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Topics - JB

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1
Fun & Games / Madame Zelinka: Knows all, sees all
« on: October 29, 2018, 10:51 PM »
Some of you may have already seen this in my RCT3 Imaginarium park thread update that I posted a couple of days ago. I figured more people would enjoy it here in the Fun & Games section- especially now during Halloween season:





Spoiler (hover to show)

I'd like to hear if Madame Zelinka's prediction was correct. ;)

2
A Visit To IMAGINARIUM - with the Peepertons

A year or so ago, shyguy started a thread titled: "Why aren't you posting your projects?" Why indeed. I had been mulling over story ideas about a RCT3 family visiting one of my parks, and shyguy's question spurred me into action.

When I finally began writing my ideas down and assembling them into a coherent story, I was still an unregistered lurker here (and had been since dinosaurs roamed the Earth, or so it seems.) :P I just recently joined SGW to learn the ins and outs of posting text and images in preparation for long projects like this one. And it is quite long. So I'll be posting it in smaller, easy-to-chew segments. I encourage all you lurkers out there to join SGW and become a participant-  If this 65 year old guy can do it, then so can you. :yes:

This is the third version of my Imaginarium park; completed 4 years ago in 2014. The first two versions were somewhat larger, more detailed, and a lot more unstable. At the time that I was building Imaginarium, I had no idea that I would be writing a story that takes place in the park. So this story is being written (still incomplete) to fit the park and not the other way around. Many, many thanks to all the custom content creators who work so long and hard to share their artistic creations with us. :up:

As you read this story you'll recognize many of the quirks, eccentricities, annoyances, bugs, and RCT3 'game features' that we are all familiar with. In fact, the story is essentially written to showcase all of those things, with some pretty pictures thrown in. And so begins:






A soft [ping] is heard. Or maybe it's more of a [blip]. Or maybe just a subtle, silent shift in the vast space-time construct that is the universe. Whatever it is-  a family of four materializes on the peep injection point at the end of the 'Parking B' walkway; one of two walkways which lead to the entrance of Imaginarium theme park... the Peepertons have arrived.

Meet the Peepertons:




                Walter P (Wally)          Jillian P (Jill)                Baxter P               Tiffany P

Wally looks at his family with an excited grin, "Well kids, here we are! On our way to Imaginarium!"

"Yay!" Baxter exclaims, jumping twice into the air.

Tiffany, who is now a teenager, shares her older brother's enthusiasm but neglects to jump into the air-  that's for kids, "Ooh, it looks so exciting!" she says, "Don't you think so, Mother?" Lately, Tiffany has started referring to her mom as 'Mother'; the teen thing again.

Jill looks at the park spread out before them, "Yes, it looks very exciting! Storybook Gardens looks like a fun ride."



Jill peers at the long serpentine walkway ahead of them, "Oh my. How far is it to the park entrance, I can't see it from here. We'll be worn out before we even get there!"



All thoughts of the path ahead are pushed aside as Tiffany lets out a shriek, "Eeek! Mother, the parking lot is gone!" Indeed, Parking Lot B is nowhere to be seen.

Baxter, always the adventurous one, looks in gleeful wonder at the vast expanse where the parking lot should be, "Cool!"

Tiffany continues, "How did we get here?"

Jill, "Well... in our car, of course... at least I think we did... I can't seem to remember." She looks at her husband, "Wally?"   

Wally frowns and scratches his head, "I thought so, too... but now that you mention it... I mean, how else did we get here?" He grins, "Do you think maybe we just appeared out of thin air?" He looks back warily at the non-existent parking lot and chuckles nervously, "The Gamer works in mysterious ways," he concludes. In truth, the Gamer decided not to include the parking lot-  too many unnecessary polys.



As the Peepertons begin their long walk to the park entrance, Baxter points and says excitedly, "Hey, look! There's the FreeFall rocket! I can't wait to go on FreeFall! The car climbs up the gantry all the way to the top, then falls straight down the inside of the rocket and out the bottom..." His expression slowly shifts from excitement to concern, "Wow... It's so TALL... I bet you can see it from anywhere in the park... Just looking at it makes me wanna... [Yeeurghh]."



Tiffany looks down in horror and disgust, "Eewww... Mother, Baxter just yeeurghhed all over my shoe!... Eewwww!"

