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What Merlin might do is use Ripsaw as a parts donor for Rameses Revenge at Chessington.

 

I am really intrigued by this massive attraction removal because three rides not only open up a huge space but they also mean a lot less capacity for a park that's already crowded (well at least it was before the Smiler accident).

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I'm not liking the sound of this "ripping up Ripsaw" thing. I'd love this ride to stay a lot longer.

 

If Ripsaw really was taken down, then this park would only have one flat ride (Enterprise). So, I'm not liking the sound of taking down any ride for 2016 if they're not going to replace it with something good. I'd rather see a new flat ride and/or the rumoured improvements to Air.

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I know that this rumor has been around for a while, but do we even have any conclusive proof that Ripsaw is officially closed? Weren't there also plans to move it to X-Sector on Submission's old pad? It's not like Alton has confirmed anything yet, but I guess that I'm just waiting for official word to confirm anything.

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Ripsaw is still hanging out on Alton Towers' website, but whoever edits their Wikipedia article has put it under "past rides" with a closing year of 2015.

 

If they're going to put a top spin in X-Sector, they might as well buy one of those new suspended ones.

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What Merlin might do is use Ripsaw as a parts donor for Rameses Revenge at Chessington.

 

I doubt that will happen due to the amount of modifications Rameses has had over the years.

 

On another note Alton Towers released this teaser video yesterday which confirmed to me that Air will have its name changed to "Space" and thats the whole update!

 

[youtu_be]

[/youtu_be]
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What Merlin might do is use Ripsaw as a parts donor for Rameses Revenge at Chessington.

 

I doubt that will happen due to the amount of modifications Rameses has had over the years.

 

On another note Alton Towers released this teaser video yesterday which confirmed to me that Air will have its name changed to "Space" and thats the whole update!

 

[youtu_be]

[/youtu_be]

 

I think the name is more likely to be "Galactica" seeing as Merlin have trademarked that name, and yes VR seems very likely.

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In theory, if Air truly is to become a VR coaster, does the ride's theming really need to be updated much to accommodate the changes? Do the ride's trains need any kind of modification to sustain the VR headsets' power throughout the course of the ride? How have previous VR tests been set up to work with the existing installations?

Edited by jedimaster1227
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In theory, if Air truly is to become a VR coaster, does the ride's theming really need to be updated much to accommodate the changes? Do the ride's trains need any kind of modification to sustain the VR headsets' power throughout the course of the ride? How have previous VR tests been set up to work with the existing installations?

 

http://www.vrcoaster.com/technology.php

 

Looking at this and going under the assumption that they would use this system it looks pretty simple too install the system. I could see the ride getting new trains regardless though to hopefully improve the amount of issues with restraints and constantly hearing "Row 2, Seat 3. Row 4, Seat 1".

 

As for updating the theming I think that may just being done to make the station easier to access and to re route pathways as the shop gets replaced with the new roller coaster restaurant.

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I can't see Merlin forking out the better part of a million pounds for new trains, even if they were the cause. I'm sure I saw an interview with one of the engineers that said it's the moving floor that causes most of those issues, hence the other B&M flyers having dips in the floor instead.

 

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Do the ride's trains need any kind of modification to sustain the VR headsets' power throughout the course of the ride? How have previous VR tests been set up to work with the existing installations?

For those of you who don't want to follow the link, the VR Coaster system uses Samsung Gear VR, which is basically a Samsung smartphone mounted right in front of your eyes with a headset. The headsets are basically just pieces of plastic with field of view lenses and the phones can be taken out and charged when they need to be.

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An example here of one of those headsets in use in Everland (which is also owned by Samsung) It's part of the Pride of Korea section when you enter during your time-slot and there are some interactive areas before the 4D move.

 

I've seen them slowly start appearing in the electronic stores lately. They had a test booth with them in Seoul a few months ago with T Express footage and footage from one of Everlands horror mazes.

 

17_1031.jpg

16_1039.jpg

Edited by Garet
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Rob over on Towers Street has said that on a recent EuropaStreet visit to Europa Park they were told that this isn't a Mack/VRCoaster installation.

 

I can't wait for them to balls this up.

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Sounds like an interesting idea, but I bet we'll all look like a bunch of idiots looking all around. Kind of like people who have a bluetooth earpiece in, but look like they're talking to themselves.

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I don't want to get ahead of myself as I know VR hasn't been confirmed yet, but I thought this quote was interesting in an interview with Michael Mack (from Mack Rides) on Blooloop was interesting:

 

“We tested for over a year with Blue Fire, and managed to develop a way of controlling the guiding and running wheels, and measuring where the wheel would be at any point. By knowing exactly where the train would be on the track, we invented a little black box installed on the train, to capture the movement and positioning of the wheel. This sends a signal to the VR headset so the movie can be perfectly in synch with the roller coaster." (Without that synchronisation, there was significant potential for motion sickness.)

 

It goes to show how much is involved in the technology and that it's more than just the headset. I still don't really know what to make of the tech yet. I think it's a good idea but it's hard to know whether it will just be a short term novelty or not.

