Thoughts after a couple of days with the game.

kipper
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Thoughts after a couple of days with the game.

Postby kipper » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:33 pm

So I picked up this game a couple of days ago and I'm really liking it so far; but it has some problems which are preventing more of a positive response - maybe I'm doing something wrong, but anyway, these are my thoughts and I hope they come across as constructive.

I'm mostly frustrated with the money side of it; you can go from doing well to going out of business without actually changing anything which means speeding up the game for more than a few seconds is too risky. You can't easily control costs, and sales appear to occur at random so you can't get a smooth curve.

I feel at the moment like the game is more luck based than skill as far as whether it decides to order in stupid parts that aren't needed / stop selling cars completely. Really, limiting parts purchases is a big research project?!

Graphics
  • Some of the tile, er.. textures(?) are a bit busy. It makes it hard to see what's going on - it would be nice to be able to select a simpler set of tiles, and maybe colour floor tiles like in Big Pharma.
  • Sometimes some of the overhead belts and occasional other graphics glitch a bit (don't appear properly), when you zoom in/out it fixes itself.
  • The conveyor belts themselves don't move; it would be quite nice if they did.

Sound
  • I'm sure it's not been a massive consideration given the stage of development but the constant drone of the factory is a bit annoying
  • The complete absence of any sounds of robots assembling, hammering, moving, people chatting etc from the different areas is a bit weird.

UI
  • Sometimes I simply can't delete overhead rail lines (specifically) without deleting everything else in a square, you simply can't select it.

Gameplay
  • I'm not a fan of the weird tetris meta game and nor was I in Big Pharma; it seems to go against the notion of efficient design. Can you see a real life car maker accepting as much dead space and long winded conveyor systems as we have to, in order to get things moving around? No, they'd redesign their assembly plants to keep things compact and use up all available floor space.
  • Related to above - there was a post in suggestions about modular assembly plants which I think is a very, very good idea - that way players get even more fine control over how their factories work and look.
  • Constantly having to click into the car tab and adjust pricing up and down is annoying - I'm just watching a number and having to respond to it's random whims. I'd rather the pricing was automated based on the level of features I am offering in each car compared to the market. With marketing efforts (desirability, brand etc) meaning I can squeeze a little more profit out of each vehicle.
  • Sales are too lumpy/based on RNG - I'm sure it's realistic but if I'm selling 6 cars an hour just guarantee me one every 10 mins; the problem is occasionally and for no reason, you'll just stop selling cars and run out of money from having several hundred thousand. And then you'll sell 4 at once.
  • Meanwhile, your stupid factory managers or whoever they are, continue to order in new parts non-stop even when it's going to drain the coffers dry. Unless you delete resource importers to try and stop the spending, and lose 30k each time you need to do it.
  • Cash is constantly changing so much that you never really know what the trend is (the graph doesnt help, one minute you're making a healthy profit and the next a crushing loss and seemingly there is nothing you can do about it but accept the fate of RNG)
  • Don't force me to take a loan if I run out of money; give me an overdraft based on the value of my assets and charge me for being in it, but loans just make everything worse. I wasn't making money before, so why make me take on additional payments that I can't afford? What kind of bank would do that?
  • Let me pay off loans early when I can afford it - even if there is a fee.
  • The only way to stop importing resources at least as far as I've got at the moment is to delete resource importers and lose half the cash they cost, but if I don't - I go out of business because they won't stop importing even when I have no cash. It would be nice to be able to switch them off for a bit.
  • In fact, it would be nice to be able to switch off any machine, to help cure temporary bottlenecks and prevent wasting cash continuing to build when you have a line full of unfinished cars. All I can do right now is delete a section of conveyor.
  • It would be nice to be able to throttle machines to produce at any speed up to their maximum output, although that might make things too easy; right now things are needlessly hard - again, real car makers would fine tune the speed of their workstations to keep them busy and never idle.
  • Machines immediately lose half their value which is annoying when I misplace them in pause mode, and have to delete them without ever having unpaused. Maybe I could move them; or maybe they should have a steadily declining asset worth as they age, so that if they're literally brand new, they still sell for 90-95% of their cost.
  • Deleting stockpiles or machines that have stock should give me the money back for the stock.
  • Rather than going straight into robots, we could start with human assembly plants and eventually have an upgrade path into robots; but to make it more interesting - give robots/humans some distinct advantages/disadvantages - say, robots are expensive to buy and cheap to run, humans are cheap to hire and expensive to run at a simplistic level.
  • It would be nice if car colour did make a difference to consumers; say every few days the 'fashionable' colour changed randomly.
  • I need to see what cars competitors are offering. I need car reviews to let me know what customers think of my models compared to the market.
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cliffski
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Re: Thoughts after a couple of days with the game.

