A Weird Imagination

Devlog: Pacifist Factorio mod PRs (3 of 3): garbage collection

The problem#

Continuing from the past two weeks, in my work on the Pacifist Factorio mod, I noticed there were rich text icons for military-related entities that I thought the mod had removed from the game. By "rich text icons", I'm referring to the dialog that some text boxes in the game (e.g. for naming a train stop) have a button to bring up which shows icons that can be inserted into the text box which include all of the items in the game along with a few other things. In that dialog, there were icons for things like biter corpses despite biters having been removed from the game.

The solution#

This PR, which is included in the latest version of Pacifist, hides all of the icons related only to items that have been removed or hidden by Pacifist.

The details#

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Devlog: Pacifist Factorio mod PRs (2 of 3): butter slots, not gun slots

The problem#

Continuing from last week, in my work on the Pacifist Factorio mod, I wanted to remove the character's gun slots. They are always visible in the bottom-left of the screen with gun and ammo icons, making it clear there's an expectation of weapons.

The solution#

This PR, which is included in the latest version of Pacifist, replaces the icon on the slots and rewords some of the text shown in the game about them.

The details#

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Devlog: Pacifist Factorio mod PRs (1 of 3): strings, strings, strings

The problem#

I wanted to introduce Factorio to some younger cousins but didn't think the military aspects of the game would be appropriate for them, both because their parents would rather they not be playing violent video games and it's simply an additional distraction and added complexity in a game that's already fairly involved, especially for a child.

Due to Factorio's active modding community, often if you can think of a mod you want, someone else has already thought of it and implemented it. And it turned out I'm not the first person to a less violent Factorio: Pacifist already existed and did most of what I wanted. Like many Factorio mods, it's open-source and has a GitHub page. The developer was very friendly and helpful, so I was able to contribute changes get them into the next release of the mod.

My contributions weren't fixing bugs in the mod as much as nudging its goals in a slightly different direction: it was already removing the military aspect from the gameplay, but I also wanted to remove hints of it from the UI as much as possible.

The solution#

Play Factorio with Pacifist, which now includes my changes. I recommend also including my mod BackpackRename. Additionally, I found the StartAlt and Attention Indicator mods good for playing with new players.

The details#

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A newbie's introduction to Factorio modding

Introduction#

Factorio is a sandbox automation and logistics game notable for, among other things, very good support for mods. The developers often go out of their way to support features and fix bugs that only affect mods.

I've only just started to dip my toes in the world of Factorio modding, so I'm definitely no authority on the topic. But this post will be about things that weren't obvious to me starting out.

Resources#

As I said, modding is very well supported, which includes comprehensive documentation and tutorials. One detail I'd call out is that I recommend installing FMTK, which provides IDE tooling for writing Factorio mods, including a VS Code extension (don't worry, there's a Vim mode for VS Code). Also you will probably spend a lot of time looking at the log file. Additionally, you can find lots of examples by looking at the many existing mods; a lot them have links to source code repositories from their mod pages, but even if they don't, you can just download them and unzip them.

If you have a question that can't be answered by those resources or a web search, you can ask for help on the modding forum or the #modding-help channel of the official Factorio Discord.

Other tips#

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