This page will serve as a basic how to play guide for Above the Fold. We urge you to check back often, as new information is being added all the time! Feel free to edit this guide with additional information. (Note: Please put any "spoilers" in the Tips and Tricks wiki page.)
Starting a New Game
When you first start the game, you are able to select a newspaper configuration that will be your starting point in the game.
By clicking on "Generate Now", you can choose a new configuration to start the game, which will change the Newspaper name, the amount of cash, number of subscribers, and the political spread of the subscribers.
Once you have found a starting configuration that you would like to proceed with, click on "Begin Game". This will start the game and bring you to "The Office".
The game saves at the beginning of each new day, so if you’ve already played some, you will also have the option to continue that game.
NOTE: You can only have ONE active game at a time, so if you click New Game, any previous saved data will be overwritten.
NOTE: If the game starts in Windowed mode, use the keyboard shortcut F9 twice to switch to full screen.
You begin in the Office. Here you have an overview of the current status of your newspaper.
When a new game begins, you are given some cash and subscribers, but you will not yet have reporters or advertisers.
You do have some income from classifieds and what little subscribers you start with, but also overhead from producing the actual newspaper.
There are several blue information buttons on the right hand side of the page (above "Start a New Day" - don't click this one just yet). If you click an information button, it will open a window that you can position on your Office "desktop". If you leave the window open, the position and location of the window will be remembered the next time you come to the game, even if you start a new game!
- You will not have any Goals at the start of the game, but later, goals will provide a way to increase your Angry Letters allowance and improve your finances.
- Subscriber Data gives you the demographics of your subscribers. Subscribers are happiest when your newspaper matches their demographics.
- Check your Finances by clicking on the blue "Finances" button. This shows you the income you receive from classifieds and subscribers, and also lets you know your overhead.
- While you won't have any Advertisers yet, this shows what you can see on the Advertisers window.
- Ads Ending Soon - you won't have any of these when you start the game.
- Recent Issues - once you have produced at least 6 issues, you will be able to see results of those issues here.
- Credibility - This shows the reputation of your newspaper.
- Awards - Later in the game, you will have the ability to win Awards based on your content.
The name of your newspaper, as well as the age and political spread of its initial subscribers, are all randomly generated at the start of the game.
Familiarize yourself with your starting point, and begin your first day as editor by clicking on "Start Your Day", when you are ready…
Goodbury is a small town with lots of activity! Scroll around The Map to find Reporters for hire, Stories to write, and Advertisements to pick up. You can use + and – on the number pad to speed up/slow down the game speed (starts at slowest).
How to Scroll around the Map
- There are three ways to navigating the map:
- Using the WASD keys
- Using the arrow keys
- Hold down the right mouse button and drag
The Map Legend
By default, the Map Legend is displayed on the top of the map, and shows the icons used for Advertisements and the different Genres of Stories. You can use the G key to toggle the map on and off. This is useful if you know the story genries, and you would like to see more of the map.
- Before you are able to assign Stories, you must hire at least one reporter.
- Reporters are shown as male and female icons on The Map.
- Mouse over Reporters for hire and a preview card of information about the reporter will be displayed to help you decide if you wish to hire that reporter.
- Click on a Reporter for Hire, and a confirmation prompts will ask, if you want to hire this reporter. Click Yes to confirm, or No to cancel.
- If a Reporter for Hire is about to disappear from the map, a red blinking dot will appear on the avatar.
- Once you have hired at least 1 Reporter, an Avatar will appear on the left that shows your currently selected, or Active Reporter.
- When you have more than 1 Reporter, you can scroll through the reporters by using the Q and Z keys on the keyboard, or by using the Arrow buttons next to the Active Reporter.
- A small smiley-icon next to the avatar, indicates the Mood of the Active Reporter.
- Story icons are pictures of the story Genre.
- Mouse over Stories, and a preview card of information is displayed about that item.
- When a story is about to expire, a red blinking dot will appear on the story icon.
