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[Suggestion] Multi-filter Storage

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While I realize this may be a bit of a large ask due to the engine / UI changes that may be required, there are a few in-game features that really make me wish it were possible to set multiple separate filters for in-game storage buildings / modules.

Motivating cases:

  • Puft ranching has long been very tricky - stable ranches require either specialized builds or the ability to track critter counts for two+ separate critter types simultaneously
    • I would love to set the following:
      • Filter 1:  Puft (max 2 critters)
      • Filter 2:  Puft Prince (max 2 critters)
    • Interpretation:  "This room should house 2 Pufts and 2 Puft Princes."  (A total of 4 critters)
    • Alternatively, 1 Puft Prince + 3 Dense Pufts... you get the idea.
  • Orbital Cargo Module, Cargo Bay, etc.
    • Since "Burden" (and currently, module count) both come at a premium on rockets, it's pretty important that we be able to stock exactly what we want within that module.
    • It's clear that the Payload Opener is designed to allow output of three different material types; how are we supposed to build payloads like that when we can't fine-tune delivery volumes?
    • Example use case:
      • Filter 1:  10 kg - Drecko eggs, Pip Eggs (sweep)
      • Filter 2:  10 kg - Arbor Acorn seeds
      • Filter 3:  580 kg (remaining capacity) - other
    • Second example:
      • Filter 1:  200 kg Petroleum
      • Filter 2:  300 kg Water
  • Storage Bin, Refrigerator
    • Sometimes we may want to store multiple item types at set ratios within a bin.
    • Example 1:  Steel supplies (next to a Metal Refinery)
      • 70% iron
      • 20% refined carbon
      • 10% lime
    • Example 2:  Surf-n-Turf ingredients
      • 50% barbeque
      • 50% cooked fish
    • Granted, this particular case can be 'resolved' by using more buildings instead... but that still feels suboptimal.

Implementation Thoughts:

There are vaguely similar mechanisms in-game; consider the Monument pieces, which may take three different materials for construction.  Clearly, one 'construction storage' errand may request different items at different maximum capacities.  The player also gets to choose which material is used for each category.

  • The cooking buildings (like the Electric Grill) and refinery buildings (like the Rock Crusher) go even crazier than this with their errands, although the quantities are much more 'locked down' than what I'm asking for here.

To keep things 'simple', I'd recommend no more than four filters at maximum on any given storage type.  Honestly, I'd almost say 3... if it weren't for storages with automation signals.  How could multi-filter Refrigerator and Smart Storage Bin automation signals work?  Well... four filters => four lines on an Automation Ribbon!

Potential UI

I can picture two different approaches.

  1. Tab-based
    • Each 'filter' uses one tab, like for the usual building/duplicant status windows.
    • Each tab may be user-named.  Defaults:  Filter 1, Filter 2, etc.
    • Within the tab, uses the standard Element Filter UI.
    • New tabs appear when remaining capacity exists.
  2. Multi "window".  For clarity, I'm going to present a few mockups here:

By default, all storages have a single visible filter:


Whenever the player reduces the maximum storage capacity, a new option appears:


Clicking this new option summons a new filter window between it and the window to its right (here, the status window):


This may be repeated, using the ">" button on either filter window:


A few things about this final mockup:

  • As the capacity has been maxed, the ">" button (to add a new filter) has been removed.
  • In this mockup, the left-most slider takes precedence over the others.  Sliding it to the right will proportionally reduce the settings on the other two.
    • Alternative approaches may be desired; this is but one possibility.
    • Note how the final filter (on the right) is thus using all remaining available capacity.
    • In retrospect, my most-preferred version would likely be for each slider to be out of the full capacity.
      • Sliding one of them to the right would automatically shrink the other two proportionally.
      • Sliding one to the left, in this case, would add an extra, visually-contrasting bar section to represent "free capacity".  This would be shown on all three sliders, and moving any of the three sliders 'close' to the endpoint of that section would 'snap' to fill said "free capacity."  (Sorry for not mocking this up instead.)
  • A connected Automation Ribbon (if this were Smart Storage) would set lines 1, 2, and 3 from left (1) to right (3).
  • Any of the three filters may be 'closed'.  The left-most remaining filter would then be 'line 1', etc, and sliders would be adjusted accordingly.

If it weren't already evident from the effort in this post, I personally prefer the second option, as it makes visual comparisons between filters far easier for the player.  That said, I realize I may be making assumptions about minimum screen resolutions and how that would affect this UI mockup's implementation.

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