Posts By: Busayo Ajao

Hello, 👋

The last episode explored how service speed and customer service improve service quality. Today, you’ll see how employee happiness also affects service quality.

Happy employees, happy company. 😁

Employee happiness measures how enthusiastic and dedicated a worker feels toward their job. Happy employees are present and they perform better. We kept things simple by tying the employee’s happiness to their salary and bonuses.

Employees begin with a certain happiness level. This level increases or decreases based on their salary, bonuses, and random events.

What’s the market rate got to do with it? 🤔

As in real life, there is an average salary expectation or market rate for the position of a food stand employee. This amount differs from city to city.

An employee’s happiness depends on the difference between their salary and the market rate. Paying your employees higher than the market rate will make them happier and vice versa.

What happens when employees are unhappy? 😡

When your employee’s happiness is average and above, they feel engaged and motivated. Their probability of not showing up for work is 0. As their happiness drops below average, they begin to lose motivation. So, their likelihood of not showing up for work increases.

The screenshot below shows Sophie being absent due to employee unhappiness.

Here’s the formula for calculating the effect on employee happiness due to the difference between their salary and the market rate:

Here’s a graph showing the result of the formula:

You can see that at 5% above the market rate, there is no effect on the employee’s happiness. Their happiness improves or worsens as the difference increases or decreases.

Happiness affects speed 🏃💨 and customer service 👍

The table below shows how employee happiness affects service speed and customer service.

Happier employees gain one extra point in speed and service quality across all training levels. They are faster and treat the customers better than their colleagues in the same training level.

That’s it for today, Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

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Hello, 👋

Successful food truck owners all know one thing. Poor food and service quality will kill a food truck business faster than you can say, “Rest in peace” 😵.

And that’s how we kick off this episode about service quality and how to improve it in your food truck company.

Let’s dive in!

After every sale, customers give feedback about your Stand’s quality of service. This feedback increases ⬆️ or decreases ⬇️ the Stand’s total quality 🌟 depending on if it is good 👍 or bad 👎.

What’s Service Quality?

Service quality measures how a business’s service delivery compares to customer expectations. Quality service leaves a strong impression in the customer’s mind. 🤩

For a food truck, this means delivering speedy service in a friendly and helpful manner 😊. That’s why we divided Service Quality into service speed and customer service.

1. Service Speed 🏃💨

This measures how long it takes a Stand’s employee to serve customers. New Stand employees start with an average service speed.

You can improve their speed through training 🧑‍🏫, increased employee happiness 😁, and Stand upgrades 🦾.

Bad customer feedback 👎 and employee unhappiness 😞 will worsen your employee service speed. So it is best to address them immediately.

When a Stand has two employees, the Stand’s service speed is the sum of both employees.

Service speed is inversely proportional to the time ⌚ employees take to serve customers. As service speed increases ⏫, the time (measured in milliseconds) to serve customers reduces ⏬.

We are using milliseconds because we compressed time in the simulation.

The formula for this relationship is:

Here’s a graph showing the result of the formula:

You can observe that the time to serve a customer reduces at higher employee service speeds.

2. Customer Service 🏅

This shows the employee’s ability to charm customers. Excellent customer service guarantees positive feedback 👍 from customers.

Like service speed, new employees start with an average customer service rating. You can improve their rating through training and increased employee happiness.

Bad feedback 👎 and employee unhappiness 😞 will also worsen customer service if left unattended. Unlike service speed, there are no Stand upgrades to improve customer service.

The customer service quality for Stands with two employees is the average of both.

Improving Service Quality

One of the best ways to improve your food truck service quality is to train 🧑‍🏫 your employees. Training helps improve service speed and customer interaction.

Impact of Training on Service Speed

Employees start at training level 0, and you can train them up to level 6. Each new training level increases the employee’s service speed by a certain amount.

In the table below, you can see how different training levels impact service speed. It also shows the time it takes to serve a customer at each level:

A new employee with zero training and no Stand upgrades has a service speed of 40. At this speed, it will take them 4256 milliseconds to serve one customer.

But at training level 4, it will take the employee only 3511 milliseconds 🤯 to serve a customer. As training and speed increase, service time reduces.