Jill takes a kleenex out of her fanny pack and hands it to her daughter, "Here, dear. Take your shoe off and wipe it on the grass over there. Then use the kleenex to finish up. That'll have to do for now... And you, young man," she turns her attention to her son, "Honestly, Baxter. If you're going to get sick that easily..."

"Aw, Mommm," Baxter says while wiping the corner of his mouth with the back of his hand, "It's just a little puke... It won't happen anymore." He gazes again at the towering rocket, "It's just that... it's so high up an... [Yeeurghh]."

"Eeewwww! Now he yeeurghhed on my other shoe! MOTHER!! Make him stop!" Tiffany moves to the other side of the walkway, as far away from her brother as she can get.




Two weeks later, as morning turns to afternoon, the Peepertons are about halfway to the park entrance and the kids' excitement mounts: "Aren't we there yet?" "I'm tired." "I need to pee." "I wanna go home."

Their dad tries to cheer them up, "Aw, c'mon kids. We're almost there!" He squints into the distance, "Look! The entrance is just ahead. We'll be there in no time... a week... two weeks, tops!"

As they continue their journey to the park entrance they see other peeps leaving the park, heading toward the non-existent parking lot.



Baxter points at a kid's Imaginarium balloon, "Cool! I wanna get a balloon like that. It's got dinosaurs an' castles an' futuristic stuff."

Tiffany, her shoes still a little squishy, looks disdainfully at the balloon, "Hmmph," she says snootily, "balloons are for kids... Ooh, I like that clear one! It looks like a dewdrop sparkling in the morning sunlight." Baxter rolls his eyes.



As the sun sets and the sky darkens, the colorful park lights begin to flicker on, giving Imaginarium an excitingly magical and other-worldly appearance. "It looks excitingly magical!" Jill says. "And other-worldly," Wally adds.




Another two weeks go by and as the sun rises, the Peepertons finally arrive at a small hub where the 'Parking B' walkway merges with the one from 'Parking A' and the path turns to face the park entrance.



"Welcome to Imaginarium!" Wally reads the sign aloud with gusto.



As the Peepertons walk through the entrance turnstiles and onto the bridge leading to the castle, the SkyTrain soars by just above their heads.



The kids' enthusiasm rekindles: Tiffany, "Ooh, it looks even more exciting close up! Look at the people flying around the castle on those brooms! I wanna go on that!" She sees her brother turning an odd shade of green, "Mother! Baxter has that pukey-face look again... he's gonna blow!" She distances herself from the 'Human Geyser', as he is now known.

Baxter, struggling to keep his innards inside, looks down, instead of up, "No I'm not," he says, hoping it's true. Slowly, his 'pukey-face' goes away. He gazes intently into the clear water of the castle moat, "Cool, look at those dolphin-shaped submarines! That's the Voyage To Atlantis ride."



Jill looks at the elegant-looking subs gliding beneath the water, "I think we would all enjoy going on that!" She looks across at the loading dock, "And the line seems to be moving quickly."



Wally picks up the pace, "C'mon then. We've got a lot to do and a lot to see!"


They cross the bridge and go under the castle's portcullis into the tunnel, which passes through the castle and into the park.



They can hear spooky music and moaning ghosts filtering slightly through the tunnel walls, "Hey! That must be coming from The Haunted Castle ride," Baxter exclaims. He places his ear to the wall to hear the creepy sounds.



As they emerge from the tunnel, Baxter looks at the fountain in front of them, "Cool, that's just like the scene on the Imaginarium balloon we saw outside the park, only a lot bigger!"

Wally spots an Information booth to the left, "Guess we better get a park map so we know where we're going... Don't wanna miss anything, right?"
He returns with the map and unfolds it so everyone can see.

[click to enlarge]


Wally points to the map, "So, we're right here next to the castle tunnel; the fountain is right in front of us. Where do we wanna go first?"

Jill studies the map, "Voyage To Atlantis is off to our right, not far from here. I say we try that first. What do the rest of you think?"

"Sure," Baxter begins, "we gotta start somewhere... The Haunted Castle is just to the left, I wanna go on that next!" "And Broom Riders is real close to it!" Tiffany adds.

Wally folds up the map, "So it's settled then. We do the subs first then double back this way. We'll decide what to do next after that. We can always split up if we wanna do different things."

With that, the Peepertons head for the Voyage To Atlantis queue.



