2016: Air - Re-theme to VR Coaster - Galactica

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Leah

TS Member
Can't past the image, but on the destination page of the galactica, the planet's looks lot like earth... either they are too lazy to create a new planet, or it might hint at the story.
 

DiogoJ42

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Metropolitan Line
In a lot of the early episodes of Start Trek: TNG, most of the "class M" planets they visited were just Earth rotated a bit. (They were replaced with new CGI planets on the "remastered" Blu-rays). I'd say if paramount did it through lack of budget to invent new worlds, it's a safe bet that Merlin have too.
 

cotda

TS Member
My other half had a theory on how the VR will take it into account. There will just be RFID transmitters on the track keeping the VR synced. So it doesn't switch from lift hill VR video to the drop video until it passes over the top. This could I assume also ensure each row is in the right place so the front triggers before the back.

I would imagine it would work in a similar way to EP's tests, where the revolutions of the wheels on the train are monitored in conjunction with track position sensors to determine position and speed, this data would then be passed into the VR simulation to ensure sync. If it isn't done this way, with speed monitoring, could make many people quite ill.
 

DiogoJ42

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Metropolitan Line
I'm not sure if velocity has that much impact on how queasy you feel compared to turning at the right moment, or which way is up?
 

GaryH

TS Member
Lol, this thread has turned out to be one of the most amusing of any new ride I have read for a long time. Loved the comment about the washing machine element earlier on.

I'm wondering if AT will sneak in some subliminal advertising into the VR itself.... will soon see if a load of brainwashed riders exit the ride and immediately all go and buy a Galatica cuddly bear priced £40 in the shop straight afterwards.....

Edit : oops, may have given their marketing team an idea here.... if so, I want royalties!
 

Blizzard

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Gotta be Oblivion tbh!
Just a though, for those wishing not to use VR, why not have one station with & one without, this way the headsets could be easily handed out at the merge point. Pretty sure the whole VR thing will wear off after a year or so anyway!

:)
 

Danny

TS Contributor
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
I'd assume that's down to Mack patenting the portable VR headsets, hence why Towers have had them mounted into the ride itself.
 

monkeyboy

TS Member
I would imagine it would work in a similar way to EP's tests, where the revolutions of the wheels on the train are monitored in conjunction with track position sensors to determine position and speed, this data would then be passed into the VR simulation to ensure sync. If it isn't done this way, with speed monitoring, could make many people quite ill.


What happens if the you get a stop on the lift hill. Does the vr loop or switch off? I'm sure h+s would have something to say about stranded guests in a virtual world.

Can you take you headset off at any point?
 

AndrewH

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
I don't think it really makes send to segregate the stations like that as:
  1. It might not be popular with us but the VR will be extremely popular with the GP so there would be much higher demand for one of the stations.
  2. It would affect throughput as the infrastructure is designed to send single riders to the station with groups of 3 to ensure all seats are filled. Plus a lack of queue for non VR would reduce throughput as trains would probably be sent with empty seats.
  3. If the VR headset is mounted to the train anyway it wouldn't effect anything if they uses the stations as they were before but with some people not using VR on the same train as those who are.
 

delta79

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis, Air
What happens if the you get a stop on the lift hill. Does the vr loop or switch off?

I wonder if it would be a per mapped environment, like a tunnel view that is rendered in line with the speed. So it would stop in the virtual tunnel.
 
Despite predictable posts from the usual suspects in this thread, but I must say, this is intriguing, if not concerning. Are they going to clean the headsets after each dispatch? Air, despite having two stations, three trains and one of the highest capacities in the park, feels incredibly tedious to queue for as it is. Will each car correspond with the element exactly? The back seats will surely drag behind the front? And yes, what of that nifty slow down on the lift built into the ride system?

I don't think this is coming in cheap, but it sounds like it could be dismissed relatively quickly in a few seasons time, too. I know that prior to The Smiler crash, Merlin were planning to reward Alton for good performance in 2016, with two new flats and potentially, a new theatre/show venue and large scale IP production. This is can be packaged as ambitious, but it's obviously a very safe investment.
 

Dar

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
Saw this on TPR showing the test setup:
gal-Image-_1__3547521b.jpg


I assume the tethers are removable from off-ride, to allow cleaning, but not on-ride? I guess this would explain how they were going to get cleaned after every cycle.
 

CoasterCrazyChris

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Right then so it is finally confirmed.

I like the idea of upgrading Air by adding Virtual Reality headsets. Apart from the obvious concerns of the affect on throughput I think it is a good way of refreshing what has become a rather stale ride; which let's be frank it is 14 years on (!!!) now the flying novelty has worn off and all you're left with is a beautifully engineered, but rather dull average length ride over some paving and grass with views of a car park. If the VR is immersive and synced with the ride elements it could be really good.

However, the space re-theme I really despise the look of. These themes only ever have a chance of working well if they are enclosed like the Black Hole, otherwise they just look cheap. Furthermore, Air was a great name forming part of the trio of B&M's at Alton Towers and the GP know it as that, 'Galactica' as a name on the other hand is just cliché and hackneyed. I doubt it will catch on very quickly. I really will miss the lush soundtrack and millennium-esque feel of the station and plaza area. It would have been far better if they had kept the Air theme and then added VR giving people a choice from a selection of themes when they ride.

More theming arond the ride is definitely a good thing but it looks like it will be cheap MDF near miss Swarm style props which will be no substitute for actually investing in real multi-sensory elements as seen in the original concepts with lakes, geysers and waterfalls. Heck, why spend money on building an immersive physical environment when we can just stick a headset on the riders and pretend they are somewhere else? The original theme turned out to be bland but if it had been fully realised it would have proved how you an create a minimalist aesthetic that is still immersive without relying on theming 'decoration'.

It's another case of how the marketing department are basically running the park, where presenting something to the media is the first and foremost concern and then working out how to develop this into an attraction; rather than having a brilliant attraction and then using the marketing department as a vehicle to sell it. Do they really think that sticking some headsets on an existing ride, giving it a new name and adding an overpriced restaurant are going to bring back the guests in 2016? There's no substance, cohesion or any tangible long term vision to what Merlin are doing with Alton Towers.
 
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GaryH

TS Member
I agree - keeping Air and building on it with VR would have worked - as would have building the ride with the theming and lakes as shown in the original plans!!!!
 

XXBENNXX

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Spider-Man IOA
Concept art for this! If it looks like this it'll be brilliant

12507590_544688469029196_7104839567402828751_n.jpg
Reminds me of my Lego Dimension's Portal ........ I think this is a lazy thing to do, sure it will bring the GP back, but when it breaks that will be it, it won't be fixed. - Many people are going to go thinking that it is tied to Battlestar Galactica, which already has a coaster at Universal Singapore. Really looking forward to the restaurant though, all Air needed was a clean up and some beautiful theming, maybe to realize it's original potential, VR is a fad, and like loom bands, everyone will be bored in 6 months time.

(EDIT) - I go to Alton Towers and leave all my electrical devices in my Splash Landings room, same if I go to Disney or Universal, I go to a theme park to escape everyday life, obviously Merlin will never make me feel like I am a different world like Disney or Universal can, but the premise is the same.

I do not go to a theme park to get on a Rollercoaster (Fun) only to have my vision obscured by a bloody phone screen and put into a virtual world, if I want to be put into a virtual world, I will play my PS4 and stay home, I go to ride a rollercoaster for what it is, a ROLLERCOASTER.

Dark rides that employ screens and sets are perfect for immersion, but this is just so so lazy.
 
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