Just last week astragon Entertainment and Deck13 Hamburg were happy to showcase trucks and trailers as the powerful main protagonists of TransRoad: USA. Today they follow up with their second feature introduction giving some first insights into some of the other important gameplay elements of the upcoming management simulation: clients and contract management.
After the player has upgraded his vehicle fleet by buying his first trucks and trailers and at the same time decreased his budget by a considerable sum of money, it should now be his first priority to create some more funds for his company. This is where the many diverse clients of TransRoad: USA and the associated contract management comes into play.
Each of the 37 US cities in TransRoad: USA not only offers a local trading center but is also home to several potential clients of the ambitious hauler. All in all 77 businesses from 14 industry sectors offer a wide range of goods and products, which the player can transport not only from city to city but also between the clients themselves. Wood coming from a saw-mill for example can be loaded onto one of the player’s flatbed trailers and make its way to a furniture factory, where it will meet the cotton delivered by a dry van and be made into furniture. This furniture will then in turn be delivered to a local trading center.
Which contracts are currently available and how lucrative they are for the hauler can be discovered in the contracts menu. It can be opened by either clicking on a city name to receive a general overview of the local contracts or directly on the icon of a client. Sorted by trailer type all contracts can now be studied and, if suitable, accepted. The listed information includes starting point and destination of the delivery, the type of goods, delivery deadlines, the number of needed trucks, the number of partial shipments, the penalty for a breach of contract and the point of time when a client will cancel a contract due to lateness. Of particular interest to the player is of course the expected income: This consists of a general contract bonus and a completion bonus for a timely execution. Subtracted from this are the contract costs which for example comprise of the driver’s salary, fuel costs or the fixed costs of truck and trailer. Every successful partial delivery will then have the hauler’s cash tills ringing. A delayed shipment will in turn reduce the expected sum of money. Every businessman looking to make a decent cut should therefore employ some clever planning when it comes to signing that dotted line!
On-time deliveries do not only result in the accumulation of funds but also heighten the hauler’s reputation among his clients and their business partners. Every prompt shipment results in gaining reputation points, which unlock new lucrative contracts and clients. The larger and more complicated an order, the bigger the reputation gain will be. A cancelled or delayed contract means in reverse a loss of reputation points – resulting not only in a damaged image of the company but also in the loss of valuable shipments.
All players who would now like to try their hand in cleverly managing the contracts of a logistics company can look forward to the release of TransRoad: USA in fall 2017.