A community divided by a game that went astray of its original vision

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This is a copy/paste from my comment from a recent Planet Coaster Facebook post that I decided to share here as well. I think it highlights a core problem that's stolen much of the joy from many members of the community here, myself included.

https://www.facebook.com/PlanetCoaster/photos/pcb.712479502209516/712479432209523/?type=3

I'll preface what I'm about to say by stating that this and so many other creations shown by Frontier are incredible and deserve recognition...but they also highlight a sore spot for those of us who bought/pre-ordered Planet Coaster as "the next great theme park sim". Since launch more themes have been coming (although we're now approaching a quarter of the way into 2018 and absolute silence from Frontier since the Safari update back in December), and there's a ton of things to love about the game already, but somehow it still feels very incomplete (look no further than the discussion forums to find what many folks are still hoping for at some point). But the primary thing about PC that sticks in my (and other users') crawl is that Frontier's emphasis on user-created content-sharing changed it into a completely different animal from the game most of us thought we were getting.

I mean, case in point, look at this creation here; as great as it is, it doesn't even have the slightest relevance to a theme park as a ride, scenery, anything. And it's far from alone in that department; the Steam Workshop (and Frontier's own highlighted creations) are chock-full of stuff that simply doesn't belong in a theme park sim; they're just things that certain obviously very talented people spent ridiculous hours creating just to show they could, but which will never see actual use in anyone's park. PC has become a vanity platform for a relative handful of users at the expense of the vast majority of the community, and arguably the game itself.

I realize that negativity has poisoned the well at the forums and I don't wish to add to that, believe me, but pretty much from the time Planet Coaster was released it's as if it's more a canvas for virtual architects and YouTube streamers than a genuine park sim like RCT3...the experience most of us were expecting and actually wanted. I've long since begun to feel that Frontier's vision for PC has gone "off the rails".
 
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Glad you moved your post here...it seemed to have gotten lost on the Facebook page. I see your point...hadn't really thought of it in the same way until you pointed it out. But yeah...there are tons of things on the workshop that you'd NEVER see in a park. A lot of the stuff is just people using the pieces to build stuff like you'd do in Minecraft or Legos.

And I agree...there are still so many things missing from the game that need to be there for it to feel complete. I remember when I first read about Planet Coaster I was so excited. I thought...hey they'll start with all the things we had in RCT3 but make they way better and then they'll add all the neato new stuff we've seen in the amusement industry since RCT3. But...that's not what happened. Planet Coaster isn't quite up to what RCT3 was in basic content yet. Granted, the developers have added tons of fancy new stuff from real life. But, I feel like we're still missing a bunch of those nostalgic rides and shows and things that we had in RCT3. Chairlifts, bobsleds and flying turns, Schwarzkopf coasters, all those great variations of wild mouse rides, all the different versions of monorails, walk-through things like the mirror maze, haunted house, and funhouse, etc.
 
Technically it depends on what type of park people are making. Some make specific parks based on things like movies which require specific items. There's also the possibility that whilst the park may not exist in real life it's something that could possibly exist.

Shane
 
I really miss the management side of things. In RCT3 you could both build and manage. Now you can only build. Making money is too easy.
 
People will make what they want in a game that revolves around being creative. Are you implying that Frontier should police the workshop and remove non theme park related items?
 
People will make what they want in a game that revolves around being creative. Are you implying that Frontier should police the workshop and remove non theme park related items?
Not at all; I'm simply saying that Planet Coaster veered long ago from focusing on being a theme park sim/creator to instead being a glorified Minecraft/Lego game with theme park trappings. The hundreds of thousands of user creations at the Workshop have long since become the focus of the game and indeed Frontier themselves (look no further than their highlight videos), and they're what is driving "new content" for Planet Coaster in the absence of actual, official new rides, scenery, themes, etc. from Frontier themselves. I realize that it takes time for each new update to come together, but it's the things being emphasized in the meantime that are at the core of the issue here.

Each person who bought Planet Coaster can only answer for themselves if they've gotten what they want out of it thus far. I absolutely love a lot of what I've seen, but I fear that it will forever feel incomplete since the primary focus no longer seems to be about theme parks and rides here. New scenery items are always welcome, but if we took a poll I suspect the vast majority of responders would admit that we don't have the skill, time, or patience to cobble together tiny pieces of walls, windows, and other bric-a-brac into anything particularly useful. We simply would love to have some nice, pre-fab booths, rides, and other scenery ready to plunk down and build our parks with (and I know that a lot of folks here want more/deeper sim aspects/options to be added as well). But again, it's the Workshop community that's driving even that aspect of PC.

