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View Full Version : Some Trackbuilder bugs and issues



DreamHermit
07-05-2016, 02:19 PM
Hi,

First of all, thanks for a really great game! It's definitely a new favorite on my PS4. I've never before been interested in racing games and, for that reason, had never even heard of the Trackmania franchise, until I got a discount offer at the PS Store a few weeks ago, downloaded the free demo, got instantly hooked and - much to my friends' surprise, as well as my own - purchased my very first racing game: Trackmania Turbo. Driving on spectacular tracks at incredible speeds immediately gave me an addictive rush.

Although the game's main campaign is really cool, it was probably the community aspect, with the online rooms and the creative Trackbuilder, that really won me over. After just a few weeks as a player I've become addicted to this game and spend hours every day with the Trackbuilder. Building cool tracks is now my new favorite hobby and my ultimate dream job, if such a job exists.

But I've also faced some recurring problems and annoyances while creating my tracks, so I've compiled a list of bugs and issues I've experienced during the few weeks I've been using the Trackbuilder, hoping it can be of use to the technical team. I'm sure you're already aware of some of these issues, but it might still be useful to read how a gamer experiences them.

My system specs:
Name: PS4 (CUH-1216B)
RAM: 8 GB GDDR5
System Software: 3.55

Trackbuilder issues
1. In the Valley environment, using the Advanced Trackbuilder, choosing Arena blocks > Slope: the straight slope-railing piece for one side of the track is missing. Instead there are two identical railing blocks that can only be used on one side of a slope. All other railing blocks come in mirrored versions so they can be placed on each side of the track.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VIPwWchqdew/V3z5NmoN1xI/AAAAAAAAFmk/Qkhok0xA-8UkFLKmzx-_0jD8Wit_S-M-wCCo/s1024/Railing_block01.jpg
Railing block 01

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QiPoiN1ax7M/V3z5NrZ27_I/AAAAAAAAFmg/SztRUupdnNwK_JSx1-VNDPb-uBlrjQoDgCCo/s1024/Railing_block02.jpg
Railing block 02 - should be mirrored but is exactly the same as Railing block 01

2. If you use too many of a certain kind of building block, the system crashes long before you reach the 7500 block limit. I tried to build some big walls with the Decoration > Wall blocks, and the system crashed around 3200, meaning I hadn't even used half of the allotted number. This happens constantly when I use many pieces of the same kind. The crash probably isn't registered by your system, since I'm not given the option to submit a report. Instead the game "freezes" and becomes unresponsive to my controller (Dualshock 4). I've tried to wait it out, but it remains frozen indefinitely. The problem seems to be at your server, because my PS4 is still responsive and allows me to exit to the main menu to restart the game. All unsaved changes in my track are lost, and a lot of time is wasted on restarting the game over and over just because I've reached some invisible limit for a certain kind of building block without any warning given in advance.

One suggested solution to this problem would be to have several limit numbers in the Trackbuilder, instead of just the one of 7500. For example, there could be one limit number for Landscape, another one for Track, and yet another one for Decoration. That way the player could perhaps avoid the constant server crashes, restarts and data-losses. The number 7500 is quite misleading and sets the players up for this kind of time-wasting problems.

3. When trying to validate some heavy multi-lap tracks, maxed out to 7500 and saved, your server allowed me to play the validation round but "froze" when the actual validation/rendering process began. I tried validating at least 20-30 times with the same result. In the end I deleted some mountains in order to make the track a bit lighter, and then the validation finally went through. I assume the 7500 limit is there to prevent these kind of time-wasting problems, but for some reason they still occur regularly.

4. Some of the settings for the lake water material attributes for the track thumbnails need some adjustment. The in-game water texture is darker and gives a really nice reflection, but the thumbnail water is so transparent that it's often completely invisible, particularly in direct sunlight. Trying to take a beautiful lake snapshot for my track thumbnail left me with a boring picture of sand and dust - the bottom of the lake. (I had this experience in the Canyon environment. Not sure about the lake water in the other environments.)

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qfdbIrHNEo8/V33WzggGUjI/AAAAAAAAFoA/M0LGk16b_T8SutEuVa89vT_6XUdwC-SMgCCo/s1024/Lake_water.jpg
To the left: the in-game lake water. To the right: the thumbnail of the same lake water. In this example the thumbnail water looks decent and shows at least some reflections. Seen from another angle it would be completely invisible. (Images from my track: SnowHermit #29 (https://players.turbo.trackmania.com/ps4/maps/_4CKOBqvoa50MWQN77feVczFJZf))

5. The sky/clouds inside the Trackbuilder world don't match the clouds you get in your track thumbnail. It's cool that the thumbnails will be updated with any new objects you add to the track, but if the sky also changes in the image it causes some issues. A few times I've been waiting a long time to get a clear view of the moon before I took a snapshot, just to discover that the moon was completely covered by a thick dark cloud in the resulting thumbnail. I had to exit the Trackbuilder over and over to check if my thumbnail looked the way I wanted, then disappointed enter the Trackbuilder again to set everything up for a new snapshot, and so on. It's a small but quite annoying issue that wastes the serious trackbuilder's time. I can't imagine that it would be very complicated to make the thumbnail sky/clouds match what the player sees the moment the snapshot is taken.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_kClZHhVwH0/WCfdNhIoxMI/AAAAAAAAAJ0/OH_JumiawVMWqFgXd3j6lE_RR4DAQchDQCL0B/h512/UkFl4nsQKic9FBsRgKQ5ltgMGx3.jpg
I spent probably 45 minutes to an hour trying to get a clear shot of the moon without a cloud covering it, only taking snapshots when the moon was fully visible in the Trackbuilder. This was the best I got before I gave up. In this image you can also see the issue with the almost invisible water. (Image from my track: SnowHermit #35 (https://players.turbo.trackmania.com/ps4/maps/UkFl4nsQKic9FBsRgKQ5ltgMGx3))

