Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Zavian » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:42 pm

Regarding the problem that no-one reads the tips and tricks, one possible solution is to add a tip to the loading screen at the start of the game. (Obviously I'm meaning a different tip each time the game loads).

Also if I don't disable the tips window, and don't press next, then I always see the first tip. I think starting a new game should cause the game to advance to the next tip. (Always showing the same tip just encourages people to switch them off unread).

Last I looked the guide still had a lot of information that would be useful to new players. Maybe just add a bold warning to the top of each page that says 'This guide was written for an older version of the game, and some information may be outdated. Please report any errors here.
Last edited by Zavian on Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by DanGio » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:50 pm

Zavian wrote:Regarding the problem that no-one reads the tips and tricks, one possible solution is to add a tip to the loading screen at the start of the game. (Obviously I'm meaning a different tip each time the game loads).

Also if I don't disable the tips window, and don't press next, then I always see the first tip. I think starting a new game should cause the game to advance to the next tip. (Always showing the same tip just encourages people to switch them off).
Yes.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by DaveMcW » Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:00 pm

Zavian wrote:Regarding the problem that no-one reads the tips and tricks, one possible solution is to add a tip to the loading screen at the start of the game. (Obviously I'm meaning a different tip each time the game loads).
+1, putting tips on a loading screen is standard game design now.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by QGamer » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:03 am

DaveMcW wrote:
Zavian wrote:Regarding the problem that no-one reads the tips and tricks, one possible solution is to add a tip to the loading screen at the start of the game. (Obviously I'm meaning a different tip each time the game loads).
+1, putting tips on a loading screen is standard game design now.
Yes, you make a good point, but I'm wondering if that would work with the loading speed. Last time I played Factorio it didn't take that long for me to load, and if I understand correctly the devs are optimising even more. If tips were put in the loading screen, would there even be enough time for the player to read them before the game loads?

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Zavian » Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:01 am

That probably depends where you have factorio installed. My c: drive is an ssd, but my games are installed on a hard drive (d:). For me factorio takes around 30 second to load. If I load it from my ssd it still takes 22 seconds. In https://www.factorio.com/blog/post/fff-201 Rseding91 says he made some startup optimisations and got loading time down to 2.9s on a new fast machine. Even that is probably enough time to read a tip.
Last edited by Zavian on Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by TheKingOfFailure » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:33 am

I'm for making the tips tutorials instead. The current system is boring and strange since we have a new better system for teaching the player.
Also belt side-inserter interaction isn't a "tip" any more than "pressing R will rotate a building". It's a primary game function, not a cool quirk. The underground belt side splitting is more of a "tip" in my opinion. And even then that could be put in an "advanced belting" tutorial. *shrug* :)

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Rhamphoryncus » Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:51 am

Definitely the loading screen or even the main menu. There shouldn't be a point where a player says "okay, I've played enough to get a feel for the game, get rid of that annoying extra popup". Before that point the player should be doing tutorials, not tips and tricks. After that point they're an experienced player but they may still need to learn obscure details (like copying from assemblers or filter slots in train cars.)

Manually showing more tricks from the in game escape menu would be useful though.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Rseding91 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:28 am

DaveMcW wrote:
Zavian wrote:Regarding the problem that no-one reads the tips and tricks, one possible solution is to add a tip to the loading screen at the start of the game. (Obviously I'm meaning a different tip each time the game loads).
+1, putting tips on a loading screen is standard game design now.
Our loading screen is sub 3 seconds though in 0.16 - you wouldn't be able to read anything :D
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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Koub » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:31 am

Rseding91 wrote:Our loading screen is sub 3 seconds though in 0.16 - you wouldn't be able to read anything :D
Game loads too fast ! Add a timer so that people actually see it loading ! :mrgreen:
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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Zavian » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:59 am

Rseding91 wrote:
DaveMcW wrote:
Zavian wrote:Regarding the problem that no-one reads the tips and tricks, one possible solution is to add a tip to the loading screen at the start of the game. (Obviously I'm meaning a different tip each time the game loads).
+1, putting tips on a loading screen is standard game design now.
Our loading screen is sub 3 seconds though in 0.16 - you wouldn't be able to read anything :D
Rseding91 your machine is probably twice as fast as my old i7 860. But even at 3s you you can probably read a one sentence tip. At 6 seconds you certainly can. But yeah if you left the tip on half the screen, and the menu on the other half, players would have as long as they wanted to read the tip. (If the game is in a small window, then yeah the menu would end up covering the tips, but I think most players will have a 1080p screen, and run either in full screen or a maximised window).

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by pleegwat » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:14 pm

Rseding91 wrote:
DaveMcW wrote:
Zavian wrote:Regarding the problem that no-one reads the tips and tricks, one possible solution is to add a tip to the loading screen at the start of the game. (Obviously I'm meaning a different tip each time the game loads).
+1, putting tips on a loading screen is standard game design now.
Our loading screen is sub 3 seconds though in 0.16 - you wouldn't be able to read anything :D
Loading complete, press any key.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Greybeard_LXI » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:16 pm

Zavian wrote:Regarding the problem that no-one reads the tips and tricks, one possible solution is to add a tip to the loading screen at the start of the game. (Obviously I'm meaning a different tip each time the game loads).

Also if I don't disable the tips window, and don't press next, then I always see the first tip. I think starting a new game should cause the game to advance to the next tip. (Always showing the same tip just encourages people to switch them off unread).
When I load WoW the loading screen goes by so fast that I can barely find the tip before it vanishes, much less read it.

I did consider reporting receiving the same tip every time a bug, but there were too many bugs in the forum to go through to see if I would be posting a duplicate.

