Blog Post
Full-speed vs. Technical31. May 2009 13:05
Posted By: View User Profile Jozii Permalink | Comments (23)

This is a dead-old debate: which is better, full-speed or technical? Of course, there’s no correct answer, and it’s all a matter of personal taste, but still the arguments keep flaming in various forum discussions every now and then. Most recently, there was a discussion about whether full-speed or technical is harder to build on the recent Monthly Track Contest theme “two tiles wide” (or, in the case of Nations, “four tiles wide”).

But what is it that starts this sort of debate all the time? Why is it so difficult to just accept that some people prefer one over the other, and that not everyone thinks alike? It might be a biased view, but it’s my experience that technical builders more often “complain” about full-speed tracks than the other way around. Perhaps full-speed builders are simply more compassionate and open-minded then those who dislike full-speed? :P

No, personally I believe that full-speed often is perceived as an “easy solution” and a much less complicated way of building than the more technical counterpart, at least if talking about the Stadium environment (for some United environments, this might be different). But of course, that’s not the case. In fact, I believe the best full-speed tracks are often the ones that require the most well-crafted solutions. The problem is, as the driver you often don’t see it, partly because transitions and critical parts are so skillfully woven together, partly because you’re just flying past it in such high speeds you don’t have time to reflect upon it. And isn’t it so that many of the most popular tracks on TMX are full-speed tracks?

Then again, technical tracks aren’t easy to build either. The best ones require a balance in regards of turns that distinguish the sudden and just annoying brake from the ones that require skill to take perfectly but that don’t ruin the feel of the track.

And it’s at this point that I’ve settled my mind on which I prefer. Again, neither is “better” than the other, but there is one key ingredient that distinguishes the excellent from the plain good: a perfect combination. The bets tracks, in my opinion, aren’t those on which you simply take one wallride after the other at high speed, nor the ones where every turn involves a tap on the brake key. It’s the ones that include natural brakes, technical turns and high-speed transitions but without the need for constantly letting go of the speeder. It’s the ones where braking comes naturally, without the need for a key to do so but with the usage of well put together turns where speed loss comes automatically. Tracks where the vehicle strokes the edge of the turns at high speed, combining technicality with speed in a way that makes the track really stand out.

In short: full-speed is great, as are technical tracks, but one is much more fun if the other is present too. There’s no need for flame wars – an agreement won’t be found anyway – but there is the right to an opinion. So which one’s yours? Full-speed or technical?

Categories: Tracks Tags:
Blog Post
Screenshot Collection28. May 2009 12:12
Posted By: View User Profile Jozii Permalink | Comments (2)

I know a lot of you guys out there are great at making wonderful screenshots for your tracks. That’s why I figured we should showcase some every now and then, in the form of a screenshot (or wallpaper) collection. So, assuming there’s an interest in this, here’s a first set of wonderful creations for everyone to enjoy:

 

Screenshots by TimeBreaker, Kunkstar7 and Mr._Impossible.

Want your own screenshot(s) to be shown here? E-mail them to us, and it might happen (Jozii89 (at) gmail.com).

  • Depending on how many we get, not all screenshots/wallpapers might be used.
  • The screenshots should preferrably not include the name of a specific track, but it is still OK if they do.
  • Large size shots only (not the 320x240 used for tracks).

Enjoy :D

Categories: Screenshots Tags:
Blog Post
Author Showcase – Hoheb26. May 2009 16:57
Posted By: View User Profile Januy Permalink | Comments (9)

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, Panis and GanjaRider, 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 hope you enjoy it!

=¤=

Hey there! We know you guys are waiting for it, refreshing the blog page every second to see the new interview! Haha, well you should with this author! We are sure you know him, from his awesome tracks or his beautiful screenshots! Enjoy this interview with:

Hoheb!

1 Please tell us more about yourself (birthday, real name, place of birth, height, weight, favourite colour) and your background?
Hey my name is Linus, I'm 17 years old I'm 1m83cm tall and my favourite colour is green and orange and I'm in an apprenticeship as a technical designer. [He’s from Switzerland, thanks for info SabineGoth – Januy]

2 What made you become an track builder and who make biggest influence at your beginning?
Well.. my first tries I made with track building were because of the massive starts from Zippage or Panis, they were so smooth. But after a short period of time, I began to like techtracks  Builders like Hockmen, Kendal and Kryw definitely made the biggest influence to my tracks.

More...

Categories: Author Showcase Tags:
Blog Post
5 Reasons for Playing TrackMania24. May 2009 22:26
Posted By: View User Profile Jozii Permalink | Comments (8)

I have to be completely honest: I don’t play much TM at all these days. In fact, I haven’t done so for around two years now. Sure, I test tracks when there’s a contest, I’m on TMX basically every day, and I often go in-game because I need to contact someone or check something. But it’s not that often that I actually take the time to play.

