Joe is very knowledgeable about "Capitalism 2," a business simulation PC game.
Capitalism 2 is still my favorite game. I like testing different retail and manufacturing strategies. Here are some results of recent experiments that I've done.
Comparing Different Factory Layouts
I built two large desktop computer factories with different layout plans to see whether one sells more units than another. Here are the two separate layouts.
Both of these factories sell to eight computer stores, have identical sales prices, and are fully trained (manufacturing and sales units are level 9, all workers are blue). Both factories are at full capacity.
Here are monthly computer sales sampled over six years (last month's revenue divided by sales price).
The training and new equipment expense differences can be largely ignored since training can be dropped to zero after all units are at 9. Otherwise, there is only a slight difference in salaries expenses. For a 6% increase in output, I conclude that adding the additional Sales Unit is definitely worth it.
In another experiment, I built two small bed factories with different layout plans to see which sells more. Here are the two layouts.
These two factories are at full capacity and their manufacture and sales workers are all at level 9. Here are one month's sales numbers (last month's revenue divided by sales price).
Needless to say, there was a huge difference in sales. There were almost twice as many sales in the factory with six manufacturing units. While it may seem obvious with hindsight that twice as many manufacturing units would lead to twice as much output, you can't predict how many purchases and sales units will be necessary to fulfill demand until you test. So without a doubt, when building beds, use the layout with more manufacturing units.
Here are some more results of different factories at full capacity.
One of the manufacturing units on the left topped out at level 4 which tells me the third sales unit was necessary to sell more fruit snacks. These are large fruit snacks factories.
For the number of cars sold per month, I averaged six random months. Both layouts produced the same amount. These are large car factories.
There is not a clear winner here with medium leather farms but I would cheat towards the first layout.
Both medium leather bag factory layouts produced the same amount but the layout on the left was selling to 3 leather stores while the layout on the right was selling to 2 leather stores (same cities, location, population, etc.).
Below is a bread layout I like. You don't run out of wheat between harvests and since there's an advertising unit in the factory, you can even sell bread with high Overall Ratings to other retailers.
Comparing Different Retail Store Strategies
Which retail strategy earns more revenue? Single-product grocery store or several multi-product convenience stores?
In both identical scenarios, I've set up several large fruit snack factories in four different cities. All fruit snacks are priced to achieve approx.100 Overall Rating scores. In the first scenario I set up only one supermarket per city with this layout.
Both purchase units are connected to their own large fruit snack factory. There is one advertising unit per city. After letting the manufacturing and sales units mature here is our annual revenue in all four cities.
Now with the convenience stores. The only other difference is instead of building 8 fruit snack factories I've only built 6. With this strategy, there wasn't enough demand for a second factory in Adelaide and Raleigh. Here are the layouts.
There are a total of 16 convenience stores. Instead of advertising in all 16 stores, I've only advertised in one retail store per city to keep a more fair comparison. With this strategy we've only made $205 million in revenue.
As you can see, there is a huge difference in retail store strategies. We have produced over five times more revenue using the dedicated supermarkets than we have with the multi-product convenience stores.
In a different game scenario, I also tested selling fruit snacks in supermarkets vs. discount megastores. Both identical scenarios have only one store in New York City. Both scenarios have two large factories, one attached to each purchase unit. I tried to maintain prices to Overall Rating 100.
My results were about even.
In another experiment I wonder if the number of residential buildings built affect occupancy growth rates.
In the first scenario I set up one large apartment building and tracked it's occupancy rate growth over five years. In the second identical experiment I set up four large apartment buildings within close proximity and tracked its growth rate. Since four large apartment buildings would be a higher supply of rental units, it seems natural for them to fill up more slowly.
But it turns out not to be the case in this game. All four buildings filled in the same amount of time as the single building.
I ran the same scenario with the buildings spread out in areas with lower land value. As you probably already know from experience, occupancy rates slow when buildings are placed in areas with lower land value.
Another experiment: Do successful surrounding businesses affect the estimated market value of a commercial building? In the first scenario I built one isolated large commercial building. In the second identical scenario I surrounded the commercial building with many successful retail stores and apartment buildings. 14 years passed in both experiments.
As you can see, the estimated market value of the commercial building is not affected by surrounding buildings. The market values only seemed to rise when I rose the rent per square foot.
Do two identical scenarios diverge if let play? And if so, how long would that divergence take? In this simple experiment I built 1 farm, 1 factory (leather wallets), and 1 leather store. I advertised the wallets and paused the game. I saved the game in two files and let them both run. All that I tracked is the amount of cash that I had. Here are the results after making no changes at all to either game.
As you can see both scenarios had identical amounts of cash after one month but after 6 years there was a $10 million difference.
These are just some experiments I've conducted within Capitalism 2. There are so many combinations of ideas to apply, and there are many products, buildings, and concepts I haven't touched on such as media buildings, private labeling, brand strategies, mergers, stock market experiments, and more. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment or share your own strategies as well.