Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Design for Fun #8: Mobius Coaster

It's been a few weeks since I felt inspired to do a little ride design. This one has no theme and is just a ride concept. It's also my first attempt to do a coaster. Tracks are hard in Sketchup, by the way.

My coaster is based on a Mobius Strip. The track has rails on top and bottom. The vehicles ride the upper rails then do a half-twist to an inverted position on the lower rails. Because of the twist, the upper and lower rails form one long track. The vehicles do 2 loops on the track, passing under the station on the first loop and stopping in the station at the end of the second.

I mocked up this ride on a Wild Mouse Coaster scale. The single car vehicles are mounted on a yolk with a vertical rotation. This keeps the riders upright when the vehicle flips to the inverted side of the track and gives it a little swing. Because of the geometry, this also means the vehicles travel backwards when inverted.

As always, there are tons of technical issues to work out with something like this (load and unload being a big one). Also, please forgive the jerky animation. I'm using the animation feature in Google Sketchup and there isn't a lot of fine control there. The flip-overs are especially wonky. I think the idea gets across though.

After I came up with this and figured out how to make it work, I did a little research. Turns out this Mobius Strip idea is not a first but I think my interpretation is unique. THIS is the most common Mobius interpretation. Just wanted to say I'm not stealing it. :-)

Enjoy the ride...

Mobius Coaster Mobius Coaster Mobius Coaster Mobius Coaster Mobius Coaster Mobius Coaster Mobius Coaster Mobius Coaster

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Old Drawing Makeovers

I'm still dedicating some of my spare time to designing imaginary themed experiences for my own amusement. For the last project and the current one, I've been updating old ideas from my past and having a good time doing it. Now that I feel fairly comfortable with Sketchup, I'm finding it easier to get across some of the original ideas in a more detailed and 3-dimensional way. For your amusement (or probably just mine), I've included some comparisons of the old and new stuff below.

This first one was an old design for a waterpark based on Atlantis. I'm currently working on this one but thought it was far enough along to show a screenshot. I really like the idea of the waterslides moving in and out of the mountain, waterfalls, aqueducts and little Greek buildings. It's looking a little more Splash Mountain than I planned but it isn't done yet.

The next drawings are from an old project that has been recycled twice. The first incarnation was a lobby feature for a "Haunted Hotel". That feature (and drawings) got reused in a restaurant design called "Raven's Mansion". And finally, they got the Sketchup redo for my practice design called "Monster Mansion" a few weeks back.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Design for Fun

I've decided to abandon my self-imposed aggressive schedule that I was calling Design-a-Week. I want to continue working on these little projects as skill development / brain exercise / hobby but the once a week thing wasn't really necessary and rarely worked out anyway. I feel like I can keep doing this without a deadline. Now, it's just Design-for-Fun or something like that.

My next one is certainly going to take more than a week. I want to do an entire waterpark. Way back in early 1990-something, I did some sketches of a waterpark based on an Atlantis theme. Not revolutionary, I know but the way I saw it was pretty cool, I thought. The images in my mind were very multi-leveled and complex with landscaping, attractions, pathways and buildings merging and twisting around each other. I also wanted to do this not as an ancient lost civilization but more like what it would look like if it were clean and new. As you can see from the drawing on the right, I did not have the skill to draw what I was thinking. Now that I'm more comfortable with Sketchup, I'm going to try again and see how close I can get to what I'm envisioning. I want to take my time and get it right.

This design is not going to be about the specific attractions as much as it is about the master planning. I'm going to use standard slides and even steal some attractions from existing waterparks. I doubt I'll bother with any interiors or back areas at all but the slides and pools will be complete. The landscaping and rockwork will be my big lesson to learn this time.

I've already started below. This shot shows 3 slides at different points in progress based off a Google Maps image of my first employer, Splashtown USA in TX. I'm pretty excited by the idea. Now, let's see if I can finish it without a deadline before a shiny object distracts me.

See the projects completed so far:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Design a Week #7 - Monster Mansion

Here is my latest "theme park design for my own amusement" project. This one started off as a simple update to an old design and kind of snowballed into something more ambitious than a single week and my computer's hardware would easily allow.


