Frontier has received positive responses from players after Alpha 2 was released of Planet Coaster back in May.
We have some new news on the successor to the RollerCoaster Tycoon series. Frontier sent an email to fans to notify them that a Steam version is coming soon. Those who purchased the alpha version or pre-ordered the game will get a Steam key in the upcoming weeks.
The next Alpha version of Planet Coaster will require all users to play through Steam according to an FAQ on their website.
“Planet Coaster Alpha 3 will build on Steam Workshop features and so requires access to Steam to play. You will not be able to use the Frontier Launchpad to play Planet Coaster from Alpha 3 onwards”
Planet Coaster Alpha 3 is scheduled for release on August 23.
Planet Coaster Looking to Pickup Where RollerCoaster Tycoon Stop
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!
Planet Coaster has yet to release, however according to Frontier Developments, the theme park builder has generated nearly $2 million in pre orders.
This is a very good sign for the future of this new franchise. With pre-sales of Planet Coaster reaching such a high number this early in the game, it gives Frontier the confidence that this game can fill the void left by the RollerCoaster Tycoon series.
“The Board is encouraged by the reception to the first Alpha build of Planet Coaster, the Group’s second self-published franchise. Released on schedule on 22 March 2016, the Alpha 1 build contained fundamental game systems including modular scenery, pathing and an early version of the coaster building system. Feedback to date has been very positive, with a total of over £1 million in customer receipts for the Alpha version and pre-orders. The Group has also announced the date of the Alpha 2 release of 24 May 2016.”
Frontier’s founder David Braben, announced in June 2015 that their next title will be a sort of a RollerCoaster Tycoon reboot, Planet Coaster.
According to David, the studio has wanted to make a roller coaster sandbox games for more than a decade. The game was originally named Coaster Park Tycoon, but the company decided to rename it to Planet Coaster to differentiate itself from the popular RollerCoaster Tycoon series. “The whole ‘tycoon’ thing—we looked at it a lot, and we did plan and consider that for quite a while, and decided actually it comes with too much baggage. There were too many tycoon games that weren’t very good,” said Braben.
Frontier Developments was the company who produced RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, so they have a great deal of expertise in this market.