Underground pipes/belts overlay?

Ideas, that are too old (too much things changed) or won't be implemented cause of some reasons or if there are obvious better suggestions.

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yosraz
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Underground pipes/belts overlay?

Post by yosraz »

TL;DR
An overlay which is easy to toggle and which shows the underground belts/pipes and their lengths.

What ?
I think the game needs easy to toggle different kinds of overlays.
Why ?
In a glance players can get visual information about all stuff underground.
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ssilk
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Re: Underground pipes/belts overlay?

Post by ssilk »

The problem with this is: there are no real pipes underground. There are just links, that lead from one underground belt to another.

That can be used by mods. You can connect two underground belts over edges. Or build sr v How would you display that on maps?

https://mods.factorio.com/query/Pipe%20?version=1.1


Really recommended instead:
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/show-max- ... d-distance
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Re: Underground pipes/belts overlay?

Post by yosraz »

ssilk wrote:
Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:20 pm
The problem with this is: there are no real pipes underground. There are just links, that lead from one underground belt to another.

That can be used by mods. You can connect two underground belts over edges. How would you display that on maps?

https://mods.factorio.com/query/Pipe%20?version=1.1


Really recommended instead:
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/show-max- ... d-distance
Thanks for the suggestion. It makes sense.
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Re: Underground pipes/belts overlay?

Post by ssilk »

moving to not implement.
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Re: Underground pipes/belts overlay?

Post by SoShootMe »

ssilk wrote:
Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:20 pm
The problem with this is: there are no real pipes underground. There are just links, that lead from one underground belt to another.
This does not follow. In the normal case, the links tell you exactly where the overlay should be shown.

There is already an overlay showing the connection (if there is one) when you hover over an underground belt or pipe, or hold a blueprint containing them.

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Re: Underground pipes/belts overlay?

Post by yosraz »

SoShootMe wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:20 am
ssilk wrote:
Sat Dec 11, 2021 11:20 pm
The problem with this is: there are no real pipes underground. There are just links, that lead from one underground belt to another.
This does not follow. In the normal case, the links tell you exactly where the overlay should be shown.

There is already an overlay showing the connection (if there is one) when you hover over an underground belt or pipe, or hold a blueprint containing them.
I was thinking more of an overlay which made visible all the underground pipes/belts when activated.
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Re: Underground pipes/belts overlay?

Post by ssilk »

I think this doesn’t make things so much better, because it adds a lot of graphic clutter.

But sometimes it would make sense… :)
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Re: Underground pipes/belts overlay?

Post by ssilk »

I seem to have been very tired, when writing that above. :roll:

The biggest reason for moving to not implement is, that this cannot be generalized so, that it will work with any mod. Again: underground belts are game-wise just linked. There is no real entity in the underground. And for vanilla the links are straight.

Which means, for vanilla there is not a big problem to see where the pipes are going. It doesn’t improve anything. And for mods, that use longer distances, I mean it’s their problem to display that. Not the game-engines.

I will see how this thread develops.
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Re: Underground pipes/belts overlay?

Post by tuhe »

Hi Ssilk!

This is a relative newbie perspective: What I would really like to see with pipes is easier visual diagnostics of what goes on. With belts, you can immediately do diagnostics:

1) what is on the belt?
2) Is the factory working? (i.e., is the belt moving with resources or standing still)

If there are problems the belt will tell you how to fix them:
1) If the belt is empty, move upstreams
2) If the belt is full and still, move downstreams

It will tell you what you might want to do next with your factory:
1) If the belt is near capacity, run a new/better belt
2) If the belt is fairly empty, add production

Finally, belts are visually just fun to look at because they are moving!

I have thought about how you can integrate these things better with pipes. I agree with the OP that an overlay would be one idea and something I have thought about many times, but I get what you are saying about mods, etc.
Perhaps an idea would be to add bigger "windows" in pipes (including also 1x2 underground connectors), and through the windows, one could see a small animation which indicated flow direction, amount, speed, etc? (i.e., the liquids/gasses would have small bubbles that moved inside the pipe). There are probably a bunch of issues with this idea I have not thought about, such as pipes that goes vertically/horizontally, and that most pipes in a beginner factory are so far from max capacity they might as well be empty -- still, just knowing flow direction and whether things *are* flowing would be a help.

Another idea would be that mouse-over a pipe would highlight all pieces the pipe is directly connected to (rather than the single underground segment), and possibly show some of the above debug information such as saturation, flow direction, flow speed etc.

On the same note, I would not mind if the "window" in tanks was a bit bigger, and showed the level of the liquid a bit clearer. Perhaps with a small visual indication if the tank was completely full or empty.

Thanks for a great game!

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Re: Underground pipes/belts overlay?

Post by ssilk »

@tuhe these are all nice ideas, but not part of this suggestion, which is around underground pipes and not visibility of pipes in general.

You can create some new suggestions, if you like to. :)

Bigger windows for pipes: I don’t see the problem with them, because you have the tooltip on the right, or you can zoom in quite near to see it.

And in general I try to use pipes so, that they are either as full as possible or as empty as possible. I do that by using pumps and circuits. Not much is needed for that, quite straightforward logic. Using pipes either as full or empty makes them super simple to manage.
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