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James
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 2:39 pm

What else could have they done though?

The original Sub-Terra was not the product Alton Towers had asked for. Since then they have worked with Merlin Studios to rectify this. I think we should be grateful they've bothered improving it! They could have simply left the attraction as it is.
 
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 2:57 pm

I am grateful - look, im not being negative here, its good that Alton have listened and gone back to revisit the ride, I guess I just find it amusing that instead of going to all the expense of SubTerra, they could have saved a few million and just put a scare maze there, because lets face it, if they didnt have the scare maze there, people would probably still rate the ride as average. 

My main concern is how long will actors remain in the maze to scare people, I bet that towards the end of the year (except scarefest of course), the maze will be empty apart from strobes and the odd noise here and there, especially if Merlin are trying to cut costs.

But not being negative here, but maybe from the very outset they should have just put a scaremaze there?!?!
 
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aru
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 3:07 pm

I disagree. The scare maze alone would be naff as a permanent attraction for 2012.

The original HEX got a complete rework in about the same period it has taken to sort out N:ST. I am glad that AT have had the same attitude to N:ST.
Last edited by aru on Mon May 28, 2012 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 3:15 pm

garyh wrote:
Its not a negative review lol!!!  Calm down calm down. 


If you post a non-constructive comment then expect people to roll their eyes, if you had explained in your first post what you mentioned in your second post it would have been accepted easier... though i disagree
 
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James
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 3:23 pm

garyh wrote:
I am grateful - look, im not being negative here, its good that Alton have listened and gone back to revisit the ride, I guess I just find it amusing that instead of going to all the expense of SubTerra, they could have saved a few million and just put a scare maze there, because lets face it, if they didnt have the scare maze there, people would probably still rate the ride as average. 

My main concern is how long will actors remain in the maze to scare people, I bet that towards the end of the year (except scarefest of course), the maze will be empty apart from strobes and the odd noise here and there, especially if Merlin are trying to cut costs.

But not being negative here, but maybe from the very outset they should have just put a scaremaze there?!?!


Sub-Terra solely being a scare maze I think would be just as bad, if not worse. Thorpe has proved year round scare mazes just do not work in the UK industry.

I agree with that people would still rate the ride average without the scare maze. However something had to be added to the end of the ride, to give it an ending. The mini scare maze does the job, it finishes off the story (given it is still a bit disjointed - but just needs some polishing out), lengthens the experience and leaves guests feeling like they have just come of of a completed attraction.

All actors are contracted to work till November this year. So for now we need not to worry about that. Next year however I agree, it's slightly worrying of if they will keep the actors in further years. Although I would guess they will keep them, they are a part of the experience and removing the actors would end up leaving guests confused and make that part of the experience feel less full of life.

As I said though, it being a scare maze would not work. Sub-Terra is not meant to be treated as a ride but as an experience, it's telling guests a story, taking them through it. Without the drop element there would be no story, in fact it would have to be a completely different story given that the whole point of Sub-Terra is going underground to view an egg found in a series of caves...

For me at least, Sub-Terra is a full package now. It's like a meal, it had the starter and main course, it was missing the dessert. The dessert has now been added and the experience feels complete.
 
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 3:30 pm

Before this becomes a flame Alton post, I shall start by applauding the park on their determination to make this ride succeed. The constant improvements and guest feedback sheets have impressed me and it shows that someone on park has their head in the right place - if they keep up this attitude now for their upcoming attractions, Alton and Merlin will develop a much better reputation.

But this to me raises the question, whether they do really care, or whether they just want to shut us all up. Merlin haven't had the best year so far with Alton (excluding Ice-Age I guess), what with numerous bad decisions and constant money-grabbing, and this has shown with the constant uproar amongst enthusiasts. What if improving Sub-Terra was just a quick way out of all the other mistakes they've made this season, in order to sweeten us enthusiasts up? They've never cared this much before, and it's odd that in their current financial situation, Merlin would go to so much effort for this ride. Something tells me that they wouldn't have given a monkeys in improving if the ride was 'OK' received by us, after all, we know Merlin like to do as little work as possible.

