Screenshot Collection

November 30, 2006

Here’s a collection of screenshots:

Island Airpelican Island Radio

Coast Sunset Flying Car Sent in by H4stings                         

Desert Oil

You can send in one or several of your own screenshots to Jozii@pp.inet.fi and they might get published here in the blog. Every week, an exceptionally good screenshot will be selected and titled “Screenshot of the Week”. If your screenshot becomes the Screenshot of the Week, you will be awarded with 50 coppers.


Blog Contest Prizes

November 30, 2006

I would like to build up a larger amount of coppers for use in future contests. While this is already being done through donations, below is a complete list of how you can contribute with coppers, while also getting something in return. Please note that some of these features have been given high costs, to avoid the blog being overloaded with, say, track reviews.

1. Track Reviews on request.Get some extra attention for your track by having it reviewed here in the blog. Reviews will be honest, so if your track is not any good (well, according to the reviewer anyway), this will come to note in the review. COST: 250 coppers

2. Track Advertisement. You can have your track advertised in the blog. The difference of a track advertisement and a track review is that advertisements consist of simply a link and no actual review of the track. Therefore, advertisements are also cheaper. COST: 150 coppers

3. Donations.Donating any amount of coppers is probably the most appreciated way for you to contribute. In return, you will be added to the blog Hall of Fame.

How to?

To do any of the above, send an in-game message to “Jozii” through the optional toolbar. Remember to include the coppers, and to write in the message what it is you want (donation, review request, etc.). If needed, also include the name of your track.

Only one track per author will be mentioned in the blog.


Article: How to Get Awards, Part 1 (TMX Special)

November 29, 2006

Since this blog has a lot of readers from TMX, I’d like to feature a few TMX related articles. Actually, I’d like to start a whole series of articles related to how to get more awards for your tracks at TMX. Here’s the first one, Part 1, which brings up some of the basics regaring how to earn more awards for your tracks:

How to Get Awards, Part 1

How do they do it, those big famous track authors who get tons of awards every week? Well, you’ve already got the answer: Their famous! Perhaps famous is too strong a word, but the point is that more people (referring to those who download tracks at TMX) know them than other track authors, and therefore more people check out their tracks regularly. And of course, they build great tracks, which is often how so many people came to know of them in the first place. This article, however, will not deal with how to build good tracks, but with how to get your carefully selected nickname known to as many people as possible through other methods.

Common mistakes – are you making any of them?

Many TMX members submit their latest track with eager and high expectation. Then they check back every minute or so (exaggerated on purpose) to see if there are any new awards, only to get disappointed that nothing as changed. Not even a submitted replay or a simple comment, and the download rates are extremely low. After a day or two they give up, thinking that no one likes their track.

Am I talking about you? If so, I’ve already spotted several mistakes you’ve done.

First off, already when you submitted the track you went wrong: Don’t set the limit so high. By expecting too much of the track, which many do because most think their new track is just so great, you will end up feeling sad that your expectations were not met up to. Take everything slowly, wait and see what happens. Set your expectations below those your tracks normally meet, and you increase the chance of disappointment greatly.

Second, you checked back way too often. Let a day or two pass by before checking for awards, comments, download rate and/or submitted replays. You might get surprised, but again, don’t expect too much. If you check back too often, you may be happy once or twice that your track have received an award or two, but an hour later you will only end up frustrated that you haven’t received another one. Think of it like this: If you really would get one award every time you checked back, you’d be in the Best of the Week in no time at all.

Thirdly, you gave up too easily. Take your time to advertise your tracks for example through the forum, or even through this blog.

So, let’s do something about it, shall we? 

