Designer, programmer and game developer Chris Sawyer released the economic simulation game "Roller Coaster Tycoon" in 1999. Boosted by the success of Sawyer's "Transport Tycoon" and a growing interest in roller coasters, "RCT" replaced the next instalment in the "TT" series. Using a bare bones team consisting of himself, one artist and a single composer, Sawyer took over four years to complete development of the first game. Improvements in the third instalment include sandbox mode, an improved career mode and the ability to ride coasters personally.
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Advantages of 3D
With the advent of the new 3D camera, players of "RCT3" have a versatile tool capable of providing a complete range of vision unavailable in the previous 2D versions of the game. This makes constructing complicated tracks that much easier by allowing quality vantage points. Try building a set of two or more roller coasters that move through the same areas. As one coaster glides along the ground, have another one speeding by on the track above. Test the limits of your creativity by finding out how close you can get your two creations without crashing them.
New to the "RCT" series in the third version is the Peep Designer. Where previous games focused on individual patrons, players can now create groups of park goers and assign them special interests. Bring a greater sense of reality to your park by forming groups of young coaster enthusiasts, family units and sweetheart couples. Peeps will have their pictures taken at certain spots, and "RCT3" saves these images to your computer, displaying them on the game menu screen. This is not a critical feature, but certainly adds some personality to the game. Choose the Peeps' areas of interest and watch how they interact with your creations.
Reliving Old Creations in a New Way
Players who saved their greatest creations from the first two games are in for a real treat. "RCT3" allows the import of saved game files from previous titles. Classic roller coasters are now viewable in full 3D and can be "ridden" by gamers for the first time. Import your favourite "RCT" memories and relive the 2D past in three dimensions.
"RCT3" boasts a true sandbox mode. "Career mode" requires players to be careful with park management, building funds and customer satisfaction levels. Sandbox mode throws all of this out the window, giving you an abundance of land, unlimited resources and every available building material in the game, essentially providing the complete package without a hint of responsibility to weigh it down. One of the advantages of this mode in "RCT3" is the lack of real-life constraints. Your park is not required to pass a safety inspection or meet a legal standard. You may enjoy creating a traditional theme park, but you are also allowed to let loose with the craziest, most unlikely ideas that pop into your mind. Sandbox mode is the place to do it.
The third instalment of this economic simulation game brings with it the ability to create a fireworks show. This is great fun in and of itself, but don't sell the idea short. Fireworks can be set off in any location and you can even time each show to match music. It's not complicated, and pretty soon you may want to start using your own music.
Just For Fun
"RCT3" is all about creating roller coaster rides, though there is no requirement to finish them. Don't underestimate the fun of watching a group of unsuspecting, screaming patrons hurtle off the edge of an unfinished coaster ride to their untimely deaths. This is generally not good business for the park owner, but you can always reload your game.
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