E-Views with Boomer

Within the walls of this virtual library lay all of Boomer's written RCT related articles. A Room with a View features all of Boomers popular E-View series, his previews, reviews, mini-Views and E-Views.

The Sambo construction company built this special place as a tribute to Boomer. In that spirit, creating a place to also archive articles and interviews from other authors to keep the virtual library current and ever-changing, just like the "view".

Enter when you can, enter at your leisure. There's plenty of time and plenty of chairs to browse and read through these fascinating interviews and reviews with RCT legends and celebrities.

E-views with Boomer Boomer's E-View with Dakin (XuXu Petals) Lecakes

The first time I heard of this intelligent young New York lawyer called XuXus Pedals in the RCT community was back in the year 2000. This most refreshing and well-spoken man caught my attention speaking about Copyright and other legal issues with RCT, in a forum board on the old RCTOA where it seemed like at that time, everybody who loved RCT hung out at. I responded, as did many others to his almost scholastic and articulate type of thinking and reasoning.

Time went by and sad things happened at the old RCTOA that resulted in MANY people leaving the RCT community. Some members of that HUGE now defunct site straggled off to other sites, some left for a long time, just now coming back due to the coming release of RCT2, some.... never returned! But XuXus Pedals stayed calm and grounded and went on to become a very popular and useful staff member at RCT Station.

Red Phoenix, the long-time site master of that well-known and butt-kickin RCT site had this to say about Dakin (XuXus Pedals) when I talked to him recently. "Dakin was one of the more helpful staff members for RCT Station. Whenever he was given a task to complete, he almost always came through. Due to his background as a lawyer, he was able to offer very good legal advice when a few things arose. Dakin is also one of the more intelligent and mature members of the community".

Most of you who read this know and respect Red Phoenix. So that alone should underscore the integrity and intelligence of this lawyer/RCT player. BUT, if it didn't, let me run his Bio here, in his words, and see if that don't! At least you will get to know him better. "I am 33 years old and married and yes, I am a lawyer - graduated from law school in 1998. I have an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education and English (with specialization in British Literature and Shakespeare studies) and was certified to teach before going to law school. Basically I got frustrated with the US education system and went to law school on a whim, finishing in the top ten of my graduating class... Go figure (7th to be exact - and if not for that first year Property I class... LOL). I used to practice environmental law (which was my law school concentration of study), but changed to my current firm in February for a variety of reasons. Part of my current practice involves commercial law and I have consulted with people on business law, contract law and copyright law. (I also do medical malpractice defense, employment discrimination and personal injury defense). During law school I developed a real interest in Internet and copyright law and have volumes of binders of research on the topic. Unfortunately, where I live and work in New York is not really a hotbed for that kind of work, so my knowledge is more of personal interest than it is professionally useful (at least for now). My dream job is to be in-house counsel for a software company or other computer/internet related business."

Eventually, after a phenomenal run, RCT slid into the Doldrums, all but a few hard-core players and site members slid off and disappeared into the night like a clipper ship of old, dissolving mysteriously into the embracing fog of a luminescent and beckoning sea. So was the way of XuXus Pedals. He, as did I, left the RCT community for a while, and I'll let him tell you why, and recently came to surface on my home site www.rct2.com I immediately asked him for this E-View and he graciously agreed.

In this E-View series I have done interviews with Doctors, programmers, musicians, site masters, code-crackers, fishermen and maybe even an Indian Chief. But we have NEVER talked to a lawyer! So let's get this raft in the rapids and see what a lawyers slant on RCT2 is.

