Talon (Multi-Launch Coaster)

Hayo!

First off, I ended up taking a slight hiatus from here due to mental health reasons - both the depression and anxiety still tend to linger a bit unfortunately, I don't mind admitting it, but it's nowhere near as bad as it used to be.

Anyway, my activity in Planet Coaster's dwindled as well because of performance, but having upgraded my PC recently, I'm very much back into the game and I'm excited to kick off my latest project. :D

Throwing the facts out, the ride's called Talon, it'll be a multi-launch coaster (Vector, Mack multi-launch, call it what you want) and it's set to be a final expansion to my existing Norse themed area I've been periodically working on over the past year, so while it'll be carrying over the Scandinavian/Viking architecture (well my attempt at it anyway) used in the area, I'm also aiming to throw a bit of steampunk into the mix as well to make it interesting. :sneaky: There's also a backstory to this ride but I'll save that for a later date (hope you like dragons! ;)).

Moving into development, let's just say this won't be an easy build. Annoyingly, I didn't realise until I was laying down foundations that the site was actually a bit smaller than I anticipated, and given it's literally surrounded by existing rides, terrain, buildings, pathways and...well...every other bloody thing in existence, it's not exactly easy to expand. So, despite having a layout in mind, I currently have no choice but to wing it. But the hardest part will be to hopefully leave enough space for a major theming element I have in mind.

Despite the above, I've still made a good start. A good portion of track's in place, already featuring some crazy elements, some of the queue and even the second launch is in place as an added foundation for good measure and also the station has taken shape. Good progress made so far, although we're sadly still a long way off the finished product.
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That's all I have for now but more will follow. Eventually. :)
 
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They grow up so fast...
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I'm rapidly making a load of progress on this. First half of the ride is now complete, second launch has been cranked up to 75mph and construction of the next half is well underway. With the last few coasters I've gone through, I've always challenged myself to improve my banking. Talon is no exception, as for once I very much have intensity in mind. I've always longed to pull off some sharp "meandering" turns and, not to toot my own horn, I'd say I've done really well here...
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...and...a good 20 minutes of mashing the 'smooth all' button while using a few tactics has landed me with what's probably the best heartline roll I've ever produced.
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...buuuut same can't be said for this one sadly. It needs a bit of work...but that's for another day.
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Track complete! And holy moly have I made a mess here...
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Testing's very much underway too. All 3 trains. :)
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...and what's more is that you know it was all worth it when you're greeted by an all-green test rating...which never happens. I was physically punching the air when I saw this. :D
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So I'd say the hardest part is over with now, we're still nowhere near a complete attraction, despite the fact I've got a bit of tidying up to do as the whole thing's pretty messy right now. Only question I have is, given the amount of track packed into that one site...

...How the hell do I get buildings in here?! 🤔🤔🤔
 
Well this is an update I've been eager to get out there (and a huge one!). Talon's gone from being something I was unsure about...to being something I'm really really proud of. The ride just looks so beautiful now - a ride that now very much feels alive with its theming and its triggered sound effects and it's just so satisfying watching the trains flying around the track at a rate of knots (1 train roughly every 60 seconds)...and even as I type this, I'm just sat in on-ride view just going around and around 😂😍

Anyway, today I've been hellbent on throwing in the scenery and getting the queue finished and it's all paid off. Also, that 3x3 platform in the foreground near the entrance? That's the site I've earmarked for this planned major theming element...which I'm still keeping under wraps as I feel like surprising a lot of people...especially if I can pull it off. :)
Also, speaking of the ride's frequency earlier, as well as one train having cleared launch 2 and entering the heartline roll, you can also make out the train behind leaving the station. The train dispatches the moment the one in front has cleared the block section in launch 2. That's how fast it is! o_O
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The first thing I did was construct a new bridge which finally links Talon with the rest of the area.
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Also, 3 buildings have been added as part of the queue. The first being a 24m tall bell tower which stands tall over the area.
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The next building we pass through is my personal favourite out of the three - the generator room. As promised earlier, despite the ride's Norse theme and therefore Medieval feel, I also incorporated steampunk into the theme of Talon in order to make for a pretty intimidating look and feel. The interior of the building features an animated scene depicting a bizarre machine grinding away which covers the entire height of the building. It supposedly gives the impression that maybe this powers part of the attraction.

The building itself also doubles up as a great near miss. The coaster is basically hugging it!
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The generator room takes us up to higher ground as the queue had to pass over part of the ride. This therefore brings us to our third and final building which is the tallest out of the three. There isn't anything much inside it for now, it's just mostly there to descend us back to ground level...but it's a structure I'm proud of none the less, featuring the usual "staggered" roof technique seen in a lot of older Scandinavian architecture (the stairs leading into it I'll add more details to later on). :)
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Another shot of the queue from outside the station, looking a lot nicer now it has assorted foliage (as well as some speakers disguised as rocks!). I'm not quite ready to reveal the station interior just yet but you can get a very slight glimpse of it from this shot. I also need to add some custom supports to the track here and there, very clearly. ;)
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Further props and details have been added in minor areas too which is something I'll be making sure of quite a lot. :) I should also point out that the Vector trains make such a lovely roar as they shoot out of launch 2, so kudos to the audio team on that. 😍😍
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Finally, fog effects have been installed down in the trench for launch 2...as well as a very interesting lighting sequence for night operations. You wouldn't be able to tell from the picture but these are waves of light moving towards the train, giving the illusion you're travelling much faster than you actually are (as if a target speed of 75mph wasn't fast enough!!)
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I'm working really hard on Talon so I really hope you like what you see. More will come! :D

