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27 January 2023

Food quality matters 😋

Greetings, 👋

“Why do these Environmentalists keep ignoring my food stand?” wailed Busayo, our content writer.

“They walk right past my Stand only to queue up at Motawea’s! Who would believe that some customers like to queue? Guys, you need to implement a way for me to do something about Motawea’s Stand. Maybe throw a Burger Bomb at it or send Inspection Officers to shut it down!”

The mock fury in his voice sent Motawea, our Multiplayer programmer, into a laughing fit and made me chuckle.

I glanced at Busayo’s company valuation on my screen and noticed it was taking a beating. Motawea, his only competition in Park Central, was cleaning him out.

It’s our weekly playtest session, and today we are in a 30-day race for dominance in multiplayer mode. So far, our lead developer, Hongjing, is leading everyone with a company valuation of over $20,000.

As day 16 starts, I click to Park Central to see what’s happening in real time.

Park Central is known for its large population of Environmentalists. No food truck can survive there for long if they don’t buy from you. That’s why Busayo is desperate to sell to them.

Busayo’s Stand Range (we explained how Stand Range works in this email) is wide enough to attract customers. Parents are also buying from him. So, his problem isn’t due to a poor brand or high price.

Parents are more price sensitive than Environmentalists. If they can afford his Burgers, Environmentalists certainly can.

Motawea’s Stand, on the other hand, has a long queue of environmentalists in front of it. They clearly prefer his Stand to Busayos’ for some reason.

Busayo’s food stand is attracting customers but not the right ones for that location. I think about it for a minute and realize the problem is likely his Food Quality.

But I keep this information to myself.

How Food Quality Works 🍔🌟

Food quality is based on the feedback customers give about the taste and freshness of a Stand’s burger. Every Stand starts with zero food quality feedback.

You can see it in the tooltip below:

As you modify your burger recipe to suit your target customer segment, your food quality will increase or decrease depending on their feedback.

Food Quality Feedback 👍👎

The highest food quality feedback customers can give is called the Perfect Recipe. Customers give this feedback when a burger recipe matches their preference in size and composition.

However, because customers have different preferences, the Perfect Recipe for each segment will differ. The perfect recipe for one customer might be a burger with too many or too few ingredients for another.

When one or more ingredients are too much or too little for a customer, they will give an ‘excessive ingredient’ or ‘insufficient ingredient’ feedback. Both of which reduce your Stand’s quality.

Business Impact 💰

Your food quality will grow if most customers give you the perfect recipe feedback. It will decrease if most customers give you the ‘excessive ingredient’ or ‘insufficient ingredient’ feedback.

When a Stand’s food quality becomes too low, most quality-conscious customers like Environmentalists, Fit-ones, and Managers bypass the Stand. A Stand with high food quality will easily attract such customers.

And that’s the situation Busayo is in.

Motawea had jubilantly announced on day two that he had found the perfect recipe for the Environmentalists. Over several days, the compounding effect of this early discovery on his food quality has become his advantage over Busayo.

Most of Busayo’s customers are still giving negative feedback, further damaging his food quality and hampering his ability to attract more Environmentalists.

To gradually wrest back market share from Motawea, he will first need to reverse the damage to his food quality. He can do this by either finding the perfect recipe for the Environmentalists or avoiding negative feedback from his current customers.

Then he’d also need to invest in marketing to attract more customers and build his food quality.

Either way, it will take some strategic thinking, and maybe a stroke of luck (in the form of a Random Event), for him to catch up with Motawea before day 30.

As I click back to Street Corner, where my Stand is pulling in a decent profit without competition, I wonder if giving players the power to attack their competition will increase the fun.

What do you think? What should we go for?

Let me know what you think by responding to this email.

And that’s a wrap 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, 👋

It’s 7 pm, and I’ve just said goodbye to Hongjing, My, and Busayo after our first planning meeting of the year. As I minimize Microsoft Teams on my computer 🖥️, it occurs to me again, for the umpteenth time, that the vision is possible. 💯

As a member of a 100%-remote company, I am constantly amazed by the dedication and passion of the team.

We are a group of diverse individuals united in our belief that everyone should have the opportunity to reach their full entrepreneurship potential and positively impact the world.

This belief brought us together to build Visionaries and, eventually Business Heroes. We’ve worked tirelessly on the game for the past few years, but after today’s meeting, our most important goal for 2023 is clear.

Release Business Heroes 90% complete in Early Access ✔️

Why is this goal so important to us? 💭

You see, we are on an ambitious 10-year journey to create the world’s largest simulated economy, and we still have so much work 🛠️ to do before we reach our ultimate goal.

Releasing this year will allow us to gather valuable feedback from players like you, which we will eventually channel into our next games. 🎮

What About You? 😃

As a way to begin the year, I’m inviting you to share your most important goal for 2023 with us too. Whether it’s a personal goal or a professional one, we want to hear from you.

So please send us a message and let us know what matters most to you in 2023.

Who knows, we might be able to help you get there. 😉

Cheers to another great year of building, growing, and succeeding together! 🥂

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, 👋

As I sit here surrounded by twinkling Christmas lights and half-eaten cookies (survivors from last night’s Business Heroes playthrough), I can’t help but feel grateful as I reflect on the past year.

