Good Company - Version 0.7 Work Smart Update Review



This week we jumped back in to supply chain management game Good Company and started from scratch again.  Why have I reset the game?  On June 24th the game received it's version 0.7 "Work Smarter" update, but it was a big one (the developers actually recommend replaying the first 3 levels as these act as tutorials for the game).  It has brought a lot of changes to how some of the game mechanics work, and in the process has addressed some of the frustrations I identified during my previous article.  In this article I hope to summarise some of the key changes, and how they have affected my enjoyment of the game.

The first change that is evident when you start the game if you have played before, is that the delivery and selling zones are gone and have now been replaced by a single courier pallet.  These can be configured to have both inputs and outputs, similar to shelving units, and can be configured for buying and selling, or for transfer of materials around your factory.

This is part of a wider features which enables you to set work zones within your supply chain.  Do you want to have all of your components manufactured in one area and transferred to another for assembly, or do you want to have a smaller workflows where a single product is made on a supply line from raw materials to a single final product?

Two buildings, each with their own workzone.  One for component manufacture, one for product assembly.  
Setting a work area is as simple as painting the area onto the ground.  This will allow you to place crafting tables, courier pallets (more about them in a bit) and shelving units.  These behave in a similar way to the previous logistics points, however rather than being tied to an AoE, you can set the work area to whatever size (and shape) you want.  Logistics employees are now assigned via the work zones (I highly recommend using the quick hire for staff).

I mentioned courier pallets before, these have been completely reworked.  Where you used to have two pallets for deliveries and modules for sale, these are now combined in a single courier pallet now.  If your work area has a delivery zone, then these can accept external deliveries and ship modules and products.  If you don't have a delivery zone, the pallet can be used as an intermediate storage.  No longer do you need to strategically place shelving units so one logistics employee takes it there and another transfers these items to another shelving unit for the crafting employees.

You now have courier routes and employees.  Each of these can carry up to 4 types of material, module or product depending on the items required in zones where you have a courier route set.  Rather than carrying single boxes, they now have a trolley and can move a larger number of items at once.  Your work zone logistics employees will now use these to stock the shelves, meaning that things can move a bit quicker.

Configuring a courier route between 4 pallets in 3 work zones
Along with these new systems, the logistics system has been greatly improved.  In almost all cases this is now completely automatic.  Set your crafting recipe on your bench, drop down some shelves and hire some staff.  The game will then work out what you need to order, which pallets and courier routes are required, and the most appropriate shelving for items to be placed.  If you have items in shelving units that are not required within that particular work zone, you logistics employees will tidy up locations and move these to pallets for distribution to other work zones.  The manual options are still there, however this makes things run a lot slicker in my opinion.  There are still improvements to be made, but the developers are aware and are actively gathering player feedback.

There have also been a variety of other changes, such as balancing of recipes, day length being increased from 15 to 20 seconds, a reworking of market pricing based on expected features, new conveyor belt parts (including overhead loaders and conveyor hatches, a second freeplay map, automated production machines and a range of new products.

As with any update to an early access game, there are a couple of minor issues for me.  For example, some of the campaign level description text doesn't reflect the changes and in the Module Mania challenge map there is an issue with the courier pallet which is placed automatically when you start the game.  Despite this, I think this update has strengthened the game and makes it even more of a buy it now from me!  At the time of writing the game has a 15% discount as part of the Steam Summer Sale.  This makes is £16.99 rather than £19.99.

Good Company Returning Home
Spent some time trying to optimise the supply chain in level 1 and minimise transport times for materials
Adding a new work zone in Good Company
To increase production, and utilise floor space, you simply draw out new work zone areas
New work zone with courier pallet ready for setting up
Having drawn the work zone I've added a courier pallet ready to set up my zone and logistics
Staff Transporting Goods Good Company
Courier staff are now moving the required items between work zones utilising trolleys and courier pallets

As I stated in my previous full review, for me this game is a buy it now.  This update has really shown that the devs have big plans for the game and has addressed a number of the issues I originally had with the game.


  
Good Company - Version 0.7 Work Smart Update Review Good Company - Version 0.7 Work Smart Update Review Reviewed by Parcival on July 30, 2020 Rating: 5

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