Planet Coaster’s Chief Creative Officer, Jonny Watts, sat down recently for an interview to discuss Frontier’s upcoming rollerocaster simulator. He has been with the company for 17 years and worked with Sawyer on the Rollercoaster Tycoon expansion packs. Below are the highlights of his interview with Robert Zak of PCGamesN.
Differences between Rollercoaster Tycoon and Planet Coaster
What is the difference between Planet Coaster and Rollercoaster Tycoon 3? The simulation is deeper, and players can get more creative than ever. We want to follow Chris Sawyer’s (creator of Rollercoaster Tycoon 1 and 2) philosophy of letting people build things like Lego – piece-by-piece in an undaunting way.
Importance of placement in the park
All the stuff you create affects the guests. These are real people – real AIs – with money in their pockets that you want to get them to spend. You have to make sure that things are in the right place for that to happen. You might put your exciting rides in the distance and your gentler ones nearer the start. People will then go in, go on a gentle ride and work their way towards the exciting ones while walking past all the shops. That’s where the sophisticated simulation comes in: how you get the crowds of guests flowing through your park will affect how you extract money from them.
Tracking the movement of the crowd
You should be able to do things at first glance, so first of all you can see where people are physically – that’s where the most popular part of the park is, then by their behaviour you’ll be able to see if they’re hungry, or tired, or need to go to the toilet. Then there’s the stuff I like to call ‘nested complexity’, where you can click on people to really delve into their thoughts on your park, which you can then base your business decisions on. We’ll probably have heatmaps as well.
Will VR be part of Planet Coaster
We’re definitely experts in VR, and we know what we’re doing, but that’s all I’m going to say on that subject!