Posts Tagged ‘Frontier Developments’

Planet Coaster: the best parks, rides and other creations

Planet Coaster [official site] is, by many accounts, the greatest theme park sim ever. But if you don’t have the architectural vision of Gaudi (who never actually designed a theme park, but really should’ve), or if – like me – you tell yourself that you could build the next Disney World but just don’t have the time, then Planet Coaster can feel a bit intimidating. I get creative paralysis when I have nothing but a plain green field to ‘Build Something Beautiful’ on, and develop an inferiority complex when in the campaign I see how great the pre-built bits of park look next to my comparatively bland creations.

So I’ve left it to the lively Planet Coaster creators’ community to get on with the creative malarkey, while I sit in my cigar-stenched park office – summer sun trickling between the venetian blinds, the sound of kids’ laughter muffled by the triple-glazed windows – and search for the creations that’ll pull the punters in through the gates of my park. Here’s a bunch of my favourite community-made rides, rollercoasters, and other tidbits that I found while perusing the Steam Workshop.

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Planet Coaster gets harder challenge mode, new blueprints, repaired taco icons

Planet Coaster

New blueprints and a harder challenge mode are just a few of the ingredients in rollercoaster park-builder Planet Coaster‘s [official site] first patch. Update 1.0.1 also contains traditional fare like bug fixes and optimisations but I’m enjoying the patch notes for phrases like “Tacos icons now appear in Guest Inventories correctly” and “Guests re-equip balloons when leaving rides”. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Planet Coaster

During tumultuous times, there’s comfort to be found in games that peddle nostalgia or task you with making people happy and keeping them entertained. Frontier’s theme park management game, Planet Coaster [official site], does both, letting you create theme parks where the worst thing that can happen is lots of people vomiting.

It is also a game that inspired me to spend an entire hour constructing a toilet, which inexplicably left me very satisfied.

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Elite: Dangerous Explorers Reach New Heights After Developer Accidentally Creates Superpowered Stars

Two pilots in Elite: Dangerous [official site] travelled to the ceiling of the galaxy after a mistake by the developers accidentally gave players a huge boost to their jump drives. Frontier recently added plumes of white energy irradiating from the game’s rare white dwarves and neutron stars which, when entered by pilots, would cause some “turbulence” and a small boost to their jump drives. They had intended to set this boost at 25% but thanks to a “number mix up” it was accidentally set to 300%. Two curious explorers noticed the massive boost and began to chart a dangerous course into the highest layers of the Milky Way.

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Elite Dangerous Mulls Dropping Support For 32-bit, DirectX 10

[Update: This issue is perhaps less imminent that I’d thought – Frontier dropped us a line to stress that it may be a fair bit longer than six months, though Braben did say “the change will need to come at some point” so it seems this will happen eventually.]

Like in real life, obsolescence in PC gaming is usually a slow process. An achy knee after running becomes an achy knee after hiking then all too soon you’re waking up achy, and your framerates dip lower and lower starting to stutter before you realise you simply can’t play shiny new games. But sometimes there are hard cut-offs, and two are coming soon to Elite Dangerous [official site]. Developers Frontier today announced that they plan to stop supporting 32-bit systems and DirectX 10 graphics hardware. They say it’ll help them make the game look prettier and run better.

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Elite Pilots Finally Find A Crashed Alien Spaceship

The pilots of Elite: Dangerous [official site] have been looking for direct evidence of alien spaceships for a while now, knowing that Frontier are planning to bring them to the game at some point. But today they finally found a crashed alien vessel that has been rumoured to exist for months.

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Parks And Simulation: Planet Coaster

Planet Coaster’s [official site] announcement barely caught my attention at all. There was a time when a new theme park management game might have tickled my fancy, but the subgenre hadn’t been attractive for a while and I didn’t expect Frontier’s game to revive my interest. To do so, it’d have to be a proper simulation that paid as much attention to visitors as to rollercoasters, and it’d need to care about every aspect of its parks rather than focusing on some kind of first-person ride gimmick.

As the developer diaries started to appear, I realised that Planet Coaster was the game to revive my interest in park management, and that it was doing all of the things I’d hoped for and more.

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Elite Dangerous Is Adding Space Buses And I Want One

Suggestions of an alien intelligence creeping out of the shadows. Fighter ships, piloted remotely and able to bring down ships many times their size. Beautiful space station interiors that visually reflect the goods or services that they produce.

All very exciting, I’m sure, but I’m here for the cruise liners. Turns out I want every game to be a taxi/bus simulator, and if I can fly tourists around the galaxy, I’m definitely back on board the good ship Elite Dangerous [official site].

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Whooooo! Planet Coaster Rolling Out In November

Planet Coaster [official site], our next great hope for building and managing theme parks, now has a release date. It’s been in (expensive) paid alpha for a while but it’ll be declared finished and properly released on November 17th. I’ve not touched the alpha at all but I am quite keen to start building the park of my dreams with that fine-looking editor. I have big plans for a park of pond-pocked forest.

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Elite Dangerous Pilots Find Alien Map Hidden In Probe

Pilots in Elite Dangerous [official site] have discovered a hidden map in an alien probe after scanning the probe and applying a spectral analysis to the sound it produced. Probes like this have been around for a while but it wasn’t until last week that a player, Cmdr Rizal, “honked” at one (commander slang for using your Discovery Scanner) and documented the “reply”. Worryingly, the probe first sent out an EMP blast, temporarily cutting off the ship’s power. But after that, it spoke.

