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Author Topic: Bay12 Motor Company: Let's Play Automation [Castle Motors: COMPLETE!]  (Read 47690 times)

MrRoboto75

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Re: Bay 12 Motor Company: Let's Play Automation [1952: Turning a Profit!]
« Reply #30 on: July 09, 2020, 08:47:06 pm »

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A Thing

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Re: Bay 12 Motor Company: Let's Play Automation [1952: Turning a Profit!]
« Reply #31 on: July 09, 2020, 08:58:53 pm »

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Gotta love the faces that some of these 40's/50's eras cars have.

Think upgrading the factory is what I'll vote for.

I'm fine with staying in the budget market for now.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2020, 09:02:22 pm by A Thing »
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Aseaheru

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Re: Bay 12 Motor Company: Let's Play Automation [1952: Turning a Profit!]
« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2020, 09:09:59 pm »

 Have any new body types come out yet? Also, can we get a screenie of market numbers(the one that shows howmany derps exist in each category)? I dont think Ive seen any recent shots  and I have bad suggestions I want to see if theres a market fer yet. Plus, I want to know fer new projects. Unless, taht is, you want to design a Boxer. I like boxers. Can we get a boxer engine we can shove in things for the utility/offroad/delivery segments?
 I still think upgrading our factories(atleast to the medium 2) should wait until we have a whole new family of vehicles getting designed for shoving out the door. Likewise, I think we should keep the Urist on its current track, but when we upgrade and move to a new family having premium versions of our vehicles might be a good idea.
 R&D into safety seems to generally be a good idea, and as fer dealerships, if we got a decent stockpile and are running at less than our optimal shifts, absolutely lets get expanding our sellers. If we arent, well, wait fer the next family methinks.
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EuchreJack

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Re: Bay 12 Motor Company: Let's Play Automation [1952: Turning a Profit!]
« Reply #33 on: July 10, 2020, 05:36:11 am »

I think for the next facelift you should either design an SUV for Offroad, or fit offroad features in the truck.  Only makes sense if the factory either gets upgraded or you build a new one.

The dealerships/marketing in Dalluha are kinda expensive, although selling a decent car there would offset our Prestige negative score.  I've always had the best luck with Convertibles, even when I was trying to design something else, so if you're going the luxury route, I'd pick a body that is a convertible.  You could even use your luxury brand to create new bodies.  I'm actually quite amazed how forgiving the game is on body age: I have a body that is 20+ years old, and I'm only getting like a .5% penalty for body age on luxury/premium vehicles.  I assume that system will be changing.  You'll probably need to make a V8 engine: I doubt the luxury market will buy anything with an I4.

King Zultan

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Re: Bay 12 Motor Company: Let's Play Automation [1952: Turning a Profit!]
« Reply #34 on: July 10, 2020, 06:33:12 am »

The factory upgrade sounds like a good thing to do, and I think we should stick with the wagon for a bit.


Also a luxury car factory sounds like it might be a good thing to try.
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Re: Bay 12 Motor Company: Let's Play Automation [1952: Turning a Profit!]
« Reply #35 on: July 10, 2020, 07:05:47 am »

I like the double-factory idea—the ability to produce in one while the other is upgrading sounds like a win to me.

I'm also in favor of a medium 2 upgrade. (Can you take out loans at arbitrary times, or only to fund a project?)

Sensei

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Re: Bay 12 Motor Company: Let's Play Automation [1952: Turning a Profit!]
« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2020, 02:14:43 pm »

Mini update with regards to cost and markets.
Here is what it will cost us to do most of the options that have been discussed:

Start designing a new engine to replace the Urist MC Engine:
~$10-40M. It won't be ready for a few years, of course. Then we would have to spend maybe $100-200M on the facelift to re-tool the engine factory.

Start a new small Car Factory and Engine Factory:
~$250-400M (depending on if we go for Small 2 or something starting off). Also, allow 4-6 years for designing a new car and engine.

Upgrade our Urist factory to Medium 2:
~$300M. This will not necessitate an upgrade to the Urist MC Engine factory.

