PlayStation.Blog
Uncharted 4

ModNation Racers Track Studio Walkthrough with Track Designer Mark Riddell

Mark Riddell's Avatar + Posted by Mark Riddell on Dec 23, 2009 // Track Designer for ModNation Racers, United Front Games

I’m Mark Riddell, a track designer for ModNation Racers on PS3. Last week, Rob laid out even more details of the character creation features in the game, and today I’ll be talking to you about some of the features of Track Studio.

One of the design goals of Track Studio has always been to cater to both casual and advanced users. You’ve probably seen and read about people easily creating tracks in just a few minutes. But as a track designer, I’m more interested in what I can do with the tools, and how far I can push them. So today I’m going to talk about a few powerful features that we use to create cool gameplay moments on our tracks.

When you drive out your track, we’ve tuned it so that you’ll always make a track that is drive-able to ensure a good experience. But we don’t want those constraints to stop you from making something unique and wild. That’s why we’ve provided basic width, lift and bank in Quick Edit to allow further customization of the track after you’ve driven it out. They are easy to use, and will give most people what they need to customize and tune their track. As a professional track designer I require an even finer level of control – and this led to the development of the Advanced Edit tool.

With Advanced Edit, I can directly manipulate all the points that make up the path of the track, allowing for very fine control of position, elevation and slope. Even better, I can edit any of the four points across the section of track that defines the width of the road, fence and runoff on either side. While still intuitive to use, this allows me to get precise banks, fun drops and cool technical sections that you can’t get just by driving out a track. Another great trick is with one or more points selected holding the square button will smooth the selection, which has proven immensely handy!

Populating the track with props is another good example of advanced tools. While a casual user may enjoy our impressive Auto Populate feature, advanced users often have more specific ideas of where things should go. We have tools to let you place objects almost anywhere on the track or terrain. The object will automatically snap to the ground, which is a big time saver. You can choose to ‘unpin’ the props as well and just their elevation above or below the track or terrain. These tools also help you place things more easily, such as flattening the terrain under a building you’ve placed, or allowing you to “spray” down a row of fences, even over hills! The tool also allows you to lasso select a group of props and move or rotate them, even spread them out over a larger area or delete them.

Driving on terrain was something that was fun right from the start, and we knew we wanted to include it. We’ve given you Erase Surface road style – just paint it down like you would cobblestone, for instance. It smoothly transitions from the road to driving directly on the terrain, and allows you to construct the drive using terrain sculpting tools – great for rally style tracks! I’ve found the Advanced Sculpt brushes really useful for tight control while adjusting terrain for these sections. Also remember to paint the terrain using Surface and Ground Cover brushes to help define paths for the players — you don’t want people getting lost.

Breadcrumbs also are really useful here. Breadcrumbs came about as a way to make shortcuts across the terrain, while allowing for the game logic for racing, weapons and A.I. to keep working. Starting from the main road, create a trail of breadcrumbs leading off the track and then back, and now that becomes a race-able part of the circuit. It’s awesome for making shortcuts or alternate paths across terrain — just remember to get rid of the roadside fences to allow the players off and back on the main road.

There are so many more cool features to talk about in Track Studio. I look forward to seeing and racing your cool designs!

//Add Your Own

65 Comments

PAGE 1 2

51

+ nathan19569 on December 23rd, 2009 at 8:08 pm said:

i had no idea the track editor was that deep. i cant wait for this game!!! Does it have 4 player split screen?


52

+ Permafry_42 on December 23rd, 2009 at 11:05 pm said:

Seeing this level makes me want the full game even more… btw as just about everyone has said, your servers are some of the worst i’ve ever seen. If you don’t fix that problem big time then i may not be able to play an online game ever.


53

+ haff0777 on December 24th, 2009 at 12:31 am said:

please give me a beta key


54

+ Tezasaurus on December 24th, 2009 at 5:45 am said:

Fix your game. It takes forever to load (even a single-player race on a regular track) and I can’t get into a race with other people.


