My side interest in information aesthetics is present in my work, both professional and personal. I’ve received many comments on how clean and clear my analysis charts, reports, and spreadsheet work can be so I though I would share some of my Eve related spreadsheet work to inspire people.
Here are screenshots from depreciated spreadsheets that I used for industrial production, speculation, and fuel estimations before switching to a custom web-based solution that my partner, Raath, created.
My design goal has always been to use small type-face Arial text that is boxed and columned with important information highlighted in primary colors or shaded in gradients to denote best to worst status. Some of these sheets are old with broken formulas or outdated build requirements. Pay more attention to the organization rather than to the numerical content.
In Winter of 2012, I approached my partner Raath to see if expanding our operation into Heavy Industry was a viable means to take excess liquid capital and start to produce return for our efforts. After scouting markets, running numbers, and placing production characters in proper locations the operation formed.
We’ve reached a state of industrial nirvana as our operational inefficiencies have been reduced and logistic kinks have been worked out over the past few months. Given that we’ve nailed down a solid production cycle, we know what we are going to be spending in minerals every few weeks.
A large portion of capital went into the start of our Heavy Industry branch as seen by the grand change in expenses between November and December.
Two periods of expansion can be seen in December and February’s relatively small growth numbers as during these months we poured more capital into Carrier and Dreadnought BPOs, reducing final growth numbers. Also in February a large amount of minerals were purchased for another production cycle that extends into March. Since we operate on a two week cycle, materials purchased at the end of the month show up on the books in the next month.
Historical profits clearly show when the operation started to run.
In January and February we acquired three researched Dreadnought blueprints, two with perfect ME research. Our production lines have expanded to include these ship hulls and in March we should start seeing profits from these jobs.
*rabble rabble rabble*
*throws fuel into the fire*
*rabble rabble rabble*
Having the Tech 2 variant of the BPO means I run a serial production operation (1 BPO) at high margin with a lack of ability to change items in reaction to market changes.
The Tech 1 invention process is a parallel operation (1 or more BPOs) involving lower margins that can over saturate a Tech 2 producer. Inventors do need to maintain of a POS for ME/PE/Copy slots, but the ability to change items in response to market shifts is highly beneficial for Inventors.
Here is a quick rundown of the performance of my Tech 2 BPO vs inventing from one copy of the Tech 1 BPO.
If it was such a poor investment, then why get one? For me the lack of clicks in the invention process and the removal of the wretched POS in the production equation is worth the cost. I have stayed away from large-scale invention specifically due to these two reasons.
No major expansion desires are on the plate at the moment. Right now we are in a ‘slow and steady wins the race’ mode.
My trading and industry focus tends to ebb and flow over time. Station trading, ship building, reactions, tech2/tech3 construction, and other types — one venture may not be the most appropriate path to success at the given time. Focus on daily ‘0.01 ISK’ trading has fallen off as we’ve moved our focus to Carrier production.
Our mineral compression location has been fully stocked with compression appropriate blueprints, logistic supply lines to our production system have been sorted out, and the initial ISK investment in Capital blueprints has taken place.
Sales from our first Carrier batch have proven profitable, so my partner and I are pleased with the initial results.
Current industry jobs contain guns for mineral compression, Carrier hulls, and getting more ME/PE work done on idle ship blueprints and Capital related blueprints.
My two industrial characters are polishing off Advanced Laboratory Operation and Advanced Mass Production to V, which is around a 27 day train each, to maximize their production abilities.
In an attempt to sell off the stockpile of blueprints that I acquired from price speculation in the Inferno expansion, I have started to become more aggressive with their pricing.
Profits per blueprint have come down into the 250-350 M range. Though they are now worth much more when sourced from NPC suppliers, the market is glutted with people that made the same move as me. My preference is to sell off the stock of 20 prints that I have and to move the ISK into minerals or Capital prints.
I’m seeing a slow, profitable burn the past few months despite spending money on a Capital Ships and Racial Carrier skillbook in addition to a PLEX for a friend to keep his account active.
We’re still turning a profit and I expect the pace to accelerate as our Capital ship production line grows into a full-fledged, efficient operation.
I did not make any moves on the market for Retribution as I did not see any major profit potentials with this patch. The scan changes to Blockade Runners did drive prices up, but I was online far too late to purchase stock.
