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The Capitalist Game Manual

Starting Your Company

Once you have created an account and logged into the site the next thing you'll need to do is create a company.

All new companies are started with 2,500,000 in start up capital from private investors. Be careful of your spending and make sure that your company is able to turn a profit as no one is going to be willing to put more money into a company that cannot be profitable.

Getting Started

Along the top of the game page you will see various quick navigation buttons. This will quickly take you to the following pages:

  • Home - The Home page, providing general information about your company.
  • Messages - Letting you read or send messages.
  • Stores - Shows you all your stores. These sell finished goods to consumers.
  • Factories - Raw goods are turned into products in Factories.
  • Warehouses - Here you can store goods and manage supply contracts.
  • Reports - Tell you about the state of both your company and the world.
  • Player - Activated once your company reaches $250 Million in Net Assets, enables stock trading and personal funds.
  • Help - Details on how to play the game as well as reference material.

The most stable companies will use their factories to turn raw materials into goods that can then be sold in their stores to consumers. Because the government provides an inexhaustible supply of raw materials a company set up this way can turn a profit month after month with little fear of running out of a key material. The downside to this strategy is that it's not very efficient and requires a lot of expensive buildings and liceneses for each sale.

More efficient companies will purchase some or all of their materials from other companies leading to economies of scale for both organizations. Where you draw the line depends on how much time and energy you have to spend building an efficient profitable company.

Another strategy that can pay off is to play the Market. Companies that buy goods that are cheap and sell goods that are expensive can turn very good profits. This strategy requires flexability though because the prices of the market are in constant flux depending on the supply and demand of each good provided by other players.

Building Stores

On the Stores page you can purchase licenses to operate the various store types as well as the stores themselves.

A Merchant License grants a company to the right to purchase and operate as many stores of a particular type as you want. The most efficient companies will run lots of stores to divide the cost of the licenese over a larger base.

A new company should start in the food industry which has the lowest licensing cost. Selecting Purchase Mechant Licenses brings up a page that lets you see what each mechant license will cost and gives you the option to puchase one of them.

Once a license has been purchased you may build as many of that type of store as you want.

After you purchase a store you'll see it in the store list, selecting it's name will allow you to visit that store's edit page.

All goods the store sells will be shown in the store list as well. If the store does not have a full supply of goods it will be highlighted in red, if this occurs you may want to go to the edit page and buy more units to fill your supplies. You also may want to offer a higher price when buying goods increasing the chances that you'll get the goods you need on the Open Market.

The Monthly Profit and Return on Investment Capital (ROIC) is shown for each store in this list as well. Clicking on the monthly profit link for any store will open an Income Statement for that store so that you can see detailed information about how that store and each of the goods it is selling is performing.

Editing Stores

From the edit store page you can change the name of the store, add products to the store, or modify the attributes of products you are currently selling.

When changing the store name be sure to click the Change button after you enter a new name or the change will not be saved.

Each store type has a maximum number of Sales Units it can support, if there is still room then the Add Product will be available. Clicking that button will bring up a page listing the products that this store is currently selling as well as a list of the new products that you may add to this store. The product name of each product is a link that will show you details about the product, including available supply contracts, who is selling the good on the open market, as well as your internal production, use and storage of that product. When you have decided which new product to add to your store click that product's Add This Product button.

Each Sales Unit also allows you to change the sell price of its product. If the Sales Unit does not have a full supply of goods, there will be a Buy button next to the units that allows you to try to buy goods first from internal supplies and then the open market.

There are many factors that determine how many units a store will sell each month. Consumers demand a variety of goods at reasonable prices, but can be affected by Marketing. The following will affect the number of goods a store will sell.

Clicking the X button in the upper right corner of the Sales Unit will close that unit. There is no cost associated with closing a Sales Unit is free, if you have warehouse space available the goods will be put back in your warehouse. If there is not enough space they will be resold to the market.

Once you have removed all Sales Units from a store you may sell the store. You will recover the full purchase price.

