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!
Welcome back once again, to the lovely TMX blog. You probably know this author, though he is pronounced “underrated” in several interviews before this one. A fast Italian, who is a clever guy and can actually talk English very good. Enjoy:
1 Please tell us more about yourself and your background?
My real name is Matteo Del Prete, I was born on 21/11/1991 and I'm Italian. I live in San Benedetto del Tronto, where I go to school and do all the things that boys like me do. I've grown in a normal family, with no particular problems, and am really happy for it.
2 What made you become a track builder and who madee the biggest influence on your tracks when you began?
I met the fantastic series of Trackmania some years ago, I think 3, when I used to play a browser game called Travian. In its forum I found a topic about the release of TMN ESWC and, from then on, I've never stopped playing it.
Trackmaking has always interested me, since my first day of TM.
I used to build only multilaps at the beginning, because my main inspiration was my first favourite mapper and clan-leader, called Sourc3. He's a legend for me, I still can't equal his skill in making multilap tracks and won't ever be able to.
The second mapper that has really inspired and formed my style is ORA. Those who played the good old TMN might know him and his wonderful tracks: Sonata da ORA, Pandora Box, Laboratory, just three examples (if you have never heard about these tracks, go on TMNX and try them!). I especially love his style in scenery and MT, but also the tracks themselves are epic!
And then other builders that inspired me most are Ron_Turbo, kirz, irondragons and the mysterious Nadeo. (There are others for sure but I can't remember now)
3 Can you please guide us through a typical track project from start to finish and what part of track building do you find crucial?
I usually don't plan anything before opening the editor, I just start building following my inspiration. This doesn't happen often though: lately I have had difficulties in finding brand new combinations. I think the priority of every mapper should be originality, but, at the same time, that's really hard to achieve with all what has been done till now.
4 Where lies your strengths and what is your weakness in track building by your opinion?
Strengths? I don't think I have very BIG ones. I'm just a bit good at everything, maybe that's my strength.
According to many people my weakness is that my tracks don't fit online-playing very much, and I can't deny that. I really want to work on this in the near future, maybe I'll build a series for online, I still don't know, but nothing about selling out my style anyway.
5 What is your top 3 tracks of all-time and why?
Really tough to choose... In no particular order:
- Carbon Era 2 by Ron_Turbo. Nobody else can build like that, a masterpiece.
- United Compo 1 by Sabaku. Built right after the release of TMU, in this track he showed the (at that time really little) United community how to use the new blocks.
...and many others I can't remember now, sorry. I just want to mention ORA again. I love all his creations, but if I have to choose: Pand-ORA Box.
6 What is your top 3 underrated track builders and why?
Cranberries surely tops this ranking. He has such great skills and creativity, and he's a very good guy too! Lately he has received a bit of the attention he deserves, and I'm really happy of it.
Another good guy and underrated author is MNM, a tech builder from Norway. He builds old-school stuff and maybe that doesn't appeal to the mass, but his works are very very good, check them out.
Last but not least, Just_I. He's one of our Mods! And he builds amazing tracks. He's so creative and talented that I can't believe he's still underrated.
7 What are your top 3 games and why?
Call of Duty 2. Very addicting frag-em-all game.
Tetris. A classic.
8 Please describe yourself in five words?
Pragmatic, modest, shy, lazy, matto (it means mad).
9 What is your daily routine and your favourite daily activity?
My daily routine is boring, like everyone else's one. I get up at 6 o'clock, go to school and get back at 13:30. I have lunch, do homework's and then stay at the PC until dinner is ready. In the evening I play PC-games again, or go out with friends.
In summer it's quite different: I sleep all the morning, I spend the afternoon at the seaside with friends and then go out with them for a pizza. I get back home at early morning and start it again.
Favourite activity is sleeping.
10 What's your biggest dream in childhood and your biggest nightmare today?
My biggest dream is secret, sorry! My nightmare is not to have the possibility to realize my dream.
Well, I know it's pretty dissatisfying as an answer, so here's another dream I have: when I'll be a man I want to go abroad and work in foreign countries. I'll be able to get in touch with other societies, lifestyles and such. It's something I'd love to do.
