Rejigging financial model (AGAIN!) hmmmm


#1

So, I hate the way the current model works, and I just re-jigged it to completely remove this dumb idea of the market value of components automatically falling over time, and completely remove the even dumber idea of a ‘basic price’ which quickly becomes irrelevant.
The ‘prices’ tab for features on the financial screen is now gone, and I just experimented by changing the car design screen to look like this:


With this design, the market price is constantly tracked by your sales team (this is the price that the competitors are selling at basically), and they automatically match that price unless you set a deliberate premium or a discount. If you want to shift cars NOW, you set a discount, if you want to squeeze out higher margins, you can set a premium.

There is still this concept (although its not coded properly yet), that if you are ‘first to market’ with a new feature, like aircon, then you get to charge a premium for it. This is indicated in the screen above by ‘Availability’.

So when you research a new feature, you would have to go here, check the feature, and set an appropriate premium for it. Then periodically you need to keep an eye on what features have become common and thus you need to ditch your premium.

What do you think of this?

Other things that will go in later:

  • Actual code that calculates if you have researched ahead of the competition and thus marks the feature correctly as innovative, unusual or common.
  • A marketing system that lets you develop a ‘brand value’ for your car which allows you to set a premium with no ill effects.
  • A quality bonus from decent QA and low defects that has a similar impact.
  • Notification of random world events such as ‘competitor rolls out new automatic headlights’ to announce them becoming common.
  • A penalty to cars shipping without ‘universal’ features as they become widespread, such as central locking.

Obviously no system is perfect, but given what a mess the existing system is, tell me this sounds better to you? :smiley:


#2

Hey Cliff,

I reckon this is a much better way to set car prices than before. Basing it on what other companies are making rather than it just degrading overtime. This will also help mid to late game so that a standard car doesn’t cost virtually nothing to buy and your making almost nothing off it.

may you add however a way for us to see what the competitors are making, that way you can choose to work towards adding either a feature that hasn’t been made yet or adding a feature that has and pricing it accordingly.

I also remember you saying about adding a quality stat to everything too. Wen you decide to put this in, I recommend taking a look at Software Inc. as this has a good way of working out whether the quality outwaits the price and other competitors.


#3

Looks more realistic… and less fiddly too. :smiley:

Slowly it is getting more similar to the market model I suggested several weeks ago… :stuck_out_tongue:

Would be nice to know how many “competitors” are selling a specific feature (for each car model) to help understand why the market value is as it is (which could also be visualized as something like a graph per feature, or just a raw number as "Competitors: ")… because otherwise people might not understand why the market value eventually dropped to a certain value. (Reason: The popup of notifying the player whenever an AI competitor starts to sell the same feature might get annoying over time so people might just click it away because of how there are many features and multiple competitors = gets annoying like the model popup whenever you exported a new build from earlier builds)

An in-game explanation (like a tooltip or so) that the the market value is adjusted automatically to match the competition unless you specifically tell otherwise would also be nice to have.

I’m also looking forward to the quality stat already… probably it should be a value within 0-100% for each component/feature… with each quality for each feature/component influencing the price individually depending on if the competitors sell the same feature with better/lower quality…

The quality might not have to start with 0%… but may be something like 30 or 40% as well… because otherwise no car will sell if they all break down after leaving export. :smiley:

The value would then be raised by QA stations located next to the Slots and maybe also through flat increases thanks to global research?


#4

I definitely want to introduce a proper ‘competitor’ GUI that will show what they are up to, and it would be nice to be able to hover over a feature, and although you can see its ‘common’ you would then also see how many of your competitors have also unlocked that feature. It would be good to be able to see what they have unlocked that you haven’t as well.

I want to hold off on both quality and marketing until I have time to do them justice. right now it seems like player priorities are new car bodies and tutorial, so I’m going to make sure those two work, along with a workable (if not completely thorough) financial model before I start properly modelling competitors.

With that in mind, I suspect 1.15 will ship with all features being ‘common’ and that will likely get fleshed out later, so in a sense its practically placeholder GUI now to allow individual feature price adjustment.


#5

I really hate that ‘market value’ falls VERY quickly below the actual cost of the component. Was going to post about this but you beat me to it cliff!

I have over 200 cars in stock because my 5% premium is just to much I guess.


#6

How to change from manual pricing back to automatic pricing?
Will there be a chance to run at automatic pricing and to define a minimum price so the limit would ensure to earn money in any case while automatic pricing would allow to make additional margin if suitable by the market?

Does this mean that (viewed from the other side) you will have to build in upgrades that are ‘Standard’ or ‘Must have’ (below common) to get a good price/high sell quantity or - in case you can’t/don’t want to build in such upgrades - can be sold only with a huge discount?
Will it be possible to see the availability of a feature even if it’s not in use (either not upgraded the production line or locked reseach project) so you can get a feeling for the market and focus on the research of ‘not available’ (higher than ‘first to market’) to maximize the profit?

Some further ideas of markets and pricing can be found here.

Besause there are a lot of tycoon games related to selling cars I’m not sure if there is a need for such a detailed market simulation.
For me it would be good enough if all cars will be sold no matter what kind/features/quantity but for a fixed price. But hey, different people have different demands …


#7

One thing to keep in mind is that advertising will adjust the perception of worth, so having an Advertising/Marketing system that balances the duration of profitability would be nice.

If you’re just starting, you want the lines you’ve set up to make money as quickly as possible so you can upgrade, so your marketing is going to push for shorter cycles of profitability because your products are going to be replaced as soon as you buy the new upgrade.

Once you have a good amount of new upgrades, you start looking at churning out cars like sausages, faster lines, shorter waits, saturating the market. You want to make the people who didn’t want in at the front, want to buy in the middle. Your lines aren’t the swankest, some things could be upgraded or shifted around to move bottlenecks, but you’re putting cars on the market that are pretty darn good and at a fast clip. Your marketing starts focusing on stabilizing price, keeping the money coming in but with the expectation that the cars you’re putting out are going to be the ones you put out until you can afford or come up with the lines to do it. This is about the time when you’re making multiple lines with multiple distribution exit points, forking your lines around bottlenecks because the next upgrades or the substeps are taking forever to research.

Then when you’re at the point where you’ve got all the bits and bobs, everything researched and your lines are moving as fast as parts can get into them, you lower your price to around cost + moderate vig. Your advertising is more vestigial at this point, your costs aren’t going up or down, you’re pretty much at the point where going lower is going to be selling at a loss.