Promotional feature
Simworx - Real and virtual worlds collide in Derren Brown’s Ghost Train

Simworx plays a central role in bringing the groundbreaking multi-sensory attraction to fruition


Derren Brown’s Ghost Train – one of the most hotly-anticipated attractions in UK theme park history – opened this summer, with Simworx working closely with Merlin Magic Makers to make the illusionist’s mind-bending vision a (virtual) reality.

The groundbreaking addition to Thorpe Park, near London, is touted as a ghost train reinvented for the 21st century, with Brown himself claiming the multi-million-pound ride would “rewrite the rules of what a theme park attraction can deliver”.

“I firmly believe that this kind of multi-sensory, mind-blowing attraction represents a glimpse of what the future holds for theme parks the world over,” says Brown.

Simworx played an integral role in the design, manufacture and installation of the complex 13-minute experience, which plays with guests’ perceptions, pushing them to their psychological limits. The ride is Thorpe Park’s largest single investment to date.

Park owner Merlin Entertainments approached Simworx to oversee the provision of the ride systems and various ride elements. Simworx combined VR and AR technology, grand illusion and live action with motion simulation and advanced dark ride vehicles, central to which is a 20-metre (66-foot) Victorian train carriage – seemingly suspended in mid-air.

Simworx worked with Severn Lamb, Figment and HTC on the project, delivering three 58-seat motion-based passenger train carriages and 110 metres (360 feet) of train track. Each train carriage is fitted with 58 HTC Vive headsets, an array of special effects and a vibrating floor. In the pre-ride area of the attraction, Simworx supplied effects like smoke, sound, AV projection, and a groundbreaking motion base capable of a 35-ton lift.

“This is a very different attraction to anything people will have experienced before and is truly a Ghost Train for the 21st century,” says Simworx managing director Terry Monkton. “This was probably our most challenging project to date, with many bespoke elements designed and created specifically for this unique attraction. The technology involved has taken this form of entertainment to a completely new level and we are absolutely thrilled with the end result.”

The theming throughout the ghost train is modelled on a real Victorian train depot near Willesden Junction, with every stylistic and architectural detail recreated by the Merlin Magic Making team.

Simworx to deliver
30 attractions to Chinese partner

Simworx has secured a major contract to supply three attractions each to 10 venues worldwide, with the first two in China in the next two years. Each location is being equipped with a 360° 4D cinema with seats in a circular configuration inside the panoramic screen and a new-generation simulator themed as an explorer’s vehicle with LED screens for windows. Each venue will also take delivery of a VR motion simulator experience. Each rider in the 12-seat 3DOF simulator will have a VR headset.
 



The order includes 360º cinemas
RCX robotic attractions continue evolution

Simworx has been working on the development of its RoboCoaster RCX product portfolio. Based on the new three-axis robot motion base for a smooth dynamic ride, the RCX attractions will be available in various configurations and with on-board or off-board dome screens, incorporating a projected AV media system, audio solution and guest management load station. The RCX line supports the best media-based simulation attractions currently available. A demonstration track should be ready for clients early next year at the Simworx premises in Kingswinford, UK.
 



Further advances in the signature ride
Blackstorm Bay joins Dino Island in Simworx turnkey offerings

Ever-popular pirates, a readymade fun-time solution for operators

Simworx and Dutch design and theming specialist Jora Vision have created a brand new pirate concept for the ever popular Immersive Tunnel experience. The Curse of Blackstorm Bay is an original storyline that immerses guests from the pre-show and queue line areas through to the main show. The full turnkey attraction features a dark ride scene with projections and physical theming as part of the show, while the ride vehicle is not the usual train or tram, but a pirate galleon. Water surrounds the galleon to simulate a journey on the sea. The ride comes in 30 or 60 seat versions. The Curse of Blackstorm Bay follows the success of Simworx’s in-house Dinosaur Island concept. An example of the dino-themed Immersive Tunnel was installed in 2015 on the Malaysian island of Langkawi, a 30-seater version of Simworx’s tracked tram ride accompanied by an original dino ride film. A jeep-style simulator takes visitors into the show area, where the experience includes 3DOF motion with platform drops and immersive 3D projection to the front and two sides of the car.
 



