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
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!