Monday, January 31, 2005

Strategy Guide from Trevor Chan 1995

CAPITALISM FAQ Version 1.0
(C) Copyright 1995 Trevor Chan and Enlight Software

Getting Started and Retailing

How can I buy goods from the seaport?
Set up a purchasing unit and a sale unit in your department store anddouble-click the line between them to link them together. Select the purchasingunit and click the "Link Supplier" button.Double-click the small "pink" dot on the regional map to select the seaport. Nowthe products available in the seaport are shown. To buy a product, double-clickon its picture.
Where should I set up new purchasing and sale units?
Select your department store and click on the "Layout" button to show theinterior layout of your firm which consists of nine slots. Set up a purchasing unit inone of the slots and set up a sale unit next to it. You can set them up in any twoof the nine slots as long as they are next to each other.
Why are the goods that I have purchased are not showing up in my department store?
It takes a short while for the purchasing unit to move the goods to the sale unit.Also, check your firm's layout to make sure that the purchasing unit is connectedto the sale unit. If they are not connected, the goods will not be moved to thesale unit. To link them together, double-click the line between them.
Any tips for designing good firm layouts?
Learn from computer players. Look at their firm layouts, which are usually welldesigned.

Market Analysis

How can I increase the overall rating?
The overall rating of a product is calculated based on price, quality, and brandrating. If you decrease your products' prices, their overall rating will increase andmore people will buy your products. Quality and brand are also very important,we will tell you how to improve them in the following instructional games.
What does the price concern mean?
If a product has high price concern, consumers are more sensitive to the priceand care less about the quality and brand. Its overall rating is more closelyrelated to the price.
When should I decrease my products' prices?
Compare the overall ratings of your products to those of your competitors. Ifyours are lower than those of your competitors, people prefer the competitionand you are losing your market share to them. In this case, you should considerlowering the price.
What are local competitors?
There are local competitors in each city. Although their firms are not shown in thegame map, they do compete directly with you. Keep an eye on their ratings inthe product reports and reactaccordingly

Farming

What agricultural products should my farm produce ?
Only some agricultural products can be sold directly. They are frozen beef,frozen pork, frozen lambs, frozen chickens, and eggs. The others are rawmaterials for other products. (For example, barley is the raw material for beer.)We will tell you more about that in the next instructional game.
How can I be a good farmer?
Consult the Manager's Guide for details about the farm's unit info-boxes. Youcan call up the Manager's Guide on the "Help" menu.

Manufacturing

What should I do before starting a factory?
Before entering a new industry, analyze the status of the industry. Try to find amarket with the least competition. The product summary report displays conciseinformation about the competitive status of each product in each city.
What's the use of the supply and demand?
Examine your product's supply and demand lines. If the supply line (blue) islonger than the demand line (red), the supply of the product is greater than thedemand. This implies that the product's profitability might not be fully exploitedyet. It has the capacity to meet more demand and generate more revenue. Conversely, if the demand line (red) is longer than the supply line (blue), thisindicates that the firm cannot supply enough goods to meet the demand. In thissituation, try to lift the supply, because any additional supply turn into sales.
How can I be a good factory manager?
To run a successful factory, you must understand the meaning of unit info-boxindicators on the firm layout plan. Consult the Manager's Guide for the detailsabout the unit info-box. You can call up the Manager's Guide on the "Help"menu.

