My thoughts on the main STK tracks

My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby fracture » 25 Sep 2020, 21:13

21. Fort Magma

Final tracks are supposed to be the hardest and most exciting ones in the game. This track is not difficult at all. In fact, it's one of the easiest tracks in the game. The track is very boring, and adding a short cannonball section as an obstacle does not make this track any more interesting. Music is decent but doesn't fit well for a final track (it could be used for a different track).

In terms of graphics, this isn't the worst track but this is very disappointing for a final track in the game. They could have added some more obstacles, speed boosts, or change the pathing to make the turns more sharp and 90 degrees.

20. Volcan Island

I think this track is the most poorly designed track in the game. The textures used in this track are terrible, and the lap time is too long with no interesting sections at all. A large portion of the track is just going around in circles around the two volcanoes. The inside parts of the volcano doesn't even feel like a volcano. Volcanoes are supposed to be dangerous but this one has nothing. At least add some speed boosts during this section or maybe add some lava on the track or lava obstacles or something to make this track better.

This track is essentially a weaker version of Gran Paradisio Island and I think it should be removed.

19. Shifting Sands

Shifting Sands is probably the easiest track in the game. It's also one of the most boring ones since most of the time there isn't any good scenery and nothing is going on. The pathing is good enough to where this track can be improved unlike Volcan Island or Fort Magma. Here are some suggestions:

* When entering the pyramid's main section at the main path, if going fast enough, the player will start flying in mid-air and be unable to control himself. This needs to be fixed.
* Sven improved this track (https://invidious.honeypot.im/watch?v=8zuCsenlc-o) by adding some graphical tweaks. Using these could make the track slightly more interesting and much better graphically.
* There is a small oasis section right before the branching paths which I think should be bigger. Maybe add a bit of grass to make it feel like an oasis.
* The music isn't terrible but it's also very boring. I suggest replacing it with some kind of battle theme like the one used in the addon track Shifting Sands Timewarp.

18. Hacienda

This track isn't terrible but the actual "hacienda" section feels too short and the ramp with the large nitro tank is completely broken (you're guaranteed to miss or come to a complete stop just by attempting that). After spending less than 10 seconds inside the actual building the rest of the track is just a boring desert drive with no interesting scenery, obstacles, alternate paths, or even speed boosts. The music, which isn't even that great but does fit the theme, is probably the best part of this track.

17. Snow Peak

One of the worst tracks, if not the worst, in terms of graphics. There are too many noticeable polygonal textures, and every turn is pretty much a 90 degree turn with no variety. I also think this is one of the most overrated tracks since it gets selected a lot online. The music is pretty good, but the graphics and pathing is terrible.

This track might as well die because the replacement (https://invidious.honeypot.im/watch?v=BxwwVl6ShfE) will be much better.

16. Antediluvian Abyss

One of the nicer looking tracks in the game, but it's also a very boring one, especially on the easiest difficulty, it goes on forever. Maybe add in a few speed boosts? At least the water track that came before this had some giant fish you could drive inside of. This track has nothing.

15. Zen Garden

Now we get to the tracks that are actually pretty decent. This track is fun to race on because it's fast-paced, has good music, and has an original theme (there's already 2 desert tracks, 2 ice-themed tracks, and 2 beach tracks). Zen Garden does have problems, such as the graphics being terrible with lots of polygons and shit. The track itself could be better just by making it slightly bigger.

14. Northern Resort

This track suffers from a few problems such as polygonal textures, weak pathing which makes the track look like it was built using some console video game's level editor, and I can even see the track limits. If I fell off on the right side after the first bridge, I'd be out of the track.

Other than that, this is a somewhat fun track to race on.

13. Around the Lighthouse

Another fast-paced track which doesn't need much improving although I noticed a cutoff between the grass and sand. Shouldn't the grass and sand blend or transition better than just a straight line where it was just cut off? Also there's an invisible wall towards the end of the track if I tried to take a shortcut at the end. These are just very minor issues.

This track is actually fun to race on and could be better if a shortcut was added or if some speed boosts were added all around the track. This could create an amazing chaotic race if the AI used the right items.

12. XR591

This track, with all it's sharp turns, is probably the hardest track in the game. It's one of the more unique tracks and very fun to race on, but it also has terrible graphics. The polygons make this a very bumpy track to race on and the one section where the two branched paths reconnect, the arrows showing which paths to take suddenly disappear and reappear. That should be replaced with a single large arrow sign hovering over the road so they don't have to disappear just so the player can keep racing.

11. Ravenbridge Mansion

Blackhill Mansion was a terrible track which was completely broken with user-accessible track limits and the sharpest turn in the game. Ravenbridge Mansion is an improvement, but it just feels too open and easy.

The main path is too wide, the actual mansion section is too short and most of the track is just driving out in the yard. This suffers from the same problems as Luigi's mansion in Mario Kart DS. There are alternate paths and shortcuts which help improve the track, but the main track itself just feels too open and is one of the easiest tracks in the game.

10. Oliver's Math Class

This is one of the more creative tracks in the game and it feels like you're one of those remote-controlled racers in a classroom racetrack setup by the students and their teacher. This is like that new AR mario kart game that will suck (seriously, we wanted an actual Mario Kart 9, not some shitty kids AR whatever the fuck it is).