6. After finishing validating a new track I used to choose Quit from the Manage Track menu that pops up when the validation is done. Perhaps 50% of the times, the program would crash immediately when I had chosen Quit and I'd have to restart it. (I always got the option to submit a crash report, but I rarely did so since the problem occurred so often.)
Then I found that if instead of quitting the Trackbuilder when the validation was done, I chose Save - even though my track was automatically saved at the end of the validation - and then chose Quit, everything worked fine and I'd always return to My Tracks in normal order.

7. When creating an indoor environment using Arena light blocks in the Canyon environment, I often get these very odd and dark shadows on some floor blocks. Based on the direction and placement of he shadows, they seem to have some connection to the outdoor lightsource (the sun or the moon, depending on the chosen Mood), which shouldn't cast any shadows at all in a closed room surrounded with walls, a floor and a ceiling made of light blocks. Perhaps some unintentional shadow attribute value (or whatever you call it in your in-house engine) setting is causing these unwanted cast shadows?

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pj_On5pfLHM/V3z8mFk2-7I/AAAAAAAAFm8/IDdEFD6pCmEJAwrlaFSDvZ_xwSMm2gN6gCCo/s1024/Shadow_example.jpg
Example of the kind of shadows I'm talking about. (Image from my track: SnowHermit #43 (https://players.turbo.trackmania.com/ps4/maps/HVZ9au3nPz79S97KlfMqOUehMsg))

8. Whenever you place a block just below an already placed sign block (see image below to be clear about exactly what kind of blocks I'm referring to), the sign changes to whatever sign you placed last. So if I place a sign block that says 'RIGHT' and then another one that says 'LEFT', and then I place a plain stone track block under the first sign block, the word 'RIGHT' instantly changes to 'LEFT' because that's the info on the last sign I placed. If you're not attentive at all times you'll suddenly discover that many signs suddenly give the wrong information. It's a bit of a nuisance to have to change back to the correct sign all the time.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-IUSjYH_wEGQ/V33FtvibMQI/AAAAAAAAFnY/6EWcvwgdMLoKzvTUouEOoxiuhw9RX8xswCCo/s1024/Sign_blocks.jpg
Sign blocks

Other than these issues, I really love how well the Advanced Trackbuilder works. Obviously, like so many other players, I too would be super happy to see even more features in future updates (more types of blocks, the option to rotate blocks on Y and Z axis, and so on), but even the current Trackbuilder is an impressive achievement considering how limited the functions of console controllers are.

That's all I have for now.

Lots of manic love to the TMT team and all the creative TMT fans out there! See you in the online rooms!

/SnowHermit

Avernar
07-21-2016, 09:37 PM
2. If you use too many of a certain kind of building block, the system crashes long before you reach the 7500 block limit.

Just hit that last night. At around 2600/7500 the game crashed and almost all controls were frozen.


7. When creating an indoor environment using Arena light blocks in the Canyon environment

I made a really big indoor environment using canyon walls and a block ceiling. I would get a bluish haze in the distance. It looks like your suspicion is correct as it seems it's the moonlight causing this.

DreamHermit
07-29-2016, 04:20 AM
I made a really big indoor environment using canyon walls and a block ceiling. I would get a bluish haze in the distance. It looks like your suspicion is correct as it seems it's the moonlight causing this.

I believe that's the atmospheric fog of the game engine. It's a volumetric fog that looks thicker the further away an object is in the game world, to give distant objects a more realistic look. Unfortunatey the game engine can't differentiate between indoors and outdoors, so if the atmospheric fog is set to look good outdoors, in the moonlight, it will look oddly blue in an indoor environment. I think we just have to live with this issue. If you add some strong lightsources in your night mood indoor environments, like oiltanks or many lightblocks, the haze can actually change color and look really good.

Ubi-Alinoa
07-29-2016, 10:39 AM
Hi :D

Nadeo provided with Turbo a highly customable game thanks to map making, challenges, server hosting and web connection at players.turbo.trackmania.com.
The game is also delivered with a high quantity of blocks & four map editors to adapt to players experience. These required a lot of effort and this is our way to make for the game buyers to always have new content. Far from the question of success, it's a question of our time in the team. And the drawback of having us working on so many features is that we have to concentrate on some priorities to decide what to deal with at the moment in order to satisfy the players we believe are waiting the most and for most important things for our console or PC games.
It's obvious that we would like to fix & improve everything. Our view is that if we force us to do this, it would prevent us to even make the features in the first place. It's a sincere approach on what we think of quality. We are aware that it's a different from some other approach that are probably easier to explain. Our hope is that the overall evaluation of what we deliver will be look in it's entirety.

rabiddabid
10-18-2017, 06:00 PM
Great tracks in official tracks examples #87 #89,will blockmixing be implemented in a future upgrade for us trackbuilder fans ?