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Justinwzig's Project Thread

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Post June 30th, 2016, 4:22 pm

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Heyo! As I get up and running here again, I figured I would make a projects thread. I hope that this will help me stay on track (ha, get it?) with projects because I have a tendency to stray from the course and leave things unfinished.
I work primarily in NL2 (which is why it's in this subforum) but use a couple of other tools as well. My passion is trackwork, but I want to get better at 3D modeling, scripting, etc. I'm in that weird spot on the modeling & scripting side because I know the basics but everything I made/do looks like crap, but practice makes perfect.
This main post will be updated as I finish projects (so this will act like an index) but I will put project updates in the replies below. Comments, complaints, criticism, and anticapitalist sentiments are welcome!

Let's start with-
Whizzer Recreation
My home park is Six Flags Great America, and Whizzer is a ridiculously fun ride for it's size and age. I'm glad that the park has pledged to keep it around for the foreseeable future and it crossed my mind one day that I haven't ever seen a good NL recreation of it - so I figured I would give it a go. The one problem is that there is a complete lack of documentation, maps, pictures, videos etc. for this ride and anything that does exist is, well, iffy. Turns out that the google maps images from 2002 and 2010 are clearer and better than the current ones, so I will mainly be using those as my overlay (or, in my case, a rectangle object with a texture becuase my overlay doesn't work :/). I'm going to start with the track and move on to scenery later. Because it is such a unique ride, I'm trying to figure out what I am going to do for the cars - For testing purposes, I'm using the bobsled coaster cars with the Eurofighter (original) track becuase it has those wonderful diagonal crossties. Only time will tell, but I'm really really hoping I can get some custom cars for this thing because Whizzer cars are so unique (if anyone wants to help I will be forever indebted to you).

Tl;dr: Great coaster, tracks first, scenery later. If someone wants to help with custom vehicles, please please please let me know because that would make this 500% better.

Preliminary pictures:
Google hasn't updated the logo that they show in google earth!!!
Just the station, lift, first drop, and first element are in at the moment, but now that all the maps and source fussing is done, tit should go smoother from here.

Last edited by justinwzig on July 8th, 2016, 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post July 1st, 2016, 6:02 am
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Looks like a fun creation! I think if you show really good progress then there will certainly be people out there who would create a custom train. Looking forward to seeing you develop this recreation!
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Post July 1st, 2016, 8:12 pm

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Hope that your track is ready to be set! :D
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Post July 3rd, 2016, 12:09 pm
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Whizzer recreation would be really cool to see. You should really be able to nail the supports (have fun with those BTW lol) with how NL2 sets them up, and luckily the terrain isn't much in the area :D.

Are you going to go for 1970's glory and have it capable of running 5 trains like a mystical machine or do the modern day version?
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Post July 8th, 2016, 9:53 am

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Update time!
I think that the trackwork is finished! It's an ever evolving thing and I'm sure I will catch a couple mistakes while I am supporting the track (which will be a pain because I've got supports set up on separate coaster ;/), but it finally feels good. I've got several brake/lift sections in place (this ride has a lot of mid run trim brakes, as well as a mid run brake section, which was surprising to me) just to get a feel of where those are going to go.

In order to get the look/feel just right, I've messed around with coaster styles a bit more.
    The track that you will end up seeing (visible track) is actually hyper coaster track - this style includes 2 tube diagonals, has side brakes just like whizzer, single transport wheels, and has a chain style that is oddly close to what is actually on whizzer (of course, the chain is replaced by the third rail power system for the real ride, but we can sort that out later). Hyper coaster cars are also longer and thinner than most which also matches the custom cars on the ride.
    The supports that you will see belong to the Zamperla Twister Coaster because it has these track connectors that you can't find anywhere else, and they are perfect for two tube track. I don't know why it's not in the list, but I can only seem to get this exact connector style with the track default of the twister. They look great, so I can't argue with that.
    The ride you actually ride will probably also be a hyper coaster just for consistency's sake and the custom vehicles but that is still up in the air - if anyone thinks I should change this, give me a shout.

Now, the actual track (the numbers don't correlate to the images, sorry).
1. That spiral is a big time bitch. There really isn't a good way to create an even, circular, and perfectly sloped spiral in this game. The node system is great, but sometimes I wish we had those besizers back. FVD was of no help here, because the spiral just kinda wound itself into a circle, but if anyone knows FVD better and has a technique to make a spiral, that would be fantastic. The solution I went with is actually just the default curve left element, set to raise it's height each time. You can't make that element turn for more than 360 degrees which is a pain, so there are these periodic flat parts on one side of the spiral. It's annoying, and something that I tried to fix to no avail. I'm pretty happy with the rest of the thing though.

2. The first right turn is also kinda a bitch. With the storage to the left and the other track above it and the other track to the right it's a bit hard to fit a smooth turn in there. It worked itself out eventually, just took a lot of iterations. I think it's a bit close to the ground in it's current state, but my measurements tell me otherwise and NL can be a bit deceptive about scale.

