improve train block overlay: add directions

Post your ideas and suggestions how to improve the game.

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

Post by ssilk »

And how would it be if you make the arrows yourself? For example: put some hazard concrete on the side where you placed the signals. Can be seen from far away and from map.
There is also a - in my eyes very useful and should be standard - debug view option, which turns on signals in map view. As the signals are always righthand you can see the direction.
No need to paint extra arrows and questionable gameplay value.
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Re: Quality of life improvement: Visualize one-way rails with arrow

Post by Impatient »

From what I see in multiplayer games, I estimate that 60%+ of the players do not understand signalling in general. But I don't see one-/two-way signalling mistakes a lot. Maybe because it becomes apparent immediately when the trains are no-pathing, but I think most helpful is the visual indicator, that shows, in what direction a train has to go to be affected by a particular signal or station.

When I recall correctly, then the track segmentation is visible when holding a signal, but the directionality is not. To see the directionality one has to hove over an already placed signal or station.

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

Post by coppercoil »

If we really need visual indications, I suggest answering more general questions: where the train is able to move and why? Where this train cannot move and why? That "why" is the key.
This is mostly about signaling issues, but it may include direction indication as well.
Last edited by coppercoil on Thu May 21, 2020 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Koub »

ssilk wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 7:36 am
No need to paint extra arrows and questionable gameplay value.
If you don't need them, then there's little chance you'll understand why others need them.
By your standards, would these arrows would be of questionable value too ?
Arrows on the ground
I would personnally not need them, because it's obvious to me where I should be depending on where I'm going.

If :
1) It doesn't cost too much dev time
2) Doesn't degrade performance
Then why bother even refusing this QoL to people who struggle with trains ?
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Re: Quality of life improvement: Visualize one-way rails with arrow

Post by Septimus ii »

Direction is implied by the train blocking which is shown when placing a new signal, but I don't see any harm in making it clearer, especially for new players. It can always be made as an option which can be turned off in the graphics menu.

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

Post by ssilk »

Hmm, I thought a bit about it.
Koub wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 8:47 am
ssilk wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 7:36 am
No need to paint extra arrows and questionable gameplay value.
If you don't need them, then there's little chance you'll understand why others need them.
I think that’s the problem with this. Because I imagined some straight rails. And what sense would it make to paste arrows on an autobahn?

(“They say in radio there is a ghost driver. I see hundreds!” :lol: )
By your standards, would these arrows would be of questionable value too ?
Arrows on the ground
I would personnally not need them, because it's obvious to me where I should be depending on where I'm going.
I think that’s not the point here.
I think the suggestion is not detailed enough, not specific enough.

It makes of course sense

- to have arrows in front of/ after crossings.
- for long tracks with no signal, that there is an arrow every n tile, eventually depending on resolution.
- to paint “no enter” into this rail after a switch.

And more things I don’t think of yet.
If :
1) It doesn't cost too much dev time
2) Doesn't degrade performance
Then why bother even refusing this QoL to people who struggle with trains ?
I think this is not really complicated, because most things must be already programmed - only how to calculate the places where arrows should be displayed and what arrows (or no entry).
And it will cost performance but only for rendering and while doing anything on the tracks.
But I really doubt this will be implemented before 1.0.
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Travel arrows capping Rail block visualizer

Post by Prymal »

I would like to suggest that the rail block visualization be modified to indicate the permitted direction of automatic travel. Currently, each segment ends in a flat line at each end. That line could be turned into an arrow to indicate a single direction. Two way travel could be indicated by a diamond, or something could be done with the arrow from the other side of the signals, as they could work together to indicate single or dual directional travel. Perhaps there could also be an indication if a train is allowed to wait behind a signal, perhaps by bringing back the current flat line, to add to the arrow, similar to the style of the old play/pause button.

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Re: Travel arrows capping Rail block visualizer

Post by ssilk »

And why do you think this will improve gameplay?
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Re: Travel arrows capping Rail block visualizer

Post by Prymal »

I think it might help building and troubleshooting rail networks if one can see the direction of travel in the block visualizer. Many players have difficulty understanding rail signals and train pathfinding, and having an indication of what direction the trains are willing to travel could help reduce the number of players that struggle with these parts of the game.

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Re: Travel arrows capping Rail block visualizer

Post by Nexarius »

+1 good idea

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Add arrows to "Block display" for rails when holding signals

Post by mrbaggins »

Image: Image

By adding arrows a shown, it immediately becomes much more obvious that you've screwed up signal placement, as there would be two arrows "colliding". Bonus points if such a collision was somehow indicated more clearly with an icon or something that indicated "no trains can pass here"

Why? The reddit among other places are ALWAYS filled with people who can't work out why their train has no path. This would help to massively alleviate this, while also being far more "readable" for the main purpose of blocks.

Also, I believe it's a relatively straightforward change, as the code already exists for both colouring and highlighting block sections. All this requires is to check directionality at the same location and add a sprite over the top.

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Re: Add arrows to "Block display" for rails when holding signals

Post by NotRexButCaesar »

In my opinion it also just looks much nicer.
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Re: Add arrows to "Block display" for rails when holding signals

Post by Durr »

Maybe an easier way to implement something like this would be to have an arrow associated with the signal, instead of the block, indicating the direction a train is allowed to pass it.
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Re: Add arrows to "Block display" for rails when holding signals

Post by mrbaggins »

Yeah Durr, that's definitely a nice way to get the same (notably missing at the moment) information to the user.

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Re: improve train block overlay: add directions

Post by Koub »

[Koub] Merged several older threads with the same suggestion.
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Re: improve train block overlay: add directions

Post by mrbaggins »

Welp, apparently I'm at least the third person along to think of this. I kind of like the mini signal arrows by DaleStan too, although they're quite busy, they make the "WRONG WAY" aspect quite clear.

Two more demonstration images I made, to hopefully make it clear how useful these are for dealing with spaghetti:
Image
Image

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Re: improve train block overlay: add directions

Post by Prymal »

Nice mockups. Perhaps a slightly different arrowhead for chain and rail signals would help as well. Possibly an arrow similar to the fast-forward style, where it has a second set of rear points behind the first? That might help players realize that trains will wait behind that signal until they can get to the next normal style arrow.

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Re: improve train block overlay: add directions

Post by ickputzdirwech »

[ick] Merged with two additional older posts about the same suggestion.
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Re: improve train block overlay: add directions

Post by Irrehaare »

Ok, after like 12 hundred hours in Factorio I've created an account to post here, after finding the thread in reddit.

I like the idea and I seem to not be the only one. Could someone more experienced in modding suggest how difficult would that be to make?
A) arrows?
B) would dashed lines after chain signals be possible? Or no, because there can simultaneously be chain and normal signal leading into the same segment?

Would such project be a good one to start the adventure with Factorio modding?

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Re: improve train block overlay: add directions

Post by Impatient »

Irrehaare wrote:
Sat Sep 11, 2021 1:43 pm
Forget about it. The modding API is not made for this. Track sections might not be accessible at all through the API.

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