FNG Logo created by Nick Serr

25 December 2013

Merry Christmas; Steam TrackMania Sale; and Return of MCM2 to FNG

I would like to wish all the Friday Night Gamers, and gamers around the globe a VERY Merry Christmas!
I hope the holidays fill us all with the spirit of giving and joy and peace throughout the season and all of next year.

And I can't help but mention this, because I thought the TrackMania deals going on during its 10th Anniversary celebration were amazing, but today's Steam Flash Sale is AMAZING!  Too bad most of you won't see it until it's gone, but the entire franchise, "Celebra10n TrackMania Complete Pack" is marked down to $14.99!!! 

This deal is ONLY on Steam and only until 3:00AM Mountain Time on Christmas Day... so if you happen to be reading this during that time, go now and pick it up!  You won't regret it.

In other good news, dGamefather and I got Motocross Madness 2 working in Windows XP virtual machines this week, using VMware Player 6 and our copies of XP we used to run before upgrading to Windows 7.  It still has the overlay glitches, but they're more than doable so far.  We have it working with both Logitech and Xbox controllers, and now just need to test the networking side of it.

It means some really great news for Friday Night Gamers to return to some nostalgic MCM action!!!



Enjoy your Christmas, and we will see you at the races on Friday night!

27 November 2013

NitroGuY drives "Flatland Yards" by Timae - TM Tube

When we were on the Team FNG TrackMania 10th LANniversary Celebra10n stream on 22 November, I had mentioned something about how my friend NitroGuY regularly puts me to shame with his mad keyboard skills.  If I remember correctly I referred to a video of him doing some freestyle with his keyboard and how incredible it was.

Now you can see what I'm talking about for yourself.  Watch as NitroGuY drives "Flatland Yards" by Timae on TM Tube.

EDIT: Apparently the video is sometimes having issues loading in Google Chrome (the latest Internet Explorer 11 and Firefox seem to be fine.)  If it doesn't load for you, click the link above to watch it on the TM Tube website.


Get hyped for the Official TrackMania 10th LANniversary Celebra10n on 14 December!


26 November 2013

Corrected TrackMania 10th LANniversary Celebra10n Scores Posted

Hey all!
I think I've got all the players with different logins combined together so the corrected results have been posted.  Please let me know if you notice any others that are still separated in the list and I will be happy to correct them.

There is a change in the winners:


  1. WLV.ES Minato
  2. NITROGUY
  3. WLV.ES Røbert
GNPaul was bumped to 4th place after combining WLV.ES Robert's two scores together; and will be awarded the prize for being in the top 3 instead of GNPaul.  

Check out the updated stats (those with dual logins are combined) and compare to the original stats (those with dual logins separated) to validate the results.

Thanks again to the nearly 50 players that participated in our tournament that spanned the entire decade of TrackMania!  Make sure you also participate in the many festivities that will happen on 14 December, the official celebration day of the 10th Anniversary of TrackMania.

GG!

24 November 2013

Team FNG TrackMania 10th LANniversary Celebra10n Stream



Hey TrackManiacs!

Thank you so much for an incredible night last night.  We had 16 Friday Night Gamers attend in-person and 1 from home.  We also had around 50 people participate in part or in full with our tournament that spanned every TrackMania environment across 3 servers.  It. Was. Epic.

EDIT: For those interested, check out the Tournament Results on the Friday Night Gamers website!  (Note that some participants have different logins between TrackMania and ManiaPlanet (TrackMania 2) so they will show up twice in the list until I have a chance to combine their scores and fix the list.  It's accurate enough to see who the top 3 were.

We really enjoyed playing with all of you and I will be posting a recap web page in the next week or so as time permits.

For now, I leave you with a link to the recorded stream hosted by SiREN of the Frag Dolls and Johkr, our new TrackMania Community Manager for North America.  We thank them for spending their Friday night with Team FNG and all of you as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of one of the greatest racing franchises ever made; and we thank them even more for spending an extra 30 minutes longer than scheduled to meet some of our crew and bring on some special guests into the stream, Nitroguy and Bush Monkey!