Upgrade our Urist factory to Medium 3 AND engine factory to medium 2:
~$875M. We will need more engine factory capacity if we go to medium 3 car factory. About $260M of this is the engine factory upgrade.

Start a new Medium 1 factory AND upgrade engine factory to medium 2:
~$1200M. We probably cannot afford this. So, if we want to open a second line of low-priced cars, this will have to wait, even though we can save money by sharing an engine.

Loans: We can take out loans without starting a project, but I usually don't prefer to do this. For starters, I know for sure that we don't have to start paying back our loan until the project is completed if it's attached to a project. I'm not exactly sure how to use loans outside of projects in a way that's actually advantageous and doesn't just tank our credit rating. As long as your company valuation is greater than your liabilities (including negative accounts, which you currently do not pay interest on) you usually have an ok credit rating and can keep operating. This is a little cheesy but it's what I usually do.

In conclusion, we could probably afford to go to Medium 3, or go to Medium 2 as well as open up a second line of automobiles, but they would have to be coming from a small factory, which means they would have to be aluminum based, which means they would have to be for high-class markets. We could still do just one or the other if we want to focus on actually getting our finances in the black, but we can cruise on negative money basically forever if we have good company valuation/credit rating.

What Country? Hetvesia has cheaper land prices right now compared to Fruinia. They have higher labor costs and better build quality, making them a good choice for premium cars. Archana opens up in 1960. That's a little ways off but it's going to be a big deal when they do. They have the cheapest land and the cheapest labor so they're possibly the best place to open factories, although labor quality can be an issue. They also have a moderate sized market (less total spending power than Fruinia or Hetvesia) with an extreme focus on low budget cars, and they prefer offroad. If we want to start a second model that's also made of steel, or put our main line of cars in a Large factory (if our finances do well enough) waiting until Archana opens up could be an option.

What kind of car/engine? If we do start a new model, like the first time I will need suggestions as to what body, engine, and target demographic we're going for. If we only start an engine, I'll need the type for that too. Now might be a good time to invest in a Single Overhead Cam (SOHC) motor, which is very high tech for 1952 but still not horribly expensive to produce and it should last us a long time- maybe the whole game (in economy markets) if we spring for 4-valve. I'll list new bodies below.

Market Data
Here's the total sizes of each market, in Fruinia and Hetvesia combined. The first picture is the total sizes. Note that the color is based on their rate of growth: green is growing and red is shrinking. Super Cars and Convertible Super Cars are growing crazy fast percentage-wise because that market only just came into existence, but they still are small.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The second picture is the size of each market limited to our Awareness. This is how many cars we can actually sell at maximum, but we will always sell at least a little bit less due to competition. We can improve this with more spending on advertising and dealerships. It will also grow up close to the dealership cap (right now: 40% of market size in Fruinia and 25% of market size in Hetvesia) over time, as we continue to sell cars. Most of the markets we've never sold a car in are around 5% Awareness, our minimum Awareness, which will help us start selling cars when we enter a new market.
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Bodies
Here's what we have unlocked. Remember that if we want to unlock bodies ahead of time, we need to spend on R&D. Since it will take a few years to actually bring a car with a new body to market, this can help us keep our cars looking new. In this picture, the highlighted body line has a truck and van variant which are not currently visible, and the two below have a truck variant but no van. The '46 2.9m on the bottom was already unlocked at the start of the game- apparently 1950 is not a big year for body unlocks. As a rule of thumb, we can expect a large number of bodies to unlock every 5 years (eg 1950, 1955, 1960) with bodies appearing in between those years only occasionally, at least until later in the game.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)


Edit to Add: Q&A:
As of current votes, it looks like we would upgrade the Urist factory to Medium 2, and keep it on track for budget markets. We maybe have enough support to build a separate luxury car if there's support for a specific design- a V8 or an I6 would both be logical choices (I6 is cheaper to engineer, but V8 has more longevity and will fit in most cars that fit an I4... probably).

