An interview with a young DJ and hard working moderator
on the Atari RCT3 forums Atari!
That name brings a lot of images to mind in both the young
and the old in the fast moving electronic world of gaming. To the old, images
of Pong and Pac-Man and other pioneer games such as that, bring back old
nostalgic memories that fade in and out like the sun on a foggy coastal
morning in the summertime! Sweet memories of simple games, in a simple world,
with a simple goal.
To the young the name Atari brings images of multi-level battle, adventure
and simulation games where strategy, artificial intelligence, stunning 3-D
graphics and state of the art developing and programming, have all combined
together into a sound and visual experience that takes gaming to a whole
The Atari online forums were established to give a place for the players
of Atari’s ever growing stable of games, to come ask questions, get
updates and hang out and chat about their favorite games. The problem is,
over the years the Atari name has grown progressively bigger and so did
the game forums, pressing hard to keep up with an ever increasing member
base which swelled as fast as did the amount of games Atari has put out.
Popular games, with players at all different levels and ages of play and
interest. A could be nightmare of planning and logistics to sort out and
organize the game forums that where really needed by both the gaming community
and an understandably good tool of communication for Atari itself.
That’s where my hat goes off to the team of pros behind the scenes
at the Official Atari Forums. They pull rabbits out of hats on a daily basis
there, keeping an intricate web of game topics, post and news, organized
and flowing properly. A magic act indeed considering the sheer numbers of
the forum members registered there across the whole gaming community. Each
game has their staff of game Guru’s that help keep a particular game
forum, not only up and running, but fresh and reader friendly as well. Kind
of like going through and picking the weeds to keep the flowers healthy.
THAT brings this E-View to the E-View station house and its “all
aboard” for a great ride on the hot sim. game that is still setting
records at Atari! This game has its own following of devoted fans that has
grown tremendously over the past few years and these fans have a place in
the Atari Forums (among other RCT related fan sites) to hang out and revel
in a game that seems to have limitless potential.
The RCT3 forums are no exception to the Atari Forum team. If you aren’t
familiar with the staff there, you can go there and register and jump right
in and in no time you will be up to speed on who’s who there and what
they do. Today though we are going to focus on one of the Atari RCT3 forum
staff members and moderator there. He goes by the name of bctrainers (bctrainers1
on the Atari forums) and his real name is Brett Cooper. Brett is only 16
years old at the time of this interview and in his spare time is a DJ. When
I asked Brett what drew him into the RCT world he said; “what got
me into the RCT series was because of how the coasters and the peep / park
simulation was mind blowing at the time (1999 that is)”.
Doesn’t that remind us a little of what we all felt when we first
discovered RollerCoaster Tycoon? And it’s still setting records for
Atari and still keeping the crew at the Atari forums busy. So keep your
hands in the car at all times and join me now as we talk to this young moderator
from the Atari forums.
||Welcome to our house here at the RCT Space Network. Thank
you for taking the time to drop by for this visit, being a member here
as well as at Atari, it goes without saying I‘ve been looking
forward to having this “official“ visit with you. I think
one question some of our members might want to know is do you get paid
for working on the Atari forum team or is it a labor of love such as
it is on most of the RCT fan sites?
No, I am not paid from Atari. I do the moderating all free.
I do spend quite a bit of time there, intertwining with the members
getting to know each one better and better. So, to conclude this one...
I do it to support Atari, with the support from the community.
||“I do the moderating all free“(Boomer laughs)
I sure know the name of that tune, as do many others throughout the
gaming community! I would like to know your depth of connections in
Atari. How much of an insider or how close to the insiders are you and
the other moderators at the Atari forums? In other words are you part
of the regular Corporate Atari team or are you an “outside”
staff that is responsible for running the official forums?
||I do know many people that work at Atari. Some I know better
than the others. I would consider myself as an outside person. Sometimes,
it seems that you are pulling teeth to get something done. Though, I
am the one that usually is relaying the info out to the community.
||And pulling teeth ain’t easy on either end believe me!
(Boomer checks his dentures are in place and continues) With the release
of RCT3, I’m sure you have been very busy and I understand that
as a staff member at the Atari forums and elsewhere in your busy “real”
world, your time is limited. That being said, how much time do you get
to actually play RCT3 and do you have any parks under construction of
||With me being in High School, Moderating the forums, and Chatting
in the IRC chat. My time to play RCT3 is to the bare minimum. Currently,
I am not working on any park. Though in the near future, I may start
creating some for the others in the community to see.
||I agree about time being in short supply, to bad we don’t
have a real “Time Twister” to create a little more personal
RCT play time, I sure would want one of those. What kind of computer
gear do you use to play RCT3 on?