As for the scare-maze, I think it stinks of unoriginality. Put it into perspective; it's another shipping container, with some black drapes, a few strobe lights and some more actors. Merlin are turning into Six Flags with the amount of times they are cutting and pasting their ideas for each park - I wouldn't be surprised if we had radioactivity (again) in SW7. What's worst for me, is that people seem to be applauding this, applauding the fact that they can get away with doing the least amount of work possible, instead of putting some hard work in to ensure their rides are unique and fresh. From the number one park in the UK that brought us the likes of Hex and Duel, I think we are in the completely right mind to expect something a little better than another shipping container filled with cheap effects and scares.
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 3:40 pm

SIMR wrote:
it's another shipping container, with some black drapes, a few strobe lights and some more actors.


When you put it like that, it does seem pathetic.

Absolutely no orginality, quality or attention to detail.
 
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 3:51 pm

While I do truely believe Alton  DO  care, i cant help but feel that the recent attractions just dont feel finished and are somewhat half hearted.  Sure they are functional, opened on time etc. but they dont deliver the magic that the park used to deliver.

I dont know the cause, maybe they have been let down by the ride manufacturer's (i.e. Thirteen was closed for weeks after opening and didnt deliver the punch we all expected), maybe the cost cutting is making the finished product feel like "not the complete package" -  for example, take Air... the plans and adverts showing the ride flying over water which would have really finished it off, but never happened due to costs.

I was looking at some old photos the other day on here, and found the one of the Black Hole being opened and the press cutting said Alton were spending £18 million on the park!    £18 million!!!  That was back in 1980 ish.  Ok so they havent got that sort of cash floating around at the moment, but if Alton arent careful, their half hearted attempts at new rides is going to result in people giving up on the park and not visiting for fear of always being disappointed. 

I cant help but feel the past few years that many of Alton's rides just dont feel "finished".  Look back to the days of Black Hole, Nemesis, Oblivion etc, and the attention that went into them. 

I truely believe the people who work at Alton do really care, but I think they are up against it with higher management.
 
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 3:54 pm

CoasterCrazyChris wrote:
SIMR wrote:
it's another shipping container, with some black drapes, a few strobe lights and some more actors.


When you put it like that, it does seem pathetic.

Absolutely no orginality, quality or attention to detail.


But it works, and that is the main thing. I was very wary of adding a strobe maze style thing on the end of it and didn't think it would work at all but the way that they have done it from the exit of the chamber to the exit of the attraction does work. All it needs is a little more story telling/clarification which they are planning to add. It may sound cheap, but they won't have had lots of money to make the changes and what they have done at the end works ten times better than I could ever have imagined. On my first run through yesterday it was very disorientating and the maze section went of for a lot longer than I expected too. It works well, how they did it doesn't really matter that much.

SIMR wrote:
But this to me raises the question, whether they do really care, or whether they just want to shut us all up. Merlin haven't had the best year so far with Alton (excluding Ice-Age I guess), what with numerous bad decisions and constant money-grabbing, and this has shown with the constant uproar amongst enthusiasts. What if improving Sub-Terra was just a quick way out of all the other mistakes they've made this season, in order to sweeten us enthusiasts up? They've never cared this much before, and it's odd that in their current financial situation, Merlin would go to so much effort for this ride. Something tells me that they wouldn't have given a monkeys in improving if the ride was 'OK' received by us, after all, we know Merlin like to do as little work as possible.


