integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post your ideas and suggestions how to improve the game.

Moderator: ickputzdirwech

Post Reply
krux02
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue May 06, 2014 2:45 pm
Contact:

integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by krux02 »

As I've already heared. The game is intended that you can see what is going on. That is one reason why you can't build curves under the ground, and I like it. But I don't see a reason why I should not see what a factory is intended to produce. Why not adding a permanent sign to the factory that shows me what it is producing all the time. Do this with all the things that the alt mode vizualized additionally and then get rid of it. I don't see the point of hiding what the alt-mode can show you. Especially for new players this can come handy that don't know about that mode. I found out about the mode only by accident, because sometime you just hit alt.

Chthon
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 4:06 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by Chthon »

The game violates their rule of you always see everything that's going on at all times already in several places. Underground conveyors must be moused over to see where they lead. Chests, and train engines/cars don't tell you what is in them unless you use the alt key and you'll never know when they're full. Science labs don't show you what resources they have without the alt key. Factories and smelters don't show you what's inside with out the alt key, and even then they don't tell you why they've stopped (lack of resources, or room?)

You also can't tell when a mine has run out of resources or it just needs power without mousing over it (it's not always easily visible when low) and far away mines lead you to not knowing why your belt is running out since you can't see them for being so far away. This coupled with the lack of visibility on trains means you often have to run halfway across the map to see why your iron satellite base stopped sending you more iron via train. It could be half destroyed due to an attack you missed the notification, don't get me started on how little notification there actually is, or it could just be out of resources. You won't know.

"What you see is what you play" is the motto they pass on for their reasons for not implementing certain things. However this principle only works fully in games where everything can be represented on one screen. E.g. Pacman or Burger Time. The second you start having more to the game than one screens worth of information, you begin to violate this principle. Then there's the fact that without underground belts you can't have complex systems, you can't add animations for everything without greatly extending development, etc. Now you've gone half way with it, but are afraid to fully commit to fully implement useful features because you can't see them all on one screen.

A sign outside the front would be the easiest way to implement what you want, and I support it, but it avoids the greater issue of "What you see is not what you play" in the game. That's a line that has been crossed, and can't be taken back without destroying what they've done so far. Instead we should stop clinging to a principle that is already violated like it's the core focus of the game, and open discussion on how far we can go to improve the game, without completely losing sight of the line in the first place.

goertzenator
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:59 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by goertzenator »

krux02 wrote:As I've already heared. The game is intended that you can see what is going on. That is one reason why you can't build curves under the ground, and I like it. But I don't see a reason why I should not see what a factory is intended to produce. Why not adding a permanent sign to the factory that shows me what it is producing all the time. Do this with all the things that the alt mode vizualized additionally and then get rid of it. I don't see the point of hiding what the alt-mode can show you. Especially for new players this can come handy that don't know about that mode. I found out about the mode only by accident, because sometime you just hit alt.
I also found it by accident; it should at least receive passing mention in the tutorial.

That said, I usually leave it turned off. It makes it hard to tell if a factory is operating, most notably the chemical plant. Also, it is kind of ugly and ruins the aesthetic. But when I need it, it is super valuable.

krux02
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue May 06, 2014 2:45 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by krux02 »

Chthon wrote:Underground conveyors must be moused over to see where they lead.
No, they are always straight under ground and the next exit of belts is always matching. No mouse over needed. The mouse over just helps to understand that. Just google for Gestalt law of clusure.
Chthon wrote:Chests, and train engines/cars don't tell you what is in them unless you use the alt key and you'll never know when they're full.
that's the point. I would like them to tell me what is in them without me using the alt-mode. Just integrate what the current alt-mode dose into the graphics.
Chthon wrote: Science labs don't show you what resources they have without the alt key. Factories and smelters don't show you what's inside with out the alt key, [...]

