Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
GearCity Executive Secretary - A Report Utility for GearCity
GearCity Executive Secretary is a utility that provides additional reports based on your GearCity game, allowing you to make more informed decisions, or just see how far you've progressed in make Superleggera frames the dominant chassis type in the industry.  I'm pleased to announce a substantial update.  Update, you say?  Indeed; you may have seen it before in its Steam thread.  I'm making this the new main thread since it should be possible to include screenshots here.

You can download the latest version here (7.15 MB, 9/15/2022).  To run it, you'll also need Java 8, which you can download from Azul here, or from BellSoft here (make sure to select "Full JRE"; this is pre-selected in the Azul link).  The Secretary may work with later versions of Java as well, but only if they include JavaFX, which is included in these links.

GearCity Executive Secretary now features 8 reports.

Company Profitability

[Image: RunwayScreenshot.png]

This report shows each company's profitability, revenue, expenses, and profit margin for any year you select or a combination of multiple years (enter a number for "Years Included" and press Enter to update).  It also shows Market Cap, Price to Book, Equity, and Runway (predicted time until the company goes bankrupt at its current rate of losing money), to help you identify appealing takeover targets.  

All columns are sortable.

Profitability numbers do not include stock sales, stock issues such as IPOs, or stock purchases, so they more accurately reflect true profitability than the in-game reports (although over the long term, they also don't reflect gains or losses made via stock market investments).

New in this update is that you can double-click on a row to get Company Detail report on the company in that row.

Yearly Market Summary

[Image: YearlyMarketSummary.png]

The Yearly Market Summary gives overall market conditions for each game year, namely vehicle sales, industry revenue, expenses, and profitability.  This lets you get a sense of the impact of economic conditions.

There are no new features for this report in this update.

Defunct Companies

[Image: DefunctCompaniesScreenshot.png]

The Defunct Companies report shows you the fate of all defunct companies - if they were acquired, went bankrupt, and when.

There are no new features for this report in this update.

Market Trends

[Image: MarketTrends.png]

The Market Trends, formerly "Engine Layouts", report contains 19 sub-reports (up from 4 in last September's update) that show the trends in popularity of various components and metrics.  The reports available are:

 - Layout
 - Cylinders
 - Layout and Cylinders (e.g. V4, I5)
 - Fuel Type
 - Valvetrain
 - Induction System
 - Chassis Type
 - Chassis Drivetrain
 - Front Suspension
 - Rear Suspension
 - Combined Suspension
 - Gearbox Type
 - Gear Count
 - Average Gear Count
 - Average Fuel Economy
 - Average Horsepower
 - Average Torque
 - Average Top Speed by Type
 - Sales by Type

Other than the "Average" reports, all of these can be viewed in either absolute numbers of sales, or as a percentage of the overall market.  Fuel Type, Valvetrain, and Induction system also offer the ability to view the results for only one of your marques, rather than the entire market.

In all cases, you can click on items in the legend to hide them, and the graph will automatically adjust the y-axis as appropriate.  This lets you easily view the trend even for items that currently have very low market share, useful in those early years of your attempt to take over the world with superleggera.

Geographic Comparison

[Image: GeographicComparison.png]

The Geographic Comparison report lets you view sales by marque and by country.  One potential use of this is seeing how your marketing campaigns are influencing sales over time.

This report can be a bit slow to load, especially in the late-game, due to the amount of data involved, and by default it shows sales by marque, across all countries combined.  But you can instead view one marque by-country (as above), or even all marques by country, if you have a relatively small number of marques * countries.  If you have too many marques * countries on too small of a screen, the legend will unfortunately be hidden.

This report is new in this update.

Acquisition Advisor

[Image: AcquisitionAdvisor.png]

The Acquisition Advisor Report helps you identify the value of acquiring other companies for their physical assets, factories and branches.  It shows you all the new factories/branches you would acquire by acquiring that company, and only includes factories/branches where you do not already have a factory/branch in that city.

This saves you the time of filtering that yourself from the in-game stock market report, although currently the Secretary does not tell you where those factories are located as the in-game stock report does.

You can double-click on a row to view a Company Detail Report for a company.

This report is new in this update.

Company Detail

[Image: CompanyDetail.png]

The Company Detail report shows a trendline of a company's profitability over time, again excluding stock transactions.  This provides a graphical view of long-term profitability, and complements the "Company Profitability" report.

This report only appears after you double-click on a company in the "Company Profitability" or "Acquisition Advisor" reports, and you can open as many of them as you wish.

This report is new in the September 2022 update.
This post covers what changed in each update.

