The holiday shopping season is upon us once again and if you’re on the hunt for that special gift for a friend or family member who happens to be a fan of RollerCoaster Tycoon then you’ve come to the right place! Unfortunately, RCT4 will probably never be coming out (otherwise that would make the perfect gift) so I’ve made a list of alternative ideas for you, organized by categories.
Roller Coaster Books
Coasters 101: An Engineer’s Guide to Roller Coaster Design. Learn how roller coaster designers spend hundreds of hours creating, tweaking, and re-imagining ride paths to push the exhilaration envelope while carefully maintaining the highest safety standards. Features design example problems real roller coaster engineers face in the field today as well as career advice for any aspiring theme park engineers. Available in Kindle or paperback formats from Amazon.com or download a digital copy instantly.
American Coasters: A Thrilling Photographic Ride is a relatively new book by photographer Thomas Crymes. The pictures are large and crisp. The colors are vivid. The book’s simple design places more emphasis on the photographs. Nothing beats seeing pictures of roller coasters printed on a physical page (sorry, internet). Read more details about this unique book here.
Theme Park Books
Creating My Own Nemesis by John Wardley. The story follows John’s professional career beginning with how he got out of the boring family business and into the crazy world of theme parks If by any degree you’re into magic, illusions, theater production, theme park design, or roller coasters I highly recommend you read this thoroughly entertaining book. See the making of RCT3 with John Wardley.
Theme Park Design by Steve Alcorn. Take a peek behind the scenes, with a theme park engineer, and learn about the multitude of roles and skills needed to design a world class theme park attraction – a must read for all aspiring theme park designers!
Roller Coaster Video Games and Apps
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum RCT3 Platinum combines the excitement and roller coaster, theme park fun of the Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 with included expansion packs Soaked! and Wild! Now enjoy more options than ever. Build your own water slide or create your own safari with real animals. Watch guest reactions to your ultimate theme park.
RollerCoaster Tycoon Triple Thrill Pack Instant Download. This compilation of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 and expansion packs Time Twister and Wacky Worlds brings together all the rides, building tools, as well as five real-world Six Flags amusement parks and 25 of their signature coasters. My personal favorite of all the RollerCoaster Tycoon games.
Transport Tycoon for tablets. Chris Sawyer’s Transport Tycoon is now available on tablet devices everywhere. Reviewers say they managed to bring this classic game to mobile devices extremely well.
Roller Coaster Toys and Models
K’nex Rippin Rocket Coaster. Loaded with over 500 KNEX pieces including classic parts, this model boasts over 20 feet of twists, turns, and daring loops. A special motorized blaster launches the coaster car into its exciting journey around the track.
Coaster Dynamix Models. The most realistic working roller coaster models currently available. Choose from Wooden coasters, steel coasters, Tumble Bugs, and Lego coaster sets.
I highly recommend joining Amazon Prime. If you order something off of Amazon on average once per month then it pays for itself, or if you’re ordering a bunch of gifts this holiday season it probably will too. The FREE two day shipping is awesome and everything I’ve ordered really has come in two days or less. You can also stream movies, TV shows, and get a Kindle book every month. Great alternative for Netflix or Hulu and well worth the investment in my opinion. Cheers!
What’s on your wish list this holiday season?
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Chris Sawyer’s Transport Tycoon is now available on tablet devices everywhere. Reviewers say they managed to bring this classic game to mobile devices extremely well. For the most part, controls are intuitive and easy. Higher resolution graphics would be nice, but the current ones work well enough. Sounds like there are a few issues but they’ve already issued an update and are working on more.
Now, us RollerCoaster Tycoon fans can only hope that Chris Sawyer will turn his attention to our beloved franchise next. A port of RollerCoaster Tycoon to mobile devices could be the best chance we have of playing a “new” RCT game for quite some. Transport Tycoon mobile is available from Apple, GooglePlay, and Amazon
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The Theme Park Studio release date has now been pushed back to April 2014. According to the message sent out to their Kickstarter backers, there is still a lot of work left to do. With the new features recently added, the new features planned, plus remaining tasks, they decided to push back on the final release again to April 2014 and the beta will be pushed back as well. The good news is they promise there will be something for us to play with by Christmas of this year that will allow us to start building and exchanging assets. Sounds exciting and I can’t wait to see what it is (provided that doesn’t get pushed back as well). The bad news for Theme Park Studio is NoLimits 2 is supposed to be released sometime this year and could make many fans decide not to buy Theme Park Studio as a result.
