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AndreyKl    218

1. This is not your rocket

Couple times I had a rocket land on a wrong platform, fortunately I avoided petroleum rocket landing onto old copper CO2 platform (probably by virtue of the platform being too close to the ceiling), but I had to reload the game couple times to make small petroleum and co2 rockets land on dedicated platforms instead of steam rocket's one. This is a bit of a chore to first select destination, then go back to rocket and select correct landing platform.

Suggestion A: When selecting a destination with multiple platforms, rocket should prompt to select landing point, user shouldn't need to reselect the platform to chose landing site.

Suggestion B: Rocket platform should be configurable to restrict some rockets, for example it should be an option to allow only petroleum rockets.

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2. I don't see a rocket

One of the most annoying limitation for rocket automation appear to be not having an ability to check for presence of something on the landing platform. To some extent it is possible to work around, ex: if there is something in the pipe, means rocket had just landed, and some rockets have enough space for automation and transmitting signal of being at 'home', but not every locket unloads/loads something, and not every landing pad is rocket specific, so it's not a warranty that rocket haven't flew away and that a different rocket did not land (those platforms are large and often empty, makes sense to reuse them).

Some fuels like steam or LOX should not stay in pipes, so they need reliable rocket detection, same is preferable for loading frozen food for the ravenous cyber-tree. Lets not forget gantries, because rockets can be shapely and getting to smaller modules on larger rockets can be problematic.

Checking for rocket presence shouldn't be so manual or roundabout to do...

3. Get back, we haven't finished loading fuel!

Checklist is way too rigid. I have rocket that delivers oxygen to destination and takes back metals. I don't mind said rocket's O2 not being fully unloaded (crew needs to breath), but I would prefer it being fully loaded and fueled before it goes back. As another case: I would prefer my petroleum rocket being fully fueled and fully 'oxidized' on the way to destination that is 8 tiles away, but on said destination oxidizer is no longer a concern (oxidizer tank holds double the necessary amount), but rocket still should refuel.

Would be very nice to be able to Toggle "Cargo manifest" elements on and off per platform so that they won't be blocking 'ready' signal. Or there should be an automation extension that can be placed near landing platform and access some of the parameters.

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Current automation implementation is 'odd'. I want to launch rocket NOW, so I jam the button that overrides platform's automation logic and sends the green signal to the platform, and rocket happily ignores it... it says it isn't done loading cargo, so it doesn't care that I don't care and want for it to launch now.

4. Bugs. No, not the critters!

Renaming: renaming platforms seems to be bugged. Renaming the platform will disable the platform, enabling platform after that will launch the rocket that is on the platform. And 'enable' button will be partially not clickable. When mouse is over left side of 'enable' button, button fails to highlight or click.

Rocket info: sometimes info seems to display 'cargo' data from wrong rocket. Specifically my CO2 rocket with gas tank was shown as having 3 empty artifact modules plus a gas tank.

Gantries: While some modules are effectively walkways, gantries are still useful accessing smaller modules on larger rockets, yet it seems that rockets with some modules overlapping gantries can break gantries and it isn't obvious that it will happen. Either such rockets shouldn't be able to land due to platform being obstructed or gantries should become blocked, not break.

5. Wired up

Having to have a long wire go up and up for every platform is not much of an issue, but it doesn't make much sense and can look a bit messy. I think either engines that can produce power should have a power input/output (they charge battery during flight, they are 'obviously' connected to rocket's power grid), spacefarer or platform itself should have a way to supply power to rocket.

Edited by AndreyKl
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JaxckLl    146

Fantastic suggestions!

I especially like your first note about rocket types. That kind of fine tuned, in-GUI control is exactly what we want for controlling objects that otherwise require screen swapping.

As to the checklist, I would love to see the GUI use actual aerospace checklist design rather than a bunch of checkboxes. Look at page 14 of this report from NASA (https://ti.arc.nasa.gov/m/profile/adegani/Flight-Deck_Checklists.pdf. Incidentally this is one of the great pieces of aerospace regulation that anyone with an interest in rocketry or planes should consider reading). Page 14 shows a picture of a mechanical checklist, of the type used in 50s & 60s style US military aircraft. A mechanical checklist has little tabs which cover items as they are completed. Additionally it can be made "smart" with feedback from the aircraft (or in this case, rocket) preventing flipping of the tab until conditions are actually met. Digital checklists of the type used in more modern aircraft are functionally the same idea just digitized.

It would be awesome to have to flip a bunch of switches in the GUI to launch my first couple of rockets. Fuel? Click! Duplicant aboard? Click! Cargo Bay empty? Click! Launch!

Later in the game, this clicking could be automated with a new automation building. The Checklist Clicker would be a 1x2 automation building (requires foreground placement) that connects to the rocket via a ribbon automation wire. The Clicker has a mechanical hand that goes up and down the checklist, clicking things on and off as needed when the rocket gets a "Launch" signal. If the Clicker fails to greenlight everything, it will output a binary number via a Ribbon Output, indicating how many checks still need to be completed (a 0000 output of all greens means "Go Ahead, Checklist Complete"). This type of building would allow for conversion of the GUI into automation signals which can then be combined with all of your various inputs/outputs to debug the problem. Finally, it also gives ribbon wires a unique mechanical purpose beyond just being cool.

Edited by JaxckLl
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AndreyKl    218

After some more time using rocket platform's automation: It's seriously flawed.

  1. My rocket was fully fueled and loaded, rocket platform was set to green signal. A crew member boards, deposits the suit, rocket add a bit of oxygen to suit and suddenly checklist is incomplete and rocket refuses to launch despite still receiving green signal to platform's port! because there was tiny bit of space in tank now. Fortunately there was a workaround: I had to hook up gas loaders to automation so that when platform gets green signal, loaders get red one, this way they won't trigger cargo restriction.
    I have another bit of logic whose purpose is to launch rocket in the morning (to not babysit it) if I set the signal. Without care for cargo or other factors, any cargo is secondary since it's primarily a dupe transport. I just want it to launch once it has 'a window of opportunity', most of the time it works fine, but sadly rocket platform sometimes decides, that it should not last and that it doesn't care that I don't care and stops the launch for one reason or another. Usually that's cargo loading. Fortunately possible to work around, but that doesn't appear to be the only issue.
  2. I'm still not sure why this one decided to trigger. But I had a rocket happily traveling back and force between my starter and radioactive asteroids. Starter had the automation and was sending rocket once oxygen tank was full (asteroid's tank, If it's full, rocket is full too) and then suddenly rocket refuses to launch, supposedly because of not full fuel tank and despite having enough fuel to reach destination. I had to top of the rocket on fuel before platform decided that it's ok to stop ignoring the green signal.
Edited by AndreyKl

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silentdeth    27
On 9/28/2021 at 8:27 AM, AndreyKl said:

4. Bugs. No, not the critters!

 

Renaming: renaming platforms seems to be bugged. Renaming the platform will disable the platform, enabling platform after that will launch the rocket that is on the platform. And 'enable' button will be partially not clickable. When mouse is over left side of 'enable' button, button fails to highlight or click.

The enter key is the shortcut for disabling a building. When you press it after renaming a platform, that is what disables it. Just click somewhere instead, and it wont be a problem.

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