Trackmania Forever Review – Day Two

A while ago, you got the “Day One” review. Now here’s the follow up: Day Two.

Written by Alcator.

This time, I’ll review the in-game track editor and MediaTracker editor.

The track editor has been enhanced with a second, “simple” version. This one is very similar to the “Puzzle” mode editor: You only have the tiles groups available at the bottom; no mediatracking, no nothing. It’s much easier for complete newbies to work with the editor now. A thing that should be stressed is that during the loading of the editor on your first day, a big graphical hint image about the usage of mouse is displayed, so new users quickly learn how to work with it.

The track editor got another face-lift, with fancier folder icons (those folders of track tiles); of course, the Objectives dialog box reflects the change of difficulty settings to colors, but that’s a cosmetic change.

A serious problem may arise to those who will import their United tracks. Because Forever now displays the track names on light background instead of United’s dark background, many color-enhanced track names became unreadable. This is one of those changes (like changing the car physics again) that I don’t really understand “why it was made”.

Those who only had TM Nations will now notice they can set the Mood (or daytime) of the track. In case you don’t know, if you already have a track and want to change its mood, hold Ctrl while selecting the track and click the Edit button – you will be offered to change the possible mood settings. You should also be aware that all the moods except Day are more demanding on graphical card power, because of the lighting.

MT editor

The MediaTracker editor has been changed slightly. Gone are the buttons that allowed us to change the speed in which the camera moved when pressing arrow keys (I miss them really!), while an option to switch between clip camera and free camera was added (this one allows you to move the camera freely even if you have a camera block in your clip that would otherwise fix your view). You can now also rename the clip’s tracks so that it’s easier to find the one you need to change (such as, if you have 10 text tracks in your clip, you can name them according to their contents (“GPS GO LEFT”, “RACE GO RIGHT”, “FLY-THROUGHS FORWARD”, or “Letter A”, “Letter L”, “Letter C”…) — this is an option that the organized minds might appreciate a lot.

The greatest addition to the MT editor, beyond any doubt, is however the option to import ghosts into MT clips. This of course enlarges the Challenge file significantly (7 ghosts added to ATP community track 15 have increased the track size from 34 KB to 400 KB), but this is hardly an issue. Soon, a tutorial about this function should be published on this blog, so I won’t go into detail about how it works, but this feature allows you to add a real-looking car that moves through the track and can be raced against, observed, the camera can be anchored to it (just imagine having a replay that shows the player car as observed from the (author-time-) ghost car!), and some other things can be done with these ghosts. What’s even cooler is that the ghost does not have to come from the same track, which may allow for some spooky stuff (passing through walls, moving through air…)

Last change to the MT editor that is worth noting is the “Condition” option at MT clips. You can now define conditions for the clip that have to be met in order for the clip to be triggered. Such as “Minimum car speed” or “Elapsed race time”. This means cars passing through triggering cubes may sometimes not trigger the clip. I’m going to explore this thing deeply and plan on writing a tutorial for it.

To wrap it up, the editor brings some useful new things, one amazing new feature
(ghosts), one possibly cool customizing thing (conditions), and keeps its functionality and friendliness.

Good work, Nadeo!

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8 Responses to Trackmania Forever Review – Day Two

  1. alcator says:

    Tutorials on Import Ghost feature and Conditions are already finished and in queue for this blog. Write to Jozii to force him to publish them soon πŸ™‚

  2. djoszee says:

    I noticed I couldn’t copy and paste mt clips, this really frustrates me 😦
    Also, theres an annoying feature that brings you to the top of the stadium when you hold the mouse-cursor on top for too long. It’s some kind of auto-move-to-top feature that does annoy me alot. Nice review, is there going to be a part 3 about online play?

  3. alcator says:

    you can – export and import them.

  4. alcator says:

    BTW – is TMX down? I can’t connect to it for 2 days already, but I didn’t find any announcement about it either…?

  5. djoszee says:

    yes it is, i’ve queed up a post for jozii

  6. Jozii says:

    I posted it, Djoszee, because I felt it needed out sooner rather than later πŸ˜‰

  7. Aaerox says:

    The Mediatracker got really nice now! With the ghost cars you can make a nice gps with the view of the car. Just cool. πŸ™‚

  8. alcator says:

    Yep, I really hope Jozii will post the tutorial soon πŸ™‚

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