As programming practice — and just for fun — I’ve been spending some of my spare time putting together a simple little web-based game: Bay Traders.
Bay Traders is a bare bones take on a classic turn-based strategy game, Taipan!, which has spawned a number of ripoffs spiritual sequels over the years. DrugWars, Tradewinds, and Chocolatier are all based on the Apple II original.
In Bay Traders, your goal is to become a millionaire. Starting with ten crates of pepper on your ship, you go from port to port, looking for the best prices to buy and sell your wares. Eventually, you’ll deal in more expensive items, like gunpowder, cotton, and opium.
The game takes about five or ten minutes to win. If you can bank a million bucks in under a hundred moves, I’d say you’re doing pretty well.
The one neat thing about the game (I think) is that, even though Bay Traders is a single-player game, there’s a subtle multiplayer aspect to it. The prices at ports, though mostly random, are somewhat dependent upon you and others who play the game. As you buy up stock of an item at one port — and it thus becomes more scarce — the price of that item is likely to go up for future traders at that port. Conversely, as you sell an item at a particular port, it loses its value for future traders.
Like I said, Bay Traders is a pretty simple experience, but I hope you enjoy it. I’ll be adding more features and tweaking the gameplay as I have time. You can try the game here.
(If you’re interested in some of the technical details of the game, how I made it, and why I made it, you can read up on that here.)