RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked! Q&A - Overview
We get the first details on this first expansion pack for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 from one of the developers.
After making a splash last year with RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, the latest sequel in the popular build-your-own-amusement-park series, Atari is making another splash today. The publisher has announced RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Soaked!, an expansion pack that will focus on letting you build the water park of your dreams. Due out this June, Soaked! will introduce new water-based rides, new coasters, aquatic animal shows, and more. To get the first details on Soaked!, we caught up with Jonny Watts, director of production at Frontier Developments, the UK-based studio that created RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 and that is hard at work on the expansion.
GameSpot: Give us a brief overview of the new expansion pack. What will it add to the original game?
Jonny Watts: Soaked! takes the RollerCoaster Tycoon series into an exciting new area. The expansion is drenched in new gameplay opportunities, allowing players to create and manage their own water parks. The amount of features we've been able to cram in means these will become parks within parks; you can construct fabulous multitiered leisure pools, complete with flumes, fountains, diving boards, hot tubs, showers, lounge chairs, etc. You can choreograph captivating dolphin and whale shows and construct exotic customizable aquariums. There are 50 new rides, including the peep-soaking Master Blaster roller coaster, the awesome Giant Flume, and the thrilling White Water Rapids. As you'd expect, we've spent a great deal of time improving the game's water, with geometric surfaces, refraction, caustics, underwater light rays, etc. It looks out of this world.
GS: Why was the decision made to go in this direction, to add this kind of content to RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, as opposed to other content types?
JW: We spend a lot of time researching real-world amusement parks, and so this was a natural direction to take the game. There is a huge summer-fun element associated with water parks, which gives us the opportunity to add plenty of original content and gameplay, and this lets you create even more beautiful and entertaining parks.
GS: Are there any specific features or issues the team encountered in RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, or heard about from the fan community, that the expansion pack will address? Are there any fundamental improvements or enhancements, in terms of technical issues or gameplay features, that will be added to the core game?
JW: We're fortunate to have an extremely creative community that has plenty of great ideas and enhancements. We've responded by including new popularly requested coasters and flat rides, and introduced more themes. The mixmaster has been radically enhanced with laser, light, and water elements. We have improved peep behavior and lots of smaller things that have been requested, such as speaker objects and many other tweaks--too many to go into here.
GS: Tell us about the career mode that will be featured in the expansion pack. Will it be similar to that of the original game?
JW: There will be several new scenarios as well as new aquatic themes. We've kept career progression roughly the same as before, but we've added a new element of challenges. Players are free to accept or decline these, but they provide medium-term goals and give the levels slightly more structure. The objectives have been overhauled to fit in with the Soaked! theme, and the VIPs make a welcome return (complete with swimming trunks, of course).
GS: Will the expansion make any specific improvements or additions to the sandbox mode and editing tools?
JW: As with RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, all the new Soaked! features will be accessible in sandbox mode. The ability for players to construct pool complexes, build submerged covered walkways, and create beautiful waterfalls gives budding roller coaster tycoons the ability to create even more amazing theme parks. We've implemented a major improvement in the track designer to allow you to save rides and scenery along with your coaster designs. Interconnected pool complexes, their associated rides, and scenery can also be saved in one file, making it easier for players to share park resources.
GS: Will the expansion make any specific improvements or additions to amusement park peeps?
JW: The peeps have brand-new swimming pool behavior. Teens will dive and cannonball, kids will jump in and paddle, etc. All the peeps will enjoy swimming, the pools, using inflatable rafts, taking showers, or just relaxing in hot tubs. Some peeps will want to catch a few rays on lounge chairs. The peeps interact with one another more; watch them drench each other with the water jets and coaster water bombs. Players can interact with the peeps more by blasting them with water cannons, which can be player controlled, or by using our new mouse gesture system to create waves, splashes, and whirlpools in the swimming pools.
GS: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about the game?
JW: We're extremely pleased with the amount of original content we've managed to squeeze into this expansion pack. Instead of just releasing reskinned rides and scenery, we're giving players a brand-new RollerCoaster Tycoon experience.
GS: Thanks, Jonny.
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