Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Fault in My DLs - When Being Rushed Made Everything Went Wrong

It turns out that my zip files for Gran Canaria and Frappe Snowland (evidence not pictured) tracks contain corrupted files.
It has caught my attention that some certain files whose links I had provided in several places, including my site (granted it's still in construction) and my blog here contain faulty elements, including corrupted ZIPs, missing tiles et cetera. I just found out last night as I tried to drive my old tracks just for fun and it petrified me that two custom tracks were problematic as soon as I extract all the track ZIPs. They are Frappe Snowland and Gran Canaria, of which they each had one corrupted file, and the file in question is the custom track's image. Additionally, I also found out that I forgot to put additional custom tiles for Templedore as the underpass tile is missing. Despite it is not much a problem as Sliderpoint has the underpass tile, I can't condone such a behavior as the tileset is less than 1 MB and I just need to include it all along. Even my second version of Tsukuba and Snow Complex has the same missing tiles problem too.

It also turns out that this kind of "rushed" behavior also the same behavior that affected how my tracks were before my trackmaking skills matured, same with my writing in which I had vocabulary issues too, resulting in either Engrish-y writing, erroneous grammar structures and vocabularies or a hybrid of both. Yet, when I don't rush in trackmaking, I did rush in releasing the track, which is what I didn't do until recently. Those who have downloaded both corrupted tracks and those with missing tiles, my apologizes to you.


Vaillante Route, one of my first releases in the past. This is the track that doesn't utilize Photoshop's path tool and instead used a different method further explained below. Available on TS's site.
In the past, I used to create tracks without adhering to the guidelines of making the best track, even looking at some of the existing creations. Even when I did, I only dig the environment or the idea of the track and not the usability (i.e., adequate track width to fit cars, good tile placements, etc.). It was the time before 2.0.0 that I didn't calculate the track width well, and only the track's theme that I fleshed out. It was by the time 2.0.0 came out that I realized this problem, and found out that most, if not all, of my tracks sucked hard big time, in contrast to others. Sometimes I wondered if I could pull great tracks just like Punatiainen did. Being a sucker in making normal tracks contributed a reason to go another way of trackmaking: Custom tracks.

With custom tracks, the width can be fixed by using the path tool and then draw the stroke based on that path using a Brush tool in Photoshop. Even you can see the how-tos of making custom tracks in this pdf dede has created a long time ago. But despite knowing Photoshop and wondered how my tracks would look as good as Jazzyclub's or Keppana's (those two authors are the ones whose Photoshopped tracks I was digging for in the past), I got the whole idea wrong: I would make the track first using the default tiles, take the track's pattern file, convert it to RGB and put some effects whenever I see fit, and then make it as the track's custom image tile and use the existing track's pattern file as its pattern. Thankfully, that was before I found out how useful Brush tool is. No, Path and Brush tools are the norm in making Photoshopped tracks.


Mushroom Kingdom. a fictional, Mario-themed race track. Even, in the past, I used the brush tool, I haven't harnessed its full power yet. I finished the track in hurry in order to be able to race the track with the AIs ASAP. Download page below.
There's "trackmaking" rush, and then there's "track release" rush. In the past, whatever track I'm making, be it a normal one or a Photoshopped one, I was also rushed; I would make tracks quickly so I can race them immediately. The first time I used such a knowledge I already write, I would use a 100px brush and a sloppy track design, then lowered into 60s px brush, this time with a better design despite it's still flawed. This defined my tracks that are released between 2009-2010, which includes Mushroom Kingdom, Japanarta and Tamiya Kakegawa. The flaws, if not in the track's width, design and/or path, lie in kerbs that are too big and less pleasing kerbs. But then again why I did that, you wonder. It was because that time was where I found joy in customizing the aiplayers.dat file and I added some television character names and colors, which enhanced my TS enjoyment even until today. That was where editing the aiplayers.dat file considered as a Helheim fruit.

Yet that's nothing compared to being rushed by the deadline that you forgot one or more tiles in the pack. Sometimes I would forget one to two tiles used in track, and when your track misses one to two tiles in the pack, it's unplayable. That is the case for Templedore, Snow Complex and Tsukuba. There were lots of files in my WIP folder and yes, I could have double-checked the pack before releasing them, thank you. I tend to forget things when I opt for quicker release time, and the three tracks were the proof of such a stupidity. In the light of this, I will make sure that I can be more professional at releasing future tracks, making sure that nothing is missing.


