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Newbie - what I've learned

This thread is about a newbie learning how to play the game. Here’s a summary of where I’m up to and what I’ve learned so far, plus a map. I’m still only playing with flat rides, I haven’t even attempted to build any coasters or buildings yet. But I’ve got some ideas….. Smile

OK. My 4 in 1 park idea didn’t really work. People just spent too much time on the train ride. So I started again with a simple park layout. As you can see in the pictures it’s just a big square, rides around the outside, rides around the inside, and a nice little garden and lots of shops in the middle.

This is what I call a “base map”. It can be re-used over and over for many different ideas. Those 4 areas inside the square could easily be set to different themes, you could even turn one or more sections into a lake and create water rides. In some ways it’s not really a map, it’s just an idea that other people can play with. I hope you have fun with it, but more than that I hope it sparks other people to have more ideas.

The idea here is the simple physics of shapes, the shape with the greatest volume for the least surface area is a sphere, or in 2 dimensions, a circle. Circles don’t work very well on a square grid but a square is close enough to the same principle – Maximum amount of space to put rides using minimum amount of path. Less path means less staff needed.


Note: there’s a population limit on paths, if you don’t have enough path area you won’t get enough people in your park.

I like to lay out a plan before I even start adding rides, so the paths are already decorated with all the street lights, benches, rubbish bins, etc. To get lights and bins in the middle of your paths you need to delete bits of path then put them back again after placing your lamps and bins. This is a lot easier to do if you don’t have anything else in the way at the time.

Next is a good time to put in all of your shops and conveniences, it’s a lot easier to see how evenly you have everything spaced out at this stage. The shops I have placed so far are intended to be used for a Desert Climate, I like it when there’s no rain. So I don’t sell any umbrellas but I sell a lot of sunblock and sunglasses. Feel free to change it to whatever climate you please and change shops accordingly.


The map I’ve attached below is almost exactly what you see in the pictures, I added some more benches. I haven’t added any staff yet. To date I haven’t even tried to set a patrol area for janitors or mechanics, I just haven’t needed to. I’m not disputing any of the advice everyone has given me here, I think that so far my success without setting patrol areas is largely due to the shapes of the maps I have created.

There’s no dead end trails, it’s just a big ring. Or in this case, 1 big ring made up of 4 little rings, it just works. For this park I want 8 janitors. No patrols set, just scatter them roughly evenly around the park and leave them alone. They all need to be fully trained of course. And turn off “watering the garden” for all of them, it serves no practical purpose in the game and takes up time they could be spending mopping up chuck.

Mechanics, I want 6 of them, fully trained of course. Once again just scatter them around and leave them alone but set all the ride inspection times to Every 10 Minutes. You can pause the game and place mechanics at broken rides if you want to but you don’t have to, you’ll never get a ride uptime score of 200 without cheating so why try. If you pause and place a mechanic at every broken ride you can keep the uptime score at 199, but if you let the mechanics just get to it in their own good time you still average an uptime of 195 or 196. 3 or 4 points out of more than 1100, why bother?

The idea of having trees and hedges down the middle of my paths seems to work really well, it adds excitement to the rides and the peeps love it. Their thoughts mention “spectacular scenery” and “beautiful skies”. The trees are the very last thing I add though because they block your view and make placing everything else more difficult. Those segments of trees and hedges down the middle of the paths are also handy places to add more shops if you need them.

And a special thanks to jgf for letting me know about the hedges. If you place small hedges all the way around your rides it greatly increases the ride excitement. If you deliberately leave small spaces between rides so that you can put more hedges in you can increase the ride excitement value by 20 percent. That’s the maximum you’ll get in this manner though, once the ride excitement has increased by 20 percent there’s not much point in trying to pretty it up further.

I have no idea why, but peeps think lots of hedge is very exciting.

I have tried playing with Animal Enclosures and with Swimming Pools and I haven’t had a lot of luck with them. Maybe I’m just not very good at them yet, but the amount of space they take up for the amount of profit they generate isn’t great. For animal enclosures, once you start looking at the cost of feed and staff and take that away from the “apparent” income of the viewing galleries you realise that the profits aren’t great. With swimming pools it was the same trouble I had with the trains, if people like the pool then they spend a lot of time there instead of spending more money.

