Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

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mexmer
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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by mexmer » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:50 am

Optera wrote:Disabling mod portal discussions is perhaps the smallest yet most useful addition to the mod portal.
Even with an Announcement post on top that I don't check these discussions ppl would keep posting there and get angry for being ignored.

Next could be to allow us properly moderating discussions with locking, deleting, merging, splitting.
Simplest way would be to link the discussion tab to an automatically generated forum thread. Would also require a setting so we can change the path to a subforum for bigger mods.
while i don't think it's bad idea, on the other hand, creating second forum is not best idea either.

i would prefer rather integration of issue tracker from source control system (like github or bitbucket), for now i'm sending people there.

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by mrvn » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:58 am

How about adding a Blueprint Library building for sharing blueprints in multiplayer mode? It would have an inventory just like the blueprint library of the player and work the same way. But you would build it, place it on the map and put blueprint objects into it. Any new (or respawned) player can then copy blueprints from it.

I think that would look nicer than simply having a couple of chests filled with blueprints.

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by Zanthra » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:14 am

bobingabout wrote:I dig the collaborator thing. not so much the deprecated, but I'm sure it will be useful.

I haven't even really used the blueprint library as it is, so... no feedback on that.
Interesting, because when I read the FFF and saw the idea of deprecation, my first thought of a potential candidate to mark deprecated was Bob's Inserters migration mod (it shows up every time I install your other mods from the portal). https://mods.factorio.com/mod/bobinsertermigrate I love your mods by the way, but that one had a very specific purpose for a version change, and there is not much reason for it to remain in searches in the current game version.

The question I suppose is, if someone is looking for a mod on the mod portal for the current game version, should the mod continue to appear in that list, or will it just clutter the results with mods that don't have a current purpose.

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by mrvn » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:33 pm

Zanthra wrote:
bobingabout wrote:I dig the collaborator thing. not so much the deprecated, but I'm sure it will be useful.

I haven't even really used the blueprint library as it is, so... no feedback on that.
Interesting, because when I read the FFF and saw the idea of deprecation, my first thought of a potential candidate to mark deprecated was Bob's Inserters migration mod (it shows up every time I install your other mods from the portal). https://mods.factorio.com/mod/bobinsertermigrate I love your mods by the way, but that one had a very specific purpose for a version change, and there is not much reason for it to remain in searches in the current game version.

The question I suppose is, if someone is looking for a mod on the mod portal for the current game version, should the mod continue to appear in that list, or will it just clutter the results with mods that don't have a current purpose.
For that deprecated should have a version so old versions that still need to upgrade still find it.

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by tigar » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:42 pm

NIronwolf wrote:I couldn't stand the hand drawn mockup I had on my longer post. Here's a better one.

this here looks so much of a better solution including the oh so popular reddit post
plus why disable blueprints at the start of the game? there are loads of us who do not want to count smelters every single dam time we restart i get you guys dont like the idea of standardization as is visible by your attempt to reinvent the wheel constantly when it comes to the blueprint topic but the best way to structure individual files or folders as these blueprints and blueprint books are is an explorer style setup as shown by many people

please dont count blueprints and books as individual items that show up next to each other with no structure let us search let is build categories let us organize

this is a game about building about organizing resources into end products heck a lot of people spend a lot of time sorting out their dump area/mall area of goods or wagons to limit what goes in it so why not let that same concept carry over?

what is so hard about having a nice and simple library with a hierarchy file structure that we see pretty much everywhere yes its not unique but you know what it is? efficient you know what this idea without search or proper visuals will be? not efficient and in a game where efficiency is key for going big it seems a bit weird if a core mechanic of the game isnt

yes all this sounds harsh but truthfully your idea's so far show too much creativity of "think different" you know who else does that? apple and look at the shit storm they are starting

you have competitors showing up now right now its 1-2 games but if satisfactory makes it big and it most likely will more will show up and they will look at their big brother factorio and say "what can we do to improve this what do the people dislike the most about that game and how can we turn that into a good feature" and the blueprint system will become a target if no sorting and no searching is allowed in it

look at the whole pubg and fortnite issue fortnite took the battle royale genre and gave it its own twist but what it did was it did its research in what did pubg wrong and how can we do it better and yes fortnite has its flaws but it improved upon the shitty systems of pubg and it went big

so honest question to the devs why are you guys trying so hard to reinvent the wheel? you guys want a place to store and manage blueprints right well a file explorer would be the obvious source of inspiration so why are you guys so against using something that would be an improvement and instead try to turn a okay feature into a worse one as i get it you want something unique but unique isnt always good and looking at the posts here and on reddit and the video's that are coming out more and more people are hoping and wanting a file explorer style setup and not 1 giant folder with books and blueprints in them so why are you trying so hard to go what is essentially a step backwards in management with the way they are stored and with disabling sharing and no early game blueprints like it makes no sense so why? do you want us to suffer through hours of shifting and looking for that 1 blueprint only to find it after 20 minutes on row 49 on spot 6 after looking past it 20 times?

