Let’s School Guide: Gameplay and Basic Mechanics

Since this game captured my attention and developed into an unhealthy addiction, I wanted to make a guide to share my addiction to the game. I’m gonna focus on covering some basic mechanics but mostly focusing on the advanced ones that aren’t mentioned in both the tutorial and the game manual, which I wished I had known when I started playing this game, so let’s all build our dream school together!

 

Introduction

Hello everyone, I’m IbnBattuta.

I was one of the players who found this game by chance on Steam and fallen in love with it from first glance that I played the demo twice and wished if I had the original game right away.

I joined Pathea Games discord server and applied for their BETA Test and surprisingly, I was one of the lucky few chosen to enter Let’s School BETA Test and since it’s not everyday this happens to me, I fallen in love for the game twice as hard and tried my best to find all bugs with the goal to crush the game by benchmarking it to the maximum.

Later, my beta was revoked since testing period ending so I applied for the second beta test and to my surprise again, I was accepted into the final BETA Test and not just that, they gifted me the game for free.

So at that moment, I decided to pay them back through making this guide as a way of thanking the developers by helping the community fall in love with the game as well as me.

Game Modes

Before starting your first game you need to familiarize yourself with its modes which as the date of creating this guide, they’re as following:

  • Career Mode:
    • Easy:
      It’s somehow similar to Sandbox Mode, you don’t feel pressured to achieve anything in the game, you’ve lot’s of funds to start with, easy exams for your students, easy to manage your school, and less disasters to occur overall which made make it a good mode for anyone trying this type of games for a first time.
    • Normal:
      It’s the default difficulty of this game and is somewhat challenging, good one to choose if you’re familiar with management games and trying to familiarize yourself with game mechanics, it’s a bit difficult than easy mode but manageable overall.
    • Difficult:
      Ok, I won’t lie, it’s literally hard mode of this game, you start with lowest cash possible, exams are difficult and hard to pass, hard to satisfy students, sold items refund 40% of their price, and disasters are very common to happen which can ruin your entire game-play if not managed wisely.
  • Sandbox Mode:
    You start the game with the similar difficulties in Career Mode but the difference here is that you start with infinite amount of money which make this mode more fun for people who are interested in making their dream school faster with facing less consequences since money can beat every obstacle in our lives.

Victory Goals

AKA Development Target
These are goals that you tries to meat as headmaster and each one of them has separate set of missions that need to be achieved to earn the victory condition for this run and the choices given are as following:

  • I want to educate the best of the best (Teaching Victory):
    To achieve this goal you’re tasked of having 20 students with a specific start aspiration level, proving to their communities that you’re qualified to host them, being able to provide them with experienced teachers that can teach them their required courses, facilities that enable them to learn those said courses, and finally prove to their communities through their degrees that you’re capable which in turn mean more students of said aspiration to join.
  • I want students from all over (Population Victory):
    To achieve this goal, you’re tasked of having lots of students in your schools which in turn means that said communities have to trust that your institute is capable to host their students and allow them to graduate, it’d mean more classrooms to host these children, more teachers to teach them, and lots of space to be able to host them and similar number of facilities to satisfy their needs to avoid them dropping out of your schools, and the higher you advance in this victory condition, you’ll be required to achieve a specific satisfaction level and maintain it for an entire week which isn’t as easy as it sounds.
  • I want to build the most beautiful school (Facility Victory):
    Compared to the previous goals, this one is a little different, it depends on money owned and not the number of students in your school but the thing is, without students who buy things in your schools and pass their examination, you won’t be able to earn money, so it’s kinda a combination of previous goals focusing on achieving the highest score of each building we’ve through researching better ones and building some wonders which require lots of points related to the wonder we’re trying to get.

Important!!!
Despite what the game make you thinks, you can switch between goals in the same playthough and not just that, you get rewards of every milestone in other victory conditions that you’ve met while seeking your current one, and here is a preview of all their requirements:

Gameplay Basics

Tutorial:
When starting the game, the game will show you a prompt to enable tutorial including parts of the manual or skip it and if this your first time playing this game, please, don’t skip it cause it teaches you the rope on how to play the game and I advise you to read everything very well cause they teach you critical information that you won’t even find in this guide cause they’re considered basic knowledge so again, please don’t skip the tutorial.

