This is a great game, and for the first public release it is quite well advanced. I have just one feedback for the moment.
When we place machines we often remove them because we don’t need them for a moment or to move them around later. We lost half the value of the object each time. There is a costless technical solution often used in management games. It is a “place” (list gui) where objects are stored when the user remove an object and reused when the user place an object. Then the object is bought only if there is no such object in the list. Just add a button to sell the object from the list. And that it.
OR - You could just place them somewhere out of the way. No loss of money, but they’ll still occupy space on your factory floor forcing you to either expand, restructure production lines or sell equipment that you can’t fit anymore.
I don’t see any problem with the current system - But I would definitely want a confirmation popup before selling a machine. I have lost MANY machines due to a misclick when removing belts.
I did wonder about this when testing the game, but when you think about it, this is a real logistics problems for a real business. If you have some big bulky machinery that you don’t need for a few months, then yup… its going to cost you money, time and hassle to get those machines stored somewhere until they are used. I do find myself shuffling machines about quite a bit when upgrading production lines to get to the next level of cure, but I guess thats my own fault for being too tight-assed about expanding my factory
It’s fair that the machines would cost money to store somewhere, but I think that perhaps there’s a better way to do this in-game than filling up the weird spaces of your available production plants.
As suggested I think it would be neat if you could optionally store them instead of deleting them, and they vanished to a mysterious storage facility where you pay rent by whatever evaluation seems appropriate.
The tetris style minigame of shuffling around unused machines in floor space is not to me fun enough to justify its inclusion over a neat method.
edit: to those that mentioned moving them, that still costs you money because it’s floor space you could dedicate to producing profit making processes, ultimately it’s the same deal, but the UI solution seems more apt.
Actually no - It doesn’t “cost more money”, moving doesn’t cost anything. Yes it occupies part of your factory floor, but that is only a problem if you are horribly inefficient with your production lines to begin with.
I still consider it the better alternative to your suggestion of a “Bag of Holding” mechanic with a rent cost. It punishes you for being inefficient or inconsistent with your production line choices, and encourages you to do better in the future.
Almost all of my factory floors have enough room for at least 20-30 machines in the void between the lines - in every building.
Actually Mansen, what he is talking about is referred to as “opportunity cost”. It is theory you learn about in most economics classes. What he is trying to say is that you could have an assembly line costing $100 and providing $200 in revenue ($100 profit), OR you could place old machines in the space. As a result, the old machines are “costing you” $100 because you could have been making $100 profit, but you aren’t because the machines are blocking the spot where an assembly line would go.
I believe an invisible “warehouse” would be a good idea, so long as there was a cost to it. However, the cost would have to be based on “space”. For example, you could “rent” one warehouse for $3000 a month. The warehouse could hold X machines at a time. As a result, players would have to make the following decision:
Keep X machines in my factory because its cheaper than $3000?
Send X machines to warehouse because they are wasting so much space that I would be more profitable to pay the $3000 but have room for a new assembly line.
Sell X machines because they are in the way, but I also can’t afford the warehouse rental fee.
OR - You could use the machines you have stored around. OR buy more space to keep them in your factory that you already have. Your argument is also irrelevant because those 100$ you lost will still be lost because you are now leasing separate storage space for temporary holding of machines. And you’d have to buy a LOT of machines you don’t need to be able to turn any of those tiles into more production outright.
Machines and your factory floor are one time purchases - a storage yard/room/warehouse are not. I’m not against the idea “just because” - I just think being forced to think about your purchases and clever storage and re-structuring is much more interesting than another “Bag of Holding” for convenience.
The option of buying out extra factory floor space just to store machines doesn’t feel right. It basically feels like exploiting the game, rather than adding to the feeling of managing a company. That’s also often money you don’t have in a pinch. The argument for a bag of holding solution is that storage space should cost far less than buying an entire factory floor, and it should be an easier solution that you can opt for, at a certain cost. It’s a realistic part of factory management. The companies don’t store their own machines, for the reasons already talked about in the thread. You’d be using a storage specialist company, their daily or monthly rates would be far more favourable than putting down a lump sum on a factory which goes unused (because you’re not buying a storage warehouse just for yourself, they store it wherever its cost effective for them to store it, etc).
Again, just because something is in a game doesn’t mean the player has to use it. If they wanted to save some cash by shuffling around their machines in their warehouses, at the disadvantage of losing floor space, then they could do that. The luxury of it being a single player experience is that offering the player freedoms to play the game the way they want is only a boon, it doesn’t affect anyone else.
At any rate, you can’t anticipate every change that you’ll make to lines later on in the process. The best you’ll do is leaving space for doubling your output or for combining lines or something. Sure, future planning is a necessary part of playing the game, but that’s different from Big Pharma being a game like chess where machine purchases are so important they could cripple you if you buy one extra. If you go down that route you just force players into save scumming when they realise they dug themselves into a hole that no amount of factory floor tetris will dig them out of, and that doesn’t seem true to what Big Pharma is really. Currently, there are situations in the early game where you can’t afford to sell machines and don’t have anywhere to store them either. So all you can do is hit fast-forward and wait a year. Or, with this proposed solution, you could clear the space and actually be doing something productive/gameplay orientated.
I think the current system makes sense. If you want to respond to the market you need to have room to store any currently unused machine so you can swap out your machine lines. That makes for a balance with the playstyle of simply building the lines you want and leaving them operating regardless of market conditions.
I’d rather see a planning mode for building, you can still build as you can now, but when you enter planning mode you can place and remove machines and belts at no cost, then when you exit planning mode it buys everything at once. This also fixes one of my major annoyances, belts that don’t place right, I know they’re “just” a hundred bucks, but a T joint is 300, and when that T points the wrong way its another couple hundred to get it right.
Since many of you mention realism in business, no business just goes and builds a machine to see if it fits there then moves it if it doesnt, they hire engineers to plan out the design, and know exactly where they are going to put the machines before they spend a dime. Now, the downside to this is that you don’t see the results of upgrading an effect until you buy the machines and let them run, meaning there is still a bit of experimenting to be done, and just as in the real world you are taking a risk when you start a new production line.