RUNNING A PARK
Posted by Luis Vera on 05 August 2018 10:19 PM
Building the park is the part of the job that allows you to flex your creative muscles, but that’s only half the job. In order to be a successful tycoon, you must both maintain what you’ve built and manage the business of the park.
The day-to-day operations of your park can be quite overwhelming. You are responsible for the maintenance of complex machinery that — if something goes terribly wrong — could injure or even kill innocent park guests. The park is overrun daily by hundreds of visitors, and you’ve got to prevent the less civilized among them from making a mess, breaking things, and ruining the experience for the rest. It seems like quite a task, and it is, but luckily you’ve got a dedicated staff at your service who, with a little management, will mind the details for you.
There are four types of employees to help you manage daily operations. Clicking the Staff button opens the Staff window, where you can hire and manage park employees.
A. Handyman – These tireless workers help empty the trash bins, mow the grass, water the gardens, and, most importantly, keep your paths puke-free! Handymen cost $50 a month to employ.
B. Mechanic – Hire a mechanic to keep your rides running smoothly, reduce the chance of a breakdown or accident, and fix a ride should it malfunction. Mechanics cost $80 a month to employ.
C. Security Guard – There always seems to be a bad apple in every bunch. Hire Security Guards to deter the hooligans, who would otherwise cause problems like breaking benches. Security guards cost $60 a month to employ.
D. Entertainer – There’s nothing like waiting in a long line to make a guest grumpy. Hire an entertainer to keep visitors amused, and assign him to patrol at or near the Entrance to a ride. Entertainers cost $55 a month to employ.
E. Hire Button – This puts a new employee on the payroll and opens the Worker window associated with him.
F. Color Button – This button lets you change the appearance of your workers’ uniforms.
G. Path Button – This button helps you keep track of where you have assigned your staff to patrol. Click on this button to display the areas that you have assigned particular staff members to patrol. Patrol areas will be highlighted in the Main View. Click on a highlighted area in the Main View to open the Worker window associated with the staff member assigned to that area.
H. Mini-Map Button – Click on this to open the Mini-Map window, where employees are represented by pulsating dots.
Use Worker windows to oversee and direct your staff. You can open a Worker window by clicking on one of your staff (in the landscape display) or selecting him from the list in the Staff window. The title bar shows the worker’s name (you can rename him). There are three tabs, each of which opens a display.
A.View – This useful tab shows you an up-close view of the worker as he performs his duties throughout the park. This window has five buttons on the right side, indicated by numbers on the above screen.
B. Orders – This tab lets you control specific tasks for each staff member. Click the box next to a task to make it part of that worker’s duties. A checked box indicates that a staff member will do that job.
C. Statistics – This tab gives you information on the employee’s monthly wage, when he was hired, and what he’s been doing since you hired him.
Managing Rides and Facilities
Once your rides are up and running, you’ll appreciate the Rides / Attractions button, which provides a one-stop spot for dealing with all the rides and facilities in your park. The Rides / Attractions button contains several options:
A. Rides – Lists all of the rides in your park. Click on a ride name to open its associated Ride window.
B. Shops & Stalls – Lists all of the Shops and Stalls in the park. Click on a name to open its associated window.
C. Information Kiosks / Guest Facilities – Lists all of the Information Kiosks, Restrooms, First-Aid buildings and Cash Machines in the park. Click on a name to open its associated window.
D. Information Type – This drop-down menu lets you change the information displayed in the information column. Information listed varies, but can include:
E. Sort – Click here to sort the list according to the information type you’ve chosen.
F. Open / Close – Open or close all rides from here with a single click.
Caring for Guests
The satisfaction of your park guests is probably your most vital concern. Happy visitors stay in the park, spend more money, and (through reputation and word of mouth) draw other guests to your site. Unhappy guests leave with cash in hand.
How do you know what your visitors are thinking and feeling? As a manager, you have access to powerful polling and reporting tools that let you monitor the thoughts and actions of every guest in your park. There are plenty of ways to get this data, and the Guest window associated with each of your visitors is probably the best. This window is also handy for corralling the occasional stray guest.
Individual Guest Window
The simplest way to open a Guest window is to click on any park visitor in the Main View. You can also open individual Guest windows by clicking on a name from the Guest Summary window, which you can open by clicking on the Guest button at the top of the screen.
The title bar shows the guest’s assigned name (you can rename them if you like — see below). Here are the tabs and buttons you’ll find in the Guest window:
A. View – Shows a close-up view of where the guest is in the park. There are four buttons available on the right side of the View tab, indicated by the numbers in the screen above.
B. Stats – There are a lot of thoughts and emotions running through your guests’ little brains. (Each guest enters the park with their own unique combination of feelings and desires.) This tab gives a closer look at levels of Happiness, Hunger, Thirst, Nausea and more. It also lists his or her time in the park, preferred ride intensity and nausea tolerance.
