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Staff master maps start out as the simplest of maps in that they are automatically put in place when the paths are built. Notwithstanding the no entry signs, guests are designed to have access to all the path squares. No entry signs are entirely ignored by staff. If the park builder sets patrol areas for the staff then the staff are restricted to specific path tiles as delineated by their patrol areas. Sometimes patrol areas are breached when the staff member is bored with nothing to do and wanders outside their patrol to find work. Staff will also exit their patrol areas when calls for service are received from attractions that are not within the patrol area of any other staff.

Sometimes in huge busy parks that are pushing your system full tilt and flat-out several staff will lose their patrol area bearings and become lost. Often your staff will recover from this but there are times after this occurs that some staff may remain lost, either still within their patrol area or after having wandered off the paths to stand only a few tiles away from their zone.

This author has built one park in which there were several paths built directly on terrain alongside ponds one meter deep. These ponds were essentially squares set into the ground that contained water. Every few days of game time an employee would be found standing in the water there lost. The fact that patrol areas were at the time set as a quadrangle dragged over the terrain & paths in a general fashion probably contributed to the issue, an issue that went away when individual patrol areas were drawn only on the paths, and fences placed there to divide the water from the paths. It’s been mentioned that fences on paths made RCT2 guests feel safer but this seems to be something that’s unheard of in RCT3.

At first glance it would appear the easiest and most obvious solution to making sure all the work gets done in any park is to place hordes of staff without patrol areas at random throughout the park under the assumption that with hundreds of staff roving around your park all the staff would quickly get all the work done due to their sheer numbers. Although this solution works sometimes depending on the park's layout, in parks requiring finance it is very expensive to have all these staff members running around in such a generic manner. It is more economical to pay wages to staff with patrol areas.

Further, overlapping patrol areas or setting no patrol areas at all does not mean there is more than one staff member dealing with each task as it arises; often it means almost no staff will deal with the task as the game engine continually assigns and reassigns different staff in the same staff category to do the same task.

Of course, staff master maps can be specifically structured to suit the needs of the person creating that park. If you've built stacked path systems and there are staff that do and staff that don’t have patrol areas then the master map for staff can become quite complex. We may observe this when we are halfway through setting up our patrol areas and ‘switch’ on the patrol area of one of the staff members. If we do that we’d:

view the highlighted patrol area of the selected staff member,

observe the faded patrol areas of other staff of the same staff type,

take into consideration the unseen patrol areas of other staff types, and of course

see the path system along which all staff without patrol areas have access - which for non-patrolled staff includes other staff patrol areas.

If we select and display the patrol area of Mechanic A his patrol area is shown in the bright blue ghost squares which are easily visible. Let’s say the park also has a Mechanic B, a Mechanic C and a Mechanic D and that they also have patrol areas. With mechanic A selected, patrol areas for mechanics B, C, and D are also shown as blue ghost squares but those squares show in a more faded blue and are less outstanding than those shown for mechanic A. Depending on the graphics set-up on one’s machine these faint blue squares can become completely invisible under water which can make it extremely challenging setting up multiple or multi-level patrol areas on walkways over bodies of water.

Switching on a mechanic’s patrol area will display other patrol areas set for all the other mechanics over the entire park map. If we want to see the entertainers’ patrols we’d select an entertainer, switch on his patrol area, and view all the entertainers’ patrols in that way. Likewise for the janitors and ditto for the security guards. Just like in RCT3 it was possible in RCT2 to select a staff member, say mechanic “A,” and all the mechanics’ duty areas would display: bright blue for the mechanic “A” and faded blue for the other mechanics. However RCT2 took this one step further in that, after selecting mechanic A, if you were wondering who had the patrol area next to him you could click on that faded blue patrol area and that would bring up that particular mechanic’s control panel. Although this was an extremely handy function to have in RCT2 it's a function that is sorely missed in RCT3.

Broken rides & tracks, and shops, stalls, & facilities automatically send out calls for a mechanic approximately every fifteen seconds in real time. If included in a mechanic's patrol area they'll send such calls only to that mechanic. The more repair stops that are included in a mechanic's work zone the more likely it is that he'll end up with a queue of inspections/repairs that need his attention. The more space there is in between each of these stops in his queue, the longer it will take for him to service the attractions within his zone. We don't want our staff dealing with endless queues of work needing their attention because if the queue of tasks is too much for the staff member to handle, some of the tasks in the queue will end up being ignored. We should take care not to assign patrol maps to our staff that are too large for them to completely service within a reasonable amount of time.

Vendors, lifeguards and park inspector cannot be set any patrol maps. Vendors and lifeguards are confined to the tile on which we place them for their tasks, while the park inspector has full run of all the paths in the park. Patrol areas would be of no use to us for these park staff.

