[Polls Closed] The signals

Give feedback on topics proposed by the developers.

Do you find the signals useful ?

Yes, I use them often.
151
52%
Yes, I use them now and then.
69
24%
No, I tried them and found them compicated.
26
9%
No, I tried them and found them useless.
7
2%
I don't know what they are.
35
12%
 
Total votes: 288

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Re: [Polls] The signals

Post by MF- » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:23 am

slpwnd wrote:However there are cons as well. For instance having a lot of chests connected to a single pole creates messy setups when it is hard to see which chests are connected. And also it is quite some manual work to set it up.
perhaps the alt-mode could display a coloured frame around the contained items in a smart chest depending on the wires connected?
(or filled background, just like on electric pole GUI)
It wouldn't be helpful if it was connected to multiple green networks, though.

I am not sure how such complex setup looks like, so I don't see it as a problem. (Except for low contrast of the green wire)

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Re: [Polls] The signals

Post by rlerner » Thu May 30, 2013 7:26 pm

I really do dig the idea of wireless smart inserters/chests with network IDs. I think that could make it much more interesting in the future.

A few gripes I have:
- There is no <= or >= condition, which can be useful at times. (>= 1) for example can be any amount besides empty.
- There is no way to set the condition to zero, i.e. 0 items is the trigger. If (count==0) then -----.
- When an item passes through the chest, it should trigger all inserters as if that item count were included, and then remove the item. There are times where I pass an item through very fast (fast inserters) and the tied-in smart inserters either sit stupidly, or just do a twitch dance.

And a feature request:
- By-network comparisons. I.E. If (Red Item < Green Item) then -----.

Thoughts?
Last edited by rlerner on Thu May 30, 2013 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [Polls] The signals

Post by MF- » Thu May 30, 2013 8:58 pm

@wireless - I am pretty sure I already commented on this.
Perhaps, additionally to big transceiver towers, it could be OK to have binary signal per channel (only an On-Off state, not a whole network status)
NOTE: THE line above does _NOT_ in any means say that I actually support any kind of wireless.

>= and <= can be easily emulated using > and <. Don't forget that you are comparing integer values, not reals.

Do you have a nice use case for the feature request?

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Re: [Polls] The signals

Post by rlerner » Fri May 31, 2013 3:34 am

I believe you probably did post about wireless, as did I.

I don't have a use case right now, as I've had some issues with my previous save games not loading, however including "0" on the slider can negate the need for >= and <=, however I would have to imagine incorporating these would be insignificant.

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Re: [Polls] The signals

Post by MF- » Fri May 31, 2013 7:26 am

I think that including 2 more options would make the list of operation too long to cycle though.
0 is not allowed? I though all my sliders started at 0..
You know that you can't setup a precise value over 100 or something anyway, right?

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Re: [Polls] The signals

Post by ssilk » Fri May 31, 2013 6:21 pm

I read all that through and my thought where:

Critics:
1. Signals have the same problem as trains: can be replaced with pure production power and it needs too much work to create them in comparison to not use them.
I created a really big factory and created now over 50000 blue potions, just to get rid of all the stuff I produced and making the factory work. This is ridiculous.

2. As mentioned this wiring is really complicated. I don't like that, because it overwhelms the screen.

3. More complicated is, how to program the rules over and over (too much repetition).

4. For things, which can be really useful I found no solution (see https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... 6234#p6234 )

5. I would really like to program a network in a way, that it warns me, if some conditions become true. For example when ammunition is too low.


Suggestions:

To #1:
It would make sense, if the resources on a map are much more limited and/or the space between big resource-fields are really, really big. Currently I just need to make a map with much resources.

I think also of "inflation": With the time you need more and more resources to produce one item. This would make big resources more and more worthless and you need to keep expanding much more rapidly the more you produce. The player should feel a need make a resource-saving production - possibly just in time.

To #2:
The idea with "highlight the poles that can be connected" is very good. I would like that also for electricity, inserters etc.

I like the "wireless network" idea. But I would also like to see the wired-network. My suggestion: You can plug the wires yourself or when you click on an item you can choose, to which network it should belong to and the device is then autowired, if possible.

The networks should also be named (autonamed but changeable).

To remove the cludder: In Propellerheads Reason (my facourite music program) the wires can be showed in three modes: Everything, None and Currently selected. The first and second is clear I think, the third is: When you focus a device, only the cables running in and out are shown. All others are only shown transparently.

To #3:
I would like to differ between sensor, controller and action. A smart chest is a sensor. The cables run into the controller, which does something with it and the output of this controller feeds the inserter (action). Or - thinking into possible future - a trafo-station, which can switch on/off a hole electric network or change a train-signal. Turning off power for research, if power is low?

This splitting would make the cabling and programming much easier; think of searching a bug, because you moved the slider only one pixel too far left in one of the inserters. And I don't think, that this would make it harder to understand. I think it's easier because nearly everyone (also non-programmers) will understand "input-calculation-output".

