First off let me tell you that English isn’t my first language so you might experience some engrish along the way ;)
In RCT there are endless possibilities in custom park design and therefore also in strategy. I would like to share my strategy or basic game setup if you like. This will hopefully give you a good base to start off on and develop your own way of doing things. Money is key to success in RCT so it is natural for us to start here. You have the option of charging and entrance fee and to charge for the different rides and stalls. I would advise you to do both.
Start the scenario off by setting the entrance fee to 2 USD (or whatever currency you have selected it has no effect on the gameplay). If the fee is already higher than 2 USD keep it there. As you develop your park the guests will start commenting on the low entrance fee. When they do that bump it up with additional 2 USD and keep doing that everytime the message appears. Eventually you will have an entrance fee of 30 USD and therefore some guests will only have 10 USD to spend once they get inside. This is not an issue as you will keep attracting guests and want the guests with no money left to leave and free up sp. ace for the guests with money.
The financial aspect of rides
A basic setup to charge on the rides:
Gentle rides – 1.50 USD
Thrill rides – 2.00 USD
Coasters - 3.00 or 4.00 USD depending on the stats of the coaster.
As time passes guests wants to pay less than the above stated. When that happens take down the price with 0.50 USD everytime the ride is losing money. Sometimes it makes sense to lower the price so that more guests pays for a ride. 2 guests paying 4 USD is not as good as 5 guests paying 3 USD.
Gentle rides and thrill rides are pretty cheap to build but will not give you a very high income in the long run because their capacity isn’t high enough for the big dollars. That is why you want to build coasters. Preferably one which holds to trains or more. Trains = capacity and the higher guest capacity the more money you make.
It is very tempting to build a custom coaster with loops and corks and all that and it can be good for your economy but when first starting out build a small coaster. The small coaster will help you get income and a good reputation which attracts more guests. The Shuttle Loop is a very good money maker. Build two of those and you will have a cash cow for 4+ years. It doesn’t look like much but the ride time is very low meaning that more guests can go through the gate putting money in your spending account.
When you build a coaster you have to look at the stats being Nausea, Intensity and Excitement. This determines which guests will ride you coaster. I you have a coaster with a high Nausea and intensity level a little percentage of your guests will ride it. And as we know from above we need to reach a bigger crowd generating more guests going on your ride. Therefore you need the excitement rating to be high without pushing the nausea and intensity out of bounds.
Smaller coasters such as the shuttle loop or a custom corkscrew coaster with to corks will create that excitement you need and just be handing over cash to you as you go along. Another great thing about these coasters is that they don’t take up a lot of space.
So pros is low ride time, good excitement and low space requirements.
Does this mean you should not build that custom big coaster? No. Of course you shall. Its fun and it will make money. Just wait till your income is stable. ;)
Shops and stalls
Should definatly be build so that your guests can have something to drink and eat. Information kiosks sells maps that helps a lot in big parks and umbrellas for the rainy days.
You can bump up the price in the stalls a little bit if you like but you can easily win with the standard prices.
Marketing and loan
You are given some options in the marking tab. Some includes free tickets. As a park owner we don’t like free stuff for guests so we are gonna stay away from that.
You should use the park advertisement. It generates more guests who will spend money in your park. There is no discount if you pay two weeks or 5 weeks so pay what you can but remember to have some rides in your park when you start advertising.
When you build a new coaster advertise it for two weeks or so to get a good start.
Different scenarios give you the option to loan money. Maximize your loan and start building. The loan interest is very low and you can easily make that and a lot more by building a coaster. At the end of the scenario you want to pay back you loan to improve company value.
Hiring staff will of course cost you money but they do provide a service that is essential for your park success. When ever your ride breaks down and you have to wait for your mechanic to walk from the other end of the park to fix your coaster you are losing money. You should rather hire one more mechanic and have him do nothing than end up in the other situation.
The handyman will sweep your paths and make the guests happy that they are not in a disgusting state. Have one at all coaster exits.
Security guards will stop vandalism and is their pay worth when you realize you don’t have to waste time by replacing benches. You are the park manger and have more important things to do like creating awesome coasters!
Last but not least is the research option. Set it to Maximum and research thrill rides and coasters. On some scenarios you need some shops at the very beginning. Read the scenario guide on here to find out which.
New rides means new money.
So that’s it. My basic finance guide which will give you success if you use it. You can of course maximize your income with tweaks but this will get you started.
Thanks for reading and have fun, that’s what it’s all about!