Notifications System

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Xavicious
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Notifications System

Post by Xavicious » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:44 pm

Simple Notification system:
1. Pop up notifications that come up on side of screen. Example would be the notifications like Civ 5.
2. Right click notification to remove it
3. Left click notification to open map to that location and blinking marker on map to show exactly where its happening.
4. Settings to disable / enable specific types of notifications (Combat, Logistics Network, etc)
5. Way to clear all notifications at once

Awesome Game. Its like crack without having to be a crack head.

quinor
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Re: Notifications System

Post by quinor » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:27 pm

That's nice notification improvement idea, I also think these should be reworked. Probably more different notification types too, maybye custom notifications based on new circuit network...

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Re: Notifications System

Post by SirRichie » Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:30 pm

I support this idea. It's a common way to handle notifications in games (Civ 5, Anno series).

Even with just combat/damage/destruction as it is at the moment, I think it might provide better visibility of problems.

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Re: Notifications System

Post by Koub » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:15 am

A little necro, for the good cause.
I have countless times wished that there was a proper notifications system in Factorio. The kind you have on your smartphone, your operating system, and most modern management games. OP describes it pretty well.

I think this is needed before game goes 1.0, even if it can be played without. Many annoying issues (existing and to come) would be solved that way :
  • multiple attacks warnings at the same time ? => you'd be able to cycle through them a posteriori
  • short duration power shortage somewhere in your Factory ? => you'd be able to see them and address them as you see fit
  • want to keep track of what recipes you've unlocked when queuing research (0.17+ only) ? => There you have them
  • ever asked for a notification when one of your 2k trains gets out of fuel somewhere on your spiderweb-like train network, clogging everything ? => You have it as soon as it happens, and you can get directly to that train in one click
  • you have a pen, you have an apple ? => Han, apple-pen
  • ...
A complete modern notifications system would include the ability to get different notification levels (Notification / Notification+sound alert / Notification+sound alert+pause+map zoom) by category (combat/research/logistics), with each category subdivided into single alerts (Combat : biters in range of detection, Combat : biters attacked by a turret/artillery wagon, Combat : structure damaged, Combat : defensive/offensive/logistic structure destroyed, Combat : logibot/construction bot destroyed, ...), so that anyone would be able to fine tune the notification level needs.

All the notifications would be kept in a notification panel/area, with ability to see them at one's pace, click on them to get either a pinpoint on the map, or the appropriate window opened, eventually the game paused when in single player.
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Re: Notifications System

Post by Tekky » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:38 pm

Related threads regarding alert management:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=46386 Dismissing alerts
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=46677 Alerts display
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=56263 Factory Console/Event Log
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=59342 Give alarms cooldowns
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=58076 Different Volume for Different Alerts?
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=50732 Make custom alert icons separate

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Re: Notifications System

Post by Koub » Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:51 pm

Yeah many posts asking for small changes on the current alerts system.

What I'm asking for is that a real notification system, with all the modern features we're used to was added, with ability to support any event type, and the old alerts system was dumped into it and abandonned.
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Re: Notifications System

Post by eradicator » Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:29 pm

Koub wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:51 pm
Yeah many posts asking for small changes on the current alerts system.

What I'm asking for is that a real notification system, with all the modern features we're used to was added, with ability to support any event type, and the old alerts system was dumped into it and abandonned.
The main thing i dislike about smartphone-notifications is that you have to confirm each and every one of them. Transferred to factorio i don't want to confirm every single biter alert/power alart etcpp. I'm not so sure how useful it is to view past alerts at all. Alerts are only relevant while the situation is current, as opposed to "research finished" notifications which might be relevant until the player has seen them.

