Dec 232017
 
International Bridge Constructors A freeware game for 1 to 4 players. See if you can manage your company and become Chairman of the Board before anyone else.
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International Bridge Constructors A freeware game for 1 to 4 players. See if you can manage your company and become Chairman of the Board before anyone else.
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International Bridge Contractors Documentation Page 1
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I N T E R N A T I O N A L

B R I D G E

C O N T R A C T O R S

1984 Greystone Software

Release Date: May 26, 1985

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International Bridge Contractors is a simulation game for the IBM-PC
with BASIC or BASICA. I first saw this game in 1980 in SoftSide magazine.
I entered the program into my Radio Shack TRS-80 Model I computer.

I didn't find the game that much fun at first, but then one day I
brought my computer to the local college to show my friends how it worked.
When four of us decided to play this game, it became an addiction. Every
week for a year or so, I would bring my computer to the college, and find
three other eager players and we'd make a night of it. This lasted until
I had to sell the Model I for financial reasons.

I later bought a Commodore Vic-20, but even with expanded memory, the
22-column screen was too much of a handicap to translate the program.
A while later, however, I got a Commodore-64 and started the project.
The 40-column screen was difficult to adjust to (the Radio Shack had a
64-column screen), and I had to write a 'PRINT USING' type of routine,
but it was done in a week or so. Unfortunately, I belonged to no user's
groups, nor had I a modem. Therefore, very few people have a copy of this
program. I've since sold both Commodore computers, but I still have a
copy or two on disk if anyone's interested.

I now own an IBM-PC and decided to translate the program to IBM Basic.
With respect to the origional author, I've kept the game basically the
same with a few enhancements.

Just a note concerning the origional version: When I first wrote the
Commodore-64 version, I wrote SoftSide several times in good faith, re-
qesting permission to distribute the software as public domain to friends,
or to be submitted for evaluation to be printed in their magazine. I
never received any response. Softside has since apparently gone out of
business. Being a professional programmer, I do not wish to make avail-
able copy-righted software. However, since it seems I shall not be able
to contact SoftSide, I am offering my version to the public domain.







International Bridge Contractors Documentation Page 2
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International Bridge Contractors is a simulation for one to four players.
It is based upon a scenario where players start out as Office Managers with
$40,000,000 in cash (unfortunately, that is not nearly enought to win).

There are up to six phases to each player's turn:

Phase I - Company Status Display
Phase II - Company Purchases Display
Phase III - Secretary's Report
Phase IV - Research & Development Status
(Only if R & D investment is made)
Phase V - Bridge Specifications Display
Phase VI - Contract Bidding Phase

The object of the game is to invest or spend your money on work crews,
construction materials, and R & D, and make bridge contracts by bidding
the correct amounts, thereby increasing your cash. As your cash increases,
you will be periodically promoted until you've completed a turn with at
least $500,000,000 in cash. When that is done, you are elected the chair-
man (or chair-person) of the board, and the game is won. However, random
events (or bad bidding) may cause you to go in the hole. Be careful to not
let this happen, because if your cash is less than zero, you have a good
chance of being declared bankrupt, and going out of the game. Note that you
will be charged 25% interest on your cash reserve for each turn in the hole.

Phase I - Company Status Display

The first phase is the company status display. During this phase, no
input is required by the player.

This is the screen where you will see if you've been promoted based
upon your cash reserve. The six bridges are listed with their corres-
ponding numbers-built. They are listed in their origional cost-per-foot
order from least expensive to most expensive. Make note that usually
the more expensive bridges will mean bigger costs, hence you are capable
of making larger bids, and therefore make larger profits.

Also displayed on this screen are your assets: work crews, R & D
investments, materials, and cash. Again, keep your eye on the cash
amount - if it goes below zero, you may go bankrupt.

Pressing brings you to the next phase.

Phase II - Company Purchases Display

The second phase is the company purchases display. This is where
you hire work crews, buy materials, and/or invest in R & D.

The price of the above transactions are listed with their selection
numbers. Below that, your assets are displayed much like they were
in the first phase (this was not in the origional version).

You are prompted to enter the your purchase selection. The default
selection is to end the purchases phase, since you often will not wish
to purchase anything (or may have no money to spare).

As you select to purchase something, your cash is decremented by the
corresponding amount, and your other assets are increased - as can be
seen on the assets display.




International Bridge Contractors Documentation Page 3
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First-time users will probably not know how much to buy and of what.
There are no hard rules on how to win this game, but I will try to provide
some purchasing guide-lines (among my friends, I hold the record for the
least number of turns to win the game!).

The number of work crews you will require will depend upon the type and
size of bridge you are later given the opportunity to bid on. Small bridges
such as a 500-foot Pontoon may only require 50 or so work crews. On the
other hand, larger bridges, such as a 2000-foot Suspension may require over
300 work crews. I've never needed more than 400 work crews for any bridge.
You might want to purchase about 100 work crews your first turn and buy more
later as cash permits.

The amount of materials you will need also depends on the type and size
of bridges you are offered to bid on. Most bridges will only require a
few million dollars worth of materials to build, but larger bridges may
need $30,000,000 or more to build. Note that if you do not have enough
work crews or materials for your client's bridge, you will not be allowed
to bid on it. $10,000,000 worth of materials is a good place to start on
your first turn, and again you should increase that amount as your cash
increases.

Research & Development investments are entirely optional, but they are
capable of many benefits. If you invest in R & D, your building costs can
go down for bridges. These building cost decreases are transparent to your
client, so you can bid the same as you would have before the costs for that
bridge went down and make more profit. The draw-back is that R & D invest-
ments are expensive ($5,000,000 each), and you may not get the break-through
you were hoping for. I usually don't invest in R & D until I have enough
money to not have to worry about going bankrupt.