Boomer A big welcome to you Dakin! Right off the top I want to thank you for letting me have the honor of having this interview with you! Also, right off the top, I want to ask you my first question. But before I do let me just say that I don't usually ask my guest about their screen names, but in your case I am very curious how you came about that name, XuXus Pedals. What does it mean and why did you choose it?
Dakin "It's an interesting story (although some of your readers may have heard it already on the RCT Station forums). When I was in college some friends of mine were seriously considering starting a neo-punk band and were looking for a name. We tried forever to come up with a name but couldn't think of anything good. Then finally some night a few of us were hanging out (around Christmas time) and the movie, It's a Wonderful Life, (with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed) was on. In the movie Jimmy Stewart's character, George Bailey, has a daughter named XuXu (pronounced ZooZoo). She has a flower from school and the petals fall off. Jimmy Stewart pretends to put them back on, but really just sticks them in his pocket. If you know the movie, George then wishes he'd never been born and an angel shows him what the world would be like without him. Eventually there comes a scene toward the end of the movie when George finds the petals in his pants pocket and that is how he knows he is home. At that point he yells out "XuXu's Petals; XuXu's Petals!!!" Well we decided that was a great name for our band - unfortunately, we then found out that there was already another band (with a REAL record contract) using the same name. Anyway, when it came time to sign up for a net forum, all I could think of was "XuXu's Petals!!!" At the time it was kind of an inside joke; however, after I resigned from moderating at RCT Station I got sick of using it (it was also, I believe, the cause of some small misunderstanding). So I then started posting as dakinle - a derivative of my real name which many people had learned anyway because of my Moderator Info on RCT Station".
Boomer I left the RCT community for a while so I never did know that. I always wondered about that name. I remember you from the old RCTOA forums that go back about 2 years I think. When did you first start playing RCT and when did you first discover the RCT online community?
Dakin "That's a pretty good story too. A couple of years ago (around March 2000) a friend of mine brought Sim City for the PSX over to my apartment. I thought it was pretty good and went to the software store (Babbages) looking for it, but ran across this PSX game Sim Theme Park. I thought - well if making a city is cool - making an amusement park must be great. So I bought it instead. I took it home and started to play it. Within ten minutes I realized how much of a mistake I made (I really loathe that game). I took it back the next day. I then began looking for another game on the Internet (I must have subconsciously remembered the RCT commercial - the one with the dude that looks like Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray). I did a search for Rollercoaster on Yahoo and the official RCT site came up first on the list. I downloaded the demo and spent about an hour playing it before I ran out to the store to buy it. It was (and still is) the greatest game I ever played in my life. The funny thing is I didn't even own my own computer at the time - I had to use my girlfriend's (now my wife). But going to her place just to play RCT was rude - so I can honestly say that RCT caused me to actually buy my own computer. As for the community, I found it almost immediately by looking for prebuilt rollercoasters to use. I found RCTUK first (the old iteration of the site - when Jon Poste was still site master) and used to hang out there - that's where I first discovered Josef Drexler, Henry Winkelstein's TRG trainer and mega parks. I soon began to visit three sites regularly RCTUK, RCTOA and Cav's RCT Depot. Sadly, all three (at least in their initial format) are long gone".
Boomer You and many other old timers, and I say that in the context of the PC gaming world life span where, like dogs, 3 years is a LONG time, are now re-emerging back into the RCT community as we get closer and closer to the release date of RCT2. Has the refreshing news of RCT2 coming out been responsible for you coming out and back out into this zany RCT universe?
Dakin "When I resigned from moderating at RCT Station I was burned out from RCT Forum overdose. In some ways RCT2 has gotten me back to checking in regularly for news, but as for game tips, etc. I've kind of passed that responsibility on to the next generation of RCT players. It's funny, because there's a lot of history there that I am aware of (and I came to the game a year late - March 2000 for a game released in March 1999). In fact, I have included some of that stuff in my original article about making scenarios (the article is in the RCT Station Knowledge base and I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in how the RCT community got to where it is today) with the Dragons IOA trainer - and then with DrJ's SGM. However, despite the RCT2 news I still don't post all that much right now, but I anticipate that changing when the new game finally comes out".
