Hey, I really hope I’m not repeating something, but I couldn’t quickly find anything like this I was encouraged by
Suggestions are more than welcome for the Tycoon Part of the game
I’m just ~80 hours into my first LCV3.7 play-through and it’s really great and I’m looking forward for the already announced features that will come in the following year So do not take anything that I wrote here as a criticism of this game! It’s really good!
When I was designing various cars, I’ve quickly started noticing some pattern, that the car design and sales process seems a bit flat. Like for every market (like “Sports car”), there seems to be just one single holy grail of the cars, that me and any other competitor should be aiming for. Maybe this is a misconception from my part (but in that case I would argue UI is misleading me into that misconception), but it seems like designing a new model/trim is a simple optimisation process of the “competitiveness” score, and this is a one direction process with maybe small affordability trade off.
What I’m lacking is kind of depth in that process. Designing a new car is not a straight forward process, there are tons of important trade offs decisions to be made on many steps. For example, there is hardly a one single car in the given market that’s objectively the best. There are some (or sometimes just one) cars that are generally speaking the most recommended, but it’s never as simple as “there is one obvious choice”.
Instead of having a single potential best competitiveness score for the given market, what about an idea of adding some random spread for consumer preferences? Like some of the “sports” car demographics, could value things like practicality/comfort/reliability more or even had some hard preferences. At least 4 seats and manual transmission. Probably it would require some more complicated balancing, but with some tuning, I could imagine this giving those extra trade offs when designing a car, especially if it wouldn’t be financially viable to cover all of the bases. For example:
- design the car for an average buyer - probably the easiest
- design the car with some end spectrum buyers in mind
- pay a lot in in engineering time/car price trying to cover wider spectrum of the market, but if you over do it, you start losing the clients because of affordability.
The last point I would like to emphasise. I think it should be not viable to design a perfect car for the given market. It should be more like a trade off. If I focus on one aspect more, other things will suffer and If I don’t focus on something, my competitor will come up to fill in the niche. If I focus on “almost” everything… I’m Porsche and my cars are ~50% more expensive than the competitors, creating a niche for the other manufactures that can cut some corners and under cut my prices.
About the implementation, it could be simple, like every-time generating a new car buyer (or sample of car buyers to speed up things), randomize his preferences with normal distribution with some variance parameter. I think the more complicated part would be balancing…
… and presenting this in the UI properly.
- Presenting some ranges in the market preferences window, instead of (how currently it is) some static fixed value of how important “practicality” is for the given demographic
- Letting player “adjust” how the competitiveness score is calculated when I’m designing a new car/trim. For example, if I could consciously move slider that I’m designing a sports car for more practical/reliability oriented end of the demographic spectrum, and my estimated competitiveness score could be adjusted by that?
- Some information what my competitors are actually doing? Like if some market is already heavily dominated by some bigger players, some info that could let me make an informed decision that it might be easier for my to focus on some niche demographic (at least with the first trim/version and then try to expand from there)?
Real life motivation
For example, let’s look at the market of real world “sport coupe/saloons”. Among cars like BMW M2/M3/M4, Mustang GT, C63, Lexus RCF, …, there is no clear winner for everyone, while each one of them could be considered a best choice for smaller niche sub-market of “sports” cars. Like M2 vs Mustang, for me Mustang is disqualified because of too small back seats, while from C63/M4/RCF, C63 is considered the best car, but I would really had to be hard pressed to pick automatic transmission only car, and I don’t care about comfort/practicality that much, so M2 is probably a better choice any way for me. Or another market. 911 Turbo vs Audi R8, or Boxster vs V6 F-Type. Objectively Porsches are probably better, but Audi/F-Type have something extra in some departments, that make them much more appealing for some buyers (V10…). And the examples go on and on. Yes, probably BMWs are in general better choices than Jaguars, but Jaguar has it’s own niche, where it’s more appealing/better.
Trying to catch this process in the game, could also add some more heritage/brand’s DNA to the tycoon part. Like I could be trying to compete in almost every market, but still keeping the “spirt” of my brand. Regardless of what the “spirt” is: reliability/affordability/sportiveness/practicality… Even super/hyper cars can be more or less practical or reliable.