We missed the Friday Night Gamers that couldn't be with us... it was a blast and we hope to see you next time.  Make sure you catch the stream on the Frag Dolls channel of Twitch.tv to see what you missed (including my making a complete fool out of myself referring to Minato as a girl when he's not!)  Here's a massive shout out and "GG!" to him, especially for taking first place in our tournament!

A huge thanks to Nadeo, Ubisoft and the Frag Dolls for their support of our party.  I can't wait to see what other fun we have in store come 14 December when the official celebration happens.  Stay tuned in-game, on facebook, twitter and the ManiaPlanet blog to catch the other events surrounding the 10th anniversary celebration!

And one final thank you again to the many players around the world that shared in our celebration of TrackMania!  You are what keeps us coming back for more.  GG!

(more to come later!)

22 November 2013

That One Car - TrackMania 10th Anniversary

Add this...

to this...

and you get this!
Starting at 7:30pm Mountain on the Frag Dolls twitch.tv stream!


16 November 2013

Team FNG Celebrates TrackMania's 10th Anniversary


The Friday Night Gamers are proud to announce our TrackMania 10th LANniversary Celebra10n party!

Party Details (all times are in Mountain Time Zone)

Tournament Details

We will be racing one track from every environment (Stadium will be handled in TrackMania United Forever) and will begin in TrackMania United Forever, then TrackMania 2: Canyon, then TrackMania 2: Valley.

Special Considerations:

Friday Night Gamers will be taking 20+ slots on the server, but we will open our servers to 100 people (given bandwidth will allow -- if not, we will be required to restrict to 50.)  We will do our best to accommodate as many as possible, because we want to share in this celebration with you!
Please note that this is our first attempt at pulling off an online, multi-server tournament.  This means we will all be required to jump servers when it's time to play each of the TrackMania 2 games.  Since there are limited player slots on the servers, please be aware that there may not be an open slot when you try to switch servers.  We ask that those that end up joining us for the majority of the TrackMania United segment of the tournament be allowed to join the TM2 servers when that time comes, so they can complete the tournament with us.  We also ask that Friday Night Gamers take priority.  We will take a few minutes whilst switching servers to try to make sure as many as possible continue on with each segment, but to honor time constraints and the Twitch stream that is highlighting our tournament, we will begin the race as soon as all Friday Night Gamers are present and accounted for in the servers.

Also, you are under obligation to respect Ubisoft's terms and conditions while playing on our servers, including keeping your language clean and respectable, being courteous to other players, and refraining from using any vulgar, pornographic or otherwise offensive language, avatars or nicknames.  Team FNG reserves the right to kick or ban you from our servers to make room for players who are willing to comply with the terms and conditions.  Basically, be cool and have fun.


You will also be required to own all of the TrackMania titles found in the TrackMania Complete Package, which can be purchased right now for $29.99 (normally $79.80) from the ManiaPlanet store or from Steam; namely: TrackMania United Forever, TrackMania 2 Canyon, TrackMania 2 Valley.  (TrackMania 2 Stadium is not required, but you might as well have the newest one ... it's great!)  A TrackMania 2 complete package is also available for those that own United Forever already, and the individual games are discounted if you just need to fill in a 1-2 titles you don't yet have.  Be aware that these prices are for a limited time only, so snag them now while the getting is good!
Links to purchase can be found on our "Best. News. Ever." post.

You may also demo the TrackMania 2 titles before you buy, but I'm not aware of what restrictions are in place, so be aware that you may or may not be able to join us on 22 November with the demo versions.

