Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

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dexteritas
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Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by dexteritas »

TL;DR
By combining the crafting and logistics menu, the character GUI becomes clearer and easier to use.

What ?
Current status

We start from the flat view of the character GUI, which can be activated via option and should become the default from version 1.1. Currently an item is highlighted with a blinking in the inventory when it is hovered in either the logistic or the crafting menu, but not the other way around and not among each other.
Flat character GUI (image from FFF 363).
Flat character GUI (image from FFF 363).
fff-363-flat-character-gui.png (1.44 MiB) Viewed 1258 times


Problems

Since there is no more limit for logistic requests, it happens very fast that you define a lot of logistic requests or things that should be thrown away. This leads to the following problems:
  • P1: In the logistics menu, things can quickly become confusing.
  • P2: You can't see at a glance whether an item is already being requested, but you have to search first attentively, or try to create a corresponding request and then, perhaps, determine that it already exists.
  • P3: Often you first build an item manually or search for it in the menu and then realize that a logistics request would be useful. Currently you have to select an empty field in Logistics and then select the item from the menu again. You may then notice that it has already been requested (see P2).
  • P4: Although you can theoretically arrange the items in the logistics menu in any order and leave gaps, subsequent sorting is currently very time-consuming.

Main Solution for all problems

I have a main solution (S1) that could fix all these problems. This requires a change of the GUI. Since this GUI view could also be made as a selectable option for advanced users, I have also listed some partial solutions for the current GUI below.

S1 (solving: P1, P2, P3, P4):
Simple visualization of combined menus.
Simple visualization of combined menus.
factorio_character_GUI_combined.png (1.08 MiB) Viewed 1258 times

The Logistics Menu could be integrated into the Crafting Menu so that you can use the well known predefined tab structure and sorting and at the same time have a good overview of the logistics requests when navigating through the individual tabs of the Crafting Menu. To create a Logistics Request, you could click with the middle mouse button on an item, which would open a selection window with the setting bar for Min and Max value.
Logistics request: number selector.
Logistics request: number selector.
factorio_logistic_request_number_selector.png (11.59 KiB) Viewed 1046 times

For this it would be necessary to combine all relevant information of the two menus. Therefore, if we want to keep all information, the combined Crafting & Logistics menu would have to display up to three numbers for each item, e.g. the numbers for Logistics minimum and maximum in the lower right corner (as before) and the number of manually buildable items in the upper left corner. The color coding for the background could be taken from logistics (red, yellow, green). The red background color in the crafting menu could be indicated by a 0 in red font color.
Item with combined information.
Item with combined information.
factorio_character_GUI_combined_item.png (5.02 KiB) Viewed 1258 times

Remarks:

It would also be possible to display the previous logistics menu as an option, so that no familiar functionality is lost. The two GUI views would be based on the same information and could be used in parallel.

Now you could say that this is too much information at once for a beginner. However, the GUI would only become more complex than the previous crafing menu when logistics were researched, so that a hint could be included at this point if necessary.

Edit:

Here is an addition due to Raiguard's indication (see comment #3) that there are also recipes with several products, such as uranium processing. Therefore, I take the essentials from my answer (comment #8) and complete it with a few illustrations:

For the combined menu, listing of recipes (crafting menu) should be combined with listing of items (selection menu in logistics menu). So there would be some additional entries in the menu, but everything would be directly visible and selectable.
Combined Menus (Version 2) with a tab where you see recipes and items. I moved the trash slots to the left under the inventory, because it also contains items and therefore fits there well. Due to time reasons I didn't insert the up to 3 numbers per item here (as I did in the first picture)
Combined Menus (Version 2) with a tab where you see recipes and items. I moved the trash slots to the left under the inventory, because it also contains items and therefore fits there well. Due to time reasons I didn't insert the up to 3 numbers per item here (as I did in the first picture)
combined_crafting_and_logistics_2.png (1.03 MiB) Viewed 1046 times

I think it would also be ok to show the items there, even if they can't be created directly. Finally, there are also recipes listed, which can not be made manually, like the uranium processing.
These items could then have a corresponding background color, which says that they cannot be made directly. (For user-friendliness, the tooltip for such items that cannot be made directly could contain a list of recipes).

And as an extension of the idea, one could e.g. display a selection menu of all ingredients, products and production buildings by pressing Shift + middle mouse button, from which requests could be created. This way it would also be possible to handle recipes with several products comfortably without searching for the individual items.
Logistic request: (shift +) middle mouse click on recipe.
Logistic request: (shift +) middle mouse click on recipe.
combined_crafting_and_logistics_3.png (1.07 MiB) Viewed 1046 times
Partial solutions
Partial solutions
Why ?
  • If you combine the two menus you save a lot of space and get a better overview.
  • The problems (P1-P4) described above would be solved.
Last edited by dexteritas on Tue Nov 17, 2020 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Illiou
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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by Illiou »

Beautiful idea!

