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Topics - Bullethead

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Planet Coaster Community Board / LIve Stream Stardom
« on: October 17, 2018, 01:19 PM »
 :laughing_skull:  Belly up to the bar, lads and lassies.  My Nepali restaurant got on today's livestream at 41:15 so I'm buying a round for the house.  I feel like I devalued the game and need to repent  :euro:

And hang around because Redhair's Royal Diner came along at 50:20 and is a proper submission, so he owes us a drink, too :)

Planet Coaster Blueprints / BH's Himalayan Stuff
« on: October 16, 2018, 11:55 PM »
This restaurant is styled like the temples you might see in Katmandu.  They like the color red over there.  Has all 10 seat boxes and mostly an Oriental menu although it also has a kiddie menu.  About 850 parts.

Workshop link:

Ladies and gentlemen, BEHOLD!  The mighty "Pythagoras Racer", a quasi-Möbius quasi-replica of the long-dead full-Möbius "Derby Racer" aka "Racing Coaster" (1913-1969) at the long-defunct Euclid Beach Park in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.  My coaster has the same 250m x 36m footprint and the same number and general arrangement of dips but the lift is taller and pointier because friction.  Also, this is a QMC, not an FMC like the original.,  Still, I'm rather proud of it.

Workshop link:

POV (with a different paintjob): 

NOTE:  To race properly, the ride MUST BE OPEN with a queue full of real peeps.  The trains will NOT sync up with test dummies.  Also, the ride must warm up with 5-6 trains through the station after the queue fills up before syncing happens.

This blueprint contains the massive coaster, a station building, a queue shed, a sign, lights only visible from the station side, AND nearly 600 gap-fillers in the otherwise stock support structure.  Total is about 1250 parts plus a huge amount of park real estate for the track.

Also note that due to having 5 trains, 2 lifts, and 9 block brakes, this coaster has Low Reliability.  Thus, you need a skilled mechanic whose work roster keeps him close by or this ride will break down annoyingly often.

Actually, I completed this in the summer contest but only today did I bother to extract it from my contest park, delete the excrescences, and repaint the remainder in more conventional colors.

Ladies and gentlemen, BEHOLD!  The mighty "Pythagoras Racer", a quasi-Möbius quasi-replica of the long-dead full-Möbius "Derby Racer" aka "Racing Coaster" (1913-1969) at the long-defunct Euclid Beach Park in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.  My coaster has the same 250m x 36m footprint and the same number and general arrangement of dips but the lift is taller and pointier because friction.  Also, this is a QMC, not an FMC like the original.,  Still, I'm rather proud of it.

Workshop link:

POV (with a different paintjob):

NOTE:  To race properly, the ride MUST BE OPEN with a queue full of real peeps.  The trains will NOT sync up with test dummies.  Also, the ride must warm up with 5-6 trains through the station after the queue fills up before syncing happens.

This blueprint contains the massive coaster, a station building, a queue shed, a sign, lights only visible from the station side, AND nearly 600 gap-fillers in the otherwise stock support structure.  Total is about 1250 parts plus a huge amount of park real estate for the track.

Also note that due to having 5 trains, 2 lifts, and 9 block brakes, this coaster has Low Reliability.  Thus, you need a skilled mechanic whose work roster keeps him close by or this ride will break down annoyingly often.

Community Chat / Shingles Vaccine Info
« on: October 09, 2018, 06:22 AM »
If you're 50-ish, you're probably thinking about a shingles vaccine.  I strongly recommend this due to having seen shingles tear up a couple of guys.  One got it in his arms and it messed his hand nerves up to the point he couldn't shuffle or deal cards anymore, let alone work his fly or wipe his butt.  The other got it in the eyeballs and is essentially blind now.  Not wanting that sort of thing to happen to me, I got the vaccine as soon as I came of age recently.

In case you don't know, there's a new type of vaccine out called Shingrix which is a replacement for the old Zoster.  Doctors recommend you get the Shingrix even if you've already had the Zoster before, due to Shingrix supposedly being considerably more effective (over 90%) and even if you still get shingles anyway, it'll supposedly be much milder than without.

Shingrix is a 2-part thing; you take the 2nd shot about 2 months after the 1st.  There's a run on it right now so you often have to get on a waiting list.  Thus, if you're thinking about doing this, call your doc today so you can get in line.

You have a pretty good chance of getting some side effects.  This is to be expected as the shots have to stir up your immune system, so you're likely to get some sort of immune system response like fever.  Fortunately, this doesn't last long.  The shots are slightly uncomfortable, not quite as viscous as peanut butter but definitely thicker than water, and the injection site feels bruised for a couple days.  As to other effects, in my own case, both times I got the shots about noon and they woke me up about 15 hours later, around 0300 that night with chills, fever, headache, and flu-like body aches.  When I got the 1st shot, I felt like complete crap until about 1500 the next afternoon, so about 12 hours of misery.  I got the 2nd shot yesterday and it's 0800 my time now, and I feel like crap, especially as I've been mostly awake since 0300.  I'll soon be going back to bed but expect to feel better by 1500.

So, when you get called that it's finally your turn to get the shot, be sure to arrange your work schedule so you can afford to miss the next day of work.  And be prepared to spend the next day in bed.  But hey, I'll trade 2 days of feeling horrible to to avoid risking my hand nerves and eyeballs.  They say 1 in 3 folks get shingles and that's way better odds than winning a hand of poker, so it's not a chance I want to take.

Planet Coaster Rides / LIfe-Size Pinfari ZL42
« on: October 06, 2018, 11:53 PM »
Here's a life-size Pinfari ZL42.  It moves faster in places than the real thing due to having to deal with PC friction.  And despite all the headchoppers, it has negligible fear to go with its lackluster excitement.  This is a kiddie ride despite the neck-breaking circular loop.

Workshop link:

This was made with a Looney Turns track (simple track, looping, and kid-friendly) with Invincible cars.  It's about the smallest life-size coaster it's currently possible to make and the primary inaccuracies are due to the irreducible mass of the station.  It has no theming whatsoever or even a station--I leave that as an excercise of the interested student.

The real ride was designed to be portable and has 2 ballast tanks full of water, 1 on each end in the center of the turns, to hold the ride still on the ground.  It's cheaper and easier to get water on-site than to haul that much weight around.  Most permanently mounted examples only have 1 tank at the station end, as I've built it here, and often have  turned it into some sort of fountain.  But some permanent examples have both tanks and have usually filled them with sand instead of water.  There are also some permanent examples with no tanks at all as they don't really need them.  I've included the 2nd tank for them as want it.

Planet Coaster Blueprints / Life-Size Pinfari ZL42
« on: October 06, 2018, 11:52 PM »
Here's a life-size Pinfari ZL42.  It moves faster in places than the real thing due to having to deal with PC friction.  And despite all the headchoppers, it has negligible fear to go with its lackluster excitement.  This is a kiddie ride despite the neck-breaking circular loop.

Workshop link:

This was made with a Looney Turns track (simple track, looping, and kid-friendly) with Invincible cars.  It's about the smallest life-size coaster it's currently possible to make and the primary inaccuracies are due to the irreducible mass of the station.  It has no theming whatsoever or even a station--I leave that as an excercise of the interested student.

The real ride was designed to be portable and has 2 ballast tanks full of water, 1 on each end in the center of the turns, to hold the ride still on the ground.  It's cheaper and easier to get water on-site than to haul that much weight around.  Most permanently mounted examples only have 1 tank at the station end, as I've built it here, and often have  turned it into some sort of fountain.  But some permanent examples have both tanks and have usually filled them with sand instead of water.  There are also some permanent examples with no tanks at all as they don't really need them.  I've included the 2nd tank for them as want it.

Planet Coaster Blueprints / Life-Size Pinfari FC80 "Super 8er Bahn"
« on: September 30, 2018, 05:40 PM »
I finished the one-of-a-kind Pinfari FC80, currently residing at Wiener Prater as the "Super 8er Bahn".  This has about 1800 pieces of custom supports plus lights and about 50 pieces for a realistic but totally unthemed station.   Also, the sign-holder on the 1st drop is empty.  It's on anybody who downloads this to make it fit their park.

Workshop link:

Here are some pics:

And here's a POV:

And a POV of the real thing for comarison:

Planet Coaster Rides / Life-Size Pinfari FC80 "Super 8er Bahn"
« on: September 30, 2018, 05:37 PM »
I finished the one-of-a-kind Pinfari FC80, currently residing at Wiener Prater as the "Super 8er Bahn".  This has about 1800 pieces of custom supports plus lights and about 50 pieces for a realistic but totally unthemed station.   Also, the sign-holder on the 1st drop is empty.  It's on anybody who downloads this to make it fit their park.

Workshop link:

Here are some pics:

And here's a POV:

And a POV of the real thing for comarison:

Planet Coaster Community Board / WARNING - I Broke the Gold Rush
« on: September 24, 2018, 03:39 AM »
In several of my coaster recreations, I have used the Gold Rush coaster (the swinging mine cars) because its simple track looks like the coasters I want to build.  I have then changed the trains out to look more like the real ride I'm copying.  For example, my Galaxi is a Gold Rush with Invincible cars and the Scandia Screamer is a Gold Rush with Anubis cars.  Now, the Gold Rush seems to have rebelled against this repeated abuse.

