Building A Monopoly Game Computer Science Essay

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In this project, we develop game called Monopoly. The game designed in a way to facilitate interaction between player and game interface. Monopoly is based on original board game rules. Moreover, our Monopoly contains educational character for children. The methods for this project include the steps of game development. The Monopoly game is running on Java language and NetBeans platform.

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Computer technology is crucial for any aspect of our daily life. Work done by using computer facilitates efforts done by human for a same task. Normally it leads to faster decision making and action taking. Comparing to older types of games computer games are more entertaining, interactive and support faster information processing and data analyzing. Therefore computer based games are very popular. Since release of first computer games in 1960s the game industry became field of appliance of most late technologies. And it accounts millions of game players from all around the globe without any age boundaries. One of the most popular and at the same time old game is monopoly.

Monopoly is a board game named after concept of domination of market by single entity. It was intended to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies (). Monopoly teaches how to manage property and where to invest funds in order to win. There are thousands editions of monopoly but the main idea remains same. For sixty years, over 480 million players from around the globe have played this extraordinary game. But it takes more than just playing an occasional round to keep up on all the facts that surround the world’s most popular game. Furthermore it will be shown and described how actually it will be implemented and developed. Combining monopoly rules with programming issues such as interactive interface we get the goal of project to create free Monopoly game.

Games have been around for thousands of years. It is more important to play games now than ever before. Playing games is not a waste of time, they are not all unproductive and the benefits they bring are endless.

1.2 Project scenario

This project aims to build game called monopoly. The purpose is to develop innovative game with customized design, user friendly interface. Moreover, the game will enable young users with education. The technology for this project based on game design and implementation of game logic. The game can be used for personal use, children education and in entertaining centers. The game is defined as embodiment of board Monopoly for computer users.

Nowadays game industry grows very rapidly. And software and analytic approaches move at the same speed. Therefore, in project we also hold latest approaches as a main factor in creating the monopoly game.

1.3 Project objectives

These are the objectives of the project:

To develop user friendly and interactive monopoly game

To enable game with customized design

Popularize game for children education

1.4 Project scope

The project scope is based on problem statement which will be provided. The proposed game specializes in area of entertainment and education. We have scope the project to Monopoly Junior game for children. Our Monopoly will implement rules of Monopoly board game. Additional to original rules some technical features will be added such as interactive interface and customized design. The game will be free and done by using Java language and NetBeans platform.

1.5 Project statement

As it previously mentioned modern computer technology moves towards more innovative ideas extremely improving hardware and software. Due to latest methods in software development existing games may not be as competitive as they are now. Therefore, it is very important to keep maintain competitiveness of game in order to achieve desired tangible or intangible goals. And it is already well known approach called game updating. Almost every game is being updated in a defined time period. Monopoly is a popular game it has various benefits for player especially for early age children

Over 480 million players have already played monopoly. Moreover monopoly it is not just an entertaining game for time abuse but also teaching tool it help to develop children logic and thinking. In order to popularize monopoly I am going to contribute my own ideas regarding game design and game rules as well as highlighting hidden idea of the game. In order to do that game will be provided free and open source so that any player can change the code and make it more customized. The game should be interactive in way that player without IT background will be able to play no matter what age is he or she.


2.1 Introduction to games.

Games certainly serve some important purpose or they would not be as popular as they are. The obvious purpose they serve is as entertainment. But this is not all there is to the matter.

Game it is a structural activity, usually undertaken for enjoyment or educational purpose. Games are distinct from work or art. However the distinction is not clear-cut and some games maybe considered as a profession such as tournament games with prizes or sport games. Key components of any existing game are objective, rules, challenge and interaction. There are three main types of games:


Tabletop games

Video games

Sport it is organized, competitive physical activity with a defined set of rules or customs. The main factor in any types of sport is physical capability of player, but it’s still requires thinking process. Football, basketball, tennis and climbing are examples of sports.

