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Subject: Entrepreneur Walkthrough...

From: wardell@ibm.net
Reply-To: wardell@ibm.net
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.


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Stardock Systems, Inc.
Web: http://www.stardock.com  Orders: 1-800-672-2338
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For the month of January: WARP to MERLIN Price Specials on Stardock's
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