Price
Increasing the sales price will reduce the number of goods consumers are willing to purchase from your store each month. As prices increase, sales decrease. Be aware that maximum profits are seldom acheived by selling maximum units, it is up to you to find the right balance between a high price per unit and selling many units.
Variety
Consumers want a variety of goods. If too many companies are selling the same good prices and demand are reduced. If few companies are selling a good prices and demand will increase. This is not something you can control directly, but you can choose to sell goods that are in high demand. Over time most goods will move back and forth from high to low demand. As a new player you are protected from this effect until your net tangible assets (Check your Balance Sheet) passes $10,000,000.
Marketing
Spending on Marketing can double the maximum units a Sales Unit can sell. Marketing is a store wide effect and will double the sales of every sales unit in the store, it cannot be controlled on a good by good basis. You have three options, No Marking, Half Marketing, and Full Marketing. It is up to you to decide if more stores or more Marketing is a better strategy.

Building Factories

On the Factories page you can purchase licenses to manufacture goods build factors, and set up and manage your production lines within those factories.

A Manufacturing License grants a company to the right to operate production lines for a family of goods. As with stores, once an license is obtained you may operate any production line in that family. The most efficient companies will run lots of production lines in each family to divide the cost of the licenese over a larger base.

A new company will want to purchase a manufacturing license for the Food Family. This will allow you to produce consumer goods that you can sell in the Convience Store already purchased.

Each production line has a size, this is the amount of floor space necessary to set up the production line. A Small factory will hold two production lines from the Food Family as most of them take 12,000 square feet of floor space and the small factory has 25,000 square feet.

Once you have built your small factory click on it to assign some production lines to it.

Editing Factories

The factory edit page is much like the Store edit page, you can change the name of the factory here. Again, make sure to click the Change button to save the new name.

If the available floor space is sufficient for a new production line you will able to choose the goods you'd like this factory to produce. Note that the available choices will be limited to those that will fit in the floor space available in the factory. You will only be able to add production lines from product families where you hold a manufacturing license.

There is a cost to set up a production line, this shows up as a non-recurring cost on your income statement. Be sure not to retool your factories too often, constantly changing the production lines in your factories can be expensive as you pay to set up each new production line.

Once the production line is up you can set the price you are willing to pay for each input as well as the price you want to charge for the output. You can set these for Internal Purchase or Sales only if you want to make sure to buy or sell only to your own company rather than the open market.

Production lines can run multiple shifts, each additional shift increases your labor costs (2 shifts cost 2.5 times as much as 1 shift, and 3 shifts costs 4.5 times as much). But each additional shift will increase your output, with 3 shifts producing 3 times as much as a single shift. By adjusting your production up or down you can also more efficiently manage your supply chains so that your factories are always running efficienctly.

Clicking the X button in the upper right corner of the production line will allow you to close down this line. Closing a production line is free, though you'll have to pay to open a new line in its place, if that is what you want to do. Any inventory that will not fit back in your warehouses will be sold onte the market and may incur a non-recurring cost.

Once you have removed all production lines from a factory you may sell the factory. You will recover the purchase price of the factory.

Upgrading Production Lines

As your company grows you will find that having too many factories will have a negative effect ony our tax rate. To get as much production as possible out of a production line you can upgrade your production lines to produce more goods per shift. The cost to upgrade is high, and can take several game months to complete, but once the upgrade is in place your production line will produce 50% more goods than it did before. The exact formula is (1 + (Level - 1) * .5) * (Level One Production). So a level 3 production line will produce twice as much as a level 1 factory, and a level 5 production line will produce 3 times as much.

You may upgrade a production line at any time by clicking on the Upgrade button in the factory's edit page, or on the Up Arrow (Upgrade) in the factory or production line lists.

NOTE: You cannot upgrade production lines while under new player protection. Once your net assets go above $10 Million you will lose new player protection and will be able to ugrade your factories.

Building Warehouses

Setting up a Warehouse is much like setting up a store, though no licenses are necessary for warehouses. A warehouse neither produces goods, nor sells them to consumers, what it does is help you manage your supply chain in more efficient ways.

Here are some things that a warehouse can allow you to do.

