[RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- (Updata 8-07-19)

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Offline JB

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[RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- (Updata 8-07-19)
« on: May 30, 2019, 04:29 PM »


I mentioned at the beginning of my "A Visit To IMAGINARIUM- with the Peepertons" thread that the park you see in that story is the third version of Imaginarium. The first version was completed in 2012. The second, in 2013, and the current version in 2014. Each version of the park took most of a year to create.

In this thread I'll be showing images from the earlier versions of Imaginarium and comparing them to the current version. Here, you'll see the rides that were deleted or altered in some significant way, plus any other ramblings that might be of interest. I still have the files for these older versions of the park, so they're not really 'Lost' like it says in the title above. But I like the dramatic sound of it... and the graphic looks cool. :P


So why make three versions of the same park, you ask? Didn't you get burnt out by the end of the third version, you ask? The answer to the second question is- yes, I did. The answer to the first question is- Imaginarium v1 was basically a test park; a place to try out new CTRs, CFRs, and custom scenery. I didn't pay any attention to where a ride ended up, so there weren't any coherently themed areas. Sci-fi, Medieval, Old West, Fantasy, Rustic-  they were all jumbled together. (Well, they still are, sort of, but not as much.) I also didn't pay any attention to how many polys I used; the more detail, the better. As a result, the park was very unstable and crashed frequently. And the lag... oh, the lag. This was before I discovered Large Address Aware; to increase the game's RAM usage. Also before Park CleanUp was a thing. It probably is a little more stable now.

I started making the second version of the park determined not to make the same mistakes I made in the first. I cut back on detail and polys. I made the tracked rides a little shorter, and omitted a couple of flat rides. I also tried to keep similarly themed rides together in the same area. The result? Not much better than the first. Still too unstable, still too much lag. The ultimate goal was to create a version of the park that was stable enough to not crash when naturally transitioning from day to night, and to reduce the lag.

So for the third version, I really  tried to cut back on polys and the amount of detail in the park (but still have it look nice). I omitted more flat rides and shortened the tracked rides some more. The result? A little better, but not much. That's when I decided to not do a fourth version; at least, not until I learned how to make and import my own custom content; concentrating on making low-poly objects.

Now that you've slogged through that wall of text (it gets more picture-y pretty soon), here is an aerial view of all three versions of the park:



At first glance the three parks look a lot alike: Ya gots yer castle, yer moat, several domes, rocky areas of different colors, a swimming pool/lake, and wooded areas. But when you look closer (careful you don't make an oily spot on your screen with your nose), you can see that there are rides, or parts of rides, in v1 and v2 that are not present in v3, and vice versa.

For example:

In Imaginarium v1 you have the flat rides: Airships, HellFire, and Shuttle Simulator. Plus, Journey To Olympus; an observation tower ride.
Imaginarium v2 still has Journey To Olympus (in a different location), but not the flat rides mentioned above.
Imaginarium v3 lacks all of those rides but has the flat ride, Rocket Riders, which is not in the other parks; plus the Canoes (also in v2).

There are many other differences, mostly the amount of detail that you see when you ride a ride. I'll be showcasing all these v1 and v2 rides in future updates of Lost Imaginarium.

To prevent ruining the surprises in upcoming episodes of my other thread, "A Visit To IMAGINARIUM- with the Peepertons", I've decided to (more or less) synchronize the two threads. I'll be showing parts of Lost Imaginarium that correspond with where the Peepertons currently are in that story. And in that story, the Peepertons have just embarked on their journey through Time Trek; which is where this thread will start first:



In the upper left you see the exterior of the Time Trek station as it exists in the current version (v3) of Imaginarium. The same design is also used in v2. To the right of that you see the station in the first version of the park. At the bottom, you see an earlier version that existed for a month or so. I like the look of the domed roofs from Klinn's ElectroSet, but they're high-poly and disappear at a medium zoom distance. Plus, the domes keep you from seeing inside the station, so I used Moby's Glasshouse and Frameworx pieces, instead (upper right).

