Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by katyal » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:57 pm

hey ssilk could you fill one of those with iron ore? Might give us a better idea of how to make it work ingame ;) :D

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by ssilk » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:09 pm

Serious answer: This cabin is thought to transport humans. But they transport also other things with it; they put the stuff they need on the top into some kind of box and roll it into the gondola and at the top they roll the box out again. :)
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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by katyal » Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:02 am

It would be a shame for such a popular Idea to slip away just because it had fallen from the first page. ;)

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by ssilk » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:00 pm

It won't. I guarantee for that. But I think this idea is too early. We need to wait and then we will have a bit more idea of what is really needed.
And that is also the second argument is: This idea needs to be seen together with others.

For example: Besides the new circuits, we'll get in 0.12, we will have eventually some kind of robo-construction port for the player, a bit of new new endgame and besides that there are ideas, like the colored logistic network idea whirring around, ideas to build outposts fast, ideas to have new natives behavior (smell, new types), changing behaviour of trains, train stations, power management, and about some dozens of other really cool ideas, which are in my opinion worth to have them in the game.

The ropeway belongs to that list. Not 100%, cause we need to have an idea, what it means for the gameplay in general.
This is for example a job for modders <hint, hint> :). For example: In my opinion the combination with boxing is cool, but I may err.
The problem keeps; the "how will the details work?". It's far to early to fix that yet.

That doesn't mean this thread is not successful. The opposite is the case!

There are some quite realistic options described into deep details. But they are planned for the current game, which changes until this idea will be really implemented. Normally the devs say that this or that feature will be implemented in the next version. That is the right moment to make more plannings, cause then the game has a concrete current stand. (Which doesn't mean, that if someone has a good idea, he needs to wait)
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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by MeduSalem » Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:09 am

katyal wrote:
katyal wrote: Well what are the details?
  1. Should ropeways be only straight?
  2. Should ropeways have a limited length? If so how long?
  3. Should pole placement be automatic?
  4. How big should stations be?
  5. When powering a ropeway do you need electricity at one station or both?
  6. What can be carried in ropeways? Anything? Just ores ?
  7. What throughput should a ropeway have?
1. I think ropeways should be as straight as possible with making them a chore to setup
2. No limit on length. Keeping them straight will be limiting enough and one of the usages I find interesting is the idea of using ropeways to pass over obstacles rather than having to clear cut a path thru a forest for example.
3. For convenience I would say yes place the pole automatically, but its not a deal breaker. I'd rather have ropeways with manual placement of the poles than not have ropeways.
4. Make the stations 2x2 or 3x3 honestly whatever is necessary to make the graphic and animation look good.
5. I don't see a reason to limit ropeways to ore
6. I see the little wagons as being able to carry a stack and max throughput should be somewhere between fast and express belts so 1000 - 1600 items/minute