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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by Raiguard »

It's a good idea, but it has one crippling problem: items and recipes don't always match. There might be multiple items from one recipe, or there might be items that have multiple recipes to make them, or they might not have a recipe at all. How do you represent that with a combined menu?

Edit: for example, uranium processing is a recipe that has two possible outputs. Additionally, there are multiple ways to get U-235 and U-238. How do you represent them on the menu?
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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by Impatient »

oh yes, that's true. the crafting Menu is a collection of recipes and not a collection of item types.

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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by KatherineOfSky »

I like that idea. Extra bonus points if we can drag the recipe/item down to the logistics menu.
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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by valneq »

As pointed out earlier, items and recipes are not the same thing. Therefore, this will not work with many overhaul mods like Angel's mods where too many recipes have multiple outputs, and some items can never be produced alone. Crushed stone comes to mind.

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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by KatherineOfSky »

I saw that it was pointed out earlier that's why I added the slash.

But there is no reason it can't work: the alternate products can be listed on the materials tab. It's not a big issue.
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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by dexteritas »

@all: Thanks for the feedback.

@Raiguard: Thanks for the hint. The recipes with several products I have actually not yet dealt with directly in the proposal.

So I first consider what would be necessary for the main suggestion S1 (combination of the menus).
You could combine the listing of the recipes (Crafting Menu) with the listing of the items (Selection Menu in the Logistics Menu). So there would be some additional entries in the menu, but everything would be directly visible and selectable.

I think it would also be ok to show the items there, even if they can't be created directly. Finally, there are also recipes listed, which can not be made manually, like the uranium processing.
These items could then have a corresponding background color, which says that they cannot be made directly. (For user-friendliness, the tooltip for such items that cannot be made directly could contain a list of recipes).

And as an extension of the idea, one could e.g. display a selection menu of all ingredients, products and production buildings by pressing Shift + middle mouse button, from which requests could be created. This way it would also be possible to handle recipes with several products comfortably without searching for the individual items.

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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by dexteritas »

I have added the content from my answer above (comment #8) together with some new illustrations as edit to the original post.

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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by SeigneurAo »

So elegant and obvious now you've suggested it... Would have loved to come up with this by myself.
I definitely second that idea !

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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by valneq »

I still don't like it. I just cannot imagine that this would be reasonably usable for complicated mods/modpacks like Angel's+Bob's or Pyanodon's.
Just dumping all items and recipes into the same menu would cause too much confusion: some icons being usable as both, some being only items for logistics requests, some being only recipes for crafting.
I already have the impression that too many people who only play vanilla think that the crating menu was yet another list of items. Which it is absolutely not.

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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by Deadlock989 »

No thanks. I try to avoid dealing with the logistics menu with its multiple tiny number overlays and weird double-headed sliders unless it's absolutely necessary. Maybe I spend a tenth of one percent of my game time dealing with it? The idea of mashing it into the crafting menu in some kind of weird item/recipe hybrid covered in hundreds of numbers is not appealing at all. It's one of those kind of compromises where everything is worse.

Hiding the thing away behind a tab was one of the highlights of the GUI update for me.

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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by Jap2.0 »

It's an interesting suggestion, but I don't think it would bring much appreciable benefit. It seems rather cluttered to me (not elegant), and in my use they serve very different purposes: crafting covers most of the early game and becomes an as-needed later on, while logistics is for things that I need a constant/bulk supply of or can't easily be hand-crafted. (Speaking of, when are single-time logistic requests coming?) There's also the issue of recipies and items not overlapping, which is a potential source of more clutter and confusion - especially with mods (and I can't see mods getting left behind to the extent where the crafting menu is unusable with them).
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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by Yenz »

I kinda liked the idea in the first read (couple of days ago), but I also forgot about the item vs recipes problem. In fact I also thought about something like this suggestions before.

Reading several posts here (and also from the recent FFF thrad) shows, that there is not only one type of player: Some do not use the logistic request much (and for them the combination of both into one interface increases the clutter, fully understandable). And others (esp. in the later stages of the game) use the logistics much more and do not craft things by hand (prob. having a "make everything" base and then only request the stuff one needs).

So probably there is no single solution for all.

I for myself also fell in love with the "Player Request Crafting Layout" mod because it makes my life much easier to know where the requests are located (because they are in the same order as the recipes in the crafting tab). But the list gets very very long, even longer when playing with mods.


