A Word from John
This was all taken from the RCT Manual.
The world of theme parks is one of
the most exciting businesses to be in. Now, you too can be a roller
coaster tycoon and make your fortune by designing, building, and
operating some of the biggest and most sensational theme parks in
There's much more to a theme park than
roller coasters, height, speed -- and making people feel sick! You
are about to become a real-estate developer, an engineer, an accountant,
a landscape architect, a manager of the people, and an entertainer.
Your park must provide a fun day out
for everybody, at a price they can afford. They must be kept comfortable
and happy, well fed and amused -- but you have bills to pay, advertising
costs, wages and big problems ahead of you. You will need to use
all of your skills to be successful.
Here are some tips. As a ride designer,
think of yourself as an entertainer; you can make your riders laugh
or cry, you can amaze them, mystify them, scare them, amuse them,
or terrify them -- it's all under your control. Just think of the
power you have!
But entertainers need to understand
their audience. Who are you trying to entertain? ...families with
young children?...teenagers who want the ultimate in white-knuckle
terror?... or everyone who comes to your theme park, including grannies
and little kids?
Think of a ride on a roller coaster
as a journey through an adventure. It must have variation -- not
just its ups and downs, but its surprises and shocks, its gentle
scenic sections to lull you into a false sense of security, and
its wild mean parts to scare the pants off you.
A ride should be impressive, yet fun
to watch, and it should fit into the layout and landscape of the
park. Your guests must be able to see some of it from the walkways,
but keep some bits hidden so they come as a complete surprise during
the ride. An adventure journey must take your riders through an
exciting, disorientating, and spectacular environment. Position
trees, tunnels, and other obstructions so as to enhance the thrills.
Use water for effect, and create hills and valleys through which
your ride will race. All these elements are at your fingertips,
so use them.
Remember, any fool can build a roller
coaster with an impressive first drop, but can you keep the fun
and action going right through to the end of the ride? When I designed
Nemesis at Alton Towers, I wanted to ensure that there was
speed and exhilaration even right up to the last section of track
before the station, so I dug a hole just in front of the station
brakes and dropped the ride down through a corkscrew below ground
level. It comes as quite a shock when you ride it. If the riders
get off feeling that the ride has dulled-out halfway through, they
will be disappointed, but if they get off on emotional high, they'll
come back for more -- and they'll be more likely to buy an on-ride
photo of themselves. (Position the camera in the best place for
good expressions on riders' faces to maximize sales).
Locate your big spectaculars towards
the back of your park, to draw the guests right through the park
past as many "spending opportunities" (food kiosks, etc.) as possible.
Once you've designed your coaster,
you've got to operate it at maximum efficiency. Should you wait
till the train is full before you send it out of the station? Keeping
riders waiting is boring, and the more frequently the guests walking
around the park can see the ride running, the more attached they'll
be to ride it, but a full train is the most efficient way of running
the machine. Even the best-designed roller coaster won't make money
unless it is operated and maintained efficiently.
It has taken me 25 years of hard work
to gain my experience in the theme park industry. With RollerCoaster
Tycoon, you can get there in 25 minutes!
A plot of land is out there waiting
... rides are available for you to design and build ... and guests
are ready to visit and spend lots of money.
Good luck, and have fun.