The Market Game

The game

The objective of the game is to place your stores closer to the customers than does your competitor. But the customers are spread over the island. Players ("Red" and "Blue") alternate placing their stores on the map. After each turn, the population of each Census blockgroup is assigned to the nearest store, and each player's number of stores, number of customers, and their cutomer's average travel distance are reported.

What strategies do you find yourself trying? Which ones seem to work?

So far, the game assumes that customers decide which store to patronize based only on straight-line distances. Including transportation networks, and measures of store attractivity (like the stores' floor areas or amounts of advertising) may make the game more realistic from the point of view of the shopper. Including costs of operating stores of various size at various locations might make it more realistic for the store owners.

Notes:

The store locations are shown with small colored crosses. Your browser may require an initial click in the frame to activate the applet. The applet fails gracelessly when 300 stores have been placed.