==================
Responding to other posts:

Something as significant as setting up power should be a tutorial offered when first crafting a boiler (power pole? Engine?).

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by eradicator » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:52 pm

pleegwat wrote:Loading complete, press any key.
I herby preemptively request a (cli-)option to skip the "any key" event and jump directly to main menu. :roll:

###

Also i'm not sure if a hotkey is really the best option to view tips and tricks. People (especially those who need tips the most) tend to forget hotkeys, so there should be some additional gui button.

###

The whole category "mess" might be best cleaned up by requiring a "display type" (a simple string) on every recipe prototype. The actual displayed category prototypes can then define a list of which display types they contain.
E.g:
"Intermediates" defines itself as containing "plate" type items.
"Iron-Plate" defines itself as wanting to be displayed as "plates".
Now if a mod wants to put all plates into a different category they can just redifine the "Intermediates" category without messing with individual prototypes. This also gives mod authors the freedom to define their plates as being displayed somewhere else (for example if a mod author prefers to display all his-mod-related items in his own category).
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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by hoho » Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:29 pm

Rseding91 wrote:
DaveMcW wrote:
Zavian wrote:Regarding the problem that no-one reads the tips and tricks, one possible solution is to add a tip to the loading screen at the start of the game. (Obviously I'm meaning a different tip each time the game loads).
+1, putting tips on a loading screen is standard game design now.
Our loading screen is sub 3 seconds though in 0.16 - you wouldn't be able to read anything :D
Then just add them somewhere in main menu. Have a box of text and possibly images show up there of a random tip and allow people to directly access the tips screen from there.

E.g put it in some corner of the screen or bottom/lower part. Putting the menu itself to one side reserving the other side for in-game news might also be a great option, tons of games do it because, well, it works.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by QGamer » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:06 am

I'm in favor of the tips&tricks becoming tutorials, actually. They don't have to be long, they just have to clearly & effectively explain a concept to the player. Maybe even showing the player how a setup works could be good enough, but I'm not sure. Copy-pasting should definitely be a tutorial, in my opinion.

I think putting the tips&tricks in the main menu would clutter it too much--I like the clean, elegant look it has, and the background picture is pretty cool :mrgreen: . I think the tips&tricks should go with the tutorials, accessible in the same way, so that everything relating to learning the game is in one place.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Alice3173 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:17 am

eradicator wrote:I herby preemptively request a (cli-)option to skip the "any key" event and jump directly to main menu. :roll:
Which key is the "any" key anyways? I don't have one of those.

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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Jap2.0 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:38 am

Alice3173 wrote:
eradicator wrote:I herby preemptively request a (cli-)option to skip the "any key" event and jump directly to main menu. :roll:
Which key is the "any" key anyways? I don't have one of those.
It's the one on your keyboard.
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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by 5thHorseman » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:20 am

Jap2.0 wrote:
Alice3173 wrote:
eradicator wrote:I herby preemptively request a (cli-)option to skip the "any key" event and jump directly to main menu. :roll:
Which key is the "any" key anyways? I don't have one of those.
It's the one on your keyboard.
Then why don't they just say "the '1' key"?
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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by Jap2.0 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:00 am

5thHorseman wrote:
Jap2.0 wrote:
Alice3173 wrote:
eradicator wrote:I herby preemptively request a (cli-)option to skip the "any key" event and jump directly to main menu. :roll:
Which key is the "any" key anyways? I don't have one of those.
It's the one on your keyboard.
Then why don't they just say "the '1' key"?
Because if they did that we wouldn't be able to troll people on the forums anymore.
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Re: Friday Facts #208 - Tips and tricks improvement

Post by giantmechahamham » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:18 am

I am a relatively new Factorio player. I bought the game several months ago from GOG, but have only recently gotten into it. Already I've found myself researching the wiki to try to figure out some WTFs during my playthrough.

For example, I started building engines and robots and created a roboport. I could not for the life of me understand why my logistic bots were sitting on their thumbs while I had passive provider chests that were connected to factories. (I hadn't researched the correct tree item yet. Maybe I should log a bug: You can build logistics robots well before they'll be operational due to the lack of requester chests.)

At any rate, I would have been up a certain creek with no paddle if not for the wiki and my playthrough would have had even more of a negative effect than it did. I was disgusted because I was ready to remove some of the complexity of my map and discovered that I was not nearly ready to do so. I started a new map. If not for the wiki, I probably would have closed the game in disgust and maybe never come back to it.

The point is, the wiki is darned important.

Another example, from a game I played previously. I was heavily invested in the 'City of Heroes' MMORPG, in terms of time, in-game purchases, and socially. CoH featured a complex skill-pool system and a terribly dense comic-book inspired in-game lore. After several years, even the developers admitted to regularly using the wiki to compare what they were doing to what had been recorded by careful players to make sure they stayed within continuity and within the bounds of their own systems. Eventually, one of the tips that appeared on any given loading screen was a link to the wiki and an encouragement to seek knowledge from it.

Factorio's research tree is MASSIVE. Even though the game is still 'early release', it is so darn complex as to dwarf the research trees in all but a very few games. It's certainly more complex than the skill pool system I mentioned. If Factorio's popularity keeps growing (and I'm thinking it will), that wiki will be INDISPENSABLE to both new and existing players. So much so that I think displaying the wiki's URL or even allowing the player to open a browser window to it from within the research screen would not be a bad thing. I don't think it's necessary to embed a browser in the game code. Just use the standard URL handler that's in all the OS's to let the user's default browser open it.

tl;dr: Wiki needs vastly more emphasis. Point to it from within the game frequently.

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