I also think the stations should have shoots for unloading just like mining drills.
If the output backs up it should stop.
I have thought about those points a bit and I can't agree to all of your own suggestions.
  1. I think it shouldn't be restricted to be only straight, otherwise you can't get around any indestructible landscape features like lakes or huge forests you don't want to chop down, which means killing some of their purpose. That's why I recommend either 30° or 45° turns - that way a 90° change in direction is either done by 2x45° or 3x30°... whatever the devs would prefer and looks better (I'd prefer 45° increments only because we have the same for rails). Also making it a chore to setup the ropeways at the same time while making them only go straight (thereby rather inflexible) will render them pretty much unused by majority because why would one want to deal with something that is inflexible and a lot of work at the same time?
  2. Agreed. No limit in length, but I'd accept to have to place special poles for corners that prevent de-railing of cables, or maybe to have support stations after some distance which ensure that the tension on the haul cable isn't getting too strong, much like is the case for very long ropeways/gondolas in reallife where they have stations somewhere in the middle.
  3. As placement goes I'd make them work pretty much like Big Electric Poles work, maybe even with a similar if not the same range between the poles.
  4. As of size of the stations, I think they should be rather large... depending on the maximum throughput of items. If one is really to allow a throughput that matches express belts or something we have to talk about placing like something about 18 inserters around the station, 9 on each side. So minimum length should be just that. 9 tiles and 3 wide or something like that. Either that or they should be modules that one just places along the ropeway which itself runs just right through the station, not just being limited to be "endpoints". That way they'd not only serve as endstations but also as middle stations and one could unload a bunch of items halfway through the ropeway and load others instead which will be carried to the end.
  5. I agree, there should be no limits to ore only. But with recent discussions talking about some "bulky" and "heavy" stuff not being able to be transported via player inventory and rather with special cranes only, I'd suggest that one can't transport stuff like locomotices, cars, tanks or other ridiculous stuff like that with ropeways too, because that would exceed their capabilities. A weight-property to all items could have been something that is used to determine if something is transportable/storable in certain ways. It's something I wanted to suggest a while ago anyways. xD
  6. Since you left out on the question if they should carry their own power along with the ropeway, I say pretty much yes they should. One cable centered ontop of the pole that runs all along from end to end provides the power to all stations connected and may even be connected to regular big/small power poles, but with the disadvantage that one can't place a circuit network on them. That said I'd let the ropeway itself act as a seperated circuit/logistic network which can be accessed through each individual station the ropeway runs through and thereby make decisions based on some of the properties of the ropeway, like a bus that dertermines which and how much stuff is currently being transported over that ropeway. It could be something that is researched.
  7. Agreed, one stack per wagon sounds like a nice start. But I think the amount of wagons OR stacks should be researchable, so the throughput matches normal belts at the beginning and on maximum research it could match Express belts. It's something that could be tuned when clicking on a ropeway pole or station... like switching between a selection of 3 settings (Normal, Fast, Express). That way it will also be determined how much energy is used to maintain the ropeway.

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by katyal » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:15 am

Hmm I've gone back and corrected my original post where I posted my answers because there was a pretty bad typo in my response to #1. To be clear what I was trying to say is that the ropeway should be as straight as possible WITHOUT being a chore to place. So in fact we DO agree on this point :D . In fact I've been warming up to SSilk's idea of having the player place a station at each end and letting the game place the poles between them. Doing it this way would allow spanning water or forests easily without worrying about the player having the reach to place the poles. I don't believe the poles should need to be electrified just the stations. As for station size while I agree that they would have to be pretty big if we use inserters to get stuff out at the output station but I'm really attached to the idea of having them just spit stuff out like the mining drills work. Then the player would have the choice of placing a chest next to the ouput chute which would get automatically filled or placing a belt to carry stuff away. With chutes you could build a station next to a train station and fill train cars directly from the ropeway station. Everything else we seem to agree on though.

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by MF- » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:03 pm

ssilk wrote:I think no crossings are a good idea. Building it yourself: Maybe. I don't see there a potential: It's not interacting with something on the ground, it's just a connection. I would prefer automatic building and you will see, that I'm right. :)
Well,
I'd still like the possiblity to fine-tune some spots manually if requested.

Perhaps a hybrid approach, where you click an existing pole and then a click a tile where another pole should be,
causing any in-between poles to be computed automatically?

That would allow building each pole separately as well as the more practical way of building logical segments.
(Or the whole line if someone still feels like removing the fun)

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by MF- » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:09 pm

keyboardhack wrote:i am glad that you agree with me. The ropeway should, like all underground belts and all poles, automatically connect with each other automatically.
Weren't ropeway lines supposed to be point-to-point? In that case it might easily autoconnect with wrong ropeway!
I do however think there should be a limit on how sharp corners the ropeway can take. if the corner is too sharp, then the ropeway wagons will begin to go through each other which wouldn't make much sense. I think a max angle should be ~90deg
90deg would be very hard. I've seen ski-lift (or how does one call that thing) that had a <60deg turn and it was a pretty big thing with lots of wheels.

I'm definitely in favour of allowing some turn (30deg?) per ropeway pole.
To get 90deg you'd simply place tree poles with minimal distances in between.

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by MF- » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:18 pm

ssilk wrote:Back to the rest. I'm currently in ski-holiday. :) Ropeways anywhere. Long. Straight. Simple. Slow. :P
Could be that usual mountains have such straight line that gets to the top? (thus you have no reason to want to turn, since you want to the top..)
Not saying that noticeable turns are indeed more expensive and interesting when doing them safely is required.
Minor turn allowance per pole (even <10deg, whatever) still sounds like a good idea to me. Higher turns could be created by a re-translattion station.

