RollerCoaster Tycoon (series)
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Logo from the first game. Other games use a similar logo.
|Genres||Construction and management simulation|
|Developers||Chris Sawyer Productions
Namco Bandai Games
RollerCoaster Tycoon (abbreviated RCT) is a series of video games that simulate amusement park management. Each game in the series challenges players with open-ended amusement park management and development, and allowing players to construct and customize their own unique roller coasters.
RollerCoaster Tycoon was developed by Scottish designer and programmer Chris Sawyer, artist Simon Foster and composer Allister Brimble, with assistance from various leading figures from the real-world roller coaster and theme park industry. It was published by Hasbro Interactive (which was sold to Infogrames, and is now known as Atari). The game was a sleeper hit. It spawned into two sequels and several expansion packs.
All three games, including their expansion packs, have received critical acclaim. The series' most recent release, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D, was released on 16 October 2012 in North America and 26 October 2012 for Europe and Australia for the Nintendo 3DS.
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RollerCoaster Tycoon was released for Microsoft Windows on March 31, 1999 and was later ported to the Xbox game console. The game was developed by MicroProse and Chris Sawyer and published by Hasbro Interactive.
RollerCoaster Tycoon received two expansion packs: Added Attractions (released in the US as Corkscrew Follies) in 1999, and Loopy Landscapes in 2000. Two special editions were released: RollerCoaster Tycoon Gold/Totally RollerCoaster in 2002, which contained the original game, Corkscrew Follies, and Loopy Landscapes; and RollerCoaster Tycoon Deluxe in 2003, which contained the content in Gold plus more designs for the different customizable rides.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 has two official expansion packs: Wacky Worlds and Time Twister, both released in 2003. The Combo Park Pack edition contains the original game and the Wacky Worlds expansion. The Triple Thrill Pack contains the original game and both expansions.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 was released on October 26, 2004 in North America. Although the core features of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 are based on the previous games, Chris Sawyer, the developer of the first two games, acted only as a consultant, as the game was developed by Frontier Developments instead, and published and advertised by Atari.
Two expansion packs for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 were released - Soaked! and Wild!. A bundle, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Gold, was also released, including the original game and the Soaked! expansion pack; this was followed by RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum (Deluxe for the EU version of the game), including both expansion packs and the original game. RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum is available for Windows and Mac OS X.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 4
At the March 2014 Game Developers Conference, Atari announced it was developing RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 for both mobile devices and Microsoft Windows, with the iOS version expected to be released in April 2014 followed by Android and Windows later. The game is being developed by On5 without Chris Sawyer's input. The game will return to the original isometric view used in RCT1 and RCT2. The mobile version is built on the freemium model with social media integration. The Windows version is expected to be "a completely different game", according to Atari, and will not use the same social integration measures but will have online multiplayer modes. RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile was released on April 10, 2014. The game is available on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. Talking about the iOS version of the game, gaming commentator Daniel Hardcastle said "No game has ever become my worst game of the year faster"  The mobile game has been criticized heavily by fans and critics alike due to the fact that Chris Sawyer was completely bypassed in the making of the game and the heavy use of microtransactions and wait times which fans state has ruined the RCT experience. The PC version is expected for Summer 2014.
The player is given control over an amusement park and is tasked with reaching particular goals, such as improving the park's value, attracting more guests, or getting a higher park rating. Some scenarios in the game provide an empty plot of land and allow the player to build a park from scratch, while others provide a ready-built park which usually suffers from deterioration, bad planning, or underdevelopment. The player must wisely invest the limited amount of money provided.
Most scenarios require that the goals be achieved for a specific in-game date, otherwise the scenario is not 'complete'. Completion of scenarios is a prerequisite for unlocking further scenarios in the first RollerCoaster Tycoon game. In RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, all the scenarios are available for play and the player can complete them in random order.
The game provides extensive customization for all rides, particularly roller coasters, which can take any path the player wishes (subject to game logic). More or fewer guests will then ride based on the ride's ratings of "excitement", "intensity" and "nausea". Other 'track'-based rides such as log-flumes can be similarly customized.
The player is also responsible for building park infrastructure such as paths, and facilities such as lamp posts, restrooms, garbage bins, benches, and shops. The player must also manage staff, with handymen for cleaning up litter and vomit, mechanics for fixing and inspecting rides, security guards to prevent vandalism, and entertainers to keep guests entertained. Although not usually necessary, players are also given a wide array of tools for landscaping. Players can raise and lower terrain, create lakes, add trees and other scenery objects like fountains or statues, and even control the type of paths in their park.
The guests, who are integral to the gameplay, are treated as separate entities which can each have particular characteristics and be tracked by the player around the park. The game keeps track of how much money they have, what they are carrying, their thoughts, and what their current needs are (thirst, hunger, etc.). Each guest also has some unique features such as preferring gentle rides over roller coasters, and their nausea tolerance. Some scenarios are even biased towards a specific guest demographic and require the player to take this into account in designing the park. In RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, the player can create their own guest groups to visit their parks.
Players may also invest in 'research', which unlocks new rides and improvements as time goes on, though it costs money to continue research. Research in a particular area is disabled when all attractions in that category are researched.
Sequels have continually upgraded the number of rides and amount of customization available to the player.
On May 13, 2010, it was reported that Sony Pictures Animation is developing a live-action/CGI adaptation of the video games. Harold Zwart will be directing the film as well as being an executive producer.
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- Kit, Borys (May 13, 2010). ""Rollercoaster Tycoon" riding to the screen". Reuters. Retrieved October 26, 2010.