Yesterday I started on another recreation, the Super 8er Bahn at Wiener Prater park.  Again, I selected the Gold Rush and changed the trains to Anubis.  It was in a new, empty Grasslands sandbox with only 1 other partially built coaster in it.  No peeps, no paths.  I got the Super 8's track built into the 1st drop but had to save and quit the game.  Later, when I tried to resume this park, it would not load.  The loading screen with the hints would stay on-screen for 10-15 minutes, when it should have been done in about 20 seconds given the emptiness of the park.  I tried this a couple of times, having to CTRL-ALT-DEL the game each time after 10-15 minutes.

So just now, I started PC, deleted this problematic park, and started a new empty Grassland sandbox.  I leveled off a good part of the map, laid down the base slab to go under the Super 8, and then tried to select the Gold Rush coaster.  On the list of Family Coasters, the Gold Rush had no thumbnail picture.  I clicked on it anyway and the game immediately crashed to desktop.  But at least the crash report box came up so I told Frontier the whole story and submitted it.

As a result of this, I advise all how have downloaded either my Galaxi or my Screamer to use at their own risk.  I think the Galaxi is OK as it's been around for a long time now and with over 1000 downloads (mostly of Fisherman's more pimped version) and I haven't heard of any problems.  But I'm worried about the Screamer because it uses Anubis cars just like I was trying to do with the Super 8.  And even if using this blueprint doesn't kill your game, this whole episode is a cautionary tale about the consequences of coaster abuse.

Assuming this problem is just on my end, I'm thinking I'll have to reinstalled PC to get the Gold Rush working again.  All my saved parks are on the Steam Cloud but I have a gazillion blueprints, mostly labor-saving things, that I've never put on Workshop.  And, of course, I have a lot of Workshop items I've gotten from others.  Does anybody know if all that stuff is also noted in the Cloud so I'll get it back upon reinstallation, or do I have to put it all on Workshop first and write down all my downloads?

Any suggestions?

Planet Coaster Blueprints / Cosmic Express, Kezouji Park, Japan
« on: September 22, 2018, 11:02 PM »
Workshop link:

It's an obscure coaster on this side of the International Date Line in a place I never heard of (Kezouji Park in Isesaki, Gunma, Japan) but I thought it looked cool in its original white paint, except for the pink train.  So I built it that way, but if you'd rather have it in its current blue and yellow scheme, it shouldn't be too hard to repaint.  Most of the supports can be group-selected, just leave out the cables and the smaller diagonals.

The station looks like this.  It's 6 separate buildings besides the supports building so will be harder to repaint.

The sign actually is the Japanese phonetic transcription of the English words "Cosmic Express", read from left-to-right, using the katakana script, which they use for foreign words.  Why they did this instead of just using the Japanese words for the same thing is beyond me, but I'd never have been able to make the sign if they'd used kanji or even hiragana so maybe they planned for me doing this?  (I pity the Japanese schoolkids having to learn 3 separate writing systems just to be literate in their own language).  Same as why they put a green/yellow awning on a white coaster with pink a pink train.  But I long since gave up trying to understand Japanese culture :).

The real ride has zero dedicated queue space.  There's a single staircase from the lower level of the station to the platform and that's it, used by both entrance and exit.  As this is impossible in PC, I put the exit on the opposite side of the platform and it's up to you to get creative with running the queue.  Perhaps use some of the lower station level, or maybe put shops in there.  Knock yourself out.

The coaster itself looks like this, very close in both footprint and elevation to the real thing.  I think the difference in track length is less than 10m although the speed and duration are a bit different due to PC friction.

The supports are 100% custom.  Here are a couple of pics of them.

When placing the blueprint, first make the pond the coaster sits in.  Then match the waterline arrow.  Then make sure land surrounding the pond matches the ground level arrow.

And here's a POV.

Enjoy if possible ;)

Planet Coaster Rides / Cosmic Express
« on: September 19, 2018, 04:05 PM »
I stayed up way too late last night perusing RCDB looking for coasters to replicate.  One of several that caught my eye was "Cosmic Express" in Kezouji Park, Isesaki, Gunma (NOT Gundam), Japan.  So I built it life-size and had to crank friction down to 0.7 to make it work anywhere close to the real thing.

Why did I bother?  First, because it looks relatively easy to do 100% custom supports.  But much more than that, because this coaster looks, or at least lookED in its original all-white paint, very Zen, especially on a cloudy day as shown in the 1st dozen pics on RCDB linked above, being as it was built entirely over a large pond shared with other attractions at the park.  Of course, now they've ruined it by painting the supports light blue and everything else yellow (although the yellow trains are an improvement on the original pink).  But another thing that I found intriguing was that the trains (apart from a few minor trim details) and track look 100% Arrow even though this was built by Shenyo Kogyo in 1990 so I'm thinking knock-off.

However, the track layout is decidedly un-Arrow.  It's very long, smooth, and sedate with few banks of even 45^ let alone any inversions, about the opposite of the usually short but always violent tracks I came to expect and mostly appreciate (except for the boomerangs) from Arrow.  So I'm thinking this coaster is a vision of the late, lamented Arrow burning in Coaster Hell, condemned to being a 1/2-mile kiddie coaster with only 1 train.

Here's how the life-size track is looking so far.  Haven't touched the supports yet.  Looking at the stats, it should be pretty popular although not excessively so, so maybe 1 train (which does hold 32 peeps) won't be so bad.

Planet Coaster Blueprints / The Screamer at Scandia Park, Orlando, CA
« on: September 17, 2018, 07:09 PM »
So I made the 88' E & F Miler High Miler called "Screamer" at Scandia Park, Orlando, CA.  It's sort of an overground Galazi.  It's ALMOST life-size and has 1900 pieces of custom supports and the vaguely themed station.  The ride's stats are very close to the original but I think it's a bit smoother.

Workshop link:

Here's a WIP before I did the supports comparing the layout to the real thing:

Some details of the supports:

The ride's stats are highly attractive to about 80% of all peeps:

And a vidoe:

This ride can be placed over existing ground-level paths but you can't make new ground-level paths under it.  It's as if the whole ride is being treated as being at ground level.  I dunno.  But here's the proof.

Planet Coaster Rides / The Scandia Screamer
« on: September 17, 2018, 07:04 PM »
So I made the 88' E & F Miler High Miler called "Screamer" at Scandia Park, Orlando, CA.  It's sort of an overground Galazi.  It's ALMOST life-size and has 1900 pieces of custom supports and the vaguely themed station.  The ride's stats are very close to the original but I think it's a bit smoother.

CAVEAT:  Can be placed over existing ground-level paths but you can't run new paths under it.  It's like the game is treating the whole ride as being at ground level.

Workshop link:

Here's a WIP before I did the supports comparing the layout to the real thing:

Some details of the supports:

And a video:

And a video of the real thing for comparison:


And so, after much travail and some wailing and gnashing of teeth, BSI's staff mortician finally dropped the last shovel of dirt on the last shallow grave of the last worker to die building Lake Planco Park.  This happened in a dark corner of the surrounding woods simultaneous with Mayor of Lake Planco ceremonially cutting the ribbon and letting in the 1st herd of customers at the front gate.  BSI thus cashed its check and left the country.  As Bullethead liked to paraphrase Heinlein, "when the private jet is over the horizon, all bills are paid."

The pics below were taken the day before Opening Day.  Here's an overview of the whole shebang:

The most important new thing built this go-round was the main backstage area.  This is on the ice rink parcel adjacent to and accessed from the gorge highway.  It consists of employee parking for office staff, warehouse managers, and employees-of-the-month, a dry storage warehouse, a cold storage warehouse, and a repair shop for park vehicles and equipment.  Also, it's the collection point for the park's garbage.  It connects to the tramway so service vehicles (and trams in a pinch) can carry supplies to and garbage from the park.

Here's a close-up of the main buildings in the backstage.  In the foreground is the cold warehouse with frozen food being delivered.  In the left background is the dry warehouse, also with deliveries (such as hats and snowglobes) in progress.  To the right is the mechanics' shop.  Fire hydrants surround this area and all buildings have the necessary emergency exits.

And here's the access to the backstage from the gorge highway, well-guarded to keep out the unauthorized.  In the parking slots next to the main park offices, you can see my own car, Dragula (assigned to me by JP).  Next to it from left to right are the cars of JP and Rug (on-site as a last-minute consultants) and RubleTrilliions (to make sure his midway games were working).  Entering is the garbage truck ready to sweep this park to the dustbin of history.

The other non-required major construction project was the Ice Rink Marketplace to finish off the main plaza.  This was originally just a foundation with volleyball and badminton courts on top.  Now it's a food and gift emporium, plus houses the park's EMS squad.

And here's how the Jenkins' Farm parcel SHOULD have looked last time, all fleshed out.  Off the main paths, the gardening is a bit sparce as the ground required mucho rehab from generations of scrub farming.  It will eventually become reforested to match the surroundings but it's early days as yet so there are some saplings and weeds for the most part.

RubleTrillions' midway games have been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the trademark "Steampunk Atlantis" architectural them of the park, and the various rides on the farm have also gotten some sort of skin.

The midway is subject to being blasted by an antique band organ.  As with most such devices, it looks disturbingly like the ferocious Mesoamerican storm god Tlaloc, so has been put on an altar-like base suitable for human sacrifices.

The old-school looping coaster in the farm parcel, Cool Breeze, has been pimped out.  The queue is mostly awnings, the station is mostly tarps.  The central pond will eventually be ringed by lilies but so far they haven't spread from the initial plantings.

And the mighty Pythagoras Racer has been pimped as well, including a sign showing the 3-4-5 right triangle embodying his namesake theorem.  The bifurcated roof of the queue allows those waiting to watch the races going by over their heads.