BTW: the ropeway to CZ's highest mountain has/had a turn (possibly because there wasn't any practical straight way up?)
The turn there is/was done by a re-translation station (the seat with the passenger was detached from one straight line and reattached onto another one)
Also boarding/leaving on that station is/was possible.

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by ssilk » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:48 pm

Please MF-, I already mailed you for it: it is not an exemplary behaviour to reply/answer to your own post. If you need to add an answer to your reply, please do it in the same post (add "edit" or so)!

To your posts: You're right, I've seen complicated turning stations for ropeways. So I think it is not much difference if you place a station or a special pole. Why not saying: "If you want to make a turn then place a station". When the station is quite small, for example 2x2, why not?
This "station" has then no a big capacity. It can handle just 8 inserters. That might be enough for a small station, or if you don't load/unload enough for turning. Simple, straight.
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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by Cordylus » Sat Jul 11, 2015 8:22 pm

I updated the first post. I think it's time to refresh this idea.
Today I visited the awesome ropeway conveyor line in the Czech Republic. It looks like the real-life Factorio machine. :)

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by ssilk » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:07 pm

:)

I see currently two tiers for the ropeway:

Areal Tramway
(Early - middle game)

Areal tramway: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_tramway#Terminology
(but I'm not native speaking, if there is a better term please tell)

This is a simple back-forward ropeway: two cabins. Note, that this is different to the initial suggestion, but see down.
The cabins are nothing else than "chests". But very small, one stack only!

You can also enter the cabin and drive on it (then nothing can be transported. With this last "trick" you can enter islands without boats (build a ropeway over that island, jump into the ropeway, when over the island build a second ropeway, that brings you home again).

This ropeway is also ignored by the natives. You can build it directly over their heads. But more below!

This is how it works! Start position: Cabins are waiting to be filled from the input inventories of station A and B.

Code: Select all

           
          C >----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->
          <-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------< C
    Station A                                                                                     Station B
When more or less filled, the cabin begin to run:

Code: Select all

          >--------------------- C >------------------------------------------------------------------>
          <---------------------------------------------------------------< C ------------------------<
    Station A                                                                                     Station B
Cabins are unloaded and changing direction:

Code: Select all

          <-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------< C
          C >----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->
    Station A                                                                                     Station B
General
- Has two stations only! You can connect only station A to station B.
- Both directions are equal, you can move the stuff in both directions equally.
- You can build the stations on every ground.
- You don't need to build the poles. That is build automatically. Poles are build on any ground and water.
- You cannot cross two areal tramways. (But you can cross it with the other ropeway types.)
- The cabins
- Each station has an input- and output inventory, which is the same size as the cabin. More to that see down.

Circuit network/Elecricity
- The ropeway provides a "closed" circuit network, which connects both ends. That enables you to send requests from one side of the ropeway to the smart inserters on the other; you need only to cable the stations with the inserters; you don't need to lay red/green cable from station to station, that red and green cables are somehow "included/free".
- It is a good question, if the electric power is also layed out automatically. But this is eventually not wanted (extra electric network for the outpost?).

Costs and speed and time for loading/unloading
- The costs: You have the costs for the research and the two end-stations. It is in my eyes a matter of balancing, if the costs rise depending on length, but in my eyes that is free, because the longer the track, the longer takes it to move the two cabins between the stations, which is in my eyes cost enough. But I can think also to a version, where we need to provide one station with enough big poles (the rest is build somehow "magic"). That would make the above "free connect red/green cables and free electric power" logically explainable.
- The speed is moderate. Basic speed should about the speed of fast- or express belts, after research maybe about speed of a car.
- Time: The duration between two cycles depends on how fast you can unload. Like in a real areal tramway, everything must go out, before the new passengers can enter. This is here the same: The items from the cabins are only moved to the output inventory, if it is completely empty. And new items from the input inventory are only moved to the cabin, if the cabin is empty (unloaded).
- Even then the change of direction should take some seconds. A nice graphical effect can happen: The cabins can swing out, before the transport back can begin. :)

Where and how to build?
- It is thought for complex landscapes.
- Even through water or over other (normally unusable) ground.
- You need to place station A and - at any time later - station B. How this connection is then done is implementation detail.
- Everything between (cables and poles...) is automatically built. They player needs only to set the stations. See costs.

