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Author Topic: Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game  (Read 393 times)

Sensei

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Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game
« on: July 04, 2020, 04:29:31 am »

Is anyone else playing this? Automation had a thread a long while back, but basically all the discussion on there is from before they ported it to Unreal years ago. Updates seem to be moving quicker now, the lead dev guy turns his playtesting into lets plays and, by far my favorite feature, there's been an exporter for BeamNG.drive which means that after designing your cars, you can drive them.

It's also got to the point where the cars you can design look pretty good- well, if you know what you're doing.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Also, there's actually a working campaign now.

So, I'm not the only one playing this right? I also started a Let's Play thread you can check out.
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LoSboccacc

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Re: Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2020, 06:17:32 am »

it's quite niche, but I've been running many campaigns on 6 and 7 difficulties and it's pretty great, car engineering has been a little too much simplified since the beginning but it's good enough to build just about anything, designing and running my own car in beamng tracks is great since I can no longer do track days

can't wait for the new economy system, the current one is too easy to game and too simple to support more realistic companies (something like BMW or Audi releasing new models yearly all overlapping in their own segments basically kills your sales)
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Ozyton

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Re: Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2020, 10:23:52 am »

I have it, but I am very bad at it. Killrob (the dev) makes the game look easy.

LoSboccacc

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Re: Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2020, 01:09:53 pm »

you can start with luxury or GT, they are the markets where you need to compromise less, and have the less variations in designs, you basically know upfront you have a certain gearbox, a certain interior etc.

take get: it's always manual gears, premium interiors and Lux entertainment. even the engine is simple, always a V8, going up in size as time passed.

balancing engines has become quite easy too since V3, you tweak compression until you stop knocking then restrict exhaust until peak power then timings until you're one click belowb knocking

it actually has become very formulaic, little engineering knowledge required
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Sensei

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Re: Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2020, 05:49:39 pm »

I have it, but I am very bad at it. Killrob (the dev) makes the game look easy.
I had a little trouble at first but I learned a lot from watching his videos. I don't think the game is very hard as long as you have someone to ask questions to, the official automation discord is pretty active. Or, you could check out my Let's Play I linked in the OP. ;) We're covering the basics right now.

I disagree that it's quite as formulaic as you think, though. You can certainly find a forumula and stick to it, but trying different things is worthwhile. I'm still sometimes surprised by what works when I thought it wouldn't, or even works better than what I used to be doing. For example, early luxury and GT and both well-served with I6 engines, and those have a MUCH faster engineering time than V8's. Since engineering cost is spread across not many cars in those markets, I think that's a much better choice. Also, once you get some familiarity up, you can build V12's, and they love those.

I've also done a couple shitbox-oriented (or eco oriented) campaigns. You might be surprised to find that Family, Delivery, and even Utility can be very happy with an I3 tuned for fuel efficiency. In any case I've also made some pretty good cars and engines by getting out of comfort zone of fine-tuning sliders until the desirability stops going up, and instead setting up something I think they might like and fixing the rest of it to match.
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MrRoboto75

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Re: Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2020, 08:15:50 pm »

I find more joy in designing eco/family cars I'd actually find on the road rather than maxed-out supercars.

I haven't actually tried the campaign.  I just build randomly in the sandbox and (try to) drive them in Beam.
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LoSboccacc

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Re: Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2020, 02:41:59 am »

I disagree that it's quite as formulaic as you think, though. You can certainly find a forumula and stick to it, but trying different things is worthwhile.

I think I didn't express properly what I meant. In the Kee/Old version, some engine combinations where almost impossible to make run. In the UE/Campaign version you can just decide arbitrarily engine capacity and layout and you can always find a compression/timing combination that makes it work.

And finding the optimal solution is easy, because all the governing equations became directly proportional and the number expose a lot of their internals, so a two pass tune will always get you into the optimal spot for performance/efficiency you're looking for.

which is fine, the point I'm trying to make is not that less hard = worse game, what I'm trying to tell is that almost all kind of car you can dream of has a solution and a market, so in the new version there's almost no way of engineering a car wrong, the only risk is being unable to produce it at a decent price point.

that was in answer to the guy which had some trouble in building cars, as in: the business aspect is now quite more important than the engineering aspect, especially compared to the initial engine simulator.


