What do others think about LimitUp? Attached is a letter I received from an experienced market trader. (I've omitted his mail i.d. to protect his privacy, but otherwise, it is completely unedited.) I'm very pleased that people in the profession find LimitUp realistic and fun! Thanks, Mark, for taking the time to share your opinions and ideas with me!

Joe Gruberman
Vision Quest Labs


Forwarded Message: 
Subj:	Nice game!
Date:	96-12-14 03:27:23 EST
From:	********
To:	VQLabs

Dear Mr. Gruberman,

I came across your "Limit Up" game in the AOL download libraries the other night and I thought it was just another one of those silly, unrealistic so-called simulators...boy was I mistaken! Your game, although quite simple, was extremely fun to play. I was thoroghly impressed! It's by far the best trading game I have played ever.

I used to work on a private investment bank's bond futures desk at the CBOT and I know from experience what it is like to try and trade markets "outside" the pit. I've also worked for locals that make their living on "edges". My next step is to lease a membership at the Board of Trade this February.

I will definately purchase the registered version, but I was wondering if I might give you a little feedback...I'd love to work with you on possibly a new version with my opinions if you'd like.

I love the way you have the windows set up, but lets make the order desk handle a couple of orders other than market orders all the time (although I was suprised to see that my broker got me some damn good Cattle fills though!). Possibly implement a limit, or limit stop feature that can be placed inbetween trading days. Also, after about 30 trading days, the game seems to stop...the graphs are empty and the values are zero. What about trading the Bonds, Beans, and Euros? How about matching the historical volatilites with the game volatilities. What about economic numbers that throw the market around?

I guess I'm asking you to tell me the changes in the registered version. However, I would be happy to help you with new ideas for a more enhanced, real life version that you could sell for a lot more...

Please write me back
Mark
(********@aol.com)


..and in case you're interested, here's my reply...

Thanks for taking the time to write me about Limit Up. I'm glad you enjoy it, especially in light of your experience in commodities trading. Since LimitUp was a labor of love for me, I wasn't sure whether my own prejudices might cloud my perception of how enjoyable this game would be. I'm very interested in opinions from other seasoned traders.

I wrote LimitUp as a challenge to myself. After trading futures and options for several years, I was interested in seeing if I could simulate a typical trading session in a computer program. My interest was not in predicting the markets, rather in simply duplicating the "feel" of being involved in trading multiple contracts. I thought that it would be good, safe practice for someone who might be thinking of opening a trading account or expanding into more markets. Since so much effort goes into each trade, I thought that by providing this exercise, it would enhance peoples' trading skills, and thus their return on investment.

The registered version of LimitUp includes the ability to add more markets. Several contract months are available free on the Vision Quest web site, //www.jgrub.com/visionquest/. These include some precious metals and Corn, which has 93 days of data. You can add new markets yourself (to the registered version) simply by duplicating the format of the market data files. I have some contract months that contain complete lifetime data, but I was reluctant to crowd LimitUp with that much data. (Perhaps in a future version, if I add an Access database engine.) As you've notice, the shareware version has about a month's worth of prices for two markets. I'd consider that a ripoff myself, if not for the fact that the game actually generates its own intraday prices, so no two sessions are ever the same.

Some of the ideas you suggested are already slated for the next major release of LimitUp. But before that, I wanted to work on some minor releases to refine the current functionality (like the volatility issue). Since a good deal of complicated programming went into this game, I want to make sure it's doing what it's supposed to do, before I ask it to do something else that's even more complicated. On the top of my list is a refinement of the algorithm for fluctuating prices. Since I use the historic opening and closing prices for each day (then "randomly" generate the prices in between), I sometimes have a hard time ending the day with the historically accurate closing price without breaking the limit move rule. The results are interday gaps that didn't exist when the contract was originally traded. But hey...that's what keeps things exciting.

I'm flattered that you'd be willing to work with me on enhancements! Currently, other projects have taken priority so, when I do work on LimitUp, it will be in fits and starts. If I do get a block of time and the inspiration hits me, I'll keep you in mind.

Visit the Vision Quest website occasionally to see if anything new is going on. Later on today, in fact, you might see something familiar. I've created a review page and posted your letter (as well as this reply) to it. I've removed your email i.d. of course, so don't expect a flurry of rebuttals, but an anonymous and unsolicited testimonials go, it's the best I've ever gotten. Thanks again for your kind words.

Joe Gruberman
Vision Quest Labs
//www.jgrub.com/visionquest/
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