...we might want to work on improving engine architecture instead.
To the best of my knowledge, engine architecture is the one research that doesn't have a quality slider associated... I don't THINK it actually makes engines lighter or smoother. It does unlock new engine shapes and materials. I5, V6, and V10 engines can be unlocked early as well as Magnesium, Aluminum, and AlSi block materials, the latter two of which might be justifiable for premium eco cars, or maybe regular ones if we are selling enough volume. There's also 60 degree bank angle V8's, which are weird less-smooth V8's that are more compact and likely to fit in transverse FWD cars.

I think for the next facelift you should either design an SUV for Offroad, or fit offroad features in the truck.
We can look into it, but chances are the truck is not going to get much more offroad than it is due to the suspension type. It's maybe possible we could make a solid-axle truck for offroad/heavy utility/delivery, but these are not very big or profitable markets- ESPECIALLY in Fruinia. This might be an option when Archana opens up, however.

Quote
The dealerships/marketing in Dalluha are kinda expensive, although selling a decent car there would offset our Prestige negative score.
Keep in mind that this is on a per-country basis! If we sell luxury cars and have a high prestige score in Dalluha, that's good for continuing to sell luxury cars in Dalluha. However, it won't make a difference in Fruinia. The Prestige on the top of the hub screen is our Home Country (Fruinia) value. In the market screenshots on the bottom you can see our averaged values for all selected countries. In this case they're both closer to 0 since we've sold less cars in Hetvesia to have an effect either way.

Also keep in mind that convertibles are one of those markets where your competitiveness is always high because there's little competition... but there's little competition because they are small market sizes, overall. It's best to target them with a secondary trim unless regular demographics like the convertible too.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2020, 02:34:50 pm by Sensei »
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Aseaheru

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 Wow, thats a surprisingly large market for buses.

 Man, I wish those trims had numbers fer variants instead of just going off screen. I think thats something 4.1 will do? I cant remember. How many trims does the '50 2.6m provide?
 Fer engine, Boxer? B4, with SOHC, sure. Make it big enough that we can fill in some of the cylinders for markets that care less about overall power(boxers are apparently among the best for those who like smoothness, combine that with short cylinders...), get it designed ahead of time to slap into everything...


 If Im making less sense than usual, it might be due to obsessively reading the wiki to try to figure out if Im being an idiot or not.
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Sensei

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Buses? There's not really a bus demographic. If you're looking at Passenger Fleet, that's taxis/shuttles- they like anything with good gas mileage and passenger space, which can potentially include the "bus" style bodies but they like small ones too. If you're referring to "City B." That's City Budget, where a "City Car" is a very small car that's easy to park.

It would be kind of a big decision to switch over to boxer engines at this point. We can certainly do it if there's support, but it doesn't benefit much from the familiarity we've been building up, nor does it give us familiarity with V8's, which I think some people want to do. As for B5 for premium cars? I have no idea. They're smooth but premium markets also care about the prestige that comes with a higher cylinder count. It's certainly tempting to think that one engine family might be small enough but smooth enough to serve in both economy and premium markets, though.
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mightymushroom

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I guess the engine depends a little bit on how the workflow sets up. How easy is it to "test design" an engine to see how well it appeals in two different markets like that?

Does this familiarity of which you speak spread across multiple cylinder counts, like I4 => I6, or is it along strict intervals of I4+I4 => V8?
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To compare, I basically have to design an entire car, which is tricky especially if I might want a smaller car for the smaller engine or something. Familiarity has unique multipliers for basically every design option in the game. I think I4 gives good familiarity both to V8 and I6. This is a hidden value, but you can see what familiarity you've already gained. In the next update I might cover what familiarity we've earned.
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King Zultan

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I still like the idea of having V8 cars in the future.

Also I like the look of the 50 2.6m station wagon, and I will not stop suggesting wagons until we cover the Earth with them.
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Aseaheru

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 Passenger fleet is bus enough fer me. Afterall, what are we gonna send instead, three bench seat station wagons? Just let me hide these old car adverts...
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1952 Urist and Factory Upgrade

Few changes to the Urist MC Engine. I've crept the quality up in areas where fuel efficiency is improved- fuel system, top end, and exhaust, and I managed to get 0.1 more compression by making the cams a little steeper again. This added power, so to keep the car budget-friendly I had to alter the gearing to once again make it incapable of exceeding 56mph. Actually... maybe I don't have to?

