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 Post subject: MX/SX Tracks By mxkid
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 2:28 pm 
Trackologist
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Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2001 2:01 pm
Posts: 1011
Location: Nebraska
Infinitely more important than some silly ole “Copey Rating” is how much enjoyment one derives from a track, which could stem exclusively from its layout or from a combination of a nice layout complimented by visual appeal. Also bare in mind my ratings are e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y subjective, and amount to nothing more than one man’s opinion. Some might even go so far as to say misguided opinion lol. Regardless, for the purpose of this review there will be no Copey Rating; it would serve no purpose. BADmxkid is brand new to the field, and as such, I feel the focus should be to offer up objective criticism with a few tips & suggestions. Since mxkid (like a couple of other guys I know) has a track making factory setup somewhere lol, I’m going to cover them all in one fell swoop. A few of my observations are common to each track and basic, so although I’m covering eight tracks, it goes pretty quick.

Here we go:

BADarenaSX – Decent texture choice for the road surface, however, the texture sets should be blended for a more natural appearance. You also could have done more with decor via different types of models to create atmosphere. Use of poles as checkpoint markers may have been a better choice. The markers in use are blocky, cumbersome even on such a small track. Also, they appear to be plunged into the ground a bit too much. By the way, here’s an example of a superb blending job. Notice how the different texture sets gradually fade into one another? That’s what you’re shooting for.

BadbackyardSX/BADcrashzone - You can drive around the outer edge of the track to circumvent the jumps. I think choosing prefabricated texture sets would be the way to go. It would substantially limit the number of alignment/blending issues to contend with and yield a better overall visual effect. Where alignment is concerned, I’m referring to the lines you see in the road surface as indicated in this picture . It also shows a lack of blending at the outer edges where the two types of textures meet(arrows), as well as trees that aren’t set to facing. When set to facing, objects have a 3-D effect. Checkpoint 6 is actually the finish line, and the finish line model serves as checkpoint 1. On “BADcrashzone” the checkered finish line marker extends out too far on either side of the road.

BADriversideMX – Textures used are from the stock track “Voodoo Island”, however there are still some areas that require alignment/blending repairs. Personally I thought you should have changed the setting of the texture to dirt instead of leaving it as is. Slippery surfaces and mx tracks don’t really mesh in my opinion since effectively clearing most of the jumps hinge on timing, and for that you need to be able to obtain maximum speed, which surfaces such as this tend to negate. Also, small vegetation/small trees and shrubs are generally set to no collide facing.

BADhairscramble – Requires more attention to texture alignment & blending, trees not set to no collide facing, then fitted with a ground box to give the illusion of a tree trunk. Several of your checkpoint markers are not facing in the proper direction(numbers are backwards). Existing tree alignment gives the impression of a military formation lol as opposed to a densely populated forest. Those babies are in near perfect alignment. Try random placement for a more natural look.

BADhillsMX – Invisible walls, which are prevalent on all of your tracks, however we’ve talked about this already during our chat in the Gaming Zone. :) Other than that my observations are limited to improving atmosphere/visual appeal and texture blending.

BADislandmx - (NOTE: See detailed review by Phineus) Looks more like a beta than a finished product, however the layout is pretty nice. With a little refining it would have been an extremely fun track to run and look at. More of the same here - texture alignment/blending, invisible walls, invisible checkpoints.

BADsuperX – Nice layout, flows well. Outer portion of track enables drive-arounds. Texture alignment/blending could use work.

My first suggestion is simply this: take your time. It’s far better to produce one very nice track over a period of 2 months than it is to crank out 10 substandard pieces of work within the same time period. It’s obvious you have the tools, the potential so why not take maximum advantage of it?

Jumping on the Phineus bandwagon (but also know I’m sincere), anyone can see you have basic know-how with respect to making tracks. What might help you amass some ideas, and I want to emphasize “ideas”, is after you come up with a basic plan for your track, look around at some of the other tracks that’s been done, MX tracks since you seem to be partial to those (I’ll list a few at the end of the review), take a few snapshots of things you like maybe, a few notes if you’re really motivated, then construct your beta. Next thing is to go thru it on your own, refining it, checking for obvious flaws – checkpoints that register incorrectly/not at all, model placement and accuracy (shouldn’t hit non-visible portions of a model), blemishes in the texture work, and overall flow…in your opinion, I mean.

Now it’s time for others to take a look at it, and for that I present to you “The Beta Room” here at MTMG. Some of the most experienced track makers & racers around will download your track and give you feedback – constructive criticism and suggestions; not ridicule or condescending remarks. That’s not how we operate here, I assure you. After you’ve amassed a ton of feedback, you then set about the task of sifting thru it and deciding on which ideas/suggestions you like, which ones you’ll save for another project perhaps, as well as the ones you have absolutely no use for. At this stage in your track making career it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take most of what you get in the form of feedback to heart, at least until you’ve matured experience wise, then you can be more selective by virtue of having developed your own style. Also, be careful not to dismiss a suggestion/tip that doesn’t immediately “grab” you. Often times a suggestion you may not like initially could spark another idea or ideas that work well for you. I’ve seen it happen a few times.

Shortcuts. Good beta testers always look for shortcuts or holes in a track so that they can report them to the author. Some feel all tracks should be shortcut-free, and everyone relegated to sticking to the road. To me it’s situational. On some tracks the shortcuts actually make it more interesting, more exciting, whereas other times it ruins it. There are no hard-fast rules where that’s concerned; it’s dependent on a lot of different factors. By in large I feel if a shortcut entails a risk, and completing it successfully yields an advantage over the other racers who choose to stick to the traditional route, so be it. Conversely, if they fail to properly execute the shortcut, it should cost them dearly in terms of time lost. The operative word is “risk”; shortcuts shouldn’t be “cake and ice cream”…if you know what I mean lol. The bottom line is in the end it’s your call whether you leave them in or employ a few tricks of the trade to close ‘em down by using models, landscaping, checkpoints, etc. What’s essential is that you know about them so you can make the call, and again, good beta testing will provide that information for ya.

Finally, there’s no guarantee beta testing will turn up every flaw or shortcut. Sometimes just when you think you have everything nailed down, shutoff, and tightened up…a year later someone will find something…and sometimes it’s seemingly pretty obvious lol. It’s not a science, but I promise you this - if you make a habit of following the process I laid out above, you’ll come out with a much better track then you would going it alone. It’s a learning process, mxkid, but the thing is there are people ready and waiting to help. All you have to do is be receptive to giving it a try – it’s as simple as that. :)

<center>Some of favorite SX/MX tracks:
SMX Two by Spazmonster
Superbowl Two by ONaN
Tunda Finals by Yeastman
Ahaheim SX by Yeastman
Twist Losi MX by Twisted
Z-M-X by ZooN
Silcone MX by ObeOne
MauiMX Jet Moto by World
Y2K Supercross by NKAc_duuks
TMX 99 by RIP_Twisted
MomentumX by Malibu350</center>

Also checkout "World's Crazzy" - a circuit/mx combo. Nicely done.

<font size=1>Edited by SLO_COPE (08-03-2003)</font>


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