The Doctor @ E3

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The Doctor @ E3

Post by TheDoctor » 10 Jun 2011, 20:27

Hi all,
I'm on my way to Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo to help as I can with introducing Trackmania 2. I hope to be able to give you all my impresions of the festival on a daily basis. Ubisoft wants to have some of the American Trackmania community there to talk to correspondents about Trackmania as it exists today.
boarding my flight... more later

Morning of Day 2

I was a bit too tired to post last night as I was working on some simple skins for today but here is what happened yesterday:
Alex from Ubisoft met us, John aka “The Killer” his father and myself, in the morning and we walked the short few blocks to the convention center. After getting our badges we went to the Ubisoft area and met 4 of the nicest people. Adrianne, Edouard, Anne and Jerome. They were very warm and inviting and quickly made us feel like part of the family.
And now what you are all waiting for…
They showed us the game. Or rather they said you drive on this computer. YUM! They have a set of 8 computers linked in a LAN for Party Play. The tracks were familiar because they were used in the trailers. My first impressions of the car’s physics was a very satisfying mix of Island, desert, stadium an bay. The cars drifted beautifully and predictably. There is very little or no air control. Perhaps letting off the gas made landings shorter. The car really soars it seems to hang in the air forever. That impression could just be due to good track making.

Like I said earlier, The Canyon environment and track parts feels like a mix of United. What seemed a bit narrow in the trailers is in fact very wide open. The scale of the blocks relative to the car is about the same as island. 42 meters on a side I think is what Edouard said. The available space to build above ground is 24 levels high but below ground is about 8 levels. I really love the editor though as yet it still has a bit of stability issues in this pre Alpha version. The number of blocks is huge. So big in fact I will be attaching a video file displaying the features of the editor. I never really found I was lacking any parts it just took a while to find them. Moving multiple blocks was easy and even moved canyons in the ground as well as mountains. Woo Hoo!.

Driving the car was easy with keyboard and was easy to learn with a game pad. The skill of the driver still is still paramount even though there is a bit of a more arcade like feel. I can’t point to any one thing as an example of that. It is just an impression. People picked up the game very fast and had a lot of fun driving against the Frag Dolls. Like I said earlier there is little air control. Driving up walls, and sticking to them, took a bit of getting used to. Landings from jumps are sweet. I have yet to meet a landing that was glitch or unfair in any way.

Time for me to get back to work for day 2. I’ll have more pictures and video later as I can put them up on a server.
E3 is over and I am sitting in the San Francisco airport. I can finally finish loading videos and pictures. Sadly fewer pictures than I would like because my little camera was lifted off the counter at the trade show as I was helping Adrienne Pechère. The first shot is of the team at the at the Expo.

From right to left is Adrienne Pechère aka Pepita, Anne Blondel-Jouin, Edouard(down low)aka Mr Bob, Jerome Chatelain aka Jeryo, John aka the Killer, and myself (crouched down) Dan Moore aka The Doctor.

I had the chance to play with the basic parts of the car skins. natively the file is 2048 by 2048 pixels and is of the DXT5 flavor. The Alpha channel is used for how shiny the car is and is 8 bit so there are 256 levels of shiny to matte. here is the Alpha channel of one of the default cars.

The editor has been revamped and the block list is huge compared to older versions of the game. You won’t be missing many parts and those you are you can mix together to do what you want. The ability to select, copy, cut and paste multiple parts works very well. It will even move teraforming. Here is a video of the editors bolcks: ... 15_971.3gp

The next shows the cut and paste feature. ... 29_952.3gp

Some other interesting screens:

Driving the cars you will like no matter who you are. It has some features for everyone. I was asked by the Nadeo people what I felt about the game. I feel that some minor air control of the car might be better than none. Think that a standard loop piece is missing. I like to use them to slow down the car when it goes too fast. There is the really big loop that is built onto the canyon, yes, but it just too big and difficult to master for just slowing cars. The car has a lot of speed it accelerates quickly. That I like. Camera views are the standard but the first person view seems lower than you would expect but it does make it seem more exciting. Drifting is easy to master and long, looong drifts are possible. Longer than the Island environment even.
I was also impressed how quickly players were able to master the tracks. The difficult tracks by Pappy Champy were super challenging. I really missed my steering wheel. Killer, 17 years old, was able to master the editor very fast. And even was able get a fairly passable track finished. Kudos to Killer.
Edouard aka MrBob in yet another interview.