3. The little topper hill with the anti rollback and trim brake was fairly easy, just hard to get the banking right on. At this point, the train seemed to be going a bit slow when compared with some of the POVs that I watch, so that took some fussing. I'm actually very happy with the shaping up there at the moment and I doubt that will see many changes. However, the drop after that curve actually has a transport launcher, because the coaster couldn't make it up the next hill, a hill that I'm sure the height was correct on. I should probably get my hands on the professional version and just use the custom friction, but this solution works fine. It's not a huge launch and is carefully integrated into the drop so that the rider doesn't even notice, but it really helps the ride experience. I'm kinda ashamed to admit that the track wasn't even completing in it's original state because there just wasn't enough momentum, but this is definitely the best solution at the moment.

4. The curve around the spiral is fun! I really like that part of the ride and it was a blast to make, went super quick.

5. Now the fun (haha) part. The little topper above the storage there? Why? Why did they do this to me!? There isn't enough damn space and all the maps make it look super weird so it took a lot of time to get it right. The transition in is fine at the moment, but the transition into that little bridge over the road is a bitch and a half. Because the bridge dips a bit, depump was of no help and just ended up erasing my work which was a fun time. I've added a detail picture at the end of the album to illustrate my point

6. The final helix and the station both went swimmingly, no problems there. The station will need a lot of work and probably custom modeled track to get those brake and transport devices right, but that comes later.

What's next -
Terrain and supports! The terrain will be interesting and will probably involve a lot of guessing but it should be fun. Please let me know what you think of the support styles I have included in the album. I haven't gotten very far into it but I think I have found some good combinations, and now all that's left is to actually support it. After that is finished, the modeling begins!

Download!
Yay! A WIP download! I'm a big fan of open sourcing and letting people see unfinished work, so here ya go. There is one catch: If you download it, you must provide feedback in this thread. I might be making a huge mistake here and would be completely blind to it without your help - extra sets of eyes are crucial. You needn't write a book, just a few comments. Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxcPIB32S7P3TzFUanoySTV4T0U/view?usp=sharing

p.s. thanks to whichever mod fixed my imgur album in the post above ;).

Last edited by justinwzig on July 8th, 2016, 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post July 8th, 2016, 10:00 am

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Comments!
First, thanks so much for everyone's interest and comments. I'll go person by person-
mkingy - Here's hoping!
lol240 - yeah it's a big time struggle, but I'm happy with where it is. I'm sure there's still something off though.
Coasterkidmwm - I definitely plan on putting a LOT of time into the supports. It's something I don't get to do enough of in NL2 and surprisingly powerful, so it should be a good time. The trouble really lies in getting them as true-to-life as possible. There are hardly any images of any part of this ride except for the spiral and the POVs don't show supports :/. And...I nearly forgot about terrain. Oops. better do that before supports!!! Additionally, I'm unfortunately too young to remember this thing in it's glory days, but this is a simulation after all... ;). I would actually be open to looking into a re-theme after this is done to match the old atmosphere, before the area was even covered in trees, but that comes later.

Thanks again!
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Post July 8th, 2016, 10:15 am
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http://www.greatamericaparks.com/history.html

Look at the Whizzer pics from either park, they're clones. It used to be white and red with barely any trees so you can see everything. It's also pretty much the same track and supporting system as Revolution and SooperDooperLooper. Search for Whizzer in the user galleries and you'll get all kinds of goodies like this:

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/images ... zer007.jpg

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/images ... zer015.jpg

http://www.greatamericaparks.com/images ... zer017.jpg

I'll give the WIP track a download later tonight
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Post July 8th, 2016, 12:45 pm

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Yep, those are the references I've been using aside from the maps and the POV. At this point it comes down to being able to correctly capture the terrain, which is hard even with the images. I'm busy the next couple days but then Ill have a chance to look into it some more. Thanks for the tips.
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Post July 8th, 2016, 4:11 pm

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I think that your recreation does not come into the final brakes fast enough.

Image

whizzer.jpg


I put the coaster to 2.0 friction and it made it without that booster enabled.

It also runs a 4 car train and not a two car train.

Image

Post July 8th, 2016, 4:53 pm

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cool5: I haven't messed around with the cars much yet, that comes later.
When you say that it doesn't come into the final brakes fast enough, do you think that I should make the spiral higher or that I should tweak it some other way? The max height of the ride is 70 ft which is 21.336 meters and the max height in game is actually about 26 meters, but the actual lift height of the ride (total height - station height) is 23 meters, which is still 2 meters more than the actual ride.
I do know that the train can make it around the track with the booster disabled but it is wayy too slow. By the time it reaches the curve around the spiral, it just feels like it is crawling, so that's why I added the booster.

If anyone has a good solution I'm open to suggestions :).
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Post July 8th, 2016, 5:45 pm
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Did you scale the aerial photo correctly you used to make the ride? Also the ride shouldn't be heartlined at all.

I think your aerial photo might be scaled wrong because I seriously doubt the real thing would magically preserve its speed like that.
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Post July 9th, 2016, 8:49 am

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The scale should be exact according to what google earth reports. Some distortion is inevitable, but here's how I lined up the scaling:

[imgur]http://i.imgur.com/O2qMfnu.png[/imgur]

What I actually did is just take a screenshot of the whole window and then just crop it and use the dimensions of the image to scale it correctly inside sketchup, and then move that to NL2, which is actually more precise because these measurements are approximate, but this is easier to illustrate.

The speed is weird, I agree. I may need to make the station and spiral higher, but I'm not ready to commit to that. I need to plan a trip out there to actually just go and measure the platform height and get some better pictures, but that will take at least 4 weeks because I'm off to camp today. At least I can keep working on this anyways :D.
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