Underground transit map

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Chthon
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Underground transit map

Post by Chthon »

Currently the underground system for navigating goods through your base too abstract. You give it an entry and an exit, and it the cost is paid in the construction of the entry and exit. However the cost paid is as if you always travelled the maximum distance.

Furthermore you have a maximum distance you can travel before having to come back up to the sky. This too can be restrictive, say when you wish to travel under your factories and the distance needed is too far.

This fact is lessened for liquids, but is still there.

Furthermore planning your underground areas can be a nightmare as you can't see when two will cross until you actually try to place it. The underground map is simply put... invisible to the player. It's like working blind. This gets even worse when working with liquids.

Why can we not run an underground pipe of arbitrary distance? Why must we come up to the surface at regular intervals? Why can't we see a map of our underground transit to help us plan further?

Instead I propose an underground map for transport and piping along the lines of Roller Coaster Tycoon, but instead of multiple layers above and below ground, only one layer below ground and the above ground. Conveyor belt entrances to the sub level will instead cost a respective conveyor belt and a refined stone brick. Conveyor belts placed below ground will cost the respective conveyor belt and either have stone or wood reinforcement depending on their tech level (wood for basic, stone + wood for fast, refined stone brick only for express)

Underground pipes should be refined a bit. Pipes are either able to be placed above or below ground as needed. Pumps can also be placed above or below as needed. Pipe transitions between the two are a new item replacing the current item. They do not need to be paired with another. They also do not need any more cost than that of a traditional pipe. The only difference is they exist and can interact with other pipes or liquid receptacles on both planes at the same time.

Viewing the underground map can be done via overlay. Buildings vanish leaving only a footprint outline. If they can accept liquids or produce them, they will show arrows as needed. Other buildings just have a blueprint. When shown all underground structures become visible as if on the surface. Players, vehicles, and threats are not hidden in this overlay.

Underground pipes and conveyors should also have their own recipe and techs associated with them. Basic underground conveyors and pipes are unlocked at start. Fast underground conveyors require normal conveyors as a prerequisite. Turbo conveyors also require their normal part as a prerequisite. Underground pumps require a new tech, Advanced fluid logistics, and must be powered by the electrical grid above it.

Finally pollution, any underground structure that causes pollution can incite biters to dig and wreck the area. They have inherent resistance to biters due to the time it takes to dig, but are not immune to biters.

Chthon
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Re: Underground transit map

Post by Chthon »

Other ideas came to mind.

Why can't we pass pipes under small lakes? This could be the predecessor to water travel and aquatic threats.

Transporting resources under mines and mineral fields shouldn't be allowed when they are in use. Currently you can do this, but it makes no sense.

goertzenator
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Re: Underground transit map

Post by goertzenator »

Having your whole factory always visible in a single layer is one of Factorio's great features. Everything is always right there; nothing is hidden. Factorio will lose a certain something if that is taken away. Not everyone can or is willing to make the cognitive leap to multiple layers.

I think the current underground mechanics work well with the single layer view. The runs are fairly short and only vertical or horizontal so they are fairly easily followed and connected to. Hovering your mouse over a pipe will tell you what is in it; this is also a good following aid. And of course hitting the ALT key.

Garm
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Re: Underground transit map

Post by Garm »

This should be in Suggestions really

Chthon
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Re: Underground transit map

Post by Chthon »

goertzenator wrote:Having your whole factory always visible in a single layer is one of Factorio's great features. Everything is always right there; nothing is hidden. Factorio will lose a certain something if that is taken away. Not everyone can or is willing to make the cognitive leap to multiple layers.
Then I guess you will be surprised to find out that not all of your factory is visible at all times. You can never see the underground portions. Only the parts that stick out.

Furthermore, nothing ever forces you to use the underground layers, or use them more than a little. It's up to the player how you play the game. Don't punish players who want more because you have no ambition.

goertzenator wrote:I think the current underground mechanics work well with the single layer view. The runs are fairly short and only vertical or horizontal so they are fairly easily followed and connected to. Hovering your mouse over a pipe will tell you what is in it; this is also a good following aid. And of course hitting the ALT key.
This may be your play style, but it is not mine. I like having things that block my path like pipes be underground as much as possible. However this makes it impossible to plan later on once you have many of them.

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Re: Underground transit map

Post by sciencemile »

I kinda like the way it is handled in SimCity 4, with sorta Underground Filter purely to see your PipeLines and Subways (ooh, imagine Underground Trains)

You don't need to go all Gnomoria/Dwarf Fortress with Z-levels (probably wouldn't like that very much). Just another hotkey like Alt which shows more details, a key might let you see the piping things. Would help to better understand people's pictures of their liquid networks.

Ric
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Re: Underground transit map

Post by Ric »

Chthon wrote: Furthermore, nothing ever forces you to use the underground layers, or use them more than a little. It's up to the player how you play the game. Don't punish players who want more because you have no ambition.
And don't get all grumpy/insulting when someone doesn't agree with your idea....lol

An increase in the length of underground conveyor tunnel could be good. Maybe up to 9-10blocks(similar to the piping tunnel for oil) so that we can pass under a factory a few conveyor lines but I don't see the need for an extended fully underground system.

In fact, it would probably make the game too easy imo. Restrictions force good design.
"To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, it's half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice the size it needs to be"

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Re: Underground transit map

Post by Jobeo »

I agree with you that pipes are a nuisance. Especially if you have to turn at a 90 degree angle cause they have to come above for that. Navigating my oil production line is tough with stop many obstacles.