I did have a plan to place a Jump Freighter in one of the NPC ORE stations that sell blueprints and buy as many BPOs of the new frigate as possible, but the move of liquid ISK into capital prints took precedence.
The rush to build the new Destroyer hulls also did not interest me as I expect their profit potential to rapidly vanish over the next two weeks.
1. Interested in the current tone of CSM-CCP relationship, the future of industry, and hints into the Winter expansion? Listen to VandV Podcast: Special Edition: Spring Summit Wrap Up podcast which contains an hour of content with current chairman @Seleene_Eve.
2. Chribba posted a screenshot of his Titan mining operations in lowsec.
3. I gasped at the sov map for a minute before discovering that there was a zero in the name.
4. Endless Space, a 4X turn based space strategy game, has been recieving a lot of my attention over the past month. The Beta is available right now on Steam and patches have been coming out every week or so with balances, new UI elements, and bug fixes.
I’m really interested in this game because the same game format is XML that is compressed in a .bin file. You can uncompress it with 7-Zip and then edit it in Notepad++ to change planet or hero attributes, technologies, global events, or even star system locations. The mentality of the development team is one of openness with the community and they are very active on the forums while polishing up the Beta.
5. I’ve contacted some Tech2 manufactures and have started to buy in bulk. You can generally get 5-10% Jita price, which does nothing but increase your margins.
6. Since I haven’t been actively playing much this month, I put some idle BPOs into copy research for some very passive income. There are idle or low wait empire copy slots, you just have to look for them. Hint: go to lowsec. I just know one of these days I will encounter a smartbomb.
7. To help solidify my claim as a bittervet, I picked up some Anaconda Mines.
8. I have an itch for a large scale public investment project, but lack any type of formal finance training. I wish Eve had a stock market so people could invest in my trading and manufacturing operation. I don’t have any idea of where to start, what the payout would be, or how to manage risk when you start to work with other people’s money; I would not want to be Eve Bank 2.0.
The industry posts at Eve fail have inspired me to start producing Capitals and this has spawned some new requirements out of our Wallet Manager program.
Problem: Expensive Capital BPOs that are idle mean that they are not producing profitable items
Solution: Use the Corporation Industry Jobs API to display a visual aid of capital job production progress as to easily tell when BPOs will be idle
Here is a shot of our paper sketch.
Notes from James:
Blake often comes to me with a “I need this thing. Can you make this thing?”, to which I often pause and perform what I like to call shriveled programmer stare. This maneuver involves me scrunching my face as much as possible, raising one eyebrow, and giving a bit of a pained look. I’m quite sure I gave this look when the idea was first proposed. The basic idea actually is just a Gantt chart. I have x number of capital ships in production at any given time and I would like to know exactly, at a quick glance, when they come out of the oven so the next batch of parts will be ready. Simple enough, on paper. The real question is implementation.
A first idea was to use a table, and just change the background color if the job is still running on that day. However, we decided we would like to have the chart auto-scale, so that it would always display far enough out to have the end of the longest job on the chart. Doing this as a pure table would have been inelegant at best, with quite possibly a ludicrous amount of table columns needed for very long jobs. Instead, I took a more difficult, but ultimately more elegant approach; use a single row per job and utilize the margin-left and width css properties to control the positioning and length of each bar.
This, however, required that we have non-table-based vertical lines to delineate our days. For this I used Raphael. Raphael is a nifty little SVG canvas library with decent documentation and a good community base.
//Initialize our variables var width = $this.width(); var height = $this.children('.industry-job-calendar-table').height(); var offset = globals.headerOffset; var canvasDiv = $this.children('.industry-job-calendar-table').children('.industry-job-calendar-canvas'); //Create the canvas var paper = Raphael(canvasDiv, width, height + offset);
A lot of work went into getting our start and end dates, and anyone who’s worked with the JS Date object knows how painful operating in the non-native timezone (even if it is UTC) can be. After our fancy date math, we set the job bar properties, draw the canvas object behind the table rows, attach our tooltip hover() events to the bars, then do a pretty animation of the bars to their final widths.
All in all, a nice little idea that came in at around 325 lines of JS and 20 lines of PHP. And to use it is quite simple:
And the final result is a clean looking display of our Capital production line.