With all the press around asking questions I am a bit hoarse. I also talked to many Ubisoft executives who I believe wanted a closer look at their new partner. I was asked to explain demonstrate the editor. Everyone said very positive things and were really impressed. Later at the Ubisoft 25th anniversary party I met a number of interesting gentlemen with Ubi. I met 2 different people who said that when the game editor was demonstrated people around them didn’t believe it was happening real time. They couldn’t believe that something that looked that nice wasn’t CG rendered and recorded beforehand. Of course we all know better. By the way I wish to thank all those from Ubisoft/Nadeo who invited me to go to E3. Amelie, Adrienne, Anne, Jerome and Edouard. It was a great experience. Thanks for allowing me to help.
Here is a video of me driving one of the tracks and damage that results if you get too friendly with a wall. ... 17_297.3gp
Here I have to give my highest praise for the people at Nadeo who optimized the graphics of the game. It really seams faster than Nations. The textures are beautiful and the frame rates impressive. With the game running under Windows7 and with a Nvidia (oh geez I forgot to write it down. I think it was a GTX 550) standard frame rates are around 80 fps with most of the bells and whistles turned on and 8 players on the course running on a LAN.
One nice thing is the award for games that build communities of players. It was presented by a Community of bloggers. Check them out.
Tease alert!

Next year it will be a blue, black and white one with Mania Planet on it. (Heh heh.) But seriously, most people I was around that were driving that game liked it but found it a bit tedious. Too much reality can get boring very fast it would seem.
Faith, the Frag Doll. How cute is that shot?
Jerome a great guy. Image
John and I had a Rounds mode race with Edouard and Jerome. Sadly we lost by one point after points were tallied. What can I say? Sorry? I let down all of the community by placing last a couple of rounds. I did get the lowest time over all in one of the rounds however. A small consolation I suppose.
The lovely and extremely sharp ladies of Nadeo. Anne Blondel-Jouin the director of Nadeo Publishing and Adrienne Pechère Nadeo Operations Director.
Players on pods at the convention.

Bob Marley's star on the walk of fame outside of the Ubisoft 25th Anniversary Party. Pictures at the party have all been burned. :wink:

NOTE! All pictures and files may be used as long as you recognize me as the source. Feel free to distribute.
Last edited by TheDoctor on 20 Jun 2011, 06:53, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: The Doctor @ E3

Post by wiidesire-2 » 10 Jun 2011, 20:30

thank you Doctor, I will add the video to youtube with your name and the pics to my collection thread with your permission :)

Thanks for the Photo with the Nadeo Team ;)
Picture/Video/Article Collection Topics:
TM2 Canyon | TM2 Valley| TM2 Stadium| SM Storm
My Computer:
2010 I was 7th of the world in TMUF :)

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Re: The Doctor @ E3

Post by maniaman » 10 Jun 2011, 20:43

THX Dr ;) :mrgreen:

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Re: The Doctor @ E3

Post by tcq » 10 Jun 2011, 20:43

Nicely written report. Many thanks for this, i really appreciate it :)
And all the stuff looks just :shock:

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Re: The Doctor @ E3

Post by Cuba.CZ » 10 Jun 2011, 20:49

Yet again, I have to say thanks to everyone involved in doing such a great job around this, whether they were helping with presentations or they kept us busy with the constant stream of information, videos and pictures. 8-)
You must have had a blast!

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Re: The Doctor @ E3

Post by fng_thatoneguy » 10 Jun 2011, 20:55

Wow, thanks for the awesome report, Doctor.
It's awesome we got to have great representation for the USA TrackMania community at E3; and we're all jealous of you being able to hang with the NADEO crew. :)


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Re: The Doctor @ E3

Post by Trackmaniack » 10 Jun 2011, 21:04

Hey, doc! :D great report, review, and nice teaser of SM! :P Lucky devil. I -so- wish I was there. LOL But again, thanks to you, K, and especially Nadeo's staff for making an -awesome- thrill-ride of a game I can't wait to play! :mrgreen:

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Re: The Doctor @ E3

Post by BigBuddha » 10 Jun 2011, 21:11

Seems like you've had a nice time there :) Thanks for your report. The videos are nice, especially the editor ones.

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Re: The Doctor @ E3

Post by haenry » 10 Jun 2011, 21:36

Thank you much for such a detailed report!!! :D
A nice person is a better person!
Did you participate in a Monthly Track Contest yet?
My Maniaplanet maps!

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Re: The Doctor @ E3

Post by frizbee_ » 10 Jun 2011, 22:05

Thanks for sharing !
I'm happy to finaly have some information about skinning :)
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