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, it’s a star, it’s a train, it’s a rocket hehehe nope it’s not superman and don’t living in smallville, but one part of this story is true ;) Ppl we present you …
1 Please tell us more about yourself (birthday, real name, place of birth, height, weight, favorite color) and your background?
Well hello, my name is Ville and I was born on 14 July, 1993, which means that I'm now 16 years old. I'm Finnish, and I have lived my whole life in Finland. I'm probably around 175cm tall and my weight is 64kg. I'm in senior high school now (if that's the right word), on a music class. In fact, music is my second life, I play drums, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, a little bit of keyboard and so on... also, I'm currently going on a class of musical theory in my music institute (which is boring, but has to be done) and I also have band lessons once a week. I listen to metal at the moment, and probably because of the brainwash that it has caused to me, my favorite color is black. I also used to play football, but I stopped it not too long time ago. All my time goes with music, and so I had to leave football. My family consists of my dad, mom, two sisters and a dog.
2 What made you become an track builder and who make biggest influence at your beginning?
I used to be in several good racing clans before I found out that tracking is actually way more fun than just driving others' tracks. I don't really know if there was a factor that actually "made" me become interested in mapping, but overall I think I wanted to create something new and please the drivers. At first, I uploaded some very noobish maps in TMX and got some good feedback from people.. I had luck. I learned to make better and better maps. At some point I also noticed that smok3y had been awarding many of my tracks. I asked if he wanted to make a duo with me, and well, he said yes. I learned a lot from him during the project and he has a great influence in my tracking style even today. By the way, the duo was started around 2,5 years ago and it's still not released... xD
Second influence that comes in my mind is without doubt Homie. I loved his maps and also made a duo with him in the early 2008. He showed me how amazing island can be, and I think that's one of the reasons why so many of my tracks are Island. I started another duo with him too, but guess what - still not released ^^
Third influence... Hageldave. Kinda the same reasons as with Homie. He also made some really amazing tracks with awesome ideas. Also, he was one of the people who introduced Bay to me. And I really love Bay nowadays, he had an influence on that. Also, Iquere. He made outstanding Islanders too, and well, that just made my Island-love grow - even more. Nowadays I'm in Xtreme Trackers and all of them have helped me a lot, too.
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?
First, I have to have an idea. I don't want to open the editor and just put blocks together. I must have an idea of the track and what it will become. If I don't have an idea and still make a map, what happens? Answer: I will never publish the track. An idea can be anything, I can for example have a new style of mapping in my mind, or just some kind of old theme, for example an epic WR-hunt map. I don't often make "normal" tracks, or in other words, simple tracks, that have no new stuff in them. So everything in a TMX map of Ville has to begin with a good idea. Next step is to realize the idea - it can't be made in any way, the track must show the good sides of the idea. That is probably the hardest part in the whole project, to make the track both interesting and fun. I think my goal is always to make a track that makes the driver say "wow". Don't know if I've succeeded yet, though.
In the middle I try to make the track as flow as possible, putting wider and wider curves as the track gets closer to the end. Also, smoothness is a very important factor for me, even if an unsmooth place wouldn't affect the flow, I want to make it smooth. Of course, I also throw some random transitions in the track from time to time - as most of us probably do.
I always try to make a track more than 40 seconds long. Sometimes the end up being over 45 secs, which usually means they are better. If they are just over 40 secs or a bit under, it mostly means that I have ran out of building space. That way the end might be a bit stupid, too. However, I've learned from my mistakes and I'm always trying to avoid the borders of the building field, so that the end would be just as nice as the start.
The scenery... well I have always had a strange style when it comes to scenery. Some say it sucks, some say it's cool. I don't know what to think myself. ^^ But I won't probably change the style, I like it the way it is.
Then it's turn for the mediatracker. I usually have a new idea of some sort that I want to use in the MT, I used slowmotion with ghosts lately for example. Mediatracker is full of possibilities that have not been found yet, and I love to try new stuff in it. Mostly, my ideas even work. I do my outros very quickly usually, however people seem to like them. I have put a GPS in all my new tracks. And Intro is the place I put the new stuff in. The screenie.. well, that's a 30-second-job for me. Author comments are important, I write them with care. After these steps: bling, the track is in TMX.
4 Where lies your strengths and what is your weakness in track building by your opinion?
I think my weakness is that I'm really lazy. Usually my tracks take a LOT of time to get ready. Well, at least they are not too quickly done then.