Impact of Training on Customer Service

Like service speed, each new training level improves customer service rating. The table below shows the progression:

Customer Feedback

Service Speed
Customers measure a Stand’s service speed by the amount of time ⌚ they are willing to wait to buy a burger 🍔. This time is called Customer Patience, and it’s different for each segment.

For instance, Students 🧑‍🎓, with limited cash and time to burn, can wait for 15000 milliseconds (about 90 minutes in real life) to be served. But Managers 🧑‍💼 will only wait for 6667 milliseconds (40 minutes in real life) before leaving.

Service speed 🏃💨 is one factor that determines how fast your burger queue moves. If the time to reach the front of the queue exceeds a customer’s patience, they will say that the wait is too long 😡 and leave.

The image below shows a manager stomping off because the wait is too long for him.

But if the customer is first in line, they will buy the burger and say that the service is too slow 🐌.

Customers become more patient when the Stand has certain upgrades. Things like sound systems, TV screens, and cooling fans all help to improve patience.

Customer Service
It works the same way for customer service. Each customer segment has a minimum customer service need. Service below this threshold will attract bad customer service feedback 👎.

The customer service threshold for Parents is 25, and 50 for Tourists. If your employee’s customer service is below 50, Tourists will keep complaining about it. But as long as it is not below 25, Parents will be okay with it.

The gif below shows a Tourist leaving a bad customer service feedback while buying a burger. Judging by the previous customer’s reaction, the burger is terrible, and they will complain about that too. 🤣

Great service quality 🌟 begins with paying genuine attention to your customers 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦. When you train your employees to deliver orders speedily and treat the customer well, customers will keep the positive feedback and recommendations flowing.

And a business can’t have too many of those. 😉

That’s it for today, Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

 

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Hello, 👋

Welcome to another update on our progress. I certainly hope you had a swell week. 😃 Today we will take a detailed look at how marketing works.

The role of marketing

Marketing helps increase your food stand business’s awareness in a specific locality or city. Because your food stand will have competition, marketing is the only way to protect and grow 📈 your brand while diminishing 📉 that of the competition.

Design

There are five types of marketing available: Pamphlet 📜 and Social Media 📱 marketing affect a Stand’s brand strength in a locality, while Online 🌐, Radio 📻, and TV 📺 marketing affect the company’s brand strength across the city 🏙️.

Each marketing type has a minimum, average, and maximum investment size, cost, and impact. The sizes help to budget and control your marketing investment.

Pamphlet marketing 📜 is the lowest form of marketing. To balance reality and fun for players, we linked its price to a real-life cost element and exponentially increased ⬆️ the impact of marketing in-game. We used each country’s average burger bike cost as the real-life cost element.

Depending on your chosen country, this results in a higher or lower pamphlet marketing cost.

Below, you can see the difference in cost for pamphlet marketing in Australia ($900), the United States ($575), and Canada ($800), respectively.

Tying the pamphlet marketing cost to a real-life cost element also allowed us to use it as the basis for costing the other forms of marketing.

Impact on your Business

The type and size of marketing activity you invest in impacts your Brand Strength. Your brand strength shows your company’s popularity in a locality or city. It forms part of your Stand’s Range of Influence.

A Stand’s range of influence allows it to attract 🧲 more customers farther away from the Stand. We talked more about it in this episode.

Every company 🏢 starts with Zero brand strength. Over time, brand strength can increase to 150 points or decrease to -10 points, depending on marketing investments made and news events that affect the company’s brand. Each type and size of marketing activity increases the Stand’s brand strength by a fixed amount.

The Stand’s brand strength in a locality at any given time is the sum of the impact of its marketing activities and any negative or positive events affecting the brand.

The brand, in turn, forms part of the Stand’s range of influence based on this formula:

As the Stand’s brand value grows 📈, its range of influence will widen, allowing it to attract more customers.

Impact on the Competition

The presence of competition introduces a new element to the brand formula. Recall that marketing is the only way to protect your brand and diminish that of the competition.

Here is how it works.

When you invest in marketing, the competition’s brand suffers an equal deduction ⏬ in brand strength. The impact depends on the type and size of your investment and the competition’s ongoing marketing activity (If any).

If there is more than one competitor, the deduction is equally distributed across all of them.