ditto
Chthon wrote: and even then they don't tell you why they've stopped (lack of resources, or room?)
yes I do agree it is still not perfect. I just want to say that less requirement to mouse over is better.
Chton wrote:However this principle only works fully in games where everything can be represented on one screen. E.g. Pacman or Burger Time.
there is a lot more that can be represented on the screen in factorio: progress bars, resource capacities, products. I don't see any reasons why this should not be possible or break anything that is already achieved. I can give you a game example, too. In settlers 2 there were buildings that produced materials and all resources were brought instide the building and you and to click on them to see what they actually had. In settlers 3 they used piles of resources in front of the building, so that you could see how much resources were left.
The second you start having more to the game than one screens worth of information, you begin to violate this principle. Then there's the fact that without underground belts you can't have complex systems, you can't add animations for everything without greatly extending development, etc. Now you've gone half way with it, but are afraid to fully commit to fully implement useful features because you can't see them all on one screen.

A sign outside the front would be the easiest way to implement what you want, and I support it, but it avoids the greater issue of "What you see is not what you play" in the game. That's a line that has been crossed, and can't be taken back without destroying what they've done so far. Instead we should stop clinging to a principle that is already violated like it's the core focus of the game, and open discussion on how far we can go to improve the game, without completely losing sight of the line in the first place.
now that I already broke your argument that underground belts are invisible, I would like to have an other example where that "line [...] has been crossed"

SilverWarior
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 559
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:23 am
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by SilverWarior »

There are several reasons why detailed info is implemented as it is now:
1. As you have probably alreqdy realized based on coments so far not all pepole prefere seeing detailed information all the time.
2. It is true that Setters 3 did alow you to see buildgin inventory stock by showin items representation outside. But that unfortunately woth work nicely with Factorio. Why?
In Settlers 3 the maximum number of different products that a specific building could create is three (if my memory serves me corectly) and any of the buildings also used 2 to three different resources for its production. So it wasn't so hard to include visual representation of these recources into buildings graphics.
But in factorio you have single type of building (assembly machine) which can create athleast a dozen of different items (mucm much more with aditional mods). This makes implementing similar approach as it was used in Settlers 3 extreemly hard. So hard that it is probably not woth the time invested to it.
3. Since Factorio is still in active development this means that any ingame graphics might still get changed in the future. So lets say that similar system as it was implemented in Settlers 3 is used and you change graphical representation to some item. You would have to change all the graphics for all the buildings that can use or produce that item.

tralala
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:56 am
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by tralala »

The alt-mode should be the default mode. You can turn it off if you wanna have a prettier look. I don't understand why the alt-mode isn't the default mode (or give at least an option to make the alt-mode the default one).

User avatar
ssilk
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 12262
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:35 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by ssilk »

Sometimes you might just wanna see the beauty of the scenery... :ugeek:
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
Have you used the Advanced Search today?
Need help, question? FAQ - Wiki - Forum help
I still like small signatures...

User avatar
Drury
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 753
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:01 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by Drury »

I don't like alt-mode because it adds a lot of visual clutter. I only turn it on when necessary.

Also
krux02 wrote:
Chthon wrote:Underground conveyors must be moused over to see where they lead.
No, they are always straight under ground and the next exit of belts is always matching. No mouse over needed. The mouse over just helps to understand that.
This is not true as you can have a belt going directly beneath another, paralell belt. I actually have a belt hub working like this in my factory but I can't send screenshots as I'm on a vacation.

Speaking of my factory and underground belt clarity - it's pretty damn low-to-nonexistent. See FFF #33 for early screenshot of the factory (quite tidy compared to current state).
Image

Hyena Grin
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:05 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by Hyena Grin »

You can't have two belts on top of each other. I just tried. If you place down an entrance and an exit, and then attempt to place a new entrance between the first two, it will connect with the previously placed exit and the first entrance placed will be isolated.

So unless I am mistaking what you mean, the game automatically closes underground belts. It's always the closest entrance/exit pair in a straight line.

Anyway, I wouldn't mind a little more sensible information being depicted. There'd be a few good ways to do it, like science labs could easily show which colours of packets are currently stored without it being too cluttered.

For the most part though, If I want to see what a factory is doing I can just tap Alt. I don't need to keep it up, so the clutter problem is really only true for as long as I keep the overlay up.