I don't think this track needs improving, but what would be even better than a track that takes place in a single classroom, is a track that takes places inside the entire school, including the hallways, cafeteria, gym, and if it's an elementary school, a playground. Of course, that would make for a very long track (probably even longer than Black Forest).

The biggest problem with this track is that it's too short, which can only be fixed by renaming it to Oliver's School and adding in a new hallway section or maybe even a cafeteria.

9. Nessie's Pond

Despite having graphics worse than any other track in STK (except maybe Volcan Island or Snow Peak), this track is still fun to race on. It's the track that proves that a track doesn't need fancy graphics to be good. This track is easy, but not too easy to the point to where it's boring unlike Shifting Sands. I like the change of scenery between the actual town section, the drive by the ocean, and then the actual pond.

I think this track needs a different name since the actual pond is only shown in a small portion of the level.

Imagine how good this track will be once it gets improved in 2.0. We're talking about what could become a Top 5 track.

8. The Old Mine

One of the most difficult tracks in the game. There isn't anything too bad about this track but the reason it's not higher is because it's somewhat boring compared to other tracks. Once you get past the random minecart section, the rest of the track just feels easy and boring.

7. Gran Paradisio Island

While this track was an improvement over the old island track, and it is now one of best desgined tracks in the game, there are a few problems.

* Some sections, particularly the very long spiral turn towards the end of the track, feels too long and should be shortened (maybe go around once instead of twice).
* The alternate path involving the woodne bridge to the airport is hidden to the point to where players can't even see where they're supposed to jump off the main track and into the bridge, and they will probably fall into the water several times.
* There is a cutoff between the sand and dirt sections which should be smoothed to where the sand and dirt blend together instead of just being a straight line dividing the two. This problem is very minor.

6. Minigolf

Like Oliver's Math Class, this track is one of the few creative ones. It is a bit short but the track itself is hard enough to where most players will have trouble trying to complete the track in full speed without crashing at least once.

5. Candela City

Here is where we get to the best tracks in the game which are enjoyable and well designed. This track has some excellent music and almost feels like you're driving through some festival at some old town. I did notice some random giant blob in the background if I pressed 'b' to look backwards during the long road, and then again towards the end of the track. This track is actually very easy, too easy to be unlocked late into the game (should be swapped with Zen Garden in the 2nd grand prix).

4. Cornfield Crossing

Probably the best easy track in the game for the beginners to race on. The best part is getting launched into the barn and then racing down an anti-gravity section. This alone makes it more enjoyable than the shit Moo Moo Farm and Moo Moo Meadows from the Mario Kart series. The only graphical problem is the skybox needs a bit of fixing, I can currently see the cube lines when racing.

3. Cocoa Temple

Excellent track with many alternative paths. Only problem in this track is the broken ramp inside the temple in which you can get a large nitro can.

2. STK Enterprise

Driving inside a space station is actually pretty fun in this track (although the last room after the big jump is boring). This track does everything right. Good item placement, very hard (especially with the first 90 degree turns inside the circular room followed by a banana placed at the right position to where you're going to hit it). Some of the best music in the game, and solid graphics.

1. Black Forest

By far the best designed track in the game with the best graphics. So many alternative paths and hidden shortcuts, including one in which you drive inside an actual house and inside a train tunnel. This is the longest track in the game, but this isn't a bad thing since there is so much to see in this track, unlike Alpine-2 or Volcan Island.
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby tempAnon093 » 25 Sep 2020, 23:41

fracture {l Wrote}:21. Fort Magma

It's interesting that you put this as the worst, because if I am not mistaken, this track is being remade for next major release (by the creator of Black Forest) along with Snow Peak which you've already noticed.

@staff: Is there any way to merge all the track review threads into one (or one for default and one for add-ons)? It would be useful to have them in one place.
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby wax » 26 Sep 2020, 08:55

21. Fort Magma

Final tracks are supposed to be the hardest and most exciting ones in the game. This track is not difficult at all. In fact, it's one of the easiest tracks in the game. The track is very boring, and adding a short cannonball section as an obstacle does not make this track any more interesting. Music is decent but doesn't fit well for a final track (it could be used for a different track).

At a very high-level, it is definitely one of the most difficult tracks. Taking sharp-turns at the end is difficult with heavyweights, taking sharp-turns on the road is also difficult (we fail often there). In the context of a "normal" player that finish the story mode it can be easy if you just play in the middle of the road.
In terms of graphics, this isn't the worst track but this is very disappointing for a final track in the game. They could have added some more obstacles, speed boosts, or change the pathing to make the turns more sharp and 90 degrees.

Indeed graphics can be better, however I think turns are ok. Anyway Sven' remake will be very different.
20. Volcan Island

I think this track is the most poorly designed track in the game. The textures used in this track are terrible, and the lap time is too long with no interesting sections at all. A large portion of the track is just going around in circles around the two volcanoes. The inside parts of the volcano doesn't even feel like a volcano. Volcanoes are supposed to be dangerous but this one has nothing. At least add some speed boosts during this section or maybe add some lava on the track or lava obstacles or something to make this track better.

It is actually well designed, there are many things in background, textures could be better indeed. A lap time in 51 seconds is ok in my opinion lol. Well without the shortcut it's 55s with zipper and 57s without, I think it's ok. I don't see the problem in going around 2 volcanos if it is well made, I think all parts of interesting, but opinion. For the inside-part of the volcano, there's lava and rock, we find these kind of things in a real volcano. This part is of course imaginary. I agree there should be a zipper at the beginning of it though.
This track is essentially a weaker version of Gran Paradisio Island and I think it should be removed.

