Save Your Breath

March 31, 2007

Tonic_91 and JuneRaT have knocked their unnaturally large heads together and produced a very innovative and challenging duo track called Save Your Breath! This track was included in the TMX Track List earlier this week, where it achieved the best score among all the tracks on the list.

The track it self, set in the Stadium environment, has some quite interesting, innovative and challenging sections, and it’s packed with full-speed action! In more detail, the track features several jumps, three loops, a wallride, a corkscrew and an off-road section. There’s also complete MT and custom music.

Save Your Breath

Here are some quotes from awards given to this track at TMX:

“Fantastic duo track!” – T_Z_

“Flow and transition is wonderful” – TYZZ

“Scenery is just AWESOME!!!!” – Sk84funPrzemo

“Amazing speed and cool combos” – Markus…

“Brilliant execution of ideas” – Smok3y

So what are you waiting for? Download the track now!

Save Your Breath — Direct download here!


Screenshot of the Week – Week 13, 2007

March 30, 2007

So last weeks slideshow turned out to be quite good looking, but not very practical. Therefore, we’re now back to normal 😉

Screenshot Collection

By Hastings:

rallyb-Hastings

By Hawk_ger:

HAWKBay1 HAWKIsland

Screenshot of the Week

Extreme2

Sk84funPrzemowins 50 coppers for this screenshot.

If you have a screenshot or two, send them to Jozii@pp.inet.fi. All screenshots will get published in the blog, and every week one screenshot is selected as Screenshot of the Week.


Track Review – Killer Island

March 29, 2007

This track was on yesterdays TMX Track List, so many of you already know its final rating, but here’s a complete review of the track for you to enjoy and the author to learn from 😉 

Track: Killer Island (download)

Author: [RX] Alselius (TMX)

Type: Race

Environment: Island

Length: 45 sec

Mood: Day

Custom Content: None

Killer Island

First Impression

A bit unsmooth, but seems like quite a nice tracks.

Track Design

The design of the track isn’t at all bad. Everything a decent Island track requires is there: Broad high-speed areas, skidding sections, Island-style loops, etc. Island tracks tend to be open and take up a large area, but this one is a bit more complex while still maintaining a fair speed. Some sections are due to the complexity a bit unsmooth though, and you need to learn the track to master these sections fully (which can be taken as a good thing, but for a track to be really good smooth driving should be obtained even on the first race).

There are also some other a bit annoying parts, such as one of those half loop/wallrides (I don’t know hwo to define it – it’s kind of like a wallride but also a bit like a loop with a twist, very common in Island) where you are first tricked to believe you need to go right (due to an aditional loopblock which could have been removed), when in reality you need to take a sharp turn left.

I also didn’t like the start to begin with (a bumpy down-hill slope), but I’ve learned to at least think it isn’t horrible.

The overall design is decent, but the unsmooth sections and parts where it seems that the track hasn’t been completely thought through lowers the score.

Rating: 7.5

Scenery

Despite the fact that scenery isn’t lacking, it seems boring somehow. Personally I like the Island scenery blocks a lot, and the complexity of this tracks allows for the track it self to work as part of the secenry (which is generally good), but somehow the scenery doesn’t really look that appealing.

However, it’s there and it does keep the track from looking empty, so it does what it’s supposed to, roughly speaking.

Rating: 7.5

MediaTracker

Intro: Quite nice, introduces track and author in a stylish way and shows the track through various camera angles. The angles tend to be a bit too zoomed in though, so the intro gives some nice pictures rather than a complete overview of the track. 

In-Game: Cam changes in loops.

Outro: Exaggerated use of trails and poor camera angles (fixed to the car which normally gives cool effects but ruins the point of an outro (which is to give an overview of the race)). The effects are nice to look at, but the camera tends to collide with scenery and sometimes the car is even lost for longer times than what can be accepted. The outro is there, and it isn’t that horrible, so I can’t give a poor rating, even though I really don’t think it’s that good…

Rating: 7.0

Originality

Nothing really original, besides the complexity of an Island track. Some transitions are nice and fresh ideas though, which saves the score a bit.

