Power of the Handshake


Staff management in games is boring. You want your staff to do what they are meant to, if they don’t the game isn’t fun. This is especially true if you have to micro manage individual staff. Planet Coaster suffered from this badly when it was first released. You were required to check in on staff periodically to give them training (pay a chunk of money) or give them a raise. This had to be done on a separate window for each member of staff. If this didn’t happen they would get upset and leave. After a few months a patch was done which let you do this for all in one spreadsheet like window, definitely an improvement but still a chore. If you don’t keep tickling your staff they eventually get upset and leave. There are a few other factors that come in to play but generally it boils down to a mechanic of keeping the plates spinning. More than this it is jarring compared to the rest of the game, staff management feels like it is there because Frontier felt like it needed to be there. But it doesn’t add anything, they could have had Staff automatically level up and get a rise which would have at least been in sync with the games upbeat and positive mood. In summery if you don’t keep on top of the staff you have to replace them. It isn’t a big deal, you don’t feel particularly attached to them, you do loose any money you’ve in invested in their training.

Theme Park’s way of dealing with staff, wages and salary was inspired in its simplicity. You hire staff then occasionally you have to negotiate with their representative. If the staff want a 20% raise, you clearly want to give them 0% and so you have to meet somewhere in the middle. This is blanket, you don’t individually assign wages to people, everyone gets a flat percentage increase. The threat if you don’t meet the negotiators demands is that the staff can and often do go on strike. This cripples your park for the duration and makes the rating plummet as rides break down due to all the vomit clogging them up. Its simple, effective and doesn’t get in the way of the minute to minute game play. This is a prime example of boiling down a mechanic to its purest form.

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