Features to Hope For...

Discuss anticipation, facts and video's of the newly announced Trackmania 2 game!

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Alter-Fox
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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by Alter-Fox » 24 Sep 2009 17:09

Mac Matrix wrote:
hpbifta wrote:
Mac Matrix wrote:
Finally, how about a fifth option to the environment mood setting? "Variable"?
We would have four set moods - sunrise, noon, sunset, midnight, and then a second which loads the track with whatever mood is closest to the computer's actual time (or maybe loads it perfectly, like if it's 3pm, it'll be like a half noon, half sunset mood)?
From what I have been able to glean from the web so far this will be an irrellevancy, The sun in TM2 is an independent object and will be able to be manipulated via a new feature known as ManiaScript, this will enable you to control the time of day on the fly throughout the map, It works quite well if you watch the gameplay footage of the Valley environment on the videos available at the moment. That race quite niceley goes from full day to night-time. This was just one of many ideas which was offered up to Nadeo during the early testing phase of TMU-F/TMN-F.

Time will only tell how many of those ideas and others have now been implemented by Nadeo, and so far no one outside of their team has any idea of what ManiaScript will be capable of yet, for all we know there may be commands which will allow you to make some blocks move depending upon trigger events, or to cause something to alter in the track such as trigger a rockfall or lift a drawbridge we just don`t know yet. By the sounds of it the game is still quite a way off so anything can happen yet.
Oh yeah. x_X I noticed that but thought that it was due to them cutting it half-way through the video to change the mood.

ManiaScript... in honesty, Nadeo needs to be careful about that. It sounds to me like the idea to implement a script that enables anyone to make anything could be used for malicious intent (i.e. hacking, viruses, etc) so... whilst I'm not saying it'll happen, Nadeo need to be aware of it and need to be certain bad thing can't happen.

But now that I think of it, would ManiaScript mean that it would -finally- be possible to trigger bullet-time on a real-time, in-game basis? that's something I've wanted to see for a long time... could it finally happen?

And I'm drooling now at the possibilities of blocks that people could create... the suspended ring finish block is a possibility now! :gobananas: oh the possibilities.... crazy corkscrew roads, buildings, trampoline pads, pinball barriers....... I want this game so badly. I'm not much of a coder but I'm getting jealous of Nadeo just thinking of the game... T-T

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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by Demented » 26 Sep 2009 14:52

isamu wrote:
Demented wrote: I did buy a steering wheel once and found it to be a pain to use.
I guess Im in the minority. I find the wheel ROCKS in TM, especially in Stadium :)
Oh, yea, don't get me wrong the wheel is cool, just not for me. I kept yanking it off the table and crashing into things. It does give you a bit more precision than a controller though and a lot more over the keyboard.

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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by Kakkoii » 27 Sep 2009 05:47

Demented wrote:
isamu wrote:
Demented wrote: I did buy a steering wheel once and found it to be a pain to use.
I guess Im in the minority. I find the wheel ROCKS in TM, especially in Stadium :)
Oh, yea, don't get me wrong the wheel is cool, just not for me. I kept yanking it off the table and crashing into things. It does give you a bit more precision than a controller though and a lot more over the keyboard.
Keyboard: Maximum response and reaction time. But limited turning ability. (Hold down turn, or tap-tap turning at varying speeds lol.)
Joystick: Medium response and reaction time. But with more turning control, giving you an advantage on tracks with long turns.
Steering Wheel: The most immersive, but the slowest response and reaction time. But you have the greatest degree of control over what your car does.
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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by isamu » 27 Sep 2009 06:26

Kakkoii wrote: Steering Wheel: The most immersive, but the slowest response and reaction time. But you have the greatest degree of control over what your car does.
I don't buy the "slow response and reaction time" argument. The reaction time is only as slow or fast as your hand movements. I have never had a problem making very sharp turns in a corner with my wheel after memorizing a track. Achieving good times is more of an exercise in learning the map and practicing driving it, rather the instrument being used.

But then again, with those crappy Logitech wheels I can see how turning swiftly full lock left or right could be a problem :scene: :D

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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by Kakkoii » 27 Sep 2009 19:43

isamu wrote:
Kakkoii wrote: Steering Wheel: The most immersive, but the slowest response and reaction time. But you have the greatest degree of control over what your car does.
I don't buy the "slow response and reaction time" argument. The reaction time is only as slow or fast as your hand movements. I have never had a problem making very sharp turns in a corner with my wheel after memorizing a track. Achieving good times is more of an exercise in learning the map and practicing driving it, rather the instrument being used.

But then again, with those crappy Logitech wheels I can see how turning swiftly full lock left or right could be a problem :scene: :D
With a steering wheel your moving your arm partially, a long with your hand. With a keyboard, your only moving your fingers, which can react and move A LOT faster. I can't imagine doing tech in stadium using a steering wheel.
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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by Trackmania_Infinity » 29 Sep 2009 16:35

I'm sure that TM2 will have a video editing feature. But I have one request: enable players to export videos in full 1920 by 1080 resolution, and then burn them onto a Blu-Ray disc.

