Subject: Entrepreneur Walkthrough... From: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Newsgroups: comp.os.os2.games,comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic Note, this is available on Stardock's website too: http://www.stardock.com/ent.html. Entrepreneur is currently in beta. For those of you in the beta or considering joining the beta, here's a walkthrough so you can get an idea of what the final game is expected to play like. (please excuse the typos, still under construction) So you've decided to conquer the world! You, Bob, Joe, and Mike decide to play Entrepreneur on your local area network. You start it up and create a multiplayer game and have two computer controlled players. Just as a note, Stardock feels strongy that games should have very good AI. The trend towards multiplayer games seems to have given some games the excuse to have weak AI but Entrepreneur's is powerful. The game works well as a single player game but also as a multiplayer game. Bob, Joe and Mike join your game. On your machine, you look through the markets that you have installed on your machine. You have the computer market, the airline market, the candy market, the genetic research market you downloaded from shareware.com. You decide to be in the computer market. You name your company "Power Machines". You choose to use the "Real" world. You enter the game and start out in the Western part of North America. Because you don't have any other regions researched, you don't know who your opponents are yet or where they are in the world. The first thing you do is click on the region next to you and choose to Research it. It takes 2 weeks to research it and costs $150,000 to do so. While that is going on, you click on your site and hire some laborers and begin building the Generica 1000 PC that you start out with. Now you leave the site screen and click on your home region and then the "Sell" button. You choose the Generica 1000 and it begins selling it to that region. The money begins to trickle in. You now select your sales executive and right click on the region that just finished being researched. Your sales exec go theres and you assign it to sell the Generica 1000 PC. Your company is still not quite profitable and you immediately begin researching another region. While this takes place, you return to your site screen and build a Research Lab and once that is complete a Design Lab. While you are on the site screen, a dialog appears and you have been given your first "Direct Action Card". The Direct Action Card has 3 light bulbs on it. The light bulbs have a red outline to it indicating that you lead in no research leading regions. The card says "Activate this card on a selected opponent and steal their most advanced component." You choose "Keep" and the card minimizes to the bottom of the screen. You leave the site screen and begin researching a third region. Once that completes you note that all the regions you have the stats have a high demand for realiable products but don't care too much about performance or prestige. You now jump to your Research lab and begin researching a new type of monitor that has a much higher reliablity than the one you are currently using. You decide to call it the "Power Monitor 1000". It will take 24 weeks to research given the number of researchers you currently have. The region you just researched has an engineering symbol on it. Because it is in your sale exec's radius, you quickly become #1 in that region. The 1st year nears its end and the first yearly conference arrives. The screen comes up and awards you for being #1 in the reliability technology field. It awards Bob #1 in the performance field, Gill Bates of Microsloth (computer player) has won the #1 spot in the Asthaetics category. You go to the design screen and put together your first machine with your new technology and get it onto the market. ..Time Passes... You have most of North America researched when you suddenly see a sales executive move into a region you control. It is not your sales exec, itĂs MikeĂs! With his appearance, you look at the color bar and he has about 20% of the world market as you do. To your horror, he has enough money to build a site in the middle of your heartland and a 2nd level marketing unit jumps in and begins improving the perceived reliability of his products. You look at your cards and you see you have a "Steal sales unit" direct action card. It requires 2 Political centers to use it and you activate the card (the card then disappears). By doing this, you have lured away one of his top sales executives and he has begun to work for you. You now have another sales executive and the sales executive that was in your territory has disappeared (the enemy one). His site is in the middle of hostile territory. You put your newly acquired sales unit in the same region has his site. Your newest product, the Power Machine 5000 is easily the most reliable machine in the world. You have all of North America and are at about 25% of the total world's market. You upgrade your factory to a manufacturing plant so that you can keep up with demand. Your new set of technologies donĂt improve the reliability but you are able to cut their cost by about 15% which will allow you to make more money per unit (or sell them at a lower price). A few minutes later, a bunch of FUD units (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt) come your way. They are MikeĂs units and he wants revenge. There are four of these level 3 units and they go after some of the wealthiest regions you have. (Not all of them as he doesntĂ have all your regions researched). Your sales their drop and your profits take a dip. His marketing campaign against you seems to be making people think your productĂs arenĂt reliable. A minute later a direct action card against you appears. A viscious rumor has been leaked to the trade press saying that your machines are not reliable. The perceived reliability of all your products dips by 25%! Two of MikeĂs sales units come your way. One goes near his site and the other one goes near your home site. Luckily, the event window shows that you have completed researching your new component. The new hard drive youĂve designed is much less expensive than the previous design and is even more reliable. You send it to the engineers who begin putting it together and bug testing it to make sure it is very reliable. While you are waiting for that to finish, you jump to your marketing screen and create a couple of marketing drones (Level 1 positive marketing units) who you tell to enhance your perceived reliability. You are able to create two of them when your product is completely designed. You send them out to the regions you need the most. Your product now seems pretty stable according to the engineers (no bugs found in over 2 months of testing) so you send it to market. You assign your sales executives (you have 4 of them (1 of them is the own you recruited from Mike)) to sell the new Power Machine 5000A. You check the pie charts on the regions and MikeĂs share of the regions he sells to falls from 30% (on average) to less than 5%. The newer cheaper products (you lowered the price on the new product instead of trying to make more