Hello everyone! Here is another Monday update for April 18, 2016! First I would love to wish you a happy Monday and hope you had a great weekend and that your Monday went well! So here we are, halfway through the month and quite some ways into the AI implementation. So far things have been going as expected and quite well indeed. With coding AI, you can imagine things get quite interesting quickly, but I must say that I am farther along than I anticipated. AI development could go into next month, but at the pace things are going so far, that might not be necessary. We will need time to test the full game, but I am happy to say that things are moving along and I am quite happy with where the timetables currently are.
So this week I have been planning some other aspects of the game alongside the AI implementation and that is what I want to share with you today.
In the game, you can expect to hire receptionists. You will not be forced into acquiring one, but it will be something that could help your company along in different interesting ways. So in real life we know that typically receptionists are the first line of individuals that interact with the outside world and filter in meaningful business interactions throughout the company, getting business through to the personnel of the company that would be responsible for decision making. In many ways, the same will apply within this game. Until you hire a receptionist, you the player will have a list of possible business opportunities that will fill your inbox or telephone voicemail (for the early game). You will also have a large list of business propositions that might be shady or of a certain type. When you hire a receptionist, you will be able to filter your offers to a degree, or completely shut out the outside world if you wish. To put this into perspective, I want to share with you some of the opportunities or gimmicks and dishonest propositions you might get within the game.
First of all, there will be a reputation system for outside companies. This reputation system will give you an idea of how shady or respectable a company might be. The important part is that as a player just starting a game, you will not be sure what companies are reputable and which ones are not until you start to hire receptionist, who will be able to uncover the reputation (by doing the research) for you. Receptionists do the dirty work of checking up on things you the player might not be able to. It could be the difference between taking on a bad business deal that could siphon a good deal of cash from your company, or picking up that one deal that pushes your productivity in the HR department by a healthy amount over time.
Some of these deals will be companies offering new software related to the different departments of your company which can add boosts to both your employees and the department as a whole. You might also get business collaboration deals that can help move your company’s prestige upward a little faster by boosting your publicity. There will many different deals like phone service opportunities to different janitorial companies offering their services to you, sometimes for a discount for example. In the end, taking on a contract can lead to good or bad things.
I am still fleshing this part of the game out as I mentioned I am planning the implementation for it this week, but the implementation has been and should continue to be simple. So there will be more details to come soon! Some things that I am planning might have to wait until after release as we have a full update and add-on plan for the game post release. So thanks for reading and I hope to be writing to you soon!
Babsimov asks: What is the starting year in the game (1970/1980/1990 or later).
WEB: We are stating 1975 as of now. This might change. However, it is worth noting that the player will not be tied down to starting in that year.
Babsimov asks: I like to know if it is possible to start the game at the very beginning of the personal computer industry (1975/80). Then designing a new computer line and make it the computer standard of today. I grow up at this time, so I always dream to make my preferred computer of the time the main standard instead of PC now. I hope with this game I can "rewrite" history?
WEB: Yes, this is entirely possible.
This game doesn’t really mimic history anyway, it is more like an open sandbox. So when you start the game, there will be companies trying to write history just as you are. There will be well established companies when you start the game, but your products can still become the standard depending on you and how you go about building your company and creating/marketing/distributing your products.
Babsimov asks: If it's not possible, I like to know if the game had mod support so players can add these thing to the game later?
WEB: At the moment, I cannot say that I am sure about modding, however as I’ve mentioned before it is something I hope to add. I cannot make any guaranties at this time however.
Babsimov asks: I read is it possible to create our own processor, GPU, sound chip...
so this mean we can choose what technologies it had (8 bit/16bit/32bit/64 bits and of course frequency), math coprocessor, early multimedia instruction, mmu and so on. For the GPU, 2 colors/4 colors/16 colors... to 32 bit colors later? 2D acceleration (sprite, zoom, blitter, rotation)? 3D function (mapping, gouraud, transform and lighting and so on? Early sound chips (using chip tune or sample, number of channel, and later with more function like DSP).
