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 Crispy

I like food! I like my bacon extra crispy. I like lots of stuff in salad but the main thing is that the lettuce has to be crispy; everything from pickles to potato chips…. I like crispy! But I never thought, as I slipped RCT into my computer for the first time, that I would ever like my RCT crispy! But one day, not to long after I had played most of the original scenarios and was browsing on the Internet looking for some kind of help or cheats for Pickle Park (hadn't even HEARD of the word trainer yet) I stumbled across 2 cool RCT websites (about 5 RCT sites is all there was in those days). One was called RCTOA and the other was called RCTUK. Both were kickin wicked RCT sites that instantly opened up a whole new world, a whole different level of RCT play!

Being from the U.S.A. of course I naturally settled in to RCTOA as my main RCT home, but I would never go to long without checking into the RCTUK, my home away from home, where a smart guy by the name of Doctor J and others were hanging out at and giving much needed advice. Back at home at RCTOA, Henry Winkelstein and others were making and supporting some excellent new (at the time) trainers and utilities for RCT. We as a small community at the time were collectively amazed and awed (and still am) at all the talent being shown both by hackers and Webmasters alike.

That is when I became aware that I liked my RCT as extra crispy as I liked my bacon. Enter the scene a YOUNG man, (I didn't realize just HOW young) by the name of Chris Bennett. He went by the name of Crispy and you will see why in this interview. Crispy had just taken the reins over at RCTUK as Webmaster and was supercharging and fanning the embers of this small British RCT website into the large fire and popular website it went on to be. I was impressed with Crispy's work back then and though he is another one who gives rare interviews, when he gave me the nod for this E-View I was more then happy to get started.

RCTUK eventually fell into disrepair and became almost an Internet ghost town. But now, even as we speak, Skippy on his white horse has rode into town to save the day and hopefully save and restore this famous British RCT icon called RCTUK! I wish him luck in this endeavor as, at least in my mind; this legendary site will go down in the RCT hall of fame.

So sit back, relax and enjoy this rare interview with a guy called Crispy. I don't know if this ride is more like “It's a Small World”, “Splash Mountain” or “Pirates of the Caribbean” but it IS a relaxing cool ride so step right on in the E-View boat and please pull down your lap (top) bar, keep your hands and arms inside the E-View, kick back and enjoy the ride.

Please join me now as we welcome Crispy!