What happened to Farmer Jenkins?  Well, he cannily waited until property values peaked before selling most of his land for a very tidy sum.  Then he fixed up his house and barn.  Then he turned his pappy's old car, which had been abandoned in a back corner of the barn all his life, into a hotrod ZZ Top would be proud of.  And then, to keep himself busy in his retirement, he got into butterfly ranching, breeding them by the thousand in his refurbished barn.  And he bought a minivan to haul them around.,  He has a very lucrative contract with Lake Planco Park to keep the place full of butterflies, plus sells to other customers, and gives tours of his establishment.

RANCHER Jenkins (only beekeepers run more head of livestock than he does) is doing so well, in fact, that he sponsored a new flat ride in previously vacant corner of the "Clifftop" area, overlooking the gorge highway beside the impressive tram bridge.  It's called "Butterflies".  The butterflies are thicker there than elsewhere in the park as yet, but it's still early days so they haven't yet attained plague status.

So that's it for Lake Planco Park, except for the coaster POVs.  I've got the raw recordings but haven't edited them yet.  Hope you enjoyed.

Workshop link:

Custom Textures (only 4 of them):

I posted a bug report in the official forums and was wondering if anybody here is having the same problem.

In my contest park, I've had an info booth selling priority passes since the very beginning, and several rides in the park from before the last patch have functioning priority queues.  This is all still working just fine.

HOWEVER, new rides added to the park since 1.7.3 do not recognize that this info booth exists.  They all say I need to build one before I can enable priority passes on the new rides.  So I plunked down a new info booth immediately adjacent to one of these new rides, but the ride still doesn't know it exists.  As a result, I'm unable to enable priority passes for the new rides, which means I can't build priority queues.

Here's the bug report:

A couple days ago, xRBz posted the following in the sticky tutorial announcement thread. 

I personally struggle with the overall layout of the park. How to place paths, where the path junctions, how wide the paths need to be and where to put planters.

Of course I could just remake aerial shots of real parks but there has to be another way...

I'd love to see a tutorial or some tips to help creating realistic looking layouts and parks.

Rather than clog that thread up with discussion of these separate-but-interrelated subjects, I thought it best to start a new thread for them.  I hope others contribute as I'm certainly no expert on this stuff myself.  But here's my two bits worth...



The following discussion assumes you're building a fictional park of your own imagination.  If you're copying a real park, then you don't have to make any major decisions, although you will have to tweak things due to some of PC's constraints on paths, stations, etc.

There are many ways of creating the overall park arrangement.  Some methods optimize for smooth traffic flow and an even scattering of peeps to avoid congestion.  These typically work best for fairly large, generally oval or square-shaped parks where there's room to set this up.  But if your park has space constraints and an odd shape (such as piers, or trying to fit into a small parcel as a challenge to yourself), these methods don't usually work and you just have to do the best you can.  And some folks are mostly concerned with the overall look, not so much an efficient layout, such as blending the whole park into some massive terrain feature just because it looks cool.

Thus, the 1st thing you have to decide is what sort of finished product you want.  The most important thing is whether this park will be sandbox or challenge.  If challenge, then peep flow will be of critical importance but if sandbox, you never even have to open the park, although you can and still might want smooth flow.  Next, will this park cover the whole map or only part of it?  If only part, are there any constraints on park shape or will it still be a more-or-less symmetrical blob?  Are you going for more for realism or is it a flight of fancy?  Is the park going to be open and running or just static display?  What can your computer tolerate in terms of numbers of parts and peeps?

Let's assume here that your park will be > 1/2 the map and can be more or less a symmetrical blob, like many major real parks.  And that either you'll open the park to at least a few thousand peeps, or that you're concerned with allowing good peep flow even if you don't use it yourself.

NOTE:  Even if this is a sandbox park, if you intend to open it (or leave that for downloaders), it's a good idea to have it open from the get-go.  This allows you to fix peep flow problems as you go.  Also, the number of peeps will gradually ramp up as you add stuff, instead of there being a huge stampede and massive traffic jam when you 1st open a completed park.


If you want smooth peep flow, you need to design the park around how peeps move around the park.  PC's peep AIs result in movement that's fairly realistic overall, so generally realistic layouts work fine.  However, the processes underlying peep behavior are rather different from humans so it's a good idea to understand how they think and adjust things to fit them.  This is especially important in a challenge park.

Peeps spend like 99% of their time either en route to a chosen destination or patronizing that destination.  Once they've finished at a destination, they immediately run through a decision tree to choose their next destination and start heading towards it.  They can switch to another destination while en route (such as deciding to buy food at a shop they're passing) but usually don't.  The other 1% of their time, they're wandering aimlessly.  However, this generally only happens for a few seconds when their chosen destination suddenly becomes unavailable (breaks down, you close it, or you delete the path to it) and they're waiting for the game's operating cycle to let them choose a new destination.

The #1 priority for peeps is to go on rides.  While they're doing this and walking between rides, their physical needs (food, drink, toilet, energy) gradually increase.  The stronger these needs, the more likely a peep is to satisfy the most pressing one instead of going on a ride, but if your park is making peeps blissfully happy, they'll keep riding even when starving and about to piss their pants.  Another increasing need is to go home, so that's based solely on time in the park.  But there's always a slight chance on any decision that a peep will decide to leave.  The happier peeps are, the longer they'll stay, even after they run out of money.  If the park is at capacity, these "angry ghosts" keep new peeps with money from entering, so the goal (at least in challenge parks) is to price things so the peeps go broke about the time they want to leave.  The higher the park rating, the longer peeps will stay, so the cheaper things need to be.

When choosing a destination, peeps decide whether to go on a ride or satisfy a need.  Usually, it's go on a ride.  So then they have to decide which ride.  First, they eliminate rides outside their hardwired restrictions.  Groups of 5-6 won't go on rides with only 4 seats/vehicle, families won't go on coasters that don't allow kids, etc.  Next, they eliminate all rides with a fear rating (nausea usually isn't a factor) higher than their max fear tolerance (NOTE:  A fear rating > about 4.5 is too scary for about 70-80% of all peeps so even a large park can't support many of these.)  They then rank the remaining rides on a scale of desirability.  The greater the desirability, the more likely the peeps are to head there, although there's a chance they might choose any of the others.

The overwhelming factor in desirability is ride prestige, slightly modified by things like travel time/distance and how many times the peep has already gone on that ride.  Available money doesn't seem to be considered except in a very few special cases.  Prestige is weighted in steps at about every 600 or so prestige points.  IOW, rides with 0-600 prestige compete about equally with each other, same for about 600-1200, and then rides > about 1200 (which is rather hard to do), but rides on higher steps will be MUCH more popular than rides on lower steps.  It's quite difficult to get most flat ride prestige above 600 without giving them stupidly long durations, while it's no trouble at all for coasters and track rides to have 1000 or more.  Thus, your major rides will have big crowds and the blander flat rides will hardly see any business.  You really can't change this, but you can plan for it.

Anyway, peeps decide to go on a specific ride and move to it.  Once they get there, they make a go/no-go decision.  If they can't afford it, or the queue is too long for their tastes, they'll go elsewhere.  This means that queue length at major rides has to be chosen carefully.  It's generally a good idea NOT to make the queues extremely long, so that peeps will be more likely to spread out (and maybe go on flat rides) instead of all clogging up 1 ride.  Also, peeps spend no money while in queue but their time to leave the park advances, so you don't want them standing still too long or they might walk out with money still in their pockets.  For a big park with a high rating, peeps will still only be there about 2-3 hours so in general you want to keep queue times down to 1/2 hour at most, less if possible.  The upshot of this is that even your coolest rides don't need all that much space around them for the queue.


If you've got the flexibility of a big, globular park, you want to spread your high-prestige major rides out fairly evenly throughout the park's area.  This by itself will tend to even out the crowds as all these rides are about equally attractive to peeps.  Within this overall spread, also evenly distribute rides with restrictions (fear > 4.5, no kids allowed, only 4 seats/vehicle, etc.).  If you put these close together, that area of the park will be underpopulated while congestion will happen in the rest of the park.

Having decided the general placement of your major rides, now you need to connect them with your main paths, which includes transport rides (peeps primarily view transport rides as paths, although they now can also regard them as rides for their own sake).  Peeps love transport rides because they're faster than walking, which means rides on the opposite side of the park become more attractive to them than if they had to walk.  This means transport rides really help in spreading peeps around evenly, while reducing congestion on the paths.  So be sure to use transport rides.  Just keep them cheap as peeps will use them a lot and you want them to have enough money for your main rides and refreshments.

Anyway, with a globular park, the most efficient layout is a sort of wagon wheel with a circumferential path and transport ride, and some spoke paths meeting in the middle.  You really don't need many spokes if you've got a transport ride or the park isn't that huge.  I've done parks that occupy the whole map without any spokes at all, just a long dead-end path into the center from near the entrance.  This dead-end path had a train station so it wasn't as isolated from the rest of the park as it sounds and it worked great.  But in general, try to avoid big dead-ends without train stations, although short spurs aren't a problem.

A few other things about transport rides.  If you have multiple transport rides, it's a good idea to make them concentric and going in opposite directions.  For example, a train going clockwise around the outer edge and a boat going counterclockwise in a circular river closer towards the center.  This allows peeps to move quickly and easily in either direction, further increasing their ability to spread out.  But try to avoid making areas that can ONLY be reached by transport ride unless you just really want to for aesthetic reasons.  First, this can trap peeps in that area who don't have train fare to get out (unless that station is free of charge).  Second, it REALLY confuses janitors and, to a lesser extent also mechanics and security goons.