September, 2022

 - Added the Geographic Comparison, Acquisition Advisor, and Company Detail reports
 - Added 15 new sub-reports to the Market Trends report, bringing it to 19 in total.
 - Three of those 19, including the pre-existing Fuel Type sub-report, can now be viewed by marque
 - Added the ability to double-click on a company in Company Profitability to view Company Detail
 - The program now remembers which folder the current file is in, so if you want to jump between multiple GearCity saves, that is now much more convenient (File -> Open).
 - Major optimizations to the Market Trends reports.  Data is now loaded asynchronously so the UI doesn't freeze if it's slow, and the chart itself draws up to 96% faster once the data arrives.

June, 2023

- FBS1 (2nd Gear) Compatibility)
- Emissions Reports
- Autosave-Based Refreshing
- Company-Only Views on Almost All Market Trends Reports
- Stock Info on Acquisition Advisor
- Bonds Report
- Market Summary/Company Profitability Consider Bond Repayments
- Company Profitability's Runway accounts for negative-equity companies with cash
- Defunct Companies now note if their parent has since gone bankrupt
June 2023 Update

GearCity Executive Secretary is back!  This update brings compatibility with FBS1, along with several new features.

You can download it from this link (8 MB).  Like previous versions, it requires the Azul or Bellsoft versions of Java 8 (Full JRE) in order to run.

FBS1 Compatibility [2nd Gear]

All reports are now compatible with FBS1.  This meant a significant update to the Market Trends report to add compatibility with the new integer-based IDs, but that is now complete.

The Executive Secretary will automatically detect whether your save is from the base game, or from 2nd Gear, and adjust its queries automatically.

Emissions Reports

There are two new reports under Market Trends, both dealing with emissions.  These are the Average Emissions report and the Average Emissions by Type report.

[Image: EmissionsReport.png]

[Image: EmissionsByCarType.png]

It is envisioned that in the future, more emission-based metrics will be available, such as comparing emissions by district.  One option that is already available is to view these reports for your individual marques.

Autosave-Based Refreshing

The Executive Secretary no longer has to be told by you to load new information - it will do so automatically.  Every 5 seconds, it checks for a new autosave file, and if it finds one, refreshes its information.  All you need to do is switch over from Gear City to the Executive Secretary, and you have information at your fingertips!

The Executive Secretary will also use the autosaves to monitor information that may not remain in the main database forever - so far, this means bond information (see that section later in this post), but in the future it may expand to annual snapshots of the stock market or company finances.

For this reason, it is recommended to set autosaves to the minimal 3-month frequency, and to leave the Executive Secretary running in the background while the game runs.  But no worries if you don't!  It can run on-demand just like previous versions as well.

Market Trends - Almost All Reports Support Viewing Your-Company-Only Results

In the previous update, three reports supported viewing the trends only for your company.  Now, all other than the Gear Count report support viewing both the entire industry's trends, or just your company's trends.  

[Image: CompanySpecificReport.png]

Acquisition Advisor Improvements

The Acquisition Advisor now makes it easy to see which companies have shares available.  No more checking one-by-one, just ask the acquisition advisor if you're in the mood to buy some stocks!  The percentage of shares available and the amount that the company has not yet sold on the market are also visible, so you have a better idea of the likelihood of being able to acquire a majority stake.

[Image: SharesAvailable.png]

Bonds Report

Considering buying a company but not sure about the quality of the debt you'd be acquiring?  Look at the Bonds report, which shows the bonds, when they're due, and their coupon rate for each company.  There's nothing worse than buying a company and finding out their billion-dollar bond is due next year.  Now your CFO can perform proper due diligence and help you avoid that surprise!

[Image: Bonds.png]

Market Summary Improvements

The Yearly Market Summary now displays the bonds issued and retired per year, and no longer counts bond repayments as an expense and against profits (coupon payments still count as an expense).  This gives a more accurate picture of the industry's profitability.

[Image: MarketSummaryWithBonds.png]

Company Profitability Improvements

Like the Yearly Market Summary, the Company Profitability Report now excludes bond repayments from profitability, both for single and multi-year views.  It didn't count as profit when you issued the bond, it shouldn't count as an expense when you repay it!

The "Runway" calculation also now better handles cases where companies have negative equity, but still have cash on hand.  Previously, this gave a result of 0 months of runway if the company was losing money.  Now, the runway is however long it will take until the cash reserves are depleted.

[Image: NegativeEquityWithCash.png]

Defunct Companies Improvement

A small improvement has been made to the Defunct Companies Report as well - it is now properly noted if an acquired company was acquired by a parent that is now bankrupt.