This attraction is a collection of 9 self-paced and interactive haunted attractions in a single building. They include a live special effects show, interactive games, haunted walk-throughs, a maze, a small ride and animatronics shows. The entire attraction is tied together with an overall mystery that has clues in each room. Guests are invited to solve the mystery in the finale.

"Welcome to the home of Victor Raven, Master of the Monster Movie. You may remember some of his classics like Attack of the 50 foot Librarian, Vegetarian Vampires from Venus, Curse of the Mummy’s Mommy and The Monster that Ate Des Moines. Mister Raven was more than just a monster creator... he was also a collector. Here in his mansion, you will encounter many of the creatures and magical artifacts that inspired his films. Your journey begins in the library where you will learn the history of Victor Raven and learn of his recent mysterious disappearance. Next, you will move into the hub of the house, the gallery. The gallery is hosted by the magical Jin, a giant floating purple head. He'll tell you about the 7 rooms, or adventures, you can experience at your own pace. And he tells it in the most poetic way. Enjoy the rooms but keep an eye out. There are clues to solve the mystery of Raven's disappearance in each. Finally, when your time with us is done, you'll exit through the study. On the way out, stop at a desk and make a guess about what happened to Raven. There's a reward. Now, let's begin our tour of Monster Mansion. Be afraid."

Monster Mansion

Pictures and Descriptions of each section:

Monster Mansion: Library
LIBRARY: Monster Mansion begins with a short, live show filled with special effects. The butler tells the history of Victor Raven's movie career and the collection of monsters within the mansion. He also tells guests that Victor disappeared in the mansion and clues to what happened can be found throughout the house. As he talks, strange events occur like the piano playing itself, books rearranging themselves and images forming in the flames of the fireplace. The show ends with a giant monster smashing the windowed dome above the room and the painting of Raven stretching out at the guests. The lights flash out with a lightning strike and when they turn back on, everything is restored to normal.

Monster Mansion: Gallery
GALLERY: The Gallery is the hub of Monster Mansion where guests choose their next adventures. It is a large rotunda with framed posters from Raven's movies. Occasionally, the images in the posters will change or move. Between the posters, doors lead to 7 small attractions, restrooms and the final exit. Guests can move around this room and try the various attractions at their own pace and in any order. In the center of the room, the large floating head of a genie named Jin recites short, comedic poems describing each attraction.

Monster Mansion: Mirror Room
MIRROR ROOM: Filled with strange and magical mirrors, this room doesn't always reflect what you expect. Some of the mirrors are normal or distorted like a funhouse. Other mirrors are video screens that appear to reflect strange angles (like the back of the observer or a view from above) or have CGI enhancements like ghost images, blurring or tracing. On one wall, some mirrors are actually windows into a copy of the room, which makes it appear as though the observers aren't reflected at all.

Monster Mansion: Red Banshee Catacombs
CATACOMBS of the RED BANSHEE: This is an exploration maze game where players try to find the 5 skeleton rooms while avoiding the red banshees. Each group is given a small handheld guide device that draws a map of the maze walls as they discover them. An encounter with a red banshee temporarily erases part of that map while entering one of the 2 sanctuary rooms restores it. The teams with the best times of the day are displayed on the poster in the gallery closest to this attraction's door.

Monster Mansion: Greenhouse
GREENHOUSE: The greenhouse is located "outside" in the mansion's gardens where it is dark and stormy all the time. Inside the greenhouse, rains pounds the glass as 5 giant man-eating plants perform for visitors. The plants tell jokes and sing harmonies but between acts, they speak to and interact with guests live.

Monster Mansion: Swamp Monster
SWAMP MONSTER: This area also appears to be outdoors at night. Guests walk on old wooden walkways over green, swampy water. This tour is a self-paced walk-through haunted attraction with animatronic monsters. Some of the encounters include mysterious bubbles, jumping alligators, giant spiders, swamp creatures (from the Black Lagoon) and zombies.

Monster Mansion: Monster Hunter
MONSTER HUNTER: Guests grab a shotgun and help control the monster population in this classic shooting gallery. This scene has the most cartoon-like style of the entire mansion. This shooting gallery includes plenty of mechanical and water effects but it also has targets that are video projected, including the entire back wall of the room.

