Friday Facts #404 - Frustration not found

Posted by Klonan on 2024-03-29

Today we have another dose of anti-frustration improvements for you.

Spidertron RTS tool

Lets be honest, the Spidertron selection and control in 1.1 is a bit janky. As fans of RTS games, we know we can do better, and its not like we're reinventing the wheel here.

So we have rebranded the 'Spidertron remote' as the new 'RTS Tool', and the control should feel very intuitive.

  • It is activated using the ALT + A hotkey.
  • Left click and drag to select Spidertrons.
  • Right click to command Spidertrons to go to location.

The RTS tool remembers the last selection of Spidertrons, so pressing ALT + A again will have the previous group of Spidertrons already selected. Another detail is that the remembered selection is per surface, so if you command some spider on Vulcanus, and come back to Nauvis, the ALT + A will preselect the last Spiders you were using on Nauvis.

You can also save selections on the quickbar, so you can control your favorite group of pals at a moments notice.

Pipette all the things

Maybe it seems stupid, but once you start getting used to pipetting belts and machines and stuff, you start trying to apply it everywhere. Of course, pipette only works for entities, but we made the 'mistake' of trying to pipette recipe slots and tiles and things so many times, that it starts to infect us with the notion "Am I out of touch? No its the game that is wrong!".

So with the power of programming, we just made pipette work in more places:

  • Recipe slots, logistic slots, inventory slots... all the slots!
  • Placeable tiles like concrete, landfill, platform foundation, etc.
  • Water, Lava, Oil Ocean (to get offshore pump)

Can you think of any other places pipette would make sense?

Easier blueprint grid adjustment

When trying to get that perfect alignment of blueprints, it is hard to know what numbers to put for the 'Grid position' and 'Absolute' offsets.

How do we know what numbers here will make the blueprint line up correctly?

Typically we would get an answer through trial and error, but it is not fun opening the GUI over and over again to guess different numbers.

What we really needed is a fast way to adjust these numbers while holding the blueprint, which we have added in 2.0:

Quick adjustment of the blueprint grid offsets.

With a blueprint in the cursor:

  • SHIFT + Arrow keys - adjusts the Grid position.
  • CONTROL + Arrow keys - adjusts the Absolute grid offset.

It makes it very painless and intuitive to get the blueprints to line up perfectly.

As always, let us know what you think at the usual places.