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Planet Coaster is getting ready for a big ride

Frontier Developments announced Planet Coaster at E3 last week. Apart from a trailer screened at the PC Gaming Show, very little detail about the game was announced.

Polygon caught up with David Braben at E3 to talk about the new game, which he described as an attempt to revive a "long-dead genre."

"We're revisiting every aspect of that genre from scratch and doing it properly," he said. "We've got so many fans of these coaster park simulation games. We know what works very well and what doesn't."

Frontier developed RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, released back in 2004 by Atari. Braben said that game has sold "more than 10 million copies," partly because it was built to anticipate advances in PC gaming technology.

"When we did RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, all those years ago, we worked really hard to make it the best game. It stood out from others at the time. We were even criticized for some of the things we did on the graphics. We pushed those out. We supported pixel shaders. We supported reflective water.

"For that reason, the game continued to sell well. It hit number one on the charts nearly 10 years after it was released. It's still the de facto 'coaster game, all those years later, despite a lot of people trying to do them."

planet coaster

The new game is being built on the company's Cobra engine, which was used on RollerCoaster Tycoon 3. "We can do so much more now and we can do it so much better," said Braben. "We've learned a lot since then. Cobra now is so much more advanced than it was when shipped Tycoon 3 in 2004."

Given Braben's history of embracing technology and the fact that Frontier's space-trading game Elite: Dangerous is on Oculus Rift, it seems likely that Planet Coaster will feature VR rollercoaster rides, though Frontier won't talk details yet.

"You're building a theme park," said Braben. "You're keeping people happy. When you're setting all the rules of that, we'll make it work in a way that is as intuitive as possible. It will feel like something new, something fresh. We're looking at how we can add all these features and make them adorable, how to make them lovely. Hopefully you'll see from the trailer for Planet Coaster that there's a lot love there. There's a lot of beauty, a lot of emotion."

Planet Coaster is coming out for PC in 2016.

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