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Planet Coaster Tips, Tricks & General Chat

Matt N

Strata Poster
Hi guys. I’ve noticed that even though we have a Planet Coaster sub-forum, there’s no place for more general Planet Coaster chat, and about some more general things people are doing in the game. So I decided to make this topic because I have a tip I’d like to share.

If you’ve been playing the game for a while, you might notice that with the game’s multi-launch coaster models, you are unable to make each launch function as its own block section like a real life multi-launch coaster would. As such, your train is often left waiting for a very long time at the first launch; until the train negotiating the layout hits the brake run, the train cannot be launched from the first launch, leading to waits of a minute or more on the launch track prior to launching. This also substantially decreases the ride’s throughput. Unless you place an MCBR within the layout itself or make the second launch a standing launch as opposed to a rolling launch, this seems unavoidable. For an idea of what I mean, here’s a POV of Black Mamba, a multi-launch coaster I created for my Worlds of Globala park. Notice how the ride stops for what feels like a very, very long time prior to the first launch (skip to around 1 minute in to see what I’m talking about; it takes the ride 2 minutes to launch):

However, I had an epiphany yesterday, and I realised that it is possible to make each launch function as its own block section without damaging the flow of the ride or shaving off any notable speed. The way to do this is to place a tiny section of block brake prior to the second launch. To test this out, I saved Black Mamba as a blueprint and pasted two copies of the Black Mamba layout into a clean map, with no other scenery. I left one layout the same and altered the other so that the first piece of track in the second launch was replaced by a block brake section with a very high target speed (above what the ride was naturally going at at this point) and a very low deceleration, so that the illusion of a rolling launch is still there. Interestingly, the block brake actually improved the ride experience’s ratings in game; the prestige was identical, but the excitement and fear ratings were marginally higher, and somehow, the ride gained an extra 0.2s airtime moment even though I didn’t alter the actual layout at all! The brake section slowed the ride down by only a negligible amount (~1mph) prior to the second launch, and the second launch still hit the same speed, so it made absolutely no difference to the ride experience!

This brake also had a profound impact on throughput. Warning in advance; I’m about to get a bit geeky here!

I tested both layouts (with and without block brake) in testing mode, with no guests, to get an estimate of theoretical throughput for each. For reference, Black Mamba has 4 trains of 20 riders.

Without the block brake, I calculated using the Dispatch Timer app that Black Mamba could dispatch every 1 minute 17 seconds. As the ride has 20 rider trains, this led to a throughput of 933 riders per hour. I should note that in this mode, the ride was always stacking on 4 trains, leading to there never being a gap between trains, so I didn’t need to take it into consideration here.

With the block brake, dispatches were much quicker. In testing mode, I timed that the ride could dispatch every 40 seconds, leading to a throughput of 1,781 riders per hour given that Black Mamba has 20-rider trains. However, if trains were dispatched constantly, I noticed that there was a bit of a gap between the 4th train leaving the station and the 1st train reentering the station. Adding this lag time between trains onto the average dispatch of 40 seconds for the 5th dispatch and calculating the new average dispatch time led me to an average dispatch time of 45 seconds, or a theoretical throughput of 1,600 riders per hour given Black Mamba’s 20-rider trains. Still, even with my more conservative estimate, this still led to a 71.5% increase in throughput!

Hope you find this tip useful to optimise the throughputs on those multi-launch coasters!
 
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Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
Great idea! I have learnt a few things over time, when I first played the game, I passed over alot of knowledge I had from the RCT3 days, but some of that doesn't translate to Planet Coaster.

When it comes to coaster design, I think I am pretty good in-game, however when designing hyper coasters or any airtime focused coaster I wondered why the excitement rating never past 6 on the drops despite them being steep. I realised that my drops weren't truly parabolic. I was designing from my own eye and the results were more inconsistent than I was willing to admit.

