Fans of the Rollercoaster Tycoon series have been left feeling let down for the last week, following Atari's first trailer for its upcoming RollerCoaster Tycoon World. While the game has been touted as having a variety of new features like co-op and online multiplayer functionality, it's the visuals that let fans down.
The simplistic and cartoony visuals left many gamers feeling unimpressed and sour, and many took to Atari's social media accounts and the comment section of the trailer to make their opinions known. Disappointed fans may be pleased to know, then, that the development team working on the game, Area 52, has officially responded to these complaints.
In a blog post on RollerCoaster Tycoon World's official website, the game development team addressed nearly every aspect of the game. With regards to the visuals, which made fans angry more than anything else, they wrote:
"The game is currently in what we are calling a pre-alpha stage – features and graphics are still being coded. Since the switchover of our development team this past Fall, we have focused on core functionality and “under-the-hood” engine work. This is why there has not been significant visual progress on the title."
The development team also noted that the game would be migrating from the Unity 4.6 engine to the Unity 5 engine, which would offer improvements in lighting, shadows, and environment appearances. In addition, they noted that they were listening to the fans' distaste over the cartoony style, and are striving to make the game more realistic-looking. The blog post also made mention that the developers wouldn't hesitate to delay the game, if necessary, to produce what fans have been waiting for.
Whether Area 52 can improve the graphics and visual style enough to please the fans is yet to be seen, however. Area 52 also worked on the cancelled Star Wars: Attack Squadrons, which received a negative response for its disappointing graphics in its first trailer and screenshots. Whether it was cancelled due to poor visuals or another problem remains unknown, but it probably won't help RollerCoaster Tycoon fans to feel reassured.
Releasing visuals of a game during its alpha stage seems unwise, but Area 52 may be able to turn a mistake into an advantage. If they're genuinely listening to what the fans have to say and utilize that feedback to improve the game, they could potentially create an experience that utterly satisfies expectant fans. In any case, simply replying is probably helping the fans not feel ignored, and could provide hope that the game isn't doomed to fail.
Unfortunately, Area 52 doesn't exactly have the greatest track record for creating amazing visuals, which could leave some fans feeling wary that RollerCoaster Tycoon World could be delayed and still not look good enough.
RollerCoaster Tycoon World is currently slated for release in mid-2015 on PC.