Track Authors:

Tracks were selected from some Friday Night Gamer favorites, as well as a new one from Valley with a fun theme.  The selected tracks feature some legendary map authors, veterans of the TrackMania community, many of which are good friends of Team FNG, and includes: 
  • Eyebo
  • GanjaRider
  • hawk_ger
  • jumperjack
  • nitroguy
  • pfm
  • scottmc
  • sm0k3y
  • tmjonas

Tracks (order in the tournament may vary):

  • TrackMania United Forever
    • Alpine: Snow Park (tmjonas)
    • Bay: [GR] Poco Loco (GanjaRider)
    • Coast: FlowCoastUnited (nitroguy)
    • Desert: Scotts Bluff (scottmc)
    • Island: Etherlight (hawk_ger)
    • Rally: Celt!c Sp!r!t (smok3y)
    • Stadium: Artemis Arrow I (jumperjack)
  • TrackMania 2: Canyon
    • GEEX - Life Elevated (eyebo)
  • TrackMania 2: Valley
    • Bat Fight! (pfm)

Download the Official Track Pack:

Extract the pack to your "My Documents" folder, unless you have changed the location of your game's data from the default.  If you have you will manually need to extract the files using a zip utility application like 7-zip.

Once extracted, you may open TrackMania United Forever, TrackMania 2: Canyon and TrackMania 2: Valley and will notice a "TM 10th LANniversary" folder under your "Downloaded" folder when you browse for single maps/tracks in-game.

Corkscrew to Wallride
Track: "DealBreaker" by dill

Party with the Friday Night Gamers

We hope you will join us for this celebration of the best kept secret in America.  Whether you play with us on our servers or follow the party on the Twitch stream, come discover why TrackMania is one of the best racing game franchises ever!





History

TrackMania has been a Team FNG staple for 7 years, starting in 2006 when we discovered TrackMania Nations ESWC.

We dropped two other new games because we were enjoying TrackMania so much.  After learning TrackMania Nations had predecessors, some of us quickly purchased them and began to enjoy them too.  Soon after, we were blessed with news of TrackMania United, which coupled all of the old environments in one epic game, and added revamped lighting and dirt blocks to the Stadium environment.

In 2008, the Gamers and Electronics EXpo (GEEX) was announced; a new expo in Utah that would feature a TrackMania Nations tournament put on by Protocol42.  Four of us participated in the tournament, and DirtyD (then tsam314) and myself (ThatOneGuy) took 2nd and 3rd place; DirtyD beating me by 1 point.

DirtyD (tsam314), ThatOneGuy and Fallout
winners of the GEEX 2008 TrackMania Nations tournament

In 2010, GEEX approached me and requested that I volunteer to organize and run the TrackMania tournament.  I agreed if we could make it a TrackMania United tournament, not just Nations.  It was an enjoyable tournament with some of the tracks you'll see in our pack for the upcoming tournament.

GEEX 2011 was scheduled to happen right after the release of TrackMania 2: Canyon.  I saw this as a unique opportunity to really do something special to help introduce the USA to the world of TrackMania, since it had never really been marketed here.  Nadeo connected me with Ubisoft and they partnered with myself, GEEX and Intel to make an epic First Official USA LAN tournament for Canyon.  Many of the track authors listed above participated to make it extra special by creating a bunch of tracks specific for our GEEX tournament.

GEEX 2011
First official USA TrackMania 2 Canyon tournament


Check out this video on YouTube.
GanjaRider provided a lot of cool other links about GEEX there.

I have since kept in touch with Ubisoft and we have worked together on several projects, including the A&G 2012 Canyon tournament hosted by Macduffman, Ubi's ShootMania: Storm booth at PAX Prime 2012, an awesome ShootMania launch party on its release night and now our TrackMania 10th LANniversary Celebra10n.

nitroguy (far left) and ThatOneGuy (right next to nitroguy)
with Ubisoft and Nadeo
at PAX Prime 2012
Team FNG wishes to express our thanks for all the efforts Nadeo and Ubisoft make to stay connected and support the TrackMania community!  It is, by far the most friendly and fun gaming community I've had the pleasure of playing with, similar to the Motocross Madness community of days past.

We also wish to thank the great members of the community whom we have created wonderful memories with, and hope to continue to do so for another 10 years!



07 November 2013

Best. News. Ever.


If you don't own TrackMania, or only own part of the entire franchise, listen up!!!
Today, Nadeo/Ubisoft announced several items of awesome:

EDIT: I'm having a hard time finding where to buy the "Celebra10n TrackMania Complete Package" ($29.99) and I'm trying to see if the pack is available outside of Steam.  I will update when I know more.

