Price Gouge Tycoon

An open journey from Forest Frontiers to Mega Park

Guests are getting lost or stuck. Check whether the layout of your footpaths needs improving to help the guests find their way around

Another alert pops up. The paths are a shambles, overtly-cryptic and spew-laden. The Year 3 deadline creeps ever-closer and your park is losing peeps fast. Looping Roller Coaster 1’s profit margin just hit the red as guests in your park realise the simple shuttle coaster is not worth the $9.60 price tag. Some say it’s not possible to fail in the scenario Forest Frontiers, but somehow you’ve found a way.

Rollercoaster Tycoon is a serious game for serious people

Welcome to Rollercoaster Tycoon. One of the greatest simulation games ever made. Hand-crafted by Chris Sawyer in 1999 using x86 assembly and now 17 years later, lovingly prolonged and extended by the community through OpenRCT2. If you were friends with me 15 years ago, chances are we huddled around a Pentium 3 at some point in time, spending hours trying to complete the numerous challenging scenarios or hang out in a sandbox park, crafting ridiculously unrealistic coasters. You know the type: absolute death traps — 30+ inversions, lateral g’s comfortably in the red and ride times reaching towards days and months; One hell of a ride.

Figuring out the Formula

Manage your park rating, gouge peeps, build coasters

Like any other tycoon game, Rollercoaster Tycoon is bounded by it’s economy and made up of some intrinsic rules. Satisfy these rules and you will run a profitable and successful park that peeps enjoy.

Park Rating is determined by — Appropriate pricing of rides, amenities or park entrance; The number of rides in your park and their excitement ratings; A wide variety of ride types; The number of food and toilet facilities; The amount of litter, vandalism or spew on your footpaths; The complexity of your paths; Whether your park is overly crowded or not; The number of security guards and entertainers employed; The scenary.

Peeps walk into your park with pockets full of money, gouge them — Set prices of more than $9 for well-designed roller coasters (I usually price them as excitement rating + ~$2); $20.00 for umbrellas (they’ll buy anything if it’s raining); A couple of dollars for each type of food and drink; $0.20 for the privilege of a toilet and $4 a pop for 2 turns around a micro Go-Kart track. Raise prices as much as possible before peeps reject to pay that much. Find the tipping point and set prices accordingly.

As you play the game you will inevitably learn how to build roller coasters. There’s a vibrant community for Rollercoaster Tycoon so there’s no shortage of of resources to help you learn the basics of helixes, lateral g’s and the very nature of gravity. Well, maybe not the nature of gravity. But you’ll definitely learn how to make a sweet shuttle loop.

The Journey Begins

Below are all the scenarios from the original Rollercoaster Tycoon completed using OpenRCT 2. Many thanks to the dedicated fan that ported the maps across. Your attention to detail has not gone unnoticed.


Price Gouge Tycoon

Note: OpenRCT2 may operate slightly differently than the original Rollercoaster Tycoon 2. Parks may not work on a stock copy of RCT2.

Forest Frontiers: Deep in the forest, build a thriving theme park in a large cleared area
Scenario: Forest Frontiers
Guests: ~590
Park Rating: 840
Money: ~$6,500 a month

Not much to say about this one: Just stick to the basics — Build some shuttle loops, flat rides, keep staff patrolled and price gouge where possible. Naming conventions and aesthetics weren’t really a priority when I built this one. Just get in and out, enough to get our feet wet.

Dynamite Dunes: Built in the middle of the desert, this theme park contains just one roller coaster but has space for expansion
Scenario: Dynamite Dunes
Guests: ~950
Park Rating: ~970
Money: ~$6,000 a month

The existing coaster in this scenario really helps with profit margins. Add an on-ride photo section to make some extra money. Of course, remember the basics — Set all rides to 10 minute inspection intervals and have plenty of mechanics on hand. Notice the sweet price gouging through multiple “super exciting” Go Kart tracks.

Note: Unfortunately I did not save this scenario on the cusp of October Year 3, the save file for this scenario is in Year 4.

