The RCT community is alive and well! There are many different sites and
most seem to be thriving. And of course, why shouldn't they be, with the
popular new release of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2. It hit the number 1 spot for
bestseller (again) and is even now floating around the number 4 spot. Not
to bad, and the figures in sales loom large, I'm sure, for the King of the
RCT kingdom, Mr. Chris Sawyer! It seems all kings abound in treasures and
Chris is no exception to the golden rule. But there was trouble brooding on
the dark horizons of RCT land!
Trouble indeed! Throughout the RCT community the cry went out… "a good
game" most agreed but "plagued with flaws and bugs", that I think really
should have been worked out in more extensive Beta testing and adjusting
before releasing on the international market. Then there was the wrong move
of trying to use a particular CD copy protection system, a system with a
poor track record and riddled with bugs and problems of its own.
Nevertheless, release it they (Infogrames) did!
Now enter the scene… breaking through the black clouds of impending doom in
RCT land, comes a white shining Knight with full and proper Armour, riding a
white stallion, a horse of war, with nostrils flaring. Both the horse and
the rider were ready for battle and the motto on the riders shield
translated in English to "let the games begin!"
Who is this masked warrior, the collective cry goes out. And the mask comes
off and the face revealed is that of a man, a RCT legend actually, called
HENRY WINKELSTEIN! Now, surly by now most will agree I have to MUCH
imagination and that is more then true, but nevertheless, most will also
have to agree that to most of us really avid RCT players and addicts, Henry
has come to our rescue, time and again, to help us overcome some of these
initial problems and shortcomings of RCT2. He fights with and gives to us,
weapons such as his RCT2TRG trainer, which is a weapon that actually grows
stronger and more useful as time goes by, just like his old TRG trainer for
I could go on and on about the help that hwinkels has given our community,
both in the past and in the present and hopefully in the future. His
expertise in computer programming and in other related fields were all laid
out in detail in my first E-View with him, some time ago and you can read
that E-View at RCT2.com. But no matter what his credentials may be, he has
brought countless joy and fun (and downloads) to and throughout the entire
RCT universe and helped (dramatically) enhance an already kickin wicked game
to began with.
The dark clouds are lifting, not just because of Henry; there are a lot of
other very talented "puter smart" individuals contributing countless
valuable trainers and utilities to RCT and its vast kingdom of players
(young and old). But even an army of seasoned warriors must have a leader
and I would have to say that, so far, Henry leads the way!
So it is with extreme pleasure that I bring to you an in-depth interview
with the reigning hero of RCT land Mr. Henry Winkelstein! Now I know that
it's talking to Henry that y'all came here for so let's push this rE-View
River Raft into the rapids and see what lurks up ahead, just around the
||Welcome Henry! I know you are extremely busy right now, in many
different areas and directions. So I thank you and consider it an honor
that you would take some time to this second interview with me. With that
being said I will get right to it! Let's start at the very beginning, a
very fine place to start. The long awaited RCT2 finally comes out, (and if
I remember right you were one of the first few to have it) you load it, and
you play it, what was your first take on RCT2 at that time? Did you love
it? Did you hate it? Was it what you expected?
||"My first thought was "Boy, this music sucks!" But seriously, once I
started playing it I wasn't really surprised by anything. It wasn't
anything revolutionary compared to RCT1, but I didn't expect it to be. All
the reviews had prepared me for what was there. No surprises.
Well, they did finally fix the Daylight Savings Time bug!".
||Oh yeah, that pesky little bug. A little time goes by and you have
a better chance to put the game under a microscope, so to speak, and find
out more about it. As you started uncovering more and more information it
seemed like in no time at all you had a trainer out and available for
download. Limited in function, still in its early stages, but very useful
nevertheless, you achieved this in an astonishingly quick time, much to the
delight and heavy praise from the whole RCT community. What features do you
plan to add to the TRG2 trainer, if any?
||"It quickly became apparent that a lot of the inner workings of the
game were the same as RCT1. And, much to my delight, most of the anti-cheat
code had been removed. I basically ripped a few functions out of the
original trainer. But to make it really cool, I wanted the little vertical
bar to be on top of the RCT2 screen while playing. That was the whole point
of the new interface. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get that to work
yet. I can't see adding any more features until I get that fixed, but if
and when I do, you can expect them to be about the same as the features in
my old trainer.".
