Planet Coaster Dev Diary Shows Rollercoaster Building

Planet Coaster [official site] has had a few developer diaries so far, but each one shows a little bit more of the game in action and gets me a little bit more interested in playing it. There are more shots here of track being laid, twisted and looped, alongside discussion of how you can create and share buildings and props within the game.

I like the look of the rollercoaster manipulation tools, which seems far more flexible than the games from my youth. Obviously there will still be physical limits – I hope so anyway, so I can launch unwitting park visitors to their doom – but otherwise you can do things you couldn’t before like create tunnels and arcs in the terrain and have the coaster loop through them.

I’m less convinced by the customisation tools, which let you take buildings such as shops and customise them with new windows, walls and decorations. I can imagine using those to tweak the minutiae of how a park looks, but it doesn’t appear to have the flexibility necessary for people to create the kinds of things I’d want to share. There’s not yet any word about more flexible mod support, which would seem a shame given how much entirely new models and building types have added to a building game like Cities: Skylines.

“Planet Coaster is a great game for telling stories,” says lead artist Sam Denney early in the video. “It’s got great characters, it’s got beautiful props, beautiful scenery, and the rides themselves. When you go to a theme park, it is like a story in itself. You go out and the things you do throughout the day when you’re in a theme park. You remember key moments and the same will happen in Planet Coaster.”

I mean no disrespect to Mr. Denney because this is not what he was saying, but his comments do remind me of one of my favourite videos, titled “You are not a storyteller“, in which Stefan Sagmeister explains why he’s skeptical of the “storytelling” theme of the design and technology conference the video is made by. “Recently I read an interview with somebody who designs rollercoasters,” he says. “He referred to himself as a storyteller. No, fuckhead! You are not a storyteller. You’re a rollercoaster designer! And that’s fantastic. […] Or if you are storytelling then the story that you tell is bullshit.”

Planet Coaster is due for release in 2016.

14 Comments

  1. Gribbstar says:

    Excited for this but I hope the management side of it is strong and it’s not just a park creation tool. The only thing I can compare what I mean to is Cities Skylines. It’s very nice for making a lifelike authentic looking city but as far as an actual challenging city management game goes I found it pretty simple and very formulaic.

  2. Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

    I must admit I’m getting rail-ly excited for this.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Mhe, its and FD game so it’ll have it’s ups and downs.

    • Scrote says:

      I’m not going to pre-order it, I don’t want to get taken for a ride.

  3. BTAxis says:

    Same here. I want to play a management game, not an aimless sandbox. I care very little about other people’s creations, or indeed about sharing my own.

  4. Zaxwerks says:

    OK, that’s me waking up screaming in terror after having nightmares about creepy Hamburger Man at 3:54

  5. cpy says:

    When people start to build and share… will this end up like Elite Dang…err..ous? Forever unfinished alpha marketed as realease. Game mechanics that makes no sence and do not interact with each other? But graphics are nice. Half of the game imbalanced and half of stuff not working properly/at all?
    I’m not saying FD is bad, i’m just observing a trend here.

  6. Konservenknilch says:

    I have to say, the coaster-building part was always my least favourite aspect of the RCT games. I like the economy and general park layout parts of the game, but I don’t care to build my own tracks. Theme park was a bit more my thing in that regard.

    Let’s see how this turns out.

  7. Raoul Duke says:

    Do I have to go to a private art college of some description to get a Diploma of Storytelling before I’m allowed to tell stories, then?

  8. C0llic says:

    i’m all for more building games. I liked Skylines, but got bored of it fairly quickly. It’s a really good game, but I guess I don’t like pure sandbox content enough anymore. I’m hoping this will have enough feedback and game-play consequence to the design aspect to keep me engaged.