What Is Aircoaster?Edit
AirCoaster is a unique roller coaster simulator, designer and online community created for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. AirCoaster 1.5 is now a universal app for all iDevices running iOS 4. The current version of AirCoaster, 1.5,1 dropped the "XL" from its name, added the ability to place up to 6 trains on the track at once, ride properties being able to be saved with the track, and added a roller coaster station for a realistic experience. The full release notes, starting with the original v1.0 release back in February 2009, are available at http://mobileme.ziconic.com/Ziconic/AirCoaster.html.
For the AirCoaster and Shnap blog, visit http://aircoaster.wordpress.com.
Basic Principles Edit
Simulator, Track Designer, Online Community Edit
AirCoaster has 3 main parts: a simulation engine for roller coaster tracks, a track editor and a level publisher.
About the Simulation Engine Edit
AirCoaster simulates a frictionless roller coaster whose speed is determined by changes in altitude and boosters and brakes applied along the track. To simplify the process of creating a fully ride-able track, AirCoaster will automatically keep the car moving forward at a constant speed after it has slowed to a stop because of gravity. Gravity will be allowed to take over once again when the car starts moving downhill. That way, regardless of how the track is set up, you will always be able to ride the entire track from start to finish. If you want to disable this behavior and allow the car to roll backwards under the influence of gravity, you can enable the "Allow Car to Roll Backwards" option on the Advanced Settings screen in the Track Designer. This will allow you to create boomerang-style rides where the car oscillates back and forth on the track.
About the Online Community Edit
Registering for the Online Community is very simple. All you need to do is specify a username on the My Profile tab and optionally provide more information about yourself. You can change your username at any time, and the updated username will appear next to all of the comments and tracks you have previously posted. Some members use this feature to broadcast their online status by appending a status message to their username. All usernames are unique - you cannot pick a username that is already being used by someone else in the AirCoaster community.
Every AirCoaster user also has his or her own wall that anybody can write on. Users use their walls to exchange messages with one another. If someone asks you a question on your wall, it is appropriate to post your response on that person's wall so that he or she will be able to see it. You can delete any message on your wall at any time. Only the most recent 50 messages will be displayed on your wall.
Customizing Your RideEdit
Random Track GeneratorEdit
If you don't want to go through the hassle of building your own roller coaster from scratch, you can ask AirCoaster to generate a random track for you to ride. The track is generated based on a few preferences that you specify (maximum height, minimum track length, and the relative mix of loop-the-loop, corkscrew and spiral maneuvers), and no two rides are the same. The randomly generated tracks are not as rich or exciting as the tracks that you can create in the track designer (for example, there are no trees and often support intersections) but it is still a pretty good way to start your AirCoaster experience. Note that you can save a randomly generated track by tapping the star button in overview mode, and then load it up in the track designer to improve upon it.
AirCoaster includes a simple arcade game where the objective is to pop all the balloons (by tapping on them) in the shortest possible time. Game Mode works with any saved track or randomly generated track. One way to play Game Mode is to challenge a friend to see who can complete the game faster using the same track.
Track Designer Edit
Basic Things Edit
All saved tracks can be opened in the track designer for editing. If you've downloaded a track from the Community, the creator of the track may have disabled the ability open and edit the track in the track designer.
All tracks are constructed using two types of segments, the Basic segment and the Loop segment. The Basic segment is very versatile and can be used to construct a variety of track shapes. The Loop segment provides an easy way to add a full 360-degree loop. You can also make cobra rolls and other inversion if you make a half loop. AirCoaster automatically connects the first and the last segments for you, correcting the orientation of the track if necessary. In general you will want to avoid large angle and height changes between the first and the last segment so that they will connect smoothly and seamlessly. To create a boomerang-style coaster, turn this option off.
Note that AirCoaster applies smoothing across the entire track to eliminate any sharp corners in the track. This is why the shape of the track will not match the shape of the track segments exactly. The track displayed in the 3D view (see below) is the smoothed version of the track. You will see the original, unsmoothed shape of the track segment only when it is the current, highlighted segment.
