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I’d previously created a small number of sandbox terrains and have them to hand ready for when I might want to create a new park. The terrain for this park started out as such: a sinuate landscape surrounded by ocean.

Because I wanted a small park I downsized the map. I removed the ocean from outside the park because the freshwater lake I wanted on the property required that the water body did not extend to the park’s edges. This way sharks and mantas wouldn’t appear in the fresh water.

I've never liked the grayed-out horizons that come with rain in RCT3 and tend to choose weather in my parks with little rain. With Desert weather being rainless and too hot I've settled upon using Plains weather. This has just enough rain to justify guests having umbrellas but does not display any raindrops or obliterated horizons. Plains weather also includes a blend of hot and cold temperatures which I think makes it less monotonous for the park guests.

At about the time I had placed some of the paths and had set up the elevators & monorail station it was clear to me that this would become a complete park and it was not too long after this that I got busy filling out the park with all the things it would need.

After a number of changes the park map size evolved into 101 x 110. Just like I did with Vanguard West I gave this park several trial runs before its ‘official’ opening.

Park Entry And Guest Arrivals

Initially I wanted to use this park to place a couple of hundred path tiles to test a path and a queue set I’d made with Path Creator. Because at the time of starting this park I believed it would always be an example park, so I could get on with it I placed a single park entrance underground in a central location, just like the game developers had done in some of the RCT3 scenarios. I had no idea at that time that this would become a full blown park much less that I’d put together a financial summary after I had done that. If I’d known this at the time I placed the park entrance, park entry and guest arrivals might well have turned out to be a little more involved than my arriving guests simply appearing from a tunnel to enter the park.

After my success with Vanguard West in charging £100 for the entry fee I thought I’d begin with a trial of this same amount with Hillside On The Lake. Right off this price seemed a high amount because at first the guests simply did not enter the park. Guests eventually started attending the park some time later but after the first month the park was levied a fine that indicated it was a “Worst Value” park. This value rating and the guests’ reluctance to come to the park stopped being a problem when I settled upon an entry fee of £90.

I managed this by sending all the guests home when I received the Worst Value notification, lowering the admittance price, and then reopening the park and waiting another park month to see if I received another Worst Value fine.  While doing this I discovered that raising or lowering the park's admission price should be done in increments of £10 as smaller increments don't seem to make any difference.

After I got the park entry price sorted and later officially opened the park no further fines were levied. The layout of this park can be seen in these composite images.

Image Enlargement 01, My Projects, My Parks, Hillside On The Lake Financial Summary, Page 1

Image Enlargement 02, My Projects, My Parks, Hillside On The Lake Financial Summary, Page 1

Guest Data

The guest generation rate was set at 80%. Guests were generated by Peep Factory in my standard ratio of 40% grouped guests and 60% lone guests. Grouped guests ranged from groups of 2 guests (about 8%) to groups of 8 guests (about 3%). Lone guests (60%) were made up of Peep Factory generated groups comprised of 1 guest per group.

I’m not happy with the way that the guests are set up by default to enter the park and enjoy the attractions while ignoring the shops and stalls. It’s distressing to see the food courts deserted until long after the park has opened for business. I like to see my food courts  in use from the time the park opens so initial hunger and initial thirst were set at 50% which provides the steady stream of guests to my shops and stalls as soon as people start entering the park.

The initial happiness setting was left at 50%. I did set the preferred ride intensity at 50% before realizing that ride intensity is built into the guests with Peep Factory. Guests arrived at the park holding an average of £150.

Tracks And Rides

Having learned from Vanguard West that flat rides are any park’s biggest earner I’ve since then decided to include more flat rides in my parks while placing less importance on the number of coasters I can build. As a result of that there are only two coasters in this park, a woodie and a steelie. There are a couple of other tracks that I don’t really count as coasters such as Monorail. There’s also a family track with sports cars and several water rides. There are twenty-two flat rides & tracks in this park with about twelve of those being proper flat rides. The Double Carousel is made up of two CFR’s and is considered as a single attraction. Several CTR’s have been used in this park.

