Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

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arbarbonif
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by arbarbonif »

If you make the toolbar filter only, add an option for "last obtained thing". That would automatically set the filter to the last thing you created or picked up (so it would kinda work the way we have now). Even better would be to make it so that if you have 5 slots set to "last obtained thing" they show the last 5 things you obtained, sliding down the list each time you get something new.

For ghosts, I would love it if manually placing a ghosted object behaved like a robot placing it as far as combinator/crafting settings goes. Even better if it would connect wires. It would also be great if you could set it up so that if you are manually placing an object that is partially overlapping a ghost of that object it places it directly over the ghost, instead of where your cursor is exactly. So you could setup a standard steel furnace array (with 1 tile gaps between everything) with just a click and drag. It would also be nice if the click and drag of ghosts behaved the same way the the click and drag of physical power poles does (instead of placing them every single tile).

Riph
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by Riph »

I'm generally in favor of those changes listed.

My only issue is that the inventory UI is already taking up a tiny box on my high resolution screen, so the addition of tabs just seems to be further compartmentalizing this tiny box. All that relevant information could be displayed at the same time if you made use of all the tons and tons of screen real-estate you have. 1920x1080 is the standard, and frankly the smallest display any serious gamer will be using. If you made the box bigger to use that space effectively, you wouldn't need tabs.

All other changes sounded great.

Slayn25
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by Slayn25 »

Bi0nicM4n wrote:
BrasilianEngineer wrote:
Slayn25 wrote:Finally it has been mentioned to change hotkeys for your 6th-10th items from shift-1-5 to 6-0. I agree with this change.

Please DONT change the toolbar shortcuts from Shift 1-5 to 6-0. This would be a huge step down in usability because most of us don't have fingers that can reach past 6 or 7 from WASD. On the other hand, making the hotkeys re-bindable, sounds like a great feature for those who want to move their hand all over the keyboard.
Yeah, I fully support. Shift + 1-5 is just SO MUCH MORE comfortable it HAS to be the default. With it, a player won't have to keep repositioning their hand on keyboard all the time, which is really unnerving. I understand new players might be uncomfortable with this at first, as I was in my time. Some of them might rebind them to their liking; but Shift + 1-5 is simply superior to 6-0 in the end.
Currently I use 1-5 & shift 1-5 for my 10 most common items, and usually # and shift-# will be similar items (belt & underground belt, medium pole & large pole).
I like it this way, I guess what got me thinking about adding 6-0 is that while I like modifiers I don't really like toggling and tabbing as it shifts my focus/1 more thing to keep track of.
I don't really care what the default keys are so long as all things are customizable in the options.
I guess I won't get to try this until I get home but now I'm wondering if it's possible to bind my 11-20 items to ctrl+1-5 & alt+1-5.

...and now that I've said I don't like toggling I'm wondering if it'd be better if TAB switched between combat/construction modes. Combat Mode toolbar 1-3 weapons, 4 grenade, 5 fish.

GFrost
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by GFrost »

Overall I like them.
I did have some concern about the active weapon and ammo but that was clarified.

Placing ghost images from the start without blueprint/crafted item or even researched the tech is something I wanted for a long time to plan layouts. so +1 for that.
I have a suggestion here to add to this and like others have mentioned, i like the ability to turn off contruction bots for "planning" purposes so they do not steal the item from your hand or start constructing until the planning is complete. (Maybe even off while in a train).

Example: toggle "deactivate contruction bots" and from when this is pressed, all ghost images placed, either by hand or blueprints will not be built until "Activate construction bots" is enabled again. Not sure how hard/easy this would be to implement. Also not sure how to handle that one i MP, could be a bit tricky, specially with trolls/griefers.

Also in general, it would be nice if you could tell the construction bots to prioritize an specific area, probably with some modified blueprint mechanic, marking all the items to be build first.

A second issue that has bugged me for a while is the white train box/guide for stations and between signals can't be adjusted. (at least I have not found a way).
I would like if there was a setting that let you adjust this.

