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14 Jun 2012
By Moshbag
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Playstation Staff

A personal track retrospective

[ Edited ]
9 Replies 419 Views edited 14-06-2012

The departure of Mark and the goodbye posts on this forum have prompted me to post my own little retrospective of a game which has brought me many great memories on the PS3. I happened upon my online profile the other day and noticed if I loaded up Modnation I would pick up a gold trophy for Star Creator. However I traded in the game many months ago, but being the sucker for trophies I am, I downloaded the PS+ free one hour trial of the game to get it. Firing up Modnation brought back a lot of memories, and I took that hour to play all of my old tracks, one last hurrah before I finally consigned the game to the historical records. I only had time to race one lap, and even then only tracks on my WilsonPhillips-X account, but then these were the ones I really poured my efforts into. My heart just wasn’t in it when the Moshbag tracks were created, but it was an opportunity to try out some DLC.

 

So here are some of my tracks (in chronological order), and what was behind them:

 

Pharaoh’s Playground: My first published track back on 7th June 2010. I had played around with the editor for a bit and made an Alpine track which was promptly deleted. Struggling to get to sleep one night, an idea for a pyramid based track came to me, so I got up and drew an outline of the track on a piece of paper; a track creating bug had been planted in my brain. I still like the final track, but I failed to understand the difference between deleting track and reset zones at the time, so it has a number of technical issues.

 

Crazy Cavern: This track was inspired by a post on the forums, from a guy who realised you could raise boulders to create a ‘ceiling’ over the track. This was back in the day when such ideas were few and hadn’t been propagated through the community, and it seemed like a unique opportunity. Annoyingly the track was plagued with technical issues (making a track drop was always a struggle for me), so it had to be republished later at of a loss of a couple of hundred downloads (which at the time was an awful lot to me and a source of great annoyance). It never gained any traction after that and ended up as one of my least played tracks.

 

Carnage Colosseum: My most popular track to date, I still don’t quite know how it became so popular but there seems to be a snowball effect in track downloads, if a track reaches critical mass within the community it just continues to get downloads. I suppose it’s a combination of cool track design and luck. Only one of my tracks was a hot lap (Rumble Rally) and that was much later when Mark was at the helm. Anyway, as much as I like my design I don’t actually think it’s a great track to race on, it has an enormous jump in the middle and it generally involves going round in a circle. But someone likes it!

 

Farmer Phil’s Farm Frolic: This was my first attempt at getting some realism into a track, creating something that looked like you were racing around a real farm rather than just plonking farm props round a regular track (see Farm Frenzy for details). I was really pleased with the results, but playtesters found the track confusing. I made some tweaks but I decided I’d rather some people were confused than compromise my vision for the track.

 

Downtown Derby: Not a popular track by any stretch, and I don’t regard it as one of my favourites, but notable for me as it has the most variety in different routes of any of my tracks.

 

Grievous Gorge: Something of a failed experiment. I wanted a track that was challenging to race, and required repeated plays to get the best times. The track was narrow and had perilous drops, no chevrons, only one boost pad and no weapons. It was best suited to time trial and I even put [Hard] in the title to warn potential players. Of course all these were bad ideas, I’m sure most people that tried it immediately deleted it as annoying. I still think it would have been a good hot lap track. I happily raced round the whole thing at top speed of course, and I still love the look of the track; without all the bells and whistles it really feels like you are racing in the heart of the jungle. Oh well.

 

Mayhem Manor: The other one of my tracks to reach ‘critical mass’, and the track I spent the most time on. It was inspired by the mansion prop, and the rest of the track built from that. It was all meticulously planned out on paper, and I poured many hours into tweaking props and getting everything perfect. It still annoys me that the track has a breadcrumb issue in the maze, because I ran out of track and simply could not compromise any other part of the layout. In retrospect I could have maybe used the track stretching trick, but I was exhausted and needed to get the thing published. I’ll always consider this my best-looking and favourite track, and I’d like to think that’s why it has gathered as many downloads as it has.

 

The Mysterious Mega-Metro: I wanted to use the seaside theme again but I was a bit meh on my city track, so I went for a futuristic theme. I was really pleased with the way the weird mushroom spirals turned out, and the boosting tunnel at the top of the track. But chevrons would spoil my look, and other racers suffered because of it unfortunately.

 

Rabbit Hole: Someone else on the forums had issued a remixing challenge, but with a layout they provided. I fancied doing a remix myself, and decided to pick the worst possible track I could find: naturally this was Mod Circuit. The rabbit hole concept was to have the racer drop down a hole into a fantasy land, which consisted of other themes. The real challenge of the track was budget: I had to raise the Mod Circuit up off the ground as high as it would go, then raise all the terrain around it so it looked like it original did, all the while deleting out every last prop I could to maintain the track look but free up budget for the repave and other themes. I think it worked quite well and some of the feedback suggested it took a few people by surprise, which was the goal.

 

Rumble Rally: My first and only hot lap! Much like Farmer Phil’s Farm Frolic this was a track attempting to recreate a realistic course running through the environment, but unlike Farmer Phil I avoided multiple routes and had reasonably clear driving routes. There were some rally based tracks around at the time so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon. The last track I was really proud of (although I do like Motorway Madness).

