DLCs and Planet Coaster

Hey there!

So I know I'm going on a slippery slope talking about this as DLCs are massively hated across the video game community and if there were to be PC scenery DLCs for 50e per item, I wouldn't want to be remembered as the guy who talked about this on the forum and supported the idea.

However, when looking at Planet Coaster I see a game that is made for DLCs. STOP! Don't insult me, let me explain!

We all know DLC means Downloadable Content. Yet it is quite unclear what people expect from DLCs. The hate regarding them has been really justified in the recent years as they were basically a massive scam. 15euros for a few maps in multiplayer shooter games, minor skin/color changes in other games and most importantly, items that had to be in the base game that were sold later in DLCs in order to make more money.

DLCs can be great though! When they started the point of a DLC was to replace expansion packs in a logical way. Instead of spending 50 euros on the newest expansion to your favorite game, you could now pick and choose what you wanted to buy, thus allowing you to spend only half as much as the expansion costs for half the content. If used like this, DLCs are a great component to a game which allow the developper to support their games post-release for a long time! Not to mention that you don't have to walk to a nearby store to buy it or wait for the CD to arrive ( [mouth shut] )

Assuming we get UGC, there is nothing we won't be able to create. Every possible piece of scenery will be made by this ever growing community who, as we've seen in the past few weeks, doesn't lack in creativity. So it seems obvious that Frontier, even if they wanted to, would have a hard time selling specific scenery items on their stores as they would be overshadowed by a way bigger catalogue of FREE community made scenery items.

Now let's take a quick look back at RCT3, the 2 new expansion packs had as a focus center water parks and zoos. This gives us quite a clear image of how Frontier can improve upon the game after its release in a way that the community can't (or at least almost can't) : by improving the gameplay.

The topic that gave me the idea to write this post was the one about the pre-show areas : the little interactive events you can have during the queue line of your attractions. It's a great idea that i'd really love to have, but let's be honest, we won't see it in the game on release. This is no problem to me as, just in its alpha, Frontier has already massively improved upon the last game of this genre they created (RCT3) and there are lots of new things to still be implemented that have me excited (Dark rides anyone? [yesnod] )

Then I came up with at least dozen of other small ideas like the pre-show areas and so this is my suggestion:

What if Frontier released a few regular DLCs for a reasonable price (I'll let you judge what that is, I'm already being looked at weirdly for supporting DLCs) that improved specific gameplay mechanics and added in a dozen items linked with this gameplay mechanic.

To show you how far this can go, here is a list of some possible mechanics we could get if we used such a system:
-simulator editor
-water parks
-shop editor
-show editor
-fireworks editor
-light sequence editor
-flat rides editor
-(...) I'll let you come up with the rest of the list

As you can see, there are so many possibilities and all of these would drastically improve the gameplay and allow us to also have a strong post-release support.

I know the game won't be released until the end of 2016 but hey, this was in the back of my head and I can't get myself to work anyway, so I might as well throw this here on the forums.

Tell me what you think :)


EDIT : Quick insta edit -> I'm in no way linked to Frontier and I'm not trying to improve their revenues! I'm just trying to look at a win-win solution where we would get all the things we want in the game while still rewarding Frontier for what they've given us. Saying that all of this stuff should be added in free patches post-release would be idealistic. The game currently costs about 30 euros in pre-order and if the alpha were to release right now, it would be worth that money. So for that price, none of us should be expecting post-release patches for anything else than bug-fixing.
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Even if you are correct, does this need to be discussed?

Personally I would much prefer a full on expansion similar to RCT3 Soaked... i hate DLC unless its really really useful, its just NEVER worth it IMO... Id rather see people make custom objects, so hopefully we won't NEED dlc. DLC just breaks up chunks of the game into small pieces with bigger price tags, and it would just cause restrictions for players trying to share their parks and others not being able to load them.

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Even if you are correct (I didn't read past the 3rd line) does this need to be discussed?

