Park Boss Read Me
This document gives some instructions on how to play Park Boss from N A Soft.
The game has been designed to be intuitive so that this manual and the amount of learning time for the game can be kept small.
Introduction to Park Boss
The purpose of Park Boss is to build an amusement park from the ground up. As the boss everything regarding your park is under your control. The rides you add, the staff you employ and how much you pay them, the types of meals you serve, how much to charge for them, the advertising, dealing with situations which arise and balancing the need to keep your visitors happy with making money. Remember that unless you make money you canít build new attractions. There is no end to the game. You can keep playing and building as long as you like. There are over 70 attractions you can build along with 15 different zones you can setup. Every so often youíll get an offer to by the park. This is equivalent to selling up and taking the money. When you do sell then you invest all the money in to purchasing new land and you start all over again.
Park Boss is free to download and distribute however if you would like to see it further developed, including maybe porting it to apple devices, then you can support the development of this, and possible future games by donating at www.ndadamson.com.
Credits and thanks
There are a number of people who should be thanked. My test team; Reinhard, Carlos, Marcus, Brad, Kamochek, Mohammad, Nicholas, Moritz, Ryan, Jondalar, Philip, Claire and Paul. This game is far better because of their input than it was before we started the testing process, Thank you so much.
Those who provided voices for me; Sean, Dave, Shaun, Derry, Rick, Paul and Jack. Andre Louis for some of the music in the game and all the contributors at freesound.org for creating a fantastic database of sounds.
Finally I want to thank My wife and Kids for putting up with me during the many hours of development that went in to this game.
Playing the game
The game play is pretty simple. Nearly everything in Park Boss is a menu. Use the arrow keys to adjust values or select menu options, enter to activate and escape to save you're setting and go back.
Most of the work is done in the office. From here you can access all the various options available to you. Itís also important to walk around the park. Not only does it give you a sense of what youíve created, it also gives you the opportunity to enjoy some of the attractions but more importantly speak to your guests.
Global hot keys
The following hot keys can be used at any time during game play.
- The f1 key tells you the week number and what day it is. Weeks start on a Monday. Park state is assessed at the beginning of the week so expect emails and your customers view of the park to change at the beginning of the week.
- F2 reports your current bank balance.
- F3 brings up your email window, you can also get to this from the office. Use the delete key to remove emails youíve dealt with, hit escape to leave your inbox.
- F4 pauses the game. Hitting f4 again or escape un-pauses. By pausing the game you stop time but cannot interact with the game.
Walking the park
The option to walk the park can be found in the main menu. When you choose to walk the park the park loads, this can take a couple of seconds depending on how many attractions youíve built.
If youíre at the beginning of the game the park may be closed, you will be told if this is the case and how to open it.
While you're walking the park the following keys can be used. Donít forget the global hot keys listed above.
The arrow keys move between squares. Initially the park is in a grid, 10 by 10 squares. More land can be bought if you run out of space. An attraction can take up to 6 squares, when you build the attraction youíre told how big the attraction is.
The space bar can be used to say what is on the current square. Listen out for the prompt that tells you that you can have a go at an attraction, thatís when enter can be used.
The enter key can be used to interact with some attractions. In the case of Whack a Rat and the darts game you can play the games. Instructions will be given. In the case of the large rollercoaster, small rollercoaster or rapids you can ride the rides. In the case of the monorail when the train is in the station you can get on, ride the monorail to a different station and get off. To get off hit enter again.
The ítí key can be used to talk to your visitors. Hit this key while in the park and theyíll tell you what they think of your park. Listen to this information very carefully as it gives you ideas on how to improve your visitors satisfaction level. The satisfaction level of your visitors directly impacts on how many visitors you get a week. If they arenít happy then less of them will come which means less income.
The escape key leaves the park and returns you back to the main menu.
Your virtual office is where you get access to most of the settings in Park Boss. When youíre in the office you are sitting in front of the computer that controls the Park. Everything on the computer is a menu. Use the arrow keys to adjust items or change selections. Enter to select and escape to save your settings and go back. The following sections give details of the options available to you however Park Boss has been designed to help you as you go, youíre prompted on how to achieve tasks while you play. Remember that control can be used to stop any speech and move on to the menu options, this can be useful as your experience grows.
In the below sections Iíve been careful not to give to many details about how to make a successful park, working this out is what makes the game fun.
The park status screen is pretty important. It tells you the week to week running of the park, how many visitors you're getting per week, how happy they are, how much they are spending, which attractions are open or closed, how much money youíve got in your bank account, how much money youíve got coming in, how much going out and so on. The numbers and information on this screen is read only, you cannot adjust anything in this screen and itís updated once a week on a Monday.
The email screen accessible from the office menu or by hitting f3 at any time gives you special information such as messages from your staff, events that have happened and so on. You get notified by a sound when a new email is received. Use the arrow keys to move up and down your email list, youíll be told if you've seen this message or not and when it was received. Use the control key to stop the speech and the delete key to delete a message. You donít need to reply to messages.
The attraction management screen gives you the ability to build or remove attractions, bye more land, open your park and if applicable rebuild rides that canít be repaired. There are instructions as you go with this screen but just as an idea to build an attraction do the following.
Select the type of attraction, as your park becomes more successful more categories will become available to you.
Select the attraction from the category, youíre told quite a lot of information about the attraction before you add it, the key bits are how much it costs to build, how much it costs to run it, how big it is and how much maintenance itíll need.
Once youíve selected your attraction youíre then presented with the grid where you can place the attraction. Each square can have only 1 attraction on it and the ride size includes any queue management systems and paths needed, you donít need to leave space between attractions. Also the monorail can go over the top of attractions so you donít need to leave space for its track.
