What do you think about current Roller Coaster Design!?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 2:56 PM

Hi forum,
I am a student in my 4th and final year at Coventry University studying Transport and Product Design. For my final major project I have decided to design, model and animate an entire roller coaster. I hope to talk with Alton Towers and with their permission have it theoretically replace the corkscrew.

My design revolves around designing the next BIG thing in Roller coasters.

I have devised a quick questionnaire to gain knowledge, with your help, of what the users really want. If you could please fill this in and repost your answers, I would be extremely grateful. (Don’t answer any questions if you wish not to)

Thanks for your help.
Richard Irvin

Q1) Are you Male/Female?


Q2) How old are you?


Q3) When you go to a theme park, do you prefer riding wooden roller coasters, or steel roller coasters?


Q4) Of all the different roller coaster trains, which do you prefer and why? Seated, standing, inversion etc…


Q5) What’s your most favourite ride?


Q6) When your on a roller coaster what do you think is the most THRILLING part of the ride? (Gives you the biggest buzz/rush?)


Q7) What do you think is the most SCARY part of the ride? (Makes you think twice about it?)


Q8) Do you think roller coasters are LESS scary and thrilling after you’ve ridden them once before?


Q9) Do you like the idea of an extreme roller coaster? (Think roller coasters crossed with extreme sports)


Q10) Themeing… Is the theme important in the overall ride anticipation and ride satisfaction?


Q11) Queuing… Do you like to see the ride whilst in the queue? Or do you prefer the sense of not knowing what is going to happen?


Q12) Because of the direct proportionality between rides and queue length, do you prefer short ride/short queue, or long ride/long queue?


Q13) Is there anything you would like to see improved/changed with roller coasters?

Thank you again for your participation.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 3:16 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Q12 is just wrong. Hypersonic, for instance, was a 17 second ride and usually had a huge wait. So did TTD and KK.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 3:33 PM
Kick The Sky's avatar

Rick_Irvin said:
Hi forum,
I am a student in my 4th and final year at Coventry University studying Transport and Product Design. For my final major project I have decided to design, model and animate an entire roller coaster. I hope to talk with Alton Towers and with their permission have it theoretically replace the corkscrew.

Yeah...how do I say this without sounding like a total prick?

I think you are setting your sights a bit high here. No amusement park is going to accept the design of a college student to replace a ride that they do not intend to replace. Coasters are typically designed by teams of experienced engineers and physicists who have been doing this for years and put in their time underneath others who have been doing it for years.

Now, that said, what you should do is look at getting a program called nolimits for your computer. I believe the address is www.nolimits.de, but a simple google search will find it for you. Many coaster companies actually use this tool to proto-type their rides in advance to present ideas to parks. It has a fairly steep learning curve, but you can design your rides with a fairly realistic physics model and then you can create videos of the ride so you can demo it in class.

Good luck on your project!


Certain victory.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 3:36 PM
Jeff's avatar

My suggestion is to post your e-mail so people can contact you directly. Otherwise, all you get here is a wishlist, which we frankly don't like to have here.


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

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 3:45 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

I hope to talk with Alton Towers and with their permission have it theoretically replace the corkscrew.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Corkscrew's replacement is a done deal.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 4:51 PM
Jeff's avatar

Am I the only one who thought by "theoretically" he meant "pretend?" I don't think he was seriously expecting to submit a proposal for development to the park.


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

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 5:27 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

At first that's what I thought too, Jeff...but then why would he need to contact Alton Tower's and ask for their permission? Unless that part was also "theorhetical"?

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 8:51 PM
Soggy's avatar

Give the dude a break, it's just a school project, and he's looking for opinions.

That being said, I think you'd be better off going elsewhere and getting opinions of non-enthusiasts. Around here you're just going to get jaded opinions, snarky remarks and boy's club discussion. Good luck with the project.

Besides, there never will be a consensus here, ask 10 enthusiasts, you'll get 11 opinions.


Pass da' sizzrup, bro!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:01 PM

^Wrong, wrong, wrong. More like 12 or 13 opinions. At least.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:37 PM

It's not THAT hard to design a roller coaster, even with the physics. It's just about time. Roller coaster physics is so much easier than a lot of other engineering projects out there. Though he may not be able to do 100% like the real deal, with basic formulas you can get pretty far. I think this sounds like a cool project!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008 10:42 PM
LostKause's avatar

Get No Limits!

I think that a lot of us have done stuff like this before just for entertainment. Good luck.


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Thursday, November 13, 2008 2:52 PM

If he's going to animate his designed coaster, he would need the park's permission to have their other attractions appear in his animation. At least that's how I understood it.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008 3:59 PM

I sent my response by email. Good luck with the project.

Last edited by Zakkster, Thursday, November 13, 2008 4:10 PM
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Thursday, November 13, 2008 4:58 PM
Kick The Sky's avatar

^^ Ah, that's probably where I misunderstood. Sorry for any offense I may have caused.


Certain victory.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008 6:35 PM

Mamoosh said:
I hope to talk with Alton Towers and with their permission have it theoretically replace the corkscrew.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Corkscrew's replacement is a done deal.

Right.. first off... Thanks for the replies and sorry for not responding earlier, I'v been quite busy, and only been checking my emails (I was under the impression I got an email through when someone replied), so I didn't realise anyone HAD replied.

I have no intention of expecting Alton Towers to accept my idea and build it immediately all on my calculations alone... I'll at least give them a few weeks to think about it ;) haha.
No but seriously, its all just hypothetic, to give my coaster some context and make it more believable. The reason i want to ask them though, is that 1) I don't want to use images of their park in my final work without their permission, and 2) I would like to get an interview with someone high up (I was passed on the name of John Wardley, from Brendan Walker, who I interviewed last week.)

I'v heard of no limits, downloaded the demo and had a play... wasn't all that impressed to be honest, I know I can get a lot better results if I work my arse off using Maya. I don't know if anyones heard of Maya, but its used by all the BIG companies like Pixar, LucasArts etc...

Follow this link, its an example of last years 'Final Degree Show'. Just a glimpse of the quality, and if you go to page 2, there's a video of the 'SRV concept by Rob Heath'... Its brilliant. It was all done in Maya, and i hope for similar effects ;)

Anywhooooo... If it works better for the admins, then you can by all means send the responses to my email. Rick_Irvin@hotmail.com

Thanks again for your time, and your replies!

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Friday, November 14, 2008 4:13 AM

^ I'd love to check that stuff out, but you forgot the link to the projects.


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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Friday, November 14, 2008 7:40 AM

Hopman said:
^ I'd love to check that stuff out, but you forgot the link to the projects.

Haha, oopsie, I copied, just forget the paste part!! Here ya go... http://www.cardesignnews.com/site/process/college_exhibitions/displ...tem126541/

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Friday, November 14, 2008 9:57 AM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Badnitrus Productions. Here is the link, http://badnitrus.coasterbuzz.com/ It has some of the best coaster animation, in my opinion of course. Here is an example of the kind of animation that could get done. Good Luck

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Friday, November 14, 2008 10:21 AM
Jeff's avatar

"Bad Nitrus" == VIP: http://www.3dvip.com/


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

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Friday, November 14, 2008 10:37 AM

Keith uses 3D Studio Max, which is somewhat similar to Maya, however the methods used to do it in 3DS don't really apply in Maya.

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