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rlmergeuser
08-26-2009, 05:19 PM
The Do's and Do NOTS of the level editor.

<for a tl;dr edition, scroll down>

Ok, so i've had the game for a while now, and have played on numerous user-created levels. So I know what is entertaining to me and what isn't entertaining. I know what works well, and what doesn't work well. I've played some fantastic tracks, some of which really are works of art, and I hope get featured in the full game in the form of DLC or an update. However, i've also played some incredibly frustrating tracks. Why are they frustrating? Well, I'll tell you why. I'm most certainly not an expert in the editor, but nevertheless I have compiled a list of what NOT to do in the editor. Feel free to agree or disagree with my criticism. I'm sure I am wrong on some points.

Ok, here we go...

#1. Night Time Tracks
Ok, yes, I suppose they are fun to create, and fun to play if you are the creator. The night tracks i've played have just been guess work, and trial and error. "Can I make this jump that I can't see at all? Which way do I lean? How tall is the object? I don't know, because I can't see anything". Not fun at all I'm afraid, and way too frustrating. I want to see your creations, I don't have a Trials HD sixth sense. I don't know what object is coming up next, like you do. If you're going to make a night track, please for the love of god, put a few lights in.

#2. Random Falling Objects
Nothing is more irritating than speeding towards a nice big jump only to be crushed by a huge container. How was I to know that was there. If you do this, I think you need to put in some warning signs.

#3. (Almost) Impossible Jumps
Yes, I played a track earlier today by someone http://forum.redlynx.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_asleep.gif'm not pointing any fingers here), but I couldn't even hit the first checkpoint because the first section of the track was almost impossible. I had to perform several jumps, land PERFECTLY on the third jump and then make a giant leap to a 45 degree platform and ride up it. It took me about 6 or 7 mins to actually do it, and got boring after the 8th or 9th attempt. Please, all you have to do, is make the jump a little shorter, or put in another checkpoint before it so I don't have to keep starting again to have another go at this same jump. Which brings me to my next point.

#4. More Checkpoints!!!
I cannot stress this one enough. Tracks that don't have enough checkpoints get boring fast. Fact! I don't want to keep doing the same jumps over and over again to get to the point I'm stuck at. If a track has a huge lack of checkpoints, I probably won't play it much. They drive me mad. But maybe that's just me.

#5. Too many Physics Objects
Don't get me wrong, I love the physics in this game, and the triggers and what not. But filling that complex meter with physics triggers for one section of the track cause crazy LAG. The slow-down is unbearable.

#6. Too many explosives
Explosives are fun, everyone loves them. But having things blowing up left right and centre while I'm driving through a track is hella distracting, and not to mention annoying! So I'm riding up a hill - BOOM BOOM BOOM BANG BANG BOOM BOOM - CRASH. Repeat, BOOM BOOM BANG BANG BOOM BOOM - CRASH. Repeat x5. The annoyance factor is muliplied several times for me.

#7. The game camera
Being able to modify the game camera is fantastic. And has worked wonders in some levels I've played. But others, ugh, not so much. The creator has obviously tried something new with it, but it just hasn't worked for me. The view gets all twisted, goes through walls, or just hinders the view so I can't see where exactly the next jump / object is. I'd say if you modify the camera, keep it simple enough so the player can see where they are going and where the next object is. Make sure it doesn't clash with any walls or ramps, etc.

#8. Backflipping onto higher platforms
Maybe I'm being fussy with this one. But nearly every track I've played (seriously), at some point or another, has had a section where you need to ride up a wall and backflip onto the platform above to continue. I'm not saying this is bad, it's just overused now in my opinion. I've played a few tracks where there have been 3 or 4 of these moments in it. OVERKILL!

#9. Random Floating Objects
Fussy me again. But floating objects means no imagination to me. I don't think to myself "Wow this is a cool level and a lot of time was spent on it", instead I think "wow this track was rushed, no imagination whatsoever!". At least make it look like the objects are connected to the ground or a wall with a metal stick or something! This way, the player can really get engrossed in the level.

#10. Falling Platforms / Elevators
Falling platforms are cool but what is not cool, is when i have to fall about 100m on it and try to maintain control when it slams hard into the ground below. Smaller drops are the way to go!

#11. Medal Times / Faults
Last but not least, is track times. Completing a challenging level is always fun. But let's say I complete a level in 3:24 and 27 faults, I'm not exactly going to retry the level for silver if it's asking for 0:55 seconds and 3 faults, or a gold, which asks for 0:30 seconds and 0 faults. Naaah. Sure, the track may be easy to you, the creator who has spent several hours creating it but trust me when I say, if you are far more lenient with your track times and medals, we, the players, will get a lot more replayability out of it. If I completed it in 3:24 with 27 faults and it asks for 3:00 and 25 faults for silver, I guarantee, I WILL play your track again, otherwise, I won't even look at it. Unless it's to be deleted.

