Things I learnt from TMU (Jozii)

September 28, 2008

The fuel barrel has been stealthily smugled into Jozii’s house, and Jozii, being the honest fool he is, couldn’t help it but fill it with these remarks:

1. Four wheel drive isn’t required to go off-road.
2. Gas prices appear to have gone down (at least I haven’t paid a thing, and I’ve been driving for years).
3. In the desert, vehicles laying on the side tend to tip back up on their wheels. Something about heatwaves…
4. All lights go on automatically when it’s dark.
5. A technology to keep things floating in the air has already been invented. (Damn, I was so close!)
6. When on the road, you don’t really have to take other driver’s into consideration.
7. When crossing a dirty Rally road with a car made for desert driving, you get a dirty American!

Oh, and TimeBreaker, you must have done something bad to Jozii, since he chose you as his victim 🙂

Avatar tutorial – part 2

September 25, 2008

this is the 2nd half of The Doctor’s Avatar tutorial. This time, you’ll delve into some advanced topics.

Things I learnt from TM 2 (Mr. A)

September 24, 2008

Mr.A from TMX faced the challenge vigorously and here comes his hepta-set (is that even word?)

1. Everything in the world is made of titanium.

2. In the American desert you can drive under a lake and re-emerge the otherside still dry.

3. If you work in a building with a flat roof, dont pop out to catch some rays else you might get run over.

4. What goes up, must come down… but only eventually!

5. If you wear glasses the world looks more 3D.

6. Poles usually grow up out of the middle of the road… go figure!

7. When you reach you destination, no need to stop, just take your foot off the gas and see what you hit.

Mr.A decided that the ideal person to carry the FUEL BARREL is >>Tuta<<, so… we’re waiting, Tuta!

In other news, Hillary Clinton fractured her dog, and the “Five into One challenge round 2” (see the side panel for a link) is still open!

Avatar tutorial (part 1)

September 23, 2008

this article was written and prepared by team ATP member “The Doctor”. Due to its length, I’m going to cut this article into two parts, with the second part coming on Thursday.

Things I learnt from TMU (Alcator’s kick-off)

September 21, 2008

Things I learnt from TMU” (aka TILT) is a brand new wickedness for all you TMU fans. The rules are simple:

The person that receives the fuel barrel must add 7 (as is the number of environments) witty or funny facts derived from Trackmania, and then choose the next victim that will receive the fuel barrel (preferrably someone who’s registered on TMX and is still active there, because we need to contact that person and ask him or her to cooperate). That person will then have to add 7 more facts and choose another victim 🙂

I’ll kick this TILT with the first 7 facts so that you get the picture:

  1. Cars can run for as long as you wish without needing to refuel.
  2. Places where you can accelerate are marked with clearly visible yellow arrows.
  3. There are Chinese-looking towers and Shaolin-like monasteries in the Alps.
  4. Mediterranean folks love big lighting poles sticking from the ground and sea. Gotta be a Freudian thing or something…
  5. If you strike water fast enough, the water strikes you back.
  6. You can fly through windmill flaps if you are driving Cooper mini.
  7. Running a cargo ship business in San Francisco puts you in danger of getting ran over by a minivan.

OK, that would be my run, and now I’m passing the fuel barrel onto… Mr. A! He’s got nothing to do anyway, right? 🙂

A checklist for improving tracks – part 2

September 17, 2008

A week ago, the first part of the checklist listed some things to check when you finish a track to see if you did all you can to make it better. The list continues here…

11. An intro clip: is there a 10 to 20 seconds introductory “movie” that introduces the track? Does it show the key (or the most interesting) part(s) of the track? Notice how every track in Trackmania Nations Forever has an introduction consisting of (usually) 3 short camera moves, one showing the overall track, and the other two or three showing key areas — try to do the same for your track. But don’t make the intro too long.

12. Is there an outro (replay) for your track? Will the player be rewarded for finishing the race by seeing himself in action from interesting view angles?

13. Does the replay work reasonably well even for a worse driver? Make sure those who are slower can still see themselves, and if a longer replay clip tends to “run away” from a slower car, cut it into two or more partial clips so that those who can finish can also see themselves in the replay. An extra benefit of this approach is that Spectators in online races can then use the Replay mode to observe other racers!

14. Light trails: Have you considered adding trails to jumps? It looks pretty awesome, especially in night and evening mood tracks, if you approach a jump during online play and see the colorful stripes ahead of you, showing you what’s gonna happen.

15. Finetuning (smoothing): After you’ve driven the car enough times, you might have noticed some areas that are not perhaps the smoothest possible. Don’t hesitate to take an extra time making them smoother. It does not mean “easier” — if you have a sharp turn that was intentional and the player is warned that it’s a sharp turn, then it’s OK, but if at certain combination of speed and angle the car just bounces off of a landing platform, then something’s not right.

Well, that’s my tips for making your tracks better, but I’m sure there are other tips that you use. Please, share them in the comments!

Mission statement

September 13, 2008

Hello, dear readers and visitors!

In this post, I’d like to let you know about my commitment for this blog.

So, without further ado, here comes the mission statement:

I promise to deliver 10 posts per month (roughtly 1 post every 3 days), of which

  • at least 5 posts should be useful articles (tutorials and tips)
  • approximately 3 articles should talk about existing (or just created) tracks

Help from other trackmaniacs who have something to say would be appreciated, please contact me if you’d like to write a track review, track comparison, an article about track construction tricks that you or someone you know uses, or just about anything TM-related. Because as much as I’m able to do all this by myself, truth be told it might become somewhat biased, simply because I am just one type of trackmaniac and there are other types that have different “ways of the samurai” 😉

— Alcator