Thoughts on alpha 1.44

I spent most of the morning playing with the new alpha. The game is really coming together well. I just had a few thoughts I wanted to submit while it’s still fresh in my mind.

One thing that was a bit confusing was how features are color coded in relation to how common the part is. I understand the color codes but the colors do not change dynamically based on the price of the car. For example I was making too many midrange compact cars and wanted to make a budget version and split my production between the two. In the car designer I created a similar car and started stripping features. The problem was I wasn’t sure what was universal or common for a budget car even after I go the price down to budget. The colors don’t change dynamically, instead you have to close and reopen the window. If dynamic changes would be problematic maybe have a toggle that lets us select which price range features we want to see.

Once you design all the models of cars, or just the ones you want, the design center seems rather pointless. Maybe we could add a way to research improvements on an existing design. So, for example, I could set my guys to research sedan again. Maybe have 10-100-infinite levels you can apply to a design. You cold even have separate ratings so, for example, a safety category, reliability category, Style category. Performance All the things real cars tend to get rated and graded on. You could then apply these rating to the cars to increase their value to the costumer and maybe even win these awards especially if you decide to run with the next topic.

Real car companies don’t really upgrade on the flyt the way we do here. Instead they have their yearly models. All their designs and features goes into next years model. Now we don’t have years here but perhaps we could go by day. Whenever we make changes to our cars it will be applied to next years model. This moistly came to my attention when I noticed I had a bunch of cars sitting in my showroom that were “missing” features. The problem was I had simply changed the designed after that car had already passed that point. My thought was it was just last years model but my sales guys were still trying to sell it at the expensive price. The concept behind having a “yearly” model would allow us to more acuratly simulate a real car company, Provide a means for us to move older model cars easier at a discounted price to customers, and if implemented with the previous idea introduce teh idea of quality decay. WE would need to constantly research our quality points in order to consistently reahch safety, performance, etc goals.

I like the changes you have made to having producing our own parts a more viable option but it seems inconsistent. For example some of the parts, like headlights, can require 3 to 4 parts to make just 2. That isn’t really helping the import situation. Also things like windows,door panels, wheels, brakes, and ties produce VERY slowly in relation to the massive number of those items you need for each process.

I think that’s about all I had for now. I liked the idea of doing quality rework and so forth. It will be interesting to see how that works out. One other thought Ill leave with you is real cars use a lot of plastic parts. I work in a company that makes car parts and stuff like the dashboards, inside panels, Spoilers, parts of the headliners are all made from plastics and made using molding machines. It would probably be difficult to jury rig some of that in now so I’m not really suggesting it as a feature but it might be interesting if you wanted to try and fit plastics in somehow.

EDIT: One last thing. I get a CTD error whenever I quit the game. Not really troublesome as I’m quitting the game anyway but there is something strange going on on my computer whenever I quit out. Figured I should say something in case it’s important.

This is the start of an interesting idea, but I don’t like it’s implementation as it falls into the “filling buckets” type of bland gameplay dynamic. To make it feel more in line with the game as it is now, there could be a second tier that is very costly to reduce weight for each component. So each car would have an initial fuel efficiency that people would consider when buying a vehicle. Thus your SUV and pickup are going to be way less fuel efficient than the sedan. So the next tier of research is to cut the weight of each component. This won’t reduce cost and might even increase cost, but it will increase mpg or kpl. Along these lines I’d also increase the cost of hybrid engines and full electric cars so these options fit.