After I made the massive event Marathon I decided to do an other classic dessert track. Even if it allows high speeds it needs very precise steering since the road is quite tight and the surrounding terrain is not fit for higher speeds.
An other challenge is given by alternative routes which are not all the same length:
Really cool. All the small hills make it quite tricky to follow any one path.
I was wondering maybe if it was worth adding road signs (with arrows) at junctions, to indicate the preferred (one or two ways) of going forward? Since the track is rather long, there is some anxiety in taking any one path; you wouldn't want at a junction to take a turn back towards the point of origin. What do you think?
I had such arrows in the hud map already, but deleted it because I felt it hindered the adventurous aspect of finding the right path. I added them again, more checkpoints (and further alternative paths). Now I hope I made it not only easier to decide what direction to drive but even more interesting since there are more possibilities without the high risk of going the wrong way totally.
How would you add road signs? My only idea is using a vegetation sprite. But this is not very precise since it may lead to the effect, that the sign gets rendered more often than in the one correct spot, may face in the wrong direction and is displayed much smaller than I want. (I tried to do something similar with the posts in "Maraton".)
The HUD arrows and more checkpoints are an improvement: they allow for an adventurous, but calm drive. Sometimes I notice two checkpoints in the same HUD "screen", or even two arrows. If the goal is to have a more adventurous map, then maybe it's better to trim some of those. Also, I failed the time limit on my first attempt with the arrows; maybe it's a bit too short?
As for the road signs, I agree that it's not clear how to implement them reliably. Perhaps Iwan has some ideas on this .
I made further adjustments. I think the height map is now more interesting as well...
Nice! I really like the terrain. I was still unable to complete it in time, but I should apply myself harder.
PS I'm still evaluating the Marathon. But, well, it's a marathon :) .
I guess in the end it's all about finding the optimal route. But if it is still to hard, I as well can be more generous with the target time... ;)
Great. I thought Marathon was somehow bewitched since nobody seemed to notice it.
OK, I managed to complete the track this time, but it wasn't easy. I finished in 8 min, with a more or less optimal track and well-behaved driving. If the track is designed to be adventurous, then I would suggest being a tad more generous with the target time.
The only comparable track that we have is Rocky Prairie, which on my favourite route I complete in 1min 08sec. Given the target time of 1min 38sec, 98 ∕ 68 ≈ 1.4411765: the track allows a 44% margin of error (for good reason, as it is hard). Given an optimal time of 8 min, the implied target time would be 1.44 ⋅ 480 = 691.2, for an implied target time of 11min 30sec.
Picking a figure between 8min 30sec and 11min 30sec would be better. The more generous time would allow users to genuinely be able to adventure on your track, and attempt different terrains and paths.
You actually calculate target times? (So far I only did rough estimations.) And you really suggest giving three more minutes? That's incredibly forgiving.
I fear there isn't much incentive to try out alternative routes if you can easily finish the map on any route. Don't you think so as well?
By the way: I get the impression you would like to have more short races as well. Am I right?
"You actually calculate target times?"
No, not really. But this is a peculiar track, and I tried to see what we did in similar cases in the past. (I remember that doing the Rocky Prairie the first dozen of times was a nightmare, because I was simply unable to pin point a useful route. Pathfinder promises a very similar challenge.)
"(So far I only did rough estimations.) And you really suggest giving three more minutes?"
It really depends on what you want for this track. 3min would be too much, I agree. But adding 1min or 1min 30sec may be a good choice. Maybe Iwan has something to add here?
"I fear there isn't much incentive to try out alternative routes if you can easily finish the map on any route. Don't you think so as well?"
I like taking different routes on a map, when possible. This is why I came up with all the Old Macdonald variations, and the Lab Rally (bis): for me it was frustrating that I could never usefully take all the other possible routes. Personally, given more time in Pathfinder, I would experiment with longer routes just to see if I can make in time. But that's me.
"By the way: I get the impression you would like to have more short races as well. Am I right?"
Up to now we were in really short supply of long tracks, and your contributions are excellent additions. But I think we at Trigger mostly favour diversity. We have very short-runs, mid-distance runs and long-runs. Long-runs are nice for having an adventure, when you have the time. Short-runs are nice for fun, or when short on time; short-runs with awkward settings are cool, like Roundhouse or Lab Rally. I kinda like all types, depending on the mood. I know Iwan prefers short tracks. So feel free to work on what inspires you best!
Iwan Gabovitch (qubodup)
I would much prefer Trigger Rally to stay as simple as it is and not add complexity to the level creation process. (no signs)
This wasn't the question right here. Liviu was just asking if you might have an Idea how to implement more or less proper street signs without altering the game code at all. But I figure from your answer: You have no better ideas right now as well...
I uploaded a new version with over 70 seconds more target time now.
Looks nice now. Thanks.