Theme Park Studio did release a new video that demonstrates the new custom train builder. It also demonstrates other features including on the fly rail type switching, rail coloring and shaping, custom camera fly throughs, utilization of existing community custom scenery, custom train colors, and terrain texture blending. Check it out below!
What do you think of Theme Park Studio so far? Which do you want more – Theme Park Studio or NoLimits 2?
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No new news on the RCT4 front but we did hear some excellent news – NoLimits 2 will be released this year, in 2013! NoLimits is not a game like the RollerCoaster Tycoon series. The goal of NoLimits 2 is absolute realism, no corny 3D graphics here. A few new details were also released. There will be different licenses, like Standard and Pro. The initial release will be Windows only with Mac coming sometime in 2014. The final price has not been set but it will probably be around $45 for standard, $100 for Pro, and NoLimits 1 owners may receive a discount. Internet download only, no CD version will be distributed.
Pictured are a few new NoLimits 2 screenshots.Vertical rotation and side shifting track switches will be available. Dive coaster station platforms will be fully animated. There will be insane details on the 4D coaster track and wheel bogies. Hidden track will also be an option.
So it looks like two of the best alternatives to RCT4 will be available around the same time. Are you looking forward to NoLimits 2?
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The DreamPark Tycoon release date is March 2014 and not the original predicted date of December 2013. After a period of looking like it wasn’t going to happen any more, we are happy to hear the game is back in development for PC, Mac, Wii U, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Red Coin Games is the developer of DreamPark Tycoon. To be clear, this is not RCT4 but the game is clearly inspired by the popular RollerCoaster Tycoon series. And no, Chris Sawyer is not co-developing this game.
DreamPark Tycoon feature is planned to feature two methods of gameplay. In career mode, players will complete predetermined objectives in a scenario setting. Sandbox mode will let players have unlimited time and money to create their own custom parks and the craziest rides they can imagine. DreamPark Tycoon promises to combine powerful construction systems to forge the most incredible rollercoasters with the deep strategy of park management. Expansion packs will be available after release to ensure that the fun never ends!
Details about the actual content and gameplay are sketchy at this point but we are adding this game to our list of potential replacements for RCT4 to keep an eye one. No new news on the RCT4 front so in the meantime we’ll keep you up-to-date on the DreamPark Tycoon release date.
DreamPark Tycoon has started an Indiegogo campaign to fund the development of the game. Contribute using the link below.
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John Wardley is a world famous roller coaster designer. You may recognize his name from the RCT cheat where if you rename a visitor “John Wardley” all height restrictions are removed from the park. This is alluding to the fact that John’s most famous creations were built at Alton Towers where they are not allowed to build any rides taller than the treeline. I just finished reading John’s autobiography, Creating My Own Nemesis, and I was thoroughly entertained. The book is loaded with fascinating tidbits about the origin of some of the highest rated roller coasters in the world, including Nemesis and The Smiler at Alton Towers. Did you know a ride on a roller coaster may have saved a young girl’s life?! My only complaint about the book is it’s too short and I was sad when I got to the last page.
After reading the book, I had to know more about John and in my searching I stumbled upon this video, the Making of RCT3 with John Wardley. It’s fascinating to see some of the creation process for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3. I believe John also worked with Chris Sawyer on the original RollerCoaster Tycoon game. Check this out (look at the computers they’re using!):
If you want to know more about John Wardley or about designing roller coasters, I highly recommend reading his autobiography, Creating My Own Nemesis. The book tells of how John became involved in the theme park business to begin with so if you are into magic, illusions, or theater production you will also really enjoy reading it.
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More bad news for RCT fans: The Atari auction held last week in New York City ended with no buyers for the popular RollerCoaster Tycoon video game series. Several other Atari franchises were sold including Star Control and Total Annihilation. While the RollerCoaster Tycoon series is probably Atari’s most valuable franchise, the minimum bid price of $3.5 million dollars was apparently too high. There is a possibility that Atari will try to auction off RCT again but at a much lower price. Fans hoping for another developer to pick up the IP to create a RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 game will have to continue to wait and see, though this latest news makes it even less likely to happen now. The RCT mobile game that was in development will also probably never see the light of day. Luckily, there are some great RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 alternatives in development that could fill the void.