Add on-ride photos to existing rides to increase profit

Leafy Lake: Starting from scratch, build a theme park around a lake
Scenario: Leafy Lake
Guests: ~950
Park Rating: ~960
Money: ~$7,500 a month

Price gouge has hit peak gouge. Almost $100,000 in the bank at the close of this scenario with the potential for another 100,000. Build plenty of shuttle loops and don’t forget the basics — I’ve mentioned that before, haven’t I? Pepper in a variety of ride types; Guests will bore easily from a park with shuttle loops only.

Diamond Heights: Diamond Heights is already a successful theme park with great rides — develop it to double it’s value
Scenario: Diamond Heights
Guests: ~1,350
Park Rating: ~999
Money: ~$8,000 a month

As a kid I loved this scenario. It was the definitive Rollercoaster Tycoon park — Those aptly named racing coasters, double looped with intertwining paths was/is incredible! Out of respect for this park, A slight transition away from mass profit-motive was had to develop an appreciation for the aesthetic and “peep experience”.

That being said, there is still P R I C E G O U G I N G.

Cremnophobia is a fear is the fear of steep cliffs

Evergreen Gardens: Convert the beautiful Evergreen Gardens into a thriving theme park
Scenario: Evergreen Gardens
Guests: ~1,200
Park Rating: ~960
Money: ~$9,000 a month

This scenario was the last one I completed on this journey. It is a relatively easy scenario and one of the most beautiful default parks. During the first year, make sure you take care to block off paths to the rear of the park as guests can get lost easily without the aid of a park map.

Stick to the basics and this one is a walk in the… garden. Set the park entrance fee as high as possible before warning alerts are signalled then lower incrementally from there.

Bumbly Beach: Develop Bumbly Beach’s small amusement park into a thriving theme park
Scenario: Bumbly Beach
Guests: ~950
Park Rating: ~911
Money: ~$6,100 a month

A pretty ordinary park. Basically Forest Frontiers Mk II. Not a whole lot to be said! Make use of pre-made coasters for guaranteed income if you are not confident in your coaster-making ability — Building a custom ride can sometimes chew up more time than you expect, especially if you are using the turbo mode included with OpenRCT2.

Trinity Islands: Several islands form the basis for this new park
Scenario: Trinity Islands
Guests: ~960
Park Rating: ~970
Money: ~$7,300 a month

This park is the first to introduce the challenge of space — Sometimes you want to bring your imagination to life in coaster form but physical restraints require you to stretch your creativity.

You can fit a healthy number of pre-built coasters and flat rides alongside the Gouge d’Norm of Shuttle Loops and Go-Karts. This is a great scenario to revisit once you develop your coaster-making abilities. For an additional challenge, force all coasters to be built on every island concurrently.

Katie’s Dreamland: A small theme park with a few rides and room for expansion — Your aim is to double the park value
Scenario: Katie’s Dreamland
Guests: ~1,500
Park Rating: ~999
Money: ~$9,200 a month

This is an interesting scenario, there are a couple of well-built rollercoasters, however the park has a few problems: Overly long queue lines and some finicky pathing. Overall a decent scenario if you follow the basics — I’m starting to sound like a broken record by now.

Build brakes before the train arrives at the station

Pokey Park: A small, cramped amusement park which requires major expansion
Scenario: Pokey Park
Guests: ~760
Park Rating: ~915
Money: ~$5,400 a month

Pokey Park takes the challenge of space introduced during Trinity Islands and multiplies it by a thousand. This scenario will teach you about financial management — increased loans that need to be payed back in a small timeframe. Use initial loan money to purchase land on the other side of the road and fill it with fun rides!

As the scenario is only a 2 year challenge, be mindful of this time constraint when building your own rides. Pre-existing coasters can get you up and earning money quickly.

