Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

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

Postby madpav3l » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:35 pm

Norbert welcome to the team. I look forward to your work the UI needs some love!
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Demongornot » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:56 pm

I see a lot of reasons to not sharing some blueprints, it would be great if we could simply disable sharing with some blueprints.
In a PVP game it would actually be negative to have shared blueprints, both stored and local.
There is tons of idea I would like to test without having people looking at them but still want to use them between several saves.
Sharing them in an active way is a good idea, but forcing people to share them can cause tons of issues, including the fact that rather than creating their own things, people will just open the library and copy what other players do.
Some might love automation so much that when they get their first robot they only build using blueprint, but if everyone start downloading those blueprints, the game will quickly fade, people will become too lazy to create new things and the interest on the game will drop since they will only do copy and paste...
Anyway for me this is a gamebreaker big enough that if this is implemented I won't use the Multiplayer.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby MeduSalem » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:09 pm

Demongornot wrote:Some might love automation so much that when they get their first robot they only build using blueprint, but if everyone start downloading those blueprints, the game will quickly fade, people will become too lazy to create new things and the interest on the game will drop since they will only do copy and paste...


That happened over the course of the year anyways... even without Blueprint sharing. If you look into the "Show your Creations" forum then you'll notice that people showing off new designs and stuff has become quite rare recently.

Everyone is just sharing their beaconized PM3+SM3 designs, which are all rather the same because of how there's not really much you can do to improve that design due to space restrictions. And you have to do the beacon stuff with PM3+SM3 because otherwise the resource consumption for the 1 Rocket/minute challenges etc would be ridiculous. There's not really any other challenge/goal there that would motivate people to play Vanilla 10 times over.

So if you ask me the gameplay of Vanilla Factorio topped off almost a year ago when they made the "initial release" on Steam. Ever since nothing really important for prolonging the gameplay of Vanilla Factorio has been added to the game. Just minor improvements here and there besides the obvious bug fixing. I'm not saying that it is a bad thing, the game was in need of some polishing too.

Most people went on to mods already... and most of the larger mods are so ridiculously complex that sharing blueprints almost doesn't help playing them anyways. I guess that's why they are called the "Big mess mods".

So bottom line... if you are looking into fresh and long gameplay of Factorio then you are about 3-4 years too late... because most people sucked vanilla dry during the development already (which kinda always happens with Alpha Access games). And once the game hits the 1.0 release with 0.16 next year all that's going to be left to be played is mods. So most people want their blueprint sharing because they are already bored with setting up the same basic stuff over and over again, which is initially fun, but not when you do it for the 10th time already.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Laggy » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:32 pm

This wasn't a completely trivial task (as if anything ever is): When copying a blueprint out of the library into your inventory, it might be necessary to actually download the blueprint from the player who owns the blueprint – and that download can take some time. Our hope is that for most blueprints, the download time won't be much, so the download will be able to complete by the time the user moves the icon over its destination. For big blueprints, however, this might be a problem. This problem is currently left unsolved – the library is very much a work in progress at the current time – but it's likely that we'll either display a progress bar in some corner of the screen, or we'll allow the user to drop the item, but grey it out and display a progress bar over it.


Why not do what mods like Blueprint String do and just hash the blueprint into a string for sending it, then un-hash it whenever you have it locally? Reduces the download the cost of the hashing algorithm, but I can't imagine it would be that much of an impact.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby hoho » Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:45 pm

An absolutely CRUCIAL thing I'm not seeing in the blueprint interface is being able to search for blueprints.

Either by name or searching blueprints containing entities named as the search keyword (toggleable).

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

Naamloos.png

and how do you expect to fit 400 tabs on there?

I'm fairly certain that tabs would fit much better than just listing them under each other. Horizontal scrolling can be implemented. When everyone has dozens of blueprints, it's WAY better than having them all on same page.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Wiking » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:03 pm

hoho wrote:I'm fairly certain that tabs would fit much better than just listing them under each other. Horizontal scrolling can be implemented. When everyone has dozens of blueprints, it's WAY better than having them all on same page.


+1
It has to be either tabs or a dropdown menu for selection.
Listing them one under another is crazy, if you have 100s of players passing though a server each with dozens (at minimum) of blueprints, scrolling down through that is pointless.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby aober93 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:16 pm

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


I guess this is going to be massive, for some people. And more than right now, because the limit of carrying books in your limited inventory is gone. Gone is that blueprints are dying with your old savegames. They just need to make the GUI the primary blueprint library and userfriendly. Some players may have hundreds or a thousand? Well i have 100 (4 books) at my current game and thats very limiting and only because the handling of so many is bullshit. It becomes increasinly hard to differentiate. And then 300 of those players with 1000 blueprints at once at a multiplayer game o.O . Bingo you can almost count the million blueprints. At least that is how i would design the UI with so many in mind.

The design example has what, 11 Blueprints? rofl
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby y.petremann » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:50 pm

My idea of shared blueprint window would be like a dual panel file manager, you can show the same thing or you can navigate through categories.

By default Left would be used for server-side blueprint, right for client-side blueprint.

