Frontier Announce Coaster Park Tycoon

Nyoom. No, this is RollerCoaster Tycoon 3.

Do you want to good Frontier news first or bad Frontier news? They themselves opened with the good news, so let’s follow suit: Frontier are making a new rollercoaster sim! The RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 devs plan to kick off a new manage ’em up series in 2016 with Coaster Park Tycoon, though they don’t have much to say or anything to show at this point. Then, the bad news. They’ve laid off 15 folks and dragged development roles back from their studio in Canada’s sunny Halifax, which they opened in 2012. But rollercoasters!

All we know about Coaster Park Tycoon for now is that they intend to make it a new series, starting a second big franchise alongside Elite, and that it “is intended to raise that benchmark for ‘Tycoon’ gameplay even further by combining accessible creative features with a sophisticated simulation.” Okay then! Grand.

(Don’t mind that screenshot up there – it’s RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 ’cause I had to have a picture.)

And back to the bad news. An anonymous source Gamasutra that the Halifax studio will close entirely, but that’s just rumours for now.

I’m still hoping we’ll see Frontier’s rollercoaster murder simulator Screamride come from Xbox to PC. It is published by Microsoft and they are pretty insistent that they really for real are interested in PC gaming again for real this time, which is just the sort of false hope I’m reaching for.

Atari are reviving RollerCoaster Tycoon too. Busy times in the coasting world. Especially as games start dabbling with Oculus Rift.

38 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Tom-INH says:

    I look forward to Roller Theme Manager next year.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Solar Coaster Tycoon

      Like RCT, but IN SPACE!

      • cvaldivia93 says:

        Then…Polar Coaster Tycoon

        Like RCT and SCT, but on ice

        • Premium User Badge

          DelrueOfDetroit says:

          Molar Coaster Tycoon

          Like RCT,SCT and PCT but on the molecular level.

          • Kurremkarmerruk says:

            …and designed and built simultaneously with the crossover hit:

            Roller Toaster Tycoon!

            Hire call centers, convince big box distributors, design crazy infomercials, get this amazing toaster to the people! They’ll never buy another toaster again and you will never buy another game again!

            Online multiplayer will arrive sometime after release

  2. Bull0 says:

    RCT3 is really not very enjoyable, especially compared to the original games. I do not have much hope for this.

    • Laini says:

      I didn’t like RCT3 to begin with, partly cos it ran like pants on my system at the time but having gone back to it since it’s great. I think it really is a worthy successor to the first two and I’m really excited to see what they do with Coaster Park Manager Tycoon World or whatever it’s called.

    • Zankman says:

      Why do you say so? Besides the stability issues, I know that it is regarded as a great game, a worthy successor.

      • Bull0 says:

        Poor UI, bad art, bad performance, poor balance, less fun than the originals. I’m not sure about the general consensus (or why that should have any bearing on my opinion) but it currently sits at 81% on metacritic which isn’t exactly universal acclaim.

        I kind of hate everything Frontier do though so, I mean, apply salt as needed

      • BTAxis says:

        One of the biggest complaints about RCT3 is that the park guests are very recalcitrant to actually ride the rides. The reason for this is that they come in groups now, and those groups spend vast amounts of time waiting for one another. There is however a utility called peepfactory that allows you to populate your park with only single guests, which is supposed to mitigate this issue.

        • Laini says:

          Oh yeah, that was infuriating >.<
          It's amazing the difference Peepfactory makes from such a simple change.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      I thought it was fine. It just went a little off the rails with having so many options. It leads to some of the scenarios not being well balanced.

  3. JustAchaP says:

    So how many upcoming Rollercoaster games are there now?

    • Amstrad says:

      Well with the two mentioned above and Parkitect I count three total.

  4. sonofsanta says:

    RCT3 was great fun, but far too crash happy. If they can just make that game but stable, I’ll be happy (as will my father-in-law).

    • BTAxis says:

      Odd, on my system RCT3 is pretty stable. It’s RCT2 that feels I should see my desktop every once in a while.

