Player Interface

In this section we describe the basics of the playing the game and navigating the player interface, including:

  • Game Round Walk-through: A detailed tutorial on playing a round of the game.
  • Field Scores and Data: Explanation of scores and info that are displayed on fields in left-hand panel of player interface.
  • Farm Scores and Graphs: Explanation of the scores and graphs (sustainability, economy, energy, environment) in the right-hand panel of player interface.

The Basics: In this game you will take on the role of a bioenergy crop farmer. The goal is to manage your farm to get the highest sustainability score. To do this, you need to try to choose crops and management techniques that will balance earning money, generating energy, and maintaining your environment. As you play, you will get scores and information related to your farm's performance to help you make better farming decisions.

Playing a Round: Each round of the game is based upon a yearly cycle of planting fields, managing fields, harvesting and selling your crops. Each round includes 2-3 stages, as indicated by your "Round Stage" bar in the player view.

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  1. Plant your fields: plant either corn, switchgrass or cover crop (alfalfa).
  2. Manage your fields (optional): If this option is enabled, choose whether to till your fields or add extra fertilizer.
  3. Harvest: Click the "Harvest" button on the "Round Stage" bar to harvest and sell your crops. This completes the round. After reviewing your scores for the year, the game moves to the planting stage of a new year.

**Note: all players must complete a round stage before the game advances to the next stage.

Visit the Round Walk-through page for more detailed instructions.

Winning the Game: In general the goal of the game is to achieve the highest "sustainability score," which is a combination of your farm's earnings, energy production and environmental quality. But you can also work toward the goal of getting the highest economic, energy or environmental score. It is up to the players to decide when the game will end, whether it be after 5, 10 or even 20 rounds (years). Playing for at least 10 rounds is useful for seeing longer-term effects of player decisions.