This game could benefit from a ‘sort inventory/shelf’ button.
best would be a “autostack all possible” and a “autostack each individual kind” button next to each other ^^ … would be great also to have buttons on smart stacks for “split all” and “split to stacks of each individual kind”
I was thinking of having a “sorting machine”
where you’d have several parts;
one block for input, It would have a UI with its own inventory space equal to the current max personal inventory.
You can shift click or drop items in freely and fill up the inventory, nothing will happen until you exit the UI.
After exiting the UI all the items will be sorted one at a time in order, but really fast into storage through:
These would work and look very similar to spark cords except they will be directional and have 3 (sometimes 2) connections each: Input, thru, and sort. Input connects to the sorting machine or the previous sorting tube, thru would connect to the next tube and sort will connect to the back, side or top of any storage device.
Tubes not connected to a storage device would just be passed through (input and thru)
and of course the last item in the chain:
“Sorting Output Machine”
This is an item where I’m open to some creative flexibility, but I’m thinking it would have an inventory just like the input machine, just in case some of the items didn’t get sorted or the storage array was completely full.
If this happens, the output machine block would have a little red light on it somewhere that turns on (maybe blinks when items are being added into it) and would stay on as long as there are items left in it.
If it gets almost full it will start to make noise to remind you to either add more storage to the array or rearrange the items in it so all the items get sorted.
The machine will sort in sequence from the first connected storage to the last, adding to existing stacks first and then creating new ones if need be.
Ideally you would have at least one of any item you want to sort occupying every slot in the storage but its not necessary.
Now here’s where there could be different opinions/options,
what happens if the output gets full?
First I was thinking maybe the items could get deleted starting with the oldest item, like maybe the player is only sorting the things they want (taking up every space already with one of each item reserving enough slots) and the rest is garbage… of course it must be garbage since they haven’t bothered to empty the output and ignored the light
Then I thought it would probably just be simpler for the sorting machine to disallow sorting until there’s at least one space in the output inventory.
 Also there may have to be a limit to the number of tubes between the input and output machines (hopefully not, but I have no idea how this will be coded or what the limitations with spark cord were) and if there is such a limit, and you want to sort items through a longer section of storage;
have it so that if you place a sorter output beside (or maybe just on top of) a sorter input machine then the items will just pass through like a repeater or an in-line pump.
Here is my suggestion for a sorting/storage machine:
This mock up shows the sprayer but imagine it as a new machine with attached storage.
- Input your inventory items into the machine
- Machine will pack items into the storage based on your criteria
A. As densely as it can
B. By type or color (e.g. all red wood, any of the sub-types)
C. By type and color (e.g. Red Lustrous wood alone in it’s own stack)
- Retrieve the items
A. Using standard method, open up the storage boxes
B. Using the machine interface with searching (like searching knowledge) except only shows connected storage contents. Contains same type and color options as inputting items.