||Which had just about everything that everyone wanted. A lot of talk
has been going around about all the bugs and strange quirks in this new
release by Chris Sawyer; do you think a patch or fix of some kind is needed
to fix these bugs?
||"It does seem like the game was rushed out the door. My guess is
that they won't release a patch until after the first of the year. On the
official RCT2 website they have yet to even acknowledge that there are
serious bugs. The biggest seems to be just getting the game to run at all
with the infernal SecuROM CD anti-copy protection. Companies should learn
that anti-copy protection never has worked, it doesn't work now and it won't
work in the future. It harms only their legitimate customers, as we've seen
in this case. Determined pirates will find a way to get around any copy
||Absolutely and do so every day! Do you think that Infogrames will
come up with a fix or do you think it will have to come from within the RCT
||"It will have to come from Infogrames. There are too many little
bugs to track across all the different versions of the game. Unfortunately,
they don't seem to think it's a high-priority item right now.".
||I guess this would be a good time to ask you about your website.
Where is it found at and what do you have available there for downloading?
||"It's in the process of moving again. You'll have to keep an eye out
on the various message boards for word on where it will resurface. When it
comes back, you'll find the TRG - That RollerCoaster Game - trainer, some
custom scenery packs, and other assorted goodies.".
||Have you discovered anything in your close up look at RCT2 to give
any hint at what we might expect to see in the, sure to be, RCT2 add-ons
that we'll see in the (near) future?
||"We've already seen official scenery plug-ins in the Panda World
download. Also, there are references in the game code to Add-on Packs 1
through 15! Now I don't think there will realistically be 15 add-on packs
released for RCT2, but the ability is there if they want to go that far.
I think the most likely additions will be new "flat" rides. Since all the
"track words" have been used up, it looks like any new rides will have to be
flat ones. Future add-on packs will probably consist of themed combinations
of flat rides and scenery. With RCT1 the add-on packs were essentially
replacements of the whole game. With the new plug-in architecture, that is
no longer necessary.".
||There seems to be a rather heated debate over the fact that the
amounts of rides and stalls are limited in the scenario editor to 128.
Rather strange when there are many more items then that available. Do you
think that a feature in your trainer could eventually be worked out to
"open" all these rides, stalls and items so that players have everything
available to them?
||"No trainer will be able to do that and have the game remain stable.
There's just not enough room in the game's memory map to put them. For
instance, the critical arrays that hold ride and attractions data are only
big enough to hold 128 items. There's no way to go beyond those limits
without re-building the entire game from the source code. Chris Sawyer
picked the limits for whatever reason, and he's not about to release the
source code, so we're stuck with what we've got I'm afraid.".
||Call me an Optimist, but do you think that this could be something
that is possibly planned to be released as a future add-on by Infogrames?
||"It's possible only if they re-build the game with higher limits
defined, and the add-on completely replaces the main game code. They did
that with the RCT1 add-ons, so it is definitely possible. I wouldn't hold
my breath waiting. As great as Chris Sawyer's games are, he is most
definitely user un-friendly once he has the money.".
||Also seems to be the attitude at Infogrames, his distributor. What
have you seen so far that you like the MOST about RCT2, that wasn't in RCT1?
||"I think the Scenario Editor and the Coaster Designer are the biggest
improvements. The larger map sizes are nice, too.".
||What would be the thing then that you like LEAST about RCT2?
||"It could have been so much more. Like I said, I'm not disappointed
per se, because we all knew what it was going to be like, but Chris Sawyer
didn't exactly bust his butt to come up with a totally awesome sequel.
