In BerryMaker, you’re the founder and CEO of a biotech start-up company that produces healthy soft drinks made with synthetic biology technology!
You’re going to identify and extract useful genes in berries collected from all over the world, and transfer them to microorganisms that will then produce healthy ingredients for you to use in your soft drink production. As the CEO your aim is to stay ahead of the competition with cutting-edge science, deliver an in-demand drink and maximize your quarterly profits!
AIM OF THE GAME:
The goal is simple: grow your start-up and make your company an economic success! You want to maximize your quarterly profits – and after every 90 in-game days you can upload your quarterly profit figures to the high score board (24 seconds equal 1 in-game day!).
As your company grows from start-up to a large cooperation, you experience different challenges. At first you have limited financial resources to buy equipment and you’ll need to establish a positive cash flow. But later on your focus will be on increasing the efficiency of the production process by constantly searching for the right selection of berries, genes, and microorganisms.
HOW TO PLAY:
Start by using your initial credit (3000€) to buy a fermenter and a bottler (for the first compound “Fisetin”) in the FACTORY. Next, you need to go to the LABORATORY and buy one of the berries. You’ll see a number of different genes (double helix DNA) and below is an analysis of the molecular weight of the molecules that these genes produce. When clicking on the bottler in the FACTORY, you’ll see the molecular weight of the required molecule, so in the LABORATORY select the gene that corresponds to that. Once you’ve extracted the gene, go to the FERMENTER where you need to buy a microorganism so you can combine it with the gene you just extracted. Once the combination turns active, you can hit the start button and the fermenter will start producing your compound. Next, adjust the Feed, Heat and Service regulators to minimize costs and maximize your profit. Back in the factory you will see how bottles are filled, while your credit goes up each time a bottle is sold. Once you earn more money you can buy more fermenters and bottlers to produce other compounds, sell more and earn even more money.
Small hint: different genes from different berries produce the compounds with different efficiencies. Also the microorganisms are ranked by price and using a more expensive one can increase your fermenter’s productivity. The more fermenters, genes and bottlers you have, the easier it is to increase profit, so you need to invest into your company first and increase production capabilities. Make sure to upload your quarterly profit figures after ever 90 in-game days by hitting the MENU button!
THE PLAYER AS STRATEGIC TINKERER:
BerryMaker favours the strategic and forward looking player who keeps the laboratory, fermenters and factory working well. As a player, you want to establish and build your company step by step to create the most effective biotech undertaking on the whole market! You also need to understand and react to outside market events that are beyond your control, but that will influence your business.
The game mirrors the efforts of the real world to identify genes for useful healthy substances in berries and to transfer them to microorganisms, so they will produce these compounds in fermenters. The real life research and innovation activity that BerryMaker is based on was the European Commission’s FP7 funded BacHBerry project (http://www.bachberry.eu) and represented a joint effort of several European and international researchers. The game’s market events are of course fictional and any similarity to real organizations or people is entirely by chance.