Monster Mansion: Music Room
MUSIC ROOM: In this room, floating instruments play music, following a guest conductor's every move. The instruments appear to be played by CGI-driven "Pepper's Ghost" musicians that are reflected from an opening in the ceiling. The platform that the guest conductor stands on senses their presence and cameras interpret their upper body movements. The ghosts change songs and speeds based on these movements.

Monster Mansion: The Vortex
THE VORTEX: In this part of the mansion, gravity is twisted. The queue for this attraction looks like various rooms of the mansion that have been turned sideways or upside-down. Furniture sticks to walls or hangs from the ceiling. In the last room of the queue, guests cross a bridge through a rolling room where the floor passes over their heads about once a minute. The actual attraction is a large round room where guests stand against the wall. The room spins causing guests stick to the walls as the floor drops out from under them. As the spinning stops, they slide down to meet the floor. The ride can be bypassed if guests just want to experience the queue rooms.

Monster Mansion: Study
STUDY: Before they exit Monster Mansion, visitors pass through the study. There, they are invited to stop by one of the desks and guess the answer to the overall mystery of Monster Mansion. Did they figure out the clues to what happened to Victor Raven?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Design a Week #6 - FerriX Wheel

According to my self-imposed schedule, I turned in last week's Design-a-Week project late. So this week's is early.

This one is a simple concept with complicated geometry. I wanted to make the classic Ferris Wheel into something more 3-dimensional.

At IAAPA, I saw a company using a fixed wheel with a tank track-like belt moving the cars around it. I figured with something similar, the wheel could make turns around a more complicated shape (a sphere instead of a wheel, in this case). In my model, the 56 ball-shaped cars will swing but they stay upright by gravity and 2 axes of passive swivel.

I've mocked up 4 versions of this: basic structure, simple colors, "Atomic Sphere" and "Planet X". You can see some still shots of all 4 models HERE. And there are some short animations of each there too.

Ferrix Wheel (Basic Version) Ferrix Wheel (Color Version) Ferrix Wheel ("Atomic" Version) Ferrix Wheel ("Planet X" Version)

My favorite piece is the fly-around video of "Planet X" (the same one embedded above). It has some interesting color-changing properties depending on your angle. Also, if you find the track layout confusing, you can follow it in this short video.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Design a Week #5 - Scream: The Ride

Here is my latest entry in my Design-a-Week project. It is several weeks late but there has been a lot of (good) things going on lately to keep me off track.

Scream: A Gravity-Defying Musical Experience
Starring Michael and Janet Jackson

“Board a Robotic Exploration Pod and launch to Spaceship J with Michael and Janet Jackson. Take a twisting and turning tour of the ship and enjoy its anti-gravity accommodations. Feel the heart-pounding pulse of the rhythm and the bounce of your Pod as it dances to the music. Experience the thrill of life in space and the energy of the Jacksons. It’ll make you want to Scream.”

The ride-through video is on YouTube and the music starts about 23 seconds in. Hopefully, the audio won't get stripped off. Still shots and maps are on Flickr and the scene descriptions are at the bottom of this post (behind the cut).

This time, I decided I wanted to do something based on someone else’s content. After considering and rejecting various stories, I decided it might be fun to base it on a music video. I chose “Scream” by Michael and Janet Jackson. While I am a fan, let me say that this is not intended to be some sort of fan tribute but a legitimate attempt to interpret this content as a physical experience.

As a result of this choice, I am faced with some unusual design elements. Firstly, like the video, the entire attraction is in black and white. Also, I really wanted to highlight the dance and “anti-gravity” elements. I had a different vehicle in mind originally but I found that the Kuka Arm on a Track system could best emulate the dancing and camera crane-like POV. The ride-through video attempts to simulate that as well as Google Sketchup’s simple animation can do. Please note that places where you see other vehicles is meant to show you where riders would actually see other moving vehicles.

That brings me to this week’s technical challenge. The ride vehicle is completely exposed and visible to other riders in certain scenes. In the Meditation and Gallery scenes, 2 to 4 vehicles are in the room “dancing” together in sync. This is tricky because each vehicle is dispatched separately and are playing the song at staggered points. To make this work, all song starts are evenly spaced and synchronized to a master beat throughout the building. When a vehicle enters one of the 2 “Dance Room” scenes it switches from its own on board movement choreography to the group choreography in the room. As the vehicle leaves the room, it switches back to its own movement. The group choreography is on an endless loop that is set to the master beat for the entire building.

