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 Post subject: Tracks by Grim2004 and Falco Lombardi
PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2004 8:23 pm 
Glow Ball
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Joined: Tue Feb 02, 1999 7:00 pm
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Tracks by Grim2004 and Falco Lombardi

http://mtm2.com/~tracks/?s=Grim2004
http://mtm2.com/~tracks/?s=Falco_Lombardi

By now several of you have probably noticed a couple new track makers on the scene, and although they are relatively unknown they already have eight tracks to their credit.

Grim2004
  • Escape the Graveyard
  • Halloween2004
  • Haunted Hills
  • Haunted Jungle Island
  • Mountain Fun!
  • Mountian Terror!
Falco_Lombardi
  • Haunted Village
Grim2004 and Falco Lombardi
  • Freaky Forest


I have opted to cover their separate works together here in one review because they obviously know each other, they even co-authored Freaky Forest, and in fact, at one point I even thought they were one and the same person - apparently the writing style of their readme files had me drawing conclusions. Anyway, their work has in common many many rookie track making problems and over-sights. I will not cover every single instance of every single problem - that would be more than anyone could bear - but I will try to touch on all the highlights. So...

<hr width=400>
<b>Folder Options</b>

To begin, then, since it's <a href="http://forum.mtm2.com/viewtopic.php?t=2823" target="_blank">topical today</a>, I really must insist to all new would-be track makers that you must uncheck the "<i>hide file extensions for know file types</i>" checkbox in <a href="http://cownap.com/~mtmg/folderoptions.shtml" target="_blank">folder options</a>. Failing to do so will always result in the *.bin file extension being <a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim01FolderOptions.gif" target="_blank">chopped off</a> your work and thus causing errors and problems in the <a href="http://cownap.com/~mtmg/errors.cgi?e=57" target="_blank">game</a> and in <a href="http://mtm2.com/~mtmg/errors.cgi?e=56" target="_blank">traxx</a>. It's not hard, but it must be done. This is not an option. If you want to make tracks, you must do this.

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<b>Terrain</b>

The terrain in all but a couple of these tracks is basically flat with a few attempts at landscaping. Unfortunately, however, it is all for naught since most of these artificial moguls can be avoided with ease. For example, in <i>Escape The Graveyard</i> (seen in the picture below) the hill is intended to provide a bit of added excitement to the drive, and perhaps avert collisions with cross traffic, but in the interest of pulling the fastest lap time, all you need to do is drive to the left or to the right and you are on your way, without being hindered or obstructed in the slightest.

<center><a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim04EscapeTheGraveyard.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim04EscapeTheGraveyards.jpg" border="0"></a></center>

Also in <i>Escape The Graveyard</i> we find a noble effort at a bit of banking but alas, the road is too rough to navigate. And it is unnecessary anyway since you can just head in a straight line directly for the next checkpoint.

<center><a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim05EscapeTheGraveyard.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim05EscapeTheGraveyards.jpg" border="0"></a></center>

Likewise in <i>Haunted Village</i> shortcuts abound as hills can be driven around.

<center><a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim10HauntedVillage.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim10HauntedVillages.jpg" border="0"></a></center>

<i>Haunted Jungle Islands</i> has this problem beat. Unfortunately, however, the randomly generated terrain was relied on without editing and the track can hardly be driven at all at anything faster than a slow crawl.

<center><a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim13HauntedJungleIsland.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim13HauntedJungleIslands.jpg" border="0"></a></center>

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<b>Shortcuts</b>

In <i>Freaky Forest</i> the drive around situation transforms itself into a complete follow-the-finder style track where it is unnecessary to follow the road at all. Just turn the finder on and point your truck to the next checkpoint.

<center><a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim06freakyforest.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim06freakyforests.jpg" border="0"></a></center>

Terrain, roads, models and checkpoint placement should all be considered carefully in order to create the best drivable course. Following the course and staying on the road is fine when you are driving for fun, but in races it's often too slow and racers will find all the shortcuts... even if you don't intend them to be there.

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<b>Models</b>

Once the terrain issues have been solved, we can turn out attention to model placement. The first aspect of which is, of course, making models fit the terrain properly. Again, this example is from <i>Escape The Graveyard</i>. As the picture shows, you can drive your truck completely under the grave stones for a very unique six-feet-under experience.

