Plushie Tycoon Supplemental Guide
BEYOND THE BASICS
Plushie Tycoon is a puzzle game, and as such, will require the player to figure things out to be successful.
For the first time player, the challenge is mainly trying to understand the game concepts while keeping a game alive – how to navigate through the game menu?… what's an update?... what plushies do I build?… when and how to build them?… how do I make profit?… how many workers should I hire and when do I fire them?... when will the jobs load? Such are basic questions and these are nicely covered in the ~Maplehood guide and FAQ page (~Caxus#faq).
This help page will not tackle PT basics and is NOT intended to replace ~Maplehood, ~GrundyTycoon, ~Caxus, or any other recommended PT guides out there. This page is a SUPPLEMENT to those guides, aimed to give you a better understanding of important aspects of the game as well as offer tips and strategies for new challenges beyond first few builds.
This page contains the following sections:
1. Understanding the Warehouse
2. Understanding the Workforce
3. Plushie Selling Prices
4. Plushie Sales Rates
5. Managing the Taxman
6. PT Acronyms and Terminologies
~ UNDERSTANDING THE WAREHOUSE ~
Notes on Warehouse from the ~Maplehood guide:
Link to ~Maplehood page, CLICK HERE
You now have a handful of jobs loading in your warehouse. This will take a while. How long depends on the current level of your warehouse (it should be the basic level 1, as you should not spend money on upgrading the warehouse on startup. We'll deal with that later) and how many jobs are in the warehouse. For a chart, scoot back to GrundyTycoon to see how long you'll have to twiddle your thumbs. It will typically be 3-4 hours.
The warehouse loads plushies 24/7, and are not tied to the updates. This means plushes can load and ship at any time, regardless of what time it is in your game.
Once they are done loading, they will have a checkbox next to them. Tick off the checkboxes and ship the plushies. This cost 278 nps per 100 plushies.
How to Use the Warehouse Loading Time Chart (WLTC) in ~GrundyTycoon
Link to ~GrundyTycoon page, CLICK HERE
First off, the notes above the chart explain the how the warehouse works. So let's list them here again for emphasis (thank you Robbikins, I know you won't mind *hugs*):
• The loading time of each job does NOT start automatically by update time (:01 past the hour), but starts when you retrieve your update.
(NOTE: To 'retrieve your update', open a PT page preferrably the Main Page because some pages don't necessarily update your game. If you already have a PT page open, click on the 'Main Page' link from the menu bar at the top of the screen.)
• The chart shows the loading times for size 100 jobs. For 200s, double the time. For 300s, triple the time, and so on.
• Shipping cost is always 278 NPs per 100 plushies. You can see how much each job costs to ship in your warehouse.
• If you already have some jobs in the warehouse, adding more jobs will lengthen their loading time.
(NOTE: This may cause some jobs that are already 'loaded' go back to 'loading' status.)
• Shipping some jobs will shorten the loading time of the remaining jobs.
• It takes 5 minutes, from when you ship, for the jobs to arrive in the store.
Now, let's check out the chart and its components:
The rows show the warehouse level, and the columns show total number of jobs in warehouse for up to 18 jobs of 100s jobsize. To look-up the loading time, get the intersection of your warehouse level and total number of jobs in warehouse.
Given: warehouse level = 1, jobs in warehouse = 4 jobs of 100s
- Loading time: 3 hrs and 36 mins.
Given: warehouse level = 6, jobs in warehouse = 10 jobs of 100s and 5 jobs of 200s (so, total number of jobs = 15)
- To get the loading time for the 100s, check the chart for wh level = 6 and 15x100 jobs, value you get is 2 hrs and 20 mins
- To get the loading time for the 200s, double the value so you get 4 hrs and 40 mins
But, when the 100s have loaded and shipped to the store, the loading time of the remaining jobs (5x200s) will adjust and re-compute.
New given: warehouse level = 6, jobs in warehouse = 5 jobs of 200s (so, total number of jobs = 5)
- To get the new loading time for the 200s, check the chart for wh level = 6 and 5x100 jobs, value you get is 1 hrs and 40 mins, then double that to get 3 hrs and 20 mins.
Even though the loading times adjust when the number of jobs increase or decrease, the start of loading time for each job stays the same.
Beyond 18x100 Jobs in Warehouse and the Loading Time Formula
As your game progresses, you will start to build more often and also bigger jobs. You will have more than 18 jobs in the warehouse and the loading times are no longer covered in ~GrundyTycoon. It's now time to advance and learn how to compute the loading time on your own.
