First off, let me thank everyone who organized and participated in the Expo. It was great fun, and I’m gonna be playing with all the new tracks and trucks for a long time to come! And I always wear the gift ball cap I received for participating (except when I nearly lost it down the drain the other morning while taking a shower… at least it’s clean!)
“IAM_Clawfford is a guy whose forte seems to be creating tracks around an idea”.
- Gosh, that’s sorta like a THEME, eh?
“You almost get the impression Claw is somewhat of a frustrated inventor of some sort”.
- Hmm… has anyone ever made a Professor Potts “Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang” monster truck? Maybe Expo 2004…
“a stranded Robinson Caruso (not as tall as we thought he would be, either lol)”
- Darn! Believe it or not, I DID spend a bit of time trying to make him the right size. He’s just slightly taller than a monster truck wheel. I’ve never actually seen a real-live monster truck up-close-and-personal, but isn’t that about right? Didn’t the early trucks actually use big ol’ tractor tires? Otherwise, he’s a straight screen capture of the classic screen saver “Johnny Castaway”. See my included info file for a link to get your free copy!
“There's also a section toward the end of the trip where giant nails are protruding down from underneath a deck. The effect, and maybe even the intent is much like the maze, but we feel it was overdone and drags on for much too long a period of time.”
- You guys really did your play testing! Yes, I agree it is definitely too long. My excuse: I wanted to earn “brownie points” by getting Banana Boat in by the original deadline, and I was in the 11th hour. So I extended that section instead of finding something else new and interesting to do in that stretch of the ride. In the long run, I guess I should have poo-pooed the time limit for the sake of the game. Sorry!
“Claw cites Pounder & MoneyMaker as the originators of the moving platform in a rumble, and in fact … Monsta Driva was the first to come up with such a concept, and the name of the track he applied it to is called Ramble.”
- Well I STILL thank Pounder and MoneyMaker, since it was their “Crazy Train” which inspired me. And thanks to Monsta for the original concept! (“Ramble”, eh? That’s how I describe my “Monster Mash” track… it’s half race and half rumble – a “Ramble”!)
“As for the cyclone, we've never seen one quite like this before, however, conceptually speaking, mike204 used the idea in a track he made back in '99”
- Mike204? There’s that name again! It keeps cropping up! I remember talking with Cope or Phineus or someone about trying to get hold of him concerning “Landslide”, still one of my all-time favorite add-on races!
“Other observations are more technically oriented with exception of this road texture here, which seems grossly out of place.”
- I was shooting for “boat ramp”, but living in Dayton, Ohio I don’t really see them very often. I needed another way back up to the pier, but the ramp was too hard to see when I left it sand-colored. So I used a stock texture that was very visible. In my imagination, I figured a boat ramp would probably be a bit worn and cracked from exposure to the water and lack of regular maintenance. I don’t imagine any boat ramps run underneath a pier, though… how about a jet-ski ramp?
“the bottom half of the boat should've been fitted with properly sized and angled object boxes. The top portion of the boat was done that way, so if for no other reason but consistency the bottom portion should have been done as well. As it is, there are large areas you can't drive in, and they're very close to the boat and rumble zone. In the case of the cyclone, it crosses the path of the rumble pad, which in and of itself isn't a bad thing. The problem occurs when the cyclone's bounding box forces trucks off the platform and into the water, leaving you wondering what happened. The easy fix to this would have been to alter the route of the cyclone. However…it is our belief that Claw intended for the cyclone to cut across the path of the boat, creating a hazard for rumblers, hence he could have loaded that spout into binedit, then translated it about 100 feet along the X or Z axis before loading it into the track. What that would do is trick the game into placing the bounding box 100 feet out of harms way but the visible water spout would be where it's supposed to be as 'non collide'. Then he would have to build a second simple 'invisible' model that is the same size as the smaller base of the cone, place it inside the center of the cyclone cone and set it in motion at the same speed and heading as the cyclone model.”
- If I understand you correctly, that is impossible from what I know about track making. First (correct me if I’m wrong), aren’t all moving objects – no matter what their shape – surrounded by an invisible box that is defined by the outermost points of the model in each direction? For this reason, the bottom of the cyclone may APPEAR narrow, but the invisible box around the object is still as wide as the TOP of the twister. (No biggie in this case – I figure that you probably don’t have to be in direct contact with the funnel of a REAL tornado to be blown around, right? And yes, I DID intend for it to be an obstacle and not just more moving scenery.) Second, an object with the MOVING parameter drops to ground level, no matter how high it starts. So since the platform on top of the Banana Boat sticks out beyond the hull below, the invisible box that it defines drops to the ground, blocking close contact with the boat’s underside. Third, I use TRAXX. With TRAXX you can only associate ONE parameter with an object, so it would be impossible to make an object that is both NO-COLLIDE and MOVING. Please prove me wrong! I would love to know a way around that so I could institute the trick in future tracks. Learning new tricks is almost as fun as coming up with original stuff! Teach me!
“Finally, the banner attached to the plane is set to MTM 1 transparency type vs MTM 2 transparency.”
- DOH! Oh, well… I TOLD you in the info file that I’m still pretty new with BinEdit, and the plane was one of the first things I did. But I sure learned a heck of a lot in the process of making Banana Boat! I wonder… can you save a TRUCK using MTM1 textures? Could you make a “Ghost Truck” that you can catch glimpses of through obstacles? Interesting… (THAT’S what I love about you MTM Guilders… you make me THINK and LEARN! And now that I have an official MTM2 thinking cap…)
“We also noticed that Claw omitted setting the extended courses, which we felt was a rather significant oversight on his part. As a result, some camera angles don't work and others bury you under water.”
- You see? There’s another thing I never realized before! I never imagined there could be any reason why the extended courses would be necessary in a rumble. Exterior camera views are dependent upon them, eh? If anyone was ever impatient with you guys to just skip the reviews and get on with the judging, tell ‘em that people LEARN THINGS from being critiqued, and hopefully will do better the next time around. (There are some cool technical things I want to find out about other tracks in the Expo. I can’t wait to read the other reviews and start asking questions!)
(Aww… you guys never said anything about my no-train-whistle moving objects! Oh, well… I thought “Banana Boat” was a significant example of the technique in action, but probably not anything you need to go into any detail on in a review. Besides, it’s in my info file.)
THANKS AGAIN to everyone who coordinated and participated in the Expo! If anyone nagged about how long it took to write the reviews, consider this: the tracks AND trucks all had to be rigorously play-tested, notes had to be exchanged between the judges, and THEN lengthy, detailed reviews were written. ALL IN ONE MONTH! If you don’t think that’s extremely fast, then see how long it takes you just to READ all the reviews! I find it hard to believe that any of the judges could possibly have both a job AND a home life for the last month or two
Hats off and a big pat on the back to you guys! Your efforts are appreciated!
Clawfford, the Big Red Cat