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UI/QoL ideas from a newbie


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Hey folks. I saw somebody streaming OpenRCT2 (shoutouts to https://www.twitch.tv/m_d_c_t), and while I'd never played any RCT games myself, I had played a bunch of OpenTTD a while back, so I thought it looked like a good time and wanted to give it a try myself.

I've been having a lot of fun, so I wanted to 1. thank everybody involved in the project, and 2. offer some thoughts/feedback, if anybody's interested in hearing them.


#0: For context, as I said, I've never played any RCT games, so I was coming in almost completely blind (except for what I'd seen on-stream), and I feel the "learning curve" was a little steep. These are almost entirely UI/QoL suggestions, and I suspect most of these "problems" originate with the original RCT games themselves.

#1: At first glance, there was no "sandbox" mode, just the scenarios. Not my preferred style of play for this kind of game, but I figured I'd give the scenarios a try. Then I thought maybe there was a sandbox mode buried in the Scenario Editor somewhere, or at the very least you could use it to effectively build one.

Eventually I noticed "OpenRCT2 allows for both scenario and sandbox play" on OpenRCT2's front page, got confused, did a little googling about it, and found out that there IS a sandbox mode, it's just hidden away in the Cheats window.

I would've appreciated having some kind of sandbox mode (or even just a "no objectives" mode) more prominently available. Maybe in its own tab on the "Select scenario for new game" window, with the Scenario Editor's terrain generator? Or even just a checkbox to start a scenario without objectives or in sandbox mode.

#2: Scenario selection oughtta be more up-front with conditions like "free admission, charge for rides" or "free rides, charge admission". (Displaying whether a scenario includes additional land or construction rights for sale might be nice, too.)

#3: Attraction selection should tell you how many of that attraction you already own. Especially for rides since apparently owning more than one of the same ride reduces a hidden "value" stat, but those are big and relatively easy to keep track of and I'm mostly concerned with keeping my food/drink supply balanced. :P

Currently, attractions will number themselves—Shop 1, Shop 2, etc.—which helps a lot, but you still have to click "Burger Bar" (or whatever) and select it to see which number you'd be placing, and that method only works if you don't name them.

#4: Some of the descriptions for selecting a type of rollercoaster don't really do a very good job of differentiating them to people who aren't already familiar with them. I'd love if that screen could show some of the stats— maximum support height, some of the stats for different vehicle types, maximum train length, listing some of the types of "special" tracks available, and anything else relevant or specific to that type of rollercoaster.

(Speaking of train length, the rules for allowed number/length of trains seem a little opaque and awkward. It feels like there ought to be some kind of tool or message available to help figure it out, but I'm not sure specifically what that might be or where it might go.)

#5: In theory, the "Map" window could be extremely useful. In practice, I find it too small and zoomed-out on a modern monitor to do much with it. I'd love if it could have another level or two of zoom— honestly, this one feels so obvious that I wouldn't be surprised if there ARE more zoom levels and I just haven't found them.

#6: I checked out the Scenario Editor in my initial hunt for a sandbox mode, and it ... didn't look great. I feel like the "Object Selection" checklist ought to be moved later in the editing process, and combined with the "Invention List" stage— three states, "immediately available", "researchable", "unavailable".

(Also, the limit on available types of objects feels like exactly the kind of thing open source should be raising, but I figure you're probably already aware of and working on it.)


I'm not a programmer, or I might look into implementing these myself, but intuitively most of them feel fairly straightforward.

Regardless, I've been having a great time so far! Thanks again for all the work you've put into this project and its community.

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#0: Indeed, most issues originate from RCT2.

#1: The sandbox mode in the game is not yet complete sandbox mode. Go to the cheats menu (Ctrl+C) to give yourself insane amounts of money (or disable it all together) and set the park goal to 'Have fun!'. What is called 'sandbox mode' in-game only gives you rights to build outside the park, change peep spawns and build a new park entrance. Good suggestions though.

#3-4: #4 was implemented in RCT1, but removed in RCT2. You can give it a shot by suggesting it on the official issue tracker: https://github.com/OpenRCT2/OpenRCT2/issues

#5: I don't know of any zoom in the map window. You can zoom the entire game (including all UI elements) in the options.

#6: The limits are there for technical reasons and removing them takes a lot of work, but some great people are working very hard to get these limits removed. There have been discussions in the past about the selection process, see https://github.com/OpenRCT2/OpenRCT2/issues/2965

Thanks for the feedback, hope you'll have a great time with OpenRCT2.

Edited by jensj12
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