[Image: DefunctCompaniesWithBankruptParents.png]

Occasionally when an AI that owns multiple marques goes bankrupt, one of its acquired marques will be spun out and live on independently.  Like before, in these cases those spun-out companies will no longer be listed on the Defunct Companies Report.

Technical Note

This new version of the Executive Secretary will create a database file whose name begins with "GCES_" in its folder.  This is normal, and is where it keeps track of things that are not stored forever in the main Gear City database - for now that means historical bond information, which allows it to accurately show historical expenses and profitability.  You can browse this database with SQLite Studio or another SQLite-compatible database.

Download Now!

You can download the June 2023 version of GearCity Executive Secretary from this link (8 MB).  Like previous versions, it requires the Azul or Bellsoft versions of Java 8 (Full JRE) in order to run.

Comments are encouraged - this forum hasn't been the liveliest venue, but it doesn't have to remain that way.
March 2024 Update

I've been playing GearCity again, and that means an update for the Executive Secretary.  It is available to download here.

It should work fine with the Liberica Full JDK, Azul Full JDK, or the old Oracle Java 8 releases.  However, results have been a bit iffy on my new laptop, so if you're having difficulty getting it to run, leaving a note, including which Java version you are running.  The Executive Secretary could benefit from an "upgrade libraries to current versions" bounty.

That said, the Executive Secretary has learned some new tricks.  These are the updates.

Licensed Components Reports

Do you fancy running a chassis, gearbox, or engine company, and letting everyone else take care of the coachwork, manufacturing, and marketing?  Then this update is for you!  The new "Licensed Components" reports show you who has sold the most of each type of component, and who has derived the most revenue from licensing each type.

[Image: LicensedComponents.png]

Curious to play with those competitors?  If you're a Feature Bounty System supporter, head over to that forum and download my newly-released "Great Lakes" map.  If not, ready more about it here.

If you'd like to gain more insight about why Chevrolet is licensing so many more chassis than Dodge, you can also click on the pie chart to drill down.

[Image: Licensed_Chassis_Detail.png]

The Secretary can't tell you all the nitty-gritty details of why that 1912 Chevy chassis is so popular, but sometimes competitors spill useful details in the names of their engines, and the price point info itself can be valuable.  Maybe it was worth sending your secretary to corporate espionage school?

Unique Colors on Market Trends

One of the shortcomings of previous releases was the limited color palette.  This has now been addressed.  Each company/component/configuration receives its own nearly-guaranteed-to-be-unique color, within a range that should exclude colors that would blend into the background too much, and will have that color stick across consultation sessions with the Secretary.  In addition, for the Layout/Cylinder report, all cylinder counts for a layout will now be within the same color family - all I's are blue, V's are red, Flats are green, and so forth.

[Image: MarketTrends_ColorizedLayoutCylinders.png]

This also extends to the Fuel Type report, which now has colors that match the pump colors at U.S. gas stations where possible - with the exception of BP, which uses non-standard colors.  Gasoline is black, diesel green, E85 yellow, water blue, and everything else gets its own uniquely-assigned color.

These changes should make it easier to garner information at a glance without having to check the legend as frequently.

Smaller Updates

A few smaller updates have been made as well.

- The Company Details report (for a specific company) now takes into account bond repayments, which means that years with a bond repayment won't show as having a huge loss.  It shows profit/loss, rather than cashflow gain/loss.
- For both the Company Profitability and Company Details reports, bonds that were issued and repaid in the same year no longer count as a negative expense, and thus positive profits.
- The Company Details report will no longer start at 1900 for companies founded considerable later - for example, companies founded between 1920 and 1929 will have their x axis start at 1920
- The Average Horsepower report now allows you to filter by fuel type, rather than by marque
- The Yearly Market Summary report has relegated bond info to the rightmost columns, to make profits/losses more prominent

Future Ideas

Ideas always outpace reality, but if there's demand (most likely meaning, if my company starts licensing out vehicle designs), vehicle licensing info may be added as well.  Various other metrics such as the companies that have licensed the most, and the companies with the most revenue from licensing (or contracts?) are also on the cusp of reaching the front burner.

I've even recently discovered a way to potentially build a report on construction expenses, which has given me ideas about expanding the Company Details report, and perhaps generally expanding the Company Detail report to shine more light on how all these bankrupt companies coming up for auction wound up being so bankrupt.  Of course, we know that your tough competition was likely a factor, but wouldn't it be nice to know more than that before you decide whether to bail out their shareholders?  Did they spend all their money trying to make an E85 renaissance happen, or did they just build too many factories anticipating a sales surge in the 1930s that never materialized?
Super awesome as always. It really makes me wish that QT or GTK had a rendering backend way back when I started. Then I could do stuff like these graphs in the game!
"great writers are indecent people, they live unfairly, saving the best part for paper.
good human beings save the world, so that bastards like me can keep creating art, become immortal.
if you read this after I am dead it means I made it." ― Charles Bukowski
(03-10-2024, 01:32 AM)Eric.B Wrote: Super awesome as always. It really makes me wish that QT or GTK had a rendering backend way back when I started. Then I could do stuff like these graphs in the game!

