I don't know if there are already other games of this style floating around the community, but I put together a game centered around running a store.  Because this might not be a type of game people have already played, I really don't know if it will be met with praise or ridicule.  I guess there's no real way to know without posting it.  big_smile

    U-mart is a store managing game which focuses on spotting market trends.  Players must pay utility bills, loan payments, employee wages, and of course keep their store stocked with merchandise.  Spy on your rival stores, pay your market research team to check on new products, and adjust your wages so that everyone wants to come work for you!

Enjoy!

U-Mart
www.kaldobsky.com/audiogames/umart.zip
(2.07 MB v1.0, last updated 10/17/2015 at 6:30 PM EST)


Changes from 0.9d to 1.0

- I've adjusted the game to now require at least 30 custom items before it will let you disable the game's default item list.
- You can now change the names and store names for your computer opponents on the main menu.  Perhaps you want to feel like you're competiting against friends or family of yours, or perhaps you're using custom items and want the stores you battle to seem more appropriate.
- On normal and hard modes, the computer players will begin the game with a smaller starter loan.
- Fixed a typo in the description for the rewards program.
- A few new ways to draw in customers have been added.  Under store extras, you can now advertise for your store with mailers, billboards, radio commercials, and television commercials.
- The AI opponents are able to use all 4 types of advertising.
- On Normal and Hard mode, the computer opponents are given a discount when buying store extras.  This is meant to encourage them to build them more often than they currently do.
- Shoplifters are more common now.  I was not happy with how rare they were in the past versions, even without any security extras being added to the store.  I want players to feel like they need security measures as the game progresses.
- A new store extra has been added.  Security strips can be placed at the exits to your store, and will beep if a shoplifter tries to take an item through that was not paid for.  Nothing will stop every theif, but this adding these sensors will help.
- When buying store extras, the confirmation message now lists the monthly cost for the purchase you're about to make.
- Random injuries can happen in the store, for either your employees or the customers.  When these rare events occur, be prepared to hand over money to pay the medical expenses.
- Store insurance has been added, under the extras menu.  Having insurance will lower the cost of paying for lawsuits and other damages.
- Some items on the monthly statement will no longer be included if they were at zero.

Changes from 0.9c to 0.9d

- Fixed a bug that would tell you about AI players going bankrupt after loading a saved game, even though they had already been bankrupt.  The first time you load an old saved game this bug will probably still happen, but saving it again should correct the bug.
- From the main menu you can now enable and disable the default game items, as well as any custom item list files.  This will let you fully customize your store managing experience.
- Fixed a bug that could affect saved games, causing them to show some gibberish once loaded.

Changes from 0.9b to 0.9c

- Fixed a bug that was causing the warehouse to only show 1 item.
- Normal and Hard mode now start the computer AI players out with a larger store than you.  They may also start out with a random store extra.  Basically everyone seems to be kicking the crap out of the current AI opponents so I wanted to make them a bit more of a challenge on the Normal and Hard difficulties.

Changes from 0.9 to 0.9b

- Fixed a bug that prevented the game from correctly loading saved files.

Changes from 0.8 to 0.9

- Fixed the warehouse menu, which was returning people to the wrong spot after buying merchandise.
- Fixed a typo on the monthly statement that switched the words "loss" and "gain".
- The ph arm acy has been added to the game, as another store extra that can help keep customers returning to your store instead of visiting your competition.
- Fixed a bug that prevented the AI players from ever setting up a customer rewards program at their stores.
- Fixed a bug that was showing the wrong items and purchases in your monthly statement.
- Fixed a bug that was sometimes crashing the game suddenly.
- The dedicated research team has been added now.  With this store extra, you pay $2000 each month but no longer have to pay for individual market research services.  If you find yourself spending over $2000 each month on research, adding this to your store might be a smart move.
- Each week the game will automatically save your game into a temporary file called "lastsave".  This should not be used as an excuse to exit your game without saving, but should something terrible happen and the game closes without you saving, at least you can load up a recent save file.
- Due to a variety of game changes over the past several versions, players can no longer load saved games created with version 0.6b or earlier.  Up until now I've been careful to keep the game able to load those old save files, but I think most players will already be using a more up to date version.
- A ton of new items have been added to the game, but there are only ever 28 types available at the warehouse.  When an item is completely sold out, it will be replaced with an entirely new item.  This should help keep the player on his/her toes because new items will continue to pop up which might be the next big seller!
- Feel like playing the game with some custom items?  Well now you can!  You will find an example file in your U-Mart folder, named items1.txt.  Read it carefully and you should be making your own items in no time!  Not only can you fill the file with a bunch of items, but you can create more files too.  Just change the number, up to a maximum of items99.txt, and the game will read in all of them.  Why would you need 99 files if you can put hundreds of items into a single file, you might ask.  The answer is that you could keep things organized into themes.  Perhaps you use 1 file for pet store related items, and another for clothes.  You can also write up a great file and post it for other players to download!  I can only imagine all of the creative and funny items the community could put together.

