||It is a pleasure to have you here today Rohn! I am personally
looking forward to working with you in your new position on staff at
the RCT Space Network. But enough about me, we're floating down this
interview river together to find out more about you! So here's a nice
cold drink, make yourself comfortable and we'll get right to it. How
and when did you first discover the highly addictive RollerCoater Tycoon
||Thanks Boomer for both the invitation and the cold drink.
I can't remember exactly when it was for sure, but I was looking for
a new PC game at Wal-Mart and RCT just caught my eye at the time. I'd
seen a couple of other roller coaster games that really didn't do anything
||Yes, you are right, I agree. The stuff that was out there
in the late 1990's was stuff like Sim Theme Park and other RollerCoaster
and theme park variations that were unappealing to say the least. I’m
surprised any of us RCT fans ever got past that point of disappointment.
Speaking of RCT fans Rohn, when did you find that strange dimension
called the RCT internet community?
||Actually, I found it shortly after buying the game. Looking
for more information on this surprisingly interesting game, I did a
search on the internet for RCT and things just it went from there.
||Yeah, that was me too! Funny how fast things progress when
you're having fun. What was your first RCT related site that you visited
on a regular basis?
||On a regular basis? Well, let's see, that would have to be
RCT Station. I can't recall if this was the first one I visited, but
it certainly was the one I visited most regularly prior to Red Phoenix,
the webmaster there, closing it. After that, I just started going to
the other sites when advertised. Some I stayed at, others I didn't bother
with much. It just depended on what interested me at the site.
||You know when you think about it, the RCTOA, RCTUK, Danamation
and RCT Station sites were all in existence just 2 to 4 years ago, but
in this fast paced online gaming community it seems like so long ago
that those RCT related sites were blazing a path for the near future.
My problem though is with finding the time to both play RCT and work
(Boomer laughs) well actually play, on a RCT site, how do you manage
your time to be able to both play RCT and spend time in the forums all
while carrying on what appears to be a very busy 'real' life in a very
busy real world?
||Good question, I still haven't figured that one out. It just
depends on what I want to do at the time. There may be an entire weekend
that I don't touch my PC at all, but that doesn't happen too often.
Mostly, I just look and see what's happening on the forums to determine
my direction and flow for the day. It may be playing RCT or working
on some new objects. But real life always intrudes on RCT, so I may
have to stop and take care of whatever situation arises.
||Can you please tell me why I'm so stupid? I have my computer
set up in a part of the family kitchen! You can't even imagine how much
a teenager will dwell in the kitchen! Privacy? Real life intruding?
That I know about. The good news is though that my computer and components
last a long time due to the fact that my oldest daughter thoughtfully
keeps fanning the fridge and freezer doors open and closed in what I
can only presume is an act of selfless sacrifice on her part to keep
my stuff cool and running properly. Then once the ice crystals have
started forming on the monitor she wants to set down at MY puter and
make RCT parks instead of doing homework. Kids these days! Ya can't
live with em and you can't live with'em. (Boomer shakes his head sadly
and continues) How about you Rohn, does anyone else in your family play
||My 11 year old son plays. Unfortunately Boomer, he doesn't
get much of a chance. His PC can handle RCT2, but not RCT3; and that's
what he wants to play the most at the moment.
||Give me what I can't have, I know the name of that tune, but
I don't blame him as RCT3 has something about it (bugs excluded) that
draws kids of all ages to want play it. I know that you carve out a
little time for you and your family to visit King's Island occasionally,
when you first pass through the gates into a wonderful day at the park,
what is the first main ride that you head for?
||(laughing) Well, I'm not stupid Boomer so I actually let the
wife and kid determine which ride to head for. We usually start with
the smaller rides early and then the kid wants to go on the more intense
rides. Some of which even I won't get close to.
||Using your experiences at theme parks and riding coasters
for inspiration, have you ever tried to recreate in a RCT park, a coaster
or ride you have actually been on?
||I've never really tried to recreate any coaster with RCT.
I'll make a coaster that comes close, but not with any true accuracy.
||You are the man behind the RCT Object Creators list, a very
useful RCT tool! How challenging was that to put together and get it
all ironed out and up for peeps in this sometimes bizarre RCT Universe,
to use and enjoy?
||To tell you the truth Boomer, It actually wasn't that challenging
to put together. I first posted it at RCT2.com asking for the object
creators to let me know if they wanted to be on the list. Those that
replied got put on the list. I know that there are others that should
be on the list, but I don't go out looking for their sites, it's up
to them to ask to be put on the list. It's really easy to maintain too,
I just keep it all in a text file with all the appropriate BB code included;
it's just a cut and paste operation once I've made changes to it.
||Have you had a positive feedback and response from those who
use this unique RCT tool?
||Yes, definitely. I've never received a negative response about
the list. But I also know that some people have problems when one of
the sites isn't available or I don't have someone listed when they're
looking for a particular object or theme group.
||My hat goes off to you and all the others in the RCT community
that give of their talents and energy and time for free, just to be
of service and a help to the entire community, I'll take this time and
opportunity to say thanks to you and the others who have enhanced greatly
this fascinating game. That being said, here's my next question for
you, do you have RCT3 and if so what do you think of it?
||First of all thank you for the kind words. Do I have RCT3?
