on 09-04-2012 04:00 PM
Apologies because I’ve already banged on about this track below, and have now renamed it for what I hope will be the final version. Although The Water Gardens 1.1 was satisfying I still felt there were some improvements to be made, in particular the addition of a shortcut that only becomes available on the final lap. The old hands here will regard that task as simplicity itself, but – incredibly – this is the first time I’ve actually used a trigger pad on any track and I think I’d resisted before because I just wasn’t at all sure how to do it.
The other, most obvious, change is that I’ve moved the lighting from daylight to dusk. The fishing village section with the three bigFar Eaststatues was looking pretty in the previous version but I wanted to play with the light direction/height to give it more atmosphere. The bonus is that it seems to have added something to the water garden section as well.
In terms of overall work I’ve put far more into this than any other track, concentrating especially on natural detail even when it has no impact on racing – for example the canoe and small pontoon with path leading to a temple which you’ll only get a glimpse of as you use the Mega Jump to the finish.
The focus of this track is my current fad of massive dirt drifting through attractive scenery, with interesting shortcuts for those who want to stray from the main track.
Immediately after the start you enter the water garden, exited via a sweeping right-hander. The two boost ramps at the bottom of the pic lead to a double shortcut, each ramp designed to point you to one of the two.
The straight-ahead ramp will launch you into this housing/warehousing area from which you’ll launch over the boats in the fishing village.
If you head right instead you’ll Mega Jump (under the banners) up to a raised platform with its ‘house with a view’ and a drop down to the main track.
Meanwhile the main track swings left before a highly driftable right-hander with the boats and statues lit up by the evening sun. The water garden was intended to be the highlight scenery but I think the view here just beats it.
The track ducks under a short tunnel then into this left/right combo. Even though the track is slightly narrower here it remains very easy to drift and – if you’ll excuse me for saying so – there’s something about this small stretch of track that’s just gorgeous. It looks nice but, somehow, you also get a real sense of speed as you go through it.
You can avoid that section by taking a very slightly risky shortcut left under a row of temples, both routes then converging and offering another set of choices here. The main track heads right over a partly submerged wooden bridge, before which is a Mega Jump to a residential area or, before that, you can go left and then right into a hollow tree trunk (quite a tricky shortcut actually). As far as I can tell there’s nothing wrong with the breadcrumbs here but, in preview mode, the AI karts seem to crash into the temple immediately before the tree trunk – obviously not a problem if you race it online.
And here’s the trigger pad, set to open up the shortcut ahead on the final lap. Gawd, I hope it works!
The track sweeps left and right then under the temple gate, while the shortcut mentioned above offers this platform route through the residential area. A big barrel launcher will rain down its missiles from above, so be careful as they can congregate in the temple gate at the end of the buildings.
Head up this gentle incline towards a straightforward right-hander, but bear in mind it’s a partially blind summit.
Then take the Mega Jump onto the wooden bridge.
Under the jungle temple, be ready to take a sharp left and straighten up as the track narrows… a lot!
Try not to hit the rocks. In the old version I had temple gateways all the way up the steep slope ahead but it felt a bit too enclosed. Just beyond the two statues it’s feasible that you could deliberately go off-track to look for an advantage, but the scenery/terrain has been modified (plus a reset path painted in) to eliminate that.
The Mega Jump lands you beneath the temple gateway before you swing right and over the start/finish.
Title: New Water Gardens
Remix: Yes, if you really must
Comments: Would be nice. I do get insanely nervous about posting tracks, given that 99.9% of what I see posted here makes my stuff look positively naff, but any sort of feedback is always appreciated.
on 10-04-2012 03:53 PM
Played this last night, it's quite a complex track isn't it? I'm not too sure what the purpose of those pop-up blockers in the middle of the road was, but they could be very annoying and due to the complexity of the track (MANY routes) it was impossible to tell which was the fastest route through. I did get a few "off track" warnings on various breadcrumb paths, might be worth adding extra breadcrumbs where necessary to cover all surface area, but by and large I didn't have too many problems racing the track, although some of the people I was racing with were finding it a tad confusing.
I gave it 4* as it looks nice, is varied but maybe a little bit too confusingly laid out and some of the watery sections could be a little ambiguous.
on 11-04-2012 11:07 PM
Hi anaximperator, I was able to try your track out today, and I'd have to agree with everything atheistsw stated. This track just has way too many routes to take IMHO and makes it very confusing. It took me about 10 laps before I got the hang of it and found out what I at least think was the fastest way around the track.
I could see where this might be good track for time trial or Hot Lap, but for a casual race, it's too much to take in, in just 3 laps.
on 12-04-2012 12:57 AM
Thanks for the feedback, guys. Yes, in retrospect I have to agree about the number of shortcuts making it confusing. I think there's a weird psychology to overcome while designing - it gets to the stage where you regularly test drive and, naturally, it doesn't take long for the track to appear very easy, simply because you've tested it so often. Very easy to lose sight of the fact that new users don't have that familiarity (although, in a very modest effort to justify my attempts, I have seen 'great' tracks on YouTube which look even more complicated).
When you get time, please do have a go on Mustapha Fortune, a track in which I've tried to offer scenic variety but with far fewer shortcuts (also arranged linearly so it'll be easier to work out which ones provide racing advantage).
BTW my username anaximperator is a bit of a mouthful - in my role as a crossword setter (for the Independent anyway) I'm just known as Anax. Predictably Anax wasn't available as a username when I signed up to PSN - anax imperator is just the taxonomic name for the emperor dragonfly.
on 18-04-2012 06:54 PM
on 18-04-2012 07:53 PM
Thanks for the feedback lop!
Yes, I know some props get used a lot, but in the case of flags on the bridge I just wanted enough of them close together to avoid falling off the track. Maybe could have chosen something bigger (perhaps blocks as used on the other side) but thought the flags were nicer to look at.
on 18-04-2012 11:00 PM
BTW lop, hope you'll try the One Day, Lad track: http://community.eu.playstation.com/t5/ModNation-R
In terms of shortcuts/adventure(!) it's based on an unusual - and deliberately predictable - arrangement. Ath did say he'd give it a try although hasn't made any further comment on it as yet (from the times I've been online I know he's putting in a lot of studio time at the moment, so I won't press).
Website ©2013 Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
All content, game titles, trade names and/or trade dress, trademarks, artwork and associated imagery are trademarks and/or copyright material of their respective owners. All rights reserved. [more info]