|Conquering Crazy Castle|
This is an easy scenario? Yes, if you know how!
In what will likely be my last scenario strategy article, I take you back to the very first scenario - Crazy Castle. Why, at this late date, do I return to the very first scenario?
"To come to the end, grasshopper, you must return to the beginning..."
The best strategies for Crazy Castle are among the most subtle and difficult in the game. A lot more effort was given to this scenario's development than many of the other standard scenarios. I would go so far as to consider it the showcase scenario of the set. It makes some sense to lead off with the best scenario, although it was probably harder than intended - a lot harder.
The scenario developer was likely unaware of the difficulties that were posed by the scenario. After all, nobody had experience with the RCT2 game engine at that time.
Crazy Castle is a pay-per-ride park. These are usually very straightforward to play - just keep building rides until you reach the objective. Ride income provides the financial resource for additional building. Crazy Castle requires 1,500 guests by October, Year 4. In many scenarios, getting twice as many guests in four years is not very difficult.
Somehow, the money seems to come in more slowly in Crazy Castle than most scenarios. Guests seem to arrive more slowly, leave sooner and spend less. Is it your imagination? Was the game engine tweaked for this scenario? What's going on?
Let's get to work and find out!
OK, Fos - what do we do?
Right at the start, set research to the maximum. I also look at the rides available in the scenario. This help me prioritize research needs. In Crazy Castle, you have lots of gentle rides, and more coaster types than you can afford to build. Uncheck these from the research tree. The scenario doesn't require more transportation rides or scenery options. I also unchecked these.
On the other hand, there are only three thrill rides at the start. More of these will be helpful. Shops and stalls? YES! We've got to get the cash machine ASAP.
Examine the guests - the park starts with two - for clues on what to build. Check their intensity preferences. As they enter the park, most will prefer rides with an intensity under six. Many also have a minimum intensity preference than is more than any of the gentle rides. Surprise! Many of the guests are naturally attracted to - at least initially - thrill rides. Since we have only three thrill rides, we will have to build one or more coasters with modest intensity - about 6 or less.
Each time a guest completes a ride successfully - that is, without getting sick - the guest's intensity preference increases by one, until a limit is reached. Initially the big challenge is to satisfy the intensity preferences of newcomers to the park.
Oh, those paths! In a pay-per-ride scenario, you MUST have the guests spend as much time as possible walking in front of your ride entrances. Otherwise they will get bored and leave without spending any money. There's a lovely midway. Make sure the guests use it!
Snip...snip...be sure to rescue the guests that are now
OK, we have a nice midway. But there's still a problem. Some guests enter the park, go up the stairs, then immediately turn around and go down the stairs again. Why?
Notice in the picture below that the stairway, although it appears "double-wide" is actually two single-width paths. The game considers the first flat path tile at the top of the stairs as an intersection - the path changes from single-wide to double-wide. This is a "decision point," where the guests may change their direction.
Although we may believe that going up the right side stairs and down the left side is not a guest's best choice, the game's AI is working the way it was designed. We need to "encourage" good peep behavior. A no-entry sign at the top of the stairs will help matters.
Why is the sign on the left stairs, not the right? The park entrance is on the right, so most of the guests head straight into the park, and go up the right side. The pattern that causes the biggest problem is up the right side and down on the left.
This helps the problem, but we can improve our guest behavior still further. At the beginning of the game, it's OK to block the path to the exit, if you are so inclined. If you check to see which guests want to go home and manually toss them past the signs, you don't take a hit to your park rating, either.
You won't want to continue this strategy for very long as it is unnecessary and cumbersome. When you want to let guests out of the park, which side of the path should be opened for their use?