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 Post subject: Crazy '98 2003 by RobbyH14
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 3:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 2:01 pm
Posts: 1011
Location: Nebraska
Track: Crazy '98 2003
Type: Circuit
Checkpoints: 7
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.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2003 10:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2001 2:01 pm
Posts: 109
Location: Park Hills, Kentucky
Well hey now! Copey finally got off his bu...er, decided to finish up my review! Awesome stuff man, I appreciate everything...it'll help me get better, and you hit the nail on the head with a lotta stuff about the track (Get outta my head! lol)...it was scary. I need to pop in here more often to check in with you fellas...haha. Believe it or not, one of my goals in making this track was to get Cope to do a review of it...so mission accomplished (partially)

*munches on cookie looking over comments*
*finishes cookie* Yum, thanks Cope...

And now, for my thoughts on your thoughts on my track. haha...

-Holy jeez, 1:08!!! That must be "Copey Time"...man oh man, I usually run 1700 sm and get 1:12's...wow...
-"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!"

Good, one mission accomplished ;-)
-"The only thing racers will remember is the fun had by all. "

Always my goal, you read my mind on this...I took notice of the flaws you mentioned and most of them are "novice mistakes," some were just simply because I had a deadline to meet and I hate missing them. Had I done this track now, well, it'd be better, but I'm real happy with how it turned out nonetheless.
-"free dinner..." Woo hoo! I'm down with that! I say me, Cope, Mal, and Phin all kick it somewhere haha.

-"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”. "

You betcha, keep in touch via e-mail for now, but I'm gonna attempt to mess with the Zone more soon... RobbyH14@yahoo.com. I'll give you a run for your money on this track, if no others ;-).

"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."

Bah! I waited and no money...oh well ;-). Kevin's a great guy; it's the least I could do to support all the stuff he does for everyone in the community....

and so are you, Mr. Cope Reviewer God Sir ;-). Thanks again for the review, it makes me wanna go make another circuit :-).

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-RobbyH14
www.allmonster.com


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 9:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 2:01 pm
Posts: 1011
Location: Nebraska
Thanks for the much too gracious compliments, bud. Just so you know, the "tech support" guys for this and other reviews are pretty much household names if you're an MTMer: Malibu350, Phineus, and Winterkill. For your track I relied heavily on Wint's input; Mal and Phin said they were having nothin to do with this thing til you paid your MTMG clubhouse locker fees lol. But anyway, whenever I have a question about something (and sometimes even when I don't lol) they're always there to provide input.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 11:55 am 
You Gonna Eat That?
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2001 2:01 pm
Posts: 923
Location: Nebraska
I still run this track, I love it.

I never did tell you that Robby, but its great, simple, and non laggy.

Great layout, on and offline.

Now that I woke back up, I'll scroll back up and finish reading the second half of Cope's review.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 10:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2001 2:01 pm
Posts: 109
Location: Park Hills, Kentucky
You guys are awesome, thanks again, I just found the two replies...*goes off to pay "locker fees". Someday I may make another circuit or two, time allowing...for now, this one did its job if someone besides me likes it:).

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-RobbyH14
www.allmonster.com


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