Youíll be told if you canít afford an attraction or if there isnít space to build the attraction where youíve selected.
The employee management screen gives you the options to employ and fire 3 different categories of staff.
Attraction Operators actually run your attractions, they are the cooks in your kitchens, the people who run your roller coasters and the staff in your shops. Typically each attraction needs 2 operators.
Entertainers arenít assigned to a particular attraction but walk around the park making your visitors happy, they are the people in the marching band or in costume. At lease 9 entertainers make up a marching band, which you can here if you go to the park.
Maintenance staff are your cleaners and repair people. They keep your park running. Each attraction has an associated maintenance cost in the number of hours per week needed to keep the attraction running.
Remember that you need to allow enough staff to cover holidays, sickness and so on.
For each type of staff you can increase or decrease the number of staff you employ and set they're hourly wage, each type of staff have different expectations for a good wage and its based on how many visitors you have. Each employee works 40 hours a week.
You can optionally split your park in to different zones. There are 15 to choose from. You can use as many or as view as you like. Zoning your park doesnít change anything about the options regarding attractions or impact your customer satisfaction level, it just gives you the ability to identify particular sections of the park. A zone affects the attraction decoration and entertainers costumes. Each zone has associated theme music which you can here as you walk the park. Youíre also told when you change zones.
The cost management screen enables the setting of the cost of entering the park the average snack price and the average meal price. Depending on how much you charge for a snack or meal will impact on how many of your visitorís bye that item. Setting it to low means that you wonít make as much money as you could, setting it to high means that less people will spend money.
The ticket price is how much each visitor pays to get in to the park. Once in visitors donít have to pay to ride rides, but do have to pay to play games or buy something at a snack stand, restaurant or shop. The ticket price can grow as you build more attractions. Talking to your visitors as you walk the park will give you a good hint as to weather you're charging too much, too little or a fair amount. If you charge to much your satisfaction level will drop and less people will come to the park. It's a careful balancing act to get the cost level right.
You can run 3 types of marketing campaign, news paper, radio or TV. Each time you run a particular campaign the cost rises to run the same type of cam pane next time. The campaign runs for a week and its success level is variable. Youíll get an email at the end of the week telling you how successful the campaign was.
If your bank account balance is low you can run a news paper campaign on credit, Youíre given the option to add this to any existing loan. This is only for news paper campaigns, it cannot be used for radio or TV.
The park report cost £10000, which is added to your loan amount. This can be used to audit your park and give you a report. It advices you on how much you should be paying your staff, what attractions you need, what your parks draw factor is, what a suggested ticket price is and so on. Itís been designed to help those struggling to balance the books, be aware that over using this option can make the game less interesting to play.
When you run the report you get an email with the result but itís also added to your computers clipboard. This means that it could be pasted in to an application like word or notepad for detailed studying. Please be aware that the content of this report is only assessed for a given week, generating a report twice in the same week, even if you've changed options, will generate the same information. This is not a bug, rather itís to emulate the changes taking effect on the attitude of your visitors.
Visit The Bank
By visiting the bank you can get a loan or pay back an existing loan. You can borrow up to £50000 each week. Youíll get charged interest on your loan. When you start a new park visiting the bank and setting costs is probably one of the first things youíll need to do.
Leave The Office
This option returns you to the main menu.
Tips and Tricks for creating a successful park
Before reading this section it's highly suggested that you try playing the game. It should only be read if you're continuing to struggle to create a success of your park as it includes a number of spoilers and explains how the park is assessed, knowing this can help make a success of your park but can also reduce the interest factor as some of the challenge of playing can be lost.
Having said all of that some players may need to know the following:
- Careful use of the park reports can be used to explain how your park is assessed. It gives you suggestions on how much your employees should be paid, how much you should be charging for tickets and what extra attractions should be added to make your visitors happy.
- Each attraction has an associated draw factor. Rides and kidís rides have the biggest draw factors, followed by games, restaurants and then snack stands. The draw factor is the key part to getting visitorsí in. The higher the draw factor the more people you get in, the more you can charge them and so on. Facilities donít tend to have a draw factor but they are needed to help your visitors.
- At minimum you should have a customer services, at least 1 toilet and a picnic area.
- A shop is a great way to make a lot of money, having multiple shops is a way of increasing the amount visitors spend.
- Snack stands and restaurants are good at making money however if you fill your park with lots of shops, snack stands and restaurants but not many rides then you wonít get many visitors.
- When you leave the attraction management menu in the office youíre told the minimum staff that you need to run your park. Always try to give an extra 10% on top of this to allow for staff sickness and holidays.
- Entertainers are useful as they entertain your visitors while they are waiting for attractions, If your customers say the kids are board while waiting in the queues when you speak to them in the park employ more entertainers. Use the park stats screen to tell you whatís happening and give you an overview of the park status.
- Remember to check your emails.
- In terms of attraction numbers you need 1 customer services per 2500 visitors to the park and 1 toilet per 500 visitors. Customer satisfaction can drop if you donít meet these minimum requirements.
- Remember that quite often you have to spend money to make it but donít go over the top. If youíve loaned more than £150000 then youíve probably got the wrong idea.
The best way to get Park boss support is via twitter, just tweet @n_a_soft alternatively use the contact us form at www.ndadamson.com to send me a message. Please be aware that I am fitting Park boss development and support around a day job and young family so it may take a couple of days or so for me to get back to you. You could also try asking your questions on the audiogames.net forum.
Have fun playing.