Belt Labels

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AntiBlueQuirk
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Belt Labels

Post by AntiBlueQuirk »

TL;DR
Cosmetic only filters that can be applied to belts to act as labels

What ?
I'd like to see some way to mark belts with labels. I think this has been suggested before (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=38788), in the form of belt history, but I have a different, simpler suggestion. Simply update the belt UI to include some filter slots. (Like the filter inserter.) If these are set, the belt should show these filters in the alt-view, as well as in the blueprints. 2-4 would be sufficient for most people, if not, you could just label multiple belts. I would suggest that these have *zero* gameplay impact, they would simply be for cosmetic purposes. As such I think any impact on performance or memory usage should be minimal. Since all the basic elements of this are already in the game, I would think it would be pretty easy to implement as well.
Why ?
This would allow you to tell at a glance if a belt has unintended contents. If the belt filters also appear on blueprints, it could make many blueprints a lot clearer as well. Any blueprint that requires certain things on certain belts would benefit. (i.e., any assembler setup) If possible, it would be nice for the 2/4 slot-labels to rotate with the belts, so when you rotate a blueprint, the belt labels rotate too. (Some designs require belt to have one thing on one side, and another thing on the other.)

This would also allow some more preplanning options. You could for instance, mark a belt in a bus with a label so you know what you're going to put there, even if you don't have the production yet. You could even put part of your main bus into a blueprint, with proper labels. (If you're into that. :) )

I made a mockup to show what I have in mind:
belt_label_mockup.jpg
belt_label_mockup.jpg (199.66 KiB) Viewed 2940 times
Last edited by AntiBlueQuirk on Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

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AileTheAlien
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Re: Belt Labels

Post by AileTheAlien »

You can get a similar result by placing a single item into a chest, near your belt. I do it all the time, so I can know what my belts (or other chests) should be carrying.

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Re: Belt Labels

Post by AntiBlueQuirk »

Yeah, I recently learned that you can use filter inserters to the same effect. It'd just be more clear if the label was on the belt instead.

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Re: Belt Labels

Post by Ranakastrasz »

I agree with this significantly.


Ideally, it needs to support the standard 4 icons, so you can set it up to show two lanes. (top/bottom split for horizontal, left/right for vertical)
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Re: Belt Labels

Post by AntiBlueQuirk »

Ranakastrasz wrote:Ideally, it needs to support the standard 4 icons, so you can set it up to show two lanes. (top/bottom split for horizontal, left/right for vertical)
I was thinking the same thing, but didn't get it put in the mockup.

Maybe this is asking a bit much, but it could be possible to rearrange the icons based on orientation, so there's a "left lane" and "right lane" filter slot in the ui, and the icons would rotate with the belts. This would be especially powerful when rotating blueprints. ("Circuits on the left lane, steel on the right.") I would say the best case would be to have two left lane slots and two right lane slots. If you need more slots than that, you'd just have to label multiple belts.

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Re: Belt Labels

Post by Ranakastrasz »

AntiBlueQuirk wrote:
Ranakastrasz wrote:Ideally, it needs to support the standard 4 icons, so you can set it up to show two lanes. (top/bottom split for horizontal, left/right for vertical)
I was thinking the same thing, but didn't get it put in the mockup.

Maybe this is asking a bit much, but it could be possible to rearrange the icons based on orientation, so there's a "left lane" and "right lane" filter slot in the ui, and the icons would rotate with the belts. This would be especially powerful when rotating blueprints. ("Circuits on the left lane, steel on the right.") I would say the best case would be to have two left lane slots and two right lane slots. If you need more slots than that, you'd just have to label multiple belts.
That was my first thought, but it would requires more of a rewrite, so would be less likely to happen.
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Re: Belt Labels

Post by BenSeidel »

Not as useful in all circumstances but
4 icon belt.jpg
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Re: Belt Labels

Post by AntiBlueQuirk »

I'd like to add that this would also be a useful feature on pipes. No longer would you have to remember/look up/guess which side the water goes into your refinery blueprints for advanced oil processing. You could just label the pipes.

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Re: Belt Labels

Post by Lav »

It would be a nice feature to have. Though indication would need to be different from object contents/settings overlay (like for filters/chests/factories), to prevent confusion.

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Re: Belt Labels

Post by AntiBlueQuirk »

You could color the black "aura" underneath a different color, like white or grey. Actually, that's an interesting concept in general; if the auras had different colors based on whether they indicated contents or configuration. With poor choice of colors it could make the screen harder to read, but done right it could present a little more information as well.

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Re: Belt Labels

Post by Azethoth »

Constant combinators let you do this as well. They have the virtue of not requiring actual stuff in a chest.

However the drawback is that like a chest they don't rotate and so rotating the blueprint aligns with the lanes only 2/4 directions and is lane correct 1/4 times.

On the other hand you can use the black / silver /whatever signals to fake it up so you have decent looking directions in the good orientations.
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Re: Belt Labels

Post by Pzixel »

Any devs attention here? I'd really like to have an option to highlight expected belt content. Using combinators or filter inserters looks just awkward and plain wrong. There should be any ingame method to mark belts instead of mimiking it via other means.

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Re: Belt Labels

Post by pichutarius »

a work around is to use splitters?
1. no need actual item
2. blueprint supported
3. rotation supported
4. error check (wrong item cannot pass through, so the problem will be obvious to player when something goes wrong)

oops, i accidentally convinced myself it is already implemented and even better than what was suggested.
belt label.png
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Re: Belt Labels

Post by ssilk »

It’s a workaround, but what if you have two items (one fore each lane?).
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Re: Belt Labels

Post by Koub »

ssilk wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:24 am
but what if you have two items (one fore each lane?).
See the right part of the screenshot above.
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Re: Belt Labels

Post by Kyralessa »

If you could mark belts with labels, this would be inconsistent with the rest of the UI where those labels (e.g. on assembly machines) are automatic.

If the labels on belts were automatic, it would impede visibility.

A belt could carry a lot of different things. How many labels would it need? If I carried iron ore on a belt, and then smelted it to iron plates on the same belt, and then smelted that to steel on the same belt, should the belt label show all three? Or should it show three different labels, each one in the range of that product?

If I have a belt with gears and a belt with iron plates, and I bring them together to make a belt with one on each side, is that three belts, or one belt?

If I have a yellow belt that turns into a red belt, is that one belt, or two? Would each have its own label?

What if I had a belt that was YRRYRRYRRYRR. How many belts is that? How many belt labels would it have? (This isn't purely facetious; I've used this kind of thing, or YBBYBBYBBYBB, to feed boilers using burner inserters when there's not enough fuel to get the belt backed up.)

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Re: Belt Labels

Post by Sad_Brother »

Kyralessa wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:27 am
A belt could carry a lot of different things. How many labels would it need?
I prefer right and left labels shown on belt's input side.
Each belt piece could be set with one or two labels so if you want several labels, use several belt pieces.

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