Quote
made some pretty good cars  [without] fine-tuning sliders until the desirability stops going up

yeah that kind of fine tuning usually makes the car unsuitable for other demographics and makes competitor cars impact much worse if they happen to improve squarely what your demo had asked you to optimize for, I usually refrain myself from doing it even if I'm leaving 20 points on the ground it's almost never worth it in the long run (exceptions: supercars and luxury, because these dems are monodimensional anyway).
« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 02:45:43 am by LoSboccacc »
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LoSboccacc

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Re: Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2020, 03:33:21 pm »

so an example of what I meant, I had to record a video of a game start to send a bug to the devs involving starter factory selection

https://streamable.com/8tomg5

car thrown together more or less at random in one minute with plenty warning to fix == 120 score in premium, at 100% competition.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 04:10:24 pm by LoSboccacc »
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Sensei

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Re: Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2020, 11:59:32 pm »

What's the bug there? Is the "new factory" button not working on that screen? Anyway, I don't think that being able to blind-tune to 120 proves the game is too easy or formulaic or whatever. It's a brand-new car with a V8 and dual wishbones all around. Of course it's better than the stuff that's out in 1946. Early competitors make a big leap over whatever the baseline cars are though, if you were to actually engineer it and put a profit margin on it would probably be around 90 by the time it came out.
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LoSboccacc

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Re: Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2020, 12:04:54 am »

yeah it was me all along thinking that items in setup were grouped by engine/car instead of plot/factory
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EuchreJack

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Re: Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2020, 02:06:59 am »

However, there IS a bug in final stage of car design: the car selling mechanics use the player's dealer network at time of car design, and don't update (from what I can tell) based on the dealer network when the car is complete.

Sensei, you might be able to confirm or deny this as I think your LP is using a zero dealer start.  Maybe I'm just missing something: the whole thing is very poorly documented, especially the dealer network stuff.
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Sensei

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Re: Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2020, 12:42:41 pm »

However, there IS a bug in final stage of car design: the car selling mechanics use the player's dealer network at time of car design, and don't update (from what I can tell) based on the dealer network when the car is complete.

Sensei, you might be able to confirm or deny this as I think your LP is using a zero dealer start.  Maybe I'm just missing something: the whole thing is very poorly documented, especially the dealer network stuff.
I'm certain that's not the case. I usually start campaigns with zero dealers, and start putting money into dealers when the first car is 1-2 years away from finishing engineering. However, dealers take 1 year to upgrade, per level. In fact, the last post in the LP shows how we have a dealership level of 0.98 at one point. Even then you actually have to get your awareness close to maximum by advertising and sales. Here's a tip from Killrob: the main advertising pool increases your Awareness in markets which value the attributes you are advertising for. The company advertising directly affects company prestige and reputation, which affects the actual desirability. Certain demographics care more about one or the other.
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EuchreJack

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Re: Automation - The Car Company Tycoon Game
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2020, 04:38:04 pm »

Thanks for the reply, I just reviewed your LP as well.  It also seems that dealers can still contribute before they get to a whole number.

Maybe I should put down the Insane difficulty for a while, nah  :P

Any specific advice on advertising? Like how many levels do I have to invest to see a reasonable impact, and how soon before production do I need to advertise?

EDIT: I AM THE CHAMPION!
I was banging my head against the wall trying to get a car to sell on Insane difficulty, until I read a steam post about how small engine Vans were stupid easy to design quick and competitively for the delivery markets, AND IT WORKED!

I saw that I could get a tiny factory up without running out of money, so I avoided the loan.  It's probably for the best, as I have no idea if I'm selling enough to actually pay back a loan.  Now that I actually have a car selling, I can probably fiddle around with things to have a company actually survive at this difficulty.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2020, 10:06:53 pm by EuchreJack »
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