Everything GUI Clickable/Touchable ☸

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Twelvefield
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Everything GUI Clickable/Touchable ☸

Post by Twelvefield »

"Don't Post Things You Don't Understand!!!" thundered the voice from the mountaintops. But only a couple of hours in, I find the GUI frustrating. I'm used to an interface that allows you to click things to make them work. And now that I own a Cintiq 21UX monitor, things can be touched as well. And that's the future of monitors!

So my suggestion is to work towards making every action and window in the game mouse-able and clickable, even moving the engineer around. Maybe that's not possible, and I am Ok with that as long as you hear me out.

Things like inventory windows can be opened and closed with mouseclicks instead of keyboard commands. The resource stack limiter, the Big Red X, looks like it should close the window, and it doesn`t. Why is that icon visible all the time when I doubt that I would ever use it in the first 100 hours of gameplay (if ever)?

I am in no way saying "get rid of the keyboard shortcuts", since there are many accomplished players who thrive on them. But there can be dual functionality. You could have a choice to either use the mouse to operate the function or the keyboard.

I know your artists use Photoshop, since that's what I use as well, among other things. My head is full of Photoshop keyboard shortcuts, and every new shortcut I have to learn takes away from Photoshop. But Photoshop has an excellent adaptive Toolbar and Menu system to keep track of common functions and all functions respectively. Since in Factorio you are essentially drawing on landscape with tools and equipment, I strongly suggest that you follow the GUI of drawing and design applications!

Thank you for your attention in this matter, from a player who is still very new to the game.

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ssilk
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Post by ssilk »

Userstory: See top.
Prerequisites: complete.
Game-value: Easier learning of the keyboard shortcuts. Playing without keyboard. Pre-condition for working on tablets.
Developer-costs: High. :)
User-opinions: Obvious.
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Nemoricus
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Re: Everything GUI Clickable/Touchable

Post by Nemoricus »

Twelvefield wrote:Things like inventory windows can be opened and closed with mouseclicks instead of keyboard commands. The resource stack limiter, the Big Red X, looks like it should close the window, and it doesn`t. Why is that icon visible all the time when I doubt that I would ever use it in the first 100 hours of gameplay (if ever)?
I've used it to control how much of a product gets made. However, its function is rather cryptic to new players, and I agree that it should be made more obvious. Perhaps by making it a button under the inventory spaces labeled "Restrict Space Inserters Use"?

Twelvefield
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Re: Everything GUI Clickable/Touchable ✓

Post by Twelvefield »

"Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, [and] difficulty" - Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy hopefully would agree that it's the fight that should be difficult, and not the GUI!

Naturally overhauling the GUI is going to be high in developer cost. However, as a reasonably smart gamer, I can tell you definitively that there will be a set of new users who will be buffaloed by the GUI on release. Look at the brilliant game Signal Ops which is completely and utterly hobbled by a bizarre control scheme and unintuitive buttons.

On the other hand, you can see the Arkham-Batman games, which also have heavily-defined controls... but the controls are logical (especially for an XBOX controller, which would also be cool for Factorio) and more especially, they are context-sensitive so that a gamer like me who prefers not to memorize keyboard commands can get appropriate visual cues as to what actions are available. You can leave the game for any length of time, and then come back and be competitive even if you don't remember the combo for a cape stun attack or a multi-shot batarang. You fight the bad guys, almost never fight the controls.

Another game with intuitive controls is Don't Starve, which is similar to Factorio. The menu structure in Factorio is superior to that of Don't Starve, but the Factorio controls are worse. Also: Banished. That one is more of a city(village) builder, but there are crafting and resource systems in Banished similar to Factorio. The menu system in Banished makes finding information and performing actions a breeze! For example, instead of clicking objects like powerpoles (which are kind of tiny and sometimes hard to find in cluttered areas) to get their power usage graphs (you could reserve that click for a drop-down context sensitive menu!), you open up a dedicated menu that shows usages, and then have clickable units within that menu that take you to that part of the map.) Then, there's SpaceChem, which is a gold-standard for control and function for resource crafting puzzle games. SpaceChem runs from the mouse, but allows you to create blueprints of useful combinations for future factories.

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Re: Everything GUI Clickable/Touchable ✓

Post by pyrolytic_tungsten »

Twelvefield wrote: For example, instead of clicking objects like powerpoles (which are kind of tiny and sometimes hard to find in cluttered areas) to get their power usage graphs (you could reserve that click for a drop-down context sensitive menu!), you open up a dedicated menu that shows usages, and then have clickable units within that menu that take you to that part of the map.)


There's a good reason for clicking on poles to bring up electric network stats. There can be many independent electric networks on the same screen but a pole can only be on one of them. I have no clue how you could access that otherwise without being confusing, especially if you split one big grid into two on accident. For a realistic game I don't see more than 4 grids on the same screen but there's no reason it couldn't be dozens. I suppose it could be set up so that you could access usage graphs from things attached to an electric network but then you would have to provide a way to select which grid you want graphs from since an entity can send/receive power from multiple grids at the same time such as when grids are linked by accumulators (accumulators charge from one grid and discharge to the other) or fail-over power supplies( oldest grid has priority to send/receive power).

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ssilk
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Re: Everything GUI Clickable/Touchable ✓

Post by ssilk »

This suggestion clears the details for electric network info: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=8401
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Re: Everything GUI Clickable/Touchable ☸

Post by Twelvefield »

An interesting read! Out of all of that, named networks seem to be the most logical for a beginning user. Tooltips that appear when you hover over the network ought to be able to give you a quick overview, and since its named/colour coded, then you can see at a glance what you are looking for. A dropdown menu like Banished has would allow you to have granular control over each network down to the pole.

I'm a little concerned that my examples are being taken as case-by-case rather than looking at a holistic whole. I don't have enough experience with the game to attach values to the things that the experienced users have. But that's exactly my point: there's many things going on that look important but have specialized uses, and other things that as a beginner I wish I could access but it's not easy because the function I wish to see is buried somewhere.

Again, the Photoshop GUI is an excellent example of how to design your utilities so that you can get at the main ones easily, but then still get at the specialized functions, too. I did mention how you use Factorio to "draw" your elements onto the planetary surface.

And on the topic of multiple power grids... Photoshop deals with multiple elements by placing them on Layers. Then you can Group Layers to make even larger units. Once you have the Layer the way you like, you can combine or drop them in any way you choose. Layered factories, layered resource gathering, layered power grids... that makes sense! In PS, you can name the layers and even give them custom colours. But, yes, it would be a ton of work to implement... so good, though.

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Re: Everything GUI Clickable/Touchable ☸

Post by ssilk »

The concept of layers in Factorio... well I thought a while on that, it won't not only fit for the map-editor, or the blueprints, it would also work for the map-generation!

Because, when we follow this suggestion this: https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=4692 we come to some kind of layers.

If I mix that with your suggestion, it is, as if I generate or load small pieces of map into a layer, and do that for many, many layers and then blend the layers in and out, depending on many factors.

It is a bit like the current generator, but in much larger dimensions and the results are much more as awaited.
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Re: Everything GUI Clickable/Touchable ☸

Post by ssilk »

This had been added to viewtopic.php?f=80&t=25782 Improvements of the Graphical User Interface (GUI)
and moved out of backlog.
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