The nice little garden I’ve created in the centre of this park would also be a very convenient place to put on a Fireworks Show, but once again I’ve found them to be of little value. Yes, a lot of peeps stop to watch and they all jump up and down and cheer when it’s finished, but my peeps are all happy to start with and the fireworks show adds nothing to my park ratings or my profits.

I created a park using the attached map, just lots of flat rides and 5 coasters with lots of trees and hedges, and I let it run for a few years. It takes a few years for numbers to stop fluctuating so much and settle down into a routine before you really know how successful your park is. I had a steady average of 1920 people in the park and 3500 a month profit.

I’m now satisfied that I’ve learned how to create a successful park, next I’m going to start on how to make it look pretty.



Attached Files
  RCT3 Square Map.zip (Size: 81.48 KB / Downloads: 54)
"With swimming pools it was the same trouble I had with the trains, if people like the pool then they spend a lot of time there instead of spending more money."

Use fewer or smaller trains;  with a roughly circular track and four stations I'll run three trains with block option (no train will leave unless the station ahead is empty) and rarely more than three cars (depends on the specific car but aim for around a couple of dozen riders per train).  Now the trains are constantly running but never getting stacked at one station (riders on those backed up trains aren't doing anything ...like spending money).

The same with a pool, too large and you will have literally hundreds of guests in there;  an average of around 5%-10% of your guests in the pool seems to work well;  my parks are typically 1600-2000 people with around 120 in the pool (usually 6x8 or 8x10 in size, not including space for pool rides).   

Here's one of my 64x64 parks, generic entrance upper left, wild west town upper center and right, across a bridge to a sci-fi area lower rigfht and center, meander through that to a safari area containing the pool;  six coasters but, oddly for my parks, no train, monorail, or animals -

Hi jgf,

I've had a few different goes at filling in that base map I posted above and I've attached my latest version below. As you can see in the pictures, I themed one of the squares on that map to Western, and I included a pool.


There's no need to try and control anything in this map. Just put it on fast forward, open the finances page, and watch the numbers go up.

This park gets quite busy and needs 12 janitors, but still only 6 mechanics.

After the first couple of years the numbers start to average out a bit, average 2300 people in the park, average 3700 a month profit.

Things seem to happen in waves in this game. The population in this park will vary between 2200 people and 2450, so you get busy months and slow months. The breakdowns of rides seem to come in waves too, you go through a whole spate of them every now and then, at other times you can go many months with no problems at all. When you get lots of ride breakdowns at the same time you also get an increase in the chuck factor, but it's only temporary and gets cleaned up again.



Attached Files
  RCT3 Square Map filled.zip (Size: 228.99 KB / Downloads: 56)
Welcome to the site, Mr. Buckett. Hope you enjoy it here! Smile
Resuming regularly scheduled programming!
Nice to meet you, Mr EmpireHD. Smile

I was thinking about jgf's idea of using a tiny map, only 64 x 64. I made mine 65 x 65 so that I'd have 1 square in the centre that I could map everything else out from. That's a very small map. I'm going to give it a go anyway.

Here's a picture of what I've come up with so far. The park has 4 entrances and so does the pool. It's going to be tight trying to fit lots of rides in there but I'll see how I go.



Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
If you slice the squares into halves you can double the rides and still have adequate stalls.....
I was wrong.

65 x 65 isn't too tiny. It's surprising how many rides you can tuck in to such a small area when you really try.

Here's a couple of pictures of my progress so far. It's only half full and I've got 3 coasters and about 20 other rides. I ran it for a while to see how it's going, about 1350 people in the park and about 1800 a month profit.


I'm hoping that when it's finished I'll get 2000 people in the park and about 3000 a month profit.




I finished my tiny map. I probably could have spent a little more time and squeezed a few extra rides in but I was starting to get bored with it. Still, it turned out to be one of the most successful parks I've built.



2150 people in park
3500 a month profit

Surprisingly, I got a park intensity rating of 289, my highest yet.


"Things seem to happen in waves in this game."

