A list of trackbuilding tips

The following list was compiled by Tecfan and me for the first RPG track building contest and it shows some of the building tips we had to offer, including things that we value and things we hate to see in RPG's. Because we think of it as a helpful resource, we decided to give the list it's own article. So here it is:

  • Don't over-do the MT!
  • MT can be wonderful for creating a good atmosphere. Enai Siaion's tracks are an example of that. But remember, forcing the player to drive with stupid cameras or making them sick by ever-changing colours is not a positive thing!

  • Mods
  • For an interesting atmosphere, use a mod that has not been used so much yet! You can even make your own. Have a look at our RPG mod overview. Also, follow this guide very closely. If you have made your own mod, you can just send me a message, and I will host the mod for you.

  • Story
  • A good story also shows that you can be creative, but we won't put much weight on this aspect. The important thing is that your track feels adventurous, even though there is no real "adventure" to go with.

  • Avoid ring rooms
  • Ever played Camateraz? For me and Hawk, that last room, with 1CP and 7-8 different rings which can not be taken in one "movement", is an instant turn-off. Ring rooms really ruin the flow of the track, so please avoid this. Of course, you can still use rings, just not make a room full of rings.

  • Atmosphere - you need one
  • This whole thing with atmospheres might confuse some. Basically, a track's atmosphere is the feeling you get when driving it. Try driving Cargo 714 or The day after, then you'll know what an atmosphere is. To create a good atmosphere, you need a mod and you need nicely built scenery.

  • Go cut-hunting!
  • Self-explanatory. A track's route can be ruined by cuts, so be sure to check for cuts when you make your map, and triple-check before validating it!

  • Repetition
  • Variate your tricks! Don't use the same building blocks all the time. For example, three wallride balancing parts in one track is just overkill.

  • Avoid bugs
  • With "avoid bugs" I mean two things: refrain from using Trackmania bugs as a part of your tricks, because most people don't know about them and will be stuck. The other thing, which is even more important, is the wall-balancing-2-CP-block bug. This is an extremely bothersome bug, which totally kills the flow of a track. Here's three screenshots of different versions of this bug: 1) Wallborder to CP block bug, 2) Wallborder to StadiumFabric bug (this is the block which makes a blue pattern on the ground), 3) Wallborder to wall border bug and 4) Wallborder to border block. Of course, this is only bad if the route goes on this. You can of course still decorate with wall borders on CP blocks, as long as we don't have to drive on them.

  • Music and sounds
  • ... are not taken much consideration, but! Great use of sounds and music can really make the atmosphere a lot better.

  • Avoid confusion
  • There should never be any confusion as for which CP you are going to take next. Make sure it is only possible to take one CP at a time, or at least make it very obvious which CP is correct to take first. But please, make it challenging to find the CP's, I didn't say that you have to make your track easy :).

  • Avoid multilap starts
  • Multi-lap start blocks is something I personally dislike, because when driving online, there will be no autoreplay saved.

  • Beta test
  • As a builder, you already know where to go and where not to go. We as players have no idea. Therefore it is very important for you to test your track with other people, so you can see where people have trouble finding the path, or take wrong CP's etc. You can win a free, online beta test if you win one of the RPG round races. Keep an eye on the blog so you know when the next race is.


Mario said...

Thanks for the Tips,
good job ;)

Anonymous said...

You could add another tip:
Avoid luck cps, try the trick some times, if you do it with 90% (except failing by missing skills :p) it's okay, contrarywhise delete it!

Anonymous said...

To keep developing good rpgs: maybe someone can set up a server for RC-candidates so different people can drive them and post theirs oppinion in a forumpage. The track will then be removed after a few days. Then just good rpg will get out on ordinary servers. Not all serverowners can check the track fully.

And most people thinks its fun to help like this.
Just an idea :-)

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