Plague readme files

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                         PLAGUE!!!
Copyright (C) 1993 by J. Shramko
All Rights Reserved

This shareware version of PLAGUE!!! is identical to the
registered version in all respects except that it does not
have the Draw option, which allows you to make a customized
world for your organisms to grow in. You may obtain the
registered version by sending $12 to:

John Shramko
P.O. Box 20480
Newark, NJ 07101 USA


INTRODUCTION:

Your healthy organisms want to grow and proliferate. So
do your infected ones, as well as the noxious parasite they
carry. The disease weakens the host carrier as they both
compete to survive on the resources of one body.

If too strong, the freeloading parasite may disable its
carrier, making contact infection less likely, and reducing
the germ's ability to transfer to other unfortunates.
Worse, (for the parasite!) if the carrier dies too quickly,
the disease loses all chances of spreading and it, too, will
die.

You will use your mouse to spray colonies of creatures,
each color coded for different genetic traits, onto a
pre-made or custom designed field. Watch the dynamic
interaction of growth, travel, birth, and death. Unleash
clouds of infection which will spread or perish, depending
on the conditions you choose.

Pause at any time to change characteristics, add or
remove creatures, or draw new boundaries. Tens of thousands
of individuals are each continuously assessed, so you can
guage your success in wreaking havoc or creating harmonious
stability.


GETTING STARTED:

Note the abbreviated instructions at the lower right of
the screen:

LMB = choose/spray (Left Mouse Button)
RMB = go (Right Mouse Button)
ESC = out (Escape key)

Place the mouse pointer on the arrow head to the right
of the word BACKGROUND, and the word will be highlighted.
Clicking the Left Mouse Button (LMB) will cycle through
several patterns on the growing field (the rectangular box
that takes up the left half of the screen). These are the
walls that restrain the growth of the colonies you will
create. When you find one that you'd like to use, stop
clicking.

Now, move the mouse pointer to the top right of the
screen, over one of the colored 0's, and click the LMB. Not
only will some of the headings be highlighed in color, but a
colored block will appear next to the colored 0. This is
the organism type that you have activated for "spraying"
onto the growing field. Try clicking on the light blue 0
(the second from the right on the top row of 0's). That
represents the Young Healthy Meanderers. Move your mouse
pointer to the growing field on the left of the screen and
press down on the LMB. As you seed the growing field with a
colony of creatures, the light blue 0 will change to reflect
the number on the field.

Move the mouse pointer to the light magenta (purple) 0
(the second from the left on the top row of 0's). That will
activate the Young Infected Travelers. Spray some of them
on the growing field, perhaps at some distance from your
other colony.

Now for the action! Press the RMB and watch them Go!
You will also notice that the instructions on the lower
right says only:

hold down LMB = pause/change

To stop the action, hold down the Left Mouse Button. It
may be a moment or so before you get a response. You can
now consider changing some options, or adding or removing
some of the creatures on the playing field. Continue by
clicking the RMB. Or, if you must, press the Escape key to
get out. In that case, you will get these three choices:

e = exit (get me outta here!)
r = resume (changed my mind - continue playing)
n = new (start with an empty field)


OPTIONS:

If an area is too densely populated, left click the
ERASE option and hold down the LMB over the area that you
want to thin out.

Try varying the LIFESPANs and PROCREATION AGE of your
organisms. The number of cycles refers to the average for
that group, so the actual number will vary for each
individual.

When a youth becomes an adult, it will give birth in
adjacent spaces, if available, to the limit set in
PROCREATION NUMBER. White sparks indicate births, while a
yellow flash occurs at death.

CONTACT INFECTION is the chance of an infected
individual transmitting the disease to an adjacent, healthy
individual, for each cycle.

DEADLY MUTATIONS is the chance that an infected
individual will mutate during each cycle. When an infected
organism becomes a deadly green mutant, it remains
stationary, is very contagious, and dies more quickly.

The TOTAL number and the TOTAL INFECTED %, on the lower
left, include the deadly green mutants, and so may differ
from the sum of the organism types on the upper right.

A CYCLE is one sweep back and forth over the field,
after which all numbers are updated.


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