Feedback wanted: Market demand system

THIS POST CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS ON INTERNAL GAME MECHANICS

Hi everyone!

We’re currently working on our new market demand system. The purpose of the system is to allow various events to affect the market, but also to encourage the player to invest and focus on specific business types at different times in the game.

First of all: We plan to remove Interview Lite and the whole “interviewing citizens” mechanics. While the first experience with the mechanic is decent, it too quickly becomes a grindy experience.

Instead, we’re redoing the MarketInsider app to also include market trends and demands. Here’s an early mockup of how we imagine the demand part will look like:

Market demands

A few things to notice: All products will be listed showing 2 new data types:

  • Demand: How much the specific neighborhood is currently requesting a certain product.
  • Import Price Index: The current relatively global price index for the specific product. 50% means average.

Events

Events are a combination of global events and neighborhood-specific events. Events directly affect both demand and import price indexes.

So far we got the following events planned:

  • New business: Reduces the demand for products sold in the new business. AI business will instantly affect demand. Impact by player business will be calculated at midnight.

  • Closed business: Increases demand for products sold in the closed business.

  • Hype: A temporary boost to demand for a certain product. These events are duration-limited. Duration is not shown, but player will be notified when hype ends.

  • Product Shortage: Importers will increase prices. Also duration-limited.

  • Product Backorder: Importers stop selling specific products. Demand increases heavily. Duration-limited.

  • Large Player Purchases: If the player purchases a large quantity of a specific product, the prices will increase instantly and for a limited duration.

Impact on player businesses

Demands will directly impact what customers are requesting when visiting a business, making it lucrative to adapt to products in demand. Customers will accept higher prices for products in high demand.

We don’t want to make the demand system an annoyance, so events and changes to the demands will probably only change every 80-100 in-game day. We’ll balance this out as we learn more.

Your thoughts?

All of this is just ideas on paper. Now we would like to get your input, before we start finalizing the mechanic. What do you think? :slight_smile:

Thanks for reading!

@trust_level_0

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I think these will be great changes. Especially with interviews counting kind of akwardly. Eg: it says 9 people interviewed but 13 votes. Itwill increase challenges throughout starting the business, but also spice it up late game.

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I agree on the interview.
It doesn’t really make sense running around asking people as it in the game.
And it’s very time consuming, since the ingame time is very fast.
You could easily use 30-45 min just to find someone to talk too.
I used maybe 2-3 days just to find 10 people to interview.

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Hi there!

I would like to say that after re-reading your writing several times I was rather shocked, in a positive sense.

But let’s start with the prepositional fact.

I have practically never used that app, after the tutorial I found no real use in it. Also because already now in my opinion the MarketInsider app is great. It tells me what is being opened and what is being closed, without the need for interviews. You just have to be able to read between the lines, although it’s not an easy task and I admit that.

In fact, I find having to do interviews for the tutorial a bit tedious.
Often finding 10 people on the street means having to waste 2/3 days as there are few npc’s on foot.
You see me completely agree with the part about abolishing the forced need to have to do interviews But … Not with the elimination of the interviews themselves. Since money has been spent on it anyway, I’d propose integrating it in a clever and waste-free way. Make a job of it.
Entire companies could be created to collect data and that data could be found in the application you are updating.

Maybe it has already been proposed, maybe even discarded … but I’ll give it a try anyway!

In my opinion, the discourse on events is right. There can be tons of both positive and negative ones.
Totally in favour of creating events and on the “Impact on player businesses” speech

As far as applications are concerned, though, I’d still like to talk about that.
Why give all those applications right away? They risk destabilising the new player. I would recommend unlocking phone apps in alternative ways.

  • Paying subscriptions to private companies for the use of X App or Y Software or Z Phone. (Trading companies, MarketInsider etc)

  • Unlocked after work courses held at the central school with explanation.

  • In the vicinity of tutorial missions that allow you to understand the context of the apps themselves.

  • Or … In ways that can still be instructive for the player himself.

