1. #1
    emcee's Avatar Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Track Building Tips

    Before I say anything, there are many better builders out there and I don't profess to be an authority on building. Hopefully some of those guys can share their tips here too. That said, there are lots of people asking for tips and many newcomers to Trials and building in general, so I thought a thread where people can offer little tips and tricks to help others might be good.

    A few things I consider important in building:

    1: TEST, TEST, TEST. And then when you have finished testing, TEST AGAIN I think one of the most important aspects of building is that your driving line works. Everyone has a different take on the flow between obstacles, for me I like the obstacles to flow into one another, but this is personal. You can spend 1000 hours building an amazing background but if the driving line sucks people won't enjoy the track as much. Make sure the track is passable with all the bikes you allow. If you put a curve in, make sure it's not sudden, the more subtle the better, and putting obstacles on the curve can help greatly (way of the ninja/redlynx motojam are great examples)

    2: Consistency of obstacles. Try out the driving tests for each difficulty and make sure you have obstacles which are relevant. It is annoying when you fly through a medium track and then someone has put a car on the driving line and stops you dead in your tracks. Make sure that techniques required from the player match the difficulty you set the track at. If unsure, try out the in game tracks and make a judgment call from there.

    3: Optimise the track. Screen tearing is ugly and it is hugely common on many TC tracks I play. If there is screen tear you have too much going on and need to dial back the effects, lighting, or complex objects. Many things can help with this, you can select objects which are not on the driving line and change their advanced physics properties to decoration only, you can switch off the main headlight on the bike. Changing view distances, shadow distances and other weather settings can reduce tearing, flickering and improve performance. Make sure if you have several light sources in the same place, the lights don't overlap, this is another source of trouble. There are others but it is largely situational and not possible to list them all.

    4: Be careful using Environmental objects on the driving line. Most of them aren't optimised for driving on and therefore provide a bumpy ride! You can circumvent this by using custom collisions, or lay another object on top. If you want to do this and keep the original look of the cliff face (or whatever environmental object you have on the driving line) you can make the alternative one invisible, and set it to contact response.

    5: Spend some time to make the track look nice. I personally don't create huge epic landscapes, I don't really have the patience for this, I try to decorate the driving line and a little way into the distance. Some guys make huge backdrops (check IZEZ latest track for a good example of this), but whatever you do, do something. The backdrops in this game can be made to look great with some tweaking, if you spend some time messing around in the track settings with the environment you can achieve some great scenes without having to spend many many hours. Just plonking some huts and a few rocks/barriers down without much thought is not going to make an excellent track generally speaking.

    6. Don't move, basketball, impossible stairs, they've been done to death. Don't make them

    That's enough from me, hopefully some other builders will come and drop some of their tricks, there is loads I've missed!
    Share this post

  2. #2
    harrisonosirrah's Avatar Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Those are all very good tips. I am so tired of seeing user created tracks that have so much potential but are just no fun to play or look at because the creator didn't take their time with it. as for tips, I'm no pro but i've learned a few things along the way.

    1. Custom Cameras. I've learned from personal experience that if you don't know how to use the custom cameras you should just avoid them altogether. to many erratic and extreme camera movements can be confusing and ruin the whole feel of a track.

    2. Colors. Experiment with colors as much as you are able to. nothing is worse than a stock track with items that have been just 'plonked' down. It makes it very obvious that you just plonked it down when the object still has the original color. not to say that you always have to change the color for what it starts as but it is something to consider.

    3. Curved Driving Lines. When using curved driving lines you have to make sure the turns make sense, aren't too sudden or extreme. and most importantly you need to telegraph upcoming turns so that the player knows it is coming. (ex. putting down a driving line or barrels along the edge of the turn)

    Also I just want to reiterate that I am still learning myself but I have been making tracks since HD and I have made all the mistake I listed and many from the previous post. So just keep trying your best and you will get better.
    Share this post

  3. #3
    1. when you lay down the initial drivng line, make it a little longer than you think you need,
    its easier to extend the track if needed without having to copy and move around spline points.

    2. its a good idea to build the obstacles with primitives and then place your buildingblocks of choice
    over them, (make sure you can select the primitives and delete them later on easily tho)
    if you half way through the building process have a change of heart and want to go in another
    direction ie from a nature track to an industrial one, you can quickly delete all obstacles
    made of rocks, trees etc and still keep the integrity of the track.
    Share this post

  4. #4
    TeriXeri's Avatar Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    1. Adjust the world and object view distance to only show what you need for the track, it helps a lot for performance not having to draw objects behind your track/mountains you won't see anyway, use area clears if there are things like pre-placed buildings/grass etc. in the distance you don't want.

    2. Use custom collisions wisely, especially on rocks/ruins and on things like pipes/logs it might help smoothing the track. Just make sure the bike doesn't look like it's floating.