Garm
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:46 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by Garm »

Hyena Grin wrote:You can't have two belts on top of each other. I just tried. If you place down an entrance and an exit, and then attempt to place a new entrance between the first two, it will connect with the previously placed exit and the first entrance placed will be isolated.
Yes you can

Image

You just need to use different types of underground belts.

Hyena Grin
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:05 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by Hyena Grin »

Aha! I didn't try different belt speeds.

Learn something new every day.

Chthon
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 4:06 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by Chthon »

krux02 wrote:
Chthon wrote:Underground conveyors must be moused over to see where they lead.
No, they are always straight under ground and the next exit of belts is always matching. No mouse over needed. The mouse over just helps to understand that. Just google for Gestalt law of clusure.
This is true, only where you have one type of conveyor belt. However once you have several, and have complex set ups, it becomes very difficult, to the point of confusing, to know what is going on down below ground. See the picture Garm provided.
garm wrote:Image
Note, this is another case of underground belts acting buggy. In all fairness it should be fixed, as with the side inserting only giving one lane. Such behavior was not intended, and could have other unforeseen consequences. If the developers actually want this kind of behavior, they need to redesign their code to specifically allow for it or it could lead to issues down the road.
krux02 wrote:
Chthon wrote:Chests, and train engines/cars don't tell you what is in them unless you use the alt key and you'll never know when they're full.
that's the point. I would like them to tell me what is in them without me using the alt-mode. Just integrate what the current alt-mode dose into the graphics.
This is why I agreed with you later on. I'm not arguing against your proposal. I'm arguing that such things are necessary because what you see is not what you play in this game.
krux02 wrote:
Chthon wrote: Science labs don't show you what resources they have without the alt key. Factories and smelters don't show you what's inside with out the alt key, [...]

ditto
Chthon wrote: and even then they don't tell you why they've stopped (lack of resources, or room?)
yes I do agree it is still not perfect. I just want to say that less requirement to mouse over is better.
Chton wrote:However this principle only works fully in games where everything can be represented on one screen. E.g. Pacman or Burger Time.
there is a lot more that can be represented on the screen in factorio: progress bars, resource capacities, products. I don't see any reasons why this should not be possible or break anything that is already achieved. I can give you a game example, too. In settlers 2 there were buildings that produced materials and all resources were brought instide the building and you and to click on them to see what they actually had. In settlers 3 they used piles of resources in front of the building, so that you could see how much resources were left.
There eventually comes a point where the user gets information overload, and cannot process all of it at once. This point can vary from person to person, and some, but not all, can learn to filter out only the information that they want. Having so much information that you overload the player is another case of "What you see is not what you play." The information is there to be seen, but the player simply cannot see it all.
krux02 wrote:
The second you start having more to the game than one screens worth of information, you begin to violate this principle. Then there's the fact that without underground belts you can't have complex systems, you can't add animations for everything without greatly extending development, etc. Now you've gone half way with it, but are afraid to fully commit to fully implement useful features because you can't see them all on one screen.

A sign outside the front would be the easiest way to implement what you want, and I support it, but it avoids the greater issue of "What you see is not what you play" in the game. That's a line that has been crossed, and can't be taken back without destroying what they've done so far. Instead we should stop clinging to a principle that is already violated like it's the core focus of the game, and open discussion on how far we can go to improve the game, without completely losing sight of the line in the first place.
now that I already broke your argument that underground belts are invisible, I would like to have an other example where that "line [...] has been crossed"
Now that Garm has shown that my argument about underground belts is valid, I will still give you more examples. Pollution levels can only be seen on an alternate overlay. Sure you can see smoke, but you can't see noise, water pollution, etc. Biter nest level caused by pollution is also secret. In no way can the player tell what level a nest is before it starts spawning aggressors. Radars never quickly update the map for changes. This requires scouting on the players part, or patience.

Not all hidden features should be changed. However it should be accepted that this game is not "What you see is what you play."

Garm
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:46 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by Garm »

Chthon wrote:...as with the side inserting only giving one lane. Such behavior was not intended, and could have other unforeseen consequences...
What? everything in that picture was intended and working as planned. Including inserters.