EDIT 2: I finally found the Celebra10n TrackMania Complete Pack!!!  And what's better, it's being sold on the ManiaPlanet store, so you won't be forced to be tied to your Steam account (Steam lovers can still activate their player keys with Steam so you can have it in both places if you really want.)

EDIT 3: Found Steam link for "Celebra10n TrackMania Complete Pack"

Please don't miss out on this deal.  To get the entire TrackMania franchise for $29.99 is a STEAL!  There has never been a better offer than this, and I doubt we'll see another like it until a 20-year anniversary.  This is especially crucial for those who will be attending this year's Friday Night Gamer's "Turkey Bowl" -- which will be our TrackMania 10th LANniversary party!

We are unfortunately unable to host our party on 14 December like everyone else, so we have opted to host our celebration early.  It is going to be awesome, even better than our ShootMania launch party, including our annual for-fun TrackMania tournament to see which Friday Night Gamer will be this year's champion.

Our servers will be open for the night so TrackManiacs around the world can join us for some epic fun that night.  I will be releasing the official track pack soon, so stay tuned!  For now, go buy the Celebrat10n TrackMania Complete Package so you can play with us on 22 November!

A HUGE thanks to Nadeo and Ubisoft for creating such a great opportunity for everyone to easily and inexpensively discover why TrackMania has been a Friday Night Gamer favorite since 2006!  (Wish I could say 2004 but we can't help it, we didn't discover it until 2006.)

Thanks for 10 years of awesome, Nadeo!  Looking forward to the next 10!  TrackMania Forever!

08 October 2013

MX vs ATV Reflex on Steam for $4.00 This Week


MX vs ATV Reflex, the closest thing we have to the FNG favorite "Motocross Madness" series, is on sale this week on Steam for $4.00!  While not quite as fun, it is a working alternate to MCM.

Things to note:

  • You must have an Xbox Controller if you want to play with a gamepad
  • Getting into games by joining via Steam friends list is klunky sometimes.
  • It's an awful lot of fun to go into practice mode and just go tear up the environment with your bike.  The graphics are pretty and the dirt physics are kinda fun.
It's definitely worth the $4.00 if you have it to spare... and will add one more game in your arsenal for potential FNG games.  Check it out if you don't already own it!

04 October 2013

Classic Racing Restored! Re-Volt Released on GOG.com

The classic game Re-Volt from 1999 was released on GOG.com recently, and so far, it looks to be a fantastic implementation!  I'm not sure if it is a sale price or regular, but it's a nice one right now.  You can pick up Re-Volt for just $5.99 today!



I fired it up twice today and played for a few minutes each.  I had no problems, no crashes, just good R/C racing fun.

The game is letting me run it at 1920x1200, with 16x Anti-aliasing, Anisotropic Filtering and VSync -- and enjoying 60fps while doing so.



I'm excited to see how well it will work with networking online, so I hope some of you Friday Night Gamers will pick it up and play with me sometime.

03 October 2013

Will a Games for Windows Live shut down take its toll?

I'm a little behind on this news, but Microsoft announced in August that, in process of them switching everything to Xbox branding, they will be closing the Games for Windows Marketplace. At the time of that announcement, they said Games for Windows Live would continue to function. However, also in August, they briefly displayed a support message on the Age of Empires Online page:

Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014. Although it is available through Steam, Age of Empires Online requires features of the Games for Windows Live service. You can continue to enjoy all the features of Age of Empires Online as the service will remain 100% operational until July 1, 2014 when the server will shut down.

Now, I hadn't heard anything about GFWL shutting down until today, when a friend pointed me to this Kotaku article about Bioshock 2 being updated by Digital Extremes (who originally handled the multiplayer aspect of the game) which, in addition to other changes, removed GFWL from the game. A player's Bioshock 2 GFWL key can also now be activated in Steam, and all players now own the DLC, including the single player expansion, Minerva's Den.

