Option in blueprints to disallow flipping / Smarter algorithm to (dis-)allow flipping

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Purpzie
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Option in blueprints to disallow flipping / Smarter algorithm to (dis-)allow flipping

Post by Purpzie »

TL;DR
You can flip most blueprints. Some designs still break when flipped, so let the blueprint author decide whether it can be flipped.
What ?
Add an "Allow flipping" checkbox in blueprint settings, on by default. It can be greyed out when the game doesn't let you flip it at all.
Why ?
Inserter/belt tricks often depend on inserters putting items into a specific lane, which breaks when you flip the blueprint. At the moment the only solution is to put a warning in the description, and hope you don't accidentally press it and forget which way is correct.
Last edited by ssilk on Sat Feb 19, 2022 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed topic according to thread
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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping

Post by ssilk »

The good question is here:
Is it a good idea to let the player decide, if a bp can be flipped or not?

Which brings us to the next question:
What edge-cases do exist? Under which circumstances (besides from already existing and forbidden by game) can a flipped bp work differently?
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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping

Post by jodokus31 »

Maybe the game could remember, which was the original direction and allows to reset.

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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping

Post by Dmytrozern »

+. However, you can just put "Not flip-safe" in the bp description without any update.

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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping

Post by SoShootMe »

ssilk wrote:
Fri Feb 18, 2022 5:54 am
What edge-cases do exist? Under which circumstances (besides from already existing and forbidden by game) can a flipped bp work differently?
The only one I can think of is a consequence of inserters placing on the right lane of a belt facing away from/towards the inserter. A second inserter perpendicular to the belt direction will place on the same side, but the opposite side if flipped, or vice-versa.

There's also the opposite problem where flipping a blueprint is prevented due to a chemical plant, even though it would work the same if the recipe has a single fluid input.

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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping / Smarter algorithm to (dis-)allow flipping

Post by ssilk »

So for me it looks now just so, that the algorithm that decides flippable is not smart enough.

Changed topic of thread a bit.
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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping / Smarter algorithm to (dis-)allow flipping

Post by Purpzie »

Considering the complexity of inserters and how often they're in blueprints, it doesn't seem like a good idea to have an algorithm decide. With a checkbox, anyone who uses the blueprint can simply un-check it if they want to. I could be wrong though, maybe an algorithm to do this is indeed possible without false positives.

Here's an example of a blueprint that doesn't work properly if flipped.
ezgif-5-de937bfe26.gif
ezgif-5-de937bfe26.gif (1.74 MiB) Viewed 694 times
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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping / Smarter algorithm to (dis-)allow flipping

Post by Qon »

Yes please. And also allow us to stop specific rotation directions. Even if the automatic flipping prevention is perfect, I still think this is a good idea for the same reason the global grid align is a good idea.

Let's say you have a blueprint book of rail intersections and straight sections. When a blueprint is supposed to tile with other things on a global grid it doesn't really matter while building if it could technically be rotated, you probably want to make sure it's not placed down rotated in a way that doesn't make sense with the other tiles anyways. The straight sections with power poles on one side should always have the poles on the west side (in this example), never east, when going north-south. Similarly for west-east going rails. Otherwise the poles will not connect properly if accidentally on piece is has been rotated incorrectly. So only 2 directions are correct. And it would mean when pressing the Rotate key you can cycle between only the two instead of triple pressing when you see that it is upside down.

(Edit: When building from map view it might not be possible to see if the poles are on the correct side etc. There are lots of situations where you can't just press R until it looks right because of symmetry and small details!)

And 4 way crossings with poles on the side will only work in 1 rotation to connect with other pieces, so only 1 rotation should be possible and the R key should do nothing once the setting for this blueprint has been enabled.

And whenever you have reasons to disallow rotation then not being able to flip that blueprint should also be possible.

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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping / Smarter algorithm to (dis-)allow flipping

Post by ssilk »

From my experience as software developer I would say it is a bad idea to turn off a functionality, if the result is not “perfect”. Because you effectively implement something, that’s sometimes working and sometimes not. You cannot plan with using it, which is from UX a very bad habit. And because it’s not clear which entities do in which combinations strange things when mirrored. The list above is surely not final.

Instead I would suggest to reduce the strangeness:
- enable flipping of pipe-inputs/outputs
- for belt-things: try to fix all special cases (I don’t think everything can/should be fixed). A help-chapter about it could be added to explain the difference between rotation and mirroring.
- for rails: make a help-chapter about it (turn the chapter on when the player first time mirrors some rail)

With these changes the player can plan with the strangeness and decide her/himself what to do with the blueprints, because if you know about it, you can play with it.