Whether stand-alone or accompanying a pool complex water rides are seldom profitable in my parks. Water Tricycles have been placed in this park to add ambience to the harbor while Windsurfer has been included because it’s well liked by park guests. When the windsurfers are in use they add grace and movement to the appearance of our lake. Both Water Tricycles and Windsurfer lost us money for the entire duration of this study yet they drew the guests and except for the fact we always operated them at a loss the level of guest interest in these rides showed they were a plus to our guests’ park visits.

Image 03, My Projects, My Parks, Hillside On The Lake Financial Summary, Page 1

On the other hand Water Tour earned the eighth highest profit of all the rides and tracks and was in the upper half when it came to customers drawn. Bumper Boats attracted a higher number of customers and earned a profit similar to that of Water Tour. However Water Tour and Bumper Boats are CTR’s so interestingly, it seems if we want our water tracks to be successful we’d be better off with their CTR versions.

The Dolphin and Orca shows were profitable in Vanguard West and I thought to put a sea mammal show in Hillside On The Lake but couldn’t find anywhere to put one where it wouldn't appear that I had added it later as an afterthought into this park’s design.

There aren’t a great many queue line televisions or queue line entertainers in this park except for at the monorail queue. Monorail carries a hundred passengers each trip so I was concerned that guests who have been waiting in the queue and who are among the last to board may find the queue times to be a bit long. It’s because of this that there are five queue line televisions in addition to two queue line entertainers in Monorail’s queue.

Image 04, My Projects, My Parks, Hillside On The Lake Financial Summary, Page 1

Considering the length of time it would take to board its one hundred guests in addition to the waiting time of the guests who are in the queue while the boarding takes place We were surprised when it turned out that Monorail displayed a queue waiting time of zero minutes. Conversely, Windsurfer and Sky Sling each show queue times of seven minutes. The Sky Sling queue time came as no surprise because there’s always a queue there, it only takes six guests at a time and I’ve set it up to provide the guests with two circuits.

The Windsurfer queue times were probably due to its high levels of popularity and satisfaction and probably also in addition to the delay in some guests in returning to the station. With Windsurfer’s huge queue observed early on it was decided to offer nearly fifty Windsurfer craft rather than the original ten. Had we not done this Windsurfer’s queue time might have been nearly thirty minutes rather than the recorded seven minutes. Notwithstanding the information presented in this paragraph and the previous, collectively the park’s queue times averaged at one minute.

The only other ride with a queue line television in addition to a queue line entertainer is Turbo Bikes. Because they occasionally accumulate queuing guests there is a queue line television at Balloon Flight and also at Sports Cars. For some reason I had omitted placing a queue line television at Sky Sling.

We review how the Monorail in this park could display a queue waiting time of zero minutes in spite of the fact it takes a considerable time to board 100 riders here in our article Calculating Queue Waiting Times.

Maximum Guest Attraction

Even though this turned out to be a fully functional park I wanted to keep things small and simple this time around as a result of which there are no animal enclosures, no pool complex, and no water park area on this property. In fact Hillside On The Lake is so small that the maximum guest attraction level is 2,200 guests.

Vanguard West slammed into its 4,500 maximum guest attraction level and the game engine stopped sending new guests to the park for about a month while guest generation recovered itself. Hillside On The Lake slowly segued almost unnoticed into its 2,200 maximum which is confirmed by the fact that the park entry ticket income never fell off sharply nor did it ever slow considerably. The park simply reached 2,200 guests after which attendance gradually fluctuated between 2,200 and 2,000 guests with the park experiencing no financial hardship due to any cliff-edge drop-off in park entry income.

Food Courts

There are two food courts, two mini food courts and a drinks island in this park. These are made up of nine food stalls, thirteen drinks stalls, and six stalls that sell treats such as cotton candy, donuts, and ice cream. I made sure there were an ample number of toilets, information booths, and A.T.M.’s. There turned out to be an unfortunate shortage of drinks stalls in Vanguard West and here in Hillside On The Lake I made a point of putting enough of them around. The financial data for this park shows that the average number of customers per drinks stall is a little higher than average number of customers per food stall. The numbers are close but they show I could have put two or three more drinks stalls throughout the park. This would suggest that in our parks the ideal combination of drinks stalls in relation to food stalls is nearly two to one.