Changes from 0.7 to 0.8

- Fixed a bug in the store features menu that prevented the "previous menu" option from working.
- Buying extra store features now correctly tells you that the purchase worked.
- The game now correctly shows how many extra features you've added to your store.
- The employee bonus feature was not correctly helping prevent a union from forming.  It does now.
- AI players are now able to buy extra store features related to making their employees happier.
- AI players are now able to buy extra store features that make their store more appealing to customers.
- The brain of AI player Emily has been adjusted to help it make better choices in the game.
- The brain of AI player Lillian has been adjusted to help it make better choices in the game.
- I've stolen some sounds from the Revelation game, so choosing your screen reader with Tab will be nicer.
- Shoplifters now exist.  When an item is stolen, you will hear a certain sound on your left.  You can lower the odds of shoplifters stealing merchandise by adding store extras features that have to do with security.
- The Quarterly updates have been completely redesigned, and turned into monthly financial statements.
- Monthly financial statements are also stored in a text file to make them easier to view or review.

Changes from 0.6b to 0.7

- Unions have been added as a new challenge.  As your business grows and you have more workers, there is a chance that your people will form a union.  Once you have a union there is no way to remove it (ha ha), and it will impose its own rules upon you.  The best way to keep a union from forming is to keep your employees happy.
- Fixed a bug that allowed people to stock aisles that were still under construction.
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to further increase an aisle size while it was still under construction.
- I have redesigned the way employees choose to quit and go work for a different store.  There is always a chance someone will leave (even if you pay more money), but the odds are much smaller now.
- Your store can now have several types of features, services, and departments added onto it.  These affect your store in different ways, and I'm hoping they add a new layer of strategy to the game.
- The following extra store features have been added to the game:
  + Extra shopping carts.  Customers hate searching for an available cart out in the parking lot.  Buying extras means you will always have plenty of carts waiting for them at the entrance.  It is an extra incentive that helps customers keep coming back to your store rather than taking their business elsewhere.
  + Bottle return.  A bottle return machine allows your customers to come and cash in empty soda cans and beer bottles.  It is an extra incentive that helps customers keep coming back to your store rather than taking their business elsewhere.
  + Fancy store decorations.  Customers will know they've entered a high class establishment as they walk on beautiful tiled floors.  Marble trim and artsy displays help keep customers keep coming back to your store rather than taking their business elsewhere.
  + Customer service counter.  Your customers sometimes have questions, and sometimes need to argue and complain about something.  Having a dedicated customer service counter gives them a place to do just that.  This is an extra incentive that helps customers keep coming back to your store rather than taking their business elsewhere.
  + Store rewards program.  Customers get to carry around a little card on their keys, instantly giving them 5% off anything they buy in your store!  This could hurt your bottom line, but it is a great incentive that helps keep customers keep coming back to your store, rather than taking their business elsewhere.
  + Lights in the parking lot.  When it gets dark out, lights in the parking lot make your customers feel safe.  It is an extra incentive that helps customers keep coming back, and also a way to help prevent robberies.
  + Store security guards.  There are always people who feel they can take whatever they want.  Security guards will help prevent shop lifters from stealing your merchandise.  Security guards also help prevent robberies.
  + Parking lot security.  Mounted cameras and a security guard patroling the parking lot help your customers feel safe.  It is an extra incentive that helps customers keep coming back, and also a way to help prevent robberies.
  + Employee break room.  While your employees are on their break, they will have a vending machine and a few tables to sit at.  It isn't fancy, but it helps make them happier.  Happy employees are less likley to unionize, and if already in a union, happy employees are less likely to demand pay raises!
  + Employee lounge.  Before or after their shift and during breaks, your workers can watch TV from comfortable sofas.  Vending machines and a coffee maker are appreciated as well.  The lounge makes your employees feel happier and appreciated.  Happy employees are less likley to unionize, and if already in a union, happy employees are less likely to demand pay raises!
  + Employee bonus program.  Each month your management team hands out bonus money to the employees who did the best job.  These types of rewards make your employees feel happier and appreciated.  Happy employees are less likley to unionize, and if already in a union, happy employees are less likely to demand pay raises!
- At the moment shop lifters and thieves have not been added, so the various security extras only serve a purpose if they also say they help keep customers happy.
- The popularity of your store now affects your total customers per day.  If your store provides extra features that improve customer happiness, you will begin pulling customers away from rival stores who do not have the same perks.
- When spying to see what other stores are selling, the market research team will also show you how much those items currently cost from the warehouse.  They show you a maximum price, since buying larger quantities gives you a discount.
- When market research is giving you a maximum price limit, holding Ctrl will quickly display only the amount.  It is a faster way to get to the point.

