Positech Games—the studio behind the likes of Democracy 3 and Gratuitous Space Battles—has announced its next project: Production Line.
Inspired by lead man Cliff Harris' penchant for automobiles and the process of creating them, and Wube Software's complex RTS Factorio, Production Line will include sprawling factories, loads of options, and "huge" research trees.
In a blog post on the Positech site, Harris speaks about discovering his love of cars and realising that the hobby has become "interesting to geeks, not just petrol-heads." After reading a book on Henry Ford and the model T—not to mention a trip to the museum in Detroit—he came upon a way to relate Ford's overarching philosophy to games.
"When reading the book, I realized there was an opportunity for a new take on 'production line' games. Essentially, they are all about building more, building bigger," he says. "What I wanted to do was build more-or-less the same, but build it better, build it more efficiently, make the same product cheaper, make the production line better (which means breaking down the tasks and making it longer)."
Production Line is in its earliest of stages—"it's not in alpha yet, let alone beta"—however Harris is keen to employ a Prison Architect-style, direct-with-the-developer early access course of development. Here's its official description, as per the game's site:
"A management/strategy game where the player runs a small, but growing car company. The objective is to grow your business whilst at the same time perfecting the layout, and production process for making cars, in order to bring the sale price for your cars as low as possible and thus available to the mass market.
"The game is singleplayer, isometric and designed for the PC. The mechanics of the game as unusual in that the player is not striving to make the product bigger, but to constantly subdivide the production process in order to squeeze every possible optimisation and making each stage of the production line as simple and fast and efficient as possible."
Harris says Production Line is "not shipping in 2016, and likely not in Q1 or Q2 of 2017," however we'll update as and when we know more.