He’s up to conversion number ten...well, nine really; “Crazy 2002.5” isn’t a direct conversion, but rather the result of intermixing track components from MTM 1, MTM 2, and EVO’s 1&2. But hey, for the sake of arguments, let’s just call it ten.
I don’t know about anyone else out there, but sometimes I find myself asking the question, “So what happens after he’s converted every track there is to convert...then what? Will he go back to making “traditional” MTM 2 tracks? Opt for track making retirement? Take up knitting or tiddly-winks? What?" I think you owe us an answer, Mal (hehe pressure’s on now!), so we’ll all be eagerly anticipating your response...with bated breath, even. Hehehe
Well, while Mal figures out what he’s going to tell us, let’s talk about this track. Let me begin by saying, “Wow!” My guess is if you ran his very first conversion (Arctic Waste II) and thought, “Hmmm...not really my thing”, and then ran the 2nd, and said to yourself, “still not my cup of tea, but it’s ok”...well, excuse me for pointing out the obvious, but you were definitely in the minority if that was your line of thinking. But you know, I have to believe for the “select few” who were anti-conversion oriented...if you’re not true-blue, die-hard fans of Mal’s work by now...then somebody better be getting a medic to check your pulse! I mean come on, what’s not to like? If you’re an eye-candy kind of person, these tracks are overflowing with visual appeal. If you like speed, well...let’s put it this way, the slowest of the conversions is “Arctic Waste II”, and it’s pretty darn quick! If you require a little challenge with your driving, you’ll get plenty of that, too – especially on tracks like “Arctic Waste II”, “Castle Rock, Too”, “Treasure Bay”, and of course, this one – “Construction Zone”.
Construction Zone consist of 70% paved road with the remaining 30% being dirt, and very smooth dirt at that. There are several obstacles to be concerned with, which include road barriers, barrels, directional signs and heavy duty construction equipment. The focus of this track is centered on three flawed bridges, and each presents different challenges for the racer to overcome. The queen mother of the three is the one just before you get to the start/finish line. It’s split in half by a concrete barrier because the right side has a major portion of the bridge’s road being put in place by a crane. The piece of roadwork is positioned such that when you strike it traveling at a high rate of speed…let’s just say it’s a bit of a thrill. You’ll see once you give this baby a whirl. Aside from the bridges, the only other “show stopper” is the the left turn after checkpoint 7. Simply put, it’s not the kind of turn you want to drift wide on (at all) or you’ll be rinsing some of that construction area dirt off your truck. Opting to run Construction Zone with the graphics cranked up gives you a few more police cars…all with lights/sounds (most impressive, by the way) and more barriers, all with the typical great look that are standard on Mal’s conversions. If you want to minimize the number of obstacles you have to make your way thru, I recommend you set the scenery to “Sparse”. Believe me, you don’t need anything helping you crash on this bad boy. Hehe the track itself will give you all you can handle!
Speaking of crashing, if you bring up the map before you embark upon a trip around this track, the impression you get is that it’s a breeze to run. You’ll see one long straight, complimented by several turns crossing either under or over the main stretch. A no-brainer, right? Well, it’s my opinion that Construction Zone is the most challenging of the ten conversions. Yes, the narrowness of the road is a factor, but that’s merely an EVO characteristic that’s carried over after the conversion takes place. It’s interesting to note that not only did Mal make some significant elevation changes, he also made adjustments in the layout where he obviously felt an alternative approach would work better. And you know what? I think the changes were not only smart, but he pulled them off flawlessly.
When you hear “conversion” and how Mal is bringing these tracks over from EVO 2 4x4, I can’t help but think some believe it’s like taking footage from a 8mm video cassette and transposing it on to a VHS tape. Take a look at some of what actually goes into one of these projects: I don't normally do this but I kept tabs of my time spent putting this track together, I began on May 30th and 168 hours later it was ready for beta testing. I estimate 50% of the time was spent in Traxx, with the remainder in Binedit, Zmodler, PSP, Photoshop, WordPad, and various other support programs. I sure hope you all have some fun with it.
I could sit here and write for 168 hours (no really...I could), and it wouldn’t come close to doing this, or any other of his conversions justice. It was quite a concept for him to think of doing such a thing in the first place, but moreover, when he puts out a finished product, it’s nothing short of a masterpiece. The “Copey Rating” machine is back in business, and it’s been tweaked to the point now where I simply say “Mal”, and it kicks out a 10. Is this a great machine or what????
Mal, what can I say, bud…heck, I’ve said it all just about, and it’s still not enough! This is one heck of a track, and it, along with, “Tibet Cliffslide”, and “Fila’s Holiday” are due to make appearances on SLO’s new Always Podded List come 1 Aug, which is no surprise to me. Methinks you need not worry about people having fun on it; that’s money in the bag, bud…and we’ve already started! Outstanding work man…outstanding!
[This message has been edited by SLO_COPE (edited 02-07-2002).]