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Author Topic: Station list optimized for the line management dialog  (Read 258 times)

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Offline Ranran

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Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« on: June 26, 2020, 04:10:36 PM »
I brought an experimental sample today. (´・ω・`)
I've come up with this idea before, but playing on the server has raised its priority.
So it has been artificially prompted to transform in Jarapagos. Because that is the characteristic of it. Feel Jarapagos!  ;)


This is a very mess example.

In most cases, unnecessary information will be removed and simply arranged as shown below.



Minor change:
- Station names are now in player colors.

Reconstruction of display data:
Corresponding cargo data display (passenger/mail/freight) of station removed. It will be replaced by data that accepts cargo categories, and it will be contrasted with the corresponding categories of the line, hiding unnecessary ones.
In other words, for the mail line, we don't need the number of passengers who waiting at the station, so I hide it.
In my opinion, it is little difficult to get the necessary information because of the unnecessary information in the existing display method.
Also due to the repetition of the same word and the long text, I found it a bit hard to read.
Mail and freight have always been persecuted by passengers display. Now, passenger information is removed if not needed.
The goods name has been replaced with a color box and a tooltip. This has both advantages and disadvantages.
But the text of the name makes it obvious that it's waiting, but it makes it a bit harder to find, and occupies a lot of the display area, making other information harder to find.
On the other hand, in the freight category with multiple types of color boxes, it is necessary to check what goods it is with a tooltip. But given that they have been persecuted so far, I think this is an improvement. They are now easily visible to us.
And the goods category symbol also gives a hint of what that color is. What is the black bulk goods? Yes, It's coal. In that way it leads to the changes in goods color that I proposed in another thread.


Passengers persecuted the freight and moved it into the shadows, but they also didn't need the freight information. And they (or we) needed class information.
So I torn apart passengers and mail into individual class. This is another reason to deprecate displaying the goods name text.


I used "/" for class display, but in my opinion this can be a bit weird some times. The two mail segments look like maximum capacity and current wait count. (´・ω・`)
Is it better to use "-" as the separator?



The station status bar is useless because it shared three categories(passengers/mail/freights).
Therefore, I changed the color of the letters like this to show overcrowding by category.



This is an improvisation, so it may still be polished.  :lightbulb:
I haven't taken a closer look at those possibilities yet, but what I have in my mind is:
- Compare the via stations of cargo with the schedule of the line and display only the number of cargo that may be boarded.
- Turn off the display of the number of waits below the lowest class that can be transported. It cannot be carried on that line.



I would be grateful if you could share your thoughts on this.
I hope this will lead to improved playability. (´・ω・`)らんらん♪
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 05:17:19 PM by Ranran »

Offline Vladki

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2020, 04:59:24 PM »
At first glance I thought that the color box is not needed (icon is enough), but then I realized that it is there to distinguish steel from wood, or coal from stones, etc...

Otherwise very good. I don't even know what is there right now as I do not look there at all. Mostly only to check if all stops accept mail...

Filtering only what is loadable by this line is good. Showing overcrowded station would be nice.

Delimiter between classes, maybe + sign?


Offline Freahk

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2020, 05:09:30 PM »
I really don't like the colors.
Might be a little graphics work but what about painting a little icon for each exact type of good?
I suspect I won't ever remember the colors...
Those icons might be used in minimaps "industry" layer either, showing consumed and produced goods.

Offline Ranran

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2020, 05:57:59 PM »
Thank you for your thought.  :)

Showing overcrowded station would be nice.
Sorry, there was something wrong with the translation. Overcrowded needs to be viewed according to the freight type, so I removed the existing display and change the text color. It doesn't matter if the passenger station is crowded to carry the mail. So far, it has been shown to players the ambiguous information by looking at all the categories comprehensively.


I really don't like the colors. I suspect I won't ever remember the colors...
It's been used for a long time in station waiting bars. The display here is just the length of the goods waiting bar converted to numbers and arranged by the goods category.
The game as a whole is coherent and I'm trying to propagate it to other dialogs (already in convoy detail, in future factory and station info), but after all we can't get out of that way without somehow managing the station waiting bar (above the station name plate).


Quote
Might be a little graphics work but what about painting a little icon for each exact type of good?
Those icons might be used in minimaps "industry" layer either, showing consumed and produced goods.
Even if the goods symbol is added, displaying the goods symbol in the station waiting bar is not suitable, so I think that the goods color will remain.
And registering a symbol for each goods requires extra effort for all pakset authors, and may not be able to properly handle what is missing. It also makes it hard to add goods and industries.
Of course backward compatibility must be considered. Display brown pile if symbols are missing? May also be used in categories. If some goods are missing a symbol, mixing text and symbols can be confusing.
And the goods symbol cannot replace the occupancy of the bar.
Thus I think it doesn't seem feasible to implement it.

Offline Freahk

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2020, 06:15:26 PM »
It's been used for a long time in station waiting bars.
And I never understood the relation of colors to goods there either, so all it told me is "please open the station window", which is not more informative than a general "you might want to check that station" information.
I am quite sure I am not the only one not understanding the raltion in between the bars and related goods.


It also makes it hard to add goods and industries.
Painting a few icons is not quite much work compared to painting a whole industry chain, so it won't be that much more complicated to add new industries.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 06:44:55 PM by Freahk »

Offline Ranran

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2020, 06:37:55 PM »
Painting a few icons is not quite much work compared to painting a whole industry chain, so it won't be that much more complicated to add new industries.
It doesn't seem to solve any problems, just creating new problems as I have already explained.
I don't think there is a space to add many goods symbols to the station waiting bar on the main screen.
In addition, many GUIs need to display it, but adding good symbols to those GUI needs GUI overhaul, since places where it is appropriate to display goods are text based in many places. Requires a lot of effort. For example, it is difficult to add symbols because the station waiting list and convoy shipments consist of text only.