On a semi-related note, this is why those of you who've been begging for mod capability haven't gotten your wish; the answer why is staring you right in the face. The obvious redundancy aside, anything that could compete or conflict with the Steam Workshop aspect of Planet Coaster will never happen. It's what is buttering Frontier's bread with PC.

The still-missing themes and the rides, scenery items, etc. that Frontier might include via updates/expansions are anyone's guess as to when...or if...we'll ever see them (remember, "No promises"). But hey, we're still getting highlight posts on Facebook about ships-in-a-bottle or other stuff that has zero relevance to a theme park.

And that is why I am saying the focus of Planet Coaster has veered off course.
 
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I find myself not finishing projects because I'm hoping for those few things I feel the game is missing before I can call my projects complete. It isn't that I'm not happy with what is there so far...it's just that there are holes where I feel basic things should already be. I keep mentioning chairlifts, but they represent a basic park staple world wide and it was in all the RCT incarnations. We don't have them yet so my parks seem unfinished. That was my point...hope that makes sense.
 
RCT = a simple puzzle game that also captures the essence of theme parks

PC = a construction game that was marketed as a theme park simulator, though it strongly lacks many aspects that made RCT great, and the primary value of its success comes down to visuals (graphics) more than gameplay (management)
 
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PC doesnt seem to know what it wants to be. It lacks in management, but at the same time it doesnt offer all the freedom and tools to be a dedicated design/creative/building game.
 
it doesn't even have the slightest relevance to a theme park as a ride, scenery, anything...... full of stuff that simply doesn't belong in a theme park sim; ...... will never see actual use in anyone's park.....

Huh? [uhh]

Someone call the wambulance! Where has your imagination gone?

Describing a ship in a bottle as "not belonging in a theme park" is missing the point entirely. Real life parks have unusual fun decorations all around. That's the idea. Scenery is there for your pirate themed park or deserted island adventure, or maybe something different like an attic in a haunted house with antiques and other strange objects. It's up to you and your imagination.

It's not for you to say whether people will or won't use this or that scenery.

vast majority of the community
Obviously the vast majority of PC players are happy to tinker with building details and arranging scenery, using workshop or from scratch.

There's too much generic "click to make it awesome" in the world, and you end up with cookie-cut creations on repeat. Is that the world you want? I'm glad there's ships in bottles and odd things to find on workshop, it's the mark of a good game. These items enable you to make things you might not have time to make yourself in your parks.

When people start questioning the relevance of a ship in a bottle, it's time to challenge that position. Now I'm going back to my current park build (a tropical adventure) I might actually finish if I stop writing on the internet.
 
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Me personaly, I am very fine with PC. Such a beautiful game with so much love for theme parks. Sure, every single person could ask for more things that (s)he is expecting from a theme park game, since there is so much variety in real life.
My pov is to see things more simple and so I am thankful that PC exists and is the way it is. If it wouldn´t exist, what would be our alternatives? RCTX? Theme Park Studio? Even the good Parkitect won´t be good enough, so we´d all still be playing RCT3 to death and keep our wishes high that Frontier would do a comeback.
What really gets me off this community is the glass here is always half way empty, not full. An attitude I don´t like in real life either. Don´t get me wrong, it´s allright and good to share thoughts. But people are only complaining and asking for more. There will be more, that is for sure. So why don´t enjoy the experience we have instead of not enjoying the experience we don´t have. If there is only one theme park in your area, which is not a perfectly one (unlike Phantasialand [big grin]), would you go there? Or would you stay away and say ´Nah it´s missing so much stuff?

Peace and a happy day to all of you
 
I grew up playing RCT2 and what really resonated with me from that game was how it educated you on roller coasters and how management and efficiency were crucial to making a profit in the game. Roller Coasters in Planet Coaster feel tacked on, any features related to coasters are there because the community demanded for it, not because they were apart of Frontier's vision for Planet Coaster, which is unfortunate. Planet Coaster has the capability to go above and beyond what previous entries in the genre had offered, yet we get a glorified scenery builder game feature some theme park aesthetics. How is it that RCT3, a game that came out in 2005, can feature coasters having more than 1 station, shuttle modes on coasters and transport rides, interchangeable cars (added later in PC), testing coasters while the game is paused. I actually prefer to build coasters in the RCT2 and 3 games because it's difficult and unsatisfying to build one in Planet Coaster.

