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Thread: Explaining Piece-By-Piece Building vs. UGC (Limitations of each)

  1. #1

    Smile Explaining Piece-By-Piece Building vs. UGC (Limitations of each)

    Although this is fairly simplistic information, some users may be confused by UGC, piece-by-piece (PBP) building, and the benefits/limitations of these methods of producing content. Also, I'll highlight the (currently known) differences between the methods used in RCTW and Planet Coaster (PC).

    As we have recently read, RCTW will offer User-Generated Content (UGC), where player/designers are free to create their own assets to be used in-game. PC will be based on piece-by-piece (PBP) building. Where things get a little bit weird is the possibilities of using UGC in RCTW as a PBP building system. More on that below.

    Both games have also stated that they will have sharing mechanisms in-game to allow created objects to be shared between users.

    So what are the differences between UGC and PBP?

    In it's simplest form, PBP is the building of content inside the game by using pre-created parts. You can think of this like using a huge set of Legos. If you want to build a small building, you can place the outline with individual walls, add some roof panels, and then decorate it by selecting various windows, customizable signs, planters, textures (brick, stone, etc.). When you're done, you can essentially "group" these pieces together as a "thing" that can be copied to other places, or shared with other users.

    UGC is a different animal. With UGC, you use a 3D modeling program (in this case, the free version of Unity [or something compatible with it]) to create your "thing". Inside this program, you add files that contain textures, and you define how these textures wrap around the geometry you've created. Often times, you build your geometry by using simple shapes (boxes, spheres, cones, pyramids, cylinders, etc.) and lay out how these shapes intersect. When done, you export your work into a special RCTW plugin for Unity, which makes your object available in game.

    There are various strengths and weaknesses to both methods. First, let me list what is common between them:

    COMMON TO BOTH:
    - You can make static scenery objects, and even allow rides/paths to go through them (according to Matlab's recent post)
    - You can share your creations
    - You can re-use your creations
    - You can make PBP rollercoasters in either game
    - You can't make flatrides, transport rides, water rides.

    PROS for UGC (RCTW):
    - You can make pretty-much any scenery object, including some basic animation (according to Matlab's recent post)
    EDIT: - You can make UGC items and treat them like PBP items inside the game (rotation/stacking). - At least that is what Mattlab confirms is possible in later posts in this thread. We will need to get our hands on this to determine if this is a practical solution, but it sounds promising.

    CONS for UGC (RCTW):
    - Compared to PBP, it's hard. It takes some level of work to learn to use the 3D program effectively. There are some good tutorials online for this.
    - It's not entirely "in-game" (despite Mattlab's statement that you can do this without leaving your game). A more accurate statement would be that you can have both Unity and RCTW running in separate windows, so you technically don't have to "leave your game".

    PROS for PBP (Planet Coaster):
    - Compared to UGC, it's easy. You'll have a large library of themed (and un-themed) pieces to use for making new objects and customizing existing ones.
    - It's entirely "in-game", since there is no separate editor program.

    CONS for PBP (Planet Coaster)
    - Just as you are limited by Legos, you can't create absolutely everything. You're limited to the pieces in your Lego set. While that will include a lot of stuff, it's technically not everything.

    Now... what does any of this have to do with "Dark Rides"? Well, again... both camps are working on it. However, Planet Coaster already has systems in place to allow you to deform terrain in such a way that there are tunnels, caves, overhangs, etc. This allows PC to use these "caves" as dark ride enclosures. You can decorate inside them and run track through them. They can also be very large. RCTW does not (currently) have provisions for land over the top of other land, so you can't make caves, tunnels, etc.

    This, then, begs the question... Can you make a dark ride out of UGC or PBP items? So far, the answer seems to be a tentative "yes" for both UGC (RCTW) and PBP (PC). However, we don't yet know what limitations there may be. We don't know how lighting will interact with objects created with either method (i.e. - will it really be dark inside?). Until both games show off some footage with an actual dark ride, we won't know for sure.

    Well, that's it for the main post. Please correct, expand, discuss, etc. any of the things I've said above. As always, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary), since I could be completely wrong about any/all of this.
    Last edited by korebreach08; 03-04-2016 at 12:29 PM.

  2. #2
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    You're a bit wrong with the PC dark rides bit. They specifically said they were looking at how the lighting effects enclosed spaces. Nothing to do with caves we can build. IF the lighting works correctly, four walls should create a dark space and we'll be able to create indoor rides/dark rides much easier than ever before. As for actual dark ride systems like omnimovers, they're also working on that.

    Personally, I'd take piece-by-piece building in game over 3D modeling any day. Relying on other players to build what you want to is kinda annoying. In the end, both games should have the option of either.

  3. #3
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    Amazing write up, personally I see it working one way and not the other. UGC is kinda useless without PBP but PBP is not useless without UGC.

    The UGC that was shown in the RCTW video (Volcano etc.) I can only see me using that once, if at all in my park and every item has one singular purpose. Where as PBP every object has many uses you can use it to build an amazing amount of items for example off the top of my head a pirate cannon is a pirate cannon point it downwards and add flames and more scenery around it and you have a rocket booster. You make a UGC pirate cannon and its a pirate cannon nothing more nothing less.

    All Planet Coaster has to do now is provide enough objects and they will be miles in front I am posting a picture of a dragon made in a game called project spark it is made using a few rocks, this is the power of PBP.

  4. #4
    as a customer why should I have to depend on the modding community to feel like i'm playing a complete game.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by wesleypacman View Post
    as a customer why should I have to depend on the modding community to feel like i'm playing a complete game.
    it's not to "complete the game" it's to expand it. with this in mind now people can add exactly what they want if it isn't already included

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMagicianThing View Post
    it's not to "complete the game" it's to expand it. with this in mind now people can add exactly what they want if it isn't already included
    i understand that, but RCTW will not have a massive library of resources.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by B3DDO3 View Post
    Amazing write up, personally I see it working one way and not the other. UGC is kinda useless without PBP but PBP is not useless without UGC.
    I disagree, in the case of RCTW we know we can place a object anywhere without collision and even float it off the ground. This is already the very basics of modular building system (I know its the very minimum, don't get me wrong). Someone can create a few simple walls/roof's and you can place them in such a fashion that together they resemble a house. And pure UGC is pretty important to me, I love collecting many forms of tree/plant models so each park I make is that much more unique. The steam integration is a major advantage over PC, if you've ever used their workshop you would know how straightforward it is for anyone to get into modding and custom content.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMagicianThing View Post
    it's not to "complete the game" it's to expand it. with this in mind now people can add exactly what they want if it isn't already included
    Like transport rides?

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    Quote Originally Posted by B3DDO3 View Post
    Amazing write up, personally I see it working one way and not the other. UGC is kinda useless without PBP but PBP is not useless without UGC.

    The UGC that was shown in the RCTW video (Volcano etc.) I can only see me using that once, if at all in my park and every item has one singular purpose. Where as PBP every object has many uses you can use it to build an amazing amount of items for example off the top of my head a pirate cannon is a pirate cannon point it downwards and add flames and more scenery around it and you have a rocket booster. You make a UGC pirate cannon and its a pirate cannon nothing more nothing less.

    All Planet Coaster has to do now is provide enough objects and they will be miles in front I am posting a picture of a dragon made in a game called project spark it is made using a few rocks, this is the power of PBP.
    But...can't you do that with UGC also? There are so many generic rocks in so many libraries of 3D content.

  10. #10
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    Kudos to korebreach08. Both UGC & PBP are important.

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