Track: Crazy '98 2003
Garage Settings: 1600 med tires/soft suspension
Lap time: 1:08
Music: Break (c98)
RobbyH14 – a name that’s probably foreign to those who frequent the zone, and that’s mostly because he doesn’t lol. It’s not by choice or for lack of trying, mind you. The problem is he’s been in the throws of “technical difficulties” which prevent him from entering the Nitro game room. But hey, I’m not here to talk about the guy’s gaming problems, which isn’t to say I’m unsympathetic. It so happens my man Robby has cranked out his very first MTM 2 circuit, and since circuits and rallies are like…two of my favorite topics, I say let’s get busy talkin about this one!
Among other things, one of the goals of this year’s expo was to inspire people to try something new, something different. Robby is a drag track maker—a highly skilled and knowledgeable drag track maker at that (check his credentials
). As I already mentioned, Crazy ‘98 2003 constitutes his very first attempt at this form of track making, which he actually started some time ago, but opted to sideline it after stumbling into the drag track world. He tinkered with it here and there “in between [drag track] projects,” as he says. When word got out about the coming of Expo 2003, my guess is it was reason enough for him to stop being a lazy bu…rather, to set aside his other endeavors in order to focus on completing a track for submission into the Expo. There - I think that sounds much better than what I initially started to say lol.
Robby offers up Crazy ’98 2003 as a sequel (of sorts) to the original Crazy ’98, but with a significant variation from the original stock track. What I’m referring to is the width of the racing surface; it’s easily twice as wide as its namesake. It seems that Robby was having none of that sardine can-like racing where you have to be patient (of all things) and wait for the guy/girl in front of you to all but wipeout before you can even think about executing a pass. Personally I happen to love tracks of all types: wide, narrow, bumpy, smooth, pedal-to-the-medal, finesse, etc. It’s been my experience, however, that after too many trips around tracks like Nrrivas’ “Heights of Mérida”, Mal’s “Castle Rock, too” Oops’ “Rondat Speedway (2n1)” and a slew of other tracks that fit the beware of narrow passages mold, some racers get a little…well, cranky lol. Quite a few people prefer the kind of lateral freedom this baby has to offer. And when I say, “lateral freedom,” I mean just that. In fact, I’ve got $50.00 (taken from MTMG’s petty cash account lol) that says there’s enough room to make a clean pass pulling a large trailer home on a doublewide flatbed lol. Hey, when Robby wants space, he doesn’t mess around! Crazy ’98 2003 is a basic layout that’s light on the finesse side with a heavy dose of speed intermixed with respectable airtime via some pretty nice jumps for those of you who are into that sort of thing. I do like that he added elements of “moderate” risk with the slightly underdeveloped roadway
just before checkpoint 3, and the hard right turn going into the finish line at the end. If you start daydreaming about the win before you’ve actually put your opponents away…that last jump could prove to be your downfall. I like that!
Tracks submitted by judges (which Robby was) for this years Expo were excluded from the competition portion of the event, hence the following observations are purely for Robby’s edification…and maybe it’ll help a few other passers by as well. For starters, he chose to use the ckbox.bin (stock) model, which has a fixed width. The result is the checkpoints on this track can be triggered quite far from the marker. Still, the only checkpoint that affords racers a decided advantage by circumventing the physical marker is checkpoint 2, as shown here
. Checkpoint 1 gives you the illusion that you can save time by going outside the marker to trigger it, but in fact the area of terrain I marked in this picture
is rough, hence you could actually lose a little time by taking that checkpoint wide to the right. This flawed checkpoint characteristic is negated for the other markers due to Robby’s checkpoint placement (which was good, by the way), but ideally one would fair better using object boxes for checkpoints instead of fixed sized models.
The other notable observation pertains to the track palette. The stock Crazy ‘98 textures were used in this track (which isn’t surprising in the least) supplemented with a handful of custom textures, which leads to texture alignment problems in many locations. We'll assume this was a compromise in order to add the flexibility necessary to accommodate the custom road widths and other things not readily done using the standard texture layouts. Suffice it to say the texture layout is considerably less than perfect, yet perfectly serviceable for a rookie track (and I don’t mean that negatively, either). Use of a custom palette significantly improves the visual quality
of a track. As witnessed by the list of drag tracks he’s authored, Robby’s accomplishments and skill is beyond reproach. Circuits and rallies constitute track making on a different plane, thus in this arena he’s a novice. It’s as simple as that.
The only other minor observations are as follows: insufficient width (relative to the road) of the start/finish gate
, trees not set to facing
…and the lack of trees and other decorative models. Décor and how much is used is purely subjective, however, adding a moderate sampling of trees and maybe a few shrubs here and there goes a long way towards juicing up the visual aesthetics of a track. What matters most, however, is what kind of “race” the track yields, and this one will undoubtedly give racers and endless supply of fast-paced, close-knit, photo finishes. If that’s what people come to experience after running this track with a few others, the décor (or lack thereof), misaligned textures, trees not set to facing…none of that will matter. The only thing racers will remember is the fun had by all.
In my mind Robby gets the “Copey Thumbs Up
” award (and a cookie lol) for stepping outside of his comfort zone with his contribution to Expo 2003. His effort is a true example of what it was really all about, and I for one commend him for his work. Additionally, I say he gets a free dinner with three or four friends of his choice (make sure I’m one of ‘em lol) at a five star restaurant. Mal and Phin will spring for the bill. I’d chip in to help pay for it as well, but I need save the $50.00 I took from our petty cash account in case someone wants to take me up on that bet I mentioned in the third paragraph lol.
This is definitely a nice effort on your part, Robby. Hopefully you’ll muster up the inspiration to try your hand at another circuit or even a rally at some point in the future. If not, so be it. You’ve definitely made your mark in this game – no doubt about that. Lastly, be sure to look me up when you get back in the swing of things so we can do some racing, bud. Heck we might even run this relatively new track I heard about called “Crazy ’98 2003”.
P.S. Hey Robby, I noticed you threw RF's garage
in there. Nice touch, bud. I have to think that nifty little maneuver alone will net you a bonus check from good 'ole RF - $75.00 to $100.00 easy lol.