Tabletop game is general term used to board games, card games, dice games, miniatures war games and others games normally played on a table or other flat surface. Comparing to sports tabletop games require less physical efforts rather than mental. Some board games are very old such as chess and cards but some like monopoly, domino more related to modern world.

Video games are digital games enabled to provide interaction between player and user interface to generate visual respond on displaying device. As a result of rapid development of computer technologies and globalization video games became very popular especially in developed and developing countries, so that average computer game player in U.S.A is 35 years old and playing already for 12 years. And every good game becomes very popular especially among children of young ages.

Term video games incorporate arcade games, console games, computer games, handheld games, mobile games, online games and flash games (, 2010).

No matter what type of games people play it has many benefits. Games are a training ground for real life competition in private relationship and business. Educational games help children to develop logic and thinking. Scientists are developing games and theories concerning games for hundreds years and they have reached many achievements in areas of sociology, biology and economics.

2.2 History of monopoly board game

The game was first mass produced by Charles B. Darrow in 1934 after the biggest economic recession in history of USA and then sold to Parker Brothers in 1935. Before that in 1903 a woman named Elizabeth Maggie came up with a great idea for a board game she called The Landlords Game. The board for a game was rectangular and designed of 40 spaces arranged ten per side. The four corner board squares were Mother Earth collect $100, Go to Gail, Go and Public Park. Comparing to Monopoly The Landlord’s Game has railroad passing middle of the slide. Rest of the spaces was made up by properties to be purchased and fines that had to be paid, almost like in nowadays Monopoly.

The Landlords Game was granted a patent by in 1904 and launched in 1906 (refer to Figure 1). After a while most games were handmade and some players changed the rules. These players also added a touch of home to the game by customizing the streets names. In 1921 patent for Landlord’s Game and Ms Maggie inspired from previous changes made by players decided to add some new features to the rules of game and she was granted a new patent in 1924. The new game had two sets of rules: one for the Landlords Game and one for Prosperity, which is very similar to Monopoly.

In a next few years new game called auction monopoly or just monopoly became very popular in U.S.A. There were few people who even copyrighted their own sets of rules. Those like Dan Layman became rich by selling their versions of game. Layman’s monopoly was the first version of auction monopoly to be mass produced for country market. However, by that time there were no fixed prices for the properties, everything was auctioned to the highest bidder.

Charles Darrow another person copyrighted his own sets of game rules and granted patent (refer to Figure 2). Darrow designed board with additional color stripes and cartoons. This was the actual monopoly which people playing until today.

Figure 1.Landlord’s game patent

Figure 2. Darrow’s Monopoly patent

As new game become popular the demand was increasing so that Darrow couldn´t handle it. And in 1934 Charles decided to hire Patterson and White (P&W) to print the black part of the boards. Darrow doubled production of boards but still couldn’t cover the growing demand. There for Darrow offered to both Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley contract for monopoly production and distribution. Both firms refused to finance him. With rejections in hand inventor determined to stay the course and ordered another 5900 sets from P& W. Retailers demanded for a change due to large size of white box it took up too much space. Darrow came out with idea to put 5900 sets into a very small black box with a separate board. This version is now known as the Darrow Black Box edition.

As sales of Monopoly continued to rise in late 1934 and early 1935 Parker Brothers became interested to finance game. They contacted Darrow and made a deal. The only problem was Darrow sold them a game that wasn´t really his to sell.

With help of lawyer Parker Brothers made up a patent application claiming Charles Darrow as the sole inventor of Monopoly, however the 1924 Landlords game patent was still in effect. After a while George Parker purchased patent from Mrs. Maggie for $500 and deal agreement to published a few of her games. With this patent in hand Parker Brothers started going after the competition for Monopoly production. (, 2005)

2.3 Rules of Monopoly

The object of the Monopoly is to become the wealthiest player through buying, renting and selling property.

According to (2006) these are official rules for game:

2.3.1 Equipment

The equipment consists of a board, 2 dice, tokens, 32 houses and 12 hotels. There are Chance and Community Chest cards, a Title Deed card for each property and play money.

