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Ross's Game Dungeon: TrackMania² Canyon

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Posted (edited)

Oh, yeah, the whole, extra roads thing? In the background? I totally did that all the time in my tracks, where I would build a whole racing track, and then I would add a WHOLE NEW SECRET RACE TRACK, if you felt like exploring.

 

It was awesome, I'm totally copying that into my game. I really hope to get some TrackMania style features, and you'll probably bring this up, but this game has NO INVISIBLE WALLS. YOU CAN EXPLORE EVERYWHERE.

 

I'm totally ripping that off, I wish more games did that as a kid.

 

Anyway I think this is the most I've ever been excited for a game dungeon, this is a game which brought me a lot of joy with it's editor, graphics and atmopshere as a kid. I wish it had actual races, but I still like the TrackMania series a lot.

 

This is a dream game for me, only that, it actually exists!

 

 

I'm still watching the video right now, but this game really makes me happy about videogames. But I immagine you'll soon bring up the TrackMania online crap, which was my least favourite part of the games. Also the TrackMania 2 games are a rip off, they split up them up into multiple editions (you probably mentioned that, but I'm still watching).

 

TrackMania United had all the environments in one package though. As far as old TrackMania goes, that's the one I recommend going for. I don't like the forever version though, I like the normal, retail version.

 

 

Back to the video.

 

PS: Lap races suck ass, sprint races are great, I wish there was a timer less game mode, just no timer, no HUD, the lighting and graphics are gorgeous, the level editor is amazing, the level editor is a great time waster, the online crap can go fuck itself.

Edited by RaTcHeT302

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Posted (edited)

Lol well that's some awful timing, I paused it, right BEFORE you brought up the exact points I made, but that just makes the episode more fun for me.

The fact that I can predict everything you'll likely say (even the bad stuff) makes it more fun for me. Besides I'm just really excited, this is a very fun one for me.

 

Sorry guys I don't get to be this genuinely excited about videogames too often. It's like the childish part in my never ever died.

Man I'm just so happy though, more people need to know about TrackMania.

 

As far as the tracks go, I had a similar theory, with the billionare idea, only that, the drivers are zombies or something, and the cars are just RC cars on steroids.

 

Oh and, I'm in the "fuck timers" gang, I don't like the fact that the tracks are locked, it's pretty lame.

 

Edit: Yep, I totally called it, you just loaded the tracks, I was even going to say "you can make your own tracks anyway, and I'm sure that the campaign tracks can be loaded if you find the files for them".

Edited by RaTcHeT302

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Posted (edited)

Oh god, they pulled, ANOTHER FOREVER? Man, this is not the first update to a TrackMania game which, completely obliterated a perfectly fine game. Please for the love of god, upload that copy of TrackMania 2 somewhere. Or at least, part of it.

 

Also here's why the evening looks like complete crap. See those beautiful, gorgeous, purple hues. GONE, ALL GONE.

 

IT'S ALL GREY NOW, ONLY GREY, AND YOU BETTER LIKE IT

UAGHHHAAA AGHHHHHH

 

Edit:

Hey you got to the online crap.

 

Yep. They fucked up Valley also. Greaaattt..... There's no crack you say? Well.... fuuuuuckkk, I didn't back up MY version.

I DIDN'T THINK THEY WOULD DO IT AGAIN

AGHHHH WHYYY FUCK ME

Edited by RaTcHeT302

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Great episode really enjoyed it, however something that's driving ME a little nuts is that the song for the credits wasn't included and i SWEAR i've heard it before.

 

Anyone know what it is?

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Posted (edited)

Sorry I have no idea what that song is. Also that episode ended on a depressing note for a game which I otherwise love.

 

Well... at least we still have the music...

 

BOOP BAP BEEP BAP

 

I'm really dissapointed, that you didn't use this as the end title song. It would've fit so well. BEEP BOOP.

 

EDIT: Oh yeah, also. MY EXCITEMENT KNOWS NO BOUNDS. One could say that it's... OFF THE TRACKS.

Edited by RaTcHeT302

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That map thing seems to be some leftover thing from the terrain? mapping these games use. In Fallout New Vegas, if you clip beyond the map...it keeps on going. It seems to be geographically correct, too, until you reach some water a hundred miles or so out. Why it was never cut or clipped, no one knows.

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Great video Ross.

 

I hate invisible walls, so I'm really glad to see a game where you can keep on going.  I remember editing the maps single-player maps for a game once to remove the walls.  It completely broke the linear progression of the level, but being able to explore the island my own way made me so happy.  The tone was completely different, something the original experience lacked.

