The construction field

Talk about the track editor here

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Kakkoii
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Re: The construction field

Post by Kakkoii » 28 Jun 2011, 19:37

Alter-Fox wrote:
Kakkoii wrote:Again, why bother? We play on dedicated servers. It's up to the server moderators to choose what tracks are and aren't on the server. If a server allows large file size tracks, then you simply don't play there lol. No reason to limit the game for everyone else just because some people's computers can't handle certain custom tracks.
Mostly because a game engine can only handle so much. All game engines I've worked with/modded have had limits like this because they can't handle more. Trying to push them beyond that tends to be disastrous or at least results in total game instability and crashyness.
It's up to the programmers to figure out what the game engine can and cannot handle, but the limit has to be there, it can't be an infinite limit -- at least that was the case with all games I've worked with before.
That's purely a hardware limitation, although said limitation can be accentuated by a poorly optimized/programmed engine. But it almost always comes down to processing power, this limit is relative to that. For you, importing objects into a game, you are going to be limited by your GPU's power to crunch those triangles relative to how well the engine handles them. Those cases you've had with games is not the engine failing but your GPU failing, unless it's a fairly old game engine. Most modern engines have efficient polygon handling techniques that are purely limited by processing power, there is no wall.

And again, if someone chooses to make a track that crashes everyone, then it wouldn't stay on a server very long. Most dedicated servers on Trackmania these days don't even allow public temporary adding of tracks unless you have a high rank on the server or are given adding powers. And if it did stay on a server, well then people simply wouldn't play on that server anymore, it's as simple as that. Programmers don't need to set a limit. If there is a limit, it will be found by us users.

And I work as a 3D generalist in the game industry btw :)
zixxiz wrote:This seems like an ignorant comment since a lot of people's computers cant handle a lot of custom content, even nadeo content. I know a number of people who I have played regularly with who's computers struggle with the game as it is, and mods and custom content amplify the problem. If the servers they/I regularly play on started adding these "XL" tracks it would lead to a loss of not only one time players, but regular players. There is no reason to impose a "best computer takes all" policy for a game which has been supportive of older specs.
Bit hypocritical there. Because you are basically saying that the people who spent good money on a high-end computer aren't allowed to use it to it's full extent simply because others cannot play the level? Now who's being unfair? My comment is realistic, not ignorant.

Again.. Dedicated servers..Dedicated servers..Dedicated servers..Dedicated servers..Dedicated servers..Dedicated servers.. Seriously, what don't you guys understand. If a server started adding tracks that the person cannot handle.. Then they simply switch to another damn server. There are plenty of servers on Trackmania right now that do not allow large tracks, nor tracks with mods. You're able to disable mods completely through server side options if you want to, as many servers do.

This is about CHOICE. You are basically saying other people shouldn't be allowed to create big highly detailed tracks just because some others won't be able to play them. Now THAT is ignorant.
zixxiz wrote:There is already a poly cap on car models, why change that? The logical reason is to expand to have the largest user base possible. This is not GT5 where everyone owns a PS3 with the same specs. You may not be forced to play a level, but if it is on a server you regularly play on, you wouldnt be too happy.
Nobody is talking about cars here, just tracks. Cars are a different problem, because regardless of what server you go on, the cars come with the player, not the server. Thus you obviously need a polygon cap on cars so that you don't get people going around on servers crashing/lagging out other people for fun.

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Re: The construction field

Post by zixxiz » 28 Jun 2011, 20:41

Bit hypocritical there. Because you are basically saying that the people who spent good money on a high-end computer aren't allowed to use it to it's full extent simply because others cannot play the level? Now who's being unfair? My comment is realistic, not ignorant.
If you want to use your high end computer to its full extent, go play Crysis or some other game that is designed no to run well on older machines. I have a mid to high performance computer with the processor being the slowest component and in fast action games (read: all real-time multiplayer games) I would rather play with nerfed settings for higher performance than deal with an unreliable performance. With Trackmania and Valve I have that problem at a lesser degree because the games are not only "older", but especially with the game the engines looks better while performing better than other engines. The community doesn't need to be destroyed "elitist" expectations about hardware usage.
If a server started adding tracks that the person cannot handle.. Then they simply switch to another damn server. There are plenty of servers on Trackmania right now that do not allow large tracks, nor tracks with mods.
You dont get the point. You may play trackmania on a drop-in, drop-out basis on the best looking server, but many others, including myself play in communities formed in individual servers. Telling players on a server like this that they cant play there because of their computer limitations is rather low.
This is about CHOICE. You are basically saying other people shouldn't be allowed to create big highly detailed tracks just because some others won't be able to play them. Now THAT is ignorant.
Im not saying that they shouldnt be able to create large detailed tracks; they already do and people already cant play them. If players want to max out their systems with size and detail, they should probably take that to a community and map maker that is equipped for that, and even those maps have limitations.