The tree would follow this model :
  • -Server (hard-coded folder for server)
    • #Folder 1 (these folder are created by admin and only them can manage their contents)
    • #Folder 2
    • /Folder 1 (these folder are created by admin but can be managed by any user)
    • /Folder 2
    • ~Player 1 (these folders contain the merged contents of this user Public and World Shared folders, they are automaticly managed, the actual should see himself to have a view of what he share.)
    • ~Player 2
  • -Client (hard-coded folder for server)
    • -Workshop (this folder would contains workshop blueprints if implemented)
    • *Public 1 (this folder is always publicly available for any server)
    • *Public 2
    • +World Share 1 (this folder is only available on the actual server)
    • +World Share 2
    • /Folder 1 (these folders are global for client, not viewable publicly viewable)
    • /Folder 2
    • |Folder 1 (these folders are bound to this world and not publicly viewable, it permit to keep blueprint organized in category)
    • |Folder 2

A view would work like a treeview. you would have access to an adress bar on top of the view.
Any blueprint could be moved from any folder to any other, same for folders, if a folder is moved to a incompatible place, it would do some action and ask for some options :

Moving a server-side folder to client-side would ask for automatic synchronisation, meaning it would aquire the ! prefix in addition to the actual one, automatic synchronisation would synchronize the folder anytime the original folder is modified (check by timestamp), this permit to keep friend blueprint anytime, anywhere.

Moving a workshop blueprint or folder would ask for automatic synchronisation, if so ask if you want to hide it in workshop folder

Moving a client-side blueprint or folder to server-side would ask for automatic upload if modified, additionnaly, this would ask without disturbing the admins to accept the upload, only one upload in queue would be accepted per user,

Basicaly you would access to an address bar for each pane, so you could have a precise view,
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby tamanous » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:26 pm

a) Welcome Norbert!
b) I would like to have the possibility to zoom ( and move shown zoom-in ) the blueprint preview. It happens quite often that i just want to change only some parts on a 2k+ items blueprint. Right-clicking them with the given preview becomes close to impossible at some point.
c) storing, handling and editing blueprints is a complex task. the reduction to a small interface might not be the best choice giving this circumstances.
d) I know there are mods for rotating, flipping, copying etc., but I would like to have this in vanilla.
e) I'd prefer tabs over dropdown, though I'm pretty sure they will become somewhat messy in massive multiplayer. Isgars posted solution would probably do the trick.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby DasMonzta » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:32 pm

I really don't get it. Did you ever read just one negative steam review that told the GUI design or the blue prints were bad?
I wish, you would hire someone for late game content. New enemies, maybe bosses, new items, new tech, stuff to find, an interesting world, story or tasks.
Maybe sell it as dlc, or factorio 2 or whatever. I'd give you 50$ for new content, but i do not need blueprint sorting at all.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Brambor » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:54 pm

What the hell is that green shi...
oh!... Yeah!... Great work!... Don't release before Albert get's back!... Don't forget him!
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Dark_Lightning » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:07 pm

Hurray for GUI improvements!
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby sparr » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:15 pm

blueprint sharing needs to be optional. There are PVP servers, and having well designed blueprints is an advantage.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby isgar » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:23 pm

aober93 wrote:Personally i would like to see the new blueprint GUI the only place to keep blueprints entirely.


I completely agree. The blueprint items always looked out of place and should be removed as soon as this alternative and hopefully superior way becomes available. That blueprints take the same space as fully sized buildings and tons of raw material was always irritating and annoying. I dont know if it was a design decision to limit blueprint usage, but it felt artificial and wrong.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby golfmiketango » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:47 pm

Truth be told the following comment is OT, but here goes anyhow:

While you're at it, can you please see about fixing the positioning of inserter and mining drill arrows in the blueprint previews?

tia, looks to me like you're on the path to factorie!
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby golfmiketango » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:57 pm

One other on-topic comment: the instant I got my hands on Blueprint Books -- or for that matter Foreman -- it immediately became apparent that what I really wanted was many named blueprint books, so that I could organize them into some kind of hierarchy (even if only with a maxdepth of 2). If this could be addressed in the library level, then the need to carry around a bunch of blueprint books (so they don't get mixed up or auto-lost) could be more or less eliminated while preserving the existing implementation of blueprint books. I guess there's no bottom -- the easier it gets to organize and categorize blueprints the more ways I will probably be emboldened to wish for something just slightly more powerful -- but I figured it's worth sharing anyhow.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Weresmilodon » Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:25 am

There are many suggestions for blueprints already, so i won't talk about that. I have a feeling that i'll still be using Foreman anyway, just because of added functionality. Same as Autotrash. we'll see.

Regarding UI in general, good. It needs some attention. Most of it is functional, and us regular players are used to it, but it could use some more user-friendliness.

One big ease of use improvement i would like to see, is a clear view of production over time, right there on the tooltips of the machines. Something that takes into account the time needed by items, the crafting speed of machines, modules, and anything else that affects it, and outputs it as, say, items per minute. Shouldn't need much space, just an icon and number in one of the corners. Upper right next to the name, maybe?

I see it all the time, even among player who have spent thousands of hours playing. They forget, or miscalculate. New players usually don't know, and even advanced players who know about the numbers and ratios usually don't care. It's currently just so user-unfriendly. I hope this will change.

Welcome to the Team. You'll have some work ahead of you... ;)
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Recon777 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:43 am

There was no mention of how modded items will be handled in the new blueprint system. If you run mods (like Bob's for example), you have a LOT of custom items. What happens if you switch to Vanilla? Do your Bob's blueprints clutter up the interface? Do modded and vanilla blueprints share the same space? That would be awkward, and clumsy. Do only compatible blueprints show up in the UI? And what about the final storage place for user blueprints? Are they stored on the cloud, connected to the user's account or are they stored locally? Remember that many of us run multiple installs of the game depending on the modded setup. I have a vanilla install, a modded install, and a modded with Bob's install. If I make a blueprint in one of these installs, is it limited to just that install? Or is it a part of my Factorio account and visible anywhere as long as I'm logged in?
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby Snake_ » Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:51 am

Pls make blueprint mirroring possible.
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Re: Friday Facts #170 - Blueprint library GUI design and redesign

Postby DeathMers » Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:53 pm

Snake_ wrote:Pls make blueprint mirroring possible.

The best idea of all. It is so annoying doing blueprint again, just because it is the same like one you already have, but in mirror position.
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