Ten things I’d love to see in the next TrackMania

My apologies for not posting anything yesterday. Hopefully that was the last time for now, and I should be able to fully focus on the blog again from now on 😀

Now here’s Alcator’s article for this week. Enjoy 😀

Every time I install a game that is a sequel in an established game series, I take that little time to dream for a while – what will be in the game? Did my wishes come true? Is Gordon finally going to drop that stupid crowbar and pick the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator that I dreamed of? Will my Sims be finally able to get HIV positive? Will space ship Enterprise finally explode, or, better than that, crash into the Vogon’ spaceship?

Most often, I’m disappointed by the game. Not because it would be bad, but because something is missing. Something I really hoped for but didn’t come. Gordon keeps his crowbar, Sims never got into a situation where you-know-what, and Enterprise keeps bringing democracy to the outer reaches of the universe.

So, without further delaying, here’s my list of 10 things I’d love to see in the next Trackmania.

Track building:

1. Loop tiles for Rally. Rally suffers from lack of stunt tiles, all you can do in it is drive or jump. Or crash. Or fall into water.

2. Banked/Sloped intersections for Stadium. So far, when you need to intersect a banked road and a slope, you have to intersect them at different height levels.

3. Wallride corner tiles for Coast. So far, you can do a wall-to-wall jump, but you can’t turn the coast car on a wallride. It might be amazing.

4. Team starts/CPs/finish gates. So far, all cars have to start from the same gate and pass through the same CPs. It could be interesting if it was possible to either create more start/finish gates, or to tick “Mirror display for team modes”, which would mean that the game would “mirror” the track for one team during racing.

Racing:

5. Relay mode for team racing: 1 racer from each team races, when he finishes, the next racer starts. Total of all (say 3 or 4) racers from one team is counted. Unlike in round mode, here all racers would have to finish (even with CP-respawn, which would be allowed).

6. Checkpoint elimination mode. In CPEliMode, any car that does not pass through the next checkpoint within 1 second from the time when the leading racer passed it, is eliminated from the race. CP-respawning IS possible. All cars start at the same time.

MediaTracker:

7. Ability to store values (i.e., a new track type “set value” / “modify value”).

8. Ability to trigger clips based on position AND value (such as “only trigger this clip if value *CPs passed* is 3 or more”); this might require to allow branching on triggers (such as “if the car passes through this location, then: if Value is 0, do…., if Value is 1, do …., if Value is 2, do…. “), but it’s still very understandable even to non-programmers and it could enable some pretty cool stuff, such as “Counting how many shortcuts the racer has discovered” or “Telling him how many checkpoints he has yet to pass”; re-use tracks could be easily fitted with proper navigation tips etc; it would even be possible to create complex “Quest-like” tracks (Go from A to B, then from B to A, then again from A to B…).

9. Split-view! Defining multiple viewports (“camera positions”) and displaying different stuff in each during replay, intro, or race – CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT? Functional rear-view mirrors! Replay that compares cars going on different lanes after split! One thousand elephants!

10. Light sources. The ability to place virtually any number of spherical or conical light sources that then lit the scene. No more struggling for space to be able to position that light column on Coast – just chose any position and put an invisible light source in there.

And what would be your ten most desired things for the next TrackMania? New environments? Which ones? Feel free to express yourself in the discussion…

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13 Responses to Ten things I’d love to see in the next TrackMania

  1. JumperJack says:

    what did you think about this:

    [b]11.[/b] symmetrical checkpoints. cps where you can place two of them, and you only have to cross one. excellent to solve the cutting at symmetrical tracks… 😉

    awesome article alcator!! 🙂

  2. LordMzn says:

    very interesting article! most the 8 point… with that, you can make GTA-maps, or something like a RPG… it would be really funny (go stole the car, pick up the guyz, go to the bank, enter, and now run… really really funny asd)

  3. insane says:

    great article 😉
    would love to have number 9, jsut think about the possibilities in an outro…
    it could really get close to a hollywood-action-movie 😀

  4. Hastings says:

    Yeah, Nr. 9 would be perfect.

    Personally, I’d like to see a new environment in the next TrackMania. 😛

    No, seriously, the lights are a pretty cool idea, but I prefer visible light sources in comparison to invisible ones. It would be also cool if you could change the colour of the lights, with the aim of more colourful maps, not only in Island, but in other environments too. That would guarantee a lot of atmosphere and look great, I can tell you. 🙂

  5. Jozii says:

    I’d like #9 too 😀

    Also I’d like to see a pure “off-road” environment, like a mroe detailed version of the dirt parts in Stadium, and a buggy vehicle to go along with it 😀 Dirt blocks lowered in to some water would be cool, so the car splashes water to all sides when driving through it!