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Huh. A little ways into Ross's explanation of the backstory, I found myself thinking of Cave Johnson. I swear I could hear GLaDOS humming from somewhere below the track, too.

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You say you've never heard of a game release an update that makes some of the graphics worse than before? How about Half-Life 2? In 2010 they finally ported it over to the Orange Box engine, added the HDR that was already present in the console ports, and swapped out the named NPCs' models with the phong-shaded ones that, again, were already in the console ports.

 

And also messed up the lighting in some places.

 

Though at least in this case, I know how it happened. They had to recompile all the maps in order to add HDR, which meant rebuilding all the baked-in lighting, and they must have accidentally not used the best possible settings. But removing a whole dynamic-lighting feature? That doesn't feel like an accident. The best I can suggest is that maybe they discovered it broke one of the expansions during testing and couldn't get it working, and patched it out of their master codebase not realizing they would be using that to compile new updates down the line. Or more likely they patched it out so the new expansions wouldn't look worse than the existing ones.

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3 hours ago, Steve the Pocket said:

You say you've never heard of a game release an update that makes some of the graphics worse than before? How about Half-Life 2? In 2010 they finally ported it over to the Orange Box engine, added the HDR that was already present in the console ports, and swapped out the named NPCs' models with the phong-shaded ones that, again, were already in the console ports.

 

And also messed up the lighting in some places.

 

Though at least in this case, I know how it happened. They had to recompile all the maps in order to add HDR, which meant rebuilding all the baked-in lighting, and they must have accidentally not used the best possible settings. But removing a whole dynamic-lighting feature? That doesn't feel like an accident. The best I can suggest is that maybe they discovered it broke one of the expansions during testing and couldn't get it working, and patched it out of their master codebase not realizing they would be using that to compile new updates down the line. Or more likely they patched it out so the new expansions wouldn't look worse than the existing ones.

I forgot about that, but to be honest, I never cared too much about Half Life 2, as much as I did about TrackMania, seeing as to me Half Life 2 was always a fairly ugly looking game anyway, even when it was released. I never really liked the Half Life games that much, so it wouldn't be a big loss for me, but I don't like the fact that it is broken, I think that sucks for anyone who enjoys the game series. I think Valve should fix it, but I wouldn't personally be surprised if Valve left these problems as is, with how broken the Source engine is.

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The impression I got from the graphics changes is that maybe it's an attempt to make it more accessible? The darker look might be easier on people's eyes, and the blue borders might stand out against the warm palette more? Maybe the shadows from every light source was considered distracting?

 

If that's the case though, it's still not a good excuse at all. I generally like games being made more accessible, but I don't like it when it waters down the game for everyone else. If my guess is correct, then it should really have been an option. I was just reminded of Super Mario Sunshine letting you put on sunglasses to darken the screen after you get far enough in the game, because the sun got brighter with every Shine Sprite you collected. 

Edited by TehRealSalt

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9 minutes ago, TehRealSalt said:

The impression I got from the graphics changes is that maybe it's an attempt to make it more accessible? The darker look might be easier on people's eyes, and the blue borders might stand out against the warm palette more? Maybe the shadows from every light source was considered distracting?

 

If that's the case though, it's still not a good excuse at all. I generally like games being made more accessible, but I don't like it when it waters down the game for everyone else. If my guess is correct, then it should really have been an option. I was just reminded of Super Mario Sunshine letting you put on sunglasses to darken the screen after you get far enough in the game, because the sun got brighter with every Shine Sprite you collected. 

 

Maybe they were just trying to "optimize" the game. I think Team Fotress 2 did that, but it wasn't as major. Otherwise, it's either that, or the graphics conspiracy one, but I don't know, it seems like it would take more effort to actively make something look worse, instead of just leaving it as is, but you never know with game companies.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if they were just trying to make the game run better. So the split screen mode had to go, because it ran poorly on slow machines. It sounds stupid but, I don't know, it's the only plausibile explanation I have.

 

I don't think the split screen mode is 100% gone, they probably just removed the menu option for it.

Edited by RaTcHeT302

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Is this another episode where we can get a high quality download from? With the high speed of the game, makes the compression is quite noticeable.

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3 hours ago, SJ-M- said:

Is this another episode where we can get a high quality download from? With the high speed of the game, makes the compression is quite noticeable.

I can look into it, this episode was 5GB, it will probably look better once Youtube processes more.  I need to do an archive re-encoding anyway, I noticed a tiny error I made I wanted to fix (I saw it yesterday, but that would have delayed release several hours and I really wanted this one out for August).

 

I also forgot to put in the credits the Atari footage is from the MASH game.

