The research ideas thread

Ideas for gameplay improvements and changes. NOT bug reports!
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cliffski
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The research ideas thread

Postby cliffski » Mon May 08, 2017 8:10 pm

I just thought I'd better start a stickied thread for peoples ideas for further research in the game. I'll get the ball rolling, even though I'm the developer :D

  • Air Suspension (smoother, expensive) possibly something that goes into making the powertrain?
  • Heated steering wheel. (yup, its a real thing).
  • Fog Lamps
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby beardydave » Tue May 09, 2017 9:00 pm

Some of these may already be in the game. It's all starting to blur...

Ventilated seats
Sports suspension
Sports exhaust
Sports brakes
Sports engine
Sports seats
Premium leather
double-glazed windows
parking sensors
parking camera
dashboard camera
auto-parking / park assist
auto-pilot
Carbon chassis
Turbocharging
Supercharging
Heads-up display
heated front windscreen
Rear-seat entertainment (like video screens in the back of the front seats)
Roofbars (would need an estate/wagon body first though - or fit to the SUV)
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby EvolGrinZ » Wed May 10, 2017 6:59 am

I'd like to see some endless research options.
In the end game, you eventually run out of research, so having endless research options would still allow you to make use of your research stations.
Endless options could be an option to build 1 new import/export wall slot for each time you finished the research. Or research for better efficiency for a small %, like lower costs for import of goods/raw materials.
Research for better reputation/marketing etc. To make it easier to sell cars if the price is higher than the competitors. Like Mercedes cars cost a lot more than Dacia, but Mercedes has no problem selling their cars, so it would be more realistic.
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby darkensign » Fri May 12, 2017 6:39 pm

Superior/Hi-tech versions of components that aren't available on the market place, unlocked when you research manufacture of their respective components.
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby cliffski » Sun May 14, 2017 5:51 pm

awesome suggestions. Keep em coming :D
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby beardydave » Mon May 15, 2017 6:23 pm

I think I put it in my other thread, but how i've seen reaserch done on a similar game (Capitalism 2 for those that care), research could be direceted at different areas, but features to research not selected. They were unlocked automatically at different levels of research.

This meant that you could have 4 reaseach centres, one working on the widgets, another on the grommets, one on the knobs and one on the product itself. Increased reasearch level in each would increase its quality, and the quality of the product was based on it's own quality, plus a contribution from the qualities of the components being used to make it. If you bought in components you had less control over quality level. I think it also had a level for raw material quality that went into making components to give 3 tiers of quality contribution.

Poor quality in any one area would let down the whole product (cars with crap engines for example).

This would take away the already quite complicated research path for different features, and give more longevity to research centres as even after you've finished researching all features available, you can still keep researching to make your cars better overall quality.

You could have reaserch paths for:
Production methods (unlocks more production stations and allows some features to be added into the line)
Chassis (unlocks different body styles, materials, sports bodywork etc)
Suspension (suspension, brakes, wheels)
Powerplant (engine types, forced induction, hybrid, EV)
Drivetrain (manual, automatic, FWD, RWD, 4WD)
Interior (seats, trim level, toys & gadget, infotainment)

You could have the area selectable, and that would research at a slow rate in each sub-area, and as the game moves on, you could build more R&D capacity and select the sub-areas individually to reasearch faster.
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby cliffski » Tue May 16, 2017 3:23 pm

We do have two whole areas of research that are not in the game yet and those are:

Marketing
and
Quality

Once these two areas are included, there is scope for a lot of research along the lines of individual slot quality boosts etc, and better and more subtle advertising campaign methods.
I would certainly like to see an 'ongoing' need to retain research centers, and look at these as areas where the whole 'infinite research' style could become a thing.

I think too much is lost in terms of the fun of decision making, if you restrict players choices to whole swathes of research. maybe a research queue would solve the problem of people feeling there is currently too much micromanagement? I feel an in-game poll coming on...
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby Ratsofatsorat » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:14 pm

cliffski wrote:We do have two whole areas of research that are not in the game yet and those are:
maybe a research queue would solve the problem of people feeling there is currently too much micromanagement? I feel an in-game poll coming on...


