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Engine Contractor produces at least at 0.5 shifts


#1

Hey guys,

I started a campaign with a tiny car factory, not producing a lot of cars. I seem to need less than the minimum amount of engines my contractor can produce. The engine factory where I get my engines from can only run at a minimum of 0.5 shifts, but the factory seems to be quite large.

That means that I am not able to make money and survive, as I have to pay $2M per month of production for engines I don’t need. I’m spending double the money for buying engines than for producing the cars. The engine costs less than $5K per unit, so I am collecting about 400 engines per month when I can only sell about 10 cars and potentially build less than 100 cars in the same time.

The campaign save file is attached.

The suggested fix would be to remove the 0.5 minimum shift cap for the contractor’s factory.

Additional thought on the contractor: I don’t even care about his shift count or factory condition. He should take care of that himself and just deliver the engines I need. I would not even need to know about it in the hub screen, so the line could be removed completely.



Cisalpina_EngineCost.zip (719.9 KB)


Shift management broken
#2

Hotfix 3 update

It definitely helps that the contractor’s factory is producing less engines now, but still there are way too many to make a tiny car factory work.

The test setup is this:

  • a car with 154 PU, the factory is producing 5450 PUs (at 2 shifts). Including efficiency and QA slowdown, I get down to 28 cars per month at 2 shifts.
  • a V12 engine with 56.2 PU in a factory producing 19k PUs at 2 shifts, resulting in 338 engines per month at $7530 each. Cost per PU is $31.6.

The cars you will produce in a tiny factory will be PU heavy for the markets you can target with the PU cost you will have. So no way I will ever produce enough cars to use all engines even at 0.5 shifts in the engine factory. If I would just buy the engines I need for the 28 cars (although I will never sell them within a month given the market sizes because of low awareness in the beginning) I would need to spend $211k per month. Instead I am paying $673k per month just for engines with that factory stuck at 0.5 shifts. To cover the extra cost, I would need to make an additional profit of $16.5k per car just to pay off all the engines. Not gonna happen :wink: In addition to that, there’s no way to get rid of/to use the accumulated engines (sell for scrap or use in the upcoming months).

So even with the contractor’s engine factory size adjustments, one tiny car factory on its own is not a viable option in the beginning of the game (but I still hope it will be). The following changes would make it work better in my opinion:

  • allow the contractor’s shift count to go down to any value. To offset the exploitability, maybe increase cost per PU. $31.6 is quite low in my opinion.
  • Maybe make the the engine contractor’s minimum shift count set by the player (choose anything down to 0.1 shifts). The minimum shift count could have an influence on cost per PU. For this to work properly you would probably need to introduce an engine stock.
  • Alternatively, have a minimum total number of engines to be bought set by the player. This would set the cost per PU for the contract and the player can choose how much risk he wants to take.

I understand that each option (except the first) would need some GUI work as well.

In reality, I would expect that such an engine contractor would not only produce the engine I order but also other engines for other customers. He would share the time during the month on different projects, only needing the one iron foundry, but use different moulds per customer (the tooling).

And another tought: it is equally unrealistic that you can just stop the production in the contractor’s engine factory without any cost in the upcoming months.


#3

To add to this, I decided to create a 2nd higher volume model to use all the excess engines the contractor was producing. And bankrupted myself in short order. :rofl:

I most prefer the third suggestion you made:

…because this seems the most realistic to me. When Pagani orders engines for the Zonda/Huayra, I doubt there’s a “shift count” involved because the production volume is so low. I’d imagine they estimate what they’ll sell over a given period of time - and order that many engines in advance with maybe a handful extra as spares. I think this gives the player more flexibility to manage their engine “stock” and keep costs to minimum rather than having a constantly running shift.

I could see using shifts if we had a mechanism in place that would allow us to sell unused engines to other manufacturers at a markup. But until that happens, a pay-as-you-go system for extremely low-volume, niche vehicles would play best.