From our friends at tmaniacs, Hawkger translated an interview with Golo!
Since I [Januy] haven’t got much free time for the blog atm this is a really
nice surprise that tmaniacs allowed us to publish it! Many thanks, TManiacs for letting us publish their interview, and of course HawkGer for making an outstanding translation and sharing it with us from the RPG Blog. Now, TMX;
Enjoy this interview with Golo!
More than two months ago the German TM-blog Tmaniacs published an
interview-article in which Golo gives answers to a wide range of topics
regarding RPG, making the interview especially interesting as Golo is one of the
only few authors who builds United RPG-tracks. I found this piece of writing so
interesting that I decided to translate all of it into English so that a broader
audience can read it. So if you like to know more about Golo and his ideas on
RPG and TM in general, keep on reading!
Screenshot from Golo's newest RPG, The Lost Island
Hello Golo! Could you first give out a few words to our readers
about you personally?
In Trackmania I'm known as Golo, but in real life I have a prettier
name of course, namely Arno. I live on the outskirts of Berlin and
currently occupied with my A-level examinations which goes quite well so
far. My exact age I don't want to tell but it is somewhere between
sixteen and eighteen. On the further course of my life though I do not
have any specific concept yet. Apart from that I'm playing piano and
football but also enjoy other sports such as badminton. Moreover I like
How did you get into the world of
Trackmania? How did things proceed after that?
The Tm-World; that's certainly a fascination
itself. Actually I find it rather odd during my down-periods how a few
blocks can get you occupied for so long. Back then,a long time ago, I
read an article about the very first Trackmania which also happened to
receive a very good rating. The cover with that extremely long track and
with the many extreme blocks impressed me. That is why I instantly
bought the game. Even though the game experience wasn't really the way I
had expected, it did provide a really big appeal for me.
Early on I
already had contacts to a server on which long tracks were driven. That
seemed to have shaped me a lot; at least I was impressed by their
creativity and wanted to replicate it myself. The editor has therefore
always been of most significance for me. Somewhat later on I also bought
the successors Nations and Sunrise which didn't occupy me too much
though. In Trackmania United I then, for the first time, had enough
experience to build good tracks on my own and to publish them. Since
then I'm more or less active.
"More or less", how
do you mean that? And what is your point of view towards the future with
I meant that
occasionally I did not have motivation anymore to continue driving or
building and as a consequence ruthlessly turned away from the community.
It happens to many players I think...but one still eventually returns.
Momentarily I'm playing again a bit more TM. About TM2 I'm not able to
tell much yet. Didn't really inform myself more detailed about it but I
believe there are only a few information available anyway. Those sound
very interesting and the video makes a good appearance too, concerning
graphics etc. But for me there still remains the most significant
factor; that the key-principals of TM won't be thrown over. Thus I stay
sceptical for now.
As you already mentioned
trackbuilding is your main activity in TM. Which are the best tracks of
yours in your opinion and why?
The way I see it is that my tracks, despite big
differences, have a very consistent quality. Whereby one cannot compare
the long-tracks, especially Inca
with all the other mass-produced tracks. Needless to say I'm
insofar the most proud of Inca Temple because I put the most work into
that track. But I generally also regard the track as having turned out
very well. From the other tracks I probably like Bite
before you bark
the most because it expresses my rather crazy side.
you mentioned those two tracks since I would argue those were the
beginning of your "RPG-career".
Yes one could look at it that way; I wouldn't
really call those few RPG-tracks a "career" though. At the time I was
inspired from the stadium RPG-tracks but as I thought that I couldn't do
them much better anyway, I tried to be the first to create a United-RPG
which I succeeded with halfway decent.
Afterwards I got the urge to
try it in the Stadium environment nevertheless, but that is bound to a
lot of work and is really difficult to build. And by now it is
essentially impossible to surpass the best tracks in any way. Therefore I
rather tried to continue building United-RPG's. I hope that this will
be received well.
With that we come to an important
(for me not understandable) issue. The RPG-community takes place nearly
completely in the stadium-environment, why is that?
