This page is about the first entry in the series. For the RCT series in general, see RollerCoaster Tycoon (series).
RollerCoaster Tycoon (RCT or RCT1 for short) is a theme park management simulation game. The player must build successful theme parks to fulfill a set of objectives in various scenarios. The player can build custom roller coasters and tracked rides and add pre-designed rides, shops and stalls, path systems, and scenery to their park.
RollerCoaster Tycoon is the first game of the RollerCoaster Tycoon series; it has two expansion packs – Added Attractions and Loopy Landscapes and two successful sequels: RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, and RollerCoaster Tycoon 3. The series spawned an unsuccessful Nintendo 3DS-exclusive spin-off, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D.
RollerCoaster Tycoon started out in 1996 as a planned sequel to Chris Sawyer's Transport Tycoon. This proposed sequel was soon abandoned and the code of the game was modified to handle roller coasters. By this time, the name was changed to "White Knuckle". Even when Hasbro Interactive became involved, the name was still "White Knuckle". After Hasbro bought Microprose, however, the "Tycoon" name was too good an opportunity to pass up, even for a name like "White Knuckle". Microprose's Railroad Tycoon had done so well that Hasbro hoped the same would happen for White Knuckle. The name was then changed to RollerCoaster Tycoon.
See also The Evolution of RollerCoaster Tycoon for further information.
- North America: March 31, 1999
- Europe: April 12, 1999
- Australia: in 2000 (date unknown)
- North America: March 25, 2002
- Europe: March 20, 2003
- Australia: April 11, 2003
Upon installing, the player can only choose between 5 scenarios, from Forest Frontiers to Evergreen Gardens. With each completed scenario, a new one is unlocked. When all RCT1 parks have been completed, the hidden Mega Park scenario is unlocked.
In addition to the rides and scenarios included in the two expansion packs, some official bonus material was provided through other means. Six collections of tracks designed by Chris Sawyer, early versions of the Alton Towers and Fort Anachronism scenarios, and eleven competition scenarios as well as the winning ride designs from each were made available on the official website. Three promotional scenarios were offered to magazine subscribers for PC Player, PC Gaming World, and Gameplay.
- Pentium 90 MHz (Pentium 200 MHz recommended)
- Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7/8/10
- 16 MB RAM (32 MB recommended)
- 50 MB hard drive space (180 MB recommended)
- 4x CD-ROM (8x recommended)
- 1 MB SVGA video card (4 MB recommended)
- Windows 95/98 compatible soundcard
- DirectX 5.0 (included)
Out of the box, Rollercoaster Tycoon limits itself to 1024x768, however the game can be edited to run in much higher resolutions, at different aspect ratios. The game will be not stretched either, it will simply look expanded (see screenshot).
Creating a custom resolution
This first method works with the original game, not the GOG/Steam/etc version (the original retail release). If you will need to edit the RCT.exe with a Hex Editor (here is a link to a free one.)
- Before modifying RCT.exe file, make a backup copy first!
You need to search for these two hex values: "58 02 00 00 68 20 03 00 00" and "20 03 00 00 c7 45 f4 58 02 00 00". In both of them you have to change 20 03 to the new width and 58 02 to the new height. In the game, you need to switch to Fullscreen 800x600 in the options menu, as that is the resolution you customized with this method.
- "580200006820030000" <-- (first hex value above, without whitespace)
- "20030000c745f458020000" <-- (second hex value above, without whitespace)
- 1280 x 720 (16:9): Change "20 03" to "00 05", "58 02" to "d0 02".
- 1280 x 768 (15:9): Change "20 03" to "00 05", "58 02" to "00 03".
- 1280 x 1024 (5:4): Change "20 03" to "00 05", "58 02" to "00 04".
Higher resolutions will not work, though lower resolutions should be possible. Ensure that the wanted resolution is compatible with your video card settings, otherwise it will be set to 640x480.
The hexadecimal values are calculated by converting the width or height number from decimal to hex, then inverting the order of the bytes. For example, 720 in decimal is 2D0 in hex (this can be converted with the Windows calculator in scientific mode). Adding a zero to the left we get two bytes, 02 D0. Inverting the order we get D0 02.
Another example: 800 (decimal) -> 320 (hex) -> 03 20 (two bytes) -> 20 03 (reverse order of bytes), which is the width value to be changed from the 800x600 resolution.
Even Higher Resolutions with Window Mode
While the above method increases the resolution a bit, it's still nowhere near modern standards. To complicate the matter, when Rollercoaster Tycoon is downloaded from GOG, Steam, or similar game stores, the updated game will not have the hex values may not be present to edit at all! Forunately, a youtube user has dug deep into the EXE and discovered that it's possible to use higher resolutions than 1280x1024 if you play the game in Windowed mode (theoretically 32775 x 14340 limit). They have edited the exe and uploaded versions compatible with the original retail release the GOG release, and the Steam release: download link. Place the EXE in the Rollercoaster Tycoon directory and run it.
