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Parchment Background Image for Hall of Fame Spring 2017, Park CleanUp on FlightToAtlantis.net Please turn to Page 2

This author could not bring himself to publish a piece on Park CleanUp without first identifying it as a Wonder Utility because that’s truly what it is. Just like the automobile, the home PC, and the microwave oven: after we’ve got it it’s one of those things we don’t know how we ever got by without. It is only fitting that Park CleanUp takes pride of place as the inaugural attraction in our Hall Of Fame.






In The Beginning






While playing RCT3 we eventually reach the point where our park is huge, it’s busy, and it won’t take much more of what we want to throw at it. Then the inevitable happens: the park has grown too big to open and we can’t do any more work in it.






When this happens, sometimes we opt to go back a few iterations to a previous park save that will open and then make deletions or reductions of one sort or another from there. If we haven’t saved frequently enough, sometimes all but our most previous iterations will take us back too far and we will undo too much by going back more than a few saves.






If one chooses to go back to a previous park save, when deleting or reducing a park in this way we should save the park after every few deletions so if our park still crashes while we’re trying to reduce it, each time we re-load it we're that much further along with the deletions.






Before Park CleanUp we’d have no choice but to try and delete & reduce in this time-consuming and unreliable manner, or to abandon our park and move on to a new one.






Why Do We Need Park CleanUp?






Those of us who have ended up with unworkable park files and opted to make deletions in a previous park save usually noticed that no matter how much we deleted and saved we couldn’t shake the feeling that we hadn’t made any difference to the laggy, crashy performance of our park. Let's explore the reasons behind that:







A

While launching, RCT3 will create references to every resource (every track, each flat ride, all scenery objects, the stalls, the in-game people, every path type, right down to each particle effect) that we have installed in the Program Files folder, and also in some of the other folders we’ve set up as accessible to RCT3 (e.g., My Documents/RCT3, Music/RCT3).


B

When loading a specific park, RCT3 checks the references as previously saved by it in our park file with the resources it has referenced while loading the current gaming session. For example, if the park save file we want to open includes references for Ubuntu’s Safari Plains Vegetation Set and we’ve since saving that park uninstalled that set, RCT3 will crash while loading that park because it cannot match the references it's written into our park file with the set that we've uninstalled. If we had Safari Plains Vegetation Set installed when we saved our park, even if we did not place any items in our park from that vegetation set before uninstalling it, RCT3 has referenced that set in our park save and still expects to find that set inside our Themed folder when re-opening that park.


C

When saving our parks RCT3 will save everything in A into our park file as references, will save references to everything that is in our park, and save references to every item we rolled our mouse wheel over in every menu that we browsed while we were enjoying our park. Some of us have doubtlessly observed that many times when our parks crash it is while we are rolling through the in-game menus.






Perhaps most importantly to us as game players, many of these references are also used by the game engine to draw every single item that's in our park, and to render the polys of the items in our park in such a way that the animals look like animals, the terrain looks like terrain, the bodies of water in our parks look like water, to render particle effects, display weather, display animations, and so on.






Other references will further tell our graphics card to draw those polys differently based on the distance the items are from us in the park, whether it’s a glossy item or a matte item, whether it's night or day in our park, to display on our screen the polys we can currently see in our park based on our antialiasing settings, to display the perspective in our park based on whether our camera settings are freelook or advanced, or whether to ignore drawing an item at all because we’ve either turned our LOD settings down to zero or have altogether switched off the visibility of that item type.






Some of these references are used by the game engine while compiling the content, state, condition and value of our park. These references also serve the inhabitants of our park. Such references might:







tell our animals where food, water, & the enclosure fences are, let our animals know if there’s another animal nearby to play with, advise the animal keeper that it's feeding time, and warn us which animals are sick, with this data being subtracted from our park rating;


advise the janitor which path tile he should go to next to clear up, remind him if there is a litter bin along the way, summon the gulls if the paths have been untended for too long, and then add further references to our park rating about the overall state of our paths;


inform our mechanic it is time to inspect pool complex & advise him of the strength of the cleaner he is to use when he gets there, information from which the game engine can rate the state of the water in our pool, can warn us that no mechanic can access our pool for maintenance, and further modify guest attitudes towards our pool complex based on the condition of our pool water.






So as you see some of the references generated by RCT3 are used by the game engine when compiling our park rating and can further indicate to our park guests they are safe because there’s a security guard nearby, can tell guests where the loungers or diving boards are in our pool complex, can map out if there are enough stalls about for a drink & what path guests should take in order to quench their thirst, or inform guests that there’s lots of scenery about in our parks & that we as park managers spared no expense.






