Modeling of the automobile market

I’m curious: how will the game model determine demand for products by reference to the macro-economy and the regulatory environment? In other words, will demand go up in boom times and decline in a recession? Will demand for large vehicles decline as gas prices go up? Will you be modeling inflation? Will the requirements for, say, mandatory airbags and 5 MPH bumpers be imposed on their historical dates of introduction?

If the game uses historical data for its economic model, there will be a huge surge in demand for pretty much anything with wheels on it after WW2 which drops off after 1950, and a recession in 1958-62, smog controls in the early 70s, the infamous 1973 Oil Price Shock, and so on. If I as a player know my economic and regulatory history well enough, it’ll take some of the challenge out of the gameplay. For instance, I know because I read Wikipedia that emissions controls will start to become mandatory in 1970 or so, and there’s going to be a gas price spike in 1973. Armed with this knowledge, I do R&D on smog controls starting in 1960 and develop catalytic converters, and time the introduction of my new line of transverse-engine FWD compacts so that–just by purest coincidence, of course!–they hit the showrooms a day after the OPEC embargo.

To make it more challenging, you could have three difficulty settings:
– pure historical, i.e., the 1973 oil price shock occurs right on schedule, with a 17% jump in the price of crude on October 16, 1973
– a slightly tougher scenario where the general trends are the same but the timing and magnitude of events is randomized to a degree. The first time you play the game, the oil price jump is 10% and it occurs in January of '73; when you replay it the next time, it’s 5% in September '74, or 33% in September '72, or something else entirely.
– On the most difficult setting, the game starts with the 1946 economy and everything is randomized, so that, just like in real life, you can’t tell what’s coming next and having a detailed knowledge of economic history (or a good set of reference books) confers no special advantage.

Im pretty sure there will be moddeling of these historical events.

I really like your suggestions on the difficulty settings(although I’d rather it be called scenarios; could be Historical, Semi-Historical and Random) I had been thinking of something similar myself, although I hadn’t thought to have a slightly randomized historical one… that could be quite interesting.

Oh and welcome to the forums :slight_smile: You should stop by the live chat sometime :wink:

Appreciate the kind words, Drake.

lol I’ve just suggested almost the same idea on the other thread in the General Chat section, glad to see I’m not the only one interested by this question :slight_smile:

We are not going to be modelling inflation, it just muddles the issues of costings and confuses people. It doesn’t really add anything to the game in my opinion.

Your other thoughts on various scenarios are along the lines we were thinking.

Another thought just hit me: in the USA, at least, when the restrictions on civilian auto production were lifted at the end of WW2, the established manufacturers pulled the tooling for their 1942 models out of storage and put them back into production as 1946 models. Some of the '42/'46 designs stayed in production as late as 1948 or '49. At the beginning of the game, you might give players the option of putting a “canned” prewar design into production–which will have minimal tooling costs, and start bringing cash in the door, but which will quickly fall behind as the competition rolls out its postwar designs–or spending more development capital up front to be “first by far with a postwar car”–which, of course, risks taking too long and missing the postwar demand surge, or costing too much and losing out on price to less advanced designs.

I like that idea!

I have found recently this game from the Detroit wikipedia link so pleeease bear with me if I bring old stuff to the forum or try to over-complicate what seems to be a truly interesting idea.

We all know that car companies use competitions (F1, WRC, NASCAR…) as a marketing tools for both specific models and the whole brand. Is there a way to design “concepts” or spin-off cars and put them in some kind of competition (an objective one. No way a 2 wheel drive, Smart-like car could win against a WRC!!). The results may affect positively or negatively sales, depending your success at the races. You may design a classical 80s hatchback with a frugal 1.4 engine that have moderate sales but you may later develop a “rally concept” of your previous model with a 2.0 engine, 4WD and turbo with huge success in competition which in turn will have an effect on dealership sales. Of course, the amount of money invested on a racing program may be too much when compared to the overall economic results. Just some rambling ideas…

As can be seen here motorsport are not sadly going to be a part of the game at launch but probably be DLC later.
And for concepts in motorsport current rally cars have little to do with the road cars they are base on so in a way they are concepts…