Yes, there is actually a specific FORMULA to compute the length of time of each job to load in the warehouse. This is a key component in understanding how the warehouse works and successfully managing what goes in and out your warehouse.
However, I am NOT going to give you the formula outright. As previously mentioned, PT is a puzzle game and the warehouse loading is part of that puzzle. What this section will do, though, is help you to derive the formula by explaining some concepts.
The warehouse loading time of each job is determined by the following factors:
1. Warehouse level – the higher the level (maximum is level 9), the shorter the loading time
2. Jobsize – the WLTC shows loading times for 100s only. But on the notes above it states – for jobsize of 200, double the time, for 300, triple the time, and so on
3. Total number of jobs currently in the warehouse – as the number of jobs in the warehouse increases/decreases, the loading time of each job lengthens/shortens.
Observe the table values, notice the pattern when warehouse level increases and when number of jobs increases. Also, read the notes above the chart carefully as these are equally important in understanding the warehouse.
You just need to put all these concepts together to come up with the formula. Have fun with this discovery! :D
Managing the Warehouse
If you haven't been able to derive the formula yet, it's OK! You can still have a successful PT game without it, but at the very least you should have an idea how warehouse works via 'extending' the values in the WLTC and observing your actual warehouse times.
Once your game reaches the point where you can build multiple updates within a day and a variety of jobsizes, it now takes longer to wait for those jobs to load. In PT, active updates are every hour from 10:01am to 5:01pm. Outside of that period is considered 'overnight'. But the warehouse works 24/7 regardless of your game time and updates. Many players take advantage of this and let the jobs load overnight and have them ship before the first update of the following day.
Ok, some terminologies to be familiar with:
Some players keep most of their jobs in the warehouse for a certain period and time their shipping, usually as a strategy to evade taxman (more on this discussed on a latter section). This is called a warehouse plug. Some plugs can be for 1 day only or run for several days. To pull off a successful plug you must plan the jobsizes and schedule the time they go into the warehouse in a manner that they will all load and ship as you have calculated them. A level 9 warehouse can hold an unlimited number of plushies. Many PT players hold hundreds of thousand to over a million plushies in their warehouse when they do a warehouse plug.
However, a failure in planning or execution (e.g. not retrieving your updates in time or as planned) may turn the plug into a clog and cause the jobs not to load as scheduled. Having a clogged warehouse can disrupt your game, because you usually have to stop building and wait until it 'unclogs'.
Let's take an extreme (? not really hehe) case of building for 8 updates and completing 15 jobs per update. That's already a total of 120 jobs in the warehouse in a single day. If you have a job of 3000 built, it's going to take 2 days and 22 hours to load! So how do experienced players manage to build over 200k plushies a day and have them load and ship the following day? Time to explain the concept of cascading.
Some jobs will load earlier than others for 1 or 2 reasons:
1 - the jobsize is smaller than the others
2 – the job went into the warehouse earlier.
After those jobs are shipped, the loading time of the jobs remaining in the warehouse will shorten and may cause another batch of jobs to be 'loaded' and shipped. We call this series of loading jobs a cascade.
Some players actually do simulations on what jobsizes to build and what update to build them, to ensure that the jobs cascade until all jobs will load as scheduled. The KEY ingredients of creating a cascade are -- building a variety of jobsizes and the sequence of them going into the warehouse. Again, this takes practice and experience but is quite useful if you plan to build a lot of plushies. The top NP prize of the game is 320,000 NPs if you reach over 1 million COH and 2 million plushies sold by month's end.
Word of caution for newish players, it easy to make mistakes with the warehouse so take your time learning. Do not aim to make 200,000 plushies in one day if you have no idea what to do with it. Just continue building and as your COH allows, increase your jobsizes and observe how your warehouse behaves. Good luck!
A Little Tip that Might Prove Useful
We know that it when you ship jobs from the warehouse, it takes 5 minutes before it arrives to the store. So if you get to ship after :55 past the hour (:56-:00), you miss out on sales for the next update because the jobs will arrive at the store after :01 update, right?
Well, there's a work-around for this. After you ship, wait a little after 5 minutes before you update any PT page and you will have sales for those jobs for that update. For example, you ship at :58 exactly, don't update any PT page until after :03 of the next hour.
~ UNDERSTANDING THE WORKFORCE ~
Notes on Initial Workforce (summarized from ~Maplehood)
• Hire 25 managers and 250 workers (trainees or journeymen or a combination of both)
• Maintain a workforce ratio of 1 manager for every 10 workers (1:10)
• Workers get more efficient the more jobs you give them, so the basic workforce can work up to 18 x 100s and should finish 50 to 75% of the jobs
For this basic workforce, the amount you spent on labor per plushie depends on the number of jobs and type of workers you use.