  6. micster says:

    Number 9 would be AWESOME. 😀

  7. [PDX]Snake55wildcat says:

    jozii took my idea right from the hat 😛

    i like all ideas, but the rally/coast ones, they may not have stunt tiles, but they weren’t mainly built for that, since all environments are different, i thik we should keep it that way(most of the time anyway)

    12.
    (Bay) Dockside CP’s
    (Island)Air CP’s
    (Stadium)Trails(MT)from the the cars backlights
    (Coast)Proper off-road tiles
    (Desert)Corkscrews
    (Snow)Proper loop-de-loops
    (Rally)More village scenery 😛

  8. ipe says:

    Since i prefer stadium, many of my suggestions refer to this environment.

    Editor/Stadium

    1) A bigger stadium: This environment has to be as big as other environments, with more space to build long straight sections. Since this might interfere with existing tmn-tracks, rendering them incompatible, an alternate stadium environment in addition to the existing one would be the best solution.

    2) More engine breakers: With TMU, there already is a great variability of checkpoints. It would also be great to have more of those engine breaker-tiles (on sloped sections, plaforms etc.).

    3) Underground tiles (like those from Snow and Island) and entranceways to (or more important: exits from) underwater sections.

    4) Leveled grass, like leveled dirt…

    5) Platform-Ramps with a height of only one block.

    6) Banked plaform-curves.

    7) Some new decorative tiles that really fit into the stadium-mood. Some of those new tiles from tmu just doesn’t seem to fit…

    Editor/General

    8) Many track-designers are in desperate need of a possibility to move the track – or parts of it – as a whole. If you have started wrong and ran out of construction space, this would be the ultimate alternative to starting-all-over-again.

    9) The possibility to cut and paste whole sections – and maye save them into some kind of library – would also be cool.

    10) Diagonal blocks/section. I don’t believe this is impossible…

  9. Jozii says:

    Hey, great ideas Ipe 😀 I agree to most of them, especially the ones regarding the editor 😀

  10. [PDX]Snake55wildcat says:

    I also forgot to mention underground caves(not tunnels, natural like)with exits/entrances from tunnels into the caves,also higher leven water, like the ice in snow, only water not ice, and like ipe said, underwater roads.

  11. Ricardo Rix says:

    I think that the limitations of a game often define it, and TM track building is a good example, it’s amazing to think of the ideas builders dream up based on the limitations of block placement, if blocks could be placed any height, direction and angle then i’m not sure it would bring out so much creativeness. The biggest reason imo why TM is so popular with the hardcore players is because the game passes from being a toy to be played with and starts to be a toy you can design yourself.

    Some good ideas here, my favourite would be diagonal blocks (completely trashes his own argument all-in-one go)

    As a wish-list a new enviroment, something like coast only a bit more free and easy, the cars should be able to powerslide.

    Oh and a new mode with collision detection, like the original Destruction Derby, where points are gained for crashing and being the last car standing, a bit of light-hearted refreshment after long server runs.

  12. RooBah says:

    My take:
    1) Dump the stadium, period! We could then build larger maps on its land surface.
    1a) If they refuse to look at that possibility, at least re-incorporate the view distance optiuon they tossed after TMS. This would let the game be raced by racers and not just high spec PC owners. I ran TMS on a GF2 with no problems due mainly to the view distance settings.
    2) Make a timer that resolves to .00000. Then we can really race a 4 second map and most rces will never be ties based on who can get to the finish 1st. This is a problem when ppl get an invalid time at the start in large servers (once you get you lap in, you are in 34th place even though you run the same ET as 1st place) . It could easily be CURED by a better timer system. I raced arcade games in 1998 that resolved to .000000 (6 places) so this 5 digit request should not be impossible in 2007.

    Both of these could be done in one patch. They would (imho) do more for the playability and fairness than any other things I could have (and for 2 years) thought of.

  13. RooBah says:

    Oh yea.. the wishlist.

    Allowing us to build in variable blocks systems.
    lets say for example, that we have [40×40 wide by 5blocks high] for an 8000 block grid with which to comprise our maps.

    If they would allow us to set up that example grid of 8000 blocks for different layouts say 10x10x80 high
    we could have some real fun.. (I know the skydome should be the upper limit and I have no idea how many blocks high it is.. this is just for the purpose of illustrating my idea).
    I am sure I am not the only one that has dreampt of falling 1000′ into another loop or to a 1/4 pipe, ect.. The red turbos would allow for some real vertical ascension, too.

    They might need to limit the minimum grid length and width so that no one could build past the skydome. I do know it is possible to drive outside the skydome, so this may not be that big of an issue to those that would want such a dramatic view for a startline ect.

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