The same is true when the competition invests in marketing. Your brand strength suffers a reduction based on the type and size of the marketing investment. The brand formula with competition becomes:

Here’s a sample marketing impact distribution and resulting brand strength among competitors in a locality. Event impact is not included in this table because, although they affect brand strength, they are random.

In the table, Player 1 invests in pamphlets 📜, social media 📱, and online 🌐 marketing. Player 2 invests in TV 📺 marketing, Player 3 in Online 🌐 marketing, and Player 4 in Radio 📻 marketing.

Although Player 1 is investing in 3 smaller forms of marketing, the impact from the competition’s marketing is driving down it’s brand strength.

Likewise for Players 3 and 4. Their marketing investment is not enough to withstand the competition’s marketing activities.

Player 2’s heavy investment in TV marketing is sufficiently maintaining its brand strength despite the activities of the others.

You can see that consistent marketing is critical to being successful in multiplayer. Experimenting with different combinations of marketing types and sizes can also provide a unique advantage against the competition.

By maintaining a solid investment in marketing, your food truck company will be able to attract new customers and outcompete other Stands in the city. Hopefully. 😉

That’s it for today, Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

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Welcome to our behind-the-scenes look at the customer’s decision-making process for food purchases. Let’s dive right in. 😉

Design Goal & First Steps

Our goal was to create a fun customer simulation for you to experience what it is like to be a business owner in the outdoor food industry😁. Food vendors interact daily with a broad range of people with different tastes and preferences, and they design offerings to meet those needs.

Engineering customer behaviour in the game was a challenge.

Because we could not cater to all customer tastes and preferences, we started by creating nine customer segments based on food-related lifestyles. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

Their purchase decision is influenced by one or a combination of the following factors:

  • How appealing the Stand looks
  • The price of burgers
  • The food and service quality of the stand
  • Brand popularity of the business

Implementation

We divided the customer purchase journey into three steps:

  • Purchase Awareness
  • Purchase Activation
  • Purchase Decision

Step 1: Purchase Awareness

Before customers can decide whether to buy from your Stand, they must first become aware of it. If they do not, they will keep going on their way. 🚶

They become aware by colliding with your Stand’s Range of Influence. The Range of Influence is like an invisible force field around your Stand. It alerts customers of its presence.

The size of a Stand’s Range of Influence size is determined by its Brand 🧑‍💼, Quality ⭐, and Appeal 😍. The stronger these are, the larger the range of influence and the higher the likelihood that customers will collide with the range of influence.

The Range of Influence formula is:

Colliding with a Stand’s Range of Influence activates the second step of the customer purchase journey.

Step 2: Purchase Activation

Now, the customer goes through various factors to determine whether they will buy. Their probability of purchasing from your Stand depends on how well your business satisfies these factors.

The following are the factors they consider.

Is the Stand classy enough?

Some customer segments, like Managers, have a minimum Stand requirement. There are six types of Stands available; if a customer segment does not consider the Stand you own classy enough, most will not buy from it. 👎

But this only applies to the more affluent customer segments 🏧. Other customers are not too bothered with what type of Stand your business owns. They just move on to the other factors.

Am I Hungry?

Each customer segment has a time-of-day 🕒 when they are likely to be hungrier than at others. During the hungry periods, the customer’s activation probability gradually rises ⬆️ to a peak of 100%. It then dips ⬇️ to a low of 25% after that.

When customers collide with your Stand’s range, the system generates a random number between 0 – 100. If the number falls below the customer’s activation probability at that time, the customer will proceed to the next deciding factor. If it falls above it, the customer will continue on its way.

How much does the burger cost?

Some customers are more sensitive to your burger price 💲 than others. These customers will pass if your burger seems expensive. They use the difference between your selling price and the cost of an average burger patty to decide its affordability.

Side note: We chose to use the burger patty as the basis for price sensitivity because it is the most valuable part of all the burger recipes in the game.

The lower the difference, the more affordable, price-sensitive customers perceive the burger. This increases ⬆️ their purchase probability based on price.

Below is how the purchase probability for Students 🧑‍🎓 is calculated.

Y = Probability of purchase based on burger price
X = % of selling price based on the cost of patty

The formula results in this graph showing customer purchase probabilities at different selling-price-to-patty-cost ratios:

As the ratio increases, the purchase probability of each customer segment decreases. The process is similar for drinks 🥤. However, the basis for price sensitivity is the base cost of drinks.