Manual:

When pausing the game by pressing “Esc” button on your keyboard, you’ll find “Manual” button which by pressing it will show you useful info that wasn’t even included in the tutorial and further explaining the game mechanic so if you’re searching for something, check there for quick tip related to it.

Let’s say you’ve a question about how to obtain Contribution Points, if you paid attention to Tutorial, you’d have seen the game explaining it for you.
But since you missed it, you can find it again in Manuals under Education Goals.
So please give this manual a chance, it includes photos which make things clear for you to understand and even some of them are animated so whenever you’ve something you don’t understand, check under which category it falls and read topics about it in less than 3 minutes.

Discord:
In case some info wasn’t covered in game’s tutorial, manual, or even in this guide of mine, you can check Pathea Games discord server and ask fellow players anything you want and you’ll find them friendly and ready to help you figure anything you need in this game.
https://discord.gg/pWYWeBds

Indoors, Outdoors, and Expansion

Before making your school, you need to understand there are different type of things you need to put into consideration before choosing your school location, building a facility, or thinking of expanding your current school because there are some limitations to what you can build and where.

Indoors:

  • Teaching Building:
    Teaching Building is the building foundation of your school where all facilities of your school will be placed inside of it or even on top of it, it goes by a 2×2 square space, at the beginning you start with Chinese Wooden Structure and as you advance in your research, you can unlock up to Steel Structure which is fireproof and has the highest earthquake resistance of all buildings, also, any facility that requires you to be placed indoors will have to be put inside your Teaching Building of your school,
  • Indoor Facilities:
    Indoor Facilities takes the space within your school Teaching Building, they follow a 1×1 square space to be placed and expand instead of 2×2 square space like Teaching Building and they inherit the original stats of the type of Teaching Building they’re within such as Fire Resistance and Earthquake Resistance but please note, you can only move a facility within a Teaching Building to another Teaching Building of the same type for now, so you can’t move a classroom built in a Chinese Wooden Structure to a Concrete Structure as an example.

Outdoors:
It’s the space that is outside of your school building site, it directly touches the external layout of your school and follow its own set of rules where specific buildings can only be put on top of it.

  • Outdoor facilities:
    Outdoor facilities are facilities that can only be place outside of school building and they require that no roof should be in top of them but the trick is, they can be build above the school itself since school roof itself is considered to be Outdoors so you can put a playground, a bicycle shed, a helipad, and more on your school roof without concerning yourself with available land you currently have.
  • Car Parking Lot:
    Car Parking Lot is the only exception to your outdoor facilities, unlike them, it can’t be built over your school roof or even on any random outdoor space on your school grounds, instead, it need to placed on the edge of your school outside of any building to work since let’s be clear, it’s gonna be hard to move a bus on top of your school that contain kids compared to bicycles or even a helicopter.

Expansion:
You might think the given space to you is so limited to build your dream school but surprisingly, you can expand your school easily by buying neighboring grounds to it which merge both grounds to one bigger land that you’re allowed to build your school on.

Pathing

Pathing is the most important mechanic in the game, you won’t find clear data about it from game’s tutorial or in game’s manual which gonna be hard for people trying to build their first school and have no idea why are they failing.

Usually, people start to learn about this mechanic after 6 hrs at least spent in the game up to 12 hrs, you just see your school that you’ve improved and remodeled, having facilities enough to cover all students needs but despite that, somehow you’re getting negative satisfaction which somehow doesn’t make sense.

So let’s explain what Pathing is,
Pathing is the distance required for a student or a teacher to reach from point A to point B to satisfy his needs “before” break period ends.

So the mistake that happens is, people remodel their school and include a Cafeteria near school entrance as an example while the student in question is in 3rd floor, that student is hungry so when his break period comes, he goes to Cafeteria but before he reaches it, queuing to purchase food, and actually eating it, the bell range and he had to go back to his classroom again.

As you see, despite owning the building required to satisfy the need for food, the students wasn’t able to get food in time to satisfy his needs which cause the negative satisfaction so the solution is always to have enough toilets, cafeterias, and entertainment near classrooms so that students and teachers are able to satisfy their needs.

Income

Food Tents:

Your first source of income in the game, you need to research and build them right away cause they’re what you gonna use to pay the school’s upkeep for the first schooling season, it’s to be replaced later with Cafeteria but till you research it, make sure to have it as close to the gate with enough tables and chairs so all students can buy food from it with ease.