It is very different, I like both. Why comparing these tracks... And there's no reason to remove it (and lol, one of the devs like this track).
19. Shifting Sands

Shifting Sands is probably the easiest track in the game. It's also one of the most boring ones since most of the time there isn't any good scenery and nothing is going on. The pathing is good enough to where this track can be improved unlike Volcan Island or Fort Magma. Here are some suggestions:

* When entering the pyramid's main section at the main path, if going fast enough, the player will start flying in mid-air and be unable to control himself. This needs to be fixed.
* Sven improved this track (https://invidious.honeypot.im/watch?v=8zuCsenlc-o) by adding some graphical tweaks. Using these could make the track slightly more interesting and much better graphically.
* There is a small oasis section right before the branching paths which I think should be bigger. Maybe add a bit of grass to make it feel like an oasis.
* The music isn't terrible but it's also very boring. I suggest replacing it with some kind of battle theme like the one used in the addon track Shifting Sands Timewarp.

It is indeed boring, Sven remake for 1.3/2.0 will be ok I think. I also think music should be modified, there are several musics more interesting for this track.

18. Hacienda

This track isn't terrible but the actual "hacienda" section feels too short and the ramp with the large nitro tank is completely broken (you're guaranteed to miss or come to a complete stop just by attempting that). After spending less than 10 seconds inside the actual building the rest of the track is just a boring desert drive with no interesting scenery, obstacles, alternate paths, or even speed boosts. The music, which isn't even that great but does fit the theme, is probably the best part of this track.

I think the gameplay is interesting, good turns, enough nitro. Samuncle is/was working on a remake (that will fix the ramp).

17. Snow Peak
One of the worst tracks, if not the worst, in terms of graphics. There are too many noticeable polygonal textures, and every turn is pretty much a 90 degree turn with no variety. I also think this is one of the most overrated tracks since it gets selected a lot online. The music is pretty good, but the graphics and pathing is terrible.

This track might as well die because the replacement (https://invidious.honeypot.im/watch?v=BxwwVl6ShfE) will be much better.

We're discussing about that track there : https://forum.freegamedev.net/viewtopic ... 17&t=14480
16. Antediluvian Abyss
One of the nicer looking tracks in the game, but it's also a very boring one, especially on the easiest difficulty, it goes on forever. Maybe add in a few speed boosts? At least the water track that came before this had some giant fish you could drive inside of. This track has nothing.

I wouldn't say it has nothing, but I agree with the rest, it looks good but the gameplay is a bit boring.
15. Zen Garden

Now we get to the tracks that are actually pretty decent. This track is fun to race on because it's fast-paced, has good music, and has an original theme (there's already 2 desert tracks, 2 ice-themed tracks, and 2 beach tracks). Zen Garden does have problems, such as the graphics being terrible with lots of polygons and shit. The track itself could be better just by making it slightly bigger.

It was already planned to make it bigger, but there were some problem, and finally it hasn't been done. I don't like it that much, I think it needs an improvement.
14. Northern Resort

This track suffers from a few problems such as polygonal textures, weak pathing which makes the track look like it was built using some console video game's level editor, and I can even see the track limits. If I fell off on the right side after the first bridge, I'd be out of the track.

Other than that, this is a somewhat fun track to race on.

Good track in my opinion, very good gameplay and pretty good graphics, but in online multiplayer, it's (almost) the first player who gets a nitro that win.

13. Around the Lighthouse
Another fast-paced track which doesn't need much improving although I noticed a cutoff between the grass and sand. Shouldn't the grass and sand blend or transition better than just a straight line where it was just cut off? Also there's an invisible wall towards the end of the track if I tried to take a shortcut at the end. These are just very minor issues.

This track is actually fun to race on and could be better if a shortcut was added or if some speed boosts were added all around the track. This could create an amazing chaotic race if the AI used the right items.

Only wide turns, from the beginning to the end, always the same things.
Also there's an invisible wall towards the end of the track if I tried to take a shortcut at the end.

Where is the problem?
12. XR591

This track, with all it's sharp turns, is probably the hardest track in the game

No. Definitely not. Not easy but far to be the hardest.
It's one of the more unique tracks and very fun to race on, but it also has terrible graphics

I think gameplay and graphics are ok. The main issue in my opinion is this one : https://github.com/supertuxkart/stk-code/issues/3707
the arrows showing which paths to take suddenly disappear and reappear. That should be replaced with a single large arrow sign hovering over the road so they don't have to disappear just so the player can keep racing.

I think this effect is well-made and intented.

11. Ravenbridge Mansion

Blackhill Mansion was a terrible track which was completely broken with user-accessible track limits and the sharpest turn in the game.
Ravenbridge Mansion is an improvement, but it just feels too open and easy.

Easy? Let me laugh. This is, with cocoa temple, the fastest track of the game, that makes it difficult.
The main path is too wide, the actual mansion section is too short and most of the track is just driving out in the yard. This suffers from the same problems as Luigi's mansion in Mario Kart DS. There are alternate paths and shortcuts which help improve the track, but the main track itself just feels too open and is one of the easiest tracks in the game.

