Posts By: Busayo Ajao
Inventory section details in our economic simulation game

Welcome to your latest update on our progress developing Business heroes, our business and economic simulation game for PC. While we’ve been spending a tremendous amount of time just debugging the food truck financial reports section 😭, we still managed to get work done on the Inventory section. Have a look.

Burger Inventory 🍔

The Burger Inventory section is where you manage all the stock you need for your burgers – Buns, Patties, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Cheese, and Sauces.

Inventory management in an economic simulation game

A quick run down of the sections:

Stock (Total) – Helps you track how much of each ingredient you have left in stock and your new total (in brackets) after you make an order.

Next Day’s Purchase Order – Where you order how much of each ingredient you need for the next business day.

Burger Counter – Shows the number of burgers you can make with your current ingredient inventory size.

Inventory section details in our economic simulation game

Side note: Whenever an ingredient is not enough for the number of buns you are ordering, the stock total stays red. It turns green when it’s enough.


Daily Cost and Excess Loss
– Daily cost is the amount your next day’s order costs. Excess loss is the cost of all wasted ingredients. Ingredients get wasted when you order after your storage is full.

Storage Capacity – The brown bar represents how much storage your total stock has used up and how much is left.

Drinks 🥤

The drinks on offer in the game are a combination of water, soda, and juice. They serve as a complementary product that your business may sell to customers to increase revenue. The inventory management for drinks works nearly the same way as that for burgers.

drinks inventory without a fridge

Unlike burgers, however, drinks are not your business’s primary product. They require your food truck to be equipped with a cooler box or fridge before you can sell them.

Depending on the type you own, you can equip your food truck with a cooler box or fridge by going to the add-ons section (where all the equipment upgrades are for your food truck are).

How to purchase a fridge in our economic simulation game

Side note: Upgrades that have the padlock symbol on them indicate that they are not compatible with your food truck.

After equipping your food truck with a means of cold storage, you can begin to sell drinks to your customers. Notice in the image above that some fridges also increase the shelf life of burgers and ingredients.

Be sure to keep an eye on your storage consumption, though. Drinks ordered after your cold storage is at full capacity will go to waste. And we certainly do not want that. 😉

Auto-stock 🤖

Inventory management is one of the activities you will be carrying out daily to ensure you have enough stock for the next day. You will frequently have to increase or decrease your stock to avoid buying more or less than what you need. For Burger Inventory, this means managing quantities for all your ingredients individually.

As you expand, it’s only normal that you will want to automate your inventory process. We implemented a pay-per-use solution called Auto-stock to provide this automation.

Inventory automation in Business Heroes

With one click, auto-stock helps you calculate the quantity of ingredients you require for the number of buns you have in stock. This way, you can quickly balance your order quantity across multiple stands, save time, and avoid overspending on inventory.
Automated stocking in business heroes.
You will pay a fee every time you use the auto-stock function, so keep an eye on your account balance when you use it. If you are running low on cash, you can always manage your stock manually. 😊

After implementing this function in our economic simulation game, we were impressed with its impact on the gameplay experience. We are sure you’d appreciate the convenience it introduces to your management activities when you can afford to use it.

That’s it for this update, folks! To get these updates delivered to you first, directly to your inbox, please join our community. We’ve got other exclusive perks waiting for you.

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Team Visionaries.

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Food Truck Financial Reports in Multiplayer

Welcome to our very first progress update of the year! We are glad to be back at it and excited to show you what we’ve been doing. We started implementing the food truck financial reports section. Have a look.

Financial Reports 📃

The financials section serves as your automated accounting system. It comes fitted with the main financial components of a real-world business to help you stay on top of your business. 🧐

The design for the date navigation system is still in progress, so keep your eyes on every other thing and pretend the odd looking, dark blue buttons don’t exist for now. 😁

Single-player 🎲

Tracking income, expenses, profit, and other line items over specified periods in single player is a breeze with the system.
Single Player Financial Reports

Multiplayer 🎲🎲

After successfully deploying it for single-player in December, we resumed the year by integrating the financial system into multiplayer and fixing all the inevitable accounting bugs.

Financial Reports in Multiplayer

During the integration, amongst other things, we ensured that:

  • All the correct financial models are updated during the business day so that accounting always tallies whenever you check it.
  • All data values relating to your business’s financial history (Today, Year-to-date, Lifetime, etc.) get updated with each sale.
  • The system updates the Day, Month, and Year financial views with each sale.

