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CroolisVar

Production Screens Need Demand (from a professional manufacturing planner)

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Hello Novaquark,

 

I apologise for the pompous sounding post I'm writing, I'm not normally so self-obsessed, but I feel the need to get this across as it's a CRUCIAL QoL thing for DU industry people.

 

In my job (I am a planner for electronics manufacturing, a simple low echelon MRP monkey) we work with the obvious concept of demand. DU is no different. We create works orders  (DU "item in queue") for end products that in turn generate demand for sub-assemblies, which in turn generate demand for further sub-assemblies all the way down to a base material that doesn't need to be manufactured. So we have a list of works orders all generating demand for the item provided by the next level down the chain.

 

So far, so obvious. What the production screens in DU fail to do, however, is demonstrate the total amount of demand, currently generated by all loaded works orders in the production queue, for any given sub-assembly or material. E.G., If I have multiple queued works orders that all demand varying quantities of Basic Pipe, I don't know what my total demand for Basic Pipe is without doing a lot of messing about, flicking between screens and doing arithmetic. It isn't immediately obvious how many Basic Pipes I need to make. 

 

So, what we need to see is, when we click on a material in those production screens (and ye Gods, the "Ingredients" in the list on the Assembly Lines need to be clickable), somewhere on the screen should be a short list of the jobs, with quantities, that are both generating demand for Basic Pipe or whatever material you are looking at, AND what Basic Pipe production orders we have on as well.

 

This takes the simple format of a bank statement (I'm sure jobs in the queue have a unique job number that you can display):

 

Basic Pipe

Total Stock: 24

Job  No.      +/-       Qty       Running Total

12345            -          13               11

13345            -           6                  5

12211            +          4                  9

16611            -          14                -5

16520            +          8                  3

 

This table, nested somewhere on the Basic Pipe production order creation screen, demonstrates to me immediately that I must either move job 16520 and place it before job 16611 in the queue, or create another job for at least 5 units and place it before job 16611 in the queue, or face a stoppage.

 

As a job is completed, it disappears from the list and the "Total Stock" field is updated with its new quantity.

 

In current implementation, this information is not shown.

 

This only leaves the question of what/where Basic Pipe works orders should be included on the list? I would probably go with works orders that are on machines/nanocrafter that have inputs that come from the same container. So if I'm looking at a Basic Pipe works order creation screen for a machine that outputs to Box A, all machines that also output Basic Pipe to Box A, and all machines with orders in their queue that demand Basic Pipe and that pull from Box A should be on the list, displaying their demand/output.

 

If we are going to have numerous sub-assemblies using various production cells, this sort of information summarised this way is absolutely crucial. Without it, we're lost in a sea of demand that we cannot easily describe and translate into works orders. Please, for the love of God, implement :) .

 

I don't know if this forum has an upvoting system, but if you're a DU industrialist, please upvote and bump, you'll thank me.

 

 

 

 

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I think the interface does a good job of communicating to the player the assemblies that are needed for a job.  I don't really see anything wrong with letting the players be responsible for constructing those nested assemblies.  I feel that being able to keep these nested assemblies organized is what is going to separate the great manufactures from the poor ones.

I say this because the market costs & profits will be directly determined by how efficient a manufacturer is.

 

There are many 3rd party tools that are available to help organize manufacturing.  (manufacturing calculators, open ERP databases, etc) that a player could utilize to give themselves a better understanding, and to develop a flattened or "summarized" BOM

 

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39 minutes ago, Noonie said:

I think the interface does a good job of communicating to the player the assemblies that are needed for a job.  I don't really see anything wrong with letting the players be responsible to constructing those nested assemblies.  I feel that being able to keep these nested assemblies organized is what is going to separate the great manufactures from the poor ones.

I say this because the market costs & profits will be directly determined by how efficient a manufacturer is.