Here are two more exterior views of version 1 of the Time Trek station:





And here's a look at the interior of the station:



In Imaginarium v3, I used Markus Lomberg's CTR Creator to put the RR DoomBuggy CTR on their Invisible Track. Here in version 1 of the park, I used the Universum Der Energie CTR from the Europa-Park Add-On (I think that's the one). I'm not sure if the CTR Creator was released yet in 2012; in any case, I didn't know how to use it then.

My thinking for this ride was that the track, as well as the car and the riders, should be unseen as you ride the ride; so as not to distract from the scenery. With the Universum Der Energie CTR, I had the overhead track to contend with. Most of the time you don't see the track so it's no problem. But in parts of the ride, which you'll see a little later, I had to cover up the track to keep it from being seen.



Here you see the cars about to start their journey into the past. I used some more of Klinn's ElectroSet pieces for the rings. Alas, the rings have tons of polys, so I used other sets in later versions.

An overview of the station with the roof removed:



And two more views:





After leaving the station, you go through the glowing Chronotron Tube (Liam's Warpgate set) which 'prepares' the riders for their trip through time. Then, into the first Portal (the stargate from JCat's SpaceWorx). You will encounter many Portals as you ride-the-ride. They act as focusing lenses that send the riders to different periods in time. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) Once you're through the first Portal, you enter a large show building:



...Where you find yourself floating in space, surrounded by stars. You encounter the first of many billboard images that inform you in what period of time you have arrived:


The timeline of the ride starts at the earliest point in Earth's history and advances forward with every Portal you pass through; always forward.

The stuff you're seeing now, till the end of this first post, exists only in version 1 of Time Trek. That's right, I deleted the first 4.49 billion years of Earth's history; give or take. :P  I was reluctant to do so, and kind of sad. I liked the look of this part of the ride and it showed Earth's history from the beginning, which was my original intent. But it was also heavy in polys and particle effects, and the ride time was too long, sooo... out it went.

But here it is! Brought back from the dead:


The idea here is that you see the primordial, glowing orb of the Earth, still being pummeled by asteroids and comets and the occasional stray moon. That blank black strip at the top of the image is where I covered up the overhead track.


Your Time Trek car (they weren't called Time Capsules in v1) gets closer and closer to the glowing ball. Like a camera zooming in, the car enters the fiery atmosphere of the Earth and continues to the surface, where you move through a hellish landscape of flowing lava and erupting volcanos:


This animated GIF is, by necessity, fairly tiny and highly compressed to keep the file size as small as possible (2.17 MB). With the GIF and the next few screenshots, you should get an idea of what this part of the ride was like. There's no audio here so you'll have to imagine a lot of rumbling, bubbling and hissing.


I didn't cover up the track here as it would have blocked the view of the diorama.


As you can see, shyguy's Rock Set is well represented here as well as Xistics Particle Storm sets, MGP's Large Billboards, and JCRise's Animated Lava.


I kinda sorta tried to match the billboard images to the volcanic outcrops and lava flow (with varying degrees of success).



This a panorama made from the two billboard images for the left wall as you enter the volcanic diorama.


And this a panorama made from the three billboard images for the back wall.



Leaving the heat and noxious gases behind, you come to another billboard:



And you encounter the second Portal:


Which sends you forward 1.5 billion years:



Here you see early oceanic life forms. The toothy creature is the angler fish from ImagineerJohn's Finding Nemo set. The tentacled plant is from Old-Spice's Halo set. This is a 'dry for wet' diorama-  made to look like it's underwater but actually isn't.


The rocks with the 'caustic' rippling effect are from CSF's Rock set. The billboard pictures were made from online images of early ocean life. I added some of the game's plant and animal life (angler fish, tentacled plant, etc.) to the images to blend the background with the foreground.


This is a panorama made from the three billboard images for this diorama.

