No Limits 2?

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar
I happen to check out Ole's site and apparently he's redesigning No Limits from the ground, up. While I'm a bit skeptical that we'll see a release of it based on his timetable I'm interested in what could possibly top the original.

The good news is we're going to see an update this year... hopefully.

~Rob "Still one of those No Limits fans after nearly 4 years" Willi

Jeff's avatar
What could top it? You're kidding, right? A better designer and tool integration would be a fabulous start.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

I know you don't like No Limits Jeff, but it has proven to be extremely popular and probably the most able coaster design tool. The physics are good, the realism is good, and the flexibility is excelent. Most of the other coaster builders have yet to top No Limits IMO.
Lord Gonchar's avatar
No Limits would be great if it didn't require a degree to use. ;)

That's not entirely true. The game is easy enough to follow as long as long as you understand the bezier curve thing - it's just that I don't want to commit the time it takes into making one great ride. I need quicker gratification.

I personally appreciate the dumbed-down-for-the-masses simplistic nature of an RCT over the uber-realism and mega-flexibility of No Limits. Though I do envy it to a degree.

(...and the folks at No Limits never gave me a pinball machine for playing their game :) )

Ideally someone will find a way to meet in the middle.

Jeff said:
What could top it? You're kidding, right? A better designer and tool integration would be a fabulous start.


Not sure what is so bad about the design of No Limits considering the basic engine of the game was designed like a decade ago and it still holds up great today. I don't really see where a "better designer" would come into play here. Trust me Ole (and co.) have the tools to take this to the next level, it just may not be economically feasible at this time. (sort of like how you won't get rid of the one million popups on your site ;) )

As far as the tool integration, I assume you mean all the add-on 3rd party tools that are NOT REQUIRED to build coasters in No Limits and are really only beta programs designed by people who reverse engineered the code from NL? If that is what you mean, it only takes about a minute to download and install these programs. And the Construction Kit combines several of the "tools" into one handy package. But all that aside, I'm sure Ole will be including quite a bit of these features in NL2.

Even if he doesn't, I don't blame him. Becuase he could be charging us a hell of a lot more money for a program with that much to offer. Do you expect him to release the pro version that companies like GG and Gerstlauer use to us for $25?? I sure don't.

MrX, it's obvious that you are a No Limits fanboy, and it is ignorant to say that the game is perfect. The fact that Ole is working on a brand new version of the game should be enough evidence to prove this.

While I'm not attempting to speak for Jeff, one of the common complaints about the game is how the simulator and editor are not integrated. While there might be a benefit to this setup, I have run into some frustration because of the separation while building tracks. The wireframe simulation in the editor is suitable for basic physics; however, to get a real feel for how your coaster is turning out, you have to preview it in the actual simulator, and the process of switching between the two separate programs can be a hassle. For example, in order to test emergency stops, one has to load the file in the simulator. If there's a problem, you have to switch back to the editor, make a change, and then test again in the simulator. While not successful, the Hyper Rails game proved that a three-dimensional in-game editor can be successfully implemented.

After No Limits was initially released, Ole was slowly fine-tuning the program through a series of several patches. The development team has found more efficient ways to render coasters, trains and track styles have become more detailed, and performance has been ramped up during the past few years. However, these patches leave the game a mix of new and old--I'm sure Ole would like to make everything more consistent with the release of NL2.

Regarding economics, obviously you are aiming to take a swipe at Jeff, because clearly you have no idea as to the intentions and ability of Ole to further the game. What the hell do popups have to do with the production of a video game?

Jeff's avatar
I never said I didn't like NoLimits. But it's a nerd program. But I love how the fanboys come to its defense all of the time, and talk about the programmer like you're old friends. Hell, it's not even a game, it's a simulator. If you get off endlessly sitting around and tweaking something, great. I did it for a few weeks and got really bored with it.

The designer would be much better if it pre-calc'd the ride to a certain point where you were editing, and then allowed you to loop between those points as you tweaked. It would also be swell if there was some kind of auto-smoothing function that would stop the "kick" over the points that only go away if you spend a ton of time smoothing it yourself.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

DawgByte II's avatar
I liked No Limits a lot when it came out... but it kind of lost a little appeal after the years with the regular crowd (vs. professional coaster designers) since the focus is just a straight design on coasters with no real objective other than to see if you can make your creation come to life. It's tough, though... because you THINK you've created the perfect coaster & it even rides smooth... that is, until you ride in the rear seat & see how much it [the coaster] actually jerks around in the transitions.

The updates are nice, but creating supports (except wooden, of course) are a pain sometimes as well as smoothening out finer points of transitions that aren't pre-rendered.

