Blog Post
Meet the Crew - Piercy20. January 2010 12:40
Posted By: View User Profile Januy Permalink | Comments (4)

Hello TMX,

we continue the line of coders, so meet Piercy!

Real Name: Michael Pierce
Age: 20 (08.12.1989)
Gender: Both (j/k Male)
Country: United Kingdom
Area: Surrey
Real Occupation: Software Developer c# .NET

Who am I?
I am your standard overage teen(20 lol), out partying most weekends enjoying my life as it comes.  I'm very much into music although i don't have a particular genre, to pick a few, hip-hop rnb dance house garage dnb rock(heavy and light) bit a screamo here and there maybe lol.  Another, hobby i have other than computer, is cars.  I am really into the modified car scene, modified mine a little here and there hope to do more soon!  I am a very keen gamer and started playing FPS games ages ago.  My first computer FPS would have been enemy territory and i now often play the likes of enemy territory, cod4, cod5, cod:mw, l4d, l4d2, wsw.  I love the half life series and have been impatiently waiting for hl2:ep3.  I am in a clan called HESS and i am the lead coder/server admin there as well.

Categories: Interviews Tags: , , ,
Blog Post
Meet the Crew - FastForza12. January 2010 15:05
Posted By: View User Profile Januy Permalink | Comments (9)

Hello readers,

I found an old idea by Jozii, that included the TMX Crew and some small text about them. It sadly went into the freezer, luckily I got hungry and found it next to the ice creams.
So, the next few weeks we'll serve you a TMX Crew Member, telling a bit about himself, informing you a bit more about who is watching you all the time ^^

We will start of with our former Blog Admin, FastForza!

Categories: Interviews Tags: , , , , ,
Blog Post
Trackmania 6 years anniversary!15. December 2009 12:36
Posted By: View User Profile Januy Permalink | Comments (8)

Hey TMX’rs :D

You noticed it? Well, of course you did, as hardcore TM fans! Trackmania exists 6 years!
Because of this occasion, our friends from the German TM-Blog arranged an interview with Florent!
They were so kind to give us the English version, but don’t forget to check their Website!

TManiacs: Which aspect(s) do you put down to the big success of Trackmania?

Florent: It is a simple game where the fun, the tracks, is made by players. The free version is also a good innovation to reach more people.

TManiacs: Do you think, Trackmania United Forever will really be "forever", so that a 10th birthday can still be celebrated by a large number of players?

Florent: It is really "forever" but maybe our understanding is different in it's meaning. What I wish, is that the 10th birthday of TM can still be celebrated by a large number of current players! But I hope that the players will be on the next TrackMania in four years or I need to tell the team that it is quite useless to work at the moment.


Categories: Interviews Tags: , , ,
Blog Post
Interview with Crusard, the Media Tracker Master!1. October 2009 06:10
Posted By: View User Profile Fastforza Permalink | Comments (10)

Today, we have brought you guys a special interview with Crusard, the Master of the Media Tracker!

How did you discover TrackMania? Did you stumble upon it or was it a recommendation?

The first time I played TrackMania was just before Nations was released. I saw there was a demo of this strange racing game that looked a lot like Stunts, so I downloaded and started playing. It was Trackmania Sunrise. It was fun playing online, but it didn't take long for me to check out the editor. Nine hundred coppers and a block-limited bay environment was everything I needed to build a full campaign of mini maps to see how other players would like them. For some strange reason, they actually did!

How did you master the Media Tracker?

I had already made a couple of maps for TMN when I saw this wierd map online. It was just a racing track with a few inflatables here and there, but one little thing really caught my eye. Right before the race started, there was this strange text that moved around as the screen shook. I think the name of the track was "wobbling world" or something like that. It was a very simple effect, but I was stunned. It was then that I started pressing a few buttons in this mediatracker tool, trying to figure out how to do these cool effects, and "Racing Station" was born. It was still a crappy track, and had some random triggers here and there which weren't really fun anyway, but it had them. I learned a new trick with every track I made. It was this that drove me into building the next map everytime. From TMS demo's Climb to TMUF's TTC2.

What inspired you to make creations such as Mission Speedtek and the Trump Card (TTC & TTC2) series?

The one map that really drove me into story trackmaking has to be "Escape the Prison 4", by Andree. It had explosions, binoculars, guns, police chasing after you. It was simple, but I had never seen anything like that before. I think the first really good track I made, MT wise, was "Four in One". Even though the concept was based in the trackbuilding, I had a lot of fun making the flashy text effects and anti cut triggers (which never worked in the end anyway). Then came "American Elevator", which had custom sounds for the first time, and finally my first big creation, "Mission: Speedtek". I felt I could make something other than just a race in TM. Make players feel they are playing something completely new, at least for those few minutes until they reach the finish line, where the world dispels.

What was your reaction to the "fame" you've received? Did you expect it?

Of course everyone wants to be famous at something. Even though I did not expect "fame", I have always tried to make new stuff that players would enjoy. Getting comments and praises from so many players is definetely a pro. Actually, I don't think I would have made any more tracks after Speedtek had I not received so much nice feedback from the community.

Being the master of the Media Tracker, has it affected your way of playing the game?