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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by hpbifta » 29 Sep 2009 23:13

The ShootTool (the in-game output tool which renders replay info from the mediatracker to an output avi) from TMU-F has been upgraded for TM2, this has been stated during the announcement. The gameplay video aired during the release announcement was made inside TM2 code using the upgraded version of ShootTool which Nadeo have labeled ShootToolHQ2 should be able to produce full videos in any neccessary resolution (1080p and possibly above) I expect. But I doubt they will add a bl-ray burning routine into the code. So you will prob have to produce the vid using TM2 and burn it using the latest version of Nero or similar.
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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by EntropicLqd » 01 Oct 2009 17:28

The biggest change from TMU to TM2 I'd like to see centers around the way official times are set.

Rather than have to pay 10 coppers every time you want to attempt an official time I'd much rather see either the whole copper concept abolished, or, a fixed fee on entry to setting an official time. The problem I have, is that in my group I've got more coppers than anyone else. This means that when someone in the group beats my time I can simply beat by attempting the track in official mode until I go faster than them. Because they run out of coppers I am always in front.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that unless you are off-line you should always have your times submitted to the central server.

I'm also fully on board with whoever suggested a much faster update to the official time ladders. 24 hours is such a long time.

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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by fng_thatoneguy » 01 Oct 2009 17:39

EntropicLqd wrote:The biggest change from TMU to TM2 I'd like to see centers around the way official times are set.

Rather than have to pay 10 coppers every time you want to attempt an official time I'd much rather see either the whole copper concept abolished, or, a fixed fee on entry to setting an official time. The problem I have, is that in my group I've got more coppers than anyone else. This means that when someone in the group beats my time I can simply beat by attempting the track in official mode until I go faster than them. Because they run out of coppers I am always in front.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that unless you are off-line you should always have your times submitted to the central server.
Heh, I'm in the same sitch as you. I've been donating coppers to those friends that joined the TrackMania craze much later than others in our group. Getting dinged for donating to others kinda tanks too. :)
EntropicLqd wrote:I'm also fully on board with whoever suggested a much faster update to the official time ladders. 24 hours is such a long time.
Agreed on the 24 hours... and I don't know about you, but it doesn't seem to update everything after that 24 hours. I'm not sure if there is some validation process going on after official times are submitted, but I know that as we daily try to beat each others' times, we come to work the next day and show each other our records, but when the update finally comes, not all of those records are updated.

I also play on multiple machines, so even watching for my own updates on a different machine is slow; and there is a bug where, when downloading your own update on another machine... it still caches the old record, so you actually can show up in the record list twice until the full update comes down.

I wish I understood how the process fully works. I know they did what they did for optimization, but a "Force full refresh" option would be nice for when you're competing on a daily basis on the solo ladder. Then they could keep the "optimized" update action happening when you're not so focused on the ladder; but you could get more real-time stats when you did need them.

What do the rest of you think?

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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by Mac Matrix » 01 Oct 2009 20:45

If I recall, the ladder on TMS and TMN updated a lot more frequenty - like once every 2 hours, until TMF was put in the works then it went to once a day (at about 6/7am) O_o

I think with the scope of TMF, Nadeo's validation / ladder server probably just can't keep up with updating all the records at such a speed.


I think since TM2 won't be a free game it probably won't get so many players like TMF has playing at once, so maybe Nadeo will allow faster ladder / official rank updates or something. O_o
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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by EntropicLqd » 01 Oct 2009 21:32

Mac Matrix wrote:...I think with the scope of TMF, Nadeo's validation / ladder server probably just can't keep up with updating all the records at such a speed...
I'm sure that's why it works the way it does. Reading official times is something that could be made to scale relatively easily. It's the updating of the records that takes the time. Since the setting of records is a "rare" event compared to the reading of scores I'm sure there's probably scope for making the score updates instant (or at least much more frequent than they are at the moment).

If score updates were all placed in a FIFO queue you could have a server-side process that processes the queue applying each new high-score in turn. One of those working 24x7 should be able to shift a ton of data in a very short space of time. And is relatively easy to write. OK it's not quite instant, but it will still be quicker than it is at the moment. And I'd bet you'd get the updates within a few minutes.

As a compromise it might work well if you could only select one group for which you would get "live" track time updates. That way the other groups are updated every 24 hours thereby reducing load.

Holding an "update" timestamp locally with the scores you have stored on the client and then submitting that with the time request could also assist in reducing the server load as it would allow the server to respond with a very small "no change" message rather than building a full response. But the gains from that would be marginal (although possibly significant for millions of requests).

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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by fng_thatoneguy » 01 Oct 2009 21:41

Since the game only shows you the top 10 of each zone, they'd really only need send the top 10, along with the player's own updates for each zone that player is involved with (that should work fine for both the ladder stats and the individual track stats.)

The old lists could be cleared and replaced with the new data on each update instead of trying to analyze the previous list and doing the incremental updates... since they're only sending down 11 scores at most for each list.