That got me thinking about why TrackMania is one of the games I’ve been most active around in my entire “gaming career”. And that, in turn, got me thinking about the following top 5-list:

5 Reasons I play TrackMania:

1. Organizing and managing – I love starting projects (though truthfully, I’m not always as good at finishing them)! And a game like TrackMania, not to mention a community like TMX, is a great place to do so. It’s open, friendly and there are a lot of people around who are interested in getting involved.

2. The people – Although true friends are those you have in “real life”, friends you meet online are often great ones too. And largely because of people I’ve met in-game and around the net, and because of all the new people I keep meeting all the time, I’ve stuck around TM for a longer time than I probably would if I hadn’t.

3. The competition – I’ve always been a sucker for competing. Anything from real life bets and family gamenight around the table to who gets the best stats in Call of Duty. And what better game to adapt this to than TrackMania, a pure racing game? Online, this might actually hurt me a bit though, because if I lose even a fraction of a second, I tend to hit restart (and I never EVER respawn – I’d much rather not finish at all), something which the recent addition to the game, ManiaTeam, has taught me not to do.

4. The well-made creativity – TrackMania isn’t groundbreaking. Other similar games existed before TrackMania even began. But, TrackMania is one of the few to manage to do it all so well. Regular racing games are boring, unrealistic stunt-based games like this one are fun! And speaking of creativity, what other racing game makes it so easy for the regular user to be creative? Tracks, custom stuff, ManiaZones, …

5. Playing games is fun – And yes, of course I – and probably everyone – play a game like TrackMania simply because it’s fun. If it’s not fun to play, you wouldn’t be doing it (even if you, like me, aren’t really playing it the way it’s meant to be played).

Those are some of my reasons for playing TrackMania. What are yours?

Categories: General Tags:
Blog Post
Write for TMX21. May 2009 22:54
Posted By: View User Profile Jozii Permalink | Comments (5)

Where I live, it’s holiday time! That means guests, fun, two crazy people behind me singing ABBA songs, and a lot of interesting stuff to do. But, it also means less time for games! And writing for TMX.

So, what do you say about bringing more of you reader’s into the “by the readers”-part of our tagline? I’m sure most of you have an idea for an article, guide or anything interesting you’d like to share with the rest of us.

So why not put your idea(s) into writing and e-mail the result to jozii89@gmail.com? A chance to be heard by the TM world. And don’t worry about grammar, spelling and such – that can be fixed! It would be thrilling to see what you can come up with :D

Categories: TMX Tags:
Blog Post
Author Showcase – Panis19. May 2009 20:20
Posted By: View User Profile Januy Permalink | Comments (22)

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 and GanjaRider, 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 hope you enjoy it!

=¤=

No really, we really did. Yeah. We found him. Austria is big! But here he is, a retired user, the builder of the track that has probably been used once in every “overrated track” discussion, a man of the gold. A young man actually, everybody knows him, but no one knows where he was. But we called the FBI, CIA and the Asians, and we finally could contact him after 3 years of research. We gave him questions, he had to answer. And he did. Throw yourself into this 15 questions answered by:

Panis!

1. Tell us a bit about your self, like your age, where you are from and how your
lifestyle is.

Hi! My real name is Philipp, I'm 20 years old and live in Vienna (Austria).
Right now I study economy, play baseball and computer games from time to time. I love
sports, because when you're doing a lot of exercise you can eat much more =)
When it’s not Trackmania, I play Diablo 2 and Heroes of Might and Magic (if anyone knows that).

More...

Categories: Author Showcase Tags:
Blog Post
Keyboard Shortcuts18. May 2009 18:25
Posted By: View User Profile Jozii Permalink | Comments (14)

As with most stuff you do on your computer, there are hotkeys and shortcuts available in TrackMania. Here’s a list of ten standard features, most of which you probably know, but some which you might be new to. In any case, especially new players are bound to find this useful.

Note, though, that many of these shortcuts are customizable, and that in some cases the buttons may be different depending on the standard layout of keyboards in your country.

Racing

1. Show/hide ghosts (G) – Press G to show or hide ghosts while racing a track.

2. Show/hide opponent vehicles (O) – In online mode, use O to show or hide your opponents. This is useful on crowded servers or small tracks.

3. Show/hide names of opponents (§) – Use § to show or hide the name tags above opponent vehicles online.

4. Open/close chat (C) – Open or close the main chat screen online using the C-button. Useful if you missed something in the smaller chat window at the bottom of the screen.

Track editing

5. Change mood (Shift) – Hold Shift when loading a saved track to select a new mood for it.

6. Enter Free mode (Alt) – Press and hold Alt in the editor to enter Free mode. Use the mouse buttons to move around and rotate the camera freely, giving you a nice view of the track.