Example:
How many trains: [2]
Double header: [Yes]
How many cars: [4]

And this would display the train boxes like this [L][L][C][C][C][C][L][L] or something similar. Would be cool if this could be adjusted on the fly/ingame.

Keep up the good work, Factorio is an awsome game.

factoriouzr
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by factoriouzr »

Please also fix the following:

1) factorio game window should remember it's size (we are at version 0.15.x and the thing still starts small and centered) viewtopic.php?f=7&t=35416
2) remember positions of in game windows viewtopic.php?f=6&t=48064

viveks711
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by viveks711 »

OK... When I first asked about binding keys 6.. 0 for the toolbelt, I didn't realize that the Shift 1-5 can be rebinded to 6..0...
So if you do that, you will get what is needed... also we could use the X key to switch between the top row and bottom row...
no changes needed and everybody wins!

Fishling
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by Fishling »

Twinsen, I think you have a lot of good ideas in your proposal.

However, I didn't see you bring up what I think are the most unusual and limiting user interaction choices compared to other games and general UI conventions:
1. Wasting the Alt modifier key as a toggle for showing crafting details (and defaulting this to off!)
2. Using Tab as a way to dismiss messages/alerts
3. Using Shift+1 through Shift+5 instead of 6-0 as the default binding on the quickbar

I think addressing these items align very well with your other UI ideas as it opens up a lot more ways to interact with the UI changes that you propose, in a way that is consistent with other games and user interface conventions.

Alt key
Does anyone actually play with "Show info" turned off so they can't see the current assembler recipe? I can imagine people wanting to show/hide some details like inserter direction, but this can be in a dialog. It seems like a huge waste to use one of the major chording keys that is used for shortcuts as a toggle that could easily be a UI button or any other key on the keyboartood.

This key should be made available for toolbelt actions (Alt+1), more complex chords (Ctrl+Alt+key), and so on. For example, City of Heroes used Alt+# bindings to access the second row of powers in the toolbelt equivalent.

Tab key
The only message I recall dismissing is the initial message on starting a game. Maybe this is more common in the tutorials, but I think this could easily be bound to something more common like Space or Enter, given Factorio's capability to have sensible overlapping bindings.

This would free up the Tab key to cycle through user interface elements, which is a pretty universal UI convention. For example, this usage would be extremely applicable for cycling your tabbed character/inventory idea. You could use Ctrl+Tab to cycle backwards. Tab could also be used to toggle between item groups or to cycle between different (future) view in the tech tree screen.

Use other number keys
Other popular games with toolbelts use 1-9 (Minecraft) or 1-0 (Terraria) for their toolbelts. This is also very common in all FPSes that I have ever played. Yet, for some reason, Factorio only uses 1-5 and then uses Shift chords for the next 5 slots and requires a "swap bar" mechanism to switch rows.

Due to this, most players often have to look down at the current state of the toolbelt to see what the current toggle state is. Since there is no ability to assign keyboard shortcuts for the second row using Shift or Alt, people cannot build up muscle memory to remember that "Belts are always 1", because this is not always true.

I would still keep a "rotate" mechanic in, to support mods and players that want more than 3 rows, but it would be a huge improvement for consistency if the defaults were changes to 1-0 and players were able to set explicit binds for the second row without cycling.

steel86
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by steel86 »

I'd like to see an additional tab with your crafting queue that gives you the ability to alter your queue, with move to front, move to back, +1 or -1. So many times I queue up a huge list only to realise that I need something immediately (usually a bloody axe ;) ) and have to kill my entire queue to redo it. Unless this already exists and I never knew.

Fishling
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by Fishling »

ikarikeiji wrote:Many people have suggested this and my reaction is no, please don't! 6-0 are hard to reach since your right hand is on the mouse. I use things like shift-1 for splitter, shift-2 for underground belt all the time... if it was 6 and 7 it'd be much more difficult.
People don't normally type those with their right hand... :-)

I think there is a proposal that works for all kinds of people - allow people to set direct key binds for the second (and even third) rows.

