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Staff Patrol Areas






While this park was being developed and readied for the three years outlined in this study, tracks & rides were often being added, removed, or adjusted in position which resulted in huge changes to the path systems during all these modifications. The last thing one wants to do while developing a park is to worry about setting and re-setting patrol areas for staff as a result of every little change one makes so at the time staff were simply hired and dropped at random in the park. Surprisingly, without patrol areas they did manage to keep the park clean, repaired, entertained, and safe but they cost nearly £20,000 a month in wages.






While common sense would dictate that patrol areas could save money in wages this park represented the first time I could actually see this for myself. I didn’t want to stint on staff just to make my point so to be honest with myself in making this assessment I hired all the staff that I believed would be sufficient as if money was no object. Although I had placed some 700 staff I saved nearly 25% in staff wages in setting patrol areas for staff, which would suggest that before without any patrol areas I probably had around 1,000 staff. I might just possibly have been able to get by with fewer animal keepers but the increased risk of affecting the animals’ cleanliness, health, & well-being and therefore the park rating wasn’t worth the small amount of money to be saved in taking this risk.






As patrol areas were among the last things I set up for this park, when I did get around to setting them up rather than tediously locating existing staff members and moving them to newly assigned patrol areas, except for the animal keepers I simply fired all the staff en masse and hired new. Even then, just before opening the park there were a few additional changes I wanted to make which required further adjustment of paths and additional re-setting of patrol areas.






I have set up patrol areas for all staff except for animal keepers.






Janitors






Janitors are the only staff member we will find it necessary to give patrol access to every single path and queue tile in our parks. This is because there is a potential for every one of those path tiles to become the target of litters and vomits. All janitors have between 5 to 10 path tiles to patrol. In food courts where traffic is heavy and there are also bins to empty they have no more then 5 or 6 tiles to patrol. In all other areas of my park no janitor has to patrol over 10 or 12 path tiles maximum.






Litter bins have been set up in all the food courts to make my janitors’ tasks lighter. Benches have been placed at the exit of nearly every track & ride so as to minimize the vomits that my janitors need to clear away. The in-game flowers and shrubs that require watering are so unattractive that I don’t use them in any of my parks, therefore, there is no vegetation in this park that requires watering by the janitors.






At the end of the three seasons I discovered that the deduction off my park rating for litters in my park had slowly and steadily crept down to minus 100. When the three seasons were completed and I looked into why this was it turned out that I had overlooked placing a janitor at one of my ride exits (or possibly he had quit unnoticed at some point before they’d all been trained). There were perhaps a dozen or so path tiles in this particular area and because all the other janitors had patrol areas none of the litters and vomits ever got cleaned away in this area that was missing its janitor. It was interesting to note that after three seasons there were mostly litters in this area and only a couple of vomits due to there being benches placed at the ride exit for nauseated guests to sit on when they had exited that coaster. The fact that the litters and vomits in this area didn’t get cleared away because all the other janitors had patrol areas confirms it a good idea to have a few additional janitors without patrol areas as backup staff.






The longer a litter or vomit remains in place the higher the minus rating it receives. As I just mentioned, a couple of vomits and maybe a dozen litters resulted in a score of minus100 tallied against my park rating after three seasons. An extremely messy park containing a large number of litters and vomits that are not being tidied away will be the cause of your guests suddenly leaving in droves and not returning to your park until you’ve sorted things. To see this for yourself you may want to open the Campaign scenario Zoo Rescue, close the park and all its attractions, send all the guests home, reopen the park and its attractions, and see if any guests return before you clear away all those litters, vomits, and piles of dung.






Notwithstanding the dozen path tiles that were not patrolled in my park by any janitor, the VIP’s visiting Vanguard West always commented on how clean and tidy my park was.