55

+ terbas on December 24th, 2009 at 6:39 am said:

Hello, the game is great, however, I believe there are some points to be improved:

1) It freezes a lot

2) All sound (and music) gets lost sometimes

3) In the creation mode, when designing a track, if you make roads one above the other (a spiral shaped track, I mean, which should be available because it is a lot fun making tracks like that) the “place props” function goes berserk and instead of placing the item in the level you want, it places it on the part of the road above that one (for an example of such a track, you can check out my track named “Nausea track”.

4) There should be a “smooth” function for landscapes

5) The boost used by L1 seems to not contribute to the car’s speed at all (it can be improved).

6) More mobile obstacles would be great (such as piston-controlled obstacles (moving from one side to another) and piston-controlled platforms (raising the players up -and down-).

Other than these, the game is awesome, please keep up the good work…


56

+ ryanmck142 on December 24th, 2009 at 7:34 am said:

Wow dude that peice of editing system blew my mind. goood job guys. hope to see good reviews for this game as LBP!… -ryanmck142- hey chris stiers


57

+ lillaterlid14 on December 24th, 2009 at 8:27 am said:

how can i get the beta??????it looks really fun!


58

+ Brapp347 on December 24th, 2009 at 2:23 pm said:

ok… wow!


59

+ DIEDFORYOU on December 25th, 2009 at 12:30 pm said:

Hi! I’ve got a few questions for you Mark Riddell:

Is it possible to create shortcuts? I’m talking about paths that could be slightly hidden and a bit faster to take, and which eventually lead back to the main road. Or, is this track editor only going to allow one path to the finish line? Think, San Francisco Rush.

Also, will we be running into memory/storage limitations with our tracks that we edit? I remember getting frustrated with the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater skate park editors that always stopped me from editing all that I wanted.


60

+ Darkpen on December 25th, 2009 at 8:10 pm said:

Why can’t there be an additional point or two within the width of the track that I can edit? Why can’t I make half-pipes?

Will there ever be a prop with moving platforms, or an environment with no ground?

How about magnetic tracks? Race upside down and whatnot? Loops?


61

+ Darkpen on December 25th, 2009 at 8:27 pm said:

To be more specific, why can’t I have these in the beta

Really limits what I want to do and explore with creatively from the get go.


62

+ terbas on December 26th, 2009 at 12:02 am said:

Hello, the game is great, however, I believe there are some points to be corrected and improved:

A) BUGS:

1) It freezes a lot

2) All sound (and music) gets lost sometimes

3) In the creation mode, when designing a track, if you make roads one above the other (a spiral shaped track, I mean, which should be available because it is a lot fun making tracks like that) the “place props” function goes berserk and instead of placing the item in the level you want, it places it on the part of the road above that one (for an example of such a track, you can check out my track named “Nausea track”.

4) The lap and positon counter freezes (stops counting) during “test race” in the editor.

5) When browsing user generated tracks, the ps3 slows down with each page and eventually, freezes.

B: SUGGESTIONS

6) There should be a “smooth” function for landscapes

7) The boost used by L1 seems to not contribute to the car’s speed at all (it can be improved).

8) More mobile obstacles would be great (such as piston-controlled obstacles (moving from one side to another) and piston-controlled platforms (raising the players up -and down-).

Other than these, the game is OK.


63

+ Jenovah on December 26th, 2009 at 8:50 am said:

You guys need to balance the weapons more in the beta, last palace should get better weapons right now all the weapons are the same effectiveness it seems. Same with this vid, you are rewarding the first place player too much with that rotating platform trick. First place should only get defensive advantages. Also PLEASE give us the option to pull the camera back a bit, it’s too close to the racer.


64

+ papaw on December 27th, 2009 at 9:28 pm said:

They need to add sensitive control on both editing and racing. Editing to the racers is quite hard sometimes, moves to fast. JMHO

Could also add, when placing anything to the track, it should say #25 of 100.


65

+ papaw on December 28th, 2009 at 9:52 am said:

I wish there was a way, when editing the track and the guard rails goes below the track. I wish you could be able to lift the rails to the height of the track.

As so in the editor for the karts, you need to fix the layering system. Need to be able to layer, without removing layers already there.

Love the quick pick in lobby, while waiting on the race to start. Nice additive, I used all my karts during different races, without leaving the lobby. Very nice.


PAGE 1 2
Comments are closed. We close the comments for posts after 30 days