The formula for parents 🧑‍🤝‍🧑:

Y = Probability of drink purchase
X = % of selling price based on base cost of drink

The graph below displays the result of the formula for customers at different sales-to-cost-price ratios:

You can see customers are less sensitive to drink pricing than burger pricing. This is because drinks 🥤 are a complimentary product in the game.

Customers with a high purchase probability at your burger price will proceed to their final deciding factor.

Does the Stand have a good reputation?

Every Stand has a reputation which influences the number of customers it attracts. Reputable Stands attract more customers across all segments than those with a low reputation.

The two factors that form a Stand’s reputation are its Quality ⭐ and Appeal 😍. Quality has food and service aspects. Food and service quality depends on employee performance. Appeal depends on the type of stand and upgrades installed in it.

Some customers may decide not to buy from a Stand if its reputation is too low 👎. The purchase probability formula for the influencer segment based on a Stand’s reputation is:

Y = Probability of purchase based on reputation
X = Appeal Value or Quality Value

Below is the graphical representation of the formula across all customer segments at different quality or appeal values:

The purchase probability for each segment clearly increases with quality or appeal.

The customer’s purchase activation process culminates in an overall purchase probability figure. This figure is a combination of their time 🕒, price 💲, quality ⭐, and appeal 😍 purchase probabilities.

It is now time to decide.

Step 3: Purchase Decision

We all know that customers can be unpredictable sometimes. Your product could tick all the right boxes ✅, but they still decide to postpone their purchase for other reasons.

We factored in this slight deviation from predictability by adding an extra step at the purchase decision point.

After a customer’s overall purchase probability is determined, the system generates a random number between 0 – 100. If the number is less or equal to the overall purchase probability, the customer decides to buy from the Stand. But if the number is higher than the purchase probability, the customer postpones the purchase.

Conclusion

Understanding your customer’s decision-making process is essential to the growth and success of any real-life business 💹. We tried to replicate this in the game without spoiling the fun.

We hope the customer simulation provides an equally enjoyable and valuable experience for you as you build a successful food truck business. Don’t forget to join our community to get these behind-the-scenes specials delivered directly to your inbox. We’ve got other exclusive perks waiting for you.

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Hello, 👋

It’s another lovely Friday, and I am excited to share the design process behind how customers decide to buy burgers.

Design Goal & First Steps

Our goal was to create a fun customer simulation for you to experience what it is like to be a business owner in the outdoor food industry😁. Food vendors interact daily with a broad range of people with different tastes and preferences, and they design offerings to meet those needs.

Engineering customer behaviour in the game was a challenge.

Because we could not cater to all customer tastes and preferences, we started by creating nine customer segments based on food-related lifestyles. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

Their purchase decision is influenced by one or a combination of the following factors:

– How appealing the Stand looks
– The price of burgers
– The food and service quality of the Stand
– Brand popularity of the business

Implementation

We divided the customer purchase journey into three steps:

– Purchase Awareness
– Purchase Activation
– Purchase Decision

Step 1: Purchase Awareness

Before customers can decide whether to buy from your Stand, they must first become aware of it. If they do not, they will keep going on their way. 🚶

They become aware by colliding with your Stand’s Range of Influence. The Range of Influence is like an invisible force field around your Stand. It alerts customers of its presence.

The size of a Stand’s Range of Influence size is determined by its Brand 🧑‍💼, Quality ⭐, and Appeal 😍. The stronger these are, the larger the range of influence and the higher the likelihood that customers will collide with the range of influence.

The Range of Influence formula is:

Colliding with a Stand’s Range of Influence activates the second step of the customer purchase journey.

Step 2: Purchase Activation

Now, the customer goes through various factors to determine whether they will buy. Their probability of purchasing from your Stand depends on how well your business satisfies these factors.

The following are the factors they consider.

Is the Stand classy enough?

Some customer segments, like Managers, have a minimum Stand requirement. There are six types of Stands available; if a customer segment does not consider the Stand you own classy enough, most will not buy from it. 👎

But this only applies to the more affluent customer segments 🏧. Other customers are not too bothered with what type of Stand your business owns. They just move on to the other factors.

Am I hungry?

