Alternative block placement orientation controls - simple, predictable

2 options to pick here...

  • This sounds BETTER than the current system.

    Votes: 17 77.3%
  • No, it's WORST.

    Votes: 2 9.1%
  • I mostly use [Right Click] to re-orient blocks.

    Votes: 5 22.7%
  • I mostly use [F] and [G].

    Votes: 12 54.5%
  • I use both of the current controls, often.

    Votes: 3 13.6%

  • Total voters
    22

ZeroGravitas

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#1
The proposal:

[F]
= Next attachment point on held block.

[G] = Next block rotation.

[H] = Reset to default orientation (optional suggestion).

[RMB] = Current smart system, or [G].


The problem: TerraTech has a very nice, slick and simple build interface, for the most part. But once you come to start placing blocks more complex than GSO One Blocks and Pound Canons, there's a bamboozling, semi-smart, block re-orientation system to battle.

Sometimes it gets things just about right. Then, with another block, or slightly unusual placement, you'll run into a string of total totally unhelpful orientations, that appear to have been shuffled together randomly! Total non-sequiturs.

This makes it very tiring find the orientation you want, having to visually inspect each stop, each time, because the order is so unpredictable, it's not realistic to memorise the number of stops (which change depending upon the side of the tech, etc. Makes it frustratingly hard to realise when the stop you want is being blocked by an unseen block. Or that the orientation just doesn't exist!

I think this is the worst part of TerraTech's core game play, currently (aside from crafting still being broken in many ways).:(
Above^: 56 possibilities, in a seemingly random order. Almost a minute to place 4 blocks, here, is a best case scenario.
 
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ZeroGravitas

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#2
Proposal Details:

[F] - in switching attach points, would try to maintain the held block in the same orientation. But it would temporarily auto-snap to the next available rotation, if the current one is blocked.

With this behaviour, I think it would make it simple enough (for newbies) to have the crafting blocks (anchored fabricator, refinery, generators) fully unlocked for all orientations, rather than stunted to just the horizontal (of the tech's original grid alignment), as currently.

[G] - would only be able to meet 4 rotation options while pointing at an attach point, very simple and easy. In mid-air, it would have 2 more stops (6 total, of course), with the first 4 probably being in the horizontal plane (then up, then down).

[H] - resetting can currently be done by taking a new block from inventory (as blocks in the world seem to remember). But an explicit reset key binding might be helpful, cognitively.

Relative - the rotation start point should (probably) be oriented to the face of the attach point being pointed at, rather than absolute. Once re-oriented, the block should stay in this new orientation, once pointing into space. Then, if pointing at an AP in a new orientation, the block's absolute orientstion should be rotated around with the same translation.

Precise pointing
- I don't quite understand why you can't currently point right down a recess (gap) in a tech, to place a little block right at the back, on the attach point you're actually pointing at (ones closer to camera, off to the side, intercept it, somehow). I think these alternative controls might make it simpler to allow this more direct control.

Predictability - however smart Payload make the orientation AI, it'll still confuse players if they can't understand it's logic in very simple terms. Can't feel it. Having a system that takes a guaranteed number of button pushes each time will make it massively faster for experienced players building complex/unusual techs.

Optional - you could have a tick box option for this new system, in the general option menu. Certainly temporarily, while trying it in an unstable. But maybe it will be sufficiently good to be the default/only option...

Less work overall? - This system may help avoid needing to do a lot of grunt work in fixing settings for each block individually (I don't know what's currently in place) or making the AI crazy clever.

Disclaimer - I'm not big on 3D builder games, so am not familiar with what they do. Probably different, maybe better/worst. I'm just trying to tweak what's already here, sympathetically.


Previous threads on this topic...:
PLEASE! Turn off AI for block positions, it just make everythign much worse.
[0.7.4.3] Block placement issues.
Block rotation could be easier (hold LMB to select, RMB to rotate)
Make block rotation easier
Idea for better block rotation
 

Lord Zarnox

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#3
Precise pointing - I don't quite understand why you can't currently point right down a recess (gap) in a tech, to place a little block right at the back, on the attach point you're actually pointing at (ones closer to camera, off to the side, intercept it, somehow). I think these alternative controls might make it simpler to allow this more direct control.
It will also prioritise attach points behind the camera, if there are valid positions from the same tech there. This would have to be the most egregious case of the current smart block placement.
 
