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Turbo Sliders - New Version

Discussion related to Turbo Sliders and beta version feedback.

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dede

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Turbo Sliders - New Version

PostThu Jan 31, 2013 12:52 pm

It has been a while since the current version of the game has been released, so I think it's fair to be clear about the current state of the game.

TurboSliders has been developed about 10 years ago by a single (non-professional) programmer - Antti Mannisto aka Ande. Its success pushed him to release the game as shareware, but later in years the demo version limitations were removed in order to keep the community alive.

The game has not been updated for a lot of time, and the reason can be easily revealed: Ande got a job and a family, so he got no extra time to dedicate to TS development.

In the past we discussed more or less seriously about going open source or sharing the source code with one or more programmers, but the fact is that we do NOT have valid alternative programmers for the game development.
Of course, open source means that anybody can develop the game or take the source to create something new. But let's stick to TurboSliders at the moment.

Lately I've thought a lot about the current state of the game, so this is what I ended up to:

1) Ande's free time is next to zero, but he might be available to implement very small features or release a new version of the game

2) The game has no particular bugs to be corrected or relevant new features to be implemented

3) The community is getting very small and unactive; there is a very little chance that new players find the game and understand that it's not just a "5 fictional cars and 20 default tracks"-game


This said, an hypothetical new version of the game does NOT require big programming work, if we don't ask for new features to be implemented.

We could think of reorganizing what we currently have and "sell" the game better.

The goal of this topic is to do a brainstorm and decide what we want from TurboSliders in the feature. Let's build a project based on our idea, let's talk with Ande (I already told him about this project - he IS interested) and let's get our TurboSliders 2.1 version as a prize.


===

Requested features
Non-Ande
- include custom cars and tracks (puna, mods..) in the default installer (or build separate installers)
- new website

+/- Ande
- more stats in logs/racestats (fuel, damage), check for bugs (startpos)
- increase track size limit to 4000x4000/unlimited
- subfolders for cars
- cup ranking based on totaltime/best laptimes
- scalable fonts (they are too small in bigger resolutions)
- easy way to understand when being lapped or if in battle
- possibility to set ghosts opacity
- mute option (only admins can write)
- possibility to play in teams in races, possibility to set the number of teams (team standings)
- add main controls to the menu (fuel? damage?)
- freeware + donations
- rain/dry combinations
- possibility to go back in recordings (-10sec)

Ande
- tire wear
- slipstream/drafting effect
- sectors w/ partial standings
- personal best notification + stats about current personal best and fastest lap
- time trial mode
- increase number of players in server
- self controlled camera (possibility to move camera just like a spectator - example: xbumpz)
- possibility to search for tracks and cars easily in-game (search engine from chat?)
- play against a .rec file
- possibility to set car for AI drivers
- possibility to define AI fuel tactics
- possibility to configure what stats change when car has more fuel/less energy
Last edited by dede on Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Wokinger

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PostThu Jan 31, 2013 1:17 pm

1. Better log or racestats. Data like fuel on finishline, damage, correct startpos (!) should be incuded there.

2. Using checkpoint like in F1. (modify hub)

3. maxsize of tracks: 4000px

4. subfolders for different type of cars (the same as for tracks)



I could help with programming a bit ;)
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power79

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PostThu Jan 31, 2013 3:02 pm

Wokinger had already good ones.

I think F1 (TSE) should be implemented in the game installer so new players can find it (and like the game more).


-----------------------------------------------------------------
No new features? Well I list some requests anyway. Most of them might not demand much programming work anyway:

- Time trial mode (no need to define lap number and no points or other championship stuff)
- New Personal Best-notification for player. Like now there is Fastest lap(in race)/New lap record(for car/track).
- Qualification optionally included in races for F1 (and other) type of competitions.
- No artificial restriction to track sizes (let track makers decide)
- Support for rally type competitions (stages --> winner is best combined time)
- Optimized network code if possible (end to lag/warping)
- Increase maximum allowed players on track/server
- Scalable fonts. They are too small @ 1920x1080
- Tire wearness (I don't think damage setting is realistic enough)
- Slipstream/Drafting (whatever its called) effect.

The game is coded in C i guess? I know c++(not professionally) and would be nice to see the code and maybe contribute, though I don't have much time(but I would find time :twisted: ). At least I am from Finland so if code comments are written in finnish I would understand them. :D
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JonnO

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PostThu Jan 31, 2013 3:04 pm

Cockpit view 8)
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UKOGSam

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PostThu Jan 31, 2013 3:14 pm

Where is Turbosliders 3D? :lol:


In all seriousness though I think maybe there could be an option to improve track grip as more cars run on the track. I don't know how hard this would be to implement.