Offline Freahk

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2020, 06:46:16 PM »
It doesn't seem to solve any problems, just creating new problems as I have already explained.
People would understand what is actually displayed.
The bars are like "here you got a stat, but I won't tell you what the stat is about", which is a problem.
Icons would clearly point out what that stat is about, so the problem is solved.

Offline Ranran

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2020, 06:55:34 PM »
People would understand what is actually displayed.
The bars are like "here you got a stat, but I won't tell you what the stat is about", which is a problem.
Icons would clearly point out what that stat is about, so the problem is solved.
I'm talking about the whole thing. How do you change the bar above the station?
Are you asking to improve only the colorbox on the station list, ignoring any negative effects on other dialogs and effort (coding and painting)?

Offline Freahk

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2020, 07:13:41 PM »
Well either it needs to be coded or the colors can be ommitted as these are not of any use anyway.
That's my point.
I don't have any idea what these colors mean.

If it's too much work to add icons to the bar, at least using icons in the dialogues, so these can be understood by players is still better than nothig can be understood by players.
The graphics work is negligible.

Offline Ves

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2020, 08:05:06 PM »
Wow, this is (again) a nice enhancement. I realy like that the station names will be in player color, this is something I have missed for a long time. The ability to filter the information displayed, when pressing the cargo filters is also a good idea, however, I feel like the information would decieve me into thinking that that stop has no passenger capacity at all, for instance. Therefore, I would suggest to always display at least SOME info about what this stop may hold. It could look like this:

When pressing the passenger button:
[passenger icon] : X, X, X, X, X (max: Xmax) [mail icon] : Xactual/Xmax [general cargo icon] : Xactual/Xmax

When pressing the mail button:
[passenger icon] : Xactual/Xmax [mail icon] :X, X (max: Xmax)  [general cargo icon] : Xactual/Xmax

.... and similar when pressing the cargo icon.

However, if there for instance are no passenger vehicles serving the station, or it has no passenger capacity, the entry should be omitted, just as you suggested.

I think you should use commas in between the numbers. Commas represent a horisontal list in written text. Semicolon could perhaps also be used, otherwise in between each category. I dont think "+", "-" or "/" should be used, as they might insinuate something else. Only the "/" could be used as in the above example as distinguishing actual amount versus maximum amount.

Quote
"please open the station window"
This is how I use those bars as well :::)

On a more serious note, I did also voice my own reservations on relying on good colors in another thread. First of all because there tend to be so many of them so they get hard to remember, even when combining with the good category, and secondly, it can make the GUI much more visually busy than it perhaps needs to be, taking focus away from status colors and other more important information.

Currently, the list looks quite busy, with colors everywhere. It gets difficult to get an overview, and it would only be worse if your line served stops from multiple other players, as their stops would be marked in all different colors as well (I have a suggestion to that as well further down). I would like to ask wether it really is important to know in this stop list exactly what goods are waiting, or wether it would be enough to only display the amount of good categories are waiting. After all, the vehicles doesnt care what goods they have loaded, only that it is a certain category. And you can anyway not tell where the good wants to go without opening the stop info window, which in turns also reveals what exact cargo is waiting there. Therefore I would argue that the important bit of information is how much of a specific category are waiting around the network, not the individual goods. That we have the stop info window for, which is easily accessible with a single click.

Listing only the waiting good categories would also help towards solving another issue that this list might suffer (and suffers in the current live build), which is its width. If multiple goods are waiting at a stop, the line of text gets too big, and the info is lost. With fewer horisontal entries, more information can be condensed into the view.

I am not sure if I agree with Freahk that having individual cargo symbols would be advicable in this list, as I still believe that the amounts of individual goods is not the interresting piece of information. Also, it would not solve the color busyness, nor the width of the window, however, I dont say that individual cargo symbols could not be usefull other places in the GUI instead.

Suggestion regarding player color stop names
To help reduce the color business of the window further, you could instead of coloring the entire stop name (which might fill an entire text line with color), you could add a small square of color just to the left of the stop name. I believe this would greatly help reducing the color business when the list contains stops from multiple players. I am not sure if this would actually look better, as it is difficult to anticipate without having seen an example with different player stops, but it might be worth a try if the list is still too colorfull.




Offline Vladki

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2020, 08:35:13 PM »
Ves has good suggestions.

Showing only goods categories solves the dilemma of color boxes and icons. Also it reduces the length of information line.

I thought that the goods shown will be filtered according to the goods carried by selected line, not the filter buttons. Moreover if only goods that have destination served by that line are shown, it will reduce the redundant information even more.

Max storage is not necessary, just showing the number of overstock cargo in red should be fine. Maybe just repeating the color bar (green/yellow/orange/red) somewhere would be nice.

Player color as small square sounds good too.

In case of multiple goods it would be nice to have them aligned in columns. It will allow easier check of one cargo type.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Station list optimized for the line management dialog
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2020, 09:59:12 AM »
This is very interesting - thank you for working on this.

As for names versus colours; maybe that should simply be a selectable option so that players can choose between them? I am afraid that it will not be practical from a pakset creation perspective to have one icon per type of goods.