It’s difficult not to compare two titles when they’re targeting the same audience. That’s the case I’ve found myself in with Rollercoaster Tycoon World and Planet Coaster though, with Atari and Frontier Developments aiming for the same goals of reviving the theme park tycoon genre in the same year.
I’ve got a little more faith in Frontier due to my experiences with Elite: Dangerous, but after the latest dev diary it’s clear that both studios are making many of the same improvements.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the development videos and updates from both games over the last couple of months. I’m actually awaiting some responses from the RCTW developers as well, although they’ve understandably been a touch busy preparing for their next closed beta.
Over the last 24 hours, however, Planet Coaster has comfortably cemented itself as the tycoon game I have more faith in. The latest developer diary from Frontier is all about Planet Coaster’s building tools and the fluid manner in which you can construct a ride around terrain or your park’s existing infrastructure.
Now compare the footage above with the most recent footage from RCTW and their developers. The best available video is from the Alienware Twitch channel, where the developers talked through some of their new tech. (It’s much more exhaustive than the footage uploaded to the YouTube channel, which is mostly Unity renders and isolated animations of rides.)
What’s intriguing about the construction systems is how both developers are aiming for the same goal: offering a freeform model for coasters that gives more freedom to creators. I like what I see of Planet Coaster a little more still: the technology seems a lot further ahead. But both games are trying to do the same things, namely by giving their fans the features and tools they want.