2.3.2 Preparation

Place the board on a table and put the Chance and Community Chest cards face down on their allotted spaces on the board. Each player chooses one token to represent him/her while traveling around the board.

Each player is given $1500 divided as follows: 2 each of $500’s, $100’s and $50’s; 6 $20’s; 5 each of $10’s, $5’s and $1’s. All remaining money and other equipment go to the Bank.

2.3.3 Banker

Select as Banker a player who will also make a good Auctioneer. A Banker who plays in the game must keep his/her personal funds separate from those of the Bank. When more than five persons play, the Banker may elect to act only as Banker and Auctioneer. In computer based monopoly no banker involved.

2.3.4 The bank

Besides the Bank’s money, the Bank holds the Title Deed cards and houses and hotels prior to purchase and use by the players. The Bank pays salaries and bonuses. It sells and auctions properties and hands out their proper Title Deed cards; it sells houses and hotels to the players and loans money when required on mortgages. The Bank collects all taxes, fines, loans and interest, and the price of all properties which it sells and auctions.

The Bank never “goes broke.” If the Bank runs out of money, the Banker may issue as much more as may be needed by writing on any ordinary paper.

2.3.5 The play

Starting with the Banker, each player in turn throws the dice. The player with the highest total starts the play: Place your token on the corner marked “GO,” throw the dice and move your token in the direction of the arrow the number of spaces indicated by the dice. After you have completed your play, the turn passes to the left. The tokens remain on the spaces occupied and proceed from that point on the player’s next turn. Two or more tokens may rest on the same space at the same time.

According to the space your token reaches, you may be entitled to buy real estate or other properties or obliged to pay rent, pay taxes, draw a Chance or Community Chest card, “Go to Jail” , etc. If you throw doubles, you move your token as usual, the sum of the two dice, and are subject to any privileges or penalties pertaining to the space on which you land. Retaining the dice, throw again and move your token as before. If you throw doubles three times in succession, move your token immediately to the space marked “In Jail” (see JAIL).

2.3.6 Go

Each time a player’s token lands on or passes over GO, whether by throwing the dice or drawing a card, the Banker pays him/her a $200 salary.

The $200 is paid only once each time around the board. However, if a player passing GO on the throw of the dice lands 2 spaces beyond it on Community Chest, or 7 spaces beyond it on Chance, and draws the “Advance to GO” card, he/she collects $200 for passing GO the first time and another $200 for reaching it the second time by instructions on the card.

2.3.7 Buying property

Whenever you land on an unowned property you may buy that property from the Bank at its printed price. You receive the Title Deed card showing ownership; place it face up in front of you.

If you do not wish to buy the property, the Banker sells it at auction to the highest bidder. The buyer pays the Bank the amount of the bid in cash and receives the Title Deed card for that property. Any player, including the one who declined the option to buy it at the printed price, may bid. Bidding may start at any price.

2.3.8 Paying rent

When you land on property owned by another player, the owner collects rent from you in accordance with the list printed on its Title Deed card.

If the property is mortgaged, no rent can be collected. When a property is mortgaged, its Title Deed card is placed face down in front of the owner.

It is an advantage to hold all the Title Deed cards in a color-group (e.g., Boardwalk and Park Place; or Connecticut, Vermont and Oriental Avenues) because the owner may then charge double rent for unimproved properties in that color-group. This rule applies to unmortgaged properties even if another property in that color-group is mortgaged.

It is even more advantageous to have houses or hotels on properties because rents are much higher than for unimproved properties. The owner may not collect the rent if he/she fails to ask for it before the second player following throws the dice.

2.3.9 “Chance” and “Comunity Chest”

When you land on either of these spaces, take the top card from the deck indicated, follow the instructions and return the card face down to the bottom of the deck.

The “Get Out of Jail Free” card is held until used and then returned to the bottom of the deck. If the player who draws it does not wish to use it, he/she may sell it, at any time, to another player at a price agreeable to both.

