Blog Post
Guide: Slide Like a Pro29. April 2009 21:29
Posted By: View User Profile Jozii Permalink | Comments (5)

Of all the TM guides out there, there’s one that I’ve always been especially impressed with. It’s a series of videos created by the professional British gaming team Team Dignitas back in 2007. The driver and writer is a Swedish player called MadneSS, who at the time played TMN in the Electronic Sports World Cup.

The guide brings up a number of different ways to slide in the Stadium environment. It might be a bit outdated due to its age, but I believe most of the “tricks” still work. If there’s one that doesn’t, feel free to say so in a comment :) And even if all of them don’t work, it’s still cool to watch.

Click here to read and view the sliding guide.

Psst! Curious about MadneSS? Here’s an interview with him, though once again, it’s from the year 2007. Might still be a good read though.

Categories: Tips, tricks & guides Tags:
Blog Post
Author Showcase - Stjepan27. April 2009 21:40
Posted By: View User Profile Januy Permalink | Comments (6)

Welcome to the Author Showcase, a project founded by Natzke on Trackmania Nations Exchange. We already made a lot of Interviews, with famous users like Ron Turbo, but also normal TMX users like Quat or SeaDevil! We have gotten a lot of positive reactions to it. And we now got the great news that we can publish our Interviews on TMX Blog!  We are really happy with it! We hope you enjoy it!

=¤=

Hello again, here is the new interview, the 13th to be exact! Now, we gave you a few famous authors the last times, so get ready for some more unknown one’s. So enjoy reading these really new authors, here is:

Stjepan!

1. Please tell us some things about yourself and your background.
I was born 16th March 1992. My real name is Stjepan, and my surname is Lecic.
I'm 17 years old and I live with my family in the Slavonski Brod, Croatia and my current occupation is to go in the third grade of high school, but in my free time I'm playing computer games :)
Also, my favorite colour is green...

More...

Categories: Author Showcase Tags:
Blog Post
8 Websites All TrackManiacs Should Know Of25. April 2009 17:53
Posted By: View User Profile Jozii Permalink | Comments (11)

TMX isn’t everything. No, really, it’s not! OK, maybe it is. But for the sake of this post, let’s pretend it’s not :P

There are plenty of TM sites out there, and here’s a list to show you 8 of the most valuable ones, in no particular order:

The Official Website – Yes, the official TM website is worth a visit, even if you already own the game. Community- and game news, rankings, videos, etc. The TM website is a gateway to the rest of the community.

TM Creative – Tutorials. Lots and lots of tutorials. Become a MediaTracker expert, learn how to blockmix, change the colors of your in-game alias and track names, make custom skins, and much more.

TM Tube – View TrackMania videos and upload your own. The YouTube of TrackMania features tons of great videos and offers the ability to show off your own work.

CarPark – Carpark is the skin and 3D-models equivalent of TMX. Download skins and models, and upload your own creations. The place to go if you want to really look great online!

TM Forum – The official TrackMania forums. Here you can talk about just about anything related to TrackMania.

ScreenMania – At TM Tube you get videos, at TMX you get tracks, but at ScreenMania you get – that’s right – screenshots! There are some truly awesome collections, suitable as for example wallpapers for your desktop.

Electronic Tournaments – ET hosts TrackMania leagues and cups. Teams battle it out, and there’s a 1on1 ladder. You can also bet “coins” on existing races.

TM Wiki – Wikipedia is great, but for TrackManiacs, TM Wiki is better. Everything you need to know is answered and explained here, and if it isn’t, you can help by adding your own articles or make changes to existing ones.

Let us know what you think about these websites, and what other websites you visit :D

Categories: General Tags: ,
Blog Post
The ManiaTeam Experience23. April 2009 10:25
Posted By: View User Profile Jozii Permalink | Comments (4)

ManiaTeam, the latest addition to TM United, sure brings something fresh to the game! Forget about individuality (or wait, don’t do that! – we’ll get to that in a while), now it’s the team effort that matters!

For those not in the knowing, for example all you Nations players, ManiaTeam functions in the way that you play in teams, and you earn team medals and points by completing tracks in groups. It’s no longer enough that one person beats the Author Time or gets the gold medal. Several people have to do it – at the same time!