So, it's great to see a developer taking the time to update a slightly older game to remove the dying GFWL, while also adding better support for controllers, and giving all players more content. However, that brought to mind other games which also use Games for Windows Live. What will happen to those games if/when GFWL does shut down?

As noted on ghacks.net, developers who do not update their games may be locking users out of minor features (leaderboards, achievements, matchmaking, etc.) or, in the case of games that use GFWL to manage save games, the players will be locked out of their saved games. Other games, like Fallout 3, would lock players out of any paid DLC, as it uses GFWL for authentification. With Fallout 3, modders have taken steps to bypass GFWL because of the issues players were having with it.

I hope that more developers will take the effort to update games when the authentification servers/services are going offline. I hope they will update games to not use GFWL, especially in the case that Microsoft does terminate its service July 1, 2014. Fortunately, if the data from PCGamingWiki is accurate, some developers are listening.

One last note (personal wish), I REALLY hope that if Steam ever does shut down, they find some way to make our games accessible. I've heard many claim that Valve has promised that would happen, but I've never seen an official source.

04 September 2013

Ubisoft Brings ManiaPlanet to Salt Lake ComicCon / GEEX


Ubisoft will be at the Salt Lake ComicCon / GEEX with a booth of several game stations showing off TrackMania 2: Valley and ShootMania: Storm from the ManiaPlanet universe!

They will be holding some casual competitions with some fun TrackMania swag to give away!

Make sure to stop by their booth and see why the Friday Night Gamers have been long-time TrackManiacs and ShootManiacs!  You may even catch some of us at the booth.  DirtyD, ThatOneGuy, dGamefather, MinecraftManiac, KimPossible, Firecracker and PewDrew will be at the expo at various times on the various days, so make sure to say hi to us if you see us at the ComicCon!

If enough gamers stop by the booth, it might help us get a bigger and better Ubisoft booth at future GEEX/ComicCon expos, including the return of TrackMania tournaments with prizes like the TrackMania 2: Canyon tournament at GEEX 2011; the first official USA LAN tournament for Canyon!



Please make sure to show your support at the Ubisoft ManiaPlanet booth while you're at the event!



13 August 2013

TrackMania 2: Canyon, Stadium; ShootMania: Storm 50% off this week!

Nadeo made a wonderful announcement yesterday that all but one of their ManiaPlanet titles are 50% off at Ubisoft's uPlay store and their own GamesPlanet store this week!




That means you can get the following:

  • TrackMania 2: Canyon for $9.99 (normally $19.99)
  • TrackMania 2: Stadium for $4.99 (normally $4.99)
  • ShootMania: Storm for $9.99 (normally ($19.99)
If you're missing any titles, snag them now!  


Please note that the discount isn't being applied to the multi-packs on the GamesPlanet site as of this writing, but hopefully will be before the week is up.  If not, purchase each license individually so you can get TrackMania 2: Canyon/ShootMania: Storm at 3 for $30 or 5 for $50 instead of the normal 3 for $50 and 5 for $80; and TrackMania 2: Stadium at 3 for $15 or 5 for $25 instead of the normal 3 for $30 or 5 for $50.)

I will update this post if anything changes!


05 July 2013

TrackMania² Valley: Ninja Jumps

Download the original AVI

The video above is a fun reminder of one of the major reasons I fell in love with TrackMania... transition jumps that the Friday Night Gamers endearingly refer to as "Ninja Jumps".

TrackMania.
Best.  Game.  Ever.

02 July 2013

TrackMania 2 Canyon Video - [PF] ///ADRENALINE (Trailer)


The car skin used in FunZack11's video trailer of his upcoming track "[PF] ///ADRENALINE" for TrackMania 2 Canyon bears an uncanny resemblance to the Island car from TrackMania Sunrise and United.

After seeing this fun video I say, "Nadeo, bring on TrackMania 2: Island!"  :)

Enjoy.

DISCLAIMER: Nadeo has not made any announcements about Island or a similar environment being brought to the ManiaPlanet family, but it would sure be cool.