2.3.10 “Income tax”

If you land here you have two options: You may estimate your tax at $200 and pay the Bank, or you may pay 10% of your total worth to the Bank. Your total worth is all your cash on hand, printed prices of mortgaged and unmortgaged properties and cost price of all buildings you own.

You must decide which option you will take before you add up your total worth.

2.3.11 “Jail”

You land in Jail when:

your token lands on the space marked “Go to Jail”;

you draw a card marked “Go to Jail”; or

you throw doubles three times in succession.

When you are sent to Jail you cannot collect your $200 salary in that move since, regardless of where your token is on the board, you must move it directly into Jail. Yours turn ends when you are sent to Jail. If you are not sent to Jail but in the ordinary course of play land on that space, you are “Just Visiting”, you incur no penalty, and you move ahead in the usual manner on your next turn.

You get out of Jail by:

throwing doubles on any of your next three turns; if you succeed in doing this you immediately move forward the number of spaces shown by your doubles throw; even though you had thrown doubles, you do not take another turn;

using the “Get Out of Jail Free” card if you have it;

purchasing the “Get Out of Jail Free” card from another player and playing it; (4) paying a fine of $50 before you roll the dice on either of your next two turns.

If you do not throw doubles by your third turn, you must pay the $50 fine. You then get out of Jail and immediately move forward the number of spaces shown by your throw.

Even though you are in Jail, you may buy and sell property, buy and sell houses and hotels and collect rents.

2.3.12 Free parking

A player landing on this place does not receive any money, property or reward of any kind. This is just a free resting place.

2.3.13 Houses

When you own all the properties in a color-group you may buy houses from the Bank and erect them on those properties. If you buy one house, you may put it on any one of those properties. The next house you buy must be erected on one of the unimproved properties of this or any other complete color-group you may own.

The price you must pay the Bank for each house is shown on your Title Deed card for the property on which you erect the house. The owner still collects double rent from an opponent who lands on the unimproved properties of his/her complete color-group. Following the above rules, you may buy and erect at any time as many houses as your judgment and financial standing will allow. But you must build evenly, i.e., you cannot erect more than one house on any one property of any color-group until you have built one house on every property of that group. You may then begin on the second row of houses, and so on, up to a limit of four houses to a property. For example, you cannot build three houses on one property if you have only one house on another property of that group.

As you build evenly, you must also break down evenly if you sell houses back to the Bank (see Selling property).

2.3.14 Hotels

When a player has four houses on each property of a complete color-group, he/she may buy a hotel from the Bank and erect it on any property of the color-group. He/she returns the four houses from that property to the Bank and pays the price for the hotel as shown on the Title Deed card. Only one hotel may be erected on any one property.

2.3.15 Building Shortages

When the Bank has no houses to sell, players wishing to build must wait for some player to return or sell his/her houses to the Bank before building. If there are a limited number of houses and hotels available and two or more players wish to buy more than the Bank has, the houses or hotels must be sold at auction to the highest bidder.

2.3.16 Selling property

Unimproved properties, railroads and utilities (but not buildings) may be sold to any player as a private transaction for any amount the owner can get; however, no property can be sold to another player if buildings are standing on any properties of that color-group. Any buildings so located must be sold back to the Bank before the owner can sell any property of that color-group. Houses and hotels may be sold back to the Bank at any time for one-half the price paid for them.

All houses on one color-group must be sold one by one, evenly, in reverse of the manner in which they were erected. All hotels on one color-group may be sold at once, or they may be sold one house at a time (one hotel equals five houses), evenly, in reverse of the manner in which they were erected.

2.3.17 Selling property

Unimproved properties can be mortgaged through the Bank at any time. Before an improved property can be mortgaged, all the buildings on all the properties of its color-group must be sold back to the Bank at half price. The mortgage value is printed on each Title Deed card.

No rent can be collected on mortgaged properties or utilities, but rent can be collected on unmortgaged properties in the same group. In order to lift the mortgage, the owner must pay the Bank the amount of the mortgage plus 10% interest. When all the properties of a color-group are no longer mortgaged, the owner may begin to buy back houses at full price.