RollerCoaster Tycoon, being made in 1999, is still somewhat compatible with Windows Vista/7. However, crashes, freezes and strange color changes are common. To fix this, players should check 'Disable visual themes', 'Disable desktop composition', and 'Run this program as Administrator'. Running RollerCoaster Tycoon in 98/Me compatiblity mode on a Windows 7 PC results in the game crashing when trying to load files, however this compatibility problem got fix with the GOG version.
A common complaint was the lack of a scenario editor or a free build mode. Several trainers were released, but the expansions included anti-cheat code that disabled them. Sawyer's belief that RCT was a game, and that as such, should include rules, goals and conditions to keep it from becoming just a design tool; this is likely why there are no money codes included. RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 later added the scenario editor.
RollerCoaster Tycoon was released for the Xbox console in 2003, which included all the options, scenarios and rides from the original PC release and its expansion packs. The Xbox release received mixed reviews, mostly because it didn't differ much from the PC original, despite being released 4 years after its PC counterpart. Other criticism came from the controls, which were difficult because of the joysticks usage (left stick to control the mouse cursor, right one for the camera) and unable to be modified, and the absence of compatibility to a mouse-like accessory which, were it developped, could have rendered the game much easier to handle and even perhaps open the way for other PC game ports.
RollerCoaster Tycoon for Xbox does not appear on Wikipedia's list of Xbox games that are compatible with Xbox 360.
Development: Chris Sawyer
Graphics: Simon Foster
Sound & Music: Allister Brimble
Additional Programming: FISH (UK) Ltd.
Representation: Jacqui Lyons at Marjacq Ltd.
Layout: Louis Saekow Design
Thanks to: Robb Alvey, Katie Brayshaw, Karen Cumming, Justin Garavanovis, European Coaster Club, Neil Jackson, Victoria Maclean, Martin Sawyer, Elizabeth Slater, Paul Slater, Graham Turner, Ruth Turner, John Wardley, Melanie Warn, Jim Wills , Rich Winger (for help with research and game testing)
President: Tom Dusenberry
Producer: Thomas J. Zahorik
Executive Producer: Michael S. Glosecki
Operations and Special Projects Manager: Tracy Kureta
V.P. Research and Development Worldwide: Tony Parks
V.P. Product Development Worldwide: Kevin Gillespie
Senior V.P. Global Business Development: Barry Jafrato
Director of New Business: John Sutyak
European Project Coordinator: Richard Alexander
Quality Assurance Director: Michael Craighead
Manager of Technical Services: Tony Moreira
European Technical Services Manager: Roger Carpenter
IS Tech: Bill Colby
IS Support: Mike Constantis, Yaw Diabah
Test Supervisor: Kurt Boutin
Lead Tester, Europe: Stuart Thody
Testing: Andy Mazurek, Dan McJilton, Mark Higgins, Jennifer Kaczor, David Sauvageau, Kathy Steel, Neall Campbell, Darryl Shaw, Wayne Gardener, Christine Fisher, Tom Jannssen, Labyrynth Productions Ltd.
Testing at A.Q.: Fran Katsimpiris, Jon Grimes, Jason Clary, Adam Coleman, Jake Grimshaw, Dennis Ivitchev, Frank Kirchner
Vice President of Marketing: John Hurlbut
Product Manager: Steve Arthur
Directors of Marketing: Gail L. Steiner, Richard Cleveland, Tom Nichols
Public Relations Director: Dana Henry
Worldwide Marketing and Sales: Kate Webster, Mary Miller, Tracey Bunce, Zoe Tremlett, Liz Morgan, Oliverier Salomon, Jean-Michel Coletti, Torsten Opperman, Thomas Jaepel, Jochen Quast, Matt Carroll
Director of Creative Services: Steve Webster
Art Director: Steve Martin
European Art Director: Steve Cross
Creative Services Manager: Kathryn Lynch
Graphic Designer: Jennifer Brackett
Editorial Specialist: Elizabeth Mackney
Website Support: James Sheahan
Localisation: Sam Baker, Anton Lorton, Ulrich Mühl, Jinglebell, SDL Polylang International
Operations and Manufacturing: Richard Lever, Judy Hawley
Administrative Support: Sarah Perry, Kellie Rice
V.P. of Finance: Ron Parkinson
Legal and Finance: Donna Mahan, Bruce Kelly, Linda Ferros, Donna Fuchs, Janet Oakes, Lisa Hung, Alka Patel, Melanie McDonnell
Special Thanks: Chris Down, Louise McTighe
|RollerCoaster Tycoon Games|
|Compilations||RCT Deluxe • RCT2 Triple Thrill Pack • RCT3 Gold! • RCT3 Platinum! • World of RCT • RCT 6 Pack • RCT Mega Pack • RCT Classic|
|Spin-offs||The Board Game • Pinball Machine|