Performance Testing 🥊🌟

With that done, we proceeded to test data performance across many days to ensure optimum speed for generating financial reports under different conditions.

1,000 days: 6 stands test.
Food Truck Financial Reports Testing

Result: The speed is great. 😎 There are no noticeable delays in report generation after interaction with the date navigation system.

10,000 days: 10 stands test.

We wanted to push the system to the limits and see if everything still works with days of more than 27 years and a data history of 10 stands.

Result: We could make the speed a little better. 🤔The interaction with the date navigation system felt a little bit slower but generally, it’s not bad for data of such size (80 Mb).

That’s it for this update, folks! To get these updates delivered to you first, directly to your inbox, please join our community. We’ve got other exclusive perks waiting for you.

The entire team and I wish you an extremely productive 2022. We certainly look forward to a fantastic time together this year.

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Team Visionaries.

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Business Heroes: Food Truck Simulation add-ons

It’s been a minute! We’ve been neck deep into developing Business Heroes: Food truck Simulation and so much has happened over the last few weeks. We can’t wait to share it all with you. Without further ado, let’s dive right into it. 👯‍♂️

Add-ons Management

Add-ons are equipment upgrades or enhancements that improve your service offering to customers when added to your burger stand. There are 21 available, ranging from Bluetooth speakers and freezers to stronger grills, super blowing fans, and even a nitro vehicle booster.

Not all add-ons are compatible with every stand though, and you can tell them apart by the blue padlock on some of them.

Different food truck addons in our food truck simulation game
Want to make those impatient customers wait in line longer? Get a LED TV screen 📺 to entertain them. Need to cater to more diet-conscious customers? Get organic veggies and start using organic tomatoes 🍅, lettuce, and cheese 🧀 in your burgers.

Add-ons are a great way to deal with bad weather conditions and improve your customer satisfaction. Both of which ultimately improve your business profits. Knowing when to invest in purchasing them would play a big role in your success in this food truck simulation game.

Multiple Save/Load File System 💾

We worked on a multiple save/load files system and integrated it into the game’s User Interface. Multiple save/load file systems are a MUST today, and a game without it shouldn’t be released. 👀

save game system in our food truck simulation game

How it works is, new games in Career mode are automatically saved after each business day. Currently, saved games display your company name, the number of stands you have, your cash balance at the time of your last save, and the date and time of the save.

Is there anything else you’d like to see shown? You can let us know in the comments.

Bug Alert 🐛

We also caught a bug that gets customers stuck in front of a stand and simultaneously removes the employee responsible for that stand. It’s a chase condition error that removes a dealing employee when trying to serve customers.
food truck simulation game bughe bug probably likes seeing customers get frustrated 🤣. Fixing it has been a little bit tricky, but we’d get that bug annihilated soon enough. We certainly can’t have frustrated customers walking around the city.

New Team Member 🎉✨

Finally, we got to welcome a new member to the team! His name is Motawea and he is a talented developer based in Egypt. We are excited to have him join us as we bring Business Heroes to life. Please extend a warm welcome to him in the comments. 😉

To get these updates delivered to you first, directly to your inbox, please join our community. We’ve got other exclusive perks waiting for you.

That’s it for this update Heroes, catch you in two weeks…

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Team Visionaries

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First trailer for our food truck business game

 A Food Truck Business Game Trailer on World Food Day

Every year since October 16, 1945, Individuals and Corporates come together globally to celebrate an event. It’s the founders’ day of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, also called World Food Day 

The interesting thing about World Food Day is that it is not really about the FAO. It’s about food and our actions to produce, transport, and consume it sustainably. World Food Day celebrates the promotion of food security across the globe. In difficult times like a pandemic, we must remind ourselves of its importance. 

According to the FAO, Agri-food systems employ 1 billion people worldwide, more than any other economic sector. Agri-food systems are like ecosystems. Everything is connected, and we need to make choices and actions that help them develop a better synergy. People from all walks of life, their livelihoods, our health, and our planet need nurturing to thrive.

Young or old, individual or corporate, we all have a role in building our sustainable future. Indeed, our actions DO matter.

Gameplay Trailer Reveal

The theme for this year is Our actions are our future: better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and better life. Our action for the day at Visionaries is captured by revealing the first gameplay trailer for Business Heroes: Food Truck Simulation, our upcoming food truck business game.

