Current State of the game and my thoughts

I’ve been playing this game in the current state, Beta 1, for closing in on 80 hours. In its current state, this game is still very much in its infancy - at least, that’s what I’m hoping. I was directed to bring this to your forum on youtube, by whoever is running your youtube account. As it addresses concerns I have.

Nothing you really do in-game has much of an effect on the world map. If you run a successful business, I’d expect traffic to pick up in the area, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Traffic is random but predictable. I can tell you there will always be five taxi cabs at every red light. The businesses are almost always going to be full of traffic and the parked cars never move unless you reload your map, which I’d expect at least people coming in and out. I get that this is a game and that stuff is hard, so I’m not judging that too harshly, but that’s something I think would be nice to add to the world. Traffic right now is actually one of my favorite parts of the game. Believe this or not. Even though it is predictable and could be better. Still, I’d like to see that added into the game. I know that would be hard and time-consuming, not going to hold my breath on that.

The one part I dislike and feel is game-breaking for me at least is that Some businesses are always full of cars, which makes it hard when delivering goods or setting up business, and these are low-traffic areas that make no sense. If the parking spots reflected the traffic of the area, that would be make more sense and not be as annoying, not to mention wouldn’t be as frustrating. As I would expect that From high traffic areas. rent a building with 10 traffic but never able to find a parking spot or that street is crammed with cars every time I come to it makes no sense. That’s just the world observations that seem game-breaking when it comes to immersion. At least that I’ve noticed. Very noticeable and annoying.

The things I’d like to see added to and expanded upon would be advertisements actually having an effect on the neighborhood, seeing the logo that I can add to the game and it is customizable (a great feature love it) but is not currently displayable in the world, making them practically useless other than roleplaying, and if this was an MMO I wouldn’t say anything. Seeing them when I buy add space is what I expected, not the reality of it. Very disappointing. I’d like to be able to drive around town and actually see my logo on the billboards, especially if I’m spending money on it and you’re asking me to take the time to add it to the game.

This brings me to another game-breaking feature. Advertisements should be limited to the number of billboards in the game. I shouldn’t be able to run three hundred advertisements across all my businesses. Billboard space should be premium and limiting. Internet advertisement makes no sense unless we can open a website up on the game and run a business that way. Which would be great and allow us to run a wholesale business. TV advertisement makes more sense. even radio advertisements. You already have billboards in-game, limit the ads you can buy so they can be displayed to run there. It would make the player pick and choose which businesses they have to run ads for. I would expect it to be a limited community, and the menus for setting it up says as much. Be fun to find where the ad I bought was located. Another thing you can add is competing businesses can also buy that space and even have bidding wars. But that’s just a thought. to add complexity to the game.

Now when I do buy that advertisement, here’s what I would expect to happen in-game. Traffic in the area should have picked up in an area where I’m spending 900 thousand over 12 weeks to drive traffic to a business. I expect building caps to be an issue where I am already at 100% interest. Nope, not an issue, nor do the businesses ever exceed the building cap. Nor is the flow affect other businesses in the same area.

If you train your employees perfectly, and have only the stock the devs want and not too much of it on display then you will not need advertisement, as you can not exceed those limits. Which is silly. If I spend millions to get feet into my business I would actually expect an increase and at points exceed that cap. You can see this at black Friday sales in the USA.

One part I was disappointed in was, that you can’t implement sales, which is really the point of marketing and to compete against other businesses to increase your sales are usually used to lower sales to other businesses of that same type. To force them out of business or steal their loyal customers. There currently are no market shares in this game. Prices are stagnant and my actions make no difference in the world. Once I buy all, let’s say all Jewelry stores in the game, I should be able to jack the prices up, This is how it is and was actually done in real life and they control the supply and therefore they have been able to jack the prices up to insane levels, currently, you cannot do that. one dollar will stop sales in the real world period, not true in the game. This makes no sense. If you own all the market shares, You control the goods. If I own all the food in the area, I control the prices or the people strave, not just stop buying. This is not reflected well in the game. love to see shoplifting added in the game and having to hire security to stop it from happening as this happens to real businesses,

Another thing that isn’t reflected in the prices that are currently in NY. The reason being most people do not know why living in NY is so much more expensive. The reason is actually simple, businesses normally are all in competition and constantly raising and lowering their prices, to compete with completion. NY went a different way and many businesses have learned to work together, instead of against each other. which is why the cost of living there is so high. The city made it illegal not to buy from certain vendors, making insane monopolies. The game wants me to believe if Prices go even slightly too high, all interest in food sales die, which isn’t how reality works - people will buy, especially if you’re the only supplier and owner of that business type. Thats why NY is so expensive, the businesses started to work together. This does not happen or is reflective in the current state of the game.

