Large Bridge Cranes

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DerivePi
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Large Bridge Cranes

Post by DerivePi » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:49 pm

A logistics system for moving large heavy items. Examples of items that would be moved by the bridge cranes include large engine, wheel, chassis assemblies for trains, larger cars, ships, large steam turbines/engines and end game facilities (Launchpad, rocket defense?). The cranes would move large assemblies and deliver them to final staging areas or to a rail car for further shipping.

The added challenges of such a system include space for the crane rails (2 rows of columns every 4 spaces or so), straight runs only, and coordination with rail lines for long distance shipping (a big reason to encourage rail use!)

For "Hey, is that a train in your pocket!" discussion, see item 3 in the following post -
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=3165
"The ability to get trains, diesels, steam engines, oil refineries out of your pocket makes quite a sizeable contribution to the "player can do WAY too much just by hand" problem. Any sort of large-scale construction shouldn't go though player's pocket at all."

Discussion on big buildings in the endgame (big buildings that should require a bridge crane to assemble?)-
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... ngs#p29314

Discussion on Endgame concept that would incorporate a bridge crane logistics nicely:
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... ame#p31063

Real life example:
Ship yard: steel plate is delivered to the panel shop where it is cut and formed and delivered, by bridge crane and rail line to the adjacent fab shop. In the fab shop the plates are placed on welding floors and attached into small fabrications. The fabrications are then delivered to the grand block shop where the small fabrications are welded into ship segments (grand blocks). A crawler then delivers (skipping the paint shop) the grand block to the front of the drydock where a very large bridge crane picks it up and places it next to the other sections for final welding.

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by MisterSpock » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:37 pm

sounds fun

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by Dakkanor » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:21 am

So basically make trains cars and wagons only build capable in an assembler like engines,
Or have them built in a Vehicle yard, then have cranes which can then place them and maybe flatbed wagons to ship vehicles by train.

For added bonus you could have artillery rounds for long range cannons, they're big so the don't stack (or in groups of 4 maybe) so the best way to move them is to load them onto a rack which holds many of them but only can go on a cargo wagon. incentive to build a comprehensive rail system for people like me who don't really utilize it

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by DerivePi » Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:29 pm

Here is a sketch to flesh out the bridge crane idea
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bridge crane.gif
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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by bonob » Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:01 pm

You didn't mention the possibility to move containers around, right?
I mean that cranes are often used for freight trains or ships to load containers; in our case, we could prepare a container in the train station, there's time to load it slowly, with any desired content. When the train arrives, poof, you just need to put the container on the wagon.

Similarly, you take the container full of ore or whatever from the arriving train. Then you have plenty of time to unload the container, move the container, and prepare it with something else for when the train comes back or for another train.

My oh my, that would be fabulous to be able to play with containers and trains like that...

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by DerivePi » Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:18 pm

So you can prepackage a container with all the items you need for a new outpost (with automation), put it on the train and unpack at the new outpost! I like it! The only thing missing is a rail car that can lay track and electric lines (green networked if desired) automatically. Wouldn't that be a treat!

I'm not sure about off loading a rail car full of ore though. The inserters are already pretty fast (15 seconds or so to empty a full car) and I would think a crane would be a bit sluggish.

Thanks for your comments!

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by sonnyskare » Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:48 am

If boats ever become a planned features (barges is what I have in mind, I could definitely see these bridge cranes coming in use for loading shipping containers between trains and boats. Barges could also make offshore oil rigs a possibility (build them and then load them up with the bridge cranes onto a barge). Unfortunately these are just ideas with no backing ):

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by Turtle » Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:42 am

bonob wrote:You didn't mention the possibility to move containers around, right?
I mean that cranes are often used for freight trains or ships to load containers; in our case, we could prepare a container in the train station, there's time to load it slowly, with any desired content. When the train arrives, poof, you just need to put the container on the wagon.

Similarly, you take the container full of ore or whatever from the arriving train. Then you have plenty of time to unload the container, move the container, and prepare it with something else for when the train comes back or for another train.

