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It's a factory with a workbench inside, and that's when I discovered that this game still has large set locations for building! I paid 36 bottlecaps to take control of the workshop (the game warned me people could attack and take it from me, although this didn't happen in the hours I played for). That gave me a huge area to build in (there is more land to the left of that image with several farm buildings too), unlocked some new things for me to build, and there was a load of stuff already there that I could store or scrap (I'm genuinely not sure if this was a bug from the last person who owned it).
There are open pits for various resources, and you can building extractors that run on a semi-substantial 10 power to automatically mine them over time. At the factory a junk extractor and a concrete extractor were already set up and powered. I stored away the concrete extractor and used its generators to set up an aluminium extractor instead as I needed some for building, and then I set about making the place my own.
On taking ownership of the workbench I had been given the objective of powering up the factory food processor. Unfortunately this required 50 power, 10 of which it already had from a grid hookup on the wall, and I only had 4 medium generators running the extractors which if reused would give me another 20 (at 5 power each). I had the materials to build one more medium generator, but that still left me 5 power short.
So I went adventuring! Across the dried up river opposite the factory was a power substation infested with Scorched. Interestingly this also had a grid switch which was unpowered, but the game told me restoring Poseidon energy would increase its power. There seems to be some kind of map-spanning power grid mechanic, and I think if I could power up the grid the factory would get more power and all of my generators would be unnecessary. I didn't get to investigate that further yet though!
Returning to the factory the junk extractor had turned me up some gears, which are what I needed to build the final generator. At this point I had took down the aluminium extractor and used its generators to start running a small water purifier, which was a great if slow source of purified water. But now I had enough generators to run the factory itself, so I took it all down and hooked everything up to the factory machinery... and it started up! From a terminal I could choose what pre-war foodstuff to produce, and by the time I turned the game off last night I had created 15 packs of instamash, 12 packs of sugarbombs, and a couple of packs of blanco mac and cheese. All rad-free highly useful food resources!
While the machine was chugging away turning out foodstuff I spent more time shoring up the factory's defences. Most importantly I discovered the door locking mechanic, which lets you use resources to lock doors (obviously). The more resources, the better strength lock - and higher lock picking skill needed to get through by anyone other than myself. It's a very cool addition for base defence.
Before going to bed I decided the factory was so useful that I'd want to be in a good position to get it back, so I moved my camp from the bridge at Flatwoods to the hillside overlooking the factory. I made it bigger in the process too:
In that first image you can see both the factory and the power substation across the dried up river in the background.
So yes, played for hours last night, did one event quest and explored exactly 3 new areas