I think the ignorance lies in not looking out for the common user and instead catering to power machines. 20% of the community fuels 80% of development. I dont think that power users are large portion of the 20% in the trackmania community.

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Re: The construction field

Post by Trackmaniack » 28 Jun 2011, 22:29

Agree 110% with zixxiz. It's not that you're wrong, kakkoii, it's that you're arrogant. Next time you have an idea, -propose- it, rather than shoving it down the rest of our throats as being the only idea, and "too bad" to those who can't run it. This is like the discussion a while back about how going DL-only TM could be detrimental to those with crap-can internets (like me). I'm probably going to have to buy it, then go into town where I can get a highspeed wireless signal to DL it. And I hope to god it's unfiltered, or they won't let me DL that...it's happened before. :( Again, my point is that the base of your idea (that bigger/faster/higher is better) isn't wrong, it's just the way you went about presenting it (my idea is the best and if you aren't on board, well, sucks for you) is wrong.
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Re: The construction field

Post by Knutselmaaster » 28 Jun 2011, 22:34

I think you pass by the options of the game client.
Even on slower machines you will be able to run very big and detailed tracks, but you will have to lower your settings to do so. (of course to a certain extend)
I once made a stadium track with lots of decoration and hundreds of lights (in night mood) and a lot of players complained that is was too hard for their machines, because i ran it on a server with other tracks that don't ask that much resources.
If a track like that is on a server with plenty of "simple" tracks, of course people will complain, as suddenly on that one track framerate drops like a brick.
But, if you would put that track together with many other similar tracks on a server, all visitors just adjust their settings so that all tracks run at an acceptable framerate (for slower computers) or with jawdropping graphics (for the high-end computers) and everyone can play and be happy.
Imo, it is just a question of good server management.

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Re: The construction field

Post by Kakkoii » 28 Jun 2011, 22:53

zixxiz wrote: If you want to use your high end computer to its full extent, go play Crysis or some other game that is designed no to run well on older machines. I have a mid to high performance computer with the processor being the slowest component and in fast action games (read: all real-time multiplayer games) I would rather play with nerfed settings for higher performance than deal with an unreliable performance. With Trackmania and Valve I have that problem at a lesser degree because the games are not only "older", but especially with the game the engines looks better while performing better than other engines. The community doesn't need to be destroyed "elitist" expectations about hardware usage.
Again, hypocritical. Telling one group what they shouldn't be allowed to do, as an argument against someone else supposedly telling another group what they can't do. (Although that's not what I'm doing at all <_< )

It's not that Crysis is "designed no to run well on older machines", it's merely too graphically intense for some lower end machines. It's not purposefully designed not to run on older machines.
But this is pointless anyways, were not talking about making Trackmania itself more graphically intense and thus people with lower powered machines cannot play it. But that seems to be how you are imagining this discussion. All that I am saying is to not LIMIT the complexity of a track that someone can make. Whether or not someone wants to use such a track on their server is up to them. Usually such tracks that lag people out are only juked temporarily for fun, or kept on side servers that contain "ridiculous" or "cool" tracks that aren't practical on the main server.
zixxiz wrote: You dont get the point. You may play trackmania on a drop-in, drop-out basis on the best looking server, but many others, including myself play in communities formed in individual servers. Telling players on a server like this that they cant play there because of their computer limitations is rather low.
I have been playing Trackmania since the original came out and still have the case/disc. And although these past 2 years I haven't been playing much due to real life duties, I was an extremely active player for many years on both United and United Forever (Purely Stadium player though). I was part of a community, Tet19, which I eventually earned server side access for the servers, such as the popular Music Tower and co-managed/improved them for a while. Tet19 has since sadly died, with members like Cybernetic moving on to AR and most of the other members moving onto 420, which I've since joined too. I even helped Clinton start up Allgamers.net, setting up and providing dedicated servers to Trackmania players, which has become quite successful. I was also an early pioneer of blockmixing, back when it was just hex editing and only a very few knew about it. You may have played my "Trackmixania" track at one point if you play Stadium.