As mentioned in the second paragraph on this page, in a huge busy park sometimes several of the staff will become lost at one time after which most will eventually regain their bearings and resume their tasks. Such staff who become lost on paths suspended above pool complex will drop through the path when they regain their bearings, will walk among the guests in your pool, and get lost again when attempting to leave pool complex. When staff drop through the paths like this it suggests the staff master map (or perhaps the master map of each staff type) is terrain based and not path based.

Zoo Animals

Zoo animals also use a master map of tiles upon which they can and can’t walk. This map may be seen (inside enclosures only) any time we toggle display of tiles animals may walk on. The inclusion of this animals’ map in our park file only occurs when an enclosure is placed in our park.

With the zoo animals' master map toggled on we can observe that the more scenery one places inside an enclosure, the less tiles there are for our animals to walk upon. Placing bodies of water inside your enclosures will further restrict the tiles available for some animals walk upon; we can confirm that, if the body of water is built shallowly enough, elephants, giraffes, rhinoceros, and hippos will step into your water and walk through it with complete ease. However, in RCT3 no land animal will walk through water that's more than one meter in depth. If you want a pond inside your enclosure inhabited with herring that land animals walk through you'll need to have a depth of one meter around the pond edges for the land animals in addition to a depth of two meters or more near the center of the water for the herring.

It’s here inside our enclosure beneath the pond's surface where there seem to be overlaps in what the game engine does and does not do in respect of the animals’ master map and the display of terrain that animals can and cannot walk upon. We can observe that with this display toggled on the blue ghost terrain overlay represents terrain animals may access, while the overlay of yellow ghost terrain indicate animals will not use those areas of our enclosure.

After we’ve placed our pond inside our enclosure the display of yellow terrain outlining our pond would suggest that animals are denied access to the water, yet we’ve just confirmed that elephants, giraffes, rhinoceros, and hippos will not hesitate to walk through the pond.

Animals will relieve themselves on the blue terrain, but not on the yellow terrain. However the animal keepers will eventually find their way into our pond wading waist deep in water checking throughout our pond for dung that the animals that access our pond won’t produce while they’re on the yellow ghost terrain. Terrain that is too steep for animals to access is also not accessed by animal keepers.

Further, we can confirm that any animal enrichment items that are bumped by the animals off the blue terrain into our animal enclosure pond onto the yellow terrain will not be further enjoyed by the animals and will need to be deleted which indicates that animals' access to enrichment items, as with the production of dung, is reliant on the location of the blue ghost terrain inside an enclosure. The same goes for animal enrichment items that are bumped onto animal viewing galleries or into animal houses. Interestingly, after deleting an enclosure, while any dung in that area magically disappears the animal enrichment items will remain. As enrichment items don't come with a tweezer allowing repositioning, remnant enrichment items need to be individually deleted.

The overall integrity of the animals’ master map is dependent on the condition of the enclosures, i.e., if the condition of the enclosure border deteriorates enough then the map of tiles the animals in that enclosure may walk upon extends beyond the enclosure into the rest of the park. The exception to this is when the animal is deliberately placed outside an intact enclosure at which time only that animal has access to park areas outside the enclosure. If you’re successful in hitting an escaped animal with DartCam its master map of tiles upon which it can walk is instantly confined again to only inside enclosures. The game engine packs your tranquilized animal into a crate to confirm this.

Animal droppings are configured so they only appear within enclosures, i.e., on the enclosures map which makes sense … animals inside the enclosures, then droppings inside the enclosures. If one has an existing enclosure and then later makes that enclosure smaller, any droppings suddenly outside the border of the new smaller enclosure will disappear within moments. Enclosures with animals in them where the enclosure is either reduced in size or removed will result in individual tile-sized enclosures where each individual animal was standing when the enclosure was altered.  Such animals will need to be moved to another enclosure, released, or sold in order to delete this remnant enclosure.

Animal houses and viewing galleries need to be deleted before the enclosure space they take up can be deleted. Although galleries, animal houses, and keeper hut can be saved as a structure and later placed as scenery, when one does this they become standard CSO’s and will not function as they did inside enclosures, even if enclosures are rebuilt around them after they've been placed as CSO's.

Animal Shows

Aquarium, the Dolphin & Orca shows, and The Lion & Tiger Shows are the only flat rides that come as a flat ride map in addition to an animal map.

Animal Keepers

Animal keepers cannot be placed in a park without enclosures. However after they are placed in an enclosure the enclosure can be deleted and the keepers will remain in the park aimlessly looking for dung that cannot exist outside the enclosures that are no longer there. The keepers will then wander around the park taking no notice of guests and crossing paths if necessary to get to the nearest enclosure but will be stopped by the enclosure fencing after which they will continue to walk around the park looking for dung outside the enclosure. If you use the placement tweezers to pick up an animal keeper that is outside the enclosure you will be unable to put her anywhere except inside an enclosure.

