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Read this OR be ignored!

Posted: Mon May 05, 2014 9:59 pm
by ssilk
TL;DR: Everything is explained below in detail, but for those, who are in hurry (or have eye problems :) ):
  • One suggestion per thread! If your subject is something like "My Cool Ideas" or "Suggestions" you failed. :)
  • Search first! High chances, that your suggestion is similar to an older. The search-box is next to "New topic"! The best chance to find similar suggestion is in the Frequently Suggested / Link Collections.
  • Did you also searched the mods? Maybe your suggestion is already implemented? Don't like mods: Your problem. :)
  • The subject says all.
  • Write an abstract, a TL;DR (not more than a sentence)
  • Don't explain what, explain WHY!
  • Don't ever ask "I can also provide a picture/screenshot of what I mean. Should I?".
  • You like colors? We like content! Don't use colors in text if there is no good reason.
:)
...

Every suggestion is welcome! It has a higher chance to be watched or eventually included into the game, if you think over the following points:

-1. Every rule has it's exception!
This is a guide, no law. If you have a good reason, then break the rule; nobody will cry. :)

0. Your suggestion is for the developers
The devs work like so:
- they plan to implement a new feature. They have some ideas. They will do an investigation, before they are going to plan and implement the idea.
- this is the moment, when they will look into the suggestion board. They will look at some threads,which are about this theme.
- if they now find a thread with hundreds of ideas, they cannot use it, cause they don't have the time to read all, cause there are so many other, and maybe better ideas. More clearly describe, easier to implement, bring more fun to the game.

See this examples:
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=7214


0.b Your suggestion is from a forum member to the forum members
If the developers find your suggestion good, they will use it.

If not, you have to convince the forum members. Not the devs!

1. One suggestion per thread! If your subject is something like "My Cool Ideas" or "Suggestions" you failed. :)
It is easy to write a subject like "I have some idea" and plug all your thoughts in it. It is more difficult, to part that into several posts. And the best would be to find already existing threads and just add your thoughts.

This post is a good example, what happens with your suggestion, if you make only a list of "ideas": https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=3791
It will be just forgotten, cause nobody want to say something about it (no relevant answer within 4 days). See also the followup-post to avoid such things!

2. Does it already exist?
You have the absolutely great idea about having a new type of splitter. You thought hours for that and are now keen to write about it.
Really new?? There are tons of suggestions for the splitter, for example. It is unlikely, that there is none, which is not somehow your suggestion.

What we don't want: Hinder you to write new suggestions. What we want: That you have a clear picture of "other" (similar) suggestions in your mind, before you begin to write. That makes much sense, cause that spares you and us much time.

Search first! High chances, that your suggestion is similar to an older. The search-box is next to "New topic"! The best chance to find similar suggestion is in the Frequently Suggested / Link Collections.
use also the right words for search, see point 4.

Did you also searched the mods?
Maybe your suggestion is already implemented? Don't like mods: Your problem. :)

3. The subject says all.
Try to express your suggestion in one sentence, which is the subject, so that everyone can remember "ah, that thing". A subject like "I want that", is not so useful. A subject like "Blue smog" wakens pictures in the readers mind.

3b. Write an abstract, a TL;DR (not more than a sentence)
If you cannot express your idea in a sentence, it is not ripe now. Shorten down your idea, until you can describe the basic benefit to the game like so.

Write the abstract at the beginning of your post.

Nice example, which makes such an abstract, but still doing it wrong: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=7233
See rule 5 and 6! :)

3c. Don't explain what, explain WHY!
Why do you want this? What is the reason for your suggestion? If you explain that, you can normally finish now and jump to the end.

4. Use the right words.
Factorio uses it's own glossary, for example there are "cables" and "wires" , but one are the power wires, the other are the red and green circuit cables; or it has "train stops" but no "train stations". Try to be exact, use the wiki to look that up, if the words you use are correct.

5. KISS - keep it short and simple
Good: "I want some other types of cars. Some very fast and some with more armor, perhaps a tank!"
Bad: "I want some other types of cars. A red car, I like red. It should be fast, perhaps less hit points. But really fast, faster than the train. Btw. do you know, that with 6 skeletons you can run nearly as fast as the train? It should have also better break, and the overall handling might also be better. More light, cause faster - I need better light in the night. Of course. And a yellow car, not this yellow, more greenish..."