Number of Plushies to Build: 6 x 100s = 600 plushies
Labor Cost: 25 managers and 250 trainees = 5,500 NPs
Cost of Labor per Plushie = (Labor Cost) / (Number of Plushies to be Built) = 5500/600 = 9.17 NPs
Number of Plushies to Build: 12 x 100s = 1200 plushies
Labor Cost: 25 managers, 125 journeymen and 125 trainees = 6,925 NPs
Cost of Labor per Plushie = (Labor Cost) / (Number of Plushies to be Built) = 6925/1200 = 5.77 NPs
Number of Plushies to Build: 18 x 100s = 1800 plushies
Labor Cost: 25 managers and 250 journeymen = 8,300 NPs
Cost of Labor per Plushie = (Labor Cost) / (Number of Plushies to be Built) = 8300/1800 = 4.61 NPs
Since your labor cost stays the same or increases slightly (if you upgrade your workers) your cost per plushie becomes cheaper as you build more jobs. Sometimes though, the basic workforce may not complete as many jobs as you would have preferred. Still, the reason it was recommended is that for the first few builds we are playing on a tight budget and the basic workforce is a good compromise of cost and efficiency.
What would be an ideal workforce?
Workforce is one of the more personalized aspects in PT and largely depends on preference and goals. There's really no hardfast rule on what is the best workforce to use. But at the very least, it should be a reliable workforce that is consistent in its results and will achieve your goal. Your goal can vary from paying the least possible cost while completing a specific number of jobs, or completing all unfinished jobs in your factory as your last build.
How to Calculate your Workforce Beyond 18x100s Build
For your first few builds it was simply recommended to hire 25 managers and 250 workers. For builds beyond 18 x 100s, here's one way to compute your workforce. Let's list the steps first then have a few examples afterwards.
1. Determine the number of plushies to be built – there are 2 ways to do it and you can choose whichever you prefer
• Method 1: Add up all the jobsizes
• Method 2: Add up all the jobsizes less the completed number of plushies from previous build
2. Set a price to spend per plushie – with the basic workforce we are just recommended how many managers and workers to hire. This time we will reverse the process and first set an amount on how much we want to spend per plushie.
3. Compute the Labor Cost.
Labor Cost = (Number of Plushies to be Built) x (Price per Plushie)
4. Distribute the labor cost between managers and workers based on a manager-worker ratio.
Example 1: To keep our example simple, let's maintain the parameters similar to that of the basic workforce. So we have the following given:
Example 2: Let's do a minor deviation by lowering the cost per plushie and changing the worker ratio. The steps to compute are the same, only the values were changed from the norm. (Are you curious how effective this workforce is? *wink*)
Tweaking your Workforce
Actually, a player can have a successful game even if you just extend the concepts of initial workforce, as what we have demonstrated above. But, if you want to go beyond that, there's certainly room for improvement.
There are 3 aspects in your workforce that you can alter and test for results:
1. Cost per plushie – you can lower your cost per plushie than the average 5 NPs per plushie without sacrificing production too much
2. Worker ratio – 1:10 worker ratio is a good one, but there are other ratios to work with that yields better results or requires lower cost per plushie.
3. Worker combination – if you use a mix of workers – journeymen, trainees, graduates – there are certain ratios too that yield better production
It helps if you know how to adjust your workforce depending on what the game or RL throws at you. For example, if you want to play all out, decreasing your spending on workforce or increasing your production will certainly help in your campaign. Or, if you can only build for 4 updates but you want to complete as many jobs as possible, you adjust your workforce to complete 16-17 jobs every time. Or, you are low on COH but you still want to build for that update, you can lower your cost per plushie even though it will finish 1-2 jobs less than usual.
It's best to have a workforce formula that you will use on a regular basis, and the knowledge how to adjust it when the need arises.
Lazy Worker Syndrome
Lazy Worker Syndrome (LWS) is an occurrence described as when your workers only complete the leftover jobs from your previous build and leaves the rest of them completely untouched even though you hired a regular workforce (source: ~Caxus FAQ). We don't know for sure what causes this.
Greg, former PT Programmer, once commented about LWS, "There is a random factor to the workforce which could easily create the situation. Don't think that's a bug." (source: ~Jumjim8975)
~ PLUSHIE SELLING PRICES ~
The selling price of plushies depend on the following factors:
1. Inherent properties of plushies – each plushie species has its own range of selling price. Unfortunately, we don't have anything convenient like a table showing the lowest and highest possible price of each plushie.
