You guys are by now probably aware that most of us at the Stunts community are using external editors for the majority of our track designs. It called my attention when I joined the Leaderboard that track files with overlays are not accepted and that there are warnings about tracks that could contain features not normally permitted with the internal editor. This is no problem, but suggests me I should mention some things about why we use external editors so much.
Since very early in the history of the online Stunts community, we have known that some things the internal track editor forbids are actually allowed by the game engine itself. This led one of our members, Mark Nailwood, to develop Track Blaster Pro probably in the early 2000s. We make so many tracks that it has become difficult to come up with a new track idea every month on every tournament. Being able to place roads on water or to combine track elements (which we call “illusion elements”, and so “illusion tracks”) has multiplied the possibilities.
In 2015, I created Bliss Track Editor, the one we use the most right now. When I began working on it, I felt that it should be more restrictive than Track Blaster because illusion elements felt kind of “ugly” to me. Roads on water were strange, but sometimes OK. Then very quickly, the guys at the forum began requesting these things to be possible with Bliss and so I complied. Since then, I’ve gradually felt more and more in favour of these because of the boost they provide in creativity. Besides, when done carefully, these tricks can actually look very good.
In case you haven’t seen it, you can get Bliss from https://www.raceforkicks.com/bliss. It has many features that keep the feeling of the original editor, such as the ability to edit both with the mouse or the keyboard, a default mode in which track elements are placed complete and you can only combine them by disabling this protection, a track checker, etc. At the same time, it’s a modern program that runs natively on new systems (although it can run in DOSBox too!) and it offers track lap time estimations, automatic scenery generation, block selection and transformation, etc.
Another thing Bliss does is allow the user to give tracks a title and author name as well as some comments. By default, this is saved as an overlay. It is possible to configure Bliss to save this on a separate file or to not save it at all. But since Stunts will load the track normally, the overlay is the method I prefer. Race For Kicks actually reads this overlay. There’s a lot to say about metadata.
We all want Stunts to remain Stunts more than anything, so features that make things look a little different from the original spark some resistance sometimes. Even replay handling itself and shortcuts in free-style races felt like an abomination the first time I came across them! But my message is, when we build upon Stunts, we don’t undo Stunts. Stunts is always there… as long as we always allow the option of a full classic, of course! 😀
Firstly, well done on your editor it is amazing and wonderful to build with 🙂
I actually built my track with your editor, but then loaded it into the in-game editor to correct any minor items it wasn’t happy about.
@Tijn do you know what the original reason was for stating ‘original editor only’? My guess was likely a fear for compatibility when it was first added for the month, but we know a whole lot more about the game now!