Each customer segment has a time of day 🕒 when they are likely to be hungrier than at others. During the hungry periods, the customer’s activation probability gradually rises ⬆️ to a peak of 100%. It then dips ⬇️ to a low of 25% after that.

When customers collide with your Stand’s range, the system generates a random number between 0 – 100. If the number falls below the customer’s activation probability at that time, the customer will proceed to the next deciding factor. If it falls above it, the customer will continue on its way

How much does the burger cost?

Some customers are more sensitive to your burger price 💲 than others. These customers will pass if your burger seems expensive. They use the difference between your selling price and the cost of an average burger patty to decide its affordability.

Side note: We chose to use the burger patty as the basis for price sensitivity because it is the most valuable part of all the burger recipes in the game.

The lower the difference, the more affordable price-sensitive customers perceive the burger. This increases ⬆️ their purchase probability based on price.

Below is how the purchase probability for Students 🧑‍🎓 is calculated.

The formula results in this graph showing customer purchase probabilities at different selling-price-to-patty-cost ratios:

As the ratio increases, the purchase probability of each customer segment decreases. The process is similar for drinks 🥤. However, the basis for price sensitivity is the base cost of drinks.

The formula for parents 🧑‍🤝‍🧑:

The graph below displays the result of the formula for customers at different sales-to-cost-price ratios:

You can see customers are less sensitive to drink pricing than burger pricing. This is because drinks 🥤 are a complimentary product in the game.

Customers with a high purchase probability at your burger price will proceed to their final deciding factor.

Does the Stand have a good reputation?

Every Stand has a reputation which influences the number of customers it attracts. Reputable Stands attract more customers across all segments than those with a low reputation.

The two factors that form a Stand’s reputation are its Quality ⭐ and Appeal 😍. Quality has food and service aspects. Food and service quality depends on employee performance. Appeal depends on the type of stand and upgrades installed in it.

Some customers may decide not to buy from a Stand if its reputation is too low 👎. The purchase probability formula for the influencer segment based on Stand reputation is:

Below is the graphical representation of the formula across all customer segments at different quality or appeal values:

The purchase probability for each segment clearly increases with quality or appeal.

The customer’s purchase activation process culminates in an overall purchase probability figure. This figure is a combination of their time 🕒, price 💲, quality ⭐, and appeal 😍 purchase probabilities.

It is now time to decide.

Step 3: Purchase Decision

We all know that customers can be unpredictable sometimes. Your product could tick all the right boxes ✅, but they still decide to postpone their purchase for other reasons.

We factored in this slight deviation from predictability by adding an extra step at the purchase decision point.

After a customer’s overall purchase probability is determined, the system generates a random number between 0 – 100. If the number is less or equal to the overall purchase probability, the customer decides to buy from the Stand. But if the number is higher than the purchase probability, the customer postpones the purchase.

Conclusion

Understanding your customer’s decision-making process is essential to the growth and success of any real-life business 💹. We tried to replicate this in the game without spoiling the fun.

We hope the customer simulation provides an equally enjoyable and valuable experience for you as you build a successful food truck business.

That’s it for today, Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

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Hello again, 👋

In the first version of this email, we incorrectly detailed the impact of the economic simulation on the game. We wrote that “The population size 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 changes along with the economic situation”. That is slightly incorrect, and we apologize 🙏 for the error. The following is the actual impact on the game:

The population size is divided into outdoor and base population sizesThe outdoor population size is the total number of customers that are outdoors and willing to make a purchase. The base population size is the total number of customers, including those indoors.

The economic situation influences the outdoor population size. Many or fewer customers are willing to come out and spend depending on if the economy is in a growth phase or a downturn.

Each segment has a Base Economic Happiness, e.g. 40 units. Their current economic happiness per time will fluctuate upwards ↗️ or downwards ↘️ depending on the current economic condition.

Example of the calculation for the Parent segment.

Y generates the current economic happiness 😄 value of the Parent segment. You can see the difference between the outdoor and base population size as well as the current and base economic happiness in the customer segment tooltip.

Infusing realism in the business mechanics was vital to us from the beginning. That’s why each city in the game has a different difficulty level based on the price of raw materials 🍅🍞, economic situation 📉, and the weather ⛈️.

Like in real life, each city’s economy in the game experiences business cycles of economic growth and downturn. Although an average cycle lasts about ten years, we thought it would be fun to implement business cycles in the game as one-year events😎.