Anyway, the main paths link the park entrance, the major attractions, and the transport ride stations to each other, so peeps can easily move between them all.  This spacing of the major attractions facilitates making each the centerpiece of a differently themed park area.  The main paths should thus have some features that help block sight lines between incongruously themed areas.  The easiest thing is to give the paths some zigzags so you can plant walls of trees at strategic points, but other options like short tunnels through small hills are also possible.


Secondary paths aren't expected to have as much traffic as the main paths.  But that's the key thing.  Don't put hugely popular stuff on secondary paths or you'll get traffic jams.  Generally, secondary paths might lead to an unpopular flat ride or into a food court with lots of space inside it for crowds to gather, although not many will be using the entrance/exit path at any one time.  I myself hardly ever make secondary paths, however, preferring to have everything directly on the main paths or so close to them that the short secondary paths don't really count.

Flat rides, especially the unpopular ones, can be on secondary paths, and this same path can serve as the exit.  Just remember that while peeps will only arrive at the ride in small numbers, they all get off at once, so the path needs to be big enough to handle those leaving.

Large food courts, with more than 1 food and 2 drink shops, usually aren't a good idea.  This is because of how peeps work.  First, peeps have very strong preferences for certain types of food and drink and hate all the others.  They like burgers and hotdogs, water and juice a lot, but won't get other stuff unless they have no other choice.  And you'll never sell much coffee or energy drinks if your park has benches all over.  Second, peeps rarely buy both food and drink at the same time as their needs for those run at different speeds and usually not in step.  Third, peeps only sit down if they need energy, so only sit to eat if they happen to already have food in their hands at the time.

Thus, if you pack all your concessions into 1 big food court, all you do is make things inconvenient for peeps.  They go in, buy 1 thing, and leave, consuming it along the way.  Then they need something else so have to come back, repeat.  This wastes a lot of time that the peep could be using to spend money on rides and increasing his happiness.  It's usually better to spread your food/drink shops out fairly evenly.  In general, 1 food, 1 restroom, and 2 drinks are all you need for a given area, and these should mostly be burgers, hotdogs, water, and juice.  If an area is expected to have a lot of teens, add a 2nd food shop.  If it's expected to have a lot of families, add a 2nd restroom.

When placing shops, try to give them at least 4m of space between the actual path through the area (main or secondary) and the shop counter.  This gives peeps some space to queue up, which they need.  If you don't provide this space, only peeps actually at the counter can use the shop, and all others will be turned away, which makes them unhappy.


You NEED to use work rosters for janitors, mechanics, and security goons.  If you leave them on free roaming, after a while they all tend to bunch up into a big herd travelling together, so that 1 area of the park is over-staffed and the rest is falling into ruin.  Not good.  Vendors only need work rosters if somehow you have to hire them separately, in which case they should be assigned to a specific shop.  Those that come with shops are already assigned to that shop.

The need for work rosters has to be taken into account in the park layout as you have to build the park in a certain way for work rosters to function properly.  Spreading the main rides around and clustering the flats and shops around each one, so that you have discrete park areas, really helps.  But you need to do more than that, at least for certain staff

For each park area, you need 2 separate work rosters:  one for mechanics, the other for janitors and rentacops.  The mechanics are simple:  just assign them all the rides, and only the rides, in their area of the park.  Done.  Now they'll spend all their time continually checking and fixing those rides and not wasting time wandering around other places.

Janitors and guards, however, not only need all the same rides as their local mechanic, but also all the shops and facilities in the area.  AND, very importantly, they also need to patrol not only their own area of the park, but part of the main paths between areas.  If they don't cover the intervening spaces between areas, trash will pile up and criminals will prosper there.  But you don't want them going all the way to the next area, either.  So you need to make boundary markers for them along the main paths about halfway between areas.  That way, the janitors and guards from adjacent areas will each patrol about half the path between their areas.

The boundary markers have to be something that's selectable in work roster creation mode.  While you CAN select trees and rocks, they don't save, so you can't really use them.  The boundary marker thus has to be something that physically connects to the path (but doesn't sit on it).  Thus, a shop or facility, but not a bench, bin, or vista point (unfortunately).  This is inconvenient but necessary.  If you don't want an actual shop there because you've already got them in both areas nearby, you have several alternatives you can easily hide if needed.  I normally use the Entertainment Point as this requires no upkeep costs.  Then I either bury it under a pile of rocks or create some little purely decorative scene there for peeps to admire.  Or it might be that you have a good view of a coaster from there.  ATMs are also good.  And nowadays, we also have the vending machines.

Anyway, you put some sort of boundary marker on the main paths between the areas.  This has to be built into the park layout to start with, so don't forget it.  When creating work rosters for janitors and goons, you select all the rides and shops in their area, plus the boundary markers on all paths in/out of their areas.

A word about security goons and cameras, for those who play with crime turned on.  Deterrence is what you want, and the ONLY thing that deters is cameras.  Put cameras covering every square inch of every path (you don't need to cover queues) and you'll have zero or only occasional crime.  Cameras are also excellent at spotting known perps (witnessed by camera or reported by victim) and telling guards where they are.  Guards are zero deterrent because of their limited field of view (perps will pick pockets right behind them), and they're not very good (without high training) at spotting known perps even if they know where to look.

So, the best thing is to have only 2 guards, and put them just outside the park entrance.  Put a Entertainment Point on either side of the path just outside the turnstiles, and have these 2 guards pace back and forth across the entrance path between these EPs.  The perp actually has to make it all the way to the spawner to get away, so the guards have the whole path between the park entrance and the spawner to catch them.  And by always watching all the peeps exiting the park, the guards have the best chance of spotting known perps.  So again, this is a park design thing.  Having other guards throughout the park is essentially useless.  Or you can just turn off crime :).


To be realistic, even the main paths shouldn't be more than about 6m wide except at plazas.  Real parks don't have the grand boulevards (8-10m) you often see in PC parks.  Secondary paths and exits can't be smaller than 4m, so that's about all there is to this.

Really, you don't need more than 6m if you've properly laid out the park and its attractions to spread the peeps out naturally.  Most of those making long trips will be on the transport ride and no 1 thing in the park is attracting most of the peeps.  Thus, you don't have dense crowds anywhere and 6m is enough for peep groups to pass without bumping.

Main path intersections, however, should be widened out with rounded corners.  The round corners really help prevent groups going in opposite directions from bunching up at the intersections.  Another option is to put a centerpiece (planter, fountain, carousel, etc.) in the middle of a plaza with paths surrounding it.  The surrounding path should be at least the same width as the paths leading into the plaza, maybe 1-2m wider at most.  The thing about centerpieces, however, is that peeps preferentially want to take the shortest route to their destination.  Thus, if 1 way around is significantly shorter than the other, or 1 side has access to a more attractive place than the other, then that side will get the bulk of the traffic and has to be wide enough to handle it.  You can help avoid this problem by surrounding the plazas with a balance of shops, facilities and routes to rides all around it.

In general, the main paths throughout the park should be more or less level.  Avoid big hills and steep slopes, and especially stairs.  This not only helps peeps conserve energy but also makes the park more realistic (remember, trip-and-fall lawyers, wheelchairs, and strollers).  Now, a little elevation change along paths is fine, realistic, and also helps break unwanted sight lines.  Just don't go overboard.

Here's a nifty video by RubleTrillions showing some cool tricks with the path editor to make some interesting, non-standard things.

That's about all I can think of, or have time for, now.  Hope this helps.

Theme Park News & Discussion / Joker: 6 Flags over Texas
« on: August 23, 2018, 06:03 PM »
As mentioned elsewhere, I went to 6FoT last weekend.  When I bought the tickets online, the park's website said the Joker was temporarily closed (and I think still says that) after an incident in late July when a train got stuck at the top of the lift.  Fortunately, however, the ride was up and running when I got there.

Looking at the ride from off it, I wasn't expecting to enjoy it.  Most rides with spin involved tend to slam my head around painfully.  But I'd never seen, let alone ridden, a coaster with such a weird design, so I had to try it.  Turned out I liked it a lot and rode it several times.

For them as don't know, Joker (of which numerous examples exist) has a track with several layers stacked vertically directly above each other, so has a tiny footprint (see the pics at RCDB)  The trains consist of 2 cross-arms both with 2 seats on each end facing each other, so 4 riders per arm and 8 per train.  Each pair of seats is free to rotate around its end of the arm independently of the other pairs of seats, but the rider weights in all seat pars affect the rotation of the other pairs, so that even if you ride with the same person beside you multiple times, your seat will spin more or less often, and in different directions and at different locations along the track, each time.  Due to the random seat rotation facing you in different directions along the bunny hops and drops each time, the ride experience can vary from good-but-not-great to awesome each time you ride.

The biggest drop is between the 2nd and 3rd layers of the track.  One time, when sitting the one of the rear seat pairs, my seat started a slow backflip just before going into this drop, so that I went down it headfirst and also backwards due to the outward curve of the track there.  Knowing where I was on the track and realizing what was about to happen, I was worried about the pull-out from the on-coming dive redding me out.  However, this didn't happen and this head-down plunge turned out to be one of the coolest things I experienced at the park.

So all in all, I was quite favorably impressed with this unconventional coaster.  I usually don't enjoy rides where the seats spin on any axis but the design of Joker eliminates the nausea-inducing inertial cross-coupling and the restraints are comfortable throughout with no painful head-banging, even with the MASSIVE and VERY forceful ejector air time you often get as the seat spins.

