Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

First Production Line video!

I didn’t give away too much about how Production Line (my car-factory sim) was going to look or feel when I announced it recently, but here today is the first video of the game being ‘played’ with my cynical face yabbering about it in the corner, like the kids expect these days. Without further ado, here is the legendary video:

My original plan was to get video out there, and talking about the game earlier than this, but even so, this is MUCH earlier in the development of a game than ever before for me to show the state of something. The R&D screen is clearly total placeholder, and 90% of the business side/marketing/tycoon style stuff isn’t even started yet. What we basically have is an isometric engine with car production lines being laid out and managed. That part of the game is obviously key, but what I will be building in the coming months will be ‘biz’ side stuff, such as marketing, pricing, AI competitors and so-on, and feedback there will be vital.

Also, at this point there is a lot of room for feedback on the GUI for the actual factory-floor view. This is very minimalist right now. Essentially I am after feedback on everything by everyone. No specific questions for this first video, other than a ‘how does this look to you’ kind of thing. All comments are read :D

13 thoughts on First Production Line video!

  1. Hey cliff.
    Looking very interesting already. Looking forward to more videos of the progress.
    I do have one question not related to the game itself, if I’m not mistaked this is your first “isometric” game right? Are you finding it much harder/equal to code/produce when compared to the others, due to the perspective?


    1. It doesn’t make much difference in raw art costs, because the art is modelled in 3D then just rendered out as isometric images, so it wouldn’t be any cheaper to do in 3D. The extra hassle is just that you ned to write cunning compression stuff to minimize graphics usage, because you can run out of texture memory really quickly :D

  2. Looks very promising! Will it be possible to design different types of cars like sports cars, SUVs etc?

  3. The whole factory layout thing looks fine, but I’m more interested in the design of different car models from a range of components. If you manufacture your own parts, you should have to deal with waste from excess material; and in general with chemical waste, packaging, co2 etc. I’m thinking of the heaps of scrap from cnc-ing a single tiny part.
    Also, there should be differences in reliability and efficiency in different parts and you should have to adhere to standards and regulations.
    I think it would be silly if cars simply vanished into nothingness after rolling off the production line. I guess, today cars are manufactured in anticipation of demand, and sometimes stored by the thousands, before being sold.

    1. I only know my own experience, but it seems that most middle to high end cars are actually now built to order, with the specific combinations of features each buyer has requested (and color). it may be different for cars at the lower end with higher sales.

  4. Hello, this is looking nice so far.

    In the end, will the little dudes be there only to decorate the machines, as they are in Big Pharma, or will you have to manage their employment, their assignments to machines/departments and stuff?

    Good luck with the game,

  5. Looks very promising, congrats Cliff!

    Are you spiritually linking this game to missed attempt ‘Car Tycoon’ was? I tried so much convincing this game was not bugged as hell to keep trying playing it longer and longer at the time… but eventually I ended-up frustrated as hell, proportional to the time burnt in the attempts.

    I see Big Pharma has been very inspirational. Inputs/outputs, conveyors, naming a product made of a new set of ingredients at output time… Tim must be proud! Or angry :oD (but he does not seem to be this sort of chap)

    I suppose multiple buidings are coming? You could then add cross-sharing by linking I/Os (and ending-up having an ‘in-house items production’ sub-line building feeding multiple ‘main production’ line buildings).

    Will resources be triaged automatically (maybe adding resource priorities, but not much), or will there be some way to fine-tune it by being able to set-up directions (one-ways), branch priorities (maybe specific rules for each resource on each branch). How does it behave in case of a loop?

    Will you be able to move existing lines or will you be forced to sell/buy them again? Corollary, will there be different levels for chains (speed, ability to install enhanced resources/sub-products, efficiency with more and/or improved robots/workers)?

    So much questions… and I probably am overlooking the simplest ones.

    In any way: Good luck!

    1. the prioritizing of resources at the input gates is deliberately something I am making *dumb* with the idea that you can research/build smart gates that will auto-prioritize based on which target slot needs the resource the most. Something else to research :D

  6. That looks pretty cool so far. I’ve only played games in the Tropico series but that’s kind of what this video of Production Line reminded me of but instead of building a city you’re building a car factory. Pretty awesome. I don’t think anyone has ever done a game involving the actual building of cars. I think I’d enjoy it.

  7. Looks good so far. I like the level of detail you can drill down to in the process.

    Did you think about doing a full 3D game but lock the camera in the isometric view? Wouldn’t that allow you to do the screen rotation easier?

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