Postby cliffski » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:45 pm

Hi there, thanks for the feedback, its very helpful. Some of this stuff is already on the todo list, and some other stuff is very interesting. I know that the current market is a bit of a black box and varies up and down too rapidly. We are constantly evaluating how the game plays to improve the balance.
Agreed that being able to stop/start/pause individual stations would be a good thing, its just something on our list of stuff to work on.
We do plan on adding some additional small 1 tile slots (like mini stockpiles and QA stations) that will reduce the tetris nature of the layouts.
Khyto
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Re: Thoughts after a couple of days with the game.

Postby Khyto » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:34 am

I also started playing this game a few days ago, and I would like to stress the accuracy of the OP. I do like this game for the most part, and I don't seem to have an issue figuring out the game and managing to keep a Factory stable, however, as many others have suggested, it can collapse quite randomly. I have a few further suggestions of my own that I would like to recommend.

My biggest problem so far is not being able to make the other body types, other than sedan, even though the game guide, several of your posts, Cliff, and YouTube videos clearly provide me that they exist. I have scoured the interface, so if they exist I might be blind. This is the single most thing, I believe, crushing my end game and frustrating me to no end.

Your latest patch, did not work. my game is up to date, I installed it after your release.
- My cars are still sideways about 2.5 tiles early
- There is no scenario in the medium factory setup
- It still flickers
- etc.

I research all of the research in just a few hours of game play, and then there are huge annoying signs in front of a portion of my factory. New research added to the game would be great, and I am expecting it, but I would gobble up any new research you throw in the game just as quickly as the originals and be just as dissatisfied with the research part of the game afterwards. How about making leveled lists for each research, with up to, for example, 10 or 25 levels. The benefit, each upgrade represents an improvement in the technology, and therefore provides an increase in the value of the vehicles. keep what you have as a solid level one, and go from there. Research time might look like - 750, 1550. 3200, 6600, 13600, etc. I recommend going with 25 levels... keep my researchers busy... forever. this will also help the fact that the cars are practically free after 2 game months. I wish I could find a sedan with every feature you can think of, including electric powertrain, and cost under $40,000.

Again, why am I only stuck with the sedans??

If you want to clean up the money problems in the game, make the money realistic. There isn't anyone starting up a full production line for under 3 million. You would be lucky to start up a decent professional body shop for that. This game is talking big leagues... Pump it up to 25 and 50 million, and charge me through the nose for the robots and equipment. I really like the OP suggestion of collateralizing the value of plant and equipment as a means to survive fluke bankruptcy.

I think what all builder sims miss is a planning mode. let me plop down the lot, either as an opaque placeholder or as the color lot indicator, for as much equipment and conveyors as I like. When I am satisfied with the layout I have finally chosen, I accept the build. The total cost when I click the build button would also need to be clearly illustrated.

I have more suggestions, but these are the bigger ones.


Thanks
Last edited by Khyto on Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Khyto
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Re: Thoughts after a couple of days with the game.

Postby Khyto » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:36 am

It also seems that your forum has called me Khyto over Khyro... However, that doesn't seem to be editable in the settings.
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cliffski
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Re: Thoughts after a couple of days with the game.

Postby cliffski » Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:16 pm

I need a better tutorial, but to get new car body types you need to place down a design studio (it needs researching first), this then unlocks access to anew research tree at that facility allowing you to research multiple body styles
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Re: Thoughts after a couple of days with the game.

Postby Khyto » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:25 am

Beautiful!!

Thank you Cliff
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Re: Thoughts after a couple of days with the game.

Postby jpinard » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:42 pm

I LOVE the Tetris metagame. Please don't change it.
Pops
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Re: Thoughts after a couple of days with the game.

Postby Pops » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:40 am

I'm a few days in myself and am enjoying myself for the most part. I discovered the game and spent a couple of days watching the entire video dev blog. Fascinating insight into the difficulty of simulating systems and balancing a game.

My major frustration is inline with this thread.

I'd like to see the marketing department provide more insight into my position in the marketplace. A screen where I could see the relative value of my product compared to the competition. Right now it feels like the game is more a technology race and less optimization of the factory. With the little information provided and the quickly fluctuating market I find I spend way too much time micro managing pricing without knowing why.

If it was easier to understand the outside world it would be easier to formulate strategy both for technology research and plant optimizations. Profit from early technology research and then as it becomes more common optimize production to offset the declining perceived value.

I know that a good bit of this info is in the game and it may just be I've not played long enough to get comfortable with the way it is presented.

All in all though a really fun game with great upside.

** Thank you for fixing the cars early rotation into T intersections. I cringed in every video and every prior version of the game whenever it happened.

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