Here's a night shot:



Here, you get a better look at how the background and foreground work together to form the diorama. The nighttime coloration/lighting doesn't match up as well as it does in the daytime:



Once again, you pass through a Portal. This time you are flung another 1 billion years forward to:


We're still underwater (this is another 'dry for wet' diorama). Things look pretty much the same as before except... the creatures are bigger now:




I've always thought that the in-game Sea Serpent looked more like a prehistoric beast than a sea serpent. Here, they seem to fit right in. Plus, they thrash around every few seconds, adding movement to the scene.

A couple of night shots:





This is the back wall panorama made from three billboard images:



And here is the two-image panorama for the left wall:


Finally, here are 3 overhead views of this part of the ride with the roof removed:







Version 1 of Time Trek has 15 dioramas. I deleted 8 of them for the current version (v3) of the ride. You've just seen the first 4 deleted dioramas and you'll be seeing the rest in future editions of Lost Imaginarium.

By deleting those dioramas I chopped 3 minutes off the ride time-  from 11 min 39 sec, to 8 min 41 sec. In the current, shorter version, the peeps don't complain as much ("Let me off! Let me off!"), but they don't jump for joy when they exit the ride either. Oh well. (stupid peeps)

So, in the next edition of Lost Imaginarium we'll jump forward nearly 2 billion more years. But first the Peepertons, from my other Imaginarium thread, have to catch up and experience that part of the ride. (That's the synchronization I mentioned earlier.)

Until then, here are some 3D images (you knew there would be 3D images, right?  :P) and a few GIF wiggles:







































The rest of the Lost Imaginarium episodes will be shorter than this one (I think  :P).

« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 04:07 PM by JB »

Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 10:05 PM »
wow - great update - love the behind the scenes stuff. 3d shots are awesome as usual (I can't get mine to work for some reason....have to figure out what I'm doing wrong)

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Offline shyguy

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2019, 01:13 PM »
Only the jiggly 3D shots work for me.

My favorite part of the ride are the underwater scenes. And I love the use of the panoramic billboards for the back drops. Too bad you had to delete these scenes.
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Offline JB

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2019, 02:14 PM »
@wowman: Thank you. :)  I guess this whole thread  is behind-the-scenes stuff, now that I think about it. You got the 3D shots to work a while back, I'm sure you can do it again.


@shyguy: I like the 'underwater' scenes too. If I do another re-make of Imaginarium I'll probably add most of these early scenes back in. And I just noticed that this park/thread is being displayed on the SGW homepage. Thanks! :)

Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2019, 08:55 PM »
This looks gorgeous. So much in there and so much detail. Although I can't go cross eyed the jittering 3D images look really nice and really give it a 3D look. Some really nice RCT3 work.

Cheers

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Offline JB

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2019, 09:41 PM »
Thanks for the compliment, 89James89! :)  I know some people can't do the cross-eyed thing. (Still don't know why, though. :-\ I tried Googling it but didn't find any satisfactory explanation.) That's why I include the GIF wiggles; they're not exactly 3D, but pretty close.

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Offline Tycoon SayRah!

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2019, 03:01 PM »
This is SO brilliant!  I love the station almost as much as the inside!  Billboard backdrops - sheer genuis  :)

Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2019, 03:42 PM »
wow very good!!

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Offline JB

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2019, 03:59 PM »
Wow, thanks Tycoon SayRah! :)  (I was going to add an exclamation point to the end of that sentence but you screen name already has one. :P) I notice that you've just registered here at SGW; welcome! As for using billboards as backdrops-  A lot of players have used that technique over the years (and continue to do so). :)  I used them quite a bit in all three versions of this park, which you'll see in future updates here, and in my other Imaginarium thread.

@ImagineerTim: Thanks! Coming from the master of pyrotechnics, billboard backdrops, lighting, and special effects-  that's high praise indeed!

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Offline planetthrilldude57

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2019, 06:07 PM »
Very nice JB! You put those scenes together very well and it really shows. The volcano scene has to be my favorite.  :up:

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Offline JB

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2019, 07:43 PM »
Thanks planetthrilldude57! (I still think your screen name is too long :P) The volcanic scenes are even better when you hear all the rumbling, bubbling, and hissing. One of these days I'm gonna have'ta learn how to create a YouTube channel. :n00b:

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Offline Darknight

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2019, 10:41 AM »
Awesome job on this! Especially love the volcano scene with the effects to simulate explosions. The concept of this ride is really cool and each scene so far looks like it could be its own ride. Sad to see these scenes did not make it in the final version, but if the rest of the ride is as good as this then I think it will be fine!

