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Texel Raptor Discusses Amusement Park Sim, Parkitect

with Greg Micek

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Cliqist : Can you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

Garret : We’re 3 developers, 2 from Vancouver and 1 from Germany, working on Parkitect. We’ve all had some kind of experience in games, large or small, and we all have a passion for making games.

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Cliqist : Would you say that Parkitect is closer to Rollercoaster Tycoon, or Theme Park?

Garret : I would say it’s closer to RCT, but not by much. Parkitect has similarities to both, as well as other games that have nothing to do with theme parks.

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Cliqist : Why make Parkitect?  Can’t we all just wait for the new RC Tycoon to come out next year?

Garret : It’s been a lot of fun, and we get to make the game we want instead of waiting to see what the new one might be. I think we’re way more into management and planning and that’ll show in Parkitect, and we’re not even sure what exactly RCT:W is at this point.

Gordon : We’re making a different game. The aesthetic is different, the gameplay is different, the music will be different. That said, we don’t even know much about RCT:W at the moment. We’re doing our own thing. The similarities between our game and RCT will be akin to comparing Halo to Mass Effect.

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Cliqist : Other than the annoying questions, is it difficult to make a game like Parkitect given the apparent lineage and emotional connection everyone seems to have with “those other games”?

Garret : Well, we do get a lot of people wondering what sets it apart, and that’s totally expected. If anything, it’ll help us make sure we make something different and build upon what we already have. I wouldn’t say it’s been difficult, though.

Gordon : It’s weird that a lot of people want to deliver a monopoly to RCT (who as far as we can tell isn’t interested in having one. No one’s written us any threatening letters). People don’t demand other genres be monopolized by one franchise. Of course this is more specific than “a racing game” but we do keep having to reiterate that we’re not making a clone. We’re not studying every move RCT makes, their code or their design or their sound. We’re making our own game from the ground up with all our own custom assets, design and personal influences. That said, it is guaranteed that people will compare the two because Theme Park and RCT started and dominated the genre for over a decade. The success of the Kickstarter speaks for itself–people want more theme park sims. There is a lot of cool territory to be explored in this genre, and the market will dictate what should survive. Another great one is Theme Park Studio, which is a completely different game than ours that is much more microcosmic in its approach to ride design, while ours will be much more macrocosmic and will appeal to different users.

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Cliqist : Congratulations on crushing your funding goal.  Were you surprised by the response from backers?

Garret : There’s a few spikes in the campaign that caught us off guard and really surprised us. When we first planned this we went back and forth on chat worrying if we were gonna make it and if it was gonna be a huge embarrassment. Luckily, it hasn’t, and people seem to want a new theme park sim.

Gordon : There was a lot of public support before we launched the Kickstarter so we weren’t completely shocked, but it’s extremely encouraging, not to mention relieving, that we will be able to make the game we wanted to make.

 

Cliqist : Your decision to not include stretch goals is isn’t a very common one.  Can you share a bit more behind your decision?

Garret : Before launching the Kickstarter, I talked to a few devs and did a bunch of research on successful campaigns. I kept finding that stretch goals, while interesting to backers, tended to do more harm than good to the developer. Because of that, we decided against stretch goals to make sure we didn’t overscope the game and potentially go over budget. Personally, I just think they’re a really bad idea.

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Cliqist : Given that your project is based in Canada backers pay directly via Kickstarter. Do you think this policy hindered your funding at all?

Garret : Not at all. There were one or two people who asked why Amazon wasn’t an option when backing, but other than that no one brought up any worries with us.

 

Cliqist : Where do you see Parkitect 5 years from now?

Garret : This is a tricky one. I see it out on Steam and other places with a community of people around it, and a lot more content than it has now. I’m looking forward to seeing the parks and coasters people design.

Gordon : Planning 5 years in advance for anything, in my experience, only leads to disappointment. I like to keep my options for all opportunity open.

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Cliqist : Is Parkitect a scam or unattainable pipe dream?  What assurances do backers have that their money is in good hands?

Gordon : Garret and I live completely entrenched, like 100%, in the most thriving independent game community on earth. If we ship a bad game, not only will it be a nightmare for us socially, but we would be squandering one of the biggest gifts any of us has been given in our lives. Not a lot of people get this opportunity, and I don’t think any of us can handle letting down 2,000 people who had the faith to give us their hard earned money.  We have the personal and professional resources to guarantee this game finishes.

Sebastian : We’ve always posted updates on what we’re working on over the last 5 months, currently we’re regularly posting quite detailed progress updates on our devlog once a week. We think being completely open about our development process is the best we can do so people can form their own opinion.

 

Cliqist : Can you close us out with a Parkitect inspired haiku?

 

Across the planet

The sounds of rides and laughter

The Parkitects build

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Thanks to the gang at Texel Raptor for taking the time to answer our questions!  Be sure to check out the Parkitect Kickstarter campaign for more info!

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Greg Micek

Greg Micek

Editor at Cliqist
Greg Micek has been writing on and off about games since the late nineties, always with a focus on indie games. He started DIYGames.com in 2000, which was one of the earliest gaming sites to focus exclusively on indie games.
Greg Micek

@cliqist

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Greg Micek
Greg Micek
Greg Micek
greg@cliqist.com