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Quick Look: Trackmania

OK, let's get into the great gameplay and rotten UI of Nadeo's latest Trackmania game, Trackmania.

Sit back and enjoy as the Giant Bomb team takes an unedited look at the latest video games.

Jul. 9 2020

Cast: Jeff, Ben

Posted by: Jeff

46 Comments

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vhdblood

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The Quickest of Looks

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msoven

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Edited By msoven

@vhdblood: Well if you think about the average play time that the massive, massive francophone Giant Bomb viewer demographic is going to get out of the game, this is proportionally one of the shortest quick looks of all time.

Edit: Holy shit, you can mod Trackmania in Python? I have a new Plan B if academia doesn't work out.

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typhy

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mom look im on tv

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steveurkel

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Be nice if the mobile player showed time so I too could have made A Quickest of Looks Joke. As it stands a red bar with no designation of where I'm at, or where im going is very not useful on a webzine known primarily for video content.

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adamwadepittman

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Play against “HOT4BOYS69”

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Benmo316

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Yes the UI is awful but man that search bar makes me the most upset

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Marcomang

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hot4boys69 really stealing some thunder here.

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aboutandy

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Ok but does it have an Always Sunny dubstep remix built into the soundtrack?

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Jercyan

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kinda want this on Xbox or ps4

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Humanity

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That hot new release

Trackmania Part 2

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spiketail

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Jeff really needs to tighten up his radius on Turn 3.

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elath

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1:11:00 - Huh, turns out you can go home again.

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PhobosAnomaly

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Edited By PhobosAnomaly

I bought this game and I've been having a ton of fun with it, but there are some serious UX impediments that should have never gone past the design phase.

To use a non-default skin for your car, you must subscribe to a club, browse the uploaded skins for that club (which is permission-locked so only certain users can upload skins), then click a "Heart" button to add it to your "favorites." There is no text label for this button, and no pop-up when you hover over the button to indicate that you're "favoriting" it.

Then, you have to go to your personal profile, click on a "Skins" section, and select the skin (which is only populated by your "favorited" skins). The Skins section also seems unreliable in terms of updating—oftentimes newly-added skins will appear untextured until you click around a few times to force a refresh on the skin.

Going back to the club subscription: the game currently features a robust skin design system, which is cool. But if you want to actually use a skin that you created in the in-game system, here's the workflow:

1. Use the editing tools to design a skin.

2. Specifically export the skin (not save the project) to a directory on your computer.

3. Navigate to a club that you're a member of (and have upload privileges to) and upload the exported file.

4. Favorite the skin in that club.

5. Navigate back to your player profile and select the skin (which again, may require some clicking around since it most likely will not refresh immediately).

The end result is that there are a ton of "clubs" that people just use to specifically upload their own skins because there's no other way to use your own skin that was designed in the editor tool. I cannot imagine how the design team thought this was a good idea. I spent about an hour Googling error messages and just figuring out how to apply my own designed skin to my car because the UI is so incomprehensible.

I apologize for the wall of text, but I think this game is really fun and I am confused by the sheer butt-fucking insanity that is required to perform a basic function like putting a skin that I designed on my car.

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WetSawdustDemon

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Do you BELIEEEEEVE?!!

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splodge

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How in gods name did they release this with such a terrible UI.

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Digitality

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"Whiskey in the Jar Jar"

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Ravelle

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Eyeballin' Ghosts.

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nthnmllr

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the UI and everything doesn't bother me at all, I bought club and I run a server for my friends and downloading tracks from the Xchange website and curating them makes me feel like I actually am running a club. Great game, big fan

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LoktarOgar

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You know what's an amazing game with a shit load (200) of Nadeo-designed tracks as well as custom made tracks, a clean UI and the best Trackmania environment (Canyon)? Trackmania Turbo. I see nothing here that makes me want to switch from that to this.

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ToxicAntidote

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I'm trying to figure out why I would want to buy the highest tier, when I can keep playing on amazing servers that exists in previous Trackmania games?

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garwalk

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Define "awful".

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stalefishies

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Edited By stalefishies
@phobosanomaly said:

I bought this game and I've been having a ton of fun with it, but there are some serious UX impediments that should have never gone past the design phase.

To use a non-default skin for your car, you must subscribe to a club, browse the uploaded skins for that club (which is permission-locked so only certain users can upload skins), then click a "Heart" button to add it to your "favorites." There is no text label for this button, and no pop-up when you hover over the button to indicate that you're "favoriting" it.

Then, you have to go to your personal profile, click on a "Skins" section, and select the skin (which is only populated by your "favorited" skins). The Skins section also seems unreliable in terms of updating—oftentimes newly-added skins will appear untextured until you click around a few times to force a refresh on the skin.

Going back to the club subscription: the game currently features a robust skin design system, which is cool. But if you want to actually use a skin that you created in the in-game system, here's the workflow:

1. Use the editing tools to design a skin.

2. Specifically export the skin (not save the project) to a directory on your computer.

3. Navigate to a club that you're a member of (and have upload privileges to) and upload the exported file.

4. Favorite the skin in that club.

5. Navigate back to your player profile and select the skin (which again, may require some clicking around since it most likely will not refresh immediately).

The end result is that there are a ton of "clubs" that people just use to specifically upload their own skins because there's no other way to use your own skin that was designed in the editor tool. I cannot imagine how the design team thought this was a good idea. I spent about an hour Googling error messages and just figuring out how to apply my own designed skin to my car because the UI is so incomprehensible.

I apologize for the wall of text, but I think this game is really fun and I am confused by the sheer butt-fucking insanity that is required to perform a basic function like putting a skin that I designed on my car.