Marine Life

Animal enclosures won’t place where there is already a path map, water map, ride map, or coaster map. Outside Aquarium, sharks, rays, and herring only appear below the water surface on the water map. It is only possible to place a water map, e.g., a pond, inside an animal enclosure if the enclosure is already in place.

Sharks, mantas, and herring can't be placed in our park by the gamer but will arrive at our park when the conditions are suitable for them. These conditions require that the bodies of water have enough breadth and depth, with each animal having its own space requirements. When these conditions are met the game engine will call these animals into existence for our enjoyment and will place one shark, one manta, or one school of herring, per X number of water covered terrain tiles.

Herring will appear in water maps placed anywhere about our park including, as mentioned earlier, in ponds inside animal enclosures. Sharks and manta both require larger maps while the bodies of water that they swim in need to border the edge of the terrain. For further details on what we can do to encourage marine life into our parks see this article: Underwater Wildlife About Our Parks.

Bird Life

Ducks are the only animal that comes included with a blank RCT3 landscape: three flocks in formation usually come already in flight above the terrain in a new sandbox. As time passes in your park they’ll arrive and depart either from the west or from the east, coming into or dropping out of existence at a distance of about a hundred terrain tiles beyond the park map boundaries.

The purpose of the ducks seems to be purely decorative as they do little more than enhance the ambience of our park. If we have ducks in our parks they will be doing one of two things:

flying individually or in formation over our parks, and

sitting on our water surfaces individually or in variously sized groupings.

Ducks will only touch down in our park on bodies of water. How long the ducks linger has a lot to do with the bodies of water they find there. If the body of water in your park extends past the terrain boundaries, ducks will occasionally swim off the map. If there are no bodies of water in our parks any ducks present will always be flying overhead without setting down. The master map for them seems to be either in the sky above our parks or on our water surfaces if there are any present. We think it likely that ducks have been included in RCT3 because they were there both in RCT1 and in RCT2. Ducks won't swim in water that's one meter in depth.

Ducks fly at ten meters above the terrain unless they are settling onto or lifting off from water. While observing or working on your park at this height, ducks sometimes like to fly across the gamer’s line of sight. Smaller flocks of ducks usually fly in a simple ‘V’ formation. Larger flocks of ducks often display a more complex flight pattern.

Sharks do not hunt for ducks that happen to be sitting on our water surfaces. In fact, upon their arrival at the water's surface ducks remain unconcerned if there are sharks in the water there and will land in the water near where the sharks are swimming, sometimes right on top of the sharks.

Gulls will arrive and depart your park from about a hundred terrain tiles beyond the map boundaries. Unlike ducks, they’ll enter our park from any direction, sometimes from the side of our park that is closest to the litter or vomit.

For litters, at about the time you receive your first “untidy park” award a single gull will appear on the horizon. Likewise, a gull will arrive after about ten vomits have shown up on your paths. In either case the resulting gull makes a bee-line for the litter or vomit and immediately commences to feed.

Gulls will fly in a straight line, sometimes diagonally, across our parks until they reach a litter or vomit after which they’ll swoop, swerve, and fly in curves. About ten litters and/or vomits will attract one gull. Once they’ve landed they’ll remain on each litter and vomit for about five seconds (gamer time) regardless if the litter or vomit they land on is being trampled by park guests while they’re feeding. When the gull leaves our park it will again fly in a straight line.

To see them circling one spot and then another on our paths is a visible warning to us that those areas of our paths have gone far too long without janitorial attention.

We’ve tested parks with only litters in addition to parks with only vomits and have observed that it takes longer for the same number of gulls to arrive at vomits as they do at litters. While litters will invoke a fine for an untidy park, vomits do not.

Gulls will only touch down in your park on top of a litter or vomit each of which is selected in a random fashion. Unlike ducks, gulls don’t ordinarily gather until it happens that more than one is focused on the same litter or vomit.

In parks with underwater paths, in order to access the litters and vomits beneath the water's surface it is confirmed that gulls will dive to a depth of over ten meters as if the water and the path glass weren't there. Once they're settled on the underwater path they will go through the litters and vomits there as if they're feasting on a standard path. This is more likely to occur in a park in which there has been built a higher ratio of underwater paths in relation to standard paths. In a park with a higher ratio of standard paths the game engine puts the gulls' priority on the litters and vomits above the water surface and in such a park the gulls may only circle, from above the water's surface, any litters and vomits located on underwater paths.

In our test parks, when we deleted the paths and replaced them with litter & vomit free paths the gulls departed almost immediately, with a few of them touching down on the fresh litters and vomits before they left.

Gulls and ducks are the only animals that come with master maps that are bigger than our parks.

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