Exclusive Q&A with our great firend Luke Houldsworth from the up and coming theme park focused YouTube Channel - Coaster Gen!
Since Theme Park Insanity first established back on 25th of July 2019 we have had the chance to work with some truly fantastic individuals and as such this has lead to us forging some brilliant new friendships, however out of all the brand new people we are now proud to call friends there is one individual who stands out above all others, and that’s Luke Houldsworth from the up and coming YouTube Channel Coaster Gen.
As well as being the Co-founder and original creative mind behind our fantastic joint podcast series ‘Keep You in the Loop’ Luke has also become fastly known for some of the best No Limits 2 coaster content around! He has also created other brilliant content across some of the most well favoured gaming platforms within the roller coaster enthusiast community such as Planet Coaster and Parkitect to name but a few as well and continues to pump out some of the best theme park related content available to date!
We are therefore thrilled and deeply honoured to finally be able to bring you this very exclusive Q&A with our closest friend and we really hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did bringing it to you.
Therefore without any further ado, here we go!
Who are Coaster Gen?
First of all, before I start I want to say a massive thank you to you Joe for putting this Q&A together its been a blast working with you and I hope we can continue to do so!
Hi guys, my name is Luke Houldsworth and I am the owner and founder of Coaster Gen.
I started Coaster Gen due to at the time a lack of straight news reporting on the industry and with using the new platform for the time Facebook we took off and gained a following and continue to do so reporting on all the stories in the industry.
Coaster Gen is primarily run by my self, day to day stuff such as sharing news articles is heavily encouraged to be done by all the editors and we currently have 5 on Facebook but they are not relied upon as Coaster Gen is my passion and I’m always on the lookout for stories to post.
Could you tell us a little about where your initial inspiration for starting Coaster Gen came from?
I started Coaster Gen because I have loved the industry ever since I was a kid I always wanted to be the next John Wardley. My friend at the time Kaz lived across the road from me and he was very well upon his coaster experiences having been to Busch gardens in the late 90s and 2000s. I used to visit him every day and he would show me pictures and maps from the parks and I would see Montu and be like daymm that looks insane! I would then go back to my dad and be like “Dad What is a roller coaster” and from there it started every day at High School when the kids would play I would hit Alton Towers into Yahoo and watch the world of magic unfold before me knowing that one day I will be able to go all around the world and experience these places we call home.
What originally captured your heart when it came to the theme park and leisure industry and inspired you to become the enthusiast you are today?
As I said in the last question it was the build-up the hype of getting to these places, but when it happens Oh boy, this is how it happened true story, My form tutor in High School was called MR Shepard and could see that my enthusiasm was rubbing off on my friends and form for visiting Alton Towers, and as the cool guy he was he arranged a trip! We would then talk all about the physics and how a roller coaster works and what drives these machines for the next few months then it happened, the marketing campaign hit for Oblivion! DON’T LOOK DOWN! Was written on all my school books.
The day had come, My dad dropped me off at school as we had to be there very early as its a long coach drive from Rochdale to Alton Towers, all my best friends sat on the bus journey that was about to change my life, the travelling took forever and I mean forever. I kept walking down to MR Shepard who now told me I can call him John, and be like JOHN ARE WE AT OAKMORE YET I JUST SAW FARLEY LANE from the back of the bus! All my mates are like “wow you really know where we are”, and a swift look to my right and there it was the machine I had seen grow on CoasterForce for the last few months OBLIVION! Man the excitement was embedded in my blood right there and then like an Enthusiast vaccine and I knew I would look back on this moment and know that this is how it started.
What would you say stands out as your fondest memory from your time at the parks over the years?
My first ride on the Big One with my dad was a memory I will always cherish after being to Towers with school and overcoming my fear of big rides it was finally time to show my dad that we could finally do any ride together our 1st full ticket day at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
We did every ride, every single one and my Mum and Dad could not believe it! I climbed on to ever coaster like each one was a gift on Christmas day! Before we knew it it was time to walk to the Highest, Tallest, Fastest Ride in Europe – THE BIG ONE! We walked in the famous station, the smell of grease and oil began to fill my nose, the excitement was building the adrenaline pumping like I was about to fight a heavy weight boxer and get my ass kicked! Gates, we finally got to the air gates and the train thundered into the station “Pshhh Pop Pshh” the noise of the block brakes as the train pulled up to me made was a reminder that this coaster is like nothing I had ever experienced, “ you ready pal?” Yes dad lets do this. I want to keep the next bit of the ride a memory I will tell another time I have told the story in many Podcasts and Live streams.
Where does the inspiration for your content come from? Are there any major contributing factors that stand out the most?