Here's the car re-tuned with slighter wider tires (again) and a top speed which gets us above 56mph! This adds a tiny bit of appeal to the regular family market, but it loses us a few points in most of the others. My hope is that we can make up for that because our cars will be cheaper when we upgrade our factory.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Now back to the engine: do they like it with a dual carburetor? It would get better gas mileage, more power... but no, the added price simply reduces the desirability. Back to the rest of car, we've upgraded to two-shoe front drum brakes, and 11 inch wheels to match the truck version of the Urist. Every demographic likes the added braking. Upping our interior quality from -13 to 0 makes big gains in Family especially, as well as other demographics. We lose some affordability but, again, hopefully we'll make it up on factory size. The very last tick from -1 to 0 makes up a whole 6 desirability points for Family.
Spoiler: -1 Quality (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: 0 Quality (click to show/hide)

The truck version of the Urist can stay slow, but it gets a few tweaks: better brakes and brake re-tune makes them both cheaper and better. It also gets a 0-quality interior, since affordability is already very good. The biggest change is actually a major offroad feature: manual locking differential! Back in 46 the budget demographics didn't want to pay out for this, but now they love it. Note the "offroad" score in this picture, it's gone up to 26. The number on the right, 16, is what we had with an open differential.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
I still can't get them to like a suspension setup that carries much weight, but whatever. The more I think about it, the cause of this might be our choice of semi-trailing arm suspension for the rear. A great choice for economy cars, but apparently not so much for utility vehicles. I think it actually carries less than double wishbone.

Our engineering plan includes upgrading the Carsmith's Workshop to level 2! Also, I remember to rename it so it's not Car Factory 1 anymore. Oops. Anyway, behold its glory! If you're curious about addons like the QA testing and staff facilities, well, in my opinion they're just too expensive in the early game, but we can talk about them later.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

With about $30M worth of tooling improvements over the baseline $40M retooling cost, we've got our base cost per car down to around $1000! That doesn't include the engine but it's still great.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Also, not shown here, I had to make some improvements to the Urist MC Engine's engineering and tooling sliders to keep up with our Medium 2 factory. But, it won't require an engine factory upgrade (yet).

Finalizing everything (including engineering and tooling costs) we're back to an average price in the short history of the Urist, despite many quality improvements. I'd consider that a success. Of course, projected desirability is so high that dealers will probably set a higher margin than this.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Also, there's this "factory utilization percentage" pertaining to how much of either trim the factory will produce... I don't know if it's dynamic or how to change it or anything else though. Mysteries!
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I've got both the car and engine engineering for 24 months- that should let us take advantage of some new tech in 33 months for our next facelift, after we've had some time to see how our improved model is selling. Also, I've got a more aggressive payback plan for our loan this time, and I'm even trying to take a loan that only covers 75%. Here goes!
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Looks like our factory upgrade will be taking up a large portion of our engineering time, which means we're going to run out of cars again. I also put some more cash into R&D, we'll check up on our progress later.