White Water Park: A park with some excellent water-based rides requires expansion
Scenario: White Water Park
Guests: ~990
Park Rating: ~960
Money: ~$6,500 a month

It was this point, after a few scenarios under my belt, that I began to get tired of the gouge formula and begun to focus on the aesthetics of the park alongside sustainability. This scenario required some extensive repathing, more organised and logically placed.

I would like to take this moment to appreciate jumping fountains. Jumping fountains are awesome. Your guests will appreciate them in large quantities.

Thanks Chris Sawyer!

Rollercoaster Tycoon really does have a brilliant colour palette for rides. I’m fond of the purples, yellows and pinks. Very vibrant!

Millennium Mines: Convert a large abandoned mine from a tourist attraction into a theme park
Scenario: Millennium Mines
Guests: ~1,280
Park Rating: 968
Money: ~$8,200 a month

It seems a bit hypocritical to only just announce my appreciation for the aesthetic then immediately complete Millennium Mines, a park that is nothing but price gouging and unstyled, pre-built rides. Trust me, the aesthetics will emerge soon enough.

A fun scenario nonetheless! There’s plenty of space to build some great rides and make plenty of money.

Karts & Coasters: A large park hidden in the forest, with only go-kart tracks and wooden roller coasters
Scenario: Karts & Coasters
Guests: ~1,600
Park Rating: ~999
Money: ~$6,000 a month

This a great scenario to test your ability to manage aspects of a park other than creating exciting and crowd-pleasing coasters — You will need to do extensive repathing around existing rides and take care of queue times. It is also a large park so employee patrol areas are crucially needed (Or just spamhire lots of handymen). Focus on building solid flat rides to complement the money-making coasters. Keep peeps fed, toileted and park-mapped.

And then there’s these trees, fuck these trees

Mel’s World: This theme park has some well-designed modern rides, but plenty of space for expansion
Scenario: Mel’s World
Guests: ~1,300
Park Rating: ~999
Money: ~$6,000 a month

Mel’s World is personally second to Diamond heights as the definitive Rollercoaster Tycoon park. The existing coasters are awesome and there is definitely a sense of magic to the park. I remember just watching Frigtmare for what felt like hours when I was younger. Check out that updated colour! Purple sexyness.

This park was the first one where I decided that quality of the rides and overall image of the park is just as important, if not more important than cramming in rides for profit.

Transform your rides into a story, a journey

Mystic Mountain: In the hilly forests of Mystic Mountain, build a theme park from scratch
Scenario: Mystic Mountain
Guests: ~1,230
Park Rating: ~890
Money: ~$5,800 a month

Mystic Mountain is somewhat of a turning-point scenario for this game. This scenario will challenge your path-creation and ability to handle lots of peeps in a crowded area. As always, a grasp on the basics will be tested.

It was about this time I became totally smitten with the Canvas Tent entrance styling; The colours are great!

A person had asked me about why the notch in the shuttle loop. My only answer would be that it adds intrigue!

Pacific Pyramids: Convert the Egyptian Ruins tourist attraction into a thriving theme park
Scenario: Pacific Pyramids
Guests: ~1,070
Park Rating: ~930
Money: ~$5,800 a month

Pacific Pyramids is easily my favourite scenario of the game as you are free to stretch your imagination and really roll with the Egyptian theme. And as if it really needs to be said — Take care of the basics! Build shuttle loops and other high-capacity, high-profit rides alongside your marvelous themed creations.

A lot of gold and green styling went into this park, an indication that the rides were built for the enjoyment of pharoahs. One exception is the Veiled Protectorate, a truck ride that kites the pyramids.

Research your theme — Veiled Protectorate was the name of the first period of British rule over Egypt

Crumbly Woods: A large park with well-designed but rather old rides — Replace the old rides or add new rides to make the park more popular
Scenario: Crumbly Woods
Guests: ~1,260
Park Rating: ~930
Money: ~$8,200 a month

Crumbly woods is an interesting scenario because it presents a fork in the road; You can either maintain the existing, crumbly rides or replace them with new, reliable rides. The existing rides can earn some significant profit however the constant down-time can eat into your margin. This was the first scenario that I lost during the first try.