Next, we’re going to talk about the systems in the games that seem to be somewhat in need of editing. One of my biggest gripes is the warehouse. They deliver to 4-8 businesses. Nothing you can do will change this, which makes no sense. Let me explain why this makes no sense. Your game has a vehicle a medium truck that cost 98k. Which at first glance seems great. It has 60 cargo spaces. That is 3 vans. The parking in this game in for the van can be a bit annoying. Considering how little some areas have for parking. these areas are already super tight just for the van. The truck is much worse and you’re better off saving time and just using the van. As it will take a lot longer to park legally, if you can do it at all. Anyone who has played knows how precise you have to be to park. it can get annoying. Trucks are much much worse.

Where the trucks should add value is my warehouses. But alas it does nothing. No extra route or business. You can just own the van and it will run exactly the same and cost only 6800 dollars. This is exactly what a real business would do. Do not own anything that adds no value to your business. There is never a reason to buy the truck. If it added another business or route sure, but currently all youre doing is cutting into your profit.

Now we come to another problem. You never get to see what you’re buying before buying it. When buying a store or warehouse, unless you bought that exact building before and know what you’re getting into, you pretty much have no idea the size or layout, when first starting out This is unrealistic, as well as bothersome and annoying to plan out what to buy. For example, planning to own a liquor store in a space that turns out to be much smaller than one expected is a troublesome gameplay experience, as you’ll buy shelves and end up with one too many, thinking the space will end up being able to hold three instead of two. when first starting out this could break you, by the end game I just discard it as it doesn’t matter. This is another problem - all of the buildings were not designed to hold a certain amount of anything. The game is set up so you shouldn’t care about extras. Yet floor plans are either too big or too small. They seem to have been thrown together with no regard to spacing for in-game items a business owner would actually buy that adds value to your business. Certian business types will not have enough space and are actually not that profitable,
I get it why, but this really limits the player if you aren’t testing out different layouts and how players would play them. The game wants me to aim for billionaire, but the game design screams bankrupt. When you look at the map, the sizes of the buildings on the map vary but the stores once you buy them do not reflect this. the sizes are not that varied and layouts currently arent that vast so learning this is easy but becomes uninteresting very fast and bland even when I am wasting tons of money to make them look great. A blueprint added to the lease screen would fix some of this annoyance easily. but wont fix the overall broken aspect of this problem.

In reality, most businesses will go under construction and tear down walls to make store areas bigger or smaller depending on the needs of the business, which this game doesn’t have. I would love to see that feature in the future. Would add a lot of replayability to the game. currently, replayability isn’t that high.

Next, buying and selling goods. This is another mess that should be sorted out. In its current state, you can only buy certain items from imports. Clothing would be an object that you can’t buy right now. I don’t know if there are plans to put that in the game but, at the moment, you can’t purchase them, which is not reflected by our current reality clothes are one of the biggest imports in the US. bit that’s not my biggest issue.

Not a lot of thought went into the purchasing aspect of the game, as most prices are not reflective of real-life equivalencies. An example would be 80 cents per hot dog. No company would spend that much on a hot dog as they would not make much money. yes that is the price in New york, and a business would not do great if they just used one vendor. I used google and with seconds I for hot dogs for .56 an ounce. which is way cheaper. But I would not buy them there if I owned one of these businesses. Also, that price is always fixed. It doesn’t go up and down. Like they do in real life, Buy low sell high. That is how businesses make money. I get it, its easy if you have one price, but this is a business sim, should have some complexity to it. I want to luck into a box of cheap hot dogs because I was watching the prices. Not just of oh let me go set up constant delivery. yeah, I can make millions in the game doing that, well actually make millions doing jewelry. Once you get the hang of not buying extra’s and never buying the cosmetics you will always run a successful business, where is the risk. There is none.