Over the years but off and on, I gathered data on selling prices and have only established a loose range of prices. So, it's better to focus more on the capability and tendencies of each group of plushies rather than hard figures that may not be that accurate. Listed below are GENERAL TRENDS of plushie prices. There are always exceptions to the rule and a few plushies may not follow the properties listed below.
||• 10s – 110s nps
• Very volatile, price is capable of sharp dips and spikes
|• 1 – 50s nps
• Very volatile and unpredictable, price is capable of sharp dips and spikes
||• 50s – 150s nps
• Relatively stable
|• 20s – 90s nps
• Less volatile, still price is capable of sharp dips and spikes
||• 80s – 150s nps
• Relatively stable
Most of the accessoried plushies are capable of reaching super plushie range (101-110 NPs per plushie). Some of them do so infrequently and others seemingly on a regular basis. The price can stay in this range for as short as a few updates up to much longer.
(NOTE: Price ranges listed above are based on personal data gathered over the years. If there are other experienced players willing to share their data gathered, it would be highly appreciated.)
2. Type of materials used – simply put, the more expensive type of materials used, the higher the selling price.
Although it can happen that you used the more expensive materials to build but at that particular time the plushie is selling at the low end of its price range, so the selling price is lower than when you built them with cheaper materials.
But there is a distinct price difference when you use one kind of material from the other. Below is a screenshot to illustrate this.
I leave it up to you to be curious enough to experiment the rest of the different kinds of materials and discover for yourself the price difference patterns for them.
As a general trend, better quality translates to better selling prices. Plushies that require more materials to make and more complex to build have better selling prices than others. But, they are not necessarily the best plushies to make in view of profits since the increase in selling price may or may not be worth the additional building cost. Also, the selling price affects sales rate (discussed in next section). The trick is to find a balance between profit and turnover rate.
~ PLUSHIE SALES RATES~
How fast or slow your plushies sell depend on the following factors:
1. Inherent Base Sales Rate of plushies – each plushie species has its own range of selling rates independent of any other factors. Some plushies will always sell for a faster rate than others, and some will always be slow sellers. Each kind of plushie has a purpose within your game, either to have a quick return of investment or to control your cash flow.
2. Amount of store upgrades and advertisements – at the start when building just 100s, the initial investment recommended by ~Maplehood is enough to sell plushies at a decent rate. It doesn't matter what kind of ads & ups you buy first because it's the amount spent that counts. Eventually you aim to buy all ads & ups available so that your plushies will sell at their fastest rate
3. Selling price of plushie – prices of plushies dip and spike as discussed in the previous topic, and this also has an effect on their selling rate.
|100 NPs and below
|101 – 110 NPs
||known as the 'super plushie' price range, sales will be really fast anywhere from 200 – 1000 plushies per batch per update
|111 NPs and above
(NOTE: The table above holds true for accessoried plushies. Unfortunately, I do not have enough data on non-accessoried plushies to make similar conclusions. hmmm sounds like another round of experimenting...)
4. Global sales rate – there are periods during the month where there is a distinct decrease or increase of sales for all jobs, regardless of other sales rate factors. For example, a plushie that normally sells 65 plushies per batch per update may sell for only 20 plushies per batch per update. These periods cannot be predicted and can happen several times, but it has been observed that a slowing of sales usually happens towards the end of the month.
All factors listed above work at the same time and usually there's one factor that will dominate at that time that pushes the sales rate up or down.
For example, something like this could happen. You have a plushie that normally sells for an average of 50 plushies per update. Its price goes up to 105 and into the 'super plushie' range so sales increase to 250 plushies per update. The following day, a global slowdown happens and it affects the sales, so even though your plushie is still in 'super plushie' range it's sales will still go down to 150 plushies per update.
In addition, when there are several jobs of the same plushie built with the same raw materials, they will not sell at a uniform number of plushies per update but their average sales will be an approximate of the sales rate.
~ MANAGING THE TAXMAN ~
In Plushie Tycoon, tax evasion is a good thing! Nobody likes to give the taxman anything when he comes to visit us :D
First, let's review the basic concepts about Taxman (summarized from ~Maplehood):
1. Taxman visits exactly every 7th day, starting from the time you clicked "Create an Account" to start your PT game
2. You will be taxed only if you have over 50,000 NPs COH. If you have over that at the time of his visit, you will be taxed a certain percentage of your COH. The percentage depends on the amount of COH you have. (There's a chart for this at ~GrundyTycoon)
3. If you do not meet the taxman in time, i.e., you missed active updates from the time taxman was due until you retrieved your game update, you incur certain penalties. For those 'missed' active periods, the factory and store will not function normally. Hardly any jobs will be built and sold. If any job sold out during this period, it will sell out for 0 NPs.
