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wamdue
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Tue May 15, 2018 5:19 pm

Oh yes, the Galactica theming is nice, just not the actual VR. And talking of pictures, who is buying a picture of themselves wearing a VR headset?
 
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Wagstaff04
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Tue May 15, 2018 6:01 pm

To be honest, I much prefer Galactica than AIR theming-wise, so I’m with Jack on this one. I haven’t actually used the VR yet, and from the reviews it’s been getting, I don’t plan on it either.
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Swarm Chris
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Tue May 15, 2018 6:23 pm

I got a picture on my DigiPass, mostly for the slight absurdity of a photo of me me clinging onto to the headset whilst riding.

Have only ridden with VR once and the tracking was off by about 10 degrees to the right and then the headset tried to fly off on the first turn. Redeeming feature was that it was about 6c when I rode, so it somewhat felt like the coldness of space.

If it's quiet give it a shot. Chances are like most VR coasters it will disappear soon. Just hope they don't realise other places have an additional charge to ride VR.
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saw-x-smile
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:02 am

I liked the concept of AIR much more than Galactica. By now, I find Space rather cliche and overdone, but the simple but appealing idea of flying is so much more investing, to me. Galactica as a concept only really works when it is paired with the VR. Outside of the station and that one portal, there are no other signs of theming to be found. But flying worked well without conditions, because no matter how good the theming is around the ride, one will always feel like they're flying due to the style of attraction. Normally, I ask for a lot of story and theming for rides, but this one worked without, kinda like Oblivion, where minimalist went a long way. I think the space theme only existed as to help market the VR, and now that that has proven to be a bust, I wouldn't be surprised if the we see a new retheme. And, if I'm honest, I don't think I'll be too sad. I'm ready to see what new iteration of this ride's theming they'll make, but I hope they don't tear it down because without the VR, it is still an amazing attraction.
 
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Robert.W
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:38 am

I think the one vital mistake Merlin made with Galactica wasn't the addition of VR, surprisingly enough, but is actually Galactica itself. Had Merlin gone down the same path as the likes of Europa Park, they wouldn't be in this situation where they have a "re-themed" ride that has been a complete failure. 

Take Eurosat – CanCan Coaster and Eurosat – Coastiality, two new attractions opening at Europa Patk this summer. These use actually just one rollercoaster, but riders choose which attraction they want to experience and each attraction has its own dedicated station and themed trains (one with VR). Had Alton Towers gone down this route, and used one station to house the VR attraction, still using Air's track and trains to "host" the attraction, at least if it had failed, they could easily have removed it without any trace that it ever existed, and Towers could have easily said that it was always intended to be a "limited time" experience.

But typical Merlin prioritised short term gain over long term viability, and as a consequence are now stuck in a situation where if they want to move forward and create yet another brand for the ride (or revert it back to Air), they will have to publically admit that their supposedly pioneering ride experience has been a total failure, and to make things worse they could have made it work, if only they hadn't succumb to that stupid "worlds first fully dedicated VR rollercoaster" title.
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:13 pm

Not sure what the relevance for the ride might be but I seen on Instagram a company called figment production ltd went out for a “systems update and training” on Galactica today. I believe they are a VR company.
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Swarm Chris
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:41 pm

Well that's interesting. Figment have done a lot of work for Merlin, and was the company that implemented the VR hardware solutions for both Galactica and Derren Brown. They've also done other things such as the audio/visuals for the Rollercoaster Restaurant, and scenes for the London Dungeon.

Edit: Also interesting that they have a new product/experience they want to get installed early next year and given the number of times Merlin have used them, could Merlin be getting this?
http://www.figmentproductions.co.uk/?po ... ject-helix
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streetmagix
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:34 am

Yeah I saw that. Figment are the company who supplied the VR movies, hardware and integration for Galactica. I guess VR isn't going away any time soon if they're still involved?
 
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Tom170499
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:12 pm

streetmagix wrote:
Yeah I saw that. Figment are the company who supplied the VR movies, hardware and integration for Galactica. I guess VR isn't going away any time soon if they're still involved?