That is a somewhat silly suggestion in my opinion. There is no way that they have gone back and made changes to "sweeten enthusiasts". From day 1 Towers and Merlin were not happy with Sub-Terra and public feedback has been poor. That is the main reason for these changes, they don't want they're new ride to be bad all year as negative feedback etc means people are less likely to return and down go attendances. They wouldn't close a ride for a week to shut up and handful of enthusiasts, not in a million years. If that's how they worked the Air tunnel would have been themed by now. :P

:)
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Sazzle

Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 3:56 pm

SIMR wrote:
But this to me raises the question, whether they do really care, or whether they just want to shut us all up. Merlin haven't had the best year so far with Alton (excluding Ice-Age I guess), what with numerous bad decisions and constant money-grabbing, and this has shown with the constant uproar amongst enthusiasts. What if improving Sub-Terra was just a quick way out of all the other mistakes they've made this season, in order to sweeten us enthusiasts up? They've never cared this much before, and it's odd that in their current financial situation, Merlin would go to so much effort for this ride. Something tells me that they wouldn't have given a monkeys in improving if the ride was 'OK' received by us, after all, we know Merlin like to do as little work as possible.


I'm sorry but I had to laugh! Okay so we know the park and Merlin all read this board, and many others like it, but we are NOTHING to them in terms of wider guest satisfaction. The only reason they improved Sub Terra was because it was given an absolutely atrocious reception by Joe Public.

We moan all the time.

Normally about the Air tunnel.

Perspective needed!

We're a great source of feedback, as often we represent the wider population and yet our views are handy and accessible in a single mouse click. That doesn't mean we're the catalyst! Yes we may have influence, but not on this scale.

>> edit - haha @ Rob!! Snap, you thought stealing 'quicker-on-the-buzzer' little git!!

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Last edited by Sazzle on Mon May 28, 2012 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 4:20 pm

OK, so maybe my point about enthusiasts was a little over-exaggerated, it was just a suggestion and of course I think the ride was awfully received, but the improvements they made hardly must have cost that much and I still think that Merlin don't care half as much as people are making out all because of one ride, and we can see that from the fact so many other things are left for dead.

Rob wrote:
But it works, and that is the main thing.


I'm sorry, that attitude is what's leading to under-average rides like this even making it to fruition - I could write a song that gets to #1 in the charts, doesn't make it a good song though. Who cares if there's no theming, no thinking or storyline, so long as it gets the public in? Alton have prided themselves on their originality and creativeness with Nemesis, Oblivion, Hex - for all those to be superceded by Sub-Terra is frankly an insult. I guess you wouldn't mind then, if for SW7, we got a pitch-black indoor section with some strobes and a few sound effects, a nice bit of greenery instead of the spider and an open-air station? - so long as the ride's all fine and dandy.
Last edited by SIMR on Mon May 28, 2012 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 4:22 pm

Great post Sazzle. You've hot the nail on the head.

The ride probably looked good on paper but did not deliver in reality. The guest feedback was bad (as was ours) and the park had no choice but to look at their options. Now - in my view they have added what should have been here all along, an ending!

At the end of the day people want to go on a ride to be scared, thrilled, entertained. They are generally happy if these things happen. No one really cares about the intricate details of a story as long as it 'feels' like an experience worth queueing for.
Last edited by aru on Mon May 28, 2012 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Dormiens-Dave

Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 4:27 pm

I hated sub-terra before Sunday but i came off the ride truely satisfied this weekend. The changes didn't feel "cheap" and it seemed like some genuin thought has gone into it. The mixture of effects, ride and scaremaze compliment each other really well and everything seems much more professional.

I do sometimes wonder if there are not some people who post on enthusiasts boards who will never be satisfied, if Towers had not gone back and improved it people would be miffed yet when they do go back and make genuine improvements... people are miffed and then we all get labeled as negative when these changes have been taken as positive by a majority.

I also think people forget this is a not a huge investment ride, it was only 4million which in themepark terms is quite small. It's certainly a better filler attraction than the likes of Thorpe Park provide now that it is fixed.

