Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

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HornetSV
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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by HornetSV » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:36 pm

As game player, we always want more and more quickly, but release too soon could cause a mayor problem, people stop playing and no new players come aboard not to mention, that in this industry, the bad news spread too fast.

I always like the form wube do the things, so, as much as I want to play 0.17 today, I expect a quality standard for it, so we must wait until February

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by kovarex » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:04 pm

Serenity wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:30 pm
Gergely wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:19 pm
Speaking of world gen... IS IT FIXED?!
Yes, is it? This the FFF I'm looking most forward to. 0.17 really needs proper water generation like in pre-0.16 versions. Or all the nice GUI and HD stuff is just useless polish on a frustrating surface.
The terrain generation changes are also being worked on. Twinsen and Dan are negotiating and fixing one problem after another.
Muppet9010 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:30 pm
Recipe Explorer, is this a new feature or a name for the little window that tells you the recipe for an item?
It is a new feature that will have some of the functionality of the mod (https://mods.factorio.com/mod/RecExplo).
The main motivation is to have quick answers to these kind of questions about an item:
  • What is this item used for.
  • Get me info about the ingredients.
  • What are other ways to make these products? (if any)
It could be quite a simple and small window, but could help with these problems, mainly for new players and modded games.
luc wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:47 pm
Is it a thing in Czech to write a comma before the word "that"? In German it is ("mann muß sicher sein, dass das dreht"; translated with the comma: "one should be sure, that it turns") and I see some German colleagues applying the same rule in English, where it is wrong. Wondering if it's the same with Czech.
Yes, it is a rule in czech, so it just makes perfect sense in my head :)
authorized411 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:04 pm
Please don't hold up the 0.17 release for a GUI update.

Iterate. MVP (minimum viable product)

Add an option to allow the players toggle between the old GUI and new one until it is stable. This way, if there are any game stopping bugs (ie can't click or access some UI), then the player can flip back to the old one until that issue has been addressed. This way, you get feedback faster.
There are more reasons to not do it this way;
  • Some of the changes are not independent, for example, we need to tweak the blueprint library to be usable with the new action bar better
  • We need to make as much usefulness of 0.17, which means, that the most changed GUIs will be exposed and ready for possible changes based on feedback.
  • We don't want to get suggestions/bug reports about things that we already know that are broken and know how to fix them.
  • There is some constant cost to making a release
  • It is important to have presentable stable version. Once 0.17 has a stable version it can't look too weird and internally incompatible.
Avezo wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:16 pm
Hope new GUI will have both logistic requests and trashing on same slider - if after so much work requests and trashing are still on separate tabs, I will be sad.
It would be sad, so yes, merging auto-trash and logistic requests in a reasonable manner is part of the plan (It is part of the "Player gui")
rstarkov wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:47 pm
You're doing great work with UI scaling! I do wish you wouldn't limit it to 200%. Consider a 4K screen in a 13" laptop, like the Dell XPS 13. It's about 330 dpi. A 32x32 icon scaled up by 200% would still be TINY: approximately 5mm across.

I feel it's OK to leave the icons at 64x64 and simply allow them to be stretched a little. Just don't put an arbitrary limit of 200% on it...
Unlocking different scales is trivial, so we will probably do it.
bman212121 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:20 pm
As for mods, it should be easy enough if the mod maker only specifies they have 32 x 32, then the game render only uses those icons.
Yes, you can specify icon in whatever resolution you want and it just gets scaled to fit the button. So the mods will work.
AlexAegis wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:42 pm
If you have to re render the icons at a higher resolution, do it in way higher resolutions too. 128*128, 256*256. 4K is mainstream nowadays.
We can consider it, but doing more detailed icon is just more work. Surprisingly, stretching 64X64 icon to 128X128 doesn't look as bad, as stretching 32X32 to 64X64.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by DaemosDaen » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:12 pm

