Big Data and Automation for Cats in Learning Factory Release Date Announcement

It’s not easy to know what a cat wants, primarily because it’s like rolling a die once every thirty seconds.  “I am happy and content” can change to “Why are you touching me!?” with absolutely no warning, and favorite toys are a day-to-day variable.  Just because understanding cats is beyond human knowledge doesn’t mean it’s beyond knowing, though, and that’s where machine learning comes in.  Throw in all the data from a large enough sample-set and something useful is bound to fall out, with the disclaimer that it’s more about the group than the individual.  In Learning Factory you’re an industrious engineer working in an abandoned Martian factory to figure out exactly what it is cats want by manufacturing and selling them a whole range of products, because in the future cats have money.

There’s currently an alpha open to everyone available on Steam and at least in the early sections it focuses more on the automation than the machine learning.  A teleporter brings in an endless stream of cats, all of which want something, and you need to set up the store to get it for them.  The factory is run down and almost completely broken, though, so first you’ll need to clear out the remains of non-functional machinery, scavenge the working bits, and create a tidy little production line.  A bit of exploring turns up the sphinx, which is attached to a laboratory to pump out research.  New automation tools let you more efficiently create cat-pleasing products, but the opening store sells them all for a single coin apiece.  One of the earlier research items is a regular store where you can set the prices, but further down the tech tree are the tools for machine learning with the linear and polynomial regression tools.  (Linear is exactly as it sounds, polynomial charts data on a curve and can be much more accurate for information that isn’t quite so tidy.)  Making things is the bulk of Learning Factory, but there’s a lot of information waiting to be discovered for those curious about the concepts it’s built on.

The Learning Factory alpha may be free to all but that’s about to end in a couple of weeks.  The alpha shuts down on February 4, and then fourteen days later on February 18 it comes back in an Early Access state.  The alpha already has a good amount of gameplay in there so it’s definitely worth taking a few nights to play through, plus if you upload and share with the developers ten minutes of gameplay you get your name in the credits plus a promo cat.  You can never go wrong with a free cat, no matter how difficult it can be to figure out what it wants.