I know this sort of thing would never get built... but I think it would be big in Japan.

Scream: The Ride - Scenes

Scene and Technical Descriptions:
Scene 1 - LoadFour seat vehicles called Robotic Exploration Pods slowly move around the room as passengers board from a turntable that moves at the same speed. The music begins as the Pod backs out of the room.

Scene 2 - Launch
The Pod turns skyward to witness Spaceship J flying across the moon.

Scene 3 - Into the Ship
The Pod flies down and into a large portal on the side of Spaceship J.

Scene 4 - Meet Janet and Michael
In the first corridor, passengers see Janet and Michael behind large glass windows.

Scene 5 - GravityPods float freely down a corridor towards Michael as he spins and bounces off the walls in a room without gravity.

Scene 6 - Janet Sings
Janet sings from a video screen as Pods pass into the Meditation Room.

Scene 7 - Meditation (Dancing Vehicle Room)Multiple Pods slowly rotate around the Meditation Room. Passengers can see the other Pods and the robotic arms they are mounted on as all of them perform graceful synchronized choreography to the music.

Scene 8 - HabitationPods rotate and glide past three large round rooms. It is impossible to tell which way is up as passengers watch Janet and Michael dance on the walls and ceilings.

Scene 9 - MediaJanet sings from a large video monitor as Michael dances in front.

Scene 10 - Gallery (Dancing Vehicle Room)Multiple Pods rotate around the gallery room while performing synchronized choreography. The movements in this room are more thrilling than the Meditation Room and are in rhythm with images of Michael and Janet dancing on the walls.

Scene 11 - Game Room
Passengers pass an overhead view of Michael smashing vases with a futuristic racquetball game.

Scene 12 - Recreation (Film Domes)The Pod moves into a wrap-around video screen that travels with it. The video shows a view from behind Michael as he smashes the vases. As the ball bounces back, the Pod twists and turns to avoid getting hit.

Scene 13 - Scream
The journey ends with the same blurred image of Michael screaming as the music video.

Scene 14 - Unload
Passengers disembark their Pods in the same room they originally loaded in.

Monday, August 30, 2010

MGM Grand Adventures Tour

MGA Park Blueprint
Originally uploaded by Mike Brister
Some months ago, I passed on my old photos and documents of the (now demolished) MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park in Las Vegas to a guy at the theme park blog, News Plus Notes. Since then, he's been writing a series of posts about the park as a guided tour featuring all kinds of interesting facts, some of which I had forgotten and others I never knew... and I worked there when it first opened. He just completed Part 6 and the tour of the park lands. There is a part 7 coming out later going about the demise of the park. If you find old dead parks interesting, I recommend checking out these links:

A Look Back At MGM Grand Adventures Part 1
A Look Back At MGM Grand Adventures Part 2
A Look Back At MGM Grand Adventures Part 3
A Look Back At MGM Grand Adventures Part 4
A Look Back At MGM Grand Adventures Part 5
A Look Back At MGM Grand Adventures Part 6   (my old job is in this one)
A Look Back at MGM Grand Adventures Part 7


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Design a Week #4 - Seahorse Aquarium Courtyard

For my personal design project / own amusement this week, I decided to do something simple. My focus was on a little piece of landscaping / area development. The subject is a large aquarium facility (like this one) and all I did was the front courtyard.

I wanted to try and make something that looked organic and didn't use the high saturation colors I usually go grabbing for. In this case, the shapes are "inspired" by a seahorse and the colors are intended to look natural. I also roughly split the courtyard in half with the sea represented on the left and land on the right. The two blend together in the open-air entrance to the building.

I put no thought at all to the contents of the building and only mocked up an entrance area. What building is here would be too small in reality. Maybe I'll try out some fancy external architecture another week. The unique element (that I personally haven't seen before) is that the pools inside the building for the large aquatic mammals extend into the courtyard as part of the landscape. I realize there are security, handrail and ADA issues with this but I'm trying to keep it conceptual and not too technical.