AlexAegis wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:42 pm
If you have to re render the icons at a higher resolution, do it in way higher resolutions too. 128*128, 256*256. 4K is mainstream nowadays.
If you go and check. Steam stats, you'll find that you are wrong by a long shot. It still 1080p gaming for the most part, with 1440 closing the gap. 4k shows, but the cost to get ot to acceptable frame rates is still too high.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by kovarex » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:24 pm

DaemosDaen wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:12 pm
AlexAegis wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:42 pm
If you have to re render the icons at a higher resolution, do it in way higher resolutions too. 128*128, 256*256. 4K is mainstream nowadays.
If you go and check. Steam stats, you'll find that you are wrong by a long shot. It still 1080p gaming for the most part, with 1440 closing the gap. 4k shows, but the cost to get ot to acceptable frame rates is still too high.
100% is basically optimised for minimum 1080p, so 200% is optimised for double, which is 2160p, which is 4k. So no need of higher res just for 4k, only if we got more like 8k.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by Raiguard » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:55 pm

Ooo, I see that the implementation of the new blueprint library has not been done yet! This gives me a chance to still propose my ideas about it! I'm going to write a proposal in the ideas and suggestions forum.

The new GUI is really slick. Most importantly, it's CONSISTENT! That was the biggest flaw with the old GUI in my opinion, and I'm glad to see it being addressed. It's beautiful! I can't wait to see more of it.

I'm no designer or programmer (the extent of my programming experience has been making Rainmeter skins), but I can appreciate the level of thought and detail that is going into this. There's a reason that Factorio is my favorite game of all time!

Keep up the good work guys, I can't wait for 0.17!

And if you need a beta tester for the new GUI, I can help you! Please?
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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by bobucles » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:01 pm

I think many people don't realize how drastically the monitor market has advanced. A hundred dollar trash phone has 1080p and a 4k monitor costs less than $300 practically anywhere. How many people paid that for their 5 year old 1080p? High definition is very accessible and the number of 4k users will definitely go up once they catch on.

Most of the utility behind a low resolution monitor is to deal with highly demanding(poorly optimized) 3d games and niche high FPS gaming. When it comes to casual internet use and document shredding, high DPI monitors are where the action is. Factorio is also looking pretty good in 4k and there are only more optimizations coming down the line.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by DanGio » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:31 pm

Really happy to see how polished Factorio 1.0 will be :)

I've played wave defense once. I'm not really interested to play it again, although I will certainly try it another time when 1.0 comes out.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by Koub » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:37 pm

bobucles wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:01 pm
I think many people don't realize how drastically the monitor market has advanced. A hundred dollar trash phone has 1080p and a 4k monitor costs less than $300 practically anywhere. How many people paid that for their 5 year old 1080p? High definition is very accessible and the number of 4k users will definitely go up once they catch on.

Most of the utility behind a low resolution monitor is to deal with highly demanding(poorly optimized) 3d games and niche high FPS gaming. When it comes to casual internet use and document shredding, high DPI monitors are where the action is. Factorio is also looking pretty good in 4k and there are only more optimizations coming down the line.
Getting 4K screens is affordable indeed. Getting a good 4k screen is terribly expensive. By good, I mean with relatively accurate colors, high contrast, homogenous brightness, no clouding, good viewing angles, ... The sub 4K market still has a good future awaiting it. I think it would be a bad move to focus too much on developing 4k oriented stuff.
Koub - Please consider English is not my native language.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by ske » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:41 pm

Jon8RFC wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:50 pm
I think I understand what you're getting at, but my favorite part of a game has never been when I have to drop down the console (and stop playing the game to google a command for which I don't know how to describe exactly as others have previously posted, asking about) to do something which isn't readily-available. I do that already when I want to test a potential bug, and struggle to find the commands for factorio in this very forum.