Personally, I say destroy the the existing rides and do your own thing.

So I did. And it worked. Removing existing rides provided a healthy supply of money to construct an initial set of rides. Start with known money-makers and work the puns from there.

Spaghetti Bowlagnaise… Get it?

Paradise Pier: Convert this sleepy town’s pier into a thriving attraction
Scenario: Paradise Pier
Guests: ~1,050
Park Rating: ~940
Money: ~$6,000 a month

This scenario will push your ability to build numerous exciting rides in a very cramped space. Utilise under the boardwalk for coaster stations. You’d be suprised how many flat rides you can cram into such a small space!

As it is a small park, I thought it would look best with a simple monochromatic colour palette across all rides.

Lightning Peaks: The beautiful mountains of Lightning Peaks are popular with walkers and sightseers — Use the available land to attract a new thrill-seeking clientele
Scenario: Lightning Peaks
Guests: ~1,070
Park Rating: ~910
Money: ~$8,000 a month

Lightning Peaks ushers in the final stretch of the original game, it is the first of the Expert Parks. In a most non-expert move, I accidentally forgot to create a save file just before the end. The attached scenario in the archived file may not trigger the scenario win.

This is a very fun scenario to complete. The guests tend to enjoy more intense rides however it is constantly raining — On the upside, you can make a pretty penny through price gouged umbrellas.

$ 2 0 _ U M B R E L L A S

Shuttle Loops, use them

For this scenario, I decided to build a flat midway over the valley rather than contour to the mountains. It is cheaper in the long run and a lot easier for your guests and staff to navigate.

Ivory Towers: A well-established park, which has a few problems
Scenario: Ivory Towers
Guests: ~1,200
Park Rating: ~940
Money: ~$4,100 a month

Ivory Towers is a scenario that is all about damage control. The paths are littered beyond reproach. All the peeps are unhappy, staff are nowhere to be found and Hurricane, the feature ride, is a veritable spew-creator.

Build yourself a shuttle loop, some Go Karts and other flat rides while keeping the vandalism and litter at bay and this will make for a relatively boring yet fulfilling scenario.

Hint: Change the train size of Hurricane to improve it’s ride-ability (Longer trains go faster meaning higher intensity and nausea ratings).
Lights are aesthetic only, there’s no need to spend money on replacing them

Rainbow Valley: Rainbow Valley’s local authority won’t allow any landscape changes or large tree removal, but you must develop the area into a large theme park
Scenario: Rainbow Valley
Guests: ~1,360
Park Rating: ~999
Money: ~$10,000 a month

Rainbow Valley was probably the most daunting scenario in my mind. Creating paths without the ability to remove trees or change the ground is rather difficult. Start slowly and build your rides and paths deliberately. This scenario really tests your ability to create custom roller coasters — There are small gaps in the cliffs along the river that allow you to build tunnels and paths underground. Use them!

You need to stay vigilant about the basics — Build plenty of information kiosks so all peeps have park maps because soon you will have branches going in every direction.

Make use of steel coasters for their high support capability

Thunder Rock: Thunder Rock stands in the middle of a desert and attracts many tourists — Use the available space to build rides to attract more people
Scenario: Thunder Rock
Guests: ~1,200
Park Rating: ~920
Money: ~$3,600 a month

Here we are, the final scenario, Thunder Rock. It is a relatively easy scenario to complete after some of the previous parks. Just build a few solid roller coasters and ensure you stick to the basics and you will pass this one in no time.

I had a lot of fun choosing the colours for this park, I really like how the wooden coaster contrasts with the triple shuttle loop.

Make use of the inside of the rock, there’s heaps of room under there!

Mega Park

Mega Park: Just for fun!

I’d like to thankyou for letting me share this journey with you. Rollercoaster Tycoon is one of my favourite games of all time and I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I do.

Be sure to check out OpenRCT 2 on Github and Reddit. It’s a great community and the game has a bright future!