Installed the alpha last night and spend a good couple of hours tinkering. Initial thoughts are:
- Graphically it is very pretty indeed – runs on my rig (which admittedly is very high end) like a dream on maximum detail with some lovely lighting effects. There is a decent amount of variety in the park guests, all of whom move around and flow very realistically, as well as interact with the rides, shops etc.
- Shops are interesting, they just come as nondescript square boxes which you can place where you like. There is then quite a nice suite of walls, roof elements, gables, plus a load of decorative elements (currently the only theme included is Pirate). These click together nicely, can be stacked, height arranged all very simply, and give you quite a creative free reign. So for example, I put down a path, then dropped a hat shop, drink shop, food shop and toilet along the path. I then linked these up using the walls so that they were 4 shops within a single 2-storey unit, added signs relevant to each shop to either side of the units, put a pirate awning over them and then decorated the whole storefront with lanterns, animatronic cannon-ports etc. In all it took me maybe 5 minutes to make this and it looked fantastic. I then used the copy function to lift and shift the entire thing and put 3 separate instances at different points within my fledgling park.
- There are currently around 10 different rides, all the kinds of things you would expect from family friendly to thrill rides. You plonk the ride where you want it, then follow 4 steps to add the entrance, exit, a queue and finally a ticket booth to link the queue to a path. Very slick and intuitive.
- Placement of things in general follows the same lines – paths can be quickly edited to be of different widths and ‘section’ lengths, raised or lowered, things snap easily into place (or if you prefer you can disable the snap-to function and get pixel perfect placement to your own specifications).
- There are options to view the park from a variety of camera angles as well as the ‘free-flying’ standard, rides can be viewed from a first person and a cinematic perspective, as can guests. Taking a first person guest view is very cool, as the park you are generally floating above suddenly becomes a massive expanse that you ‘walk’ through.
- There are (to be expected really) masses of options that are greyed out as forthcoming features.
- Coaster building can easily be unlocked, but is a bit broken at the moment. Still, the options are there to make some truly titanic rides
So yes, all told it is looking very promising from this early look, although at the moment there is no aim to any of it, just a set of sandboxes to play in.
Screenies to follow
EDIT: Screenies to follow once there is a mechanism for capturing the little fuckers