Saturday, February 26, 2011

this is a legitimate way to design a roller coaster.

Okay so I took the rough track design I had for the THEM! coaster I sketched and tried to (sort of) re-create it using Roller Coaster Tycoon.

So I'm already hitting some design problems. I'm not quite sure of what the acceptable number of lateral Gs is, but as far as vertical Gs go, I'm pretty sure astronauts take 4 Gs during liftoff and I'm skirting dangerously close to that number.

The lateral Gs mostly come into play in the turns right after the first drop and are a bit more intense than I thought they'd be. The whole idea of the first drop was that, at the end of the lift hill a giant ant animatronic would come out and "attack" the cart, causing the driver to slam the gas pedal to the floor and kind of careening off into a dark passage.

Then the "convoy" falls out of the incomplete onramp in an "oh shi--" sort of moment and you plummet into the ant hive, where you kind of careen about avoiding more giant ants

The problem here is that the first drop works great (like I expected it to), but then it builds up a lot of speed. The ant hive bit is supposed to have a lot of tight turns to kind of add that frantic feeling that you're in a really bad place.


Tight turns with high speeds means high G-forces. From a story perspective, the ant colony HAS to come right after "Here we are heading to the rescue oh crap" bit, but from a design perspective, it might be a little too intense.

the RCT way of doing things would mean that I just add brakes to the bottom of the first hill, but if this thing were to actually be made, that would make no sense at all. So it might be that the underground ant hive I originally envisioned will have to be indoor and above ground in a kind of sound stage, which means I'll have to re-think the opening "oh here we are going to the rescue oh crap" bit.

I think otherwise, this just looks sloppy, now that I see it laid out.

...wait a minute I just used a video game to be productive WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME

oh also it's my birthday today! Woo!