Ok, I'm done now.

tl;dr edition

#1. If you create night tracks, pleeeease put in some lights.
#2. Don't have too many falling objects that crush the rider.
#3. Don't put in jumps which take hours and hours of practice, patience and frustration.
#4. Put in plenty of checkpoints!
#5. Don't put in too many physics objects, it causes horrendous lag.
#6. Too many explosives are irritating.
#7. Check your modified camera works ok.
#8. Backflipping onto high platforms is overused (opinion, not fact).
#9. Random floating platforms = No imagination (opinion, not fact).
#10. Falling platforms / elevators dropping 100m is not much fun.
#11. Easy medal times means your track will be played more. Trust.

rlmergeuser
08-26-2009, 05:25 PM
#7. The game camera
Being able to modify the game camera is fantastic. And has worked wonders in some levels I've played. But others, ugh, not so much. The creator has obviously tried something new with it, but it just hasn't worked for me. The view gets all twisted, goes through walls, or just hinders the view so I can't see where exactly the next jump / object is. I'd say if you modify the camera, keep it simple enough so the player can see where they are going and where the next object is. Make sure it doesn't clash with any walls or ramps, etc.

couldn't agree with you more, played loads of tracks where the track idea is cool but I fail because I can't see what I'm doing or I'm disoriented, shame

rlmergeuser
08-26-2009, 05:35 PM
I'm pretty much in agreement with all of these, supertom. The backflip thing isn't too bad, but you're right that it has fast become "flavor of the day."

And too much eye-candy just causes eye diabetes!

rlmergeuser
08-26-2009, 06:46 PM
#1. If you create night tracks, pleeeease put in some lights.
#2. Don't have too many falling objects that crush the rider.
#3. Don't put in jumps which take hours and hours of practice, patience and frustration.
#4. Put in plenty of checkpoints!
#5. Don't put in too many physics objects, it causes horrendous lag.
#6. Too many explosives are irritating.
#7. Check your modified camera works ok.
#8. Backflipping onto high platforms is overused (opinion, not fact).
#9. Random floating platforms = No imagination (opinion, not fact).
#10. Falling platforms / elevators dropping 100m is not much fun.
#11. Easy medal times means your track will be played more. Trust.

Eh, reads like a duh list of stop using gimmicks. More helpful would be a guide to actually making smooth, simple levels, which is actually quite complicated because of the intricate physics of the bike. You've got to pay attention to every little jump the angle, the length, where the bikes tires will hit first, and basically what you expect the standard impact and then course over it to be like ... which of course not every player is going to have off the jump. So I think that's why you see less of the kind of the level you want... it takes the most extreme amount of work to make the levels fluid, and at the same time knowing people will beat it right away and forget about it is unsatisfying too.

rlmergeuser
08-26-2009, 09:08 PM
Great post supertom. I agree with all your comments.

I tend to find extreme custom tracks (unless exceptional) a chore usually. Unlike the in Redlynx ones there is no leaderboard so no real incentive for me to complete them. The best custom tracks are when there's something new in them and, as mentioned, fluid. There needs to be that sense of satisfaction when you take a jump or obstacle just right and land perfectly to continue with the next challenge.

rlmergeuser
08-26-2009, 09:37 PM
#4. More Checkpoints!!!

ABSOLUTELY! http://forum.redlynx.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_lol.gif

rlmergeuser
08-26-2009, 10:56 PM
Random Falling Objects
Nothing is more irritating than speeding towards a nice big jump only to be crushed by a huge container. How was I to know that was there. If you do this, I think you need to put in some warning signs.

#3. (Almost) Impossible Jumps
Yes, I played a track earlier today by someone http://forum.redlynx.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_asleep.gif'm not pointing any fingers here), but I couldn't even hit the first checkpoint because the first section of the track was almost impossible. I had to perform several jumps, land PERFECTLY on the third jump and then make a giant leap to a 45 degree platform and ride up it. It took me about 6 or 7 mins to actually do it, and got boring after the 8th or 9th attempt. Please, all you have to do, is make the jump a little shorter, or put in another checkpoint before it so I don't have to keep starting again to have another go at this same jump. Which brings me to my next point.