Theme Park News & Discussion / Titan at 6 Flags over Texas
« on: August 20, 2018, 06:15 PM »
This is what the bare stats would lead you to expect:  a hypercoaster with huge drops and lots of airtime.  But the under-appreciated stat is the 4.5 Gs, as this is sustained for a number of seconds all through an ascending 540^ helix into the mid-course brake.  You really need to do the fighter pilot grunt to maintain consciousness during this, at least in the afternoon once the coaster has warmed up and 4.5 Gs seems an under-estimate.

As you can see from pics of this ride (such as on RCDB), the brake at the end of this helix is only about 1/2 the altitude of the top of the lift.  After the 1st drop, you rise back about the same height and dive back down but never rise so high again.  The 2nd hill is slightly lower than the mid-course brake but very long, so you get huge ejector airtime.  And then into the ascending 540^ helix with sustained 4.5 Gs (at least).  This ride has enough momentum going into the helix to do at least another 360^, probably more, but that would have made it too big for the available space, I guess, and it would be 4.5 Gs (at least) all the way, so it's doubtful any riders except actual fighter pilots would still be conscious at the top.  Seriously, this thing, in the afternoon, will black out those who don't know how to keep blood in their heads by tensing the lower body and grunting like they've been constipated for a month.

The mid-course brake brings this madness to an end by stopping the coaster in its tracks.  In the morning, this is a real buzzkill and you wonder why.  In the afternoon, you're thankful for the chance to catch your breath while you watch those around you, who didn't know how to fight high Gs, gradually regain consciousness.  Then  it's off to the 2nd half of the ride which is also very fun but not so extreme, obviously.

All in all, a great ride.  Very smooth, fast, and a good core workout ;)

Planet Coaster Rides / Dungeon Rats Wooden Mouse
« on: August 13, 2018, 02:36 PM »
In between Challenges 3 and 4 of the Summer Contest, I messed around with the new gridded track thing of the wooden mouse.  I made a passable coaster and then themed it as a castle.  Now that I've finished Challenge 4, I went back and touched it up a bit, so here it is.

This ride is envisioned as a relic in an old, run-down park.  It originally was naked but at some point probably in the 70s they decided to spruce it up by building a cheap, cheesy castle shell around it and hanging some cheap, cheesy skeletons inside.  Given that the "castle" is probably made of plywood and fabric, having all the torches on it is unwise, but it hasn't burned down yet.

Workshop link:

POV video of just the coaster, from before I built the castle: 

Planet Coaster Blueprints / Bullethead's Bridges
« on: August 07, 2018, 09:12 PM »
I've gotten some compliments on my bridges so decided to put some on the Workshop.  Here are 2 from the SGW 2018 Summer contest and, as lagniappe, 1 from Quarantine Island.

Workshop link:

..... when you see this and think nothing of it at first, then do a double-take because you realize you're not in-game:

Many questions arise.  Is PC realistically portraying the scale of actual furniture and we've been wrong to criticize it?  What world are we living in?  Has up really be down all this time?  Or does the lunatic who built this play PC too much, and perhaps even now is lurking in this very forum, snickering in some dark corner at my WTF moment here?  Or were both myself and my camera hallucinating?  I did just get the new shingles vaccine the other day and it threw me for a loop. and there was an Android update yesterday, after all.  Coincidence?

FWIW, I took this pic today in the park in the nearest town to me (8 miles away, population 1500 normal people and apparently now 1 giant).  It has a nice pond where I can do 1/4-mile laps in my kayak.  I normally do that twice a week but have been away for a couple months due to real life.  This is what I saw when I returned today.

Anyway, feel free to continue this thread indefinitely at irregular intervals like the "What did you just do?" thread, as real-world stuff reminds you of the game.  Or just delete this thread now, as it might attract the attention of the Illuminati :D

I ran into something strange yesterday when playing with the new square, non-gridded custom support pieces and I was wondering if anybody else had noticed this.  The issue is that I could not get the square support parts to line up with all grid axes.  The round ones had no problem, just the square ones.  It's like this....

See, the custom support parts are non-gridded.  With every other non-gridded part, including the new round custom supports, you can align them with all 3 axes of an existing gridded building by sticking them against a vertical gridded wall part to start with.  You can then rotate the non-gridded part however desired and its RELATIVE axes, at least to start with, are parallel to the building's axes.

With the square custom supports, however, this was not the case for me.  Sticking them to a wall first (at which time the support itself is horizontal) caused the support piece to be leaning out of plumb when rotated to the vertical, although it WAS aligned with the 2 horizontal axes.  And as usual with other non-gridded parts, sticking the square supports to a horizontal gridded tile first aligned the part's horizontal axes with the world axes, not the building's.

Anybody else seen this or was I just drunk?

Planet Coaster Community Board / FLYING TURNS MATH FOR DRUNKS
« on: July 18, 2018, 11:42 PM »

NOTE 1:  The following assumes you care more about the G forces exerted on riders everywhere on the track than you care about the overall, average ride ratings.  A few brutal G spikes on an otherwise benign ride won't have much effect on the overall average ratings, so won't change the ride's attractiveness to any noticeable degree.  But if you'd rather not send peeps home with souvenir cervical collars, then you want to eliminate those spikes.  That's what this whole thing is about in the specific case of Flying Turns coasters.  With a few tweaks, this info will also be applicable to other types of coasters.

NOTE 2:  Due to real life, what was originally intended to be a 1-post-covers-everything instead has to be broken up into sections, so here's Part 1.

As I have recently discovered by pouring through old pics and Google maps, a lot of the old wooden Flying Turns, as well as the modern reproduction at Knoebels, had/have stacked figure-8s.  You don't see this so much on the modern steel bobsled coasters.  So naturally I wanted to put stacked 8s in my rides.  And then depression set in.

Actually, there are 3 problems.  While it's a no-brainer to make perfectly stacked 8s using the default minimum 12m track section turned 90^ x 3 for a 270^ turn, then going 270^ the other way, this causes 2 problems and those lead to a 3rd problem:
  • The abrupt change from the hardest possible turn in 1 direction to the hardest possible turn in the other causes horrific lateral Gs which spike fear and nausea, thus decreasing excitement because the peeps are worried about survival and getting puked on by the peep in the seat in front of them instead of enjoying the ride.  This really mauls ride prestige, which is the dominant factor on getting peeps to ride the thing at all.  It also keeps the overall fear higher than it should be, so many families will avoid the ride even though it's family-capable.
  • The minimum possible downslope in such a minimum-sized stacked 8 is 4^ per track section.  Anything less means the peeps get a support in the face going under the crossover.  A 4^ downslope per 12m of length prolonged through every track section of a stacked 8, let alone 2 or more stacked 8s directly above each other, means that the train accelerates all the way down, thus increasing the lateral Gs at each change of direction and making everything less fun.
  • Avoiding the above problems means putting some straightaways between the turns of stacked 8s, so the transitions between the directions of turns aren't so harsh.  These straightaways mean the downslope can be reduced as well, so the problem of increasing lateral Gs throughout the stacked 8s can be avoided.  But unless you do some geometry and trigonometry, you won't be able to get your stacked 8s to line up directly above each other.  And math is hard for me, even though I have a degree in engineering.  I had to google up all the formulæ below because I've killed a LOT of braincells since high school :D  I feel I'm not alone in this so hopefully this refresher will save some time and frustration for others.

The goal is to make something like the pic below, all perfectly stacked however far down you want to go, with a crossing angle of 60^ which approximately matches the Knoebels ride and many older, long-dead examples, without making peeps wish they were dead.  This stacked 8 doesn't accelerate the train enough to make the lateral Gs exceed 1.5 while keeping the excitement in the 6-7 range throughout and nausea negligible.  But you can't make this without math.

There are tons of potential variables in a stacked 8 so the 1st thing to do is eliminate as many of them as possible.  To do that, I decided to make the turns out of 3 track sections all the same length and degree of turn, and 2 equal sections in the straightaway  (of lengths not necessarily equal to the arc lengths).  To get a 60^ crossing angle in the middle of the 8, I needed a 120^ gap in the circle of the turn at each end, so with 3 sections of track per turn that's 80^ of turn per section.  This leads to a minimum downslope per section of 3^ to avoid face-smashers (as opposed to head-choppers) at the crossovers, which keeps the speed essentially constant throughout and minimizes lateral Gs.  Of course, it's impossible to get exactly 80^ of turn and 3^ of downslope but  come as close as you can, which will be about 0.05^ on average (angle snap MUST BE OFF).

With these initial conditions, plus the restriction that all track section lengths must be integers, and whether or not you keep the built-in track restrictions of sections having to be 12-24m long, this reduces the problem to the following variables:

A = length in meters of the curved sections of track (3 per turn at 80^ of turn each)
S = length in meters of the straight sections of track (2 per straightaway)
R = radius of the turn
C = length in meters of the chord of the turn's circle left open by the 240^ arc of the 3 curved sections

With a 60^ crossing angle, S > A, so the purpose of the math is to derive a formula where S is a function of A { in general terms, S = f(A) }.  Then you just plug in interger values of A and see if you can get nearly integer values for S, so you can build such a thing within the 1m track section length restriction imposed by the game.  To do this, you have to relate S and A together via the intermediary variables R and C.  It goes like this...