27 June 2013

TrackMania 2 Valley Release Date Announced

At long last, Nadeo made an epic announcement today about a release date for TrackMania 2: Valley; and it is soon!

04 July 2013
TrackMania 2 Valley
TrackMania 2 Valley

Apparently foregoing a closed beta like many TrackManiacs signed up for, Nadeo feels Valley is ready to unleash... and here's what we'll get:
I don't know if any players have already had their hands on it in a closed alpha or beta, but if they have, we can also expect to have some custom player maps already available on Mania Exchange!

I'm still trying to track down what the price will be, but for now I will anticipate $19.99, like Canyon.  I'm also trying to find out if we can purchase before 04 July, so stay tuned.

Enjoy the original official announcement trailer below!  Then have fun BBQing and taking a nice drive through the Valley on the 4th of July!


TrackMania 2: Valley will be available on Steam and TrackMania.com and is published by Ubisoft.

21 June 2013

TrackMania 2 United Next Month?!

TrackMania 2 United - July 2013

Spotted in ManiaPlanet today...

Whatever it is, it doesn't look like it's coming straight from Nadeo.
The following are seen at the bottom of the ManiaLink:

exD team logo
Powered by Orbit
I'm excited to see what July brings!

20 June 2013

TrackMania 2 Stadium Launches Today!

Nadeo and Ubisoft are officially releasing 
today at 9:00am Pacific Time!


Join us on the Team FNG - Stadium: Time Attack server!

The game is available to purchase via digital download at:

Enjoy the TrackMania 2 Stadium launch trailer!

The insane fun Stadium TrackMania environment that has entertained over 12 million PC gamers since 2006 in TrackMania Nations ESWC and Nations/United Forever has been given new life as the newest title in the ManiaPlanet universe, and second title in the TrackMania 2 franchise. Nadeo has done an incredible job making Stadium as close to the original as possible in the newer, shinier graphics engine. The game even lets us port our old classic favorites from the original Nations/United Forever, so there are already hundreds of thousands of tracks available for everyone to enjoy.

Coming down from a loop

The game has been in Open Beta for a few months and has been really fun to play.  New blocks have been added to the environment since its original days, so we can expect a new level of fun maps to play.  Speaking of which, the game comes with a brand new single player campaign of 65 new maps.

... and at the nice price point of $9.99 it will provide you with countless hours of entertainment without breaking the budget.  The price drops to as low as $7.20 per license if you buy multi-license packs from either of the above locations.

The Friday Night Gamers discovered TrackMania Nations ESWC, the original Stadium environment, back in 2006 when it was released to help promote the Electronic Sports World Cup.  We had just purchased MX vs ATV Unleashed and Age of Empires III just weeks before, but they both took the shelf as we experienced the epic awesome that is TrackMania.

End race podium

For those new to the TrackMania scene, let me explain.

Nadeo took a unique and amazing approach to racing games.  They eliminated player collisions which causes some really neat side effects:
  • It's just you against the track; the competition comes as you vie for the fastest time against the other competitors.
  • The servers can hold a LOT more people at a lot less bandwidth because there is less data to worry about to account for collisions.


Who needs player collisions when you can do this?!

And who doesn't love the idea of driving a car on a wall, through a corkscrew, taking some sik air off a huge jump, barrel rolling off short launch ramps and more?

TrackMania map editor
Nadeo has developed some wonderful creative tools for those that like to build tracks, including a 3D-object importer so you can add your own scenery, etc.  All ManiaPlanet games include a full blown map editor, as well as a full-blown replay editor for those times when you have a really great run and want to show it off to the rest of your friends.

+1 for Formula 1 car on dirt
Don't delay... if you haven't experienced the world of TrackMania, there is no better time than the present.  Pick up your copy today; and feel free to snag a multi-pack for cheaper and get your friends in the game too!  Grab them all and head over to the "Team FNG - Stadium: Time Attack" server to play with us in the World | North America | United States of America | Utah zone.

And get hyped!  Now that Stadium is out, I hope it means that TrackMania 2 Valley will be going into Open Beta soon!  The more TrackMania the better!  See you at the races!