While it is possible to have 2 underground belts in one area, I disagree with merging alt-mode.

You see there is information, and too much information. This is the case of too much information.

You can already see if factory/furnace/science lab is working or not. If you are using belts to feed them you can already guess what resource is missing.



By the way if you want to see everything press F7...and tell me if you like playing that way ;)

Chthon
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 4:06 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by Chthon »

Garm wrote:
Chthon wrote:...as with the side inserting only giving one lane. Such behavior was not intended, and could have other unforeseen consequences...
What? everything in that picture was intended and working as planned. Including inserters.


While it is possible to have 2 underground belts in one area, I disagree with merging alt-mode.

You see there is information, and too much information. This is the case of too much information.

You can already see if factory/furnace/science lab is working or not. If you are using belts to feed them you can already guess what resource is missing.



By the way if you want to see everything press F7...and tell me if you like playing that way ;)
Intended by you or by the game designers. The problems I talk about are from a coding perspective. What if unbeknownst to you one item in 50 were being transported to a remote area of the map and stacking up, eventually causing your game to crash or something because of the bugginess of underground belts? Here you have a crash issue, and it probably would take a lot of the designer's time just trying to track down why. Because of this, I'd rather use objects specifically designed for a purpose, rather than exploiting a glitch to do the same thing.

As for the F7, perhaps you didn't catch the part where I talked about information overload. I'm not a proponent of "What you see is what you play" in a game this complex. I simply want users who are to realize that this is already violated, and for good reason. This means we should discuss whether or not new violations of this bring something worthwhile to the game without making it too hard to control, rather than just writing them off because the violated this principle.

Finally, I'm not asking for a permanent integration of Alt mode. Just a sign that is placed on the outside of an active factory showing the product. Doesn't have to be big, doesn't have to show whether or not the factory is active. Just something to let the player know what part of his factory he's currently in if he's forgotten.

Garm
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 368
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:46 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by Garm »

Chthon wrote: Intended by you or by the game designers. The problems I talk about are from a coding perspective. What if unbeknownst to you one item in 50 were being transported to a remote area of the map and stacking up, eventually causing your game to crash or something because of the bugginess of underground belts? Here you have a crash issue, and it probably would take a lot of the designer's time just trying to track down why. Because of this, I'd rather use objects specifically designed for a purpose, rather than exploiting a glitch to do the same thing.
How do you know inserters dont do that either? or maybe boilers instead of removing coal teleport it somewhere beyond the map as well? In fact I see the current setup as healthy responce of properly working system, perhaps unintended but expectable.
Chthon wrote: As for the F7, perhaps you didn't catch the part where I talked about information overload. I'm not a proponent of "What you see is what you play" in a game this complex. I simply want users who are to realize that this is already violated, and for good reason. This means we should discuss whether or not new violations of this bring something worthwhile to the game without making it too hard to control, rather than just writing them off because the violated this principle.
Then do so....in the other thread specifically for such suggestions. If there is a good reason to include it - I would expect players and developers alike agreeing with you.
Chthon wrote: Finally, I'm not asking for a permanent integration of Alt mode. Just a sign that is placed on the outside of an active factory showing the product. Doesn't have to be big, doesn't have to show whether or not the factory is active. Just something to let the player know what part of his factory he's currently in if he's forgotten.
That is understandable, and valid argument, perhaps devs will implement that.

Gammro
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 357
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:45 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by Gammro »

Chthon wrote:
Garm wrote:
Chthon wrote: Intended by you or by the game designers. The problems I talk about are from a coding perspective. What if unbeknownst to you one item in 50 were being transported to a remote area of the map and stacking up, eventually causing your game to crash or something because of the bugginess of underground belts? Here you have a crash issue, and it probably would take a lot of the designer's time just trying to track down why.
That's a bit of a (gigantic) leap isn't it? What you're basically implying is that unrealistic/illogical behaviour(in our world) could lead to severe bugs. It's like the link between masturbation and blindness, there is none. If one in 50 items would be transported somewhere else, there's something really wrong with your code, not with the concept of the underground belt itself.