Developing Business Heroes has been a wild ride, full of late nights and early mornings, triumphs and setbacks, and more coffee than I care to admit.

But it’s all been worth it.

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing your dream slowly but surely, morph into reality.

And for this, I am grateful to my Wife, Reshma, and the Visionaries Team, Hongjing, Motawea, My, and Busayo, for helping to make the game what it is today.

So, as we wrap up 2022 and prepare to ring in 2023 in a few hours, here’s a look back at some of the fantastic improvements made to the game this year.

2022 Q1: Missions, Events, and Multiplayer Financials

The first quarter saw us implementing the Missions System, which doubles as a tutorial and allows new players gradually discover functionalities in the game.

Players step into young Master Lee’s shoes to overcome challenges and experience some truly satisfying victories.

We also added the Events System, which enhances the game’s replayability.

And let’s not forget the crucial improvements to the financials and accounting in multiplayer. Thanks to them, players can now compete based on company value.

2022 Q2: Customer Path Fixing, Banking, and Humour

In April, we successfully improved the efficiency of the pathing system by enabling customers to find the shortest path to a food stand from any point in their journey across a location.

We also implemented the banking system to allow players to take loans at rates based on their debt-to-equity ratios.

Finally, we added Customer Monologues, a humourous feature that helped bring the game to life. It gives players a deeper understanding of the people they serve and adds an emotional connection to the game.

2022 Q3: Bankruptcy, Customer Queues, and Tooltips

One of the major additions we made in Q3 was the implementation of bankruptcy accounting. This was a crucial addition to the game as players can now drop out when they can’t repay their debts.

We fixed a bug that caused customers to pile into each other in front of a food stand.

We also made critical improvements to the game’s user experience, including implementing tooltips to provide players with helpful information on various gameplay elements.

We put a lot of time and effort into deciding what information to surface for players and how best to present it. So, seeing it come to life was a genuinely emotional moment for us.

2022 Q4: Notifications, Business Tips, and Animations

We immediately started implementing feedback from our October test by redesigning the notifications section. It’s now easier for players to stay up-to-date on important feedback and updates about their business.

We also introduced the Business Tips section to provide players with valuable advice and guidance on how to succeed in real-world business.

We ended the year by adding some exciting new animations to the game to provide an extra layer of humour and engagement.

In total, we produced 52 new builds this year. It’s been incredible, and we couldn’t have done it without your support and encouragement.

Thank YOU for being a part of the Business Heroes community.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds, and we can’t wait to share the finished game with you.

2023: Demos and Pre-Order

We will continue to focus on player feedback and improvement as we conduct more tests and release more demos.

We will finish setting up our shop, and you will officially be able to Pre-order the game. You can take a sneak peek here.

Cheers to another great year of building, growing, and succeeding together! 🥂

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, 👋

The alarm from my mobile phone interrupts the pleasant silence in my study to remind me that it’s time to head out for my evening jog. The melody is soothing, and I let it continue for a bit.

I really should get up from this desk and go for that jog.

As I push my chair back to stand up, I get an email from the team asking me to review the latest version of the game’s notification system.

During our last playtest, many testers experienced difficulties navigating the system. The team has been working hard at redesigning it since then.

Notifications System Overview

You can think of the notification system as the player’s business dairy. It automatically logs, in real-time, all essential activities in their business including:

  • Customer interaction and employee performance
  • Current loans and short-term debts
  • Food truck upgrades
  • Marketing
  • Inventory and cost of goods sold
  • Events

Everything the player needs. It’s all there. The notifications help to keep track of all the moving parts of a business across the city.

This is how it looked before:

Problems with the old design

After watching different testers struggle to find and use the notifications section during the alpha test in October, I knew it was begging for an overhaul.

Some of their observations were:

  • The arrow that expands the notifications wasn’t obvious.
  • The messages didn’t scroll on their own during gameplay
  • The notifications section returned to earlier messages when the player started the day.
  • There was no way to ignore activity notifications from customer segments the player wasn’t interested in.

New prototype

With our work cut out for us, the team had a group brainstorming session to modify the design. The image below is what we initially came up with:

In this design, we:

  1. Changed the position and size of the arrow that expands the section.
  2. Increased the maximum expansion size to cover almost the entire screen.
  3. Replaced the scrolling function with buttons
  4. Added an upward-seeking control to the medium expansion view
  5. Increased the size of the medium expansion view
  6. Implemented automatic text scrolling
  7. Renamed the notification filters

Implementation

First, the team got rid of the scroll bar and modified the components to accommodate the minimum, medium, and maximum views.

Then they configured the upward and downward scroll buttons to handle variable view sizes. They also ensured the information presented while scrolling through old and new messages is ordered correctly.

The first implementation in-game didn’t look quite like we wanted it:

We wanted all the notifications to fit into just one line, and the space between the messages looked way too much.

We went at it again for a couple more days. In the end, while we couldn’t get all the notifications into one line, we managed to get most of them. After trimming the space between the messages, the team added the function to filter information by customer group.

The result:

This looked much better, and I asked them to complete the redesign. It is for this last version I just got notified.

As I launch the game, I realize I won’t be going for that jog after all. 😆

The final look:

And that’s a wrap 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, 👋

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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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

Follow For More

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

Follow For More