YouTube player

At Visionaries, we firmly believe that everyone can become a food hero. We can either join the food value chain on the production side or cut down on food waste on the consumption side. Revealing the gameplay trailer on this special day is our way of raising awareness of the need for action, and inviting more people to contribute to a sustainable future.

Game Description

Business Heroes: Food Truck Simulation inspires players young and old to think about the powerful impact of successful food businesses on society. The game promotes the concept of business heroes – food entrepreneurs concerned about their business’s social and environmental impact alongside profits. The game also includes an ecological (plant-based) gameplay mode that addresses important nutrition and environmental concerns.

Good food should be accessible and easy to find. The food truck has proven to be very successful in this regard. During the pandemic, food trucks increased accessibility to good food when restaurants were shut down or didn’t allow sit-ins. We chose to use the food truck business in the game for two reasons. Firstly, it has minimal start-up costs, and secondly, it is very flexible to operate. Accordingly, food entrepreneurs will face lower barriers to entry in the business. 

We hope that the game inspires more food heroes around the globe, and that it helps promote collaboration along our food value chain from farm to table. 

 

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This week, we sat down with the host of Indie Pod: An Indie Games Podcast in an exclusive interview. We talked about our journey making business simulation games for PC and the lessons we’ve learned developing Business Heroes.

Indie pod is a weekly podcast about Indie Games and their creators.

In this episode, we discussed the evolution of business management and strategy simulation games over the years and the experience we wanted you to have while playing Business Heroes.

You also get to hear more about how gaming influenced our journey (including how someone crashed their dad’s car after playing Need for Speed: Underground 😂) and how our Studio, Visionaries, operates.

Finally, we talk about our plans for other business simulation games for PC and how we intend to contribute to gaming by providing rich entertainment embedded with several real-world entrepreneurial practices.

You can listen to the full episode here.

After listening, the whole team would love to hear your thoughts, so please drop your comments in the discussions. We’d be looking out for it. 😉

P.S: Did you know we have a bi-weekly progress report we send out to special members of our community? In it we present a slightly closer look at our activities every 2 weeks. You can start receiving your updates on our progress by clicking here.

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List of countries available in our Business Strategy Game.

We’ve been spending some time finishing up the economic mechanics of our food trucka strategy game for PC, Business Heroes: Food Truck Simulation. We wanted you to have a sneak peek of how the game’s country selection system 🌎 works and the economic mechanics behind it.

I can already hear you thinking, ‘I hope this is more than just an addition of different flags and currency symbols for aesthetics’.

It is 😁.

The system contains the core economic mechanic of the game. In single player, you can start your business in any capital city of your choice. To change cities, you need to start a new game because each city has a different difficulty level. The difficulty level is based on, amongst other things, the price of raw materials🍅🥬🍞, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and economic situation.

Food Truck Strategy Game Mechanics

Economies around the world have business cycles consisting of periods of economic growth and downturn. Although a real-life cycle lasts an average of ten years, we limited it to a 1-year cycle in our food truck strategy game.

Some of the effects of the system on gameplay are:

– A difference in the price of raw materials from city to city.
– Changes in population spending pattern due to economic events.
– Changes in outdoor population size due to the current economic situation.

For example, your city’s population might reduce their spending because of a stock market crash 📉. Or they may increase their spending when the government implements fiscal stimulus 💵.

Also, the population has a base happiness level 🥳. Depending on the current economic situation, their happiness will either go up or down. When it goes up 🕺💃, more people are on the street, and you can make more profits during this period. When it goes down 😰, it gets more challenging for businesses.

As an astute entrepreneur, you should strategize your capital investment or loans to match current economic conditions. Sometimes, the only remedy is to have enough savings 💰 to go through hard cycles.

That’s it for today. Catch you later…

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Team Visionaries

P.S: Did you know we have a bi-weekly progress report we send out to special members of our community? In it we present a slightly closer look at our activities every 2 weeks. You can start receiving your updates on our progress by clicking here.

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It feels really great to catch up with you again. Thanks for following us on this journey of making our entertaining food truck entrepreneur game called Business Heroes: Food Truck Simulation. Here are some of the improvements we’ve made on the game over the last few weeks:

Game Weather Conditions 🌨⛈

We continued integrating the weather system and all its associated special effects. Here are the main implementations:

– Population dresses for bad weather (rain/snow)
– Bad weather condition reflects in population size and mood.

It’s still very much work in progress as we are trying to balance the moody look of the environment when it rains/snows with the overall upbeat experience of the game.

