In this game, you’ll take the role of a new manager, just graduated, which is appointed by an almost bankrupt TV Station, hoping that you’ll be able to fix the situation and maybe even raise the TV Channel popularity.
Before we start to see all the game various menu in details, a brief explanation of how the main mechanism works: every day you must decide your TV schedule. That is, which show and ad you’ll be airing. You’ll earn money based on the ads, and you’ll be able to buy new show (replacing old ones if you want) and get new advertising deals. Once you have a lot of money, and once you register the game, you can also use your own Production Studio to make your own shows.
The game ends when you either reach the fame (100% rating) or if you go bankrupt or are fired by your boss. Every week the boss will directly talk to you, telling how good or bad you’re doing, and if you really do a great job, he could even make you an interesting business offer…!
When you start a new game, you’ll see a new screen in which you’ll have to select a few things:
- Your start up schedule – this selection will change the default programs you’ll start with
- Your gender – this choice will influence the gender of your TV Station boss.
- Starting money – this will influence how much money you have at the start of the game
- Studio quality – the starting Production Studio quality. A higher quality will mean shorter production times and better equipment, so you’ll be able to make more complex shows.
If is the first time you play, we recommend you to leave the “tutorial” option on. That way Patty the assistant will give you a brief explanation on how the game works.
The Game Screen
The game screen layout has a series of buttons on the bottom part of the screen that will let you easily navigate through all the various sub-menu. In the lower-left corner you’ll see the current date and time. The game plays in an accelerated real-time, but you can slow down or speed up the in-game speed using the numeric pad + and – keys.
On the upper right part of the screen you can see your current cash balance, useful to keep a track on how good you’re doing.
Now let’s see in details what you can do in the various game screens.
The day starts at 5:00 pm and ends at midnight. You don’t have to necessarily fill all the slots: by default the TV management will put some minor show/ads, you need to decide only the most important ones.
When you start, you have a default preselection of shows based on the choices made in the Start New Game screen.
Each show has a particular target audience. Some are very clear (Kids Show or Animation for younger people for example) but other require a bit of thinking. Also, the hour of the day plays an important role. Airing a big Action Movie in the afternoon, when usually the adults are at work, will bring much less result than if it was shown in prime time (usually at 8-9 pm).
So each show (be it movie, series or daily) has a “potential audience”. How high or low it will be, depends on your placement during the day. Once you have an audience, you need to sell something to them. That’s where the commercials come into play.
You’ll have to choose which ads to show during a particular show. Some ads are just geared towards a generic audience, so the only important thing will be the attendance, while other ads might require a particular kind of audience, so are more difficult to put.
Each ads has also a number of time to be shown, and a deadline. For example, an ad could have a very low attendance to met, but require to be shown 10 times in 2 days, making it more difficult than another with higher attendance but that need to be shown just once.
To place the show/ads, just click on the item in the right scrollbar and you’ll see the selected show/ad attached to your mouse pointer. Then you’ll just need to place it on the grid in the spot you think is more appropriate.
You can click on already placed show/ads to pick them up.
If you change your mind, you can drop the current item clicking on the trashcan, or alternately you can just use right mouse button to clear your current selection.
When the time reaches 5pm, you’ll be able to see how things are going: just move your mouse pointer to any show you’ve placed, and you’ll see the statistics updated in real time. You’ll also notice that the “time column” on the left of the show column will start to color in red as the time passes.
One last note, you can change the schedule “on the fly”, but there need to be at least 30 minutes before the show/ad you want to pick starts. Once a show/ads has already been shown, you can’t pick it up anymore.
It is much easier to see it in action than it seems, don’t worry !
This is the “marketplace” of the programs you can buy/sell for your TV Station. There are 16 categories to choose from: Action, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Erotism, Fantasy, Game Shows, Gossip, Horror, Kids, Music, Romance, Science, Sporting Events, Thriller.
Each show can be of 3 kind: movie, series or daily.
The movies are the one that can get more attendance in one single shot, but have the side effect of losing popularity quickly. That is, if you show the same movie every day for one consecutive week, even if is a top movie, its popularity will decrease rapidly.
Series and daily shows instead don’t have this problem, but usually you get less attendance for each episode shown.
The rest of this screen should be quite simple to understand. Just browse through the listing and try to make the best deals possible.
On this screen, similar to the Programs Archive one, you can make advertising deals for your TV station. You can browse the list and choose which ad you want to try. Be careful though: differently from the Programs, each ad has specific requirements, like the number of times to be shown in a limited time frame, what is the minimum attendance, and if needs a particular type of public. Those are particularly difficult to place, but also pay more. Don’t be fooled by the lower attendance requirements: if an ads has 200,000 attendance but requires teen public, it means that for example you need a 20% of a total attendance of 1 million, and so on.
If you met all the requirements, you’ll earn cash. If for some reason you fail (wrong attendance, not displayed enough times) you’ll have to pay a penalty. So make your decisions carefully! Don’t make too many advertising deals at once or you could easily go bankrupt.
In this screen, available only to registered users, you can make your own program! Yes, you can decide the actors (choosing from over 20 different ones divided based on age and gender), the kind of show (movie, series or daily) and the genre (action, comedy, etc) then produce it. The genre is limited by your studio quality. Making news or game shows usually is cheaper than producing a big action movie with lot of special effects and huge space requirements.
On this screen you can check your company overall rating, which is important because reflects what other think of you. You won’t be able to get good advertising deals for example if you don’t have a high rating.
On this screen you can also see on the right part statistics about the latest 10 days: your rating increase/decrease, your attendance and your advertising income.
On the left part instead you can run a promotional campaign for your TV channel. What is the purpose of that option? Simply, you can attract more viewers of a particular group (kids, teenagers, adults or older people) so you can met more easily advertising requirements.
For example, you have to show an ad targeted to teenagers but you have only action movies at the moment. Action movies can be seen mostly by teenagers and adults. But if you want to be sure to have the majority of the public as teenager (so you can fulfill the ad requirement completely) you just need to run a minor campaign targeted to teenager and you’ll have better chances of getting the right public to view your program.
In the options screen you can adjust the volumes of music and sound effects, the playing speed, the tooltip speed and if to play in windowed or fullscreen. You can also load and save games on this screen.