Security Guards






Because they’re necessary to ensure that guests use litter bins rather than toss their litter on the paths all my food courts have security guards who each have a patrol area from six or seven tiles in size. The effectiveness in security guards ensuring guests use litter bins is based on the security guard’s proximity to the bin and to the guest, and extends some ten path tiles. Therefore in food courts there should be a litter bin about every ten path tiles. Placing litter bins more closely than this will result in your janitors spending most of their time emptying the bins, which they will do every time they walk past them, not just when they are full.






Elsewhere in the park, partly by way of experimentation, instead of placing one security guard for every ten tiles I spaced the security guards more widely with some having up to fifteen tiles to patrol. I’m pleased to be able to tell you that I continued to receive awards for “Safest Park” with these larger security guard work zones that I had set up.






Mechanics






As all they need to do is inspect with the occasional repair their patrol areas are usually double the patrol areas of janitors in food courts. Outside of the food courts they’re assigned no more than two rides & tracks each. In outlying areas of the park where I’ve built a small ‘island’ of drinks stalls, A.T.M.’s, or toilets each of these little areas has its own mechanic.






Two mechanics cover the dozen information booths near the park entrance in this park. One mechanic covers seven booths, while the other covers 5 booths and the entrance of Quad Bikes which is close by.






All inspection times were set to 10 minutes and because the mechanics were not stretched too thinly all repairs were carried out promptly. This contributed to our receiving several Best Reliability awards.






Lifeguards






We can only assume that lifeguards work in a way similar to security guards in that they make the guests using our pool feel safe. I’ve never observed any message about the lack of safety around pools due to any lack of lifeguards so I tend to place them as I would expect to see them if I visited a pool in real life. The pool complex in this park has about thirty lifeguards and I’ve taken care to place them so that as much as possible they each overlook a different area of the pool. There are ten lifeguards overlooking Lazy River.






By way of an experiment I opened this park on a computer in which the park inspector had not been fired. At the time the park inspector decided his next task would be to inspect pool complex, long before he arrived at the pool I paused the game and deleted the lifeguards to see if this would raise any comment. The park inspector completed his pool inspection and made no mention about the lack of lifeguards or any lack of pool safety, so except for the fact they might benefit us in the same way as security guards do, at a glance it would seem the lifeguards are there for the benefit of RCT3 gamers.






As we know, vandalism is implied in the game engine by the lack of security guards about the park and as we never get any message in the dashboard indicating we need to hire more security guards to offset any vandalism, we as RCT3 gamers aren’t really sure how vandalism is factored into our park rating while operating the park. It is possible that any benefit provided by lifeguards is also factored into our park rating, and ultimately into our guests’ total park experience, in this same back-of-house and undetermined way. The game developers created them for a reason so I’d recommend adding lifeguards in sufficient numbers whenever we build a pool.






Lifeguards are not specifically mentioned in any of the RCT3 manuals.






Entertainers & V.I.P.’s






While it was a delight during this park’s development to see dozens of entertainers without patrol areas roaming about the park, sometimes two and three of them in the same area along with the hordes of guests they attracted, when the patrol areas were set up it was decided there should be about half the number of entertainers as there are security guards. Entertainer patrol areas are about twenty to thirty path tiles each - double the size of security guard patrol areas. I also placed entertainers near the park entrances so that departing guests left the park with increased levels of happiness – something that improves the park’s attractiveness for guests yet to arrive.






The RCT3 manual says that entertainers “attract and amuse” park guests. When hosting VIP’s it can be seen that they too attract and amuse park guests. Because this park hosts all six VIP’s set at high fame levels with high autograph tolerances and no waypoints, with each having full run of the park it was deemed that this number of VIP’s roaming the entire park made up for what might otherwise could be seen as an insufficiency of entertainers.






Vanguard West has been specifically set up as a scenario so that 6 VIP’s will arrive during each mission level. It’s been arranged that each VIP stays an entire park season (8 months). Their visits are staggered six weeks apart so by the time the sixth VIP is ready to leave the park roughly about two park seasons will have passed. The VIP visits have been set up in this way should I want to extend this park study at some point in the future.