almost forgot to add
as my dad(a UX designer of many years) said when i showed him the friday facts from this week and before and all the stuff from the blueprint changes and how it works currently ingame and i quote "What an idiot way of proposing a change its like they are taking a page out of the early 2000's windows dev teams and improving user experience by making it more difficult to use core features i so do hope that they will change their mind"

i wanted his opinion on it to be heard to as he spends a lot of time trying to figure out this kinda stuff but hey im just a long time player and but 1 voice but i so do hope that you guys wont go a step backwards

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by huwp » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:44 pm

The blueprint library button will be disabled until bots are researched or until any item is added to the library for the first time.
Please make this configurable, I'd like to be able to access my blueprints before bots.

I agree with the tree layout proposal. At very least, make a working TreeView Widget before you start messing with the blueprint code. That way you'll have the choice available upfront.

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by mrvn » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:50 pm

huwp wrote:
The blueprint library button will be disabled until bots are researched or until any item is added to the library for the first time.
Please make this configurable, I'd like to be able to access my blueprints before bots.

I agree with the tree layout proposal. At very least, make a working TreeView Widget before you start messing with the blueprint code. That way you'll have the choice available upfront.
I would like that TreeView widget also for save games. It would be nice to put saves of the same game into a sub directory.

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by Vertigo » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:12 pm

Please consider adding folders for books. This will help with organization :roll:

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by Jap2.0 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:05 pm

Just to note something I think a lot of people are missing: If you've ever used the blueprint library in any game, it's unlocked forever. After that, researching bots is irrelevant to getting blueprints. The only people this will affect are new players, who probably have no idea what the blueprint library is and want to explore the game by themselves. Additionally, it wouldn't surprise me if there are mods to get around that restriction.
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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by pib » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:08 pm

If I could vote, I would vote for a tree view for blueprints , which I think would be much better proposal 0. Books just become folders; they can still be easily grouped and exported, and nesting them comes without cost. It is much easier to see what blueprints are each each book/folder. The icons aren't very useful by themselves, and in the grid view the names are not prominent enough. Icons could be included as characters in a the name if we wanted.

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by NIronwolf » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:07 pm

pib wrote:The icons aren't very useful by themselves, and in the grid view the names are not prominent enough. Icons could be included as characters in a the name if we wanted.
Icons into the text strings are planned according to FFF #237 :)

https://factorio.com/blog/post/fff-237

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by Twinsen » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:48 pm

Just as I was writing the FFF, I saw the rising reddit post. I was also initially mesmerized by it's simplicity. But the more I thought about it, the more questions went unanswered. Apart from the fact that's it's a nice tree view, the mockup explains nothing about the details.
Then I also was reading the comments and realized that everyone was basically filling in the missing details with their own version that worked well for their workflow. Some wanted blueprints as items, some didn't, some wanted books inside books, some completely ignored this fact.

Code: Select all

- New book vs new folder: since the tree can go down any number of levels, you need to be able to have books in books or differentiate between books and folders.
  - A1. Allow books in books: this makes shift+scroll up/down strange. What gets selected? Next blueprint in the root? next blueprint including sub-books? does the book gets selected and that book's active selection gets used?. Add checkbox options for blueprint traversal? None of these are very user friendly by any stretch.
  - A2. Differentiate between folders and books: leads to quite a bit a of confusion. You can choose to create a folder or a book. They work pretty much identically except you can't drag a folder to your quickbar. Will quickly start asking for more buttons like "convert folder to book"(and reverse).
  - A3. Books no longer exist: not really an option

- Blueprints stay as items or not?
  - B1. Blueprints stay as items: Plenty of questions regarding item transferring, duplication.
  - B2. Blueprints are not items: Sharing in multiplayer? Need to bring back the shared blueprints library.
For the second question the answer for me is B2. But the first question was the main reason why we never went for a tree structure, none of the the options worked well with books.
Even though we went through so many iterations, we will look into the tree structure more, maybe as a significant change, maybe as a different way of organizing the existing "proposition zero". Or maybe disregarding the idea because of all the small problems and gotchas. Hopefully people won't go crazy about writing about blueprints for the 3rd week in a row, calling in "Proposition R"

