Enhancing mod manager GUI

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Pi-C
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Enhancing mod manager GUI

Post by Pi-C »

I have two suggestions to improve (IMHO at least) the mod manager GUI:
  • For mods that aren't installed locally (tab "Install"):

    What: Add a column "Author" to the existing "Version", "Downloads", "Trending", and "Last updated".

    Why: Sometimes I read a mod description and think: "That's just too cool -- did this mod's author make anything else I want to try out?" There are mods that allude to their author in the name, e.g. "Angel's …", "Bob's …", "MadClown's …", "Schall …", but there also are many mods where the name just describes what the mod does. Looking at the start of the current list (sorted by mod name), "Admin Commands", "Electric Trains", or "Better Cargo Planes" are some examples I see right at the top.

    Pro: In these examples, being able to sort the list by author would allow to see at a glance every mod an author has released. Of course, you could enter the author's name into the search field! But the results would not only include all mods of the specified author, but also all mods that refer to that author in any way (dependencies, description etc.).

    Con: Consumes screen real estate.
  • Show reverse dependencies (right part of the screen, in the table with "Status", "Version", "Author" etc.):

    What: The table already contains the mods a particular mod depends on. There's an arrow-button next to each mod mentioned there; clicking that button takes you to that mod if you already have installed it. It would be nice to see whether other mods depend on a particular mod as well. (My thinking here is strongly influenced by Debian's package management system. That one keeps track of all installed packages, pulls in all needed packages, refuses to install packages where dependencies cannot be resolved, and keeps track of what installed packages are not needed any more.)

    Why: Just as an example, "Train & Fuel Overhaul" has a hard dependency on "OpteraLib" and "WagonColors". Now, if I'd want to uninstall mods because I have way too many installed, I might decide that I never actually used WagonColors and uninstall it. The game will let me do that. Then it will restart. Only then will I notice that Train & Fuel Overhaul has been broken. So I'd have to reinstall WagonColors again, and the game would restart again …

    Pro: It's convenient because you can check whether uninstalling a given mod would break others before actually breaking them. Clicking on the arrow button next to the mod's name would take you to that other mod's display if it is installed; if all of the buttons link nowhere, you know that mod has no reverse dependencies and you can remove it. Perhaps it would even be possible to color-code the names of installed mods in the list!

    Con: Very "popular" mods (think libraries) are a dependency of a lot of other mods, so the list could get very long. Making that list scrollable could help in this case.
For both suggestions, all necessary information is already available. It's just a matter of making it more easily accessible! Sure, if I want to see all mods made by an author, I could switch to my browser and go to the mod portal. But it's more convenient to access as much information as possible in the game -- and there's precedent. After all, the game also offers to display the changelog although you could just find it on the mod portal or in the mod's zip-file. It just would make everything a bit easier if everything could be done from inside the game.
A good mod deserves a good changelog. Here's a tutorial (WIP) about Factorio's way too strict changelog syntax!

tannyr
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Mod Portal: Add 'Mod Author' Column

Post by tannyr »

A common goal with in game mod portal is to install all mods by an author. Being able to quickly see in a column who the mod author is would be very helpful.

While considering this, I also realized a bulk select feature would be nice. Maybe limit it to 20 entries or something so someone doesn't try to download the whole repo. (also maybe allow editing of download que? Maybe I should move these to separate threads. I can post these suggestions in separate threads if you think it's worth doing so, otherwise feel free to ignore all but the original.)

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ickputzdirwech
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Re: Enhancing mod manager GUI

Post by ickputzdirwech »

[ick] Merged with older topic with the same idea.
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