Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Regular reports on Factorio development.

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by ninjayeti » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:59 pm

The sight of three interlocking gears makes me cringe...

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by Rhamphoryncus » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:01 pm

How about bringing out more colour for the very small scalings? Have it become clearly blue or yellow rather than a muddled grey. At some point the details disappear anyway and all you have left is colour.

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by ThaPear » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:01 pm

I have often had to restart rail building because I started in the wrong mode, so I am happy it is now streamlined.

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by Gergely » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:06 pm

Oh no ... nononononoooo...

With this it becomes so much more apparent... that assembly machine 3 shouldn't be able to work.

Oh god this gear placement.

This gear placement...

Please fix.
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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by 0mega » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:07 pm

Wait, you can remove trees/rocks while building rails?

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by bartekltg » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:15 pm

ninjayeti wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:59 pm
The sight of three interlocking gears makes me cringe...
pic

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by Raiguard » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:17 pm

bartekltg wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:15 pm
ninjayeti wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:59 pm
The sight of three interlocking gears makes me cringe...
pic
That's the most amazing thing I've ever seen.
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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by Ringkeeper » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:18 pm

0mega wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:07 pm
Wait, you can remove trees/rocks while building rails?
Yes you can, with robots if you click shift+the arrow to build ghosts, like with any other building.


I like the icons with the 3 gears. Fits to Factorio... if not all gears are in correct place, it won't work. :D

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by irbork » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:29 pm

The ghost rail planner tries to blow up the cliffs even if the cliff explosives technology is not researched or even disabled by mod.
:idea: The new rail planner should take it into consideration and path around the cliffs in those cases.

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by Dupl3xxx » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:31 pm

For the icons, using resizing should be the default setting, with the option for using a different image and higher or lower zoom levels. One thing that you might want to keep in mind is to make sure the most important features lines up well with the pixel grid when scaled down significantly. Easiest way I've fond to do that is to have the different grids visible when making the original design and gently 'snap' features towards the larger pixels to help the image read better. Used that when making icons for windows, since those go from 256x256 to 16x16 with 'half steps' between, eg 24, 32, 48, 64 etc

For scaling down, the method of scaling also matters a lot. Cubic and linear can create some weird edges when there's high contrast, so I'm scaling *up* linearly to the nearest integer power of the target resolution, then average all pixels in each 'target' area before scaling down. It gives a result that's smoother than linear or cubic without being too soft.

Example scale from 200px to 73px. 73*4=219. So first step is to scale up to 219px using linear scaling. Then apply a 4px pixelize, then scale down using 'nearest neighbour' also called 'none' in some applications. Attached is an example of how the different methods look at 1/8th resolution.
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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by Vxsote » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:38 pm

Like some of others who have posted in the 0.17.29 release thread, I am not thrilled by the loss of the option to plan rails around obstacles. I actually use both modes of the planner depending on what I do or do not want to have blown up.

I like that you are constantly trying to make a smoother experience, but in this case I think you sacrificed too much functionality.

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by Philip017 » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:43 pm

Loving the new changes to the rail building shift click function, i so wish this had been the case long long ago!

Great job.

on a side note, still waiting for the shift click build over water, hey robots can place landfill now, why can't they do with shift click method and also placing blueprints with shift click.

Thanks :D

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by ixnorp » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:55 pm

irbork wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:29 pm
The ghost rail planner tries to blow up the cliffs even if the cliff explosives technology is not researched or even disabled by mod.
:idea: The new rail planner should take it into consideration and path around the cliffs in those cases.
This is what I came here to post. Seconding.

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by Sander_Bouwhuis » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:06 pm

bartekltg wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:15 pm
ninjayeti wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:59 pm
The sight of three interlocking gears makes me cringe...
pic
Ooooooooooooooh, THE HUMANITY OF IT ALL!

Especially the combination with EDUCATION makes it an ironic poster.

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by werelord » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:15 pm

The change to rails, while nice, annoys me a bit..

I like to force a direction for the rails to face before placing them by using the rotate function.. however with this change, being forced to hold down shift allows me to rotate only in one direction (counter-clockwise), as is normal holding shift+"r".. Normally releasing shift and pressing "r" would rotate clockwise, but with this change releasing shift disables the ghost planner completely, not allowing me to rotate at all..

Perhaps stay locked in ghost planner (rail builder) once entering that mode, rather than having to keep holding shift to stay in that mode?

