water to work. It either gets it by building it directly next to a river, or by a worker who draws water at the river and drags it to the sawmill. It is important that the boards produced by the sawmill are brought to the base regularly because only items in the warehouse can be used for building or upgrading.
At the same time, it should be noted that a worker can only pursue one task at a time. This means it is not possible for a worker to first bring wood to the sawmill and then store the finished boards in the base. For this it needs another worker.
At the same time, two workers mine stones from the stone deposits behind the houses. For the first base upgrade, we have all the resources after a short time: yellow coins, stones, boards and a satisfaction of 4.
Base Level 2
Our village with base level 2 is already experiencing a lot of automation. The upgrade allows the construction of important new buildings, such as the food market. While it was previously necessary to supply each house individually with food, the food now only needs to be brought to the food market. From there the items are automatically sold to all houses in the area.
With the upgrade, you can also set up four more houses. In addition, it is possible to improve the houses to level 2 (which could have already been done with base level 1). All it takes is boards and a few coins. With the shortcut "U" the upgrade is done quite fast.
To produce yellow coins faster, I've adjusted the production of food a bit. Instead of wheat, for which we got only one coin per sale, I now make flour in the mill, because that brings already five coins. To decrease walking time of the workers, they can put the wheat on a short chute, which carries it directly into the mill. The finished flour is delivered to the food market by a cart. The cart has the advantage that it can transport up to four items at once. However, it is not possible to mine raw materials with it.
If you hold down "F", you will see all the names of the buildings, as well as the items they produce. The green arrow indicates where the produced items can be picked up.
To upgrade to the base level 3 you need coins, bricks, wooden wheels and a satisfaction level of 8. To make the wheels, all boards are now brought to the new workshop by a cart. At the same time, I have built a new stone production, which transports one half of the stones via a chute to an additional barn. The other half is processed at the stone mason to bricks.
Base Level 3
Due to the base level 3, I could now set up four additional houses and upgrade directly. The grain fields next to the houses are now completely dismantled and so the grain mill was moved to a new location. The most important new building, however, is the General Store. This works much like the Food Market, but instead of food, it just sells goods, such as boards, bricks, clothing and so on.
To make boards even faster, I built a second sawmill and secured the wood supply with a slide over the river. Some of the boards continue to be made into wooden wheels, which we still need for wagons. The remaining boards will be sold to the general store for yellow coins.
Much more interesting are the bricks that we previously made just to upgrade the base. We can sell these to the general store for red coins, which we urgently need for research.
Another new building is the school, where all research of the game is done. To research, the school currently requires only paper and red coins. By placing the school, a new recipe for paper is unlocked in the sawmill. All you need is wood and water, which is supplied here by a well. This is the other way to get water, when it is not possible to build directly next to the river.
In order to move forward with our base, we need only two researches for the time being: Farming and Animal Pasture. Both cost paper, as well as red coins to research.
With farming, we get access to the farm, which can produce grain at a significantly higher speed. At the same time, the farm replants completely degraded fields, so that these fields will regrow again and again. To speed up the growth, I also provide this building with water by a well.
The grain is passed directly for the next step into the grain mill via a chute. There, I have now changed the recipe from flour to animal feed, because we need this for the animal pasture.
The pasture needs water to work. If it is then also supplied with animal feed, the building produces fertilizer and leather. We need leather to reach the next level of the base, while the fertilizer is brought to the farm by a worker. This additionally accelerates the grain growth.
For the level 4 base you need yellow coins, leather, bricks and a satisfaction level of 20. We are supplied with coins, leather and bricks, but as we do not provide any food for the houses at the moment, we do not achieve the satisfaction of 20. Fortunately, there is a small potato field next to our houses, so the satisfaction of 20 is also reached easily. Now we have all the resources we need to upgrade the base to Level 4.