At a first glance, this is brilliant! Teamwork, relying on other people to do good, etc. It’s all a lot of fun, and adds a new social dimension to things. However, the system does have its flaws. It’s not *really* about team work, and sometimes it feels a bit luck-based. One round half the players might drive really well and the other half don’t. Next round it might be the other way around. It’s hard getting the best medals, especially if you’re a big team. In, say, a team of five or more, one person is bound to fail at getting that perfect time.

Medals can be earned in parts though – 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% – depending on how many players in the team actually achieve a specific medal, and naturally the better the team does as a whole the more points you get. And points increase drastically when more players are playing, so the increased challenge is compensated for.

Here we have another technical issue: to get the good points, you *have* to be a lot of players. On our TMX team (which you can read more about here), we were once 10 players racing simultaneously. A perfect race there earns the team quite a lot of points, and the teams who currently held the highest scores stood without a chance, probably not because they were worse drivers, but because they were fewer players. Unfair? Maybe.

But technicalities aside, like I already hinted ManiaTeam is also a lot of fun due to the very same fact that you’re dependent on the others. It thus gets very social, and driving is no longer about quietly making a good time (well, partly it is, you still need to focus). There’s always a lot of talk going on, and having one player “ruin” that otherwise perfect round is all a good laugh – it is, after all, just a game.

At the same time, in my experience players do tend to start focusing harder once enough tries have been made and people want to get moving to the next track. It’s a balance, and I guess each team is different from the other when it comes to how serious things are taken.

On this point, I guess ManiaTeam can be compared to clans and regular TM teams. Players get together in groups and race together for fun or against other teams. In ManiaTeam, it’s all about the points – the better the medals and the more players racing at the same time, the more points you get. And the ultimate goal, of course, is to beat other teams’ “personal best” in regards of points on any given track.

To get back to the point about individuality, this is something that still exists. Because you are still racing separate cars, obviously, and this makes it unavoidable to compete against your fellow teammates. I personally find it rather helpful to try to be “better” than the others, while still keeping the team spirit alive. A little internal challenging only helps the team grow stronger.

To sum up, what ManiaTeam brings is a good, fresh and very much fun way of playing TrackMania. What it also brings, however, is a system based on not only skills but numbers as well, which can be unfair in many ways. But whether or not you care about being the best, you’re bound to have fun playing in teams rather than as a lone wolf – the more the merrier – and that’s what ManiaTeams is all about!

Or what do you think?

Categories: General Tags:
Blog Post
Author Showcase – Rose Tattoo20. April 2009 17:02
Posted By: View User Profile Januy Permalink | Comments (8)

Welcome to the Author Showcase, a project founded by Natzke on Trackmania Nations Exchange. We already made a lot of Interviews, with famous users like Ron Turbo, but also normal TMX users like Quat or SeaDevil! We have gotten a lot of positive reactions to it. And we now got the great news that we can publish our Interviews on TMX Blog!  We are really happy with it, and it’s even a bit special because it is the 10th Interview! We hope you enjoy it!

=¤=

Hey there TMX nutters, here is the new interview! Number 12 already! Right on time I suppose. This time with a very known user, maybe not because of his tracks but because of his epic server. Maybe the most known TMN-server ever, Rose Server! Of course you have raced on it at least one time, so of course you also know the man behind that masterpiece of a server! We present to you:

Rose Tattoo!

1. Please tell us more about yourself (birthday, real name, place of birth, height, weight, favorite colour) and your background?
My name is Maik and I was born 19.05.65 in Dresden. Now I live in Hamburg more than 20 years and I’m married with my lovely wife who is also driving TMN together with me. I work in a laboratory as super visor and my wife is a singer.

2. What made you become a trackbuilder and who make biggest influence at your beginning? (If for any reason you're not mapping, please tell why?)
I’m not a mapper, I did just made a few stupid maps when we started to play TMN in the beginning of 2006
One map got many awards but only because of my work as server admin, at first I wanted to delete all maps but later I thought it should be ok because its just a game...
I started again with help of Swensen as tutor but I had never time enough because of the server work and I felt as I would waste Swensen´s time.

More...

Categories: Author Showcase Tags: ,
Blog Post
Track-o-logy: The Track Types of TrackMania, Part 219. April 2009 19:50
Posted By: View User Profile Ohei2 Permalink | Comments (9)

Click here to read the first part.