Boomer Yes, and I suspect others who are now silent will began posting more upon release of RCT2. From what you have seen and heard so far are you getting pumped to play this new "Holy Grail 2" sequel to Chris Sawyers run away bestseller, RollerCoaster Tycoon?
Dakin "I can't wait to get RCT2. The news actually got me playing RCT again trying to finish off the LL scenarios before RCT2's release. I like the addition of the Six Flags licensing, that can only help the game grow even further. The cross promotional opportunities are limitless (I just hope they have someone creative enough to explore them all - Indeed, I'd be interested in the job)".
Boomer (laughing) Indeed, as would I! Although I think that they would find you a bit more qualified for the job. What turns you on the most from what you have heard about RCT2?
Dakin "No question - the scenario editor!!! As many RCTers know, I have been a huge proponent of fan scenarios. To me, fan created scenarios could have extended RCT original's life tenfold. The exclusion of a scenario maker in RCT is a mystery - completely inexplicable. When LL first came out, the old guard had kind of passed on making new trainers, so a new crowd started. In that crowd was an RCTOA poster called Dragons IOA. I suggested trying to modify the trainer to allow certain things that were more in line with a scenario editor. I was thrilled when he actually did it (and quite successfully at the time). I then wrote a huge post at both RCTUK (and then later at RCT Station - RCTOA was defunct by this point) on how to use the trainer to make scenarios. Rob at RCT Tracks asked me if he could use it at his site and I agreed. Then Red Phoenix asked me to update it for the knowledge base, which I did. Later, when Dr.J was updating his SGM to include scenario tools, I alpha tested many of the new features for him, and then beta tested the complete SGM. Finally, I updated my article again to include the SGM in making scenarios. That is such a great tool.".
Boomer I agree, the SGM by Dr.J rocks! It gives you tremendous latitude in making RCT parks! Of course that leads to my next question, what do you DISLIKE the most from what you've seen about RCT2?
Dakin "First, based on the advanced screens and news, I have reluctantly concluded that for some unknown reason a true sandbox once again will not be part of the game. I also have come to believe that certain restrictions will be placed in the scenario editor (such as a limit on money, available rides and available land) to prohibit the creation of a true sandbox, but I still hope I am wrong on that account. Second, I hate having to look at screen shots without being able to download even a demo. And I really hate having to wait for October".
Boomer Me too! Amen to that! Now I know this is going to be a hard one, but I just have to ask you this; If you could ask Chris Sawyer one (just one) question, what would it be?
Dakin "Tough question - how about, 'Who does your legal contracts work and can I be your agent?' RCT related I guess it would be something like 'What do you really think of the mega parks that people have made using your game, and has that changed your mind at all about including a sandbox'".
Boomer (laughing) Now that is more then one question but I don't blame you, if I had the chance to ask him anything I'd be a blithering, babbling, veritable cornucopia of questions and I'm sure that's why he will never pick up the phone and call me. Dakin, I was wondering, do you personally use any trainers or RCT utilities when you play RCT?
Dakin "Never in the game's scenarios. I do them straight. I used to use Henry's TRG Swiss Army Knife to get a mega park condition, but don't need it anymore as I use the RCTOA Acres sandbox Henry created just before RCTOA evaporated. I now use DrJ's SGM to make scenarios. Although I haven't needed it - I also think RCT Help's aCeSS tool is great".
Boomer Ahh... RCTOA Acres, now that brings back some memories! I'd like to take a little turn in the conversation here and ask you a more personal question now. Why, when you were once so active in the RCT forums, did you seem to drop off the RCT radar screen for a while?
Dakin "I kind of alluded to that earlier. Sometimes you just get tired of answering the same question every other day. I also changed jobs and was adjusting to a new firm. But I also have to admit that my interest in RCT was finally waning. I found it more difficult to sit through scenarios without getting (dare I say it) bored. You can only put so many merry-go-rounds and Ferris wheels down (so as you can see I am really hoping for a great influx of new flat rides in RCT2)".