The 3D view gives an accurate representation of how the final track will look without the computational expense of generating the full track substructure. Use the 3D view to check that the track does not intersect itself. The current selected segment is highlighted in the 3D view in green. The selected segment goes from gray to green to indicate the direction of the segment. The height difference produced by the current segment is shown as a gray bar on the height indicator display on the left side of the 3D view.
The entire track is also color-coded from blue (slowest) to red (fastest) if you are in the traditional building view, based on how fast the car will be approximately at each point along the track. Avoid long contiguous blue segments, as the car is likely to slow down to a halt along these segments. Apply brakes or boosters to regulate the speed of the car appropriately, using the color coding to help you. It's a good practice to slow the car down at the end of the ride to prevent the car from picking up too much speed when it repeats the track (only when Launched Mode is off).
Track Design Tips and Tricks by imagineer100, Gome4, Alaeriia, ROB3Y and NascarNerd [and Jbomb] Edit
For more realistic coasters, make smooth hills and turns. Do not exceed about 65 mph and 70 feet for the first hill. Realistic tracks do not have invisible track and use tunnels sparingly. There shouldn't be more than seven inversions, although you can occasionally get away with more. Keep the supports even and not too close together. For wooden coasters, make the supports very close to each other and place plenty of trees. Don't use inversions and use the standard car, not the suspended one. Make sure that hills and drops are rounded and turns are banked. For Wild Mouse coasters, use short, zippy drops and 90-degree turns. Do not have loops or large drops. Make trains only one car at a time, so individual cars race along the track.
For Teleportation Coasters use only one train, no inversions, and, if any, very small drops used sparingly. A Teleportation Coaster should not exceed 400 segments, or be less than 100 segments. Do not change the segments from original length durring creation. A Teleportation Coaster should have no less than 6 teleportations. Teleportations are also useful in some scenics.
For duelers, don't exceed 130 segment. If you do, you probably wont be able to find a timing. To find a timing, start off with 6 trains at 20 seconds apart, then see whether it works. If it doesn't see where all the trains are and adjust the timing, until you find a perfect one. With 3 way, 4 way or even 5 way duellers, you might need to use brakes and boosters on some of the laps to find a timing.
Realistic tracks should very rarely exceed 100 segments.
Alaeriia's Tips for InversionsEdit
- Vertical loops should be no taller than seven height units lower than the tallest point on the ride.
- Diving loops are composed of two segments: a half-loop and a half-hill.
- Zero-G rolls can be made more realistic by putting the twist in a 5-length straight at the top.
- Corkscrews are made without the Loop track.
- Vary your inversions; just vertical loops can get boring fast.
- Add small segments to a lift hill to make it more smooth and realistic.
NascarNerd's Tips for HillsEdit
- The first hill should be the tallest on realistic or wooden coasters.
- The second hill should be at most 7/8 or the hight of the first drop.
- Don't just put hills in the design; create turns and banking to vary the design.
- Try to add tunnels and inversions in between hills or maybe a Zero-G Roll or two in the coasters hills as well.
- Don't add too much height or, with the exception of the last hills of the ride, too little hight.
NascarNerd's Tips for TeleportationsEdit
- Before and after the teleportation your train should not be moving faster than 15 mph.
- Before and after the teleportation your train should move through a slow stretch of tunnels.
- To teleport your train you should go no slower than 400mph.
- In teleportation you should have flashing tunnels to create the teleportation effect.
- A teleportation should be no shorter than 10-30 segments, depending on the length of teleportation time you require.
- Teleportations should be completely straight and fairly close to the ground.
To see an example of a Teleportation Coaster, see the Electrode Series made by NascarNerd
Jbombs Tips for life:
- Use short segs.
- Don't add 50,000,000 segs of scenery.
- Win at life.
- Don't be Jbomb, his tracks suck.
- The end.
- The online feature of Aircoaster used to have an Updates tab (now known as the news feed). Here users used to be able to participate in chats with each others via converstions, normally shortened as convos. The app creator took this feature away since he thought that everyone would talk instead of making tracks.