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 Post subject: Expo Loading Dock by Winterkill
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:15 pm 
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Location: Nebraska
Fast Lap: 1:11.06 by SLO_COPE
Garage Setting: 1500 med tires/soft suspension

It would be an exercise in futility (and a few other “itys”) to question the quality/playability of a Winterkill track. If you know anything about tracks and track makers, you’ll know that Wint’s work is like money in the bank, and his recent release, “Expo Loading Dock” definitely backs up that rather confident statement. If you don’t know the name, he does quite a bit of consulting in the MTMG forum, and with his wealth of knowledge & information about this game and the various programs relative to it, he’s proved to be an invaluable asset to the MTM 2 community. Still, I’d like to know exactly what it is that moves him to make a track…I mean, when he gets the urge to make one, which isn’t too often lol. Maybe the stars have to align themselves just so, or it could be that after the long space ride back from Phin’s home planet he needs to unwind by opening Traxx to compose…inspired by something he saw on the way back to earth lol. Here’s a comment I found in the Mod room I thought was pretty funny. It was made by a casual observer whose name I won’t mention (Phin) while reviewing a few notes before writing the review:

Wow, two tracks in under twelve months. Wint's becoming just a track makin' fiend, lol.”

LOL well, in the end I suppose it doesn’t really matter much. The fact remains he is without a doubt one the absolute best in the business, and mind you, the operative word there is “fact”. Technically and creatively if you take a look at “Wake Up (his crown jewel in my opinion) and “Expo Loading Dock”, you’ll discover that my words ring true. You’ll also learn that those same words fall well short of illustrating the depth of this guy’s talent and what he’s capable of. There’s just no way for me to describe in a single review all there is to appreciate about tracks of this caliber – it’s impossible. My only hope is that others will pay close enough attention to gain a sense of appreciation for what it takes to produce tracks at this level. In a conversation with SLO_Demigod shortly after releasing his new track, "On the Fly", he said, “I’m a decent track maker I guess ( he definitely is), but guys like Mal, Wint, & Phin are waaaaaay above my head lol”. That’s not a case of him sucking up or downplaying his ability; he’s simply stating what happens to be an irrefutable fact. They have tons of experience an expertise at their command, and when they bring it all together in a concentrated effort, the results are nothing short of “masterful”.

Expo Loading Dock 2003 - the setting takes place in and around the MTM2.com warehouse grounds. Heck, I never knew we even had one; it’s the first time I’ve seen it lol. Looks like they’ve been holding out on me (again) lol. It’s complete with loading docks (of course), crates/boxes, flatbeds, forklifts, ramps and an assortment of other objects that, at first glance appear to be randomly placed, but I assure you that’s not at all the case. Wint’s extremely methodical, and he doesn’t just settle for “adequate” when it comes to workmanship. Actually, the same can be said for the two guys that worked with him on this project who, by request, citing the MTMG Code of Silence and Anonymity as their reference, asked to forever remain unmentioned (Malibu350 and Phin lol) in connection with this track. If you’re a newcomer to track reviews (ones by me, anyway), that was a joke. My imagination gets the best of me at times…that and Mal/Phin make for easy targets lol. There is no “Code of Silence & Anonymity” (it sounds kinda cool though—maybe we should get one lol), and Mal/Phin made no such request about not being associated with Wint’s track. Their roles are outlined in detail in Wint’s readme, so be sure to check it out.

As for the track, it’s a quick little circuit equipped with several jumps of varying degrees and a number of tight turns. The cool part about this track is you’re not restricted by hard-fast boundaries; you’re in a warehouse, so it’s fairly wide-open. Careful though, because even though you have room to improvise, the model placement, although allowing for lots of latitude, definitely dictates where you can and can’t go. If you get too carried away you’ll be promptly introduced to a forklift or a crate lol. The keys to victory (or at least a good lap) are predicated upon how controlled & smooth you are in the turns, as well as the jump over the 18-wheel Expo trucks (hand-crafted by Mal using Binedit 2, no less). If you let off the gas on the up-ramp at just the right time, you’ll glide down the ramp on the other side, making the immediate left-turn nice and easy to execute, which sets you up for the ensuing jump. The backside of the warehouse is where you can open up and air it out before rounding the right-turn to the start/finish line. In all likelihood you’ll be forced to use the map to assist with navigation until you get accustomed to the layout and where everything is. After a few laps, however, you should be able to visualize the entire layout in your head and simply go for it!

Wint explains in his readme that he originally planned to release ELD as a packaged set, which included a drag track and rumble. He intends to finish it as a set and release it some time in the near future. The only change he plans to make for this track when he completes the pack is resetting the texture type to concrete to allow for maximum grip using shallow tires (much more realistic). In an oversight on his part, he released it with the texture type to “metal”. Yep, it’s a tad slippery, but in no way does it detract from the fun you’ll have whipping around the warehouse grounds. Actually the slipperiness is kinda fun!

First and foremost Wint’s track serves as a tribute to everyone who was involved in last year’s Track & Truck Expo, particularly the contestants. He even included a nice little display highlighting the winners. The names you see stamped on the boxes in the beginning section of the track are all the people who made it happen - judges and contestants alike. As much fun as this track is to race, Wint’s tribute to Expo 2003—the idea and gesture, is by far what impresses me the most. As expected, this baby maxed out the Copey Rating meter with a rock-solid “10” out of 10 possible points. As usual Wint’s covered all the bases, and then some. You’d have to look awfully hard to find something out of place in this track. I’m not saying it’s perfect; few (if any) things are. What I am saying is that technically nothing is going to jump out at ya, and from a creative standpoint it’s what we’ve come to expect from the guy: exceptionally fun tracks to race on that are also delightful to look at.