Store Excess Production
The production from your factories and sales from your stores will seldom match up exactly. Without a warehouse you factory may be unable to run at full capacity, reducing it's efficency, or you may not have enough goods for your store to sell. A warehouse can absorb this excess and by adjusting your store's marketing or factory's shifts you can move from slightly positive to slightly negative averaging things out.
Use Supply Contracts
A Supply contract is an agreement between companies for one to supply the other with a specific amount of goods at a specific price each turn for some period of time. This is a great way to acheive a consistent supply of goods, or consistent sales of goods over time.
Perform Arbitrage
Arbitrage is finding an inefficency in the market and exploiting it. The idea is to buy goods on the open market for a low price and sell them for a higher price. In this case you neither produce or sell the goods to consumers, but you make a profit as the middleman. This is tricky to accomplish and requires a good understanding of how the turn sequence works, but it can be another way to make money.

Editing Warehouses

You can change the name of a warehouse the same as a store or factory. Just edit the name and click Change to save it.

Adding products in a warehouse is the same as a store, click the Add Product button and then choose the product you want to add from the list. There is no fixed number of products a warehouse can hold, instead each warehouse has a total storage limit. For a small warehouse it is 400 units, you can either have slots for 4 goods at 100 units each or 2 goods at 200 each or any mix that you want so long as the total does not exceed the warehouse space.

Clicking the Units button near the Units display for a good allows you to set the amount of the total warehouse space allocated to each product. Also from the Units button you can buy units to fill this warehouse, or sell excess units.

Supply Contracts

Clicking the Create Supply Contract button will allow you to write a new contract and post it for other players to see. You can write the contract to either supply or offer goods. No action will be taken until some other player accepts the contract.

Each contract has a start time, which can be set to immediately upon acceptance, or some time in the future. When writing a contract you specify the goods you will supply per month as well as the price you want or are willing to pay. The length of the contract is how long it will remain in effect once it is accepted. For contracts starting at some future date the length is the time after the start date when the contract will end. Thus a contract starting next January and running for 1 year will end on the following December.

Once a supply contract has been written and accepted by another player it cannot be terminate early. Each turn the supplying warehouse will send the goods to the receiving warehouse, the payment will also be transferred between the companies involved. There is no cost to setting up or executing a contract.

Supply Contract Penalties

If the supplying player does not have the goods to send to the receiving player he must buy those goods from the market at whatever the current market price is to fulfill his contract.

If the receiving player does not have space in their warehouse for the supplying players goods then the excess will be sold off on the market immediately.

Stock Market

At the beginning of the game your company is funded by private investors. If your are successful in growing your company to a net asset value of $250 Million then the investors will reward you with a $1 Million after tax bonus. Once you received this bonus your company is reset and the bonus is reinvested in your company. This also unlocks the Player menu and the stock market allowing you to trade stock.

Reports

The reports page contains a wealth of information about the world and your company. Careful examination of this date will allow you to make the best use of your capital to build the best company possible.

Here is a brief description of each report.

Company Reports

Corporate Debt
This report tracks your debt, your monthly payments on that debt as well as when the loans are due and the principle must be repaid. If you want to repay your debt early this is the place to do it. Eventually more loan and bond options will be available here, but for now only our initial loan is visible.
Monthly/Annual Income
An Income Statement for each month and year of your company. This follows the same format that your see for real public companies in the US. If you click on the ? in the report you will be taken to the glossary entry that defines that term and explains what game elements effect each line of your income statement.
Your Current Tax Rate will be shown at the bottom of the income reports.
Monthly/Annual Balance Sheet
A Balance Sheet for each month and year of your company, totaling up the assets and liabilities of your company. This follows the same format that your see for real public companies in the US. If you click on the ? in the report you will be taken to the glossary entry that defines that term and explains what game elements effect each line of your Balance Sheet.