To Be Continued...

-------------------------------------------------------------

At the end of each story segment I'll be including a few stereoscopic 3D images of the parts of Imaginarium that the Peepertons have just visited. So...


Just kidding. No glasses needed! Using the above image, simply click on it to enlarge it and cross your eyes, as if focusing on a point close to your face, so that the two images overlap completely and perfectly. Then allow your eyes to bring the composite image into focus and, wallah (or viola :P) - 3D! The Imax glasses and the text should now stand out from the background. I've found that it's easier on the eyes if you sit back from your screen a couple inches more than usual when viewing these 3D images. Behold!...

[click to enlarge each pair of images]









3
Once upon a time (2014), in the land of beer and lederhosen (Germany), Green Tom Tom presented to the RCT3 community a walk-through flat ride:

the Glas Labyrinth



I really like this ride. Mainly because it's a walk-through attraction (see also, GTT's Hedge Maze). Yeah, there are similar in-game rides, e.g. the House of Fun and Laser Battle. But with those rides, the peeps enter and just stand in the middle for a while, then exit. (The Insect House, Nocturnal House, and Reptile & Amphibian House are interesting though.) But here in the Glas Labyrinth, the peeps really walk through the maze; which is a lot more fun when you're exploring your park with Jonny Watts.

There is one down-side to this ride... it has dismal statistics. The excitement and intensity ratings are barely over 1.0 - theming it heavily does practically nothing to improve the excitement, and there's no way to increase the number of circuits to boost the intensity. The first time I used this ride I placed it near the middle of a park. After several game-years, only a handful of peeps had gone through it; disappointing. But by placing it near the entrance of the park, so that it's the first attraction the peeps come to, it'll get plenty of guests to make it worthwhile.

With its bright colors and pop-culture references, the façade of the Glas Labyrinth fits right in with a county fair/funfair setting, as shown above.

But what if you want to put it, say- into a Pirate themed area, or Old West, etc?... Gotta cover up that classic '50s car and the Blues Brothers!

I've played a lot of downloaded user-made scenarios (you can find hundreds of 'em at rctgo.com), and over time, a fun and interesting challenge developed: plop the Glas Labyrinth down near the park entrance and cover it so that it fits in with the themed area. Here are several versions of the Glas Labyrinth that I made for various scenarios over the years:



As you can see above, my first attempt was rather half-@$$ed. The 'fun challenge' idea hadn't occurred to me yet and I just wanted to cover the darned thing up. :P I didn't spend a lot of time on this Alpine themed version. It looks more like a barn, but it gets the job done.

I guess I should say that none of these themed versions of the Glas Labyrinth are as detailed as I would have done, had they been in one of my own sandbox parks. I'll often spend 2 weeks or more working through a scenario. But that's nothing compared to the months it takes to complete a sandbox park- sometimes, good enough is good enough.







Here we have a sci-fi version, day and night. The scenario places the park in (I think) a Martian crater; lotsa rocks, mining, and excavation going on. There are many types of sci-fi themes: retro Buck Rogers 1930s-'50s style; immaculately white and sparse; well-used grunge, etc. So here, I made the Glas Labyrinth reflect its rustic surroundings. I named the ride Crystal Cavern.







Moving on to a tropical island scenario, this one is Polynesian/Hawaiian themed. It's called Kamehameha's Palace. Pay no attention to the burning torches on the tinder-dry palm frond roof. (In lieu of fireworks, the roof catches fire nightly and has to be replaced on a daily basis.)







Howdy pardner! Park yer horse at the gate (don't forgit ta lock the doors an' turn off his headlights. An' make sure he has plenty o' hay 'n water so's he doesn't blow his radiator cap.) Here we are in the Old West, or at least an Old West themed park. As I look at it now, there should have been some sort of roofing added to the upper left and right. Oh well.







This version of the Labyrinth is located in a modern/contemporary park and is made to resemble a glass factory showroom; like you would see at the outskirts of town near the industrial area. It has a utilitarian feel to it but with enough flair to make it interesting. Often times, I play these scenarios to try out newly downloaded custom content. Here, I was experimenting with FI's Art Deco Set .







Arrr, mateys. This be yer Pirate theme (arrr, again). I like to combine the in-game trees with custom trees (thank you, Old-Spice, n7, and others). The RCT3 scenery is lower in polys than most CS so, less lag. Plus, mixing them up adds visual interest.