Personally I would much prefer a full on expansion similar to RCT3 Soaked... i hate DLC unless its really really useful, its just NEVER worth it IMO... Id rather see people make custom objects, so hopefully we won't NEED dlc. It would just cause restrictions for players trying to share their parks and others not being able to load them.
Well if you read past the third line you would've seen that I'm talking about gameplay improving DLCs only :p

Basically to sum you up my post, I want to debate the idea of having a big number of small DLCs having each one gameplay improvement (see potential list above) for a reasonable price in order to constantly build upon the game even post-release gameplay wise as even for the best modders, it is tough to change this aspect.
I read most of it and edited my post
Fine, I respect your argument, but I still strongly believe that if an unofficial deal could be made with Frontier (where they get what we would accept and for what price), this DLC idea would allow us to get many gameplay mechanics that so many of us are asking for on the forums while still allowing the independent developper that is Frontier to still make money, thus making the game even more sustainable than it is.

But hey, just my opinion [happy]
where they get what we would accept and for what price
You think that's how the world works? Look at the prices for VIP Pass, Coaster Club, Early Beta Access... people are already handing over their wallters lol asking for more DLC is like asking for ... ehh nvm
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You think that's how the world works? Look at the prices for VIP Pass, Coaster Club, Early Beta Access... people are already handing over their wallters lol asking for more DLC is like asking for ... ehh nvm
Not everything has to be black and white. Frontier will follow the law of supply and demand as every company does and if it allows it, then they might sell small DLCs for 1000 euros or whatever the fictional price. But Frontier also is a company that has a relatively small but very active community following them and they might not want to screw too much with them around as they rely on it quite heavily for now.

So even if we consider that as some evil capitalists who want to get all your money, they'd still have reasons to discuss this with us.

All the stuff you currently see on the store being sold can be seen as crowdfunding : when you give money to charity or to a crowdfunding company you often get something like a T-shirt, here the alpha is the T-shirt basically.
i think if done right (not too greedy) then DLC would be great for this game. obviously we want the most of the game upon release and not end up with extra bits and pieces taken away from the main game to be forcefully shoved into a DLC.

but i have faith in this company that they wont short the game. they have a schedule to keep and people have tons wish lists for various themes. with how much there putting per theme some of the other themes obviously wont even be gotten to. DLCs would work great on getting to the things they couldn't on the current schedule.

DLCs have gotten a bad rap due to mass turn out with only 10 various items (looking at you EA with your mutiple sims DLCS!!!)

if planet coaster comes out with DLC that has 5 FULL themes with all the big and small bits, pieces, as much as the full vanilla game does. then the DLC could vary much be worth it.

again, this is based on everything having a reasonable price and amount of items which FANS can decide with there wallets. people are buying the extra VIP stuff because they want to support the company. same reason there buying the $100 game + band and shirt box set. if you tried selling just the game at $100 with no early access or extras you can bet people would be calling them greedy.

people feel like this company's the savior of the roller coaster tycoon genre. as long as they don't let the fame go to there heads i feel this project will go really far. [happy]
I would love DLCs of existing Theme Parks. This, of course, needs the co-operation of the theme parks, but it would be a great advertisement for them without Planet Coaster competing with them.

So a Disney Land DLC, Efteling DLC, Parc Asterix DLC and Six Flags DLC.
I was mostly thinking about gameplay DLCs as we can create most of the items and scenery via UGC, but yeah I see your point! Would be great as well!
The ability to create custom scenery is a given for any game of this type. Not only will it take any game well past its sell by date, it will generate sales of the game the more you can customise and create. RCT3 would not still be the number 1 theme park game without the community and CS, infact the game would have disappeared into the mists of time years ago. Yet the game still has a huge following and CS is still being created on a daily basis.
The ability to create CS in RCT3 happened long before any expansion pack and It certainly didn't affect sales of any of the 3 packs. This was because they were proper expansion packs that added a lot more than just a bunch of walls and roofs. If this game becomes the new theme park champion, I assure you there will be many CS creators that will give their time for free and create amazing things for the game. But for that to happen they must fall in love with the game as they did in RCT3. I see many people commenting that the graphics could have been more realistic, its not about the graphics its never been about the graphics, RCT3 never had cutting edge graphics, but that never got in the way of the love thousands of people had and still have for the game. I guarantee You will play a game with great game play longer and more often than any game with the most cutting edge graphics that lacks game play and adaptability. So rest assured, if the devs get this right, you will have more free CS than you can shake a stick at. I gave my time for free in RCT3 and I will do the same here if things work out.

