Ottavia Tagliaferri fainted on the floor and sleeps near door. Claudio Alberti cares, he walk near Ottavia and aim for the milling machine. Giovanni Ferrari avoids the carnivorous plant placed in the middle of the relaxation room and loads a truck with the last order of catapults. Irene Tornaghi unfortunately is not very useful to the cause because of a parasitic snail that lives in her head. Here is the typical day at Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net, the last company still not bought by Bill Gates, my personal profit milling machine created in that of Little Big Workshop , management-themed exploitation on the work developed by Mirage Game Studios.
Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net shifts do not have a beginning and an end and are produced without interruption from 00.00 to 24.00. The only deity worshiped in those four walls is the dollar god, a precious ally that leads from the basement of a small workshop to the hectares of land occupied by a company at 360 degrees. Those contraptions tell of the absence of any regulation and of a disturbing transformation of the man in the car without rights and without pretensions: Little Big Workshop simulates in a very convincing way the creation of ever more complex products, but let’s say that it flies without too many problems on the needs of that unlikely group of workers who seem to have come out of a sawmill lost in the high Bergamo area.
The employees are specialized, sometimes they complain and with their pay they end up in the cost item, but they can be replaced without too many complaints, they don’t have big claims, if tired they sleep on the floor and the pauses are just a faded memory in these times of lavorismo. However, Little Big Workshop is an abstraction, all the labors are represented in a miniature placed on a work table, but here, seeing people with their faces on the ground exhausted by fatigue is not a good show.
To appreciate the work of Mirage Game Studios in short, it is necessary to put a good face on the game and leave the unions outside the gates of the cardboard factory, a cheerful and carefree dystopia with an Overcoocking style aesthetic. Silenced internal remorse, one can let go of exploitation without brakes in what is a very good management, especially in its central component. The production process is in fact recreated in the minimum of details: starting from raw materials such as wooden planks and pieces of plastic, we can produce all kinds of objects, linked to machines for cutting, sewing, casting or coloring. Every single finish is taken into consideration, even the smallest iron support for a shelf. Before building a stool, for example, you need to design it, deciding at a table what materials to use to satisfy the customer’s needs and how to divide the work between the various workstations, avoiding overloading the machines and managing movements and warehouses to reduce times. An ode to Taylorism.
At the beginning the operations are very simple and an adequate tutorial explains how to accept a commission, how to create the required good and how to keep the finances healthy. Soon the stool becomes a snowboard, presses, turners and shelves are also needed and after a few hours in the company you find yourself assembling videogames, guitars, go-karts and the list could go on for much longer. Little Big Workshop is a sandbox that allows you to indulge in the management of your business and this freedom is enhanced by intricate and diversified production chains, to become real enigmas in which to best fit spaces, logistics and workers. Each project always requires a certain time interval to complete, dead moments with an increasing frequency in which I found myself staring at that moving diorama without knowing what to do. The problem was only partially solved with the inclusion of some mini-games, such as knocking down rats and garden dwarfs, but the patch only partially covers these silences.
A job without fatigue
Little Big Workshop is a game to be enjoyed in relaxation and in this perspective the total absence of difficulties should also be seen. Unless of nefarious decisions and crazy purchases, it is impossible to end up bankrupt: I would have liked to hear screaming from my peons ” If it is so difficult to be a master, give us the means of production“, but my life as CEO 2.0 was really a health walk. Overall, the real problem with Little Big Workshopit is precisely the lack of stimuli, recognizable also in the game mechanics created around the convincing central structure made of inputs and outputs. Apparently all the pieces are in place: the research and development screen serves to specialize the workers, to get bonuses and to expand the market to guarantee a sense of growth, there are goals that channel the path of the game and c is also a ranking of rival companies to give that touch of competition.
Everything is in the right place, yet these elements soon end up on the list of routines, clicks to be spent without too much effort while a new four-door cabinet is being manufactured . The only incentives for optimization are challenges, particular orders given by some companies that must be completed within a time limit – nothing particularly strenuous or impossible to bring to terms with a little planning.
In conclusion, witnessing the growth of one’s model is a pleasure, but this process differs little from pure voyeurism, an insufficient push for those who would like to try something more complex and articulated.