Startup Company Wiki
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Congrats! You have just bought, downloaded, and started up the latest and greatest company management game, and need help getting started. Well, you've come to the right place! As of version 1.4, there is an in-game tutorial in the form of milestones. However, this tutorial leaves the finer aspects of gameplay up to the player to figure out.

Starting a New Game

When you first start up the game, you will be prompted to create a new game. By clicking the '+ New Game' button, you can also start a new game any time you like.

A short pop-up menu will prompt you to customize your game, with three (or four) tabs:

  • Game Mode & Company Name
    • You can choose between Career Mode and Custom Game for your game mode. For beginners, Career Mode is recommended.
    • You will be prompted to choose a company name. Alternately, you can use the blue icon with two arrows on the right to randomly pick one.
    • You also can choose an icon for your website.
  • Setup CEO
    • On this screen, you may name your CEO and choose an avatar for them. This has no functional effect.
    • Additionally, you may also pick a background for your CEO of either Ex-Designer, Ex-Developer, or Ex-Manager. Depending on the background you may change your CEO's role to act as a Designer, Developer or Manager rather than a recruiter. This is done by selecting them and clicking on the blue button to the left of the 'Training' tab and can be done anytime in the game.
  • Configure Website
    • After naming your website, choose which variety of website you want to develop. This will determine your competitors, as well as what sorts of work your employees will have to do later in the game. Social Media is the most straightforward route, so it is recommended for beginners.

After you have adjusted these settings to your satisfaction, click Start Game.

Interface

The game itself presents all of the information in a structured and straight-forward method. There are two main areas of interest: an information bar at the top of the screen displaying basic gameplay information, and a menu at the bottom of the screen containing a series of buttons. There are a lot of pieces of information to take in at first glance. The most important ones at the moment are your time controls, the current time, and your current money (found in the upper bar), and the Shop and Research buttons (the first two on the lower bar). However, it is good to learn what everything does at some point.

The information menu as of 1.4

The information bar at the top contains, from left to right and top to bottom:

  • The current date
  • Any new "jeets". Clicking on this area brings up the Jitter website, which allows you to gauge public reaction to new features and keep track of stocks.
  • A countdown until the CEO's retirement. Clicking on this area brings up a summary of your CEO's retirement plans -- don't worry about this for now.
  • A series of time controls -- use the pause button to stop time, the single playback button to play at normal speed, the 2x button to play at 5x speed, and the 3x button to play at 10x speed.
  • The current time, given by default in the 24 hour format
  • Current research points. Clicking on this area brings up the Research menu.
  • Current finances. Clicking on this area brings up the Finance menu.

Additionally, horizontally through this menu, the progression of time throughout the day is visually indicated by a thin blue line that progresses from left to right.

To the left of this menu is a '?' Help button, which will remind players of concepts that the in-game tutorial has previously touched upon.

At the bottom of the screen, a menu bar is shown with icons representing different pop-up menus within the game that the player can select. Throughout development this menu has changed, but currently it consists of eight buttons. To the left of this bar is a Map icon, which will return you to the initial map screen.

The menu across the bottom.

From left to right, these buttons lead to; the Purchase Item menu, the Research menu, the Finance menu, your Inventory, the Employees menu, the Company and Competitors menu, and the Outsourcing menu. The last two will be almost completely useless to you for much of the early to mid-game.

Recruiting your First Employee

Employee Recruitment.png

Once you have started the game, you will meet Pam from Johnson Invest. She is your adviser, and will guide you throughout the game, giving you new milestones to work towards as you complete prior ones.

You are first prompted to choose an office to rent, specifically 4 West Bridge Street. If you are having difficulty locating it, it is along the lower left edge of the map. Click the building, then click Rent. You will be upgrading later, but for the moment this is the most economical choice.

Next, Pam will require you to build a desk and seat yourself. Desks can be purchased via the Shop menu. Place it down anywhere. You can rearrange it at any time by right-clicking it, and from there rotate it via right-click or the R key.

Once placed, left-click the desk and select your CEO. This will automatically open up your CEO's popup menu, which has four tabs along the top: Recruitment, Training, Stats, and Retirement. For now, you should be on the Recruitment tab.

Pam will inform you how to begin headhunting: click the large green START HEADHUNTING button, which will bring you to the Headhunting screen. You will be headhunting for a Beginner (the only type you currently have unlocked) Designer and a Beginner Developer. Pick one of those varieties and Start Headhunting. Ensure that your game is not still paused with the time controls at the top of the screen. Headhunting will take some time. Whilst your CEO is Headhunting, explore the other screens.

Training allows your employees to work faster without paying any extra salary: however, training employees are unable to perform their normal tasks, so think strategically when deciding when to train employees. Once an employee has been trained up to their maximum, you have the opportunity to promote them to a higher level. Promote only when necessary: promoted employees are required for more advanced items and can work faster, but they have more demands (making them more difficult to keep happy) and are more expensive to keep.