Along with TexMod and with CSO’s most of the in-game stalls have rather grown on me. I’ve privately released an enhanced version of my uploaded TexMod Stalls and Facilities ReTextures and it’s probably getting close to time for a publicly released update. The in-game stalls have been especially enhanced in this park with the use of surrounding planters and baseplate decals.

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I’ve for years believed that each of the stalls was roughly centred on its terrain tile. I can see with the circular design I chose for the stall baseplate decals that most of the stalls are a great deal more than just a little off-centre. In spite of that these baseplate decals and the planters along with TexMod do a great deal to pull the stalls together and give them a coordinated appearance. With the baseplate decals even the Hot Cocoas stall has an improved appearance.

Merchandise & Guest Services

Any stall offering merchandise instead of food & drink falls under this heading and in this park that includes the Balloons stall and the Souvenirs stall. Umbrellas have been made available from the Information stalls which are considered to be facilities. Any facility in this park has been listed as a guest service.

There are five A.T.M.’s in this park, one at each corner of the park and one centrally located near the middle of the Main Staircase.

There are also eleven information stalls most of which, because I wanted them placed about similarly to the money dispensers, are within a distance of ten or fifteen path tiles from the A.T.M.’s. Where possible the thirteen toilets have been placed about this same distance from the information stalls, sometimes in multiples of two. While I have taken care to keep all these facilities near each other, in each place that there are facilities I didn’t want to give the appearance that they’ve all been bunched together.

In spite of the fact I can retexture them with TexMod I can’t get myself to like those in-game toilets so in this park I’ve used CSO buildings for the toilets. I’m still considering the creation of some sort of purpose-built design for my own toilet CSO’s.

I’m also not happy with the in-game information booths so I’ve used TexMod retextures for my favorite in-game custom stall, eleven of which I’ve set up as Information stalls throughout the park. In the future I’ll add a rack to one side in front of the sign and some CSO merchandise to the rear wall inside of this custom stall, perhaps some brochures or booklets on racks.

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I wasn’t sure what I could do to the in-game custom stall to make it obvious it’s an Information stall until I got the idea to create an image with a letter i and to place that on the stall’s billboards. I’m very satisfied with the image that I created.

With TexMod I’ve come to like the appearance of the in-game A.T.M. but am considering making one that looks similar without that giant coin on the top. I really like the cupped shape into which they’ve put the money dispenser, the keypad, and the screen and I’ll probably make one just like it when I create my own.

The six elevators in this park have been placed for guest convenience rather than their being there specifically as rides so they’re considered to be guest services.


Throughout the park all the paths are suspended on custom supports. Except for the park entrance tunnel there is no walkway in the park that has been built directly on the terrain. I made the paths and queues with Path Creator. The path supports were developed especially for these paths in this park. I like to think because of the way these paths are supported that woodland creatures living about the park can easily get around and access the lake without being timid about crossing guest paths.

Image 07, My Projects, My Parks, Hillside On The Lake Financial Summary, Page 1

This also aids in park cleanliness by preventing animals access throughout the park which might see them ending up in our storerooms. For aesthetic reasons it’s a good idea to keep forest creatures off the paths because some of the guests who might not be so environmentally aware might see such animals as vermin.

Rather than assembling paths & queues like children’s building blocks that have plain surfaces and flat bottoms I prefer paths and queues with bordered, tiled patterns and shaped bottoms all of which need a great many supporting CSO pieces and several path & baseplate decals in order to look like they should when they are in place and actually being used in a park.

Image 08, My Projects, My Parks, Hillside On The Lake Financial Summary, Page 1

After experimenting with Path Creator and discovering the number of supporting CSO's needed to make paths and queues look just as I like them, and after noticing while collating the screenshots for this park that I hadn't quite placed all the accompanying CSO's that were required, I have concluded it would be simpler to create path & queue CSO's outright and to rely on invisible paths & queues.