Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

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fendy3002
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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by fendy3002 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:28 pm

bman212121 wrote:
Godmave wrote:The thing is optional, if you don't like it don't use it.
It is always "not good" if a single person decides what others need/want ;)


It's ok to say "this is the way 'we' would like you to play" and disable it by default, but an option for the player to decide would be better.
This seems to be the common theme as of late. Early on and throughout the game decisions were not being forced, but lately it seems like the devs want to force players down a specific path for whatever reason. I don't really understand it or why the minority seems to win these arguments, but not much we can do about it. At this point they are probably better off focusing on just releasing the game and not trying to alter it into a corner.


As a programmer myself, I can say that it's very hard to maintain options, especially a game changing one. Providing too many options means more work to be done when changing / development. That's why if there are solution that doesn't provide user choice, it's preferable.

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by Yuudaari » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:32 pm

I am flabbergasted by your reasoning for removing the research queue feature. I'm not wrong in saying that it's been a highly requested feature for a long time, correct? In that case, how could you implement the entire feature, decide internally that it "doesn't improve the experience", and then remove it?
Vaclav played a lot of normal (freeplay) games with the queue, and he also supported me that the feature in reality doesn't make the experience better.
So two devs, likely already with an established way of playing the game that is unlikely to change, decide that a feature isn't helping them, so it shouldn't exist. Okay.

Also, I definitely noticed the language you used for the "pros" and "cons" in order to further your point. I'm going to go through them bit by bit:

Cons
The newly unlocked recipes might be overlooked (It is solvable by some kind of pop-up, but it is far from perfect).
Don't show a pop-up, show a notification that is clickable, so that the player can deal with it when they want to. This should be part of the feature, not a "con"
It removes the joy of looking at the result of the research and of picking a new thing that will be the next one to do.
Seriously? The "joy" of looking at the research would happen just the same if the notification mentioned previously exists, and "picking a new thing" would happen already when queueing it up.
It adds to the feeling of just going through a to-do list without having much to say about it.
I legitimately have no idea what this means.
The queue has to be changed a lot as the priorities change.
Also not a con: Without a queue, you have to change it every time, whereas you need to change it much less frequently with the queue.

Pros
It feels appropriate in some situations, like finishing all remaining green science that I don't care about as I'm not producing blue yet etc.
Emphasis mine. This is what I'm talking about w/ the language. You consider this a pro, but then you use negative language to make it feel like a con and convince the playerbase. Stick to the facts please.
It feels okay to queue the repeating upgrade research at times, but as the cost grows quite fast usually, it becomes less and less of a problem.
Emphasis mine. I'm not sure what you mean by "becoming less of a problem". What is the problem? That it only "feels okay"?
Review
So your pros & cons listed, in plain english, are the following:

Cons:
We didn't implement a way to notify you when a technology is done, so you might miss things.
It doesn't "feel good"
You still have to change the queue sometimes.

Pros:
You can use it to finish any side technologies you missed after beelining for main techs.
You can use it to queue up multiple of an infinite upgrade research.
And here's my pros and cons:
Cons:
More UI

Pros:
Less micromanaging = less distractions from the actual gameplay
Not having to remember which technology you're going to research next, if you're beelining for something
You can use it to finish any side technologies you missed after beelining for main techs.
You can use it to queue up multiple of an infinite upgrade technology.


If you want other ideas for how to improve your feature, I read elsewhere in this thread that there's a mod that adds a good research queue. There are also some good highlighting suggestions. You could also research how other games do it, such as Civilization or the Research Tree mod for RimWorld (https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/ ... 1266570759), which I think is the best example of a research tab in a game, period. (it allows you to queue up researches infinitely, supporting shift + click to add a new research to the queue, and clicking a tech further down the line to queue up the whole tree to that point)

MagRoader
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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by MagRoader » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:34 pm

I have not played thousands of hours like some people here. I've only launched a couple rockets, and I enjoy playing multiplayer with friends. I also haven't played in a while so it's possible things work a bit differently than they did when I played last.

That said, I always assumed that a research queue (or some similar solution) was just something needed for release that would get implemented eventually. Reason being, picking a new research when the old one finishes - especially in multiplayer - is an incredibly clunky aspect of the game. In singleplayer, in distracts me from whatever I was doing. In multiplayer, we have to stop and remember to click something new or else we sit there researching nothing for a while. What's worse, I need to remember where I was headed which is not always easy because it's hard to recall what my plan was an hour ago, or last week when we played last.

Perhaps I am thinking of a different implementation of a research queue than was implemented for testing. My desire is to simply pick a single research I want, and then have the research system automatically choose what to research until I get what I want. I don't personally care about micromanaging which individual things I want to get, I just want to select an end goal.

Here are some use cases I have personally hit and how they would be simplified using some sort of queue or planner:

I just got Automation 2!
  • Open the tech tree and browse to figure out what I want next
  • Find logistics robots. I want those!
  • Go up the tree and notice I need engines
  • Select engines to research next
  • Wait
  • Engines finished!
  • Remember I was going for logistics robots (which might not be easy if I quit for a week and came back later)
  • Go up the tree and notice I need automobilism
  • ... repeat 2 more times for prereqs ...
  • Finally, select logistics robots to research next
Here is the workflow for how I would expect a well-implemented research queue to work:

I just got Automation 2!
  • Open the tech tree and browse to figure out what I want next
  • Find logistics robots. I want those!
  • Select logistics robots to research next
  • All the prerequisites are queued. I am done.
This is so much less clunky!

