Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 is one of GamesPaper's most eagerly anticipated releases this Christmas, and we asked Jonny Watts - producer at Frontier Developments - some questions about the game, and even got to find out about a driveable beach-buggy.


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GamesPaper: So as people know what's new in Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, can you tell us a bit about the main changes and what they bring to the gameplay experience.

Jonny Watts: The biggest fundamental difference is obviously the move to 3D - the benefits of this are in the flexibility it offers both us as developers to be creative with gameplay features like the ability to ride the rides, Fireworks MixMaster, lighting effects like the day/night cycles, and importantly the benefits to players in terms of making it really easy for them to create and build their RollerCoasters and parks by being able to view the park from any angle, and zooming right in from a God's eye view down to close-up watch the little kids have tantrums (particularly if you burst their balloons with your mouse pointer!). Beyond that we've tried to evolve the gameplay with even more options and choice, and provided a more streamlined, less intrusive user interface.


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GamesPaper: CoasterCam is a new addition which seems highly realistic and really helps bring the game to life - almost enough to make you feel queasy - has it been modelled on real-life ride physics?

Jonny Watts: Absolutely, and we're glad it has the intended effect on you! Real physics are used to drive the coasters round their tracks - and in fact in the unfortunate event when your coaster leaves the track and crashes into the park the physics-fest continues, with people falling out of the coaster cars, the cars breaking up, smashing into the structures you've set up in the park and the crowds of people, with a final coup de grace of an explosion that knocks the park guests off their feet.


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GamesPaper: Which rides/park features in Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 are your favourite?

Jonny Watts: Actually (and this is true) I like the Observation Tower, which is probably the most gentle ride you can get! Reason being I find it a great way to just watch the teeming life, movement and colour in your park.

I'm also pleased with the gameplay balancing, so it should be easy to get into but still present a fair challenge later on. My big favourite feature has got to be the park guests, both as a crowd - our record was 22,000 people in one park - and individually where you can see they all have their own reactions and facial expressions.


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GamesPaper: It's clear that a huge amount of rides and scenic items have been included in Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 - is there anything that might make an appearance in a future version or expansion pack?

Jonny Watts: One of the things we've found about working on RollerCoaster Tycoon is the wealth of source material and creative ideas that are generated once you get into the subject, so although what we've provided is indeed rich we feel that we've only delivered the first step on the road.

The first expansion pack should be announced soon and we hope people will see that it both adds more new content of the type found in the main game (such as coasters and rides) as well as offering something genuinely fresh in gameplay terms.


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GamesPaper: With the release date nearing rapidly, what development work remains on the title?

Jonny Watts: We're done, the game is in manufacture. We hit every milestone day and date throughout the project.

GamesPaper: Finally, is there any "exclusive info" you can let GamesPaper readers know about Rollercoaster Tycoon 3?

Jonny Watts: There are a whole host of subtleties... for example you might want to try clicking on the ducks that inhabit the parks, you should be able to spot groups of Peeps (the park guests) watching and following with their heads rides and coasters that go past them, the way the water reacts when you drop people in it - also when you have someone picked up in the "tweezers" try shaking them with the mouse and see what happens when you put them down...


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That's all before we even start to talk about the very cool cheats - for example there's one that pops a driveable beach-buggy into the park, where you can race round bumping into things and people (there we go with our physics again..!), there are ones to unlock more sophisticated game features such as camera editors which will really boost the creativity that people can apply to the movies of their parks. All of which will be revealed "when the time is right..!"

Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 is due for release in the UK on November 5th, and you can order yours from Amazon.co.uk.

Related articles:
PC preview: Rollercoaster Tycoon 3
Taken for a ride - RollerCoaster Tycoon 3