There are so many things he could have done. Better peep diversity, better
staff controls, more colors, more flexible scenario goals, more custom music
options, etc., etc., etc. The thing that aggravates me the most is that he
actually TOOK OUT some things! I miss the different styles of ride queues
and I REALLY miss being able to run the game in a window. Also inexplicably
missing are the ability to mute the sound and use the mountain-building tool
while playing the game. It also makes no sense to me why you can't build
rides inside the scenario editor.".
||That's another thing we hope is coming in a future add-on. What is
the, technically speaking, single most interesting thing that you have found
||"The plug-in architecture. It's really cool the way it works. It
opens up a whole range of possibilities.".
||Yes, I see that in a lot of games and programs these days. If
Chris Sawyer were to read this E-View Henry, (a very real possibility) what
would you like to say to him concerning RCT2?
||"He can read? LOL. Chris, you sold out, dude. Not that I wouldn't
have done the same...".
||(Boomer finally quits laughing and continues) You have been a HUGE
help to the whole RCT community Henry, both with RCT1 and even now with
RCT2. First of all let me say THANK YOU to you, not only from me, but also
collectively from the whole RCT community. That being said, I am curious as
to with your work and your private life and all the work you are doing on
RCT2, how much time do you have to actually play RCT and make parks?
||"I play a couple of hours a week. I've built a few parks but I
haven't even completed one single scenario that came with the game. One of
my biggest problems with RCT2 is that the scenarios take too long to
complete. There's nothing more boring than reaching your goal in year 2 and
having to just run a park in maintenance mode for another 2 years just to
get your name on the scoreboard and watch the peeps cheer you.".
||Don't forget all those cool balloons floating up in the air and
popping. With all you have available to you from just your own work I bet
your RCT parks are some kickin wicked parks. Have you ever submitted
anything for others to see or download?
||"Interestingly enough, I haven't. Maybe I will some day.".
||I know we have been through this all before but for the new ones
could you tell us the general area that you live in and what you do for a
||"I live in the extreme southeastern part of New York State in the USA
and my field is Systems Engineering.".
||You told me you had time for a brief interview and I know this has
been far from brief, for that I'm sorry, but I have to ask you one last
question before I can let you go. Do you have any interesting new projects
concerning RCT2 on your horizon that you could tell us about?
||"The one I really want to get to is a Landscape Generator. That's
something still missing from the game. The Scenario Editor should have
included this, in my opinion. There's also a Photoshop plug-in I wrote that
lets you view the images inside the game's DAT files. Once my site returns
I'll put that up for download as well. I'm also working on a plug-in object
compiler that makes custom DAT files.".
||I want to thank you for your time Henry! It is always an extreme
pleasure to have these visits with you. Your E-Views get the most hits at
our website at www.rct2.com and I'm sure that trend will continue. Thank
you also for all the pleasure that you have provided RCT players everywhere.
I mentioned once before that if you had a dollar for every download that's
been made of your trainers and utilities, you would be a millionaire! But
thankfully, for us anyway, we get all that from you for free, so again thank
you for that and I hope to talk with you again in the near future.
||"Always a pleasure!".
Henry has left the house! Some of you know I stay up late to do these
celebrity interviews and I have been told that strange things have happened
after I have gone to bed. Now I doubt if that is really true but do me a
favor, will ya? Keep your eye on things for me after I leave tonight, will
you please? I don't expect anything is going to happen, but you never know!
Well, that's it for me. Good night from Boomer and sweet RCT, dreams.
Boomers soft snoring gave witness to the fact that quite some time had gone
by. To all who stayed to watch, it seemed as though nothing out of the
ordinary was going to happen. In fact later reports told that many late
night watchers, had fallen to sleep themselves.
But outside Boomers bedroom window, beyond the eyes of the bored, sleepy
watchers, perhaps beyond even the realms of our known reality, a boom of
thunder gave ominous warning to the flashing lightning that in turn gave
eerie flashes of illumination to a scene of impending, black, rolling,
billowing storm clouds. Then in a brief flash of lightening, for just a
moment before the rain began to fall, just beyond the black silhouette of
the tall Douglas Fir and thick Blue Spruce trees, a man, a Knight, a white
knight, on a prancing white stallion appeared and with his sword flashing in
the sporadic flashes of natures awesome lightshow he saluted in the
direction of Boomers bedroom window and in the next flash of light, the
white knight AND his majestic steed AND the mounted army behind him vanished
into the black heart of the dark stormy night.