People (like you) who like the current system do not have to change anything.

People who want to use 6-0 for the second side can change the defaults like they currently do (or the devs could this as a preset for new users) and use toggle.

People (like me) who want to have direct access to every spot in the toolbar can use 1-0 for the first row and Shift+1 to Shift+0 for the second row, and never use toggle.

Fishling
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by Fishling »

I don't think it is a problem that free spaces in the toolbar fill up with recently crafted or picked up items. It's not random as Twinsen stated; it is based on what you recently picked up, on the theory that you will often want to place/use it immediately.

However, I think there is potential to have the quickbar work more like a shortcut menu. I would want a dedicated and separate area .in the UI that represents my toolbelt shortcuts though, which doesn't actually take up inventory space, and have the inventory space expanded to compensate. I would imagine you can set a filter by dropping an item you have in a square or by setting it to items you don't have similar to how a requester chest works. I think it would be very strange if it tried to pull double-duty as inventory slots that sometimes held and item and other times just acted like a ghost.

I don't think it makes sense to allow weapons to be added as shortcuts though. It's not clear on what would happen if all available weapon slots are full. Same goes for armor or equipment. It would be better to just directly support armor cycling as an explicit feature/key or to do armor swapping on the character tab from inventory since it really doesn't fit the "alias" mechanic like items or entities. I'd prefer to have more weapon slots so that I could duplicate weapons to have different ammos, or to have explicit support for ammo cycling (better fit for tank and modded vehicles). An ammo cycling key that cycled through inventory (or cargo, for vehicles) for the next valid ammo type for the current weapon would be very handy.

What I think Twinsen's proposal is missing is to not show the armor equipment automatically open along with weapons, since there is zero overlap between what can be equipped in armor and what can be used as a weapon or tool, so transfer operations are still sensible.

Also, I don't see why the concept wouldn't be extended to have a fourth optional tab that represents the vehicle you may currently be driving...maybe one tab for fuel/equipment/weapons and another tab for cargo. This would be usable if Tab or arrows were used to cycle between tabs. Also, I would note that it would now also be possible to overload the number keys here (1-0) to be used as numbered tab shortcuts. Since we are doing inventory management and the toolbelt is now just shortcuts, there is no longer a need to pick up items from the toolbelt when doing Shift+click transfers.

I would definitely not want the weapons menu to be removed from the main screen though. I definitely want to be able to see what weapon and ammo I have currently equipped.

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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by Delmain »

I am pro-all-of-these-changes. They all seem well thought out and none of them are so game-impacting that they should be avoided just because "change is bad".

The only request I have is that a better way to handle ammo would be nice. It would be the sole remaining item that you have to wonder where it's going to go. If there is space in your gun ammo slot, it will go there (even weirder now since it's hidden on a tab instead of at the bottom right) whereas if it's full, it'll go to a stack in your inventory.

I propose syncing up the ammo slots with the quickbar, so that they are shortcuts to a type of ammo to use instead of a slot. Gameplay-wise, we would lose a mad dash to replace a stack of ammo if you run through 100 rounds without reloading, but you would gain a lot of fluidity in your ammo management and you'd keep from maintaining a single refuge of "two inventories" where now instead of the second being the quickbar, it's your ammo slots hidden in your character pane.

Tankh
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by Tankh »

I read through this friday facts very carefully, read some of the links, and I've played over 600 hours of this game and all I can say is: YES!!

While reading through it all I was taking notes about things I wanted to make sure you thought about, and in the next sentence or paragraph, I had to delete those notes again because you already thought about it.

It's no surprise Factorio is where it's at today, because you really do think of everything, and I also believe you have a very good combination of "understanding that game design is hard", and "daring to change things because it's better". It's a very thin line to walk, because it can often go wrong, and like you say: many people will hate change...

... well I for one am ready for this change!