The player who mortgages property retains possession of it and no other player may secure it by lifting the mortgage from the Bank. However, the owner may sell this mortgaged property to another player at any agreed price. If you are the new owner, you may lift the mortgage at once if you wish by paying off the mortgage plus 10% interest to the Bank. If the mortgage is not lifted at once, you must pay the Bank 10% interest when you buy the property and if you lift the mortgage later you must pay the Bank an additional 10% interest as well as the amount of the mortgage.

2.3.18 Bankruptcy

You are declared bankrupt if you owe more than you can pay either to another player or to the Bank. If your debt is to another player, you must turn over to that player all that you have of value and retire from the game. In making this settlement, if you own houses or hotels, you must return these to the Bank in exchange for money to the extent of one-half the amount paid for them; this cash is given to the creditor. If you have mortgaged property you also turn this property over to your creditor but the new owner must at once pay the Bank the amount of interest on the loan, which is 10% of the value of the property. The new owner who does this may then, at his/her option, pay the principal or hold the property until some later turn, then lift the mortgage. If he/she holds property in this way until a later turn, he/she must pay the interest again upon lifting the mortgage.

Should you owe the Bank, instead of another player, more than you can pay (because of taxes or penalties) even by selling off buildings and mortgaging property, you must turn over all assets to the Bank. In this case, the Bank immediately sells by auction all property so taken, except buildings. A bankrupt player must immediately retire from the game. The last player left in the game wins.

2.3.19 Miscellaneous

Money can be loaned to a player only by the Bank and then only by mortgaging property. No player may borrow from or lend money to another player.

2.3.20 Rules for a Short game (60 to 90 minutes)

There are five changed rules for this first Short Game.

During PREPARATION, the Banker shuffles then deals three Title Deed cards to each player. These are free no payment to the Bank is required.

You need only three houses (instead of four) on each lot of a complete color-group before you may buy a hotel. Hotel rent remains the same. The turn-in value is still one-half the purchase price, which in this game is one house less than in the regular game.

If you land in Jail you must exit on your next turn by

using a “Get Out of Jail Free” card if you have (or can buy) one; or

rolling doubles; or

paying $50. Unlike the standard rules, you may try to roll doubles and, failing to do so, pay the $50 on the same turn.

The penalty for landing on “Income Tax” is a flat $200.

END OF GAME: The game ends when one player goes bankrupt. The remaining players value their property:

2.3.21 Time limit game

Before starting, agree upon a definite hour of termination, when the richest player will be declared the winner. Before starting, the Banker shuffles and cuts the Title Deed cards and deals two to each player. Players immediately pay the Bank the price of the properties dealt to them.

2.4 Monopoly Junior vs Monopoly

Monopoly Junior is a product of Hasbro Company. This edition aimed for children audience and some rules are changed in order to make it more understandable. Early age children may find original Monopoly sophisticated and lose willingness to play it. They also may not sit as much as adult can while playing of Monopoly. Therefore, Hasbro came out with idea to change design and rules of Monopoly to make it more attractive and player friendly (, 2010) .The following table illustrates differences between Monopoly and Monopoly Junior:

Table 1. Monopoly and Monopoly Junior


Monopoly Junior

Players start with $1,500.

Players start with $31 ($1Ã-5, $2Ã-4, $3Ã-3, $4Ã-1 and $5Ã-1)

Buying properties is optional.

Buying Amusements is compulsory.

Properties can be improved with houses and hotels.

Amusements cannot be improved.

Color groups have 2 or 3 properties.

Color groups have 2 Amusements.

Denominations of money are $1 (white), $5 (pink), $10 (yellow), $20 (green), $50 (blue), $100 (beige), and $500 (orange) notes.

Denominations of money are $1 (white), $2 (yellow), $3 (blue), $4 (green), and $5 (pink) notes.

Ownership of property marked by Title Deed.