- Click on a Story to assign it to the Active Reporter.
- A prompt will ask you to confirm; click Yes to assign the clicked-on Story to the Active Reporter.
- If the Active Reporter already has a Story assigned, the prompt will ask if you wish to replace the currently assigned story. (You can click No to cancel.)
- Once a story has been assigned to the Active Reporter, a small check mark will appear next to its avatar.
- If the assigned story was a match to that reporter’s Interests, a star icon will appear next to the check mark.
- If the assigned story is a Disinterest of the Active Reporter, a red exclamation mark will be displayed.
Matching Reporters with Stories
When you start the game, you may hire as many as 5 reporters. You stable will grow, as you progress to the next Game Stage. Progression is measured in how many subscribers your paper has. To get more subscribers, do your best to match stories with reporter Interest. This makes them happy, which makes them produce better stories, which raises the overall quality of your newspaper – all of which attracts more subscribers.
Unhappy reporters do not produce stories at a quality that lives up to their potential. Eventually, unhappy reporters may quit your newspaper, or get scooped up by a competitor.
When you have as many Reporters as you want, and they all have Stories assigned to them, you will want to spend the remaining time looking for Advertisements. They will appear as little stacks of paper money.
As with Reporters and Stories, clicking on an Advertisement will open a prompt. Here you can see the name of the company buying the ad, how many inches it is, and for how many days it will run. The player has the option to turn down the Advertisement, if it doesn’t fit with their strategy.
Once the deadline has been reached, you will be automatically advanced to the Editor's Desk. If you wish, you can also click the “Skip to Deadline”-button to leave the Map early.
The Editor’s Desk
Once the day’s stories are done (note: some stories take longer than a day to write), they appear on the editor’s desk for placement on the front page. The most important stories appear as icons and titles on the left of the blank front page. On the right, you can see an overview of the current issue, based on how the stories are currently arranged. If there are more than 5 stories, the additional stories will count towards your Issue Importance score, but you will not see them in the list of stories to be placed.
- To place a story, left-click on an icon and drag it to the spot on the Front Page, where you want it to be. The stats on the right will immediately update.
- To remove a story from its current place, right-click on its place on the Front Page and it will be restored on the left.
- Experiment with different configurations to get the most out of your stories, or to appeal more to certain age or political groups.
- Eventually, the final deadline will force the current issue to go to print. If you’ve found a configuration of stories you like before time runs out, just click the Print Now-button to advance the game.
Once the issue goes to print, the day is over, and you are returned to the Office.
Day 2 and Onward
As a new day dawns, your game is automatically saved.
The left-most panel now holds a summary of your last issue. See its “importance score”, how many new subscribers it attracted (and how their age and politics spread), as well as number of complaining letters. The number of angry letters you get, is determined by the difference between the political spread of the content, compared to the spread of your existing subscriber base.
Events may occur! These are decision points, where your choice will influence the outcome of the game.
The Office has two new buttons leading to the sub-menus:
Under Manage Reporters, you can get an overview of your current staff. Select a reporter by clicking their name. You can Fire reporters you are dissatisfied with, or offer a raise to one or more reporters. These actions have consequences, of course.
- When you Fire a reporter, there is a chance the remaining reporters lose some of their Happiness from seeing a coworker go.
- When you give a reporter a raise, their monthly salary goes up by 5%, thus raising your total overhead.
Reporters with a green checkbox next to their name are working on a story that will take more than one day to complete.
When no reporter is selected on this screen, you have the option to buy all your reporters lunch (Quick TIP: if you have a reporter selected, clicking on the reporter's name or hitting the Right Arrow key will unselect the reporter). The cost depends on the size of your staff. If click it, there is a chance for each reporter to get a small happiness boost. This can be repeated as many times as you can afford.
When a reporter is selected, use the Up and Down Arrow Keys to cycle through them all. Right Arrow deselects.