This situation with references is compounded if we delete something from our parks, because the references created by the object that is now deleted will remain listed in our park file, yet the new item we’ve placed will bring with it its own set of references. If we’ve worked on the same park for six months, theoretically our park can contain about the same MB amount of park content in month 6 that it had during month 4, but between month 4 and 6 while we’ve fine tuned our park and have deleted/replaced some of the park’s content, the references added to our park file by month 6 have bloated our park’s filesize by several MB. Although an annoyance to us, while most of the references created by RCT3 serve a useful purpose, an excess of references reduces the stability of our game and increases park load times.






Joey’s Park CleanUp Enters the Picture






Park CleanUp will get us around this by stripping all these references from our park file. Reference-glutted parks that won’t load before Park CleanUp will load after using it. After using Park CleanUp you’ll open your game and feel as if a gust of fresh air has breathed a new lease on life into your park.






How To Get Park CleanUp







To be sure you have the latest version, download here.


There are no other files needed. Joey’s compiled everything his utility needs into one download.


After extracting Park CleanUp you can put it where convenient. It doesn’t have to be anywhere in particular. For clarity let’s create a new folder.


So you can see exactly what’s going on, move your new compressed Park CleanUp download into the new folder you just created.


Extract the download. Delete or store the .zip file.


Start the .exe file.


Go to the Settings tab and ensure Park CleanUp can find your RCT3plus.exe file.


And there you are, Park CleanUp opened and ready to use. While this author has successfully updated previous versions of Park CleanUp Joey recommends we never update this version.


If you wish to move Park CleanUp to another location on your computer do not move the .exe file, rather, move the entire Park CleanUp 2.1.0 folder and all the files inside it (those are the .exe resource files) to the location of your choice.






How To Use Today’s Park CleanUp, and Why






Before you can get Park CleanUp to do anything with a park you need to load a park first. After doing that you might be wondering what it is Park CleanUp could actually do for you.






Before Using Park CleanUp







As an added precaution always copy your park files and work with the copy – just in case.


Clean up your park file in Park CleanUp before starting anything else in this utility so there is no unnecessary data cluttering up your Park CleanUp results.






After Park File Prep, Park CleanUp Will:







Display a graph of the individual groupings it has made of the contents of our park file. These groupings are color coded and displayed in a bar chart format. The edges of the Park CleanUp display can be dragged out to make Park CleanUp a larger size in order to get a bigger view of the bar chart.


Display a list of all the data that it’s found in our park. This list usually numbers in the tens of thousands of items, and as it’s possible to set Park CleanUp to automatically delete any unused items, except to individually see what these items are we’re not entirely sure what the purpose of this list is.


Park CleanUp is handy for seeing what CS set we need to have installed for the successful loading of our park. What with all the great CS available and with the endless alterations we make to our Themed folders, before revisiting a park It’s a good idea to routinely check a copy of it in Park CleanUp to be sure that what needs to be installed is where it needs to be.








Park CleanUp can create lists of missing content.



Park CleanUp can create lists of required content.





The most thorough way to clean up a park is to move all the CS out of your Themed folder, clean up the park file, run a check for missing content, then replace the missing content into your Themed folder. After this:







The park file references deleted by Park Cleanup will stay deleted for any custom content that you don't reinstall. This is handy for gamers who like to start a park with, say, 500 sets in Themed, who a month or two later when they know in what direction their park is headed, decide that they only need 100 of those sets in their Themed folder for that park.


References will stay deleted that are listed in your park file as a result of excessively rolling your mouse through the menus to view content - until you again roll your mose over the items listed in the menus. Rolling your mouse over the menu scroll bars instead of over the items in the menus will minimize flooding our park file with references.






An Enhanced Gaming Experience






Having cleared out your Themed folder, cleaned up your park file, and made up a list of required CS for your park, one can then reinstall only that scenery that is necessary for that park. This will increase the performance of the park in addition to streamlining the park’s filesize.






Also in Park CleanUp is a removal aid that will remove unwanted rides, tracks and stalls from your park without your actually opening the park. This is handy if you created a park, say, last year, and you want to open it now but you’ve uninstalled something that park needs which is no longer available for download. You can simply remove the item from your park file with Park CleanUp.






Under the Settings tab there are some Park CleanUp developer options. These options include an intelligent park cleaning alogorithm.






There is also a tab called Live in which there is a beta test of a park time changer.