Also even though this wouldn't require an update, I think SCARTS should have it's own permanent server as it does attract new players and a healthy grid. Having a server would help as there is often a divide of European and US players.
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Whiplash

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PostThu Jan 31, 2013 5:17 pm

O man, am I dreaming??? Somebody finaly decided to make my life have a sense again and bring the new version!!!

Since I already mentioned many of suggestions in some other topics, now I 'll just put here the most important ones that I found worth of spending time on (based on my and other people's playing experience).
-Those players who are using larger resolutions should have possibility to increase size of font of different letters. Changing size of chat, menu, player list, fastest laps (records) informations and others should be separated, so player could choose which ones will be bigger, which ones smaller.
-Including checkpoints.
-Inform player when he's going to be lapped by faster player (checkpoints can help there too).
-Possibility to get invisible ghosts (transparency 100%).
-Mute feature for chat. When the race starts, the admin should have the option of "/mute 1" or something like this, so people won't talk during races.
-Self controlled camera – will improve especially XB and battle games. Example:
With the key "End" we should be able to activate "free camera" to enable moving camera whenever we want to (after pressing "End" key, we would move the camera with the arrows). After next "End" pressing, camera should be fixed there and we should be able to use arrows for control our car. The key "Home" will allow us to take back "chasing camera". It's also important to have possibility to change speed of the free camera.
Having this, it will not be boring anymore while we are wrecked on some bigger maps. Also, it would be more interesting to use this camera when we are specs. It's also good to have this while we are making YouTube videos. ;)
Anyway, admin should still have ability to disable this posibility
-Enabling halftime and changing sides in PunaBall.
-One cute and easy to do thing should be also implemented: hiding infos about player name during the race, battle, xb or whatever. Combined with "same colour for all players" it could give a new way of playing. By this I mean that nobody could see what's the name of any player when TAB is pressed. All names would be showed only on stats that come after the race/battle/xb/blabla
-Ingame tracks search engine: For example: I write "de_" and it list me all tracks who's name starts with those letters (symbols). Also, it could let me to search them by categories, just like dede made for the TS site: track name, autor, track type. It should be programmed on that way that can allow fast and easy picking many tracks one after another, without losing a lot of time while searching and selecting them.
-Sugestion about lap informations that is painted and explained here (Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2009)

Special wishes:
-64 to 360. I think that the most important thing for TS is to turn from 64 rot-images (rot-positions) to 360. 360 would be perfect (1 image for each degree). Of course, spinning of the cars should be about 4x or 5x faster. On that way turning of the cars would be much more (even perfectly) smoother and preciser. Rot-image could probably have more rows (not just 1 with 64 images in it (2048x32) like now). It could have, for example, 6 rows with 60 images in each of them (1920x192, which is 360 images), and that would be perfect.
It was bad idea from the beginning to give a weird advantage to pure up-down-left-right ways.
Cause, even if you'll harder gain a 0, 90, 180, 270 degrees, you 'll always be close enaugh to it and still drive normally. It will be much more natural with more unique driving lines. Now non of custom tracks can fit to 64 rot-images of the car (we always need to make a lot of corrections to stay on the fastest driving line)
At least, I would like to test it and see if I'm wrong.
-The game should allows us to set number of teams up to 10 (or more if we get more then 20 players) and let us make regular team racing better and easier (I mean - race with normal racing tracks). It could set team color automatically (like punaball and infiltration), and we should have possibility to pick team colours manually too. And this is the most important: It should show team results too.
-Very important, point system should have team points separated from players points, not like now. This should be done for all types of competitions (xb, battle, team racing etc.)
-We need a point sistem based on lap times too; now we can give points only for 1st player (for fastest lap).
That's all. :P
Last edited by Whiplash on Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Pingu

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PostThu Jan 31, 2013 6:37 pm

New players woudn't be bothered with many ideas that are mentioned in here... I thought that was the idea of Dede's too? Some changes on how new players don't ditch this game on first sight... If we want to keep this game alive we should make the game more eye pealing to other crowds than us longtime TS players.

I think about some ideas :P
Last edited by Pingu on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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dede

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PostThu Jan 31, 2013 6:57 pm

I'm busy, so I will read replies later. From a first view, anyway, I see several feature requests and very few suggestions of how to make the game more successful.