Contribution Points:

Contribution Points are points earned for successfully teaching students about their subject of aspiration, they’re required in building wonder and in some other trades but their main usage in the first year of the game is to be a secondary source of income, you teach students, you collect contribution points which allow you to get money for meeting the requirements, combined with Food Tent or Cafeteria, you’d be able to build your school without the need to borrow any money.

Passing Exams:

Passing Exams is the 3rd way of earning income in this game, every year, if your students passed their exams, you’ll receive money from these students and they will stay with you for another year, it grants a huge sum of money but require to be fast in researching related courses and building required learning facilities in order for your students to pass their exams.

Cafeteria:

Cafeteria is your main source of income in this game, they replace Food Tent in the game, can be placed inside buildings, and also the main building to provide food for students, and they work similar to Food Tent but you need multiple of them near your students classrooms.

Later you can upgrade Cafeteria to earn more income from more expensive meals but the main factor is to sell healthy expensive food instead of junk food to make your students become thin and healthy to gain a speed boost while walking in your school, otherwise they become fat and slow which gonna harm your progress in the game due to being unable to meet their need in time causing law satisfaction.

School Store:

School Store is another way of earning money in school, it’s not as effective as Cafeteria but it can sell items that improve students learning which helps in earning more contribution points and succeeding in exams to gain money, still it’s good to have at least one in your school near your main gate.

Desert Shop:

Desert Shop despite looking bad in early game is an amazing source of income due to selling items that can increase students hunger in addition that some high start aspiration students are sweets addicts that can buy ice cream that costs $500 which is expensive compared to most items that you can sell in the game, it’s definitely to worth at least one in your game near your main school gate as well and/or to classroom of students who are addict to sweets.

Campus Arcade:

Campus Arcade despite being a small way to generate income, it’s main use is to provide entertainment for students who are further away from Playground allowing them to have their need satisfied till you unlock Elevators later in game but still, they generate some income.

Honorable Mentions:
Both Community Events and Map Explorations can generate some cash as well but they’re random and can’t be considered as a stable source of income unfortunately.

Disaster Management

Despite the game considering disasters just as fires and earthquakes, some other stuff can be considered personal disasters and if not solved in time, they can ruin your entire play-through requiring you to reload a previous save file to avoid, and they’re as following:

Dirt:
Literally not joking, you’re going to have lots of bins laying around covering every piece of the floor but despite that, you’ll realize that your whole school is covered in garbage, pathing is ruined and students can’t satisfy their needs, and you’re losing satisfaction so fast and there is major dropout wave of students from your school, so you need to manage these wisely by doing the following:

  • Cleaning Supplies;

    Cleaning Supplies come into 3 different levels, each share the same functuality but provide better cleaning range, students that will come near them will clean the nearby location on their own which free a slot in Morning Sessions but they require to be mounted around the school and makes it a nightmare when moving rooms from a location to another.
  • Clean Up Morning Sessions;

    When having garbage pins nearby, students won’t necessary use them to clean school ground, so you tell the homeroom teachers to order students to clean up the school, which despite taking a spot from other sessions that boost learning, it helps in not losing the students themselves from your school or affecting their learning experience in a negative way.
  • Robot Cleaner;

    Literally an endgame solution to all your cleaning problems, it doesn’t waste a time of student, can clear a large range, and all on its own, just place and forget dirt accumulating ever again.

Management Status:
Management Status is an insane hassle to manage from early game and becomes more difficult in endgame, with every facility you create, it’ll require someone to manage it in your school and you manually assign every building to one of your manager, changing them to a better suited managers, and assign perfect Management Modules for them depending on types of buildings they manage. Possible solutions are as following:

  • Management Office;

    Your first decent assistant gonna be Ms. Lin, from here, you try to have lots of teachers with management capabilities and build Management Offices for them in order to assist you in managing your school and always prioritize teachers with highest possible Training Proficiency over Management Proficiency, train their Management Proficiency instead to have the highest amount possible cause they’re a long term investment.
  • Don’t take Drake’s Deal;

    Actually, take them in, pause admission, then kick every one of them after each student reach 3 demerits for achievement, and its all due to how insanely hard to manage them, they put much preasure on management, changing Managing Status to Abnormal levels, cause you to need better suited managers, fast, and in a short notice, so just ignore them and move with your life unless you like the challenge… or torture.

