Hello everyone! Another week, another infusion of sheer progress! As with each week, I hope that all is well with you and yours. I have been plugging away and fine tuning the AI this past week. I am almost finished with it, yet polishing and more fine tuning will be a part of the process all the way toward the release date. This upcoming week will see more of the same and UI elements being added in. This month will also see more modelling assets being added in as well as the other products that can be created in the game. I hope to have this in by the end of the month, but it could easily extend into next month. So hang in there with me as I work really hard to get it all in relatively in a short amount of time. Thanks again for everyone’s patience!
This week I want to share more about the AI (competition) with you. As the player it will be fun to know how the AI will work within the game. Maybe you can come up with ways to manipulate the AI to your advantage, maybe not. Either way, I want to share with you how the AI works to a small degree. Of course you as the player will have to figure out everything else. So in many ways I will just be scratching the surface in this article.
To begin, each company has a CEO. Each CEO carries different attributes that will govern each decision that can be made. Think of it as their ideas and the things that shape their views of the in-game world. The CEO’s will run the company. Throughout the game, depending on the success or failure of a company, the company’s AI may reconsider the effectiveness of its CEO and “vote” him/her out and appoint a new one. If that happens, the new CEO’s attributes will govern all new decisions for that company. As the player you will be able to see how this will affect said company if you watch them closely enough. There will be news events in the game, where you can look at a monthly newspaper or article to catch up on all the most important things happening in the game world.
The AI has one primary goal. In the game, each company (CEO) aims to make more and more money and lead their respective industries and more. The ultimate goal is to become a global powerhouse and even crossover into different industries if possible. To get to these milestones, each company has a different idea of what it will require. Each CEO, just like you the player will have a management team, both executives and department managers who will handle the company’s day to day tasks. The CEO however will determine the directives given to their staff, and other governing guidelines.
To give some examples, I want to walk through some decisions that will have to be made throughout the game. Firstly, hiring employees. What will happen is the CEO will look at each office and department within their company. They will grade the talent at each location and mark them according to their needs or the lack thereof, so if the HR department at one of the company’s satellite offices has a less than efficient skill for what the CEO wants, they will look for any weak links in the team and potentially fire and replace them. If, however, there is no reason to replace the employee, the CEO may just decide to stick with the team being downsized a bit. Another situation might be product performance. If a product is performing well in one city and not so well in another, the CEO will probe for the cause of the disparity and try to find a solution. There will be many reasons why a product may do well in one city and not so well in another. Here is the list of possible causes where each is taken into consideration by each CEO:
- Supply and Demand: Each city has stores and outlets that sell products. It is each company’s responsibility to make sure the stores shelves are stocked with product. This is a process that can be set to automated, however both the player and AI must monitor the costs associated.
- Exposure: Each company must also manage the exposure of each product throughout the world. The more campaigns a company runs, the more exposure that specific product will get. However, the skill of your marketing teams and campaign options will determine how effective each campaign can be. Either way, customers cannot consider purchasing a product they’ve heard nothing about.
- Competition: In each city there will most likely be more than just a few products of any kind on the market. As a result, competition is a big potential cause for a products performance; be it market share and/or being up against superior products. The AI will consider this and make necessary decisions as a result. Some of those decisions may be to make improvements to the product, or pull the product if it is performing extremely poorly and start working on creating a better product.
- Life Cycle: The longer a product is on the market it will begin to see a natural decline in sales. This is part of Competition as well, because the longer a product is on the market, the more time competitors have to improve or create new products that will be better. As a result, the AI will also consider this
So the AI is going to be as complete as possible, making smart decisions and keeping themselves in the running to become the best company in the game.
In the last monthly video update, I showed you more about the different customers that make up a products fan base. For CPU’s that will be: Enthusiastic, Business and Casual customers. Each group cares about different things as well as some of the same things. Here is a quick breakdown of most of the criteria they will consider when making purchases.
All CPU customers care about the following to different degrees.
- Cost: Easily one of the most important aspects of a customer’s decision. However, in the game, there are wealth classes and as a result, some will be concerned more with cost than others. Other than this, casual and business customers are more concerned about this than enthusiastic customers.
- Technology Level: This represents the potency of the CPU, its full potential. This is combination of power and speed, however there is more to it than just this, I will explain more later. Enthusiastic customers are far more concerned with this as they tend to want the latest and greatest in technology and performance.
- Multitasking: This is how many operations a CPU can complete in one cycle. As a result, business customers rely on this to achieve more in less time. Casual and Enthusiastic customers also care about this, but to a lesser degree.
- Overheating: Overheating is a big issue with CPUs, and is one attribute that can quickly cause your CPU to fall out of grace or simply never leave the ground. Heat management is essential to the durability of the unit as well as its performance.
- Usability: How easy your CPU is to operate, install or take care of. From the moment your product enters the hands of the end user, can they do what they need to do with it, without hassle? That is what this attribute represents, and Casual customers are the most concerned with it.
- Durability: How long will your CPU last before breaking down? How much damage can it take before it needs to be sent for repairs or replacement? This matters to all customers as they want their money’s worth.
- Company’s Prestige: Some customers are stuck on company reputation and if your company has gained positive publicity, they may be more inclined to purchase from your company because maybe you stand for values that they stand for. This is what this represents and there will always be some customers who consider this at different levels within each group.
- Customer Service Reputation: Lastly, but far from least important, is the reputation of your company’s customer service teams. How well do your customer service teams know the products they handle? How kind are they to your customers and are they adequately staffed. All customers care about this, but casual and business customers are more concerned with it than enthusiastic customers mostly because the latter tend to be able to self-diagnose and solve the simpler issues related to CPU's as they tend to be more tech savvy.
Technology level has everything to do with how powerful and speedy the CPU is in addition to efficient the design of the CPU is to maximize the potential. This is a little complex to explain, but I will do so closer to release when I create the tutorials and other helpful resources.