Theme park sim Planet Coaster is getting a free "anniversary" update soon, adding new rides, new staff management features, and a new scenario editor.
Once the update arrives, vendors - who up until now have been perpetually imprisoned inside their squalid retail booths - will finally be able to leap over their serving counters and roam the park. This newfound freedom, Frontier explained during its recent expo event, is linked to a new "energy" meter for all vendors, entertainers, and janitors, and is designed to add another strategic layer to Planet Coaster's management system.
The basic idea is that staff members' energy levels deplete as they work; to recharge their energy meter, staff must either wander about or relax in the new staff management building. However, when workers abandon their posts for a break, stock will go unsold, visitors will stay un-entertained, and pavements will remain unswept. Success comes from ensuring that your park is sufficiently staffed, with an effective work roster, so that there's always someone on-hand to cover during break time.
Other new staffing features include the ability to apply training perks to individual staff members - making them, for instance, train faster or entertain punters more efficiently - as well as the option to move vendors between shops so that highly skilled workers don't go to waste in the quieter corners of your park.
Beyond staff management, the anniversary update will also introduce...wait for it...picnic benches. Frontier says that guests will prefer to eat sitting down come the new update, and will always look for benches on which to enjoy their delicious, questionably nutritious theme park snacks. That means that bench placement is key to keeping your visitors happy. And while these new inclusions might sound relatively low-key, anything that can help bolster Planet Coaster's slightly anaemic management core is welcome.
Elsewhere, the update will bring four new rides, including the Weisshorn flat ride, a new wooden coaster variant, and the rather wonderful looking part-coaster, part-log flume Cascade. Additionally, park builders will gain the option to mix-and-match coaster cars and tracks, either keeping within the bounds of reality, or flipping a toggle to essentially plop any car type on any track to create some properly wild rides.
The anniversary update's final big feature comes in the form of a new, fully equipped scenario editor, giving players the tools to make maps with unique challenge objectives and to share them with the community via Steam Workshop.
Frontier promises that more details will be revealed about the anniversary update in the run-up to release, which presumably, given its name, will be some time next month.