I would not prevent the player from doing things he already has in mind. That’s paternalism.
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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping / Smarter algorithm to (dis-)allow flipping

Post by Qon »

ssilk wrote:
Sun Apr 10, 2022 6:36 am
From my experience as software developer I would say it is a bad idea to turn off a functionality, if the result is not “perfect”. Because you effectively implement something, that’s sometimes working and sometimes not. You cannot plan with using it, which is from UX a very bad habit. And because it’s not clear which entities do in which combinations strange things when mirrored. The list above is surely not final.
[...]
With these changes the player can plan with the strangeness and decide her/himself what to do with the blueprints, because if you know about it, you can play with it.

I would not prevent the player from doing things he already has in mind. That’s paternalism.
I agree with not having automatic flip and rotate -disabling. That seems bad.
But you can agree that having the option to disable flipping and limiting rotating as a checkbox in individual blueprints would be great, yeah?

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Can't flip blueprint with assembly machine

Post by BloodyRain2k »

So I've totally forgotten that Factory added the flipping functionality whenever ago, and having remembered I wanted to try it out.
And I immidiately remembered why I forgot about it: I can barely ever actually use it...

The main reason I never got to use it is because it complains when I attempt to flip copied sections that contain machines.
Especially the "error" saying "Bluepring with Assembly Machine cannot be flipped" makes no sense.

I understand that from an underlying point, this is because of the fluid connections.
However, in the case of those things, they're 3x3 and the connection is in the middle, so don't yell at me, just rotate it 180 degree and be done with it.

Which is how it should be handled instead in general: don't prevent the blueprint from being "flipped" (after all I bet it's only rotating things accordingly anyways) but instead just rotate the buildings that can't be flipped and THEN yell that that's what was done.
Just "Oil Refinery couldn't be flipped and has been rotated around instead" or something like that.

Dunno, maybe I'm just expecting to use this functionality wrong, but it feels so un-Factorio-ish to have to first put a section into a blueprint, then edit out the machines in that blueprint, only to be able to then paste that edited blueprint flipped.

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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping / Smarter algorithm to (dis-)allow flipping

Post by Koub »

[Koub] Merged into older thread about blueprint flipping.
BloodyRain2k wrote:
Sun Apr 10, 2022 2:10 pm
The main reason I never got to use it is because it complains when I attempt to flip copied sections that contain machines.
Especially the "error" saying "Bluepring with Assembly Machine cannot be flipped" makes no sense.
Blueprints with assembling machines can be flipped. What can't be flipped is, if I recall correctly, blueprints with refineries or chem plants.
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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping / Smarter algorithm to (dis-)allow flipping

Post by BloodyRain2k »

I can't flip them, I'm literally getting an error text spammed over my cursor...

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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping / Smarter algorithm to (dis-)allow flipping

Post by Tertius »

BloodyRain2k wrote:
Sun Apr 10, 2022 5:15 pm
I can't flip them, I'm literally getting an error text spammed over my cursor...
Flipping a blueprint with assembling machine 3 works for me. I have a big mall with many assemblers, is flippable.

May be some mod you're using or may be you're using an older blueprint where flipping wasn't correctly supported yet. Try editing that blueprint, save it, then try again to place it.

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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping / Smarter algorithm to (dis-)allow flipping

Post by BloodyRain2k »

In that case it's likely a mod issue I assume, because that blueprint isn't really "old" per se, it's literally a copy of a section I just chose randomly from my save.

Guess I'll try a new save then and see if that changes anything.

Edit: ok, it might be "Assembler Pipe Passthrough" which is meant to make assemblers pass on liquids by adding a 2nd liquid intake, similar to how uranium miners work, just not in a plus but just straight.

Because I am able to "flip" normal assemblers, and this is the only mod attached to the assembler 2 prototype.

The original point still stands though: why not simply rotate un-"flip"-able buildings and beep with that as a notice when done so.
If that ends up breaking the pipes, you got the memo to fix that, IF it broke them.

Edit 2: oh hey, that issue with that specific mod isn't even new: viewtopic.php?p=544003
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/assembler ... 2211fb9da2

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Re: Option in blueprints to disallow flipping / Smarter algorithm to (dis-)allow flipping

Post by ssilk »

Qon wrote:
Sun Apr 10, 2022 11:13 am
I agree with not having automatic flip and rotate -disabling. That seems bad.
But you can agree that having the option to disable flipping and limiting rotating as a checkbox in individual blueprints would be great, yeah?
UX-wise a much better idea, yes.
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