Regarding blueprint sharing, it's where I become the evil developer. Most of us never thought the automatic sharing was really such a great feature, and if a feature is not great, plus it clogs the GUI, then it should not be in the game. By making players share items, organise them in chests, protect them, it leads to way more emergent situations that can be fun in multiplayer. "where is the steam engine blueprint? it's in a chest next to the boilers, use that to build more".
But it's quite probable that in multiplayer games there will be a separate "game" library that all players can add and remove blueprints from, so that can cooperatively build that game's blueprint collection.

Regarding locking the blueprint library: it will be locked on on installation and as soon as you research construction bots the feature is unlocked forever across all save games. It can also be unlocked using a simple command.
Not the perfect solution, but I constantly see new players trying to explore the GUI and eventually clicking the strange and confusing blueprints library. Then trying to figure out what the hell are blueprints and why they don't do anything. All this while they didn't even build their first furnace, they don't even know that this is a game about automation and not a game about chopping down trees(hello every other survival game).
Copy paste will still be there. I really doubt a fresh player will want to store a library of blueprints when he didn't even discover construction bots yet.
But nonetheless I don't have any strong feelings about this limitation.

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by blavek » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:36 pm

mrvn wrote:I would like that TreeView widget also for save games. It would be nice to put saves of the same game into a sub directory.
Omg and use this to separate the autosaves so I don't accidentally overwrite my server autosave or a crashed games autosave or just having a rollback point.
Additionally, it wouldn't surprise me if there are mods to get around that restriction.
We shouldn't have to Mod in something which would be core functionality.

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by <NO_NAME> » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:46 pm

blavek wrote:
mrvn wrote:I would like that TreeView widget also for save games. It would be nice to put saves of the same game into a sub directory.
Omg and use this to separate the autosaves so I don't accidentally overwrite my server autosave or a crashed games autosave or just having a rollback point.
I remember some old games where save button was just opening standard file save dialog like in text editor. It was so simple. Good times. Too bad that this was replaced with some nicer looking but less flexible solutions.
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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by Jap2.0 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:52 pm

blavek wrote:
Additionally, it wouldn't surprise me if there are mods to get around that restriction.
We shouldn't have to Mod in something which would be core functionality.
It's also a console command, and it will be permanently unlocked after the first time you research bots - which is a green science tech. I doubt anyone will have much use for blueprints before ever reaching green science.
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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by Selvek » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:11 pm

Instead of blueprint books, why not blueprint folders?

The difference, obviously, is that folders can be multiple levels deep. Balancers/BlueBalancers/4toN/4to8Balancer

Also, while we're on the subject, the blueprint editor allows you to delete entities, but not move or add them. How many times have I had to restart building a blueprint (including reassigning the icon) because one pipe wasn't quite where I intended it to be...

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by <NO_NAME> » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:25 pm

Twinsen wrote:

Code: Select all

- New book vs new folder: since the tree can go down any number of levels, you need to be able to have books in books or differentiate between books and folders.
  - A1. Allow books in books: this makes shift+scroll up/down strange. What gets selected? Next blueprint in the root? next blueprint including sub-books? does the book gets selected and that book's active selection gets used?. Add checkbox options for blueprint traversal? None of these are very user friendly by any stretch.
  - A2. Differentiate between folders and books: leads to quite a bit a of confusion. You can choose to create a folder or a book. They work pretty much identically except you can't drag a folder to your quickbar. Will quickly start asking for more buttons like "convert folder to book"(and reverse).
  - A3. Books no longer exist: not really an option

- Blueprints stay as items or not?
  - B1. Blueprints stay as items: Plenty of questions regarding item transferring, duplication.
  - B2. Blueprints are not items: Sharing in multiplayer? Need to bring back the shared blueprints library.
A1 seems to be the best solution. I don't think that differentiating folders from books will do much good.
You don't really need to complicate this that much. You just don't allow to drag the book out of the library if there are other books inside. Or ever simpler and more flexible solution - you can drag it to you quick bar and use it normally but blueprint books are grayed and you can't use them. This would not be that a big problem because I imagine that players will tend to treat some blueprints books like folders and some like normal blueprint book so mixed book will be rather rare. This could be an argument for A2 but I don't see advantages of that solution over A1 so why to restrict use cases without reason.

