Alt-F4 #35 - Do you even lift bro?  14-05-2021

Geschreven door Romner, Conor_, bewerkt door stringweasel, Nanogamer7, Therenas, Firerazer


In the middle of May, in a very expected fashion, issue #35 of Alt-F4 is here for you to consume through your eyeballs. On offer is a scientific exploration by Romner of why exactly the Factorio engineer is much more of a chad than Minecraft Steve. To round this feast for the senses out, Conor_ then gives us a glimpse into the Hall of Fame mod by stringweasel which is totally not nepotism at all.

The Engineer’s Physics-Defying Strength Romner

Minecraft’s Steve is strong. Lift-billions-of-kilograms-with-no-problems-strong. But that doesn’t even begin to compare to Factorio’s Engineer.

Assuming that no mods are allowed, the Engineer wearing a set of MK2 Power armor has 120 inventory slots, plus 30 logistic trash slots, which is a total of 150 usable slots. The heaviest item in the game per slot is, as far as I know, the nuclear reactor. Each slot can fit ten of them, giving us a total of 1500 reactors. According to this article, modern nuclear reactors use 40 metric tons of steel and 190m³ of concrete per MW. Nuclear reactors in Factorio produce 40MW. Each! Oh, and there’s also the neighbour bonus, which we can account for with an equation (assuming four or more reactors and a $2 \times n$ reactor layout), where $n$ is the number of reactors and $P$ is the base power output of the reactor:

$(n - 4) \cdot P \cdot 4 + 4 \cdot P \cdot 3$

Using this, we get a total of …

$(1500 - 4) \cdot 40 \cdot 4 + 4 \cdot 40 \cdot 3 = 239\ 840\mathrm{MW}$

With the numbers from the earlier article and a quick google search, we can calculate the total mass:

$239\ 840 \cdot 40 = 9\ 593\ 600$ metric tons of steel and $239\ 840 \cdot 190 \cdot 2.4 = 109\ 367\ 040$ metric tons of concrete, equals a total of $9\ 593\ 600 + 109\ 367\ 040 = 118\ 960\ 640$ metric tons, or 118 960 640 000 kilograms.

Now, most people would be satisfied with that number; it is much higher than what Steve can carry. But we can do better. Much better.

Remember ALT-F4 #11, specifically the “Nauvis is a white dwarf” article by pocarski?

In that article, he calculated that the density of Nauvis has to be at least 813 400kg/m³ to keep itself from falling appart. Earth by comparison has a density of 5 515kg/m³, which makes it around 150 times less dense. Assuming then that Nauvis is comparable to Earth in terms of size, it means Nauvis has around 150 times the gravity. Thus, Factorio’s Engineer can carry:

$813\ 400 \div 5\ 515 \cdot 118\ 960\ 640\ 000 \approx 17\ 545\ 346\ 251\ 315\mathrm{kg}$ worth of nuclear reactors.

17 545 346 251 315 kilograms. Seventeen and a half trillion kilograms.

But wait, we aren’t done yet. Pocarski’s equation doesn’t calculate the actual density of a planet, just the lowest plausible density; any lower and the planet would fall apart because the gravity wouldn’t be strong enough to overcome the centrifugal forces. That means that the real density of a planet should be much higher than what pocarski’s equation predicts. Using it on Earth confirms this:

$\frac{3\pi}{G\ \cdot\ 86\ 164^2} \approx 19\mathrm{kg/m^3}$, which is around 290 times less than Earth’s actual density of 5 515kg/m³.

Trying it for Mars gives us a similar result:

$\frac{3\pi}{G\ \cdot\ 88\ 619.616^2} \approx 18\mathrm{kg/m^3}$, which is around 220 times less than Mars’ density of 3 933kg/m³.

Using these, we can assume that an Earth-like planet should have around 200-300 times the density calculated by pocarski’s equation. That means Nauvis’ density is closer to $813\ 400 \cdot 250 = 203\ 350\ 000\mathrm{kg/m^3.}$ Such impossibly strong gravity is probably the reason why neither the Engineer nor the bugs can apparently climb cliffs or swim.

Calculating the total weight with that value gives us:

$203\ 350\ 000 \div 5\ 515 \cdot 118\ 960\ 640\ 000 \approx 4\ 386\ 336\ 562\ 828\ 649\mathrm{kg.}$

4 386 336 562 828 649 kilograms. Almost four and a half quadrillion kilograms.

For comparison, that’s about the total weight of everything ever made by humans, four times. Or, the weight of all living things on the Earth, eight times.

Steve can carry around 5 billion kilograms. That is around 870 000 times less. Using NBT tags though, Steve would be able to lift pretty much the entire universe several times over, but I personally think that using those wouldn’t be fair, considering they can only be used with cheats.

So, is the Engineer stronger than Steve? Maybe. The answer to that question depends entirely on if you think Steve using NBT tags should be allowed or not.

Mod Spotlight: Hall of Fame Conor_

Back in FFF #362, V453000 introduced us to the new main menu for Factorio: real-time simulations of the game running in the background, piggybacking off of the technology for the new and shiny Tips and Tricks GUI. This was a great new feature, allowing for a much more interesting and spidertron-filled welcoming to the game.

Buzz buzz?

Wube, of course, being the godlike fantastic humans they are, made it easy for anyone to create a mod that adds its own main menu simulations. Our very own stringweasel (Editor of the rockstars that write for Alt-F4) took this as a challenge (with a little suggestion from forum user valneq) to continue his ongoing project of diving into the depths of Factorio of old (see Alt-F4’s #6, #9, #11, #13 and #21).

With this historical pedigree as a foundation, the Factorio Hall of Fame mod rose to glory, like a majestic phoenix, as if handed down from the heavens (totally not mixing metaphors there). stringweasel has sought out interesting Factorio maps from the archives of Reddit, the forums and the deep bowels of the internet, providing over 30 different base snapshots for us to enjoy as we load into the game. From speedruns to high SPM monsters, from spaghetti messes to beautifully laid out art pieces, and even a burner inserter masterpiece. Each map is painstakingly shrunk down and adapted from full working bases into small subsections, giving a glimpse into the essence and the character of these creations. I find myself loading up the game and pausing on the main menu for while, admiring a few interesting bases and getting inspired before I dive back into whatever spaghetti nightmare I left behind last session. Below is a small sneak peek into the awesomeness that is Hall of Fame but I recommend installing it for the full, arguably life-changing experience.


As always, we’re looking for people that want to contribute to Alt-F4, be it by submitting an article or by helping with translation. If you have something interesting in mind that you want to share with the community in a polished way, this is the place to do it. If you’re not too sure about it we’ll gladly help by discussing content ideas and structure questions. If that sounds like something that’s up your alley, join the Discord to get started!