Mansion section could be longer, but I don't think it's a real problem because the rest is great. The real problem is the alternative path that needs to be faster, but difficult to modify I think. This is, in my opinion, the best track of the game.
10. Oliver's Math Class
This is one of the more creative tracks in the game and it feels like you're one of those remote-controlled racers in a classroom racetrack setup by the students and their teacher. This is like that new AR mario kart game that will suck (seriously, we wanted an actual Mario Kart 9, not some shitty kids AR whatever the fuck it is).

I don't think this track needs improving, but what would be even better than a track that takes place in a single classroom, is a track that takes places inside the entire school, including the hallways, cafeteria, gym, and if it's an elementary school, a playground. Of course, that would make for a very long track (probably even longer than Black Forest).

The biggest problem with this track is that it's too short, which can only be fixed by renaming it to Oliver's School and adding in a new hallway section or maybe even a cafeteria.


Well too short, boring because you do 6 times the same lap.. But it needs to stay in the game. I think it shouldn't be modified too much to keep it like the original one.
9. Nessie's Pond

Despite having graphics worse than any other track in STK (except maybe Volcan Island or Snow Peak), this track is still fun to race on. It's the track that proves that a track doesn't need fancy graphics to be good. This track is easy, but not too easy to the point to where it's boring unlike Shifting Sands. I like the change of scenery between the actual town section, the drive by the ocean, and then the actual pond.

I think this track needs a different name since the actual pond is only shown in a small portion of the level.

Imagine how good this track will be once it gets improved in 2.0. We're talking about what could become a Top 5 track.

After an improvement, it could be very good indeed. For now lots of collision problems, the first one that gets the first nitro wins... And graphics to improve

8. The Old Mine

One of the most difficult tracks in the game.

Not easy but far to be hardest lol.
There isn't anything too bad about this track but the reason it's not higher is because it's somewhat boring compared to other tracks. Once you get past the random minecart section, the rest of the track just feels easy and boring.

Actually idk, don't like so much this track, maybe because graphics are not varied enough.
7. Gran Paradisio Island

While this track was an improvement over the old island track, and it is now one of best desgined tracks in the game, there are a few problems.

* Some sections, particularly the very long spiral turn towards the end of the track, feels too long and should be shortened (maybe go around once instead of twice).
* The alternate path involving the woodne bridge to the airport is hidden to the point to where players can't even see where they're supposed to jump off the main track and into the bridge, and they will probably fall into the water several times.
* There is a cutoff between the sand and dirt sections which should be smoothed to where the sand and dirt blend together instead of just being a straight line dividing the two. This problem is very minor.


Indeed very good track, problems are unbalanced paths. I don't think it's a problem to not see the bridge, it's a "secret" shortcut.

6. Minigolf

Like Oliver's Math Class, this track is one of the few creative ones. It is a bit short but the track itself is hard enough to where most players will have trouble trying to complete the track in full speed without crashing at least once.

Some turns should be improved to allow playing heavy karts on it lol. I don't think it's good to make players slowdown. Also the few unintented shortcuts need to be fixed.

5. Candela City

Here is where we get to the best tracks in the game which are enjoyable and well designed. This track has some excellent music and almost feels like you're driving through some festival at some old town. I did notice some random giant blob in the background if I pressed 'b' to look backwards during the long road, and then again towards the end of the track. This track is actually very easy, too easy to be unlocked late into the game (should be swapped with Zen Garden in the 2nd grand prix).

Well good, but a bit boring.

4. Cornfield Crossing

Probably the best easy track in the game for the beginners to race on. The best part is getting launched into the barn and then racing down an anti-gravity section. This alone makes it more enjoyable than the shit Moo Moo Farm and Moo Moo Meadows from the Mario Kart series. The only graphical problem is the skybox needs a bit of fixing, I can currently see the cube lines when racing.


Don't like it that much, it's good but there are better tracks.
3. Cocoa Temple

Excellent track with many alternative paths. Only problem in this track is the broken ramp inside the temple in which you can get a large nitro can.

If you like this track, why you don't like ravenbridge mansion that is very similar lol.

2. STK Enterprise

Driving inside a space station is actually pretty fun in this track (although the last room after the big jump is boring). This track does everything right. Good item placement, very hard (especially with the first 90 degree turns inside the circular room followed by a banana placed at the right position to where you're going to hit it). Some of the best music in the game, and solid graphics.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA L M A O. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA; Let me laugh.
This track does everything right
. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Well...
Good item placement
Yeah that's why the race is won by the first to get a nitro or a gift 3 seconds after the beginning. That's also why there's too much nitro.
very hard

What the fuck is the sense of making a track 75% harder than any other stk track.
and solid graphics

Yeah that's why this track is sm64
https://media.discordapp.net/attachment ... height=425
Music ok indeed.
1. Black Forest

By far the best designed track in the game with the best graphics. So many alternative paths and hidden shortcuts, including one in which you drive inside an actual house and inside a train tunnel. This is the longest track in the game, but this isn't a bad thing since there is so much to see in this track, unlike Alpine-2 or Volcan Island.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Well graphics are good, but what is the sense to make a track that 80% of stk players can't play. My fps go from 70 to 30 in graphics 1. And I don't speak about lags online. As for alternative paths, they're a bit unbalanced so top players never use it. So not interesting for high-level, and too long.
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 26 Sep 2020, 10:28

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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby kimden » 26 Sep 2020, 16:04

wax {l Wrote}:AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA


Saying that the track is 75% harder than any other track and saying the race is won after a few items is inconsistent. If it is hard, the mistake probability is high so you cannot just pull away if you have mistakes. If you pull away that means others do more mistakes than you so you probably deserve the win.

