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Thread: [Planet Coaster]

  1. #1
    Speed Seeker Deuce's Avatar
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    Post [Planet Coaster]

    Here is my attempt to pull together everything we know about Planet Coaster (Formally Coaster Park Tycoon). On the face of it it looks like just a CGI trailer but digging deeper there is a little more that can be put together!

    Name Change
    Whilst we may never know why the name was changed, it seems likely that at least in part it was dangerously close to the name of RCT franchise - perhaps a good idea to change it then. The new name does have 2 major floors though: 1) I don't like it very much, 'planet'!?. 2)Its acronym is 'PC'. Which makes discussing it quite difficult and rules out googling things such as 'PC custom scenery', 'PC game download' when the game is released! Not a big deal, but for this game, looks like we're all stuck with typing it's full title whenever we want to find info out.

    Art Style
    I've scoured these and also Frontier forums and youtube comments. It's hard to find anyone mentioning the art style that doesn't love it. It's over the top but in a good way. Real theme parks are over the top too. But crucially, the stuff that needs to be realistic looking does match real life. Such as the paths and the way they connect to the rides (more about the paths further down).

    Put simply, PC looks like how most of us probably imagined a modern RCT game would look (before we saw the screenshots and trailer obviously - and who knows what RCTW looks like now).

    CGI, but based on real assets from the game??
    The big question that EVERYONE wants answered! On the face of it, it's clear this isn't exactly how the game will look or feel, but looking very closely at the trailer there are clues that a lot of it IS made using models straight from the game.

    Exhibit 1.

    Note how at the bottom right where the two path types meet, the borders don't line up. This is exactly the sort of thing you would expect from a real game model that's not quite perfected. Also note that the stall is raised slightly from the path. These are things you see from real game models. If the assets in the trailer were made just for the trailer, you would not see imperfections like this, the models would be made exclusively for the trailer, everything would fit seamlessly.
    paths.jpg

    Exhibit 2.
    Look closely at the lines, shapes and spacing between assets in this image. You can see that there is a grid of sorts at work, and that each asset can be subdivided into grid units. This is not something you would do if you creating assets purely for a pre-rendered sequence, as with the paths in the image above, everything would be free flowing if the intent was purely to make it look as incredible as possible.
    ride_queues.jpg

    Exhibit 3,4,5 & 6
    The most important evidence! This coaster shot is from Frontier's current game 'Scream Ride' which shows a coaster track and cars which are just as detailed and smooth as those in the trailer. Obviously Scream Ride is itself completely unrealistic!! But nonetheless, expect coasters in PC top be as detailed, and there is no reason at all why they should not look as good as in the trailer.
    scream_ride.jpg

    The SketchFab models! The following three images are in game assets in their current state. And they look exactly like those in the trailer, albeit with less of a post production 'polish'. The close up sequences of the characters were clearly animated and rendered just for the trailer, but the peep models shown in the general overhead shots of the trailer (especially when the guests run into the park) and the ride models look just like the models shown here.
    https://sketchfab.com/models/f6a5c69...51b27c9e129838
    https://sketchfab.com/models/eedda7e...4ee74ac3d1b1b7
    https://sketchfab.com/models/541b328...b4e5131117d8b8

    So could it look as good as the trailer?
    No, not quite - don't expect everything to crash down from the sky or the level of peep animation in the close up scenes. But based on Frontiers 'Scream Ride', there is very little in the trailer that is any better looking than it should be in the final game. Looking at the overhead shots of the assets in the trailer, it's clear that Frontier have the engine required (and already well proven) to make the game look pretty much the same. The trailer is polished, there are effects and sequences that will be purely for the trailer, but the core game that actually matters, is also I believe, demonstrated quite accurately.

    What do we know about the game now?
    The easiest way to separate speculation and rumor from things that are actually likely is to analyse what Frontier wanted to show us. Remember the end of the RCTW trailer when the coaster shoots off the track? That was there to make clear that 'accidents' would still feature in the new game. There are several examples of the same subtle tricks in PC trailer.

    The opening sequence shows the landscape being dragged up, RCT3 style, and is accompanied by a sound effect to make clear what is happening. It's something that would only need to be added to the trailer to reassure viewers that, yes, the landscaper will be free-form as in RCT3.

    The path laying shows the path sections going down as modular blocks, and everything else seems to conform to this block size too. A pretty clear hint that the game is grid based, although much more advanced than RCT grid...

    ... More advanced grid? Yes, quite clearly. It appears things can be positioned on the grid at 45 degrees as well as at right angles. Possibly at other angles too. This is backed up by looking closely at the path segments, again these are not the smooth flowing pieces you would create just for a trailer, they are what you would need to create to make the game work. Lets look properly at the paths...