11 Any phobias/addiction or both you’re willing to admit?
I'm a bit afraid of spiders and lot of death.
The only thing I'm really addicted to is Italian food.
12 What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?
Well, if vacation means breaking the routine, then I'd really love to go in a Caribbean island or a place near there, like Panama. I don't know why, but that kind of places have always appealed to me for their "charm".
When I was a child I went many times to the mountains, in the Alps, and I used to love those walks in the nature, the little village life, you know; that's another kind of vacation I'd like to go to.
Anyway, I live in a lovely town near the seaside, so my routine is an actual holiday comparing to big city life!
13 Is there something you wish you could do over again and what thing do you find that you'd never do?
I think doing something good one time is enough. I mean, the second time it wouldn't be so good so it's better to keep a good memory and do something new.
One thing I WILL never do is selling my principles. Betraying oneself is so stupid in my opinion.
14 What is your favourite music style, band and song?
I listen to all kind of music but commercial one. I just can't stand art made for money. The genres I like most are classic, rock and electro music (pretty diverse, I know ^^). As for classic, my favourite composer is Beethoven. There are no words to describe his skills. Another composer I listen to is Ennio Morricone, the one who made a lot of soundtracks for cinema. Anyway lately I've completely fallen in love with RPG soundtracks like the ones you can hear in the Final Fantasy saga, you know. I especially like Nobuo Uematsu's pieces, they're really good. My favourite rock bands are Radiohead and Blur, but there are a lot I listen to such as Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, Led Zeppelin, The Who, White Stripes, SOAD and so on. I don't have a "favourite song", since it's too hard to choose one.
15 Did your friends ever get you in trouble when you were younger and, If you had been a superhero then, what would you want your superpowers to be?
I've never been in really big trouble yet, and I'm thankful to my friends for it.
The superpower I've always wanted to have is teleport. You know, going wherever you want with a snap of fingers... well actually it's too much for a human superhero, I'd be happy with just super speed.
16 As a child, did you have pets? Were they any special to you?
Aw, pets. I had quite a lot of them (dogs and cats), but they all died in some tragic way. If I get another one now, I think it'll run away scared.
17 What is the achievement you have made that you are most proud of in real life?
I can't find anything I'm VERY proud of. I'm overall happy with what I've done in my life, and I have no big regrets.
18 What is your life motto and what you think about life overall?
I'm not religious so I don't look at life as a short time before the "after-life" and such. I think life is a strange thing: I often ask myself "what is life", "who are we", "where do we go" (yes, that kind of questions you hear sometimes on TV or read on philosophy books) and the only answer I've got is: "Live your life". "Live" means that we mustn't be passive, otherwise we are like dead. "Your" means that we shouldn't follow too much other people's advice, or do just what they tell us to do. "Life" means that our time is limited (but also not that short), and so we must make the best use of it.
19 What are the goals you are still working toward?
I'm really looking forward to going to university. On 2009/10 I'm attending secondary school for the last year and I want to work hard, in order to be ready for the jump to independence. I'm also studying a bit of extra English (Italy is well known for its level -.- I'm glad I'm above the average) for some certificates, and on August I'll go to America for a study tour ^^
20 What advice would you give to someone who just starting out with track building and where we can find you online?
To the new players, I'd like to say: build your own stuff. It's nice to get inspiration from famous builders, take part to contests and other projects such as the BB-LB project, but remember to give your creations a personal touch. Don't let your tracks melt in the crowd of creations of TMX.
As for my online activity, it's really hard to meet me on servers. I quit online-playing after the release of Forever, since it's not funny for me anymore: I miss TMN for its magical atmosphere. I don't know exactly what changed... maybe it's just because of the tracks (you may know, I'm not a big fan of mini and lol tracks). I think I'll pop round to the PPO server these days, just for "public relations" ^^
Matto, thank you for your time. A very nice interview, if we may say so. Follow his advice, fitted together in the beautiful sentence “Don’t let your tracks melt in the crowd of creations of TMX”, and you will get there! Keep your browser on the blog for interesting articles, including these interviews! Till next week, Ciao!
~ The Author Showcase Team