Scalability Issues and UI Changes with Slot Dialog

After playing for a few days and watching Cliffski’s Video Blogs, I thought about the Slot Assembly dialog and some issues with the current UI. I know Cliffski has a update fix for the stockpile but I can see if the number of car options continues to grow especially with all of the gear ideas on the BB and Steam will once again cause issues.

The current dialog has 2 tabs. One for Efficiency and the other for Upgrades. What took me a while was the Upgrades tab has both efficiency upgrades for the assembly slot and car upgrades. Mu suggestion is to separate the efficiency upgrades from the car upgrades. My suggestion is to call the car upgrades components.

I think Cliffski is on the right track with the Wing Mirrors. Most car components are assembled together and then brought to the car to be added to the car. A car door is completely assembled together before it is put on the car. This includes the door frame, window, power locks, power windows, and internal plastic or leather cover. The user should be able to select which parts are needed to make the door and name it like the car models. For example the user could choose the default basic door which includes steel door frame, standard locks, basic window. The user then can define a door with central locks, remote entry, power windows, tinted windows, chrome handles, and leather interior as their combination. The component assembly will assemble the door from the parts and send it to the Fit Door slot so its ready to put on the car. So how to deal with the different user combinations. One part would be the Components tab would show all the user created door components. The user can select up to 4 of them. This way the 16-slot stockpile will stock exactly 4 doors of the selected component configuration.

This leads to the next issue which is how do you make sure the correct model gets the correct door. An additional tab is added called Routing. The routing tab has all of the user defined models. The user can select the models that they want the selected door components would be installed. The game already knows what kind of car (Sedan Basic). It knows which current slot is is located (Fit Roof). It searches for the next available slot and makes sure it the right type (Fit Door). Could the code be modified to check that next Fit Door slot Routing data and check to see if it contains the same model as the car? This make the conveyor system a bit smarter and allows for the user to have more flexibility in their setup. The default would be “all models” so it then would work the same as now.

The component assembly (make door, make dashboard) should be done on a separate line and not right at the car assembly. A suggestion here would be have 3 sizes of part manufacturing, small medium, and large. Depending on the part, it would be built at the corresponding part manufacturing slot. Door frame is at a large, window at a medium, and a speaker at a small. All the parts would be sent to a large component assembly to be put together. Here you can have up to 16 different parts make a single component. A dashboard instrument panel could be made at a small or medium component assembly. The user can make chains of part and component assembly to have complex car components. Adding a new option such as tinted windows for doors the user just adds a new component assembly and either import or make the parts.

Thanks Cliffski for making a great game and keep up the great work.

I agree.

The problem is; Cliffski stated multiple times he doesn’t want to make things to deep or complicated for the sake of new players. I totally feel the same need for some complexity. For me it feels like unlocking (research/technology) is the main goal. You can’t without it, and with some (or all) reasearch is done, the problems begin without a tool or something to deal with those problems. The main focus of the game shifted. Your not managing a production LINE, your producing a product. And all of that; As simple as possible…

I agree that the interface should not be over complicated. I was suggesting ways to add some enhancement to the game without changing too much from where it is now and actually simplify some parts that I found a bit confusing when I first played the game. It appears that the future build Cliffski made each wing mirror its own resource which is similar to my user defined suggestion above. Instead of having user defined components, the Components tab would show all unlocked components that slot can install.

I also spent some time going though some of the past Developer Video Blogs. I saw one from April where Cliffski showed a assembly of a power train. I think this mechanic is good for the game. I think that same process can be applied to several other installation processes.

Wing Mirrors:
Manufacturer Wing Mirror just makes a simple standard wing mirror

Assemble Wing Mirror:
Add resources: Mounting Joint and Standard Wing Mirror results in Folding Wing Mirror
Add resources: Electric Heater and Standard Wing Mirror results in Heated Wing Mirror
Add resources: Servo with Mounting Joint and Standard Wing Mirror results in Electric Folding Wing Mirror
Add resources: Mounting Joint, Electric Heater and Standard Wing Mirror results in Heated Folding Wing Mirror
Add resources: Servo, Mounting Joint, Electric Heater, and and Standard Wing Mirror results in Electric Heated Folding Wing Mirror

You can also add Blind Spot Monitoring and wing mirror signals for even more combinations.

Each combination depends on having the combination researched through the tech tree.

Other Possible Areas where you can add manufacturing of components can occur off of the main assembly line:

Manufacture Seats:
Manufacture seat (This only manufactures seat frame)

Assemble Seats:
Uses resources: Cloth, Leather, Nappa Leather, Servo, Electric Heater, Seat Frame
Allows for combinations of powered, heated or heated powered seats in the 3 different types of material.

Manufacture Steering Wheels
Builds standard Steering Wheel just like now.

Assembly Steering Wheel:
Uses resources: Steering Wheel, Driver Side Air Bag, Electric Heater, Power Steering, Steering Assist, Driver Wheel Controls (proposed), Paddle Shifters (proposed)
Allows for several possible steering wheel combinations using the above parts

Manufacture Dashboard:
Makes a standard plastic or leather dashboard

Assembly Dash Board:
Uses resources: Standard Dashboard, Leather Dashboard, Instrument Panel, Heater (should be heater and duct system), Passenger Airbag, Touchscreen Interface
Allows for the many combinations of these parts.

Manufacture Door Panels:
Makes a Door Frame

Assembly Door Panel:
Uses resources: Door Frame, Plastic Interior Panel, Leather Interior Panel, servo (Central Locks), sensor (Open Door Sensor/Security Alarm), speaker
Results in all possible door combinations

The idea is to add complexity if the player wants to go in that direction. If a player makes a basic car or a car with some easy components like the heater then they can be resources and imported at a heavy price. Like other game play elements in the game, to improve efficiency the player has to make more complex manufacturing and assembly lines.

Games that usually do very well and stay around for a while are ones that are simple to play but are difficult to master. The hardest thing that a developer has is to find the right balance. I want to say that Cliffski is a very talented developer with many years of experience and it really shows in this game.