FNG Logo created by Nick Serr

29 June 2010

Win a Copy of TrackMania United Forever!

Last night I had the opportunity of making an appearance on the GEEX podcast, to talk about the upcoming TrackMania United Forever tournament.

We decided to give away two copies of the game.

To get yours, see the GEEX news entry, go watch some videos, and leave your impressions about the game on the site.

So don't delay... go enter for your chance to win, then register for the GEEX LAN Party and TrackMania tournament!


26 June 2010

Company of Heroes Soundtracks - Free on Steam Today!

Go to the Company of Heroes - Complete Pack page on Steam to download the following Soundtracks free:
  • Company of Heroes: All Heroes Rise
  • Company of Heroes: Songs from the Front
Thanks Steam and THQ for making these available!

While you're at it (and only today) -- get the complete pack for $24.99 (normally $49.99)

GEEX 2010 TrackMania Tournament App Test a Success!

Last night was a huge success. I had to shut the server down and change my max players to 16, which we filled for a good portion of the night. I wonder if I could have kicked it up to 20 or 24, but I think my crappy upload speed would've finally been worked over with that and TeamSpeak going with 8 people in it. :)

Regardless, it was a good stress test for the app and I learned a lot and fixed a lot with it.

Here's what I fixed:
  • Typing /rank in the chat at any point will give you your tournament standing (place and points) along with the person ahead of you (if applicable) and the person behind you (if applicable)
  • The podium screen now only shows the top 3 standings to everyone; then shows your current standing (same as typing /rank) if you're below third place.
  • My "debug" chatter that shows up in the app's UI was getting taxed again with 16 people in it... started getting behind after about 10 races or so, to the point it didn't report the scores one track.

    I've disabled the chatter and only have the app reporting error messages, which should make it handle many more people (we'll have to see about hooking up to another popular server out there that can host 50 people or more.)
Things I still need to fix before GEEX:
  • Showing nicknames instead of login names on the Standings and Rank reporting.
  • Any other stress-related issues we might encounter in future testing.
I had a ball last night and I hope the rest of you did to. We had people from all over the world join, including some from Austria and some from France... and the one from Austria we asked if he had connection issues. He reported a smooth connection, and there was much rejoicing.  A few of the racers were very high-ranked, including my old friend Scrappy who is in the Top 2500 in the world, and a couple others that were in the Top 25,000 in the world... which meant the times we were fortunate enough to beat them in a race, we earned some sweet multiplayer ladder points.  Good challenge.  Good times.

I'm hoping I can sneak some time before next Friday to run more tests, so you FNGers may be getting more invites to help. I appreciate all your support and hope this will help make the TrackMania tournament at GEEX more fun.

My apologies if any of you jumped in to find me in-game last night... I didn't actually log in to the game and start playing until way late... the first part of the night I was solely working on the app and the dedicated server... chatting with those in the server via ServerMania.  If I missed you, I'm sorry.  Catch us next time!


17 June 2010

GEEX LAN Party and Tournament Registration is Live

GEEX Registration is live!

To participate in the TrackMania United Forever Tournament, you will need to register for both the LAN Party and the TrackMania Tournament (separate registrations.)
  1. Register for the LAN Party
  2. Register for the TrackMania Tournament
  3. Get the Track Pack and start practicing!
If you have any questions let me know... most details can be gleaned from the Tournament details page and my blog entry.

I'm looking forward to seeing you all there. Please help spread the word about GEEX!

16 June 2010

Official GEEX 2010 TrackMania United Forever Tournament Track Pack Announced

Well, I finally got the track pack compiled... and just in time to give everyone a month of practice before the TrackMania United Forever tournament at GEEX 2010.

Download the track pack now! (~34MB)
It is a self-extracting executable that needs to be extracted to the base TrackMania folder under the Windows user folder.

Examples (replace "username" with your own user's name):
Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\TrackMania

Vista and Windows 7:

The pack will extract itself to all the appropriate places, and includes most mods/images/sounds/etc required to play the included tracks. Some images are missing but will be downloaded quickly from locators the first time you play the track. Players are encouraged to practice before the tournament to ensure all required data is on your computer prior to the competition.

The tracks are comprised of (but will not necessarily be raced in this order at GEEX):
AntiBoost (Bay)
Aretmis' Arrow I (Stadium)
Celt!c Sp!r!t (Rally)
Coastal Trip (Coast)
Dream Coast (Coast)
Dutch Delight (Stadium)
Eye in the Sky (Desert)
[GR] Poco Loco (Bay)
[GR] Night Hawk (Stadium)
Kingdom of Tricks v.1.00 (Rally)
Mad w0rLd (Island)
Remember Off Road? (Stadium)
Scotts Bluff (Desert)
Snow Park (Snow)
Stuntman Mountains (Snow)
Zen Island (Island)

[ATP]Community Track II (Snow)
Baysilisk (Bay)
Creative (Desert)
Deal Breaker (Stadium)
Etherlight (Island)
FlowCoastUnited (Coast)
Lunacy (Rally)

Details about the tournament and registration for the GEEX 2010 LAN Party and TrackMania Tournament will be available soon.

This is a bold experiment for TrackMania tournaments.  I decided I wanted to make a tournament that represents all types of tracks the community creates; testing all TrackMania skills, not just tech.

I even included a multi-path track that purposely set shortcuts... I figure the game has its own tracking mechanism for a successful lap: make it through all checkpoints and cross the finish line.  How you accomplish those goals is up to you... if you find a shortcut and can successfully exploit it, more power to you!

That said, spectating is also allowed, for those competitors that may not have found the shortcuts themselves, but notice that another player has a significantly better time.  This, of course, jeopardizes their own time to finish the track with a similar time, but if they can discover the shortcut and still execute it in time, the player will still have a shot at taking the podium.

Like I said, bold experiment.  But most I've spoken with about it when asking their opinions have liked the ideas, so we'll see how it goes.  I'm really excited for this tournament and hope it will be enjoyable for all.

Team FNG will be putting up a GEEX practice server some of the time over the weeks leading up to GEEX, but know that it will be in "experimental" mode, as I'm still developing the app that will track the tournament stats from the dedicated server at the event... and thus it needs a testing ground.  Feel free to join this server when you see it up and help me test the app when I'm around to work on it.

Please feel free to leave comments both before and after GEEX and let us know how you liked the event; especially the TrackMania United Forever tournament!


04 June 2010

EVGA YouTube Video Shows Off PhysX Capabilities

This cool video, presented by evga.com shows off some really cool effects PhysX offers; in a lot of popular games like Mirror's Edge, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Cryostatis.