6. Don't write too much! Let the non-essential detail completely open!
We (the forum members) guarantee, that your suggestion is read carefully, and if there are questions with your suggestions, we will ask. So let the unneeded stuff open. Think to good books: if they are too detailed, you loose the contact to the story.

7. Tell a story, no description
Good: "the character build up houses for the settlers, so that they can live in it"
Bad: "Eventually in the spaceship live many settlers? (Why eventually. This is your story, everything is true!) So we need something (why? Who is we? What is something?) that, when they come down (that's another story!) they have a place to live."
Be concrete in your imagination! But let the details open. If you're too concrete or too open we to discuss. :)

This is a good example for doing it wrong: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=7233

8. Suggesting non-essential stuff?
See also this post for frequently suggested ideas: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=4806

We have here now about a dozen suggestions about new splitters since January 2014. This is a good quote for that:
slay_mithos wrote:Just so you know, there are a lot of suggestion that come from people not fully knowing the game, that don't want complex builds when they can suggest a 1-tile entity that would do the same.
And the developers said, they won't implement suggestions, which
slpwnd wrote:... supposed to work out your solution from simple components.
(See full post here https://forums.factorio.com/forum/pos ... =6&p=20908 )
Another quote:
Alton Brown wrote:The only uni-tasker that should be found in the kitchen is a fire extinquisher.
Ask you this questions:
- Does it add just more complexity instead of depth? (More items means more complexity, for example)
- Does it bring the game "forward", will there be more fun? Is it easy to learn?
- Is it the right way? It's easy to say we need something to change the priorities of the electric network, but it is a big step to use the circuit network for controlling power switches, that enables to turn off energy, if not needed.

9. Add examples, pics, videos, links to other suggestions
Try to create a picture in our (and the readers) mind! "A pic tells more than thousand words" is especially true for Factorio.
Don't ever ask "I can also provide a picture/screenshot of what I mean. Should I?". :)

10. Don't make suggestions to stuff you don't really understand yet :)
Bad: "It's my second game and I want to make a suggestion about the logistic network..."
Good: 'I'll wait two or three more weeks and until then I can store my post in the drafts' (you know you can store your post as draft in phpbb?)
Best: 'I think I really haven't understand that logistic stuff. There is something missing, how can all the others play with that, without crying?? And I searched through the forum and wiki and didn't found anything. I will ask in the Help-Forum now!'

About the proper way to make lists

Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 4:53 pm
by ssilk
Today I got an interesting question, I want to answer open:
Hometruck wrote:About the proper way to make lists
Hello.
I was looking at the post about how to make good suggestions, and i was wondering, what is the best way to handle a great many ideas?
Do i make tons of topics with one idea per? Make one topic that is a list? Plug all my ides into the topic i have already made? Or just find a topic that is related to each idea and plug it in?

Sincerely, someone who organizes messages on the internet way too much like letters.
I like this question, cause here is someone, which had thought a bit, before posting. :)
First a little bit back in time: When I begun in this forum - now about 1 year ago - I also had many ideas and made big threads, gigantic posts. When I look at my good posts I see there a change. So it is possible to make good suggestions, but don't await to make perfect suggestions in one day. Nobody will await it! :)

When is it ok to make a list?
Some lists are ok:
- A list about some special theme. The train for example, about terrain, inserters... I would say: One thread per game-entity, but this is too technical. :)
- Lists about improving some very special stuff. The more special, the better. ;)

Focus the subject! The more special the subject, the better. Long lists here are ok, but try to make one point as short as possible, not too deep into the details, the readers can think about the rest.

Here are some examples, where I would say this is more or less ok - sometimes a bit too wide, but still ok:
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=2108
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=1671
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=2165 (even if the form is not so ok)
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=1677
...

When is better to make single posts?

Well. If your ideas are about very different themes.
Example: You have two ideas. One idea about the biters, the other about defense.
For example you want to have the biters more attack and attack the laser-towers for example.