 

If any of the newer players want to try any of these tracks, you can search for them on the forums for screenshots (I think most have their own threads), or find them in the game under PSN ID WilsonPhillips-X.

 

 

So that’s it, my track retrospective, a bit of a “tl;dr” but given I probably won’t play again I thought I’d put something down. The thing that saddens me with this game, as with several games of this generation, is that eventually the servers will be turned off (hopefully not for a few years), and everyone’s hard work will be gone. I can fire up my old Amstrad and get the same game experience I did 20 years ago, but alas the same probably can’t be said for MNR. So farewell Modnation Racers, it’s been good, it’s been frustrating but it’s been memorable. Thanks to everyone here who made this game great!

Formerly known as WilsonPhillips-X
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Re: A personal track retrospective

Great tracks from a great creator.. Mysterious mega metro was my main inspiration for warp drive, right down to my blatent ripping off of the dropped edge track style and mayhem manor to this day is 1 of my top 5 tracks .. Along with VintageOctopus my first " track hero " thnx 4 the epic work moshbag

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Re: A personal track retrospective


Moshbag wrote:

 

Grievous Gorge: Something of a failed experiment. I wanted a track that was challenging to race, and required repeated plays to get the best times. The track was narrow and had perilous drops, no chevrons, only one boost pad and no weapons. It was best suited to time trial and I even put [Hard] in the title to warn potential players. Of course all these were bad ideas, I’m sure most people that tried it immediately deleted it as annoying. I still think it would have been a good hot lap track. I happily raced round the whole thing at top speed of course, and I still love the look of the track; without all the bells and whistles it really feels like you are racing in the heart of the jungle. Oh well.

 



NOT a failure.  Has been in my top 3 favs since I've raced it & never left.  'Dat difficulty... So attractive...

Whitef8ng
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Re: A personal track retrospective


WhiteF8ng wrote:

Moshbag wrote:

 

Grievous Gorge: Something of a failed experiment. I wanted a track that was challenging to race, and required repeated plays to get the best times. The track was narrow and had perilous drops, no chevrons, only one boost pad and no weapons. It was best suited to time trial and I even put [Hard] in the title to warn potential players. Of course all these were bad ideas, I’m sure most people that tried it immediately deleted it as annoying. I still think it would have been a good hot lap track. I happily raced round the whole thing at top speed of course, and I still love the look of the track; without all the bells and whistles it really feels like you are racing in the heart of the jungle. Oh well.

 



NOT a failure.  Has been in my top 3 favs since I've raced it & never left.  'Dat difficulty... So attractive...


Agreed. This was one of my favorites as well, it was such a tight and demanding track, yet it flowed very well and was a pleasure to race on with friends.

Maverick--07--
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Re: A personal track retrospective

I've got proof, Mayhem Manor has been on my favourite list for as far as I can remember. Great... wait... awesome track. Thank you so much for keeping it published even though you're not playing MNR anymore.:Thumbs:

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Re: A personal track retrospective


Moshbag wrote:

 

 

Pharaoh’s Playground: My first published track back on 7th June 2010. I had played around with the editor for a bit and made an Alpine track which was promptly deleted. Struggling to get to sleep one night, an idea for a pyramid based track came to me, so I got up and drew an outline of the track on a piece of paper; a track creating bug had been planted in my brain. I still like the final track, but I failed to understand the difference between deleting track and reset zones at the time, so it has a number of technical issues.

 



You created that? Wow! Great job! I didn't notice any issues while racing it like you said, but it is a very good track. This I would know as it was my very first track I downloaded in this game. Kudos to you!


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Re: A personal track retrospective

To this day I still have Pharoh's Playground, Carnage Colosseum, Mayhem Manor, and the Mysterious Mega-Metro favorited on my track list. (I used to have Farmer Phil's favortied, too, but that eventually got trimmed to make other room for newer tracks.) I still hold up Mayhem Manor as one of my all-time favorite tracks; I nominated for the top ten tracks thing Mark had going awhile back.  

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Thanks for the great replies everyone, good to hear from quality racers and creators alike.

 

@Laidbackcat: Glad I could provide a bit of inspiration for the masterpiece that is Warp Drive!

@WhitF8ng and maverick: That's great to hear, it's definitely my favourite track from a pure racing perspective so it's good to know others can look beyond the difficulty.

@ripper: Wow that's cool, never realised you'd voted it up on the blog like that, thanks!

@The_Pwner007: Thanks a lot, it heartens me to know at least some people out there didn't start their download collection with Tiki Tuk Mountain!

@MagicalHamster: Cheers for the nomination, especially as the great tracks out there must number in the hundreds if not thousands by now!

Formerly known as WilsonPhillips-X
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Re: A personal track retrospective

Also I clearly remember Rabbit Hole blowing me away in a casual room a really long time ago! Definitely a classic, and I also liked your Alpine Drop remix, even though it didn't surprise me like Rabbit Hole it was a very fun track :smileyhappy:.

Maverick--07--
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Rif.: A personal track retrospective

 

Rabbit Hole best UFG remix ever

Retiree.
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