On February 28th, the official RollerCoaster Tycoon Facebook page posted this status update:
“Are you the next RollerCoaster Tycoon?”
This was surprising because the Facebook page had not been updated since December 2012! Many fans immediately assumed this is news and a sign that RCT4 may finally come out. We know Atari is bankrupt and no one has bought the franchise yet so this leads me to believe that this is not about RCT4 and is much more likely pointing towards a RCT1 or RCT2 release on tablet devices that Chris Sawyer hinted about earlier. What are your thoughts?
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The Theme Park Studio Early Release version is not available to download on Steam (the Kickstarter backers were emailed a key from Pantera. You have to create a Steam account, download Steam, then go to Games>Enter a Product key to access Theme Park Studio). While the game is still in the very early stages of development (and not much of a game at all at this point) it’s easy to see the power and potential of it as they add more and more features. Below are a few screenshots from pre-built parks you can load and play with.
RCT versus Theme Park Studio
So the question everyone wants to know is how does Theme Park Studio compare to RollerCoaster Tycoon? The biggest difference is the customization in TPS is off the charts and way above and beyond RCT. A good example of this is the path builder. You use paths to link rides and attractions in your theme park and they can be built as plain roads or ornate pathways with rails, lights and more. In RCT, paths were pretty limited. You could only build in squares. With TPS, virtually anything is possible. Each path segment has its own terrain binding mode which causes hills to be flattened to let a path pass through, or causes hills higher than the path to flatten and terrain beneath the path to rise and support the path. Toggle on or off parts of the road, including the roadbed, the left fence, the right
fence and the sidewalks. You can auto generate objects to automatically be placed at intervals on or alongside your paths. The amount of options is astounding and the ability to make a lot of things all at once will be a big timer saver compared with placing everything one at a time like in RCT.
I can’t wait to see more from TPS in the future. What do you think of the game so far?
Theme Park Studio Keyboard Shortcuts
W / Up Arrow: Move Forward
A / Left Arrow: Move Left
S / Down Arrow: Move Backward
D / Right Arrow: Move Right
Shift + W: Raise Elevation
Shift + S: Lower Elevation
Q : Rotate Counter-clockwise
E : Rotate Clockwise
Shift + Q : Rotate Upward
Shift + E : Rotate Downward
X / + : Zoom In
Z / - : Zoom Out
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The Theme Park Studio release date has been announced as February 10th, 2014. At least, the early BETA version of the game that is. The latest update says Theme Park Studio is still in development and is actually going to be released in stages starting in February. What does this mean? The coaster construction module is only 60 percent complete and will be released in a future stage. The developers urge you to only purchase at this point if you are interested in being involved in the ongoing development of this exciting project. This includes testing, debugging, and supplying new feature requests. Theme Park Studio is all about creating a community based project and this first release basically allows us fans to get started designing parks, creating custom assets, and importing/sharing custom scenery.
How will all this be accomplished? Valve will be carrying Theme Park Studio on Steam! Not only will this make the Beta program a very streamlined process, but it will allow additional features to be added at a later date to expand the product. A full development road map has been outlined on the Early Access page. Here is the link:
Via their Kickstarter they also announced they are creating a professional version and are honored to announce that the Theme Park Studio Professional Edition is scheduled for use in 2014 by Intamin Amusement Rides to showcase their newest coaster designs. There is amazing potential for Theme Park Studio and I am looking forward to what could be the ultimate theme park simulator.
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A reader recently informed me about a project under construction that is very interesting. It’s called FreeRCT, a free and open source theme park simulation game inspired by our beloved Roller Coaster Tycoon franchise. FreeRCT is being written in the C++ programming language. Judging by the entries on their blog, this project has actually been in development since 2011. The ultimate foal is to capture the look, feel and gameplay of the popular games RollerCoaster Tycoon 1 and 2.
The latest video, posted below, shows the building of a small roller coaster, followed by a moving coaster car (at fixed speed, and not rotating along with the tracks).
You can learn more at http://www.freerct.org/.
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Happy new year! In a great start to 2014 the NoLimits 2 release date was announced as January 10th, 2014! After over 8 years of development, numerous burnouts, adding of countless features that were originally not planned, and 670,000 lines of code No Limits 2 will finally be available to download. The sequel to 2001′s No Limits will come packed with new features such as 4D, flying, dive machine and laydown coaster models. The standard version of No Limits 2 will cost $45.99, while the professional version will cost $99.99. Read about the differences between the two here. Stay tuned for our full review of NoLimits 2! What version do you plan on downloading?
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2013 is coming to a close. In 2013 Atari properties were auctioned off but no buyer was found for our beloved RCT franchise and the future of the series remains in limbo. All is not lost for coaster designers as new games that may surpass Roller Coaster Tycoon are schedule to be released soon.
To see a brief recap of 2013, listed below are the top 5 most popular posts published on RCT4 release date in 2013:
- Best RCT4 Alternatives
- Atari Auction Ends with No Buyer for RCT Series
- Back Theme Park Studio
- NoLimits 2 Preview Video
- Real Roller Coaster Design Software
RCT Goals for 2014
My goals for 2014 are to review the fantastic looking upcoming games, Theme Park Studio and NoLimits 2. Of course, I will also keep you updated on any developments on the RollerCoaster Tycoon front, but it doesn’t look good. The series may be as good as dead. The best we might hope for is to be able to play RCT2 on our tablets.
What would you like to see on this site in 2014?
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The wait is almost over for those RCT fans waiting for a realistic coaster simulator. No Limits 2, scheduled for release this month, will come packed with new features including 4D, dive machine and laydown coaster models. The original No Limits simulator was released in 2001. The sequel program has been in development for a number of years. The standard license of the simulator will cost $45.99, while the professional license which has more advanced features will cost $99.99. NoLimits recently released this video of the powerful editor.
Also in the video you can see the new Timberliner wooden coaster trains. Stay tuned for our full review once the program is made available.
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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?