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DanielC47 posts since 19 Nov 2012
STV Central Reporting Scotland
Anybody remember bid tv? I've probably left it too late to make this given that they’ve been shut down for a couple years now, but I thought I’d give it a go anyway. I remember a member of this forum made a bid-up simulator about 10 years ago. It seemed quite popular at the time, so I thought it would be a good challenge to try and bring out a new game: Sit-Up Trio Simulator.

This is an interactive recreation of the TV auction channels bid tv, price-drop tv and speed auction tv. You are able to run rising and falling price auctions, create your own custom lots, choose which studio and graphics set to use, and control the prices, camera angles, graphics elements and sound.

The game takes into account phone charges, postage and packaging costs, and bidder interest, and each phone call/bid placed by a viewer is simulated.

You are scored at the end of each auction (based on closing price and time taken), and your total profit is saved. As viewer and bidder interest is simulated, you may find some products are more popular than others, requiring lower prices to clear the auction etc.

Some features of the game:
- Accurate recreations of 14 graphics sets used throughout the channel’s history, with a full set of animations for each
- 8 different studios from the channel’s history to choose from
- Simulation of phone lines, and bidding/buying behaviour
- Some lots may be more popular with viewers than others
- Falling price and rising price, with options for 4 minute speed auctions
- Scoring system based on profit and auction duration
- Profits, p&p, call revenue and unit costs
- Create custom lots, or pick a random one from over 300 items sold on the channels
- Customisable keyboard shortcuts

Here are a few screenshots:

If anybody would like to give it a go, you can download it here:
Download Installer (Windows) The download size is around 170MB, and will need around 236MB to install.

Download (Mac) The download size is around 182MB. You may need to change some default keyboard shortcuts in the config window that opens on launch, due to the difference between Windows and Mac keyboards.

There’s a PDF manual included in the install directory, or you can also download the manual here:
Download PDF User Manual

Maybe there's no more interest in bid/drop/speed stuff, but it’d be great to hear what you think Smile


16/10/2016 - Version 1.1 Now Available

Changes since version 1.0 are listed here:
Auction - Fixed a bug which allowed a negative price after a megadrop.
Auction - Fixed a bug which allowed a bidder to bid below the minimum bid when the auction reaches a high price.
Auction - A p&p charge of £0 will now no longer cost the company £0 to post the item.
Auction - Corrected the rising price bidding system to first come, first served.
Auction Setup - Fixed postage charge and phone charge input boxes so they no longer allow more than two decimal places.
Auction Setup - Fixed ‘bid from’ input so that it no longer allows a rising price of zero or less.
Auction Graphics - Third bid rising graphics spawn animation redone as this was inaccurate before.
Auction Graphics - Small tweaks to the first, second and third bid falling, and second speed falling graphics.
Auction Graphics - Red clearance graphics animation redone for all graphics sets as this was inaccurate before.

Auction - Rising price auction bidding behaviour refinements.
Auction - Megadrop bidding behaviour refinements.
Auction Graphics - Can now run the megadrop sound/animation multiple times.
Interface - Text brightened across all menus to improve readability.
Studios - Compressed studio renders to help bring file size down.
Auction Setup - Lot auto-fill will now no longer generate a quantity outside of the auction type limits.
Auction Setup - Postage and packaging charge limit raised to £35.99.
Audio - Can now restart the current music track at the press of a button.

New features:
Auction - ‘Multiple Choice’ auctions are now supported.
Auction - ‘Auction Time-Out’ is now supported - set the time limit and the auction will close when the timer reaches zero.
Auction - Bidders may now pre-bid on the web before the auction begins.
Auction Graphics - Multiple DOGs in the top right of the output are now available.
Auction Graphics - Can now collapse the auction arrows to the bottom of the screen.
Auction Graphics - Particle effects are now available for bid, drop and speed pence graphics .sets
Auction Graphics - Multiple elements can now pulse at the same time on certain graphics sets.
Webcam support - Click the webcam button in the camera panel to display your webcam instead of the studios.
General - Can now save up to 5 pre-set custom ticker texts to load when running an auction.
General - Can now keep same control panel setup consistent across multiple auctions (ie. Christmas graphics stay on for next auction, or custom ticker text remains the same for next auction etc).