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ZeroGravitas

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#7
This really needs fixing... In fact, is this behaviour recorded as a bug @Adriano?

Watch Gaming Authority (a featured YouTuber) spend roughly 2 minutes or so (sped up and edited) battling, trying to get a single Component Factory into place, in a simple horizontal orientation. Starting at 10m38s:

 
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#8
I second Zero's point. My suggested solution would be to have 4 rotation buttons: left, right (you could keep f and g), and up, down. In that way, you would have total control over how blocks are rotated. "Smart snapping", where a block auto rotates away from the position you have in your hand (where your orientation is perfect, only to have the game decide it knows best as you approach another block), perhaps could be an configuration option that we could turn on/off in the options. Some may want it, some may want full manual control.
 
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Lord Zarnox

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#10
It would also be nice to have a toggle between rotation and translation, especially for large blocks with lots of APs, such as the GeoCorp The Big One block.
 
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#11
*whooshes necromancer wand*

The developers need to see this thread, especially after the announcement of 0.7.9.1. Although it comes with tons of awesome new additions, the developers have for some reason decided to eliminate upside-down and sidewards block rotations for GSO hub wheels, which is a really bad idea because it breaks hover-bug techs and limits creativity because we aren't able to use the full amount of block rotations any more. I mean, this is a primarily sandbox game, and the whole game is about creativity. Also, I never heard anyone complain about GSO hub wheels being annoying to rotate - if there was a block that is a real pain to rotate, it would be the Component Factory, which has way more APs and has many more redundant block rotation options.

I think that the developers need to see this thread because this change is a good way of fixing the issue of having to cycle through tons of block rotation options. And if the developers think it isn't a good solution, at least it brings up some problems with the current way block placement works. And then there's an alternate solution also on this thread which could also work quite well.


P.S. another major point I'd like to bring up is this:

Precise pointing - I don't quite understand why you can't currently point right down a recess (gap) in a tech, to place a little block right at the back, on the attach point you're actually pointing at (ones closer to camera, off to the side, intercept it, somehow). I think these alternative controls might make it simpler to allow this more direct control.


P.P.S. Placing blocks inside of techs is hard. The game seems to think you actually want to place a block on the outside of the tech or far away from where your cursor is pointing, unless your camera is at a really odd angle. Can you please fix this too?



So yeah, there currently are quite a lot of problems with placing blocks, and the recent changes planned for the new unstable update definitely aren't helping.
 

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#12
The really dumb thing is that there are only 12 different rotations for the GSO Hub Wheel, and only ten of them are available while focussed on a single AP. While there might actually be 24 different rotations, it hardly matters as it cycles through all 12 in a good order. You could practically compare this to reducing the number of orientations of a filter conveyor, as those have 24 orientations, only 12 of which are available while focused on a single AP.
 
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Nightblade Greyswandir

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#13
The proposal:

[F]
= Next attachment point on held block.

[G] = Next block rotation.

[H] = Reset to default orientation (optional suggestion).

[RMB] = Current smart system, or [G].


The problem: TerraTech has a very nice, slick and simple build interface, for the most part. But once you come to start placing blocks more complex than GSO One Blocks and Pound Canons, there's a bamboozling, semi-smart, block re-orientation system to battle.

Sometimes its gets things just about right. Then, with another block, or slightly unusual placement, you'll run into a string of total totally unhelpful orientations, that appear to have been shuffled together randomly! Total non-sequiturs.

This makes it very tiring find the orientation you want, having to visually inspect each stop, each time, because the order is so unpredictable, it's not realistic to memorise the number of stops (which change depending upon the side of the tech, etc. Makes it frustratingly hard to realise when the stop you want is being blocked by an unseen block. Or that the orientation just doesn't exist!

I think this is the worst part of TerraTech's core game play, currently (aside from crafting still being broken in many ways).:(
Above^: 56 possibilities, in a seemingly random order. Almost a minute to place 4 blocks, here, is a best case scenario.
Good idea but...
first you have 6 rotations to show 6 base faces. Then you have 4 possible positions in each of these faces as rotation around axes that is normal to that face. and then you have selection of attachment points on each of faces.
So if you want to make this as simple as possible then maybe to use F/G/H combination for each of these separately. So F is just 6 basic positions and only one rotation that works in space, then you have to select attachment point where you want to place block, and with G you can rotate in 4 positions that are around axis normal to attaching faces, and then with H you can circle attachment point on that face without changing any rotation. This can reduce number of clicks to position blocks to minimum.
 