||The computer that I play on is a Sony Vaio. Pentium 4 HT,
3.0Ghz processor. Then my graphics card, it's not something to brag
about. It's an ATi Radeon 9200, with 128Mb of memory. Next, I usually
play the game settings on extreme, at 1024 * 768. Also, I have 2 Gig's
of RAM. The game does lag when I get into them high detailed parks,
but overall, it's quite smooth.
||Because of your staff position on the Atari forums I know
this next question might be a little tricky for you, but speaking of
game lag I have to ask it regardless. What is your honest opinion about
the talk flowing around the RCT community about RollerCoaster Tycoon
3 being released too early with numerous bugs that should have been
worked out during the Beta testing phase?
||My personal opinion is that the game really should have been
delayed a few more months to get all the knot's and bug's fixed up,
with more features added to the game. I personally do think that beta
testing should have been done in the first place, not a private beta
test by a few people. Though, now with RCT3's first expansion pack coming,
RCT3 beta testing to the gamers will be a great thing - hopefully this
will make a better game. Something that the whole community, programmers,
and the publisher to be proud of.
||There is also a very strong overall consensus in the community,
as I’m sure you are aware of, that the frame lag problem in a
RCT3-D park, not even completely filled with rides or peeps, becomes
seriously a playability issue that happens to all but the very high-end
users who play it. Is there any hope or any news from Atari about how
or if this problem can be resolved?
||Again, this issue has been noted. I do not have an exact response
to it. This has happened to me numerous times, it does get quite annoying.
Personally I believe that a lot of the objects in the game were not
optimized to output 100% great game play. Many RCT3 gamers have stated
that it is the scenery causing the lag; others have said that it is
how much stuff that you have applied to one area.
||Yeah, I think we are all hoping that optimizing the game to
a better playability can be done through patches and add-ons. What do
you think of the playability of the game now that the patches have addressed
some of the issues that were problems when the game first released?
||Most of the errors in the game have been fixed. The playability
of the game with the two patches applied has dramatically improved the
game's performance. Then, there are a few left out bugs. Hopefully,
a patch or the expansion pack will fix all the remaining errors up.
||The new add-on expansion pack for RCT3, called Cape Typhoon
has been announced and there is a lot of excitement generated about
what this newest addition to the RCT family will have in it. Can you
give us any inside sneak peek info or screenshots of this interestingly
||Yes, this expansion pack also has me all excited too. Currently,
I am just waiting like all of the others. I don't have anything to share
or give out. It's really all hush hush now.
||Hush hush or splash splash, however you cut it we hopefully
will be swimming in screenshots before to much longer. I’ve got
to say, the graphics in the original RCT3 were simply stunning! Can
we look forward to more of these graphic eye candy delights in Cape
||Most definitely. This I can promise, there will be much more
great graphics in RCT3's expansion pack.
||Looking forward to it! Have you heard anything about there
being a RCT4 out there somewhere in the future?
||Notta, haven't had word about this at all.
||Okay, but I had to ask, you never know. Now this might be
considered a loaded question, but it wasn’t meant to be. Besides
the Official Atari forums, what other RCT fan sites do you think are
doing a good job at helping and promoting the game and providing a good
atmosphere for discussing the RCT game series?
||RCT2.com and my personal website. There are numerous others,
but I can't go off and name 'em all.
||That’s okay (Boomer laughs and winks) the one’s
you have named will do. I know you are a busy young man Brett and you
need to be going so I will wrap it up with this one last question; have
you ever met or talked to Chris Sawyer or the head of Frontier Development;
||I personally have never met the two. I have talked to David
B. via email every now and then.
||Two men who have given us grateful players a fantastic game
and a world of fun to immerse ourselves in. (A moment of respectful
silence is observed by both, at the name of Chris Sawyer and then Boomer
continues) It has been a real pleasure having you here today bctrainers
and we are very thankful for the updates and news that you drop by with
from time to time as I’m sure are the other sites around the community.
||(In a booming DJ’s voice) My pleasure, Thank you for
Bctrainers has left the house! As I look out the window of the “Room
with a View” I see Brett walking away down the path and though the
woods, slowly growing smaller and smaller, then vanishing in the forest
mist, as if nothing more then a mirage and leaving nothing more then a memory
But in the distance, in between the call of the owl and the cry of the
hawk, a sound could be heard in the distance. The Boom Boom of the bass
and the hard driving beat of the drums was all that could be heard at first.
Then a DJ’s voice could be heard and I swear as I turned out the lights
and softly closed the door behind me I heard a voice announcing “this
IS your RCT DJ for the evening and I will be in control of your RollerCoaster
tunes for the night… time to parrrty!”. But then all was quiet
and the hawk continued his endless love song and all was well in the land
See ya in the forums,