1st, you have to determine R.  This is based on the fraction of 360^ covered by the arc of length A:

A = 2πR * (80^/360^)

R = A/(2π) * (360^/80^)

R = 0.716 * A

Because you can relate S to C via simple trig, the next step is to relate C to R because we already have R in terms of A, so this will give S in terms of A.  Bisecting C and drawing a line from C's midpoint to the center of the curve, we have a right triangle with a 30^ angle between C and the curve's radius.  Thus:

cos30^ = (0.5 * C) / R

C = 2 * R * cos30^

C = 2 * (0.716 * A) * cos30^

C = 1.24 * A

Again with C bisected and looking the other way towards where the tracks cross, we have another right triangle with a 60^ angle between C and S.  Thus:

cos60^ = (0.5 * C) / S

S = (0.5 * C) / cos60^

S = (0.5 * 1.24 * A) / cos60^

S = 1.24 * A  <--- what we were looking for, and C = S, which is interesting to note for later.

Because both A and S must be intergers due to PC only allowing 1m track length intervals, we need solutions to S = 1.24 * A where A is an integer and S is as close to an integer as possible.  Plugging in integer values for A between 12 and 24 (assuming you're using the default track limits) gives the following table of good results (the others have S being too far off an integer value):

A = 12, S = 14.88  <--- VERY close to S = 15, which I used in the above pics.  Good enough.

A = 13, S = 16.12 <--- no worse than the above but a tad bigger, use S = 16m.

A = 17, S = 21.08 <--- closer to perfect but biigger still, use S = 21m.

A = 21, S = 26.04 <--- closest fit but biggest, suitable for very high speeds.  Use 4x S sections of 13m each per straightaway as S can't exceed 24m nor be less than 12m.

The less downslope you have per track segment, the less speed the train gains through the stacked 8, which is a good thing because stacked 8s add up to a lot of total length going downhill and you don't want the train to accelerate too much through it all or G forces will become not fun.  The bigger A and S are, the less downslope you need for the minimum safe clearance at the crossover.  And the less downslope you need, the better the above values for A and S fit to stacking multiple 8s directly above each other.

This last is a VERY important point.  All the above calculations assume all track segments are in the same horizontal plane (IOW, zero downslope).  In PC, the length you set for a track segment is constant along the length of that segment, NOT in the horizontal plane.  Thus, the steeper the downslope of a track segment, the shorter its projection on the horizontal plane, and the less well the above "best" values for A and S will stack above each other through multiple 8s.  So, if you want the above math to be of any use to you, always go for the minimum possible downslope.  But never use less than 2^ downslope with default friction or the train will decelerate, which the peeps find boring and, if prolonged enough, will cause the train to stop.

Anyway, for the stacked 60^ crossing stacked 8s pictured here, I used A = 12 and S = 15.  The entry track into this was horizontal (IOW, 0^ downslope, so the 1st turn needed a 4^ downslope to get under it safely.  But from there on, it was 3^.  In the pic below, the selected section of track as 4^ downslope, all the rest 3^.  If your entry is into the stacked 8s is going down at all, you can do the whole thing at 3^ downslope.  And because the entry speed determines the speed and thus excitement throughout the stacked 8s, you'll probably be coming into them steeper than the 8s are themselves, to get the speed you want.

If all you do is 12m and 90^ turn per segment, then you're crossing at 90^, need 4^ downslope, and have a not-fun ride in terms of lateral Gs getting worse through the stacked 8s.  But suppose you WANT 90^ crossings for aesthetic reasons.  This is how to get that without breaking the necks of your peeps.  You'll end up with something like this:

The math is the same BUT, because we're doing 270^ of turn at each end instead of 240^, things are greatly simplified because R = S instead of R = C, enabling us to skip dealing with C at all.  And because S < A this time, it's easier to do things as A = f(S).  At the bottom line:

A = 1.57 * S

And because S < A in this case, A = f(S), so the table of good values for S and A is based on plugging in integer values of S and trying to get close to integer values of A.  We thus have:

R = S = 14, A = 21.98 <--- IOW, A = 22m, used for the pic above.

Nothing else stacks properly due to rounding errors.

Because this is a rather large turn, a 2^ downslope gives safe clearance provided the track above is sloped at least that much.  This is the minimum possible downslope ever, resulting in absolutely constant speed throughout however many 8s you want to stack.  Anything less results in a slowing coaster.  So, if using 2^ downslope, you have to be sure your entry speed is what you want.  About 35mph entry speed keeps lateral Gs about 1.5.

Regardless of crossing angle, when making 8s you want to stack directly above each other, ONLY smooth banking, NEVER "all".  Throughout stacked 8s, the turns should be banked the default max of 45^ in the appropriate direction.  Build the whole thing that way, then go back and smooth the transitions.  Select the whole straightaway and then the 1st section of curve on each end of it.  Hit "Smooth Banking" 3 times.  Done.

And that's all for now.  Next time, I plan to delve into stacked zig-zags, such as on the Knoebels ride.

Planet Coaster Community Board / Quasi-Möbius Coasters
« on: July 04, 2018, 02:37 PM »

PC has forced me to learn more about real coasters than I ever wanted to.  Recently, I had to learn about Möbius and Quasi-Möbius coasters because the upcoming Vintage Pack has made me want to build something akin to this thing:

I've seen posts where others have made such things and I've always thought they must be too complicated for me to be able to figure out, or I'd never be able to blend the required timing features into a pleasing ride.  But that was before I had the above inspiration.  So, I sat down to learn how to do it.


As I understand things (and I only just researched this so could well be wrong), there are 3 general types of multi-track coasters.  First, we have the dueling coaster, which is actually a collection of entirely separate, self-contained coasters built side-by-side.  We can do this in PC, and can even set them to launch simultaneously.  However, that's not what I'm talking about here.

A true Möbius coaster, such as I understand the old "Derby Racer" above was, has 2 stations sharing the same track, both of which load and unload.  Riders start in 1 station and get off at the other, only going around the track once on only 1 of the 2 parallel lanes.  This type of coaster is currently impossible to make in PC because coasters can only have 1 station.

A quasi-Möbius coaster, however, has only 1 station.  Riders make 2 laps of the track, once in each lane, and board and exit at the same place.  Real examples include Twisted Colossus.  This type of coaster IS possible in PC---there are many examples on the Workshop.  And it makes for a cooler ride IMHO, as the riders go twice as far as with the true Möbius, and will have different race experiences each lap.


So, I decided I wanted to build a quasi-Möbius coaster (QMC from now on).  Problem is, despite this having been done by many players already, I couldn't find any how-to info.  Because I assumed such coasters were fiendishly difficult to make, I figured the previous builders were keeping their dark secretes to themselves and I would have to reverse-engineer their creations.  Thus, I downloaded several but they all approached the situation differently, so I learned very little from them, except the important fact that this is NO one way to do it :).

In the end, I just sat down and built one, and experimented with it until I got it working as I wanted.  In this process, I discovered that QMCs aren't at all difficult to make on the technical side, just a bit tedious on the building side.  There are, however, a number of factors you should keep in mind before you start and as you go along.  Therefore, to save others the trouble I had, and to show folks these things aren't any harder to make than other types of coaters, I decided I'd share my notes here.

MUHAHAHAHA, I made a QMC!  That actually "works" in that the trains race along together more often than not (more on that in the Tuning section).  TREMBLE BEFORE ME, MORTALS!  I'm a coaster-building GOD!  Oh wait, it wasn't really that hard  8|  OK, I'll just get on with this "quasi-tutorial".


This post describes ONE of the apparently MANY ways to make a QMC work, using the simple test coaster I made.  If you want to reverse-engineer it yourself, here's the Workshop link:

It's actually quite a popular family coaster if you want to use it as such, but I just wanted to see if I could get a QMC to work at all, not make a park-worthy ride.

Here's an overview of this coaster showing the components required to make it work:

This coaster runs 3 trains, each of which does 2 laps before returning to the station.  At any given time, 1 train is in the station and the other 2 are running.  The trains move along the path S-L1-B1-L2-B2.

S = Station
L1 = Lift 1
B1 is Block Section 1
L2 = Lift 2
B2 = Block Section 2

The key to the whole shebang is manipulating how PC handles block sections.  Stations, block brakes, and lift hill all divide blocks of track from each other, and trains will stop on the divider before the next section of track until the train ahead of it passes the next divider.  With 1 station, 2 block brakes, and 2 lift hills, this track is divided into the following sections:  S-L1, L1-B1, B1-L2, L2-B2, B2-S.  So, a train won't leave the station until the train ahead is completely off of L1, and a train won't leave L1 until the train ahead is beyond B1, etc.

This is what makes B1 the most important piece of track.  Without B1, Train 2 will stop at the top of L1 until Train 1 is completely off of L2.  While this does mean they both leave the lift hill more or less together as desired, you get the undesirable side-effect of the 2nd train having to sit there for a full lap, which the peeps find BORING and which ruins throughput.  A LOT of the QMCs on the Workshop have their trains wait like this, sometimes in more than 1 place, which I just don't like at all.  So I wanted to avoid that.

Note, however, that my placement of B1 was pure luck.  Thinking QMCs were all about timing, I figured I'd need a brake there to release a train at the same time another left the station, figuring a wait was inevitable, and then tweak the rest of the track to get the timing right.  When it turned out the trains were racing OK and never stopped on B1, I took it out, and discovered it was totally necessary to avoid waits.  So I put it back in :).


Again, I expected this would be a fight of adjusting lengths, heights, and radii to make everything work out right, but this turns out not to be the case.  There are just a few general guidelines to keep in mind, shown below, plus some general advice:

1.  Overall Layout
If you want to make something like the old "Derby Racer" above, with perfectly parallel tracks for as far as the eye can see, then you don't have many options.  You can't bank the turns so you can only turn at the top of hills when the coaster is slow enough not to make horrible lateral Gs.  This means you're pretty much limited to a simple out-and-back, such as my example, or a LONG 8 or stacked 8, which is mostly out-and-back in the straightaways.  Either type of 8 would give the best ride racing sensation because the trains would alternate being on the faster inside lane through the turns, so there'd be passing.  So basically, with a wooden coaster, you're going to have a very long, skinny footprint.  With hybrid and steel coasters, however, you can do whatever you want, have the tracks twist around each other, etc.

