Planet Coaster on track for Q4/2016

Wonder how they wanna do all the stuff till Q4. Sounds a bit like they wanna do a game as fast as they can and work straight after release on the next game without supporting the last one anymore .... Let's see what they've got behind their NDA gates [squeeeeee]
 
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Vampiro

Moderator
Wonder how they wanna do all the stuff till Q4. Sounds a bit like they wanna do a game as fast as they can and work straight after release on the next game without supporting the last one anymore .... Let's see what they've got behind their NDA gates [squeeeeee]
It's my guess that a lot of content is already done.

Don't forget that in the very early video's we already saw stuff that we haven't seen since (Teacups, Revolution, food stalls). I think the Alpha's are mainly about the "features" such as coaster editor, pathways's, terrain editor, etc etc...

We have 2 themes now, when they work properly, 99% they ALL work properly so there is no need to test it all. It's probably the same with flatrides and lot's of other stuff.
It's my guess there is a lot of content 90 - 100% done already but we will only get to see it when the game get's released or maybe at Beta.
 
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Wonder how they wanna do all the stuff till Q4. Sounds a bit like they wanna do a game as fast as they can and work straight after release on the next game without supporting the last one anymore .... Let's see what they've got behind their NDA gates [squeeeeee]
Well the only danger lies within this:

"Frontier says its full-year results for the year ending May 2016 will show revenue of £21.3m, slightly down on the 2015 figure of £22.8m. As a result, operating profit is also down, from £1.6m to £1.2m."

Somebody is not going to be pleased about the operating profit which is £400.000 less than previous year. And I really hope the management isn't going to push them to hard to make the release in Q4. Because
we still need to test the alpha3 phase, the game needs to go into beta and probably some more content needs to be added. The fact that they will release it on steam puts some more pressure on them as well.
So let's hope they keep the pressure on a sane level and finish the game as good as they can before really releasing it.
 
It's my guess that a lot of content is already done.

Don't forget that in the very early video's we already saw stuff that we haven't seen since (Teacups, Revolution, food stalls). I think the Alpha's are mainly about the "features" such as coaster editor, pathways's, terrain editor, etc etc...

We have 2 themes now, when they work properly, 99% they ALL work properly so there is no need to test it all. It's probably the same with flatrides and lot's of other stuff.
It's my guess there is a lot of content 90 - 100% done already but we will only get to see it when the game get's released or maybe at Beta.
I don't think that those flatrides will be used as they were een in the trailer. Just look at the sunflare ride, it looks different in the trailer. The style also changed slightly.


Let's hope for the best. They said that many themes would come. Scenarios should not be neglected - just think about the awesome level design in rct 3!
 
Well the only danger lies within this:

"Frontier says its full-year results for the year ending May 2016 will show revenue of £21.3m, slightly down on the 2015 figure of £22.8m. As a result, operating profit is also down, from £1.6m to £1.2m."

Somebody is not going to be pleased about the operating profit which is £400.000 less than previous year. And I really hope the management isn't going to push them to hard to make the release in Q4. Because
we still need to test the alpha3 phase, the game needs to go into beta and probably some more content needs to be added. The fact that they will release it on steam puts some more pressure on them as well.
So let's hope they keep the pressure on a sane level and finish the game as good as they can before really releasing it.
Operating profit is down because of the cost of developing and marketing the game. Once that passes it will increase again. There is a lot of upfront cost that probably hasn't been covered even from the pre-sales in honesty.
 
Although profit may be down, they are still making a load of money. Especially since they only have Elite: Dangerous and now Planet Coaster.
 
I agree with Vampiro....Frontier probably have a fully working version of planet coaster with all content working, I think they had it since before launch of alpha. The alphas were used to test each aspect of the games creativity tools, due to the high level of freedom and creativity the game gives us. Alpha one was mainly about testing the modular building, the second was more focused on the coaster building and terrain editing, the third sol introduce the

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Sorry...my kindle fire crashed mid post....
As I was saying the third alpha is the simulation stuff like park management, staff management etc...