There's a subset who appreciate and enjoy additional inconveniences and/or customization. I enjoy that availability when I have no other choice, but I don't like ditching a UI for commands in a game. Factorio already has plenty of handy gameplay tricks and keyboard shortcuts to learn, even when you've played for thousands of hours. I recently told someone in multiplayer "if someone ever says they know factorio entirely, they're either lying or misinformed".

I certainly don't want to play monopoly with my nephews by saying "random number...car to spot 1...collect 200...purchase 60...exit" without a board or pieces, and only a piece of paper and a pen to keep records. Sounds pretty boring (and how can I diplomatically say "pretentious"?) to me.
I wasn't 100% serious that it's the best idea at this point. Removing blueprints from the game will never happen after we already have them and many love them. The GUI for them works quite excellent. The blueprint library is only a problem because they work so well. It's no easy problem and I think it's no pressing problem. If all fails you could use strings to transfer your blueprints.

The more serious thought is that we could regard factorio as a learning/teaching tool. It could be a good entry for players to learn about the command line and how to use it. The power that blueprints give you would make it worth it because the guys who know the power of those commands are like gods. This could have been in an alternate timeline.

Similarly, combinators could be an entry point to programming if you could use them to execute small scripts. This could still happen. Right now they are like some weird electronic circuits. Not bad but a bit weird.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by Dry Hairy Tree » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:46 pm

Wave defense can be in the scenarios as a fixed map and as an option in single player: Rail world, death world, wave defense...

Pipeline - pretty standard for your teams projects from now I reckon :lol:

Looking forward to 0.17.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by bobucles » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:57 pm

relatively accurate colors, high contrast, homogenous brightness, no clouding, good viewing angles
Those things stopped being a problem 10 years ago.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by ske » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:06 pm

bobucles wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:57 pm
relatively accurate colors, high contrast, homogenous brightness, no clouding, good viewing angles
Those things stopped being a problem 10 years ago.
People who do photography or graphics would disagree. Generally the monitors are getting better but finding a really good one is not cheap and easy. Most consumers would not care that much, so now we get clouding in quite expensive big monitors. Color saturation is often a bit too vivid. The gamma curve looks good but is not accurate.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by Gatsukama » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:17 pm

rstarkov wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:47 pm
You're doing great work with UI scaling! I do wish you wouldn't limit it to 200%. Consider a 4K screen in a 13" laptop, like the Dell XPS 13. It's about 330 dpi. A 32x32 icon scaled up by 200% would still be TINY: approximately 5mm across.

I feel it's OK to leave the icons at 64x64 and simply allow them to be stretched a little. Just don't put an arbitrary limit of 200% on it...
I play on a 4K XPS 13. For general use I have the display at 225%. In Factorio I have it at 150%, mainly because the mouse-over info disappears off the bottom of the screen :x (I thought I read that this was moving to near the pointer, but a quick skim can't find it.) I'm definitely interested in increasing the scale, but not sure how far.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by factoriouzr » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:40 pm

authorized411 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:38 pm
Update: clarification below about how long since v0.16 was testable. This FFF provides frame of reference 016-stable
bNarFProfCrazy wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:11 pm

No having only a subset test changes is unfair to the other players. Have you heart about Satisfactory? Its anoying that "everybody" except you and a few others got an alpha key. Bugs are annoying. Do you think you would drool over Factorio if it was slow or buggy?
By "a select few" I meant those of us players who opt in to experimental builds, not a lottery of keys. Also, by target audience, well, google that if this response was in response to that.
bNarFProfCrazy wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:11 pm
authorized411 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:53 pm

All I'm saying here is that this FFF reads like they are going to hold up the 0.17 release, which already has game play changes in it and needs experimental testing and feedback, for GUI changes. GUI changes in the grand scheme of 0.17 is minor. This FFF makes read like it'll be another quarter due to the GUI changes before we get our hands on the game play changes. Players are use to the current UI. Why not have a v0.17 two-part release: Game play to game-play stability, then quality of life (GUI changes) as secondary. As I mentioned in my original post, giving the player an option to switch off the new GUI would allow them (developers) to focus on game play stability OR GUI stability.

