Lets talk about balancing the price of features

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cliffski
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Lets talk about balancing the price of features

Postby cliffski » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:28 am

In the next patch (1.27) we will add two more features for cars:

  • Folding(motorized) wing mirrors
  • Heated wing mirrors
Obviously these will both add to the value of a fully-equipped car, but not nearly enough to make luxury and expensive cars a viable option with the game as it currently stands.

Although we do have plans for more features (higher performance engines, more expensive leather, interior lighting, and hybrid/electric engines, air suspension and parking assist), we are probably still falling short of the prices required at the high end.

In other words, I suspect some of the features are too cheap! Its not a trivial matter of raising prices, as we need to ensure that its still a sensible cost to manufacture them from scratch as well as purchase them outright (where that is an option). So this thread is a place to discuss what component costs seem to low, and what upgrades seem too cheap.

My initial thoughts:

Wing mirrors are too cheap. $52, should be more like $70?
Alloy wheel premium is $451, should be more like $650? (for all 4)
LED headlights are a $429 premium, should be more like $1,600 apparently (yikes!)
Keyless entry is $400 should be roughly $500.

Does anyone have other suggestions for features that seem underpriced?
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Re: Lets talk about balancing the price of features

Postby Raccoon » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:50 am

I love the sound of new Features!

I dont know how the mechanic of the prices work atm, but instead of pushing the whole price of a car, can we maybe get a the option to push the price of features we add to the car? Maybe so we can push the way to luxerious cars. So instead of paying 30k for a car because of profit you can let them pay for better wheels more so the prices dont get to far and you can still change all in the way you woud to.

Example

Basic Hull 18k
Basic Engine 3k
Basic Wheels 4k

25.000$

Multiplikator = 30%

32.500$

New System

Basic Hull 18k + 30%
Basic Engine 3k + 50%
Basic Wheels 4k + 10%

32.000$ so you can aim different ways of your production. But maybe its a wasted system.
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Re: Lets talk about balancing the price of features

Postby cliffski » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:52 pm

Well each upgrade from standard is currently priced separately, and you set an overall price multiplier for all of it.
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Re: Lets talk about balancing the price of features

Postby ShepherdDimaloun » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:54 pm

I think you forget the most important thing of a car, the engine. maybe its a idea to have a different type of engines.

For compact a small engine, i thought a 3 cilinder.
for sedan, station wagon and SUV, V6 - V8 engines.
Sport car, V6 - V8 - V10 - V12 engines.
Unique limited edition cars?

This way you add more features to the game, and more interesting to have your own car factory. this can give the player a idea to make a low-mid budget factory, or a specific sport car factory.

Hope you like this idea. Looking forward for more updates!
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Re: Lets talk about balancing the price of features

Postby wcujer80 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:12 pm

cliffski wrote:Although we do have plans for more features (higher performance engines, more expensive leather, interior lighting, and hybrid/electric engines, air suspension and parking assist), we are probably still falling short of the prices required at the high end.


I think I said this elsewhere, but it isn't just that features that drive the price of a car. The biggest one is probably the engine. I think that right now the engine is well undervalued in terms of production cost and value added. Part of that is because the engine itself is just factored in as part of "basic car" (more on that later). But in the real world the difference in price between what engine goes into a 20k sedan and what goes into an 80k sedan are huge. I'd wager that the engine in an 80k car costs almost as much as the 20k car does in total. There was a story online where a guy with a 2008 Mercedes AMG car (not sure the exact model but it was 110k+ brand new in 2008) had his engine blow. The dealership's quote to him to replace the parts and do the labor was 59k. Yes, there is likely a high labor rate there but AMG engines are all made by hand to begin with, hence the cheapest car with an actual AMG engine in it is almost 70k.

Second issue is car size. A 100k car is typically going to be the largest size car that the manufacturer makes (except for some specialty sports cars). A bigger car requires a bigger chassis, more sheet metal, bigger engine, better suspension, etc. The difference between a 50k-60k BMW 5 series to a 100k BMW 7 series is less about interior features than it is the cost to produce a bigger car. Plus you add in that you need a separate production line for the larger car that you sell less of and the production per unit cost goes up. I built a 5 series online with almost all the options that came standard on a base 7 series and came up about 14k short in price of what the 7 was (and the couple options that weren't on there weren't only worth a couple grand at most).

Another smaller issue is that there is no consideration for the interior of the car outside of the leather seat upgrade. There is no associated materiel cost for all the bits of the dash, or the console, or what goes onto the doors. All the bits and bobs that go onto more expensive cars are of a higher quality (and cost) then what goes on lower cost cars. That right there is several grand and that doesn't account for some of the interior upgrades you can get on higher end cars (like actual wood trim or full leather everything basically).

A lot of this comes down to how the game needs to be simple so that it is easy to understand and build upon, which is a perfectly good thing. But now you are trying to add realistic things like price categories but building upon a simplified formula of how that realistic thing is produced. So that comes back to the idea of "basic car". A 100k car isn't a 20k car with a ton of extra features and a huge mark-up. The "basic car" component for a 100k car is going to cost significantly more to produce then the "basic car" component for a 20k car. I think it will be very hard to get to those 100k cars with just features and have it feel like it makes sense to people because I think most people that play this game will understand cars (unlike pharmaceuticals, for instance). You are also going to start bumping into the issue of people expecting this to be more like Automation (a car tycoon game being made) and less like a puzzle game where you are trying to be as efficient as possible.