So, i generally agree that the notification system could use some tweaks (i want to click those things and have the map go where shit is hitting the fence wall, and i want to be able to add more via mod), but it needs to be specifically designed to work well in factorio without causing screen-spam or information overload.
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Re: Notifications System

Post by Koub » Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:48 am

Totally. A multi-biter "youre attacked" notification could be collapsed into a single notification, with an increasing small number in one corner as biters are detected, and change aspect depending if it's in progress, or finished and let for the record (like blinking => fixed for example). And if you don't want that kind of alerts, you'd just change your notifications parameters in the notification center and ask not to be notified for that.
And notifications could be dismissed without even reading with a right-click, the fast way.
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Re: Notifications System

Post by eradicator » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:08 am

Koub wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:48 am
And notifications could be dismissed without even reading with a right-click, the fast way.
That's the part that bothers me most about notifications on smartphones (Oxygen not included does it too). I don't want to interact with every notification. There needs to be some timeout that makes it automatically go away. But ofc that contradicts the purpose of grabbing more user attention for i.e. finised research. But if you want options for that you suddenly need a (don't-)timeout setting for every possibly notification type.
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Re: Notifications System

Post by Koub » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:35 pm

Why not ? Adding an auto-delete timeout parameter on each notification type is actually a good idea.
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Re: Notifications System

Post by The Eriksonn » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:12 am

One thing i also miss is the ability for the programmable speaker to display custom signals. You can already set a constant Icon and a name but it would be nice for both of them to come from the Circuit network, so you could have things like: "Science outpost 1 is low on:" and then an Icon of a copper plate and the number 52 so you know that it has 52 copper. And that same speaker should also be able to warn about iron and gears and all the other things.
That example might not be that useful but in my current factory i have a large combinator controlled request system and it would be awsome if it could tell me when it was done with an order.

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Re: Notifications System

Post by Amarula » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:21 pm

I am all for improved notifications. Sadly it is very hard to get the right balance: you start out, oh I need an alert for this, and that and oh yeah that's a good one, and suddenly you are flooded with messages and it is totally annoying, so you say, to heck with this, and turn them all off. And then, it's like, oh if only I had had an alert that warned me that I was about to die... And the wheel of time turned, and it was a beginning - perhaps not THE beginning, but a beginning...

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Unified alerting system

Post by PacifyerGrey » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:28 am

So we have got a lot of different issues in the game that need alerts.
Some of issues got an icon over the object (static or blinking), some have flying text (like train no path), some have a toolbelt alert icon etc.

I would like to propose a unified alerting system to be implemented that would have a modding API and would have an options for all alerts available in game so that every issue can get:
  • Overhead icon image [none or select]
  • Overhead icon background color
  • Overhead icon blinking frequency
  • Overhead icon transparency
  • Toolbar area icon image
  • Toolbar area icon background color
  • Toolbar area icon blinking frequency
  • Toolbar area icon transparency
  • Map icon image
  • Map icon background color
  • Map icon blinking frequency
  • Map icon transparency
  • Overhead floating text
  • Chat error posting frequency [once, 10 sec, 1 min]
This can have default values set by dev team and options can include a selected "default" value but could be overriden by players for customized experience.

Koub
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Re: Notifications System

Post by Koub » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:38 am

[Koub] Merged into older topic with similar suggestion.
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Jürgen Erhard
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Re: Notifications System

Post by Jürgen Erhard » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:26 am

Koub wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:35 pm
Why not ? Adding an auto-delete timeout parameter on each notification type is actually a good idea.
Damaged buildings: I'd like an auto-delete when the building has been repaired by my bots. It's repaired, so I'm obviously not interested anymore, right?

*EXCEPT* when the damage was really critical: a building surviving with only, say 30% health or less, let the message stay so I can check that area for improvements. 30% (or 20, or whatever floats *your* boat) means that there might be a significant risk of breach. Anything that's not *that* bad: forget it *once the building has been repaired*.

And I've mentioned a *real* notification system in the "no research for you" FFF thread, because that, as you said, would solve (at least somewhat) the there-mentioned problem of the player not being aware of all the unlocked tech.

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Re: Notifications System

Post by Darinth » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:32 pm

I feel like sensible, non-intrusive default for notifications are important. I think *every* message should disappear into a log after x number of seconds of no longer being 'active'. So... your research notifications are only active for the moment they're complete and would thus stay on your screen whatever number of seconds this is set to, and then they disappear off your screen and go into your logs automatically. Biters alerts become active every time the even happens, which will keep their alerts on your screen while an attack is in progress and it'll go away a short period of time thereafter, etc...

Then a simple system that a user can filter alerts that they don't want to automatically go away. Maybe based on categories, maybe based on text, I'd have to see this mythical system to really give an opinion on how best to do the filtering.

But a unified, non-intrusive notification system with a notification log? I'm all on-board for this.