The scaremaze isn't cheap, it feels very atmospheric and works well. Really go and try it and if you still feel the same then so long as you post constructively feel free to be negative.
Last edited by Dormiens-Dave on Mon May 28, 2012 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
AstroDan

Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 4:35 pm

Alton Towers management care passionately about the theme park.

Fact.

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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 5:07 pm

SIMR wrote:
Rob wrote:
But it works, and that is the main thing.


I'm sorry, that attitude is what's leading to under-average rides like this even making it to fruition - I could write a song that gets to #1 in the charts, doesn't make it a good song though. Who cares if there's no theming, no thinking or storyline, so long as it gets the public in? Alton have prided themselves on their originality and creativeness with Nemesis, Oblivion, Hex - for all those to be superceded by Sub-Terra is frankly an insult. I guess you wouldn't mind then, if for SW7, we got a pitch-black indoor section with some strobes and a few sound effects, a nice bit of greenery instead of the spider and an open-air station? - so long as the ride's all fine and dandy.


In the context of the ride the ending does work, no matter how much it cost or what is is made from, it works. I commend you for taking that one line out of my post giving it no context at all. Sure the ending isn't full of world class theming and whatnot, but it was never going to be. As Dave has said, Sub-Terra as a whole cost £4 million which is not a lot. The amount of money spent on these new updates will have been considerably less than this. Therefore for what it is it works well, and something working well is the main thing whether you like it or not. What was there before this update was good in terms of theming quality but as a package it didn't work all that well to most people; now it does. You can't get away from that being the main point.

Have you actually been on the new Sub-Terra? You certainly cannot call it an insult if you haven't. I find it rather amusing that those who have been on generally like what has been done yet those that haven't generally are still being critical. It shows that you have to ride it before calling it an insult or whatever. If you still don't like it after riding then that is fair enough, we all have opinions.

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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 5:55 pm

I'm not commenting on whether the ending works or not, and in fact, if you read my first post again, the main points I have mentioned are the unoriginality of the scare maze and the fact it's been done so cheaply. I think that seeing as 2012 is a medium investment year, more should have been spent than the rumoured £4million; next year we're getting £20million as a large investment, so I think £10million for a medium is fair - then, they could have come up with something better than slapping a generic scare-maze onto the ride to get in those cheap scares.

Rob wrote:
Have you actually been on the new Sub-Terra? You certainly cannot call it an insult if you haven't. I find it rather amusing that those who have been on generally like what has been done yet those that haven't generally are still being critical. It shows that you have to ride it before calling it an insult or whatever. If you still don't like it after riding then that is fair enough, we all have opinions.

:)


No I haven't, and I think it's important to realise it's more difficult for some to get the chance to go Alton as often as some people here do. If you look at the part where I called the ride an insult:
SIMR wrote:
Alton have prided themselves on their originality and creativeness with Nemesis, Oblivion, Hex - for all those to be superceded by Sub-Terra is frankly an insult.

you will see that I called it an insult in terms of its originality and creativeness, more specifically this new scare-maze; I apologise if this didn't come across. Like I said before, my main point is the fact the scare maze (and parts of the main ride) lacks imagination. If we weren't allowed opinions pre-riding, we wouldn't have the'Other Parks & Attractions' board here, where people are constantly posting about rides they haven't been on around the world yet still making opinion - I don't think this should be any different.

Having been on the Sub-Terra that was improved after the first few weeks, but before last week, I think I'm allowed to have a general idea of whether I will like the new version, perhaps more specifically the main ride, but I stand by my point that the scare-maze seems to be an uninspired emergency exit out of this ride being average.
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 6:01 pm

I do believe that in this instance the ride was going to have something done regardless. Alton Towers management were not at all satisfied with what was delivered, as it quite simply didn't meet their brief. On and around opening day several members of senior management were heard discussing the ride in very colourful language :P Even one of Merlin's senior designers was reported as calling the ride "a f***ing embarrassment"!