When you make a selection for purchases, note that that selection becomes
the new selection default. This is handy for repeated purchases. For
instance, work crews are purchased five at a time, so it requires 20 pur-
chases to aquire 100 work crews. All you need do is select 2 (and )
the first time, and then press 19 more times. When you are done
with all your purchases, option four continues with the next phase.

Phase III - Secretary's Report

The third phase is the secretary's report. During this phase, nearly
anything can happen. It's better to just see what happens on the screen
than to try to describe all the possibilities.

In the origional game, there were about 25 or 30 events that could
happen. They all increased or decreased your cash reserve, or left it
alone. I have brought the total possibilities to over 65, and now the
events can also affect your number of work crews, your materials, or
your R & D investment as well. It makes the game a little more inter-
esting.

A word of caution: several castatrophies can happen in this phase as
well as revelations. You might gain $100,000,000 or lose the same. You
may also lose all your work crews, materials, or R & D, so it does not pay
to hoard money in these assets. You can also gain work crews, materials,
or R & D investments in this phase (hopefully just when you need them).







International Bridge Contractors Documentation Page 4
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As your cash reserve increases to several hundred million, you tend
not to worry about some of the more trivial events. The computer will
beep if there are assets lost in this phase to bring your attention to
the amount.

After viewing the secretary report, pressing will continue with
the next phase

Phase IV - Research & Development Status

The fourth phase is the research and development status display. This
phase will only be active if the player has an investment in R & D.

The probability that a break-through will occur depends on how much the
player has invested. If a break-through has been reached, the cost of one
of the six bridges will go down. The bridge type, its old cost, and its
new cost will be displayed. The R & D cost for this break-through will
also be displayed. This is a new feature to this simulation. Also, under
the origional version of this game, your R & D investment would decrease
by a random multiple of $5,000,000. In this version, your investment
decreases by half of a random multiple of $1,000,000. I think this better
encourages players to invest in R & D.

After viewing this screen, pressing will continue with the
next phase.

Phase V - Bridge Specifications Display

The fifth phase is the bridge specifications display. This screen shows
the six bridges, their traffic types, their costs per 100 feet, and their
safe and maximum distances. If you have been investing in R & D and have
had some cost break-throughs, here is where you can keep track of them.
By knowing the cost of your bridges, as well as their origional costs, you
can make better bids in the next phase. Your assets are also listed on the
bottom part of the screen for the last time before the bidding phase.

After viewing this screen, pressing will bring you to the
final phase of your turn.

Phase VI - Contract Bidding Phase

The sixth or final phase of a player's turn is the contract bidding
phase. A bridge will be selected at random, with a controlled-random
length. Your cost for building the bridge (materials, labor, etc.) will
be displayed. If you do not have enough work crews or materials to build
this bridge, you will be notified so, and your turn ends.

If you can make a bid, you will be prompted for your bid at this time.
Enter a number of at least the cost, but less than one billion. Scientific
number notation is allowed, but no commas or dollar signs. Scientific
notation is a short-hand for large numbers. For example, $6,000,000 can
be entered as '6000000' or as '6E6'. The 'E' means exponent (more or less),
and can be thought of as moving the decimal point the number following the
'E' places to the right, filling it in with zeros. Another example would
'75E6' or '7.5E7' for $75,000,000.








International Bridge Contractors Documentation Page 5
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A controlled-random maximum allowed bid is created by the computer for
the contract. If your bid is less than or equal to that hidden amount, you
get the bid, and your profit is displayed. Your materials will be decreased
by a percentage of the cost of the bridge, as you will see by examining your
materials assets on your next turn. If you bid too high, you obviously will
not get the contract.

Again, there are no hard rules or guidelines on how much to bid on these
bridge contracts, since the maximum allowed bid is a controlled random num-
ber. However, you may be surprised by how much you can get away with on
certain bridge contracts on occaision (or how little you can't). It is
possible to make as much as $150,000,000 profit on a $15,000,000 suspension
bridge, if its costs have gone way down, for example.

After your bid (if you were allowed to make one), pressing ends
your turn, and the next player begins his turn, or you begin your next turn
if you are playing alone.

I hope you enjoy International Bridge Contractors and the few enhance-
ments I've added. I've tried to keep a sense of humor about some of the
secretary's reports and hope I've offended no-one. I even have 45 smokers
die of lung cancer in one - and I've been referred to as a 'chain-smoker'.

Feel free to modify the program if you wish. I've tried to keep the
program structured and easy to modify. You may be interested in the simple
data input routine located at 40200. The origional IBC had very little
error trapping, and it was easy to accidentaly cause it to crash. You may
also be interested in the method I used to mix edit-patterned numbers with
text for centering on the screen.

The easiest part to modify is the section of the secretary's reports
DATA statements. Add as many as you want here, but remember these rules:

1) Remember to change the number of selections in line 30010 to
be reflect the new number of possible events (add the number
of events you are adding).

2) Each event requires two text parameters for up to two 80-character
text lines. They also require a number, 1-4, to determine which
asset to increment/decrement:

1 = Work crews
2 = R & D investment
3 = Materials
4 = Cash reserve

Finally, each event needs a dollar amount to be incremented/decre-
mented to the asset. Increases should be a positive number, and
decreases should be negative.

3) Keep in mind that your two text lines will be centered on the
screen.

Have fun and drop me a line if you have any comments.

Bill Hileman (408) 986-9872 (work)
2262 Lucretia Ave., Apt. 3 (408) 971-8416 (home)
San Jose, CA 95122


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