Weather you recognize yourself in the above or not, it is quite likely that you have a this problem: no one knows you! Take a look at how many downloaded your track. Probably not that many. The following is a few tricks to use to become somebody whose tracks at least a few extra people would want to download:

  • Be active at the TMX forum. Just posting a few times a week helps a lot (but make the content of your posts worth reading – no spamming!). People will start recognizing your name and therefore download your tracks more often (not because of the tracks, but because they recognize the name of the author).
  • Advertise your tracks frequently. By making sure your name is seen with the track, this will not only allow others to notice your tracks, but it will also make your name better known, since you are exposing it as well as the track.
  • Create a server. By creating a server, hosting your own tracks of course, you get some free advertising of the tracks. Getting your tracks known online is a very effective way to get more people to download and award them, assuming they like them.
  • Use the track intro/outro as advertisement. Make sure you “remind” people who drive your tracks that they can award them at the exchange.
  • Make your track appear interesting. Write an attractive author comment to hook possible downloaders. Also make a good looking screenshot to attract more people. How to properly present your track will be the topic of Part 2 in the ‘How to Get Awards’-series.
  • Make friends – get to know people. Knowing people by communicating with them means that they also know your nickname. Take your time to communicate with others in various ways. For example, awarding the tracks you like and commenting those you dislike will give your name extra exposure. Posting at the forum, as mentioned above, is also a great way to communicate with others (maybe even the best way).

It will take some time, but once people know your name and who you are, you are almost certain to get more people to download your tracks. And as we all know, more downloads equal more awards (again, assuming that your tracks are worth awarding). So get out there and expose yourself. It will be worth it!

In part two of the ‘How to Get Awards’-series, we will take a look at the track page, which is where most people will decide if they are going to download your track or not.


Track Review – Morning Delight

November 28, 2006

Track: Morning Delight (Download)

Author: Shady (TMU Exchange)

Type: Race

Environment: Stadium

Length: 40 sec

Mood: Sunrise

***

First Impression

Interesting, short and a combination of speed and technical. Looks good!

Track Consistency

The track is a nice combination of speed and technical. It is quite smooth, but with a few spots that only work if you drive perfectly. Rating: 4

Scenery

Morning Delight has a fair amount of scenery. It looks good, while it still allows for good online races. However, the scenery doesn’t bring much new, and could be considered average. Rating: 3.5

Originality

There is nothing original about this track. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because it is still a very good track, but it will have a negative affect on the final ratings. Rating: 2

MediaTracker

Morning Delight advertise itself by mentioning its MT work. However, it really isn’t much to go “hurray” for. The intro is extremely short and consists of basically just a view of the sky and the sun, and some graphics at the bottom of the screen presenting the track name and author.

In-game the MT work is just a camera switch through a loop, and the outro is extremely horrible – only a few camera changes, and more than half of the replay doesn’t have any MT work at all. A bad outro is worse than no outro at all.

The intro is not too horrible however (but not good either), so that saves the MediaTracker rating from a total defeat.  Rating: 1.5

Summary

Quite an average track, but with a style that most people will probably enjoy. A mix of technical and speed. However, the track is also quite boring, because it doesn’t bring anything new. The MT work is horrible! The track would have been better off without any intro/outro at all.

It is also worth to mention that the track should work quite well for online racing, and the author time is quite good. It should provide a challenge or most people.

Final Rating: 3.5 (average)

***

Notes:

– Ratings range from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent).

– If you are interested in writing track reviews for TMUnited.wordpress.com, you may apply by dropping an e-mail to Jozii@pp.inet.fi.

– Due to many people asking for their tracks to be reviewed (which is normally ignored), it has been decided that by paying 50 coppers in-game to “Jozii”, you can have one track reviewed. The coppers will be used as prize money in contests. Only one review per author, though.


Clarification of Christmas Game

November 27, 2006

There has been some confusion about the TMU Blog Christmas Game (see the below post), so here’s a summary which will hopefully clear things out:

1. If you want to participate, you must send 25 coppers in-game to the user “Jozii” before the 1st of December. The 25 coppers are guaranteed to be used as prize money.

2. On the 1st of December, a poll of X number of “gifts” (you will see graphic pictures of packages in different colors) are put in a post here at the blog.

3. Each day from the 1st to the 21st of December, one or several participants are randomly selected. The lucky selected participants may take one of the gifts available and consider it their own – for the moment. This will be done by simply sending an e-mail, commenting a post, writing an in-game message or any other form of communication. Note that one person may be selected several times, while another may never be selected at all.

