2004 and Onward!
In early 2004, all our projects are underway and we still have a lot of income. The new factories for the Starfish and Ideosepius are consuming around another $50M, so there’s still 150 coming in to our accounts.
I’ve also noticed we’re moving the company in a bit of an interesting direction. We’ve been primarily dedicated to premium and luxury markets, until we started suddenly making budget cars as well. But, we still have a lot more Prestige than Reputation.
As we sell less prestigious cars, our prestige tends to go down (and reputation goes up). But, we’ve got a pretty good thing going with prestige, and I might like to boost it. It’s about now I’ve noticed we’re not selling any cars in the Hyper market! I’m lazy and don’t want to make a whole new engine though, so maybe I’ll start something when the Sandshark is done engineering.
Going forward, I have a LOT of recalls. No point listing them all, but it’s apparent that a ton of our factories were (I presume) set up with the default QA slider, which is not what you want to do when you move your manufacturing to Archana!
In all, I count TEN factories with a recall chance greater than 1%! That’s rolled every month, so it’s no wonder I’m getting recalls every couple of months!
In 2005, the Octopus facelift hits the market! It pretty much immediately glitches out and stops selling. I checked and the engine completed engineering and has factories assigned. I wish I knew why this happens.
Going to make a facelift, the predicted competitiveness is around 105, although it does hit some different markets. I think there’s room for improvement! The car itself goes from advanced automatic to a 6-speed dual clutch transmission, bigger wheels and brakes, and ESC with electric variable power steering, as well as stiffer and lower suspension. This helps a lot, but the biggest gains are in the engine. LoS left me a prototype engine which was intended for the Octopus, but never used: the Seahorse.
It was initially set up a little funny, so I smoothed it out. I went from only one muffler to two, and switched from a performance to standard intake, making it much quieter (all the markets prefer this). I also drastically lowered its boost and increased its compression, which was very low. It’s now more high-strung, but making a lot more power. The wheelspin of the car would be a bit high without ESC, but the extra power is worth it, it’s getting 3.8 seconds 0-60 and a top speed of 223 miles per hour, all while being affordable to Sports customers.
Here’s the new Octopus, in Ink Blue!
I actually had to drop the electric variable power steering for engineering time, but I managed to get it out in 48 months (the transmission was the main source of time, but I think it was necessary). One of the factories was missing aluminum presses, so I added those.
Towards the end of 2006, the Whaleshark and Clownfish factories are in construction, so I get about a dozen “extra factory refresh costs” popups since all the factories have been overworked. We also start losing more than a full billion a month (really shows how much the Clownfish is propping the company up) and go well into negative cash reserves. This is fine, we’re still valued at over 100B, but wow that happens fast. Even once they come out, we’re losing money at a decent pace, despite good sales. Hopefully that levels out when we build up our stock.
Since the Whaleshark had a long engineering cycle, it’s due for an immediate facelift. I want to use its engine in a hyper car so I’ll need to make a facelift anyway. But, the first thing I’m doing is giving the luxury version of the engine much LESS power. Drastically shrinking the exhaust and shrinking the turbo a little causes us to from from almost 400 horsepower down to 340, but all that the Luxury markets care about is that it’s smooth and quiet.
It also gets an 8-speed automatic, so the engine never has to be out of its (very wide) powerband.
The SUV version also gets manual locking wheel hubs, which adds about 15 competitiveness in Offroad Premium outright, as well as getting downgraded from Luxury to Premium Satnav. Between this and the reduced horsepower (and top speed), we’re reducing the material cost by thousands.
I also found (what I thought was) a very egregious error: all the trims, even the convertible, are on Chunky Offroad tires! Switching from Offroad to Medium tires made… a surprisingly small difference.
I also managed to reduce the quality of the top end from +2 to +0 with basically no consequences, making the engine a lot cheaper. I put that up to R&D advancement.
I was also surprised to find that no factories were actually manufacturing the Sedan trim, only the convertible and SUV. I decided to change up the Sedan trim to be an extreme luxury car- hand made interior, but still only premium entertainment (apparently even Luxury likes to pinch pennies, according to competitiveness numbers). I decided to have the Medium factory producing Whalesharks get a leatherworks, and produce only the sedan trim while the other factories made the SUV and convertible. It works best at a lower automation slider anyway.
