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Staff master maps start out as the simplest of maps in that they are automatically put in place when the paths are built. Notwithstanding the no entry signs, guests are designed to have access to all the path squares. No entry signs are entirely ignored by staff. If the park builder sets patrol areas for the staff then the staff are restricted to specific path tiles by the patrol areas as they’ve been set. Sometimes patrol areas are breached when the staff member is bored with nothing to do and wanders outside their patrol to find work. In huge busy parks that are pushing your system full tilt and flat-out sometimes several staff will become lost, after which some staff will wander off the paths altogether and remain lost standing on terrain only a few tiles away from the path.

This author has built one park where there were several paths near shallow water inside flat bottomed fountain ponds and every few days of game time an employee would be found standing in the water lost. The fact that patrol areas were at the time set as a quadrangle dragged over the terrain & paths in a general fashion probably contributed to the problem, a problem that was minimized when patrol areas were drawn on paths only for the staff members in that area and fences placed there to divide the water from the paths which as it turned out were built directly on the terrain 1h above the water level. It’s been mentioned that fences on paths made RCT2 guests feel safer but this seems to be something that’s unheard of in RCT3.

At first glance it would appear the easiest and most obvious solution to making sure all the work gets done in any park is to place hordes of staff without patrol areas at random throughout the park under the assumption that with hundreds of staff roving around your park all the staff would quickly get all the work done due to their sheer numbers. Depending on the layout of your park this sometimes does not work as planned because without patrol areas the staff may end up congregating in a few certain areas while ignoring most other areas of the park. When this happens the quantity of work done by staff as your park progresses will be negligible and they’ll appear to be quite busy with very little work actually getting done.

Further, overlapping patrol areas or setting no patrol areas at all does not mean there is more than one staff member dealing with each task as it arises; it means almost no staff will deal with the task as the game engine continually assigns and reassigns different staff in the same staff category to do the same task.

Staff master maps can also be the most specifically structured to suit the needs of the person creating that park. If you've built stacked path systems and there are staff that do and staff that don’t have patrol areas then the master map for staff can become quite complex. We may observe this when we are halfway through setting up our patrol areas and ‘switch’ on the patrol area of one of the staff members. If we do that we’d:

view the highlighted patrol area of the selected staff member,

observe the faded patrol areas of other staff of the same staff type,

take into consideration the unseen patrol areas of other staff types, and of course

see the path system along which all staff without patrol areas have access - which for non-patrolled staff includes other staff patrol areas.

If we select and display the patrol area of Mechanic A his patrol area is shown in the bright blue ghost squares which are easily visible. Let’s say the park also has a Mechanic B, a Mechanic C and a Mechanic D and that they also have patrol areas. With mechanic A selected, patrol areas for mechanics B, C, and D are also shown as blue ghost squares but those squares show in a more faded blue and are less outstanding than those shown for mechanic A. Depending on the graphics set-up on one’s machine these faint blue squares can become completely invisible under water which can make it extremely challenging setting up multiple or multi-level patrol areas on walkways over bodies of water.

Switching on a mechanic’s patrol area will display other patrol areas set for all the other mechanics over the entire park map. If we want to see the entertainers’ patrols we’d select an entertainer, switch on his patrol area, and view all the entertainers’ patrols in that way. Likewise for the janitors and ditto for the security guards. Just like in RCT3 it was possible in RCT2 to select a staff member, say mechanic “A,” and all the mechanics’ duty areas would display: bright blue for the mechanic “A” and faded blue for the other mechanics. However RCT2 took this one step further in that, after selecting mechanic A, if you were wondering who had the patrol area next to him you could click on that faded blue patrol area and that would bring up that particular mechanic’s control panel. Although this was an extremely handy function to have in RCT2 it's a function that is sorely missed in RCT3.

Vendors, lifeguards and park inspector cannot be set any patrol areas. Vendors and lifeguards are confined to the tile on which we place them for their tasks, while the park inspector has full run of all the paths in the park therefore patrol areas would be of no use to us for these park staff.

As mentioned in the first paragraph on this page, in a huge busy park sometimes several of the staff will become lost at one time after which most will eventually regain their bearings and resume their tasks. Such staff who become lost on paths suspended above pool complex will drop through the path when they regain their bearings, will walk among the guests in your pool, and get lost again when attempting to leave pool complex. When staff drop through the paths like this it suggests the staff master map (or perhaps the master map of each staff type) is terrain based and not path based.

Zoo Animals

Zoo animals also use a master map of tiles upon which they can and can’t walk. This map may be seen (inside enclosures only) any time we toggle display of tiles animals may walk on. The inclusion of this animals’ map in our park file only occurs when an enclosure is placed in our park.

With the zoo animals' master map toggled on we can observe that the more scenery one places inside an enclosure, the less tiles there are for our animals to walk upon. Placing bodies of water inside your enclosures will further restrict the tiles available for some animals walk upon; we can confirm that, if the body of water is built shallowly enough, elephants, giraffes, rhinoceros, and hippos will step into your water and walk through it with complete ease.