#11. Medal Times / Faults
Last but not least, is track times. Completing a challenging level is always fun. But let's say I complete a level in 3:24 and 27 faults, I'm not exactly going to retry the level for silver if it's asking for 0:55 seconds and 3 faults, or a gold, which asks for 0:30 seconds and 0 faults. Naaah. Sure, the track may be easy to you, the creator who has spent several hours creating it but trust me when I say, if you are far more lenient with your track times and medals, we, the players, will get a lot more replayability out of it. If I completed it in 3:24 with 27 faults and it asks for 3:00 and 25 faults for silver, I guarantee, I WILL play your track again, otherwise, I won't even look at it. Unless it's to be deleted.


Hahah, reminds me of the falling block I did for my insidious track, there is a sign next to it and it destroys the whole wooden construct from where you jump. I ended up making it pretty easy, no point in making memorizable spots like that very hard.

About really difficult tracks, some people might find them enjoyable and a good challenge, its pretty relative.

I dont see why track times should be made easy, a good idea would be to make the difficulty "curve" properly like on the default tracks, something like this should work on say hard tracks:
silver: average second/third try time (playtesting ofc)
gold: 2-5 faults, decent time
platinum: 0 faults, ~ best time from creator/playtesting

btw, I could use some testing on my tracks, I havent set the times yet!

rlmergeuser
08-26-2009, 11:07 PM
#3. (Almost) Impossible Jumps
Yes, I played a track earlier today by someone http://forum.redlynx.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_asleep.gif'm not pointing any fingers here), but I couldn't even hit the first checkpoint because the first section of the track was almost impossible. I had to perform several jumps, land PERFECTLY on the third jump and then make a giant leap to a 45 degree platform and ride up it. It took me about 6 or 7 mins to actually do it, and got boring after the 8th or 9th attempt. Please, all you have to do, is make the jump a little shorter, or put in another checkpoint before it so I don't have to keep starting again to have another go at this same jump. Which brings me to my next point.

I disagree with this one , I love the extreme tracks that people are making . I love a good challenge , also the super hard jumps become medium jumps after alot of practice .
Agree with most of the comments .

rlmergeuser
08-27-2009, 03:05 AM
Agreed with this post

Especially tracks that are TOO hard. NEVER make it too hard. Why would you? It's not fun. It just sucks. Sure, you wanna make an extreme track, but don't make obstacles that just get tedious to try to pass. That is never any fun. Ever.

Gotta hand it to Redlynx, they're kings of making tracks. Even the extreme ones are fun to play. Yes, even Inferno II barring maybe one or two spots.. but they seem to know what makes a good track. Both in THD and Trials 2.

nannerdw
08-27-2009, 05:27 AM
I don't like complex sections that cause lagging, but there was no way around it in my city level, which runs slower than usual throughout the entire course due to the number of room blocks on the map.

I saw one custom level, I can't remember which one, that had a long straight section that required you to drive in reverse. That gets boring really fast, and is definitely a "don't" for level building.

Also, if I can't get past the first obstacle in a track after about 30 tries, delete.

Position objects so they they aren't perfectly overlapping and flickering inside each other, especially windows.

One more "do" from me: I like making deadly falls just high enough so that you can watch the rider do his hilarious glitchy dance upon landing. http://forum.redlynx.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_e_biggrin.gif

rlmergeuser
08-27-2009, 07:50 AM
Especially tracks that are TOO hard. NEVER make it too hard. Why would you? It's not fun. It just sucks. Sure, you wanna make an extreme track, but don't make obstacles that just get tedious to try to pass. That is never any fun. Ever.

Again, some people do like to play very difficult tracks. Just because you get frustrated at a certain track doesn't mean its badly designed for what it's supposed to be (an extreme track?).

Also, I'd recommend track makers to have some people test their tracks before they are finished, sometimes people get stuck on a part which the creator didn't want to be hard which you can then make easier to make the track play as intended.

RedLynxANBA
08-27-2009, 09:56 AM
#4. More Checkpoints!!!

Hardly cant agree more. They cost 0 dollars so good rule is use them a lot.

rlmergeuser
08-27-2009, 12:23 PM
Hardly cant agree more. They cost 0 dollars so good rule is use them a lot.
Sure, the first few are free... just until they get you hooked!

lu3mm3l
08-28-2009, 06:34 AM
I would like to add #12: Label your right! Look at the original tracks and rate your tracks from beginner to extreme.

I played some new levels yesterday which were labeled as beginner or easy tracks. They were really mean at some points and way harder then medium.

On the rest of your list: couldn't agree more. Checkpoints are rare in most of the tracks I played. Takes the fun out of them when you have to do a part over and over again.