As just discussed, park guests gain enjoyment out of our entertainers. From our VIP’s, in addition to enjoyment they also get an autograph, a handshake, or acknowledgement. In a park without VIP’s I’d probably set up the same number of entertainers as there are security guards, along with similarly sized patrol areas for them.






I’ve invited VIP’s to this park for the benefit of the guests. Completion of each mission will net the park £10,000 so they’ll also be benefitting me, the gamer. Because this study covered three park seasons it was never intended that I’d make money hand over fist from the VIP visits, or for all VIP’s in every mission to have arrived and departed by the time the study was completed. It was in March of Season 3 that I satisfied my first round of VIP’s and received an award of £10,000.






In the Guest Thoughts and Guest Status consoles I very seldom saw any guest illustrated by a red face icon so it can be assumed that my park, my VIP’s and my entertainers were all benefiting my guests as they should.






Animal Keepers






These are the only staff that I have not set any patrol areas in Vanguard West. Of all the staff in any park animal keepers are the most likely to wander outside their patrol areas when there isn’t anything to do. Just like other staff they won’t return to their assigned areas when they’re again needed there. As a result of that, during my history of park building it was sometimes found there were certain enclosure areas in which there were large amounts of dung because the assigned animal keeper was elsewhere in the enclosure, and the accumulated dung was outside the work zone of all the other animal keepers.






I don't think it good for the animals to set up an enclosure without seeing to it that the animals inside it aren’t fed, sufficiently watered, or allowed the opportunity to stay clean. All my animal houses are set to feed & water the animals “often” and I’ve hired what I think is a more than ample number of animal keepers. It is a rare thing in my enclosures to see animal droppings for more than a few seconds (gamer time) before they’re cleaned away.






My animal enclosures frequently resulted in comments about how clean a particular animal looks. In this particular park in order to keep the finance reports simple I haven’t once placed any animal enrichment items, yet I also frequently received comments that a particular animal was enjoying itself.






It seems the park guests can ‘see’ the animals inside the enclosure based on the number of animals the game engine informs them are resident there. The distance the animal is away from the viewing gallery in the way we might perceive that animal in real life doesn’t seem to have any bearing on whether the guest can or can’t see any animal in RCT3. In any of my other parks if I just want to see the animals near the viewing gallery or I’m getting ready for screenshots, if the animals in my enclosure tend to stay away from the animal viewing galleries placing animal enrichment items near the galleries is a good way to get them closer to park guests. Enrichment items are also helpful when improving the health of a rescued animal.






___________________________________________________________






When getting Vanguard West ready I was disappointed to discover for the very first time that staff receive training in three steps. As I have 700 staff in this park, training them in this way was not an option so I had no alternative but to use the Isambard Kingdom Brunel cheat.






While I didn’t want to use the cheat I did want the staff to be trained because they are beneficial for a successful park:







When they’re trained our staff become more efficient and they’ll walk faster & work faster. Therefore they'll get more done for us in the same time it would take an untrained staff member.


In addition to serving more people in a shorter amount of time trained vendors can sometimes get guests to buy more than they might otherwise, and can also persuade people to buy items when they’re not quite so hungry or thirsty. A trained vendor might convince your sick guest they could do with a little something to eat or drink.


Trained mechanics will do a better job of repairing rides.


And of course, we all know that trained staff are unlikely to want to quit their job so training staff helps us with employee retention.






As a result of using this cheat none of the staff were lazy, all were motivated, all of them excelled themselves and did everything they were supposed to do. Because of the efforts of my staff the park always remained above a rating of 1,000.






After 3 Seasons






Shops & Stalls






E. I. & N. ratings come with tracks & rides. Stalls don’t come with such ratings but they do have popularity and satisfaction ratings which give us an excellent indication of how well they have or haven't done. Looking at and comparing these readings and customer level readings on an area by area basis can give an indication of the traffic you’ve had through the different areas of your park.