For whatever reason, dealers seem to still be selling the Urist 50 Pickup at a crazy markup even though it's no longer competitive at that price and their stock will last 24 months. Maybe because we're not making any more right now? In this image you can also see the mouse-over competitiveness graph for the Urist Pickup. Basically it dives immediately, but only because of the margins set by the dealer. The number "23.1" is the estimated number of months it will take to sell the current amount of cars we have.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Launch day! Margins are high immediately and steadily climb! We have to build our awareness back up after being basically out of the market for a year. I've taken the liberty of upgrading our dealerships and advertising in Fruinia and Hetvesia, we're now spending about $300k per month on those in total. That's actually so small it gets folded into an "other" category along with R&D on the pie chart.
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February, 1955 Review: We've now unlocked the various tech I was talking about last time. Notice we're bringing $10M in profit every month! We can definitely afford to start spending some money now.
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Here's our total market awareness. Our largest demographics are actually around 25% if we just look at Fruinia. All the Utility is in Hetvesia because Fruinia only has Utility Budget as a category.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Here's our sales numbers. According to the Competitiveness screen (not shown- it relies heavily on mouse-over tooltips) the pickup is accounting for some weird categories, including Light Sport Budget, City Budget, and City Eco. Anyway, notice our main money is now coming from Family. In short, if our car is competitive at a high price, that's what dealers are going to go for. We are still making insane margins, so it's not an invalid strategy, but we aren't actually selling to budget because are cars are desirable enough that people who are willing to pay more have bought nearly all of them.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Bonus market graph: here's where our money is coming from.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Here's our research spending and progress. No big tech we're aiming for except Transverse FWD, I think. We're also due to unlock hydraulic power steering in about a year, but it might be too expensive to use at first. Some of the stuff that's coming up includes: Solid Disc Brakes in 1959 (a must-have for most cars). Light Truck Monocoque Chassis in 1960 (safety of monocoque with load capacity of a ladder, priced in between the two). Aluminum engine headers in 1960 (we can make aluminum blocks but only cast iron heads right now, which sucks). Torsion Beam suspension in 1962 (chassis tech actually) which, I believe, is a very inexpensive suspension for economy cars. And, way out there, Mechanical Fuel Injection in 1964. This is kind of expensive to engineer, but good for gas mileage and gains familiarity with electronic fuel injection later, which will be a must-have but crazy expensive in terms of engineering time when it unlocks. Oh and of the course, the one I'm always banging on about, Transverse FWD in 1962 (more accurately 1960 because of our R&D spending).
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Body unlocks:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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What Next?
New models? With our income, we can probably afford to start work on a second model now. It will take 4-6 years to engineer and factory construction won't start until the last 2-3 years of that, and we have income from the Urist to prop us up. We could also wait until Transverse FWD unlocks. That would be a good time to replace the Urist, whether or not we have a second model, as long as we're not financially reeling from startup costs. Keep in mind that if we want to share an engine between the Urist and a second model, it will definitely need an engine factory upgrade or a second engine factory working in parallel.
New engine? We can start working on a replacement to the Urist MC Engine or something different if we want. Now would be the time if we want a mature new engine in a ~1960 model.
R&D? If we want, we can afford to start spending a couple million per month on R&D and be a really high tech company. We don't have to, though.
Urist facelift? We're going to want to incorporate some of the new tech we've unlocked- or, at least, I'll try it out in the designer and see if the markets like it. The big question is whether we want to go from Standard 40's Safety to Standard 50's Safety. This will probably take more time than it's worth if we're replacing the Urist soon, but we gain familiarity. We also need to decide if we want to include a Basic AM Radio. This will help us a lot in Family (probably) but would probably price us out of the budget segments, at least until that feature decreases in price with later facelifts.
What about Familiarity? I'll do another mini-update on this feature later.

Bonus bullshit: Our Automation Test Track Time hasn't really improved much, at 4:29. But did you know you can add other tracks to automation? Here's the Nurburgring, AKA the Green Hell, one of the most famous race tracks in world, known for being the ultimate test of car and driver. Manufacturers are constantly competing to set the world record. In the modern day, the Lamborghini Aventador holds the world record of just under 6:45, and in 1955, I couldn't find the world record for that year on Wikipedia but it's at least under 10 minutes. We got... 18:30. This is almost exactly the same time that Toyota set with a Prius in a PR event where they went out of their way to record the slowest lap ever and demonstrate their gas mileage. It also puts us behind the Trabant P50. To be fair that won't actually come out for a couple years, but it only has 20 horsepower, and it's built by communists. (Wait, are dwarves communists?) Other fun numbers on this screen include our quarter mile drag race time, of 29.5 seconds.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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MrRoboto75

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Should we worry about radios (or carbs) pushing us out of Budget markets?  You also said the cars are selling more in medium brackets than budget ones anyway.
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