I know this part of the game currently has balance issues, and a number of players have also pointed out some discrepancies in the costs of producing items, plus drawn my attention to the fact that in the later game, on non-custom maps, you can end up with serious importer bottlenecks when importing the raw materials to create components locally. I am currently addressing this and hope that the 1.44 (next) release will go a long way towards improving the balance of this area of the game.
There are basically two objectives I am aiming towards.
Objective #1: Ensure that it makes economic sense to produce your own components when space & research & investment funds allow.
Objective #2: Ensure that in the late game, resource importers are not overwhelmed.
With this in mind, over the last 2 days I have built a massive spreadsheet to assist me in this area of the games design, which puts together calculations from all aspects of what is involved to manufacture components within the game, compared to the simple act of buying and importing them from 3rd parties. This spreadsheet takes account of manufacture-slot construction costs, wages of employees, tile-rental for space taken up, the cost of resources imported by these slots, and makes a rough assessment of the inconvenience and extra conveyor construction costs (depreciated over time, like slot construction) that all go into giving a ‘per-unit’ manufacture cost for a component.
This has allowed me to pinpoint a number of components that were hilariously inefficient to make, and a few that were too-good-to-be-true cheap to make. I’ve adjusted a whole bunch of variables to bring things more into line.
This was also a good way to spot those components where there was a vast discrepancy between the number of raw materials that come in, and the number that go out, which can obviously put undue strain onto the resource importer system.
In many (but not all) cases, this has meant changing the configuration of these slots to produce multiple items in one go, but keeping the resource import totals the same, and increasing production time. This is is the simplest way for me to say that a component effectively requires 0.5 glass or 0.5 steel. Changing this is allowing me to hopefully solve two problems at once.
This will not be the final pass at balancing this by any means, but I think its a big step in the right direction. I’m still analyzing and testing but here is the list of current changes pending the release of build 1.44
3) [Balance] Make valves slot output doubled to 2
4) [Balance] Make engine blocks slot output doubled to 2
5) [Balance] Make hood slot output doubled to 2
6) [Balance] Make horn slot output doubled to 2
7) [Balance] Make trunk slot output doubled to 2
8) [Balance] Make window slot output doubled to 2, plus process time increased from 1800 to 5200
9) [Balance] Make steering wheel slot output doubled to , plus process time increased from 2100 to 6000
10) [Balance] Make airbag process time reduced to 14000 (from 21,500).
11) [Balance] Sodium Azide resource cost reduced from 300 to 220.
12) [Balance] Make steel sheet slot output doubled to 2 process time increased from 1600 to 3000
13) [Balance] Make sensor slot output reduced from 6 to 4.
14) [Balance] Make aircon slot process time reduced from 22000 to 14000.
15) [Balance] Make panoramic sunroof steel requirements reduced from 2 to 1.
16) [Balance] Make axle slot output doubled, process time increased and construction cost increased
17) [Balance] Make headlights slot output doubled.
18) [Balance] Make Xenon Headlights upgrade extra process time increased from 600 to 3,200.
19) [Balance] Make Alloy wheels upgrade now has higher power and speed penalties.
20) [Balance] Reduced the time penalty for the make heated steering wheel upgrade.
21) [Balance] Make powertrain slot process time reduced from 7200 to 5200.
22) [Balance] Make wheels slot construction cost increased from 36125 to 54900, process time increased from 1,060 to 2,300.