See more pictures at Flickr (which does not require a membership).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Design a Week #3 - Caverns of Charybdis

Here is this week's design project for my own amusement.  This one took 2 weeks because of my unusual work schedule and the Sketchup complexity.  This time, I've figured out how to do a "ride-through" video.  You can watch the video on the right or click HERE to see it without the vehicles and track.  There are short scene descriptions behind the cut as well.


The Charybdis Caves River Ride Company provides a unique adventure for the whole family! Our 4-passenger barrel boat rides combine the thrill of river rafting with the mystery of cave exploration. Hop on board our unique and unsinkable barrel boats and take a spinning journey through the legendary whirlpool caves of the Charybdis River.

In Ancient Greek mythology, Charybdis was the sea serpent goddess responsible for the creation of whirlpools. Local legend tells us that Charybdis sleeps below the river in these caves and the numerous whirlpools are the gateway to her realm. We’ve never seen her ourselves and our boats are specially designed not to get stuck in the whirlpools. Sorry, you probably won’t encounter any monsters on your ride today but the caves are spectacular. Time to board. Your swirling journey on the Charybdis River awaits.

The Caverns or Charybdis attraction is a combination of dark ride, river rapids ride and roller coaster. Although the boats are in contact with and propelled by the movement of the water, they are not floating. Instead, they are suspended from a single rail track hidden in the ceiling. This track keeps the boats upright and controls their path. However, the boats are free-spinning and swinging so they move in a unique way depending on rider weight distribution and contact with water and the sides of the flume. By moving the track out of alignment with the flume, spinning and tilting is intentionally created. The ride is also enhanced in several scenes by lifting the boat out of the water completely to allow for short “suspended roller coaster” effects like drops and banks.

I have some still shots in a Flickr Set as well:

The 12 show scenes are described below with brief technical notes after each.

Scene 1: Load
Riders board boats that look like large half-barrels with a fake sail mast mounted on top. The boats seat 4 passengers on 2 benches that are back to back.

Tech: The spinning mechanism is locked in this scene for ease of boarding. Boats are advanced through the load stations by chain drives on the overhead track.

Scene 2: Caves
The boat bob and spin through the iridescent caves. The boat also tilts and bounces slightly off the rocks at the edge of the river.

Tech: The boats are propelled by the movement of the water but the tilting and bumping is caused by moving the overhead track out of alignment of with the flume.

Scene 3: The Whirlpool
The boat enters a large chamber with a swirling whirlpool in the center. Instead of passing around it as planned, the boat gets caught in the whirlpool and sucked down through it.

Tech: The overhead track lifts the boats just above the water for this scene. This circular drop to the lower floor is gravity driven like a roller coaster.

Scene 4: Temple of Charybdis
Riders splash down into a decaying underground temple made of Greek columns. Suddenly, the tail of a giant sea serpent snaps one of the columns in half over the boat. As riders pass the tail, they see another barrel boat that crashed into this temple long ago.

Tech: The boats land back in the water after the drop and are propelled by the water movement again.

Scene 5: A Rock and a Hard Place
In a large chamber filed with rocks and whirlpools, the boat spins and bounces around the large green humps of the sea serpent.

Tech: The boats briefly lift out of the water and are driven by inertia and gravity over the whirlpools.

Scene 6: Wonders of Water
In another chamber of the underground temple, Charybdis displays her power over water. The boat twists and turns through the rooms while surrounded by a spectacle of dancing water spouts and overflowing vases.

Tech: This room features small choreographed dancing fountains integrated into the scenery between the flumes.

Scene 7: From the Depths
The boat swings violently as it is pulled toward a large vertical whirlpool on the wall. The sea serpent erupts from the center of the whirlpool and leads the boat around the corner into a large chamber.

Tech: The boats are lifted above the water and gravity driven through a sharp turn, which causes the boat to swing toward the whirlpool.

Scene 8: The Monster
In a large chamber, the monster Charybdis reveals herself as a 30’ tall monster. She grabs the boat, lifts it high up to her face and tells the riders that they don’t belong in her realm. She then throws the boat into a spinning vortex.