Steel Vengeance is the worse offender. Frontier made this blueprint themselves, and the coaster's proportions are off and last I checked the Mid course break run isn't even a block section. I want to see more usable blueprints by Frontier instead of the "pretty" ones.

I REALLY want to see Frontier shift focus to Roller Coasters at least. Planet Coaster can be used as a tool to teach players how to create roller coasters that operate closer to how real-world ones do. Educate the player on how blocks work and their purpose, or why high-speed turns should be banked.

Planet Scenery Builder is nice and all, but Planet Coaster would be a nice game to play.
 
I didn't buy PC for the simulator aspect. I bought PC for the creator aspect.
 
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bought it for the exact opposite reason. What now? [uhh]
I
Bought it for both. And I'm satisfied.

Couldn't agree more with the post Redrum placed.

To add, it's not the game that divides the community, the community is doing this to itself.
 
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But hey, we're still getting highlight posts on Facebook about ships-in-a-bottle or other stuff that has zero relevance to a theme park.
Or maybe they are simply pointing out a players creativity and imagination?

It's funny but I see theme park specific items highlighted all the time there.

But people play the game for different reasons, I'm glad that Frontier recognizes that and highlights work from different styles, for different purposes. Personally I'd be bored to tears if all they highlighted were just coasters, but them that''s because I'm not a big coaster aficionado, so I LIKE seeing a variety of things other people can do. 95% of the things in the Workshop I'd never download or use, but I still appreciate the creativity that goes into them, be they a coaster, a ride skin, or a ship in a bottle. The creativity is why I've been playing RCT-style games since they first came out almost two decades ago.

I'll very much agree, in my opinion as well there's a lot of content still missing, and while I'm not a big simulator player but enjoy the creating more, I can understand the disappointment many people have with the management aspect. And I hope they will address that. But I for one welcome whatever type of creativity a player cares to share, whether I use it or not.
 
Am I the only one that finds the scenarios hard? [ugh]
Nope - I tried a few (as I mostly build in the sandbox mode) and I really can't stand that aspect of the game. Its even a bot annoying to me to manage even the few things we still have to in sandbox mode. It seems like it could be fun...I used to do them back in the RCT days, but to me personally...just takes time away from imagining and building. The part of this whole discussion I don't understand...the part of the community that want scenarios and management to be better...did Frontier not try to help in this area and allow the community to make difficult scenarios? Is that not a viable solution to this problem? If a few select players out there could make some really challenging parks...would this solve the issues at hand???
 
I find myself not finishing projects because I'm hoping for those few things I feel the game is missing before I can call my projects complete. It isn't that I'm not happy with what is there so far...it's just that there are holes where I feel basic things should already be. I keep mentioning chairlifts, but they represent a basic park staple world wide and it was in all the RCT incarnations. We don't have them yet so my parks seem unfinished. That was my point...hope that makes sense.
This.... Absolutely this. I've started to find myself steering away from starting new parks because I feel that after 1400 hours, I've run into a bit of a rutt. Parks will all have the same fate: 10,000 guests and the performance becomes so bad that it's not really playable anymore. So, unless you're aiming for a mid-sized park and stopping there, you're going to have to find creative ways to play the game. And believe me, building in pause mode is no fun.

I also find myself wishing that there were more rides, coasters etc to build than scenery items. There are those in spades and if you take the time to merge them together then you can create some interesting themes without needing to be an artist. But what is missing is the interchangeable element of the parks. I can't delete a ride and replace it with a new one (like a real park would) because I've probably already got it else-where. I can't design a new coaster because the ones I'm looking for aren't in the game yet. The same goes with other features too. While I get that a year into release isn't a long time, the game for me always feels in a way incomplete. The lists of desired things are all over these forums. I find myself not wanting to play anymore, scared to get involved with the game in case there is a new game changing feature coming.... For example, the staffroom addition was a lovely change, but it fundamentally changed the game and as such to take full advantage of it you had to start again. When you've already spent 4 months on a park, that's a lot to turn your back on. So instead you find yourself not playing rather than wasting 4 months.

Then there's the elements that were brought in but never really finished. Where are the remaining brand's videos, images etc for the screens? Where are the ride signs for the other types of rides? Where are the swing signs for StreetFox or stand-alone signs for other shops? Where are the alternative brands, new shops?

I still maintain that the game has provided more joy than the likes of RCT3 ever did (and I spent a LOT of time on that game) but there just seems to be an unidentifiable void in the game - an itch that can't be scratched. I wish that the next year would be focused on adding rides and coasters rather than scenery (as scenery seems to be the path of least resistance that is the easiest stuff to add with the least effort).
 
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