Traveling and reaction of the natives?
- The character can use it instead of walking. He can jump in at stations only and jump out anywhere (over water he will die of course).
- The biters don't care about that building, even if a pole is built in the center of their village.
- If a pole gets broken, the ropeway still should work. (It hangs down, the biters will then smell you, because you are hanging very low :) ) After some while the pole is "magically" replaced.
- Only after breaking two poles the ropeway breaks down. Also here after a while the pole is magically replaced.


A transport works in detail like so (sight of one side):

Code: Select all

   Inserters (or later logistic bots)
                  |
                  v
   One stack of input-inventory (later more stacks)
                  |
                  |   Complete stack(s) is then loaded to
                  v
              Cabin  (The input stack is then empty)
                  |
                  |    Moved to the other side
                  v
   One stack of output-inventory (it can be only unloaded, if the output stack is _completely_ empty!)
                  |
                  v
   Inserters or logistic bots.
Again: A transfer of stacks happens only, if the target stack is empty. Better: If the cabin is not empty (because it could not unload into the output stack) it is not loaded.

This should be available at the beginning of middle game, when you eventually need to make the first outpost at strategic bad positions. Because it is a quite simple transport.


This should fulfill the following targets:
1. A basic supply of outpost. This doesn't collide with the current discussion about rocket-mail system/emergency transport.
2. A basic transfer of not so much needed items (like stone or oil). Or rare stuff. You can built of course some ropeways to increase the transfer.
3. A pre-train transport (better 1 stack of items per minute than nothing). Parallelizing should be possible.
4. A "I don't want to make 1000 belts" transport.
5. A transport to "difficult areas", for example islands or something on the other side of lakes (the ropeway is built along a straight line).
6. Transport directly through the center of a native village! You can observate the natives from above. They don't smell you, if you are sitting in the cabin.
7. It looks really nice, driving inside should be somehow relaxing (some lift-music is playing?). It should look also very nice seeing the cabins swinging on the cables (they should swing somehow physically correct).
8. Transmission of information from the outpost. Red/green cables are built in. See above.
9. It should be possible to do this strategy: Drive by car to a big resource field, built an outpost, and move some items back to support you during built-up phase. Later you can replace this with the big ropeway conveyor. See below.

It should not be used for:
1. Mass transport. See down! This is either for bringing materials like repair packs/stones/laser/amunition etc. to the outpost or low end transport back to your base.
2. Transport over very far distances. I think a good distance should be between 300-1000 tiles. After that this begins to suck, because the speed of the cabins is a very limiting factor.


A ropeway with many cabins

I think the first post describes exactly what is needed for an "endless ropeway".

Some notes:
- This should be available at the end of middle-game (after logistics).
- That ropeway cannot be built everywhere like the above one; only normal ground. The reason is, that you can place the poles yourself (you drag one pole and the others follow). So you can make curves.
- The longer, the more expensive.
- A cabin is the same as above: A chest with one stack. (Search for cargobox-concept.)
- At basic research there are just as many cabins, that we have the throughput of a basic belt. That is one cabin every 4 seconds.
- Speed is slow. Basic belt, later express belt.
- You cannot built this over native villages. Too loud?
- The un/loading is here as above: New stuff can be filled only into a cabin, if it is empty.
- you can also travel with it.


I forgot of course many things, but I think it should be enough for now. :)
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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by MeduSalem » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:38 pm

Cordylus wrote:I updated the first post. I think it's time to refresh this idea.
Today I visited the awesome ropeway conveyor line in the Czech Republic. It looks like the real-life Factorio machine. :)
I like the new picture... xD


But basically yes, even months after the initial discussion I still think that the ropeways should consist of many wagons on a semi-flexible track.

Placement:

- The ropeway poles/pillars placement should work exactly the same way like big power pole placement works.
- The same distance between poles as the max distance between big Power Poles for consistency and an easy learning curve.
- The poles should also share the same 2x2 footprint like big power poles.
- The poles should be about the same height like big power poles, maybe a bit taller/smaller so that power lines can cross underneath/above.
- The pole should Auto-Connect to existing poles if they are at a valid angle, which should be 45°.
- The connections can be removed with Shift+Click, and later added with simple copper wiring between the poles.

