When the last bit of Planet Coaster footage out, there was basically one thing I wanted: an unbroken, unedited sequence of gameplay. No cuts to pre-rendered footage, no pre-alpha screenshots, no paused trailers. Just the game running on its own steam.
I now have my wish.
The footage in question: 26 minutes of the game, UI, warts and all with YouTuber GuudeBoulderfist and Planet Coaster producer Richard Newbold. There’s no economy or prices in the first version of the game’s alpha; it’s largely just designed to let people put objects down, build a park, and get used to the way the controls work.
A hallmark of Planet Coaster — and RollerCoaster Tycoon World is pitching this too — is the free-form building mode, where you can place buildings, tracks, ornaments and any manner of objects anywhere. But what’s fun to see is how that dovetails with objects that need to be placed on a grid, such as objects that go on the side of a building.
I’m also curious to see how the performance held up, although it’s always impossible to tell when watching a rendered video on YouTube. Once the alpha gets in the hands of those who pre-ordered, we’ll have a better idea of how Planet Coaster holds up — although it is an alpha, with plenty of optimisations to follow.
Still, it’s nice to see how the game is coming along in more of a real-world setting than the streams or trailers had let on. Newbold also revealed some details about the game’s singleplayer content, with specific challenges restricting players to only a single theme, or a small space.
“The campaign levels will be built where there are different challenges; you might only be able to build a specific theme or you might only have a few rides to build from or you can only build in a small area … we’ll be using those kind of things to make really interesting campaign levels for people to work through,” Newbold explained.
Weather and seasons are something that’s planned; earlier screenshots have also indicated the presence of a day/night cycle. But there’s no word on whether they’ll be made available for launch, with the producer indicating that there could be a substantial amount of work involved.