<center><a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim02EscapeTheGraveyard.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim02EscapeTheGraveyards.jpg" border="0"></a></center>

The next two are important ones.

Most new track makers do not realize that all models in a track are cube shaped, and that even if part of the model is transparent, it is still collidable. If you click the following picture to see the enlargement, you will see the yellow lines that mark the "bounding boxes" of the models. In this case, you can see nothing in front of the truck and yet it cannot proceed past the tree. To solve this problem, you must set the tree to "no collide" in the object property box in traxx.

<center><a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim03EscapeTheGraveyard.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim03EscapeTheGraveyards.jpg" border="0"></a></center>

The next part about trees is that they are all flat models. The reason for this is that they are normally set to "facing" so that a driver always sees the front side of the model. If you do not set them to facing, then they all stand side by side just like card board cut outs.

<center><a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim07freakyforest.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim07freakyforests.jpg" border="0"></a></center>

The solution to both these problems is easy. Always set trees to "<a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim03aEscapeTheGraveyard.jpg" target="_blank">no-collide facing</a>." Other models may be set as collide or no-collide but trees must always be no-collide facing. If you wish to make the tree more realistic, then you can include an extra <a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim03bEscapeTheGraveyard.jpg" target="_blank">object box for the tree truck</a>. Then you position it carefully so it is exactly aligned up where the tree trunk is. This is usually a good idea since it makes the track more realistic. But even if you don't include a trunk, the tree itself must always be no-collide facing.

Lastly, I have no idea whether this is a custom model or if it's been borrowed from another track (grim and falco have done a nice job ransacking team death's work). In any event, it would be my guess that this model, and others like it, would benefit from transparency.

<center><a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim11HauntedVillage.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim11HauntedVillages.jpg" border="0"></a></center>

When creating new models, you must be aware of the face types that you assign to your models. In this case, we'd want 0x33 Transparent Color #0 (MTM2) as described in the <a href="http://cownap.com/~mtmg/binedit/facetypes.html" target="_blank">binedit help pages</a> and on the <a href="http://binedit.com/help/" target="_blank">binedit.com</a> site.

<hr width=400>
<b>Ground Boxes</b>

Now this is a very common problem. When the bottom of a ground box extends down below the water level, the lower end of the ground box will appear transparent and you will be able to see the terrain and surrounding area below.

<center><a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim08Halloween2004.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim08Halloween2004s.jpg" border="0"></a></center>

The solution is to raise the bottom of the ground box so it is just above the water level.

<hr width=400>
<b>Textures</b>

Texture alignment does not directly affect how a track drives, but it sure can make a differece on the way it looks. All these tracks have problems with texture seams and alignment but perhaps it's most noticable in Mountain terror and here in Halloween 2004.

<center><a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim09Halloween2004.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim09Halloween2004s.jpg" border="0"></a></center>

Like I say, this is not the worse problem in the world, and certainly not the worst problem of these tracks, and it's true there are a lot of tracks with seams and alignment problems, but certainly stark and contrasting colors such as these needn't be overlooked. We should at least make an effort at blending the roads together with the surrounding terrain and environment.

<hr width=400>
<b>Lighting</b>

Lastly, comes lighting. At least, I think this is a lighting problem. I don't think I've ever seen a track so dark that you couldn't drive it.

<center><a href="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim12HauntedHills.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim12HauntedHillss.jpg" border="0"></a></center>

The only thing I could suggest here would be to review the notes on <a href="http://cownap.com/~mtmg/traxx/lighting.html" target="_blank">traxx lighting</a> and try and few things out. But as it is, this track, Haunted Hills, is nearly impossible to see where you're going... right from the very beginning and on right to the end.

<hr width=400>
In conclusion, these dudes or dudettes need to slow down on the track making assembly line and make use of the beta room here on the forum. All the problems I've described above, and several I haven't mentioned at all, are common and well known issues. By posting a track for testing, and getting feedback, you can avoid making the same mistakes again and again, and eventually start producing tracks that everybody will look forward to driving.

