Equipment breakdowns in Production Line


#1

Just posted: Designing equipment breakdowns as a game mechanic in Production Line:
https://www.positech.co.uk/cliffsblog/2018/07/12/equipment-breakdowns-in-production-line/
Feedback and suggestions most welcome :smiley:


#2

Hey, it’s been a while since I’ve been very active on here and with this new forum I’m still getting used to everything… It looks lovely but the interface is just so different I’m getting lost… anyway on to the defects.

So I’ve had a read through your post and actually I pretty much spot on agree with your to-do list at the end of the post. I don’t know how you considered making a cost around the repair of the stations but I’m presuming there’s going to be some sort of maintenance station to go on the map??

One think I was thinking of to try and make the duration something more complex would be to have repair stations that you have to place around the factory. The distance from the repair station to the slot is directly proportional to the time taken to repair the slot, and the number of repair stations on the whole map is inversely proportional to the time take to repair the slot. For example you have one maintenance station on the opposite side of the map to the broken slot it takes 20 seconds to repair the slot. You then get a breakdown next to the maintenance station and it takes 10 seconds. If you added more maintenance slots on the map then this again reduces the time but by a significantly smaller margin, say just 1 second rather than a whole 10 for the distance.

The only issue with this is I see it being quite difficult to implement so might not actually be a practical thing to look at but would definitely cause players to cleverly consider the location of the maintenance stations next to key areas and bottlenecks on the route. It would also add to players spending by adding multiple maintenance stations across the map to try and get quicker response and repair times.

If you use the maintenance station idea then your upgrade could be send staff for training to get them to speed up on the repairs of the stations.

Anyway moving on from that bit, I was also looking at your bit at the end where you’re considering something breaking at the start of the game. I think something like a 48hr period of no breakdown after a slot has been placed is probably a good call. This way it means you get a 2 day grace period with everything before it breaks.

Also last thing, have you thought about including failures on the conveyor or at smart junctions? This could potentially cause chaos on some peoples plants. I know for sure in most of my factories it would cause bedlam.

So I think that’s it for now but I’d be interested to see what everyone else thinks.


#3

Hi, If you are worried about early and late game regarding breakdowns, you can give a player the option to toggle the option on or off at the start of the game. Or alternatively have a linear breakdown formula that at the begining of slot placement is 1% chance of breaking down as as time goes on, it increases to 40%. Maybe forcing you to replace the equipment not just repair it. But in such a way that the gui pops up and asks do you wish to replace it with a new one? The slot fit engine is realy old it has a 40% chance of bering out of order in the next hour. Cost of maintaining is: 10000 cost of new is 123000 ‘YES’ ‘NO’ This would work if the cost of maintaining would go up over time. As for area of efect, currently I only place QA at the end and with a smart junction sort out defect and send them trough rework on a loop for as long as known defects are not resolved. It works like a charm so that should not be the case in breakdowns.


#4

Yup I do like the idea of having some measurement of how old a slot is factoring in to how likely it is to breakdown. I’m still undecided on whether to introduce a new placeable maintenance facility or not. The problem would be that if you had a breakdown before placing one, what do we do then? not allow repairs? I guess we could have a maximum repair time, and the presence of a nearby maintenance facility could reduce that time.


#5

Yes, I think a timer would be just ok. And if time runs out, then oh well… :smiley:


#6

The measurment and breakdown of equipment should not be linked to any repair station in a sense that if the player does not plop down a repair station before the breakdown, the only option is to demolish a slot and then replace it. If however, a player decides to plop down a repair station, the option comes up.


#7

An easy fix for this would be that breakdowns do not occur until 1000 vehicles have been sold.

I am liking the idea of breakdowns and certainly do agree with Delta041 that if there is no maintenance facility the player has to either replace the slot or pay a higher maintenance fee (for external maintenance)


#8

Breakdowns are a fact of live in a factory. However there are several types of breakdowns.

  1. Small failure like a robot or conveyor freezing up. These can usually be solved by making as small adjustment (removing a stray bold that blocked the movement) and pressing a reset button. These are usually short duration fault with most time needed for maintenance reaching the place as normal line workers are usually not authorized to reset the equipment. Would say 2 to 15 min range.
  2. Assembly problems: Parts not fitting together (or available but that is already implemented) making the assembly time longer.
  3. Real equipment breakdown: Meaning machinery needs major repair taking some serious time. Would say 15 to 2 hour range.

1 and 2 can happen at any point in the liftetime of a machine 3 gets more likely with age. but gets reset after repair or preventive maintenance.


#9

I actually quite like the idea of having different types of breakdown that cause a longer delay. For me it adds to the depth a bit.

In terms of where someone mentioned before about not having a maintenance slot and not being able to repair. Maybe in some form of tutorial for the game it teaches you to place a maintenance slot at the start of each level “as this is what you need to keep your factory running” That type of thing?? Not sure but I think that would make more sense. And if someone has a slot breakdown for the first time with no maintance slot then a popup to say “x slot just broke down but you have no maintenance crew to repair it. Place a Maintenance station now so that someone can get that machine going again” Or something to that effect.