Not sure it was an adequate response lol
One day, I'll put enough checklines on all your tracks.
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby fracture » 26 Sep 2020, 19:29

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:
19. Shifting Sands
Shifting Sands is probably the easiest track in the game. It's also one of the most boring ones since most of the time there isn't any good scenery and nothing is going on. The pathing is good enough to where this track can be improved unlike Volcan Island or Fort Magma.


I am working on a track located in a desert. More specifically, a desert that reproduces the landscape and culture of the Arab world, including parts of North Africa and the Middle East. The name of the track is "1000 Nights" as described in another topic and some people showed a lot of interest in the idea, including Alayan, who is one of the main developers and project managers (Benau is the other). If they are interested in waiting for me to finish before the next release, we can say the old "Shifting Sands" already has a potential replacement that, at least, it's a work in progress track in advance stage.

At the moment, I'm finishing a track in the beautiful scenery that re-creates The Netherlands (in the case you are not aware, all the tracks on STK are located on a planet which is very similar to the Earth. So, there are no tracks named after real places of our planet).

I have other projects (all WIP, but with almost all 3D modeling finished) and a project for a very beautiful track ("Balloons Festival") that reproduces the beauty of Toscana with the hills, a typical Italian village, and a "winery" in the valley with a lot of hot air balloons in the horizon. They could replace two-tracks.


Do you have a video or some images for those tracks you're working on?
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 26 Sep 2020, 20:18

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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby QwertyChouskie » 26 Sep 2020, 23:42

wax {l Wrote}:1. Black Forest

By far the best designed track in the game with the best graphics. So many alternative paths and hidden shortcuts, including one in which you drive inside an actual house and inside a train tunnel. This is the longest track in the game, but this isn't a bad thing since there is so much to see in this track, unlike Alpine-2 or Volcan Island.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Well graphics are good, but what is the sense to make a track that 80% of stk players can't play. My fps go from 70 to 30 in graphics 1. And I don't speak about lags online. As for alternative paths, they're a bit unbalanced so top players never use it. So not interesting for high-level, and too long.


The bad framerate is an engine issue, not a track issue, see e.g. https://github.com/supertuxkart/stk-code/issues/3805 The performance issues are mostly CPU-related, so if you have a particularly slow CPU that'll cause slowdown no matter how good your GPU is.
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NERD RAGE!

Postby Wuzzy » 28 Sep 2020, 18:08

Ughh. Why can't the STK dev team just not stop touching the tracks, alrady? :( :( :( You're way past version 1.0 right now, PLZ stop screwing around with the content, already. You're destroying history!
There is always something to be complain about the current tracks, but please can you just leave the core content of the game alone for once?

This reminds me of George Lucas having screwed around with his old films, long after release. :P

IMO newer versions should improve on features and fix bugs, but not completly replace (and erase) existing major content of the game. The lie about “track improvements” is that they are not track improvements at all, they are completely new tracks that in no way resemble the old track they claim to replace.

I'm okay if minor track bugs are getting fixed, heck, I am even okay with a facelift. But I hate it when the track is just being deleted completely, and the “replacement” is a track that has almost nothing to do with the old track, because the gameplay is wildly different as well. So the "replacements" are NOT true replacements, after all.

If every track is going to be “improved” (an euphemism for being deleted and replaced with a completely different track), that's basically SuperTuxKart 2. Not SuperTuxKart 2.0, but SuperTuxKart 2, i.e. a different game.
That's a problem because the game experience changes completely depending on which you downloaded STK …
I feel this tendency to aggressively delete tracks is never going to stop. I'm afraid, in 5 years, SuperTuxKart will probably be wildly different from what we had at version 1.0, but it is still called "SuperTuxKart" for some reason, and the tracks have been "replaced" for several iterations that none of the original tracks exist anymore …

Don't get me wrong, I am not against making new tracks at all, I always like it when I see new tracks. But I dislike the aggressiveness with which existing tracks are getting erased without a true replacement. Before 1.0, this aggressiveness was more or less excusable (game was still incomplete), but after 1.0, this is now just erasure of history.

Because if every track was replaced between versions 1.0 and 2.0, I argue that you cannot really claim you actually have the same game anymore. Likewise, highscores are also no longer comparable, for obvious reasons. Especially if the “replacement” track has still the same name as the replaced track, even if it was completely different.

My suggestion: If your goal is to replace everything in the game (for the nth time), call the end result "SuperTuxKart 2" and release it as a separate game. That way, there can be new tracks without erasing history.
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby QwertyChouskie » 28 Sep 2020, 19:18

The next version that replaces/fundamentally changes any tracks will be 2.0 (1.x versions are network-compatable). Quite frankly the difference between 2.0 and 2 is IMO quite pedantic, especially considering the version following 2.0/2 would presumably be 2.1, I see no reason to omit the ".0".
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Re: NERD RAGE!

Postby XGhost » 06 Oct 2020, 11:10

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:Ughh. Why can't the STK dev team just not stop touching the tracks, alrady? :( :( :( You're way past version 1.0 right now, PLZ stop screwing around with the content, already. You're destroying history!

