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Subject: Coaster Park - Tips and Tricks Post Essen rss

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Pandasaurus Games
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Hey everyone,

I wanted to jump in with a quick post about some issues that popped up at Essen. It's come to my attention that some of the demos were not taught correctly and I want to make sure that everyone has a good time with the game. I heard tale of coasters being assembled wrong and generally poor explanation of the game. At one point I saw a launch hill going into another launch hill and had nightmares.

1) Coaster Park is (partially) a dexterity game. There are some Coaster Part combinations that will "just work", but for the most part winning the game is going to require you to push the limits of physics a bit and employ some flicking, pushing and prodding of the marble out of the starting gate.

Some hills literally can't be cleared without a flick or push (the 6 point red hill being the prime example - there is not a starting hill in the game that will get it over the 6 point hill without a push). I think we may have not been as clear as we could have been that there is a dexterity element in the game at Essen, and want to make sure everyone understands this. I saw some 14 and 15 point Coasters at Essen that I never thought would work and then saw a group clear the entire thing.

2) Hill Assembly - in general you need to make sure that the previous and following hill share a support and that the previous hill slots to the INSIDE of the following hill. If it slots to the outside it will sometimes work, but it will be finickier. If you mix inside and outside slots your marble isn't going to be happy and will probably careen off the side or worse. So many dead patrons.

I would also suggest that a support be used (upside down) at the top of the first hill for your first few games. Eventually you will want to employ more advanced maneuvers for the top of the first hill, but it's a good starting spot.

3) Marbles go off the side of the coaster - This has two main causes.

3A) Inertia - if your hill is too short and the marble carries speed into it, it will want to continue going in the direction that it is already headed (up). You will note that the marble only goes off the side as it crests the apex of a hill, which means the issue is caused by the effects of inertia and gravity. This can mean flying off the side at the top of a hill, especially as the marble is going to have a spinning motion that will tend to have it favoring one side or another. So, back to #1. You may want to play with the coaster a bit to try and widen the gap or take some speed off of the hill (maybe even inserting a larger hill in front of the problematic one)

3B) Coaster construction - make sure the coaster parts are flat and play with the cardboard a bit to widen it at the top of the hill if it's pinching. You are allowed (and may need to) adjust the coaster construction to make sure that everything works right. This will allow you to potentially coax a marble that is moving too fast to stay on it's path better and after getting airborne still land on the track and continue down the path.

4) Coasters aren't working - There are 100% coasters that do not and will never work. Physics plays a roll in the game and dexterity and additional initial speed will help you some. But putting a tiny hill in front of a giant hill is a recipe for disaster. Putting lots of hills in a row is going to be hard. It can be done, but the game ends when a player has built their 7th hill. and each player can build 3 coasters. So while I have seen (and the game has been tested for) 4 and 5 length coasters to work (I've actually seen a 7 work once) it is not a requirement of the game that anyone do so.

Figuring out how to make a coaster work is largely the point of the game. And the game is not designed so that you just drop a marble and watch it go. There are absolutely coasters that strategy will work with, but they aren't worth a ton of points.

5) The Loop - The loop is being removed from future printings of the game. We put the flier in to try and dissuade people from using it at the outset, but the reports I'm getting back are that it is too finicky and not fun and its a loop so of course players want to use it no matter what a silly flyer says, so he will probably live on as a promotional item. It does work (and I'll post a video soon), but I cannot stress enough that it is a pain in the butt to both assemble and not the easiest thing in the world to get working. It's worth double points when it does work, but honestly it seems like it just ins't super fun. I thought the flyer would be enough to keep people from having their fun hit a wall on the loop, but it clearly was not.
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Jaap K
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Quote:
At one point I saw a launch hill going into another launch hill and had nightmares.


Sadly I was to late to get a copy in Essen and seeing you post with so much passion for the game makes me regret this even more.

Thanks for this post, I will try to acquire the game soon through other retail channels
 
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Kristoffer Nilsson
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I think I spent two full hours trying to get a loop to work, I think I will just remove it from the game as suggested.

I also found that rules that was thought at the fair was not 100% correct, but close enough for us to enjoy the game.

Thanks for the game and the opportunity to test out all your games at the fair.
 
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Zachary Stoltenberg

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Sad to see the loop go, I would keep it in the game but look for a better option to make it work, perhaps a plastic piece?
 
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Pandasaurus Games
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zachstoltenberg wrote:
Sad to see the loop go, I would keep it in the game but look for a better option to make it work, perhaps a plastic piece?


Plastic doesn't really work very well because it will wind up being the cardboard (I used some 3d printed plastic stands to test widths prior to the game entering production to correct the loop and they really ate up the cardboard.

The loop will probably come back as a promotional item. It needs to go though because everyone is playing with it. We've gotten several bad ratings that basically come down to "the loop didn't work" and given that it's more of a fun thing than something we recommend playing the game with, I should have removed it.

FWIW, I think pretty much everyone else wanted it to go away and I thought throwing a flyer in saying "hey, don't really use this unless you super know what you are doing" would be enough. I should have recognized that loops are loops and if you have a loop you're going to want to use it.
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Jae
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I posted an article on Vasel's review thread for this game on why the loop may not be working the way you wanted it to.
 
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James Clarke
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Bagherra wrote:
I posted an article on Vasel's review thread for this game on why the loop may not be working the way you wanted it to.


I think you're barking up the wrong tree.
 
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Scott Almes
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Bagherra wrote:
I posted an article on Vasel's review thread for this game on why the loop may not be working the way you wanted it to.


Cool article. Thanks for sharing! I'm a big physics guy, so I like the further analysis bits quite a bit.
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Jae
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scottbalmes wrote:
Bagherra wrote:
I posted an article on Vasel's review thread for this game on why the loop may not be working the way you wanted it to.


Cool article. Thanks for sharing! I'm a big physics guy, so I like the further analysis bits quite a bit.


You're currently my favorite game designer, so thank you.
 
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Scott Almes
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Bagherra wrote:


You're currently my favorite game designer, so thank you.


Thanks! I'm very glad you've been enjoying my games
 
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Sara Bear
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I was going to remove this from my private checklist, but this thread explains much, so it stays on the Christmas list. If I get a copy with a loop, despite temptation to use it, I will not until I have made ten or fifteen successful coasters first. Because I know me, and it would frustrate me and affect my opinion. But, I also know, I want to get good enough to be able to noodle around with it, and if it doesn't work great for me then, I'll have a good opinion of the game by that point and can just know it's physics. I'll have mastered how the pieces fit together by that point, hopefully, and know a little about when to shove vs. Other stuff.

I'm very very visual, so the goal of Trying the loop even though I may never succeed with it, will spur me through the learning to put the other pieces together. Failures can be funny, perhaps I can set up a few Lego people to get knocked over should the marble go awry, for bonus points. Or negative points, haven't decided. . . .that marble will go awry, may as Well add some carnage.
 
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