Right now at the beginning of the game you get 5 major production stations (Chasis, Body, engine, paint, accessories). And research lets you break these into a variety of sub tasks. Some of the research options give you all the new stations all at once (Paint for example) while some require additional research to continue breaking the stations down into separate components (Body fit and Chassis).
I am suggesting a change to this. There is a big research area called “Station specialization” Each time you complete “Station Specialization” you take one of the stations you have and can break it into two stations and you pick which tasks go into each of the two new stations.
I’ll pick on Paint for example: Paint has four actions: Paint Under, Dry Under, Paint Finish, Dry Finish. This could be broken up three different ways:
- Paint Under -> Dry Under, Paint Finish, Dry Finish
- Paint Under, Dry Under -> Paint Finish, Dry Finish
- Paint Under, Dry Under, Paint Finish -> Dry Finish
There are some trade offs to each of these options: Utilization, Stock Control and Time in Station. You then layout your production line to account for these optimization choices you have made. Do you want to try to make all the stations have similar times in station or can you balance the production by having one fast station served by several slow stations (ala Paint Finish and Dry Finish).
The next time you research “Station specialization” You have the choice to further specialize one of the paint stations or two start breaking up one of the other stations into more manageable parts.
So the first couple of specialization choices can be a little odd ball trying to see if you can break up the stations so they all have similar production times or production times that have reasonable multipliers of other production times.
The intent is to make the player have to decide what parts of the line need to be broken down and specialized first, and how much specialization is required.
All of the “Produce your own parts” would be consolidated into a “Produce your own parts” research area with their own dependency trees (main body before trunk, hood and roof for example).