Written by Alcator.
First read Part 1!
In the previous chapter I’ve explained to you why you should never ever think about making a PF start , so let’s start building!
PF building tip 1 – Early checkpoint gets the prize
You may wonder why on earth would anyone place a checkpoint (CP) in a place where NO driver following the PF rule could possibly crash and need a CP-respawn. Well, the reason is hidden in that very statement – because SOME players are bound to disobey. Some will just tap a left or right key briefly in order to slightly modify the path, and see what happens. Or they will release the Up arrow for a microsecond just to get the front wheels of the Coast car on the track, thus greatly influencing its racing behavior. Or they leave the predesigned path completely and travel through different routes.
If some players actually do that, chances are they will accidentally discover a path that leads to even wilder crashes, collisions and stunt figures than any of us dream about in our wet dreams… oops, sorry, different story… anyway, after they make that wild figure, they may end up on the roof or in the water or simply at a spot from which they cannot finish. If the CP is not there, they will not be able to finish and save the replay, and you won’t get it from them to shoot a lovely video with it. While with the CP present, they may CP-respawn, preserving the attempt so far, finish from the CP (you may need to provide an alternate route for them) and save that replay.
And guess what – You very well MAY become famous (i.e. – get the prize) by producing fantastic videos…
PF building tip 2 – Keep the speed up
PF sections of tracks need collisions. You need to send the car against an obstacle that ensures the spinning, twisting, flipping (and turning) of the car. The faster the car goes, the (generally) wilder the stunt figure is, and, more importantly, the more options for the next part this provides to you; if the car bounces of a tube segment and flies 15 squares across the map before it hits the ground, you have about 30 or 40 spatial units (cubes) into which you may place the next collision object, while if it only bounces and drops after 2 squares and has a speed of 25, there’s really not much you can do.
Things that help:
- boosters (red ones preferably, as it’s always nicer to have one red booster than 3 yellow boosters – one booster seems much more “natural” than 3 boosters)
- off-set collisions instead of frontal collisions (frontal collision completely stops the movement in the direction; off-set collision provides “exit space” through which the car may continue, and as the second effect it also results in rotational boost, which is good)
- finetuned (smoothed) landing: quite often, you will have several options as to where to place the track on which the car will land after a stunt figure; some of these options will be rougher than other. The rougher the landing, the greater the speed loss – I think that’s quite understandable
- smooth transitions: whenever possible, use the proper transition tiles (such as between normal track and a sloped track); don’t connect tiles in a way that produces edges, as that also results in speed loss and jumpiness.
- avoid long wall scratches: under certain circumstances, cars that get in touch with the walls around tracks (the “mantinels”) sort of “stick” to it and go along the mantinel while losing speed. This is a big no-no you want to avoid at all costs (even if you should have to break one of the other rules).
To be continued tomorrow…