Well, I want to be honest and simply think that
TMNX has the better trackbuilders. Even though all the Non-RPG's do not
appeal to me the least one cannot overlook the fact that they are build
very detailed. Seemingly every nuance (for example in the scenery) is
being thought about twice. This certainly is due to the bigger
TMN-community in which more trackbuilders build tracks on the highest
level. Primarily they do not back off from a little spare time work,
though. One can notice this from the numerous, long and quite perfectly
build PF-tracks which surely require a lot of work. The same applies for
RPG tracks. I just do not think that many TMUX-user would spend so much
energy to build a perfect RPG track. And in TMNX there only exists
stadium as an environment.
The crucial point is probably though that
stadium is also somehow perfectly suited for it. I can not imagine that
Nadeo has ever thought of doing this, the more crazy it is how well, for
example a perfect temple atmosphere can be created. One can easily
build enclosed rooms; by adding a mod it then really looks like an
authentic building. Even the handling of the cars is almost perfect for
such tracks too, there are many tricks and challenges which are suitable
for those tracks. In other environments it is difficult to create
something like rooms. For example I first tried it in Snow but the only
solution was to create one huge room in which everything takes place.
And apart from that everything is also just not as perfect as in
Stadium. Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that it is also possible in
other environments. The growing number of United-RPG's confirms this (if
you type RPG into TMX), even though the total number is of course still
What do you think must happen so that
more TMU-RPG-tracks will be build? Is it only "take away the laziness",
or how how some TMU players would put it: to become a no-lifer? Or could
there be other ways?
it must not necessarily be build more United RPG's but it would be nice
of course. Well now, I think that it is generally difficult since users
who are mainly active on TMUX do not witness much of the Stadium RPG's
and would likely not play those tracks till finish. If one namely picks
up a particularly hard RPG-track it can be very deterring. I believe it
is not in any case of need to become a no-lifer if one divides the time
and especially at United-environments the building process is, from my
experience, substantially shorter. I think it would be quite a good
animation if a few good TMU-RPG's would be released, as they would be
driven by people who in return might get inspired themselves to build a
similar track. I do not hold high hopes for this though. And due to TM2
the time is additionally limited. How it is going to be in TM2 we will
have to see. I do think though that RPG's will fade into the background
at first as there will already be enough to discover.
also a field of activity because one has "enough from the rest"?
Hmm, yes, I think one always needs some advance
in order to not get bored. This indeed worked out at first in
TMX-United; the jumps got shorter and smoother, new ideas were added,
until the transition-maps came. I have absolutely nothing against
transition-maps and found them pretty cool at first, but then it
eventually got exaggerated which was rather a step backwards.
came a period that could be described as a split. Some cheerful kept on
building 'Island-Ideal Line-Transition-Maps' while others as a
counter-movement again very simple old-school funmaps. Thereby I think
it would have been possible to break new grounds, for example with
tracks in which one has to get used to the brakes; tracks which do not
run quite as smooth...just to give an example. But I saw no progress
anymore and no attraction. Along with it important personalities became
inactive which let me to visit TMNX. But I must say that RPG-tracks
would have charmed me also with a better United-community and then would
have forgotten the rest.
Can we expect to see you
increasingly on normal tracks in the future?
Actually, I cannot say anything to this; my mood
changes so quickly. First of all I don't even know if I will generally
be increasingly active. But a new one minute long track would also be
cool once again, if I can actually do that still.
would not doubt that. Yet again regarding another topic which interests
me, namely the building process of an RPG-track: When you're in the
editor in front of the empty area and want to build an RPG-track, how do
you go ahead?
editor I do not stand in front of a blank area and think to myself "Hmm,
well, let's just start building"; the way I actually do it on many
other tracks. You really need a distinct concept in advance and must ask
yourself: What can be displayed in the editor the best? What would look
the most authentic? Ultimately the goal is to get away from Trackmania
as far as possible. At best, one should think to be in another game. One
also needs to be concerned about, preferably innovative challenges,
tricks and enigmas which need to be implemented into the mentioned
atmospheric background. A certain harmony should be established which is
only possible within specific scenarios though.
