The first dream job I ever had was to be a roller coaster designer. I'm not that great at math and I have no idea how I would ever get a job as a roller coaster designer (really, how many coaster firms are there beside Intamin and Bolliger & Mabillard and Disney Imagineering?).
Of course, that hasn't diminished my love of roller coasters. The end flying sequence of my thesis film D was pretty much just me designing a roller coaster (putting the hours I poured into Roller Coaster Tychoon to good use!)
I've been particularly tickled with the idea of using rides as narrative devices (see: just about every ride at Disney World), and I've been itching to make my own roller coaster the past couple of weeks, so I'm going to design a roller coaster based off of my favorite 1950s sci fi thriller, THEM!
I'm not completely done with the cart design yet, but the first big design consideration I hit was what kind of harness I would use.
At first I modeled some shoulder harnesses, which allow for riders to safely experience some insane acrobatic tricks (pretzel rolls, corkscrews, and my favorite, the snake roll)
(coolest coaster ever: get launched out at 40+mph, immediately descend into a snake roll)
And inversions are always fun, so the first obvious choice was to use shoulder harnesses.
As I started modelling the shoulder harness, I quickly realized that riders would have a hard time seeing left and right. Being that I'm trying to work a sort of narrative aspect into this ride, being able to see your environment is going to be essential to the storytelling, so the shoulder harnesses went out and lap bars went in. Of course, this means that I won't be able to pull off my more favorite coaster acrobatics, but that makes designing this coaster more of a challenge: How do you make a roller coaster thrilling without the use of inversions?