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Planet Coaster’s sound designer shut down an entire theme park to record the game’s audio

Watson Wu, sound designer

If you hate queues and have always dreamed of having a theme park all to yourself, become a videogame sound designer.

“The most creative, technically intricate theme park sim to date” – here’s our Planet Coaster review.

That’s the lesson of two brief YouTube videos from sound designer Watson Wu, who was hired by Frontier Developments to capture authentic noises from various theme park attractions.

He needed to control the environment, as he explains in the first video, meaning no screaming kids or muttering crowds. Unfortunately, he lives in Florida, where theme parks are open all year round. He wrote to dozens of parks across the USA until one in Indiana replied, giving him the run of the place for a whole day.

In the second video, embedded below, Wu goes into detail about the different rides he had to record and the particular challenges of each. Whimsical story though this is, it’s actually pretty interesting for anyone curious about sound design or engineering, which should be everyone:

This probably sounds like an unimprovable work day for many of you, but Wu is all business, fussing over his equipment as he rides the rollercoasters. He explains that he saw a doctor for advice on motion sickness and laments that a professional rule of his – always bring more than what you need – obligated him to “unfortunately, ride [the rollercoaster] seven more times.”

Planet Coaster is available on Steam now, where you can enjoy its charming trailers, or own it in exchange for £29.99 or $44.99 US.