There can be an argument made that import vs. delivery from the wholesaler has no real impact on the game. The cost is about the same and really makes no difference, so why have choices in the game that makes no difference, it really doesn’t increase your profit margin nor are you able to buy stuff at a discount. The only difference is that the wholesaler charges you 1k to deliver, and you don’t have to hire and train staff, and own a min of 2 buildings which actually can cost you more than the 1k fee. The 1k fee is cheaper but it should slow your growth. It doesn’t. But there really is no need to get a warehouse other than its part of the quest the dev’s give you. Honestly its a waste of money. Yeah it adds value but it doesnt also.

Why this annoys me is you’re basically setting up another small business to act as the wholesaler, to the company you are trying to supply to it and make money and it doesn’t save you money, just wastes resources and ends up costing more in the end. If you have the capital to set it up, it doesn’t matter which you choose. The smart way would be just to pay the 1k for delivery as the setup cost is high with no payoff that adds value to your company. It is just wastes time and money you can use on other businesses.

Staff management is another big issue in the game. When acquiring a company, you do not retain any of the employees from the takeover, which is part of the value of the company. Because of this, you must hire new employees, which makes no sense especially when spending a couple of million on a business. You want to keep familiar faces, but the game doesn’t understand that. Also, hiring new people is a huge waste of time, the reason being about 90% of the recruitment done, returns about a 20-30% (if you’re lucky) skill level, meaning you have to train them all. When you’re talking about hundreds of employees this gets old quickly. Before you say oh but you can just keep using recruitment till you have all 90% or higher to lower the time and cost, yeah it doesn’t. If you do the 5 days cost is low but slow. and will take you weeks. SO save money but months wasted, don’t save time. in one day that’s 5k. would take about 45k if did 5k to get 10 employees at 90%. faster and cheaper to just do it once and train over the next 8 days, as it would be about the same mount of time to get the same amount of employees. So money doens save you time. WHich is completely dumb.

This takes a lot of time and a lot of clicking, which loses interest quickly. There’s no way to mass-hire unassigned employees to prepare for a business opening when you take over a business or start a new one, without unassigning them all and training them all one by one, which takes a lot of time. I know that they have HR coming, and I hope that it solves this, but I doubt it. But seriously if they just allowed us to hire unassigned that would at least save us a few clicks and be less annoying

Another issue with employees is if they work more than 6 hours a day, they will start calling in sick even if they’re off every other day. Because of this, so many employees must be hired - 5 employees a day for a 24-hour business. 10 total not counting cleaning. Which racks up very fast and will start lagging game once you hit about 250, at 500 I start seeing stutters. The average workweek in the USA is 40 hours, The game would make you think that people would just keep calling in if we worked 40 hours. Dumb. Also game expects you at the beginning to work more than that. 48 hours a week ALso everyone wants weekends off why have that as a choice if everyone wants it. Which btw is always the busiest days.

This is unfortunate as having a 24-hour business seems to be the only way to yield the most profit. Law offices are broken, as I have yet to run a successful law office even though I have more than enough lawyers at $70-80 an hour charging $287, yet somehow it’s still not profitable. So the offices are not currently viable in this game. Gave it a go a few times, no clue, if it is so, broke it not doable or if I am dumb and cant figure it out.

Once you hit a certain number of employees, I’d estimate about 250, the employees all start calling in sick en-masse randomly. I wonder if this is to keep the load times down. because they dont know how to fix the lag from that many people. There’s no way to deal with this and it basically is a death sentence for your game unless you’ve amassed a lot of money before it starts happening. Even then, it can still drain even the most lined in-game bank accounts.

All businesses should be set up basically with no added features as they are not needed, as they add no value and do not increase customer traffic, and play no role whatsoever for the game, Adding the very few cosmetics in the game makes no difference other than to add an aesthetic appeal to the gamer, not the customers in-game. A business if the can get away with it would use as little as possible to cut overhead and make the most money. It makes it feel like a Sims game. I personally would not go into any of the businesses that would be set up in the minimalistic ways this game has made me consider is the most efficient way to build your business. but since it doesnt matter why do it.