If we need B2 to keep shared library, then I vote for B2.
I can imagine chat on a server:
"Do you have a blueprint for a crossing for this railroads?"
"I left some blueprints in the North-East Outpost."
"Sure, I'll will now travel 15 kilometers to get it, instead of making some shitty improvised crossing."
Yeah, that last line wouldn't happen. I doubt that even the first line would happen since everyone will be fed up of constant asking for something. There might be a minor case of Pro-innovation bias on your side, dear devs.
Twinsen wrote:Hopefully people won't go crazy about writing about blueprints for the 3rd week in a row, calling in "Proposition R"
I hope they will. Blueprints are a very important part of the game and you need to get them right.
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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by Zanthra » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:32 pm

Twinsen wrote: ...

Regarding blueprint sharing, it's where I become the evil developer. Most of us never thought the automatic sharing was really such a great feature, and if a feature is not great, plus it clogs the GUI, then it should not be in the game. By making players share items, organise them in chests, protect them, it leads to way more emergent situations that can be fun in multiplayer. "where is the steam engine blueprint? it's in a chest next to the boilers, use that to build more".
But it's quite probable that in multiplayer games there will be a separate "game" library that all players can add and remove blueprints from, so that can cooperatively build that game's blueprint collection.

...
I understand, but I am just concerned about the "discovery" sort of thing, where you are not looking for anything in specific, but are just browsing and discovering ideas concepts that you had never thought of. I feel that's something that could be lost (at least ingame) if the automatic sharing is removed. I also don't see why people would not just create their own copy of the current steam engines to expand it, or distribute the blueprints through out of game channels. Perhaps a per server option to disable blueprint sharing would be okay to for games that want that sort of limts, but I think it's likely to simply reduce the sharing of blueprints ingame due to the work and time involved on both ends to manage it. I don't think the emergent gameplay from blueprints as items sharing will be strong except in very specific circumstances. I strongly feel that cannot make up for the loss of discovery of things you never even thought might exist in others blueprint libraries.

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by blavek » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:37 pm

Jap2.0 wrote:
blavek wrote:
Additionally, it wouldn't surprise me if there are mods to get around that restriction.
We shouldn't have to Mod in something which would be core functionality.
It's also a console command, and it will be permanently unlocked after the first time you research bots - which is a green science tech. I doubt anyone will have much use for blueprints before ever reaching green science.
Console commands are clunky. It could easily be a toggle in map creation and be a console command. I can say personally I have use of blueprints before green science. But I also may want to show a new player the game and turn a beginner setting back on w/o having to remember a console command. I could also just install Factorio on another computer and now to use a blueprint I have to remember a console command to turn it back on or get to green research. There is no good reason for it not to be a map setting. If in a campaign mode they want to hide it until a certain point in the campaign great. In fact you could create a map mode designed for beginners with some settings that make it easier to get into the game like fewer biter less evolution and so on.

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Re: Friday Facts #250 - Dead end conclusion

Post by blavek » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:18 pm

Twinsen wrote:Just as I was writing the FFF, I saw the rising reddit post. I was also initially mesmerized by it's simplicity. But the more I thought about it, the more questions went unanswered. Apart from the fact that's it's a nice tree view, the mockup explains nothing about the details.
Then I also was reading the comments and realized that everyone was basically filling in the missing details with their own version that worked well for their workflow. Some wanted blueprints as items, some didn't, some wanted books inside books, some completely ignored this fact.
This should let you know that you should find a compromise. The problem with blueprints as items is inventory clutter. The problem with blueprints not as items is you never have the option to create one for say storing in an outpost chest. I addressed this a little in my previous post but a compromise which resolves both issues is to have them as items but separate from the inventory in another action bar like what was suggesting in your previous FFF.
Twinsen wrote:

Code: Select all

- New book vs new folder: since the tree can go down any number of levels, you need to be able to have books in books or differentiate between books and folders.
  - A1. Allow books in books: this makes shift+scroll up/down strange. What gets selected? Next blueprint in the root? next blueprint including sub-books? does the book gets selected and that book's active selection gets used?. Add checkbox options for blueprint traversal? None of these are very user friendly by any stretch.
  - A2. Differentiate between folders and books: leads to quite a bit a of confusion. You can choose to create a folder or a book. They work pretty much identically except you can't drag a folder to your quickbar. Will quickly start asking for more buttons like "convert folder to book"(and reverse).
  - A3. Books no longer exist: not really an option

- Blueprints stay as items or not?
  - B1. Blueprints stay as items: Plenty of questions regarding item transferring, duplication.
  - B2. Blueprints are not items: Sharing in multiplayer? Need to bring back the shared blueprints library.
Functionally Blueprint books are folders. They are the same idea, it's just a way to collect many blueprints into one place. If you drag a blueprint book into the library it adds it to the tree view if you drag it from the library to your inventory.blueprint action bar ;) it creates a book with that structure.