- Skill – this is their base writing/storytelling skill. It remains unchanged.
- Experience – refers to how many years the Reporter has been working. It counts equally to the Skill, but the score goes up by 1 point once per year. This is called an Anniversary. Experience level up is also granted to the reporter who wrote the top story of an award winning issue.
- Happiness – this percentage score affects the quality of the stories a reporter writes.
- Political Bias – this influences the bias of the stories they write, and ultimately overall political bias of the issue and the paper as a whole.
Read more about Reporters .
When your newspaper has earned sufficient funds, you can purchase Upgrades that can provide various benefits to different factors of the game. Be careful to not select too many Upgrades too early, though, as you will go bankrupt!
When you reach a pre-determined number of subscribers, you will "level up" to a New Chapter with an increased range of circulation. You will have the ability to hire more reporters, include more words in your newspaper, and obtain more ads... but you will also have increased office costs.
Currently, there are 5 Chapters:
|Chapter||Circulation||Required Subscribers||Max ad inches||Max Reporters||Max Wordcount||Office Expense||New Desks||New Story types|
|Chapter 1||Neighborhood News||0||400||5||25,000||??||Oak, Maple, Ash, Particle Board, Ebony, Laminate||Crime, Entertainment, History, Local News, Offbeat, Sports|
|Chapter 2||Citywide Coverage||5,000||520||7||30,000||$13,000||Rosewood||Politics, Health, Business, Arts|
|Chapter 3||Statewide Distribution||20,000||640||9||???||???||???||???|
Every so often, the mysterious Owner will present you with three options of Strategic Goals to choose from. Each has a deadline and a goal to reach.
If you reach your Strategic Goal in time, the Owner will reward you with cash and forgive a few more angry letters. But if you should fail to meet your goals, you're in trouble. Do it 4 time total, and you're fired, so choose your quests carefully.
Starting a New Day
When you are ready, click the “Start New Day”-button to begin a new day. When you do, there is also a small chance, each of your reporters will lose some Happiness. This stat degrades over time, unless you manage your staff well.
Winning and Losing the Game
To win the game:
The Boss loves a successful editor. There are several ways to win the game:
- Attract 1,000,000 subscribers by the end of 4 game years
- Win 25 or more Awards in the game.
- Meet 50 Strategic Goals
To Lose the game:
You are "fired" as editor of your newspaper when you lose the game. There are several ways to lose:
- Receive more than the allowed number of complaints (1000 to start, but will be adjusted throughout the game)
- Lose all of your reporters
- Run out of cash
- Fail to meet goals 4 times
Resigning from the Game
If you wish to end the current game in order to start a new newspaper, you can resign from being the editor of your newspaper. From the Office, click on Reporters, and then click on the "Resign" button. You will be asked to confirm that you wish to resign. Once you have confirmed that you have resigned, you will be able to choose a new newspaper, and you will restart the game from the beginning.
Ending a Gaming Session
The game is saved when you return to the Office. From the office, press the escape key. You will be asked if you would like to "Exit to Desktop". You can click "No" to return to the game, or "Yes" to end your gaming session.
|F1||Help (Quick Tips)||All|
|F9||Toggle between full-screen and windowed mode||All|
|F10||Return to opening screen||All|
|F12||Take a screenshot||All|
|Esc||Open Options prompt||All|
|M||Toggle Music on and Off||All|
|G||Toggle Map Icon Legend on and Off||Map|
|Q||Move forward through Reporters||Map|
|Z||Move backward through Reporters||Map|
|WASD||Move around the map||Map|
|Arrows||Move around the map||Map|
|Numpad +||Increase game speed||Map|
|Numpad -||Decrease game speed||Map|
|Enter||Go to the Map||Office|
|Backspace||Go back to the Office||Upgrades
|Right Arrow||Deselect all reporters||Upgrades
|Up Arrow||Select reporter above current selection||Reporter Management|
|Down Arrow||Select reporter below current selection||Reporter Management|