Chthon
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Re: Underground transit map

Post by Chthon »

Ric wrote:An increase in the length of underground conveyor tunnel could be good. Maybe up to 9-10blocks(similar to the piping tunnel for oil) so that we can pass under a factory a few conveyor lines but I don't see the need for an extended fully underground system.

In fact, it would probably make the game too easy imo. Restrictions force good design.
This would simply aggravate the problem when designing a system with too many conveyor belts. Part of the problem is that you cannot see underground belts at all, only the entry and exit to underground. The fact that the underground simply comes into existence is weird as well. I already have trouble trying to figure out why my pipe lines won't travel beyond other pipes when underground because of their potential invisible length, allowing belts the same length without giving some way to see them underground.

As far as making the game too easy, you are talking about items that aren't normally attacked by biters in most cases. Damage done to them is usually in proximity to other more polluting targets as a result of them missing their target. Goods on the belt are never destroyed, and it's not always obvious that a belt was damage in the first place. In the end it only results in aggravation to the player to find out that they repaired all the destroyed machinery, yet a portion of their factory still isn't running because they missed one belt somewhere.

Finally, your restrictions are like a blindfold to the player. The player cannot see the underground, instead is forced to remember where everything was down there. Restrictions in this case don't allow good design, but freedom will allow players to create.

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Re: Underground transit map

Post by Garm »

Chthon wrote: Finally, your restrictions are like a blindfold to the player. The player cannot see the underground, instead is forced to remember where everything was down there. Restrictions in this case don't allow good design, but freedom will allow players to create.
What are you talking about? 4 wide underground belts are quite easy to see, especially if you hover your mouse on top of it.

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Re: Underground transit map

Post by Chthon »

Garm wrote: What are you talking about? 4 wide underground belts are quite easy to see, especially if you hover your mouse on top of it.
When you hover your mouse over the end the belt becomes visible. I'm talking about if you simply extend the belt to the same length as pipes without giving some way to see all of them at once. You also cannot see all underground belts at the same time either.

I've seen pictures of some people's belt setups, and frankly it takes too long to figure out where everything is going. Its the type of things that when you want to add or change it later, it takes you 15 minutes to figure out how you did it in the first place.

Good construction designs are easy to understand at a glance, and easy to adjust. When you just can't see a section of your design without hovering over parts of it individually, you will eventually forget how it works, and need to figure it out all over again when you want to add something new. This increases the risk of you adding something new and some part of it breaks somewhere down the road because of something you couldn't see at the time.

In short, I don't want to have to hover over every individual part in turn to see what I am doing. That is like wearing a blind fold and working by touch only. Give me a map to see it all at once as needed.

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Re: Underground transit map

Post by goertzenator »

Chthon wrote: Then I guess you will be surprised to find out that not all of your factory is visible at all times. You can never see the underground portions. Only the parts that stick out.
What I mean is that the current underground limits end up giving you simple visual cues of what is going on underground without needing a separate underground view. Very clever game design in my opinion.

But I do agree that a complex and tightly packed network can get hard to follow, so I proposed this: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=3597

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Re: Underground transit map

Post by Garm »

Chthon wrote: When you hover your mouse over the end the belt becomes visible. I'm talking about if you simply extend the belt to the same length as pipes without giving some way to see all of them at once. You also cannot see all underground belts at the same time either.

I've seen pictures of some people's belt setups, and frankly it takes too long to figure out where everything is going. Its the type of things that when you want to add or change it later, it takes you 15 minutes to figure out how you did it in the first place.

Good construction designs are easy to understand at a glance, and easy to adjust. When you just can't see a section of your design without hovering over parts of it individually, you will eventually forget how it works, and need to figure it out all over again when you want to add something new. This increases the risk of you adding something new and some part of it breaks somewhere down the road because of something you couldn't see at the time.

In short, I don't want to have to hover over every individual part in turn to see what I am doing. That is like wearing a blind fold and working by touch only. Give me a map to see it all at once as needed.

If you get lost building your own designs - spread apart belts more. Would do wonders uncluttering the designs.

I also agree with goertzenator: ALT solution seems better than underground layer or longer belts.

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Re: Underground transit map

Post by Ric »

Chthon wrote:
Ric wrote:An increase in the length of underground conveyor tunnel could be good. Maybe up to 9-10blocks(similar to the piping tunnel for oil) so that we can pass under a factory a few conveyor lines but I don't see the need for an extended fully underground system.

In fact, it would probably make the game too easy imo. Restrictions force good design.
This would simply aggravate the problem when designing a system with too many conveyor belts. Part of the problem is that you cannot see underground belts at all, only the entry and exit to underground. The fact that the underground simply comes into existence is weird as well. I already have trouble trying to figure out why my pipe lines won't travel beyond other pipes when underground because of their potential invisible length, allowing belts the same length without giving some way to see them underground.
I think this a simple case of you over complicating things then. If you are struggling to keep an eye on things going on in your own base, then some redesign may be in order.

I feel for you if you're getting frustrated but I really don't see this as being a problem like you're making it out to be.

As has been mentioned a couple of times, do you press alt while you play? This will at least make the pipes a little more clear as the little bits that pop up(when you're building a loch-ness monster style design) show the type of oil flowing through them.
"To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, it's half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice the size it needs to be"

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