    Paths & Ride Connections
    The paths pieces are segmented, as in RCT games. But what is very interesting is that there are signs of 'special pieces'. Watch the trailer (you might have to pause often to get a good look), and you will see that the paths mostly follow 90 or 45 degree angles, and there appear to be filler pieces to meet the paths neatly at junctions and with rides. Also it looks like a lot of thought has gone into connections to rides.

    In essence it looks like Frontier have given a lot of thought to how they can move on from a game where everything was at right angles to the grid, and introduce more natural flowing paths without actually 'losing' the grid altogether. I think this is an excellent compromise, as the grid is important, especially for CS. But previously the grid has been too restrictive, and parks always looked grid based, even with plenty of CS, if viewed top down.

    Conclusion
    I think that following the original RCTW trailer (showing the coaster hill that initially looked almost like in game footage) and the disappointment that was the actual reveal trailer, we're all quite rightly a little paranoid about trusting this trailer. But looking closely and looking at how it was put together, and looking closely at the assets, it's really very different from the RCTW initial trailer. I'm a 3D modeller by profession and I can see at a glance that most of the assets in that trailer were modelled initially for inclusion in a game, not a trailer. They are in game assets used as the foundation for the trailer which was then overlaid with various bits of landscaping and animations that were created solely for the trailer - with the whole thing given a final layer of CGI polish and some purely CGI cut-scenes for the narrative.

    The important things to take from the trailer are the art style and the inclusion of key elements that we have waited over a 10 years for in the genre, namely, more realistic paths and grid rules, better integration of neat ride entry/exit points and of course, graphics from the correct decade.

    and the coasters...
    I almost didn't bother mentioning the coasters in any detail. What is shown in the trailer is pretty fleeting and could be all CGI, or equally could be from the game, or both. But frankly it simply doesn't matter. Frontier have shown their current coaster building tools and level of detail in Scream Ride, and PC can only be the same or better. Because of that simple fact, we all already know pretty much what the coasters in PC will be like. Free flowing, well detailed and easy to manipulate with a great physics engine driving them. There are a lot of unknowns about PC right now, but really we don't need to give to much thought to coasters - Frontier clearly have that element covered.
    Last edited by Deuce; 06-17-2015 at 07:25 AM.

  2. #2
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nSWHWlcitc
    this is worth analysing too. Still unknown if CGI or in-game, but note the different model of dinosaur mascot (no tongue)

  3. #3
    Speed Seeker Deuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SketchHead View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nSWHWlcitc
    this is worth analysing too. Still unknown if CGI or in-game, but note the different model of dinosaur mascot (no tongue)
    I think it is in-game footage. The character models look like in-game to me, and the coaster looks very similar to Scream Ride tech so pretty conclusive. I can't think of a reason they would need to mock this up, they can clearly already build games that look this good for real anyway.

    https://youtu.be/_nSWHWlcitc

  4. #4
    Speed Seeker Deuce's Avatar
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    I see Frontier appear to have taken the above early access trailer off the site almost immediately - good job it's on youtube then!

  5. #5
    I've got the file downloaded too (i had a feeling it would get taken down)
    Last edited by SketchHead; 06-17-2015 at 07:54 AM.

  6. #6
    Speed Seeker Deuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SketchHead View Post
    I've got the file downloaded too (i had a feeling it would get taken down)
    Good work! I was halfway through going through page source to find the video link when I accidentally refreshed and it was gone! It looks like 2 of 3 videos were removed from their Vimeo account too...

  7. #7
    Speed Seeker Deuce's Avatar
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    NB Music for the game will be provided by Lady Antebellum.

    Here is the track used for the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiG-4-V7Xd0

  8. #8
    Speed Seeker Deuce's Avatar
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    Also check out the coaster supports in the vid:

    Way better than the 'toothpicks' of the past. They even show the bolts.
    Last edited by OTR24; 12-20-2015 at 09:07 AM. Reason: links to website

  9. #9
    Passive Peep JayB_Yolo's Avatar
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    .I think this what RCTW should have looked like from the beginning.What I think from the images I have seen on the official site is that guests would take selfies(This is what I actually suggested in "Funny/Cool Things That Peeps Do" thread,are they reading our forums).The guests really looks like sort of upgraded versions of peeps from RCT3,like even their eyes looks the same but way better.Also we are getting curved paths.The supports are damn realistic especially with small details like nuts and bolts.So in the end its

    Roller Coaster sim WAR!!!

  10. #10
    I also love how the guests look at the camera. I think that was also in Scream Ride, it looks like they're going to have a lot of detail and interactions, much more than I expected.

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