During the actual
construction I must admit that I so far in my three stadium-tracks
composed only very simple scenarios. Constructing a temple is therefore
relatively easy because it's just a giant cube or cuboid in which inside
one can create whatever wanted. Partly open RPG's are more difficult
there. In the temple itself one first has to think of a clever
segmentation however: There is not unlimited space available which
should thus be used. So I use a few blocks for the basic structures and
then build chronologically. The ideas sometimes even come spontaneous
and instant. One still must note that it always should look good;
meaning that the challenges and the scenery harmonize or in best case
enter a symbiosis.
The rest is then only minutiae work but which
takes up the most time and is very annoying; the reason why I not always
have so much motivation. The endless amounts of platform-blocks
required to fill a room with walls and ceiling and the many necessary
blockmixes can drive you crazy. In United-Environments it is much more
Did I understand correctly that in United
you get along without mixes and in Stadium you implement them? And above
all: Are mixes in RPG-tracks inevitable?
In the United tracks are much less mixes
included because they are not absolutely necessary, but in Stadium they
do often make sense. Inevitable they are not; there are also good tracks
without mixes, for example Abandoned
by Max. But it should be noted that they are considered not
as much of a sin on RPG-tracks than they usually are.
for mixes elsewhere is surely justified, especially when they are being
used because no other possibility can be found to place a block. In
Stadium however there does exist for example the possibility to blockmix
water up. When you then drive on the blocks, one doesn't see the water
because it is above the field of view. The result is that one drives on
invisible blocks. Such mixes are beneficial for RPG-tracks and expand
From construction to driving.
When you drive an RPG-track for the first time are there certain
"techniques" or strategies one acquires?
There are certain techniques. Therefore as a
beginner one should first drive a track in which these techniques are
not required. I'm going to make some advertising and advice everyone who
is interested to try the track Prey
by Enai Siaion. It is simple and not too long.
Additionally it has an impressive atmosphere (a certain performance of
the PC provided).
Going back to your question: To overcome
anti-booster or for the driving on wallride-edges for instance one needs
to acquire techniques which must be discovered and learned for
yourself. Otherwise, there are often many friendly people on RPG server
who can help you out. Other than that you often just need to have
patience or try to gain much speed on small space or estimate the flying
curve at jumps well. With a bit of practical exercises the standard
repertoire won't be too difficult anymore.
goes beyond the "standard repertoire" then?
Well, practically a few things are considered as
standard repertoire; the driving on invisible blocks, on
halfpipe-/wallride, on those white pipes, on the small platform-ledges,
anti-boosts, also simple jumps. If you will, everything else goes beyond
that. Which doesn't mean that everything else would be innovative, and
in the end it is of course important for a track to be innovative. If
there comes an obstacle that requires one to open the eyes, meaning
riddles which are not so easy to perceive or the question of where or
how to continue, it is certainly a good thing!
there a few RPG-tracks you like best which you could recommend to our
First of all I can
recommend a video
for all those who do not want to try it themselves or do not have the
Regarding the tracks: As previously mentioned I guess Prey
is the best track for beginner. Whoever wants to
experience a bit of hardness could also start with easy temple-tracks,
such as Sobekite
by Kryw (with which I also started).
Furthermore the other tracks
from Enai Siaion are also very interesting; atmospheric and not too
hard. One level more difficult are the tracks from Fish
in which he very impressively erected a complete legocity for instance
(Legopolis). Similarly all of his other tracks are an eye candy too.
beautiful and realistic does the track Cargo714
by solix look from the outside in which one can admire a ship with an
entire port. However, not very easy.
If you prefer to stick to
United-environments, one could give Bay
a go. Apart from that unfortunately I still haven't discovered any
really good United-RPG. Not to mention that the RPG-Blog always provides
good information about everything relating to RPG.
are already at the end of the interview. Is there still anything you
would like to get off your chest?
I would like to thank you for the interview! To
say one thing that goes beyond RPG's: You should not forget that you
alone are the master of your own thoughts. I find that one should try
from time to time to take a shot at a new style in TM. Even if it is not
always crowned with success it will bring you further all in all. One
can even say that for life in general. I hope you always have your own
minds and that TM is only a pleasure for you, not a burden or main
occupation. I myself am still young and can hardly dictate anything. But
I can say with certainty that you should always think in the long run.
The original article in German
Information about RPG tracks on the TMUX-Forum