The Curse of Blackstorm Bay is an exciting pirate-themed Immersive Tunnel experience
 


Simworx has had success with its Dino Island IP
 
Game changer: Video games come to life in Dubai’s immersive entertainment park

Simworx installs three high-throughput attractions at Meeras’ Hub Zero in City Walk

The computer games Asura’s Wrath, Final Fantasy and Dragon Age have been reinvented as immersive rides by Simworx for a brand new state-of-the-art indoor entertainment destination in Dubai.

Hub Zero, which is located in the Meeras-owned City Walk retail complex, is the first gaming theme park in the Middle East, boasting eight global games IPs and the latest in attractions technology.

Final Fantasy, an IP from Square Enix, is the basis for a 30-seat futuristic Immersive Tunnel, while Sony’s Dragon Age can be experienced as a quarter dome four-seat RoboCoaster ride. Meanwhile, Simworx also installed a 50 1DOF-seat 4D cinema based on Asura’s Wrath from Capcom. The Japanese video game is more exciting than ever when experienced with leg ticklers, air blasts, water sprays, wind and special effects lighting.

Other experiences at Hub Zero are based on Electronic Arts’ Battlefield, Resident Evil from Capcom, Gears of War from Microsoft and PopCap’s Plants vs Zombies. There is also an exclusive VR shooting game, Time Zombies, built for Meeras by VRStudios.

And in addition to Hub Zero, Simworx has also completed a Thomas and Friends-themed 4D cinema at the nearby Mattel Play! Town, also in City Walk.

 



Dragon Age has been reinvented as a quarter dome four-seat RoboCoaster ride
 


Dragon Age attraction at Hub Zero in City Walk, Dubai
 
 


Simworx created an Immersive Tunnel inspired by characters from Final Fantasy
 
The ride building is modelled on a disused Underground station
The VR content can differ for each person on the ride
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Attractions Management
2016 issue 4

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Simworx - Real and virtual worlds collide in Derren Brown’s Ghost Train

Promotional feature

Simworx - Real and virtual worlds collide in Derren Brown’s Ghost Train


Simworx plays a central role in bringing the groundbreaking multi-sensory attraction to fruition

Simworx and Thorpe Park worked alongside illusionist Derren Brown
The ride building is modelled on a disused Underground station
The VR content can differ for each person on the ride

Derren Brown’s Ghost Train – one of the most hotly-anticipated attractions in UK theme park history – opened this summer, with Simworx working closely with Merlin Magic Makers to make the illusionist’s mind-bending vision a (virtual) reality.

The groundbreaking addition to Thorpe Park, near London, is touted as a ghost train reinvented for the 21st century, with Brown himself claiming the multi-million-pound ride would “rewrite the rules of what a theme park attraction can deliver”.

“I firmly believe that this kind of multi-sensory, mind-blowing attraction represents a glimpse of what the future holds for theme parks the world over,” says Brown.

Simworx played an integral role in the design, manufacture and installation of the complex 13-minute experience, which plays with guests’ perceptions, pushing them to their psychological limits. The ride is Thorpe Park’s largest single investment to date.

Park owner Merlin Entertainments approached Simworx to oversee the provision of the ride systems and various ride elements. Simworx combined VR and AR technology, grand illusion and live action with motion simulation and advanced dark ride vehicles, central to which is a 20-metre (66-foot) Victorian train carriage – seemingly suspended in mid-air.

Simworx worked with Severn Lamb, Figment and HTC on the project, delivering three 58-seat motion-based passenger train carriages and 110 metres (360 feet) of train track. Each train carriage is fitted with 58 HTC Vive headsets, an array of special effects and a vibrating floor. In the pre-ride area of the attraction, Simworx supplied effects like smoke, sound, AV projection, and a groundbreaking motion base capable of a 35-ton lift.

“This is a very different attraction to anything people will have experienced before and is truly a Ghost Train for the 21st century,” says Simworx managing director Terry Monkton. “This was probably our most challenging project to date, with many bespoke elements designed and created specifically for this unique attraction. The technology involved has taken this form of entertainment to a completely new level and we are absolutely thrilled with the end result.”