I'll sort all ideas later, splitting them between two categories:

1) Ande's work (features that require coding)
2) Other (things that can be changed or implemented without coding)

At the moment we can focus on number 2, let's completely forget number 1. Cooperate please ;)
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Whiplash

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PostThu Jan 31, 2013 7:40 pm

Pingu wrote:New players woudn't be bothered with many ideas that are mentioned in here... I thought that was the idea Dede's of too? Some changes on how new players don't ditch this game on first sight... If we want to keep this game alive we should make the game more eye pealing to other crowds than us longtime TS players.

Well, that's kinda true. But I still think that Ande shouldn't stop looking to hardcore players and their wishes too.
Btw, if that's really the main goal now, then it's hard to imagine it's possible to do without a bigger time consuming for the project. It's especially easy to conclude if we notice what newbies are interested the most in. They like creativeness of the game, more than its racing challenges.
For example, GeneRally racing game doesn't even allow people to play it online, but it still has huge community compared to TS (btw, they are developing new version of that game too).

There are 3 big zones which I identify where GR beats TS:
1. GR has much more intuitive track editor.
This makes that a lot of people enjoy mostly being track makers. TS's track editor has a lot of issues. It's especially bad when creating a custom track with the Photo Shop. I think there is the biggest space for improving the game. Now only advanced players are able to understand all the steps of creating such tracks.
I don't even have to mention all the issues of the editor even if you're creating some defaultish track. It's just too f*** slow and has a lot of weird solutions.

2. GR has a car editor.
This is probably the biggest TS's disadvantage. The game allows you to create a new car just in theory. But practically, you can only suck your own finger.
And, even if you create some car, it will always look pretty much like any other crap.
I'm not sure if I'm asking too much, but it seems like TS would have to get some kind of 3D track and car editors. They would then convert 3D track and car models to 2D game. I guess that's the only way to solve the problem. Do I have to mention again 64 rot-positions limitation? That makes every car look 50 times uglier on the track than it should be(especially if the car has low steering value). That's why the game needs increasing smoothness of car's spinning by 360 rotation positions.


3.TS's website needs to cooperate with the game more. There should be some "never ends" competition where players could easily participate without any signups and enjoy in totally automated challenges. I described some of its features on "website suggestions". Website should to persuade and motivate players to make clans and stuff in order to fight for some virtual medals, money, points or some other craps. There must be some interesting concept for the newbies.

Edit: sorry dede, i read your last post too late (I was typing my own). So, just be focused on number 3. up there. :wink:
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PostThu Jan 31, 2013 8:10 pm

I will only write about Punaball, the reason why I appreciate Turbo Sliders. Hence, I leave all the commentaries not related with puna for the experts.

Although Puna is an excellent game and it will always be great, these are my suggestions:

-Punaball should have teams line up before the game starts with a background sound. After that, players could choose heads or tails and the winner could choose to start with the ball or the side.

- There should be included new sounds (i.e after a player scored an hattrick/poker/manita/10 goals, some nice sounds would come out). These little things would enhance the playability.

-Time out after 20 minutes of play should be allowed(for players to go to the bath, etc etc). This would avoid long waits. However, if this time outs can be turned into half times with changing sides like whiplash mentioned, I say yes.

- EVERY player should have the ability to /mute someone when he/she wants (and not expecting for an admin to kick). Likewise, the letters should be bigger in the chat and there should be a key that would make the chat appear (as not everyone want to talk and see specs joining in the middle of a game)

- Some pop up should appear on the player screen saying that the game have already started(if he/she's in windows).

- A special mode should be created while players wait for a 3rd of 4th element. Players could choose whether they play a 1 x 1 game or a special free kick/penalty game with a gk etc . I just say this special game because sometimes playing 1x2 games is just boring, new ideas of new mods to be inserted while we wait its something that could be interesting, however, I'm not sure.

- In case of both servers are full, Is there any way of specs to join a new game (on the same server) where they could warm up until the main game end?


- The match result should be updated and shown, during 5 seconds, every 10/15 minutes in the middle of the field with some transparency to make it soft and which does not disturb players.

Ideas to develop puna: MORE events! Quick Puna monday night tournament once per month, Puna Winter, Fall, Summer leagues.

The question that most intrigued me was: how to "sell" a game to new players that evolves cars and balls. "Word of mouth" marketing would be something nice if we pretend to expand the community. Haven't we all said that PES was untill 2008 better than fifa? Well, I say Puna is better than haxball and other similar games. We just need to grab this opportunity of the new version to attract more players to this game(friends, friends of friends, communication channels, etc). For guys who seek mixed games with a friendly community, puna is the right choice.