I never received messages indicating guests were complaining they were hungry or thirsty so I’ve definitely placed sufficient food & drink stalls. All stalls were priced the same across the board, i.e., all Cotton Candy, all Hot Dogs, and all Lemonades each were all the same prices throughout the park as were all the other stall types.






An 81% satisfaction level seems to be the highest attainable for any stall. This figure makes sense as it’s not likely that every guest would return to each stall they’ve already visited so that they could twice use every stall.






Although technically it’s possible to set a price as high as £20.00 on any stall it seems the maximum I’d have been able to get away with (except for Balloons) is 150% of the default prices. Had I analyzed this data after one year rather than after three years I suspect I might possibly have been able to put the prices up by 200% or maybe even 250% of their default values on a select few stalls about this park. Having said that it is not likely that any park guest will buy any item that's priced near £20.






Taking into account the average number of guests for each stall type I can see that I’d stretched the drinks stalls a bit thinly. My next park will have a higher proportion of drinks stalls in relation to other stall types that have been placed about.






Tracks & Rides






With regard to the rides & tracks, I discovered if I took the excitement level, multiplied it by the intensity level and divided that by the nausea level I'd come up with a figure that closely or exactly matched the actual prices of around a third of the tracks & rides in Vanguard West. The remaining two thirds of the calculations that were tabulated in this same way resulted in numbers were way off the charts which shows I'm missing another factor that's sometimes a zero value.






The results for suspended swinging coaster in Vanguard have been a huge disappointment. It’s a simple track built all at one level with a moderate speed and gentle turns. The aim of this track was to provide guests with a restful, aerial tour of the park in lieu of Chair Swing which is a track type that I don’t particularly like. Moderately popular but being the favorite ride of no guest, I think my idea is sound in principle but it might have turned out more successfully if I had increased the speed or if I had selected another sort of track to build a similar ride in its place. Only further experimentation will tell.






A.T.M.'s And Passport Stations






The A.T.M.'s have been included plainly for the benefit of the park guests. There is no way to make money from them so they always operate at a loss. However, placing them about our parks is essential if we want our guests to continue with their park visit instead of going home after they've run out of money. Regardless of their popularity, satisfaction, or the number of times they were accessed they all operated at the same level of deficit, which makes sense if we consider that they all serve one purpose and that there’s nothing about them that we can change.






I am not a fan of passport stations because the prizes offered are either things I’m already selling in the park or merchandise I wouldn’t want to see my guests wearing or carrying around. It is said that passport stations will draw your guests around your park into the outflung areas where we’ve placed them but I’ve never found this to be true in any of my previous parks. The only reliable way to get guests travelling all around our park is to evenly place the rides & attractions, or to use one-way signs. Because I see no need for them I have not placed any passport stations in this park.






Paths






I am pleased to be able to tell you that one-way signs have only been used in this park to prevent park guests from walking the wrong way up ride exit paths, for access into and out of the park’s south side, and along the path leading to the two giraffe viewing galleries which had the potential to confuse park guests as to which way they should walk after they’d finished viewing the giraffes. This is the first park I’ve built in which the guests travel evenly about almost all the paths in the park without their being entirely guided around by one-way signs and it was good to see so many guests walking naturally along the paths instead of all of them walking in one direction.






Queues






Queue times in this park were outstandingly brief with some tracks ‘n’ rides requiring 1 minute’s wait and the others being no wait at all. Notwithstanding this I did take care to place entertainers in queues that had the potential to give long waits.






In RCT3 queues that are full of guests will slightly overflow onto the path they adjoin. This overflow will usually be made up of around fifteen guests. Guests who want to queue for an attraction who encounter an overflow already there will simply linger on the path within a few path tiles of the overflow and walk back and forth past the overflow area until a space becomes available in the overflow. Guests in Vanguard only needed to queue in overflow at our shortest queues, yet our queue times were always one minute or less.






