Re-use blue print signature

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Escadin
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Re-use blue print signature

Post by Escadin » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:23 pm

First of all, I apologize for any potential snarkyness. I've been making this experience for a long time now and it's getting really frustrating.


Basic Blueprinting workflow
FACTORIO_WORKFLOW_1.png
FACTORIO_WORKFLOW_1.png (10.23 KiB) Viewed 915 times
Great. Your GUI perfectly supports this.


Now compare to this and note where the problem is:
Actual Blueprinting workflow for anyone who builds complex designs (e.g. involving circuits or rails)
FACTORIO_WORKFLOW_2.png
FACTORIO_WORKFLOW_2.png (13.05 KiB) Viewed 915 times
The yellow section, the part where you have to go through all 4 item category tabs (worst case), type an ideally unique and distinct string, remember to hit all the necessary check boxes and so forth actually forms the bulk of the work when creating a blue print. It can easily take 20s worth of concentrated clicking and thinking while everything else is mostly confirming stuff in a sec. A single mistake (especially with the checkboxes) and you might have to start all over again even though the actual blueprint is correct.

This means if you have to repeat the step over and over again during bugtesting you'll be repeating 90% of the actual work over and over again which is extremely frustrating. Especially since this work is not even necessary for this process - it just helps you further down the road to identify the blueprints among others.
At the same time, it is very unlikely that a design's purpose will change during adaptation / updating / fixing / altering. This means you have to repeat a majority of your work even though NOTHING changed about the details you fiddle into the UI.

Finally this is both a critical moment in creating blue prints (poor error tolerance: many mistakes can be made, recovering from mistakes may require to start from scratch) and dulling busy work people will force themselves throgh which results in a lot of user error potential and thus to even more runs through the yellow area and more frustration.

----


Now, I know it's your game and you can do as you please. I'm not gonna tell you what you should do.
However, for the first time in my life I understand what those guys are trying to teach me about usability (specifically task efficiency) and why it can make for a really poor and frustrating experience.
The process of creating a blue print is way too finely grained for any use context outside of making a completely new blue print from scratch. Every single step has to be manually repeated and unchanged information will not be saved if you need to update a blue print (even just a single piece, a missing piece of belt or even just lamps you forgot).

So can I humbly suggest a "redraw blueprint" button please? Something like, you keep the blue print signature but can go back to drawing entities and then skip the signature part? I doubt I would be the only one to love this.

Thanks for your attention.
(Really hope you see this)
"--? How are commands compounded in a compounded compound command commanding compound composts." -defines.lua

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Re: Re-use blue print signature

Post by eradicator » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:10 pm

Escadin wrote: I doubt I would be the only one to love this.
Rest assured you're not. I've been to insanity and back over this. Making new mistakes every time i iterate a design, and then innerly raging that i have to set all the symbols/name/etc for the k+1's time. And then forgetting to press save name and open it up *again*. Ctrl+moues drag to reacpture the bp would be awesome.

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Re: Re-use blue print signature

Post by steinio » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:13 pm

+1
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Re: Re-use blue print signature

Post by 5thHorseman » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:40 pm

100% agreed.

I've stopped using icons for blueprints because of how often I must redo them. I don't even name blueprints until they've proven their worth to me over multiple placements. Most of the time, I just blueprint something already on the ground and then toss the blueprint when done.

It's a bit sad all that functionality I'm missing because of the UI/UX issues.
"So you completed the game with a spaghetti factory? Well I hand crafted a rocket and threw it into space with my bare hands!"

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Re: Re-use blue print signature

Post by mp0011 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:28 pm

Blueprints should work as regular copy/paste/delete, not item in the game.

Have a selection tool (may have more purposes, like show content of selected chests, or display stats for part of factory; may also have "Shift+click" to select objects individually, not just a rectangle). Then, You press CTRL+C or CTRL+X or DEL, to copy, cut (copy + mark for remove) or just remove.

To paste You press CTRL+V, and last copied blueprint appears "attached to cursor", waiting to click. This should build regular ghosts to be placed by bots. If You press Shift+CTRL+V, blueprint is just a placeholder, bots would not build it. You may select it (with selection tool), and then "confirm to allow bots to build".

No book to lost/delete, no inventory wasted etc.
No scrolling through endless book of similar, huge projects.

You may still however:
- save clipboard content to Your database and share it. It's not a book, it's just a directory, with subdirs and files. You can select few, copy it to other directory and so on. All blueprints are in all game saves, but are not saved within it. IF You wish You can, but not in form of "item", just as attachment.
- Edit saved blueprint (open in "tutorial" like window, separate from the "real" world, with access to test tools, like infinity chests or power.

I have searched few hours blueprint Book I accidentally lost in one of the chests...

Also, selecting multiple objects with select tool should allow You to set items parameters at once, instead of "copy setting and run through the factory, watching moving belts and trains"...