Nevertheless, players who gave a special touch to the game have played fewer and I don't see how to develop a game that has per day, on average, 8 players.
Last edited by Fama on Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Pingu

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PostThu Jan 31, 2013 8:33 pm

I would love ghosts with your own PB time though. As long as they are not 100% transparent as Whippe said, because then you can't see them anyway :(
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Whiplash

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PostThu Jan 31, 2013 8:38 pm

Pingu wrote:I would love ghosts with your own PB time though. As long as they are not 100% transparent as Whippe said, because then you can't see them anyway :(

My suggestion didn't mean that current ghosts type should be disabled. Seems it would be the best to have ability to chose the transparency level (20,40,60,80 and 100%), or just 50 and 100%.
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Fama

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PostThu Jan 31, 2013 9:36 pm

Again, I insist in the very urgent need of players muting among themselves if they decide to do it( to avoid conflicts). This will so improve the game. I will battle for this to happen until the end.
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PostFri Feb 01, 2013 7:53 am

Well it doesn't really feel new version if there are no new features. But at least we know that Ande hasn't lost source code of the game!

If we want to get new players (hey! I am new!) to the game I can think few other things:

- All settings should be included in game menus. Players today are not going to start tweaking ini-files.

-File transfer in servers should be faster. Players come to servers and disconnect when they notice that they need to download stuff for 10 minutes before they can get to the action.

-Maybe change licence format to donation based system or something. The word "Demo" might have a bit bad sound to it. I mean GeneRally is "Freeware" so maybe people find it easier when they are googling for fun racing games.
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Jan

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PostFri Feb 01, 2013 10:04 am

power79 wrote:-Maybe change licence format to donation based system or something. The word "Demo" might have a bit bad sound to it. I mean GeneRally is "Freeware" so maybe people find it easier when they are googling for fun racing games.

I've thought about that too. If I find a new game it's more likely that I'll download it if it reads "Download Full Game For Free" or something instead of "Download Free Demo", as it does now. That gives a feeling I'll have to eventually pay to enjoy the game.
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PostFri Feb 01, 2013 10:29 am

I think many things could be done. Most of these ideas presented here are neat and well worth doing. But I think it requires a joint effort by all, and to that I am ready to commit as best as I can. However, to do all this, first we need the required tools (I'm in the dark on this one as to whether they are there or not) and then we would need to establish a project, team.. subordinates, specific smaller 'departments' etc. Another thing is that whatever we do or plan should go to the end, I've seen many projects similar to this that have taken a bite too big and failed in the end. Finally, if we succeeded - would it be worthwhile for all of us? I mean the community has become quite small. If we did this, what kind of effects would it have? Would new players really come or not.. I don't know.

I would be willing to help with tracks and stuff related to that. I'd personally like to have weather effects in race, not anything too complicated, but stuff that would just be simple and worked. Day/night racing + dry/rain and combinations of these. Elevation changes in tracks would be a dream come true. My only problem would be how to make it work visually (the terrain + the car that would have to be a little animated at least, the front and back end of the vehicle would look different when going down a hill for example).

Just my thoughts.
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Pingu

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PostFri Feb 01, 2013 1:43 pm

That would be over the top epicness... A rain race where it could dry up and you get faster drying parts where everyone races...
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PostFri Feb 01, 2013 2:04 pm

Statistics after a match should be included, like % of ball possession, number of shots, team's winning streak (after the game ends, still with the field as background). And some other stats like best team of the month, top goalscorer, top assister, most games, etc. This would be updated daily and in the next month a new count starts.

...and, after a player score a goal the score should appear right in the center (with the name of the scorer + who assisted) and not in the upper left corner with small letters.
Last edited by Fama on Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostFri Feb 01, 2013 2:55 pm

i will repeat the suggestions above that i think are more important for me:



- Include TSE tracks and TSE-F1 (premium or any other f1 car) as default

- Bigger fonts.. its difficult to read fuel, tires and laptime in high resolutions.

- Don't say its a DEMO ... everyone hates that word

- Ghost fastest lap.
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Re: TurboSliders 2.1 - New Version

PostFri Feb 01, 2013 9:15 pm

dede wrote:... new players find the game and understand that it's not just a "5 fictional cars and 20 default tracks"-game...


Then it's probably important to have an example of community-built mods (F1) when the game boots, so new players can see there is more to find on the servers. See if we can get that point across on the download pages also.

