Average Lap Times: Approx :48.00
Garage Setting: 1400 med tires/soft suspsension
There’s been a stampede of new tracks published recently, and very nice tracks, too! I have something to say about all of them, but I thought I’d start here with Nd4SpCharles’, “Shepherd of the Hills”. I picked this one for a couple of different reasons. First and foremost, it’s a very nice piece of work by a guy who, despite his 18 previous tracks, is just getting started. He’s a former “factory line” track maker who seemingly cranked out every idea that popped into his head. Secondly, I really like reviewing tracks by newcomers who demonstrate a sincere willingness to learn the ropes of track making, and Charles most definitely has bridged the gap between spewing out work suffering from creative/technical malnutrition and putting serious effort into his track making projects. Last, but certainly not least, he’s a super-duper nice guy, he really is; a lot
nicer than say…HotShoe, Malibu, Fila, Demi and Phin’s 75 different personalities. Wint’s not too bad…when he’s asleep. Oh hey, don't get me wrong--they’re all great track makers, but I don’t like their attitudes lol. If I say the least little thing wrong in a review of their tracks, I get 3 a.m. phone calls, hate mail, and other forms of harassment like you wouldn’t believe. About a year ago one of Phin’s personalities, said, “People should never review the reviewer.” Well, I sure wish he would’ve said that to the names I mentioned above. Anyway, word has it that particular personality (#27) was replaced by someone named Socrates. That’s unfortunate, because I almost liked #27 lol.
As for Shepherd of the Hills, it’s a pretty simplistic layout
that’s geared consistently high-speed, close-quarters racing with dramatic finishes. There’s ample room for passing, but outright passes will be at a minimum due to the simplicity of the layout. In other words, you’ll have to bide your time and wait for the person in front of you to give you an opening, and it may only be a slight one. If you hesitate to capitalize you might not get another shot. If you’re a little shy about banging, bumping and jockeying for position, five or 6 laps on this will change all of that because I guarantee you others will be doing it to you. Good manners isn’t going to cut it here; you’re going to have to fight you’re way to the front of the pack. Again, the right mix of patience and aggression is the key. Course, a nice helmet and shoulder pads are handy items to have too.
Charles did a very nice job with model selection and placement, which to me is on par with the track as a whole; simple and modest—not overdone or gaudy. The symmetrically placed trees and shrubs leave you with the impression he hired premier grounds keepers. The funny thing is I didn’t really care for the neat and orderly arrangement of the trees and shrubs, but it works really well with this track. I never told Charles that during beta testing because…well, personal taste doesn’t really come into play when beta testing, but in here I can say what I want and pretty much get away with it lol.
Objectively speaking, you may (or may not) notice the alignment flaws in the texture work; that’s not Charles’ fault. He made the most of what he had to work with, agonized over it at times trying to give it that “Mal/Phin/Wint-like” finish, but to no avail.
Overall I for one am very impressed with this guy – his work ethic, attitude, dogged determination to take his track making skills to a whole new level. Charles deservedly picked up his first MTMG symbol of quality workmanship
, and on top of that, this one earned a Copey Rating of "9
" out of 10
possible points! I’m also inviting Charles over to the Team SLO forum to give a dissertation on manners and politeness. Those miserable heathens could definitely learn a lot from this guy lol.
Very nice work, Charles—well done, bud. Keep doing it exactly the way you did this one. The primary goal is to publish tracks you're proud of, and if others like it...well hey, that’s icing on the cake.
NOTE: Awesome pictures, Wint! Geez, I'm almost tempted to edit out that crack I made about ya lol.