They probably did this not because the other stuff wasn't existing or unmissable, just that they wanted us to test/concentrate on each aspect The alphas introduced.

I feel that Frontier have had a complete build of the game since before launch of alpha...
 
Wonder how they wanna do all the stuff till Q4. Sounds a bit like they wanna do a game as fast as they can and work straight after release on the next game without supporting the last one anymore .... Let's see what they've got behind their NDA gates [squeeeeee]
As I see it, this is no typical Early Access game (like a lot of the ones on steam) where they add everything they have in every update and at some point they just call it "finished" and the early access disclaimer is removed. In this case I think they are holding back almost all the content (like themes, shops, rides etc.) and only give us the technical features (like Vampiro said). I would say the alpha versions are actually only supposed as tech demos (like the demo versions almost every game had 10 years ago). On 25th of August, they will stop selling the Early Bird passes and at the end of the Year they will release the full version with scenarios and a lot of completely new content that hasn't been leaked before all over the internet. Only then, it will be the full experience for all players (early birds and completely new players).
That's also why I think we will only see one more theme (if that) in the pre-release version and all the other themes (and stalls/shops) will come at release.

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I feel that Frontier have had a complete build of the game since before launch of alpha...
I think at least an early development build with a lot of placeholders already existed back then (like the water we saw in some other videos). There are more than 100 people working on this game (see the credits), if even only 60 are working on the game full time since 1 year that alone is ~100 000 hours of development time. A lot can be achieved in that time if they are well organized (which I think Frontier is).
 
As I see it, this is no typical Early Access game (like a lot of the ones on steam) where they add everything they have in every update and at some point they just call it "finished" and the early access disclaimer is removed. In this case I think they are holding back almost all the content (like themes, shops, rides etc.) and only give us the technical features (like Vampiro said). I would say the alpha versions are actually only supposed as tech demos (like the demo versions almost every game had 10 years ago). On 25th of August, they will stop selling the Early Bird passes and at the end of the Year they will release the full version with scenarios and a lot of completely new content that hasn't been leaked before all over the internet. Only then, it will be the full experience for all players (early birds and completely new players).
That's also why I think we will only see one more theme (if that) in the pre-release version and all the other themes (and stalls/shops) will come at release.

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I think at least an early development build with a lot of placeholders already existed back then (like the water we saw in some other videos). There are more than 100 people working on this game (see the credits), if even only 60 are working on the game full time since 1 year that alone is ~100 000 hours of development time. A lot can be achieved in that time if they are well organized (which I think Frontier is).
You bring up a very good point i think. Frontier is what we Germans would call "ein alter Hase" in the Business. This means they know what's up because they are Veterans. They handle the Alpha like Alphas used to work. Like the very definition Alphas should be treated. They work quietly on content until it is ready and add it in their internal Version for testing. What we see is NOT the Version the Developers have. We have the "Job" of a QA Team if you will. We are here mostly to point out Bugs and help them make the Tools easier to use.

Early Access Developers (mostly Indie) normaly update as they go. There are exceptions, but mostly this is how it works. You should not compare Early Access behavior with the Way Frontier and most established Developers do their thing.

I personally prefer it that way, because

1. I don't get burned out that easily, because the updates are content richer :)
2. The frustation Level is really low, because most stuff works without a hitch.
 
As I see it, this is no typical Early Access game (like a lot of the ones on steam) where they add everything they have in every update and at some point they just call it "finished" and the early access disclaimer is removed. In this case I think they are holding back almost all the content (like themes, shops, rides etc.) and only give us the technical features (like Vampiro said). I would say the alpha versions are actually only supposed as tech demos (like the demo versions almost every game had 10 years ago). On 25th of August, they will stop selling the Early Bird passes and at the end of the Year they will release the full version with scenarios and a lot of completely new content that hasn't been leaked before all over the internet. Only then, it will be the full experience for all players (early birds and completely new players).
That's also why I think we will only see one more theme (if that) in the pre-release version and all the other themes (and stalls/shops) will come at release.

