This part of the tutorial will provide you with an introduction to the commerce side of the Starpeace Online economy. However, the same concepts employed in commerce can also be applied to residential real estate, with apartments being the product that your company would sell to the population instead of cars, food, clothing, entertainment, or other products. On the other hand, it's a good idea to start with commerce. In commerce you can become profitable more quickly by purchasing products from other suppliers, instead of having to venture into the riskier territory of industry from the start. In some cases you can build up to 20 stores for the price of one factory. Another reason to start with commerce first is that you will already have an established sales volume when you start building factories, so they, in turn, will become profitable faster. When you think of commerce the image that usually comes to mind is that of stores selling products to people. Taking that into consideration, the first part of this section will cover how to find the right town to build in, because having a good customer base is a very important factor in commerce.
Since you have accepted the challenge of changing status from a mere visitor to a tycoon and you want to contribute to the growth and development of this world (not to mention making some profit along the way), there are two questions you need to ask yourself before you can even build your first building. One of those questions is what do you want your company sales policy to be. Your sales policy, defined as what market you want to sell your products in, will affect most every choice you make from this point forward. In Starpeace Online there are three markets in which you can sell your goods, defined by the worker class: Low class, Middle class, and High class. In the market for the low class worker, price is the main concern that distinguishes who they will buy from: you or your competitor. Your companies focus for the low class market would be high efficiency / low quality and high sales volume. The middle class market would consist of a more delicate balance between price and quality. The high class market will focus on high quality, higher price and lower overall sales volume. As a result, you would need to purchase the highest quality products available to make it in the high class market.
Another way to look at is that there is more that one way to make $1,000,000. You could sell 1,000,000 items for $1.00 each, you could sell 400,000 items for $2.50 each, or you could sell 100,000 items for $10.00 each. While, in the end you'll make $1,000,000, the way you make it can be drastically different. The tutorial will follow the middle class path.
Finding your base of operations
The next question you need to ask yourself is where you want your company located. This might not seem like an important decision, but the tax rates, unemployment rates, housing availability, and land zoning can all have a significant effect on your company's growth and profitability. The good news is that all this information is readily available.
Click on the spider icon on the bottom of the screen. This will bring up the spider's menu on the right of the screen.
After the menu loads, click on the cities icon. This will bring up the list of all the cities in the current world. This list immediately provides you with three key pieces of information about a city.
City name--you might want to build your company headquarters in a place with a nice ring to it.
The seal that built the city--if for some reason, you do not like one of the Seals you can avoid the cities built by that Seal. There is no advantage or disadvantage to building in a city with a Seal different than that of your company. It is just a matter of personal preference.
The city population--as a general rule the bigger the city the more the potential customers for your products. However, if the city is bigger it also means there will be more tycoons or more potential competitors.
After the list of cities loads, by clicking on the city icon, the map will jump to the town hall for that city.
It is a good idea to take a look at the city to see its general layout, and to check if there is space for you to build. It is also a good idea to take a quick look at zoning. This is important because you are looking for a good place to start your company. You will need commercial land for your headquarters and industrial land for your factories. You might also want to check out the number of classes present, as it could help you determine your market and thus your company strategy, at least initially.
Viewing the City Layout
Click on the - symbol, on the lower left corner of the map, to zoom out of the map. By clicking on the + symbol you will zoom the map back in.
Click the - symbol again to zoom out further, you should be able to see a substantial amount of the city now.
After the map loads click on the Overlay button and select city zones. This will load the zoning for the city. If there is a town mayor and they have zoned the land you will see different colors over the map now.
The Green zones are for housing, each different shade of green is for one of the three different types of housing.
The Light Blue zones are for large commercial buildings like your headquarters and office buildings, while the Dark Blue ones are for offices.
The Gray zones are reserved for civic buildings, like hospitals and police stations.
Finally, the Yellow zones are for industrial buildings and warehouses.
If the map does not change and show different colors, it means the mayor has not zone any land for the city, and you can place buildings anywhere. To get the most out of them though you still need them built in the proper locations. What you are looking for right now is open Yellow-zoned land where you can build factories and warehouses, an open area of Light Blue-zoned land where you can build your headquarters, and areas close to housing to build your stores.
To see more of the city, move your mouse to the edge of the map and the screen will scroll.
After you have finished viewing the city's layout and zoning, go to the Overlay button and select none. This will remove the zones from the map.
Now zoom the map back in by clicking on the + button twice, located on the lower left corner of the main screen.
Now click on the Town Hall button. This will bring you back that city's Town Hall.
Town Hall information
Now that you have reviewed the city layout and found some spots to build on, the Town Hall will provide you with a lot of financial & statistical information about the town in which you are about to invest. The Town Hall should now be centered on your screen, if it is not, click on the Town Hall button. Once the Town Hall is on your screen, follow the steps below to find some additional information out about the town you are in.
Click the Inspect button; it is located on the lower left of the main screen. This will bring up the Town Hall's inspection panel.
The inspection panel will be used to view detailed information on any building. This is where you set wages, prices, select research items, etc.for your buildings.
When the inspection panel loads, the first tab to load is the general tab. For the town hall this tab contains information on the town's status.
Mayor's name, if the town has a mayor.
Number of years until the next election.
The level of public services in the town.
When you look at this section it will give you the overall town condition. A town with few police services will have problems with higher crime rates, which will slow down the rate of new people moving into town, and what you are looking for right now is a lot of customers to sell products to.
Now click on the commerce tab in the inspection window. This tab will provide you with a lot of information on the town's commerce. Some of the items displayed are listed below.
Demand for a product.
Supply of a product.
Average price of a product.
Overall commerce rating for the town.
This tab will give you the commerce status of the city you are in. If the demand for a product is much greater than the supply, you will have an easier time making a profit. Due to the high demand you will be able to charge more for your products. If the supply is greater than the demand, you will be in for some tough price wars with your competitors to attract buyers to your stores. The average price for a product will give you a general idea of what you can expect to sell a product for. The commerce index is an overall rating for the town, the lower the index, the higher the demand, compared to supply is.
Summary on finding where to build
That covers the basics of finding your starting city. It might not seem that important but at the end you will understand why it's worth your while to pick a good starting city. The following is an overview of finding and viewing cities:
Use the spider to view the list of names, and preliminary information about the city.
Jump to the city by clicking on it in the spider.
View the city zones by using the overlay button.
View detailed information about the city at the town hall, using the inspect button.
Some general tips about picking your starting city are listed below:
The higher the city's population the more potential customers the city will have.
The bigger the gap between the demand for a product versus supply, the easier it will be to sell your products.
If supply is greater than demand for a product in the city you will most likely be in a price war with your competitors.
Look for some open space to build your buildings.
If the land is zoned you need open Light Blue-zoned land for your headquarters, and open Yellow-zoned land for industry.
Now that you know what to look for in a starting city, go to the spider menu and review the four largest cities. After you have decided what city to build in, move to that city on the map.