Not that it is of a monstrous complication, but I have noticed that some have had problems rooted in the applications themselves (Sometimes even me, with this I do not want to criticise anyone in particular)

Have a nice day

If I’ve gone off topic, please don’t hit me :stuck_out_tongue:

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Agreed, chasing down people to interview them can get tedious, especially if the information is intended to decay over time and be limited to certain regions.

I do like the idea of dynamically adapting to the wants of the people based on the changing world, but I agree, it shouldn’t change so rapidly that it becomes tedious.

I don’t know if this is the right direction, but this popped in my head:

It would be interesting if you could influence product backorder - like there is only a certain amount of a product available at a time, and if you purchase all of it and hide it in your warehouse, that would influence the demand for the produce since there is a shortage, no one else can buy it and the price would go up. Then as soon as the price goes up, every other business has to pay more for their next shipment of the goods…then you release your massive inventory, which then satisfies the demand and drives the price back down and forces the other businesses to sell at a loss.

I like the idea and also don´t think that the interviews add any fun to the game right now.

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Big fan of these changes. Atm, you can open 5 jewelry shops next to each other and make money. Not realistic.

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This feature suggestion might also be a good read:

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this is a great addition to have market demands however using the interview lite feature was also i nice feature.
Would it be possible to maybe have a feature where instead on interviewing each individual in the grindy fashion, company research is carried out where by you pay for a survey to be sent out for a duration of time which then retrieves the market demand figures for the neighbourhood.
Also one feature i do like is listening to the customers as they come into your shop where they are looking for a particular item to buy. This info could be gathered whilst you are in a shop to see what that shop should be supplying based on live demand. Like a live market research for that area the shop is in. This could also be carried out by employees (or store managers) which would be a cheaper but longer way to gather information.

2 Likes

Would definitely like to see this in the game as it is clearly superior to the interview lite system.
The way I can see this panning out is of course adding additional hardships to the long game. For starters I definitely believe we should increase the amount events occur to about 1 every 50-60 days OR allowing the player to change the frequency through console or options. Along with this addition, I think we should continue expanding into player-AI competition. Obviously with this addition we will see AI business directly impacting the players’. With this added difficulty, it would be great to also get insights on competitors. Maybe as you level up the insights become more detailed, but the basic jist would be a view to see other business prices, wages, hours, stock, etc. Therefore by the player stockpiling on goods to increase demand, you can effectively commit corporate sabotage on your competitors because they will have little stock of that item, it will be too expensive for them to buy more, and you can easily undercut their prices. With all of that being done, the game should recognize the desperate state the AI business is in and cause a shutdown. This is a lot more on top of what yall already put together, but just an idea that came into my head while reading.

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I was seeing this in my email and was like, wait I recognise this headline, it seems to be in my format, then read and was like oh yes, I remember writing this.

All in all, I think the mechanics proposed by the Jonas is a great stepping stone into my original idea. I also read some of the other comments and maybe the idea of setting up market research as an outsource component would be a great idea, maybe it could also be another business field for the game (an office based situation, like the lawyers business type.)

There could be multiple reports “leaked” by other companies in which the overall metric is measured. These reports could be located underneath with a new one every, say, 20 or 30 days. This could also help to show the player how to use the research as a tool and predict possible changes and quickly build up or adapt current businesses to these changes.

It would take a little time to adapt what you have there, but it would help to build the world just a little more, and create deeper immersion, whilst keeping it simple for prospecting players.

Mechanically it would work the same, just making it a little prettier essentially.

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Hey guys!

Thank you so much for all the input!

I actually talked with @David about something like this. Maybe a Research Agency, similar to the recruitment agencies etc. I’ll add it to the list, I think we first need some feedback on how the new demand system works and how often players need fresh data (might be all the time).

I see where you’re going with this. It’s hella complex, but would be super cool.

Haha I actually think your thread initially sparked my idea around the overall demand system. Being able to have large-scale events like pandemics, would be so cool.

This could build on top of @Chuck’s idea. The hardest part of all of this, is make it simple enough for players to understand and actually use it.