--=> M <=--

Maze Map

A maze map is a track with a web of roads, but merely a few checkpoints, and will allow you to make creative route choices.

Mix Map

Not to be confused with a bug map, a mix map is a track where the position of certain blocks stored in the GBX file have been hacked with external tools. The idea is that one block is moved to the position of another to form a new kind of block.

More...

Categories: Tracks Tags: ,
Blog Post
8 Interesting Quotes From TM Reviews17. April 2009 14:38
Posted By: View User Profile Jozii Permalink | Comments (12)

I read online reviews of TrackMania, and picked 8 funny, good or generally interesting quotes for you to enjoy:

“In the game you basically either race, or build levels.”

– Andreas Misund Berntsen from GamersHell.com makes TrackMania sound so simple in his review.

“If you want to test the track, you have to leave editor mode, start the race, sit through the intro (which consists of the same guitar lick and cinematic camera zoom every time), find where the track doesn't work, leave race mode, then you're back.”

Tom McNamara (IGN.com) on the TM Original editor. Apparently, the game has developed some since back then.

“TrackMania cars can't touch each other.”

– John Walker from Eurogamer.net, reviewing TMNF.

”It's an interesting attempt, but traditional fan sites, as opposed to these mini-sites are far more useful.”

– IGN.com’s Cam Shea, in his review of TMU, talks about Nadeo’s attempt at integrating the community into the game using ManiaLink.

“Water hazards are about as common on a TrackMania United track as they are on a golf course.”

Yahoo Games either just made me hate TrackMania, or love golf.

“A big part of United's entertainment value lies in spending hours tweaking every detail of your custom maps until your OCD temporarily abates.”

Eric Neigher (1up.com). Recognize this, anyone?

“Free! Free!”

– John Walker on what’s good about TMNF, once again from his review of the game. The final verdict was – surprise! – 9/10.

“It’s free, it’s awesome and it’s free!”

Matt Brett reviews TMN, and seems to have his priorities at the same place as John.

Categories: General Tags: ,
Blog Post
Track-o-logy: The Track Types of TrackMania, Part I15. April 2009 22:01
Posted By: View User Profile Ohei2 Permalink | Comments (11)

If you start to play TrackMania beyond Solo mode and explore what the community has to offer, you soon get confronted with a plethora of different terms for tracks, not all of which are self-explanatory.

In this article many of the different types of tracks, which have developed over the years, are introduced with a short explanation. Some types might be missing, especially from the early days of TrackMania Original. If you are aware of additional types of tracks, please add those in a comment to this article.

The terms track and map are used synonymous and are often interchangeable.

--=> B <=--

BASCO Track

A Build A Stage COmpetition is a special community track, where each part (stage) of a track is built by anyone interested in taking part in the competition. Each contribution is evaluated by a group of judges who decide who the winner for the current stage is. Then building begins anew for the next stage, then judging again - until the track is finished. This concept was developed at TMX in 2006.

Bug Map

A bug map is a track which aims to exploit errors in the track editor to create impossible or otherwise sensational parts and transitions. Most bugs involve deleting previously placed blocks and the most famous example is probably the invisible road in the environment Island in TrackMania Sunrise.

More...

Categories: Tracks Tags: ,
Blog Post
Author Showcase - TimeBreaker13. April 2009 22:02
Posted By: View User Profile Januy Permalink | Comments (24)

Welcome to the Author Showcase, a project founded by Natzke on Trackmania Nations Exchange. We already made a lot of Interviews, with famous users like Ron Turbo, but also normal TMX users like Quat or SeaDevil! We have gotten a lot of positive reactions to it. And we now got the great news that we can publish our Interviews on TMX Blog!  We are really happy with it, and it’s even a bit special because it is the 10th Interview! We hope you enjoy it!

 =¤=

Here it finally is, number 11 of the Author Showcase on the Nations Exchange. It’s very late, but we can still upload it today thanks to the effort of the author. And we are very sure he helped you before, he is a really active and always in for some feedback. A legend to some, maybe a normal user to some, but never an enemy. Here is:

TimeBreaker!