 

Full article here: www.blooloop.com/features/europa-park-mack-rides-alpenexpress-vr-ride/38210

Edited by KarlaKoaster
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Rob over on Towers Street has said that on a recent EuropaStreet visit to Europa Park they were told that this isn't a Mack/VRCoaster installation.

 

I can't wait for them to balls this up.

 

Given the fact the park haven't announced anything yet you honestly think Mack would just spill the beans on it happening? Even in the modern age of internet rumours and terrible know it all enthusiasts there can still be a few secrets kept here and there.

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Rob over on Towers Street has said that on a recent EuropaStreet visit to Europa Park they were told that this isn't a Mack/VRCoaster installation.

 

I can't wait for them to balls this up.

 

Given the fact the park haven't announced anything yet you honestly think Mack would just spill the beans on it happening? Even in the modern age of internet rumours and terrible know it all enthusiasts there can still be a few secrets kept here and there.

Yes. Europa Street have a good relationship with the park and there's nothing stopping them confirming that they don't have anything planned with Alton Towers.

 

It's just been announced that it's going to be an immersive VR experience produced by Figment Productions. The announcement event is still happening, so expect some more news later.

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Figment Production has a website and they talk about VR coasters here.

 

We are proud to announce that our first public Vector VR project is Galactica at Alton Towers. (The creative work for Galactica was developed through our long-standing relationship with Merlin Magic Making and we worked closely with the amazing Alton Towers team on the technical implementation).

 

Vector VR is Figment’s own motion synchronisation and control platform for virtual reality. Primarily, its uses are in theme parks and other visitor attractions, but in some circumstances ambitious live events might also benefit from Vector VR.

 

Vector is based on an idea that originally saw us strapping mobile phones to our chests and whizzing around the studio on wheelie chairs. Before long we were lucky enough to test our fledgling system on a real, first class rollercoaster and now it has matured into the world’s first fully realised VR motion-sync system that delivers on real-world operational requirements. That means delivering solutions to ensure safety, address hygiene concerns, maintain throughput, and deliver an amazing guest experience at a realistic cost.

 

We are proud to announce that our first public Vector VR project is Galactica at Alton Towers. (The creative work for Galactica was developed through our long-standing relationship with Merlin Magic Making and we worked closely with the amazing Alton Towers team on the technical implementation).

 

Whilst its first application has been on rollercoasters, Vector isn’t limited to coasters. It can be used on any vehicle that follows a fixed/predictable path:

 

Rollercoasters

AGVs (Automated Ground Vehicles)

Simulators

Pirate Ships (it’s a theme park thing)

Drop Towers

Entertainment Robots.

The control system architecture also enables us to operate individual and group controls for synchronised playback in:

 

Live Events

Virtual Reality Theatres.

From day one, our vision for Vector included two key features: to be mechanically independent of the ride and to use the same sensor for ‘recording and playback’. What does that mean? A recent example explains this best…

 

We were asked to create demo for a new client, so we put a sensor into our hand luggage and jumped on a plane. Within an hour of being in the theme park we had mapped the rollercoaster with our control sensor – the same sensor that could be used just hours later to give the client a live proof-of-concept with a demo scene in a VR headset.

 

Below is a simplified list of Vector’s key features, including the extras we’ve developed to enable a full operational roll-out.

 

- Mechanical independence from the ride vehicle

- Each rider’s control sensor includes a touch-screen, enabling hosts to modify the rider’s experience

- The control sensor can be fitted to the ride in an IP rated, custom-made box, or be mobile and independent of the ride vehicle. It can even be carried in a back-pack, so guests can have a separate VR experience pre and post ride

- High quality media playback featuring graphics which go well beyond traditional game-style visuals

- Individual rider control including subtitles, audio description and audio levels etc. via control pack touch-screen

- System-wide rider control including transmission of customised messages to individual riders via control room tablets

- Key safety features including custom head-straps, harnesses and tethers which keep guests safe on and off the ride

- Custom engineered hygiene solutions

- Battery packs enabling up to a full day of operation for every headset

- Off-ride charging solutions including bespoke powered cases for large numbers of batteries

- Off-ride storage solutions for headsets with built-in charging capabilities.

 

Edited by robbalvey
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So it looks like its been confirmed then, VR to be installed on Air. What are your thoughts?

I actually liked air the way it was, but I'm not opposed to change so I look forward to riding this in April. Does anyone know if they have added a launch? Is it possible to add a launch? and is the VR optional?

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Does anyone know if they have added a launch?

 

Looking at the youtube video it appears to show segments of the VR video from the start of the ride, then slowly going up the lift hill.

 

 

If it doesn't reduce capacity and is entirely optional then it can only be a good thing. Will be interesting to see all the retheming and how the VR works out.

 

I really want to visit this year but they still haven't confirmed a date the Smiler is opening. I missed out last year as we visited just after the accident so don;t want to miss it again.

 

Also it bugs me when they just put random track on posters, especially when the wheel is hitting the rail supports

Edited by Purplepills
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