Free from Epic – Automachef

While I’ve largely been ignoring Epic’s free games for a while, I figured I would take a break from my usual stuff today to try the latest one. At a glance it reminds me a lot of other logistics games that I’ve played such as Satisfactory and Mindustry, but with a slightly more culinary direction. I didn’t play it all that long, but it was a pleasant enough experience.

The game is broken down into a series of levels in a somewhat tree-like structure. It requires you to complete the previous ones first, and is more of a linear progression with a small occasional side tree based around a specific theme. I did the tutorial and about the first three or four levels in the main sequence.

Each level is effectively set up as two stages. A placement/setup phase and a run cycle where it actually executes what you’ve set up as customer orders come in. Most of my time was spent in the setup phase, especially since you can fast-forward the execution phase.

The tutorials themselves are fairly direct, requiring you to place machines in very specific locations and orientations. I suppose they were more interested in demonstrating how to do something instead of allowing you the freedom to play around.

While the mechanics of the machines themselves are fairly well explained, they don’t directly address some of the slightly more subtle aspects of efficiency. Yeah, they show you how to automatically toggle equipment on and off the order processor, but not how to adjust the transfer arms or machinery directions that are needed for some of the more compact areas. This was more of a trial and error process of wondering why something wasn’t getting moved or picked up.

There are also a lot of factors I didn’t run into, but are mentioned on some pieces of equipment, such as spoilage. Perhaps the most complicated thing I did was operating a single grill with three different items passing through it.

So far, the actual placement of machines seems fairly straightforward. With what I have access to there’s only so many layouts I can get away with. My primary strategy revolved around looking for ways to minimize the amount of conveyor being used to create as compact a design as possible. After that, I buy as many order computers as I can and try to keep equipment shut off when it’s not needed. It’s worked pretty well insofar as I’ve played.

The other purpose of these order processors is to limit how many ingredients you spit out. This way you only produce the items you need as dishes are ordered. This limits the “ingredients used” metric that each level has tied to it, but presumably also saves on power as well.

I can see where some of these could get quite complicated. Hopefully they eventually add some better logic processing as well, though I don’t know if I’ll end up getting that far into it. Toward the end of my play session, I was getting into territory where my efficiency was starting to drop. I might could deal with this by changing the speed of the final assembly machines, making the fast recipes slower to save power and speeding up the complicated ones to get them out the door.

Not a bad game. Very different from the more real-time type of logistics I’m used to, but very similar in nature. If you like Satisfactory or Factorio you’d probably enjoy this too, at least a little bit.

Y’all take care. Remember to turn the grill off when you’re not using it. Can’t be having an inefficient exploitation of humans.


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