Now though I have discovered if you start with small track piece of a 30 degrees down at the top of the drop, then down to 45 and then 60 then reverse the order you have a better designed drop which actually gives airtime in game and shoots up your coasters rating.

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Matt N

Strata Poster
Are you talking about parabolic airtime hills, like the ones you find on B&M hyper coasters? If so; I too initially struggled with those, but I’ve nailed a bit of a formula with those.

What I do is I build the track for the hill like so:
  • Up part: 22.50°, 45.00°, 67.50°, 45.00°, 0.00°
  • Down part: 45.00°, 67.50°, 45.00°, 22.50°
  • To build a shorter parabolic hill, you can simply shorten the track pieces. Or if you don’t mind more forces in between hills, eliminate the 22.50° track at the bottom. I’d probably recommend the former, though.
Using this technique, I’m able to create relatively smooth, realistic-looking parabolic hills that give the rider sustained negative g’s for a good few seconds.

In terms of a first drop, what I tend to do on my hyper coasters is:
  • 67.50°, 81.00°, 67.50°, 45.00°, 22.50°, level out to 0.00° at the bottom.
Hope that helps!
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
I was just thinking the other day while struggling with the path tools that I am a bit rubbish at creating interesting path layouts and making parks feel more natural in their transitions.

There are certain things in the game that I think I am decent at, but other things I am just naff at. Do you guys have you're own Planet Coaster pros and cons in terms of your own skill?

My Pros:
Decent at coaster building - I am not the best in any way, but I think that I do a good job at keeping the coasters realistic. In terms of track profiling I have improved quite a bit since my first builds in the game.

Early Hyper Coaster Build:
20210705191323_1.jpg
Most Recent (Giga):
20210705192213_1.jpg20210705192132_1.jpg
I will get rid of some of those supports soon.

Keeping Things Realistic- Goes in with my first point, I like to make most of my parks as realistic as possible, now I am nowhere near the level of Pixel Wess, but with each park I try to include things such as transfer tracks and some BTS stuff.


Cons:
Park Layout
- My parks are pretty boring in terms of layout, all but one are in a circle or square shape with either a lake or weenie as the centrepiece, I struggle with building hubs in my parks, I can build them, but never to where I am satisfied.
20200826204155_1.jpg I honestly don't know what I was thinking.

Buildings and Scenery: I don't think I am terrible at this, but for me it's a patience thing, once I have built the main street I am burnt out so all my other buildings usually lack detail and I usually have a basic approach to landscaping as well.
20210705192247_1.jpg20210705192309_1.jpg

Any general tips or advice?
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
In terms of my pros and cons; I don’t know if you guys would agree based on the work I’ve posted here, I’d personally go with:
Pros
  • Coaster building - My coasters are admittedly far from perfect, but I’d say I’ve hit a bit more of a stride with coaster building, personally. I’d like to think my rides are fairly realistic examples of their ride type.
  • Putting a good variety of rides into my parks - I don’t know if you’d agree (base this on my mostly complete bar 1 area Worlds of Globala park; on the subject of that area, I promise it’s coming soon!), but I personally like to think that I put a good variety of attractions into my parks, with at least a couple of each out of the following; coasters, dark rides, water rides, flat rides and other rides that don’t fit any of the above(e.g. relaxing/transportation rides), as well as a solid selection for each demographic/thrill level (thrillseekers, families, kids).
Cons
  • Theming - Although I’d personally say I’ve improved in this area, I still don’t feel like my theming is as detailed as in many other people’s Planet Coaster parks.
  • Dark rides - Again, even though I’d say I’ve improved, my dark rides fall considerably short of many peoples’ efforts. I often have a tendency to get a bit too trigger-happy with the flamethrowers as opposed to building ambient, well thought out dark rides, and my scenes often lack theming and detail compared to the dark rides other many others build. In future, I’m going to try and aim to make some more ambient, considered dark rides with lots of static scenery and constantly moving pieces as opposed to going all-in on the pyro!
  • Park layouts/symmetrical scenery placement - I’m personally quite pleased with the park layout of Worlds of Globala, and I’d say I’ve considerably improved my park layouts since some of my early creations (in hindsight, the layout of my very first Planet Coaster park was absolutely shocking!), but I’ve been told that I often have a tendency to build things in 90 degree angles an awful lot. This is likely down to the fact I’ve always liked symmetry, and when asked to lay things out, I often do them symmetrically and/or at 90 degree angles. As much as I personally love symmetry, 90 degree angles and making everything look nice and uniform, there are unfortunately no 90 degree angles in nature! As such, in my future creations, I’m going to try and aim to make things look a little more natural, and build less 90 degree angles!
For some idea of the park I’m referencing, here’s the thread where I post the work I’ve done in Worlds of Globala: https://coasterforce.com/forums/threads/worlds-of-globala.44206/
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
I also struggle with dark rides, recently I have built them on a much smaller scale which has helped alot as it's not too overwhelming and I find I am more creative with smaller spaces so the small dark rides I build are more detailed then me trying to build a huge boat ride.