Tech: The large animatronic Charbdis moves her hand in sync with a chain drive that pulls the boats out of the water and up to the top of the room.

Scene 9: The Vortex
Riders fall from Charybdis’ hand into a spinning tunnel of water created by her spiraling serpentine body.

Tech: This is a gravity driven drop back to the 2nd floor.

Scene 10: The Tail End
The boat splashes down into cave where the barrel ride started. Charybdis reminds them of their encounter with a quick wave of her tail before they leave.

Tech: After the splash down, the rest of the ride is propelled by the movement of the water in the flume.

Scene 11: Back to the Caves
Riders pass through the last of the iridescent caves of the Charybdis River before returning home.

Scene 12: Unload
Riders disembark the boats in a similar room to Scene 1.

Tech: The spinning mechanism is locked in this scene. Boats are advanced through the unload stations by chain drives on the overhead track.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Design a Week #2 - Cartoon Crash ‘n Smash Destruction Derby

Here is this week's Design a Week project. This time, I took the idea of a shooting gallery and tried to see if I could create one that didn't use guns. The overview is shown below with most of the game details at the bottom. I freely admit that this design contains copious amounts of Googled cartoon clip-art. I'm not a cartoonist.

Cartoon Crash ‘n Smash Destruction Derby

Otto Rex, 5 time World Champion Demolition Derby Driver and owner of the Crash ‘n Smash Driving School, invites you to be a driver in the Cartoon Crash ‘n Smash Destruction Derby!

Get behind the wheel of one of Otto’s state-of-the-art Smash Buggys and collide your way through 3 levels of cartoon destruction. There’s no accelerator and no brake but there’s lots of stuff to bump and break. You’ll be competing in 3 unique, 360 degree arenas against other Smashers for the most destruction and the most points. There are no guns in this shooting gallery. Just drive at the prize and what you hit is what you get. You know you think about it every time you’re in the antique store. We say it’s OK by us. Take your inner “10-year old boy” out for a destructive test drive in a warehouse storing delicate artifacts or a museum filled with priceless works of highly breakable art. Next, help bounce the critters back in to their pens at the farm or cages at the zoo. And if you’re good enough, you may be called upon to test your smashing skills against an army of cartoon ninjas or the zombie apocalypse!

Cartoon Crash ‘n Smash Destruction Derby is a new attraction that combines the fun and skill of a shooting gallery with the exciting chaos of classic bumper cars. In each of the 3 game arenas, 8 Smash Buggy vehicles are completely under the control of the passengers. On the inner and outer wall of the donut-shaped arenas, cartoon scenery and targets of varying point values run for their lives. The Buggy drivers accumulate points by colliding with the cartoon images. Sensors in the walls detect the hits and misses so the animation is fully interactive with the vehicles. Each arena has 3 possible games chosen at random and played for 2 minutes and each level introduces a new element of complexity. After each game, the vehicles autonomously drive to the next room before the games resume. After the final game, scores, ranks and replay video of the best smashes play on a large video screen as the vehicles return to 1st floor for the drivers’ exit.




The first level of Cartoon Crash ‘n Smash Destruction Derby takes place on the 1st floor of the building and is the easiest game. In this arena, the drivers attempt to crash in to as many static items as they can and build up points. There are 3 possible games for this level:

1. JUNKYARD DERBY - Smash your way through an old junkyard stacked high with rusty old cars and appliances. As items are bumped into oblivion, cranes drop new stacks of junk to be destroyed.

2. MYSTERIOUS WAREHOUSE - This arena is loaded with piles of unmarked crates. Crashing in to these crates busts them open to reveal mysterious artifacts with strange (and often amusing) properties from around the world. As the crates are demolished, new ones drop in from overhead conveyor belts.

3. MUSEUM MAYHEM - Priceless works of art are so delicate and breakable. We think they’re that way for a reason! Smash as much fine art as you can. Helpless Curators do their best to replace all of the art quickly.

The second level of Cartoon Crash ‘n Smash Destruction Derby happens in the 2nd floor arena and the game gets a little more complicated. This time, the targets are moving. The faster they move, the higher the points. This level also has 3 possible games:

1. OLD MCSMASHY’S FARM - Try to help the farmer retrieve the animals that have escaped their pens... by crashing in to them, of course! Using the over-sized bumper on the Buggys, bounce the cartoon critters safely back into their enclosures.