The Stats page shows you a number of important statistics. In addition to displaying salary, hours, and level, it shows speed and desires. Faster employees are more desirable: a happy employee works faster, as does a well-trained one. Happiness is influenced by a variety of factors, but generally every employee likes to have their desires met, to receive bonuses, and to have time off.

Disregard the Retirement tab for now. Head back to the Recruitment tab. After a day or so of recruiting, you should have 3-5 potential candidates. When recruiting Beginner candidates, your sole consideration is speed. The black number indicates their current speed, while the second, gray number indicates the maximum speed they can reach with training. The first number generally ranges between 80-140%, while the second generally is between 160-200%. For your first few hires, you won't have much time to train up your employees, so pick your employee with the best current speed and click on their name.

Next, you will enter the Negotiation screen. Here, you can change Monthly Salary and Signing Bonus to create an enticing offer. Generally, Beginner employees will sign for $4,500-5,500, but going lower is possible. Tips:

  • Start on the low end of salary and work your way up, meeting the employee about halfway per offer. If you offered $4,000 and they counteroffered $6,000, meet them in the middle with a $5,000 offer.
  • Signing bonuses can be used to sweeten a deal. They are a larger upfront investment, but if you plan to keep an employee for a long time, you will save. If you manage to save $500 in salary with a $2,000 bonus, you'll break even in four months.
  • Keep an eye on satisfaction. Satisfaction can be seen by hovering your mouse over the smiley face next to the counteroffer from the candidate. Prolonged negotiation will lower happiness, as will an offensively low offer.
  • Most employees will sign for whatever the approximate halfway point is on the bar, or close to it.
  • Each employee has a hidden salary expectation. This is generally linked to their current speed: faster employees will demand more money. The key to getting a good deal then is to hire an employee with a low current speed but a high maximum speed, such as 80/200: these employees will generally be cheap to hire and highly profitable.

Using this process, hire a Designer and a Developer. Seat them both when hired, by purchasing more desks and clicking them to place them. To speed up time, whenever the workday completes. After you seat your second employee, Pam will reappear, and ask you to research a Landing Page. To do so, open up the Research menu from the bottom menu (alternately, by clicking the Research Points counter on the top men) and open the Features tab along the left. You will be using all of these tabs at some point, as guided by Pam or by your own intuition, but for the moment unlock the Landing Page. You will receive more you can run the Time Machine to quickly skip the nighttime.

Congratulations! You have a workforce!

Research

The research screen, opened to the Features tab.

After you seat your second employee, Pam will reappear, and ask you to research a Landing Page. To do so, open up the Research menu from the bottom menu (alternately, by clicking the Research Points counter on the top men) and open the Features tab along the left. You will be using all of these tabs at some point, as guided by Pam or by your own intuition, but for the moment unlock the Landing Page and hit Confirm. You can acquire more Research Points later by hiring a Researcher, but for the moment you have a finite supply.

Adding Features

WebsiteInterface.png

Your main project is your Website. You have just one for now, but all of your websites are displayed along the right edge of the screen. The name, current ranking, hosting usage, potential users, and user change are all shown at a glance. To manage it, click it. You will be set onto the Stats page. This is a useful location to see all of your website's statistics, particularly growth, income, and server usage. But at the moment we want to look at the Features tab, so navigate to the tab with a small megaphone next to it. You have a limited number of slots for features: three at the moment, and it will take a good amount of time until you can unlock more than that, so customization at this early stage is slim. Again, there's a fair bit of data here, but it's either self-explanatory or not relevant for the moment, so go ahead and click Add Feature.

Features are categorized as Base Features, Revenue Features, or Enhancement Features. The Landing Page is a base feature, so ensure that you're on that sub-tab and Add Feature. The four icons beneath the description describe what you'll need to produce in order to level up.

Upgrading Features

In order to get people using your website, thus getting views you can monetize via ad revenue, you have to upgrade your features. Upgrading a feature increases the maximum potential users. When developing your website, ideally you want to make sure you always have room to grow your following, so a slow and steady climb is ideal.

To upgrade a feature, you will first need to produce the prerequisite components. A Landing Page requires 1 UI Component, 1 Backend Component, 1 Blueprint Component, and 1 Graphics Component. The first two are made by developers, and the latter two are made by designers.

Developmentscreen.png

To produce components, click on your employees, navigate to the Development tab (which they should be on by default), and click the components. Your employees will cycle through whatever you assign them, so you merely need to assign one of each per employee. Remember that only developers can create UI Components and Backend Components, and only Designers can make Blueprint Components and Graphics Components. Each component additionally has a time requirement: this is divided by the individual employee's speed to produce an actual time.

Once you have one of each component (you can check this either in the employees' popup menus, the Inventory screen, or from the Landing Page feature's screen) navigate your way back to the Feature screen and click Upgrade under the feature. On this screen, click Upgrade to Level 1. This will consume the required components and level up your feature.

What Next

Make sure to save often, by hitting Esc to return to the save menu/pause menu. Pam will guide you through the next steps of marketing, advertising, hosting, and expansion. If you ever get stuck, the in-game help guide is a valuable resource.

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