 

Customer Interactions 🤼

Your customer base consists of nine groups of people in the City. They are all particular about how your business can provide a food service 🍔🥂 that matches their lifestyle.

For example, Tourists want more cheese, sauces, patty, and less salad in their burgers. Staff and Managers are impatient with queues.😠 To keep them satisfied, you have to do something about long lines at your burger stand.

Customer segments in our Food Truck Game.
We’ve implemented their distinct characteristics and we hope you’d have fun trying to discover and meet their needs.

Marketing 💹

Marketing is an effective way of attracting more customers to your business and the only way to compete with AI or other players in the game for market share.

There are five marketing options available, and you can decide how much you want to invest in any of them. Or choose not to invest in marketing at all…😨

Marketing in our Food Truck Game can be by location or city.

Pamphlet 📰 and Social Media 📲 advertising are local marketing options. Use them to attract customers to your business within a single location.

Online 🌐, Radio 📻, and TV 📺 advertising are city-wide marketing options. They help you attract more customers to your business across the City. Of course, they are more expensive as you’d imagine.

We made sure to balance the impact of marketing activities with your food quality and customer service rating. This way, investing in marketing when your food and customer service quality is excellent will yield a higher return on investment. As in real life, marketing, food quality, and customer service should all contribute to growing your brand in our food truck entrepreneur game. 😎

That’s it for this update Heroes, catch you in two weeks…

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Team Visionaries.

P.S: Did you know we have a bi-weekly progress report we send out to special members of our community? In it we present a slightly closer look at our activities every 2 weeks. You can start receiving your updates on our progress by clicking here.

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Hi there, thanks for stopping by. This post is about some of the improvements we made to Business Heroes to make it more accessible to players with visual disabilities. Statistics show that about 8% of all men (1 in 12 men) and about 0.5% of all women (1 in 200 women) suffer from color vision deficiency. To put that in perspective, that’s about 300 million people living with colour blindness.

Adding the number of people living with other types of vision impairments to that number made us realize something critical. We had to take accessibility concerns very seriously in developing ‘Business Heroes: Food Truck Simulation.’ We spoke a little about this here, but we thought to provide more details in this post.

We wish we could tell you that we designed Business Heroes to be more accessible from the start. But we didn’t. If not for the contributions and feedback we received from Redditors and other community members, we probably would have missed the accessibility issues in the UI until it was too late.

Business Heroes Inventory Purchase
Old Inventory Management Window

Anyone with low vision or even someone just trying to play complex strategy games on a smaller pc screen will attest to the difficulty of seeing some game elements. Like in the first version of our UI shown above, these games are particularly notorious for having smaller buttons and text because of the sheer amount of information usually presented to the player. Although Business Heroes is a business strategy game with many embedded data, we still wanted players with vision-related challenges to have an enjoyable experience playing the game.

So, when the community alerted us to the problems with the initial colours, sizes, and contrasts we had used in the UI, we knew we had to make Business Heroes more accessible. Fixing the accessibility issues eventually led to redesigning the entire UI. While this added an additional year to our development, we are pleased with our decision. We are optimistic that choosing to implement the following design decisions would enable far more players enjoy the game better.

Larger Buttons and Text Sizes:

We started off by redesigning the button and text size to also work for players with impaired vision. We redesigned the UI layout to create more space for larger buttons, and we moved several components to a new window entirely.

Improved inventory management UI in business heroes
New Inventory Management Window

Making the text size work for everyone was a particularly tough nut to crack. We had to consider the impact language translation would have on the interface text and spacing. That’s because we will be releasing the game in several languages. While we could not implement a solution that worked for all the text, we were able to allow players enlarge 90% of the game text to 24 points.

We also stuck with a font choice and text contrast design scheme that made all the information in the UI and environment easy to read.

Font size controls to make business heroes more accessible
Font Size Change

UI Colour Switcher and Icon Contrast:

For players with colour vision deficiency, we implemented a design option that accommodates their unique needs and works for everyone else. Players can switch the UI colour from yellow to dark blue depending on their visibility requirements.

UI Colour Switching

We also needed to reduce the potential effect of the UI looking crowded due to too many colours. To do this, we kept inactive icons at 50% opacity by default. You can see their full colour when you place your mouse on them. We also included a function that allows you increase or decrease icon opacity as much as you like. This also has the added advantage of improving the contrast scheme of the UI.