Rating: 5.0

Fun Factor

Killer Island is quite fun to drive and should be nice for some WR hunts, but it doesn’t take long before you’re through with it. It’s nice the first couple of times, but I doubt this is something you’ll get back to at another time.

Rating: 7.0

Summary

The design is quite good but with some unsmooth parts. The scenery is good too, but not perfect. There’s a good intro but a flawed outro. The track is quite fun to drive, but the fun isn’t really that long lasting…

Final Rating: 7.5 (good)

***

Notes:

– Ratings range from 1 (bad) to 10 (perfect). 5 is average.

Your help is always needed! If you are interested in writing track reviews for the TMU Blog, you may apply by dropping an e-mail to Jozii@pp.inet.fi.

– If you want to have your own track reviewed, you can sign your track up for a fee of 250 coppers. Simply send an in-game message to “Jozii” with the coppers and the name of the track (which must have been uploaded at the United Exchange first).


TMX Track List #5

March 28, 2007

I must say I’m a bit disappointed with this weeks Track List. Tonic_91 & JuneRaT’s collaboration work (Save Your Breath) is a creative piece of work, and Markus’s “The Wild Hunt” isn’t too bad either, but after those two it just goes down. The sad thing is that all (well, most anyway) of the track are really good base structures, but there doesn’t seem to be much of ambition or innovation in the tracks. And considering the quality of some of these authors other tracks, we all know they can do better.

Oh, and is it just me, or do you too find it weird that seven out of the nine tracks in this post are approximately 45 seconds long? I’m telling you man, it’s all those commersials and advertisements. They’re messing with our minds!

Anyway, here’s the 5th TMX Track List…

Read the rest of this entry »


The fifteen most “yntelligent” things you can do in Trackmania

March 27, 2007

Alcator is back with another article! The TMU Blog can not be held responsible for any damage caused to readers or their surroundings due to this article. Continued reading is at the readers own risk!

1. Write your nickname using Hebrew or Greek letters; not only will that entertain all Israelis to read “I am stupid” (in Hebrew) where you intended them to read “I am the king”, but since some Greek letters have a completely different meaning than what they seem to resemble, you prove that you paid no attention in your geometry classes. (H/\LF-LIFE is actually HLLF-LIFE, in case you wonder).

2. Put an animated picture of silicon thingies bouncing up and down as your avatar; nothing like explicitly stating that you are a 12-year-old boy who actually never saw a woman as she was created.

3. Give your track the name “Track 85” and then wonder why no-one downloads it.

4. Come to Air Time server (located in the USA) and start with “Hallo, ist das die Deutsche spieleserver?”; people love when you warn them about your low IQ in advance so that they don’t have to detect it otherwise.

5. Chat solely in CAPITAL LETTERS; according to the research made by the Faculty of Sexuology of the New York University, the number of capital letters in a message is inversely proportional to the length of men’s… FOOT.

6. Tick “Keep playing” in the Intro of your TM:N track. [*]

7. Accidentally press numeric key 7 and then numeric key * without knowing it while playing online and then try to get help with the f***ed up view.

8. Post an award “This is a great track! I haven’t tried it yet, but it must be good!” on TMX.

9. Put Tokio Hotel’s song as the music for your track and then wonder why no-one awards it.

10. Spend 1000 coppers trying to beat the Author time in official mode on “Stadium A-1”.

11. Send a PM to MrA on TMX, telling him: “showcase my track or else!”

12. Send coppers to yourself. [*]

13. Create a stunt track in one of the Upload slots and Upload it. [*]

14. Force orbital camera during play in your track.

15. Color your car and set the trail color to bright pink, optionally painting a white flower on the front of the car.

Attention! A Competition!