My oh my, that would be fabulous to be able to play with containers and trains like that...
When I saw the title of this thread, I thought this was going to be the idea... which is something I've also thought about. What's the most common way most people unload a train in Factorio? Inserters into about 4-5 chests. Why not have a container with the capacity of about 4-5 chests that can only be moved by cranes?

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by CreeperDaReeper » Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:31 am

Snip
All of my want. +1

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by Airat9000 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:41 pm

:D picture in good idea/

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by IOScream » Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:17 pm

This sounds pretty brilliant.

I'm assuming this means you can also have trains switch cargo at stations?

I.E They both stop parrallel and the crane moves the container over to another train.

This allows you to have set routes which overlap and have the cargo change without having to have lots of loaders.

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by berni1212 » Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:03 am

Hi !

Do you mean then Different Waggons too like Coal or Iron Hopper car ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopper_car

Because u Transport so Many ores in Facotrio in an Fright Waggon :? ;)
Sorry for my bad English ! i will not remove it !
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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by DerivePi » Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:00 pm

berni1212 wrote:Hi !

Doyou mean then Different Waggons too like Coal or Iron Hopper car ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hopper_car

Because u Transport so Many ores in Facotrio in an Fright Waggon :? ;)
I would be more a fan of placing the item directly onto a small flatbed wagon and treating it similar to an item on a belt (just bigger).

Try some of these mods for different freight wagons:
Rail Tanker - Liquid Transport https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =14&t=6847

Auto rail https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =14&t=4287

Stainless Steel Wagon https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =14&t=7119

Dytech also has armored and fast wagons

As for your English, no need to apologize. Just call it American and we'll all understand :D

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by berni1212 » Thu Dec 25, 2014 8:59 am

I use the most of the mods you wrote here i Like them its really cool but its some kind a BAd Logicthat u Transport Coal or or Iron or or some different ore in an Fright Trailer and not in an Hopper car like they have it on the Big Railnetworks in Real life .

Its like there are so many Different Rail waggons in Reallife that it would be cool if u have some Kind of Different in the Trailers for your Train and some other Locomotives and Waggons like an Hopper car for Iron coal Copper (Mod Ores like Zinc Rutile and some others)

And you with the Flatbet waggon is not that bad too with the Containers that u have many Different for them :) :idea:
Sorry for my bad English ! i will not remove it !
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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by Geonosis » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:40 pm

I wanted to push this thread up as I think the basic idea from the first post would benefit the game a lot! Personally, the mid game goes by in my opinion a bit too quickly, because as soon as I start laying out red conveyor belts, I am already close to having the rocket defense. Making trains and other heavy duty transport a requirement would spice up this part of the game a lot!

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by Doomwyte » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:14 am

When Berni1212 mentioned hopper cars it got me thinking about ways to load and unload them, and these methods came to mind:

Unloading method 1: A trestle or large underground storage container that a train drives over, positioning the cars in such a way that ore can be dumped out the bottom quickly and efficiently. Conveyors could then remove ore directly from under the tracks, skipping the inserter step altogether.

Unloading method 2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotary_car_dumper --the link says it all. As with method 1, conveyors could unload ores directly from whatever it is that the ore is poured into.

Something that would compliment these really well would be a hopper supported above the tracks that ores are loaded into via conveyor ramp (or inserter, although a ramp that pours directly into the top might be more efficient) and then dumped into rail cars when they stop underneath.

If this or something like it doesn't make it into the game then someone should make it into a mod or include it in an existing one :D

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by MeduSalem » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:15 am

I actually like the idea of having some sort of Bridge Cranes to do the heavy work a lot.

There should have been a size/weight system a long time ago of stuff that just can't be picked up by the player and also not transported by any traditional means of belts/inserters/robots just because of how bulky/heavy they are.

The bridge cranes could transport the heavier/bulkier stuff from assembler to assembler and eventually lift it on a flatbed traincar or on the rail itself, or maybe in some sort of garage, for example to deploy the tank or car.