  5. Rao Dao Zao says:

    “Rollercoaster Tycoon” “Coaster Park Tycoon”… Just a teensy bit of trademark infringement possible there, or do they own the rights anyway?

    • drinniol says:

      Way way way too generic.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      They made all the RCT games, dunno about the licence, probably Atari still own it seeing how they aren’t calling it RCT 4 but I’d say it’s generic enough to escape any form of copyright either way.

  6. melnificent says:

    My kids and I would love this, that’d be three copies.
    But after the frustration of dealing with Frontier it’s three lost sales instead.

    I guess it’s Rollercoaster Tycoon World then

  7. Cinek says:

    Let me guess – online-only version at the release (because you need Frontier servers to track all these little people, where they go and what they do) and gameplay limited to the engine with amazing graphics, building paths and roller-coasters, but nothing else than that?

    • frightlever says:

      Wouldn’t surprise me if it was online-only. Seems to be the way certain devs are going. So long as they’re open about it up front I have no problem with that. It was the bait and switch with Elite that was skeevy.

  8. SuicideKing says:

    Wait, is this the Elite: Dangerous developer, Frontier? Never knew they made RCT3…

    • Timberwolf says:

      Yes, the very same. In a nice bit of symmetry, the PC port of Frontier: Elite II was done by Chris Sawyer.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    That RCT3 image defenitely looks better then I remember it.

  10. Premium User Badge

    teije says:

    Sunny is definitely not the first term that comes to the mind of any Canadian when thinking of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Scenic and wet perhaps.

    And RCT2 is the best. Really don’t see the point of any roller coaster game after that.

    • Llewyn says:

      Apparently* Frontier believed they were opening a development office in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and the initial visit didn’t raise any undue suspicions. One member of the survey team did say that it felt like being in another country, but it was pointed out that it’s practically Lancashire.

      It was only at their next annual audit, when it was queried why they were spending so much on flights instead of just driving up the A1, that the oversight was spotted, leading to today’s announcement.

      *Do I even need to?

    • Cinek says:

      Nah, they always could remake RCT2 with some more detailed graphics, better park management, and perhaps few new attractions. :)

      • MisterMumbles says:

        Sooo… Parkitect essentially? ;) I’m really looking forward to seeing how that one will turn out. While I didn’t back the actual Kickstarter for it, I like checking in on their devlog every week.

  11. Eggman says:

    How about directing all dev resources into putting some desperately needed meat on Elite’s bones?

    • Joshua Northey says:

      They already have people’s money, why bother? People should be smarter with their funds.

    • ThatFuzzyTiger says:

      Or invest in better food for the server hamster, I dunno…

    • Zenicetus says:

      There are some meat scraps in today’s Dev Blog:

      link to forums.frontier.co.uk

      Scripted “community goal” events coming soon, and some credit for first-visit Explorers.

    • ThatFuzzyTiger says:

      Intriguing to note virtually all of it is being dev assisted or dev injected. Whilst some argue this supports the whole “offline would be unacceptably limited” argument, it also suggests that the simulation probably isn’t as complex as was made out.

      Therein lies the real rub, Elite is a great “Space trucking” simulator, but for people to actually have measurable change, you have to have all those boring things that don’t seem to be in there, like manufacturing (or the simulation of it), creation (or automated creation of) starbases, capital ships, natural expansion of territory over time, etc.

      Right now when people tell me it’s a sandbox MMO, what they’re actually saying is that it’s a desert and you’re being given a bucket and spade, and the wind is blowing at random. Anything you do tends to get washed away by the vagaries of the AI trading black box/aggregated actions of others. The few areas where it has had an appreciable impact (Mikuun, Lugh), they’ve run into bugs, black box oddness, and design limitations (we didn’t code this stuff yet! let us catch up!).

      A scoped down version could have easily been put out, but they gotta sell those skins you can’t see!

      • frightlever says:

        Players have no effect on the economy, it’s run off an algorithm.