Three of these “yntelligent things” have [*]at the end; the first player that posts an explanation why that activity is  “yntelligent” (in the discussion below this article) wins 50 coppers! Hurry up, up to 150 coppers can be won here!


Track Review – DMs Rally Short

March 26, 2007

Track: DMs Rally Short (download)

Author: Dutchman (TMX)

Type: Race

Environment: Rally

Length: 30 sec

Mood: Sunset

Custom Content: Signs

DMs Rally Short

First Impression

Only 600 coppers, only 38 seconds of racing, an equally short outro (well, obviously), and a much shorter intro. Short of imagination when it comes to the title as well 😉 At least it’s not short of awards at TMX, and to be honest, the first drive was a blast 😀

Track Design

So in case you didn’t get it in the first paragraph, this track is really short. But that doesn’t ruin the track. In fact, I think the “smallness” of this track makes it even better. For such a low-copper track, it really isn’t bad at all. The design is kind of old-skool, but it’s ideal for online play and WR hunts.

Turns are smooth (which they’re not in many other Rally tracks) yet technical, providing some great racing. The track is varied with dirt paths, asphalt, bridges and rides on walls. For such a short track, it really doesn’t lack anyththing.

Oh wait, perhaps it does: It doesn’t feature too many stunts! There are some nice jumps which keeps the track from being boring, but there aren’t any really cool or special stunts. But then again, if it did have such sections, it wouldn’t have that little touch of old-skool perfect-for-online as it does now.

There really isn’t much more to say about the design. It’s a really good design, and I like it a lot! Exciting, yet not over-stunty.

To mention something I dislike though, there’s one annoying section where you go from ground level to a bridge. If you’re not prepared, you will loose the smoothness of the track, or even fall down from the bridge.

Rating: 9.0

Scenery

Despite the low ammount of coppers, DMs Rally Short doesn’t really lack any scenery. The scenery is quite neutral but nice looking, and while it doesn’t bring anything new, it keeps the track from being just an empty path, which is what the scenery is there for, right? However, for a better score, some more innovation would be needed.

Rating: 8.0

MT

Intro: Short, so it doesn’t really show the track properly unless you really pay attention. There’s also a picture in the beginning, which I don’t know if I should love or hate; it takes up more than half of the screen in an already too short intro, but then again it does add a unique touch. Also, the intro lacks innovation, just as the scenery does.

In-Game: Nothing included, nothing needed.

Outro: Quite decent, but far from really good. There are some sections where the author assumes you drive at the same speed as the validation replay, which is obviously a mistake.

Rating: 6.5

Originality

Nothing original, really. This is a track consisting of old ideas, which doesn’t make it bad, but doesn’t bring anything new either.

Rating: 3.0

Fun Factor

DMs Rally Short is by no means a boring track. Sure, the style is old and well-known, but the design is good and near to flawless. There isn’t much of innovation or originality, but old-style tracks work too. Simply a fun track to drive!

Rating: 8.5

Summary

Well designed and with decent scenery. MT and originality lacks a bit, but the track is still a lot of fun to drive.

Final Rating: 8.0 (very good)

***

Notes:

– Ratings range from 1 (bad) to 10 (perfect). 5 is average.

Your help is always needed! If you are interested in writing track reviews for the TMU Blog, you may apply by dropping an e-mail to Jozii@pp.inet.fi.

– If you want to have your own track reviewed, you can sign your track up for a fee of 250 coppers. Simply send an in-game message to “Jozii” with the coppers and the name of the track (which must have been uploaded at the United Exchange first).


Stadium Fashion

March 25, 2007

Throughout the years of TrackMania, certain block combinations in tracks have become so popular and commonly used that you are almost guaranteed to come across one or several of those combinations in any decent tracks.

In this article I’ll introduce to you some of these block combinations for the Stadium environment. I’m not talking about things like loops or wallrides, but something even more detailed, something that makes a track shine, something that is fashionable!

Read the rest of this entry »