Make no mistake, there is nothing wrong with what you've done so far. It's all part of the learning process, and goodness knows there's lots to learn when it comes to track making. So, please, review the notes I've made for you and put this knowledge to good use in your new tracks. And by all means, keep working at it. I'm sure you've got good potential, you just need to apply yourself to it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 2:01 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:55 pm
Posts: 189
as for the lighting, i can see the textures perfectly, but i guess thats because my computer/ graphics card allows me to make my monitor immensly bright.

on evo, on my old computer, tracks cloned from Bayou Flats used to give me problems, now i see them just fine.

since were on the subject of lighting, how do you make lights that show up at night? its easy to do in tracked3 and 4, but how in traxx? i know its possible cause i seen it in some tracks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 3:13 am 
Glow Ball
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Posts: 8
> as for the lighting, i can see the textures perfectly, but i guess thats because my computer/ graphics card allows me to make my monitor immensly bright.

Turning a monitor brighter is not a requirement to play this game. The lighting and the track are too dark.

http://cownap.com/~forum/beta/grim/grim ... dHills.jpg

> on evo... blah blah blah

This isn't evo. It's mtm2.

> since were on the subject of lighting....

We are not on the subject of lighting. This is a track review. It is not tech help. Please post questions in the proper place. Don't pollute the discussion with off topic things. Better yet, just search for it - it's an old topic that has been discussed many times. We are trying to help Grim and Falco out with their work. Asking your own off topic questions is just distracting and selfish.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 4:49 am 
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Quote:
Lastly, I have no idea whether this is a custom model or if it's been borrowed from another track (grim and falco have done a nice job ransacking team death's work).


Actually most of those models were made by me (they have the 81* prefix).

(Edit: typo)

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 Post subject: Tracks!!!!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 5:57 am 
>(grim and falco have done a nice job ransacking team death's work). Listen we are currently fixing up the tracks, that is Falco is doing it now, I am now on a different computer..... so fast! We take this as a insult, I what you have just said......! Now Falco is fixing up Escape the Graveyard, I getting a little distracted by my brother playing F-Zero GX..... Seizure Game.... Pretty good game though, can anyone help me with the helicopter problem, in Haunted Jungle Isand, Falco told me to work on it, I said ok..... Anyways, the helicopter is picking up computer player Truck a turning them the right way...... Plus my segments are wrong, this happened twice with random terrian tracks......AKA: Haunted Jungle Island, and Haunted Hills. Oh, by the way a special thanx to Team Death, RT DJ MP, and Vavlejob, for their wonderful spooky models, thank you. Sorry, if I missed someone....ugh... F-Zero is so hard. I am still crooked about the insult.

Grim and Falco


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 6:22 am 
Glow Ball
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> can anyone help me with the helicopter problem
> Plus my segments are wrong

The helicopter uses the course segments to know where to go. Fix the segments and the helicopter should get better too.


> We take this as a insult, I what you have just said......!

There is no insult here. Reviews are to let downloaders know what to expect when they get a track. And my comments are, as well as any of those made by beta testers will be, designed to help you fix the problems in your tracks. I have taken a lot of time looking at your tracks, and taking screen shots to show you what I'm talking about, and describing how you can fix a lot of these things. If you believe trying to help you out is insulting then I'm pretty sure not very many people will try your tracks or talk to you about them.


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 Post subject: Tracks
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 6:37 am 
I don't take the helping as a insult... I take the insult has the "ransacking" thing.

Grim2004, I'll be in touch


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 7:22 am 
Glow Ball
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It's a figure of speech. Get over it.


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 Post subject: Tracks
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 7:31 am 
Okay, By

Jeus, I will fix the dern
tracks fixed, Hey, Do you have
msn messenger, you didn't check
my models thread in the traxx section!

Thanks for letting me know
about the errors, Grim


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 9:14 am 
You Gonna Eat That?
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First off Grim, watch your mouth, and relax.

This is a review of your tracks, no need to get mad about it, that's what a review is, it points out faults that you missed and should be fixed before moving on, or should be fixed in your next one.

As for what Phineus said, I agree 100%. There is a couple of your tracks I barely made it through 3 turns, before I got so fed up with it I ended the race and moved on. The lighting is terrible, you can't see a thing. If you wanted it that dark on purpose, then make it so it's at night so we can at least use our lights.