Brand and Advertising

What is brand concern?
If you spend the same amount advertising two products, one with high brandconcern and another with low brand concern, the overall rating of the former oneincreases faster. So much data about advertising, I'm confused. Pay attentiononly to the "Rating Points" and "Daily Frequency" and ignore the rest. They arethe two most important advertising numbers. They are shown on the info-box ofthe advertising unit, denoted by the letters "R" and "F", respectively.
What are the rating points?
The rating points tell the size of a medium's audience. Always try to select a TVstation or a newspaper publisher with high rating points.
What is the daily frequency?
The daily frequency tells now many times a target audience is exposed to anadvertisement in a day. If you increase your advertising spending, you get ahigher daily frequency.
How is brand rating determined?
The brand rating of a product is determined by its brand awareness and brandloyalty. Advertising a product increases brand awareness but not brand loyalty.
How is brand loyalty determined?
Brand loyalty is affected by brand awareness, product quality, and brand scope.
Brand awareness and brand loyalty
Higher brand awareness means more people will try the product and the rate atwhich brand loyalty can increase is faster.
Product quality and brand loyalty
Customers are loyal to a brand only if the brand's products have consistent highquality.
Brand scope and brand loyalty
If you are exercising a range brand or corporate brand strategy, a brand coversa variety of products. Consumers will doubt your corporation's devotion to thatproduct and will not easily become loyal to the brand.
How can I change my brand strategy?
To change the brand strategy, call up the "Corporation Detail Report" and go tothe "Brand" section.

Research and Development

What is an R&D team?
When you connect R&D units, they become an R&D team. The advancement intechnology the team can achieve is higher than the individual units. But you mustdo that before starting R&D. You won't get any advantage from linkingadditional units to an R&D team that has already started R&D.
How can I tell an R&D team to start R&D?
When you start a new R&D project, remember to click the "R&D Technology"button of the "leader" unit of the team. The "leader" is the one that hasconnections to all other R&D units in the team. Selecting a non-leader unit resultsin low technology advancement.
How do I know when my R&D projects are done?
When an R&D project is complete, the "Event Tracker" button appears (on thebottom part of the screen, below the product report button). Press the button togo to the corresponding R&D unit, where you can apply the R&D result rightaway.
Any good R&D strategy?
You can research a product before setting up a factory to manufacture it. Withthis strategy, you can launch new products with superior quality and seize marketshare from your competitors.

Raw Materials Production

Why are mines always losing money?
Mines, logging camps, and oil wells are long-term investment. In the beginning,they barely break even. However, as more factories buy raw materials fromthem, their revenues and profits will increase.
Any good strategy for operating a mine?
If you set a reasonable price for your raw materials, other corporations will buythem from you. Since competition in the raw material market is much less than inthe consumer market, once you have a sizable customer base, it will give yourcorporation a constant income source.

Stock Market

Why should my corporation buy back its own shares?
When your corporation buys back its own shares, those shares are taken out ofcirculation. The total number of shares is reduced and the ownership percentageof the existing shareholders increases.This action can strengthen the ownership of existing shareholders in thecorporation and reduce the risk of a hostile takeover.Buying back your corporation's own shares also has a positiveeffect on the earnings per share, which in turn has a positive effect on the stockprice. If a company buys back half its shares and its overall earnings stay thesame, the earnings per share double


Official Launch Press Release of Capitalism 2

Ubi Soft Entertainment Announces Launch of Trevor Chan's Capitalism II

San Francisco, CA - December 17, 2001 - Ubi Soft Entertainment today announced the launch Trevor Chan's Capitalism II. Sequel to the award-winning Capitalism, Trevor Chan's Capitalism II is a realistic and comprehensive business simulation that features dynamically modeled city economic systems, vivid 3D graphics, and robust multiplayer options designed to test even the sharpest business acumen.

Trevor Chan's Capitalism II features two new campaigns, The Entrepreneur's Campaign and The Capitalist's Campaign, plus a Custom mode that allows players to define game parameters such as start-up capital, the number of competitors and their expertise, and quantity and quality of imported products. Choose from a pool of over 60 product types to manufacture and bring to market. Begin your gameplay with sequenced tutorials designed to maximize your learning potential. Game matching services are available at Ubi Soft's Gaming Zone at www.ubi.com. Additional product features include:

Build a headquarters for your company and execute corporate-wide training programs. Allocate resources to brand promotion, public and investor relations, and your company's stock.

