Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

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Klonan
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Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Klonan » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:46 pm

Another dose of the Fridays: https://www.factorio.com/blog/post/fff-208

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by teemu » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:58 pm

I think the tips & tricks could benefit from a better browser. Right now they're all just crammed in a sequence and finding a specific one was tedious. A list or tree view beside the tips would improve it, IMO, especially if more tips & tricks get added to it.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by tehfreek » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:59 pm

Not a fan of putting basic knowledge (e.g. "Boiler connections") in Tips and Tricks. Not only should these things be learned outside that box (since they're actual knowledge required to play the game and not just neat tricks), but now there's something taking up a spot that could be used for an actual trick; even if the disk space to put such tricks is infinite, head space is not.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by mestevesx » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:05 pm

tehfreek wrote:Not a fan of putting basic knowledge (e.g. "Boiler connections") in Tips and Tricks. Not only should these things be learned outside that box (since they're actual knowledge required to play the game and not just neat tricks), but now there's something taking up a spot that could be used for an actual trick; even if the disk space to put such tricks is infinite, head space is not.
That's a really good point, I think that the really basic knowledge (The ones you need to know or nothing will move at all) are really in the first campaign, but I know that there are people who goes straight to free-play (Or straight to multiplayer, I've seen some of them).

This info might be better to be put on their own tutorial page (Like the train system which is pretty good) on triggers like "First crafted steam-engine".

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by FalcoGer » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:08 pm

What I feel the tips GUI needs to be is a catalog. It concerns mainly specific aspects of the game, such as inserters, belt lanes, boilers, crafting, vehicles and such.
It should be a kind of lexicon, with an index to swiftly jump to a topic that one needs info on, for example nuclear power and with many cross links to other aspects of the game that are relevant for the topic at hand.
There should of course be an order to the whole thing and a search option. Maybe link to it from item icons from the inventory and crafting screen, or even from the world view, hovering over a stone and hitting a certain key would open up the help dialogue for rocks, explaining how to mine stone from it, referencing to stone (resource), mining equipment, construction bots and weapons. Maybe an autogenerated tree on where stone comes from and what is used for and what it is used in. (stone, mined from rocks, stone fields, used for bricks in smelters, etc etc). Each of those things being a link to the next item, for maximum information.
So overall the idea is to have a wiki within the game.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Ekelbatzen » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:21 pm

For the tips and tricks images:

Can't you render the ingame models and graphics live inside the frame, replacing a static image?
It would be future-proof when you update the HD textures and you can maybe write tests which "images" get broken when you update entity dimensions at some time again, like with the boilers.
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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by DanGio » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:22 pm

I love those grey lab tiles. Thanks for another good FFF !

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by PetrGasparik » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:34 pm

Ekelbatzen wrote:For the tips and tricks images:

Can't you render the ingame models and graphics live inside the frame, replacing a static image?
It would be future-proof when you update the HD textures and you can maybe write tests which "images" get broken when you update entity dimensions at some time again, like with the boilers.
THIS!

I got the same feeling right through reading blog post about outdated graphics.

Make the tips rendered in game engine. It can be animated. And always up to date.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by KatherineOfSky » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:40 pm

+1 to all the suggestions for making the Tips easier to find -- a searchable list or index would be great. Maybe an icon on the upper left to access it. (And point out this icon to new players). It should be something players can access without having to think about where to find it.

I get a LOT of questions about basic stuff like steam power, belt sidedness, etc. which is already included in the tips, but people just don't know to look for it.
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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by kosievdmerwe » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:41 pm

A potential problem with the boiler tips & trick:

You show pipes between each component. I feel this is very likely to trick new people into thinking that they can only connect the components with pipes instead of placing them directly next to each other.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by daniel34 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:47 pm

Minor editing note:
The subline says Posted by kovarex & Klonan on 2017-09-15, kovarex is represented in the first heading without any size changes or parentheses, whereas Klonan (which I assume wrote the "Tips and tricks improvement" section) isn't mentioned at all anywhere in the text.