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I think at least an early development build with a lot of placeholders already existed back then (like the water we saw in some other videos). There are more than 100 people working on this game (see the credits), if even only 60 are working on the game full time since 1 year that alone is ~100 000 hours of development time. A lot can be achieved in that time if they are well organized (which I think Frontier is).
I don't have a problem with them holding back the content, actually it's better to do so because we, the players, can concentrate on the important things to test! Just want to be sure that they have MUCH content they're holding back! Wanna know how much.
 
1. I don't get burned out that easily, because the updates are content richer :)
I think this point is really important.
What happens with a lot of early access games nowadays, is that there is a huge hype around a game that is in a really early stage. The early access is often quite cheap and the game is not very content-rich and buggy. Those games are often in development for at least another year and by the time it would be ready, a lot of players have already moved on and the hype is gone. The big problem here is, that the developer has already sold the game to most of their target audience and there are not too many potential customers left to justify the high development costs.

A good example for that is DayZ. It went through the roof and in a very short time they had already sold millions of copies. Then, instead of getting the game out as fast as possible they seemingly Ramped down the dev-team and progress became very slow. Now, 2 years (or more) later it's still in a very early stage and will not be released in the near future.
So, basically the players shot themselves in the foot (myself included) and I'm really glad this will not be the case in this game [yesnod]
 

Harbinger

Moderator
"Frontier says its full-year results for the year ending May 2016 will show revenue of £21.3m, slightly down on the 2015 figure of £22.8m. As a result, operating profit is also down, from £1.6m to £1.2m."
Bear in mind these are unaudited figures tabulated very shortly after the end of their financial year and may not include everything Frontier received in that period, there may also be UK Government tax relief to take into account.

Case in point. Last year they stated that they expected to post a revenue of £22m with profit of £1.25m in their Full Year Trading Update in June 2015. This was then revised upwards to the £22.8m / £1.6m figures you stated above once the audited figures were released in September 2015.

You also need to take into account that all the £1.5m they state they've received in Planet Coaster pre-orders will not be included in profits. As it's an as yet unreleased product it will be accounted for as a deferred liability until the game goes gold, only then can it be realised profit. As such any earnings for Planet Coaster (which already offset prior development costs) will end up on the balance sheet for next year. The same is true for things like the Lifetime Expansion Pass for Elite Dangerous, only a certain portion of which is released each year so Frontier can be sitting on money they can't technically touch until later.

The main thing to take away from Frontier's year end trading update is they have a healthy cash balance and no debt.

Planet Coaster was always budgeted for 2 years of development (January 2015 - Q4 2016) so unless the game is behind schedule (which Frontier have stated many times it's not) there's nothing to worry about from a financial standpoint.
 
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Harbinger

Moderator
wow they wernt working on this in or before 2014?? thats crazy, i wonder how many people are involved
2014 was a very busy year for Frontier, they had 3 games in development simultaneously (Elite Dangerous, Tales From Deep Space & Screamride) and it wasn't until the end of the year that developers would have been freed up.

Although it's entirely possible there was some early groundwork laid at the end of 2014 it's more likely that the people finishing up on Tales From Deep Space in November ended up helping to complete Elite Dangerous, went for their Christmas break and started work proper on Planet Coaster on their return to work in January 2015. The team likely wouldn't have gained it's full compliment of developers until March 2015 when Screamride went gold.
 

Harbinger

Moderator
Perhaps something that can only be confirmed by some of the devs who were around at the time (Jonny Watts, Sam Denney etc.) but Frontier's web site states that the RCT2 expansions (the last of which was released in November 2003) "were a great lead-in to our work on RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 and provided us with invaluable experience of getting to know Chris’ original games."

As RCT3 launched 12 months later it looks like they only worked on the initial version for a single year.
 
Woow ! 1 year seems super short. Especially when you think about the content they had at the end, and the slower to use programs!
 

Harbinger

Moderator
You could get away with more 12 years ago because the resolutions were lower so character modelling didn't require as much time and effort.

If it was indeed in development for a single year it's likely why the game was criticized at the initial launch. Rushed to release by Atari, they haven't changed much. ;)

It was fleshed out in the expansions so it did take an extra year to get to where it ultimately ended up.
 
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