Another outstanding, job, Wint, but I gotta tell ya–this little antic here almost cost you ½ a point in your Copey Rating, bub. Phin made that and suckered you into sticking it in this track, huh? Keep away from that guy, Wint; he’s a bad influence (so I’m told lo)l. Again, great job, bud…and let’s not take too much time off before finishing the rest of this project!

PS – I measured ZooN’s and Drive2Survive’s crates; they’re both 1.69 centimeters longer than mine. How about we get that fixed before you release the packaged set, huh pal lol.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 7:41 pm 
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Wow, you are too generous sir (and funny too). :)


>> "Technically and creatively if you take a look at “Wake Up" (his crown jewel in my opinion)"

I thank you, and I agree regarding <i><a href=http://mtm2.com/~trackville/tracks/wakeup.htm>Wake Up!</a></i>, I think the only track of mine that will ever compare is one existing only in my head, which may or may not get made.


>> "Wow, two tracks in under twelve months."

I suppose that now that Wake Up! is out there, a track that pretty well represented all I'd learned over the years, I'm going to start releasing a string of my old "learning experience" tracks that have never been seen outside of my hard drive. The tracks are quite good but will not have the visual polish or potentially wide appeal of my recent tracks.


>> "the MTMG Code of Silence and Anonymity"

lol :-D


>> "[objects] at first glance appear to be randomly placed, but I assure you that’s not at all the case."

Me too.


>> "The names you see stamped on the boxes in the beginning section of the track are all the people who made it happen - judges and contestants alike."

And If you look closely you will also find some names of people who had intentions to participate but couldn't make it.


>> "In an oversight on his part, he released it with the texture type to “metal”. Yep, it’s a tad slippery"

Yep, and it just kills me that I rushed out a faulty release, the "metal" concrete was a purely experimental surface type, done in moments and meant only for a single test drive, but after that I set the track aside for awhile and when I picked it up again to release an early version I failed to note the goofy texture type. Because of this, I now consider the current release to be a very public beta version (and I'm glad I stamped "early edition" on the menu pic). ;)


>> As much fun as this track is to race, Wint’s tribute to Expo 2003—the idea and gesture, is by far what impresses me the most.

I'm quite happy to read that statement, since the gesture was the idea, mostly.


>> "Still, I’d like to know exactly what it is that moves him to make a track…"

In this case, just days before the expo and without any plans for a submission, I was watching trucks at a loading dock on a TV documentary, then I began to think that whole scenario would make a neat theme for a track, one that could tie perfectly into the expo itself -- the receiving, stockpiling, shipping and handling and all. I also knew that the concept would be fairly easy to put together from a track making perspective if I worked with a simple terrain and texturing scheme. I spent many hours thinking about it all, put together a plan and began to put things together, but the final product failed to include many things I originally envisioned and ended up much more simplified. I came very close to having the track ready for the expo, having worked an insane amount of hours on it in matter of days (with a crack team of sub-contractors doing some bin work), but when I failed to have it ready by deadline I was burned out and set it aside for weeks and months.

I'd like to note that if you continue straight along the back of the warehouse, and jump the railing at high speed using the wooden ramp, you will find an offroad portion that was to be included in the course, but was cut because I didn't consider it good enough. In complex mode it is even marked with checkpoints, and brings you back to the parking lot to finish the lap.



As for the track, I'm pleased with it but I'm not very in love with it, moreso since it's so 'late' in regard to it's original intent -- a timely tribute to the expo and participants. I must say I'm pleasantly surprised that some on team SLO have taken to racing on it!

Thanks again Copey, I quite enjoyed the review!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2000 2:01 pm
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Location: Canada
Cope wrote
Quote:
There’s just no way for me to describe in a single review all there is to appreciate about tracks of this caliber – it’s impossible.


Is that why you wrote like 5 reviews in one? look at the lenght of this thing lol I'll need speed reading courses.

However, it's not because i'm making a bit of fun on Copey's head that the review (no matter how long it is) isn't true. In fact, I think it's quite appropriate. Expo loading dock is yet another one we'll still be racing on in months from now.
Job well done Winterkill...


Winterkill wrote
Quote:
I'm going to start releasing a string of my old "learning experience" tracks that have never been seen outside of my hard drive. The tracks are quite good but will not have the visual polish or potentially wide appeal of my recent tracks.


i look forward to race on some of those tracks you keep hiding on your hard drive.

_________________
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is."
Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut
<a href="http://www.hof.slojumper.com" target="_blank" class="postlink">Team SLO's hall of fame</a>


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2000 2:01 pm
Posts: 360
Quote:
I think the only track of mine that will ever compare is one existing only in my head, which may or may not get made.



If this track in your head is what you intended to release for the expo, then I hope it will come out.


Quote:
And If you look closely you will also find some names of people who had intentions to participate but couldn't make it.


Finally found it. The intentions were there, the time wasn't. :/ Hopefully I will get to release it someday. New ideas pop in and out for it, but it seems to be my unicorn.

As for the track, not much to say that Cope hasn't gotten to in that monster review. Its definately a keeper.


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