Economic systems are not only dynamic, but complex as well. Labor cost and cost of living will vary from city to city, providing an incentive to set up production in areas of low overhead, while exporting to cities with a wealthier consumer base.
Develop your own technology or acquire it from another company. Sell your technology to competitors for a tidy profit.
Hire and fire senior management staff such as Chief Operating Officers, Chief Marketing
Officers and Chief Technical Officers
Build an array of retail stores - from mega-discount stores to specialty stores - each with its distinct advantage for your business strategy. A new streamlined interface eases locating suppliers and store set-up.
Take on the title of Real Estate Mogul by building apartments and commercial buildings in pricey downtown locations. Flourishing businesses and busy traffic will increase the area's land values.
Expand your corporation into a true conglomerate; get ink on your fingers and take to the airwaves with your newspaper publishers, and TV and radio stations.
Build your dream mansion with the fortune that you have made in the business world.
New multiplayer games for up to seven players offer intense competition from opponents around the world. Play online at www.ubisoft.com or via TCP/IP or IPX compliant networks.

About Ubi SoftUbi Soft Entertainment is a global producer, publisher and international distributor of interactive entertainment products. A leading company in the industry, Ubi Soft's strong and diversified lineup has grown considerably. As well as developing original properties, Ubi Soft has also steadfastly partnered with several high-profile companies and is dedicated to delivering to consumers quality videogame titles while offering blockbuster franchises. Some of Ubi Soft's recent licenses include Disney, Warner Bros., DreamWorks and Sony Pictures. Founded in 1986, the company has offices in 18 countries including the United States, Canada, France, Germany and China and sells its products in a total of 52 countries. For more information about Ubi Soft, visit http://www.ubisoft.com or call 1-800-UBI-SOFT.


Official Interview for the launch of Capitalism 2

Interviewed by Mohamed Awad August 29th, 2002

Andy Grimbal was kind enough to answer the following questions for us regarding their company Enlight Software, and many other things in this lengthy 3-page interview. Read on to find out more!

Can you please introduce yourself (name and position)?
I am Andy Grimbal, and my role in Enlight Software is to assist in game design and content research. I am a "Game Designer", but my role is really to complement Trevor [founder of Enlight] and help bring to fruit his vision.

Can you tell us a bit about Enlight Software's history?
Enlight Software was founded by Trevor Chan in 1993, with a goal of creating games that are not only entertaining, but of equal importance, enlightening.Enlight's first product, Capitalism, received accolades as the best business simulation game ever created. Enlight's second title was Capitalism Plus, the eagerly-anticipated follow-up to the original. Following the success of the Capitalism series, Enlight ventured into the real-time strategy game arena with its release of Seven Kingdoms. Enlight then released Seven Kingdoms: Ancient Adversaries, and in 1999 Enlight released Seven Kingdoms II.In 2000, Enlight launched Virtual U, which is a simulation game of university. Recently, Enlight has produced Capitalism 2, the latest addition to the award-winning Capitalism series released by UBI Soft in December 2001.In 2002, Enlight is poised to continue its success by releasing Hotel Giant, an extremely detailed 3D simulation of a hotel, which takes realistic business simulation to a new frontier. Also planned for release is Virtual U version 2.0, which offers significant enhancement over its predecessor.When Enlight was first founded, how many people were working there? And nowadays, how many staff members are on a full-time contract?In the beginning there were only 10 members. Nowadays we are 24 full-time in-office [members]. There are additional freelancers that collaborate on the games, but they are not full-time personnel.Trevor Chan has made quite a reputation for himself, how does it feel like working with him? What do you think makes him special?Working with Trevor has been a tremendous experience. I have to admit it was not easy working here at first; I have been used to working in companies where the "boss" always had the right answer and expected you to act accordingly, so when I started in Enlight, I was not used to the degree of freedom and open-mindedness that is expected here. Here we are encouraged (sometimes forced, even!) to contribute to game ideas, challenge the status quo, and push ourselves to create better, more entertaining games. We also have a schedule dotted with deadlines. As long as you can stick to the schedule, working here is relatively stress-free, which is always a good thing.Trevor is special simply because he has the ability and talent to design games, write code, finance the business and still find the time to talk to everyone about individual issues. How he juggles his time is impressive. I wish I could do the same! Overall, I consider it a privilege to work with Trevor.Most developers are located in North America and some are in Europe; did you ever feel that your unique location in Asia worked against you or your products?Before anything, I'd like to stress that Japan is another game development powerhouse, also located in Asia. Living in such a connected world nowadays, distances are negligent. That being said, I don't see the location as either beneficial or deterring. I think there are good and bad circumstances no matter what part of the world you develop games, so you just adapt to the deterrents and capitalize on the benefits