Me: "Are the ideas connected?"
You: "Both is about fight!"
Me: "Really?"
You: "Yes, the biters fight and the laser-towers defend!"
Me: "What if I say, that the biters are not able to do so? They cannot think about 'better' targets. It's her instinct, they 'smell' the character, but they don't smell the laser-towers. They cannot attack it, because her physics doesn't allow it. It's easy to implement it, but - that changes many other aspects of the game, too." (Of course this is just invented for this example, so don't take that real (even if I would like to have it so ;) ))

You see: If you go too deep in your suggestions, you come to a point, some stuff, which you cannot know yet. You shovel the grave for your idea, if you go too deep into the details of how exactly something should work in the game. That's not your job. Your job is to think about, what you want to play. What you like and what not.
So try to avoid such connected stuff. They are difficult to discuss and in general the older gamers are not very happy with them. I can say, that a connected idea has a lower chance to be positively disussed, than an unconnected. Try to avoid to connect too many different things in one post. Focus.

For example, the solution for the above idea is like so:

- The biters should have more attack.
-----> Fine, that's just balancing!
- There should be something - for example the biters (let that open, we can imagine that, we are not stupid) - which should attack the defense, instead of the character.
-----> That's a good suggestion. Because others can say "Yeah, I thought about it. I think some flying thingy." and the next says "Exactly, I thought to some birds." and the next one says "And how about worms, they can dig underground?" ... :)

When is it better to add your suggestion to an existing thread?
When you just want and can add something to an already existing and more or less accepted theme. Here also: The more special, the better.

Best example: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =10#p27777

Checklist:
If you have the ideas in your head go through this list and if you can make a check when an idea it is ready for post. If not, well, then it is eventually not so important? :roll:

- Priorize your ideas!. Do not post just the stuff you want most! Sort your ideas by "ripeness". Is the idea ripe now? Well, this is just a feeling, hear to it!
- Don't hurry. Factorio is planned to be finished in summer 2015. The priorities will of course change, but I think even in winter 2014 it will be possible to make new suggestions.
- Make it short. The shorter, the better. :)
- Don't try to change the game. The game is much bigger than your simple idea. There are thousands of good idea in Factorio. Don't try to change it in one post! :)
- Let it open. Others can add their ideas. One open idea leads to the next open idea. And suddenly you have a much better suggestion as in the beginning.
- Do not connect ideas together. New idea, new thread.
- Focus! One idea, theme, entity per thread.
- Take the readers to the same level and then bring your idea. As mentioned above, if you cannot explain the idea in two-three sentences it is not good. But you should not count the way how you are coming to that idea. It is ok to explain 1-2 paragraphs before you come to you point; especially, if this is a complex theme or something from the "real world", which not everybody can know. Introduce your sight and then ... put in the idea.
- Tell a story. "I think a bigger tank for fuel is needed" vs. "Yesterday I played around and I found that my fuel was to fast depleted.....so I want to suggest a bigger tank..." - Tell us the "W's" (why, when...).

... and of course all the other stuff already mentioned above...

Re: Read this OR be ignored!

Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:06 pm
by Albin00
hallo

Re: Read this OR be ignored!

Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:21 pm
by ssilk
Hello and welcome, :)
but
the heading says clearly "Read this OR be ignored", not "Write hello OR be ignored". :) :twisted:
Use the off-topic-board for that: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =27&t=1698

Re: Read this OR be ignored!

Posted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:49 pm
by ssilk
Sorry guys, when I changed this title I had a bit too much alcohol intus (30 degrees outside and a full glass of self mixed Mochito). It is possible, that I thought it was a good idea to have a subject, which everybody says "Hu, what's that? I MUST read that...". But I think it wasn't. :roll: So I changed it now back to something more serious and deleted all the posts.

Sorry again. But I have to think about, that this is not my forum and that there are people, which make their outcome from this. I hope you understand.

Everyone else's suggestion is boring. :)

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:14 am
by ssilk
This is a copy from this post: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=4603

Hm. Let me say it so: Everyone else's suggestion is boring. :)

I try to read every suggestion carefully (not always), but with the long ones I also have sometimes problems, especially,
- when they go too deep into details (exact numbers of how much resource/power etc. should be used to built/achieve this and that) or
- are a list of ideas after the first game (I call that "emission"), which is 50% already suggested, another 30% is just bullshit (sorry, but I don't say that normally so directly), 10% is ok and the rest of 10% are really new and good. :)

The last ones are the most difficult to handle, cause such topics tend often after 3-10 posts to be unusable in the end.

So, see my big suggestions as a try to bring everything together. They are many times a "Best Of" about a subject plus own ideas. :)