I honestly do not see the issue with updating and replacing older tracks. I also think the version tag does not qualify as an indicator for a "definitive" version of a project. Semantic versioning: major is for milestones and breaking changes -> so having a v1.0 for online-races (which indeed was major) makes perfect sense. As well as working on a v2.0, v3.0, v4.0... We are talking about an active open-source project here, not really a product that needs a definitive feature-set at the end of development-cycle. If content would just stay the same forever, the project would just stagnate.

As I see it, the current set of the main tracks in STK don't really have consistency. Feedback and improvements on them are desperately needed. As many of the main tracks were created for older versions of STK, they barely adapt to the changed gameplay and have not yet become a visual overhaul. The game engine is capable of doing so much but not half of STKs main tracks are making use of it. I personally think that players want to play a great open-source kart racer, not a mediocre one that may have potential.

Then again, the definition of "old" and "new" is heavily subjective. When samuncle took the artistic lead and created the first "new and improved" tracks which were (and still are) visually so refreshing and improved STKs look and feel tremendously, it was 2015. That's 5 years ago. The tracks that didn't get an overhaul or replacement yet are much older. The engine in the last years advanced a lot, the tracks are just not making use of it.

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:There is always something to be complain about the current tracks, [...]

I would argue that's a good thing. We'll never create the "perfect" track and there will always be room for improvement. Trying to make stuff better should always be the goal, mistakes will be made underway anyway. So keeping the artistic pace flexible and adaptive is the right strategy to go forward imo.

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:I'm afraid, in 5 years, SuperTuxKart will probably be wildly different from what we had at version 1.0, but it is still called "SuperTuxKart" for some reason, and the tracks have been "replaced" for several iterations that none of the original tracks exist anymore …
[...]
Don't get me wrong, I am not against making new tracks at all, I always like it when I see new tracks.

I fully understand this concern and the slight touch of nostalgia that keeps us so attached to the game. Heck, I caught myself playing SuperTuxKart 0.2 just yesterday. But I don't get the "erasure of history" part. Since so many years now, STK has the add-ons repository which became a hotspot for new content designers that could show-off their work and experiments. I think STK benefited a lot by including an add-ons functionality right into the game. You will also find all the older versions of specific tracks on there, most of the time uploaded by the core-devs here. The tracks never were "gone" or deleted. If you like to play them, get them. If you like to include them into a grandprix, do that. If you want to play them online, even that's possible. How STK is handling content inclusion into the main game is fine, really. Including stuff that is polished and fresh and giving the option for players to get additional and/or nostalgia content whenever they like.

Just my two cents
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby XGhost » 06 Oct 2020, 11:22

Related to that: Alayan's response here. Exactly my point.
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Re: NERD RAGE!

Postby fracture » 06 Oct 2020, 16:52

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:I'm afraid, in 5 years, SuperTuxKart will probably be wildly different from what we had at version 1.0, but it is still called "SuperTuxKart" for some reason, and the tracks have been "replaced" for several iterations that none of the original tracks exist anymore …


I wouldn't be surprised if it took 5 more years just for version 2.0 to come out. This wouldn't be a terrible thing since it would give the devs more time to actually make sure all the new and revamped tracks, along with any other new changes and shit are actually good. I don't know how long it takes for Sven Andreas Belting (creator of Black Forest) to make his tracks, but I'm guessing he takes his time to make sure the tracks he creates are very good and detailed, whereas Skindoormimiz takes 3 hours to 5 days just creating tracks left and right not bothering to go over details and sometimes even stealing layouts from actual Mario Kart tracks (rhomboor, pyramid clock, shipyard tower, etc.).

Even if it did take 5 years, maybe I'll remember this game exists and enjoy all the new tracks, because if they are good enough, it will be worth the wait, and if we wanted to play tracks like Snow Peak and old Fort Magma, they will be in the add-ons.
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 06 Oct 2020, 18:02

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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby fracture » 06 Oct 2020, 18:15

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:A good and a bit more detailed track takes some months of hard and continuous work. A track with more elaborated graphics, many objects, and details take many months of continuous work or some years to finish working in the free time with no help or with a partnership. The time will be even longer if the track maker loses his motivation or there's no much interest demonstrated by the target customer (the STK players, in this case). That's why I still didn't finish complicated and very detailed projects like "Cosmodrome", "1750", "Viking Ring Fortress", "Port/Tollway", "1001 Nights" and "Netherlands" even if almost all have at least 85% to 90% of the scenery, objects, textures and maps already done.

Note that I'm talking about my tracks, that have many more objects, textures, maps, and details than most tracks available in the main game and addons.


Didn't you say you were going to release some screenshots this week? I'm guessing you're not done just yet.

I don't even know how to use blender or how to create tracks, but I might have a few ideas that could work, and whenever your tracks are ready, I could help you test them to see how you could improve them.
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby Alayan » 06 Oct 2020, 18:58

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:A good and a bit more detailed track takes some months of hard and continuous work. A track with more elaborated graphics, many objects, and details take many months of continuous work or some years to finish working in the free time with no help or with a partnership. The time will be even longer if the track maker loses his motivation or there's no much interest demonstrated by the target customer (the STK players, in this case). That's why I still didn't finish complicated and very detailed projects like "Cosmodrome", "1750", "Viking Ring Fortress", "Port/Tollway", "1001 Nights" and "Netherlands" even if almost all have at least 85% to 90% of the scenery, objects, textures and maps already done.