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Offline cody

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Offline JB

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2019, 01:57 PM »
To Darknight and cody- Thank you! As for the concept of this ride-  well, I'll discuss that in the next episode of "A Visit To Imaginarium". (Part of the Extra Stuff.) ;)

I'll be alternating my updates between the two Imaginarium threads. So, after I post the next episode of "A Visit To Imaginarium", which should be in the next week or two (or three, or...), I'll start work on the next "Lost Imaginarium" update.

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Offline Fonki

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2019, 05:21 PM »
looks nice again good work, cool pics to :up:

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Offline JB

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- First post- May 30, 2019
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2019, 08:25 PM »
Thanks Fonki. Glad you liked it. :)

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Offline JB

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium (Update 8-07-19)
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2019, 04:03 PM »

Part 2


There's stuff in the first two versions of Imaginarium that isn't in the third version (and vice versa). Time to continue exploring the earlier parks and comparing them to Imaginarium v3.

Last time, I mentioned that I'll be synchronizing "Lost Imaginarium" with my other thread, "A Visit To Imaginarium". That way, the part of the park seen in the most recent episode there, will be the part that you'll see here.

In the latest episode of "A Visit To Imaginarium" we followed the Peepertons, aboard the Time Trek ride, as they were sent 250 million years into the past. There they encountered a herd of Dimetrodons basking in a primeval swamp. Passing through another time Portal, they were flung forward to 150 million years ago where they found themselves amongst Apatosaurs and Stegosaurs. (I'm still steamed that paleontologists changed the name from Brontosaurus to Apatosaurus. >:(  Just looking at the word "
Brontosaurus", the way it looks, somehow evokes all things prehistoric and dinosaur-y. It's too good of a word just to be cast aside.)

But in the first two versions of the park you would find another diorama in-between the Dimetrodons and the Apatosaurs-  the Plesiosaur pool:





The Plesiosaurs are in the same time period as the Apatosaurs (150 million years ago). I love these toothy, long necked beasts. I think they're my favorite of the animatronic dinosaurs in RCT3. Pretty scary, too.

That top image is from version 1 of the park; the lower image is from version 2. There's not a lot of difference between the two versions other than the shape of the pool; as you can see in this overhead comparison:



I ended up with more cross-your-eyes 3D stereoscopic images than I planned on. So I'll be sticking a couple of them in, here and there, like these two:





Here are three overhead views of this section of the Time Trek ride. First-  from version 1 of Imaginarium:



The same area from Imaginarium v2:



And here's what the area looks like in the current version of the park. Note that there is no Plesiosaur pool here:



In the version 2 pic above, the long corridor where it says "The Earth Forms" is all that's left of the earlier portions of the ride; no more volcanic or early sea life dioramas. The part that remains (from 4.5 billion years ago) looks very similar to the first version; the ruddy, glowing Earth being bombarded by meteors and asteroids:



A couple more 3D images:





In my attempt to make the park more stable, and reduce the ride time, I continued to whittle away parts of Time Trek that were not absolutely necessary. Version 3 of the ride doesn't even have the glowing Earth. As shown in the latest episode of "A Visit To Imaginarium" (Post #77), riders leave the station and enter the 'Chronotron Tube'. They pass through the first Portal where they are sent, not 4.5 billion years into the past, but 250 million years, encountering the Dimetrodons.

There is no longer a visible track in version 2 of Time Trek. By that time I had started using RR's Doombuggy CTR on their Invisible Track, which I continue to use in the current version of the park.





In the Early Life dioramas seen earlier in the ride (the in-game Sea Serpents, etc.), I used a simulated underwater environment-  the "dry for wet" technique. But the Plesiosaur pool is actually filled with RCT3 water which gives you that wavy effect and refracted beams of light; as seen here:







Fun Fact!

