Blog post on the financial model


#1

Very interested to hear peoples thoughts on future improvements to the sales model:

positech.co.uk/cliffsblog/2017/0 … ial-model/

plus here is my latest thinking (from a steam forum)


#2

A possible end-game option could be ‘Made To Order’ (MTO), where you have customers that custom order a car with their preferred options, based on your available tech and the models you have chosen to produce. ‘Made To Order’ might be a research of it’s own, that changes the way you create car models, where you set a bunch of features as standard, and then choose what features are optional extras.

For example you can have a Luxury Sedan model that has a fairly luxurious basic loadout, but with some even more expensive options available for MTO, for instance metallic paint, high performance engines, panoramic sun roof instead of regular sun roof, LED lights instead of Xenon, lane control etc. These options require more flexibility from your production line, since different options take different amounts of time to install - potentially messing up your timings. It also means you need good throughput in your factory - your customer will expect your car delivered within a reasonable amount of time, and if it’s late they’ll demand a discount. If it’s very delayed you’ll miss out on a guaranteed sale and will have to send the car to the showroom.

MTO cars don’t necessarily need to be made from scratch. If you already have a partially constructed car that fits the requirements (and is on a production line where it can get the required features installed) when you receive an order then that car will be reserved for that order. It would also get an icon that showed that it is being made to order, and when clicking on it you can see which features will be installed, and when it is due for delivery.
Potentially, you could also set up a branching production line that diverts the MTO cars off the main line to a more flexible line that installs the extra features to avoid clogging the main line before merging back in to get standard parts installed. Having prioritized conveyor intersections would make this more feasible, to fast-track MTO cars back into the main production line.


#3

I’d suggest putting your shoppers into different categories.

For instance, ones who just need a starter car, and have a low budget, ones who are looking for bleeding edge features, ones who are looking for comfort and reliability, ones who want safety… This would let you branch into different markets; a car company that only makes hot hatches and sports cars, or ones that are safe minivans, etcetera.

As far as GUI to show that, there’s a game I played forever ago, wish I remember what it was, that would display the product desirability as a percentage chance for the given group to buy one of those over the others. I don’t know if other car companies are modeled yet like Big Pharma, but assuming three other companies, you’d want your car to be at above a 25% (which would be even odds of them picking from anyone).


#4

Are you talking about automation: The car company tycoon game.
When you build a car you can see in what market segment that car is desirable in and in what market segments it’s not. Like building a simple car will make it desirable in the family market, but when you increase the engine size, you will lower it, but the market for sport cars will be more desirable.
That window looks like this:


#5

It would be nice to see where on the scale from cheap to luxury your are.

I made an example in PS:


Scale, color etc can of course be changed. This is only a quick example of how it could look.


#6

It had nothing to do with cars. For some reason I want to say it was pizza…


#7

I will definitely be modelling customers once this first stage of the changes go in. I want to be able to model the numbers of them accurately, as I can then tie it into the implementation of marketing in the game, as I would love the option to buy advertising that directly targeted cheap or luxury customers for example, and it would also be good to track brand perceptions.


#8

I think a lot of the design choices you make for the financial model depend on how realistic vs “gamey” you want the final version of the game to be. Someone on steam pointed out the perceived value of quality and how that plays into a brand and how a car sells. But there are actual qualities that people expect on a luxury car that they wouldn’t expect on a standard car. For instance the interior should have nicer and higher quality materials and you’d expect wood inlays to be there. You also expect that the car should just seem to have a higher quality finish to it and that everything should just feel more solidly put together. That is part of where the mark-up in price comes from when you jump to luxury models over standard cars.

For instance, VW and Audi are owned by the same parent corporation (Volkswagen Group) so there are similar chassis that are shared between the two. The VW Golf (I’m American so I’m not sure of the Golf is the standard name in other parts of the world) and Audi A3 are the same basic underlying chassis and they also will share some of the same engines. You can get a lot of the same features on both cars but you would expect the Audi to have a better quality interior. So a base A3 might have a few less features than a fully loaded Golf and still cost more because the fit and finish of the car should be superior. In order to accurately model things like a luxury segment you’d have to add some sort of option for what kind of materials are used and I would figure things would take a little longer to put together because you would usually expect greater quality control and additional processes that the car would go through.

That could also trickle down and your economy cars would use the cheapest and simplest of procedures and as you add procedures and higher quality materials that will push the value of the car up into the next class of car. Similar things have happened with the South Korean brands (Kia and Hyundai) here in the states. Those brands used to be seen as the cheap discount cars and the interiors and finish were usually of not great quality. They have improved quite a bit in the last couple decades to be up to the same standards of the American and Japanese brands that tended to dominate the marketplace here.

Lastly, since I’ve already got this going, something you need to probably address is an issue that pops up when certain techs become universal. In my newest game the sun roof became universal so every car was expected to have one. You can only choose between sun roof and panoramic sun roof, so the cars with a panoramic sunroof will still taking the “missing of a universal feature” penalty because the game views them as two different items. So if you start adding other features where you can only select one option you shouldn’t get punished for offering a superior option.


#9

Got the same thing happening, getting a $-250 market value because i have an panoramic sun roof.


#10

So in 1.25, I’ve been able to Diversify a bit. Still can not sell a Luxury Model. But I got the rest going. ( I did have some available earlier, and in the green for Luxury, but 100 percent saying its too expensive… I have been dropping the price, now I’m in the 80-90k range, still not selling fully loaded. But I like this new Layout.



#11

Same game Later. Still no Lux. I have them all available :slight_smile: I just really like this new layout. Biggest Market share I have had was 24 percent once.



#12

I’m aware of the sun roof bug and am looking into the neatest way to fix that whilst still allowing ‘some sort of’ sunroof to become ubiquitous.

Glad people like the new layout. Luxury cars WILL be possible in the future. there are a lot of high end things that are not in the game yet such as:

Cabin/footwell lighting
motorised and auto-folding wingmirrors
high-quality leather interior
sporty seats
leather steering wheel
High-end hi-fi and multiple speakers.
Trip-computer

I hope to have a bunch of those go in once we have made a start on marketing, and have the basic structure of that feature in the game.


#13

Ah, that makes a lot of sense. I’ve been wondering why I needed something like 300% premium pricing on a car with all the features in the game to be in the $100k Luxury category when I’m already struggling trying to sell cars in the Expensive category :smiley:


#14

There is a bunch of stuff that will go in to the game in a month or two, such as high end ‘nappa’ leather for the luxury cars, speakers etc, with hilarious mark-ups. Plus once we have marketing and quality control in the game it will be easier to justify those luxury markups :smiley:


#15

Lets not forget “Rich Corinthian Leather”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfKHBB4vt4c


#16

thats epic :smiley: we should make celebrity endorsements a researchable thing :smiley: