View Full Version : Planning Parks: How much do you do?

07-25-2005, 03:01 PM
Hi folks.

Something that has occured to me today, during the moments where I have to reboot the company's newest computer to install yet another Microsoft patch, is that I have never really thought about planning my parks. At least, until today...

I started making my Myrtle Waves recreation with very little regard to where things were going to be placed. I mean, I knew the relevant distances and all of the various slides, but I just kind of dropped them where they looked good. I had no real planning behind it. I am still working on that park, and at this point I'm running into a few 'issues' with land usage.

So, to take my mind off of the issues, I have decide to work on a project that I scrapped earlier, Omegaworld. This time however, I am adding a great deal of scenery, and I am actually planning out each section to try and make the best usage of land. I've even drawn sketches of how I want my parking lot/peep entrance area to look, as well as the road welcome sign. I think about it when I have a free moment, and I find myself jotting notes or making sketches. It's gotten to be quite the little project, and I haven't gotten much on the computer yet other than the main entrance road.

So, my question to the rest of you is this. Do you go into a lot of planning whan you begin new parks, or are you like I was at the beginning, simply a drop and hope for the best type of person?


07-25-2005, 03:43 PM
Well, you have to think of it two ways:

1) We're building a park MUCH faster (and usually for free) when compared to real life. So, they can't see a few years in advance, and many parks have to buy land and then find some way to work the new areas into the existing ones. Therefore, some of the most realistic parks I've seen are the ones that AREN'T planned, so they get that older look to them.

2) Disney was planned. Well, the Magic Kingdom, anyways. It allows for a much smoother flow than un-planned parks, but you have to plan in some subtle details, otherwise you lose the character.

Of course, there's a different type of park planning.... and that's the type where if you don't plan ahead, you're going to screw up the park and have to start over..... my "Secret" Park is like this (sorry to those who have to keep hearing about it), but it's so FRIGGIN' COMPLEX that I actually had to plan out the steps I would take in order for it to actually work. I don't have the list in front of me, but I think I'm about a quarter of the way through, and the step I'm on needs me to design and save about 100 (yes, 100 though I said once it was 50) Custom Structures.... and I get to repeat that step when I'm about 3/4 of the way through. Again sorry.:rolleyes:

So, I think that planning is GREAT, but it takes a LOT more work and whether it is needed depends on the type of park you're doing and what look you're going for.:D

07-28-2005, 02:17 PM
My planning consists first of deciding the terrain to get a theme idea. Then the Entry gets completed and path layout begun. At that point I start determing what rides to put where and structures get planned.

07-28-2005, 05:02 PM
I have gone about this two ways, make it up as I go and plan in advance.

Planning in advance gets better results for me. Kamp KiDFoX was not planned in advance and I have been renovating it every since it was completed. In a way that is realistic to an extent it is like a park making constant updates but to the extent that I have had to demoloish vast areas of the park and completely re-lay them out it is not realistic.

Expedition Point, Surf City, Shoreview Park and Carbon Canyon City were planned.

I do this all in my mind though, I do not sketch. Like The Skipper I have found that doing the basic landscapes and laying main paths first works well for me. I do not worry about laying out every path before I start building coasters but I lay out what I want to be the main arteries through the park.

I have found that at least planning those things results in a better organized park. I do not plan every single flat ride though, just main paths and where I want coasters to be built.

I try to work tame rides close to the front of the park and the big rides as you go further from the entrance. This is very typical of real parks.

07-28-2005, 05:08 PM
Depends on the mood.

If I'm going for building a full park, I will plan out the basics in advance. I'll use the terrain painting tools right on the ground to do this. (Block out this section for a particular theme, block out the area for water/mtns, etc)

I'll then start with the main entrance pathway and the major paths/paved areas that break off of it. Then will come the entrance building(s) and whatever transport goes there. Lastly will just come the expanding of the park as I move out.

If I'm just futzing around, then whatever pops into my head at the moment will get dropped wherever I want it to be. This actually worked out well in a park I started based around a waterpark, but normally don't save them at all :).

Small Print
07-28-2005, 05:12 PM
My planning normally just contains planning zones, and then deciding what that area is going to be aimed at (family etc.)

07-28-2005, 07:28 PM
I'm making a scenario now, and only thing planned there is the lazy river around the main swimming pool.
I added a slide, and put a mountain underneith the start of the slide to give it a more realistic feel.

So I half plan, and then I just see what's possible & good looking.

An other park I made first the terrain, some hills, a river etc.. and then started to build. Wich gave a much more realistic look, since I couldn't just put the paths straight, but have to turn around for the hills etc.

Most of the times I build one ride, and when it's total done (scenery too) I decide wich ride would fit aside it, and wich scenery. Second ride done (scenery and all) and then I put some paths between both rides.

If nothing fits aside or between rides, I just put a lot of trees and other nature to "hide" the differences or empty spot.

07-28-2005, 07:39 PM
I don't give much prior planning. Just know to use up as much space with foliage or buildings

07-28-2005, 07:54 PM
I have started with a new park. This time i will do it different. I am almost planning nothing.
I've started with the entrance en will go further from there.
I choose an attraction and then start to shape the terrain. After that i will build the attraction. If the attraction is done i will adjust the terrain again and after that i will add scenery.

