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What would you do with a million dollars? In one episode of the cult cartoon show South Park, precocious pudgy preteen Eric Cartman decides to spend the million dollars left to him by his late grandmother on his own theme park. With no pesky visitors, he’s free to ride all the rides by himself, but his plan soon comes undone when he has to hire maintenance staff and other workers to keep things going. Fortunately, you don’t need an unexpected windfall to have a go at running your own Theme Park, you just need a copy of Theme Park World (or Sim Theme Park in the United States). Now you can design your own amusement paradise, research new rides, hire and fire staff all from the comfort of your computer chair. Theme Park World includes both a simulation and a sandbox mode, letting budding entrepreneurs run a fully functional Theme Park, while younger players can simply design a park without worrying too much about the boring business side.
Theme Park World should install without any issues on a modern PC. Simply insert the CD and follow the on-screen prompts. If the CD does not auto-run, explore the contents of the CD in Windows Explorer or File Explorer and run the “Autorun.exe” file. You should then see a menu allowing you to install the game.
Before playing Theme Park World on a modern PC, you must install the version 2.0 patch. You can download the patch here. Simply run the patch once it has downloaded and the game will start.
Running the game
Theme Park World should start without too many problems on a Windows 7 PC, as long as you installed the 2.0 patch as discussed above. Unfortunately on our Windows 8 machine we were not able to get the game to start at all. The game would start to play the intro then inform us that “TP.ICD” had stopped working.
Tweaking visual quality
Before you start planning your amazing new park, you might want to take a moment to tweak the games settings for best results on a modern PC. To access the games settings, start a game then press the Escape (Esc) key. This should open the games menu. Now, choose “Options”. On a modern PC you should be able to turn all the quality options up to the maximum without any drop in performance. Set the options as follows for best results.
Near the top left of the screen there should be an option “3D Card Rendering”. Make sure this is enabled.
Change the screen resolution to 800×600. Later in the guide we’ll show you how you can increase this even further. Remember Theme Park World is a non-widescreen (4:3) aspect ratio game. If you are playing on a widescreen monitor, you should have black borders at the sides of the screen.
Change the graphics quality slider to High and the Audio Quality to 100%.
Configure all other options to taste.
There are also some hidden options for screen resolution we can access by editing a text file within the games directory. If you want to do this, follow these steps:-
1) Exit the game if you haven’t done so already.
2) Browse to the games installation folder using Windows Explorer. By default this is C:\Program Files\Bullfrog\Theme Park World on 32 bit systems and C:\Program Files (x86)\Bullfrog\Theme Park World on 64 bit systems.
3) Find a file called _Resolution.sam and rename it to Resolution.sam (remove the underscore character at the start of the file name).
4) Click on the Resolution.sam file and choose to open it in Notepad. Inside this file you will see a note explaining how to activate extra resolutions. Amazingly for such an old game, Theme Park World actually supported high definition screen resolutions. However, the monitors at the time were not widescreen, so you probably want to avoid modes like 1600×1200 or 2048×1536.
5) To change to one of the extra resolutions, locate the line beginning “Res.RESOLUTION” at the very bottom of the file, then simply change the number on this line according to the instructions in the text file. For instance, to use 1280×1024 screen mode (works best on a 1080p monitor) use “Res.RESOLUTION 5”. Don’t forget to save your changes when you are done.
6) If you did everything correctly, next time you start the game it should start in your chosen screen resolution.
You’re now all set to start planning and building your park, have fun!
Can you submit a fix?
Know how to get this game working in Windows 8? Help the community by submitting a comment and letting us know!