I think a research queue would help for sure. I also think in general there isn't enough research cost to make each decision important. It feels like the tree needs to be both larger and paced on a more extreme curve. My expectation was that things like power steering/etc would be relatively quick in the early goings, but that the end-game would feel more specialized and important. Currently it feels like I'm just bopping around mole-hunting against the computer's choices, with no real urgency in terms of reaching the end of a particular tree. I think part of this is that you can so easily scale your research team. It feels like it might be easier to balance this stuff if the research rate is fixed. But, if it's not fixed, it feels like it should be pretty hard (costly) to scale your research team.

I think the feeling I want as a player is -- I've spent a lot of time and money getting way down this electronics tree, but now the AI is beating me on smaller choices. Do I switch it up to compete, or keep investing in my specialized market?

Another expectation I'd have coming at this game fresh is that those market trends would shift measurably, which would have a nice interplay with the research itself. So in other words, if you've spent a LOT of resources cornering the market on high-end SUVs, but then suddenly the market shifts away from gas-guzzlers and you're left trying to decide whether to switch out of that market or ride out the trend. Obviously there would need to be some way to better "read" the current market. Right now I'm not entirely sure as a player why my cars are selling. On top of that, you'd want some window into what the other companies are doing -- a view into their tech trees, and their current sales. Basically all the stuff you'd find in a Civilization game.
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby Stargate525 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:00 am

Engine configurations and transmissions would be nice. I'd like to be able to fit my compact with an automatic three cylinder, but my sports car with, say, a W12 with an 8 speed transmission.

It would let you build sub-lines as well; fleshing out the engine block tree into its own sub-division.
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby nutbarz » Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:02 pm

I got some:

Remote Start
Alloy Spare
Rubber Donut Spare
Levels of Speakers / Sound systems - Basic, Enhanced, Superior, Premium.
Radio / CD / Changer / Mp3 / Satellite (8 Track? lol)
Airbag, Pass Air Bag, Side Curtain Airbags, Secure foam like in Demolition Man :-)
Traction Control
Launch Control
Manual / Automatic Trans Options
4,6,8,10,12 cylinder options. (This could go on forever)
Window Tinting
Hauling Package for those Caravans...
4 wheel steering
parking assist / self parking

just a start. Maybe if I have time I will have more later.
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby cliffski » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:03 pm

There are some awesome suggestions here. Also, I agree that one of the problems with regards to research is how 'easy' it is to place down a research facility and ramp up the research. I did have plans to implement wage spirals for scientists when you employ loads, but I suspect something more drastic may be required. Maybe there is a hard limit on research facilities, after which you can only place research centers, and then another type...each of which has a long pause in research time itself?... I might have to do some proper thinking about this.
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby JSD » Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:39 pm

You could change the whole concept a little bit.

Research basically is doing science in the real world. And science takes time, money and effort.

You could do some sort of science center. A one of a kind building or departement that will do science. (Or make the research center a one of a kind). I just like science better, because it's more realistic.

Technology often are based and make possible after another technology came on the market, or after a certain time period.
This cost money. And time. Fails and errors if you will.

Instead of randomly clicking in the research center for research points, it woud be better to science. This way you make it easier for upgrading parts or technologies that are based on innovations.

This all would cost you money. And of course time. This way your way more forced to think about the things you do. And this way you have a LOT more possibilities in the future. Of course this is just a little head spin, and I didn't made a full study of it, so see it more as a possible concept of what it could be
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby wcujer80 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:09 pm

JSD wrote:You could change the whole concept a little bit.