Delmain
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by Delmain »

steel86 wrote:I'd like to see an additional tab with your crafting queue that gives you the ability to alter your queue, with move to front, move to back, +1 or -1. So many times I queue up a huge list only to realise that I need something immediately (usually a bloody axe ;) ) and have to kill my entire queue to redo it. Unless this already exists and I never knew.
I don't know if this is in the scope of this FF, but I agree on this. I'd love a way to pop a crafted item to the top of the queue.

At the same time though, I'm not certain that it's in the spirit of the game. Crafting tons of things in your inventory is almost always (to me) a way to avoid automating it, which is the point.

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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by ebonmourn »

Has it been considered making the placement of belts work in some way that is similar to how rail placement currently works. I feel it would greatly improve the user experience.

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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by Jon8RFC »

Minor addition:

Before it's set in stone, since there is overwhelming support for the proposed changes--make the crafting icon on the tab use one of the axes instead of the repair pack.

While you're at it, give the repair pack its own, dedicated slot alongside the axe. Those are two "personal" items that are used regularly from early to end game, but they're never placed like buildings and are rarely removed from inventory.
Image

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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by mcdjfp »

I guess I am one of those people that you were worried about. I find these proposed changes shortsighted and poorly thought out. Let me give three examples.

1. When I craft an item by hand (with the exception of ammo, and that gets automated early on) it is because I intend to place it immediately. Common items get their filter slots, but I always leave 5-6 slots empty to take newly crafted items. I crafted them to place not to store, and I honestly don't know why I would want to hide them in my inventory. Some Items like train stations I only craft when I need them (and this can be an hour or more since the last time), these items are now going to be hidden from me where it will take extra effort to get to. A massive reduction in ease of use. My biggest frustration when playing the game is when I craft something and forget to clear a spot for it to drop into. Clearing spots on the toolbar is easy, finding items in the inventory takes 5-10 times longer.

2. I am working on by factory and discover that something has to move. I pick up a 3-6 different types of items, some of them, like power poles and transport belts have filters, many less commonly used items do not. Currently these items as I pick them up go into the toolbar where they are easily accessible to place down again 20 seconds later (or shift click into the main inventory if they are out of date). With your changes I will now either have to waste time setting up temporary filters for each of these items, or have to find them in my inventory every time I want to place them back down. Ease of use will drop again.

3. 95%+ of the time I am in my base building. It is during these times, where I am not currently expecting a fight, I need to know at a glance the status of my armor and weapons. Do I only have 2 stacks of shotgun ammo left? Is my armor almost broken? Did I remember to drop by the ammo stockpile? I need that little information at a glance box at those times, not the <5% of the time I am expecting a fight and have everything in order. I must admit that I like having information available (even better when I can configure it) as opposed to having to fight the GUI for it by digging down through tabs and menus.

I would personally trade inventory slots away to maintain the convenience of having recently crafted/picked up items go into the toolbar. In my opinion it is the best ease of use feature in the game. Except in the very late game there are always a handful of one off items that occasionally need crafting.

Now the idea of placing ghosts of empty filtered items, that is a really good idea and solves the personal robot thief issues (grabs your only copy of an item you were trying to place ghosts with).

Vornicus
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by Vornicus »

Jon8RFC wrote:While you're at it, give the repair pack its own, dedicated slot alongside the axe. Those are two "personal" items that are used regularly from early to end game, but they're never placed like buildings and are rarely removed from inventory.
This please this please this please

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Bergzwerg
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by Bergzwerg »

looking forward to those changes.

also filtered chests please :(

Arty0m
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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by Arty0m »

Please, implement this!

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Re: Friday Facts #191 - Gui improvements

Post by IronCartographer »

Vornicus wrote:
Jon8RFC wrote:While you're at it, give the repair pack its own, dedicated slot alongside the axe. Those are two "personal" items that are used regularly from early to end game, but they're never placed like buildings and are rarely removed from inventory.
This please this please this please
Joining in agreement. Excellent idea.

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