Boomer Would you ever consider starting your own RCT site or once again being on staff and having input to a RCT site?
Dakin "I enjoyed moderating at RCT Station while it was growing so fast last year. I would probably do it again if the right opportunity came along. Unfortunately, sites that become popular and have a strong user community become targets for some indiscernible reason. Maybe its jealousy or insecurity; I'm not sure of the psychology, but some people just like to troll. It can get frustrating dealing with those personalities on a daily basis. I might also consider running a section of a site - such as a fan created scenarios section after RCT2 comes out with its scenario editor. But again, it would have to be the right fit. As for my own site, I've considered it in the past, but my available time would not be enough to make anything more than a mediocre site. There are just too many better ones out there. Unless I could develop a new angle, I wouldn't even try. One thing I would really consider, however, is writing a new article just on the history of RCT - especially since Henry removed the stuff on his site that talked about Techno and Henry's beginnings with the TRG stuff - if I ever found out there was an interest".
Boomer (Hanging head in shame) I am a terrible RCT park builder. I love playing RCT but my parks unfortunately.... suck! That being said, have you ever submitted any of your own RCT parks to any site and if so where could we find it?
Dakin "Unfortunately, the only parks I ever submitted were on the old RCTUK and are now lost (I lost the CDR I had them saved on when I got married and moved). I got bored with trying to make mega parks fairly early in my RCT career. As I said before, you can only place so many merry-go-rounds and Ferris wheels. After LL came out and Dragons IOA released his trainer, I began experimenting with building scenarios. Some of them are available on RCT Station, but many I just never submitted because it seemed like not that many other people were interested in fan scenarios. I hope that changes with RCT2, because as I said before, that could really extend its life indefinitely".
Boomer It sure could. What kind of other PC games do you play in your spare time?
Dakin "No game has ever caught my attention like RCT. There were times when I would stay up all night playing even though I had to work the next day. That being said, I do like Starcraft and Diablo II (and I'm certain to be trying Warcraft III soon). But really, often I just go old school and play like Pirates! and Bard's Tale. Or I crank up the old C64 emulator and load up Space Taxi or Summer Games".
Boomer I think we all went through that "up all night" stage. By the time you finally turn off the puter, all you can see is green grids with floating lines, and that was with your eyes open OR closed.
Dakin "Yeah green grids - although the best was the RCT dreams. I remember fondly that period where I would drift off to sleep in the wee hours and next thing I knew I would be dreaming about building that next piece of track... Wow that was a fun time LOL!".
Boomer I know you have a very busy life so I will let you get back to it, but I want to thank you again for your time and for letting, both us old-timers and newbies alike, get to know you a little bit better. It gave me a very good feeling to see your "blip" back up on the RCT radar screen again!
Dakin "Well thank you, too. It's been fun. I'm happy to be a part of your on-going E-view series. What with such RCT luminaries as Josef Drexler, Henry, DrJ, Chocobogo and VooDew, as well as the new faces, I can only be flattered that you asked me to join in".

XuXu Petals has left da house! But don't worry his blip is still strong and steady on the RCT radar screen. I had fun with this one and learned a lot about this young New York attorney who plays and contributes to RCT. Again, another E-View "in the can" and again I stayed up late doing it. So good night To you Dakin, where ever you are and good night to you also... and sweet RCT2 dreams!

The twinkling of the bright galactic display of stars held captive the endless voids of space. But then night, grudgingly, gave way to the orange glow of the promise of morning that menacingly threatened the nights darkness, growing brighter and brighter by the minute. In that magic moment between the misty borders that divide night and day, the gray shadow of a ghost could be seen, seemingly floating on the misty morning dew. If only Boomer had been awake to witness this strange phenomenon, he would have seen that this swirling, ghostly apparition looked just like…. Jimmy Stewart! He would have seen that in his hands he held something triumphantly. And across the rolling gentle morning breeze, just for a magic moment, in this orange never-never land, he would have heard a joyful cry, "XuXu's Petals; XuXu's Petals"! Boomer slept on, but in his dreams he danced, and in his dreams Donna Reed danced with him!