7/1/2017 - Version 1.2 Now Available

Here’s a full list of changes in this version:
Auction Setup - Fixed a bug which sometimes caused a random auction to generate with an impossible quantity.
Auction - Fixed a bug which allowed time-out timer to be changed after time-out has begun.
Auction - Fixed a bug which allowed the quantity arrow to sometimes show a negative number.
Auction - Fixed a bug which prevented a choice auction from running with quantities greater than 499.
Auction - Fixed a bug which prevented the time-out timer from closing a choice auction.
Auction Graphics - Tweaks to the closing animations of collapsed graphics.
Auction Graphics - Fixed an issue in the third Drop graphics set that caused incorrect spawning/reset animation when quantity is pulsing.
Auction Graphics - Fixed an issue in the choice graphics that caused incorrect spawning animation when Christmas graphics are enabled.
Auction Graphics - Race lights can now be triggered in the first Speed falling graphics without the need to plunge the price.

General - Application can now run in background without pausing.
General - Music and sound effects volume sliders will now remember their positions when launching new auctions.
Auction - Slight tweak to bidding behaviours.
Auction Graphics - Graphics are now rendered in 3D space allowing for proper perspective when elements rotate (eg. when removing a variant in a choice auction).
Auction Graphics - Can now spawn the time-out timer without starting it straight away in certain graphics sets.

New features:
Auction Graphics - Can now hide prices and quantities on certain graphics sets.
Auction Graphics - Can now show “quantity sold” on certain graphics sets.
Auction Graphics - Several new graphics sets now included: Early bid-up rising (uses ‘best bidding’ in this version of the game), final generation arrow graphics (particle effects for these to come in a future update), and Bid Shopping chevron graphics.
Studios - Six new studios included: Two bid, two drop and two speed.

The above download links will download the latest version.

Hope you enjoy! For Windows users, if you run the installer it should just overwrite your current version, and your scores/statistics should still be saved.
Last edited by DanielC on 7 January 2017 9:20pm - 2 times in total
richard h1,227 posts since 11 Apr 2003
Wow its brilliant - love it - the animations seem spot on - are you planning to add the particle effects they had and the exploding M for the megadrops?. Love that you even have the little Christmas pudding that price-drop used to have too and how the rectangle gets eaten by the triangle on the old bid graphics. even the pulsing of the graphics looks just how I remember them all

have you recreated every graphic yourself?
Are the studios recreations or high quality pics?
How long have you been working on this & what software did you use?

I was working on something similar to this in the past just for personal use but tried to keep all the controls in a thin strip at the bottom of the screen - whilst it was functional this looks a lot nicer.
Last edited by richard h on 23 September 2016 8:24am - 4 times in total
Neil Jones3,474 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
I like.

Minor detail but I would probably suggest the Megadrop quantity when things go for a pound doesn't drop fast enough, as I do remember seeing them pretty much literally flying out the door in tens and twenties.

Also I don't think some of the buttons are working in the falling price section of the bottom bar, unless I'm missing something.

Still, I'm pleased as I got a score of 931 on one auction. Then sold some jewellery for 4 times the unit price and "only" got a score of 615.

Great job, well done.

*edit* figured out why the buttons aren't working, me being thick*
Last edited by Neil Jones on 23 September 2016 3:06pm
DanielC47 posts since 19 Nov 2012
STV Central Reporting Scotland
Thanks for the comments guys, glad you like it!

This is triggering.
But in all seriousness very excellent work and attention to detail, and quite a substantial advance on what I was doing 15 years ago! Smile

Thanks roo! You know I still have one of your sims installed on my old laptop Smile

are you planning to add the particle effects they had and the exploding M for the megadrops?

I did think about adding the exploding M, but wasn't sure of the best way to approach it. I'll add it to a list of potential things to look at then can maybe try to tackle it along with any other tweaks that may need done.