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Matt N

Strata Poster
I hope there will be another expansion pack with more darkride systems
I think it would be good if they would include something like an omnimover within the game; they’re always great, high capacity dark rides!

There are also certain coaster types I think the game is missing. The most glaring one for me is the Mack powered coaster; very common, but missing from the game. I also think a Mack XTREME Spinning Coaster would be a cool addition, as well as some coasters able to do the current trend of swing launches/switch tracks, such as adding the swing launch capability to the game’s current LSM Launch Coaster model, as well as an Intamin Multidimensional Coaster-style ride, with some cool trick tracks!
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
I don't know if this is the place to do this, but I would recommend the channel "Coaster Cool Gaming"

if you haven't seen it, he does some fantastic builds with a real eye for detail. I believe he deserves more subs as I have gained a bit of knowledge about scenery builds from watching his videos.


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Matt N

Strata Poster
As many of you know, I recently finished my mega park project Worlds of Globala.

I’ve been having some ideas about what I should tackle next now I’ve done Worlds of Globala. I am of course still progressively working on Newman’s Pleasure Gardens, so look out for some updates from that park, and I have actually started work on a theme park themed to the four seasons (the actual seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, not the hotel chain or the band), so you can expect to see that at some point in the future, but I’m undecided between two ideas I had for new projects to begin. I intend to do both ideas at some stage, but I was wondering which of these you’d be interested to see me work on first:
Idea 1
  • The first idea I had was for a theme park with an amalgamation of the various different “base” themes within the game, with 6 themed areas focusing on what I’d call the base themes; Pirate, Spooky, Adventure, Western, Fairytale & Sci-Fi, as well as an entrance area.
  • The park would also be built either in a lake, or have water playing into its landscape somewhat, and would have a little bit of a nautical exploration theme to it, kind of like Tokyo DisneySea.
  • I would also focus more on the Resort side of things than I did with Worlds of Globala, with numerous themed hotels, maybe an entertainment complex as well (given what PlanCo offers, this would likely just be some restaurants and food stalls), and possibly even a transportation system akin to Alton Towers’ monorail to transport guests to the park’s main entrance, showing off some of the park’s various sights along the way.
  • The park would be similar in terms of ride lineup to Worlds of Globala, with a variety of coasters, dark rides, water rides, flat rides and other things for all ages, although I’d perhaps try and focus on less, higher-quality rides in this park as opposed to putting in loads & loads of flat rides like I did in Globala. Obviously I would still build a fair amount of flat rides, but I’d like to try and shoot for some more dark rides in this park, as well as perhaps a properly large-scale, heavily themed water ride, which I’d argue that Globala lacks.
  • In terms of the project’s scope, it would most definitely be a mega park project, likely similar in scope to Globala if not a bit bigger, although the park itself would perhaps be a little smaller.
  • I’d like to do this project because my first parks in the game centred around these more basic themes, and with my (in my opinion) improved building skills, I feel like I could ensure greater quality and do the concept a lot more justice now.
Idea 2
  • The other idea I had was for a theme park themed to horror; something kind of like a year-round scare park, but with theme park rides instead of scare attractions. I’m currently unsure exactly what themed areas I’d do or how many I’d do, but I’ve got some basic ideas, and I’d definitely have all of the themes be dark themes; while they’d all have their own unique flavour, and play on different styles, all of the themes would feed back into the overarching theme of horror.