Note that I'm talking about my tracks, that have many more objects, textures, maps, and details than most tracks available in the main game and addons.

It has been said before, but the best way to generate interest is to release a demo of the WIP track. It also allows to get feedback at a stage of design where you are still not locked in some design choices and can thus do tweaks to the drivelines or the environment without wasting a lot of already-done work.

As long as the track projects only remain names, interest will be low.
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 06 Oct 2020, 20:11

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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby XGhost » 06 Oct 2020, 21:38

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:Yes, of course, but lack of interest by the target audience in a mentioned project makes me lose the interest to expend hours on a project that most ignored in the topic.

Not sure but I believe you only released one track on the forums (Las Dunas)? If so, I wouldn't judge the amount of interest only on one project. The community got a track to test, that was fully finished and polished, but just didn't drive well (assumed by most of the testers). What are we supposed to do?

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:However, this track recreating the Netherlands is a special case for the reason I have mentioned above. I can't upload a track to test with no textures and maps, since most drivers will know how to drive properly and nobody will understand the theme and the coherence of all objects and elements there.

Wait, does that mean you basically modeled the whole scenery already but its just not yet textured?
I still cannot get rid of the feeling that you are making the same mistakes again. Your first iteration shouldn't test how the coherency or theme should hit. Maybe you have concept art or moodboards to do that. You probably have a ton of research material ready that inspired you, show us that instead. I think we all believe that you are able to use your artistic skills to get there later.
All you should care about now is the basic racetrack. It does not matter if it is textured or not, if there is scenery around it or not (maybe there is, that's great and already gives an idea of how it might look in the end). Ideally your track can be distinguished from the surroundings and the road layout is clear. If you have missing scenery that would lead the player, just put in simple primitives (cubes, spheres, cylinders) that give a sense of the objects or just use some planes with arrows on them for now. If you would let us drive a simple layout, we could give you feedback and new ideas on that. You can slap whatever theme or setting on it afterwards. If you got key-elements on your road that are tightly connected to your theme, then spend a little more time on only that, blocking the thing roughly together.

And yes, you will get feedback and critique on things you already know don't work or need to change or are just placeholders. Be ready to separate valuable feedback from not so valuable. And maybe the actual problem experienced by players is not really where they say it is. You know better, you're the designer of this thing.

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:So, I need a name to define this track, and only after all files are renamed (according to what people will see in the screenshots) I may upload the WIP track with the final name and everyone may test.

As far as I know, the name of the track is one XML attribute in track.xml? Nobody really cares about the names of the other files, they might follow a working title, but that doesn't get displayed ever ingame...

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:However, this track has not a complicated or weird path design and most of the length of the path (except for only one part that has an essential design) can be changed and redesigned at any time if necessary (but I bet it won't be).

You don't know that. You also don't know how much valuable feedback you might have missed already by not testing it with actual players. It's the same rookie-mistake we see countless times every year the new students start their first projects. You are and always be the worst judge on creations of things you made yourself. Almost universally true.

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Oh... for inspiration: attached a screenshot of the blocking state of a level in Uncharted 4 (Naughty Dog). See how shitty that looks? Yet it provides exactly what is supposed to.
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 06 Oct 2020, 23:57

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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby Alayan » 07 Oct 2020, 03:13

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:The number of finished tracks released by me was just only one as you know, but the amount of projects fully described is almost 10. Only "Viking Rung Fortress", "1750" and "1001 Nights" got some positive feedback, while the rest were basically ignored in the comments. Why should I waste my time working days, weeks, or months to finish them


What isn't clear ? People in the STK community hardly get hyped up on a track when they just get a name, a short description and that's it. Sven or samuncle have a track record of good quality track, but if they just announce a name, it won't get much interest by itself.

Screenshots, and better a playable demo, work much better to create interest. Sven released a first demo of the new Fort Magma and got plenty of feedback.

For myself, I have no way of knowing if I could expect your tracks to be a good fit for the main game (I would like them to) without more specific data.

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:
XGhost {l Wrote}:It does not matter if it is textured or not, if there is scenery around it or not (maybe there is, that's great and already gives an idea of how it might look in the end). Ideally your track can be distinguished from the surroundings and the road layout is clear. If you have missing scenery that would lead the player, just put in simple primitives (cubes, spheres, cylinders) that give a sense of the objects or just use some planes with arrows on them for now. If you would let us drive a simple layout, we could give you feedback and new ideas on that. You can slap whatever theme or setting on it afterwards. If you got key-elements on your road that are tightly connected to your theme, then spend a little more time on only that, blocking the thing roughly together.


XGhost {l Wrote}:All you should care about now is the basic racetrack.

I can upload a track as simple as you described, but (attention here) this is one of my three tracks with flat terrain, and couldn't be different: there are a few ups and downs, but the terrain is flat, since it recreates the Netherlands, not Switzerland or Brazil. Flat driveline, almost no objects, and all objects without texture will give a very, very bad impression to every none who tests, no matter how fun the track may be to drive on it. In other words, this (and only this) is a track where the good impression depends on the proper scenario. Anyway, I can upload a track with empty scenery, but the feedback will be lower rated than the project deserves.