As for the cons listed, I don't agree with any of them:

- The newly unlocked recipes might be overlooked (It is solvable by some kind of pop-up, but it is far from perfect).
No, I don't care about the newly-unlocked recipes, I am trying to get logistics robots and set my sights on that.

- It removes the joy of looking at the result of the research and of picking a new thing that will be the next one to do.
- It adds to the feeling of just going through a to-do list without having much to say about it.
No, I still have that joy and feeling, I'm just thinking higher-level. I want logistics robots, so I pick logistics robots. That's a lot more interesting of a choice than choosing Engines. I would argue there's more joy in selecting a long-term goal than the minor short-term goals.

- The queue has to be changed a lot as the priorities change.
No, that is an implementation issue. I don't have to change it at all! I didn't select any of the intermediate prerequisites like Engines or Automobilism to research myself; that was automatically selected for me when I chose logistics robots. If I changed my mind and wanted railway signals instead, all the queued-up stuff I didn't want would go away.

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by bradicai » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:42 pm

I can understand your points about fulfillment of the queue, but it would be super cool to be able to queue at least the repeats, so if your desire is to have more bullet damage, you could queue up 1,2,3, since the result of 3 is just an increment of 2, which is the increment of 1, This makes a lot of sense with the infinite researches too.

as always you guys seem to be on top of things and staying focused.

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by esotericist » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:45 pm

I am not an "experienced player" by the standards of many Factorio players. I've played the game off and on for somewhere around 100, 150 hours tops (not sure, I only have steam number, not sure how much I played pre-steam) since ... something like 0.10 or 0.11. I've never gotten very far in the game, for a variety of reasons, and I've certainly never gotten to the launch-a-rocket stage. I spend a lot of time whenever I go to play the game 'relearning' it because so much has changed since the last time I played, and my memory is poor.

With that as background, I'll echo ledow and MagRoader (and possibly someone else I may have missed in the thread): I struggle with having to pick a research each and every time the option comes up. If I can't select a few things out into the future, I cannot easily formulate or retain a working 'plan' for "what am I trying to do", and every time research completes, I have to again, from scratch, go "what was my objective here, what do I need next for whatever I was trying to achieve" unless I take note outside of the game. (and I am firmly of the opinion whenever one resorts to "notes outside of the game" it is a sign of user interface failure.)

That said, having used the currently-available research queue mod available, I have experienced the "don't know when I have access to a thing" problem, and that does require addressing. Some people have suggested highlights on craftable items, but I would prefer some present UI element on-screen that shows "<x> new whatevers available", that you can click on and get an actual readable list (with words!) of what you got from which recent research.

... I actually want this anyway, irrespective of the research queue problem. Just going into the research screen after research completes is hard to read, because there's not a clear overview of what you've gotten when, and if you don't have which research gives which things memorized, it's hard to build an association just off of tiny vague icons.

Just thought i'd share another perspective from someone who doesn't have the "I've done it a million times, it's just tedious" problem, but instead something from the other end.

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by Ambaire » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:46 pm

Is the research queue something that you could add as an optional mod, or be modded in? It may not be very relevant for vanilla Factorio, but it would be exceedingly useful for a lot of the modded games that I've played. Especially for players who have hundreds/thousands of hours in the game.

It seems to me as if you decided to cancel it based on what a new player would feel about it. What about all the experienced players who would love such an option?

Please consider making it an advanced option that can be enabled later.

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by Thomcat » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:47 pm

Absolutely agree with MagRoader. Let me pick up some research and let game choose the shortest path how to reach it and automatically selects required prerequisite researches one by one. Or such mod already exists?

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by torndar » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:51 pm

MagRoader wrote: Here are some use cases I have personally hit and how they would be simplified using some sort of queue or planner:

I just got Automation 2!
  • Open the tech tree and browse to figure out what I want next
  • Find logistics robots. I want those!
  • Go up the tree and notice I need engines
  • Select engines to research next
  • Wait
  • Engines finished!
  • Remember I was going for logistics robots (which might not be easy if I quit for a week and came back later)
  • Go up the tree and notice I need automobilism
  • ... repeat 2 more times for prereqs ...
  • Finally, select logistics robots to research next
Here is the workflow for how I would expect a well-implemented research queue to work:

I just got Automation 2!
  • Open the tech tree and browse to figure out what I want next
  • Find logistics robots. I want those!
  • Select logistics robots to research next
  • All the prerequisites are queued. I am done.
This is so much less clunky!
THIS!

I may not want to plan 5 researches ahead, but if I had a research I want to get with prerequisites I don't have yet I hate having to go back and get the next prerequisite every time one of them completes.

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by hoylemd » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:17 pm

If the dev team ultimately doesn't believe this is worth putting in the base game, then perhaps a compromise?