The rules should be translated into true language. My favourite mailer thunderbird has a mail-filter. I think you already thought to it when programming. I think this is understandable after a while. Try to translate the rules into readable language or make the interface so, that it makes more sense.

To #4:
I would like to have different controllers for different things, like a comparisator (which is more or less, what's now in the smart inserter) or a time-switch (open signal x seconds, when input is sitched on) and more complicated stuff like described in https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... 6234#p6234

See also https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... ?f=8&t=298 - it would be great, if there would be a controller, which exactly does this (therefore you need a controller with 2 inputs and 4 outputs). And think of building mods for factorio: You may be able to create a new type of controller by scripting it.
Maybe you can output different levels? How about slow down an inserter instead of turning him off?

To #5:
More devices. How about a lamp, which can light in different colors? E. g. if it lights red it means that you need more ammunition. If it lights yellow, we lack of iron-ore and if it lights blue, we lack of copper. White means electricity low. Place the lamp on the map or in your display. A device to measure electricity. A belt, that switches off or reverses? Show which values are currently in which network!
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Re: [Polls] The signals

Post by MF- » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:43 am

@1
Get the scenario pack and beat the supply scenario.
"inflation == Making the production more and more wasteful" is really weird and ... totally weird and wrong.

@2
I can't really tell. I haven't built any big circuit network yet. It is long, but it just informs me about the iron storage status in my remote facility.
I guess it could be useful to be able to highlight individual circuit network cables.

@3
Already covered in you other topic "Control voltage" / "Signal processor/router"
https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... 902&p=6248

@4
Above, counting pulses could be supported either by the signal processor, or a separate device.

@5
All nice.
A device that would push electricity reserve / electricity deficit on the network would be useful.
If circuit networks were able to handle negative values (and i think that could be useful), it could be pushed as "electricity balance"

Buttons/Levers/Pressure plates / warning/info Lamps were already suggested multiple times... somewhere

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Re: [Polls Closed] The signals

Post by Ardagan » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:19 pm

Info Lamps +1

Preferably attached to the main character. Preferably directly built-in into Gui. Preferably configurable.

Would be like a miracle:
1) Warning lamp on resource shortage
2) warning lamp on energy shortage
3) *** on some item produced
4) *** on some building destroyed
etc etc...

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Re: [Polls Closed] The signals

Post by StanFear » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:48 pm

I did not read all said before (because I do not have many time, and don't understand english easily enough)

but I think wiring would be very, very interesting if there were the following features :
-> the ability to send the signal of a non used inserter, giving the ability to know, for instance, if a train is finished to be unload
-> the above would be very usefull to have the ability to tell a train to leave a station when the station receive a certain input -> which would make train transportation a lot smoother and a lot more efficient

also, it would be cool to be able to control the traffic lights on train track, providing a more efficient way (sometime) to handle trains !


I've got more ideas but I have to go ... another time maybe !

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Re: [Polls Closed] The signals

Post by StanFear » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:42 am

I just got another idea reading all said before :
what if, there were comparators, sending binary signal from a network -> it would work just as it does with smart inserters, but could be linked directly to the smart inserter that way, the test would be set only one time.

we could then imagine binary gates, to make very complicated (and useless ?) networks !


and with this new binary system (in addition with the existing one of course(or not ?)), the ability to trigger all kind of stuff, from mining drills to assembling machines !, or even labs, radar, roboports, ...

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Re: [Polls Closed] The signals

Post by Chrille » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:54 am

I've tried using them, but found it to be a combination of confusing how they actually work in regards to the wiring of chests. What does it count and how to create a larger network. Atm I can't say how it interfaces with the logic network.
I seemed to make the chests connected with wires invisible to the robots at some point, which confused me quite a lot. and the need to connect them to exisiting electric poles didn't feel good at all to me. It's very messy and untidy. Not to mention that this kind of system needs a lot of tweaking unless you've done it hundreds of times and now exactly what you want to achieve, but that means you have to tear down the electric poles and rebuild them and then rebuild the wires. That doesn't make sense to me.

I would suggest both what has been suggested earlier to make it easier to understand but maybe even separate it from the electrical system and make it far easier to create networks. Basically an entire new grid view where you can mark things you want included in your circuit network. (fade away all but legal targets etc) and when selected several things you'd 'ok' it or something.

As it stands, I don't really use it at all. Partly because it's not clear exactly how it works, but mostly because it feels tedious and will force me to rebuild way too much when I mess up and want to redo it.

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Re: [Polls Closed] The signals

Post by JackGruff » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:28 pm

Well, the thread topic confused me as I thought you were speaking about rail signals when you meant the circuit network.

Which just gave me an idea... what if we could wire railway signals to the circuit network? I should in theory, be able to stop a train from following its schedule if it doesn't have to and this would save energy. But that is speculation :)

Back to the circuit network, it also took me a while to get it but once I played around, I understood it completely. The one thing that irritates me about them is all the wiring.

