Introducing.......The Fix-It Competition

A game that you don’t need to register as much or as little as you want....

From Jeff Elliott
Posted September 10, 2011 at 10:49 AM
We all know of rides that are terrible and need some fixing. Well, here is your chance!

While this game is somewhat similar to other design competitions, there are a couple of key differences:

1. The theme of this game is fixing up bad attractions, parks, themes, restaurants, and other things at amusement parks, sometimes including the lack thereof. While my goal is to mostly keep us out of the Disney and Universal parks, there may be a couple of challenges that take place there.

2. This game is based on a point system and not an elimination system. This means you can play as much or as little as you want. For example if you need to do an emergency visit to the Magic Kingdom for the weekend and can’t get a challenge submitted on worries.....your point total won’t be affected and will be waiting for you when you get back. Since there is no elimination, new design challenges will be posted every Monday morning like clockwork. Challenges will be due at midnight (website time) on Sunday night.

3. The voting system will be a ranking style system. Voters will rank the participants from 1st to however many posts we have. The ranking will then be put in a spreadsheet and averaged across all of the voters. Those with highest averages will be ranked 1-5 and awarded points. Since the voting will take place on the discussion boards, voters will need to be registered members of this website. Voting will take place on Mondays between midnight and midnight. Votes will be tallied and point totals will be posted every Tuesday morning.

4. Unlike previous competitions, many of the challenges will have budgets associated to them, while I understand that this is going to prove to be a little difficult to get on the first couple of tries, after a while, we should all start to pick up on the concept. The thought here is to level the playing field a bit, instead of having a $15 billion park kicking an $800 million park. If you are close, that is good enough....if you are way over budget, it will be mentioned and it should be reflected in everyone’s voting.......and no, you are not allowed to sell things to up your budget.... After we get the hang of this concept, I am going to reserve the right to possibly withhold participation points if the budget goes too far out of bounds (not that I like penalizing people and would prefer not to be forced into this).

5. There will be many other ways to earn points. There are plans to do some small 48 hour “mini challenges”, trivia challenges, renaming of attractions, Haikus, and other addition to that, there have been some discussions to get a couple of celebrity judges involved to grade the mini-challenges in any way they see fit (instead of a full vote).....

Point System: On weekly challenges, after the votes have been tallied, the points will awarded as follows:
5 pts for 1st Place
4 pts for 2nd Place
3 pts for 3rd Place
2 pts for 4th Place
1 pts for 5th Place
In addition to that, 1 bonus point will be awarded to the first person of the top 5 to post their idea (we are going by server time and not posting order.....which means if you edit your idea, the edit time will then be your actual completion time).
Everyone who posts an idea will also get 1 point for participation.
Anyone who takes the time to review all of the presented ideas will also get 1 point. If someone does what I would consider spectacular reviews (along the lines of what Adam Nodjomian did toward the end of TPA3), I would be willing to kick in another extra point for your trouble.

Example Scenario: You post an idea, you get 1 point. In the voting you get 2nd place for 4 points (5 total points). You were quick with your idea and were the first among the top 5 to post their idea, so you get another point (6 total points). You do a review of all of the ideas and get another point (7 total points).

Game is to 50 points.

Finals – Once 5 people have reached the point goal. There will be a two round playoff. The person with the highest point total gets an automatic pass to the second round. The other 4 players will then compete in an elimination competition where only the top two players advance to the second and final round of three players where the winner is then crowned.

Weekly Fix-It Challenge Example (and keep in mind we are going to try and stay out of the Disney and Universal Parks but I am using this as a good example):
The Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has long since lost touch with the movie that it is associated with. Most kids have never even seen the movie and the 3D show has been removed in favor of rolling back to Captain EO. Not only that, but the location it is in doesn’t seem to jell with anything around it. Your task, should you choose to accept this challenge, is to build a new children’s play area in the same space but themed to something that would fit into this area. Your budget is $10 million dollars (but keep in mind that half of a Disney budget is overhead). If you bring in an outside franchise, you will spend around $2 million in franchising fees.....leaving only $3 million for destruction and construction). This challenge is due by Sunday night at midnight. Voting is on Monday.

The solution to this would be to find a child friendly franchise that would work with well in the area. Now granted the play area is on the crossroads of a bunch of different things, so a simple movie theme might be enough in this case. You would be best off going with Disney owned franchises, so that you could keep the extra 2 million to make a more elaborate play structure. Since this is a live action park you may want to dig through that type of catalog and see what you can find. Maybe the simplest idea would be to keep the existing structures intact and just retheme the whole thing to A Bug’s Life (since there is a Pixar presence in the park), and then spend the money enhancing the play area, although A Bug’s Life is going to age poorly.

For those of you who have read down to the is your bonus hint.......the first mini challenge will be posted bright and early on Wednesday.....

From Zackiel Marsh
Posted September 10, 2011 at 11:01 AM
Nice idea. I was planing on doing a similar challenge one week for my competition (which I will hold off on so we won't have too many games) but this sounds like a fun game. I would rather just watch than play though because I am ahuge procrastinator.

