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This begins my track building tutorial.  I started out like many of you.  I created a lot of 2 checkpoint "Base copy" tracks before I understood what was going on.  I got a bit frustrated.  I published my tracks before actually doing anything, just because I didn't know what to do.  I want to tell you how to avoid that frustration and be able to build great tracks with ease.

I first thought that there was no way I was ever going to build an entire track in less than a week.  Now I can create a decent outline of a track in a couple of hours and in a couple more, I have a finished product, ready to be published.  Drive a few of my tracks to see what I mean by finished.Let me begin by describing what I think of as a good track.

Good tracks have a bit of distance, but not too much.  You don't want to see a track that can be finished in 4 seconds.  That is almost a waste of time to open.  You also don't want to go over 10 minutes.  I like a long track, but often more than 8-10 minutes to finish and most people will not finish at all.  Most of my tracks take 7-8 minutes for the top drivers to finish.

Good tracks have elevation change.  People have more fun when there are a lot of hills and valleys to drive through or just play around.  Flat tracks can be fun depending on the builder, but there are only so many times we can drive straight and flat through a canyon or in a drag race.

Good tracks tend to have lots of curves.  See above and substitute curves for hills/valleys and straight for flat...

Fantasy vs. realistic tracks.  I like both.  There is something to be said for a track that follows the lines of the ground like in real life.  I tend to create these more realistic type of tracks.  I think they are fun and challenging, and as an added bonus, when you fall off the track you can usually get back on!  However, I also like those with deep pits or tall mountains to fly off.  I have created a couple of those as well (and they seem to be my most popular tracks, too).  Your imagination is the only limit there and I do not want to limit you in your creativity.

"So, how do I build these wonderful tracks?", you ask.  "I can't get beyond a bunch of checkpoints in a line," you say.  "This is getting frustrating," say some.  Hang in there and drive some of my tracks and some of my favorites from others .  I will be right back with a tutorial on how we actually build these things.

How do I actually BUILD a track, though?

OK, so you want to build a track.  So go ahead and click Create New from the home screeen.  Here is what you get: 
OpenScreen

Start of build.

This is the basic startup for all of the builds.  Now, you can't really do anything here, since this is someone else's actual track.  You must hit Copy Track to make a copy of this track for yourself.  This works on ALL tracks, by the way.  If you like where someone else was going with a track or you like certain features of a track, you can always copy that tracks and make it your own.  (Unless that person removes that feature...)

OpenScreen2

Brand new baby track

So now we have this.  It's the same track, but this one is yours.  You can now go crazy building.  BUT WAIT!  First some rules.  Please please please do not press Publish Track until you are really done and completely satisfied.  People can and will still drive your track while under construction.  I will often wait several days before publishing my tracks so that I can drive them.  I now ask people's opinion in the new comments section and change the track accordingly.

One other thing that I like to do is name the track "Working" or "Testing" or some other thing while I am working on it. (Circled above in red)  You can always change the name before you publish it.  It just helps me remember where I was and which track I was working on.

Instructions

Help!

Also, make sure you read through the help section.  That will make things a lot easier.  You can read how each control works for yourself.  Just know that most things are movable in the game except scenery.  You can change where the arches are or how big they become, the direction they point, or if they are there at all.  You  want to add a tree in the middle of the track? Go for it.  You don't like where the car starts, just move it!  Just remember, not everyone has the flying car, so starting several km in the air does not always work out so well.  Having to trek through 2 km of forest and hills just to get to the track gets old quickly as well...

Tutorial 1: Making a Simple Track

So let's start building out that track we just started.  We have read the help file and we know what to do (sort of).  But how do we get these two little checkpoints to be a real live track?  There are a couple of options.  

The first is trying to do it the way I started.  I found that if you click on the final checkpoint, then press copy, you get another checkpoint beyond the one you had selected.  The selected checkpoint will be directly between the previous point and the newly created one.  That is great if we want to make a nice long line of checkpoints.  But we don't want to make a line, do we?  We want to make an exact copy of Laguna Seca Raceway or some fantasy volcano or whatever you want, really.

Here is the way I start my tracks.  There may be different ways of doing things, but this works for me.  I like to start by determining both the start point finsh point.  Interestingly enough, I have a start and a finish right here.
BuildStart

Start and Finish

I moved the finish line where I wanted it, so now I have the start and finish points defined.  We could select the last point and copy, but that messes up our finish line and just creates problems I don't want.  So I am going t select the start line and copy that one.  When I copy the start line, I get a new point halfway in between the two points.  This will work for any two points, so my track is a collection of copied points with a stable beginning and end.

The benefit to this is that you can always find where the new point is instead of copying the last point and having the new one wind up inside of some

BuildStart2

There it is! The new point halfway between the start and finish.

hill or mountain and you can't get it out. So now I continue by moving this one point somewhere besides directly between.  I want a bunch of nice curves in my tracks. I keep selecting one point and copying it to add another checkpoint.  I move each new checkpoint to a different place on the map based on how large I want my track to be.  Basically I start with the start and finish and add 4-5 points to make the outer corners of the track.  I think about the track and how far north, south, east, or west I want it to go and I place a point at those spots.

BuildStart3

Point has been moved to the furthest corner

I wanted, for this demonstration, to have this large crescent shape for the track.  I am  going to go back to the beginning checkpoint and copy some more points to make an interesting shape.  If you make the corners of the track first, you can always go back and fill in points in between.  That way, if you want to route your track around the side of a hill, over a hill, or drop it off of a cliff, you just have to have the basic shape and modify the stuff in between.

Next, I will demonstrate the different settings of the checkpoints.

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