Active pause is also good addition to this changes.
Also, the "design view" - simplified versions of objects (no textures, just schematic icons). Can be done with current engine (just load flat, square textures instead of regular ones)

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Re: Re-use blue print signature

Post by golfmiketango » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:05 pm

In an ideal world, I kind-of feel like the blueprint setup GUI would have a toggle button that would let us switch between the visual representation and the decoded blueprint json (or whatever that stuff is) text... in theory it might create some kind of game balance problem but in practice that rubicon was crossed a long time ago since any such limitations are enforced only by obscurity of the format. I suspect it wouldn't be that hard to implement but hard to be sure of course.

Furthermore, (still in ideal-world mode), the visual part of the GUI would employ a fully-featured factorio surface, effectively embedding a mini "creative mode" in the base-game.

That last part is a pretty big ask though. It is probably possible to realize the mini-creative-mode thing right now as a mod (actually IIRC there used to be one that claimed to do something like that). Either way the hard part is ensuring that items/entities/statistics/etc do not bleed through from the mini-creative-mode into the game. Also there are some tricky decisions to make about whether or not the entities in the mini-creative mode are permitted to actually operate or should all be disabled, or what. If they are all effectively frozen in time and disabled (probably the best option imo), then there would probably be various wierd complications stemming from that :)
Last edited by golfmiketango on Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Re-use blue print signature

Post by BHakluyt » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:15 pm

How about when right after taking a blueprint its placed on the alpha ether you see when doing ingame tutorials. When editing a bp you go here too, where the whole bp is much more accessible, like being able to zoom in. Its such a hassle to edit large bps.

On this screen have a retake button which wipes everything and take you back to your game screen to retake the bp. Otherwise also all the infos and icons and stuff can be displayed uptop the screen somewhere. And yes its super annoying having to hit enter to save the bp name. Maybe a prompt before closing the screen to save at very least, but i am sure there can be more imaginative ways. Why not have the bp name have an edit button which pop up a screen where you type the name and have to click tick or cross in order to get back to previous screen...

Edit.. sorry I scanned too fast over second post above. Already mentioned the tutorial like thing. Anyhow, I think it will look fantastic!

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Re: Re-use blue print signature

Post by mp0011 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:17 pm

golfmiketango wrote:Furthermore, (still in ideal-world mode), the visual part of the GUI would employ a fully-featured factorio surface, effectively embedding a mini "creative mode" in the base-game.

That last part is a pretty big ask though.
It's already in the game in the form of tutorials. You have separated world, with items You may not necessary discovered yet, and You can edit it.
I see no reason why it can not be used to edit blueprints.

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Re: Re-use blue print signature

Post by Impatient » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:07 pm

+++3

When I made blueprint libraries I had to write the titles and select the icons again and again and again. ... This suggestion would really help.

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Re: Re-use blue print signature

Post by golfmiketango » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:38 pm

mp0011 wrote:
golfmiketango wrote:Furthermore, (still in ideal-world mode), the visual part of the GUI would employ a fully-featured factorio surface, effectively embedding a mini "creative mode" in the base-game.

That last part is a pretty big ask though.
It's already in the game in the form of tutorials. You have separated world, with items You may not necessary discovered yet, and You can edit it.
I see no reason why it can not be used to edit blueprints.
I did not know that. I'll give it a try... sounds promising. I assume you mean the construction robots tutorial?

(/me tries it)

OK, I do not want to have to go through all that rigamarole just to get there. Also, that tutorial does not give me access to my blueprint books which is where all the action would normally be, and items exported to your blueprint library seem not to persist on the other side of the tutorial :(

This has got me thinking a bit though, of some things that might be fun to try.... Anyhow thanks for the pointer, I had no clue that was in there!

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Re: Re-use blue print signature

Post by mp0011 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:56 pm

I mean any tutorial, available in "Square Academic Cap" menu. It's separate, scriptable world, with grid instead of background (what is fantastic for editing blueprints).
Inventory is totally unrelated to "real world" inventory, same as available items. Just load blueprint instead of current tutorial map, add option to save changes...
Remove "illegal" stuff before saving, like infinity chests, or filter it every time before importing to real world, if items are not allowed there.

I do not know however, how it would work on servers... Do player vanish from the "real world"? Will he "Sleepwalking" over "real world", or just freeze?
Can he be killed in editor? May few players edit one blueprint? Maybe, there should be some kind of building, where player may walk in to edit on server?
I just imagine mixing some Matrix plots into Factorio... Phone Booth, or something... ;)

However, for single player it may work.

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Re: Re-use blue print signature

Post by golfmiketango » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:33 am

mp0011 wrote: I do not know however, how it would work on servers... Do player vanish from the "real world"? Will he "Sleepwalking" over "real world", or just freeze?
Can he be killed in editor? May few players edit one blueprint? Maybe, there should be some kind of building, where player may walk in to edit on server?
I just imagine mixing some Matrix plots into Factorio... Phone Booth, or something... ;)

However, for single player it may work.
:lol:

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Re: Re-use blue print signature

Post by Escadin » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:25 pm

Let's give this a final bump since GUI rework is on the way. Really hope you awesome devs neither missed this nor that it is already too late to add.
"--? How are commands compounded in a compounded compound command commanding compound composts." -defines.lua

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