Yes, I've got it and think that it's pretty good. It would have been
nice if Atari/Frontier had done a little more testing prior to the release
using various machines. I'm sure that the test lab they used has all
the same type of machines with the exact same configuration. That just
doesn't work. For a game with this popularity, you'd think that they
would have used PCs that have widely different configurations. I've
been reading about all the problems that others seem to be having with
the game, but I never seem to have those problems. I've only had the
game crash on me once, lost a nice coaster in that one. Otherwise, I've
not had any real problems so far.
||Let's talk expansion! We know now that the recently released
news of an RCT3 expansion is about to approach public Beta testing and
is due out sometime in June. It's to be called Cape Typhoon: Soaked.
From what you have seen and heard about this, what is your take on it
and your expectations?
||Hmm? Well I really don't have any expectations for it. Since
it seems to be more water based, I may wait to get this one, just to
see what problems everyone else seems to be having. I know the specs
are the same for the expansion as for the original, but I just don't
see this being the case with all the animation required for a water
based expansion. I guess I'll have to upgrade my video from onboard
to an ATI card to make sure I can get the power needed to actually work
with the expansion.
||The price for progression can sometimes be staggering. High-end
puters now will be low-end puters tomorrow and the circle of tech. Life
keeps going around and can sometimes be hard to keep up with, I sure
hear ya there my friend. You have just been announced recently as being
on the staff now at rct2.com, that is a part of what we call the RCT
Space Network. What is your role as a staff team member on this site
and why did you decide to choose to accept their invitation to the staff
||For right now, I'm just a moderator. But, I eventually (if
not sooner) expect to have complete control over the entire RCT community
once my plans for total universal domination are put in place. (Thankfully
Rohn laughs out loud and then continues) Actually, I accepted the position
on staff because I was asked if I was interested. For some reason, I've
always been asked to become staff; I've never had to apply for a position.
I guess that I seem to present myself as a very trustworthy person.
How easily are the masses fooled, it's all included in my plan of total
||You are scaring me now Rohn, if I knew the number to 911 I
just might be tempted to call it, oh well, let's continue, this next
question is my signature question that I ask of almost all my guests
here in the 'Room' and you sir are to be no exception. If you had a
chance to walk up to Chris Sawyer and ask him one question or make just
one statement, what would that be?
||I'd ask him why he didn't contact some of the more level headed
members of the RCT community to see what they actually wanted in RCT2.
Some of the changes in that were exactly what were needed, others could
have been done a little differently, there were a few that weren't really
needed and then there were some features from RCT1 that should have
carried over to RCT2.
||And if the same were true for David Breban, head of Frontier
development, what would you say?
||Actually, pretty much the same question related to RCT3. There
were things that should have been included from RCT1 and RCT2 that currently
don't exist in RCT3. I would have also included more themes and made
the scenarios really worth playing. I don't see the need to play the
scenarios just to get a prebuilt coaster. For those that play the scenarios
more for the accomplishment of beating them, that's fine. But that isn't
why I want to play them, give me a real reward for beating them.
||I would probably just get nervous, slobber, stutter out something
stupid and make a fool out of myself, you know, my usual behavior. Well
that about wraps it up Rohn. I'm sure you have better things to do than
sit around and chat with this old man, so I will let you out of the
hot seat and let you return to the world from which you came. I want
to thank you for both your time and caring enough to set down with me
in the 'Room with a View' and share a little window with us into the
life of Mr. Rohn Starr and family.
||Thank you for having me Boomer; I have certainly enjoyed the
'view' from the room today. By the way, I'm not that much younger than
you. You'd think the gray goatee and hair loss would be quite obvious.
Rohn Starr has left the house! The room was empty; Boomer had locked up
and crawled off to bed long ago. The night was filled with the relentless
chirping of crickets accented by the occasional hoot of an Owl and the deep
bass booming of the big Bull frogs down by the lake. It is a real shame
that old men tire easily and Boomer was soundly sleeping, because had he
been awake and in the 'Room with a View' he would have witnessed with wonder
what happened next.
Somewhere out in the deep ether regions of space a tiny light appeared,
only one pinprick among the countless twinkling points of light nestled
like billions of diamonds in the black velvet of deep space. But if Boomer
had been in the room, looking out his window that night he would have had
a 'view' like he had never seen before. One pinprick started growing larger
and brighter until it filled the window in the room with a cascading flowing
golden glow. Only for a second did it remain then as if air had been let
out of a balloon the light blazed color and sparks and then as quick as
it came, it disappeared! Outside on the porch Boomer's wife and daughter,
still awake, sat looking up at the starry night sky. Boomer's daughter had
been counting the amount of times a frog croaked in between her dad's steady
rhythm of snores. Looking up she grabbed her mothers arm and said, "Oh
look mom, there's a shooting star." "Make a wish," her mother
said delightfully. "I already have", she fired back. She then
closed her eyes and with a smile on her face started growing drowsy as her
mother rocked and softly sang, "If you wish upon a Starr, makes no
difference who you are, ALL your dreams come true tonight, so dream, dream,
Goodnight from the Boomer's home and watch for shooting Starrs.