My strengths... well I'm quite good with MT and also I think my tracking style is clean and stable. I often know what I'm doing wrong. Also, I have the best betatesters that exist... and that surely makes my tracks better.
5 How would you describe your style or better say what makes you different then others?
I have a quite transitional tracking style and I really like to invent new stuff (and I always try to come up with new things). Also, my tracks are usually expert difficulty - I don't remember when was the last time I made a track that wasn't called hard. I build FS usually, however I have made some tech as well, never really released them though. My favorite environments to work with are Island, Stadium and Bay. Overall, it's hard to describe my style, since it differs all the time.
6. Do you think that good driving skills is precondition for gr8 track builder and if that's true, why do you think that this is crucial?
Yes and no. If you are an amazing driver, your maps will probably end up being really hard if you want to make them jumpy and transitional. Of course that's not a bad thing, many people enjoy hard maps, but a great track builder should be able to build maps that everybody can finish. I don't say that good drivers always make hard maps, because that is not the case, a talented tracker can always make outstanding tracks that anyone can finish, even if he was a damn good driver, for example BrummHummel. But if you haven't got too much experience, you can easily end up doing a track that has a difficulty level matching your driving skills. That's also the case with slow drivers. There are many tracks with checkpoints or curves that can be overjumped. This basically means that the flow of the track is disastrous for fast drivers. I'd recommend that new people would drive other authors' tracks, at the same time you learn to drive better AND to build better (you get ideas from the maps). Building harder tracks that you can drive doesn't really work
7. Do you think that creativity is limited in the Trackmania Editor and why?
No, it isn't. Just because there aren't thousands of different blocks doesn't mean that it is limited. There are still millions of different ways to use the blocks.. and creativity is make good use of them.
8. You taste both sides of TMX, what is advantage or disadvantage of TMUFX and TMNFX, by your opinion?
I think both sides are very nice and have a great community after all. In TMUFX the worst thing, in my opinion, is that there are less trackmaniacs than in TMNFX. TMNFX is also more active. However, I think that TMUFX is more fair in giving awards, I kind of get the feeling that in TMNFX it's more about awarding famous people... in TMUFX the unknown authors get a better chance in my opinion. Of course famous authors get a lot of awards there, too, but I think the quality matters more there. Also, I'd like to see the clock times in forum messages in TMNFX ^^.
9. Can you tell us who, by your opinion, are or were the 3 most important persons that have/had the biggest influence on TMX?
Hmm... hard one. If I'm not allowed to say several persons at the time, I think I have to leave the founding fathers and the mod team outside.. although them TMX wouldn't probably exist. Anyways... whew... hmm. I just can't answer this one. There are so many people that have affected TMX during the years, and every single guy who posts a track, comment, forum post or award in TMX keeps it alive. JayPee and MrD were of course the biggest influences because without them TMX wouldn't even exist, though.
10. Can you share an entertaining story from TMX with us?
This is not really about TMX only... but some months ago I was bored and wanted some amazing times in two of my tracks. The records were already unbelievable, one by Echo and the other one by Loko. I went to a server and met Roa and Kaka, two great drivers. So I asked them to try to beat Loko's time in my track.. of course the reward was several coppers.. 12 000 to be exact :P
They both left the server immediately and started driving my track. It was kind of funny, Roa and Kaka were both in teamspeak, and at the same time there was this guy, Lli, who was on the server with me AND in the teamspeak, talking to Roa and Kaka as they were trying to beat Loko's time. Roa got pretty close quite soon actually, but wasn't able to beat Loko's crazy record. They were driving.. and driving. And finally, after over an hour of playing, Kaka beat Loko's time - with 0.03 seconds ^^
He did deserve my coppers for sure. And his time is still the world record, if somebody wants to give it a try.
However, I still had the other record to be beaten.. And Roa beat Echo's time in only 15 minutes, and after some time he made a completely insane time, 36.96.. and Echo's record was 37.56. These guys surely can drive.
Oh, the reward for beating Echo's time was only 5000 coppers, because it wasn't as unbelievable as Loko's rec in the other track :P
11 Please describe yourself in five words?
A, Pain, In, The, Ass.
12 What is your daily routine and your favorite daily activity?
Well I wake up at 6:30AM, take a shower, eat, put on some clothes and go to school. In school I'm most likely bored.. and of course tired, since I've probably slept too little. As I said I'm on a music class so I've quite a lot of music in school. And after the school it doesn't end, I've most probably a guitar lesson, drum lesson or something else. I eat at some point, that's kinda.. random. Well mostly I've time to get home and eat, but for example on Wednesdays I leave home at 7:45AM and get back in 7:45PM. And I don't really have any free time in the middle. When I get home I usually start playing TM or just hang in MSN.. or maybe practice some guitar or drums and so on. I'm usually totally exhausted in the evening, although I go to sleep as late as 23:00.