I'd go even so far to eventually forbid most of the train-loading applications with normal inserters. I'd do the loading on trains with huge cargo containers only, which have to be loaded/unloaded with Bridge Cranes and the Cargo Containers have to be unloaded/loaded somewhere next to the rail with inserters then. Obviously the capacity could be adjusted accordingly... with like multiple of the amounts of stuff currently possible to make up for the increased logistics.

The devs need to re-do all the traincars at some point anyways because their non-alignment to the grid is just one of the worst problems in the entire game that renders trainstation building just a nightmare. :D


But there's one major thing we are using right from the start that's bulky and heavy... Steam Engines... and they need to be placed by hand because otherwise we couldn't even progress at all. xD

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by ssilk » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:00 am

MeduSalem wrote: But there's one major thing we are using right from the start that's bulky and heavy... Steam Engines... and they need to be placed by hand because otherwise we couldn't even progress at all. xD
This is exactly the point why I don't get really warm with this idea:

1. Where is the logic? I mean it hasn't to be realistic, but logical. Currently it has its own logic, which is quite simple: if it's not a placed entity it's an item, which you can take with you. Now this suggestion says we have a second type of item, which we cannot take. Like fluids. We need something to handle that also by hand. I see no other possibility, cause otherwise it looses the games logic.

2. Even with ignoring logic: how is this looking? I mean, there are those little pieces of items laying around? And now you say: no, you can't lift it. But the other can. We're here again with logics, but also the overall look of the game.


I've some suggestions.

A) The ability to handle large objects needs to be researched.
We get now a special stack, exactly for one large item. (*)
We get then also some suit to be turned on, when placing/mining such items. I think something like that is already suggested, but I didn't find it yet.

I don't like here, that it needs to be researched first. Steam engine is essential and I need it for research. Maybe this is really not a good idea.

B) another idea, same direction, would be to be able handling such objects only with an antigravity technology. You need an antigravity-platform to place the item onto. Otherwise you cannot move. Once it's placed on the platform you can move it like a piece of butter and the platform can be placed anywhere. This is something like this idea: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=7750

It includes, that some items needs other items to be moved, and this leads me to the next idea:

C) stack improvement. My current favorite idea.

In my opinion stacks are some kind of high end hyperspace technology which enables compression of space and weight. Luckily it needs no power. But it is limited in size. The higher tiers of this tech allow higher compression. Of course. But it is also possible to compress a compressed item and there we are at the boxing tech. Boxing allows exactly that: put a big object in and put that in a stack.

Well, this allows to handle even really big and heavy items like items. Items in boxes. Boxes are of course not available with the steam engines, they can be researched with wagons. Or later. But we can give the character at game start one box for that. Like the default furnace/miner.



(*) to keep the logic we can research also a stack that can handle fluids. If I select this stack and mine on a pipe I can fill that stack. Could be useful, if you filled by accident water in your oil pipes.
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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by MeduSalem » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:56 pm

ssilk wrote: This is exactly the point why I don't get really warm with this idea:

1. Where is the logic? I mean it hasn't to be realistic, but logical. Currently it has its own logic, which is quite simple: if it's not a placed entity it's an item, which you can take with you. Now this suggestion says we have a second type of item, which we cannot take. Like fluids. We need something to handle that also by hand. I see no other possibility, cause otherwise it looses the games logic.

2. Even with ignoring logic: how is this looking? I mean, there are those little pieces of items laying around? And now you say: no, you can't lift it. But the other can. We're here again with logics, but also the overall look of the game.
Yeah, it's a weird situation obviously and I can't tell about a master solution right away. I'm still thinking about possible solutions but it may take some days or even weeks before I come up with something rock-solid that would actually offer an interesting twist to the gameplay and feels natural and not hampering in the early stages of gameplay where one wouldn't have the ability to move those items/place-able entities.

For what we know there should be at least some logical consistency throughout the game and I appreciate that approach.