2.  Turn Radii
This is much more of an issue for wooden coasters with unbanked turns than anything else.  When you're building the track, you naturally go around the 1st lap then have to follow it as close as you can for the 2nd lap.  If the 2nd lap is on the inside of a turn, it will have a rather tighter radius than the 1st lap.  If you made the 1st lap's turn too tight, you won't be able to fit the 2nd lap's turn inside it.  So my advice is to make the 1st lap's turns, where they are the outside lane, wider than you think they should be, so you'll have an easier time building the 2nd lap.

The 1st turn in my little coaster here is as tight as is possible to make.  That was with 15m track sections doing 90^ on the 1st, outside, lane.  This made the 2nd lap a real struggle even using 4m sections.

3.  The Crossover
All Möbius coasters have to have a at least 1 crossover.  It is desirable to have the upper train slightly ahead of the lower train at this point, so most of the peeps in the lower train will see the upper train going over their heads.  This is one of the things you can adjust with the various methods of tuning the ride (see Tuning below).

4.  Exit Space and Station Height
I find it desirable to put the exit on the far side of the station, centered on the parked train, as this minimizes unloading time, which accounts for the vast bulk of the time the train is stopped.  Loading takes about 1 second as the peeps teleport from the chutes to the seats and then the restraints come down.  This can't happen, however, until the last of the previous riders have slowly walked completely off the platform and the exit gate has shut behind them.  Putting the exit on the far side in the middle of the train minimizes their walking distance so minimizes the cycle time.  With a 6-car train, the entire unload/reload cycle takes only 25 seconds (28 seconds with 7 cars).

While getting the timing right on a QMC isn't something you need to worry about TOO much during track construction, it's still something you'll have to deal with eventually (see Tuning).  You can always make the loading cycle take longer by adjusting station settings but you can't make it any shorter than the time it takes the last peep to walk off the platform.  Thus, tuning will be easier in the end if you have the shortest possible loading cycle, so you have some wiggle room elsewhere in the ride.  Besides, getting the train moving again as soon as possible makes the peeps happier and increases $/hour.  So I recommend putting the exit on the far side from the entrance.

If you do that, however, the bypass track at the start of the 2nd lap has to be far enough away from the station to give you the necessary room to place at least the start of the exit ramp on the edge of the platform.  In my example, I gave myself plenty of room, way more than I needed, just to illustrate this point.

Then, of course, the peeps are inside the loop of the track and you have to get them back under or over the track to the main path.  Your options here depend largely on how you want the station area to look.  Getting the exit path high enough to go over the track takes a lot of space so only goes well if the station building is already pretty huge.  If you can justify having a tunnel with your theming, great.  But if you have to have the peeps come under the track at ground level, then you have to put the station platform high enough to allow that.  So I recommend beginning construction by laying down a short section of path.  Then put the station on top of it and raise the station until it turns from red to blue.

5.  General Track-Building
This tip applies only to areas where you want the 2 lanes to match up as closely as possible.  So again, this is mostly if you're doing a woody like the "Derby Racer".  When making the 1st lap, try to use fairly long sections of track without abrupt changes of direction either horizontally or vertically.  It also helps if you only change 1 of those at a time as much as possible, again feeding into the long, skinny layout.  When you come around again building the 2nd lap, you have to use many, many very short sections, often 4m (especially in the insides of curves), and line each one up very carefully with the existing track.  This is what makes building a QMC so tedious.

So now the 2nd lap is a bunch of short sections all at slightly different angles to each other.  For instance, you'll find it impossible to stay exactly parallel to the 1st lap, always alternating 0.32^ to the left and 0.35^ to the right each section.  This will look horrible.  However, you can smooth out all these little irregularities without affecting the overall layout because you're only touching 8m of track in total with the smoothing tool at any one time.  So bunny hops don't do away and the radii of turns doesn't change enough to notice, but you get rid of all the little kinks.

6.  Overall Layout Size
I was really worried I have to tweak the track length of each lane constantly to get the timing to work, but this turns out not to be the case.  Just build the 1st lap like you would any other coaster.  You know when the momentum has bled down enough from a given lift hill to be time to take it back to the station.  And you customarily build coasters so that there's no delay at the station or on the brakes leading to the station---as 1 train leaves the station, the next pulls in immediately.

If you build your coasters like this, then you'll have no trouble with QMC timing.  All you do is take the track back to the lift hill at the appropriate time instead of the station, then go around again.  This will make the timing close enough to perfect naturally, on it's own, that you can probably fine-tune it to be exactly what you want with all the tools discussed in the next section.


"Tuning" here means adjusting the various controls at your disposal to get the trains running as you want relative to each other.  The desired results are, in order of priority:
  • Having the trains run very close together for the bulk of the track.  This is the whole purpose of making a QMC so if you fail this, you've totally wasted your time.  Everything else is gravy.
  • Having peeps in the lower train easily be able to see the upper train going over them at the crossover.  This has no effect on the ride's stats that I can tell, it's just for style points.
  • Not having a train sit still on the track or in the station at all, if possible.  If not possible, to minimize this, and hopefully have it happen only at the station, not on the track.  This is probably the hardest thing to achieve without undue fiddling with track lengths.

Before you start tuning your ride, keep the following vitally important things in mind:
  • THE RIDE MUST BE OPEN WITH PEEPS FLOWING INTO IT!  Test dummies never unload so testing NEVER shows the correct amount of time the train is in the station.  The ONLY way to determine this is with real live peeps.  So, build the ride in your test lab "park" where you can get some real peeps to go on it without screwing up your real park.  Then save it as a blueprint once everything is good and paste it into your real park.
  • DO NOT start tuning until the Train 1 has gone around the full track at least as many times as there are trains in total.  IOW, if you've got 3 trains, let the ride run 3 complete cycles.  It takes that long for the ride to settle into its natural, long-term rhythm when starting from a cold stop.  And then let it run a bunch more times to really see what's going on before touching anything.  There will always be some slight variations from run to run.  Usually, QMCs will oscillate through a pattern of the racing trains being in slightly different relative positions from 1 run to the next, lasting 4 or 5 runs before repeating.  So watch long enough to learn this pattern and decide whether you like it or not before making changes.  Having some variation from run to run is good as it gives the peeps a less-predictable experience.  And if most of the runs satisfy the desired outcomes above, maybe you shouldn't change anything.
  • Make the train loading cycle constant.  Set the ride to run with ANY load, check both the minimum and maximum station delays, and set them both to the minimum loading cycle time for your coaster and exit configuration.  These settings should ALWAYS be the same time, even if you change them later.  Then set the departure interval to a few seconds less than your load/unload delay time.  This means the train will be in the station for the least amount of time possible---you can always make it longer later if needed.  And don't worry about the "Any load" thing.  If this coaster is worth a damn, it'll always be nearly full.  Except when returning to service after a breakdown.  Then as peeps trickle back in, the ride will have worked back up to its normal rhythm by the time the queue is full again.

1.  Main Tuning Controls
The basic controls, which are probably all you'll need, are shown below.  This pic also shows the starting positions of the 3 trains for this particular coaster.  This is why you have to let the ride run a while before making any judgment on the timing--the trains ain't spaced at all like they will be when the ride has reached its stable operating configuration.

Lift hill speed is probably your best tool.  It'll usually happen that 1 train or the other gets to the bottom of the hill a couple seconds before the other.  If that's the case, slow that hill down and/or speed the other up slightly.  In general, I prefer to start with both hills at max speed as I personally HATE long, slow lifts and adjust one or the other down as needed.  This also used to be a good idea in the game, as slow lifts killed ride excitement.  A few updates back, however, lift hills got removed from the ride stat equations so you can now safely go slow if you want.  But why?  Throughput!

If the lift hills can't solve the problem, or just look silly doing it because one is way faster than the other, you might consider adjusting the length of either the station run or the station bypass run.  Or adding trim brakes to the station bypass.  But if the station side way faster than the bypass side and you can't add track to it, you need to slow the station side down before the lift.  Which means increasing the time in-station.  Adjust both the min and max station delays up a few seconds (keeping them both the same number).  This will usually cause a backup on the station brake run, however, which will then have repercussions all down the line in overall ride timing, so try to avoid building the coaster like this to start with :).  But as I said above, this shouldn't be an issue if you build the QMC essentially the same as you do normal coasters.

2.  Tuning Caveat
After you make any change, you again have to let the coaster run a bunch of full cycles to let it settle into whatever new rhythm it has.  Often, you'll find that whatever you did had unexpected, undesirable results which might make things worse than before.  So always remember how the settings were before you changed them, so you can go back if needed.


This collection of notes (NOT a tutorial) was based solely on making a single, small test QMC.  I expect that the bigger the QMC, the more complicated it gets.  For example, the next stage up would be 5 trains, so that 4 are racing and 1 loading.  If you want to go with single lift hills for the whole thing, then you need block brakes in the middle of the runs.  This will affect where trains start, as shown below:

Just based on what I've seen so far, I expect Case 2 would be better as it avoids a grotesquely long brake run coming into the station.  However, it might be easier all around to use 2 lift hills, in which case you'd just use 2 of the 3-train, 1-hill things in a row.  I don't know.  That's a project for another day.