My favorite daily activity is of course to play TM ..well, actually I think playing guitar is even more awesome, it's fantastic to realize what you can do with only fingers... I love it :)
13What are the goals you are still working towards?
Well my biggest dream is to be a part of a successful international band, though it's a very long way to go. I also wanna get a family and all the usual stuff that everybody should have in my opinion.
14 Who made biggest impact in your life and why?
My parents of course... they taught me most of what I know today and without them I wouldn't even exist.
15 Tell us about a memorable moment in your life; a time you will never forget?
Damn, this one is hard. Nothing comes in my mind right now.. or wait, I think the day when I got my first electric guitar is quite memorable... it was so funny, we just went to this shop which was far away from our home, I have no idea why we went there because there was and is an amazing shop not too far away from where we live. I knew nothing about guitars really, I was probably 9 years old or something, so we just told some guy from the staff that 'we want a basic guitar' ^^
It took about 15 seconds when he had shown a guitar + an amp.. and then we left. It was an Epiphone Les Paul standard (basically a cheap copied Les Paul ^^) but well I could play with it. Took some years to learn to use a pick and everything but nowadays I'm quite okay.
16 What is the achievement you have made that you are most proud of in real life?
I really don't know about that... Probably nailing Kiuas' Conqueror with guitar. xD
I still have to train the solo, though.^^
17 Can share with us your 3 favorite guitar players and why?
1. Obsidian C. / Keep of Kalessin - hard choice between the top 2 guys.. but I decided to go with Obsidian Claw from Keep of Kalessin, a Norwegian black metal band. He's amazing. The speed that he can play with his right hand is just overwhelming and he can really make your brain blow out with his solos. He also makes outstanding songs with insane ideas.
2. Mikko Salovaara / Kiuas - probably Finland's best metal guitarist at the moment, his tapping skills are amazing and so are his solos and the songs he makes. Going to meet him this week's Wednesday :P
3. Matt K. Heafy / Trivium - composes so well. Also, I his skills are great, even though he is quite young. He was one of the first persons to show me what tricks you can do in metal music, too.
18 What are your top 3 favorite websites / games and why?
1. TMX - I don't need to explain.
2. Google - everything you need for problem-solving
3. Gladiatus - kinda lame browser game, but at the same time it's really fun!
1. TM - of course.
2. Half-Life 2 - probably the best FPS I know.
3. Bioshock - an artistic masterpiece, great fun and really scary sometimes!
19 What is your top 3 tracks of all-time and why?
There have been so much tracks... and almost all of them have some good things and some bad things.. but let me name three amazing ones, not necessarily the best though.
1. Rawkfist - Hageldave. I love it. Blew my mind out first time I drove it. Amazing ideas and transitions - it was something that I couldn't even dream of.
2. Poltergeist - iQue. Masterpiece. As all tracks by him. I'll never reach his level in tracking, that I know for sure - and probably nobody else will either. Insane ideas and transitions.
3. Gravitation 2 - Homie. If you're looking for a close-to-perfect Island track... I suggest you try Gravitation 2.
20 What advice would you give to someone who just starting out with track building and where we can find you online?
Best way to learn fast is to drive other's maps. As said before, that way you can get experience in both track building and driving. Also, it's important to understand that you will not make amazing masterpieces after a day of trackmaking. It seriously takes time. Just make tracks, and don't try to make too good tracks too soon. Keep them simple at first, then, when you nail the basics; smoothness and flow, you can try to put in some new ideas. Also, use a lot of betatesters, they are always very helpful - even for the best builders.
Another important thing is to find your style. Do you want to make tech, fullspeed, PX tracks or something else? Of course, you can make all of these, but be aware of putting them in one map, because that hardly works. Also, trying to find your personal style helps you to gain some more attention and respect for your tracks.
You can find me in PPO.. both TMNF and TMUF servers. Rarely I also drive on Mistral's.
Maybe, he think that he is pain in the ass, but with this attitude and gr8 answers, I think that ppl just don’t understand him or maybe they just not trying :) Also, think that with this interview we prove to you that ppl on TMX comes with all shape and sizes, so see you next week with another cool author!
~ The Author Showcase Team