P.S. I would never pay for CS unless it was created by the Game Creators
Frontier wants to support this game for a long time after launch, and they have said so a number of times. It is also pretty evident that the way they approach development in this is with a focus on quality, not just quantity.

I mean, if you just take a look at the feature request sub-forum alone, you will see enough work inside for half a decade of additional game development. There is a lot of room for expansion in the base game, and the CMS genre allows you to think about a lot of stuff to add to a solid base.

So, from what I understand, Frontier is developing this game as their second major self-publishing project. Expect support and development to continue after launch, and for years to come if the game does well.

The only way for a company to continue support and active development on a title like this is if...it keeps getting paid to do it. Thus, a post-launch development and monetization plan is always in place.

Here are the things that Frontier has to pay attention to, so as to both keep the money coming and the consumers happy.

1. No day one DLC shenanigans. If the content is developed by launch, every player should be able to have access to it.

2. No pre-order version exclusive content. This is a bad one, and the industry tends to launch games on many different versions and tiers.

3. A good $/value ratio for additional content. People have absolutely no problem paying for more stuff in a good game. They do have a problem though if they feel nickled and dimed by having to pay ridiculous amount of money for...horse armor. To give some examples for this,

I would gladly pay 15$ for a full theme with rides, a couple of coaster cars, a hundred+ pieces of scenery, proper scenery attributes for the simulation (cost, effect on guests) and the ability of other players to see said theme without having to buy it too.

I would gladly pay 40$ for a full fledged expansion with themes, a focus on new features (for example, a proper dark ride expansion or a water park expansion) new maps and scenarios, a new campaign etc.

I would gladly pay 15$ for the ability to have a separate game mode to stroll in my friends park as a guest with full VR support, taking in the scenery, riding his coasters and leaving feedback on a "guest book" for him.

I would gladly pay 15$ for a proper modding API, a modding bible/wiki and importer, the ability to host UGC on Frontier servers so that all players have access to my content and a curation service to help me optimize the performance and look of what I create and share.

I would not pay 5$+ for a new flat ride or a coaster car, or a couple of wall textures. I would not pay season DLC without getting the content when I pay for it. I would not pay to get something in the game that my friends would have to get too so as to view it or play with me.

4. No gating content creation and game enhancement behind an official paywall. Good PC games have modding support and players are able to make modding communities to enhance the base game experience. The developers should embrace that, and not fear that community creations will reduce their monetization potential. In actuality, it is possible and very profitable to have both modding support and official DLC in a good game. The examples in the industry are many.

Hope that helps, cheers..C:
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if there will be a DLC, it must be free for the the Early Birds. €69,00 Is much but with the DLC? No. [up]

Nope. We did not pay more for getting free stuff after launch. This would be asinine. We explicitly paid more to take part in the alpha process and test the game so that it becomes better for everyone. What you are saying would split the community into pre-order tiers after launch, something very hated in gaming.

You are not entitled to more content (or not having to pay for more content) just because you paid more for alpha. And you shouldn't.
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I see your point Dante and I quite agree with it!

The solution that I proposed was to have DLCs based ONLY around new gameplay mechanics that way we do not risk to get the 10 dollars for a few scenery items. On top of that, designing new scenery items is a lot of time consumed that could be spent improving the gameplay which truly is one of the only things that we could barely change in RCT3 except for some minor tweaks.

If you look back at RCT3 you'll notice that what really made all of the value for the 2 xpacs was the new gameplay mechanic in each one of them (swimming pools and zoos). The items were just a minor addition and we only had the bear minimum to use them properly. I would love it if Frontier could do the same here by introducing for example hotels, adding in a few of the necessary objects and selling this as a DLC. That way they could get content out really fast and still sustain it for quite a long time.

They could try doing scenery DLCs but even if they're worth it (hundreds of items for 10-15 dollars) they would never be able to compete with UGC which is why gameplay mechanics is mostly what I'm asking for.
Agreed. It really all comes down to a good $/value ratio though. For example, would you pay 10$ for a set of nicely done plaster walls, with the roofs to boot? Probably not. Would you pay the same for a full fledged prehistoric theme, complete with animatronic dinosaurs and themed rides? Probably yes.

I don't think btw that Frontier will go down the path of many small DLC additions. I think that they will bundle content into big expansion-like packs, like whole themes or a new gameplay concept. Much like what happened with RCT3.
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