Other mistakes:
transports belts there. but if some
New sentence (after the period) doesn't start with uppercase, should be there. But if ...
Unfortunately in the 18 months since Its introduction
its introduction <-- lowercase its

Sorry to be pedantic, but you tend to attract a rather OCD crowd... ;)
Otherwise a very nice FFF and I can't wait until my transport belts are all in the same tab and people know the basic tips and tricks stuff.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by MicFac » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:50 pm

Great Ideas!
However, (I guess its not final anyways) I would change the boiler setup picture so that it doesnt have pipes between the boiler and steam engines. yes, its good to show the steam but I can imagine many new player wondering:"Why do I need pipes there? Why Can't I leave them out?" Of course you shouldnt just exactly copy the setups anyways, but at least I personally would be confused by this if I was a new player.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by chris13524 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:52 pm

These FFF are better than drugs, I'm addicted.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Chaia » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:05 pm

PetrGasparik wrote:
Ekelbatzen wrote:For the tips and tricks images:

Can't you render the ingame models and graphics live inside the frame, replacing a static image?
It would be future-proof when you update the HD textures and you can maybe write tests which "images" get broken when you update entity dimensions at some time again, like with the boilers.
THIS!

I got the same feeling right through reading blog post about outdated graphics.

Make the tips rendered in game engine. It can be animated. And always up to date.

Some .gif like animations showing the crucial aspects of a certain topic inside the tips and tricks cataloge would help a lot with understanding whats actually going on. Also this allows to move large amount of text into a single animation.

For example the way how inserters take and place items from and onto belts can be easily shown with a single animation without needing an ugly image and still at least a bit of text. (as shown in the FFF)

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by nljr » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:24 pm

teemu wrote:I think the tips & tricks could benefit from a better browser. Right now they're all just crammed in a sequence and finding a specific one was tedious. A list or tree view beside the tips would improve it, IMO, especially if more tips & tricks get added to it.
I would love to see something similar to the Civ5 Civopedia UI, with it's carefully organized information.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Sicarius » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:43 pm

daniel34 wrote:Sorry to be pedantic, but you tend to attract a rather OCD crowd... ;)
And you didn't pick up on the extra "to" in "water to flow to in" in the tip? Shame! :lol:

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by y.petremann » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:48 pm

As for now recipe categories are a good thing to think about, there is just a thing to think : what about entities that are defined by mods to be for example a chest for bots or a range expander for logistic network whereas in fact they are simply roboports, mecanicals gear, axle and gearbox where they are simply pipes, or some machines that are simply furnaces, assemblers or chests, some additionnal pipes are in fact storage tanks (Flow Control). They can't be moved to the same categories as their type but more in the category of what they should work like, for me you should add a lua tag that would simply say what type of entities it works like, by default this value would be the type but it could be modified and so some could indicate that their pipes (that are storage tanks) are pipes or simply not storage tank because they are something else, a generic type.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by ssilk » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:08 pm

I don't know exactly, why you make pictures for the tips and tricks.

All of them could be done by
a) using blueprints on a special "tips and tricks"-surface.
b) expanding feature for "signs" and placing text in as part of the map/ground inside of that blueprint.
c) adding ability to have a "drawing" layer... for the arrows etc.

Doing it like so keeps the tips and tricks always up to date and easy to change.
And gives you the chance that other players use that feature for more tips and tricks or for explaining their blueprints within the blueprint.
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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Klonan » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:14 pm

ssilk wrote:I don't know exactly, why you make pictures for the tips and tricks.

All of them could be done by
a) using blueprints on a special "tips and tricks"-surface.
b) expanding feature for "signs" and placing text in as part of the map/ground inside of that blueprint.
c) adding ability to have a "drawing" layer... for the arrows etc.

Doing it like so keeps the tips and tricks always up to date and easy to change.
And gives you the chance that other players use that feature for more tips and tricks or for explaining their blueprints within the blueprint.
This is right, it would be much better to have them drawn directly in the engine,
It is somewhat possible right now, using camera widgets...

However as a first step, just improving the style and consistency is probably best

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by deer_buster » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:16 pm

mestevesx wrote:This info might be better to be put on their own tutorial page (Like the train system which is pretty good) on triggers like "First crafted steam-engine".
1000000% agree with this

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