Retail Market Calculation Issue

This is the first time I’ve actually spent time to go through the retail results and compare them to daily moves in consumer profiles.

Before I go ahead and put together a user guide on them I have an issue that seems either very draconian or buggy. I have long been perplexed at the way you can be happily selling 5 cars a day and suddenly it switches to zero because one more competitor enters the market. That’s not normal market behaviour!

The best example I can use is Turkey, where I am the only active retailer in a small market that doesn’t quite support one business. It’s handy coz we can exclude the variables of higher brand / quality / reputation.
A few days ago there were 4 consumer groups that would have supported 4 car sales a day at a price of 83k per car but as a new retailer I set my price to 79k to ensure a solid start. In the last 24 hours that changed to 5 consumer groups at a lower rate per group although an increase in overall market demand. My sales dropped to zero for the next 6 game days. The consumer groups will now support 5 cars at 67.4k but zero cars at 69k.

There is no concept of demand carry over as in I can’t afford it today but I’ll save and buy it tomorrow and the construct of only selling if a quota is fully covered is just too clunky. I now understand that in a competitive market the concept is basically the same - if there’s enough demand for 1.5 cars at a the same price the higher quality/brand will sell one car and the second highest will sell zero.

If my summary of market sales allocation is roughly correct, I would like to propose a second pass of allocations that looks at the total g of market demand, subtracts the sales allocated and then distributes the remaining g to the next worthy competitors. The only cut off would be on the last car - not one cut off per consumer group.

Thank you for your comments Fireyscorp, we will review your feedback closely.

Hey Fireyscorp, the market is pretty much working as you suggest with a redistribution.

The fact that you stop making sales when a competitor moves in. This is usually when you are right at the upper limits of a market price (selling at g79,000 and a consumer group has g80,000 to spend) and then a new business opens and there is now enough GDP in a country to warrant an extra consumer group be added.

Yes, the amount per group drops some but that is mostly that money is added to the market but some money is taken from each group to for the new group. So you will not be able to sell a g79,000 car to any group that only has g67,000 to spend until enough retailers open around the world to increase the GDP back up to a point to support it. Or, you could lower your price to sell.

OK - So I understand how it works and can adjust my pricing to suit (or move my business) but it still doesn’t make it right. (And the example I gave is one where I remain the only active retailer in the country)

It would be fine if we were selling phones or items with a smaller value, but you have selected cars which have a very high unit price and there are many countries with a relatively low total demand. When a country’s total market demand is 350k g per day but the splitting of consumer groups results in zero sales at 75k then you have failed your own assurance that the market will support sales of at least one business. (EDIT - from User Guide “However, in order to help with gameplay, all countries have a minimum market demand available to support at least one business.”)

I repeat, the issue I have a problem with is that you have introduced the cut-off at the consumer group level - not the total market for a country.

Another question just from a gameplay / decision making point of view…

When you play the retail mini game and sell 22 cars - does that have any effect on the market demand calc or is it outside of that?

Hey Firey,

You are right that with your assessment and the limitations you have identified. Here’s why it works this way …

The economic algorithms in this game are very complex. I mean VERY complex. Trying to keep the economies of each country in the world proportional and consistent with the real world, while at the same time allowing the game economy to scale regardless of how many players are in the game and regardless of which countries they choose to do business, makes it all incredibly difficult to model.

Because of these competing challenges, something has to give, meaning that we have to allow something to be less realistic in order to make something else more realistic. Hence the lack of “demand carryover” and “cut off at consumer group level” that you have smartly identified.

There are many other factors that contribute to these complexities too. So, in order to actually finish this game and make it available to play, we have to make a decision as to how much effort we will put into any one component of the game. To do this we have to find the right balance between being true to our core gameplay and not spending too much time on the things that are good enough for now.