Koub
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Re: Notifications System

Post by Koub » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:17 pm

Darinth wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:32 pm
your research notifications are only active for the moment they're complete and would thus stay on your screen whatever number of seconds this is set to, and then they disappear off your screen and go into your logs automatically.
I disagree. I think research notifications should stay there until dismissed, or next tech is selected for research.
However, that doesn't mean you're wrong and I'm right. It's just we have different way to see things, and both should be possible.
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Re: Notifications System

Post by Darinth » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:48 pm

Koub wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:17 pm
Darinth wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:32 pm
your research notifications are only active for the moment they're complete and would thus stay on your screen whatever number of seconds this is set to, and then they disappear off your screen and go into your logs automatically.
I disagree. I think research notifications should stay there until dismissed, or next tech is selected for research.
However, that doesn't mean you're wrong and I'm right. It's just we have different way to see things, and both should be possible.
Polite disagreement is always welcome. :)

Edit: I do feel like it's still good to state the reasoning behind my rational.

I don't think we're going to see a good consensus on what alerts should stay until dismissed. Thus, whatever system goes into place I feel needs to be *able* to fit every person with sensible defaults. In order to fit every person, the ability to select by some form of filtering system what events stay until dismissed seems to me be to be the best option. Sensible defaults is still where I think a lot of people will disagree. Some people will want to see damage structures stay as permanent alerts so they can determine where they may need to shore up defenses. Some people will want to see research alerts stay so that they can make sure they've always got research going. My solution? An simply & intuitive way of selecting what alerts you don't want to auto-dismiss makes this work for everyone, without annoying anyone.

Darinth
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Re: Notifications System

Post by Darinth » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:35 pm

I think PacifyerGrey has the right idea. I think every game alert should probably go through a central API. A single function call that passes in all of the needed parameters (or a table with all of the needed data). I think his API is perhaps a bit too cumbersome and opens up some really terrible practices. Like I'd encourage enforcement of a single icon, background color, blink frequency, and transparency be enforced for an overhead icon, toolbar area, and map icon.

An example might be a function that accepts a table with any of the following keys:
Icon: Icon to use, if nil use default alert icon
BackgroundColor: Background color of the icon (with alpha channel to control background transparency), if nil use a 100% transparent background
BlinkFrequency: Rate of icon blink, if nil icon doesn't blink
Transparency: How transparent the icon should be, if nil no transparency
MapCoords: Where on the map it appears, if nil icon doesn't show anywhere on map.
NotificationText: Text to display in notification text, if nil no notification is displayed for this alert.
NotificationAction: How does the game handle the notification? Options include Delete(notification isn't even logged, used by modders and internally to display notifications by overriding this with tags), Ignore(Notification goes to log, but isn't ever displayed to user), AutoDismiss(Notification is dismissed after being inactive for x seconds), ManualDismiss(notification stays in the notification area until manually dismissed). I'd recommend against doing manual dismiss on nearly anything. This can be overridden using player-made filters. If nil, either AutoDismiss or no notification for this alert.
NotificationTags: Series of text-based tags that can be used in player filters to control what
OverheadIcon: Boolean to indicate if an overhead icon should be displayed, if nil no overhead icon.
OverheadFloatingText: Text to display over character's head, if nil no text displayed.
ChatErrorText: Text to post to chat box, if nil no text posted to chat box.
ChatErrorFrequency: Maximum rate that this message can be posted to chat, if nil the message is always posted.
Important Note: I know LUA, but don't actually know factorio's modding API. Thus I have no clue if factorio makes use of this kind of object passing or if it tends towards more traditional function calls.

On the player end of things, it all work with sensible defaults. If I want to make sure my research complete notification stay until dismissed then I add a filter that changes anything tagged with the "research" and "complete" tags to be manually dismissed only. If I don't care about when turrets fire at enemies, then I add a filter that changes anything tagged with "turret" and "attacking" to ignored, or even deleted so it won't even show up in my logs. If I'm a modder and am trying to figure out why something is happening in game and want to use the notification system, I can add specific tags for debugging so I see them, but those notification would by default be deleted so players wouldn't ever even see them. I do worry about possible performance implications of mods that might spam the notification system with "delete" notificiations, and forget that they're doing so.

The modding end is within a reasonable level of complexity, and the player end works on sensible defaults with overrides available to more advanced players.

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