So you may or may not know that the current development roadmap shows that the next big update will include the ability to manufacture battery packs for electric cars.
If you have got far enough in the game, you have already started making electric cars, and fitting standard, or large battery packs to them instead of fuel tanks at the ‘fit fuel tanks’ slot. Until now, you always had to import those battery packs, rather than making them in-house. This is about to change, and while I’m still working on it, I thought it made sense to describe the process and details and ask for feedback.
Currently the system is in-game and working in my debug version, but the artwork is not done, so although I can combine resources into batteries, modules, and final packs, none of the artwork looks right, and I’m re-using existing artwork for now:
The resource flow is as follows:
The current small and large battery packs are made up of chips + battery modules. The chips are the current existing resource, the modules are a new one. You can simply buy in modules, and assemble them into battery packs if you like, once you have researched the tech to manufacture car batteries (both large and small).
The current resource imports are:
Make small battery: 1 chip plus 2 battery modules
Make large battery: 1 chip plus 3 battery modules
Battery modules are also something you can research the manufacture of. They are made simply by combining 2 battery cells. Battery cells are a new resource, and effectively represent a big box of small batteries, similar in size to the ones you put in remote controls or whatever. In a real-world battery module, there would be thousands of battery cells, but obviously having anything in the game requiring 1,000 imports would cause mayhem, so its assumed we deal with them ‘in bulk’.
Make battery module: 2 battery cells.
Finally, at the real low-end, you can manufacture the actual battery cells themselves. This is another researchable tech, and to make these requires combining 3 entirely new resources: lithium, cobalt and nickel. So we have this:
Make battery cell: 3 lithium plus 1 nickel plus 1 cobalt.
Obviously the real world recipe is different, but we need to make it work in the game, and again, we do not specify how much each ‘item’ is in terms of actual weight. Nickel, Cobalt and Lithium are new raw-resources that obviously cannot be manufactured in game and have to be imported. (Maybe ‘gratuitous lithium mining’ will be our next game? :D)
Eventually I will have artwork for new battery-assembly machines and robots, which will make things look suitably cool, but I’d like to get feedback on how this works before that happens. I’m interested to hear peoples thoughts on this. I know some people are running out of space in the factories, so expect support for bigger factories soon