Changes from 0.6 to 0.6b

- Fixed another spot where I forgot to rename the word "slot" to "aisle".  (Good catch the blasting gd)
- When viewing your loans, the game now correctly shows you how much money you've already spent on this loan.

Changes from 0.5d to 0.6

- Fixed a bug that caused saved games not to open, depending on the regional settings of the person's computer.

Changes from 0.5c to 0.5d

- Fixed a bug in the loans menu that was listing the loans of your opponents instead of your own loans.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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Aprone,
I thought the name was a little generic so I googled it and found:
U-Mart The Arizona Student Unions - University of Arizona
U Mart, Grocery Stores Woodside, NY
U-Mart Convenience Store  Kearny Mesa San Diego

How about naming it Aprone-Mart?

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I just posted a quick patch that fixes a bug in the loans menu.  A bug was causing it to list your opponent's loans instead of your own at times, making it seem like you had bought one loan but had been given a different one.

Phil, I originally was going to do You-Mart, but shortened it.  The idea was that it's your store, in a similar way to how they market customized monopoly boards and such (name-your-own-opoly).

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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Hey, Aprone.
We're waiting more and more games of that kind. I always wanted a complex farming simulator game, or a zoo one, or a resort management one.
These kind of games really helps me escaping from the world of shooters, and all these kind of games where all what you have to do is pressing space bar, shooting people and avoiding objects

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[wow] Aprone, you work fast!
Going to give this a try ASAP.

A “critic” is a man who creates nothing and thereby feels qualified to judge the work of creative men. There is logic in this; he is unbiased—he hates all creative, people equally.
THE ONLY THING YOU CAN BE ABSOLUTELY SURE OF...
IS YOUR OWN...
EXISTENCE...

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Thanks guys.  Hopefully people enjoy this type of game.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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The only type of game that I think is out there like this is Park Boss. you do the same kind of stuff.

Orin

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good game aprone.
I think it should be called Kai mart; smile
tongue
Greetings

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hmmmm def gonna check this out.....

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aprone im still watin on that tile game multi player lol

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[wow] this sounds awesome!!! Checking it out now!

Kingdom of Loathing name JB77

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Thanks guys.

Firence, I thought about that, but instead I just made it one of the rival stores you are competing against.

Smoothgunner, don't worry, that's still being worked on.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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Hey Aprone,

Another great idea. This game is really cool, gives me something to do. lol It'll take some getting used to, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it. Very cool idea for a game. smile

"I've learned that this life's not just a game, just a line, between the pleasures and the pain." - Aaron Lewis

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This is an awesome little game.
One feature request: it'd be nice if we could restock an isle, even if it wasn't totally empty. I'm having a lot of situations pop up where I have less than 10 (out of 100) items on shelves, so I'm losing quite a few sales.

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This is an interesting game. I'm noticing that if I attempt to sell too much of an item, the price people are willing to pay goes down. I'm assuming this is intentional since as more people get the item, the demand decreases? I think you should also be able to sell food. Food is an item that should constantly be in demand as it's needed. All this other stuff seems like items that aren't necessary. I'm finding it difficult to progress since I seem to make just as much money from sales as I spent purchasing the stock. This is an interesting game. I don't think we've had this kind of game in an acessible version before. I may have to go try out Park Boss.

Grab my Adventure at C: stages Right here.

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Aprone,
I was trying to say that UMart name is already taken and could get you in copyright trouble.
So is YouMart and Umart.
There is even a JK Mart.
However I didn't find any Giion. Mart.
Or you could call it Swamp Mart that sells only to zombies.
JK

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Hmm, something seems to bee wrong with the save/loading mechanics, i cannot load a saved game, it only says "error loading game".