Despite how complex the economy algorithms already are …did I mention they are VERY complex :slight_smile: …we could spend more time on further refining them to eliminate some of the limitations noted above, thereby making them even more complex, but then we will have no time to work on what we believe are more important features for fun and realistic gameplay. We’ve got some nice upgrades coming for manufacturers and retailers, as well as many bug fixes, that we think are better for everyone, so we’ve chosen to focus on those instead (for now anyway).

Oh, and to answer your question, the mini game does not affect the market demand. But, maybe some day it should (although then it might not allow for any sales and that’s no fun).

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Thanks and I understand. I guess as long as everyone is playing by the same rules and they have a guide to work by, it doesn’t really matter what those rules are.

I will go ahead and create a guide to newer players.

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We took a quick look at a day in the life of India for a retailer. The day we looked at, there were 3 retailers selling at around g80,000. The consumers bought 2 cars from one, 3 from another, and 5 from the remainder. This pretty much tapped out the consumer groups for the day leaving each about g45,000 which is less than anyone is selling for.

If for some reason the consumers decided to by 5 from one and 5 from the other, the third would not make a sale.

Also, take note that our economy and sales algorithms include some AI that you won’t be able to figure out using play testing. We can’t disclose this AI but it is designed to maintain realistic and fair gameplay.

Back to India and I’m sorry.
I have no problem with only 10 cars being sold when there are 10 consumer groups and the selling prices are around 80k. My problem is with the allocations of those 10 sales. Forget the complexity.
In principle If company x has a cheaper price, equal quality, better brand than company y and z, then shouldn’t x at least always sell more cars than y and z?
Even if it was 4,3,3 it would be fair but that’s not what happening so SOMETHING isn’t right.
Last day (30) the actual figures were Price x 79500, y 80000, z 80000
MFG all at 100
Brand x 32, y 26, z 26
Sales allocation x 0, y 5, z 5

at 78500 the sales history day 24 to 29 read 2,3,4,2,4,5 and then 0 at 1000 higher.

This is why I asked for someone to manually do the math and compare it to the system result. There has to be some input that is throwing out the calculations… I can’t see any randomisation that leads to zero sales being fair or reasonable.

Firey, are these numbers from days 24 to 29 GT? In other words, they are from shortly after the big reset back in March?

Where are you finding the SALES ALLOCATION numbers (what report or table)?

Sorry I should have written Yr3, Day… They are recent.

The sales history came from my activity report
The sales allocation came from combining my sales all brands / activity report with what I assumed and scarecrows confirmed.
The pricing plus brand info comes from the Product competitive report

  • (I note the MFG quality and Features figures on that report are all totally wrong and hope those figures are not being used in calcs, but even if they are it shows all 3 retailers at the same level 52/56 instead of 100/100)

The erratic sales allocations have continued (0-5) but testing now is going to get tricky coz scarecrows has dropped one of his to 75k…

Firey, thanks for the additional info. We are going to look into it further. Note that SIGNAGE can also make a difference in sales too, in case your two businesses are not similar. We will post here what we find.

Regarding the Product Competitiveness Report, it seems the HEADINGS are not changing when you switch between RETAIL vs MFG and that is causing confusion, so we will fix that up.

QUESTION for Firey:

We just reviewed the UNITS SOLD for Bengal, Howrah, and Qutub for the past month GT. We see that Bengal had only 1 day with 0 sales. Howrah also only had 1 day with 0 sales. Is it possible that you may have run out of inventory for a day or part of a day to result in the 0 sales?

Note also that Howrah has more signage and with everything else being equal, that business should win somewhat more sales, which it did … 118 in total versus 92 for Bengal and 90 for Qutub.

Well no chance it has more signage if 5 stations is the max, I always start by switching everything on. (And no chance I ran out of stock)
I think I may have a clue. A lot of scarecrows sales are my stock with a brand of 42% and most of my supplies are coming from brand 25/26% suppliers - even though it says in my retailers screen that my brand equity is 42%. Also does reputation play any part? What effect would my 100 vs x at scarecrows have?
Anyway - not possible to test more coz he’s moved one to China and now we’ll test the price behaviour with different dynamics.