The imagery of a rollercoaster is apt for the lengthy and at times troubled cycle that RollerCoaster Tycoon World's (RCTW) development has seen over the past few years. It's a cycle which has just taken another turn for the worse, with the game launching in Early Access this week -- a week when the full product was supposed to be released.
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support in 2016 is quite simply not up to par," Atari executive producer Matthew Labunka told me. I was asking him about RollerCoaster Tycoon World (RCTW), the long-awaited update to the iconic franchise that had spent years in limbo.
I'd taken a couple of pot shots at the sloppiness of some of the game's public materials last year, from low-res screenshots to trailers with dodgy frame rates. The entire game had been handballed from Area 52 Games, to Pipeworks Software and now to Nvizzio. It wasn't a good sign. And on top of that, the prevailing question still remained.
How exactly do you make a tycoon game relevant in 2016? How do you get people excited?
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.