It’s here inside our enclosure beneath the surface of the water where there seem to be overlaps in what the game engine does and does not do in respect of the animals’ master map and the display of terrain that animals can and cannot walk upon. We can observe that with this display toggled on the blue ghost terrain overlay represents terrain animals may access, while the overlay of yellow ghost terrain indicate animals will not use those areas of our enclosure.

After we’ve placed our pond inside our enclosure the display of yellow terrain outlining our pond would suggest that animals are denied access to the water, yet we’ve just confirmed that elephants, giraffes, rhinoceros, and hippos will not hesitate to walk through the pond.

Animals will relieve themselves on the blue terrain, but not on the yellow terrain. However the animal keepers will eventually find their way into our pond wading waist deep in water checking throughout our pond for dung that the animals that access our pond won’t produce while they’re on the yellow ghost terrain. Terrain that is too steep for animals to access is also not accessed by animal keepers.

Further, we can confirm that any animal enrichment items that are bumped by the animals off the blue terrain into our animal enclosure pond onto the yellow terrain will not be further enjoyed by the animals and will need to be deleted which indicates that access to animal enrichment items, as with the production of dung, is reliant on the location of the blue ghost terrain inside an enclosure. Interestingly, after deleting an enclosure, while any dung in that area magically disappears, the animal enrichment items will remain and need to be actively deleted by the gamer.

The overall integrity of the animals’ master map is dependent on the condition of the enclosures, i.e., if the condition of the enclosure border deteriorates enough then the map of tiles the animals in that enclosure may walk upon extends beyond the enclosure into the rest of the park. The exception to this is when the animal is deliberately placed outside an intact enclosure at which time only that animal has access to park areas outside the enclosure. If you’re successful in hitting an escaped animal with DartCam its master map of tiles upon which it can walk is instantly confined again to only inside enclosures. The game engine packs your tranquilized animal into a crate to confirm this.

Animal droppings are configured so they only appear within enclosures, i.e., on the enclosures map which makes sense … animals inside the enclosures, then droppings inside the enclosures. If one has an existing enclosure and then later makes that enclosure smaller, any droppings suddenly outside the border of the new smaller enclosure will disappear within moments. Enclosures with animals in them where the enclosure is either reduced in size or removed will result in individual tile-sized enclosures where each individual animal was standing when the enclosure was altered.  Such animals will need to be moved to another enclosure or sold in order to delete this remnant enclosure.

Animal houses and viewing galleries need to be deleted before the enclosure space they take up can be deleted. Although galleries, animal houses, and keeper hut can be saved as a structure and later placed as scenery, when one does this they become standard CSO’s and will not function as they did inside enclosures, even if enclosures are rebuilt around them after they've been placed as CSO's.

Animal Keepers

Animal keepers cannot be placed in a park without enclosures. However after they are placed in an enclosure the enclosure can be deleted and the keepers will remain in the park aimlessly looking for dung that cannot exist outside the enclosures that are no longer there. The keepers will then wander around the park taking no notice of guests and crossing paths if necessary to get to the nearest enclosure but will be stopped by the enclosure fencing after which they will continue to walk around the park looking for dung outside the enclosure. If you use the placement tweezers to pick up an animal keeper that is outside the enclosure you will be unable to put her anywhere except inside an enclosure.

Marine Life

As we know animal enclosures won’t place where there is already a path map, water map, ride map, or coaster map. Outside the aquarium, sharks, rays, and herring only appear below the water surface on the water map. It is possible to place a water map, e.g., a pond, inside an animal enclosure that has already been built. If the water inside your enclosure is shallow enough some of your animals will even walk through it.

Bird Life

The purpose of the ducks seems to be purely decorative as they do little more than enhance the ambience of our park. If we have ducks in our parks they are doing one of two things:

flying individually or in formation over our parks, or

sitting on our water surfaces.

If there are no bodies of water in our parks the ducks are always flying overhead without setting down. The master map for them seems to be in the sky above our parks or on our water surfaces. We think it likely that ducks have been included in RCT3 because they were there both in RCT1 and in RCT2.

The seagulls appear to serve as scavengers. To see them circling one spot and then another on our paths is a visible warning that those areas of our paths have gone for too long without janitorial attention. It is not known whether guests who comment on how disgusting the paths are are actually commenting on the gulls riffling through the litters and eating the vomits, or if they are simply commenting on the number of litters and vomits nearby. On their way to and from dining on our paths, just like the ducks do, the gulls add ambience to our parks.

The placement of the gulls map is dependent on where there has been litter and vomit on our paths for X number of minutes. Essentially they zero in on the rubbish when it’s there and fly off when it’s cleaned away. If it were possible to run a park without litters and vomits it is probable we would never see the gulls.

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