Dyson Sphere Program
Dyson Sphere Program is sold as a game, but for me it is more of a vast engineering project where you begin with a mech, iron ore, copper ore, stone and coal and your job is to build a Dyson Sphere to utilise the energy of the star at the middle of your solar system. Learning to create more and more advanced tools and using each new tool to advance your technology even more until you finally have all the items, tools and skills to achieve your goal.
Your game starts off choosing the seed you want to use, the number of stars and the level of resources available up to infinity where your game can basically run for ever, then your view changes to a space transport carrying your mech to the first planet. The instructor-robot pops up telling you what is happening and what to do. There will also be links to a series of tutorials and a backstory that appear in the top-middle on the right side of the screen giving more information. The transport then lands and your mech stands there on top of it awaiting instructions and your task of creating the Dyson Sphere begins.
First you break up the transport, then the mech needs fuel, so you spend a bit of time upfront mining coal, gradually accumulating more and more, until the fuel chamber (shown when you click on the Mecha Panel) is full and you have some coal sitting in your inventory. Now you can do some research, some of which will need various metals and various objects to process.
The research needs iron and copper at the start, so you send your mech off to mine these. Once you have a decent amount of ore of each metal, click on the Replicator button and select the metal ingot you want to create - you will see a button saying Produce lit up, as well as 2 arrow buttons below that which allow you to decide how many items you want to make each time you press the Produce button. Over time these research requirements get more and more complicated to create and invariably more of each item are needed to go to the next technology level.
Yet another thing to think about in Dyson Sphere Program is the power required to run the various automated mining, smelters, sorters and other bits of equipment. You start with vertical wind turbines and Tesla towers which pass the power on to the devices around them. Each device has a limited range indicated by a circle when you try to place them. As your tech research grows, as with everything else in the Dyson Sphere Program, you will get access to more powerful ways to make your power, including fuel powered generators and solar panels, as well as Accumulators that store power.
As new technology becomes available, the player is able to automate processes, be they metallurgy, delivery or item assembly. The trick lies in planning how the automation and the delivery processes (conveyor belts initially) will be placed. Get it wrong and you end up with a spider's web that a spider would be ashamed to own, but get it right and you will have beautiful symmetry and a successful factory churning away while you watch the Dyson Sphere start to form in all it's glory.
If you are looking for a game designed for those with massive levels of patience, organisational skill, an ability to plan an entire conveyor belt system to form a pyramid of bits and pieces to create one type of item... and then create thousands of that item using automation - plus another series of other parts pyramids for other items - you will love Dyson Sphere Program. The game is in early access on Steam, but is hugely playable, relaxing - and for those who want a game without ravaging hordes attacking your carefully built factory, with no worries about life being threatened by running out of resources - I would definitely suggest giving Dyson Sphere Program a try.