Here we are, on a flying carpet, looking down on an Arabian Nights themed Glas Labyrinth- the Sultan's Palace, located in a busy mythical Mideast marketplace of yore. I left the original top of the ride's arch uncovered; the shape and colors seemed to fit nicely with the theme.







And finally, here is the Ice Palace version of the Labyrinth. Made of packed snow and pierced with gleaming shards of crystalline ice. The ride is surrounded by drifting snow and the queue is bordered with icicle railings.
______

This is the first topic that I've started here at SGW and I've never posted images before. It's sort of a practice thread for a larger project I'm working on.



4
Welcome Center / Hello shyguy's World community
« on: June 24, 2018, 04:42 PM »
   Hello shyguy's World community! My name's Jim (the J in JB). I'm 65 (Gah!) and I've been a lurker here and at the old Atari site since about 2005. So I know who you are (well, your shyguy's World personas anyway) even though you don't know me (yet).
   I play the RCT series of games, mostly RCT3. It's been a while since I've played RCT1 & 2 but I'm sure I'll dust them off again one of these centuries. I've played through all the scenarios from all of those games at least 2 or 3 times. Plus a bunch of user-made RCT3 scenarios. I find that playing the scenarios teaches me a lot about playing the game: what works best, how to do it, and what to avoid (too many polys!). Scenarios provide a pre-made landscape and a set of goals, which gets my creative juices going in ways I might not otherwise think of. And I apply what I've learned from the scenarios to my own sandbox parks.

   I've been messing around with computers since the mid 1970s. My first computer was an 8 bit Atari 800 with a cassette-tape program recorder. Man, I hated that recorder; took forever to load/save a program. Around 1980 I moved up to an Atari 130XE (also 8 bit) with a 5 1/4" floppy drive. Much better. I still use that computer from time to time (it still works!). I became quite proficient at making games using one of the souped-up BASIC programming languages (BASIC XE).
   My avatar, Ricky Rat (Mickey's unsavory cousin from the wrong side of the tracks), is the title character from a game I made on that old computer in 1997 called "Ricky Rat in The Hedgemaze". The image is a recent photo of him I took from the (nearly) 50 year-old TV that serves as a monitor for that computer. I cropped it, resized it, cleaned it up a bit to make it more presentable, and 'wallah', an avatar suitable for framing.

   A year-and-a-half ago, I began thinking about writing a story concerning a family of RCT3 peeps visiting one of my parks, but I hadn't written anything yet. Then, about a year ago, shyguy started a thread called "Why aren't you posting your projects?" in the RCT board. Good question, I thought. Time to give something back to the community. So after a couple of months thinking about plotting, characters and dialog, I began writing. At first it was going to be text-only, no pictures, posted in the Artists Corner. But I soon realized that the story really cries out for some visuals. And besides, the park that my peep family visits is already finished, so I decided to do a complete presentation, to be posted in the RCT Parks & Rides section.
   As of now, the story is about half done (including screenshots) and is turning out to be rather lengthy, (think Epic Russian Novel, but with humor... much like this post :)). I'm debating whether to upload the first parts of the story now or wait until it's all completed; which won't be for several months. I'm leaning toward the latter because I find myself going back and altering some of the earlier stuff to reflect what I've written recently.
   And then there's the pictures; I've never posted an image before :o. I know I need to make an account at an image hosting site, but which one? Looks like most people use imgur. (How do you say that, anyway? I've been pronouncing it 'imager'.) Photobucket was popular a while back, but then they changed their website's protocols and a lot of people's pics disappeared. What about flickr? tinypic? Any others? What are their pros & cons? I'm confused.

   Anyway, that's part of my life history. I could go on: I like sci-fi and fantasy movies/books/TV (Avatar and 2001: A Space Odyssey are two of my favorite movies. Oh, and Star Wars and Harry Potter and Jurassic Park and...), I've got close to 1,000 music/sound effect files in my RCT3 folder, ideas for lots of CS sets I'd like to make- if I ever learn how, stage 4 cancer (in remission since 2005), an enlarged prostate, and tinnitus... but that would be TMI, wouldn't it :P. I know I should've registered here at shyguy's World years ago, but better late than never. I hope to contribute a lot to this community in the years to come.  - JB

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