Sounds like an opportunity for AeroMogul!  Yeah, I have always liked graphs and charts, and GearCity happens to have both enough data to be interesting, and data that I can access without huge amounts of effort thanks to the save being in SQLite.  And it didn't hurt that there are enough graphs in GearCity to have me thinking, "yes, but more!"

Now I'm at a bit more of a sweet spot than when I started, as I've figured out some of the gaps in the JavaFX documentation, have learned how to navigate the SQLite DB effectively (and become better at SQL in the process), and still have ideas.  A couple of which have been enabled by the switch to numeric values bounty.
Unity has a couple of specific graphing libraries I will look into using. But being AM is client agnostic. We might get a QT version or something of the sort one day.
"great writers are indecent people, they live unfairly, saving the best part for paper.
good human beings save the world, so that bastards like me can keep creating art, become immortal.
if you read this after I am dead it means I made it." ― Charles Bukowski
Something that I've been working on, enabled by the recent "Remove Rating Limits" bounty:

[Image: attachment.php?aid=1541]

A hypothetical picture of what the worldwide auto fleet might look like in a GearCity game.  The game, of course, focuses on selling new cars.  But as anyone who's been behind a late-'80s Mercedes 420 SEL at a traffic light recently knows, in the real world used cars form a considerable part of the market.  

GearCity models this to some extent, with used cars playing a factor in sales.  The modeling only goes back a few years, which makes sense when I think of which cars dealers that also sell new cars are likely to sell, especially the "certified pre-owned" or off-lease markets.

Still, I'd long thought, "what would the entire market look like?"  Could we model the number of Model T's on the road?  How rare might my former colleague, who drove his Model A to work on good-weather days in the early 2010s, be?  How long are all those phaetons relevant, anyway?

Thus, this early-version report.  It looks at the dependability score, now that it's not constantly-decreasing thanks to the new bounty, to see how likely a car is to survive; the more dependable it is, the more likely, but there's always a chance it will be destroyed in a wreck.  Then it's just a bit of math to approximate how many might still be on the road, and from there, to figure out how much fuel is being burned.

In this image, we see that while sales peaked in 1928 before the Depression, and 1928 model-year cars are more numerous than '29 through '33 model years. But due to their aging and the gradual revival of the market, 1934 model years are more common than '28, with 1941 being the most common before the war tanks the market.  Meanwhile, '38s use less fuel than '37s despite being more numerous, thanks to their improved efficiency.  Not yet in the table is that the overall-average miles-per-gallon is also 24.

So far this is all a high-level approximation based on yearly average dependability/fuel economy, but I have the groundwork to make it per-model - so if the most reliable cars are highly-inefficient trucks, they'll drive the fuel economy down for a long time, for instance.

From there, there are lots of directions it can go.  Making fuel consumption more accurate, via historical data on mileage driven per year, which I've found dating back to 1936.  CO2 emissions, based on the miles driven, fuel economy, and type of fuel.  More general greenhouse gas emissions via approximation of N2O and CH4 (nitrous oxide and methane) emissions, thanks to the new emissions system in GearCity.  Preliminary testing shows CO2 will almost always be responsible for 95 - 98% of greenhouse gas emissions, but exceptionally dirty cars may push other contributors above 10%, such as a vehicle one of the AIs built with an emissions score of 68,000.  Another possibility is showing an evolution of the figures over time, rather than the current snapshot of the current year picture. We see 724 million gallons of fuel were burned in 1944, but don't yet have a good view of how that compared to 1940 (although, for context, 724 million gallons represents about 2 days' worth of consumption in the U.S. in 2022, and actual fuel consumption in the U.S. in 1944 was 11.1 billion gallons).

I doubt I'll get as detailed as making award-winning cars survive longer as collectors' items, or modeling how many cases of lung disease were caused by highly-polluting vehicles.  Or how many lives were saved by the future safety regulations.  As usual, these reports are driven by what questions I find interesting, and which I find answerable with the data available.  More likely, a "contracts history" page to show your prowess with raking in the contract dough, or perhaps a variant of the "superlatives" screen with more filters ("highest emissions" superlative, anyone?) will come first.  I'm also tempted to add a "displacement" trend chart, showing the rise and eventual fall of the 6.2L V8 Hemi engine.


Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)