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StJimmysAdiction
08-28-2013, 04:35 PM
Hello all,

I'm here today to present my new level! And without further ado, here is The Race: Tricky Triangle (https://karting.lbp.me/v/kwdi)!!

It's a bright, sunny day - perfect for a mad-dash through the Tricky Triangle Stadium race track, NASCAR style.

Pictures: (for some reason the insert function isn't working, so here's the URL's; "invalid file')
https://karting.lbp.me/p/kwcs
https://karting.lbp.me/p/kwcs
https://karting.lbp.me/p/kwcq
https://karting.lbp.me/p/kwcq
https://karting.lbp.me/p/kwcu
https://karting.lbp.me/p/kwcu

It sure is a good day... maybe too good...

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Creators Notes: I got most of the kinks worked out from what I can tell, please let me know if you notice anything in particular. My main complaint: the AI is awful. Just terrible. What's the point of the "pathfinder" tweak if the AI aggressively ignores it? Drives straight into "obstacle" setting, and ignores "drivable." Beefed up AI difficulty helped mildly. I had to add about 5 reset regulations to keep them on path and from cheating by resetting past half the track.

Also, it gets a little laggy at the end. I did what I know to reduce it without completely removing aspects of the map, but ultimately didn't make it unplayable for me. Let me know if I need to try to reduce it more (online might be worse?), especially if you have some tips for it. On a side, yet related note, if an emitter is emitting a weapon, the weapon has to be available in the random weapon pick-up for it to be able to emit. A weird quirk I discovered right before I published that was causing me some trouble. Just set that weapon (that I don't want as a player used weapon) frequency to 0%.

Final note - don't be afraid of the manual reset if you end up somewhere weird. I got all those I could find fixed, but that's a test group of me and the AI.

Goodness, this makes it sound like a terribly put-together and glitchy map. Promise it's not quite like that.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

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P.S. - Of special note, my wife has published her most recent level yesterday: Scream (https://karting.lbp.me/v/kv8a). "Down the path there stands a house that has seen terrifying things."

Give it a try; don't get too scared, it is, in the end, just a game. ;)

gipsy
08-29-2013, 06:03 AM
I queued both tracks

atheistsw
08-29-2013, 12:37 PM
Hey, so I played this last night with Laidbackcat. First off, it's very surprising lol, when the race started I couldn't understand how you were having so much trouble with the AI, it's just a simple triangle after all, nothing special here... oh, wait a minute, NOW I see what's going on! :)

So, it's a cool concept and it's a shame the AI are so brainddead theat they cannot follow the track properly, but that's by the by with a lot of the more complex track layouts on LBPK, the AI are just poorly programmed and no amount of pathfinders and AI race brains can do anything to change that unfortunately. :( What you CAN change however, is the crippling lag, which just seemed to get worse and worse as the race progresses. At one point, on lap 5, my game literally FROZE for 5 seconds, like one of those catastrophic freezes you get playing online with friends sometimes (read: everytime!).

The reason? Likely to be too many effects, too much logic and those lights all running at the same time. Also, pathfinders have a tendency to cause issues too. What can you do about it? Well, visual occluders are your friend here, place them all around the track dividing bits of the track that you need to render at the time from bits you don't. I dare say that that section of atmospherically lit tunnel, pretty as it may look, is contributing a large part of the problem, but also other effects like flames could be culpable too. Ultimately you'll have to playtest and finetune a lot more yourself to identify and eliminate the route problems, but as it is right now the lag, slowdown and freezing make the level pretty unplayable i'm sorry to say. However, the core track and concept is really cool and well worth persevering with to get right.

Also, and this is something that I recommend to everyone as it always helps the flow, add handling tweakers to the karts! You have a couple of really tight turns that are nigh on impossible to make, by increasing the 'handling' and 'drift angular velocity' stats within the handling tweaker menu you can make these karts a lot more reposnisve and able to makle much tighter turns. Just remember to put them on EVERY spawnpoint! ;)

StJimmysAdiction
08-29-2013, 01:46 PM
Hey, so I played this last night with Laidbackcat. First off, it's very surprising lol, when the race started I couldn't understand how you were having so much trouble with the AI, it's just a simple triangle after all, nothing special here... oh, wait a minute, NOW I see what's going on! :)

So, it's a cool concept and it's a shame the AI are so brainddead theat they cannot follow the track properly, but that's by the by with a lot of the more complex track layouts on LBPK, the AI are just poorly programmed and no amount of pathfinders and AI race brains can do anything to change that unfortunately. :( What you CAN change however, is the crippling lag, which just seemed to get worse and worse as the race progresses. At one point, on lap 5, my game literally FROZE for 5 seconds, like one of those catastrophic freezes you get playing online with friends sometimes (read: everytime!).