But To solve the Shift Scroll problem mentioned in A1 Here are 5 options, in my personal preferred order, because this kind of problem has been solved before. Personally I don't think that A2 or A3 are good options.
  1. Depth First - Shift scroll through the blueprints in the nested books in the order they appear. Treat it like a tree and find each end node and scroll them in that order.
  2. Breadth First - Scroll through the prints in the root book then each of the nested books then each of the double nested books and so on.
  3. Flatten the book using either of the above methods when the item is created.
  4. Allow the player to maintain scroll list how they want them to appear regardless of nesting. Provide a default list order if the player doesn't make their own.
  5. Don't allow nesting
Twinsen wrote: For the second question the answer for me is B2. But the first question was the main reason why we never went for a tree structure, none of the the options worked well with books.
Even though we went through so many iterations, we will look into the tree structure more, maybe as a significant change, maybe as a different way of organizing the existing "proposition zero". Or maybe disregarding the idea because of all the small problems and gotchas. Hopefully people won't go crazy about writing about blueprints for the 3rd week in a row, calling in "Proposition R"
See above.
Twinsen wrote: Regarding blueprint sharing, it's where I become the evil developer. Most of us never thought the automatic sharing was really such a great feature, and if a feature is not great, plus it clogs the GUI, then it should not be in the game. By making players share items, organise them in chests, protect them, it leads to way more emergent situations that can be fun in multiplayer. "where is the steam engine blueprint? it's in a chest next to the boilers, use that to build more".
But it's quite probable that in multiplayer games there will be a separate "game" library that all players can add and remove blueprints from, so that can cooperatively build that game's blueprint collection.
Unfortunately you added the system and we love it. It is an amazing feature and I am sorry that you don't feel that way. However, taking it away because you think it might create more emergent behavior in MP is a mistake. You can't put the toothpaste back in the tube. A nice compromise here though is allowing the blueprint library to be a map setting. This way players that want to take on the additional challenge of storing blueprints places and managing that night mare have the option to and the rest of us can happily share our collections with the other players we come across. But at the end of the day forcing a a more frustrating solution on the players because you think it isn't a great feature is not a great plan. Providing as an option for players that want to play that way is much better as the players in both camps get to play the way that they want to.
Twinsen wrote:Regarding locking the blueprint library: it will be locked on on installation and as soon as you research construction bots the feature is unlocked forever across all save games. It can also be unlocked using a simple command.
Not the perfect solution, but I constantly see new players trying to explore the GUI and eventually clicking the strange and confusing blueprints library. Then trying to figure out what the hell are blueprints and why they don't do anything. All this while they didn't even build their first furnace, they don't even know that this is a game about automation and not a game about chopping down trees(hello every other survival game).
Copy paste will still be there. I really doubt a fresh player will want to store a library of blueprints when he didn't even discover construction bots yet.
But nonetheless I don't have any strong feelings about this limitation.
Hiding the blueprint library should be also be a map setting. That allows me to install Factorio on any computer I want to and still be able to play how I like to play w/o having to remember a console command. Side note any console command you expect players to use should be a UI element somewhere. But as a map setting I am also afforded the option to show a new player the game and facilitate a new player experience by turning the blueprint library off. Also I would say in a campaign mode hiding certain things until they become relevant makes a tremendous amount of sense as the campaign mode will serve mostly as a tutorial, but in sandbox you really shouldn't hide anything otherwise it is no longer a sandbox.

I would say to sum up all of my thoughts on the issue Don't decrease complexity by removing functionality. I really enjoy factorio it is my first or second most played game on steam. I want to spend another 1200 hours in the game but if you make the game a chore for me to play or force me to play in a way that I don't like I will go elsewhere. I personally have recommended the game to a half a dozen other people and had them play it I want to keep doing that. Please consider what your player base is saying. Sadly like any other piece of art when it is released and interpreted by other people you lose control of its meaning and what people take from it. As a game dev I understand the urge to say this is the right way to play my game but we don't get to do that. The game and the community takes on a life of its own we have to respect that or else people won't play our games.

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