As a sign of the apology from me to you TS players, I decided to do several tweaks on selected problematic tracks:

For Templedore, I just have to insert the underpass tiles right away, and it's case closed. No, it already is case closed. I would gladly announce that you can now download this track right away without having to download the Underpass tiles at a separate location! Of course, credits to Hengari for the Underpass tile :).

For Tsukuba, I have re-made the track-exclusive tileset. The original tile resides on my broken hard drive, yet it was no problem as the custom tile in question is a modification of the original made by Jazzyclub for his "Toca" tracks and I just need to replace which images represent which tiles. HOWEVER, expect Tsukuba v3, which is essentially v2 in 4k size, a new standard of mine in making real world tracks. Also notice the new and cooler "Dunlop Direzza" tire bridge just like in the original circuit :). Yet for now enjoy the re-release of Japan's Temple of Speed here!

For Frappe Snowland, it has been re-made, this time utilizing default tiles in order to make it natural. Now sporting a more accurate design and minimalist environment, plus a new exclusive wooden bridge tile with realistic properties too. It's time to download Frappe Snowland v2 here!

As a side note, Frappe Snowland goes down as the first track of mine to be made for both Turbo Sliders and GeneRally.

A rough imagery of the future Gran Canaria revamp. Notice that there are three colors (excluding the gray for the tarmac) that represents the configurations to be made.
For Gran Canaria, it has been put into the WIP list. Like Frappe Snowland, it will utilize default tiles, only this time with more custom tiles (including Hengari's racing tiles), including those made by me. It turns out that there are three versions of Gran Canaria as pictured above which are all based on older Race of Champions races, so it'll be triple the work. To note, the broken one is actually exact same configuration used in Michelin Rally Masters game, which is actually the second configuration used (marked in red); the first config (marked in blue) is as seen on the Luis Monzon vs Francois Delecour footage and the third and the final config is as seen on this Race of Champions 2000 Tommi Makinen vs Marcus Gronholm footage (marked in green on the image).

Last but not least is the Snow Complex. Unfortunately, as the track's image is on the broken HDD, I can't help but wait it until I am able to repair the HDD. For now, it is not going to be listed on [R]GARAGE.


Big Billow, one of my older tracks. Design is based on F-Zero Climax's Big Blue course "Big Billow" hence the name.
For Big Billow's case, I was currently searching for the "Palms" tile, lending help to Mike Nike who has downloaded thousands of tracks which I previously did with old tiles from Jazzyclub. However, until this post, there hasn't a word from him. So I took a shortcut: take the palm tree tiles from Hengari's racing tiles set and make it an independent tile set. It turns out that the tiles within the tileset has exact properties to the independent one so it was just a "rotate and copy-paste" job. The track itself is a "Default Racing Track" adaptation of F-Zero Climax's track of the same name, with beach environment being used as the track's environment. The track suits Antislider best.

The Mediafire release of the track does not include the Palms tile, yet I forgot about something important which I had to facepalm for myself for several times: it was also released on the Turbo Sliders's Tracks Database WITH the Palms tileset included. I just discovered this just now because I admit that I don't have any other businesses other than checking tracks there since I am unable to upload my other tracks, not to mention the maintenance. A little interesting story about the track: as its description in the DB said, it is simply a track competed in TS Track Making Competition 2009 where I went up against the likes of Keppana, dede and Scud among others. The track is not without its issues, specifically the fact that the track has variable track widths and straight lines for corners aren't a good idea , as Keppana pointed out. dede also added that the pit should have been in the other side of the starting line as the walls made the first turn hard, despite the fact that the pit is correctly placed based on the track it bases on. In the end, I get nothing, yet it was a blessed try. Since then, no more track making competitions take place, and I just wish that there are competitions like this. Despite all that bombshell, Big Billow is finally available to download, on my Mediafire of course, meaning that this will see an [R]GARAGE spot.

Putting this into reflection made me realize that I was subpar all along. If not for how the track looks, my rushed behavior is made me so. If I were to make remakes, I would do one with several existing tracks, just to make sure that I can give these newbie-ish tracks a professional's touch without having to change its core environment. And once again, apologies for my too-rushed behavior at track releases. I will promise that this marks the end of such a behavior.


1 comment:

  1. omfg, first of all, im writing this a 2nd time here, so im probably gonna skip a lot of what i wrote before. and excuse me the rage. your damn stupid comment field didnt seem to publish the written text and allowed itonly when logging in into some sorta google aim or whatever account. i logged in and the text was gone. no going back possible. grr
    short summary: i like the mario touch, you doin good stuff for the ts community, so: thank you, rendy! and i did actually search for til files but had to abort it during the search, put it into a kind of todolist and forgot to tell you when i had some sorta sparetime again (sry for that!)