  • Unlike the proposal above, this park would not really focus on the Resort side of things, and would be a smaller park than Globala or the other proposal above; this almost certainly wouldn’t be a massive mega park in the style of Globala.
  • In terms of the target demographic and ride types I’d go for; as the theme outlined very much implies, this would be a thrill park aimed almost primarily at teenagers & adults, with big coasters and flat rides on offer, but I’d also try and integrate some dark rides and water rides in too, as I feel like great things could be done with dark rides in particular when utilising a horror theme.
  • One thing I was thinking is that I perhaps wouldn't tackle full-scale themed areas in this park, instead really going to town on theming the major rides and allocating each major ride its own area, maybe throwing in some support rides alongside a couple of them.
  • I'd like to do this project because even though I know some UK enthusiasts in particular are feeling somewhat fatigued with horror themes, what with Merlin having somewhat of an attraction to them, I feel like I've never really seen anyone attempt a horror park in PlanCo before, and I feel like there's a lot of untapped potential in Planet Coaster within the theme of horror. I myself haven't dabbled too much in dark themes (the only 2 I can think of are Doomsday Temple & El Conquistador in Globala), and the game doesn't have too much in the way of expressly horror theming, so I'd be really interested to see what I can pull off within what the game provides! Also, it would put me outside of my comfort zone a bit when thinking of storylines & ride themes, because I'm not really much of a horror aficionado myself (quite the opposite, in fact; I'll confess that I'm a complete wimp when it comes to proper horror stuff & scare attractions...).
So which of these would you like to see me attempt first? A mega park & resort centred around some of the base themes, or a smaller park based around horror themes?
 

Thecoasterrus

Mega Poster
I prefer the second park, as it is more unique and I am film buff (including horror) as well, but I can understand why you would want to do the base themes because you have a lot more options.

If you did pick the second park, may I suggest theming lands to different genres of horror? For example: folk, supernatural, slasher, creature etc.

I agree that it is harder to come up with buildings and scenery for a more narrow theme, but in my experience it is interesting to build stuff that the game doesn't expect. There is some great stuff on the steam workshop as well if you are struggling for objects to use.

That's just my two cents, but I am sure whatever you do it will be great.

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Matt N

Strata Poster
I prefer the second park, as it is more unique and I am film buff (including horror) as well, but I can understand why you would want to do the base themes because you have a lot more options.

If you did pick the second park, may I suggest theming lands to different genres of horror? For example: folk, supernatural, slasher, creature etc.

I agree that it is harder to come up with buildings and scenery for a more narrow theme, but in my experience it is interesting to build stuff that the game doesn't expect. There is some great stuff on the steam workshop as well if you are struggling for objects to use.

That's just my two cents, but I am sure whatever you do it will be great.

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Thanks for the suggestion! If I’m being honest, however, I’m not entirely sure if I know enough about horror films to do areas by film genre… I’ll see how I go! I’ve got a couple of theme ideas… I’ll see how far those take me!

In theory, I could build upon some of the base themes and make them into darker, more horror-based storylines; if you think about it, scare attractions at scare parks are themed around all kinds of different things! Even at Alton Towers Scarefest alone, for instance, they’ve had attractions with fairytale horror themes, western horror themes, pirate horror themes, sci-fi horror themes… the opportunities are endless! I’ll try to go for some somewhat unique theme ideas, however…
 
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