I've actually been thinking that I'm not sure about the way research is structured right now, particularly the technologies section. Right now the most valuable features at the very rare level are Air Conditioning ($2,347), Climate Control ($1,642), Leather Interior ($1,377), Panoramic Sunroof ($2,128), Sunroof ($1,303), and Touchscreen Interface ($1,808). Outside of the touchscreen interface, which costs 4000 research points, everything is in Environmental Features. So really you should always just rush that research if you wanted to maximize the value of the car, particularly when the other options (heater and heated seats) only take one extra component. You also only need to research the accessories specialization to 6 of the 8 techs there (and then you only need 2 specialization to do the other 2). Then you look at the Safety Features list and there is almost no reason to touch those until much later on. Each of those cost 1750 to research and I don't think a single one of them cracks being worth $600 and you need to research 6 specializations (I think). So it creates these weird cars that don't have items that have been fairly common on cars for several decades (ABS, radios, power steering, and airbags for example) but will have a panoramic sunroof that has only really hit the market in the last 5 years.

I was thinking that a system similar to what is in Hearts of Iron (yeah, I'm pulling ideas from a WW2 grand strategy game). Instead of features grouped by the style of the feature (safety, environmental, entertainment, etc...) they could be grouped more into, for lack of a better word, technological eras. So the first grouping would be things like ABS, air conditioning, heater, and radio. If you research them during whatever era they would typically be developed in (so let's say the first day) they cost a normal amount of research. Things that are further away technologically would cost more the further ahead of time you try to research it. So researching something like sat nav could be done in the time when you are still figuring out how to get ABS to work on a car; however, it would be extremely expensive to research since it is so far ahead of time. And to keep games interesting from game to game you could make it so random events might push things forward. A breakthrough in chip technology for instance could suddenly make chip based techs researchable earlier. I think this would also lead to it making more sense to research items in the Processes list since you just aren't rushing tech (or being forced to rush tech because opponents are making things more common).

Lastly, I think that new tech should be more expensive to make and it should become cheaper to make over time. Something like the start-stop engine has been around for longer than people realize (it was invented sometime in the 80's) but the cost of it made it a feature on very few cars. Now the price to produce it is much lower (and the push by the public for fuel efficient cars) has made it to where it is standard on much larger percentage of cars. That also helps make particularly expensive tech only be financially sound to put on your higher end vehicles until the cost to manufacturer it comes down. So, for instance, the reversing camera may start off being worth a couple thousand as an option (particularly if you are first to market and ahead of time) but the camera component will also be much more expensive. As time goes on the camera becomes cheaper and as more cars are equipped with it the worth of it is a feature comes down as well. I think that would make the cars you design from game to game a little more dynamic; I'm just not sure all this would be fun or just tedious though.
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby Stargate525 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 4:57 am

wcujer80 wrote:I was thinking that a system similar to what is in Hearts of Iron (yeah, I'm pulling ideas from a WW2 grand strategy game). Instead of features grouped by the style of the feature (safety, environmental, entertainment, etc...) they could be grouped more into, for lack of a better word, technological eras. So the first grouping would be things like ABS, air conditioning, heater, and radio. If you research them during whatever era they would typically be developed in (so let's say the first day) they cost a normal amount of research. Things that are further away technologically would cost more the further ahead of time you try to research it. So researching something like sat nav could be done in the time when you are still figuring out how to get ABS to work on a car; however, it would be extremely expensive to research since it is so far ahead of time. And to keep games interesting from game to game you could make it so random events might push things forward. A breakthrough in chip technology for instance could suddenly make chip based techs researchable earlier. I think this would also lead to it making more sense to research items in the Processes list since you just aren't rushing tech (or being forced to rush tech because opponents are making things more common).

That would also solve the problem of sunroofs and backup cameras being universal items, while heaters are super rare.
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Re: The research ideas thread

Postby EvolGrinZ » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:03 am

A solution could be to double the cost of a research station every time you put one down. So let's say you build your 1st one for 2000, then the next one will cost 8000 and the one after that 16000 etc. This way it gets real expensive to slap a huge amount of research stations down for fast research.

Another option could be to have diminishing returns for each research station. For instance every next research station will only give 75% of the research of the last placed research station. So 1 station will give you 60 research a minute, a 2nd one will give 45, and a 3rd will give 34. So having 3 will give 139 research points a minute instead of 180.

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