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Re: [Polls Closed] The signals

Post by mohreb » Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:21 pm

it would be cool too to be able to link them to more things, like rail segments so they can switch it off (and block entry to a mine station when there is nothing to be transported, or to a drop off station segment if it can not be unloaded), to stations to see what is in the train, to factories directly to set command (well they can be set to inserter's so it is almost the same).
Also more color would greatly help for easier controlling (like in addition to red and green if there would be blue purple yellow cyan black white and so on ... many colors out there) => with enough color you could make an easier (for yourself to read and standardize) system for local / global (but not in logic network way as it has it's own uses) storages, global ticking, local ticking (which is handful for ordinance things), local and global production synchronizing and so on. probably all this can be done by the two colors, but it would be easier if only by the color we could see what is what.
Also sometimes i found them hard to see between electric poles, which makes wiring harder.
The other problem is blue prints neither seem to copy chest/inserter settings neither cabling (at least i think it doesn't i might be wrong), if they would copy those as well as the structures, it would make the use of those settings more repeatable => more useful

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Re: [Polls Closed] The signals

Post by DrNoid » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:19 am

I really like the idea of a wiring-view, like in Gunpoint I guess (http://gunpointgame.com/)
I'd also like more colours, but at the same time, limiting the number of colours makes for more of a puzzle.

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Re: [Polls Closed] The signals

Post by ssilk » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:28 am

Segments etc: I think this will be introduced in v0.10 or v0.11. And the blueprints will be fixed, too, but I mean it is very complicated.

More colors: No good idea! It spoils the inventory. It doesn't make anything easier. The current two are in my opinion already too much (but I can live with them and they look nice) and there is always a way to reduce two wires into one. I mean the current function of the wires are not really understood by most players.

Seeing: Yes!

Wiring view: Nice idea. Like that.
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Re: [Polls Closed] The signals

Post by DrNoid » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:26 am

ssilk wrote:More colors: No good idea! It spoils the inventory. It doesn't make anything easier. The current two are in my opinion already too much (but I can live with them and they look nice) and there is always a way to reduce two wires into one.
I challenge you to make a deterministic perfect alternator with only one wire colour...

Having only one type of data-wire is fine with me, if there are other ways to separate circuits and have more than one rule for an inserter.

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Re: [Polls Closed] The signals

Post by ssilk » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:20 am

DrNoid wrote:I challenge you to make a deterministic perfect alternator with only one wire colour...
This is easy: I can imagine a device which takes as input a wire and as output it creates a new signal in (another) wire.
So lets say you have the green wire with 2 signals in it, like

iron: 11
copper: 20

And you plug the green wire some new device, which raises a signal named "enough copper and iron", when copper >10 and iron >10.

And this output is put into the red wire, where you have now these signals:

electric circuits: 100
enough copper and iron: 1

And now an inserter works, if the signal "enough copper and iron" == 1 and "electric circuits" < 200.

Technically no problem. The problem is to make that user-friendly. :)
Having only one type of data-wire is fine with me, if there are other ways to separate circuits and have more than one rule for an inserter.
Hm.
Technically red and green wire can also be seen as one wire with more signals; like when you say we have two chests. chest1 has a prefix "green" and chest 2 a prefix "red". And you connect both to the same (red or green) network.

The signals now have a different name ("red.*" and "green.*") and are not added any longer.

Then a valid function could be that an inserter can check "red.copper > 100 and green.copper > 100" to have a minimum of 100 copper in each chest, before working.
That's how a circuit network can function without different wires at all. :)

But again: That is not very user-friendly and the real work is to make that so easy and usable, that everybody understands. But then it would solve many problems, because you don't add logic into wiring, you add logic by naming (think instead of naming it "red" and "green" I name it "checkCopper" and "checkAvailability"), which is known to be much better understandable.
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Re: [Polls Closed] The signals

Post by DrNoid » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:55 am

Changing the logic away from wiring and to naming schemes does indeed make things much more powerful. That "logicDevice" you describe doesn't even need to output on a different wire, it can just output back on the same wire, since its output has a different name.
  • Chests should be named by the user (f.i. "mainCopperStore" or "outpost1Station")
  • Chests prefix their name to the quantity (f.i. "mainCopperStore.copper" or "outpost1Station.iron")
  • Chests with the same name add their quantities together. So all chests at a loading station can have the same name and count as one.
That way we could do with only 1 wire colour.
The hardest part is the interface for such a logic device...

One nice thing would be if this would allow you to see all the states of the network, from anywhere in the network. Even better would be if you can set certain counts to always display on your HUD.

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Re: [Polls Closed] The signals

Post by ssilk » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:29 pm

Another part of the problem is, that Kovarex already is working on that circuits, by adding more sensors and stuff. So we can make many ideas here, but it's questionable, if they can be used, or even if they are helpful or just wasted time.

So I ask Kovarex, if he wants to tell a bit on the current plans/implementation. And if that fits we can think deeper (I've many ideas with the wiring :) ).

And the third question is, if that is really needed, or will bring the game forward. :) (But I mean currently, that would be really useful.)
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Re: [Polls Closed] The signals

Post by kovarex » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:43 pm

I'm not working on it yet.

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