Capital

Capital! Intro Screen

by: Bryan Schappel and Barry Kolbe

Published date: August 1989

Download the executable (7,952 bytes).

For all of you out there who have al ways wanted to own it all, here is your chance. Get your checkbook, grab your accountant and get ready for Capital!, a game of high finance where you get to live out your fondest capitalistic dreams. This game is written in 100% machine language; so play is fast and cruel.

Rules of Play
To play Capital!, you must first choose your game options. There are only two: a fast or slow game and the number of players (2-4). The Option key is used to toggle between fast and slow. Use the Select key to choose the number of players. Pressing Start begins the game. Any time you wish to restart the game, press System Reset.

A fast game is the default setting. In a fast game, if a player cannot pay a fee or a debt, that person is "broke" and may no longer play. The player's token is removed from the game, and the player goes to debtor's prison. In a slow game a player must sell businesses in order to get enough cash to pay his debts. Of course, the player could still go broke in a slow game. The winner is the last player on the board.

One last item: All money in this game is in $1,000 denominations, denoted by a G following the amount.

Names Screen
Each player must enter his name (up to eight characters long). Only the letters A through Z may be used. The Return key is used to end the name, and Delete/Backspace is used to edit.

USA Map Screen
This is the game board: a map of the U.S. showing mountain ranges, dice and little squares and circles which represent businesses. Your task is to travel around the U.S. and buy up as many of these as possible, thus making as much money as you can and becoming a true capitalist. Near the bottom of the screen the current player's name is shown with his token number. You can see the tokens below the dice when the game is first started. The bottom line shows how much cash each player has.

Press Option to start the dice rolling and use Select to stop them. Your token will move automatically around the screen. The name of each business is shown as your token moves by or lands on it. If you land on one of these, the game will take you to the transaction screen (see below). The game waits eight seconds so you can see what happened. If you tire of waiting those eight seconds, just press a key to skip the wait.

If you land on $, H or T, you are not allowed to carry on any transactions on that turn.

Transaction Screen
The Luck and Capital Gains squares will be discussed at the end of this section. Usually you arrive at this screen because you landed on a property. The top line has the property's name on it. Below the name is information about the business: purchase price, resale price, improvement level, double status, fee and the owner's name.

Resale price is the amount you will receive if you sell this property voluntarily. It is between half price and full price. If you are forced to sell a property (slow game) because of insufficient funds, the resale price is half of the purchase price.

The improvement level of each property starts at 0 and may go up to 3. Improving a business costs $10G and increases the purchase price (and hence resale price) by $5G. More importantly, each increase doubles the fee other players must pay you when they land on this business.

Some businesses are "doubles." If you land on a double, you have the option of buying it and its other half on the same turn. Buying the second half costs one and one-half of the double's normal purchase price. The reason you want to get doubles is that anyone landing on one double gets charged a fee equal to the sum of both fees!

If the property you landed on is unowned you may purchase it, assuming you have enough cash. Next you may sell a property. Finally, you may improve a property. If you respond "y" to either of the last two options, the game goes to the pick property screen. You may cycle through the properties using the space bar. Press Return to choose a property. You may exit using the Escape key. The only time you cannot use the Escape key is in a slow game if you are forced to sell. You must sell enough properties to obtain the cash to pay your debts. You may sell and/or improve any property you own, not just the one you landed on.

If another player owns the property you landed on, you are required to buy goods and/or services by paying the player a fee. If you have enough cash, it is automatically deducted from your account. The message "Transaction completed" lets you know this has been done. In the fast game, if you don't have sufficient funds to pay, you are broke and may no longer play. Your properties are confiscated and will be available for sale to the other players (at half price!).

In the slow game you must sell properties to pay your debts. It is possible to get two "Transaction completed" messages. The first would be for selling a property; the second would be for paying a fee. This message stays on the screen for eight seconds. You may skip the wait by pressing any key.

The Luck Square
Luck, as we all know, can be good or bad. If your luck is good, you could win $10G, $15G, or a free improvement for a property. If you don't have a property to improve, you will get $10G instead. Bad luck results in losing $10G, in one business fee being cut in half, or in having the purchase price (and thus resale price) on a business cut in half.

Capital Gains Tax
This is like bad luck-only worse. If you land on this square you lose $45G.

Technical Notes
The program functions on a custom GRAPHICS 0 narrow playfield screen, an ANTIC 4 map screen and a unique intro screen. This intro screen was produced by using a very long DLI. The word "CAPITAL!" was made from ordinary control characters. Examine the source code to see how the letters were shaded.

This game can make friends or enemies for you — hope you can be a good capitalist!


Barry Kolbe is a high school math teacher who uses his Atari in the classroom to demonstrate graphing. Bryan Schappel is currently setting up a new home with his wife Carol.

© 2008 Bryan P. Schappel • Valid XHTML Transitional • Valid CSS