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Interview with Red Phoenix

In this interview, Rob Tonto interviews Red Phoenix, webmaster of RCT Station.

Rob Tonto: How did you become the webmaster of RCT Station?

Red Phoenix: A long time ago, I came across RCT Station, which was at http://rct.ogresnet.com at the time. RCT Station was a very small site at the time, only an update once in a while. I noticed that the webmaster also ran Through The Ages (http://www.throughtheages.com), which is a fan site for the Age of Empires series by Ensemble Studios. TTA, as we call it, was updated all the time, which told me that the webmaster didn't have time for RCT Station. So, I emailed him (Ogre) about what was going on with RCT Station. Basically he said that he didn't have the time to update RCT Station as much as he'd like to. Long story made short, he and I contacted eachother on ICQ and talked things over, and decided I could do the job

Rob Tonto: How does it feel to be the webmaster of a popular RCT fan site?

Red Phoenix: It feels wonderful! I know we get a fair amount of visitors and I'm glad people continue to come back.

Rob Tonto: Why should people visit RCT Station?

Red Phoenix: Well, I can't say too much about that, I guess. RCT Station is one of the more "fresh" RCT sites out there. I make a good attempt at making an update of some sort each day of the week, and when there's not anything mentioned on the main site, there's always something going on behind the scenes.

Rob Tonto: What tools did you use to design RCT Station?

Red Phoenix: Actually, the original webmaster, Ogre, is still with the site, and he does all major designs. I do know that he uses FrontPage 2000 for the design and Paint Shop Pro for graphics.

Rob Tonto: What are some additions you would like to see in an RCT 2?

Red Phoenix: Well, I'm one of the few RCT fans that don't have "Ride your own ride" at the top of their wish list. Although I would like to see that feature in RCT 2, it's not something I'd use all the time, and it's not a priority. There's no ONE thing I would like to see, just the normal add-ons, like new rides, new entertainers, new track pieces, nothing specific, I guess. I'm going to add a section for this on the site when I have time.

Rob Tonto: What is your opinion of the official RCT site?

Red Phoenix: The official RCT site was one sweet site when the ride exchange was there. Once it went down, the entire site went down. It's been a huge disappointment since then, and I'm really hoping that Infogrames, who purchased Hasbro, will take the project and turn it into something we can all enjoy and respect.

Rob Tonto: What are some of your favorite RCT fan sites?

Red Phoenix: This could be a touchy subject, since people could take it personally if I don't choose their sites, so don't take it personally. In no particular order, my favorites have been Cav's RCT site, Danimation, Tycoon Resource, the Official RCT site (when it was in its prime), RCT UK, and Chocobogo's. I didn't visit Chocobogo's all that much, but there were a lot of downloads available. One RCT site that I think deserves mentioning was RCTOA. The site may not have had a huge number of downloads available, but there was one hell of a community there...absolutely huge.

Rob Tonto: What is the hardest part of running a major fan site?

Red Phoenix: There are two things that make it difficult. The first being the number of submissions I get. By the time I get six submissions up, I have two or three times that coming in. It's insane! The second would be my modem. I'm still in the slow 56K dialup technology. It's just pathetic. It takes a long time to upload these big files (saved games, for example).

Rob Tonto: What is your opinion on trainers and how you think they should be used?

Red Phoenix: Trainers should only be used to "tinker" with the game, and not to win the scenarios. It's the main reason, in my opinion, Chris Sawyer added so much anti-cheat code in Loopy Landscapes. Just use the trainers to change the water color or change the lift hill speeds on mega parks, or something like that, but don't cheat on the scenarios.

Rob Tonto: Do you think trainers and other utilities have helped RCT's popularity?

Red Phoenix: Oh yeah! Workbenches and trainers have lengthened the replay value of the game. You don't always have to do the scenarios. You can work on a mega park or something.

Rob Tonto: You have already interviewed Chris Sawyer, but what is one question you would ask him that he would have to answer?

Red Phoenix: I'm not sure there is any ONE question I would need an answer. If there was one, I would have asked it, I guess.

Rob Tonto: Is there anyone else that helps with RCT Station?

Red Phoenix: Let's see here. Ogre, Mike Robbins, Phil, Steve Franks, Madman, Water Monkey, and Metromaster all do something on the site. Ogre and I are the only ones who do any updating on the site. I handle about 99% of the updates. All of the previously mentioned people (except Metromaster) are moderators on our forums.

Rob Tonto: What are plans for the future of RCT Station?

Red Phoenix: There's a huge Help section the staff and I have started, but that won't be made available for some time. Other than that, we'll just have to see what comes up. It also depends on Chris Sawyer, and the possibility of RCT 2.

Rob Tonto: You have been having server issues at Game Tropics. Will this affect the future of RCT Station?

Red Phoenix: Not as far as I can tell. The server issues have settled down quite a bit, and the forums seem fairly stable at the moment.

Rob Tonto: How did you discover RCT?

Red Phoenix: I saw a two-page advertisement in an issue of PC Gamer magazine. The first thing that caught my eye was the green faces that were in the ad. It was a must-buy type of reaction at that point.

Rob Tonto: What were your reactions to RCT?

Red Phoenix: It was addictive as hell. I got very little sleep for some time. Other than the addiction, it was very fun and very easy to play. There wasn't a huge learning curve that you might find in some games.

Rob Tonto: How do you feel about Sim Theme Park vs. RCT?

Red Phoenix: I've never played STP, so I can't say much about it. From what I've seen, it looks like crap.

Rob Tonto: How many hours a week do you spend on RCT Station?

Red Phoenix: Too many.

Weekly Poll

Have you, or do you plan on buying RCT for XBox?
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See Results
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Buy RCT Stuff
- RCT Deluxe
- RCT for XBox
- RCT Guide
- RCT 2 Triple Thrill Pack
- RCT 2 Guide
- RCT 2: WW Guide
- RCT 3 Deluxe
- Sudden Turns Book
- Sabotage! Book
- Great Coaster Contest Book
- Kidnapped Book
- Haunted Park Book
- RCT Station
- Through The Ages
- Zoo Admin
- Kingdom of Azeroth
- RoN Oracle

Chris Sawyer Software Development

Hasbro Interactive


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