Indeed get rid of the word "demo."

For me more stats displayed during a race and in the lobby would make me smile. Raise the minimum X of features (sizes) (remove the roof to give cup hosters/designers more freedom).

The only "heavy feature" I could see being great is tire wear. I'm not a programmer, but I think this would be easier to do than drafting or rain effects. (turning creates wear/higher speed=more rapid wear)
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PostFri Feb 01, 2013 11:36 pm

Hello everyone! I thought it might be appropriate for me to say a few words here after such a long time.

First of all, I hope you all understand what people like Dede have done for the game during the last few years when the programmers (read: me) have been just idling. Without him/them the game would have been dead long time ago. So thank you!

I don't know if you all know the history of the game but the main development happened in 2003-05, well before Facebook and iPhone and all that. Even back them, I started the project as a retro project (as a network enabled remake of Finnish cult game Slicks'n'Slide). Every time I play the game I feel I should make a proper upgrade for the game to properly bring it to the 2010s. But alas, every time I think of that, I realize how much work it would actually be compared to how much I extra time I have available. But one can dream...

PS. Dede's words could be misinterpreted. To clarify, I would say I am or at least was a professional programmer - even though TS was just a hobby project for me. One reason I am not that eager to release the source code is that I am a bit ashamed to show you all the hacks and shortcuts I did :).
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dede

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PostSat Feb 02, 2013 12:34 am

Ande wrote:PS. Dede's words could be misinterpreted. To clarify, I would say I am or at least was a professional programmer - even though TS was just a hobby project for me.

Exactly what I meant, but when I read what I wrote I actually understand "Ande is a noob programmer". :D
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PostSat Feb 02, 2013 2:52 am

Ande wrote:One reason I am not that eager to release the source code is that I am a bit ashamed to show you all the hacks and shortcuts I did :).

Hey, I think every programmer would understand this. I mean if you do stuff just by yourself and not with a team - the code usually gets a bit "lazy". So don't let that stop you from releasing. But if there are other reasons its ok, your code is yours.

But at least what you could do is 1.) Keep the source safe (many backups!) 2) Implement the easy stuff that really doesn't(at least shouldn't) require much new programming work. Like scalable fonts, removing/easing restrictions that the game has (track size etc.), subfolder support for cars...

I am sure even small improvements would lighten up the community.

Thanks.
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PostSat Feb 02, 2013 3:12 am

sure getting rid of "demo" would be good but i don´t think making a new version would attract loads of new players! the majority of players are hc ones! i play this game since late 2009 and the reason it kept me playing was the load of competitions we had at that time! dede really worked his ass off at that moment! sure we all have to understand that dede cant life for this game! its more the fact that other players (actually all of it) are not able to do such things! at least they think that, but thats totally not true! instead of always crying around people should focus on making new competitions for the game! dede is the last one not to help compared to others! so im stoked about a new version but in my eyes thats not needed! we need competitions for new people and the fact that they can drive for something even without full servers!
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PostSat Feb 02, 2013 10:31 am

Hello all

Talking about the non Ande Part (coding).

Like Dede said, "giving the gamer another ideia of the game instead of 5 default cars game with 20 tracks".

That part comes with the website, i think should also be bring to recent designs, is practically hard for new players to get info about the game unless they download, or after a search in forum section.
Is true that when some players open's a site he may want to know more about the game is before downloading. But when he joins he see's "DEMO" :D some try, some quickly get out :D

So far there are some little problems
* Remove Unused menus (like chat). or could been improved make it work in a way that the user doesn't need to open chat by clicking a menu, instead the chat box can be loaded with the home page. (like in many other pages) would make more user friendly.

* The Wiki stuff, fix the php error. (But using wiki makes reading even more boring, ppl wants information about the game dynamically, (videos,images,animations,etc).

* The ranking menu - When we open i see the update frequency "Disabled" nah could be changed to another phrase.

* Is a site of game :D so so images, animated, like a gallery of the game should been shown when the players open's Home site. Instead of the players clicking tabs, one after one and not getting any info about the game.

* A intro (video with some nice effects, showing all mods, cars, tracks, real events, puna cant be forgotten) of the game in the website could be mate, This one could be used for advertising the game, where are shown all modes and cars in action.


Apart from other ideias i would want in the game.
Puna
Include the new arenas, which look better :D in the new version. There are many done for this game. (Basketball, snow,and others)

Racing
Let players race by team.
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