But there could be a small glimmer of hope. Some Roller Coaster Tycoon fans have dreamed that one day Chris Sawyer would reappear and take back control of the franchise he created and return it to its former glory. That wish might have became a little more plausible after Chris Sawyer recently reappeared and announced Transport Tycoon is coming to mobile devices. Transport Tycoon uses the isometric grid employed in RCT 1 & 2 and looks amazingly similar. Chris Sawyer has stated it will not be a free to play game and that “it’s probably the most complex game ever to be launched on mobile platforms.” It’s not PC, but maybe the best we can hope for is a new RCT for mobile devices. What do you think?
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Unfortunately, RCT4 is not going to be coming out anytime soon, so I’ve put together a list of the best RCT4 alternatives and listed as much information about each that is currently available.
Release Date: Jan 2014 (beta November 2013)
Developer: Pantera Entertainment
Official website: http://www.themeparkstudio.com/
Description: Theme Park Studio will allow users to design and build their own roller coasters and flat rides; similar to Roller Coaster Tycoon 3.
Pros: Custom build flat rides as well as coasters.
Cons: Probably no money management system at launch date.
Release Date: Unknown
Developer: Ole Lange
Official Website: http://www.nolimitscoaster.com/
Description: NoLimits focus is on reality, this program will let you design your favorite roller coaster, and of course will let you ride it. Every kind of element that you could imagine is possible to design. There are no limits. You can even select from 24 different coaster-styles including inverted, hyper, spinning, flying, and wooden rollercoasters.
Pros: NoLimits is the most realistic coaster simulator on the market. NoLimits 2 will have flat rides!
Cons: Not really a game – no objectives, no money management system. Not as easy to use as RollerCoaster Tycoon.
Release Date: Now available
Developer: Maxis Emeryville
Official Website: $9.99 on Amazon
Description: In addition to managing your city like always, running a successful Amusement Park is almost a mini-game in itself!
Pros: Money management system.
Cons: Must own SimCity, not a stand alone game, not devoted entirely to theme parks.
Release Date: March 2014
Developer: Red Coin Games
Systems: PC, Mac, Wii U, Xbox One and PlayStation 4
Description: Supposed to be similar to RCT series.
Pros: Release date is March 2014 and no screenshots have been released.
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While fans of RollerCoaster Tycoon anxiously await news about their beloved franchise and long to know if they’ll ever see a RCT4 game, another popular coaster simulator’s fans are also waiting for the next version of their game. The good news for them is at least they KNOW they are getting a new experience, they just don’t know when. What other software am I talking about? NoLimits is a very popular roller coaster creator and simulator package due to it’s realism and the ability to create 100% unique coasters. NoLimits 2 has been underdevelopment for a few years with small bits of news drip fed to us. Today, we get our best look yet at the new features of NoLimits 2 in this preview video:
NoLimits 2 Features
As you can see, the full power of NoLimits 2 powerful scripting engine is on display with the complex light patterns and movements of the fair ride (yes, you will be able to have an entire theme park, not just coasters!). The new features of NoLimits 2 include:
- Scripted movement of scenery objects
- Animated and sequenced light panels
- Scripted and sequenced lighting effects
- Camera movement scripts
- Rider view camera
- Day/night time transition
- Dynamic light effects
- Motion blur
Even without an RCT4, the future of theme park software is looking pretty bright with Theme Park Studio and NoLimits 2 on the horizon. Join our email list and we’ll also keep you up to date on the NoLimits 2 release date.
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There currently is no RCT4 game in development that we know of but the future of the series just got intensely more interesting as Atari has announced they are selling the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise. Atari Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection in January and now plans to sell its brands on a franchise-by-franchise basis during auctions beginning next month. The minimum bid for the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise is set at $3.5 million.
Questions remain to be answered. Will a new company revive RollerCoaster Tycoon and return the game to its former glory by finally giving us the long awaited RCT4? Or will a new company turn the series into the next Farmville by making it available on every mobile device? Or is the series simply dead and we’ll never get another RCT game?
This news makes me cautiously optimistic for RCT4. Still, even if the brand is purchased in July and the buyer begins developing a new game, we’re still probably a year or two away from RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 being released. At least we still have Theme Park Studio to look forward to (which did receive full funding on Kickstarter).
Who do you think the most likely RollerCoaster Tycoon buyer is? Who would be the most capable? Share your thoughts below!