It’s also time for the other vehicle to use the Sandshark V12 motor. I looked up large squid species and mostly came up with stuff like “Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni” or “giant cranch squid” which are even worse for a car than Idiosepius, so I’m just going with a cliche and calling this thing the Kraken.
As you can see, the performance version of the Sandshark makes exactly 666 horsepower. It’s all carbon fiber with a monocoque frame, so it has to be made in a Medium 1 factory. I wanted to use a body that could have a 2 seat row option for GT customers, but I couldn’t find one I liked that fit the Sandshark.
Anyway, the Kraken should be a boost to our prestige. It clears the test track in just under two minutes, and sells for $101k base price. It’s also got a ridiculous prestige score.
It’s also time to update the Clownfish. The motor is a bit loud, with only one muffler, so I added a second one and made the exhaust wider to stop knocking. I was also able to bring up the ignition timing since our tech had improved and the octane requirement was lower. Since this isn’t a premium car, it also gains a lot from getting a 3rd rear seat and downgrading to a basic infotainment system.
It also gets electric variable steering and ESC, but with a lot of negative quality, and a little wider tires to reduce understeer and wheelspin. Vented brake discs as well. The one thing I was surprised they didn’t want was more transmission speeds. I can’t find a way to get better market score out of more than the 4-speed auto that’s in there.
This should be more desirable with wider market appeal, and cheaper too. I bet it will really take off. (I did end up taking out the electric variable power steering in favor of regular electric, which saved a whopping 30 months engineering time!)
I’m looking at 48 months engineering for it, which unfortunately means it won’t be ready to have the new factories added, but I just want this out of the way. The factory set up for this car is pretty wack.
The recall chance is wayyyyy too high, and the automation for the factory is very far away from the automation set on the car’s engineering. I was able to get about 10,000 more cars per month increasing the automation and tooling to 80, and I paid up for a QA building so we can have reasonable recall without too much slowdown.
With the factories for the Clownfish all cleaned up and a new facelift on the way, we can finally move into 2009. The Ideosepius and Starfish both release close to the end of the year, and in december they’re selling. The Ideosepius isn’t bringing in a lot of money (we need to build awareness in its markets) but the Starfish is making a ton of money, half as much as the Clownfish but with only a Large 2 factory.
Good thing too! As soon as these cars released (and we also stopped paying to construct their factories) our finances turned green again. We got almost $23B into debt, which is not great.
You can see that our income increases and spending decreases at the exact same time, when the factories finish and begin operating.
By April, 2010, the new version of the Octopus is out and selling. It’s doing decently, although there was a sales drop for all models in the last two months.
Looking back on the last seven years, I feel like I’ve done a lot for this company. When I reprised my role, we had not enough dealerships, not enough research, and only 22 Prestige and 4 Reputation. We weren’t really known as an exceptional company. Now, thanks to my efforts, look what people think of us!
Uh, okay, we’ve had a LOT of recalls. And I pulled the reliability slider down on some of our cars to get them engineered quickly. To some extent, this is also just the result of selling both cheap and expensive cars. What I’m trying to say is, it isn’t my fault, I swear! Also, the red trend shows that both prestige and reputation are getting worse simply as we sell cars… but then again, most of my factory refresh changes with better QA haven’t been implemented yet! It could still turn around! And once again, the money I’m spending on marketing in these areas is very legitimate!
On the other hand, sales are looking good. We have to gain awareness in some areas (such as Light Sport) but we’re doing well considering.
Revenue is also up a lot, thanks to our new models, and as I said before we have some positive cash flow to work with. (although we have a lot of debt too)
We’ve also just completed one of the Huge car and engine factories which have been under construction for a while. The rest all finish at different times, some very soon and some more than a year out still. As these complete, we’ll see massive increases to our profit since we won’t be spending almost a billion per month on construction. I think that the Starfish would be a great fit for the factory pair that’s just opened up, however, I’m going to leave that decision to my successor.
Okay, I heard from my buddy in marketing, it sounds like, uh, maybe not all that marketing money was being spent wisely.
More Discord Tidbits
I’m going to retire again, and pass the role of company president to @B4nditOo. I’m thinking about where to travel for my vacation. Here, draw one of these countries I’ve listed on slips of paper from this hat, that’s where I’m going!
Here’s the save file: https://gofile.io/d/SKaXnM
It looks like the next turn might be the last for this game! Good luck!