RollerCoaster Tycoon Story Feed

Brunette Games GDC Talk on 'Conflict, Mystery, and Connection' Now Available on YouTube

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By Lisa Brunette

As you might remember, I was scheduled to speak at GDC 2020, but then the conference was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I had committed to a local version of the talk here in St. Louis just prior to GDC. This was designed as a way to share knowledge with our developer community, as well as serve as a "live" practice for GDC. At the time that GDC was cancelled, the lockdowns were still limited to the West Coast. So here in the Midwest, the show went on as planned...

Except for one important change. I invited my Brunette Games team members to join me at the podium. I think the show turned out better than it would have been if I'd flown solo! Thanks to the St. Louis Game Development Co-op, which both sponsored the presentation and arranged for a video capture and livestream, I was able to submit the talk to the GDC Vault. And now GDC has also made it available on YouTube. Here it is, called "Conflict, Mystery, and Connection in Casual, Free-to-Play Puzzle Games." Games discussed: Matchington Mansion, Lily's Garden, Sweet Escapes, RollerCoaster Tycoon Story, and Wild Things: Animal Adventures (not Vineyard Valley, so I'm not sure why GDC used it for the video default image.)

It's a pleasure to be a part of GDC even remotely, and we hope to see you all next year!


With the Juneteenth Holiday, a Pledge: We Can Do Better

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A character we created for the in-development interactive novel app Crime Stories, a project where we had a great deal of control over the character cast. It's also one of our most diverse.

One of the services we offer at Brunette Games is character design. What this means is that in the process of designing narratives, we also conceive of a game's cast of characters. While we do not create the actual artwork for these characters, and our clients hold final approval on a character's overall design, we play an important role in either proposing the character at the outset or redesigning existing characters.

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Geoff, a gay person of color, is your office bestie in 'Woman on the Bridge,' an interactive novel in the Crime Stories app. He is one of the chiropractors in the office where the player character works.

Designing a game character is a powerful act, one we don't take lightly. Characters can connect and resonate with players - and even influence or shape their conception of the world. 

Five members of our team of seven come from ethnic and cultural backgrounds that have been underrepresented in the game industry, and we design games for audiences that have traditionally been ignored. Diversity and inclusion is not only important to us from an artistic standpoint - it forms the very basis of our business.

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The detective investigating the murder of your coworker in 'Woman on the Bridge.' He also becomes a possible love interest in this choice-based, branching narrative.

We're proud of the work we've done on this front with our clients and want to take Juneteenth as an opportunity to honor the characters we've created together. We support the campaign to make Juneteenth a national holiday, and it is already a recognized day of observance in our headquarters state of Missouri. We've decided to join with other companies in declaring it a day off. However, we also want to stand in solidarity with all those in the game industry who recognize that the work must continue.

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A rarity in games even in the over-40 female player market: a character actually depicted as a 40+ woman.

At Brunette Games, we know we personally can do better - and we know the industry as a whole must do better as well. We pledge to push further in this important work. Won't you join us?

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When Firecraft came to us with their deliveryman character, we chose to model his dialogue after intellectuals we admire in the African-American community, such as President Barack Obama and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Antonio is known for his factoids on cats and other topics.
 
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We collaborated with fellow St. Louis-based Graphite Lab to create quirky engineer character Maggie, the genius behind the rides in RollerCoaster Tycoon Story.
 
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While older women are usually depicted in games stereotypically, in some cases literally like "old ladies in rocking chairs," we worked with Kuuhubb to create a realistic character in Esther, whose murder you must solve in the interactive novel app Tiles & Tales.

New Release! ‘RollerCoaster Tycoon Story’ for Atari and Graphite Lab

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Official Start Menu

By Dexter Woltman

It’s no secret Brunette Games works with amazing clients from all across the world, but this new release hits far closer to home. Developed by Atari and Graphite Lab, RollerCoaster Tycoon Story launched this week as part of the latest installment of the classic Atari franchise. Not only did Brunette Games write the dialogue and in-game text, but we had the honor of working hand-in-hand with Graphite Lab through every step of the script process.

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Official In-Game Screenshot

Like Brunette Games, Graphite Lab is centered right here in St. Louis. They have some amazing talent in their studio, and our two companies’ relationship goes beyond the walls of work. So much so, that one of their employees and I are actually neighbors! RollerCoaster Tycoon Story was one of my first big original writing projects, and getting to sit down and talk with their team face-to-face as we developed the narrative was an experience I’ll never forget.

St. Louis is slowly growing its own gaming community, one both Brunette Games and Graphite Lab are happy to be part of. We had the great opportunity to work together, and RollerCoaster Tycoon Story is the product of that collaboration. For the first time in the series, this new release has a rich narrative built around exciting Match-3 puzzles. Even more, Graphite Lab has evolved the typical Match-3 genre by including a rails mechanic never before seen in these types of casual games. A third St. Louis studio, Fat Bard, provided music and sound effect support as well, making this a truly homegrown effort all around.

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Official In-Game Screenshot

If that’s not enough to sell you on this new release, hear it from the developer themselves with the official App Store description:

Welcome to RollerCoaster Tycoon Story! The legendary Eagleland theme park has fallen into despair and it’s up to you to restore it to its former glory by solving exciting Match-3 puzzles. Based on the beloved RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise, RollerCoaster Tycoon Story uses an innovative rail match system to earn tickets that can be used to complete tasks such as repairing rides, cleaning up park grounds and rebuilding shops. Partner with Sam, your dependable mechanic and other park staff to help restore the land around the park, unravel hidden mysteries, meet interesting characters and become a true RollerCoaster Tycoon.

Features:

• Hundreds of Levels: Match three or more pieces using the rail match system to complete fun puzzles or earn powerful boosters. Complete more complex puzzles to uncover special items including the famous Screechin’ Eagle booster.

• Exciting Story: Finish each round to progress through the storyline and advance to the next level. As you continue to play, additional zones of the park will unlock revealing classic RollerCoaster Tycoon rides like the Log Flume water ride.

• Renovate and Decorate: Improve sections of your park by removing debris, adding decorations, and investing in research to further upgrade rides, attractions and more.

• Endearing Characters: Interact with multiple characters including Sam the maintenance worker, Maggie the mechanic, Tyler the panda mascot entertainer, and many others.

• Daily Rewards: Earn bonus rewards each day for restored rides and attractions. More rides, more money!

• Leaderboards: Top the global leaderboards and compete against friends.

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Official In-Game Screenshot

Also, did I mention you get to name a pet squirrel? Download now, and tell us here at Brunette Games what you think!

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For more information, visit the official website here!