RollerCoaster Tycoon is a construction and management simulation game and the first installment of a series of RollerCoaster Tycoon games that gives the player control of an amusement park. The games creator, Chris Sawyer, had wanted to develop a sequel to his previous game Transport Tycoon, but had been interested in roller coasters prior and decided to develop RollerCoaster Tycoon instead.
The objective of the game is to complete a series of preset scenarios. The player will have to build the park and maintain it. Different scenarios have different main objectives. Most of the time you will have to aim to get a certain number of guests into the park by a particular time frame of usually a couple of in-game years. Once you have completed the goals for that scenario, you then unlock more scenarios and amusement parks.
RollerCoaster Tycoon provides the player with a wide range of customization to be had on the park, from changing the colour scheme of the bumper carts, the entry fee to the park and the ability to go and create custom built rides.
Players will have to think about what they are doing at all times. It is very important to have a variety of rides in the park to satisfy a large percentage of the guests. Each guest has different attributes. Some prefer more intense rides while others simply enjoy going on the gentle rides. To be successful you will have to make sure you listen to the thoughts of the guests. You can bring up a console window that will show you each guests thoughts. If there is lots of people wanting to go to the toilet you should build some more toilets. If people are hungry, place some burger stands and so on.
Players can choose from many different types of roller coaster designs. They can build twister roller coasters, wooden roller coasters, vertical drop coasters and many more. You can choose from preset designs or you can decide to build your own from scratch. Building a ride from scratch is no doubt the funnest way to play the game but can be very difficult to maintain the balance of cost and land available. You will also have to balance the excitement, nausea and intensity ratings which are calculated when you put the ride on a test run. Players build the rides with a tile based construction system. You choose the direction and height you want a particular track piece to go. Players can also add inversions and banked curves to make the ride more intense and exciting.
When managing the park it is important to think about the guests happiness. It is a good idea to have trees along pathways to shade guests from the beating sun. It is also very important to learn how to use different scenery to help make a roller coaster more exciting. You can place a tree so the oncoming roller coaster train is heading towards it at 60 mph and suddenly banks away from it at the last second. Adding elements like this to your rides can make them much more enjoyable for the guests.
To run the amusement park, the player also has other responsibilities than to create rollercoasters. Creating buildings and facilities such as toilets, burger and drink stores, pathways will all help to make the park more accessible for the guests, which in turn help to increase the 'park rating' and 'park value'. The player also has to manage the costs of the park such as the pricing of food and the entry fee to the park. You can also devote money to research to help increase development of new park rides to new ride facilities. Staff are also necessary for the park. Handymen help to clean the bins and floor, the security guards help to prevent crime in the park, mechanics fix rides and allow for frequent checks on rides and entertainers who entertain the park guests.
Being a good theme park operator means you care about safety. It is very important that you hire enough mechanics for your rides as needed. Rides will not break down as often if they are inspected regularly. Older rides are much more likely to break down. If one of your roller coasters should break down it is important to your guests and your profits if you do not fix it as soon as possible. It can shatter a parks reputation if guests are involved in a fatal roller coaster accident.
As the player you can also manage the landscape of the park using different tools. You can lower and raise terrain and add water. This can make the park look better and having a lake can also add the possibility for having rides like jet skiing. Managing the transport in a park is also essential. Make sure all your paths lead somewhere and are efficient. You can also have trains and monorails for transport in the park. You will also need to add items such as garbage cans, lights, benches and other forms of scenery. Having different themed areas can make guests approval rating rise. You will also have to hire janitors to help clean the paths, empty garbage cans and water the flowers. You will also need security guards to prevent vandalism to park property. You must also manage the parks economy. You must have a balance of spending money, advertising and research and development of new rides.
Changing Guest's Names
Changing a guest's name to one of the following will have an affect on that guest's behavior.
Tony Day - Guest will eat many hamburgers
Katie Brayshaw - Guest waves at other guests
Chris Sawyer - Guest takes photographs of the park
Simon Foster - Guests paints pictures of the park
John Mace - Guest pays double for a ride ticket
John Wardley - Guest is impressed by everything in the park
Damon Hill - Guest moves faster on go-karts
Michael Schumacher - Guest moves much faster on go-karts
Mr Bean - Guest moves slower on go-karts
- Referring to the language the game was programmed under, Chris Sawyer mentions on his personal website that the game is "99% written in x86 assembler/machine code (yes, really!), with a small amount of C code used to interface to MS Windows and DirectX."
- The game was referred to as "White Knuckle" throughout most of the game's development. The name was most likely changed for marketing purposes and because there was already "Tycoon" titles on the market and, as a result, be easily recognized.
PC System Requirements
- Windows XP or Windows Vista
- 1.8 GHz Processor
- 512MB RAM (1 GB recommended)
- 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 7 (compatible with DirectX 9 recommended)
- 2GB HDD