I mentioned that I’d stumbled upon a game called Shapez over the holiday break. It was my first factory, or automation, game and I really enjoyed it for quite a while. I feel like I’ve played it a ton but Steam says it’s been less than 13 hours. Still, for as much fun as I’ve been having, it might be time to move on.
What I enjoy about the game is figuring out the layouts to make the various required shapes. Building these elaborate series of cutters and painters and mixers and layer-ers is really fun. What I don’t enjoy is then having to duplicate these “machines” over and over in order to generate the numbers of items required. For instance right now I’m on level 17, and I have to deliver 20,000 of the requested shape. I either have to just leave the game running like an ‘idle’ game, or I need to duplicate my assembly line a bunch of times.
I’m currently generating 1 of the required shapes/second, which if my math is right, means the game would have to run for about 5.5 hours to meet my goal.
Here is the machine I have built to make these. I can’t fit the whole thing on one screen. I’ve added arrows pointing to the finish shape rolling off the assembly line.
That’s not even the whole thing, which I have to zoom way out to show:
Now to be fair, this ‘machine’ is wildly unoptimized. Given that I’ve generated about half the required number, I’m going to assume I’ve been playing for a few hours since I built it, and I’ve learned a lot about optimizing machines since then. I could probably at least double the output but still, that’s 2 hours & 45 minutes of running time even if I’m generating 2/second. [Edit: I fired up the game to take some screenshots and in fact did quickly optimize it to 2/second.]
Thing is, now that I’ve gotten a taste of this kind of game, I kind of want to move on and try some others. I don’t really have any issues with Shapez, aside from one.
In a still image you can see that there are 2 similar but different shapes running on these belts. But look at it in motion:
When the game is in motion, my poor old eyes can’t tell these shapes apart, and there is no Pause option. [Even without all the artifacting that snuck into this video.] This wasn’t an issue early on but as I’ve earned upgrades the belt speed has increased considerably to where it is now hard for me to follow what is going on. This probably isn’t an issue for most gamers (who’re generally younger than me) AND there IS a mod that adds a speed control, apparently.
But again, this ‘factory game’ world is like a brand new candy shop and I don’t want to stick to just eating grape lollipops when there are so many other flavors to try. So I think this is the end of my time with Shapez for now. The developer is trying to secure funding for Shapez 2, and if that game becomes a reality I’d definitely be back for it.
It’s really a spiffy little game and well worth playing. It’s $10 on Steam and there’s a free demo.