19 June 2013

Wins in the War Against DRM - Sony PS4 and Microsoft Xbox One

After unveiling the Xbox One in May, Microsoft announced some lame DRM policies that are like unto the ones that have driven PC gamers nuts for quite some time now..

Sony answered at E3 by announcing they will NOT require a constant internet connection or periodic authentication and does NOT restrict used games.

IGN annoucned today that Microsoft reversed their Xbox One DRM policies.

Did Sony's announcement have anything to do with today's announcement?  Probably so, but it doesn't matter... as long as they're listening to the industry and the consumers.

I have yet to see hard data that proves that DRM has ever worked for a company by turning a new profit... the games still get pirated (I think the crackers and hackers out there find it an even more fun challenge to break the DRM.)  The paying customers are always the ones hurt by it, and it's a waste of the game company's hard-earned money to write the crappy DRM software, then support and maintain it, then support and maintain the countless paying customers that can't play their game because they can't get past the DRM.

But oh yeah, the pirates still play for free and still steal your games.  Since you can't get around it, don't punish the paying customers; because they'll stop paying.  Pirates who want to steal your games have no intention to pay for your game.  If they did, they would.. And even if you figured out the ultimate system to stop them from stealing it; they will just move on to something else they can play without paying for... they're not going to magically change their mind and go pay for your game.

So, I'm glad Sony and Microsoft are "getting it" -- and I REALLY REALLY hope PC game producers/publishers will start "getting it" too.  Drop the failing mindset that DRM works and direct your resources to making great quality content worth buying.

Kudos to Sony and Microsoft for keeping some fun in gaming.

NOTE: I'm not an advocate of piracy... in fact, those who know me realize it's quite the opposite.  However, I've worked for companies where I've had to build DRM and maintain it, and most of the defects in our products are either because of it, or directly tied to it.  Not being required to develop it or maintain it frees precious developer resources to focusing on adding quality content to your games which will keep the paying clientele coming back for more.

13 June 2013

TrackMania 2 Canyon and ShootMania on Sale Today Only!

To celebrate E3, (even though we were incredibly disappointed to not have a TrackMania 2 Valley reveal), Nadeo and Ubisoft have marked down their TrackMania 2: Canyon and ShootMania: Storm titles.
(see the official article)

TrackMania 2 Canyon
Today only you can purchase them for:

  • TrackMania 2: Canyon - $9.99 (normally $19.99)
  • ShootMania: Storm - $11.99 (normally $19.99)
To purchase, hit the promo link below:
http://shop.ubi.com/promo/93207100


ShootMania Storm

If you don't already own them, Team FNG highly recommends them.  We enjoy them on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis... they have endless replay value thanks to simple enjoyable gameplay coupled with a never-ending supply of user-created content.

While you're at it, don't forget to get into the Open Beta of TrackMania 2: Stadium!
It costs nothing right now, but you can purchase it for $8.99 (will be $9.99 when released.)

TrackMania 2 Stadium

11 June 2013

Nadeo's TrackMania Nations I-6 Track in 13.59 Seconds

Since 2006, I've been racing I-6, among many other awesome TrackMania Nations tracks created by Nadeo.  The clever quotient on this one is through-the-roof, since the goal of it is to barrel roll your car off a small a launch ramp at the end of a long runway with a couple of big turbo sections, land it smoothly on the side of a wallride, let it carry you around the curve and come down smooth to the finish gate.

The problem is, the wallride is quite tall and if you don't land just right from your roll you won't have enough momentum to stay high enough on the wallride to make the entry to the finish.  Should you fall short or too low on the wall, there is a "forgiveness path" with lots of short and curvy corners to it that take a lot longer to climb to the finish gate than the smooth ride along the top.

Again, I've been playing this since 2006... and have spent many an hour with the Friday Night Gamers trying to conquer this track.  In that 7 years, I've only finished the ideal way probably 5 times.

5 times.  In 7 years.

So mark me when I say, these are the moments when I remember why I love this game so much... the thrill of the win is nothing short of epic.

And this time I have proof.  Enjoy.