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background? What made you become a trackbuilder, and who is/has been your biggest influence?
My name is Marco, I'm 21 years old. I live in Germany, near Hamburg. I'm about 6' 1" tall and love mediterranean cuisine, you can't delight me for german specialities. My favourite color is turquoise and I like all kinds of pets. I'm still living at home, but I'm starting apprenticeship as IT specialist for application development, so I won't live there for too long (hopefully). I'm an honest, modest and neat person with propensity to perfectionism. In my freetime (that means besides school and TMX) I hang out with friends, partying or doing sports.
The first tracks I made were all about trying out anything in the editor, this caused the tracks being way too long and platform-ish without real flow. I had no real aim for the first tracks, but once I started with some serious tracks (fullspeeders mostly), I just wanted to make tracks that are fun for wr-hunting with some unqiue sections that make my tracks remarkable. With time I got more and more into the technical tracks, I learned how to slide and at this point and even today, I really was impressed of some builders such as DerFeineHerr, Arild, keek, BanzZai, hoheb, Hock, Namusis and many more.

More...

Categories: Author Showcase Tags: ,
Blog Post
Interview: On the recent closure of ESWC13. April 2009 10:42
Posted By: View User Profile MrA Permalink | Comments (7)

Some people may have already found the news elsewhere that ESWC is to be closed down.
From their parent page, www.games-services.com:

Paris, April 5, 2009
Games-Services SA ceases all activities. Its liquidation has been pronounced by the Commercial Court of Paris March 30, 2009. In consequence, all the employees and managers have been relieved from their duties and laid off April 2nd, by the adjudication. The process of liquidation, which is starting this week, will notably organize the potential trade-in or resale of the company’s assets including the Electronic Sports World Cup and Overgame.

As most of you know, TrackMania Nations has been a regular fixture in recent ESWC events and so, while we appreciate that, for the people directly involved, there are more important issues than TrackMania, we thought we should talk a little to Nadeo about what this can mean for TM and in fact for them, and for the future.

We managed to gain a few moments with Florent Castelnerac, Director of Nadeo:

TMX Blog: How does this news about ESWC's problems affect Nadeo, if at all?

Florent: It affects Nadeo emotionally. We like the team behind ESWC and even had a great lunch at the company with all of them once upon a time. It is a long story that ends with this news. It is sad. Otherwise, it does not affect Nadeo. It reduces the potential to share ideas, vision and projects for the future, but we are totally independent from the ESWC. It also affects me if some players can not get their money or enjoy this years final.

TMX Blog: Trackmania Nations Forever is built on being a part of world tournaments, are there other competitions or organisations that Nadeo is looking at for TrackMania (and maybe future 'Mania games) to be a part of?

Florent: Yes and no. We would be glad for other world tournaments to grab TM as a key game. It could help to multiply the stories among the community, and we like community stories. Otherwise, we think that future of TrackMania competitions will be what they will be. If esports want to be strong, it needs more games like TM. Sincerely, I think TM is the best game designed for a wide audience esport discipline, but it does not mean it is still enough. The fall of big events or powerhouse bring the fall of an established world of esports, where violence issues, difficulty to watch matches and rights issues are real limits. We hope that TM is one game for a new generation of esport games. Other Mania games may or may not enter in this category one day.

TMX Blog: We are living in tough ecomomic times, its the first recession for a generation of young people and young companies. How is this for Nadeo? Do you see problems or opportunities, or is it 'business as usual'?

Florent: The fall of the economy is first the fall of a fake economy. I think TrackMania and VirtualSkipper players are real and really want to play it. It makes us stronger than others to go through these difficult times. If our partner were in difficulty, it could makes us some, but Nadeo has a good reputation, the team is quite small and we would probably find a way to finance future projects if we would be in bad shape. At the moment, the company can only congratulate itself for staying solid on a solid platform such as PC online games. The drop of the shelves are largely compensated by the increase of digital distribution.

We would like to wish those personally affected by the situation our sincere regards. We also wish to thank Nadeo for letting us take even more of their valuable time in answering a few questions about a difficult subject. Hopefully many of you will have found this of genuine interest.

Categories: Interviews Tags: , , ,
Welcome to the TMX Blog!
The TMX Blog depends on your articles, just as TMX depends on your tracks. Tips & tricks, discussions, track reviews, interviews, articles of thought, and so on - these are all suggestions (and only suggestions) of what you can write to contribute to the content of the blog. Send your articles to the TMX Blog Crew! - Januy, Natzke or Fastforza.
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