By Peter Ogden
Early on, roller coasters were designed by hand and made from wood. Building technique stayed relatively consistent for decades until 1985 when Intamin pioneered computer aided roller coaster design. This has led to the so-called “coaster wars” of making longer, taller, faster, and smoother roller coasters. Since then, multiple roller coaster design tools have become available to the public in the form of games. In 1999, Roller Coaster Tycoon was released to the public as a game allowing the user to create their own theme park. Since then, more realistic programs have been released culminating in the most realistic software today, NoLimits 2. One feature of NoLimits 2 allows users to export their track designs from the game into modeling software.
Figure 1. Final rendering of coaster designed in NoLimits 2
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