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#14
While there might actually be 24 different rotations, it hardly matters as it cycles through all 12 in a good order.
Just to clarify (because I wasn't sure you were right with these number for a while) - a 1x1x1 block has 6 sides, with 4 rotations per side, so 6x4=24 orientations. However, the hub wheel only has 5 sides with attach points, so 5x4=20 attachable orientations. Also, this block has rotational symmetry of order 2, so only half of those orientations are duplicate. 20/2 = 10.

a filter conveyor, as those have 24 orientations, only 12 of which are available while focused on a single AP.
These have 3 attach points, so 3x4=12 orientations. And their arrow means they have no rotational symmetry, so all 12 orientations are available.

I like to be clear to ensure we're talking about the same things.:) I'm definitely agreed that Hub wheels seem like an odd choice for the devs to propose restricting orientations on (they'll now have just 2, right?).

Edited - forgot what Filters look like... Confusion over.
 
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ZeroGravitas

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#15
Good idea but...
first you have 6 rotations to show 6 base faces. Then you have 4 possible positions in each of these faces as rotation around axes that is normal to that face. and then you have selection of attachment points on each of faces.
So if you want to make this as simple as possible then maybe to use F/G/H combination for each of these separately. So F is just 6 basic positions and only one rotation that works in space, then you have to select attachment point where you want to place block, and with G you can rotate in 4 positions that are around axis normal to attaching faces, and then with H you can circle attachment point on that face without changing any rotation. This can reduce number of clicks to position blocks to minimum.
Sorry, I'm not really following you. These kind of things are extremely difficult to communicate unambiguously via words alone. I'm not sure I've managed that either, above.

There are definitely issues with my suggestion, under various circumstances; it's far from being a no-brainier solution. More of a call to action. And I must acknowledge that the current, smart system could be made a lot better, just by fixing a couple of derps with it (like when it'll attach 3 side wheels on a car tech just fine, but then the 4th upside down, for no reason). Looking carefully at it's function for each block geometry, it could probably be made to work very well, almost all the time. But a lot of work, and still people might just not get what's going on, leading to confusion.
 
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Mr-Vagabond

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#16
If you want to use a Block in an orientation it cannot have you can "just" mess with the orientation of the Cab, at worst (don"t know if "at worst" is an expressio, you use in english tough, so tell me if this doesnt make any sens )

(but if you do, the beam will be pretty messed up)
 
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ZeroGravitas

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#17
If you want to use a Block in an orientation it cannot have you can "just" mess with the orientation of the Cab
True. But this thread is about how the player specifies block rotation. (Did you watch this Lathland episode earlier, by chance?)

This (bug) thread
is more about blocks missing orientations (and yesterday, Kris talking about which new blocks are getting locked and unlocked).

And this one talks about the (problematic) consequences of rotating the primary cab away from default.
 
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#18
Personnaly i dont think the block rotation have to be limited or not for this block or this one, I think the way the rotation work need to be changed instead of moving anchor point by anchor point, the block could move with a hotckey, actualy we have at least two boutton to move a block : moving forward a position or moving backward a position, why not having a button to change attache point in the same line ( just rotating the block with the next anchor point in the same line ) and one to switch plan like ← them ↓ them→ them ↑? (The actual programation of the game cant allows this perhaps ?) (i"d like to show you this with some picture, but having only one hand actually makes this a bit long/difficult)

And the bug with the position of the Cab, I dont remenber it occuring when I start the game some years ago so I didnt think it was that messed up, sry
 

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#19
Personnaly i dont think the block rotation have to be limited or not for this block or this one, I think the way the rotation work need to be changed instead of moving anchor point by anchor point, the block could move with a hotckey, actualy we have at least two boutton to move a block : moving forward a position or moving backward a position, why not having a button to change attache point in the same line ( just rotating the block with the next anchor point in the same line ) and one to switch plan like ← them ↓ them→ them ↑? (The actual programation of the game cant allows this perhaps ?) (i"d like to show you this with some picture, but having only one hand actually makes this a bit long/difficult)

And the bug with the position of the Cab, I dont remenber it occuring when I start the game some years ago so I didnt think it was that messed up, sry
Other games have this. mouse wheel to rotate. [key here] to change axis.