When constructing the first two versions of the Time Trek ride I discovered an odd thing about RCT3 water: When the track goes into or out of a body of water through a terrain tunnel, the water doesn't flow through the opening the way that real water would.



In the above screenshot, we're inside the Plesiosaur pool, underwater, looking out through the opening into the adjacent Apatosaur (Brontosaurus!) & Stegosaur diorama. The neighboring diorama looks as if it's underwater; exhibiting the rippling waviness and bluish color shift in the distant objects. But in this next screenshot:



We're in the Apatosaur diorama looking back at the opening from the other side, obviously not underwater. And yet, the water is not gushing out through the opening. No idea why. Just another RCT3 weird thing. It's those weird things that led me to write "A Visit To Imaginarium".



Here are a few more screenshots of the Plesiosaur pool:














GIF wiggles!








I included this one just because it made me chuckle when I was flipping through the images looking for suitable GIF wiggles. Dude looks like he's really groovin' to some righteous tunes:




And here are the last three stereoscopic 3D images:







« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 04:06 PM by JB »

Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- (Updata 8-07-19)
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2019, 05:49 AM »
Nice update JB. As always, great ideas. Love the look of this ride. The 3D shots are great - you always pick great angles and shots to use. I especially like a few of those underwater shots where in 3D mode it looks like the scene goes on forever.

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Offline JB

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- (Updata 8-07-19)
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2019, 03:26 PM »
Thanks wowman. :)  I take tons of screenshots, so I have the luxury of going through them and picking out the few that I think look best. Time Trek is the premier ride in Imaginarium; the one I spent the most time on. It takes up about a third of the park and includes the Sky City dome (for the Future part of the ride, which will be shown a couple of updates from now). The dome also houses several more rides, to add movement and excitement to the scene.

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Offline Darknight

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- (Updata 8-07-19)
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2019, 10:14 AM »
Great Update! Love the Plesiosaur pool. It is a very unique idea and looks really cool as a ride scene. I am sad to see it didn't make the final cut but with a ride as big as this I understand the need to make some cuts.

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Offline shyguy

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- (Updata 8-07-19)
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2019, 06:43 PM »
The Plesiosaurs will be sorely missed.  :no:
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Offline JB

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- (Updata 8-07-19)
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2019, 08:32 PM »
@ Darknight- Thanks! I like the Plesiosaur pool as well. Not just the looks of it, but because it's the only Time Trek diorama where the riders go underwater; the oddness and unreality of that appeals to me. :whistling:

@ shyguy- I miss them, too. But they occupied the same time era as the Apatosaurs (Brontosauruseseses!) and Stegosaurs. So, for efficiency's sake, one of them had to go. I decided to keep the Brontos and Stegos. But hey, they're still here. All I have to do is load up one of the old versions of the park.

I just saw the SGW Home Page; that image looks very familiar. ;)  Thank you.

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Offline Twisted

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- (Updata 8-07-19)
« Reply #22 on: August 10, 2019, 04:26 AM »
Wow love this park!
Really original what you have done and presentation wise awesome.
Also the 3D images are looking great
Keep up the great work and looking forward to see more of it

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Offline JB

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- (Updata 8-07-19)
« Reply #23 on: August 10, 2019, 02:09 PM »
Thank you, Twisted. I'm glad you're enjoying the 3D images. They're fun to make and they let you see these games in a whole new way. Still bothers me that not everyone can do the cross-your-eyes thing to see the images in 3D. That's why I include a few animated GIF wiggles; they're not exactly 3D, but close. :)

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Offline planetthrilldude57

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- (Updata 8-07-19)
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2019, 04:15 PM »
Great shots JB! Too bad they didn't make the final cut.

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Offline JB

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Re: [RCT3] Lost Imaginarium- (Updata 8-07-19)
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2019, 05:33 PM »
Thanks planetthrilldude57. :)  Oh well. Maybe all this stuff will be reinstated if I ever get around to making another version of the park. (That probably won't be for quite some time- like, when dinosaurs walk the Earth again.)