The hardest thing now... is that the next No Limits is in 2010!! That just seems so far away. Another four years into development...
By then, Rollercoaster Tycoon 5 will have come out with all its expansion packs & No Limits will have to try & up the ante to get consumers to want to purchase his product instead of limiting the appeal to just professional designers.

I consider myself one of the simplest people I know when it comes to computer "gaming". I have some difficulties building a coaster in the RCT games that guests will actually ride or won't puke their guts out after riding. (and when I do get a good coaster built it's like a MAJOR accomplishement!) That's my extent of how I grasp games.

I bought NL shortly after it came out. It sat on my computer for a very long time before I started messing with it into big detail and when I did actually start, I found that it was extremely difficult to use. I like to have NEVER figured out how to get even the simplest of tasks finished on it. I STILL cannot make a loop. I can only fathom how one makes an in-line twist or anything like that. The game is too complex for average users like me. It looks like something you see engineers working with to design highways and stuff.

This ain't no book you can close, when the big light hits your eyes. Cropduster-Riot Act-Pearl Jam
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
I love designing/modeling coasters in NL and don't find it difficult to use at all. I spent about an hour working on the tutorial and then graduated to Ozark Wildcat and Timber Wolf for my first two coasters. I guess I am a nerd. As someone who wanted to be a coaster designer since I was in elementary school, NL is the creative outlet I've been waiting much of my life for.

As I've stated before, about the only improvements I'm anxious for are the ability to dig underground for tunnels and a larger piece of land to build on, but more control over structure and track/train types would be nice also. :)

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Fun's avatar
NoLimits is something that you have to use in moderation. Too much, and you very well just go beserk. On the otherhand, if you don't hack away at it every now and then, the (re)learning curve will drive you nuts too.
I love NL absolutely, and from time to time when I'm on a journey or have otherwise time on my hands, I find it very relaxing to hone in on one of the coaster projects.
I must say that NL is one of those programs that I always wanted to write myself - so having it done by someone makes life a lot easier in some respect - especially since I didn't kill myself buying it.

I have to agree though that creating a smooth coaster could be a little easier in NL.
Especially, some of the severe bumps that are unavoidable in early stages of a coaster seem to be almost invisible in the editor, and you can only really see them when you're strapped into the train in the simulator or do a fly around in the simulation.
The same holds true for bankings and a range of other details.
Another wish I have is to be able to twist the rails around the heartline, as I never seem to get it the twists completely right handling them on the line of the rail.
As for the editor in general, I don't think it's really over complicated, at least, it could be a LOT more complicated (just think about how easy it is to snap on supports). Most of the difficulties seem to arise from authoring a 3D structure in 2D.

But, of course, the graphics could be more realistic with present day graphics cards. There could be people in the trains
(even though it doesn't detract myself very much - in fact I like having a coaster train all for myself, but many of the people I showed my coasters to generally remarked about how creepy an empty roller coaster looks for them)
The sound is already pretty amazing, I must say, but the general feeling of the rides themeselves is still very idealised - real coasters feel much rougher, even though their physics are generally designed far smoother than anything that I was ever able to create with NL.

airtime for everyone
Jeff's avatar

DawgByte II said:
...because you THINK you've created the perfect coaster & it even rides smooth... that is, until you ride in the rear seat & see how much it [the coaster] actually jerks around in the transitions.
That's exactly what I was talking about. And it wasn't just my "amateur" experimentation with it either where I saw that. Indeed, a track by "experts" or the included tracks exhibit the same problem.

But like I said, it's that real-time testing and tweaking that I think it needs most. For the buggy mess that Hyperrails was, that's the one thing it did better. You could, for example, set the test points, and it would cycle the train between them over and over, with the train's physics already calculated based on the rest of the course. You could then raise or lower a hill to get just the speed you wanted based on the height.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
I guess for me, part of the fun is engineering my tracks so you get a quality ride experience in all of the seats, just like the professionals do. And being a Mac user, I don't have the luxury of all those third-party add-ons that seem to take alot of the work (fun) out of it. Even in RCT 2, you have to deal with G-force spikes due to the limited track segments to choose from. In NL, you can eliminate them without much effort. I find the 3D view in the editor to be very helpful for smoothing kinks in the track which don't show up in the orthographic views (right, left, top, etc...).

And not to start a Mac vs. Windows debate, but I've noticed the OS X version of the software is much easier to use than the Windows version, at least the demo of the Windows version (I can only assume the full program works the same). Even though I've been using the OS X version since it came out about 2 years ago, I find the Windows demo much harder to accomplish the same task in the same amount of time, as the toolbars and controls are very different from the OS X version.