So the conclusion I have after my rant is, honestly, don't worry about it right now. Unless you intend to change some basic pillars of this game I think you just add the features you want to add and then back into the price ranges you need instead of trying to figure out how to change/increase feature costs to hit arbitrary numbers. That doesn't mean certain features don't need to be changed (an aluminum body for instance is something I've only seen on fairly expensive cars and it is worth 150 or 200 right now) but I think there are probably other things that are higher on the list of things that need to be looked at (just my opinion though).
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Re: Lets talk about balancing the price of features

Postby cliffski » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:20 am

Thanks for the feedback. I agree that there is vast simplification, when it comes to all those tiny things in plush cars that the cheaper models do not have. I cant make the game too complex as it will scare off gamers, but on the other hand we really do need luxury and expensive cars...
I've tweaked some of the numbers up, and we have 2 new features going in this week (heated & folding wing mirrors), plus I have expensive leather, better car speakers and other things that will nudge us that way.

I agree aluminium body is being done really stupidly :(

The engine stuff obviously needs more care, and I do tend to deal with it at some point. Certainly high performance engines need to cost more, and I want to eventually support hybrid and electric motors too (although thats complex because electrics need batteries but no fuel tank or radiator so it complicates the line a bit...)

Hopefully its all constant but gradual progress towards a better game :D
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Re: Lets talk about balancing the price of features

Postby Raccoon » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:19 pm

cliffski wrote:Thanks for the feedback. I agree that there is vast simplification, when it comes to all those tiny things in plush cars that the cheaper models do not have. I cant make the game too complex as it will scare off gamers, but on the other hand we really do need luxury and expensive cars...
I've tweaked some of the numbers up, and we have 2 new features going in this week (heated & folding wing mirrors), plus I have expensive leather, better car speakers and other things that will nudge us that way.

I agree aluminium body is being done really stupidly :(

The engine stuff obviously needs more care, and I do tend to deal with it at some point. Certainly high performance engines need to cost more, and I want to eventually support hybrid and electric motors too (although thats complex because electrics need batteries but no fuel tank or radiator so it complicates the line a bit...)

Hopefully its all constant but gradual progress towards a better game :D


Dont want to complain that much. I realy like this game and how you handle things and the communication to the community.

But i woudnt say deepth will scare of gamers. Maybe it the thing which soak them up. Maybe try a Poll? Ask the Players which are not so activ in the forum. The only people which are here are the ones which realy like the game and support it. But the "silent" players maybe even like another path but just not so focus like others/me.

I dont understand the problem with the luxury cars atm, because when you "just" (a bunch of things sure) add expensive parts which are sure luxery only things.

As example a turbocharger which add's 15k (as it minimum) to the car and they get pushed to hell with it and its mostly in "good" cars only.

The Problem i have atm is im here for the deepth. :D

Keep up the good work. #Discord is awesome
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Re: Lets talk about balancing the price of features

Postby ShepherdDimaloun » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:07 pm

Maybe a dropdown under the pricing, where you can choose what kind of engine you want to fit on the car model
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Re: Lets talk about balancing the price of features

Postby roidal » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:22 pm

  • Electronic stability control in additional to Anti-Lock brakes
  • Heated windshield, steering-wheel and seats
  • maybe change "heater" to "block heater", since heating-system is "included" with combustion engine

Little offtopic: Will we get the possibility to produce our own Chips/Transmissions to reduce costs?
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Re: Lets talk about balancing the price of features

Postby JSD » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:40 pm

cliffski wrote:I cant make the game too complex as it will scare off gamers


I can't disagree more. If you do a poll and ask what people want; they all want more complex stuff. That's what this game and the whole subject is, needs, wants or bags for. That's exactly what the majority of players want.. It IS a complex subject, and people want, need or expect that level of complexity.

And for the subject matter; Maybe you should talk to some experts. Do some research. Kerbal worked with NASA, just to make the facts right. I guess you need to do the same. Base the whole feature balacing stuff on the the real stuff. Talk to experts. Get the facts right. And not just because you feel like it should be a 100 bucks..

( Iwork in a factory that makes mobile lifting colums for (heavy duty) vehicles. Cars, trucks, tanks. You name it. We have a main production line. But also sub assambly. A test station. Human error. Material that sucks. Etc etc. One thing I learned working there; you need to solve problems. On a daily basis. It never works like you think. It never fit like you think. It never will like you think. Solving one mystery, going to the next one. Maybe it's a company thing, but even in a perfect production line things can't be solved with magic research. (For that matter; research still don't fix shit.. Please lose that research obsession..) There will be always something. Work one day in a production line. You will see. There are too many factors you don't even think about right now..)
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Re: Lets talk about balancing the price of features

Postby EvolGrinZ » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:42 am

Actually I don't want it to be more complex. I like to play Production Line in a casual way, just build a factory and try to make it efficient without too much worry about micromanaging market and sales, etc.
If I am interested in complexity I will load up Automation or Factorio.

But that's just me.
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Re: Lets talk about balancing the price of features

Postby cliffski » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:49 pm

I've been talking to a bunch of players who work on, and run production lines, so I'm always getting some new insight and better data. the game is still very much in development :D
I have just introduced some new features and complexity you will like: (for 1.28)

Sunroofs, and panoramic sunroofs have got way more expensive.
In-car music now requires speakers, and costs more
Voice recognition now requires microphones, and costs more
Aluminium car body is still fitted at a single station, but its a more expensive upgrade at the slot, and now requires a lot of (very expensive) aluminium, so its a much more impressive upgrade.

Plus nappa leather seats will be in 1.28 along with off-road vehicle body design.
Expensive cars are becoming much more viable now, with Luxury cars still slightly further to go. (I need to leave room for gull-wing doors and other silliness :D)

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