They knew they had messed up and that something would be needed before the ride even opened to the public.

I'm just grateful that they have gone back and plugged the holes. It needed it.

Dark rides generally do take time to get right, Hex being the prime example, and I think it was to be expected that Sub-Terra would be going down for work within a few months, especially after seeing how it turned out in the first place
They've looked at the main pieces of feedback though, the biggest criticism being the duration of the attraction, and worked from it. Wether or not the length was the main fault Alton anticipated or not is another matter though.

Either way, my point is they knew something had to happen from day 1, and they worked on the feedback to try and patch the main holes in the ride. It would seem they have done that, and no matter how cheap or lazy it may seem it does it's job. They could have easily just bolted an empty container with some drapes to the end, but they went further, adding actors and effects. On top of that they even revised other areas of the ride, something they didn't need to do, but did anyway. If that doesn't show some caring on managements part I don't know what will.
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 6:27 pm

I think N:ST is quite an original ride, so I am confused by some comments that adding the scare maze is completely unoriginal? I can't think of another ride with this combination of experiences? The maze might be a cheap scare, but surely that is what an ending requires - lots of dark rides do it because it works. The psychological scares are great up to a point but the fun comes with the so-called cheap scares! That's why scare mazes are so popular!
 
AstroDan

Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 6:35 pm

The changes to Nemesis Sub-Terra are both considerable and widespread. Here's a rundown which I noticed, from my two rides at the weekend!

Briefing Area
No major changes, although the video is now louder in volume. Obviously, on opening weekend there wasn't even a video at this point.

Descent Lift
Spoken audio is the same, to instruct guests on boarding procedure. Accompanying this, there is now a droning sound which lowers in pitch as the lift descends into the cave. The vibrations are also more effective now, and there is a better sensation of going down. Generally louder. The cavern which guests walk through before entry into the observation chamber is the same, although the main chamber doors now do not open until several seconds after exits from the descent lift - so guests usually see them opening towards them.

Observation Chamber
New lighting on the egg, and a louder "heartbeat" noise accompanies this. The sequence/programming has changed a lot. The introduction at the start is now longer, before anything happens - then there are vibrations in the seat caused by heavy bass. Lights dim, various loud noises, egg hatches as before but much heavier water spray hits guests. Various "malfunction" messages play out, and lights dim again. Gondola's drop at different times. Nest of eggs very clear with new lighting flashing. Very loud noises play, speakers in seats to make it seem like the alien is moving around the room (this in darkness). Air bursts on back of neck. Lots of back poking and leg ticklers. Upon rising back up, countdown "30 SECONDS" begins, to get out of the main chamber. Very heavy strobing at this stage. Much more urgency. Guests leave seats and head towards Escape lifts - the room between main chamber and lifts is now full of smoke, air jets from above and heavy strobing. Lots of noise!

Ascent Lifts
More smoke through new panel. Lighting changed, more banging and more noise. Generally more "stress" going on here. You see a panel break at the top of the lift. Upon lift doors opening, a Phalanx Operative in gas mask from the decontamination unit bursts in with a flashlight, scaring all guests. Very effective here.

Decontamination Area
Entirely new. Lack of narrative here at the moment, although we were informed that this was being looked at. Guests go through decontamination in darkness. Phalanx operatives in gas masks, lots of flashing lights, strobes and bangs. Impression that a room has caved in as guests go under a fabric cloth. Lights have failed. Lots of mesh fencing. Very loud bangs just before exit.

And that... is the new Sub Terra. A massive improvement - well done Alton Towers. Now, just for a little improvement on the narrative side of things in the decontamination area and things will be well sorted!
 
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Re: Nemesis: Sub-Terra Discussion (**contains spoilers**)

Mon May 28, 2012 6:51 pm

Do you think they'll add "Now even more scary" onto the Sub-terra TV adds ?
The changes sound good to me, even if they are a cheap fix. I can't wait to ride it!

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