How long have you been working on this & what software did you use?

I've been working on this on-and-off on weekends for just under 12 months, though sometimes months would pass without me touching it. The game was made in Unity and coded in C#. I'm not a software developer so I was learning as I went along, so hit a few roadblocks along the way!

have you recreated every graphic yourself?
Are the studios recreations or high quality pics?

Yeah I used Illustrator to recreate the auction graphics, and HitFilm for the 'arrow explosion/particle effect' interface background.

I modelled the studios in Maya. I work as a 3D artist so this part of the project came much easier than the coding part which caused quite a few headaches!

Minor detail but I would probably suggest the Megadrop quantity when things go for a pound doesn't drop fast enough, as I do remember seeing them pretty much literally flying out the door in tens and twenties.

Still, I'm pleased as I got a score of 931 on one auction. Then sold some jewellery for 4 times the unit price and "only" got a score of 615.

Great, thanks for the feedback, I'll add the megadrop speed to the list of things to tweak. Would be great to hear more of what people think of the scoring system as that could also be looked at in future versions. Unfortunately it seems with Unity games any updates require a re-download of the whole thing, so I'll collect a bunch of tweaks before releasing any updates to save people having to re-download too often.

How weird! I only was thinking about the old simulator randomly earlier this week!

Unfortunately I'm a Mac convert now so I cannot see what this is like.

Unity also allows builds for Mac too I believe, so should be able to upload a version for this sometime this evening. I won't be able to test it to make sure it works as I don't have access to a Mac machine, but I can upload it if anyone would like to try it Smile
Last edited by DanielC on 23 September 2016 6:36pm
BBI45218 posts since 2 Aug 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Daniel, I have thoroughly enjoyed the past few hours that I have spent on your creation. You have clearly put a lot of hard work into this. Would you mind me asking though, if you would ever consider creating an editable news graphic simulator with for BBC News, ITV News, Channel 4 News, 5 News and Sky News. I don't intend to be cheeky but it's just an idea as I think you would be easily capable of creating it and I'm sure it would be received just as well, if not better than this masterpiece has been. P.S. I was able to sell 100 lots of Poop for £10 each. Any game where you can do that will get a 5/5 from me. Very Happy
My name is Ewan. DON'T EVER CALL ME EWE. IF YOU DO... I WILL FIND YOU... AND I WILL KILL YOU (jk, but seriously, don't).
richard h1,227 posts since 11 Apr 2003
WOW its 1 thing to create a nice mock but to be able to play with it in real time is amazing
If you could add the particle effects like the flame thrower and coins etc that would finish it off really well

I looked at some of the studio shots and thought that some look like they were done on a computer but then others looked just like a high quality picture so amazing work there

A few other possible things to consider
- In the later graphics sets they could remove individual graphic elements to hide the price, quantity or phone number temporarily
- They could also change the quantity box to show how many had sold and the percentage of stock
- They used to be able to fade in and out the graphics and do nice effects which would wipe them all off the screen
- When showing a video the graphics would collapse to the bottom of the screen and cut off the ticker bars
- Product choice graphics would be a nice addition
- Maybe have a few dogs to chose from for when they did megadrops, warehouse clearance, cash mountain etc or maybe provide a template so we could make our own and load them into the game
- Recreating some of the idents to end the drop/auctions would be a nice touch
- fading between the different studio shots
- They started playing about with different coloured graphics towards the end such as the pink £10 Tuesday so a colour picker for full customisation would be good
- You have done great Christmas graphics so would it be possible to make the studios Christmassy too?
- Santa price plunge - he skated across the description bar and threw up some magic dust
- Recreating some of the backgrounds they used for non stop drops, warehouse clearance etc could go full screen instead of the studio shots all the time
- Countdown clocks over and above the graphics for when phone lines opened, price would drop, drop was closed etc when they stopped selling out before moving on
-Being able to run the megadrop sequence multiple times

but all of that is just mega nit picking and most people won't care about most of those Smile