That’s a shame. I was hoping to see it fully removed next season :(
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Liam.W
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:02 pm

Yeah Figment are the people who produced the VR and that, we've known that since Galactica opened haha.
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Robert.W
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:17 pm

To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw them increase the VR capacity for next season. With it being so limited this season, it's actually encouraged more people to use it. Perhaps they will be able to find a good balance. As much as I hate Merlin and all their silly gimmicks, I do actually want Galactica to work. 
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Steff15
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:54 am

Well aren’t I glad to see that I’m not the only one sorely disappointed with the VR on Galactica!

Air had always been my favourite coaster. (Until Wicker Man but that’s for another day)

I first rode VR back in July and wow what a disappointment. Fighting to keep the head set on and a sore neck from keeping head up to see all the way through was the result. What was hard though was standing 30 minutes fast track queue for the VR and watching the trains leave with three empty rows where people were not riding without VR.

Fast forward a week and back again and rode without VR still over a 30 minute wait this time in the disability queue because the line doesn’t seperate at all and they only ask the front two if they want VR or not. This was frustrating but on watching the ride a lot more riders riding without VR so maybe there would still have been a considerable line.

Went again few days ago and VR was down and the queue was still 20 mins in the disability queue and the main queue 50-60 minutes. No sign anywhere saying that VR was down. Maybe that’s why it was still busy but anyway I think it needs to go.

The loading unloading is taking forever with VR, the two seperate fastrack/general queue lines worked well for Air so maybe the seperate train ideas is better one from the now fastrack queue and one from the general queue they’ve already decided parts of the queue lines for VR no VR so change them to fastrack so fastrack guests can use VR or non VR and have their own queue.

I like the theme, ok I loved Air’s theme but Galactica works for me. Maybe doing more in the underground exit tunnel as was originally planned would be great for nonVR I know they’ve added some bright lights but it sill looks like an underground car park!

I don’t know what the future of this ride is but all I know is more needs to be done to improve it. VR isn’t working in the current way and some rethinking needs to be done!
 
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Justin
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:28 am

I forgot to add my comments to this the other day.

As a regular, I hadn't bothered with VR this year as riding without had become far more enjoyable. The other day, I rode with VR for the first time this season as I was with some family members who had not visited for a few years, as they were keen to experience VR; however, once they had done it they were quick to resort back to non VR rides.

From my point of view, the VR headsets were not in a good condition for a solid ride experience. This was due to the sound being bearly audible. I tried the usual of moving the headset around and repositioning / tightening but to no avail. As a result, I had to hold the headset to my ears all the way around. I also noticed that the velcro had worn away, therefore the headsets kept falling off. This happened to one of the family as they went around too.

I can see the appeal, and I loved it in its first year, but I do think it needs work. Some good things can be done, but the riders experience of what we have got already needs to be sorted first!
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thelem
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:50 pm

We rode Galactica late yesterday and VR was disabled for all riders, there was a rope across where the queues split. There were no signs about VR problems we just couldn't use it.
 
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jackf1tz
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:20 am

Were they still batching into the last three rows?
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saw-x-smile
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:47 pm

The VR addition in Galactica always felt like an afterthought... and that's rather sad because there is definitely potential there for them to become something so much more. I know it was probably at first only marketing campaign for Alton Towers to start getting some good press, but with the way VR is evolving, something so unique and interesting could be done with it. VR in the attractions industry is taking leaps and bounds, and it would be great to see Alton mirror the advancements and put TLC in keeping Galactica up to date with the technological advancements, but that would have taken a lot of effort and money to do. 
 
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Justin
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:04 pm

jackf1tz wrote:
Were they still batching into the last three rows?

When I went the other weeks and VR was not being offered, they still batch the last three rows. To be honest, it really does speed things up!
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thelem
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:14 pm

jackf1tz wrote:
Were they still batching into the last three rows?


Yes, it was operating with 7 rows as if VR didn't exist.
 
Doublethink
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:04 pm

Had the headsets physically been removed or were they still in their pouches?
 
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nicky.borrill
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Re: Galactica - General Discussion

Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:31 pm

VR has been available on some of our visits, unavailable on others. One thing I have noticed is that when it was unavailable, much of the ride’s theming was also off, screens, station lighting etc.

It’s a nice enough ride, I always ride it a couple of times a year, but never multiple times in a day, or even month. It just doesn’t offer enough excitement to re-ride frequently. I could sit on Nemesis all day, and get the same rush each time, not so with Galactica. 
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