Don't forget step 2.5: add a horn.wav to the skin .zip file.

Seriously though, this process really is utter garbage. During the first ~30 minutes of this quicklook, I'm behind the scenes desparately trying to get the hornC4test skin working (the one Jeff ends up grabbing), and it was a nightmare. There's two types of .zip file (saved skin vs. exported skin) that look identical, the .zip files just appear in random directories with random stuff appended to the file names, and if you pick the wrong one, you get a completely opaque error message when you try to upload it to a club. The solution was to delete everything, only export the skin (not save it) so I'd only have one .zip, and upload that. Luckily I knew that it needed to go through a club in the first place, otherwise I wouldn't have had a chance. And it doesn't even work for everyone - Jeff doesn't hear hornC4.wav in the quick look! Ridiculous.

The underlying skin system hasn't changed in over a decade. For them to fuck this up this badly is just incompetence.

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baconbringer

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Hey look, I'm on the TV!

I Agree on all the UI hate, it really is amazingly bad, which makes the fact that I keep coming back for more of the core gameplay more remarkable. As bad as it is, it is worth dealing with for me, but I hope it improves A LOT. I was really hoping for this to come out and be THE de facto Trackmania game, and it probably will be that, but it needs work in everything that's not the core gameplay.

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fox318

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Its honestly amazing just how bad the UI is in the game.

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MattyFTM

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MattyFTM  Moderator

Obligatory "I'm on TV".

I've been spending a lot of time in Trackmania and the core gameplay is so fucking good. It's such a shame the trappings around it are so obtuse.

@nthnmllr: Once you learn the UI, it's mostly functional. It's the lack of clarity before you randomly click on everything to see what it does. Usability is key, especially in a free-to-start game where you want to entice as many free users to sign up for the paid tiers.

@phobosanomaly: I'm pretty sure you don't need to favourite a skin first, you can just hit the checkbox and it'll set it as your skin. It's still a garbage system, but it's one less step than you described.

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madmatt213

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@toxicantidote: You don't have to figure that out, because you can pay for the first ($10) tier to play on amazing servers, but I do understand what you mean. Why ever pay for another videogame, or upgrade your computer, or read a book, or go outside, or talk to another human irl, if you can instead continue playing on amazing servers in previous Trackmania games.

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madmatt213

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the best Trackmania environment (Canyon)

Ah, I see you're a person of culture, as well.

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DevourerOfTime

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Play Against Hot4Boys69

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MostlySquares

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Been waiting for this. Love watching Jeff playing Trackmania.

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thepotatoman

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The stadium environment is so boring visually.

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benpack

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My cans are clean now

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madmatt213

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@benpack said:

My cans are clean now

You better have filmed yourself doing it, for the triumphant return of Ben's Lens

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Lepruk86

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I really liked TM2-Canyon. That was the best one by far for me.

I just liked the handling and power slide mechanics of it.

Good to see a new TM though.

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madmatt213

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Edited By madmatt213

Last 5 minutes of this QL turns into an Unfinished for the new Shootmania!

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thesquarepear

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2006 called and wants their DDS files back... GIMP plugins and mipmap settings give me nightmares.

I should probably get this cause I feel old and Trackmania gives me nostalgia :/

Trackmania Sunrise was kind of pretty but it seems like they skimped out on the skyboxes since then and tracks should be fun to drive rather than pretty.

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noisequeen

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jeff: ...and that's pretty much trackmania!

checking time and there's still half the video to go lol

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RennTVNetworks

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Looks great! Nonetheless, I want Wipeout back!

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MrMazz

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This game is slowly looking like it’s getting that Trackmania weird to it

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Swizzler121

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They should add Counter Strike Surf physics to that Shootmania, I bet that would explode especially if it got new surf pieces.

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AV_Gamer

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Edited By AV_Gamer  Online

As someone who played a lot of Nations Forever on steam, I had to try out the remake. I hope the starter edition is enough to enjoy some good Trackmania.

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cikame

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Isn't it weird that they've adopted a business strategy to try and lure as many people in as possible while being Epic exclusive?

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DrWaffles

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Edited By DrWaffles

@cikame: I bought it on Uplay, so you’ve got an option.

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CatsInPajamas

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ESports Idea:

  • You get 5 min to 30 min to figure out how to get the furthest in the shortest amount of time on a set track.
  • Wins happens on a time to distance ratio.
  • Straight aways create the differentiating tiers. Straight away lengths increase as the gamer progresses through the track.
    1. 5 sec straight away
    2. 15 sec straight away
    3. 30 sec straight away
    4. ...etc
  • Every run counts. The best run wins. 1st run , last run , doesn't matter.
  • Ghosts are always visible.
  • Misdirect "followers/copycats" and try crazy shit out in the late game with crazy shortcuts for elite gaming moves..
  • Tracks are in a spherical configuration.
  • You can jump all over the place.
  • It's Super Monkey Ball on the worst kind of drugs.

We may find the next Issac-Newton-level event-human with this level of challenge.

Lets get the best person to fix global warming. We need someone who can think in 4 dimensions!

Then, wait for dramatic steroid scandals to popularize the sport and get enough attention for a quick cash out. Make sure you sell the businesses before you get caught for underworld bet rigging / booty banging cocaine behavior. AND SINK INTO THE OCEAN WITH THE MOST SATISFYING LIFE RELATIVE TOO ANY ONE ELSE THAT HAS EVER LIVED! YOU WON!!!

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mikemcn

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Edited By mikemcn

I have a passion for Star Wars Metallica.