Before i startup RCT3 i take a look at some park maps so i'll get some inspiration, because i always wanna add some realism to my parks. I also like to make Universall kind of parks with lots of scenery.

Wes Janson
08-05-2005, 12:44 AM
I draw all my basic plans in a notebook before committing to RCT. Of course, not all of my ideas are set in stone, as most of what I have in the notebook is slightly modified.

I don't draw the whole park at once, though. I start with a few key locations and landmarks, add them into RCT, then add more things in my notebook as I get more ideas, rinse and repeat. For me, drawing and erasing gives me much less of a headache than trial and error in RCT. And of course, I can draw in my notebook anywhere, whereas RCT is stuck on my hard drive at home. So I can work on my theme park anywhere I go.

But as with anything, your park will probably flow better if you have an idea and work out the kinks before breaking ground. Construction will be easier because you're not stuck sitting there, wondering what you should do next when you have a map ready to go.

08-05-2005, 06:18 AM
Originally posted by Nolf
I have started with a new park. This time i will do it different. I am almost planning nothing.
I've started with the entrance en will go further from there.
I choose an attraction and then start to shape the terrain. After that i will build the attraction. If the attraction is done i will adjust the terrain again and after that i will add scenery.

Before i startup RCT3 i take a look at some park maps so i'll get some inspiration, because i always wanna add some realism to my parks. I also like to make Universall kind of parks with lots of scenery.

As a result of the idea above i am stuck now. I don't know how to continue. It has mostly to do with the landschaping. I want to use landscaping.

(edit/updated because bad english :rolleyes: )

08-05-2005, 09:42 PM
I don't really plan, I get most of my ideas when a start to go to sleep, and keep in my head.

08-08-2005, 12:06 AM
Yeah, Tmul, that's pretty much what I've done. I did do some sketches this weekend, though. That's given me some ideas, but I've been stuck lately too.
I do have something in the works now, so keep your eyes peeled for a new thread next weekend.
Oh, I've suggested to some people to use grid paper. That may help too.

08-08-2005, 10:06 AM
One of the things I do that helps me out is mix screenshots with MS Paint.

I, personnally, do a lot of landforming, because I think parks are boring without comprehensive land changes. My parks ALWAYS start with me doing a complete landform setup.

Once I do that, I either plan the park out or don't. If I do plan, I zoom out and take a snapshot of the whole park. I then open up the picture in MS Paint and start doing a basic plan of how the park should look, where the major paths will go, where the rides will be located, and where the food courts will go. It's basically like drawing a map.

This method is good, I think, because it isn't exact. You can't get specific in MS Paint, so even if you're planning where things will go, you still get a lot of unique variation when you try to build it in-game.:)

08-08-2005, 06:29 PM
For me i plan by writeing what i want in my park down . . . i always start of with the entrance, then mabye a monorail to a themed area = )

i write down what ride ideas i have and follow from there .

08-13-2005, 12:49 PM
I do nothing!

Except when I have a idea in my head during school and i end up daydreaming and i don't understand what to do

(school for me starts Aug. 23, i think!:( :sour: :sulk: )


08-15-2005, 06:21 AM
I always start with a the entrance(s) and a few main paths. If there's water, hills or a bunch of trees in one area, they're there too. I then figure out what my main attraction coasters are going to be and place them. I'm extremly random past that point though.

08-24-2005, 10:21 PM
i just sit n think of what iwant to do :D

08-27-2005, 01:39 PM
Sometimes, ideas will float in my head rapidly. I try my best to remember exactly how it is in my head. I pretty much take it from there.

But, before, I started thinking about it. I just put coasters and shops to where I feel they would look good. I'm not quite the landscaper nor a architect. Far from it. When I started coming to this forum. I was stunned by how impressive most ppl parks are. So, It got me to think a lot more on how I want my parks to look.

So far, I have a couple of parks that are alright, but not decent. At least, not to me. They are not.

I can not draw or write things down. I get confused when I write it down and I can not draw worth a darn. That even goes with Art application on XP.

You have to go with what you feel is best for you.

09-12-2005, 03:37 AM
I never seem to plan enough and whing it the whole time :(

09-15-2005, 10:00 AM
Symmetry and order is important for me. I do have a general idea of what I want the park to look like. Initially I start creating the look and feel of the park through creative sections (i.e., how paths will look, what benches to use, what kind of rides/transportation I want.) , and then I replicate this design throughout the park.

Sometimes, a planned structure or area will impede on other plans because I may want to expand or shrink some parts or because it violates some sort of symmetry I want to achieve. I try to make most things easily modifiable so that I don't take ages to rebuild a section of the park. Sometimes I do rebuild whole sections after I'm nearly done with the entire park, because otherwise the park would not look as nice.

While building a park, new ideas will appear, like place a river here, add a "monument" there. If something takes a very long amount of time to construct and move, I make sure to think it out. If it doesn't, I just place it and worry later.

09-18-2005, 07:33 PM
I usually have an idea in mind, sketch some ideas around on paper, and then put it into RCT3. Then I just add onto it using some other ideas, and some minimal planning. But if you plan out the whole park and all the details in advance, then it's just kind of boring, and you would probably ditch the park.

09-21-2005, 07:06 PM
1. Build the 'flagship' coaster!
2. Work on the area surrounding the flagship coaster.
3. Then I make the entrance.
4. Next coaster, area, coaster, area, etc.