Game News – May 25, 2011

Optimizing Cargo Shuttle Flights

Cargo shuttle positions are now computed once in 5 seconds. Their progress on the galaxy screen is shown more frequently in smaller steps. The optimization process is not completed yet and the loading and unloading of cargo shuttles can take 30 seconds or more to complete. The time it takes depends on the number of cargo shuttles that have reached their target.

The next Simcountry update in the first week of June will optimize the loading/unloading process. It will significantly reduce the time needed and make it independent of the number of cargo shuttles involved.

Exclusive Space Station Trading

The first two products that are traded on space stations only, are Strategic Bombers and Spacecraft maintenance units. Both products can be traded in direct contracts on all the worlds but cannot be offered on the world markets.

Spacecraft maintenance units (previously shuttle maintenance units) are now produced in small quantities. These products will be used shortly to maintain all cargo shuttles and both production and trading numbers will increase.

IPO conditions

Taking a corporation public by performing an IPO is now easier to understand and conditions are shown on all the corporation pages.

Instead of having three conditions of which two must be fulfilled there are now only two conditions and both must be fulfilled.

To take any corporation public, the corporation must fulfill the following two conditions:
1. The market value of the corporation must be larger than 600 Billions.
2. The Price/Earning Ratio (PE ratio) of the corporation must be <40.

Space Stations and Markets

The space station markets have been reorganized to allow for better grouping of products. Some products have been removed from trading on space stations and will be traded in the future on the direct trading market.

These products include services, electric power, sport and more. These products are in fact services or agreements to deliver and not physical products that can be transported.

New products have been added, such as all space industry products, ammunition and weapons components and upgrading units.

These changes will make it possible to trade more products on space stations and some of them will be traded on space stations only. All products that require game level 1 or 2 and products that are used by beginning (free) players will continue to trade on all the world markets.

Cargo Shuttle Aging and Maintenance

Cargo shuttles can run a limited number of missions and will retire when the number is reached. It is now possible to see how many missions are left for each cargo shuttle and a message is issued when the number is close to zero. When retired, a cargo shuttle will not allow loading of new products but unloading it will remain possible. If a retiring cargo shuttle is left loaded for several days, it will be retired and its cargo will be lost.

A high quality cargo shuttle will be able to run more missions than a lower quality one. If quality is 100, a cargo shuttle will be able to fly 1000 missions. At quality 200, the number is doubled to 2000.

A mission between a space center and a space station or between space stations will be counted as a single mission. Flying between space centers counts for 2 missions.

When starting a new mission, a cargo shuttle will be required to use one space craft maintenance unit. This product is available on all worlds and is traded on the space station Libra. It is the player’s responsibility to have such a maintenance unit either on the shuttle itself or at the space center or docking station where the shuttle is launched for its next mission.

If a maintenance unit is not available, the shuttle will age 5 times faster.

The spacecraft maintenance units are available in simcountry now and can be bought and stored at space centers and docking stations.

The feature including the use of maintenance units will be part of Simcountry starting with the next upgrade in the first days of June.

Shuttle maintenance Units – name changed

Shuttle maintenance units have their name changed into Spacecraft maintenance units and will be used for cargo shuttle maintenance but also in other spacecrafts that will be added to Simcountry.

The production process of spacecraft maintenance units is slightly changed and requires some solid missile fuel. This change can cause a short disruption in the production but as the quantity is very small the problem will be very short lived.

Trading Aging cargo Shuttles

Trading of aged cargo shuttles is limited. When a cargo shuttle is offered for sale, the potential buyer can see how much is asked for the shuttles and how many missions it can run for the requested price. The best deal is the one that offers most shuttle missions per gold coin.

Cargo shuttles with less than 300 remaining missions cannot be offered on the market.

When asking to purchase a cargo shuttle, a player can offer one of his shuttles if it has at least 1000 remaining missions.

Cargo Shuttles Corporations

Producing Cargo Shuttles is a good business but has some strings attached.
A corporation that produces cargo shuttles will take more than a game year to produce one and the corporation needs large amounts of cash to pay for salaries and raw materials during an extended period while the cargo shuttle is constructed. The corporation has no income during that process and must be provided with a lot of cash or it may bankrupt.

When a cargo shuttle building corporation is starting operations, it is provided with close to 1T in cash from the country that is the owner of the new corporation. This amount will enable the corporation to build a cargo shuttle or even more than one with no need for extra cash.

Once a cargo shuttle is produced, it can only be sold to a country. This can be done in a direct sale.

A cargo shuttle that is sold to a country will automatically be placed in a space center in the country. This is not immediate and can take several hours to complete. If the country does not have a space center, the cargo shuttle will remain in stock but will not be of any use. It can be sold to another country but cannot be used unless the owner country has a space center.

Once the cargo shuttle is placed at a space center, it can be used for missions and it can be offered for sale on the direct trading market.

A cargo shuttle cannot be sold on the world market. The only place to trade cargo shuttles is on the direct trading market and recent prices for a quality 100 cargo shuttle went around 2 GCs or a little more. We expect the price to go up in the near future.

The current cost of production for a quality 100 cargo shuttle, is about 150B-200B which is less than one Gold Coin.

The cash flow of cargo shuttle corporations must be checked from time to time to make sure that there is sufficient amount of money available to allow the corporation to continue its operations.

Enterprise owned cargo shuttle corporations can also sell their products in direct contracts. An enterprise can store cargo shuttles but cannot use them in any way. Once sold to a country, they will be placed in the space center of that country and become operational.

Extending the Simcountry Universe

The next upgrade in the first week of June will extend the size of the Simcountry galaxy by a factor of 4. This change is intended to accommodate more cargo shuttle flights and prevent overcrowding. As more traffic is expected and future space war features will be introduced, the size of the galaxy and spread of world objects such as worlds, space stations and androids will be increased to fit the changing situation.

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