Definitions

RollerCoaster Tycoon

RollerCoaster Tycoon

RollerCoaster Tycoon (or often abbreviated RCT) is a series of computer games that simulate amusement park management. Each game in the series challenges players with open-ended amusement park management and development, and also allows players to construct and customize their own unique roller coasters.

The first game of the series was developed by designer and programmer Chris Sawyer, artist Simon Foster and composer Allister Brimble. It was published by Hasbro Interactive (which was sold to Infogrames, and is now known as Atari). The game was a sleeper hit. It spawned two sequels and several expansion packs.

Games in series

Several games and expansion packs were released, as detailed below.

  • RollerCoaster Tycoon (1999)
    • Expansion CorkScrew Follies (aka Added Attractions) (1999)
    • Expansion Loopy Landscapes (2000)
      • Compilation RollerCoaster Tycoon: Gold (aka Totally RollerCoaster) (2002); Includes original game and both expansions
      • Compilation RollerCoaster Tycoon: Deluxe (2003); Includes original game and both expansions with more designs for the different customizable rides
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 (2002)
    • Expansion Wacky Worlds (2003)
    • Expansion Time Twister (2003)
      • Compilation RollerCoaster Tycoon 2: Combo Park Pack (2003); Includes original game and Wacky Worlds expansion
      • Compilation RollerCoaster Tycoon 2: Triple Thrill Pack (aka Totally RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 (2004); Includes original game and both expansions
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 (2004)
    • Expansion Soaked! (2005)
    • Expansion Wild! (2005)
      • Compilation RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Gold (2005); Includes original game and Soaked! expansion
      • Compilation RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Platinum (aka RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Deluxe Edition) (2006); Includes original game and both expansions

Book series

The RollerCoaster Tycoon book series was released in 2002, the same year the RollerCoaster Tycoon BoardGame and the RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 computer game were released. The books are based on the computer game and written in an open-ended, Choose Your Own Adventure style with "more than 18 possible outcomes" for each book. A total of 6 books written by different authors were released in the series:

  • Sudden Turn, Shane Breaux
  • Sabotage!, Shane Breaux
  • The Great Coaster Contest, Tracey West
  • Kidnapped!, Larry Mike Garmon
  • Haunted Park, Katherine Noll
  • Spaced Out!, Bobbi Weiss and David Weiss

Game description

The player is given control over an amusement park and is tasked with reaching particular goals, such as improving the park's value, attracting more guests, or getting a higher park rating. Some scenarios in the game provide an empty plot of land and allow the player to build a park from scratch, while others provide a ready-built park which usually suffers from deterioration, bad planning, or underdevelopment. The player must wisely invest the limited amount of money provided.

Most scenarios require that the goals be achieved for a specific in-game date, otherwise the scenario is not 'complete'. Completion of scenarios is a prerequisite for unlocking further scenarios in the first RollerCoaster Tycoon game. In RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 all the scenarios are available for play and the player can complete them in random order.

The game provides extensive customization for all rides, particularly roller coasters, which can take any path the player wishes (subject to game logic). More or less guests will then ride based on the ride's ratings of "excitement", "intensity" and "nausea". Other 'track'-based rides such as log-flumes can be similarly customized.

The player is also responsible for building park infrastructure such as paths, and facilities such as lamp posts, restrooms, garbage bins, benches, and shops. The player must also manage staff, with handymen for cleaning up litter and vomit, mechanics for fixing and inspecting rides, security guards to prevent vandalism, and entertainers to keep guests entertained. Although not usually necessary, players are also given a wide array of tools for landscaping. Players can raise and lower terrain, create lakes, add trees and other scenery objects like fountains or statues, and even control the type of paths in their park.

The guests, who are integral to the gameplay, are treated as separate entities which can each have particular characteristics and be tracked by the player around the park. The game keeps track of how much money they have, what they are carrying, their thoughts, and what their current needs are (thirst, hunger, etc). Each guest also has some unique features such as preferring gentle rides over roller coasters, and their nausea tolerance. Some scenarios are even biased towards a specific guest demographic and require the player to take this into account in designing the park. In RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, the player can create their own guest groups to visit their parks.

Players may also invest in 'research', which unlocks new rides and improvements as time goes on, though it costs money to continue research. Research in a particular area is disabled when all attractions in that category are researched.

Sequels have continually upgraded the number of rides and amount of customization available to the player.

Issues with operating systems

Some users of Windows 2000 and Windows XP may find trouble when running the first game. For example, when the player's computer clock adjusts itself for Daylight Saving Time, all scenarios that were previously unlocked will be locked again. In short, the player's progress through the game will appear to have been reset. This and other issues are fixed by the official patches. Users of Windows 98 may not need to update their game, but it is recommended.

The second game should work fine on computers running Windows 98 or higher, but users should also download its official patch if they encounter problems starting the game; otherwise, the patch is not needed.

The third game, with its increased reliance on DirectX 3D rendering, puts additional strain upon graphics cards and their drivers. Although the distribution CD-ROM comes with updated ATI Technologies drivers, it is possible that users may need to visit their graphics card manufacturer's web site to get the latest drivers and thus ensure maximum system stability.

References

External links

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