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:However, this track has not a complicated or weird path design and most of the length of the path (except for only one part that has an essential design) can be changed and redesigned at any time if necessary (but I bet it won't be).

XGhost {l Wrote}:You don't know that. You also don't know how much valuable feedback you might have missed already by not testing it with actual players. It's the same rookie-mistake we see countless times every year the new students start their first projects. You are and always be the worst judge on creations of things you made yourself. Almost universally true.


This is the shape of the racetrack, path, Driveline, or any other name that someone may prefer to use. Is there any way to be a problem for someone? Just a quick look reveals the lack of major difficulty since there's no jumps or crazy experiences like in "Las Dunas Stadium".

Changes in the shape can be made if necessary.


Thanks for including this basic layout. It doesn't reveal everything - for example, you could make the choice to use a narrow country road for part of the track. Having a rather flat track makes sense in context, outside of Limburg the Netherlands are quite flat.

But, starting from the top straight and going clockwise, it looks like this would play as : easy left, easy right, easy right, medium right, easy left, easy right, easy left, small straight, easy right, easy left, easy right, easy left, long easy right, easy left, easy right, and back to the starting straight... This seems like an easier track than Scotland, and scenery by itself isn't going to make the gameplay interesting.

I think it's fine to keep with the "no jump, rather flat" theme, and it's ok if it is easier than average, but some changes are needed to ensure some challenge between experimented players.
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 07 Oct 2020, 11:54

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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby tempAnon093 » 07 Oct 2020, 13:52

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:Anyway, I can upload a track with empty scenery, but the feedback will be lower rated than the project deserves.

Please do! Most of us here know that we are testing a certain part of the track (the track layout, not the scenery) and won't waste our time talking about the bits that aren't there yet :)
I understand that we won't get the full final experience or even an experience that shows off your graphics skills, and you might not get the praise that the track will deserve, but early testing will help make the feedback when you launch far better.

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:Is there any way to be a problem for someone? Just a quick look reveals the lack of major difficulty since there's no jumps or crazy experiences like in "Las Dunas Stadium"

We cannot tell you without driving it or seeing someone drive on it. It's as simple as that.

Some things can't be shown with a few pictures or drivelines. Looking at the 2D driveline, I'd say the biggest risk is the opposite; is the track layout interesting? Is it fun to drive on? Or is it long and boring like I think of Alpine-2 (I can't be the only one!) which is otherwise a good, pretty track.
Again, we've never played or seen your track so I can't know if it's the case or not. Taking a few minutes to allow many players to do alpha testing is better than almost finishing it before someone complains that it would be better with some changes to the driveline. I've made that mistake before and it's not fun to put in weeks into decorating a track just to have it ignored because no-one really like the layout.
It's a preventable waste of time and effort to leave track testing to near the end. Please do not make that mistake. I think the prettiest track in the world will never be put in the core game if it's not fun to drive on with the lowest graphics setting.

(Sorry if I'm sounding harsh, I'm just annoyed at myself for making the mistake of not having others test before launch. ;) )
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 07 Oct 2020, 14:33

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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby fracture » 07 Oct 2020, 17:06

@GeekPenguinBR

Releasing an empty track to test is exactly what you needed to do. There is a reason why people (including me) are more hyped for Sven's new fort magma than all of your tracks. He released a broken demo so we could test the track and give him suggestions. How is anyone supposed to judge a track just by looking at a picture of it? (I know this has been said before by everyone else on here).

I've attached a file of some concept track I drew in Krita, I guess you could call it something like "Noob circuit" or "Tux raceway" or some kind of beginner's track that would be the very first in the game. I'm not an artist and I don't know shit about blender so this was only created as a concept. If someone else who actually knows shit about blender wants to use this layout then feel free to do so. Imagine I just released this screenshot of a poorly drawn track without even using blender or shit and just made a concept then asked everyone to rate this track based on drivability? It's obvious nobody will know shit about how to rate a fucking drawing because there's nothing to test. Release the demo and then we can help you.

This thread has turned to some rando's thoughts on all the tracks to some other guy and his upcoming tracks and a debate on whether to release a demo or not, and I honestly don't care.
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Re: My thoughts on the main STK tracks

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 07 Oct 2020, 17:23

fracture {l Wrote}:Releasing an empty track to test is exactly what you needed to do.

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:Then, I may release the empty track to test.


fracture {l Wrote}:How is anyone supposed to judge a track just by looking at a picture of it?


fracture {l Wrote}:Imagine I just released this screenshot of a poorly drawn track without even using blender or shit and just made a concept then asked everyone to rate this track based on drivability? It's obvious nobody will know shit about how to rate a ******** drawing because there's nothing to test. Release the demo and then we can help you.


GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:(...) as the conversation goes on on this topic, it seems that there is a popular outcry (...) and I insist on saying "No! Just screenshots. I'll never give you an empty track to test it out. Test it mentally. Look at the layout and see how fun it is to drive. Or are you idiots who can't do that?" This is obviously not me, and I think I already made it clear...


fracture {l Wrote}:This thread has turned to some rando's thoughts on all the tracks to some other guy and his upcoming tracks and a debate on whether to release a demo or not, and I honestly don't care.

I'm sorry for your topic being severely damaged. Since now, I will not feed this discussion posting replies here. I will remove all my posts here and would be nice if all the other members did the same to clean your topic and keep it according to the original idea.
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