2. ZOO BREAK - Animals are running free everywhere and it’s chaos at the zoo! Help the Keepers by bouncing the escaped beasts back to their cages. The faster the animal, the higher the points. Look for gazelles and cheetahs!

3. CRASHING WAVES - Did you know that the Smash Buggys are amphibious? That’s right, they’re boats too! Smash your way through the open sea, sinking ships and fighting off sharks and sea monsters.

The final level of Cartoon Crash ‘n Smash Destruction Derby is on the 3rd floor and the game changes here. Drivers must try to hit the correct targets while avoiding bad ones that will cause them to lose points. The 3 possible scenarios on this level are anybody’s game:

1. INVASION - You are called upon to save the world from aliens and robots from Outer Space. Squash the little green invaders with your Buggy and watch the green goo splatter. Be careful not to hit Earth’s Military forces though. It makes them mad.

2. NINJA ASSAULT - Take out the lightning quick Ninjas with a swift kick from your front bumper. Don’t knock over any of the priceless vases and statues though. It’ll cost you.

3. ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE - Living dead cartoon characters are rising from the grave and chasing the living. How can we stop them? By smashing them to bits and pieces! Don’t hit the survivors though. We’re here to save them.

SCRIPT SAMPLE (Load Introduction)

Rex Otto, Demolition Derby Champion“Greetin’s folks! The name’s Otto Rex. I’m the 5 time World Demolition Derby Champion ‘n owner of this here Crash ‘n Smash Driving School. Welcome to the world’s finest establishment for learnin’ how to bust some stuff up real good. By the time I finish stuffin’ your heads full ‘o skills, you’ll be the best of the best at crashin’ into things ‘n makin’ a whole lot a mess. Come to think of it, some a y’all might git good enough so as they take away your drivin’ license. Probably better off anyways.

“Today’s trainin’ is made up of three games of skill ‘n mayhem. Each one’ll be harder than the last but the awesome destructiveness gets bigger too. The goals are simple. Drive your car straight at the targets. What ya hit is what ya git! Everything ya smash into gits ya points. But be careful, in the final game, some things take ‘em away too. Oh, feel free to knock other Drivers around in the spirit of friendly competition but ya don’t git no points for that. In the end, be the Driver with the most points ‘n you’ll be our new Champion.

“Before we start with the smashin’, lemme tell ya what’s what. That contraption your sittin’ in is my own special design: the Smash Buggy! It’s easy enough to drive. There’s just one steerin’ wheel in the middle ‘n where ever you point it, that’s where you’ll be headin’. There are 3 games ‘n up to 3 of ya in the Buggy. Y’all oughta play nice ‘n share. Plenty of smashin’ for everyone. I betcha some of y’all are wonderin’ where the accelerator ‘n brake pedals are. Well, there ain’t none. This ain’t no Sunday drive. There’s only one speed and that’s full blast. Since the pencil-necks said we gotta play it safe, I left the seatbelts in. Keep those fastened so as I don’t git yelled at. I also put a great big bumper around your whole Buggy too. Ya hit somethin’ with that ‘n it’ll go a flyin’.

“All right, Drivers. Time to shine. I’m gonna take you to the first arena on auto-pilot ‘n then it’s all yours.”

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Zombies!

Last week, my friend Dave () posted a link about a remarkably detailed and faithful recreation of the now closed Adventurers Club from Pleasure Island at WDW that someone built as a Half-Life 2 mod (a map for a video game).  In the comments that followed, he also made me aware of this recreation of the long lost Disneyland attraction, Adventure thru Inner Space.

This week, my friends over at Geek Week Central (moderated by my old WDW cohort, ) discovered this: Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye ride as a Left 4 Dead 2 map!  The linked video includes the entire queue line but you can skip to the start of the ride at 4:40.  For the gamers out there, download the map here.

But wait, there's more.  The same guy also did Pirates of the Caribbean with zombies as the ride characters.  Download that map here.

It seems like very soon, we won't have to go to the parks at all.  We can just visit the rides at home on our game consoles.  Can't wait to start shooting the Small World dolls...