EDIT: Throwing in this screenshot as well. I just adore the contrast between colours, architecture and foliage here 😍 😍 😍
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Holy Bah-Jesus!!! thats awesome!
Cheers dude! Really appreciate it! 😅

Another update! And to put it simply...Talon is now OPEN!
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...and quite honestly, I wasn't expecting it to get popular this rapidly 😱
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Now for the first time, I'm happy to present the interior of the station! It's meant to represent some kind of Medieval armoury which, following the village of Drakkarth (more on the ride's lore another time) beginning a new "revolution" in machinery, is loaded with steampunk technology. I also put together a series of ambience tracks and sound effects to create immersive audio for the background.
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I also made a few extra changes prior to and following the ride's opening; I got round to building the priority pass queue going right from the beginning of the main queue to right outside the station! Also, a new confectionary outlet has been installed outside the entrance, using the platform for my forthcoming centrepiece.
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I have more shots of guest reactions, but as we approach the image limit, that'll have to wait for another post. Some of the reactions I've been getting are absolutely priceless!! 🤣🤣🤣
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So all in all, even though there are still a few more steps to take before we have a complete attraction, Talon is very much up and operational and I can safely say that in my 3 years of playing Planet Coaster, this is definitely my proudest moment. Even if I took a lot of inspiration off Taron at Phantasialand (one of my favourite coasters of all time), I still managed to throw in a lot of differences to really make the experience my own.

It was also important to me that I really pushed myself for level of detail as well as ride experience, especially after embarrassing myself with the original look of my Skeleton Organist blueprint. I really let my attention to detail slip at that point so, knowing fully well I was better than that, with Talon I'm still pushing to really pack in the little details wherever I can.

On that note, thank you for all the support so far! There's still a bit more to add and present to you guys so as always, stay tuned! Any feedback and advice are always appreciated. :D
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Some great use of clockwork in the design!
Thanks! Couldn't have gone for a better theme really, steampunk and smooth operations fit like a glove and there's a really satisfying "factory" feel behind it too. Saying that, Talon's been absolutely tanking its operations since opening so that gives clockwork two meanings! 😉
 
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...Did somebody order a STEAMPUNK DRAGON?! 👀👀👀
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It may look a bit strange I know, I deliberately avoided being realistic as it's meant to be a huge structure supposedly assembled together using scrap metal and spare machinery parts. Why you ask? Well all will make sense once I get round to finalising the story!
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What do you guys make of this? It's probably one of the most ambitious things I've built and I want it to be perfect before it goes on the workshop so please do let me know of any improvements! I'm sure I'll get a few ideas the more I look at it. :)
 
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With Talon being open for a while now, I thought now would be an appropriate time to wrap up the thread and a hell of a project once and for all. It's been a fun one and I couldn't be prouder of how it turned out in the end.

Just a few small updates to end on, I've been adding a bit of lighting around the ride, so at least now it looks pretty at night:
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In the station, I've touched up on the lighting under the platform and I've also added a new cobblestone floor using one of the crypt wall pieces (an idea borrowed from Operateur's incredible Flying Dutchman recreation)
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Some extra props and small details have also been added in the queue, including a new fence to cordon off the ride area (safety first! ;))
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Finally, outside of the attraction, new picnic benches have been added to make use of space and compliment the Talon Treats outlet.
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-----

The ever-quaint village of Drakkarth was once just another Viking settlement, well within a strong position in the iron age with its booming industry in smithing...yet ravaged by war with an uncommon enemy. Dragons, rulers of the skies, would home in on the village in ever-increasing numbers - one attack a month rapidly became one a week. With every charge and every reign of destruction, the iron-clad people of Drakkarth would always rise from the rubble and strive to adapt, so much so, there eventually came a time when they miraculously harnessed the power of heavy machinery in the process. The move was groundbreaking. Hopes arose that very soon, dragons would become the least of Drakkarth's problems.

However, one final airborne onslaught in particular would only mark the beginning of a new phase in the village's troubled history. The attack was carried out by a lone dragon, and nothing like Drakkarth had ever dealt with. The villagers had long awaited its inevitable arrival...and all knew and feared it by one name alone. Talon.
The beast used nothing but relentless brutality and power....the village however used everything against it. A century of frequent battle against these merciless creatures had only prepared them for this one alone...and sure enough, with steel spent and blood spilled, Talon was brought to the ground dead by morning. But something extraordinary happened, quite unlike anything that had been seen before. Talon was no longer part of a living, breathing body, but was now the pale spiritual apparition of nothing more than its very soul, now free from its physical form. For days, with unstoppable speed, it rampaged through the skies and the streets of Drakkarth, drawing its energy from deep within the earth. Though now harmless, Talon was still as powerful as it had been in life, in its gray, scaled body...so much so that it cannot be controlled.

...and if it cannot be controlled...it had to be contained.

It took Drakkarth's strongest and best craftsmen and engineers...as well as masses of disused scrap metal, spare machine parts, cogs, pipes and even tanks...not ordinary men, not ordinary steel...but in time, a great beast rose. A towering mass of steel with wings spread wide and razor teeth bared...and contained within it, the legendary soul of Talon itself. Now, chained to the very foundations of the village, the immense power of Talon serves as Drakkarth's epic guardian - controlled...but not tamed.

Now, brave travellers, the village of Drakkarth presents nothing more than a challenge. Their monstrous guardian lies in wait...its soul restless....its power...limitless. Its awesome force knows no comparison...yet still it waits on the fearless for a successor.

Can YOU tame Talon??
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