Fires:
Fire are more of a nuisance than a disaster but if escalated, it can gives a huge negative satisfaction, destroy buildings, and worse, so you need to manage them as fast as possible in order to prevent fire from spreading by doing as following:

  • Fire-Fighting Equipment:

    Usually the first fire gonna start in your Food Tent, you’ll need to have those buckets nearby and distributed around your school ground, teachers go to the buckets, fill them with water, then go to the fire and tries to put down, it takes many attempts but it’s faster when the equipment are near the location of the fire itself.
  • Fire Alarm:

    Fire Alarms warn students in the vicinity to clear out the location and call the fire department, I’ve no idea how they work since I never needed them but supposidly that’s what they do.
  • Fire Drill:

    Some might consider this as a useless course but students won’t do as you expect them to do in disasters so having students take this once in their school term earlier will teach them how to escape from fire and call authorities and teachers in time, reducing all the damages to students’ health requiring almost no need to use hospitals but when upgrading your building, this course become almost useless since no fires while start ever again.
  • Sprinklers:

    Automatically put down the fire near them but also have another use which is increasing a facility’s score since there is no limit to how much you can put inside one facility.

Earthquakes:
By the time of making this guide they’re disabled temporary but when they were live, they were an absolute nightmare, they upscale in difficulty the more you advance in the game to a moment that I lost an entire school to a 6.2 earthquake which really had me reload a previous save and upgrade my entire school building, and to deal with them, that’s what you should do:

  • Reload Save;

    I wish I was joking but earlier, you might not have enough money to upgrade your teaching building and it’ll be so costly that an earthquake will cause you serious damages and the worst problem is you not knowing what it destroyed if you’ve a bigger school, so the easiest solution is to just reload an old save.
  • Teaching Building;

    Since earthquakes scale in power till they reach up to 8.2 (highest I’ve experienced), you need to improve your building so better have a budget for this after securing a stable source of income, it’s a worthy upgrade and the better the building, the better the resistant to the earthquake allowing for less or almost no damages at all.
  • Earthquake Drill;

    Unlike Fire Drill special course, Earth Quake drill is crucial, it literally teach students to how to react when an earthquake occur, they go take cover, and instead of having 250 students requiring medical attention, you’ll see around 35 students needing help instead, so it saves you empty places and personnel to build clinics and reduce the negative satisfaction that the students suffer.

Efficiency & Effectiveness

Efficiency and Effectiveness are terms we study in Business Management where efficiency means to meet the goal set regardless of resources and time spent while effectiveness means to reach the same said goals and objectives with the least amount of resources and time spent but in this game.

Efficiency:

Efficiency is when you build a classroom with all basic requirements for it and adding some optional stuff that boost score rating or environment, and making them in a way that’s more of design appealing to you then call it a day. Yes, you’ll achieve the goal of having place for students to learn, you’ve the teachers and courses assigned, and despite how good looking it is for you, there are lots of wasted potential that could’ve helped you build less number of classrooms as an example but I understand it’s a personal preference.

Effectivness:

Effectiveness is when building a classroom, you build all required stuff of the highest effect you’ve in hand, then adding requiring stuff such as lunch box hanger, garbage can, and AC, stuff that affect student satisfaction directly while also adding the highest items that grant highest environment or building score, requiring the least amount of space possible which despite seeming restricting, it’s the design of the perfect income saving school facility, the design of the school itself is up to you.

So maximizing everything while using least space is always better, right?

  • Actually, no. Your object is to have the best of what your current income support, forcing you to maximize everything could cost you a fortune in term of items’ costs allowing you to skip more important investments. It’s better to focus on having the facility with minimal requirement at the beginning and leaving it as it is for now till you’ve a better income, you build the best design of a facility, and copy-paste it multiple times maximizing gains.
  • Another think to put into consideration, highest aspiration students will care about the environment and building score for their quality of learning and satisfaction while low aspiration has lower needs which make them adaptable to anything you build so you’d better stick with maximized facilities for high aspiration students to avoid having dropouts or failing students and go carefree with other types of students.

Achievements

I’ll include how to achieve all guides in the easiest way possible but reason why I’m delaying this section for later is due to some things that we need to confirm after release, such as if it is possible to achieve all 3 victories in a single run, what cause students to make snowmen, and also, what triggers the well achievement, so that’s why I’m waiting in this part to collect enough data and post how to collect multiple achievements in a single run.

Thanks to IbnBattuta for his excellent guide, all credits belong to his effort. if this guide helps you, please support and rate it via Steam Community. enjoy the game.

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