Talk to the developers of the research queue mods and find out what limitations of the mod API are preventing them from their 'ideal' implementation. For example, it would be nice if they were integrated into the research screen, or could implement the notifications instead of interrupting the player with a full-screen popup.

My thinking is that the devs appear reluctant to do big UI changes, but the modding community has to do a *ton* of UI programming by necessity. So UI enhancements might be produced more efficiently by having the core dev team support the modding community to develop big UI enhancements. That would probably also facilitate integrating especially successful (and high-quality) mods back into the base game, if they become ubiquitous enough.

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by madpav3l » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:39 pm

IronCartographer wrote:
steinio wrote:Why not reenable the research queue and higlight all new items in the crafting menu.
Please make it reactivatable in the settings.
This was going to be my suggestion as well, along with an option to disable the new-recipe highlighting.
yohannc wrote:Why don't add highlights to new items ?
Remove them when you stay 1 second over them.
Image
This is so disappointing, I hope you reconsider guys. As others suggested, highlight the new items, this seems like a good idea.

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by Ultimoos » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:58 pm

Research queue is not a critical feature but definitely useful one. Do not kill a complete solid and convenient feature, just because "you" think it's not fun. "We" think it's both fun and convenient to have. That is why there is a very popular mod that adds this queue. Like someone said already. Most long time players already know what they have to research and in what order. And a research queue is something we always wanted to have. So do not kill this nearly completed feature. Just add this pop up notification, even as a dialog text would be fine.

if you are still not convinced by all those replies, make a strawpoll question about this and see what your fan base think.
https://www.strawpoll.me/16203526

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by Nanolathe » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:06 pm

I think... that you're probably right not to implement the Research Queue Kovarex. I've played with the auto-research mod and I found that losing direct control over the process meant that I completely disengaged from the Research system... just ignored it. I think that's what you're getting at with that "feeling"; it's disengagement and disinterest. I can see why people don't find the research system interesting. In fact, I don't find it interesting, but by forcing me to engage with it I do have a sense of my factory's ability to process Science. I feel more connected to what my factory is doing, and what it is capable of.

Adding a Research Queue is too convenient.

...

I feel like I'm going to get lynched now. :oops:

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by lacika2000 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:06 pm

MagRoader wrote: Here is the workflow for how I would expect a well-implemented research queue to work:

I just got Automation 2!
  • Open the tech tree and browse to figure out what I want next
  • Find logistics robots. I want those!
  • Select logistics robots to research next
  • All the prerequisites are queued. I am done.
This is so much less clunky!
YES!! Please implement this with high prio. Or at least have a visual clue in the research tree about a target research and the path to it.

Let’s call it Research Path instead of Research Queue, so Kovarex can have his way as well. 8-)

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by Matthias_Wlkp » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:07 pm

Game about automation and you can't automate something as basic as research? INSANE!

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by lacika2000 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:13 pm

Another suggestion:

Infinite research should be truly infinite, I believe. This meaning that if I have selected an infinite item, it should keep researching it without me selecting it again, even after reaching another level, until I select something else.

So instead of clicking again and again on an infitine item at every research turn (potentially infinite clicks!), i would click once, and the game would keep repeating this item until I select (one click!) something else.

This would avoid all the infinite loop of useless clicking from the player on the “infinite” research items in the end game by simple automation... 8-)

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by Nanolathe » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:17 pm

As a quick follow up;

Obviously, those who post here often seem to make a conscious choice to ignore and disengage from your research system.

The "easy" fix is to automate it.

I think you know what the harder option would be; a total overhaul. The issue as I see it, is that even the most cursory glance revealed that there aren't any real choices involved in the research system beyond when you transition from Green to Blue, and when you need Railways to be ready to go. And those aren't really choices because the mapseed will force you hand on the latter, and just running out of anything to do with Green will force the issue with the former.

I won't tread on your toes by trying to force my opinion of what would make it a better system, I think there's probably a lot of ways to make Research an interesting and potentially interactive activity, but I think the fact that the vast majority of people replying to this thread, wanting to completely ignore the current research system is indicative of a problem.
Last edited by Nanolathe on Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by diederTheBeater » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:19 pm

Please have a short look at the votes in this forum. I have seen no one agreeing with your decision. Factorio is about automation. An unexperienced player will not fill up the research queue or modify it after each new research. And a mod will definetly be not such a beautiful layout that you created.

Also it might not be so intelligent to start discussion about a feature, wait until everyone falls in love with it and than kill it.

I strongly disagree as all the ones above.

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by Nanolathe » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:21 pm

diederTheBeater wrote:Please have a short look at the votes in this forum. I have seen no one agreeing with your decision...
*Raises hand* Umm...

I mean, I'm not advocating for it to stay as it is, but I vehemently disagree that it is "better" to trivialise it.

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by Gergely » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:30 pm

How about making the queue a research-able thing?

For late-game it would be really useful. All you need is a new value in the Force class called "research_queue_size"!

Come on, at least make this moddable!

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Re: Friday Facts #254 - No research queue for you

Post by hitzu » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:46 pm

Unpopular opinion: research queue is not needed. If something should be automated it's conquering space.

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