Author Topic: In-game manufacturing profitability view  (Read 21158 times)

Offline myk002

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In-game manufacturing profitability view
« on: March 25, 2015, 05:09:21 am »
Hi all,

One question that I find myself asking a lot is: "what's the best use of my engineer's time right now?"  There has always been this wiki page, but it is cumbersome to switch out of the game and go back and forth to consult charts, and now with mods adding items and changing properties of existing items, the wiki's charts can be incomplete and inaccurate.

I decided to try to bring the profitability calculations into the game so it can give you accurate, useful data for exactly the items you can manufacture right now.  Here's a preview for what I've done so far.  The screenshots are of the production items screen (if you don't recognize some of the items, it because they're from the FMP).  I've added a third column that shows the net profit (or loss) if you dedicate all the manufacturing resources at this base to the item for one month.  The number will differ for different bases according to their manufacturing capacity.  Of course, most "profit" numbers will be negative, but even this is useful since it informs you of the "opportunity cost" of manufacturing the items that you need.

I also added an additional "category" to the combo box to show only profitable items.  If this is selected, the list is sorted so the most profitable items you can manufacture right now are at the top.

What do you guys think?  Would this be a welcome addition to the game?  My concern is that while it can be very useful for someone who knows what it does, it can also be confusing for newcomers.  Any ideas on how to refine this to be clearer/more useful?
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 05:14:26 am by myk002 »

Offline Arthanor

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 05:29:43 am »
I'm not 100% sure about the numbers being there all the time, it makes things look a bit messy (but I guess to some extend a modder could take care of that by creating neat numbers). The "Profitable Items" category is great, not only as a user, but also as a modder to review the profitability of what you created.

Offline myk002

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2015, 09:52:33 am »
Another option is to not have the third column, but keep the "profitable items" category/filter so you can still get an ordered list of items to manufacture for profit.  I could then move the actual profit calculation to the next screen (the ManufactureInfo screen), where you assign a particular number of engineers to the job.

We would lose the ability to compare all possible items at a glance, but gain accuracy for the individual item, since then I can calculate profit based on the actual number of engineers assigned and not just assume that the base's full manufacturing capacity will be dedicated to the job as I currently do.  Of course, I could add the profit info to the ManufactureInfo screen regardless of whether we have the third column in the item list..

Offline hellrazor

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2015, 01:27:37 pm »
You only need to produce to items for selling in vanilla game:

Motion Scanners and Laser Canons.

Offline yrizoud

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 04:37:38 pm »
It's the bottom line for vanilla game : Even if the game gave you the information directly, after you draw your own conclusions, you would never need this information again.

Offline myk002

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2015, 05:18:36 am »
Fair enough.  Would it be useful to see how much money you'd make per month for the number of engineers you have assigned?  This probably needs a few more text labels and maybe not put the value on the button itself, but something like:
« Last Edit: March 27, 2015, 05:22:48 am by myk002 »

Offline volutar

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2015, 09:12:11 am »
Manufacturing items for sale is not what vanilla xcom about. Literally, it's just side effect of the "selling" feature of the game. AFAIK xcom2012 doen't have that at all. Hell, it's the game about fighting alien invasion, not getting billionaire.

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2015, 09:38:47 am »
OP, what hellrazor said. 

Volutar, manufacturing items for sale is not a side effect in vanilla xcom.  The developers were definitely smart enough to know what people would do if the selling cost was significantly higher than the manufacturing cost.  If selling items wasn't meant to be a source of income, it would only be to clear items from your inventory.  In that case the developers would have either made the selling cost the same or very close to the manufacturing cost, or just have an option to give stuff the boot.  It may not be what you feel vanilla xcom is "about", but that is definitely the way it was intended to play.

P.S.  Are you the same Volutar who created MCDedit?  If so, I praise you!  You made my Tactical Lightning mod possible. :)

Offline volutar

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2015, 10:15:28 am »
It may not be what you feel vanilla xcom is "about", but that is definitely the way it was intended to play.
Nope. It's not INTENDED to be played like that, but still it CAN be a helper. But paying too much of attention on "profit" would heavily bias the main purpose of the game.
There are dozens of game completion tactics, and that' why THIS one shouldn't be accented like "please use this". There shouldn't be helpers on that.
Quote
P.S.  Are you the same Volutar who created MCDedit?  If so, I praise you!  You made my Tactical Lightning mod possible. :)
Yes it's me. I was just rebuilt Kobalt's MCDView to be runnable under win64, and went slightly further. ;)

Offline yrizoud

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2015, 11:45:55 am »
Since profitability is a constant that experienced players (of the game or MOD) don't need in everyday screen, I'd export it to the Ufopedia entry of the relevant item.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2015, 11:49:44 am »
I'm a supporter of a tool outside of the actual game.

Offline myk002

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2015, 05:52:45 am »
I'm a supporter of a tool outside of the actual game.
yeah, it's starting to look like that's the best option.  Implementing it in game was certainly easiest since all the data (and UI) is there ready to go, but it could go into an external tool and have nice little widgets for tweaking variables.  I wonder if I implement it as a web page it could get included in the wiki...

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2015, 11:56:03 am »
The Big Sot (I think) made such a tool, it's called Ruleset Viewer and one of its functions is exactly what this thread is about.

It is bundled with the new MapView.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2015, 11:59:06 am by Solarius Scorch »

Offline redv

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2015, 02:23:15 pm »
Option, when the "sell" button replaced by monthly profit, looks good.
Obviously, if you set the units quantity to infinity, then you want to sell these stuff.
If you want to sell these stuff, then will be good to know something about profit.

Offline myk002

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Re: In-game manufacturing profitability view
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2015, 10:31:07 pm »
The Big Sot (I think) made such a tool, it's called Ruleset Viewer and one of its functions is exactly what this thread is about.
It is bundled with the new MapView.
Ah, good point.  I hadn't tried it since we fixed those syntax errors in the requirements lists in the FMP ruleset (which at that time prevented the manufacturing analysis from working).  Ok, so I'll clean up the code for the second version -- the one that adds the information to the sell button -- and leave the external tools to other people :).