Ownership of Amusement marked by Ticket Booth.

The player has to go to Jail.

The player has to go to the Cafe, which he or she has to pay for.

The player has to throw doubles to go out of Jail.

The player can go further the next turn without paying.

Cards are Chance and Community Chest.

All cards are Chance cards.

Game ends when one player owns everything.

Game ends when first player runs out of money.

2.4 Benefits of monopoly for children development

According to Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages of Children “the most important factor in quality time is not the event itself but that you are doing something together.”

In fact games are a fun way for families to grow and bond. However this particular game has other benefits, playing games have other benefits, and Monopoly Jr. (Junior) is a good approach for encouraging children with:

Basic math

Completing simple transactions


2.4.1 Basic math

Comparing to original version Monopoly Jr. has only one die. When rolling to advance, pre-school children will be encouraged to count out numbers loud so as to add another behavior to the learning process. Obviously small children will learn recognition of numbers by counting dots on die surface and numbers which are written on money of which denomination range from $1 to $5.

Finally after few games, children will be able to recognize and count numbers without any help. That will prepare them for a learning greater numbers and more advanced games.

2.4.2 Completing Simple Transactions

Many children do not have a clear understanding on how transactions work, how does money comes. Playing a game that involves cash exchanges for property or service can help give a simple picture of the concept that one cannot get something for nothing or without paying.

Monopoly Junior is Monopoly game designed for early age children it does not contain real estate, instead Monopoly Jr. embodied as amusement park. Players are not paying rent, but operating ticket booths for rides, and paying to go on them. Children will naturally want to place their ticket booths on every space, then will find that there must be vacant square and then exchange the correct amount of money for it.

2.4.3 Games teach how to play well with others

Young children are often do not control themselves while playing group games and make believe with dolls or action figures.

Since that group game with rules involve teaching process of behaving with others. Those children who do not follow common rules may be excluded from participation while others will enjoy fun.

Group games is a crucial approach for education of pre-schooler’s, moreover it will facilitate transition of children from home to school. Games like monopoly teaches how to interact with other players this gives chance for early children to create relationships with other children.

Games of all kinds are great for children and adults to enjoy together. Family activities that increase time together also encourage physical closeness that cannot be made up for elsewhere. Playing Monopoly is not only a cost effective form of entertainment, but it is also easy to learn, educational, and fun. (Christopher Pascale, 2009)

2.5 Monopoly synergy

Popularity of Monopoly game keep growing even game is very old. And hundreds of editions are available nowadays. For instance, there are “Spongebob Monopoly,” “Cat lovers Monopoly,” and “Udubopoly”. Also available is Monopoly, Junior for children under 8 years of age, Monopoly Express and Mega-Monopoly (refer to Figure 3). Moreover, companies such as McDonald’s and Google developed brand new editions of Monopoly.

Figure 3. Monopoly Junior game board layout by Hasbro

Uncle Pennybag’s Loose Change


Video Arcade


Haunted House



Blue Line Railway (Roll Again)

Helicopter Ride


Pony Ride


Pay $2 To See The Water Show


Pay $3 To Take The Bus To The Cafe

Mini Golf





Water Slide


Big Wheel


Green Line Railway (Roll Again)

Red Line Railway (Roll Again)

Paddle Boats


Loop The Loop




Roller Coaster




Pay $2 To See The Fireworks

Magic Show


Puppet Show


Yellow Line Railway (Roll Again)


Candy Floss


Balloon Stand




(collect $2 pocket mon

1.5.1 Monopoly and McDonald’s

McDonald’s restaurants have a marketing campaign based on Monopoly. People purchasing fast food get chances to win free food, or they can collect pieces corresponding to properties around the Monopoly board. Like most contests, no purchase is necessary, so when the game is in play, you can request playing pieces by mail. This has been so popular that McDonald’s runs the contest each year. In 2004, McDonald’s introduced an online counterpart to its traditional game. In addition to the traditional “sticker” game, participants can play online. Each game piece lists a code which can be entered


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