Guests & Park Entry






The maximum ticket price we can set for park entry is £100. I've set the park entry fee at £100 in order to see if it's possible to run a park in profit with an entry fee in addition to charging for rides & attractions. There was little point in attempting this and then starting with a timid entry fee of £20. You might like to review how the £100 entry fee I set in Vanguard matches up with my formula for estimating park entry in this article Park Admission, Ride Pricing, and EI&N.






The average cash per guest in this park has been set at £150.00 so that none of them are broke immediately after entering the park. As a result of the park entry fee being £100 the tracks & rides needed to be priced a considerable distance below the E. I. & N. formula recommended as a starting point for pricing rides in the article mentioned in the previous paragraph. I believe it's because there's so much going on in this park that makes it attractive to park guests that I've been able to charge for park entrance tickets and increase the prices at the shops & stalls to offset the necessary price markdown for tracks & rides.






The number of departing guests averaged around a dozen per month then hugely increased after August of Season 2, which was the same month the total number of guests in the park peaked. Shortly after this, guest attendance surged to the extent that the increase in new guest arrivals kept the park pretty much at the same guest attendance level - in other words, because a huge number of guests were suddenly going home the total number of guests at the park didn't fall by a comparative amount over the next several months but remained steady because of the inflow of new guests arriving. Because the guests going home were replaced with new guest arrivals at about the same rate by the game engine, this is evidence that there's an expiration date for park visits enjoyed by RCT3 park guests. Interestingly it was during September of Season 2 that the smallest month-end profit was earned.






I thought the only suitable park entrance for Vanguard was the in-game Adventure-themed (wood fort) park entrance although the textures on this particular entrance left something to be desired so I got to work in TexMod. The following screenshot displays the results of my TexMod ReTextures. Some day this may develop into a Park Entrance TexMod ReTextures Pack.






Image 06, My Projects, My Parks, Vanguard West Financial Report, Page 2

Animals






In spite of my having set up DisableAutoAnimalInjection in Options.txt, of major concern was that with no animals being sold or released along with the occasional animal being born that eventually the capacity for enclosures would be reached. Crowded, thirsty, and underfed animals in poor health would have affected the popularity of the viewing galleries in addition to my park rating. While this was something that I did monitor, fortunately with only about 20 animals being born during the three seasons this didn’t become much of a worry.






Had this happened, to offset this and to make more space inside the enclosure I could have released other animals of that species for the publicity without anything showing in the finance report while hoping that the sick animal got well again but the duration that that animal remained sick might have affected the park rating and I did want accurate results for this study without selling or releasing any animals.






I started at the beginning of Season 1 with 55 animal adopters. By the end of Season 3 there were 127 adopters. I’ve been the longest time believing that animal adoptions maxxed out at 4 adopters per animal but my October Season 3 adoptions include one mandrill with 10 adopters. This means that mandrill alone made me £50 per month in adoption fees. There’s also one zebra with 7 adopters, another mandrill with 6 adopters, and a rhino and zebra each with 5 adopters. The most common number of adopters for any animal seems to be my thirty-three animals each with 3 adopters. Although it would probably not be until five or six seasons until park-altering quantities of income can be gained from animal adoptions this information is the cause of a complete readjustment in my attitude towards adoption fees.






All animals come with the default adoption fee set at £1. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find any one place in the game where the adoption fees can be set for all our animals in one go so before Season 1 Day 1 I simply went down the list and individually reset them all to £5, keeping an eye on the newly born animals during the 3 seasons so I could also set them at £5. Guests aren’t interested in adopting any animal if the adoption costs more than £5 per month – in fact if you’ve got existing adoptions in place, increasing the prices to higher than £5 will result in your existing donors stopping adoption payments with nearly no guests taking on adoptions at your inflated adoption prices.






It is confirmed that adoption income does run on after the guests who have adopted have left the park.

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