You make the classic mistake that all first time track makers, and truck makers do, you make 10 things that are barely worth releasing, instead of using the Beta Room here, and making one great product. Learn from your mistakes, and take your time, this isn't a race to see how many things you can build. Once you get everything down, then start on a new project with a sense of pride in your work.

I suggest you calm down and not take everything as as insult, but as constructive critism, if you don't, you'll continue to hear more reviews just like these. Just some friendly advice from those of us that have been there, I suggest you take it.

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 Post subject: Tracks:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 9:54 am 

Escape the Graveyard is almost done, what I ment to say up there about the helicopters was my segments were right and the helicopter put the computer player trucks the wrong way.
I noticed that hardly any people have an msn messanger account.
Jeez.... Anyways, in Escape the graveyard, the hill is gone, they would be able to pass that ramp anymore..... hahahahaha!
___Results___!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Escape the Graveyard-85%
-----------------------------------
--------------------------------------
------------------------------------
----------------------------------
-----------------------------------

Adyios, Phinny and Reppy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:11 am 
The Dog House
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Grim & Falco, I too have been in your spot. If you go back and find some of my first tracks you'll see that they are SO SO at best. But after LISTENING to the GOOD folks here like {Phineus}, my work took off in another direction. And yet I still know only a small percent of track making. Its a lot of time and work. Being direct with you about things in your track is a must. There is a method to the madness. TIME, its all in how much time you spend on your track. As I said, I know because I've made the same mistakes. BETA TEST your work fellows. You'll feel so much better about your tracks in the end. And yes, do chill. The man truly is just trying to help you's. As I said, {Been there Done that}. Getting upset dont help.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2004 1:36 pm 
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remember, when making segments: green first, red last.

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 Post subject: Tracks
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:42 am 
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-I did make sure that the segments are right, i'll give you more details when I get a snapshot of where the helicopters frig up.

Grim


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 12:49 am 
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Y'know, this is a general comment, and i've downloaded these tracks... I think I'd be a pretty strict individual when it comes to choosing whether something should be beta or released.

I've seen (and MADE, for that matter) far too many tracks that are released that SHOULD be beta... there is no reason for a perfectly good track(s) like yours to have errors that are wholly avoidable. I'm VERY GLAD that you are doing all you can to fix them as soon as possible, as I tried doing with my latest track. I think the difference between and good track and bad track should be PERSONAL PREFERENCE.

(As you've noticed, I use UPPERCASE WORDS for ACCENTS!!!) heh.

I think one of my pet-peeves of a track is a terrain that is simply FAKE. One that consists of using the RAMP feature on Traxx... :P

Great job, seriously. But myself having a track with fully custom features... I have to be honest and say that my second pet-peeve is losing downloads and having a track sink towards page 2, replaced by COUNTLESS tracks that all seem to be slightly different versions of the same thing.

ONE good custom model can make a difference. ONE good set of custom textures can save a track. But having a complete package that's all your own is something to be PROUD of.

GOOD LUCK, I look forward to seeing what's in store!!! :)


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 Post subject: Track Problems
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:47 am 
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Location: Orlando, Florida
Haunted Hills - 100%
Escape the Graveyard - 95%
Haunted Jungle Island - 45%


Thanks, Dude. I promise to fix up every track to,
Haunted Hills is done. So do upload your track as a beta or what, anyways, I'll all realease them all at once, plus 3 new track, I've also been working on, actually I might not release them all at once.

Problems!!!!!!!!
------------------
Anyone, can you help me with an error, my tunnel in my Halloween2004 Track, the groundboxes, he bottom isn't in the ground, even though in traxx it did look like it. So waht's the problem?

Grim2004

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 Post subject: Track
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:53 am 
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Problem!!!!

if anyone could help me, I animated my water, on the water fall in Escape the Graveyard, then all of a sudden, I animates it faster then there is animated water all over the grass, all over the whole map is water, execpt on the road, ( the animated water were textures.

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 Post subject: Lighting
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 5:41 am 
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Guys, I've got the brightnes all the way up and the darkness all the way down, and it still looks dark for some reason!

Grim2004

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 6:22 am 
Glow Ball
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One track and one question at a time please.

For light, did you set it like this?

Image

Put the sun position in the middle too.

Also, make sure the track palette is set for farm road since you are using farm road textures.

Image


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 Post subject: track
PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:15 am 
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So is that what i have to set it to?

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