So here are my two cents:

Instead of combining the two UIs (crafting and logistics), why not just make changes to the logistics request tab in a way that it is more organized than it is currently. What I'm thinking of is to layout the grid in the same way, that the crafting tab is organized (but display items instead of recipes).

(If a setting is enabled?) it could als be synchronized... when clicking on the Logistic group in one side, the second side will also open the logistic group. For me it would be useful: Often I want to craft something -> Oh i cannot because I miss something -> Request the item instead of crafting (and here I have the correct tab open if the views are in sync.)


I screenshoted an example with the current ingame UI to illustrate.
Screenshot 2020-11-17 201008.png
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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by ssilk »

A very similar suggestion
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=86210 logistics requests: mirror the crafting windows

Maybe useful, because I like this idea very much. The current logistics is a mess. I miss at minimum a way to move the items in the logistic request window.

My 2 cents:
I would really appreciate, if the logistic request appear also in the recipes. As an alternative way to set requests and as a second view on what I requested.

And I would like to have a sort-button in the logistic, when pressed it sorts the requests in the same order as the item appears first in the receipts. Every new receipt tab it starts with a new line in the requests.
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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by Optera »

You don't know how much I want this.
The request ui seems halfway stuck back in times when request slots where arbitrarily limited.

Even using Player Request Crafting Layout to auto fill all possible items in the same order as the crafting window it still is very cumbersome to scroll through the long list to find items, especially with bobs, angels, py asf.

Removing the dedicated requests portion altogether and allow setting requests in the crafting window would make for a very elegant UX.
You craft or order from the same icon.

To the downsides with crafting and item lists not matching:
  • merging missing items like satellite results into the window without crafting functionality is quite simple
  • duplicate recipes just inherit changes to requests from each other
  • recipes with multiple products simply use the first results entry
    additional products are listed afterwards, even if they have a dedicated recipe

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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by NotRexButCaesar »

+1

I see many benefits from the change, and no detriments. I can’t see anyone being unhappy with this.
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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by eradicator »

"Streamline two almost identical menus into one." sounds good at first...

But if an item is made both by a 1:1 recipe and a multi-output recipe, is the request then listed on the original recipe? Or the magic tab? What about mined resources that also come from multi-recipes? The ruleset that determines what goes where wouldn't be intuitive at all.

If you need an extra "magic" tab for "special" items then you're back at essentially two different menus and haven't streamlined anything at all.
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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by Yenz »

Like I posted I would not do such "magic" things. I think we all agree, that recipes and items are two different things and such should not be handled the same (in the same UI). Especially with mods and multiple ways to craft an item, byproducts, ...

For me it would already be streamlined, if the request UI is organized by the category tabs (like the popup you have when adding a new request). Just have every items always in there and only set the amounts for the request.

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Re: Combination of Crafting and Logistics Menu

Post by Illiou »

valneq wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 5:33 am
As pointed out earlier, items and recipes are not the same thing. Therefore, this will not work with many overhaul mods like Angel's mods where too many recipes have multiple outputs, and some items can never be produced alone. Crushed stone comes to mind.
eradicator wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:03 am
"Streamline two almost identical menus into one." sounds good at first...

But if an item is made both by a 1:1 recipe and a multi-output recipe, is the request then listed on the original recipe? Or the magic tab? What about mined resources that also come from multi-recipes? The ruleset that determines what goes where wouldn't be intuitive at all.

If you need an extra "magic" tab for "special" items then you're back at essentially two different menus and haven't streamlined anything at all.
What if the crafting menu showed items instead of recipes? If an item has mutiple recipes that make it, they can just be shown in a little submenu after clicking the item. I made a mockup of how that could look:

Crafting submenu for recipes.png
Crafting submenu for recipes.png (64.9 KiB) Viewed 403 times

I think that could work well and possibly be even better than it is now because:
  • Most item you actually craft by hand don't have mutiple recipes, so the extra menu wouldn't appear there and quick hand crafting wouldn't be impacted. Items that have multiple recipes are frequently produced by buildings, for which the crafting menu is just reference.
  • Having everything organized by item is a lot more logical. If you want to make an item you don't go looking for a specific process, you look for the item. And when you find it you can just click it and immediately see what ways there are to make it/let it be made, instead of having to search around the scattered recipes to find the best one. That way the reference use of the crafting menu is much nicer.
  • If a recipe has multiple outputs it would simply be shown in the submenu of multiple items.
  • Logistics are item-based anyway, so for that it would be perfect too, you would just have the request numbers on the main icon. It could then for example show the slider for the logistics request for that item below the recipes (not shown in my mockup).
Maybe there is an aspect that I missed but I think this could work.

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