Preview: Planet Coaster alpha version

Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2016 9:57 AM | Contributed by Jeff

From the article:

Planet Coaster is surprisingly accomplished for an alpha, then, although there are a few cracks beneath the surface. The menus for park items are indistinct and difficult to navigate, and you can't resize vanity items like signs to better fit a wall you've constructed. And, while there are ride and cinematic cameras that allow you to see how much guests are enjoying themselves, there isn't a way to follow guests around the park. A third-person view is coming, but first-person isn't currently planned.

Most disappointing, however, is that custom roller coasters aren't in the alpha—or at least they weren't when I played it. Arguably the best part of RollerCoaster Tycoon was building obscene roller coasters and seeing how many Gs you could subject guests to before they threw up the $10 burger they'd bought just a few moments earlier.

Read more and see images from Ars Technica.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 5:23 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

"Arguably the best part ofRollerCoaster Tycoon was building obscene roller coasters and seeing how many Gs you could subject guests to before they threw up the $10 burger they'd bought just a few moments earlier."

No. No it wasn't.


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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 5:34 PM
Jeff's avatar

I'm amazed at how long it's taking to make the game. If it's not huge, it's going to lose a lot of money.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 6:02 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
No. No it wasn't.

Arguably....
Some thought the best part of RollerCoaster Tycoon was building roller coasters and watching them mow down a crowded midway.

I always designed my RCT parks with an eye toward realism, and having ninety nine terrifying coasters was never my goal. My parks were pretty, and nice places to be. Scenery and park planning were important items for me, and I always tried to include something awesome at each thrill level. I haven't tried this game, of course, but so far there's a look to it that satisfies my needs in that department. Yay, curved sidewalks! Seriously.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016 7:31 AM
Bakeman31092's avatar

RCMAC said:

My parks were pretty, and nice places to be.

RC, I've been to your park, and I had an awful time.


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Thursday, March 24, 2016 8:35 AM

C'mon, man, we caught you lurking in the parking lot.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016 6:20 PM

Jeff said:

I'm amazed at how long it's taking to make the game. If it's not huge, it's going to lose a lot of money.

I think you might be confused -- Planet Coaster is a totally different game than Roller Coaster Tycoon World.

I agree that RCTW seems to be on a slow death march towards its release (if it ever happens?) but Planet Coaster seems to have a lot of momentum. The alpha release looks amazing with modular building, beautiful graphics and fun gameplay (I haven't played yet, only watched gameplay and preview videos). I'm excited for the full release later this year.

I'll repeat what I've said before: Planet Coaster looks incredible. Check it out if you haven't already

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Thursday, March 24, 2016 6:35 PM
Thabto's avatar

I think RCTW is doomed and will be DOA. I might just "try it". I played RCT mobile and it's crap. Parkitect and Planet Coaster look alot better.

Last edited by Thabto, Thursday, March 24, 2016 6:36 PM

Brian

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Thursday, March 24, 2016 7:22 PM
Jeff's avatar

Jetsetter said:
I think you might be confused -- Planet Coaster is a totally different game than Roller Coaster Tycoon World.

I'm not confused at all. They announced last June with a trailer, suggesting that significant portions of the game had been developed. Nine months later, and it's only alpha, without the coaster building in a good enough state to be enabled by default. So that's at least a year, and an intended ship date of Q4 puts dev total dev time probably close to two years. I remember reading somewhere, maybe Forbes or Fortune, that maybe a fourth of games ever turn a profit. I'd be shocked if this was one of them.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, March 24, 2016 10:35 PM

Interesting perspective. I don't perceive the lack of coaster building by default as a negative. To me it is a signal that they are taking their time to get it right and not allowing themselves to fall into the same trap RCTW did by releasing something they knew wasn't ready for prime today. Perhaps this attention to detail is exactly what will make the game a hit. But from a consumer standpoint, I don't care either way. I would rather wait two years for development than a rush job that doesn't endure over time. Especially because RCT2 came out what, 14 years ago, and was insanely popular?

So the criticism is that the game is taking too long. Okay. What about the game itself? I guess overall I'm surprised by the lack of love being shown for Planet Coaster here. Doesn't seem to add up. Am I just drinking the kool-aid? I'm genuinely befuddled.

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Thursday, March 24, 2016 11:38 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

"From the people that brought you Roller Coaster Tycoon 3" is all the cause for apprehension that I need.

The videos look nice. The RCTW videos looked really nice too, but then people played the game.

"What about the game itself?" you ask.

I think the lack of excitement is because there is no game yet. I think the crowd here needs more than pretty videos to get our panties moist. When it comes out, if it's actually enjoyable to spend time with, I'm sure you'll see conversation and interest.


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Friday, March 25, 2016 12:05 AM
Jeff's avatar

Yeah, that's really what I was getting at. There is no game. I'm critical of the time it has taken because it sure seems strange to have nothing to show for it other than video demo porn. If the coaster building UI still sucks, what kind of process do they have that it hasn't been in an iterative and fast loop to integrate user feedback? (Answer: Apparently the devs are too busy playing the game.)


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, March 25, 2016 10:28 AM

Tough audience I guess. Enjoy playing Parkitect; I'll be watching the "video demo porn." Everybody wins! :-)

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Friday, March 25, 2016 10:32 AM
Jeff's avatar

I'm not playing anything other than Lego Avengers right now. :)


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, March 25, 2016 11:46 AM

Thing is I never liked the way RCTW looked. When all those panties were moist, I was seeing coasters that looked awful, and a lot of duplication of the same items.

I've played with Planet Coaster a bit now, and so far it looks promising. You're right that the 'game' is missing, but the stuff that they've got so far seems pretty sweet. The coaster editor as is, is a huge culture shock, but I kinda feel that way about the coaster builder in Parkitect, and I'm getting the hang of that, and the less said about RCTW's awful builder the better. I'm starting to get to a point with PC that I'm able to make 'OK' rides.

For my taste, this is what RCT3 should have been. It's UI makes sense and isn't a cluttered mess, the crowds look better, there's more freedom with what you can make. This feels like it has more polish on it in alpha than RCT3 does now. There a ton of things still missing, but if they do the stuff they still need to do as well as the stuff they've done then it'll be a sweet game.


Joz - Power, in tune with nature!
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Friday, March 25, 2016 4:01 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Speaking of RCTW, early access on Steam happens on Wednesday:

https://forum.rollercoastertycoon.com/showthread.php?9945-RCTW-Blog...rly-Access!


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Friday, March 25, 2016 6:54 PM
Fun's avatar

I don't know much about how video games are developed and launched these days, but it appears they are selling a version of the game without:

  • Custom Built Structures
  • Scenario Editor
  • Mini-rides and Dark Rides
  • Transport Rides
  • Fences!
  • Weather

That is a deal breaker for me.

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