Community, tell me your usability stories!

Started by Tynan, March 09, 2014, 10:20:30 PM

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Quote from: BetaSpectre on July 26, 2014, 11:54:17 PM
Also I hate it when a colonist decides to only haul 6 berries instead of 75 of them to a hopper.

Ah, logistics. I'm always fascinated by it.

Logistics (the science of transporting items) is always a pain in the ass to handle. Several games don't do it right. I don't particularly blame the game developers but logistics certainly demands planning. I suspect the real tragedy is that the challenge of arranging good logistics catches the devs off-guard and that eats their morale, energy and causes delays.

One would think that moving stuff from A to B is simple but what happens when you have to pick from A and deliver to B, C and D, proceed to E to pick a new load and occasionally stockpile F and H, while keeping an eye on G at all times. Should the hauler pick his next task and route based on stockpile priority, stockpile level or the distance to the haulable item? Should he take into account how much he can actually haul? Should a single hauler intelligently pick and reserve the next 3 or 10 hauling tasks at once, keeping them unavailable from the other haulers? How many? What sort of swarm intelligence should we expect Tynan to pull off? Is it OK to frantically keep stockpile levels at 100% or is it OK to let the amounts drop to 50% before the restock order is issued? Do we specifically forbid filling stockpiles that are above 50% so that the hauler is free to do tend the other stockpiles? Or do we allow the levels to drop somewhere below 50%? What are the good numbers? Or do we code in sliders, counters and checkboxes for the players to adjust and hope that all the options don't overwhelm new players?

Elegant logistics is a matter of taste, perception and situation. There could be players who are perfectly fine with how RimWorld handles logistics (hauling) currently while others see room for improvement. One thing is sure - it's not easy to please everyone. Once you start deploying some truly intelligent methods, the future new players and even some present day players start questioning the changes... and then the dev gets to explain them from the ground up and hope that the less attentive ones have the energy to focus and understand what's going on.

But, I do agree, it's silly to pick 6 berries if there's a whole stack of them free to be hauled. The challenge lies in telling that to the software, while the software looks up to us with its puppy eyes.


Quote from: BetaSpectre on July 26, 2014, 11:54:17 PM
The entire Socially Improper thing didn't make any sense to me for a while.
Also I hate it when a colonist decides to only haul 6 berries instead of 75 of them to a hopper.

I agree the hauling issue can get annoying when there are numerous piles of berries all over the ground.

My big one for me is when you tell colonists to cut trees or mine metal on the other side of the map. They will walk out and do the task and leave the metal/wood on the ground while they walk back to base to eat/sleep/do something else empty handed.