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Alien Threat Teased In Elite Dangerous Distress Calls

We always knew they would come back some day. The race of aliens known as the Thargoids have been slotted to appear in Elite Dangerous [official site] for a while, according to the developer’s plans. And David Braben has said in interviews that he wants them to be just as scary as encounters in the previous games. But we’ve seen little in the way of actual evidence so far. While players have discovered alien life in the form of “space barnacles” and often come across ancient artifacts floating around, nothing that suggested a hostile race from beyond the stars had ever been found. Until now.

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Planet Coaster Alpha 2 Adds Terrain Sculping

Why is there not a carving of this man and his magnificent burg'?

Frontier Developments launched their new theme park sim Planet Coaster [official site] into early paid alpha in March but, while it was fun, it lacked some of the features that made the game look so exciting. The much-vaunted terrain sculpting and fancy coaster-building tools, for example. Those have now arrived with the launch of alpha 2, so players could – I don’t know – make a vast statue of themselves with a rollercoaster winding through their guts. Just throwing an idea out there.

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Elite Dangerous: Horizons Engineers Due Next Week

Offblast! Look, it's Friday afternoon, I'm recycling everything I can.

The second Elite: Dangerous [official site] expansion, from its ‘Horizons’ series of add-ons, will blast off on May 26th. ‘The Engineers’ will bring… engineers? Obviously. Little embarrassed I had to tell you that, honestly. They, in turn, bring even more ways to customise your ships and weapons – if they like you. Also, launching alongside The Engineers but not requiring anyone to buy the expansions will be a big update with a new mission system. Though Horizons has had a wee price cut.

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Have You Played… Elite Dangerous?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I confess to not taking complaints that the Kickstarted Elite comeback dropped its promised offline mode seriously at the time. I figured a populated galaxy simply made sense – but I hadn’t entirely realised that this would make the main game a cutthroat universe of crime and punishment. I don’t have the kind of competitive nature (or, perhaps, simply the patience) that thrives in such a situation, and so my time in ED was so much shorter than I’d hoped. And I found myself dearly wishing there had been an offline mode.

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Frontier’s LostWinds Blown Towards Steam

And now, from the developers of space-sim Elite: Dangerous and the cartoony theme-park sim Planet Coaster, a colourful 2D platformer series about controlling the wind. Funny how diverse Frontier’s output is.

LostWinds [official site] and its sequel Winter of the Melodias came out in 2008 and 2009 for Wii. They found a positive reception, mostly thanks to their controls: players used gestures to manipulate the wind and almost push the flow of air in the direction they wanted. Both games have now appeared on Steam now, with a bit of a touch-up and the usual goodies like achievements and trading cards.

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Whoooooaaaahhhh! Planet Coaster Launches Paid Alpha

I probably would pay to visit an unfinished theme park, but mostly because I can’t imagine a better death than roaring through a loop de loop into a six-twist corkscrew then launching up a ramp to… nowhere, nothing, unfinished track, screaming through the air then landing in the crushing jaws of a still-skinless animatronic dinosaur. I’d be up for that. Let’s start smaller, shall we? You can now pay to create and visit virtual theme parks of your own in an unfinished version of Planet Coaster [official site], as Frontier Developments have started selling alpha access. It’s pricey, mind – more than twice as much as the game will cost when it’s done.

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Planet Coaster Reinvents The Theme Park Genre

Back in 1994, I was five years old and I had a PC in my room. The PC had just two games on it, DOOM and Theme Park, both installed by a family friend who made me promise not to let anyone see me playing DOOM. This meant that while most kids wanted to be an astronaut or a policeman, I wanted to build theme parks. Eventually, world weary cynicism took that away from me: theme park architect probably isn’t a real job, I thought, and it certainly won’t pay the bills. I gave up on my dream.

Seeing the alpha build for Frontier’s forthcoming Planet Coaster last week, I gave up on giving up on my dream. I’m going to be a rollercoaster tycoon (sorry) again.

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Planet Coaster’s Alpha In March, Mods After Launch

RPS have written extensively about theme-park sim Planet Coaster [official site] but Frontier keep announcing juicy features with every new dev diary and livestream. Unfortunately, the interesting news is spread over more than an hour of footage of two men talking in front of a green screen. Not a particularly exciting or intense ride, if you ask me. And possibly nausea-inducing.

So here are the highlights: the game will be highly modular, your creations will easily be shareable online with other players, and, not to be outdone by RollerCoaster Tycoon World, they too have promised mod support, but only after the full release, which is scheduled for a very vague 2016. Oh, and perhaps the most important bit of news: a paid playable alpha should be coming before the end of the month.

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Watch A Huge Elite: Dangerous Fleet Enter Hyperspace

Brendan rode along for the first part of the Elite: Dangerous Distant Worlds expedition, in which 900 pilots have grouped together for an expedition to the far side of the galaxy. The journey will take three months and has a long way to go, and the video below shows some of the players gathering together in Sagittarius A* – and what it looks like when 52 players jump into hyperspace at the same time.

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