So no, I am not just some "drop-in, drop-out" player. I have been around a long time and am fairly well known in the stadium community (at least by people who have been playing for more than the past two years)

My computer was a Pentium 4 (single-core), 2GB's of RAM and an ATI Radeon x1650 up until October last year. So I know damn well what it's like not to be able to play big tracks and games at acceptable frame-rates. Most of my racing over the years has been below 30fps. But that doesn't give me the right to say track makers shouldn't be allowed to make some big tracks just because I cannot play them. I would be limiting other peoples track creating freedom for my own selfish reasons.

And nobody said anything about telling players they "can't play there". I said it will be no different than it is now, with servers restricting what type of TRACKS can go on the server, not what type of players. You are aware that there are already massive Tracks created that are virtually unplayable to people with poor machines. Yet you don't see these tracks on every server. Because some servers know that their players might not have the machines to handle them, and thus they keep those types of tracks off the server. Usually people will create a second "fun server" to put ridiculous tracks on, while the main one is for only solid tracks everyone can play on, the main "community" server.
zixxiz wrote: I think the ignorance lies in not looking out for the common user and instead catering to power machines. 20% of the community fuels 80% of development. I dont think that power users are large portion of the 20% in the trackmania community.
Again, nobody is saying anything about "catering to the power machines". All that is being said is to ALLOW tracks large enough for the people who have machines good enough to play them. Whether they want to play them online or offline. Your basic argument is that "Well, I can't play the track, so others shouldn't be allowed to make and play them either! HMMPH!" Which is selfish.

There are many people who are going to want to create whole custom levels with cool design and track pieces, such a TStar :P And you're telling them they shouldn't be allowed to just because not everyone will be able to play that users custom track? That's truly ridiculous and ignorant.

Server managers will decide what type of tracks are on the server, just as they do now. Thus there is no reason to limit it. The limit as it stands is already easily big enough for lag out many players, if a track maker so chooses to fill the area with so many pieces.

Trackmaniack wrote:Agree 110% with zixxiz. It's not that you're wrong, kakkoii, it's that you're arrogant. Next time you have an idea, -propose- it, rather than shoving it down the rest of our throats as being the only idea, and "too bad" to those who can't run it. This is like the discussion a while back about how going DL-only TM could be detrimental to those with crap-can internets (like me). I'm probably going to have to buy it, then go into town where I can get a highspeed wireless signal to DL it. And I hope to god it's unfiltered, or they won't let me DL that...it's happened before. :( Again, my point is that the base of your idea (that bigger/faster/higher is better) isn't wrong, it's just the way you went about presenting it (my idea is the best and if you aren't on board, well, sucks for you) is wrong.
I'm merely passionate about this, which can come off as arrogance. And if You agree 110% with zixxiz, then you are saying I am wrong because he is proposing an opposite argument. And it's not that I think "my idea is best" but merely that what I am proposing is the most "fair". I don't believe in restricting peoples freedom, so I'm quite passionate about this.

It's not an "idea" I'm proposing. It's an argument against people saying it should be limited. The reality of any game is that it's "too bad" if you can't run it on highest quality. In this case, if you can't run the 2 million poly track with custom textures. It's no different than the situation we have now with the mega epic tracks that have custom mods too and lights all over. Some people can't play these tracks, and thus these tracks usually aren't on many of the popular servers. Server managers and the players on them will choose what types of tracks stay and don't stay. Don't impose a physical limit on everyone as a selfish way out of the issue.

And the Download game issue isn't really relateable. In that case, they are taking away an option, not expanding the options.
Last edited by Kakkoii on 28 Jun 2011, 23:25, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: The construction field

Post by Trackmaniack » 28 Jun 2011, 23:00

But remember, your original argument was that you were in favor of the 64^2 block field...which not only would overpower MOST machines if it were to be implemented, from the top on down, because you'd have a quartic increase, not just a squared increase, but would require, as well, MASSIVE recoding of the game in order to make it work. It's simply not going to happen in this stage, man. Not saying it won't happen at all, but let's wait for TM2 to actually be OUT and see what you think. We've had 32^2 blockfields for how long and I've not heard anyone complain before...
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Re: The construction field

Post by Kakkoii » 28 Jun 2011, 23:13

Trackmaniack wrote:But remember, your original argument was that you were in favor of the 64^2 block field...which not only would overpower MOST machines if it were to be implemented, from the top on down, because you'd have a quartic increase, not just a squared increase, but would require, as well, MASSIVE recoding of the game in order to make it work. It's simply not going to happen in this stage, man. Not saying it won't happen at all, but let's wait for TM2 to actually be OUT and see what you think. We've had 32^2 blockfields for how long and I've not heard anyone complain before...
The argument turned into one about custom geometry size though after Alter-Fox replied to that part of my post specifically. Which is pretty much all the rest of my discussion has been about.

