improve train block overlay: add directions

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clusterfack
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Show track direction when blueprinting with signals

Post by clusterfack »

When placing tracks&signals using a blueprinted track pattern, it would be useful to know which direction each track is headed when they are being placed, by an icon added to the track itself. Since rail signals already lock rails into going in a certain direction this should be possible to do depending on the rails and rail signals captured within the blueprint.

Here is an image that describes precisely the kind of thing that I'm talking about
Image

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Re: Show track direction when blueprinting with signals

Post by ssilk »

Notice: You have drawn the arrows in the wrong direction. Traffic in Factorio is right-hand-side.
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Re: Show track direction when blueprinting with signals

Post by clusterfack »

Not going to lie I closed out just before checking, swing and a miss for me. Too bad you didn't wait for a few more people to fall prey to the same trap, would have made some good evidence!

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Re: Show track direction when blueprinting with signals

Post by ssilk »

People, watch out, this guy lays traps!

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Cutemine
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improve train block overlay: add directions

Post by Cutemine »

Hey!
simply adding a little arrow at the end of the rail block view would make planning the possible train directions so much easier:
traindirections.png
traindirections.png (2.22 MiB) Viewed 2977 times
Or even add little arrows all along the way to make it even better:
traindirections2.png
traindirections2.png (2.22 MiB) Viewed 2975 times
Notice how you could easily distinguish single/double direction rails.

Also can we please get the ability to show the overlay without having to pick-up a railsignal?

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Re: improve train block overlay: add directions

Post by Zavian »

+1 for the arrows on the end. I'm not sure the arrows in the middle add enough to be worthwhile implementing.

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Re: improve train block overlay: add directions

Post by bobucles »

A simple upgrade that makes a good system even better. +1.

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Re: improve train block overlay: add directions

Post by adjl »

I like this idea a lot, especially where it seems very simple to add. +1
Cutemine wrote:Also can we please get the ability to show the overlay without having to pick-up a railsignal?
I haven't checked since 0.16 hit, but there used to be an option to display the overlay in the debug menu (F4). It might still be in there, though if it hasn't been updated it's not as clean-looking as the one that shows up when you hold a signal.

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Re: improve train block overlay: add directions

Post by Cutemine »

adjl wrote:I like this idea a lot, especially where it seems very simple to add. +1
Cutemine wrote:Also can we please get the ability to show the overlay without having to pick-up a railsignal?
I haven't checked since 0.16 hit, but there used to be an option to display the overlay in the debug menu (F4). It might still be in there, though if it hasn't been updated it's not as clean-looking as the one that shows up when you hold a signal.
I just tested it and as far as I can tell the corresponding option is now gone completely from 0.16 – which makes sense as the current non-debug block visualization looks way better than the previous "cheat" one.

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Re: improve train block overlay: add directions

Post by bNarFProfCrazy »

This would definitely be a good addition, especially for starters.
It would be nice if there was on option to always show these overlay though. Sometimes you have to debug a NoPath error and then have to follow the expected route via map and check for a misplaced signal.

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Indicate direction on rail block lines.

Post by Teraka »

Almost every day we see people having trouble with setting up their first rail system, and a good half of the time it's because a rail they wanted to use as 2-way was actually 1-way.

I think it might be very practical and helpful to have the colored lines that indicate rail blocks not only show blocks, but also the direction in which they go, by showing arrows or some other mean.

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Re: Indicate direction on rail block lines.

Post by DaleStan »

Nitpick: Rail blocks don't have a direction. Only signals do.

With that in mind, here's my idea. I'm not entirely happy with it, though. One of the things I don't like is that the left-pointing arrow on the right set of signals extends past the switch. I want to keep the Xes on the red arrows, which means you can't make the arrows much shorter. It might help to put the arrows on the 2x2 grid, instead of the 1x1 grid?
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direction indicators.png
direction indicators.png (213.17 KiB) Viewed 2355 times

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Re: Indicate direction on rail block lines.

Post by Zavian »

Once you add signals, then effectively rail block do have directions.

+1 to arrowheads showing which way trains can leave a railblock.

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Replace -| with -> on rail segment display to represent rail/train/signal direction

Post by sparr »

Currently when placing signals the rail blocks are highlighted in different colors, and the ends of each segment/block have flat caps on the lines.

I think it would be very useful if the caps were arrows indicating which way trains are allowed to travel at that end.

I can mock up a screenshot if that would be useful?

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Re: Replace -| with -> on rail segment display to represent rail/train/signal direction

Post by DaveMcW »

What if it's a 2-way track?

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Re: Replace -| with -> on rail segment display to represent rail/train/signal direction

Post by sparr »

maybe two arrows on each segment, maybe one arrow on each segment, maybe a diamond, maybe the current graphic. doesn't matter to me as long as it's distinguishable.

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Quality of life improvement: Visualize one-way rails with arrow

Post by jasper-bear »

Depending on how train signals are placed, some rails become one-way rails.

"A train in automatic mode will not drive on a track if it would pass a signal on the left side unless there is also a signal on the right side at that signal." -- from https://wiki.factorio.com/Tutorial:Trai ... and_blocks

So, the game already knows that certain rails are one-way rails, but the player may not.

When placing rail signals, Factorio shows the rail blocks.

A big quality of life improvement, that would also make this more intuitive for new users, would be to put an arrow signal on rail blocks that the game knows are one-way. This will communicate important info that the game knows to the player in quickly visualizable and easy to understand way.

Here is an example: https://imgur.com/a/CoZlaEN
Notice that not all segments are one-way, thus not all have arrows.
If a new player is trying to make this rail a 2-way rail, this will help them immensely, even if they don't yet understand how rail signals work.

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Re: Quality of life improvement: Visualize one-way rails with arrow

Post by ssilk »

How do you know that so many people have problems with that? Are you “speaking for a friend“? :D
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Re: Quality of life improvement: Visualize one-way rails with arrow

Post by CrashDive »

I would love this. I think that bidirectional track should be marked with a bidirectional arrow as well.

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Re: Quality of life improvement: Visualize one-way rails with arrow

Post by coppercoil »

jasper-bear wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 9:30 pm
If a new player is trying to make this rail a 2-way rail, this will help them immensely, even if they don't yet understand how rail signals work.
I think the player even shouldn't start using rails without such understanding. A good tutorial is a must. There are good tutorials.
Then, just a little practice required. That "new player" mode lasts very short.

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