It was because of the mediatracker that I was just glued to this game for so long. Back when TMN was just released, I was more of a player than a mapper. When the Argentinian flag was added to the game in a later patch, we started the first national clan, the JMF. I was initially the leader as I played more often, but in time I had to relinquish command to the dedicated trackmaniac FoxShadow. Even though I wasn't seen driving online quite as often, I never stopped mapping until a lot later. The track editor, especially with TMU/TMUF's new cool stuff, has really hooked me up to the game series.

Do you have any tips for Media Tracker beginners?

Start from the beginning. Y'know, first some texts, a few cameras here and there. When you start thinking, what if there was a voiceover in this part, or maybe a ghost car doing stunts on the side of the road, then you're on the right track. You learn new stuff as you need to, and want to. The only thing that matters is an open mind.

Are there any plans to return to TrackMania in the near future?

Well I've always been a gamer and played (way too) many games, and TM is the only one that I've been "stuck to" for so long. I'm currently working in other projects of my own for another game... but now that I've heard the magic worlds "Trackmania 2", it sure is a possibility that I'll giving it a shot in the future.

A very special thanks to Crusard for answering our questions, and an additional thanks to Januy for providing help with the questions.

Comments are welcome!


Categories: Interviews Tags: , , ,
Blog Post
Interview: Sang Hong from World Cyber Games23. August 2009 23:03
Posted By: View User Profile Jozii Permalink | Comments (5)

World Cyber Games is a large gaming website, hosting leagues and live events on multiple games including WarCraft, Guitar Hero and FIFA 09. Recently, TrackMania has been added to the equation.

We stopped by to interview Sang Hong, Project Manager for Trackmania on WCGZone, asking him about WCG and the game.


Categories: Interviews 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,

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: , , ,
Blog Post
Interview with JayPee, one of the Founding Fathers of TMX29. March 2009 23:23
Posted By: View User Profile Jozii Permalink | Comments (18)

In relation to the anniversary of TMX, we decided to do an interview with one of the founding fathers of the site: JayPee Cool

How did it all begin? How did you discover TrackMania, and what lead to the start of TMX?

First a little of my personal TM history.

Well... I don't remember how I heard of Trackmania exactly, probably during one of my browsing sessions back then. But somewhere in 2003 I got my hands on one of the first beta versions of trackmania and I've been hooked ever since, somehow I always keep coming back to playing trackmania, I just can't seem to put it away :)

The first (beta) version I played only contained the desert environment back then (which is still my favorite environment) and it really got me hooked on playing online. I'm not much of an online player, I usually prefer offline singleplayer games and Trackmania is to date still the only game I play online.

When the game came out officially, published by Digital Jesters back then, I bought it instantly. And really played it to bits, that's when I met Ross (MrD). Back then he built really cool short mirrored tracks which I still remember playing with great fun. While playing, MrD and Mannijack (the founder of the clan Fools On Wheels) invited me to join Fools On Wheels (FOW for short). And we enlisted in the first ever trackmania league. I remember the first race we ever played which was against the Grouiks. We'd never heard of them but they sure made an impression because the completely slaughtered us on the track. They kept coming in first, second and third every race but even if we lost big we had so much fun.

In total I think I've played about 6 seasons of trackmania leagues. First with Fools on Wheels and later when FOW stopped some of us joined team crazyCarz.

During our time in Fools On Wheels MrD and I gotto talking about our work and discovered we're in the same field being software development. I was trying to develop some small TM tools like a track manager (which actually never got completed) and somehow we got to talking about creating an international TrackMania track website. Especially because back then all the websites available were french.

When TMX first started as a website, what was your role in it? Was it you or MrD, the second creator of TMX, who took the initiative?

I don't remember exactly who took the initiative but somehow it came up in one of our online conversations to start building an international website. MrD had the technical know-how to create a website in a short time and somehow he thought I had the creative know-how to make it look good Wink

From the get go we were, perhaps overly, ambitious and had the idea that we were creating the best track website around. That it actually became the biggest and best track repository online I never could've dreamed of.

How would you describe the development TMX has made from when it first started to what it has become today? Are there any special moments you specifically remember? Were there any obstacles along the way, or did everything run smoothly?

When TMX first started we had a track of the week which we handpicked by playing all of the uploaded tracks. Soon after there was no way we could play all the uploaded tracks so we got rid of that pretty quickly. That is also one of the moments I specifically remember, frantically playing through all the track and trying to keep a list of the best tracks around.

From the start everything has run pretty smoothly I think, especially within the time I was involved with the website. Probably due to MrD's excellent coding skills.

TrackMania is a French game, and TMX is one of the few big websites that run only in English. Would you imagine TMX to expand by offering multiple languages, like many other TM websites do?

The main goal when we started TMX was to provide an english site for all the non french speaking people. Back when we started the community was mainly french so we wanted to serve others too. I don't know if it's necessary to offer more languages than only english. I think english is a perfect universal language, but maybe that's because I don't speak french or german ;)

What are your hopes for TMX in the future? Would you imagine it to continue on a steady path, or would you like to see it grow even further?

The only thing I think TMX really needs in the near future is a complete redesign of the graphics of the site. It all feels a bit dated, the current design is v2 of the TMX and it has been online for many, many years. When and if the site gets redesigned I hope to be a part of that.

And as the site's size is concerned... We always need more tracks...

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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