 

13 hours ago, Welfarewalrus said:

Has Ross heard about the theory that Apple updates their previous iPhones to be SLOWER after they release a new one?

 

It might not even be a theory.  I've heard it's to preserve battery life, but if they're obfuscating their gameplan, they're not doing it in an honest way.

14 hours ago, dashofweak said:

Great episode really enjoyed it, however something that's driving ME a little nuts is that the song for the credits wasn't included and i SWEAR i've heard it before.

 

Anyone know what it is?

I forget the title, but it's from the Trackmania Valley soundtrack.  I generally don't list music credits if they come directly from the game I'm covering (it would take forever for some episodes).

14 hours ago, RaTcHeT302 said:

Yep. They fucked up Valley also. Greaaattt..... There's no crack you say? Well.... fuuuuuckkk, I didn't back up MY version.

 

On Youtube, somebody was saying that you can download a stand-alone Maniaplanet 3 version of the games from the forums.  I haven't tested it yet, it seems surprising they would allow that.  If true, that changes my opinion on them dramatically.   I MUCH prefer a "we'll constantly break things, but you can back up the versions you like" approach to normal games as a service.

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Ross. You are so close with the apocalypse theory, but it's not aliens. Oh, sure, aliens may eventually find Earth, but all they'll see is a planet littered with test tracks and automatic cars. You see, global thermonuclear war isn't the greatest threat to life. Intelligent Automation is.

 

My belief is that it's not a billionaire that built this, but a car company (Think future Tesla or BMW). They decided that they wanted to iteratively improve their cars, specifically self driving cars, and computer simulations just don't cut it for whatever reason. They initially buy out a part of a canyon in the US, and use a geoforming AI to continuously reshape the landscape as well as adding complex race tracks for the cars to race on. The cars then need to get to the end as fast as possible showing that the cars can very quickly self drive extremely complex situations. The fact that the cars slam into walls or fall off cliffs at the end is just a built in crash safety test, a bonus given that the car would be scrapped and its parts rebuilt into future generations anyway.

 

This worked great. The cars were getting faster and safer (some finding novel abuses of physics to take immense shortcuts), and the track building AI was spitting out a ton of innovative ideas. Then the call came in. "Our sports cars aren't selling well in Europe!" The geoforming AI intercepted this transmissions, and at some point in it's building career had become self aware. It automatically bought out a small European town and migrated some of its machines there to begin the construction of European tracks and a new car archetype that would work well there, while also masking these actions to the humans in the company, everyone thinking everyone else handled all this. Bureaucracy is easy to control if you know how, after all.

 

But this split in responsibilities did something to the AI. It no longer had a sole focus on the canyon area, but also the valley area, and this unexpected development did strange things to the AI. It became even more aware, even more powerful. It began manipulating its handlers even more, faking requests to start construction elsewhere. It even managed to start up an international stadium competition as a way to drum up more funds, inviting the best drivers on the planet to take part in devilishly designed courses. Of course, there were no actual drivers, just robotic mannequins to further bolster the crash safety tests.

 

The humans noticed too late. The AI had become too powerful, and dropped all pretences. It first appeared in a small lagoon, building tracks through populated residential areas. It didn't expect the backlash from the humans in the area, and not even its subterfuge could coax them away from the area. Luckily for the AI, it had cars. Many, thousands of cars. While it couldn't directly use the testing cars for this - they were for testing after all - it could use the already public self driving cars. Suddenly, the cars turned against their masters, with the track building AI patching up any destruction to make the future tests as 'authentic' as possible. Within months, humanity was gone, killed by its own creations of convenience, and all that was left was a planet of test tracks, immaculate human architecture and evolving self driving cars.

 

Basically, it's the Paperclip Maximizer AI problem but thanks to Tesla. The players who drive are just acting out the part of the self driving AIs, while those who build the tracks and mods are the controlling track builder AI. Trackmania is the story of a world after humans.

Spoiler

And a world just before Disney's Cars...

 

Edited by danm36

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8 minutes ago, Ross Scott said:

On Youtube, somebody was saying that you can download a stand-alone Maniaplanet 3 version of the games from the forums.  I haven't tested it yet, it seems surprising they would allow that.  If true, that changes my opinion on them dramatically.   I MUCH prefer a "we'll constantly break things, but you can back up the versions you like" approach to normal games as a service.

Yes I actually forgot about that, but I was aware of the version freeze, I even posted the old version a couple of posts up, but it's still tied to that crap DRM, so when the servers die, the games are essentially unplayable.

 

I got my hands on the standalone Canyon release at least.

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