The theming throughout the ghost train is modelled on a real Victorian train depot near Willesden Junction, with every stylistic and architectural detail recreated by the Merlin Magic Making team.

Simworx to deliver
30 attractions to Chinese partner

Simworx has secured a major contract to supply three attractions each to 10 venues worldwide, with the first two in China in the next two years. Each location is being equipped with a 360° 4D cinema with seats in a circular configuration inside the panoramic screen and a new-generation simulator themed as an explorer’s vehicle with LED screens for windows. Each venue will also take delivery of a VR motion simulator experience. Each rider in the 12-seat 3DOF simulator will have a VR headset.
 



The order includes 360º cinemas
RCX robotic attractions continue evolution

Simworx has been working on the development of its RoboCoaster RCX product portfolio. Based on the new three-axis robot motion base for a smooth dynamic ride, the RCX attractions will be available in various configurations and with on-board or off-board dome screens, incorporating a projected AV media system, audio solution and guest management load station. The RCX line supports the best media-based simulation attractions currently available. A demonstration track should be ready for clients early next year at the Simworx premises in Kingswinford, UK.
 



Further advances in the signature ride
Blackstorm Bay joins Dino Island in Simworx turnkey offerings

Ever-popular pirates, a readymade fun-time solution for operators

Simworx and Dutch design and theming specialist Jora Vision have created a brand new pirate concept for the ever popular Immersive Tunnel experience. The Curse of Blackstorm Bay is an original storyline that immerses guests from the pre-show and queue line areas through to the main show. The full turnkey attraction features a dark ride scene with projections and physical theming as part of the show, while the ride vehicle is not the usual train or tram, but a pirate galleon. Water surrounds the galleon to simulate a journey on the sea. The ride comes in 30 or 60 seat versions. The Curse of Blackstorm Bay follows the success of Simworx’s in-house Dinosaur Island concept. An example of the dino-themed Immersive Tunnel was installed in 2015 on the Malaysian island of Langkawi, a 30-seater version of Simworx’s tracked tram ride accompanied by an original dino ride film. A jeep-style simulator takes visitors into the show area, where the experience includes 3DOF motion with platform drops and immersive 3D projection to the front and two sides of the car.
 



The Curse of Blackstorm Bay is an exciting pirate-themed Immersive Tunnel experience
 


Simworx has had success with its Dino Island IP
 
Game changer: Video games come to life in Dubai’s immersive entertainment park

Simworx installs three high-throughput attractions at Meeras’ Hub Zero in City Walk

The computer games Asura’s Wrath, Final Fantasy and Dragon Age have been reinvented as immersive rides by Simworx for a brand new state-of-the-art indoor entertainment destination in Dubai.

Hub Zero, which is located in the Meeras-owned City Walk retail complex, is the first gaming theme park in the Middle East, boasting eight global games IPs and the latest in attractions technology.

Final Fantasy, an IP from Square Enix, is the basis for a 30-seat futuristic Immersive Tunnel, while Sony’s Dragon Age can be experienced as a quarter dome four-seat RoboCoaster ride. Meanwhile, Simworx also installed a 50 1DOF-seat 4D cinema based on Asura’s Wrath from Capcom. The Japanese video game is more exciting than ever when experienced with leg ticklers, air blasts, water sprays, wind and special effects lighting.

Other experiences at Hub Zero are based on Electronic Arts’ Battlefield, Resident Evil from Capcom, Gears of War from Microsoft and PopCap’s Plants vs Zombies. There is also an exclusive VR shooting game, Time Zombies, built for Meeras by VRStudios.

And in addition to Hub Zero, Simworx has also completed a Thomas and Friends-themed 4D cinema at the nearby Mattel Play! Town, also in City Walk.

 



Dragon Age has been reinvented as a quarter dome four-seat RoboCoaster ride
 


Dragon Age attraction at Hub Zero in City Walk, Dubai
 
 


Simworx created an Immersive Tunnel inspired by characters from Final Fantasy
 

Originally published in Attractions Management 2016 issue 4

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