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by mcdjfp » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:29 pm

I like the current system of building rails because sometimes I want to route around obstacles (particularly early game for my first line or two), while later on I just let the bots take care of all the details and run the shortest path. I always get a little concerned when options go away, especially when deemed "too confusing." I like complicated, I like choices.
Still, I have been worried before, such as with the toolbar, and things turned out well there, so I guess I can trust that things will work out that way this time too.
Maybe a toggle somewhere for destroying trees or cliffs?

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by Omnifarious » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:32 pm

The change to rails annoys me a LOT. I avoid destroying as much of the landscape as possible when building a factory. I love having a factory nestled in the trees. I purposely use the rail planner to plan twisty routes that avoid cliffs and trees. I assiduously avoid destroying cliffs unless I have no other real option.

When I can't avoid cliffs and trees and still have a route that isn't completely ridiculous (or have any route at all) I look around for a way to destroy as few things as possible, plan a bit of the route through there, and avoid obstacles for the entire rest of the route.

I've done surveys and watched YouTubers. Distressingly few use the rail planner much at all. And the reason isn't because they have to use shift to get obstacle destruction. The reason is that they want poles or signals placed, or multiple lines placed that are a certain distance from eachother, and things of that nature. So they instead used a fixed set of blueprint templates and stomp their way across the landscape with those, which I find to be kind of sad.

I will admit that the rail planner is a pain to use to plan sets of two (or more) parallel rails, and it would be nice if it were easier to use in that mode. And it certainly would be nice to periodically place signals or power poles along the rail path.

But the change you made is a huge step backwards. And while I think the 'literally unplayable' meme is pretty stupid, I will say that your change makes the rail planner completely useless to me. And since laboriously hand placing rail all across the landscape is also a huge pain, the removal of the feature creates a situation in which I have a choice between upgrading or using rails. Since rails are such an integral part of the game, I will simply not be upgrading.

I consider removal of this ability to be a misfeature, much like I would consider removal of 'item count' conditions at rail stops or taking way splitters. This was a terrible choice. And while I understand that the rail planner interface was complex, removal of this feature in order to simplify it wasn't the right way to go.

Additionally, this does not create parity with ghost buildings. With ghost buildings, you have to hold shift to get item destruction. Otherwise, it doesn't let you place the blueprint. That's not the same behavior as what you've done with the rail planner in which item destruction is the default behavior.

The rail planner confusion comes in with the distinction between ghost (aka rail planner) mode and item placement mode. Rails are the only thing that has a sort of 'ad-hoc' large scale 'blueprinting' ability. And so, in many ways, rail planning ghost mode is like, but also not like a blueprint placement. I don't think it's possible to make the features comparable because they are different in a couple of important ways.
Last edited by Omnifarious on Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by MasterBuilder » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:34 pm

werelord wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:15 pm
The change to rails, while nice, annoys me a bit..

I like to force a direction for the rails to face before placing them by using the rotate function.. however with this change, being forced to hold down shift allows me to rotate only in one direction (counter-clockwise), as is normal holding shift+"r".. Normally releasing shift and pressing "r" would rotate clockwise, but with this change releasing shift disables the ghost planner completely, not allowing me to rotate at all..

Perhaps stay locked in ghost planner (rail builder) once entering that mode, rather than having to keep holding shift to stay in that mode?
+1000 times this. With [holding] shift entering that mode, you can't release shift and rotate in the other direction.
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Re: Friday Facts #290 - Rail building changes & High-res icons

Post by Quarnozian » Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:42 pm

Kovarex wrote:the ghost building without obstacle deconstruction is not available anymore
:( I loved being able to start at the base, end at the outpost, and not destroy a single tree. Farewell beautiful untouched forests.
irbork wrote:
Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:29 pm
The ghost rail planner tries to blow up the cliffs even if the cliff explosives technology is not researched or even disabled by mod.
:idea: The new rail planner should take it into consideration and path around the cliffs in those cases.
Yeah, if cliff explosives aren't researched yet, it should automatically cancel every cliff deconstruction order the instant the command is issued.

Honestly I'd love an option to NEVER deconstruct cliffs unless explicitly selected with a deconstruction planner that has cliffs in the whitelist. Cliffs and water are the two best base fortifications.... but just imagine if the biters would slowly tear cliffs one segment at a time when they were being attacked from something on the opposite side. Or if they could simply jump down from the high-side of the cliffs, so they could instantly bypass the obstacle. (but only that one direction)

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