With all that being said, I do like the concept of the game, though it could be executed in a manner more faithful to real-life operations. More care could be taken in the systems of the game and I think if the major issues mentioned here are addressed, it could become a great game. Only time will tell if the developers realize these problems and come to fix them.

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Hi mate,

First of all thanks for your feedback, it’s clear that you have put some effort into this. Responding to everything would be a bit too overwhelmingly for me, but I’ll pick out what I consider the most important below.

Absolutely! We haven’t even started balancing the game yet, so the game experience will radically change over the summer.

Traffic is hard, and incredible expensive. We already sunk in hundreds of hours making it what is it so far. That being said, all the things you want, we want too. We plan to continue improving traffic years after the release.

We already have support for time-based and location-based traffic volumes. We just haven’t had the time to balance it out yet. I hope we get this done by Beta 4.

This is actually already the case and your own ad will be part of the billboard cycles around the town. However, we have earlier discussed internally if we should increase the chance of seeing your own ads. +1 vote for that now :slight_smile:

That’s a good idea! Much more realistic with that being heavily limited. Would be awesome if you submitted that as an individual suggestion for others to vote for.

Another good idea! Would be great setting up an individual thread for that too.

You’re 100% right. Fortunately, it’s coming in Beta 2. You can read more about it here (or join the discussion):
https://community.bigambitionsgame.com/t/feedback-wanted-market-demand-system/1053/15
Although, the specific system you’re asking might be out of our relatively small indie budget :smiley: But we do our best.

You’re right the medium truck is meant just for the warehouses. The regular van allows 2 destinations and the medium truck allows 4. That’s the reason to buy it. We might buff the destinations count later, we’re still collecting feedback.

This is changed in Beta 2. We introduce a preview feature and we also add more data to the building presentation like customer capacity and traffic index. We’ll also add more information to the help system. Discussed here: Building Layouts - #3 by MrIgesund

We’re still busy creating building layouts. We target 2 additional layouts for every beta. Same goes for beta 2.

There’s 2 additional harbor importers located in Murray Hill, which will complete the “import catalog”. This last neighborhood is planned for release in Beta 3.

Beta 2 introduces “Import Price Index” with the new demand system. Prices will vary depending on the current demand for a product. We haven’t yet balanced in-game prices, but it will be very hard to simulate real-life prices as we have much fewer variables affecting revenue in BA.

We’re gonna change that. Completely agree.

Staff management and recruitment are generally implemented with a minimal level of complexity. This is something we expect to improve a lot later on, but for now unplanned.

I never heard about this issue before, but I would love to get a copy of your savegame so we can investigate. We’re badass at fixing lag and performance issues.

To sum everything up, I think your “frustration” comes down to our unusual way of developing games. When I developed my first game, Startup Company, I learnt the power of involving the community early on. Constantly listen to feedback as the game evolves, and admit that we can’t plan out a perfect game on paper, develop it and not make mistakes.

Many of the mechanics, like the employee or marketing systems are left relatively simple, in order to leave space in our budgets and schedules to actually react to player feedback. It’s not part of a bigger “game plan”.

I should also point out that even though we hope to release the game by August, we’re having no plans on ending development. As a studio, we have no “next game” in our pipeline. Our hope and dream is to continue developing the world of Big Ambitions for the next decade.

Thanks again for all your feedback and thanks for playing so far. Almost everything you mention is somewhat already on our radar, which makes me confident that we’re on the right track (which is nice!).

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First off, thanks for taking the time to answer the questions, and doing so in a timely fashion also. Secondly, Frustration can be a good thing. I like challenges. It’s nice to see that you are heading in a direction and addressing these issues. Like I said once these issues are addressed this will be amazing. SO i look forward to seeing them implemented. I don’t expect an indie game to go insane with game design and to go over the top on these things. I like to think i am a realist. Thank you so much for returning a response so quickly. I honestly should have expected that.

Always, community first! For sure, it’s only through that we can build a great game.

Appreciate you took your time to set up the billboard suggestion :slight_smile:

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