For example, if there was a problem with either, fixing game play is primary so they (developers) could recommend using the old GUI until the game play is fixed. Once game play is fixed, then they (developers) can focus on the GUI issues. During the whole time in this scenario, the player hasn't been forced to use the new GUI and can continue to play using the other working features of v0.17. The player has not lost access to something due to a GUI issue in this case.
AFAICT they also replaced the graphical engine they use under the hood. This sounds pretty much like rewriting most components. There is no longer a working GUI version you can use. And if every released game including AAA titles had as little bugs as factorio has during its experimental phase, then the world would be a better place. Don't you feel the pain if you build n hours on your map and then the game just crashes and everything is lost?
I'm not trying to deny them (developers) from getting this big win. I know refactoring the GUI is huge for them. I want them to get this win. However, there are already tones of changes in this upcoming update. For myself and probably a lot of others, this FFF reads like it'll be a long time before we get our hands on v0.17. I think we're over a year since v0.16 was release and nine months since it was considered stable. That's almost year's worth of changes that the target audience hasn't gotten their hands on to test. I work in the software development industry. That scenario is extremely scary to me.

All I'm saying is, the current GUI works. Yes, they're not happy with the design of it and I cannot wait to use the new one. However, there are game play changes that are several months to almost a year old. None of the players have gotten to test them yet. They'll be a lot older and have yet to be tested by 1000s of players on 1000s of different computer configurations. The iterative thing to do is to have the oldest stuff (game play) get released while the newest, quality of life changes come after. Released at the same time is just going to cause a nightmare for everyone. Whether it is bugs or the release is still being hold up due to GUI refactor.

This FFF reads like 0.17 is going to be held up for a GUI refactor. Why hold up an entire release for a GUI refactor? A complete GUI refactor is another release.

Iterate.

Two-part release is all I'm saying. A GUI refactor is not low-hanging fruit. It is a big win, but with all the screens and how things need to interact, seems like a lot more risk to an already huge v0.17 update.
I agree. I have made similar points recently as well (before the holidays). I said that it's been a year or so before the last update of any new features and asked that they release before the holidays (I think I posted around November).

Some of my points:
+over a month to test internally and fix critical issues if they just stopped adding new features for the next release at that time
+nobody needed to work over the holidays, just fix what critical things they find and if there are bugs, we, the players can wait till the new year
+the developers promised more frequent updates over a year or so ago and the updates are are still over a year apart as of now
+I think it would be better to release more frequently with less changes in each release and keep developing on different branches internally so the work doesn't slow down

I love factorio and appreciate all the features we are getting and don't want to take away anything from any of that, but over a year since the last release is a long time IMO.

Also, there are still many feature requests / bugs that still haven't been addressed. Some things just off the top of my head:
+putting down blueprints with factories should set the blueprint on factories even if the item is not researched (this is so fundamental and critical and has been upvoted so many times, I can't believe this isn't fixed yet). The current implementation and reasons that the developers posted for it not being easy to implement make no sense (not going into it here).
+improve robot behaviour to stay within robotic network to allow non-rectangular bases without robots flying over enemies and dying
+merge logistics requester and trash slots into one so you can set one limit and it will keep the items at that exact count
+allow robots to be removed from roboports in a reliable and automatic way (this is a game about automation!!!). At a minimum implementation to satisfy this criteria, just allow the user to request a fixed number of each robot type to a roboport, say 1 of each and have them always landed there in their own dedicated slots, so that an inserter can always keep the count of robots at an exact number
+make robots put into a roboport auto launch right away even if the roboport is completely full and then the robots would do their normal behaviour and find a valid place to dock or go to work if needed. It's bad when the roboport you automated to keep inserting robots becomes full and all of a sudden don't get robots inserted in an automatic way anymore (again, game about automation)

some other less important but nice to have items:
+spidertron that was mentioned years ago
+improve biters. PLEASE PLEASE IMPROVE BITERS!! make them harder(configurable at game start more then what we can do now), more interesting, more types (I always play with biters, I love the added challenge and survival elements). I like using cool toys and defenses against them, but they are just too easy, even max biter frequency and bases etc doesn't make them more interesting just more of a chore to clear out. Even mods can't do too much to improve them, though some have tried.