I'm not saying this shouldn't be fixed, but if anything, making more rules for the placement of underground belts would increase the chance of a bug being in there. A bug may lead to unwanted behavior, but unwanted behavior because you didn't take it into account while making specifications isn't always a bug.
Ignore this

User avatar
Sedado77
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:32 am
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by Sedado77 »

Garm wrote:
Chthon wrote: Intended by you or by the game designers. The problems I talk about are from a coding perspective. What if unbeknownst to you one item in 50 were being transported to a remote area of the map and stacking up, eventually causing your game to crash or something because of the bugginess of underground belts? Here you have a crash issue, and it probably would take a lot of the designer's time just trying to track down why. Because of this, I'd rather use objects specifically designed for a purpose, rather than exploiting a glitch to do the same thing.
How do you know inserters dont do that either? or maybe boilers instead of removing coal teleport it somewhere beyond the map as well? In fact I see the current setup as healthy responce of properly working system, perhaps unintended but expectable.
Chthon wrote: As for the F7, perhaps you didn't catch the part where I talked about information overload. I'm not a proponent of "What you see is what you play" in a game this complex. I simply want users who are to realize that this is already violated, and for good reason. This means we should discuss whether or not new violations of this bring something worthwhile to the game without making it too hard to control, rather than just writing them off because the violated this principle.
Then do so....in the other thread specifically for such suggestions. If there is a good reason to include it - I would expect players and developers alike agreeing with you.
Chthon wrote: Finally, I'm not asking for a permanent integration of Alt mode. Just a sign that is placed on the outside of an active factory showing the product. Doesn't have to be big, doesn't have to show whether or not the factory is active. Just something to let the player know what part of his factory he's currently in if he's forgotten.
That is understandable, and valid argument, perhaps devs will implement that.
I think it's not. You're telling me you want the devs and the art pple to do a new graphic for you just because you don't want to hit the ALT key?
You're asking for what already hitting alt gives you, but in the "normal" mode.
You can address this issue by hitting ALT, seing what the factory makes (it is shown in each A.M.) and hitting ALT again to stop showing it. As easy as that.

And also, why does it bother you if the devs call the game a "WYSIWYP"?
ANY game has a lot of hidden values, even in Ms. Pac-man you don't have anything to tell you when will the cherry appear.
What they almost always mean with this WYSIWYP is that they're not going for a "DF" z-level way of showing stuff. And I agree that they shouldn't expand that way until the 0-level game is almost flawless, and MP is functioning :D

W/E, I think it's not necessary to integrate the ALT mode, that's why it's an ALT mode. You can switch it with a single key press... There's not an easier way, IMO.

Edit: As for the underground belt "hack", it's been said by the devs that it IS the desired functionality, the graphics are what isn't proper.

Chthon
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 4:06 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by Chthon »

Sedado77 wrote:And I agree that they shouldn't expand that way until the 0-level game is almost flawless, and MP is functioning :D
Implementing multiplayer in a game which will have mechanics greatly change is a nightmare in and of itself. Multiplayer is usually the last thing implemented in a game. The best way to do it is get the main game perfected with multiplayer in mind, and then implement the multiplayer. Otherwise you have to worry about any change you make now breaking the network code since it needs to handle any data sent. That's double work if you do the multiplayer first.

User avatar
Teurlinx
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon May 05, 2014 9:47 pm
Contact:

Re: integrating the "alt-mode" into the default graphics

Post by Teurlinx »

tralala wrote:The alt-mode should be the default mode. You can turn it off if you wanna have a prettier look. I don't understand why the alt-mode isn't the default mode (or give at least an option to make the alt-mode the default one).
When I started playing I didn't know about the alt-mode. For ~50 hours I have played without and didn't miss it. Then again, now I do use it all the time. It's a nice thing to have, but not vital.

I agree that the ideal solution would be a visual representation on the factory. Give them a flag, sign, banner, whatever which shows the item being produced.

An issue with the 'alt-mode' is that too much is tied into it. You get the icons, arrows, pollution (which completely obscures the (mini-)map lategame).

Post Reply

Return to “Ideas and Suggestions”