Boomer Before we get started I want to tell you how much I appreciate your time and the opportunity to get to talk with you. Running a large RCT website for so long must have been a real experience and that's what I want to focus on today, some of those experiences and what it was like to head up such a large site. When did you first become involved with RCTUK?
Crispy "I'm not totally sure of the dates but it must've been late 1999/early 2000 when I first became involved with RollerCoaster Tycoon UK. After discovering the message board I asked Mark Goldstein if I could be a moderator, originally I was rejected, the reason being that there were sufficient staff to cover the board. Then shortly after g0sub's account was used to wipe out the General forum, g0sub was no longer a moderator and I pounced back in, this time getting a position on the team.".
Boomer I bet that was pretty exciting back then, you must have been pretty young when you first took over RCTUK. How old are you now?
Crispy "I'm actually only 15 now so yes very young when I originally took over the site.".
Boomer Well at that age I suppose you aren't out there working and making a living, but do you have any side jobs or other ways of making a little pocket change?
Crispy "Not making a living just yet but do have a part-time job delivering papers on a Sunday morning. Not the nicest thing to be doing on cold, wet winter mornings but it gives me a bit of money to spend.".
Boomer (laughing) I used to do that to when I was your age. Of course in those days it was called the Pony Express! But old memories aside, would you mind telling us the general area you live in and a little bit about it?
Crispy "I live in the Midlands…which as the name suggests is in the middle of England. I won't give you the name of the town where I live as I couldn't be doing with all the mobs of fans coming after me (haha) but it's near the city of Leicester. It's a nice place, everything's close enough to be convenient and most of my relatives are in the area so it suits me well.".
Boomer Well I guess your fans will have to settle for looking for you in Leicester then. What's a “normal” day like in the Leicester England area for you Crispy?
Crispy "A normal day usually involves the alarm clock going off at the hideously early hour of 7am then me staying in bed until the last possible minute before I have to get up in time so as not to be late for school. Then there's the school day followed by an evening usually consisting of chatting to various people on the Internet, watching TV or spending time out with friends. Come the weekend and I'm either theme park visiting or in bed!".
Boomer (Laughs) I'm a big fan of theme park visiting AND bed visiting and am planning a trip to both places soon! I am from America, across the “big pond” from you. I find it fascinating the differences between different countries and cultures. Have you ever been to the USA and if not, would you ever like to go to see what it is like? Or are you happy just staying where you are?
Crispy "I have never been to the USA but would really like to, namely to visit Florida to experience just what can be done with rides when British Planning Law doesn't get in the way!".
Boomer What about a family, do you still live at home or do you have a family of your own?
Crispy "I'm still living at home yep. Spend the weekdays at my Dad's along with my bratty 13-year-old sister. Then at the weekends it's off to my mums house. It's amazing how good I am at packing a weekend bag after 4 years of practice!".
Boomer What do you like to do, or not do, when you are just lying back chillin and taking it easy?
Crispy "Aside from visiting theme parks and chatting to numerous people I've made friends with over the years on the Internet to other thing I enjoy doing is listening to music. I've got fairly broad musical tastes and it's great just to stick a playlist on random shuffle, lie back and relax.".
Boomer What about sports and games, do you have any favorites?
Crispy "I'm not really much of a sporty person and don't really have much interest in playing or watching sport. The closest I get is the occasional kick-about with friends.".
Boomer Now for some tougher more personal questions! Where are you headed Crispy? What are your life goals? Any plans for the future?
Crispy "I'm currently halfway through my final year of compulsory education, with my GCSE's coming up in June. I've had some good results from mock exams so am hoping I'll do just as well in the real thing. After that I'm going into further education, 2 years of sixth form then I'll be thinking about university. The final aim is a job in computing, probably on the systems side of things. Other things I want to do, visit Florida & Ohio! ".
Boomer What, not Oregon? Just kidding, If you don't mind telling us, where did you get your rather unusual screen name?
Crispy "My screen name actually comes from my real name. If we take Chris Bennett, then hack off the 'ennett' we're left with Chris B. Read it out loud…sounds like Crispy. And there we have it, my screen name. It actually first originated at school. There was also the 'Crispy Bacon' incarnation, which had something to do with the copious amounts of hair gel I used, and bacon fat. But the less said about that the better I think.".
Boomer (Boomer laughs as he remembers all the “Wave Set” lotion he wore in his hair at that age) Well now that we have gotten to know a little about you personally I would like to steer this E-View in another direction. Let's talk about something that you have put a lot into over the years and that is RCTUK. This long time RCT site is one of the longest running RCT sites and is still in existence. There have been times when you were very active in the day to day running of the site and other times when you weren't so active, understandable considering your age when you started and the demands that all young men have on their time. But it seems, as we get older, our time gets spread thinner and thinner due to the demands of life. Having said that let me ask you this, what is your involvement level right now at RCTUK? Are you still the acting Webmaster there or have you turned the reigns over to someone else?
Crispy "I've fairly recently turned over the job of managing the website over to skippy. I'd been meaning to get the site going again properly but it just never happened and got to the point where I couldn't kid myself any longer that I would get round to doing it. Just never seemed to find the time. I'm still on the RCTUK team but am pretty inactive really.".
Boomer Do you plan on staying involved in anyway with RCTUK or is this now something you have put behind you and moved past on your way to the future?
Crispy "I think RCTUK is pretty much behind me now; the interest in RCT just isn't there and wasn't brought back to life by RCT2 either. And if it's something you're not interested in then why bother! My efforts are now focused on Alton Towers Almanac, as it's something I do have a great interest in.".