    3. You can change the look of your track in many ways without changing the actual track just mix and match to get an unique look :
    -Camera Filter/Exposure/Brightness/Tint (Field of view or blur can also work but use them more more careful)
    -Sun Light/Longtitude/Angle/Brightness/Ambient
    -Sky Color/Blend
    -Weather, Fog type/color/density, Wind + Clouds/cloud shadow / Stars

    4. Sounds can change the feel of a track in many ways :
    - Dynamic Music
    - Ambient background sounds
    - Triggered sounds etc.

    5. Fail areas: Make sure to use them on gaps if you don't want the bike to just fall down to the ground and survive, especially if you have no way back to the track.
    Share this post

  5. #5
    mutetus's Avatar Trials Developer
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    The land of fin.
    Few things from just off the top of my head, not any official stuff and generally performance related. Some of them already mentioned now and before, but anyway:

    1. Try to keep the frame rate at 60, that pleases all of us. Use dynamic modifications wisely, keep them under 20 if you can. Once you finish an animation, disable impulses to the OPE. Visibility and color events are also dynamic modifications, don't use them more and no longer than you have to. Don't leave the faucet running when you leave.

    2. Glue only essential stuff. Don't glue objects if you're not planning to move them. They'll just eat complexity and file size. Keep glue groups as simple as possible, massive amount of glue groups moved around the track just reduces track performance and increases the checkpoint reset time (as well as turning hundreds of objects invisible and resetting the visibility on checkpoint restart). On the other hand, if you have an object with complex collisions like convex and concave shapes that you're not planning to use, you might save some performance by making it decoration only and gluing a custom collision to it.

    3. Although you can do it freely now, avoid sinking objects with complex collisions under terrain. Also not in water and over each other if they have collisions enabled.

    4. Avoid massive area triggers. 100m³ area trigger covering hundreds of objects is generally not a good idea. Use a sphere shape just suspended in midair without touching anything else if you only need to trigger it with the rider. Try using distance and driving line position to trigger events. Make your track logic elaborate by making sure the player cannot activate animations and such by bailing out or flinging the bike at a trigger.

    5. Don't set physics joints' strength greater than required for the job. In many cases 2 is perfectly adequate. Avoid changing the physic joint limits dynamically if there's another way.

    6. Adjust view settings as low as possible while still maintaining the best look for the track. Don't cram all your stuff in one spot, spread them evenly. Don't use too much lights, but don't leave the poor rider in a dark place either.

    7. Different effects have different particle count and life. Particles in large effects, like fireworks, take longer to decay than in small ones and explosions leave nearly indistinguishable smoke cloud behind. Keep an eye on the visible particle effects on the statistics overlay and time your effects according to particle count.

    8. There's interpolation amount setting in the custom camera settings, don't be afraid to try it. Custom cameras are generally recommended only to avoid objects clipping in front of the default camera or show the track a bit further when needed and only as much as needed. Zooming in to your decorations while leaving the actual driving line out of the picture and yanking the camera around just destroys the flow in the track. A good track can have 0 custom cameras.

    9. Make it clear where you're gonna land after a jump. Make the spot stand out from the rest of the decoration. If the driving line is gonna curve, make it obvious to the player.

    10. Make sure the player can always see the rider, the only thing he's in control of in the entire track.

    11. No rush. The track central is gonna be still there tomorrow and nobody's gonna steal your track. Take a break and then have another look at your track, ride it from the start to the finish without restarting and you'll immediately notice if there's a problem in the driving line. Make a good first impression, people who enjoyed your track will probably download your next tracks as well. Plan while counting sheep or riding a bus, make up a theme and stick to it. Don't use every idea in your head for one track, a Ferris wheel in a car factory just seems a bit odd.

    Ok I'll stop now before I seem like an arrogant know-it-all. In fact, even I don't always remember to obey the list I just wrote when I'm making custom tracks

    And I'd like to point out once more that this is my personal list. We still don't have any rules, you all have equal rights to make any kind of track you want and upload it, though it's not really nice towards other players to post the same example track over and over again.
    Share this post

  6. #6
    Some nice tips in here, will bare them in mind.

    I don't particularly have a favourite type of track. But I do enjoy the more technical, take your time tracks, where you have to use a bit of bike skill, hopping from one object to the next. These type of tracks really benefit from having a theme and a well designed, constructed background.
    Share this post

  7. #7
    Hi ,

    I wonder if Mutetus or someone could help explain / point me towards a tutorial for the new editor options like the object pointer. I watched some of the stream redlynx did where they kind of went over it. are there going to be any tutorial vids like the ones for evo? they were very useful.

    I think I sort of get object pointers - are they used to help cut down on the amount of code you have to use? ie could you just have one physics event for the whole track which you tie to a pointer, and then point that pointer at all the things you want physics on? and then set it off with data sources? and what else would you use it for? nay help would be great thanks.
    Share this post

  8. #8
    they have some editor vod's on yt from the editor streams

    object pointer is kinda like a retargetor haven't used it myself yet though
    Share this post

  9. #9
    From the brief glance that I gave to the Object Pointer, looks like each object it links to has a preset index (unless I'm confusing it with an Array card). Would have to experiment to see which object is which index number.
    Share this post

  10. #10
    Share this post