For examplae, the one thing that really slows me down in the Windows demo is having to click on the + and - buttons to zoom in and out. On the Mac version (assuming you're using a a wheel mouse), all you have to do is scroll the wheel just like in other CAD programs like AutoCAD. It's much more efficient. Please, someone tell me there is a way to set this in the Windows version. I want to use the program in my AutoCAD class I teach, but I don't want to invest in another software license let alone enough for all the students if the Windows version is that annoying.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Jeff's avatar
But a "quality ride" built in real life wouldn't have that funny "bump" over the points in the track. That's what bothers me the most. Those shouldn't exist, and I don't know what in the math causes that.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
Well new coasters don't have the bumps, but plenty of old ones do. :)

No, I agree the method for laying out the track path can be improved. I like the idea of plotting out the path like we do now, but then using a sort of curve fitting feature to match a smooth path to the points laid out.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

I'll admit, I'm a bit of a NL fanboy. I actually dropped the RCT3 Wild Beta test over it. For some reason, that point and click dropping track never sank well with me, I wanted more control. NoLimits gives me this control in anyway I feel fit. Sure, it may take forever to take all the little kinks and bumps out of a ride, but the final product is, in my opinion, worth it after putting so much time in for a nice ride.

Could NoLimits improve? Of course it could! If you read that article in the updates section, he also mentions an update to regular NL in 2006, going from v1.55 to v1.x, fixing a few bugs and introducing new train styles (rumors are the 4D and a flying). Considering he is giving free updates to a product that we already paided for shows that he wants NL to improve, and I think that's more than any of us could ask for.

I agree with a lot of people in this thread. I'm in the same boat with Matt, I've always wanted to build a coaster since a young age, and although RCT was a good start, it was nothing compared to NL. I enjoy the challenge of making a coaster just perfect, spending hours fixing all those little pumps and kinks in the track, the sense of accomplishment is great for me.

However, I also agree with Jeff with the whole "do a section, have the train run just through that section, repeat." That would be a nice thing and convienent, but my guess is that it would take some of the challenge of going back a little at a time and fixing it. But hey, I'm all up for a modified way to do something.

Is NoLimits great now? Yes. Will it still be great in the future? Hopefully even better. Will NoLimits 2 be good? Also, hopefully better.


Geauga Lake - We is Gooder.
Jeff's avatar
How is that a challenge? I mean, don't we have computers to do menial tasks for us?

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Same here, Growing up I wanted to design and build coasters but my grown up career has went down a different path. Once I found this simulator, I thought I was in heaven, now it's just another set of icons on my desk top that I rarely click.

My pains about the sim is that I can't get the shaping that I always want. I've had NoLimits for about 4 years, (Wow I didn't think it was that long)and I've gotten pretty decent with it but I can not make certain things like zero G rolls, a perfect cobra roll. I also don't have the time to dedicate to the sim since I have other things to do most of the time. But every now and then, I'll hop on board and ride one of my finished coasters and get a little inspired to build something new and maybe even finish the project, I can't tell you how many duds I have due to pumpy tracks or just to flawed to complete (ahh I'm running out of names to use)

But I'd like to see some type of pump free curve helper to improve transitions on my tracks, auto flanges with the bolts and the ability to fuse the supports together with out having the janky looking gaps if you connect two to one point. Extra tracks to me are just icing on a cake, but I'd love for the B&M flier, and the Gio Hyper. If some of the stuff stated in these post actually materiallized in the next update, I'd spend a couple of hours maybe.

Six Flags is a Diamond in the rough!
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar
I'd say my biggest mark against the game is what Jeff has said. It's very difficult to make the smooth transitions. One suggestion that I've made in the past is that I hope to see suspended swinging and bobsled type coasters. Seeing that both swing side to side during their course I'm sure it wouldn't be too difficult to pull off. Then again, I'm not a professional hardcore programmer so what do I know?

As far as the game goes, I can't believe I've had it for nearly 4 years myself. It's something that I do when I actually have spare time. For a while I would trade off tracks with other friends only to have them royally screw them up either by adding trims, removing awesome dips for a straight-a-way, and whatnot.

I was impressed at the time how detailed the program was and I'm still impressed that we are still seeing features added on... for NOTHING!

And OT, what's up with hating on Jeff and the popups lately? Pull an Aaron Burr and drop a couple Hamilton's and be a club member.

Yeah... it's all about the Hamilton's baby.

~Rob Willi

EDIT: Typo *** Edited 1/5/2006 2:53:48 AM UTC by HeyIsntThatRob?***

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