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!
Some of these block combinations date back to the Nations era, while some are newly introduced due to the new Stadium blocks that came with United. In this article, the first mentioned go under the common name of “classic fashion”, while the latter is called “modern fashion”.
So without any further delay, here are 10 fashionable details guaranteed to make your tracks shine (my apologies for the horrible screenshots):
1. Scenic Pole Ride Modern
Using scenery as part of the track is an old trick, but with United new possibilities have opened up. Those scenic poles (or sculptures or statues or whatever you want to call them) are not too commonly used, but tracks do exist which use these in a very fun and interesting way to get your car from ground level to higher levels above ground. Be careful though when designing a track which includes this block combination. If the track is too slow at the point where the scenic pole is placed, you’ll have a difficult time getting all the way up, while if too fast it’s easy to drive over the edge.
2. Bumped Loop Classic
On an off-road section, placing just one piece of asphalt which, when you drive over it at a high enough speed, causes the car to jump or bump slightly into the air allows for endless possibilities regarding how the track continues after the bump. However, one of the most well-used is what we here call the “Bumped Loop”. Simply, after the bump a loop is placed as in the picture below. The result: the car “bumps” into the loop. It doesn’t provide much different in driving style, but it is a fashionable detail.
3. Bridge with gaps Classic
Similar to the Bumped Loop it is possible to have the single piece of asphalt in the air, so the vehicle bumps over two gaps in the road. However, in order to do this a slightly higher block must be placed before the asphalt piece. The most common block used for this is the transition block between asphalt and loop/wallride blocks (as seen on the picture). With enough speed there won’t be much difference in driving compared to just a straight asphalt road, but it does add an additional dimension, making otherwise dull straight sections appear more interesting.
4. Scenic Wallride Classic
Wallrides are always fun, but it’s often difficult to add interesting scenery around them. The Scenic Wallride is a wallride of the standard type but with one or several additional wallrides (which are not possible to drive on – they’re just there to look cool). Either a slightly narrower wallride piece can be added above or below the normal one, or a piece of a larger/smaller bend can be placed to make it stand out a bit from the original path.
5. Narrowed Road Classic
Just as the Bridge with Gaps in point three, the Narrowed Road can be used to keep otherwise dull sections more interesting. Simply, two or several of the wallride transition blocks are placed next to each other resulting in a slightly narrower road than the normal. Additionally, the road bends a bit which means this can also be used for smaller turns – there are many possibilities with these blocks. Very good for technical tracks, but does also add some extra excitement for faster tracks.
6. Jump through sculpture Modern
Simple yet very fun in any kind of track. Simply, a jump is placed in front of a sculpture (the one with a larger gap in between usually works best), so the driver jumps through the sculpture. For an even better effect, place other interesting scenery stuff which the vehicle flies over.
7. Water Jump Modern
I bet everyone has seen this one! After a jump or drop in the air a pool of water is placed. When the vehicle hits the water it slows down and makes a jump on the surface (unless the speed is too slow or the angle is wrong). Many hate this, but I thought it was worth mentioning as it can be rather good when used correctly, and as it is very suitable in case you need to force the player to slow down without placing reverse boosters (which we all know is a no-no). But then again, use the Water Jump with care, as this is something not always too popular with the crowd.
8. Fake Finish Classic
As simple as the title – a fake finish line! It can be placed at the end of a road, at the beginning of a road, as part of a jump, or simply anywhere where it doesn’t make sense to have it. Personally, I find this useless and even annoying, but it’s often seen among the most popular tracks by the best authors, and there simply isn’t any way around it: the fake finish is fashionable!
9. Blue Tile Road Modern
The new blue road type that appears when you place certain types of rooftops or the “skater” blocks isn’t that special, but as almost all areas where you have this (unless you place roof blocks without supporting pillars of their own) end with the skater-piece (the ones where the edge is “rounded”, almost like a tiny wallride), they can be used in quite interesting ways. In fact, you can build complete roads out of these which are quite fun as you must avoid the edges if you don’t want to be taken on a spin in the air. Very fashionable, if used correctly, and this is certainly something I personally would like to see more of.
10. Arch or Skate Finish Modern
The race doesn’t end until the vehicle stops. This means that you can (and should) add additional blocks after the finish line which allow for spectacular stunts even after the race. As two very fashionable examples of this we have the Arch Finish and Skate Finish. In the first case, one of those scenic poles is places right after the finish line, so the car takes a ride up on the pillar. In the second case, one of the skater blocks mentioned in point 9 is placed after the finish line to cause the vehicle to perform a spectacular stunt in the air.
Hopefully you’ve discovered some new block combinations through this article inspiring you to push boundaries further. If you have any additional fashionable block combinations (also for other environments than Stadium), feel free to share them by commenting this post.
The screenshots used in this article were all taken on one single track created especially for this post. The track is available for download here. As the track’s only purpose was to demonstrate the points of this article, I didn’t try to make it special, and without doubt it’s far from a really good track, but to be honest I still think it turned out quite decent. It’s amazing what a few fashionable details can do!