A unique blend of business management and people simulation comes together in this 1996 strategy game by Tsunami. Create a factory and assemble over one hundred different products from pencils to washing machines all while trying to manage your workers.
Each day was divided up into phases. Before the day started you could purchase machines, equipment, cubicles, place job postings, arrange the factory layout, etc. Once you were ready you started the workday and the simulation would commence. During the workday you could passively watch the day unfold but could not perform any direct interaction with the operations of the company. Although you create your own CEO avatar, unlike The Sims you don't get to perform any actual interactions. At the end of the day you would get reports on each employee and business operations.
As the game begins players will set up their company and create their own in game avatar that will act as president of their company. Set in the continental United States with over 40 cities to choose from, each with their own industrial advantage, setting up shop is the first task. At first the player will only be able to start a small industrial shop creating simple products like pencils or desks. With finical success more complex devices can be built and assembly lines can be added to create higher end products.
The factory side is only half of the business aspect as the player will need to create a cubical farm for the white-collar workers. Accountants, clerks, salesmen, and market researchers are some of the office jobs that need to be staffed in order to get the most out of the business.
I2 Technology & People Simulation
Years before The Sims captured gamer’s attention with simulating a digital life, Free Enterprise was creating a simulated work life for each of its employees. Interactive Intelligence (I2), created by Dave Ostby, tracked 41 unique factors for each worker. These factors would determine how each worker would behave on the job as well as how they would interact with their co-workers.
As the player when you wanted to hire a worker you had to place an advertisement for the open position. You would then get a number of resumes to sort through to try and find the perfect employee. Throughout the day each employee would carry out their duties or slack off depending on their personality. You could see people working at their desks, running machines, talking, flirting, smoking, and everything else that goes on in the workplace.
In its attempts at creating a current day business simulation Free Enterprise also incorporated workplace shootings. By the mid 1990's the phrase "going postal" had entered the American lexicon after a series of workplace shootings, notably from postal workers in the early 90's. In the game workers that endure an extreme amount of stress over a period of time will eventually pull out an assault rifle and begin shooting up the factory.
12MB HDD space