I would think that data could be sent very quickly...

Once a "Force update" was requested and completed by a given player... the game could disable that button for a certain time span (say an hour) so as to not let any given player overload the server with update requests; kind of like they do with RSS feeds.

Anyway, food for thought. I like the other ideas being discussed too.

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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by EntropicLqd » 02 Oct 2009 16:47

fng_thatoneguy wrote:Since the game only shows you the top 10 of each zone, they'd really only need send the top 10, along with the player's own updates for each zone that player is involved with (that should work fine for both the ladder stats and the individual track stats.)

The old lists could be cleared and replaced with the new data on each update instead of trying to analyze the previous list and doing the incremental updates... since they're only sending down 11 scores at most for each list.
I'm not really following this completely. It seems to me you are mixing both the uploading of new official times and the reading of the current top 10 fastest times.

If you set a new official time, then only the new time you have set should be sent to the server. I believe TM actually sends the replay to allow the time to be verified on the server. There's no point sending all of the times in a zone as you seem to suggest because the server already knows about them.

The reason I suggested having a timestamp assopiated with each set of zone scores is that it allows the server to quickly determine whether or not a new set of hi-scores needs to returned to you. Using an update timestamp (say milliseconds since the start of the epoc) means that there is no analysis that needs to be done (it's just comparing two numbers, one from the client requesting the update which is the timestamp associated with the last update received, and the one held on the server containing the timestamp the scores were last updated). Even though returning the fastest time list would be quick, it is still more work that the server has to do (especially since there is probably some encryption going on). Anything that allows the server to avoid doing stuff is a good thing given the volumes we are currently talking about.

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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by fng_thatoneguy » 02 Oct 2009 17:18

EntropicLqd wrote:
fng_thatoneguy wrote:Since the game only shows you the top 10 of each zone, they'd really only need send the top 10, along with the player's own updates for each zone that player is involved with (that should work fine for both the ladder stats and the individual track stats.)

The old lists could be cleared and replaced with the new data on each update instead of trying to analyze the previous list and doing the incremental updates... since they're only sending down 11 scores at most for each list.
I'm not really following this completely. It seems to me you are mixing both the uploading of new official times and the reading of the current top 10 fastest times.

If you set a new official time, then only the new time you have set should be sent to the server. I believe TM actually sends the replay to allow the time to be verified on the server. There's no point sending all of the times in a zone as you seem to suggest because the server already knows about them.

The reason I suggested having a timestamp assopiated with each set of zone scores is that it allows the server to quickly determine whether or not a new set of hi-scores needs to returned to you. Using an update timestamp (say milliseconds since the start of the epoc) means that there is no analysis that needs to be done (it's just comparing two numbers, one from the client requesting the update which is the timestamp associated with the last update received, and the one held on the server containing the timestamp the scores were last updated). Even though returning the fastest time list would be quick, it is still more work that the server has to do (especially since there is probably some encryption going on). Anything that allows the server to avoid doing stuff is a good thing given the volumes we are currently talking about.
I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing. I'm referring to what data needs to be sent from the server to the game client for a given player. When I'm logged in as my FNG_ThatOneGuy account, I'm in the "Friday Night Gamers", "TMX", Utah, United States and World zones. The game shows me the top 10 for each zone whilst in the menus. I was just referring to the way Nadeo would send updates down to the client; not sending new records back up.

I did mention sending records up because of the problem I see when playing on multiple machines... I'll restate the steps to duplicate.
1. Machine A and Machine B start with the same records lists (we'll pretend I haven't raced official times for a month or so.)
2. I play on Machine A and beat one of my old official times. Machine A sends the replay/time up to the server.
3. I log in to Machine B the next morning to show my new record, it downloads mine, but updates the cached list... now showing both my old time and my new time in the top 10 list. This takes another day or two to resolve... as if it's not doing a clean download of the entire top 10 list for that zone... it's just taking my new record time and injecting it appropriately into the cached list. (Does that make sense?)

That said, it seemed to me it would be more effective (but a little more traffic) to send all of the top 10 times for each zone down, clear the old list and replace with the new... along with the top 10 would be the player's best time/rank (if it's not already included in the top 10 for that zone.)

And this would only happen when the user selected the "Force update" option... otherwise, the game would update using the optimized algorithm.

This "Force update" option would only be necessary when a player is actively competing daily on the ladder with their friends and need more frequent up-to-date stats to compare with the peeps in their zones that they're competing with.

I hope that makes more sense.

I like your timestamp idea for deciding when it's ok to go get more updates when not using a Force update option too.

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Re: Features to Hope For...

Post by EntropicLqd » 02 Oct 2009 19:03

Ah .. gotcha. I've not seen the bug you describe, but I agree it should be resolved if all of the top 10 times were returned. Oddly enough, I thought that was what they were doing. Certainly the additional traffic isn't going to be that significant especially as you can only view the times for one group at a time.

Returning the times for one group at a time would increase the number of server requests, it would help to limit the amount of data being returned (in the case of mad people in tens of groups).

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