Since the taxman only checks your COH, you only need to make sure your NPs are invested in other areas, such as:
1. Having raw materials in your materials inventory
2. Having jobs in the factory
3. Having jobs loading in the warehouse
4. Having jobs selling in the store
Your First Taxman Visit
During the first week of play, it is still relatively easy to avoid paying taxes to the taxman if you are dealing with a few million COH or less.
You probably just have to make a few builds and delay the shipping of your jobs. For example, you have jobs waiting to be shipped and you know from previous builds that the jobs will approximately sell out in 4-5 updates, you might ship them 2-3 updates before taxman visit. The shipping costs will also help in lowering your COH.
If you still have over 50,000 nps on hand, buy some raw materials and set up a few jobs in your factory to further lower your COH.
Just watch your COH carefully and make sure you do not bankrupt yourself in trying to lower it too much.
Tax Evasion Strategies
1. Planning when to start your game – it helps if you time your game start to avoid having the taxman so close to the end of the month, or not having to meet him more than 3 times. Since PT has been regular in starting a new game every 2nd day of the month, a quick check in the calendar shows that
• If a month has 31 days, ideal to start on the 4th (based on NST)
• If a month has 30 days, ideal to start on the 3rd
• If a month has 28/29 days, ideal to start on the 2nd
It also helps if you don't start your game so close after an active update. For example, 4:01pm pt gametime is an active update. Do not start a game that will fall at 4:10pm gametime but make it say, 4:30 or 4:45pm. That way, if you have incoming sales at 4:01pm, you have enough time to hide it again before the taxman visits.
2. Planning a warehouse plug – this means keeping most of your jobs in the warehouse and timing their shipping before taxman visit, making sure they will not sell out yet before the visit. You can start doing this a few days before the next scheduled visit, depending on the COH you are dealing with and the time you can spend to build and meet updates.
3. Building Tax Evasion Plushies (TEPs) – TEPs are any type of plushie that sells at a slower but stable sales rate. You plan the jobsizes and timing of shipping that they won't sell out prior to taxman visit. It takes a bit of practice and knowledge of some plushie sales rates to have a good estimate on how long the jobs will sell out. Only then will you be able to take advantage of this strategy.
Some players employ a combination of these strategies or do a variation of it. You can combine warehouse plugging and building TEPs so your jobs are distributed in the warehouse and store.
In some cases, paying a bit of tax may even be the better option. Having to pay some tax and still leaving you enough COH to continue building can sometimes be more profitable than being idle for some updates while waiting to have enough COH again. The amount of tax you hand over can easily be earned back from the profits of continuous building.
Not being able to avoid paying taxes does not mean you fail in PT. Taxman visit is just another aspect of the game and may dent your COH temporarily. Yes, it's satisfying to deny the taxman a cut but there's no need to stress over it.
~ PT ACRONYMS AND TERMINOLOGIES ~
• COH – cash on hand
• LWS – Lazy Workers Syndrome
• PT – Plushie Tycoon
• RM – raw materials; collective term for packing, accessories, stuffing and cloth
• RG – rare gems; since this raw material is always the most expensive, it is often a loose basis to gauge if raw materials are cheap or expensive
• TEPs – tax evasion plushies
• TM – taxman
• TTL – Top Tycoons List
• WH – warehouse
~ RANDOM THOUGHTS ~
Need more help? There are a few regular PT help boards in Games Board and Charter Board. Feel free to swoop in there with your questions. Just be mindful of some board rules listed in the first few posts of each board. Experienced players regularly hang out there, ready to help other players.
If you have comments and suggestions for this guide, you can neomail me. And I would appreciate it if you ask for my permission or at least inform me if you plan to link to this page. Thanks.
Lastly, Plushie Tycoon is meant to be fun and challenging. It's up to you how you want to play your game and what goals you aim for that month. You can always plan your PT game but also be prepared to adjust to what is thrown at you during the game. Real Life takes priority (yes?) and PT does not have to take too much time away from the more important things in life :D
Date Launched: May 27, 2011
Last Updated: August 4, 2011
Written/Compiled by: Minty (mintpurple)
Special Thanks to Chrissi (midnight_sky21), Becca (shanelia), Pat (freflyin), Gwynne (bene93106) and Sally (babybenner) for all the proofreading, advice, encouragement and just being there :D *hugs*
Thank You also to the PT players, both old and new, who sent feedback and suggestions to improve this guide.