WEB: Yes, and no. I say yes because you will be able to make and designate the design in an abstract way, but going into too much detail will alienate some players, so the plan is to bridge that gap. If you watch the video I posted about the product creation phase, you will see how I approach this. It is understandable for tech savvy individuals, but also not over the head of those who are not.
Babsimov asks: One thing I like to see, if we can do these things, is the capacity to create new technologies that don't exist at this time (research), like Xerox do with the Mouse and the GUI. If we can create our own computer with our own component (and of course our own Operating System), i like to know if its technologies are "out of date" "fine" "advanced" or revolutionary for the time.
Some "fictional" press review or user review to know what to improve for the next generation.
WEB: Again, yes and no. I say yes because the way the research phase of the game works is more abstract in some ways in that it describes the path of technology you are researching and every company is using the same tree, so it is entirely possible for you the player to be on the cutting edge of that specific technology or technologies. It all depends on how much you put into your research department and the talent you pick up. One company can be much farther along than another company at any given time in this game. So some strategies will be to focus on research and then release a product that is far beyond what is available on the market. I say no, because it is done in a more abstract way.
Babsimov asks: By the way, you can look at GameBiz3 for the custom computer design. It have a nice motherboard creator mini game, and you can create revolutionary design for the time. But it's a little limited about hardware creation. I hope your game can go father.
WEB: We have some ideas that we will release in future add-ons and updates. Right now the creation of products is a little abstract, but we do plan to add in a much more detailed product creation module in the sense that you can place and create the layout of individual parts and more. For example, we plan to create a modular product creation system post release. For example, you would be able to select each part of a product and see the visual representation of that product. So you would fit the CPU in a PC, as well as the GPU, the motherboard attempting to place it in a way that optimizes the airflow. We are planning this for post release, but I won’t go into too much detail regarding it just yet.
Babsimov asks: About our own operating system, I like to choose what it can do (command line only, GUI or not, mouse or not, monotask, multitask (cooperative or preemptive), memory protection or nor, resource tracking or not, multithreading, object oriented, and so on.
WEB: indeed, this is the plan. However, Operating Systems are being added post release.
Babsimov asks: Another thing i like to be able is to cover all the computer market from game market to mainstream computer including early graphics station (like Silicon Graphics)
WEB: This is possible although quite challenging.
Babsimov asks: What about backward compatibility with our own computer family when we release the next generation? It is in a parameter we can check or set (0 % to 100 %)?
WEB: This will be more seen with video games and consoles. When you create the next Console, you can designate that it be backward compatible for its last generation counterpart. Just like in real life, if you made Console 2, then you can designate that it can play (whatever percentage of) Console 1’s games.
Babsimov asks: And can we create external peripheral for our computer (screen, printers, scanners, mouse, floppy drive, external hard drive (remember it's the early days) and thing like that.
WEB: This is another thing we are working on. I won’t speak on this yet. Updates coming soon.
Babsimov asks: Can we define and impose an industry standard for peripheral and connectivity (like SCSI/IDE/RS232/Centronics at the time). So we can be sure third party peripheral (even competitor) can be used with our hardware? Or simply buy and follow industry standard for this?
WEB: So far, there are certain things you can do with this. For operating systems (which will come post release), you can designate that it be a more isolated architecture than that of its competitors. Any software you create in this game; you will have control over how it can be used. An example would be games. You can make your games exclusive to one console or PC, or create different versions for each existing console. However, you will have to acquire a license to develop your games for those systems (consoles only).
Babsimov asks: Is it possible to open subsidiaries all around the world, or we can just have only one HQ?
WEB: Yes, in the game, you can open different types of facilities around the world.
Babsimov asks: Can we buy competitors (Percentage of their shares, or in totality). Maybe after a competitor bankruptcy an open auction sale? If this option exists, maybe we can buy only some part of a competitor (hardware/software/factory/technology)?
WEB: Yes, you can. More on this soon!