4. When there are no gifts left in the poll, those who are selected each day may “steal” a gift from any other participant currently in posession of a gift. This will be done in the same matter as when there were gifts in the poll, except when someone takes a gift, someone else will lose one.

5. On December 24, gifts are unwrapped. If you own at least one gift, you will get to keep its content (which will be a secret amount of coppers).

I hope everything is easier to understand now, and that more people will sign up 😀


The Christmas Game

November 27, 2006

Start: December 1st

End: December 24th

Sign-up: November 27 to November 30

Short and Simple

As Christmas is closing in, I thought a December Christmas Game would be suitable. The idea is quite simple: From the 1st of December, a number of secret Christmas Gifts are up for grabs! Each gift contains a secret amount of in-game coppers. The goal of the game is to get hold of as many gifts as possible and keep them until the 24th of December, when the contest ends.

So how is this done? Well, each day from December 1st to December 21st (holidays are starting then, so the contest ends there) 1-3 participants (you’ll need to sign up first – see below) are randomly selected. These lucky people get to take a gift from the gift poll. However, there will not be enough gifts to go around, so when all gifts has an owner, the 1-3 lucky participants each day get to “steal” one gift from another participant. Some will go for the most appealing gift, while some will aim to steal from their worst enemies 😉

On the 21st of December gift stealing ends, and anyone who has at least one gift get to keep its secret content. Gifts are unwrapped on December 24.

So in other words, some unlucky participants might not end up with a gift at all, while some lucky bastard might end up with several gifts to keep. Unfair but fun 😀

Sign-up

Signing up for this game/contest will cost you 25 in-game coppers. It is guaranteed that all the coppers gained through entry fees will be used as prizes in the secret gifts.

To sign up, simply send an in-game (TMU) message to “Jozii”. You may leave the message blank or just mention that you are signing up for the TMU Blog Christmas Game. Just remember to include the entry fee of 25 coppers.

Final Words

Donations are welcome! If you do not want to participate, or if you are participating but still want to increase the size of the gifts, feel free to send an in-game message with a donation of as many coppers as you like.

Note: This entire game is based on a new-year tradition from Denmark.


Track Review – Need For Speed

November 26, 2006

Track: Need For Speed (Download)

Author: Gommers (TMU Exchange)

Type: Race

Environment: Island

Length: 40 sec (author time: 0:40.39)

Mood: Sunrise

***

First Impression

After a first round on the track, itit appears quite easy. It is fast, but everything is supersized so you don’t really notice it. After a few rounds, though, you discover the potential of the track. A simple idea that is actually quite nice, was my first impression.

Track Consistency

The entire track runs extremely smooth. Wide roads and loops take turn to thrill you at high speed, but I can’t help thinking that the track in all looks and feels quite boring. The extreme smoothness and the well placed loops, however, bring a original feel that boosts the thrill of an otherwise very simple track.

Overall, Need For Speed is indeed a very smooth track, and that brings up the Track Consistency rating to above the average. Rating: 4

Scenery

Need For Speed has a simple yet effective scenery. Wide open spaces makes it easy for the eyes, but scenery is not lacking to the point where the track becomes boring. An average scenic feel. Rating: 3

Originality

Need For Speed is original in the sense that it uses only the wide type of road built by several building blocks next to each other. This style is common in Island tracks, but it is quite rare that the entire track is made out of it. Rating: 3.5

MediaTracker

Need For Speed is lacking a lot of MT work. There is no outro or in-game effects, and the intro is short and not very well worked through. Rating: 1.5

Summary

A simple and short track, which uses only wide roads and loops. This makes the track slightly boring in the long run, but due to the speed, the effective scenery (everything has a white or gray tone to it), and the fact that it has no “normal” track parts in it makes it a nice track to play. It should also be good for online.

Final Rating: 3.5 (average)

***

Notes:

– Ratings range from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent).

– If you are interested in writing track reviews for TMUnited.wordpress.com, you may apply by dropping an e-mail to Jozii@pp.inet.fi.