I've seen many RCT parks which are
either over or understaffed. And, in interviewing the Tycoons,
I've heard strong arguments for every aspect of park staff deployment.
As is usually the case with me, this soon became a project for study.
Here follows my observations:
Employees can be allowed to roam freely
around the park or assigned any number of work zones, each of which
is four by four tiles. Employees assigned a work zone will
be confined to that area, which means that any such zones must all
adjoin each other. Exercise caution when two pathways are
in an employee's work zone. If the junction of those paths
is outside the designated area, the employee will remain confined
to only one of the paths. Similarly if one path ramps up or
down from the other, but the junction is not within his work zone,
he may jump down to the lower pathway but then not be able to return
to the other. This is particularly true of handymen so let's
take a look at them now.
Performing four different functions
for $35, these are your most economical workers. Strictly
in terms of public relations, they are also your most valuable.
These guys contribute heavily to your park rating. The first
pitfall to avoid, is in the parks where there is mostly a grass
terrain. Here you must either zone these workers carefully
or un-check the mow grass box under the assignments tab. If
you should opt to let them "do their own thing" with all assignments
checked, expect to find them mowing grass in the most obscure corner
of the park while your guests are drowning in litter.
Generally speaking, Handymen are the
only employees who will go "cross country," and un-checking the
mow grass box will curb that tendency. However, if you are
a "productivity oriented boss" who becomes annoyed that the Handymen
spend most of their time walking, then go ahead and instruct them
to mow grass, but don't assign them a work zone. In other
words, order them to mow the entire park. In one park, a friend
of mine divided his Handymen into a "clean team" who were sweeping
footpaths and emptying litter bins, and a "green team," to mow the
grass and water gardens. I tried this in a working park.
I found that the same number of Handymen were required to maintain
the park properly so there were no financial gains to be achieved
in this way. In fact, it seemed to me, to complicate the work
assignments more than it helped.
Next, in terms of cost, is the Entertainers.
Their fee is $40 per month. This is a good bargain.
In real world parks, I often look at these guys and wonder how much
money they make to "simmer all summer" inside their suits.
The Entertainers' only function is to spread cheer and goodwill.
If you have long queue lines where the guests are complaining about
"standing on line for ages," you may want to hire a few Entertainers
and assign them a work zone on the line. Reading Steve's excellent
article on Proper Queue Design
will help you immensely in avoiding such a situation. If you
have done most of your homework, you may not need any of these Entertainers
at all. But if you do, aside from those assigned to "work
the lines," let all the others roam freely.
In spite of the happiness and mirth
being spread around by your Entertainers, there will still be a
few unhappy campers who will overturn your trash bins, karate chop
your benches, and swing on your lamp posts. These souls must
be put in check lest they ruin the park experience for everyone
and sink your park rating. This is where your Security Guards
come in. At $45 per month, they are one of the more expensive
employees. All they do is patrol. Their work is what
I call "prevention by presence." In other words, the would
be "destructor", has a change of heart (and intent) just because
of a visible Security Guard. To be sure, there are many ways
to reduce the number of Security Guards you employ. Hiring
more Handymen to maintain the park at a higher level of cleanliness
will improve both the park rating and the happiness level of many
of your guests. Thus reducing unhappiness and therefore vandalism.
Add lots more scenery (which also cuts down on the amount of grass
mowing the Handymen will have to do). The guests will respond
with thoughts like, "The scenery here is wonderful," and be all
the happier about it.
Finally, don't make them walk too far
for anything. Have plenty of bathrooms, benches, food and
drink stalls available along your pathways. Using these techniques
skillfully, I've been able to run workbench size parks with only
three Security Guards in key locations. It is always prudent
to identify a trouble spot and assign the Security Guard to cover
that area specifically. In other words "zone him up."
They are just not as effective when roaming freely around the entire
park. If your entire park is being vandalized to the point
where you need as many Security Guards as Handymen, then something
is terribly wrong, and you need to give serious consideration to
redesigning and reconstructing your park, one section at a time
until you see a significant improvement in the guests' behavior.
At that time you can feel free to rehabilitate the entire park to
the specifications of the section where you succeeded in reducing
These employees will cost you all of
$55 per month. They are not in the same "public relations"
category as the previous three. Their function is to inspect
and fix the rides in the park. By now most of us are aware
of the disasters awaiting those who try to skimp in this area.
The Mechanic is the one who saves the day when your most celebrated
coaster has a station brakes failure with one train parked in the
station and the next one racing on to it's demise. He must
be able to enter the station platform and affect repairs to the
brakes before that second train arrives. One way to do this
is to dedicate a mechanic to each coaster, giving him one work zone
which encloses the ride exit. His assignment should be to
inspect the ride every ten minutes and fix it when it breaks.
Even with this, I saw a station brake failure occur while the mechanic
was just finishing his inspection. By the time he exited the
ride and waited to receive the call again, the crash had already
killed both the coaster's passengers and its reputation. So
I tried the following, which so far has worked very well:
Hire a dedicated mechanic for the coaster.
Confine him to one work zone enclosing the ride exit. Have
him do only repairs. If you have another four or five flat
rides nearby, have the mechanic who inspects and fixes them to also
cover the coaster. The dedicated mechanic will get all the
breakdown calls, since he will always be closer than the other one.
And, most importantly, he will get the call and respond immediately,
should the breakdown occur while the other mechanic is inspecting