You can have any genre, says Positech, as long as it’s management. Production Line [official site] will be the studio’s new game of building cars on a long assembly line with the penny-pinching efficiency of Henry Ford. “I never used to care about cars,” said Cliffski, the creator of Democracy and Gratuitous Space Battles, in his announcement. “Then I bought a nice hybrid one (Lexus) then I bought a stupidly flash electric one (Tesla). I started to realize cars had become interesting to geeks, not just petrol-heads.” Right so. Here’s what we know so far.
Not much! That’s the answer. We know it will be an isometric management game and by the looks of things it seems to be following all the traditions. Build a factory, plop down items and machines, employ workers, fire them all again when you look at your financial report and realise you have vastly overspent. Make no mistake, this is aimed squarely at the tycoon crowd and is hoping to grab the “efficeincy geek in all of us”, according to the website. Positech also published Big Pharma, a game of mass drug production, which might give you some confidence that they understand the genre. Here’s how they put it:
The main gameplay objective of Production line is implementing the efficiencies discovered by Henry Ford with the original model T car, the system that became the blueprint for the production line revolution, and which still holds fast even today. The principle that dividing a task (such as building a car) up into ever smaller, ever more defined, even simpler tasks will yield higher production performance and thus cheaper cars. To 'win' in production line you need to be able to seek out and fix inefficiencies in a vast production line that snakes with carefully planned precision around a collosal car factory.
It is still very early days, however. It won’t be out until the second half of 2017 at the very least, says Cliffski. Although he is toying with the idea of early access and says a Prison Architect style model of that could work. Although nothing has been securely welded together yet. There’s only one type of car so far, wobbly sounds, bugs and placeholder art all over the shop. “Its not in alpha yet,” hes says, “let alone beta.”
In the meantime he is soliciting thoughts. So here is my thought: “Cool. But ‘Production Line’ is a very very very very boring name.” That’s all. That’s all my thoughts. You probably have some of your own though, don’t you commenter? I bet you do. You’re always banging on about cars. Frankly, I wish you'd shut up about it.