FortressCraft Evolved: Tier 1 Tour

I am continuing to thoroughly enjoy FortressCraft Evolved, an early-access game on Steam.   Just about every week, I wait in anticipation of the stuff that DJ Arcas is putting into the game.  This last time, it was an auto-excavator to automate creating large vertical shafts and a conveyor belt builder. 

The final vision of the game is something where there is a definite resource-gathering, base-building, automating story, combined with a Tower-Defense game as the local Fauna try to dispatch your base (and you).  

I’ve probably worked on 4 or 5 worlds now.  Every time, I learn of something I could do better, and then I have the desire to start over and be more “perfect”.   68 hours into the game now.  And I only just (last game) got down to Tier 2 technology, and there are three Tiers so far that I could play with.

Here’s a tour of my latest world, with my preferred way (so far) of doing things.  This is at Tier 1 level, probably 3-4 hours into the game.

Central Power Hub and Smelter

  • I’ve ended up putting a coal storage hopper under the Central Power Hub (CPH) (the thing with the laser shooting out of it).  The CPH draws coal from it to burn to create energy.
  • I then put a Pyrothermic Generator (PTG) next to the hopper.
  • Both the PTG and the CPH burn coal to generate energy, and charge up the battery (big block with a sphere in it).  It seems like between the two of them, they can generate energy at about 10 units per second?  (I’m averaging more like 7, but I’m not running it at max capacity yet).
  • This provides enough energy to run the smelter (front picture, “insert more ore”), as well as send enough power down the single laser to the rest of the base (only ore extractors right now).
  • The smelter takes in raw ore from the hopper below, and deposits the smelted bars into the hopper on the right (Front view).  If I need to leave for a while, the hopper on the right gets a conveyor leading to another hopper so I can keep collecting while I’m AFK without the system backing up.
  • A single conveyor belt brings the ores in.   This is enough for 4 types of ore, at the first upgraded level of drill motor (which means it generates 4 ore every N seconds instead of 2).  
    • At first, I though “meh, why build an upgraded drill motor when I can just build a 2nd extractor for cheaper”.  But, when I got to the 4x and 8x drill motors, I understood the wisdom of investing early.

Vertical Access Shaft

The Roof
Looking Down
Looking Up
Important Floor (Looking down, mid-fall)
  • My first worlds were wide more than they were tall.. at first.  What I found when digging down is, you very often hit an ore vein on the way down.  So now, I pretty much try to dig down rather than out, in search of ore. 
  • I rely on the grappling hook (F) to get me back up.  I use two torches on the roof to signify “which way is out” (its easy to get turned around) (See the “Looking Up” picture in more detail)
  • Now that we have falling damage (just this last week!), I have to build in ledges along the way to jump down to.  Note that once I have a battery at a level, I can jump and take the fall damage (energy loss) and then recharge from the battery.   I always put a torch under the ledge.
  • My guess is in the future, the grappling hook fire distance will be decreased and I’ll have to build room for lifts.
  • I line one side of the shaft with power, and the other side with conveyors.  Right now, I’m only at tier 1, so a single laser is enough going down, and a single conveyor is enough coming up.  So far, the most I’ve needed is 3 lasers and 2 conveyors, but I haven’t gotten very far.
  • Any level always has a “lip” around it, for safe landing purposes.

Floor / Level Exit from Shaft


  • I send power down into a battery, and then send it right back down the shaft again in the same vertical line.
  • Note that if ores block the laser’s path, sometimes I manually dig through the ore, or else I’ll shift the shaft to the left or right to accommodate. 
  • At higher power levels, I set up the lasers next to each other, and likewise a receiving bank of batteries.  Because the batteries share with each other, it evens out the power flow at that level.
  • I try to dig my conveyors one deep from the floor so I can walk over them with impunity.   I have to route them to the other side of the vertical shaft to keep them out of the way of the lasers.
  • I started to build lasers so that they were above my height, however, I’ve given up on that now.  Its just easier at ground height.

Coal Generation and PTG’s


  • I’ve found that for up to 5-6 PTG’s, I can have a single extractor generating coal onto a conveyor belt that then leads to the PTG’s. 
  • Long before I get to my 2nd or 3rd PTG, the coal generation has exceeded storage space and there’s plenty of coal for all the PTG’s.
  • It takes about 3 PTG’s to fuel the max capacity of 2 unaltered T1 lasers. (30 vs 32).   Until you build a second smelter, or an autoexcavator, you don’t even approach the halfway point of a single laser.
  • In this case, rather than send power to the coal extractor via laser, I just added a PTG right there.  This was the second vein of coal (having exhausted the 10-coal courtesy seam that the easy level gives you), and it was only 13-15 conveyors away from the base.


That’s all I have time to share at the moment.

I wanted to make an actual log of the first few hours of gameplay – like “what task was I trying to achieve” and how quickly I could achieve it – however, I have run out of time, so that level of documentation will have to wait.  What I can say is that the tasks changed very quickly, every 5-10 minutes.  Besides, this is version 1.14e, which is far from the finished version, so the task list will likely change a lot in the future.

I am still super-excited about this game, and I eagerly await the next drop (bombs!!!??) and the eventual mayhem when mobs become antagonistic.  (I hate camo-spiders already.  They scare the goobers out of me. sneaking like that.  Worse than creepers)

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