Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

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Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Klonan » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:37 pm

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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Ishbo » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:45 pm

This looks great and I have only one question:
When will 0.15 be ready ?
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby hoho » Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:47 pm

When a new player joins an MP game, they can be directed to grab blueprints from this section, rather than being told to hunt them from various other players (who may not even be on at the time!).

How much effort would it be and would it make sense to add a special "chest" where one can store their blueprints so that anyone can access them in MP even if the owner of those blueprints aren't online?

Of course, that would mean when someone adds puts down their "blueprint chest", all the blueprint data has to be sent to the server and that could make it possible to grief people by having huge libraries of huge blueprints.


"Ready" is probably not what you want to know, Ishobo. First launch was said to be in first quarter of next year. My guess would be around February. It'll probably take months to go from unstable to stable from there.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby tk0421 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:02 pm

since i dont use mods any more, one of the modded features i miss most is blueprint flipping. would LOVE to see a version of that integrated.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby g1franc » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:04 pm

Saving blueprint to disk to have them cross saved is WONDERFUL !

Sharing to other player is good also. Any news regarding about robot not providing (empty blueprint) through logistic network ?
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Wiking » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:07 pm

I'm still not completely convinced that this is the correct place for Game Blueprints to be. Game Blueprints are somewhat special in that they are tied to a specific save, and in this sense, they don't belong to the left panel. However, introducing a third panel would make the window too wide in my opinion. The interface is still very much work in progress, though, and perhaps we'll figure out an even better way to do it soon.


My suggestion would be:
Image

LEFT SIDE - Game Blueprints (with dropdown menu that lists players and lets you access theirs)
RIGHT SIDE - My Blueprints
Lets be honest big games will have 10s if not 100s of blueprints in the game section, and most people only care about personal blueprints and that current game/world blueprints.
Seeing other player blueprints should be optional (through dropdown menu or similar) and only done when needed (aka when that player tells you to check it out and for some reason doesnt want to simply place it in the main game blueprint storage.)
Last edited by Wiking on Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby SomeDuder » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:18 pm

Welp, prepare for a flood of posts about how gigantically wrong you are about everything and anything regarding the new UI or blueprint book.

But no, seriously, it's about time this got some love. And get him to look at the website too, while he's still around - gray cursor on a gray textbox and a dark grey background is... well, it's kinda like using the universal "Refresh" icon as a renaming-button :?
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Marconos » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:24 pm

I love the concept. The poster above, Wiking , has the right idea to switch between blueprint sets. Select a player / game to see the current sets. Then you also have your personal library.

Don't try to show too much as that can get you in trouble. I'm sure you guys will figure it out. Really looking forward to trying out all the new features that are coming down the pipe!!
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby aober93 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:30 pm

Yep GUi is difficult, and one of the errors seem to be to care last minute. Most mechanics are done, and the only thing you can do is rearrange GUI elements. But prepare once the GUI is worked on, that new ideas evolve and become necessary.

Personally i would like to see the new blueprint GUI the only place to keep blueprints entirely. Putting them in your inventory is just another layer ,and pretty redundant. And not really user friendly, because of the sorting you got to do. Because of the amount of blueprints, and expect a few dozen to hundreds, you will need to sort blueprints in the new GUI. And on top of that you sort them in your inventory into books. And this completely independent from each other this amounts to a lot of unnecessary work.

Also that both systems exists for the sole idea that your inventory is legacy and "local" meaning only this game, and the new GUI is global and multiplayer. They do not share identical blueprints, but the system is designed to share blueprints with the drag&drop. But anything else is working towards seperation again. You improve a row of blueprints in your current game and you essentially have 1 outdated library. You will eventually want to update the global blueprints with some, but since they share the name but no like version number this becomes rediculous.

My idea for a blueprint GUI was to have sections that mimic the books. Helps sorting. Any other players blueprints are in their own "books" So the GUI is essentially a list of books, yours and the other players books. For the sake of having a "current game" list of blueprints, make another special "book" or even "books" i think the latter would make more sense, and color it nicely whatever.

And mind you that with the current books you can shuffle blueprints with your mousewheel. This system is so helpful dont forget that.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby ili » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:33 pm

tk0421 wrote:since i dont use mods any more, one of the modded features i miss most is blueprint flipping. would LOVE to see a version of that integrated.

Looks awesome!
+1 for Mirror button in the new blueprint screen
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby MrDoomah » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:43 pm

Why not use different tabs for the players?

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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby kinnom » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:57 pm

MrDoomah wrote:Why not use different tabs for the players?