This mechanic adds a layer of consideration to your business strategy regarding making capital investments or taking new loans 🤑.

For instance, how do your investment plans change if your city’s population reduces spending because of a stock market crash 😱? And alternatively, increase their spending when the government implements fiscal stimulus? 💃

The city has nine customer segments with unique spending limits, and their perceived value of your burger 🍔 & drink 🥤 increases or decreases depending on the economic situation.

Here’s how we designed the economic simulation.

Let’s take Washington DC, as an example. The graph below shows the annual GDP growth for the US. Despite the micro tremors, the overall 10-year cycle is unmistakable. ⬇️

For our simulation, we picked the US’s ten-year average GDP growth rate (2%) to generate the base case scenario of the economy:

The graph below illustrates the outcome of the formula.

As you strive to grow your business, the economic growth percentage will move across the blue dotted line to simulate an economic growth or slow down.

Real economies also experience unexpected spikes and dips in the business cycle. We catered to this by implementing an events mechanic.

Based on the probability of occurrence, events such as technological breakthroughs 💻, international sports events 🏈, or trade wars and taxes will feed the simulation with spikes and dips.

How does this impact the game?

The population size is divided into outdoor and base population sizesThe outdoor population size is the total number of customers that are outdoors and willing to make a purchase. The base population size is the total number of customers, including those indoors.

The economic situation influences the outdoor population size. Many or fewer customers are willing to come out and spend depending on if the economy is in a growth phase or a downturn.

Each segment has a Base Economic Happiness, e.g. 40 units. Their current economic happiness per time will fluctuate upwards ↗️ or downwards ↘️ depending on the current economic condition.

Example of the calculation for the Parent segment.

Y generates the current economic happiness 😄 value of the Parent segment. You can see the difference between the outdoor and base population size as well as the current and base economic happiness in the customer segment tooltip.

Lower outdoor population sizes due to economic downturns lead to fewer sales for your business ☹️. You will need to strategize, adjust your price, increase your marketing spending and improve your burger quality to drive sales. Additionally, having enough savings to weather the hard times really helps. 😉

That’s it for today, Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

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Greetings, 👋

Welcome to your latest update on our progress🕺. Today, we’d dive into how the game’s economic simulation works.

Infusing realism in the business mechanics was vital to us from the beginning. That’s why each city in the game has a different difficulty level based on the price of raw materials 🍅🍞, economic situation 📉, and the weather ⛈️.

Like in real life, each city’s economy in the game experiences business cycles of economic growth and downturn. Although an average cycle lasts about ten years, we thought it would be fun to implement business cycles in the game as one-year events😎.

This mechanic adds a layer of consideration to your business strategy regarding making capital investments or taking new loans 🤑.

For instance, how do your investment plans change if your city’s population reduces spending because of a stock market crash 😱? And alternatively, increase their spending when the government implements fiscal stimulus? 💃

The city has nine customer segments with unique spending limits, and their perceived value of your burger 🍔 & drink 🥤 increases or decreases depending on the economic situation.

Here’s how we designed the economic simulation.

Let’s take Washington DC, as an example. The graph below shows the annual GDP growth for the US. Despite the micro tremors, the overall 10-year cycle is unmistakable. ⬇️

For our simulation, we picked the US’s ten-year average GDP growth rate (2%) to generate the base case scenario of the economy:

As you strive to grow your business, the economic growth percentage will move across the blue dotted line to simulate an economic growth or slow down.

Real economies also experience unexpected spikes and dips in the business cycle. We catered to this by implementing an events mechanic.

Based on the probability of occurrence, events such as technological breakthroughs 💻, international sports events 🏈, or trade wars and taxes will feed the simulation with spikes and dips.

How does this impact the game? The population size 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 changes along with the economic situation. Each segment has a Base Happiness, e.g. 50 units. Their current happiness per time will fluctuate upwards ↗️ or downwards ↘️ depending on the current economic condition.

Example of a calculation for a Manager segment.

Y generates the current happiness 😄 value of the Manager segment.

We calculate the result by adding Base Happiness and Current Happiness as a percentage and multiplying by population size to get the adjusted population size for the current economic condition.

