Transportation Game, The Download (1995 Simulation Game)

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More of an educational tool than an entertaining "game," The Transportation Game is a good simulation of a regional distribution system. As a dispatcher in this turn-based simulation, your goal in the game is to manage the routing and scheduling of a fleet of trucks to satisfy customer demand in the most cost effective way possible.

At the beginning of each day of the simulation, you are given a list of customer orders that are ready to be shipped from the warehouse. Each line gives you the city name, and the order amount for that city. You must schedule your trucks to make trips that deliver these orders by first specifying the sequence of cities to visit, then schedule one of the trucks in your fleet to make this trip. When you have assigned all customer orders to trips and assigned a truck for each trip, then you can advance to the next day and see the results. The game ends after a fixed number of days. At the end, you will be given a score based on how well you did. Naturally, the more orders you fulfill and the less number of trips/trucks you use, the higher your score will be.

The game is probably too bland and esoteric for most people, especially since there is no random element in the game (a tornado that wiped out 10% of your fleet would have made a good challenge). Still, The Transportation Games does a good job of introducing the concepts of routing and efficiency optimization of a transportation system. If you are interested in economics, business, or industrial engineering, The Transportation Game is a good learning tool. Recommended, but it certainly is not everyone's cup of tea. If you prefer a business-level perspective to the operations-level perspective of this game, check out The Distribution Game by the same author on this site.

Note: there is only one problem included with the game, although you can edit it using a spreadsheet program such as Excel to create more problems to solve.


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