Definitely. You'll notice the park isn't open all year, only March-October, and, barring changes within the park, there seems to be two cycles of activity during that time. I suspect this is due to a natural cycling of guests by the game; while there is a constant trickle of new guests entering and old ones leaving there will be a couple of times when apparently about a third of the guests leaving are not immediately replaced. Suddenly only forty people are in a pool that usually has over a hundred, a monorail that normally has eighty people riding has perhaps fifty; but wait two or three weeks (game time) and the numbers start picking up again. If you've ever closed a park you've seen it takes about two months (game time) for everyone to clear out; all this ties in with two cycles of guests waxing and waning over eight months. Due to an oddity in the game (wouldn't call it a bug) you have a little control over this; new rides or attractions in the park will provide a month or so of increased attendance, editing a tracked ride is sensed as a "new" ride, so close a coaster or train, delete one section of track, wait a few hours (game time, I just wait for the next day to start), replace that section of track, and open the ride. You've lost a day's income from that ride but to the game/guests there's a new ride in the park. I wonder if this is the same mechanism by which the marketing works.

"65 x 65 isn't too tiny. It's surprising how many rides you can tuck in to such a small area when you really try."

That's why I've had so much fun with small maps. It started when I was playing the game on an old laptop, 128x128 maps really stressed this old system (the airflow from it could keep my coffee cup warm) so I tried 96x96 then 64x64, and found the challenge of creating a viable park in that space more enjoyable than working in a large map. BTW the map doesn't have to be square.

Have you tried stacking rides? Many flat rides have a 4x4 footprint; sink one deep enough in the ground to place another at ground level above it, enclose that one in walls high enough to place a third ride above it; the one at ground level has its entrance and exit lines go straight to the path, the underground ride's entrance and exit are 90deg from that and make a right angle to come up to the path, and the top ride has its entrance and exit facing the back with the lines coming around and down the other side to the path. Also two flat rides side by side underground with a coaster station above them, or vice versa.
I had never heard of "stacking" rides before but I like the idea. I'm imagining a nerd's tower with 3D cinema, laser tag, etc.

Here's a copy of my map if you like, the zip file contains 2 maps.

1 tiny park.dat is the base map, just the path and a few shops. Not enough shops as it turned out.

1 tiny park 2.dat is the completed park.



Attached Files
  RCT3 Tiny Park.zip (Size: 323.42 KB / Downloads: 47)
I had another play with that base map. 1 tiny park 3.dat is attached below.

I spent a little more time choosing coasters and getting them to pass through each other where I could. 12 coasters and about 30 other rides.


After taking these pictures I put it on fast forward and let it go while I cooked my tea. Not much changed in the 6 years that passed while I cooked and ate.

2500 people
4300 a month profit.

Now I'm wondering if it's possible to achieve 5000 a month profit from a map that size.



I just learnt something new.

I learnt what drives those "waves" that I mentioned earlier. And how to control them.

It's your ride uptime. I ran Tiny Park 3 again to see if I could spot any obvious areas where I could make improvements. This time it didn't perform as well, I was getting more ride breakdowns than previously. My average population was only about 2400 and I was struggling to average 4000 a month profit. My ride uptime was averaging around 189 or 190.

I added 2 more mechanics, my ride uptime value then averaged around 196 or 197. This put my park population back up to around 2500 people and my profits up to 4400 a month.

I wondered about this for a little while and then the penny dropped, it's the maximum population of your path areas. During normal times there's hundreds of people on rides, which frees up space for hundreds more people to be on the paths. If lots of rides break down at the same time those people are forced back onto the paths and then hundreds of people are forced to leave the park.

I had to experiment with this. I noticed that with Tiny Park 3, if I just left it to it's own devices, would get waves of ride breakdowns and this directly affected the population of the park. My park population was varying between 2350 people and 2650. I wondered how much difference it would make if I ran the game at normal speed and micro-managed it. If I paused the game and put a mechanic in place every time a ride broke down.

I started doing that but it was really boring. I cheated a little and added an extra 30 cents to the cost of each roller coaster. Then I had a new idea and used the Frontier cheat so that no rides ever broke down and put it of fast forward. The results were startling.

Average 2580 people in the park. This average only varies by plus or minus 10 people.
Average 4800 a month profit. This average only varies by plus or minus 100 dollars.


So there you go, a new trick. If you want to micro-manage your park and fix every ride immediately then your park performance will by considerably higher.



Attached Files
  RCT3 tiny park 3.zip (Size: 265.01 KB / Downloads: 53)

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