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@Aprone, [wow] this is quick! you really are pumping these out, indeed I need to get my head out of the clouds and actually add some of these to the db. As regards whether we have games like this, well actually this is a type of game I've seen hundreds of requests for over the years.
While various mmorpgs like torn city and core exiles have major economic stratogy elements, and there are a couple like federation 2 and capy regnum which are fullly! economic based, we haven't got many actual stand alone audiogames of this sort, just park boss I think, lords of the galaxy is more like monopoly in space than full economic stratogy.

On names Phil, I doubt so long as the game stays free there will be an issue with any existing insert letter here marts, though just in case maybe Aprone should change the name to mart Boss, sinse we've not got any other games with names like that no sir! big_smile.

I will say the term "mart" meaning a shop like "mal" is I believe Us specific, but I'm quite happy with the idea of the game being set in the Us especially sinse I imagine everything is calculated in dollars anyway, however for maintaining continuity I hope you can stock a huge amount of amo for various guns, as well as bike helmets, chainsaws and canisters of fuel big_smile.
Actually that should be the end of the game, you make all your cash satisfying consumers, ---- and then meet a rabid mob of consumers who will only be satisfied when they consume you! big_smile.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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John, I'll give your request some thought.  At the moment, being unable to restock an aisle until it is empty is actually done by design, to force you to think more carefully about purchases before you make them.  That might be an area where the convenience of restocking might be more valuable than that small extra bit of strategy.  I don't know yet if I'll make that change, but I will think it over.  Thanks for the suggestion.  smile

Chris, actually the demand for an item (and the price they are willing to pay) will naturally go up and down on their own even if you are not selling a lot of something.  The hope is always that you'll buy something during a time that it is in high demand, and that you can sell off your merchandise before the demand drops again.

Using the Market research features is an extremely helpful and important thing.  When looking through items to buy for your store, I do highly recommend using the backspace key to have your research team estimate what customers will pay for the item.  It does cost $50 each time you want to research an item, but I find it well worth it.  Actually while going through dozens of AI designs trying to get ones that were good at playing the game, the ones that ended up doing the best were the ones who were willing to spend a pretty good amount on research.

Phil thanks for letting me know.  I think I'll take my chances, but the heads up is appreciated.  The fact that you found 2 different stores with the same name leads me to believe that they don't care too much about someone else using the name.  Otherwise whichever one of them was first would have forced the other to use a different name.  smile

Viktor, could you send me your save file?  I'd like to run some tests and see what might be wrong.  A bug in the save/load feature will really suck for people... so I need to get it fixed fast.

Dark, thanks for the info about this style of game in the audiogames community.  I'm glad I didn't end up making a clone of an existing game.  I have such a terrible track record of never Playing any audiogames, that I always run the risk of stealing someone elses idea without realizing it!  Haha!

As for me pumping out games lately, I will say that I have 3 more "small" games in the works.  I'll use quotes around "small" because, as you've said, these games aren't necessarily small.  I judge their size from a different perspective than the players.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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Ugh, played on easy and I made it aobut 5 months before I ran out of money. This game really  makes you think aobut numbers!

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Sounds interesting, I will check this one out in a bit.

Stevie-3

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I've posted a new version that fixes a saving bug.  If the player's computer was using certain regional settings, the game would error when trying to load a saved game.  The best news is that the saved game itself is fine, so if you found yourself unable to open some great game you saved, after this patch you can go back and open it now.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

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Yeah I gotta check this out.!

Audio game king

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Hi Aprone,
Great game as always! big_smile
I've been playing the game for a while now and have stumbled across the following bugs:

  • When an aisle is under construction, it's called slot instead of aisle. I'm not sure if you left that in for variety, but I believe you simply forgot to change the message, since I read in the changelog that you renamed slots to aisles.

  • When at the menu item which shows information about a loan you applied for, it doesn't show any numbers concerning the money you have spent on the loan so far.
    For example: Starter 2.5% APR loan costs $669.00 on the 1st day of each month.  Principle balance is $50,000.00, Accumulated interest is $0.00.  You have spent a total of  on this loan so far.

Keep up your awesome work, sir! smile

Errare humanum est!

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Good catches blasting gd!  I've tossed up a new version that fixes those things.

Changes from 0.6 to 0.6b

- Fixed another spot where I forgot to rename the word "slot" to "aisle".  (Good catch the blasting gd)
- When viewing your loans, the game now correctly shows you how much money you've already spent on this loan.

- Aprone
Please try out my games and programs:
Aprone's software

Thumbs up