Are there any benefits from being located in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong has amazing infrastructure. Due to Hong Kong's proximity and cultural influence from Japan, we also get all those wacky Japanese games that would never reach the European or North American markets (due to marketing purposes), so if there is anything beneficial to working from Hong Kong, it's that the games market here truly caters to all tastes. We can literally just walk to any game store and purchase any game released anywhere in the world, something that cannot be said for the European, North American or even Japanese markets. And believe me, there are a plethora of fantastically crazy games out here!

Can you give us a quick run-down of your previous products?
You may refer to the Enlight software history. There we briefly describe our products.Unlike many developers, Enlight seems to be switching publishers quite often. Is there a specific reason for that?Basically when we design a game, we are always looking for unique subject matter. This means that a publisher may be very excited about one concept, but at the same time feel "leery" about other game concepts from us. Selling a game idea about a humans-battling-monsters RTS is one thing; telling that same publisher that an economic simulation about capitalism is another. Not that any of them are bad - The Seven Kingdoms series had garnered high ratings from the specialized press, while Capitalism fared equally well with game critics. We believed in our games, the press praised them, and the game players enjoyed them as well, but to the same publishers it may seem as too big a risk.

When you are developing your games, what language do you develop them first in before work starts on other localized versions?
We do all our game design in English.

Your most recent product is Hotel Giant; can you give us some information about this title?
You can visit the website, at hotel.jowood.de to find out more. But what better way for you to get the feel of the game than to actually play it? Send me your mailing address and I will send you a complimentary copy. =) Oh, and it's already on sale! [A demo is also available - Ed.]

What is Enlight Software working on now?
We are currently working on Restaurant Tycoon, a restaurant/cooking sim that is shaping up quite nicely. Concurrently, we are in pre-production on two other games, both very exciting titles, but still in the embryonic stage. All I can say for now is that these games will be a radical departure from the business simulation/RTS games we have been developing through the years. More details soon!

Any plans on developing products for any of the three consoles?
Yes. At least one of the three planned titles will make its way to the TV.Some believe that the PC is a dying platform. Do you feel that way?Absolutely not! First off, the PC has consistently been the most powerful of all game "machines". Just compare games such as GTA3 on the PS2 against the PC counterpart, and you can notice the graphical differences. And with such a huge user base, the PC has much more users than all console users combined - how do you kill such a huge user base? Or even ignore them?Many game genres simply do not lend themselves for console play - at least not yet. Take something like Age of Empires. Can you imagine "click-dragging" using the analog stick of a console controller in the thick of battle?This can all change in the future, with HDTV and mouse/keyboard control being introduced for consoles (for games such as Final Fantasy Online), but let's not forget that the PC also has the same room and potential to grow and mature.Finally, the vast majority of games are developed using PCs, so in the future, even if consoles do win the "game wars", the PC will still play a pivotal role as the development tool of choice, so I don't see how the PC will effectively "die". What I see is a convergence between the home theater, the console and the PC, as they all are becoming increasingly more and more ubiquitous.

What were some of the most recent games you played?
Oh my... It may be easier to state what games I haven't played! For research, we always play oodles of games - to see why they work, where they fail, what new technologies are being employed. All this in an effort to deliver better games to players.When I'm not playing games for research and development purposes, if I'm on a PC, I'll play racing sims (with a steering wheel, of course!), first-person shooters or play simulation and strategy games, that tend to be better on a PC due to the higher resolutions and a more flexible and intuitive interface that comprises the mouse and keyboard.On the console, I go more for action/arcade and platform type games, because the console simply lends itself better to these types of games. The games that have taken most of my free time this past month have been Maximo on the PS2 and Colin McRae Rally 2 on the PC (can't wait for CMR3!)