My first major thought from about a few weeks ago when I first saw the topic was having something like a weight-property tied to all items and placeable entities. It would go as follows:

If we would have some sort of basic exoskeleton right from the beginning when the player strands on the planet (which is upgraded by placing more exoskeleton equipment in the modular armor stuff later on) it would offer a possible explanation as to why we are able to lift certain items that are normally beyond human capability. That means we are able to lift Assemblers, Steam Engines, Engine Units and stuff like that, as long as it doesn't surpass a certain weight-limit. Using additional exoskeleton equipment would further raise said limit so one could theoretically lift a fully loaded locomotive or tank too, even if it is quite unrealistic but who cares it's just a game. At least it would offer a possible gameplay mechanic that is tied to it and gives an additional reason to research and use modular armor and exoskeleton equipment - beyond the walking-speed increase - so one can actually progress to build even bulkier/heavier stuff by hand. That's a way it could work for the player. We already established having flat-space technology for storing items in a compressed near-to-massless format anyways, so the weight-property would kick in only once one pulls the items out of the inventory to place/insert them and the exoskeleton is needed as support. ^^

When we'd apply such a weight-system to items etc then any means of transport could have a weight-limit, even Belts, Inserters, Drones and Rail. Bridge Cranes... might be the only "space saving" way to automate the processes that are too bulky/heavy for other means.

That's the basic direction I'm headed with my thoughts currently and I guess it's similar to what DerivePi had in mind when creating the topic last year. ^^


ssilk wrote: I've some suggestions.

A) The ability to handle large objects needs to be researched.
We get now a special stack, exactly for one large item. (*)
We get then also some suit to be turned on, when placing/mining such items. I think something like that is already suggested, but I didn't find it yet.

I don't like here, that it needs to be researched first. Steam engine is essential and I need it for research. Maybe this is really not a good idea.

B) another idea, same direction, would be to be able handling such objects only with an antigravity technology. You need an antigravity-platform to place the item onto. Otherwise you cannot move. Once it's placed on the platform you can move it like a piece of butter and the platform can be placed anywhere. This is something like this idea: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=7750

It includes, that some items needs other items to be moved, and this leads me to the next idea:

C) stack improvement. My current favorite idea.

In my opinion stacks are some kind of high end hyperspace technology which enables compression of space and weight. Luckily it needs no power. But it is limited in size. The higher tiers of this tech allow higher compression. Of course. But it is also possible to compress a compressed item and there we are at the boxing tech. Boxing allows exactly that: put a big object in and put that in a stack.

Well, this allows to handle even really big and heavy items like items. Items in boxes. Boxes are of course not available with the steam engines, they can be researched with wagons. Or later. But we can give the character at game start one box for that. Like the default furnace/miner.



(*) to keep the logic we can research also a stack that can handle fluids. If I select this stack and mine on a pipe I can fill that stack. Could be useful, if you filled by accident water in your oil pipes.
Actually your suggestions are quite similar to what I had in mind myself, apart from giving items/placeable entities a weight property.

A) If the research done for it would be among the earliest researches it would be no problem. It could be one of the first things one has to do before electric energy is a thing. But then again I find that my idea from above covers the situation quite well from the start without research.

B) Anti-gravity technology seems an quite interesting approach. I could accept that as well. :D

C) Is basically the near-to-massless flatspace technology for compressed storing of items I refered to above. ^^

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Re: Large Bridge Cranes

Post by Garm » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:54 pm

I would agree with Ssilk that (C) would be best out of 3. I wont necessary call it "space compression" but more like IKEA boxes: 1 unit that contains all necessary bolts and screws to build particular building.


There are other ways to go around this problem:

D) Buildings are unequal. All early buildings are easily peaceable by hand as they already are, more complex buildings need to be built. (best solution gameplay-wise, bulk of the game wont change drastically but players who would want to build very special buildings would need to do some additional tinkering beyond resource acquisition)

E) SpaceEngineers style: Buildings by themselves are placed as blueprints only, players (and later machinery) finalize the construction by inserting necessary resources and constructing the building.

F) All at once: Players and machinery can craft "buildings" crates (C) so they can be easily placed and assembled on site (E) perhaps early buildings self-assemble. Very advanced buildings lack "crate form" (D) as such can only be built by machines by inserting basic components into placed blueprint.

With this there is no need to add unnecessary research.

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