But on the subject of the grid size, that problem is solved easily with LOD distance. I would be surprised if Trackmania 2 didn't have that implemented already. As almost every game engine adds a LOD system in, especially engines that need to deal with lots of objects. With a LOD system, the map could be almost infinitely big, but based on the players graphical settings, blocks to a certain distance only will be rendered, and some closer will be lower poly (usually objects have a few different poly level versions, even Trackmania United has this). This allows for a fake restricted grid size based on the players position and graphic settings. And this is the reason we can have such huge open sandbox worlds such a Morrowind/Oblivion, GTA, etc...

And I think if you asked most track makers, especially FS makers, they would love a bigger grid size. I know I would too. It opens up more track design possibilities.

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Re: The construction field

Post by pjw » 03 Jul 2011, 06:15

Kakkoii wrote:Again, hypocritical. Telling one group what they shouldn't be allowed to do

Your basic argument is that "Well, I can't play the track, so others shouldn't be allowed to make and play them either! HMMPH!" Which is selfish.

There are many people who are going to want to create whole custom levels with cool design and track pieces, such a TStar :P And you're telling them they shouldn't be allowed to just because not everyone will be able to play that users custom track? That's truly ridiculous and ignorant.

And it's not that I think "my idea is best" but merely that what I am proposing is the most "fair". I don't believe in restricting peoples freedom, so I'm quite passionate about this.
You talk a great deal about selfishness, and fairness, and how you're passionate about people having the freedom to do what they want. I think it would be best if you allow Nadeo the freedom to create the game as they wish, without arguing about how they should change their specifications to suit your selfish desires. If you don't like those limitations, then you have the freedom to not play the game.

Do you want a different game? A game that does more? That's fine. You're in the game industry; team up with all of those people around you, and all of those people in the community who were part of your various successful and pioneering efforts, and create that game. You have the freedom. Just use an LoD system; I'm sure it will be easy.

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Re: The construction field

Post by sebik » 05 Jul 2011, 22:24

A good compromise could be 40x40 grid. It extends building field by 8 blocks in every direction. Calculate:
Right now the plan is to make a 32x32 grid = 100%
With 40x40 it would be ca. 156%. It takes additional 50%, but I hope it is still not that much.
With 45x45 (TMUF environments) field is widen nearly twice (198%). It might be too much.
With 64x64 it is 400% of original field. It is way too much as Nadeo said.

It is vital to not enable players to choose on which grid to build (I mean about selection between 32x32 and 64x64 mentioned posts earlier). The players with worse PC should be able to play on every track. It does not mean the setting of size of map is a bad idea. I'd like to say it is awesome, but I see it as setting do we build on 40x40 grid, whether 20x80, whether on 10x160 one (the limit of vectrical grid is maximum eg. 1600 blocks). Not a selection between smaller and bigger one.

Also a next thing which should to be well thought is height of the map. On the nations maps it was 32, but for TMO maps it is only 18 blocks height and I don't feel any need to expand this limitation.
It should be fit depending on how high the blocks for Canyon will be (and I assume they will be really high). I propose a limit not higher than 25 or even bellow 20 blocks if it could help expand map vectrically without so much performance loss.

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Re: The construction field

Post by Knutselmaaster » 05 Jul 2011, 23:02

Relevant to the grid size is also the variety in decoration and the room it takes to change/hide.
In other words, the stadium environment in TMN seemed smaller imo than the TMNF one, because there where less different decorations, it was less possible to have a track with different looks in different parts.
So, if it is possible to have radical terrain/looks differences that take only a small surface, you will be able to put more on a smaller grid.
If you can combine tunnel/canyon/dam/desert in one 1minute track, without having to worry to hit the "invisible walls" and having to change previously built track parts, because you're stuck against it after you had to turn around for the invisible wall...(the angle being the worst nightmare :o )
Don't forget you will have the ability to select (part of) the track, and move and turn it in all directions, so the field will automatically feel much bigger.

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