Boomer There was a time in the RCTUK “glory days”, that a large American site called RCTOA seemed to be in direct competition with RCTUK. The Webmaster of that old and now defunct site was a guy called Denny G. who got mad one day and pulled the plug on that site. He seemed to be full of hate and distrust of RCTUK and really ANY other RCT site. He often lashed out at your site in a venomous and immature way. Of course Denny G. and the old RCTOA have long since vanished off the face of the RCT earth, but at the time, did his attacks and ravings affect you in any way? You always seemed to keep your cool and not retaliate back.
Crispy "Ah yes, RCTOA. An interesting site, however if I recall correctly it only really had the forums to keep it going, the actual site was of very little substance (oh yes – I'm getting my revenge ). We did get a lot of stick from them and yes it did annoy us. We did actually retaliate but in a slightly more discreet (although probably just as immature) way. The entire RCTUK team was banned from the RCTOA forums and there was much messing about in the site's chat room by myself and other team members. Ah the fun we had!".
Boomer RCTOA is long gone but RCTUK lives on. What do you contribute to the long time life span of this British RCT site?
Crispy "Mark created a great site back in 1999 and this attracted at lot of members, many of which have stayed on over the years. I think also the immense popularity of the game has resulted in a steady flow of new players to keep things alive. Not forgetting StrategyPlanet (and the Gamespy Network), their hosting service has been invaluable to us. I guess it also helps not having a stroppy Webmaster who just pulls the plug one day (a la Denny G ;-))".
Boomer (Frowning) Yes, that is true! That, “plug pulling” soured me on the whole Internet for quite some time. I would appreciate it if you could tell us some of the main players and staff that was the most helpful to you over the years in running and maintaining such a large (at the time) site.
Crispy "There's been lots of help and support over the years from all team members that have been involved with the site, plus the webmasters of sites on the RCTUK Network. Then there's StrategyPlanet who have provided us with hosting all this time as well as doing a great job supporting us in all things technical. And of course RCTUK wouldn't have been the same without all the members and contributors.".
Boomer Before we get away from this subject I would like to ask you what I know is a hard question. What do you think is the main reason that RCTUK has seemed to consistently dwindle in member numbers over the last year or so?
Crispy "I'm not entirely sure of the reasons but it's probably partly my fault with the lack of updates to the site, but also I'm sure I'm not the only person who's lost interest in the game and I reckon this has also contributed to the drop in activity and numbers over the past year.".
Boomer I think the main question most people have is why was there such a long time between updates and news on the main page?
Crispy "I just never seemed to be able to find the time to update the site. As you said earlier, you get older and the free time you have gets less and less. Plus with my lack of interest in the game I didn't feel like putting in the effort to make the time to update.".
Boomer I can understand how things change and priorities change as you go through that stage of life. Sometimes the growing process requires us to lay down our old toys and pick up new ones. By now you are probably getting kind of tired of this intrusive questioning into your life by that crazy old American called Boomer. I don't blame you and I will be letting you off the hook in a minute. Doing these E-Views I get the privilege of not only asking questions I think others may want to know but I get to ask questions that I really want to know. One of those personal questions I want to ask you is this; you live in England, the same place that Chris Sawyer lives. With such a major RCT site that RCTUK was, did you ever get to talk to Chris personally? Did he ever respond to anyone or anything on the site?
Crispy "There was no actual contact between Chris Sawyer and myself and I don't think any of the other team members had direct contact with him either. You're probably aware of the interview we had with Chris Sawyer, quite a while ago now. This wasn't a direct contact with Chris either. We finally got the interview after much pestering his marketing company and the interview itself was also conducted through the company.".
Boomer Okay, a couple more quick questions and I will finally leave you alone. What do you think of Chris Sawyers new RCT2?
Crispy "The sequel to RollerCoaster Tycoon is nice but I feel that's it's too little and too late. Sure there's some nice new features and gimmicks but I can't help but feel that RCT2 could have been so much more than a bloated add-on pack.".
Boomer Do you think it will energize the RCT community and its many sites?
Crispy "I think that RCT2 will bring a lot of new players to the RCT community and this naturally should bring some life into things. We will also no doubt be seeing a number of new sites springing up as well as some of the older sites getting back into action.".
Boomer And for the last question, besides RCTUK, what other sites, either RCT or other, do you like to visit?
Crispy "My interest in RCT is pretty dead now. I do occasionally fire the game up but a lot of that is to view other people's parks and recreations. However RCT has reinforced an interest in the 'real thing'. That is real roller coasters and theme/amusement parks. Many of the sites I visit now are on this topic, with the main ones being www.rideas.co.uk - a discussion board for the UK theme park scene and www.towersalmanac.com - a site dedicated to one of the UK's biggest and most popular parks, Alton Towers.".
Boomer Well thank you so much Crispy for taking the time to talk to me for a while, I have always admired RCTUK and it has been an honor for me to have this chance to talk to you.
Crispy "You're welcome; hope everyone finds it an interesting insight into the world of Crispy! ".

Crispy has left the house! As Boomer turns out the light and heads out the door for the comforts and warmth of his waiting bed and sleeping wife, he stops, turns his head and suspiciously sniffs the air. “I could swear I smell bacon frying”, said Boomer to himself. “Naw”, thought Boomer, “it couldn't be”! Shaking his head and heading for his bed, the Boomster was soon fast asleep lost in La La Land. But the smile on his sleeping face and the rumble in his empty stomach gave witness to the fact that in his dreams Boomer was just setting down to a nice platter of toast, hash browns, eggs and BACON!

“Mmmm”, said Boomer to his now young, blond, shapely dream wife, serving him breakfast in her bikini! “You cooked the bacon JUST the way I like my RCT website…. extra Crispy”, said Boomer, but even in his dreams he cringed as the bikini clad image of his dream blond faded menacingly into the familiar shape of his REAL wife! Then the familiar whoosh of the frying pan, In dream like slow motion, Crispy bacon and all, came swiftly down upon his head and all faded to black!