C. Rides – This shows what rides the guest has been on and which is his or her favorite.
D. Cash Info – Click on this tab to see how much money the guest has and where he or she has been spending it.
E. Recent Thoughts – Use your incredible mindreading powers to see what the guest really thinks about the park!
F. Carrying – This tab lists what the guest is currently carrying.
Guest Summary Window
The Guest Summary window is a good tool for getting a quick snapshot of where you are doing things right (and wrong) in your park. It contains a summary of actions and thoughts for individuals or groups of people in your park.
A. Guests – This tab shows an alphabetical listing of guests in the park. If you open the Guest Summary window using the Guest button, this window displays all of your guests. If you open this window using a button from a Ride window (such as “Guests thinking about this ride”), it includes only those guests associated with that button. Click the drop-down menu to switch between actions and thoughts.
B. All Guests (Summarized) – Click here to see a summarized list of guest thoughts or actions, including the number of guests who are doing or thinking about a particular thing. Click the drop-down menu to switch between actions and thoughts. Click on a thought or action to list those guests in the Guests tab.
C. Mini-Map – Click here to open the Mini-Map window. The guest or guests currently listed in the Guests tab are displayed on the map as bright, pulsating dots. Use this feature to help pinpoint where guests feel overcrowded, for example, or overly grossed-out about the state of the paths.
Other Guest Information
Every Ride window includes a Guest tab with buttons that summarize what guests think about the ride, as well as what they are thinking about as they ride it or stand in line. Click on any of these buttons to open the Guests Summary window.
Watch the Rating bar in the Status Box (lower left corner of Main View). Position the mouse pointer over the bar to see the actual rating. This number (between 0 and 1,000) reflects your guests’ overall impression — of ride design, park layout, tidiness, value, efficiency, and more. This is a great barometer of your park’s success or failure, although the rating will never tell you what a problem is, only that there is a problem.
Finances might not be the most glamorous aspect of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, but ignore them at your peril. Face it — you can’t build new rides and maintain what you’ve got if you’ve got no cash to do it. Sure, there’s always the bank, but even the ultra-generous RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 bankers will cut you off at some point.
Fortunately, managing money is simpler than you might suspect. Most of the detail work is done by reliable lower-level managers and accountants. Having all that expertise at your disposal does not, however, mean that you can ignore the bottom line. If you’re not watching the store, no one else will do it for you.
In each scenario, the park comes “as is” — you need not purchase the existing land and attractions, but you must pay upkeep where appropriate. You have borrowed a certain amount from the bank to make improvements to the park under your management. This loan constitutes your working capital, also called cash-on-hand (COH). That and whatever income you derive from guest spending in the park are your only sources of funding. Improvements, salaries, and upkeep are your expenditures.
Park finances are not tricky — as long as you pay attention to where your money is going. Luckily for you, there are a number of reports to help you do so. Let’s start with the most informative — those in the Finances window.
Click the button in bottom left of the screen to open the Finances window. It contains six tabs:
A. Financial Accounts – This includes a detailed monthly breakdown of your income and expenses. It is the most in-depth financial report; use it to track exactly where your money has come from and where it has gone. Click on the up and down arrows next to Loan at the bottom of this tab to borrow more money or pay off your current loan.
B. Cash Graph – This tab shows a graph of your COH, minus the total amount of your loan from the bank, over time. The current total is noted at the top. Unless your COH exceeds the amount of your loan, this number is red to indicate that it is negative.
C. Park Value – Click here to see a graph of your park value — a somewhat elusive number calculated to reflect what the park is worth. The park value figure is derived from the value of the land and equipment owned, the quality and profitability of the rides and the park as a whole, and the park’s overall public reputation, as determined by the Park Rating.
D.Weekly Profit – This graph shows your weekly profits, and is the most volatile of all the statistics presented here because each data point reflects a relatively short time period. The Current Profit, listed at the top is an important indicator. If this is a negative number, it means you’re losing money, and better start doing something about it.
E. Marketing – Marketing is used to get the word out to people who haven’t come to your park yet. The Marketing window contains six marketing options, ranging from free vouchers to ad campaigns, with a price listed for each campaign. Click on a marketing campaign to open a window where you can set the number of weeks that you want the campaign to run, then click on a button to start the campaign.
F. Research – There is usually more than meets the eye when you begin a scenario. Research will eventually reveal the hidden and extra elements that are not available at the beginning of a scenario. The more money you spend per month on research, the faster you will discover the other rides, shops, coasters and scenery that you can use to craft your amusement park.
The drop-down menu in the Research tab lets you set the monthly amount you spend on research (none, minimum, normal and maximum funding). You can also tell your scientists what to focus on. For example, you can dump all your research funds into discovering new water rides and scenery before the summer season begins.