 

There are many 3rd party tools that are available to help organize manufacturing.  (manufacturing calculators, open ERP databases, etc) that a player could utilize to give themselves a better understanding, and to develop a flattened or "summarized" BOM

 

Hmm, I'm not suggesting we somehow take away the "responsibility" of constructing the nested assemblies, only that we provide the information for what the live demand situation is so a job can be speedily queued to cover it. I don't know why you're talking about 3rd party tools etc., I'm not talking about grand production cell planning, though the demand screen would certainly play a crucial part in that as well.

 

I'm talking about me wanting to build a single Atmospheric Engine S, then a fuel tank and a hover engine, but then having to run around half a dozen sub-assemblies going "OK, I need 3 screws here, then I'll need another 8 screws there. How many screws have I already got?" etc. etc. Sod that - look at screws, screen tells you all you need to build to cover it in one nice summary, you slap on a works order accordingly. Easy and quick.

 

Alternatively, just have the game automatically stick on all the sub-assemblies for you like in Empyrion - but that dumbs it down, does take away the responsibility and is less helpful when you do get into that larger cell planning stage.

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Hmm, as I'm seeing more in the game as I start using the Assembly Line units, I think some of it is covered there. As the nanocrafting thing has a queue, so I was expecting everything to have queues. Apparently not. It's either run continuously (option for safety stock), or run a quantity of just one item type and then stop. No queues.

 

Not sure what I think about that. But straight away I see that some of what I would like is there on the Containers screen for input materials - demand vs available. But I note the demand doesn't scale when you set the machine to produce a set quantity. If I want to produce 10 of a finished item, i should like to know the total demand for materials for all 10. If machine is set to run continuously, then an infinity symbol next to the quantities for single unit would do.

 

But really, what we want to see when we look at a machine is what the next machine up the chain is demanding, so we can just slap on a works order to cater for that, with a queue. Preferably from a centralised screen so we don't have to go visiting each machine in person. We can, of course, just set everything on run continuously and have a huge factory with a dedicated machine for every single thing in the game, but that's lazy and inefficient as hell, and you better be prepared to feed that beast and be able to live with the disappointment and hassle of finding that when you've run short of raw material inputs you haven't got half the intermediates you need as stoppages bite, as well as running around like a twat turning them all on and off to cope with it.

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JC had mentioned in a recent reddit AMA that they would like to implement a replacement for the current linker tool which would look like a 2D procedural flowchart, similar to what the node view on blender looks like:

Matalogue: Free Add-on for the Node Editor - BlenderNation

Such a feature could be the platform on which all of your expressed ideas could potentially be integrated, and is something I am eager to see make it to the game in the near future.

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Now we're talking :) .

 

I just spotted in the last 10 mins that in the nanopack thing production queue there is little down arrows below each entry, just clicked on one for first time and - lo! It gives the BOM for that item. But again, it doesn't show the TOTAL demand for any one material on the BOM, just the demand for that material for the observed works order against the current stock. If there's another works entry further up in the queue that also demands said material, I could be short and not know it.

 

But I keep finding things that are helpful, so clearly I need to do more in game, they are just not quite there yet on total information. But I've definitely seen worse UIs, and I have great hopes for future :) .

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Over the years I've found that the only way to please everyone in a game with a complex crafting system and economy is to implement Google Sheets into the game client.

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On 8/31/2020 at 11:01 AM, Megaddd said:

Over the years I've found that the only way to please everyone in a game with a complex crafting system and economy is to implement Google Sheets into the game client.

I like you.

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On 8/31/2020 at 9:25 AM, Megaddd said:

JC had mentioned in a recent reddit AMA that they would like to implement a replacement for the current linker tool which would look like a 2D procedural flowchart, similar to what the node view on blender looks like:

Matalogue: Free Add-on for the Node Editor - BlenderNation

Such a feature could be the platform on which all of your expressed ideas could potentially be integrated, and is something I am eager to see make it to the game in the near future.

 

If the DU team can make this a reality, it would be the best integrated system for factory / production I have ever seen in any game. This is something I was talking about a lot with my org and a few others and really hoping this will happen. 

 

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