I hope folks find this useful.

Planet Coaster Blueprints / FAKE HUSS Rainbow Flat Ride
« on: June 02, 2018, 11:09 AM »
Here is a totally fake HUSS Rainbow flatride.  The theming is based closely on the one at Dixie Landin' in Baton Rouge.

Workshop link:

REQUIRES:  Knight Rider(tm), Spooky, and Studio DLCs.

Dropbox link for the billboard textures:

This blueprint contains 3 versions of the ride, for a total of about 3300 pieces (1100 each).  Each version is a separate "building".

Version 1:  Empty, in the loading position.
Version 2:  Loaded, in operation.
Version 3:  The main component parts so you can pose it in any position desired.

NOTE:  You might have to tweak the "Rainbow" sign to get the different colors to work right.  They seem to shift slightly every time you move or place the blueprint.  The sign is actually 5 superimposed signs at slightly different angles, each sign having the full text in a different color.  To adjust the letters of a given color, just click  on that letter and nudge the sign sightly in or out, or rotate it a bit.

Lately I've been making another fake flat ride for Dixie Landin', trying hard to half-way approximate the standards set by masters like Fisherman and JPalmighT :).  The real ride is called "Over the Rainbow" by the park, although (as usual at this park) the signage on this 2nd-hand ride is different, simply "Rainbow".  I have no idea what make and model this ride is, but up to 23 peeps sit on 1 big platform at one end of a long, rotating arm (the other end has a counterweight), and the platform stays level as the arm rotates around an axis parallel to the direction the peeps are facing.

The real ride looks like this (obviously painted by somebody who neither knew the ROY G BIV mnemonic for the order of colors in the spectrum, nor even had a photo of an actual rainbow to work from):

And here's what I've made so far:

There being no tiny hula girl statues, I'm just going to leave them off.  Otherwise, I think I'm coming close enough for BSI work to the rest of the ride.  EXCEPT for the backdrop billboards.  That's where I need some help.

As you can see in the pics of the real ride, the top edge of the backdrop is highly irregular and lined all around with the horribly out-of-order rainbow striping found everywhere else in the ride.  THAT'S my problem.  Given enough time and whiskey, I can probably splatter together some half-way decent approximations of the images on the real backdrop (although if a real artist wants to step up, PM me :D ), but the "rainbow" outlining is problematic.

I made the rainbow arch over the ride's seating area out of the smallest art shapes, which are too big to make some of the tight corners on the real backdrop's top edge.  Also, that would make much thicker stripes.  And then there's the area between the "rainbow" curves and the top edges of the billboards.  I can fill these gaps with "colourable" panels but getting them to match the color of the adjacent billboard textures will be a bother.

So, right now, I'm thinking of outlining the backdrop in "faux cloud" art shapes, like the back wall of the seating platform and surrounding the "Rainbow" sign at the other end of the rotating arm.  These "faux-clouds" will approximately match the outline of the real backdrop's top edge, and extend over part of the billboards' upper edges.  Then I'll just ignore the "rainbow" outlines of the billboard images and only draw the arch over the sun on the central panel.

How's that sound?  Or does somebody have a way to get a more true-to-life look?

Thanks in advance.

I dunno where this should end up in the overall SGW scheme of things so I'm putting it here and letting it drift with the currents.....



There are currently 4 types of speakers in the game.  Each has a different purpose.  All of them are found in the Scenery\Audio tab of the in-game editor.

What follows is a description of each type of speaker and what you can and can't do with it.

1.  Ambient Speakers
*  1st on list.
*  Appearance:  Small, light green dodecahedron.
*  Purpose:  To play continuous loops of background noise appropriate to that area of the park.  Place these along paths and in queues.
*  Volume:  Quiet and not controllable.  Need to space them no more than about 12m apart if you have a large area where you want the same background noise.
*  Triggerable?:  No.  They just always make whatever noise you select from the list.
*  User Sound Files?:  No.  You can only select from the stock background noise files provided by the game.
*  Special Rules?:  No.  They just do their thing.

2.  Display Speakers
*  2nd on list
*  Appearance:  Large, dark gray box (nearly identical to Music Speaker--see below).
*  Purpose:  To parrot (IOW, play the same thing at the same time) the music being played by the Display Sequencer that the Display Speaker is linked to, so that this music can be heard all over the park.  The Display Sequence itself can't be heard very far away so you scattered these Display Speakers around everywhere you want peeps to hear the Display Sequencer's music.
*  Volume:  Not controllable as neither Display Speakers nor Display Sequencers have a volume slider.  Always fairly loud.
*  Triggerable?:  Not directly.  Display Speakers start playing as soon as their Display Sequencer starts.  Display Sequencers can be started by ride triggers, at specific times/dates, or go continuously.  Whatever starts the Display Sequencer will also start all Display Speakers linked to that Display Sequencer.
*  User Sound Files?:  Not directly.  Display Speakers simply parrot whatever is playing on their linked Display Sequencer.  But Display Sequencers can use user sound files.  So, if you give the linked Display Sequencer a user sound file, the Display Speakers linked to it will play that file.
*  Special Rules?:  Yes.  Display Speakers have no controls of their own.  All settings for Display Speakers must be done on the Display Sequencer they are linked to.  Linking Display Speakers to Display Sequencers is very similar to linking VFX to ride triggers.

3.  Music Speaker
*  3rd on list
*  Appearance:  Big black box.  Nearly identical to Display Speaker (see above).
*  Purpose:   To play continuous loops of non-ambient audio files.  By default, this is any music file in the stock game, but they can also play user audio files, including voice PSAs.  Often used in bars, food courts, and queues.
*  Volume:  Not controllable.  Always fairly loud.
*  Triggerable?:  No.  They just play continuous loops.
*  User Files?:  Yes.
*  Special Rules?:  None.  Just place and select the audio file you want them to play forever.

4.  Triggered Speakers
*  4th and last (currently) on list
*  Appearance:  big red box
*  Purpose:  To play short-duration (only a few seconds) sound effects when triggered by rides passing by.  All good spooky dark rides employ scads of these.  But can also have user mp3 files of any length.
*  Volume:  Not controllable.  Always fairly loud.
*  Triggerable:  Yes.  These are the only directly triggerable speakers and they make no sound unless triggered.  Triggered Speakers can be activated by track triggers, flat ride sequence changes, and Display Sequencers.
*  User Files?:  Yes.
*  Special Rules?:  Yes.  Triggered Speakers are unique in having a Pitch slider.  This changes the way the selected stock or user audio file is played.  Decreasing pitch not only lowers the tone but also increases the clip's duration proportionally.  And vice versa for increasing the pitch.  This provides a nearly infinite variety of sounds you can make.  Also, Triggered Speakers must be activated by, and linked to, some triggering mechanism.

*  ANY mp3 file can be put into your Documents\Frontier Developments\Planet Coaster\UserMusic folder.
*  Such files can be used by all rides, Display Sequencers, Music Speakers. and Triggered Speakers.
*  It doesn't matter what the content is as long as it's an mp3 file.  Thus, you can have music, verbal PSAs, SFX, whatever.

I've begun all my park projects so far by building the coasters first.  I start with a flat, open map, build a coaster, and save it as a blueprint.  Once I get a good variety of different types covering all demographics, I plunk the blueprints down side-by-side, run a path to them all, and open them up to see how the peeps like them.  Sometimes, 1 coaster might take all the business from another with generally similar EFNs, so then I can tweak 1 or the other so they both end up popular.  Having done all this, I then start building the actual park with these pre-built coasters scattered around it in what I think is the best arrangement to get peeps spread out nicely instead of bunched up.

This approach works very well from a peep-herding POV---I get the peep flow I want.  But I've found that this philosophy hits an aesthetic wall once coasters reach a certain size, especially if they have a lot of inversions.  Such things just look WRONG when built as if they were portable or pier park rides, which is what my above method essentially does.  An out-and-back giga coaster is about the limit of what I find my current method works for, so that I've never built a park with anything more extreme.

In my next park, I want to use some of these more extreme coasters.  But I'm thinking that they'll have to be built to suit their locations instead of designed ahead of time.  Which means I won't be able to judge how they'll affect peeps, so I could end up with problems that screw the rest of the park.

So, how do you all handle this problem?


Planet Coaster Blueprints / The Tetragon Building
« on: May 16, 2018, 02:29 PM »
I've been wanting to make a huge building lately and was inspired by the dollar bill and the crumbly old yellow d4 that came in the original Dungeons & Dragons box.  This led to The Tetragon......

Workshop link:

REQUIRES:  Spooky, Adventure, and Studio DLCs.

This is obviously intended to be a hotel with food court and all at the bottom, with a built-in monorail station on 1 side, but right now it's just an empty shell to do with as you wish.  It doesn't even have planters, again so you can do your own.  I intend to upload a more complete version for the terminally lazy fairly soon, however, depending on how things go.  It's got 2100 parts right now, so there's only so much I can do for a blueprint.

Note that it will be very hard to make any sort of detailed interior.  The walls are mostly made of Fiberglass Elevator Doors turned backwards so the walls are very thick and ugly on the inside, as shown below.  So just run a path through the fake doors, fill the inside with naked shop boxes and hotel rooms, and never look inside again.

The outside's not too shaby if I do say so myself.  The building really is 3-sided (plus 1 more on the bottom).

And it lights up OK from most angles.

The observation deck is also a library.  As it's on the 13th floor, it's got spooky decor.  Here we see Bullethead and his um.....   secretary um.... discussing business.

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