7. Enter Race Mode (Enter) – Use Enter to go into Race mode to test your track or a part of your track. The vehicle will start where the mouse cursor is currently located.

8. Copy an MT camera setting (Alt or Ctrl) – When editing MT, highlight a camera clip you want to change the camera view of, then hold Alt or Ctrl and click on a different clip (or a different part of the same clip). This copies the camera view of the clicked clip onto the highlighted clip.

9. Copy a block (Ctrl) – Hold Ctrl and click on an already placed block to select that specific type of block. Useful if you don’t want to click through the block menus all the time.

10. Clear the track (Backspace) – Press Backspace to remove all blocks.

Got more shortcuts? Share them in a comment!

Categories: Tips, tricks & guides Tags:
Blog Post
Special Goodies on TMC15. May 2009 23:08
Posted By: View User Profile Jozii Permalink | Comments (10)

TM Creative’s main feature is their tutorial section. But they do have other stuff too, including some “sophisticated services”. To be honest, I haven’t seen many of them in action, but in theory, most of them sound really impressive. Here are four of my personal favorites!

TMX Record Signs – Authors can use these special made signs in their tracks, which will automatically display the current TMX World Record of the track in question.

TrackMania Serverlist – Some servers invite visitors to use an “add” command, allowing tracks from TMX to be suggested and added to the server rotation. TMC keeps a list of United as well as Nations servers with this feature enabled.

TMC Avatar Creator – Useless attempt from TMC at advertising themselves or a cool way of showing off your name? Whatever you think, these avatars are nice looking. Simply select a TMC image from a list, type in your name and set a number of settings such as name color, and you’ll be able to generate a nice looking avatar. Would be nice with some non-TMC images too, though.

D.I.R.S. (Dynamic In-game Rotation System) – Here’s an interesting one! As a track author, you’re able to use this to get a new, randomly chosen loading screen for your track every time someone plays it. The thing is, though, each such screen is an advertisement. But don’t let that discourage you! Websites, clans and such have the ability to get their own advertisements in the system, so this could potentially be a great way for websites to “get out there”.

So, has anyone tried any of these out? Leave your feedback on these TMC “special services” in a comment :D

Categories: General Tags:
Blog Post
Author Showcase – Bucky13. May 2009 19:50
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 and GanjaRider, 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 hope you enjoy it!

=¤=

Oi readers, here is the 15th interview! We are visiting the United States of America this time, where we meet this multi talent. He makes his own music for his tracks! Though he thinks he is not, we thought he was interesting enough for our Author Showcase! Here is:

Bucky!

1. Please tell us more about yourself (birthday, real name, place of birth, height, weight, favorite colour) and your background?
On the 15th day of June, 1990, Matt Restine was born (that's me) Currently, I am 18. I was born in New Jersey, USA, and have lived there my whole life. I'm about 6'0” - 6'1” (~183 cm) depending on who measures me, and I weigh roughly 140 lbs (~63.5 kg). Yes, I know I am skinny. My favorite colour is red. I am a very laid back person; it is rare to see me get stressed about anything. I like writing and playing music, and I love my fabulous girlfriend. Musically, I've performed on more instruments than I'd admit being able to play, right now I think the number is 7 different instruments performed on. But mainly I stick to the trombone. I am a freshmen in college, and I'm an engineering major, despite my musicianship. To me, being a music major would be too much work, and too much of the day would be devoted to music. So, I'll keep music as a hobby, which can get lucrative from time to time.

2. What made you become a track builder and who made the biggest influence when you began?
I started playing TMN towards the end of 2007, and it was only a matter of time before I started messing around in the editor. My love for creating things can be dated far into my childhood, when I would build lots of things with my collection of Lego's. In first few weeks/months of my TMN history, I only really played on the uBp server, and many of the tracks there were by swensen or Tstar. So, I must admit, swensen and Tstar were my earlier inspirations, but as I started making my way around, I drew little bits from every track I raced.

More...

Categories: Author Showcase Tags:
Blog Post
Underrated Track Review: HullaBaby11. May 2009 13:53
Posted By: View User Profile trackracer11 Permalink | Comments (13)

Here’s a quick review of an underrated track.

  • Track: HullaBaby
  • Author: domase
  • Environment: Stadium
  • Awards: 1

HullaBaby is a very nice little speedtrack. It's a lot of fun to play and get a good run on. The track has a backboost, but you'll need it. Most of the time, you'll be on a loop at high speed. The track itself is thrilling and desperately needs more awards, come on community!

The Good

  • Thrilling high speed action

  • Addictive

  • Easy enough for beginners

  • Cool camchange at the end

The Bad

  • Backboost

Leave your own opinion about what’s good and what needs to be improved in this track in a comment below!

Categories: Tracks 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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