In terms of Facebook content, it is solely relied on by the stories going on in the Theme Park and leisure industry, of course, the current climate is making it hard to report on anything but we are trying to find things day to day to come up with. It’s hard but having the YouTube Channel is now helping us post across all our platforms. With the YouTube Channel, it’s all down to the support we get from every Live stream to every video, it drives me every day to know that people enjoy my content and inspires me to see people starting channels and asking for advice, and shows that if you can make a few people smile once a day its worth it! It’s taken a year of nothing but pure grind and determination and collaborating with the best to get us where we are today.
Out of all of the content you create it's your No Limits 2 content which stands out the most for us! Could you tell us a little more about where you derive your inspiration from?
Thanks Joe, that means a lot to me, I guess its because I always wanted to be a roller coaster Designer from a very young age, but sadly I never got the grades so everything I do in NL2 is self-taught.
NL2 is hard at first but once you get your head around the complexity of it, it is a powerful roller coaster designing software. it’s also realistic using real G-force combs and speed combs you can tell if the ride would work or not in real life, a lot of manufacturers use NL2 for layouts and 3D renderings of their attractions! So I wanted to be a designer I have many many many layouts drawn out in my little Nemesis Book that I am yet to convert, it’s my secrete book of layouts so make sure you all subscribe to our channel to see more crazy NL2 content coming soon and catch a few of our live streams to see NL2 in action.
Over the time we have spent working with you on our joint podcast series 'Keep you in the Loop' we have absolutely loved being able to be part of the 'Coaster Gen Family', however, who would you say you have enjoyed working with the most over your time as a creator and why?
The main reason the YouTube started was because of my good friend WolfRaging95! He pushed me to put my NL2 stuff on YouTube after a 6-year break to focus on the Facebook and news reporting, However, I have enjoyed working with everyone who as you say become part of the day to day ‘Coaster Gen Family’ especially you guys, the podcast has been amazing to do something I have wanted to do for a very long time!
Which park would you say stands out as your favorite park and why?
Alton Towers Resort without a doubt is my favourite park and always will be, it just holds a special place in my heart and I always go there and have a fantastic time even if it’s just a walk in the gardens because everything had a 3-hour wait. I love being there and it always throws the question at every one “WHAT IS THE NEXT SW project?” that keeps me intrigued. That being said the coasters Alton Towers offer are like nothing else in the world and that has always stood out to me, man I can not wait to go back home!
Which would you say are your top 5 favorite coasters and why?
Video coming soon guys so subscribe!
What do you enjoy the most about creating the content you create and why?
Ever since I can remember, I have always had a love for theme parks! It’s a passion I have had since a young age, from playing Roller Coaster Tycoon 1 to No Limits 2 I have always had fun producing rides and theme parks. I just love designing and watching coasters I have created go round a track, the fact that over 650 Subscribers have witnessed my coaster designs and enjoyed them all is a blessing and I can not thank the people who have supported me over the years enough! Seriously guys Thank you <3 It’s this continued support that makes me push content out weather it’s Live streaming or a mega NL2 project I want it to be the best I can produce for you guys!
Which parks would you say you want to visit the most in the coming years and why?
Every Disney Park in USA to be honest! Disney Land Paris is at the very top of the list too! Every Florida Park which I will be hopefully going to next year as well as Six Flags parks. I would also say I’m looking forward to a few Europe trips especially Phantasialand and Enegylandia! They look amazing and my second favourite park PA, I just love that place!
Which park would you say will be your first port of call when the current lock down is lifted and the parks re-open?
Alton Towers Resort and Blackpool Pleasure Beach same weekend 😀
Finally, what can followers look forward to from Coaster Gen in the months and years ahead? Are there any new and exciting projects in the works?
Well the website is one! Coastergen.com will be re-launching very soon I felt the old site was lacking the shine and modern feeling my channel and content delivered so it was back to the drawing board and I am very proud of the new site! PLUS loads of NL2 Live streams, many Planet Coaster Live streams, as well as RIDE SIMS, streams basically lots of streams and videos to come, guys, new documentary series I want to start very soon! More vlogs from the parks we visit and continued work with you guys on the podcast and reaching 1000 subscribers by my Birthday would be fecking amazing 31/08/2020 hahaha So make sure you come over and give us a Subscribe and thanks for having me do this Q&A for the website Joe you are awesome and I look forward to our continued work!
Well Luke, It’s been an absolute pleasure and we have loved having this chance to get to know you a lot better! It’s clear that Coaster Gen has a firm future ahead with the enthusiast community and we can’t wait to watch your brand continue to grow in the years to come! Thank you once again for agreeing to join for this brilliant Q&A and we really hope you, the reader have enjoyed this chance to get to know our great friend Luke better as well?
If you haven’t already then please as Luke has already said be sure to go over and check them out on all of their below outlets which we will include the following links for;
YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIfXWjiocqvTHUDAqavjwAA
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/coastergenofficial/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/lukecguk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/coaster_gen
Official Website – https://www.coastergen.com
Once again Luke, Thanks for this brilliant opportunity and we look forward to continuing to work with you in the months and years ahead!