Are there any specific titles that are popular among Enlight Software members? Do you guys ever play some games on your LAN?
Well, Diablo II's popularity finally waned. It has been replaced by Winning Eleven 6 (PS2), where with the multi-tap you can always see eight Enlight members screaming at each other (not during office hours, of course!)Other members are busy playing MMORPGs unique to Asia, as well as more "conventional" PC titles such as Neverwinter Nights, Dungeon Siege, and Warcraft III.

In closing, would you like to add anything?
Nah. I think I've blabbed enough already!Thank you very much Andy for this opportunity and on behalf of CanadianGamer.ca and its readers I would like to sincerely wish you and your team the best of luck.


Review of the game abstracted by Capalive.com

Professor Thomas Kosnik, Consulting Professor,
Stanford School of Engineering, and Lecturer,
Harvard Business School , Technology Today, CNBC-TV Cable
"Capitalism is a world class, hands-on learning experience which I've used at Stanford School of Engineering and Harvard Business School. Gamers not only learn the subtleties of growing an entrepreneurial business but also learn about leadership and team building necessary in any business situation." "Capitalism is very realistic and will allow the dynamics to change depending on whether you're selling a cola product, which is sort of a low tech-branded consumer good, or whether your selling consumer electronics or a PC."

Professor Drew Fudenberg
Harvard University
"This game does an excellent job of modeling many of the key aspects of modern business. Not all aspects of it are realistic, but enough of them are that many sensible strategies are encouraged. In particular it's gratifying to me to see that the game rewards thinking about sources of long-term competitive advantage, be it from brand recognition, low production costs gained from learning-by-doing (a nice touch!), a monopoly on high quality inputs, or a big technological lead."

Businessweek, October 21, 1996
Capitalism isn't just for those who aspire to be the next Michael Dell or Sam Walton. It can be a fun and useful exercise for anyone who wants to test their entrepreneurial mettle without, for once, taking any risk. Players can choose to compete against computer-controlled rivals in four different industries: farming, manufacturing, raw material mining, and retailing. For a truly adventurous and time-consuming game, players can mix and match industries as captains of giant conglomerates. As in the real world, players compete locally, in one city, or fight it out on the global stage. With so many possibilities, Capitalism is an intense strategy game, much like chess, where players must constantly think ahead. As such, it could easily overwhelm novices. But by adjusting several factors--competency and managerial style of the computer-controlled rivals, for example, can be varied from very aggressive to conservative--gameplay can be suited to various styles and speed. The game even allows a player to hire presidents to manage the day-to-day operations of different divisions so the player can concentrate on the big picture.

Far Eastern Economic Review, September 26, 2002
The mass market isn't the only audience for Chan's games. Like Virtual U, Capitalism has made the leap from game room to classroom. Because of its high degree of realism, the game has been used by professors at institutions like Harvard and Stanford Universities to help students learn basic business principles. Chan is hoping that Restaurant Empire and Hotel Giant will also be adopted for training and education. "Simulation games are a fun way to learn about anything," he says. "They prove that computer games aren't just about shooting things but can also be educational."

CNN - 22nd May 2002
Kristie Lu Stout, CNN Correspondent
Some guys have all the luck. They have the billion dollar market cap, the brand, and the empire, while the rest of us spend our lives toiling away in cubicles with no chance to ever run the show. That is until now. Even the desk jockey can claw his way to the top in "Capitalism," the game.Hong Kong game developer Trevor Chan just released the follow-up to the award-winning original, but the objective is the same. Move your assets to turn an upstart into the most profitable company in the world. First-time players can choose a challenge like, the world in your hands, where you manage a research and development lab out to post annual revenues of $400 million, and as you take on the competition, that's when the real drama begins.But "Capitalism" is no Business 101. Critics call it a deep involving game that could test even the sharpest business document. In fact, it's been used as a simulation exercise for business students at Stanford University.