Less population leads to fewer sales for your business ☹️. You will need to strategize, adjust your price, increase your marketing spending and improve your burger quality to drive sales. Additionally, having enough savings to weather the hard times really helps. 😉

That’s it for today, Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

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Greetings, 👋

It’s great to catch up with you again this Friday. 🤩 We thought to take you behind the scenes to show you how we designed the game’s weather system. We really go into some detail on this one, so settle in. 🛋️

As you know, there are several major cities in the game. To improve the player experience and game difficulty,🤪we had to ensure that each city’s in-game weather mirrors the historical weather conditions of their real-life counterpart.

Getting this right was quite the challenge. 😅

We first tried to implement a replica of historical weather conditions in each city. But we quickly realized this would pose a problem with replayability as players would eventually find our data source 😨 and have an unfair advantage on the leaderboards.

So we decided to discard this method. 🚮

Our second and final approach was to use the normal distribution and the average values of temperature and precipitation in a city to generate the weather condition. For example, let’s take Washington DC as a case study.

Below is the real data for Washington DC:

By taking the average temperature as a mean and using a standard deviation of one, we randomly generated the temperature to fit within the high and low ranges. The Box–Muller transform was particularly useful here.

This method helped us account for the rare occurrence of a very high 🥵 or very low 🥶 temperature, which happens in reality. Similarly, for the precipitation, we used the average as a mean and a standard deviation of two to generate the amount of rain 🌧️, which directs the cloud volume. ☁️

You can observe a clear jump ⬆️ in averages as we move from month to month, which shouldn’t be so. To resolve this, we employed weekly peak averages instead of monthly, which made it work as intended.

Below is a yearly temperature simulation for Washington DC for the morning 🌅, afternoon 🕑, and evening 🌆.

The simulation for the rain/cloud below is for the mornings alone in Washington, DC. As you can see, most mornings, there is a light shower or an overcast, followed by sunny conditions and light rain.

We think this method strikes the right balance between fun 🕺💃 and computing requirements. 💻

The presence of rain ☔ and snow 🌨️ reduces the outdoor population in the game, thus reducing the number of sales possible during the period, just like in real life. You can always invest in upgrades to reduce the impact of weather on your business.

However, it might not be a profitable investment if your chosen customer segment is not big enough. It will take strategic thinking 🤔 and astute decision-making to discern the best time for an investment.

That’s it for today, Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

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Greetings, 👋

It’s a lovely Friday in September, and you know we’ve got your update ready. This episode is about how we adjusted the pathing system to make customers move more efficiently to a food stand. Since we are using a 2D environment and handling thousands of city residents, this problem was slightly more challenging.

After a customer collides with the stand range and decides to buy a burger, they are assigned a queue point near the stand, and they proceed to that queue point.

In the image below:
– The stand is in red, and the stand range is in transparent red.
– The person’s path is in blue, and their path’s intersection points (where they can change their direction) are the green squares.
– The decision point in yellow is where they collide with the stand range and decide whether to buy a burger or not.

Previously, after colliding with the stand range, they would first head to the next path intersection point on their preset path before proceeding to their queue spot near the stand. This resulted in an inefficient movement along the yellow arrow to their queue spot, as shown below:

We wanted them to follow the shortest path to their queue spot from any intersection point. Like below:

To do this, we had to implement a path-finding system for everyone using a graph structure and Dijkstra’s algorithm, an algorithm for finding the shortest paths between specified points.

Now customers can find the shortest path to a food stand from any point in their journey across a location.

That’s it for today, Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

 

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Greetings, 👋

Great to catch up with you again this week. We’ve been making more improvements to the UI in preparation for the demo (in case you missed the previous email, yes, we have a demo coming up very soon).

Some of the improvements we made:

New stand navigation system

 

Improved stock reordering

 

Streamlined stand upgrades process

Other improvements include:

  • Reorganized all stand operation buttons to improve the stand management process.
  • Implemented more stands (the demo might include up to 3 stands after all).
  • Added an auto-reordering function for inventory for those who dislike micro-management. 😉

Before opening it up to the public, we will run a small, closed demo session for community members like you.

We can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

More details soon. Cheers 🥂

Don’t forget to Wishlist the game if you haven’t: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1429080/Business_Heroes_Food_Truck_Simulation/

Live Long and Prosper 👋,
Kunal & the team

 

 

 

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