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The Signal

The Signal - Team Mercury

Download Game!

Team Mercury
Daniel Piacampo - Design/Gameplay
Mark Cautillo - Programming
Jacques Walker - Programming
Daniel Steger - Programming/Art
Dave Chang - AI Programming
Sean Henderson - Programming

Floaters
Barry Rowe - Graphics

Description
Take on the role of a growing ISP internet service provider. Battle rival providers for consumer connections but be sure to keep them happy. People don't like getting ripped off so be sure to provide proper service for them.

How to Play
Build, advertise and sabotage to bring your ISP to the top. All actions are accessed through button icons on the bottom of the screen.

Making connections
Use your mouse to make connections from hubs (the blue circles) to homes or to other hubs. Keep in mind that hubs can only support so much load.

Placing Hubs
Use the "Place Hub" icon to place hubs near potential consumers.

Advertising
You can advertise your ISP to get more cash. Different media outlets (billboard, radio, TV) give you differing ranges of influence for advertising.

Research
Spend money on research to increase the quality of your hubs and the amount of connections they can support.

Sabotage
Sabotage your rivals connections by placing cheese on their lines to attract rats or setup an EMP (electro magnetic pulse) over a specific area.

Flashing lines mean you've got a weak connection. You could be getting sabotaged or you might need to place more hubs. Check your system to find the problem.

Winning
Take over the entire map to win.

Tips
Place hubs close to as many houses as possible so you can minimize the cost to provide service to all your customers. Keep in mind that you also need to place hubs close together to link them all together.

Keep an eye on your cash flow, its easy to run out of money quickly if you're not careful.

Use advertising! There is an early desire to use all your cash placing hubs and connecting as many homes as possible. Doing this however you'll enter a period of waiting for cash and you're competitor will likely overtake you. Advertising can help you maintain a consistent cash flow.

Installation Instructions
Do you own an XBOX360?
Provided the team submits it, check in the "Creators Club Online" or the upcoming "Global Games Catalog". That was simple!

Super Heavy Install - Advanced XNA 2.0 Game
Game uses the XNA 2.0 content pipeline, which unfortunately has large dependencies. Essentially, you need to install Microsoft's free XNA game development tools in order to run the game. While a lot to ask, not only will you be able to play the 5 other XNA TOJam games, but you you will be able to create your own XNA games afterward :)

  1. You must have either Visual Studio 2005 or Visual C# 2005 Express Edition installed. The Express Edition is FREE to download and install. Grab it here. I don't believe 2008 will work, and I'm unsure if Windows Vista is supported.
  2. Install Microsoft XNA Game Studio 2.0 (100 MB)
  3. Install DirectX 9.0c+ - XNA games need the absolute latest version. You probably have this thanks to MS Automatic Updates. Graphics card needs to support DirectX 9.0c and Shared Model 1.1.
  4. Install Microsoft .NET framework 3.5 or greater. You probably have this thanks to MS Automatic Updates.
  5. Download Game, Unzip and double click "TheSignal.exe".
  6. You may need to install Microsoft's direct input package which allows you to use Xbox controllers on your PC.

Technologies Used
XNA Game Studio 2.0

Fun Facts
The Signal reunites Daniel and Mark who parlayed Emergency Response Team into Vortex Internet Category success.

Team Mercury is the only team to employ a dedicated game designer not to mention a dedicated AI programmer. This team means business.

Rob's Corner
There's a lot going on in The Signal. Impressive how much functionality was put into this game considering the time constraint of the weekend. Take some time with The Signal to really get into it. It is not easily mastered.

Media

If you had the Adobe Flash Player, there'd be a cool video here.





The Peanut Gallery