The reason? Likely to be too many effects, too much logic and those lights all running at the same time. Also, pathfinders have a tendency to cause issues too. What can you do about it? Well, visual occluders are your friend here, place them all around the track dividing bits of the track that you need to render at the time from bits you don't. I dare say that that section of atmospherically lit tunnel, pretty as it may look, is contributing a large part of the problem, but also other effects like flames could be culpable too. Ultimately you'll have to playtest and finetune a lot more yourself to identify and eliminate the route problems, but as it is right now the lag, slowdown and freezing make the level pretty unplayable i'm sorry to say. However, the core track and concept is really cool and well worth persevering with to get right.

Also, and this is something that I recommend to everyone as it always helps the flow, add handling tweakers to the karts! You have a couple of really tight turns that are nigh on impossible to make, by increasing the 'handling' and 'drift angular velocity' stats within the handling tweaker menu you can make these karts a lot more reposnisve and able to makle much tighter turns. Just remember to put them on EVERY spawnpoint! ;)

Thanks for the feedback!

I was worried about the lag coupled with online. It would get a little slow in the editor in the last laps, and I wasn't sure how bad that would compound through online. It does seem you were able to finish it though, right? I think the real culprit is what I'm calling the "aftershock" in the last laps. I have a handful of emitters on a couple randomizers, and originally had them at half second frequency (got the effect where I wanted optimally) but the lag was really crippling. they're closer to 2 seconds now, and it's much more manageable. I can increase it some more, like 2.5 seconds, that should help with some of the major spikes, but I fear without removing it completely, there's no way to get rid of it all. I originally wanted to have spreading flames, but never got to even try it out after getting the "important" things in, with the thermo being almost maxed; so I think there are actually only 3 flames in the whole map.

I have a spattering of occluders out there now, could only see a few places to logically put them, with the nature of the map and all being so open. I should put some above the tunnel though. I didn't really notice much change from before and after with them, but I didn't really have much to palpably qualify against. Also, should I remove some of the pathfinder's? I lined the main track with "drivable"'s, never considered that adding to lag.

Speaking of the tunnel, that lighting is actually just a result of being in a tunnel combined with the whole world lighting. Nothing extra added. I was surprised to see it when I first drove into it like that, liked it, and kept it. ;)

I did add a handling tweaker, increased the handling to 70%, did a very brief test and though it was close enough, didn't touch drift angular velocity, but that's a good idea (it didn't even register to me as to what it did). I have the philosophy that if you don't hit every turn just right, you shouldhit a wall here and there, and it's possible in the level (if you release the acceleration some that is).

It's sad that the game can handle so little. The PS3 should be more than powerful enough, but their engine is pretty slow, and the servers are shiver-inducing.

Regarldess, thanks for the feedback and ideas for improvement, I should be able to adjust some of those things this weekend! I'm glad the concept isn't lost in it.

atheistsw
08-29-2013, 04:20 PM
No problem, glad you found it useful! I agree with the game engine being pathetic, considering this is the PS3 it can handle very little action, imagine my frustration with Suburban Warfare when at only 75% thermo the wheels on my cars started popping in ridiculously later in the day! :(

As for the aftershock effects you speak of, gotta be honest, never even noticed them, the lag was so bad by that point that it was like being stuck in a malfunctioning 1980's arcade game lol... I would say that very often the small effects you add in that you think will add to the overall atmosphere don't hardly register when in game, so you may well be causing a lot of unnecessary CPU stress for some elements that most gamers won't even notice. Just something to consider, especially with the limitations of the engine being so prohibitive, perhaps things like that are not a good idea?

Anyway, do let us know when you have a new version up won't you? :)

StJimmysAdiction
08-31-2013, 03:38 PM
UPDATE:

I have updated the track a bit:

- Lessened lag via Occluders, removing some flames, and reducing the frequency of some effects.
- Tweaked AI pathing some (less running into walls like morons... but I think it's impossible to make them stop altogether.)
- Increased handling.

I tested it online after publishing and noticed less lag; still slightly jumpy at the end, but no freezes for me. Please let me know if you notice any more heavy lag, there's still some things I can remove if I must.

Enjoy!

fireblitz95
09-09-2013, 02:02 PM
Looks great, I'll be playing later. :D

hyperdude95
09-11-2013, 12:45 AM
Awesome, queued it up! :)

-hyper

Troll_sb
09-13-2013, 06:59 AM
Just played it, the change is a nice feature, I was rapidly getting bored and I realised 6 laps of this - oh man.

The lag got worse and worse, I was down to maybe 2 or 3 frames a second and this was first thing I played since turning on on ps3 so it's not like it was already warm.

StJimmysAdiction
09-22-2014, 04:24 AM
Not sure the etiquette on necroing old threads, and not really wanting to do it, but not sure where else I'd post this. I updated this track, I realized that with some of my newer knowledge, I would be able to help some of the problems that plagued it. So, I've fixed 99% of the lag, added some more scenery, and updated some mechanics and aesthetics.