From Mike Seary
Posted September 10, 2011 at 12:59 PM
Sounds cool... like the budget idea. Question - How do we use it though, not typically being aware of the $ cost of many of the elements that would go into a hypothetical revamp? Will you give us guidance in the primer for each entry?

From TH Creative
Posted September 10, 2011 at 3:54 PM
There are no bad (attractions). They're just misguided.

From Mike Seary
Posted September 10, 2011 at 4:50 PM
@ TH

Except for Poseidon's Fury...

From Jeff Elliott
Posted September 10, 2011 at 5:55 PM
@ Mike
In the first 4 posting that I have put together, there is some guidance just like in the example of how far your money will go, but I also figured there may be somewhat of a debate in the discussion threads. I also figured that for the first couple of weeks people would be all over the place with the budget. The idea is to level the playing field a bit and put a number to it, instead of the blue sky attitude of the Apprentice challenges, so if we all get close, that is fine by me.

The following list was already been posted by me on a different thread, but gives you an idea of how expensive certain roller coasters are. This information was pulled off of if you need to do some research in the future.
A Gravity Group Woodie (Voyage @ Holiday World) cost $8.5 million (2006)
A B&M Hyper Coaster (Intimidator @ Carowinds) cost $23 million (2011)
A B&M Flying Coaster (Tatsu @ SFMM) cost $21 million (2006)
A B&M Inverted Coaster (Patriot @ World of Fun) cost $14 million (2006)
A Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter (SpongeBob @ MoA) cost $2.9 million (2008)
A Gerstlauer Spinning Coaster (Tony Hawk @ SFoT) cost $6.5 million (2008)
A GCI Wooden Coaster (Terminator @ SFMM) cost $10 million (2009)
An Intamin Giga Coaster (Intimidator @ KD) cost $25 million (2010)
An Intamin Agile Coaster (Fahrenheit @ Hershey) cost $12 million (2008)
An S&S 4th Dimensional Coaster (Eejanaika @ Fuji-Q) cost $31 million (2006)

From Jeff Elliott
Posted September 10, 2011 at 6:13 PM
Normally the schedule will be to post the new challenge on Monday morning (around 6:30 website time), but I think that it might be a good idea to post the first one on Sunday (or tonight) to give everyone an extra day to figure out the new mechanics of the game.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted September 11, 2011 at 8:21 AM
Sounds good!

From Nick Markham
Posted September 11, 2011 at 9:01 AM
This is my kind of game. Also, thanks for posting a list of how much it costs for coasters. I still can't believe Holiday World only had to pay $8 million for the world's best wooden coaster. Why don't coasters like the Voyage pop up more often!

Anyway, can't wait to hear the challenge.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted September 12, 2011 at 7:25 AM
Tips on posting:
- Use a spell checker and triple check for good sentence structure and punctuation. There have been many great ideas that have gone unnoticed because of bad writing.

- Take out all of the smart quotes.
The best way to do this is to copy your posting (after spell checking) into TextPad or Notepad. Manually (or using a search) take out the smart quotes that Microsoft likes to put into everything. Be sure to check your contractions for smart single quotes as well....

- Microsoft also likes to put in long hyphens. Those need to go as well....just put in dashes.

- If you are a fan of ellipses (...) like I am, after you type three dots in a row, Microsoft puts in a special character for it, get rid of that and put your three dots back in.

- If you are struggling with picture sizes, add "width=500" toward the end of the image code (I usually do it right before the border tag, but I don't think it matters). 500 is the width of columns here, use a lower number if you want the picture smaller than the column.

- The last major problem I had posting the news was when I tried to use the word "from".......don’t know why but the second I took it out, it posted just fine. But oddly, it didn't stop me from posting this.....I don't know....if you really have major issues, you can send it to me and I can take a look at it...

- Another word that the posting boards don't like is naive, since spell checkers fix it up with non-standard characters that the boards don't like....any other word like that should be considered suspect as well...

- The best way to do pictures is to grab a free account at and upload your pictures there. Once you have uploaded your pictures, mouse over the image and click on HTML code on the pop-up. Copy that directly into your post where you want it. Put in a width if it is too wide. People like pictures; it would be wise to use them.

- The best way to do a video is to upload it to YouTube. Click on the Share button, then on embed. It will then give you the HTML code to copy into your post.

From Andy Milito
Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:56 PM
I'd love to try this, but I could never figure out all the budget stuff. I'm too young for this. I'll be sitting this one out, but I'll love to watch.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted September 12, 2011 at 2:03 PM
No worries Andy, feel free to watch....or jump in whenever you are ready.....if you have questions, let me know....I can guide you through if you need it.....Nick actually did a really good job breaking down the don't need to do like he did....but just be aware of the fact that your budget will run out at some point....

From Andy Milito
Posted September 13, 2011 at 2:21 PM
I'll sit out, I've had my share of theme park games these few months. This is just a splendid idea, just letting you know :)

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