profit) are doing well. Suddenly, MikeĂs share jumps to 45% and then 50%. How is he doing this? A couple minutes later it drops to almost 0% and you get a message that heĂs surrendered, he tried to lower his prices to a super low amount but the losses (after you had defeated him in this area). It is often a good strategy to lower your prices for awhile but be careful of your financial situation before doing so. You are now supreme in North America. Now you have to decide where to go to next, you look at Europe. It costs nearly $1,000,000 to research Western Europe because of the distance. ItĂll also take 20 weeks to do so. You decide to "go for it" and begin researching it. In the meantime, youĂve begun to research a new OS since you havenĂt spent much time on that. You decide to call it PowerOS 1.1. ItĂs a bit faster and a bit easier to use than what you already had out. It takes about 6 months for it to finish. When it completes, a dialog comes up and says "You made a technological breakthru in Ease of Use while researching your new OS. Ease of use is now increased by 25% in all new OSĂs. OSĂs now use a Enhanced UI." This is great! You put it together for the Power Machine 5000B and set the engineers to work. For whatever reason, this new design is very buggy as they keep finding bugs. You decide it best to keep it in quality control for a bit longer. You see from the mini-map that Western Europe has completed research. ItĂs color is BLUE meaning that someone else is already there. You look at its attributes and they donĂt care at all about reliability but they care a LOT about Ease of Use. This is both good and bad for you. Good because you just lucky and researched your new OS. Bad because you have spent all this time researching more reliable products instead of easier to use products. Now you have to make an important decision. Western Europe is very rich but very far away. If you really want to compete there, you will hae to build a site. It will cost you $100 million to build a site there and you have $250 million right now so this would use have your money almost. You decide to go for it and build a site there. You begin selling your product there and you see that the market is divded up between you, Joe, and Gill Bates. Joe has 40% of the market, Gill Bates has 40% of the market and you have 20% of the market. You send in a level 2 marketing drone to create a marketing campaign to give the perception that your products are easier to use. Your share jumps to 30% of the market at the expense of Gill Bates. In the meantime, youĂve researched most of Europe and Great Britain has a light bulb icon. You have a Direct Action card that will steal a target opponentĂs top component technology (industrial espionage). You also see that no one is really at an advantage in Britain. You put your marketing unit there and create a new product specifically for Britain that is much cheaper than other products. You call it the Power Machine Lite 5000 which is basically the same as the regular Power Machine but you are selling it at cost. Withing a few minutes, you are #1 there. Now, you activate your direct action card and steal a technology from Joe. You get the "UltraCool Mind Board" from Joe which is quite a powerful keyboard. YouĂve also just researched PowerOS 2.0 over the past year of game play. You put these together and launcht he Power Machine 6000. With your new site, you build a factory there and begin producing the new machine. Because you donĂt have any spare sales execs, you can only sell it on that single region (where your site is). You win Western Europe. Gill Bates sends in a negative marketing unit to your region to make people think your products arenĂt easy to use. Joe sends a sales exec to sit on your region. Your region turns back to JoeĂs color. You build up your sales office in Western Europe to expand your siteĂs sales radius. You now have Eastern Europe and souther Europe buying quite a bit. This earns you another sales unit come January. You send that Sales Exec to the Eastern part of Europe and begin researching eastern Asia. At this point, you have about 50% of the worldĂs market, youĂre winning but not dominating yet! You obtain a new Direct Action Card. It has a cost of 4 political centers (which is very hard to obtain). It reads "Play this card on a target region and that region will "standardize" on your product. Your products will get a 50% sales bonus as being the ŠofficialĂ brand of the region." YouĂre not anywhere near getting that many political centers (you have 1 on Northern Canada). Apparently Bob has one and he has decided that Italy (which has a red $ on it meaning it is very poor) will standardize on his brand. Now Bob is in Europe too. Red "$Ăs" are scarey since owning them means you can play direct action cards that do dastardly things to you and break international trade laws. Suddenly, for whatever reason, JoeĂs presence in Europe decreases significantly. Joe moves his sales executive away from your site to somewhere you havenĂt researched yet. You make quick work of Gill Bates and win all of Europe. You get a message later from Joe who reports he has left the game. Apparently, Joe and Bob had been at each other for quite awhile. But now you are at 70% of the market with Bob at nearly 30% and the AI players essentially destroyed (you played at easy level for the AI). ItĂs Year 16 and itĂs already October. Bob has 2 months to gain 3% market share. You put out the Power Machine 7000 which has both reliable and easy to use components. You made a breakthru in Monitor technology in your last research project and now have super light super sharp monitors which add +10% to all your monitorĂs asthetics from now on. December comes and goes and you have won the game! Rank Company Total Revenue Final % #1 Power Machines Corporation $4.1 billion 69% #2 The Bob Corporation $3.9 billion 30% #3 Microsloth $2.6 billion 0% #4 Itty Bitty Machines $2.4 billion 0% #5 Joe's Computer Company $4.2 billion -- #6 The Death Corporation $1.7 billion -- This gives kind of a basic walkthru of some of the things to expect. Each game is very different as regions are different, there are random worlds, different markets, and hundreds of direct action cards. The ones mentioned (the standardize on a region for example) are fairly rare. Earning break-thrus that give special abilities to your components is different in every game. A multiplayer game can feel pretty fast paced and heated but very fun. A single player game can be fast paced if you want but also be very slow paced for those who like to think out their moves and then act on those well thought out moves. We hope you like what you read. But again, since the beta program is very open to users posting their opinions (or even "flaming" our features), we expect some modifications to the game play. Beta 5 is now available, Beta 6 should be out shortly. ------------------------------------------------------------------ "Developing the Next Generation 32bit Software! Stardock Systems, Inc. Web: http://www.stardock.com Orders: 1-800-672-2338 ------------------------------------------------------------------ For the month of January: WARP to MERLIN Price Specials on Stardock's website!