Personally, I think it’d be great if all track makers included readme.txt with their tracks, but hey, that’s just me. For the most part, these “miniature literary works” divulge useful information about the track, and sometimes the track maker as well. Take Bubba Ray here. Here’s what he had to say in his readme.text:
“DoubleBack is my second attempt at track making. I like racing on it and I hope you will too. You will have to use your brakes in most of the turns.......or you'll end up rock climbing. But there are plenty of long straights for fast speeds too. The soundtrack is "Doubleback" by ZZ Top.
All of the models and textures used were taken from tracks that I have downloaded so I hope nobody owns exclusive rights to them. If so, then I apologize. Let me know and I will do my best to make things right.”
See that? Simple and too the point…and he was very polite and forthcoming about the models/textures he borrowed. I like that!! Now compare that to this one:
“Hey you, you’re going to download this track, you’re going to run 70 laps, and you’re going to like it…or else! Oh and if I took your stuff to use in my track…so what; deal with it!
Ok a tad extreme, but you get the idea. All right, let’s get busy with this review!
I like to keep my eyes open for someone new on the scene, and low behold, as I’m cruising thru KC’s one night, I see an author by the name of “Bubba”. Well, we have a Bubba on SLO, too! I can’t stand him, but I thought to myself, “maybe this guy is different”. Hehehe
In his readme.txt Bubba states that this is his 2nd outing at making tracks, and in my opinion it’s not bad at all. In general I think it’s an ideal track for people learning the ropes of racing, as well as semi-seasoned intermediates. But you know, if you put four or five highly skilled pros on this, they’d have a great time too, especially after enduring three grueling laps on a track like Pinsane or Zoon C&C! You pay a heavy price mentally after you’ve duked it out on those types of tracks with a capable opponent (or two), hence a nice, easy going, high-speed number such as Doubleback is a welcome change.
The layout is simple, but that also makes it conducive to close, competitive racing, and that’s what it’s all about! I didn’t notice any glaring shortcuts, however there are several corners where you can alter your path, thus saving a little time here and there. Getting into some specifics, on the approach to round the corner to checkpoint (cp) 2, there’s a hump that gives you the infamous “jump before turn” effect, which tends to throw the unskilled/unaware into rocks and walls…and other not so good places. If you let off the gas and start the turn early, you can successfully negate the effect. Some think it’s ok (the jump before turn characteristic) and look at it as part of knowing the track. Others…well, it typically makes them curse a lot. Hehe—I’m neutral on it myself, til I get caught off-guard by it a 2nd time, then I might be prone to using the track maker’s name in with some other “choice” names. : ) At any rate, it’s something to be aware of.
I noticed all…well, most of the trees are set to non-collide, so there’s plennnnnnnnty of room for corners and even on the straights. I like the body of water he inserted, after cp- 5. The placement is perfect – it breaks up the speed and kind of resets the racers, forcing them to start anew. It can also hinder you if you don’t approach the jump at maximum speed, resulting in having to endure a little more time in the water than what’s necessary.
As for the looks of it, sure, it could be dressed up a bit to improve visual appeal, but that’s a very subjective area; what looks good to me might not do much for you. I would recommend sampling a lot of different tracks to find out what appeals to you, then check out these two sites for the odds & ends you’ll want/need: http://mtm2.com/~mtmg/
While you’re testing different tracks, take note of how the author laid out his or her track, paying particular attention to angles, banks, elevation changes, subtle or extreme usage of misdirection, drop-offs, corners, jumps and even model placement and backdrops. I’m not suggesting you implement all that stuff into one track, but I think it would serve you well to be “aware” of different styles and approaches to track making. Once that’s accomplished, you intermix what you’ve taken in with your own style and preferences, and wa-la!
Lastly, beta testing is a good thing in my opinion. Get others to look at your track – racers and track makers. Often times they can help you improve on already good product. I don’t do the “techie” stuff since I’m a racer, but there’s plenty of guys/girls that would willingly lend you a hand.
Overall, I think this track serves its intended purpose – to be a fun, non-demanding race for rookies and pros alike. The pace is great, there’s plenty of passing room, and there are a few places to quench your thirst (or wash your truck) if needed. Given all that, I’m going to say this one garners a “Copey Rating” of 7.85 out of 10 possible points!! I threw in .05 for the nice readme. : )
Sure, there’s room for improvement, but I’ve seen a lot worse from people with the same level of experience…and actually a few had more! Good job, Bubba – I seriously hope you continue to make tracks. I’d be interested in seeing how you progress!