Improving accessibility with icon opacity and contrast
Icon Opacity

Plus, we also applied shapes to the different player colours to distinguish players and their competition. This way, players would not have to rely solely on colour to differentiate between other players.

Using colours and shapes to make business heroes more accessible
Player Colours with Shapes

Game Music Controls

One way we tried to cater to players with hearing symptoms is to give players control of the music volume in the game. We separated the music sound from the gameplay sound. Players can turn it down or turn it off completely.

Music and sound control in business heroes
Music and Graphic Controls

Detailed Tooltips:

Finally, we also implemented a detailed tooltip and business guide feature. This is to make the game easier for non-gamers, new gamers, and teenagers in general. To prevent players from feeling overwhelmed with the UI, we included clear and concise explanations. All the player has to do is mouse over it and viola!

Tooltips in making business heroes more accessible
Tooltip 1

Many young people might be seeing the business terms and concepts in the game for the first time. We included a business guide that provides deeper insights into the meaning of the concepts and business terms used. This way, players will never have to wonder about any aspect of the game while implementing their business strategy.

Tooltips
Tooltip 2

We sincerely hope you enjoyed reading this as much as we enjoyed sharing it. We’d love to read your thoughts, so don’t hesitate to share. Thanks!

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Welcome to the first Business Heroes development log of the year! Hopefully, your year is off to a great start. Someone once said those who don’t remember the past are those condemned to repeat it. So, we thought we’d start the year looking back on our journey developing the Business Heroes PC Game, how we started, where we are, and lessons learned.  

As you may know, Business Heroes: Food Truck Simulation is an exciting turn-based business simulation PC game about growing and managing the operations of a business that sells burgers and drinks. You can read more about our motivation for creating the game and Wishlist it on Steam.  

Our journey started in April 2020 with a lot of research, brainstorming, scoping, and planning. Our goal for the game at this stage was, and still is, fun. We wanted our players to have fun while experiencing the thrills of running their own business.  

Lesson Always strive to have a clear goal and vision. Develop a plan and understand that it will change as you move towards your goal. 

Two months later, we had a plan. We knew what the game would look like, how it would feel to play, and what the mechanics would be. In June, we set two main targets. We aimed to run a December Kickstarter in 2020 and release an Early Access version of the game on Steam in February 2021. We started production that month and diligently developed the game based on the vision we had for it.  

Business Heroes Game: Screen shot
A screenshot of the interface in Business Heroes

LessonIn life, you’ll never discover certain information until you set out on your journey with clear milestones for yourself. Don’t wait to know everything. Prepare as thoroughly as you can, then just start. 

Well, three challenges soon made us realize that our targets were way too optimistic.  

We encountered the first challenge after engaging with our audience and discovering that they were expecting much more from the game in terms of complexity and engagement. This discovery was only possible because we were marketing the game while developing it. Our audience started giving us feedback early.  

LessonIt’s always good practice to get the perspective of those you create for during the creation process. 

The second challenge had to do with our User Interface design. Sometime in November, we realized that our game User Interface was not accessible and inclusive enough for all players. Primarily, we wanted to ensure that people with vision-related disabilities would play the game without experiencing any challenges. Another aspect of the User Interface design we had not considered was the impact language translation would have on the Interface text. Considering that there is much text in the game, and we will be releasing the game in several languages, this was a significant problem.  

LessonThis User Interface discovery taught us the value of adopting accessibility and inclusion in all we do. Being more considerate of the challenges others might experience because of their location, language, and/or disabilities helps everyone long-term. 

The third challenge had to do with a conclusion we reached after researching Early Access reviews sometime in October. We realized that we would have a much greater chance of success if we released a very polished and bug-free Early Access version. This way, early adopters who play that version will see that the game will be amazing when it’s out of Early Access.  

Lesson: What’s essential in life is to keep moving in the direction of your vision. Keep learning. It’s the only way to know when you need to course-correct and avoid crashing. 

To give us time to fix these challenges, we decided to move the Early Access release forward. We have made substantial progress since then, and currently, this is how the game looks: 

In the coming months, we will be working on Character AI, Pathing and Animation, AI Player, and Multiplayer integration. We’d be sure to keep you posted. You can follow us on social media for instant updates. 

Please support our development and campaign by sharing our journey with friends and colleagues who might be interested in Business Heroes or the lessons we’ve learned while developing it. As you can see below, your support is the energy that fuels our ability to deliver outstanding results. 

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