Anyway, great changes, keep up the good work, and please implement the above items.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by factoriouzr » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:42 pm

AlexAegis wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:42 pm
If you have to re render the icons at a higher resolution, do it in way higher resolutions too. 128*128, 256*256. 4K is mainstream nowadays.
I agree, 64 x 64 is not large enough and with even bigger displays will not be very future proof.

Ideally they should all be rendered as vector graphics so they can scale cleanly to any resolution, though I know that's a lot more work, so I don't expect that feature.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by FasterJump » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:44 pm

@Klonan About wave defense, my idea is:

-Use a procedural generation for wave defense maps
-Each month, you take a randomly generated map, tweak the difficulty the way you want, publish it.

This way you have:
-Replayability
-Competition
-Polished difficulty
-Possibility of sharing strategies

And if some day you don't want to spend time to customize the map of the month, you can just let it be generated as it is, even if there is some imbalances (actually that would make each map more specific and unique).

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by factoriouzr » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:47 pm

I like wave defense though I haven't played it much as the main game also sucks me in. Some improvements to it would be nice. I think it would be great to support pre-made maps as well as randomly generated maps in wave defense. Just add an option when starting it to load a map or go through the map gen screen.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by weaknespase » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:07 pm

As someone related to software, I can say that the GUI design is pretty hard, mundane task which is definitely impossible to do right at all, so, you, guys, are doing great! I also understand the temptation to tell that you make GUI final before showing it to the public, but, maybe, it's best to leave some features to the unstable period instead? You're wasting too much time on too small part of the program which can be spent by community on your behalf, if you get basic function down and all that is left are some leftover improvements or "polish" as some say.

Some mobile OS GUI subsystem uses FP sizes/offsets/paddings exclusively and rounds them to the nearest integers at layout time. By selecting how process is done, devs assured that sizes of different GUI elements and glue are stable regardless of actual scale, and a grid-fitting algorithm assures that text looking crisp(y enough). Grid-locking doesn't sound this awesome, what if i'd like 2px delimiter between some elements and what about non-multiple-of-1/4 scale factors?

Finally, of course, it's up to you to decide, but it's kind of pointless to have community of game-in-development on 6-months holdout after teasing them with weekly unstable branch updates.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by Gatsukama » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:25 pm

FasterJump wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:44 pm
@Klonan About wave defense, my idea is:

-Use a procedural generation for wave defense maps
-Each month, you take a randomly generated map, tweak the difficulty the way you want, publish it.

This way you have:
-Replayability
-Competition
-Polished difficulty
-Possibility of sharing strategies

And if some day you don't want to spend time to customize the map of the month, you can just let it be generated as it is, even if there is some imbalances (actually that would make each map more specific and unique).
With the upcoming changes to the map editor (FFF-252) this customizing could be done by the community.

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Re: Friday Facts #277 - GUI progress update

Post by KingIonTrueLove » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:51 pm

I just have to say, I am loving the way the UI is looking, and everything that has been mentioned in the FFF's. I wake up every Friday pretty excited to see what is new. Please take your time getting the UI finished. For me, a good UI can make a game go from amazing to godlike. :D

Though on the other side, the new biters look so creepy to me that I may have to install a nuclear artillery mod to deal with them...
See now I actually have a reason to want the spidertron, just to deal with those horrible abominations that only want to protect their planet from random machine-loving rocketmen.

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