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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Time for some Goosin'! RACE!

Coming to you from Zebra505, we have yet another game type article. This time we'll be covering the Race Game Type. I'll let Zebra do the rest (I'll put in your links later dude, posting from the phone).



1) Before Starting
2) Spawning
3) Checkpoints
4) Items
5) Teleporters
6) Flow/Time/Traps
7) Safe/Kill Zones/Mines
8) Final Touches
9) Play Testing


Before Starting:

Before you start making your map two things need to be decided:

1) What map will you use? This is simple enough. The most common two choices are Forge World and Tempest. It would be best to stick to these maps because they have the largest forge pallets and also offer the most versatile Forge spaces.

2) What vehicle will you use? This is one of the most important decisions you will make. What type of vehicle will your map be designed for? There are a few vehicles to choose from, the mongoose, warthog, ghost, and banshee. The mongoose and warthog are the most common vehicles to see in a race map. Once you decide what vehicle to use you need to stick with it. All the elements of your track need to be tailored to your specific vehicle choice. Other types of transport may be able to run your course, but selecting one main vehicle creates a better race experience.



[NOTE] As always, make sure you have started Forge in the correct Game Type to access the needed Tags.

Once the map is loaded, you need to decide where the racers will start. Somewhere that will allow the racers to spread out is preferable. After that decision is made you will construct spawn zones.

1) Make 8 neutral initial spawns (You can make more if you would like but 8 usually works best).

2) Spread them evenly so that there is space for each vehicle to spawn and move. This way traffic jams don't occur.

3) (optional) Change game specific to true.

[NOTE] This is very helpful for maps with multiple functions (Race AND Competitive, Etc., at the same time) and really only effects you during future Forge Sessions; this is only because they are Hill Markers, if they were, say, Block 4x4's, and you wanted them to only show up in Race, then it would be very important to set that toggle to "TRUE," because it actually has a physical shape. If the item isn't tagged, however, the toggle will do nothing, so, if it does not need to have a functioning tag (like RACE_FLAG, etc.) just set it to RACE, which activates the Game Type Specific toggle's influence, and does nothing else.

4) Change the game type label to RACE_SPAWN.



Checkpoints are the next step to making a great race map. There are several ways to make them, any item you set an area to can be used, but it is most efficient one would have to be the Hill Marker, which are both free and extremely simplified in comparison to others.

1) Create some type of objective. The reason hill markers work well is because there is no visible prop left behind. The base is a Spawn Point, and for good reason (it is not ACTUALLY a Spawn Point), for games like Race and Invasion, it will influence the direction players face when they spawn, which is rather important to Race.

2) Position the objective where you want players to get a Check Point. It would be wise to place your first Check Point right at the start of the race track, so that players can reach it without danger, This way you don't need respawn points.

3) Set the spawn sequence. 1 will be your first checkpoint, 2 your second, etc., etc....

4) Change game specific to true. (optional)

5) Change the label to RACE_FLAG

Big Question:

What if you want players to have multiple choices of where to go? Any checkpoints that have the same spawn sequence will be counted as the same Check Point. This way you can add different paths to keep racing fresh; just try to keep the time it takes to run each path similar.


Building Material:

The Forge pallet can be quite overwhelming at times, so if you don't have a firm handle on all the items, I suggest taking the time to spawn everything and get a feel for each one.

Building blocks can be great for wide sections of track. 4x4 flat and 5x5 flat are both commonly used for large sections of track.

Walls and Windows are limited so using the larger options is smart. Window and Walls of the Coliseum variety are good for sealing off your track or creating large surfaces as well.

Bridges may seem like a good idea, but can be very crammed. This leads to lots of bumping around and slow racing. The best solution is to flip the bridges upside-down now you have a large amount of flat track sections. These are ideal for ghosts and mongooses. The removal of the guard rail also makes for a more challenging race.

Inclines are also handy. Experiment with different sides and angles. Ramp bridges when flipped over form great track, and have their own built in guard rail. Keep this in mind before you start building guard rails on other types of track.

Decorative items are somewhat useful but are more applicable to specific situations.



Teleporters can help out a lot in a race map. It allows the racer to be wisked away to far away places in the blink of an eye. But that teleporter node is an awfully small target to hit if you are going 100kph (62ish Mph).

Remember, Teleporters have a small area of influence at their default state. All you need to do is change their shape and size. The best way to do this is make the teleporter the same size as the piece of track it is resting on. This way player will not miss the teleporter and be sent to the previous checkpoint.

Using senders and receivers is preferable to two-way nodes. With a two-way node, racers might accidentally be sent back to their previous location.

Remember to test your teleporters before adjusting their size. Teleporters can be rotated to change how the racer is oriented when they are warped to the receiver.

Their are many teleporter channels, be sure to use different channels for each set of nodes.



A smooth flow is important to race maps. If racers find themselves constantly getting stuck or smashing into walls they may quit your map before completion of a single lap.

Along with flow, the time it takes to complete one lap is very important. Look at how long it takes for an average racer to complete a lap, and then multiply by three. 3min is on the short side but anything above 6min is pushing racers interest in your map.

Also some forgers add traps to their maps. A simple killball trap or fusion coils falling from the sky may seem like a good idea they can be very frustrating. Make sure it isn't going to take an overly long time for a racer to clear this obstacle.

Safe/Kill Zones/Mines:

Safe zones and kill zones are useful in killing players who have fallen off your track. Hard zones are usually the best because they kill the racer immediately. This way falling off track doesn't mean enduring a long fall to the ocean floor.

Mines can be used either to freshen-up the race or discouraging racers from utilizing a certain segment of your track.


Final Touches:

After your course is completed adding some decorative items to repetitive sections of track can spark the interest of racers. And adding a neutral loadout camera makes your map seem more professional. A loadout camera is the section of the map you see before spawning. If you don't do this players may be left with an image of blood gulch.....err the canyon.

And don't forget to make sure all jumps allow your vehicle to land well at most reasonable speeds.



Play-Testing is the best thing you can do for your map before putting it in your File Share. Race lap after lap after lap, taking note of areas that are extremely difficult, where killzones hit your track, glitches, bumpy sections, jumps that make you flip, and on.

Don't ride the same line over and over again, make sure to ride everywhere and at different speeds.

Another key is to enter every checkpoint and die. This way respawning can be tested. Far to often dying in a spot the map creator didn't test themselves leads to another death.


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