Industry Reports

Consumer Demand
This is a report on all goods currently being sold to consumers in the game, here you can see which goods are in high demand and which are over supplied. Remember that new companies are protected from thes market fluctations. This report will tell you if you still have new player protection.
Product Market
This report is an overview of the global market for each product that your company is consuming, selling or producing. You can also see detailed reports for specific goods or a report for all goods.
Graphs
Graphs of income over time for the last few months and years for your entire company are shown to allow you to spot trends.
Turn Log Detail
This will provide a detailed explanation of actions your company took each turn as the turn was processed. Wondering how many goods each store sold last month, How much you paid to restock your factories and warehouses? Did you buy your goods locally or from the Open Market? All this detail is in this report. Reports are kept for the last 4 years (2 days of real time) so you can track what has happened to your company while you have been away.

Taxes

All companies must deal with taxes, and The Capitalist Game is no different. What is a bit unusual is that you can control your tax rate. The tax rate of a company is base on the number of stores and production lines that a company owns. The formula for computing your tax rate is as follows:

  • (Number of Stores - 6) * 1%
  • (Number of Production Lines - 30) * 0.75%

Messages

From this page you can send messages to other players, see messages sent to you as well as review the messages that you have sent in your Outbox.

If you have messages waiting the Messages link will be highlighted green.

The Turn

Every hour a turn is proccessed and a month of game time passes, a full year passes every 12 hours. The sequence of events is set up so that each factory and store can produce, sell, and restock under normal conditions without any interaction from you. Thus you as CEO make the big decisions about what your company will produce, what prices to charge but let your employees manage the details of producing the goods, buying or selling to other companies and to the consumers.

The specific turn sequence processes as follows.

  • Citizens Buy From Stores
  • Factories Produce
  • Restock Government Warehouses
  • Warehouses Buy Goods - Warehouses with inbound supply contracts do NOT buy during this phase.
  • Process Supply Contracts
  • Warehouses Buy Goods
  • Factories Buy Goods
  • Stores Buy

Effects of this order. Stores and Factories must be full of goods when turn processing starts if they are not then they won't produce this turn. Warehouses buy goods before Supply Contracts are Processed. This allows goods to be purchased from local factories and then sold immediately via supply contract. The second warehouse buy phase allows those warehouses that did not receive their goods via supply contract due to failure of the supplier to buy goods on the open market. Because those warehouses don't buy goods during the first warehouse buy phase you may set the buy price high so they get first shot at any goods available on the Open Market. Other Warehouses also get the first opportunity to buy goods recently delivered via supply contract.

Factories and Stores then get a chance to purchase supplies that they will need for next turn. As you can see if you are fighting for goods on the open market with other companies. You'll have the best chance of success with a warehouse because they always process first. You can then purchase via internal sales from your own warehouses.

Whenever a Factory, Store, or Warehouse is buying goods it will first attempt to purchase the goods via an internal sale. The price it will pay is limited to the price set in the production line, or sales unit, but it will go all the way to this limit via internal sale before even thinking about going to the Open Market. If after internal sales have been processed the internal only flag is not set then a purchase will be attempted on the Open Market.

Within each group listed above sales are processed in order of highest price to lowest. That is the unit willing to pay the highest price will be processed first. It will purchase goods from the unit selling at the lowest price. The price that the transaction will complete is the average of that buy and sell price.

Example: 3 Stores wanting to purchase 10 Wine each, Willing to pay $2300, $2200, and $2000 respectively. 3 Warehouses are offering to Sell 10 units at $2000, $2200 and $2300. The $2300 store goes first and matches up with the Warehouse selling at $2000. They complete the sale at $2150 per unit. The $2200 buyer goes next, and matches up with the $2200 seller, and sell at $2200 per unit. Lastly the $2000 buyer goes but can only find the $2300 seller. This transaction does not complete.

So the question becomes how much to you offer? By offering to purchase at $2300 that store actually had a higher chance of getting its goods as paid a lower price than the store willing to pay only $2200.

Help Info

On the help page you can see the full Financial Glossary as well as view production line details about the available production lines by either input, output or Product Family.

Resetting Your Company

If you want to restart your company, go to the Help page and select Reset This Company.

Closing Your Company

If you want to close your company to try again with a new one, go to the Help page and select Close/Delete This Company.