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Youve proven your abilities so far :grin:

I’m sure you’ve come to a similar conclusion of allocating all info into a Business insight type app. On top of that, I think a similar tab based system as is in the HQ would suffice. Maybe a tab for like business comparison, tab for world stock, tab for consumer insight. Some tables in these areas with simple numerical data that changes daily based on “events” and daily fluctuations would probably be a lot to take in at first, but not too bad for a player experienced enough to reach this point in the first place.

Hi,

Finally could focus on this topic. The idea is great. From my experience, I’ve used the interview only once, just to pass to objective and didn’t see any reason to proceed doing that. To twitch it a little I would suggest some additional thoughts:

  • Add new employee type. He will be assigned in the HQ and responsible for this.
    ** Skill level will directly apply how precise the gathered information is. And, when the player will be notified about some event.
  • Make all goods limited in the wholesale stores with a restock day. Buying out all the goods of one type, can make other companies struggle with their sales and even make them close their stores.
  • By changing the supplier prices dynamically. It would be nice to see the average price of those goods in your warehouse/shops. Since the customers know when the price is too high, so when suppliers will lower the product price, the customers can start to complain at our shops why our prices are that high.
  • Paying the suppliers only to sell particular goods to you for some period. (this would have to be extremely expensive. Yes, this is sneaky.)

Thoughts: Dynamic Economy, Business Types, Events, etc.

Potential for Economic Phases/States (See Simcompanies game as example):

  • Boom ~20% Time: High Retail Demand, Premium Import Prices (Shortage), Low Production (Shortage), Labor Shortage/High Labor Costs, etc.

  • Normal ~60% Time: Normal Retail Demand, Normal Import Prices, Normal Production, Normal Employment/Labor Cost, etc.

  • Recession ~20% Time: Low Retail Demand, Discount Import Prices (Surplus), High Production (Surplus), High Unemployment/Low Labor Cost, etc.

  • Economic state resets every ~30 or more Days.

Potential Business Types:

  • Staple Businesses (Relatively Stable Demand & Supply):

    • Businesses: Supermarket/Groceries, Personal Products, Drug Stores, Liquor Stores, Fast Food, Coffee Shops, Law Firms, etc.

    • People buy these items regardless of economic state with the occasional import commodity shortage that drives up prices with minimal or no demand impact.

  • Cyclical Businesses (Variable Demand & Supply):

    • Businesses: Gift Shops, Jewelry, Fashion/Clothing, Autos, Furniture/Appliances, Electronics, etc.

    • Demand depends heavily on state of the economy, tourism, etc. Importers/Producers charge premium in boom and offer steep discounts during recession.

Potential Events/Seasons:

  • Holidays/Holiday Season: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, etc.

  • World Events: Economic Boom, Recession, War, Natural Disaster/Weather (that damages Crops or production facilities), etc.

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Thoughts Part 2: Business Feasibility/Market Research Studies & Other Data

Market Research Services:

  • Conducted by a Management Consulting Firm

  • Costs: Fixed Fee and/or a Market Research Subscription Service

Market/Customer Data (by Neighborhood):

  • Neighborhood Demand: ~X units per day/week of Product Y, …

  • Market Share: Current Market Share of Competition and Unmet Demand in units & Pie Chart

  • Current Average Retail Price & Retail Price History: Product Y $X/unit, …

Optimal Operating Hours/Time of Day for each business type (No, Low, Normal or Peak Traffic Hours, etc.):

  • Early Morning: 0:00-4:00

  • Morning: 4:00-8:00

  • Business Hours: 8:00-16:00 (Lunch 12:00-13:00)

  • Evening: 16:00-20:00 (Dinner 17:00-18:00)

  • Late Evening: 20:00-24:00

Supplier Data:

  • Wholesale/Import Supply: ~X Units per day/week of Product Y, …

  • Current Average Wholesale Price & Wholesale Price History: Product Y $X/unit, …

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можно узнать когда будет новая бето верссия