I know on one of the dev blogs retooling was mentioned with the idea of a delay when changing between models. I’ve been thinking about this in relation to this being a game and am trying to come up with some suggestions. Lots of smart people here so I’m throwing it out for discussion. My thoughts so far…
The early game almost requires a single line so penalties at this time could be overly harsh. Typically you are importing all your parts from suppliers. I’ve removed the robots from the equation based on the assumption they can store multiple programs for multiple models which could be switched at will. Where I see delays coming would be body panels, windows & windscreen and other supply parts. A small delay to clear storage and refill seems reasonable. The current “purge unused items” system may provide a good solution out of the box.
Where I see an opportunity to add the delay would be in manufacturing. If you are building your own body panels you would have a couple of choices. One being you build separate manufacturing slot for each car body design. The other is to have a retool time penalty (fairly harsh) to move production to another body design.
To make this more sensible I would suggest an inventory system rather than an import/local option as now exists. The inventory could be very simply modeled (I know - Cliff is rolling his eyes at this point :^)). Any manufactured items incur their cost when made. They then go in to inventory. The inventory only needs to track manufactured parts. When an item request is generated by a slot it pulls from inventory first then outside source second. If it is in inventory no cost is incurred at that time. If it is outsourced then the cost is incurred then at current supply price. This would remove the current Any/Prefer Local/Import Only choice which always seems odd to me. If I can make it cheaper then use mine but if I can’t make enough then buy it. The suppliers would most likely bump up “your” pricing if you replaced them with in house manufacturing.
The production lines could be more reasonable. If I was a car manufacturer I don’t think I’d be molding tires right next to my body fit slot because I could have a more direct conveyor setup. I’d have my manufacturing in a separate area, or location.
Eager to hear other ideas.