Forks:

- I'd also allow to create forks with multiple ropeway paths connecting to the same pole.
- A maximum of 8 directions per pole (horizontally, vertically and diagonally).
- A direction change of a wagon may only happen in a 45° manner though, so no 90° turns or U-turns.
- Would allow to bundle multiple ropeways coming from multiple mining outposts together to one that leads to a single trainstation, f.e.
- Would also allow to cross 2 ropeway tracks this way.

Stations:

- Some stations act like "providers" and some act like "requesters", similar to provider & requester chests.
- Should be of a fixed size, 3x3, 3x5 or something.
- Input/Output via Inserters.
- Can be connected to circuit network to get available items and stuff.

Pathing:

- The path-finding on the ropeway network may be similar to how logistic robots work.
- A wagon travels along the ropeway network delivering to requesting stations, and when empty heading to providing stations.
- Just pretend that at poles with a fork there's a scanner that looks into each wagon and then changes the direction accordingly.

Wagons:

- Should be able to transport a single stack.
- Amount of wagons being possible is something up for discussion, as there are several approaches to it.

Advantages:

- Would work much similar to the existing systems in the way it is build and set up, so it's nothing unfamiliar to people.
- Much cheaper than real logistic robots, both resource and energy-wise.
- More items per wagon (a stack?) than logistic robots
- As easy as placing power poles, no extensive setup needed like for rail
- Stations work similar to provider/requester chests

Drawbacks:

- Only works well if there's at least a considerable distance to bridge due to placement restrictions.
- Not as much throughput as belts or Logistic Robots

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by TuckJohn » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:07 pm

Here is an idea- at the "back" of the 2-by-6 structure, there are two slots/spaces where you can place logistics chests, belts, or inserters, one slot for going into the structure and one for coming out. This will allow the structure to have a variety of uses for loading and un-loading, most notably the ability to use logistics chest without the slowing effects of useing of inserters
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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by Bizobinator » Thu May 19, 2016 2:57 pm

Do you know if anyone has turned this into a mod?

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by fechnert » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:55 am

Bizobinator wrote:Do you know if anyone has turned this into a mod?
would love this
Image[url=steam://friends/add/'.76561198066150999.']Image[/url]

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by Oktokolo » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:19 pm

Ropeways are the missing link between belts and trains.

+1

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by Lilly » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:31 am

I've looked into what it takes to turn this into a mod. I found that it can be done, but only as a proof of concept, or in a very limited fashion. The biggest problem is drawing the belt lines and animating the buckets.

One approach is to bake the belt lines and buckets into a single animation, however, the ropeway would then be limited to fixed directions, and if you want hanging ropes, then also limited to fixed distances. Each station will simply keep a list of what is in transit towards that station and when it will arrive. This requires the least amount of lua code and thus will also work for big factories, however you can't see the contents of each bucket while they're in transit. There are still a few issues to resolve, such as what to do when output is blocked, or when the line is deconstructed.

For more freedom in pole placement, the ropes can be drawn as beam entities (the copper/red/green-wire drawing cannot be used here), and the buckets as car-entities. The problem here however, is that every bucket's movement has to be controlled with lua. Worst case, this means updating every bucket every tick and thus there's a limit to say 10.000 buckets per factory before you get serious frame rate issues. This can be alleviated somewhat by setting their direction and velocity and only updating them when they make a turn, which will be a bit more complicated to implement in lua. This approach allows for some interesting functionality though, such as detaching the buckets from the ropeway and offloading them onto belts, or vice-versa, using belts to load them into the station, where they will be attached to the ropeway.

I've made picture of what buckets on belts looks like:
bucket.gif
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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by olafthecat » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:54 pm

A tinsy bit of Necro going on here. :?
I still like the idea though.
However, I do prefer bridges and elevated belts, a more recent idea.
Gonna start playing again with 0.16 build.
That's all.

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Re: Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

Post by Zavian » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:09 pm

olafthecat wrote:A tinsy bit of Necro going on here. :?
I still like the idea though.
However, I do prefer bridges and elevated belts, a more recent idea.
Personally I think this is potentially a great way to add an alternative to bots for things like supplying construction trains with a variety of goods. It could also potentially move relatively low volume things to over medium distances, to eg, keep roboports at your wall supplied with repair packs, walls and turrets, without connecting the roboport networks. I think this could be a fun addition to the game.

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