First Couple Hours

Hey there!

This game definitely has potential, and I’m already having quite a bit of fun with it. I keep waiting for the theme to ‘How It’s Made’ to start playing while watching all the parts zip around on conveyors.

Most of the bugs and nags I’ve ran into are things people have noted elsewhere, but I’ll just list them here in case they got missed or I misread:
1) Conveyor Belts deleting some stations.
2) Getting conveyor belts to join and point the right directions. (#1 makes this even more perilous)
3) Certain stations overstocking on certain parts, such as axles at the Chassis station or lamps at the Accessories.
4) Part conveyors don’t draw from new importers when switched from one to another.
5) Stations import more parts than they have room for, and just end up… losing them? I’m not sure what happens. See it most with the valves at the Engine station.
6) Hitting escape or the home button bringing you back to the main menu and losing your entire game. I just lost my best game yet this way. An autosave would help with this, too.
7 Can’t expand or collapse sections in the Slot Selector that you can’t afford.

A few things that I don’t think have been mentioned or were only mentioned in passing that I’d like to chime in on:
A) It would be nice to be able to turn stations on and off, if you want to let a bottleneck clear, or let an area empty out so you can delete and rebuild part of your line without deleting a ton of cars (that I assume you paid for parts of already).
B)A way to list which parts and how many of each that a station needs for each car. It’d be much easier to plan stockpiles this way.
C) It’s probably too early to talk about balance, but things feel a bit stilted at the moment. I’ve only played the map that starts you with $900k, so maybe it’s different for other starts, but I feel like that’s only enough money to either build really tight (and make it enormously costly to upgrade the line later due to how much you need to rearrange to make room) and have a cushion, or build loose to give yourself room, but nearly be bankrupt by the time you have part and car conveyors in place, since you have so much more ground to cover.
Either route, you go through a stretch where, until you get Body, Paint, and Engine, broken out into separate steps, you’re spending most of your time in the fastest speed waiting to get enough money to implement upgrades while leaving yourself enough of a cushion to not go bankrupt if conveyors were pricier than you thought or until production catches up. I’m not saying “oh, just give us a bunch more money,” but it does make the early game a bit tedious.
D) It would be neat to get an idea of how much money making each car cost you. As it stands, I know you can check revenue from your cars, and the breakdown of your expenditures, but I would like to know how much all the car’s parts total cost you at least, if not also get an idea for some of the other costs involved, or how much time it took to get the car from Chassis station to Export. It’d make pricing the cars feel a bit more informed, as well as let you better appreciate the gains you’ve made by, say, making your line more efficient, or by starting to produce your own parts.
E) Do part costs fluctuate randomly right now, or do you have any impact on it? I know the business side of the game will come later, but I’m just curious what you have in mind down the road? Also, will there be competitors?
F) I streamed this game for a couple hours on Twitch (of course, with a note stating the game’s in alpha, don’t judge it as finished yet!) but Twitch doesn’t recognize it as an official game/activity yet, so it’s much harder for people who want to take a look to find it. As it stands, searching Production Line brings up what looks to be a bunch of Factorio videos. I’m not sure how Twitch builds its list, but getting it on there sooner than later couldn’t hurt.

Sorry for rambling, but I am pretty excited about this game and can’t wait to see what it’ll become further down the road! As much enjoyment as I’ve gotten out of Big Pharma, I have a feeling this will be a delight as well.

Oh, and…

G) Will there be a way to rotate the camera?

Oh geez, okay, a fair number of these things were fixed in 1.01. I thought I already had it, but it turns out I downloaded the game less than an hour before the update was pushed out.

After playing some v1.01, while a lot of problems were fixed, one major one still stands out. Stations are still really silly about importing resources. My Fit Body station is having to import parts as needed because it has 10 rear bumpers and 4 front bumpers in its stock. Once it got down to 2 rear bumpers, it ordered 8 more.

My Fit Engine station just ordered 19 valves to go with the 5 it has in stock, which would bring it to three sets of eight total. There are only six free slots in its stock right now. The next cycle, it had 5 in stock, and it ordered 19 again. There were only two empty slots when they arrived, but more emptied as the parts came in since it was working on a car, so the valves filled every slot that would open up, until 12 of the 16 slots were valves by the end.

The Paint station just brought in 11 cans of paint to replace 3 vacancies in its stock, it seems to be bringing in 11 each time.

Dang, I really thought I’d fixed all that. I shall dig deeper.