Naamloos.png

and how do you expect to fit 400 tabs on there?
no yes yes no yes no yes yes
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby DragonMudd » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:59 pm

1) Will there still be a way to shift-scrollwheel through your library of blueprints? That feature is indispensable to me.

2) Any chance of adding an additional tickbox to the blueprint to allow copying electrical connections to make them work like color wire connections? I know in the past it's been tabled, but trying to make a blueprint where the electrical separations matter (for things like power switches and conditions) is still impossible, and it's so obnoxious designing a beautiful layout that I have to then manually disconnect and reconnect everything for anyway. I feel like power control will become even more desirable once we have nuclear power (and thus might want to conserve fuel at times).
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby DragonMudd » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:01 pm

In 0.14, there is an icon next to the “Blueprint” title that looks like a refresh button. That's how you rename it. Maybe it should not have taken a UI designer to tell us that that was the wrong icon for the task, but at least someone finally told us.


While we're on that, the "refresh" icon in the train window that you use to toggle between views should also not be a refresh button. Perhaps a magnifying glass?
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Kazaanh » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:20 pm

What about official in-game browser for player-sharing-made blueprints? Abillity to upload/download blueprints made by others.

Or website addon for it?
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby isgar » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:28 pm

MrDoomah wrote:Why not use different tabs for the players?


While we are at it, lets add books as suggested by @aober93

blueprint_accordion.jpg
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Having them as an accordion makes it easy to use multiple books at the same time. (Ok, this has nothing to do with books anymore...)
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Linosaurus » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:29 pm

Blueprint library will be awesome.

My two cents.
I'd like the right half to be player and game specific so I can keep things here without sharing with others or my other saves. This could actually just be a huge inventory window, where you can put blueprint *items* and books, but nothing else.

On the left side there would be all the various libraries.
  • My library (Should be able to fill all the space for a solo player)
  • Game-specific multiplayer persistant shared stash. ("Game Blueprints" in the article)
  • Other players' libraries.

Or maybe right side could be split between:
  • A special inventory window where I can put the (way-too-many) blueprints I have for the current save in neat rows to organize them.
  • My real inventory inventory in case I want to move things back and forth.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby mattj256 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:38 pm

I'm glad to see the blueprint library is getting some love!
Let's start with single-player to keep things simple.

1.
I start with a fresh install of Factorio. Then I create a blueprint in my local inventory. Does it automatically show up as a "game" blueprint? Can I delete it from my inventory and still keep it as a "game" blueprint? In other words, is the "game blueprints" area a view of my inventory or a separate storage area from my inventory?

2.
I change the blueprint to a "game blueprint." Then I delete it from my inventory. What happens?

3.
I copy the blueprint into player storage. Then I start up a new single-player game and transfer the blueprint into my inventory. Does this automatically make it a "game blueprint"?

At this point the blueprint in the "player storage" area is clutter, because I already have access to it in my inventory. It should either not be displayed at all, or there should be an easy way to filter it out.

4.
When I start a new game I want to copy all my shared blueprints into the new game. My first choice is a simple checkbox on the options page for "copy all my shared blueprints into new games". My second choice would be an easy way to do a bulk-copy. Bonus points if you create a "favorite" feature. I don't really want to copy all my blueprints, just my favorites.

5.
For my playstyle. Most frequently used: inventory or game blueprints. Next most frequently used: my shared blueprints. Multiplayer shared are a distant third.
This is how I would design the GUI for single player.
Left column: Game Blueprints.
Right column: My Shared Blueprints.

For multiplayer, in most cases shared blueprints belong in "game blueprints". It should be rare that I would need to get a blueprint from a player but I wouldn't want that blueprint to be a "game blueprint." And if that does come up the other player can drop it in a chest for me.

My most preferred solution would be to make a Blueprint Portal (like the Mod Portal). Or add the blueprint string mod to vanilla and let people use factorioblueprints.com.

My second choice would be that there's no new support for one player to transfer a blueprint to another player. Let them put it in a chest.

My third choice is to add a "multiplayer" tab to the GUI I've described above.

6.
Regarding multiplayer, think about security and griefing. Who gets to add a blueprint to the game blueprints? Who gets to remove a blueprint from the game blueprints?
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby MeduSalem » Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:46 pm

Probably the list of players should be a pull-down menu or like the mod-selection list works by switching between different player's inventories/blueprint books... because if you have a 100 players on the server and they all have shared blueprints then the UI will freak out for sure if you try to fit everything on the left panel.

Also for the reworked Blueprint creation menu... isn't it problematic when the Blueprint actually uses MORE than 4 different components? Will the UI stretch accordingly or only display the 4 most used items in the blueprint?
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Yehn » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:01 pm

I really hope you have given some thought on how this will handle massive blueprint collections.
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