10 June 2013

The Return of Mirror's Edge - Announced at E3 2013

One of the most exciting announcements of E3 happened today by EA Games and DICE.
The return of Mirror's Edge.  A sequel in early development we will see us returning to the awesome parkour  action the original Mirror's Edge brought us.

Now we just need to have "Faith" that DICE and EA will have listened to the fans and give us a multiplayer tag experience on those rooftops along with an incredible single player story.  (And hopefully the single player story will have a lot less cussing this time.)  :)

Enjoy the teaser... and get ready for a long wait.  It's coming... "when it's ready".  I'm sure it will be worth the wait.


04 May 2013

Nadeo's TrackMania Nations I-3 Track in 14.65 Seconds

Nadeo made some incredible tracks in the stock collection that came with TrackMania Nations ESWC.  Back in 2006, this game ripped me away from two other brand new ones a bunch of the Friday Night Gamers purchased shortly before we were introduced to it... "Age of Empires III" and "MX vs ATV Unleashed".

There were several different styles of tracks, including one of my favorites, named "Obstacle" in the game's successor, TrackMania United.  This particular track, I-3 has you take a quick left 90-degree turn into some turbos that launch you up a straight ramp which ends abruptly in another piece of track directly above it.

Nadeo wants you to go left or right as you launch into the air and continue making more similar jumps to escalate higher and higher until the final short transition jumps to where the finish line is.

Fallout, the GEEX 2010 TrackMania United champion, showed me a quicker way one day while we were playing on our Team FNG Stadium Time Attack server.  I decided to make a few attempts at it today and here's what happened:


I'm pretty stoked, and don't know if I could do it again, but there are actually others that have done it even faster.  Check out their replays at TMX.

Did I mention I love this game?!!?!

19 April 2013

ShootMania Launch Party Recap

Team FNG
enjoying some ShootMania
while watching the Live Stream

The Friday Night Gamers had an epic mid-week LAN party on 10 April 2013 to celebrate the release of ShootMania: Storm!  But I'm not going to tell you all about it here.  The party was special enough it merited its own page on our Team FNG website!

Check out the teaser pics, then go check out the Friday Night Gamer's ShootMania Launch Party page on our official website.


SpeedMonger, Ender and BigBadMrT
intensely trying to be crowned
victor of the match.

And then there was cake...


03 April 2013

Join Team FNG for a ShootMania4All Launch Party - 10 April 2013


10 April 2013
6:00pm-11:00pm Mountain Time


The long anticipated release of Nadeo's epic multiplayer First Person Shooter, ShootMania is finally here!
ShootMania will release on 10 April 2013 and has an awesome night lined up.  Launch parties have been set up both locally and online throughout the world including a handful in the United States.

Ubisoft has invited the Friday Night Gamers to be a part of this special event, and we are happy to announce that we will be hosting a hybrid LAN/Online launch party from 6:00pm to 11:00pm Mountain Time!

Come join us for some old school Royal with the mode as you knew it from the Alpha and Beta tests (which we now call TeamFNG_Royal) until the new Royal title pack was created for launch.

We welcome all players, especially new players that we can teach the fundamentals of the Royal mode (since they are mostly the same as the Free-2-Play Royal title.)

"KillDeathMatch" Royal map
by TheSammon
Team FNG will be hosting a for-fun tournament (who knows, we might surprise you with some prizes -- we'll see!) at some point during the night; the time for which will be announced before the night of the party.

ThatOneGuy
at PAX Prime 2012 with
Valkyrie (left) and MissMagitek (right)
of the Frag Dolls

The Frag Dolls will be joining us at some point during the night, where we will be a part of their awesome night-long online stream celebrating the release of ShootMania.

 We look forward to ShootMania becoming HUGE in the United States and all of North America.  ManiaPlanet's ShootMania and TrackMania games have been a major part of the Friday Night Gaming line-up for over 7 years now and will continue to be for a very long time.

If you haven't tried ShootMania yet, go get it today and see what you've been missing.  We look forward to a fun night with you all on 10 April 2013!

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