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

Production Log Dev Blog#10 Level Editor and Upgrades/Font change

You may have thought I’d give myself a week off doing video blogs for Production Line, but you would be wrong. That line of thinking leads to failure, mediocrity and generally not succeeding, whereas doing it anyway is more in the tradition of Elon Musk and other stupidly ambitious people…so here we go.

To be fair, it is a day late. A lot of tiny things got fixed, mostly calculation bugsĀ  and GUI layout stuff. The whole GUI style is very much placeholder, but I’m deliberately prioritizing design and gameplay, the GUI can get some shizzle later. I think most Sim/Tycoon gamers are far more interested in mechanics and balance and features than they are in shiny stuff.

My big dilemma, (But I think I’m sorting it as I type), is to whether upgrades should be things that happen to existing slots, of stuff that unlocks *new* slots. I think a goods compromise is to do a bit of either, when it makes sense. For example ‘leather seats’ and ‘heated seats’ are definitely an upgrade to the existing ‘fit seats’ slot, whereas ‘satnav’ is more likely something that gets installed as a totally new thing in a dedicated slot. This might lead to some confusion on the part of the player, but as long as I explain that some research unlocks new upgrades, whereas others unlock new slots, that should be simple enough.

The big problem is do I allow the player to do stuff like ‘heated seats’ before they have unlocked the dedicated ‘fit seats’ sub-slot. I am thinking maybe no… you have to have broken down the production line at least as far as ‘fit seats’ before you can get the option to fit fancy ones…surely? What do you think?

4 thoughts on Production Log Dev Blog#10 Level Editor and Upgrades/Font change

  1. Hi Cliff

    Ive been following all the DevBlogs for the game so far and its looking promising (im a big pharma customer)

    Id like to see conditional conveyer control options – like the ability to say

    block cars without reversing cameras from going this way – you can build one fast single line which splits and merges again and can then split again later down the line all depending on the range of features your car might have

    also an ability to do ratio based redirection so 1 in 4 cars to go down a certain path.

    Also how will the upgrading to separate steps work

    in say fit body can you research say just fit trunk and hence remove that task from the general fit body station

    and have fit body station => fit trunk station ?

    1. currently you cant do that, you either do all in one, or split it into sub stages but that is an interesting idea. I guess the game logic could scan ahead and only do jobs that will not be done later. This could potentially be confusing though.

      I agree that conditional logic may be a worthwhile addition.

      1. The only way i see it working while still making assembly line sense would be to only allow breaking out of the last task at the multi purpose assembly stations

        Say the body station does the following tasks in the following order

        BodyStation{FitBonnet => FitFrontDoors => FitRearDoors => FitBoot}

        You could then have the following (assuming you had only researched one step of automation to begin with)

        BodyStation{FitBonnet => FitFrontDoors => FitRearDoors} => BootStation{Fit Boot}

        but that

        BodyStation{FitBonnet => FitFrontDoors => FitRearDoors => FitBoot} => BonnetStation{FitBonnet} would be invalid

        The next logical step for someone slowly upgrading their factory would then be a line like this

        BodyStation{Fit Bonnet => Fit Front Doors} => RearDoorStation{FitRearDoors} => BootStation{Fit Boot}

        Another idea related to conditional logic (and upgrading features) would be a 1 in x cars to get feature option at each station or a 1 in x cars to skip station option

        (Im assuming the games pricing back end will be like the real car market with higher demand for mid tier cars over the higher margin (but more expensive in terms of build) luxury vehicles

  2. I definitely think that some upgrades should have to wait on others to be used. Like your fit seats example.

    As for the having multiple upgrades, like in the seats example, in one slot or separate, could you do both? If people want to have multiple in the same construction slot then have it take longer to install any single option since the slot would have to change programs or parts which takes a small chunk of time compared to dedicated construction slots.

    Do you plan to be able to build multiple models at a time? So the player could control construction by saying they want to build 5 base models, 3 mid range and 1 luxury for every 9 cars built? Basically the player could choose the number of model types, the count for each and then the cars would just come out averaging over the total count that the player put in. Then each construction area would only work on installing parts for the model type that it supplies. This would then allow multiple conveyors that would choose to send a car down only if it supplies parts for the model that is approaching. Of course you then would have to supply a GUI for players to design the models and choose which ones are being constructed.

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