Title: Stock War
By: Miguel Abreu, Justin McKeown, Yaqi Ge, Henry Johnson
-At the beginning of the game, select your stock by clicking on its name.
-Clicking the mouse on the background will continue the game.
-Clicking the “C” button will open up the “rules” menu. Clicking on a rule will give a greater description of it. Clicking buy purchases the rule (loophole) if you have enough money. Clicking off the menu closes it.
-If you have enough money, clicking the “ticker” at the bottom will bring up the stock menu, allowing you to choose a new stock.
Early on, we decided altering a common children’s game in some way would be extremely interesting because we were curious how the overall experience from playing the game would change. We bounced a few different ideas off each other of how “exactly” we wanted to alter it—including politics and economics. In the end, we decided on the Stock Market because of how quickly it can fluctuate. We felt that with a fast-paced children’s game we needed data that could keep up with it and alter the gameplay/strategies as the game progressed. With how the stocks affect the gameplay, the experience taken from the game can change drastically from day-to-day even if the player selects the same stock every time.
In addition to the real-time stock data, we wanted to add loopholes that the player could exploit (using the money gained from playing the game and from the stocks) to add another layer of complexity to the game. These “adult-themes” (using loopholes, using the Stock Market) put the player in interesting situations—and these situations can be unique to how aggressive the player is (i.e., a player that may use loopholes more often can find themselves in tight money situations). This was key in achieving our goal of how these adult themes can completely change the experience taken from the game.
Our project basically boils down to the card game “War” and our alterations.
We found some existing code on OpenProcessing that gave us our SimpleCard class and shuffle function to initially set up the game. Implementing the card game itself was fairly simple: The card of a higher value wins both “dueling” cards. If the cards are equal, each player places three face down cards and randomly selects one—again, the higher card winning.
The alterations were much more interesting. We researched different events that we could use as a loophole (one favorite was the Flash Crash of 2010—where the DOW stock dropped 10% in 15 minutes. Our loophole drops the opponent’s stock by 10% for 15 turns). We have a range of cheaper loopholes and more expensive ones, and it is up to the player how he/she wants to spend the money. We quickly realized how a player could string a bunch of loopholes to gain a massive advantage, so we implemented a “Karma” bar. This Karma bar keeps track (from -10 to 10) of the loopholes the player makes. If the player uses a loophole, the bar decreases by five. If the player doesn’t (and no other loopholes are in effect) the bar increases by one. If your Karma is low purchasing loopholes will cost more, and vice versa. Finally, the stocks were by far the most difficult to implement. We used Google Stocks to keep updating us on the six stocks we have available in the game. It happens in real-time, so an internet connection is required to give the stocks any value (and they’ll only update while the Stock Market is open). We added the functionality to change your stock at any time for a fee so the user won’t be stuck with a poor stock for the entire game.
I believe we really captured our concept well with Stock War. There are a bunch of different ways to play the game–all of which are pretty fun and rewarding. The one drawback is the opposing AI. I believe this game would be a lot more engaging with an AI that uses our loopholes as well, or better yet, another player. However, even with the AI playing the card game “War” normally, I have managed to lose while trying to use a few of our loopholes to gain an advantage (that’s what I get for “cheating” in a children’s card game, haha) Enjoy!
(There is also an issue with the fonts in my “rules” popup menu in the third image. The text works fine on Macs, however)