Author Topic: Insufficient Resources during Factory Production  (Read 4296 times)

Offline leeor_net

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Insufficient Resources during Factory Production
« on: May 02, 2018, 09:57:17 PM »
Been doing some thinking about how to proceed and set up Milestone v0.7.9 in GitHub for UI improvements and changes.

One of the things that popped into my mind is what to do when a Factory doesn't have enough resources to execute a production update cycle. As it's (probably) a temporary situation I currently have the code simply ignore the production update cycle and do nothing but it occurs to me that this is unhelpful to the player. They may be expecting a robot or some other product to finish but it doesn't with no indication as to why (unless they're paying close attention to their resources).

To that end, I'm asking what is the best way to handle this?

A few options I've considered:

  • Leave it as-is, the user should be smart enough to know to check their resources.
  • Set the Factory into a Soft Idle (which dims it visually on the screen) and let the user decide discover it and decide what to do, if anything.
  • Open a modal dialog box for each factory. (what if it's like 30 factories?)
  • Raise a notification event that highlights the user (along the lines of "Insufficient production resources for Factory #whatever".
  • Something else?

I'm leaning most heavily with the fourth option but I wanted to present it to the end users first and see what everybody else thought before I came to a decision.

Offline Hooman

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Re: Insufficient Resources during Factory Production
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 07:13:10 AM »
A combination of options 2 and 4 sound like what Outpost 2 does, which I think is reasonable. I'm strongly against modal popup boxes. Particularly since it's so vexing when you get 30 of them.

For option 4, I would hope there's a way to limit audio alerts if a bunch are disabled at once. Seems like it should be reported once per turn in terms of audio. Multiple messages that bring you to each building are probably ok.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Insufficient Resources during Factory Production
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 12:22:42 PM »
My instinct here is to have a single alert with a list of disabled structures (perhaps by structure type? or maybe just like in Outpost 2 "structures disabled"). Just seems like the simplest method of doing it without badgering the user.

Offline Vagabond

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Re: Insufficient Resources during Factory Production
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2018, 10:04:10 AM »
For a turn based game, I think it is appropriate to provide a summary dialog at the beginning of each turn that lays out the state of the colony. Some sort of news feed in this dialog or an industry tab to the dialog could display a list of factories that need attention.

I would certainly want to be notified of the problem in the factories. This way I do not have to check them every turn to see if they are working properly.

It might also be helpful to list any factories that do not have active jobs so I can idle them intentionally or queue a new job as needed.

If you don't want the end of turn dialog to pop up at the end of every turn, perhaps it could be opened via a prominent button/hotkey. This button could flash for a second or two when the turn button is hit if there is any noteworthy news.

If there is a end of turn summary, it would be nice to be able to click on each news item and have the game center on the incident if applicable. For example, clicking on the lack of minerals dialog would center on the affected factory. Then graying out the news item or adding some sort of check mark to indicate that I have reviewed it would be nice.

Looking forward to seeing how OutpostHD continues to develop.

-Brett

Offline FallTime

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Re: Insufficient Resources during Factory Production
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2018, 10:34:52 AM »
Have you ever played a Paradox grand strategy game (e.g. Europa Universalis)? I think their style of notifications works great for complex strategy games. Plop a little notification button on the screen, reading "some factories are missing resources" - clicking on the button you can either dismiss the notification, or cycle between the problematic factories, while hovering the mouse over it (touch is trickier) will show a list of max ~10 paused productions or such.
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Offline leeor_net

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Re: Insufficient Resources during Factory Production
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2018, 11:57:48 AM »
I have not, unfortunately (though they do look interesting). I'll have to check that out and see what I can come up with.

Offline JetMech1999

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Re: Insufficient Resources during Factory Production
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2018, 08:39:52 PM »
Not sure I'd want a summary report at the start of each turn.  I think I'd get tired of playing if it kept flashing that up at me every time I pushed the button to advance the turn.  If I remember correctly, in the original wasn't there a Status Update Button that would change if something needed attention?  It was innocuous, off to the side.  If I saw it, great, then I could act upon it.  If I missed it, that's my bad and I would be the only one to blame for the consequences.  So, maybe a combination of 1, 2, and 4?

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Insufficient Resources during Factory Production
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2018, 11:07:59 PM »
The original didn't have any status indicators of any sort at all. Unless a building was destroyed... but otherwise you had to go look for yourself.

Offline Goof

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Re: Insufficient Resources during Factory Production
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2018, 08:02:02 PM »
Maybe just a "Efficiency indicator" with the numbers of Errors/Warnings/Notices followed by a 1 or 5 turns tendency could be great.
Each element could be only displayed if needed.

The on screen position may be like the robot count.


Offline JetMech1999

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Re: Insufficient Resources during Factory Production
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2018, 07:37:05 PM »
Gotta say, Goof, I like it!  It's small, off to the side, yet still tells you something may not be up to snuff.