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Location: Home  Blogs  The Importance of Tracking Teams 
The Importance of Tracking Teams
The Importance of Tracking Teams02 Nov, 2013
   eyebo«way¬ (17 comments, 2403 views)  
I've been thinking of track building teams lately. Tracking teams have been a major part of the culture on TMX.

In the past (2007-2011) most people wanted to be in a good team. It was, on some level, a matter of prestige. Most teams wouldn't let you in unless you were good enough. Some were even by invitation only. You felt quite special if you had been accepted by one of these elite communities within TM.

New teams also popped up occasionally, sometimes comprised of those turned away by other teams. Sometimes made up of builders who wanted to do things a little differently.

In a sense, these teams are a bit like families. A lot of camaraderie developed among members. And sometimes even among members of "rival" teams, as we were all in it to build the best tracks possible, and some were out to one-up each other with each track release.

Many of these teams put on competitions, either for their own members, or for everyone. And your fellow teammates were always a great place to get track beta testing done.

Don't get me wrong, I think there's a lot you can do as a track builder in TM without being in a tracking team. If you don't want to be in one, that's fine. And I think everyone should make an effort to play tracks from good builders whether they're in a tracking team or not.

But there's also some distinct advantages to having vibrant track building teams. They encourage:

  • builders to release tracks regularly.
  • members to play together online and test each other's tracks.
  • competitions hosted and supported by specific teams.
  • builders to push for the highest standards of track building.
  • builders to innovate and push the boundaries of the game.

FT, XT, TMU@Fun, LT, OTMB, FoF... these are a few I can think of off the top of my head... mostly all started in United, but some even go back to the days of Sunrise and Original. Some were strictly track building. Others also competed in races. I know TMNF also had some strong tracking teams. I wish I was more familiar with them.

Some teams are still quite active. Other teams have active members, but are inactive as a team.

I guess the point I want to make is this:

I want to formally acknowledge the importance such teams have played in the culture within the community of TrackMania, and stress their importance for the future. A resurgence of such teams and a new found appreciation for their place in TM might give renewed reason for new teams to start and existing teams to get active again. For those already in a team, wear your tag like a badge of honor.

For too long I've not worn my LT tags, and I'm truly sorry for that. I counted, and there's over 15 members of LT who still actively play TM, as of this year. Sadly, many do not wear their tags anymore. I think this should change. And I'm starting with me.

Please let me know in the comments what you think of tracking teams, their importance, and maybe what teams you've been in. I'm looking forward to reading your replies.
Comments
17 comment(s).
  s8ndm8n writes ... 13, Nov, 2013  
MrA says:
I think its more likely becuase they dont want to all be accused of friendly awarding each others maps into BOTW.


Holzzitrone is correct, he is one of the oldest active members of XT btw. There is some truth to your comment though but Skunky simply felt that it just didn't look good to have the clan tag all over the site. The members were in the BOTW frequently simply because many of the members were quite popular prior to joining the clan. They didn't join and suddenly forget how to make tracks.

So regarding showing your clan tags, I don't see a problem with it but XT made a conscience decision to not do so. To me it shows some class honestly but like I said I don't see a problem showing it either.

Good points eyebo but instead of saying "the importance of tracking teams" I'd call it "the advantage of tracking teams".
  TaurasQm writes ... 11, Nov, 2013  
there is also another mapper team!..

everyone can join! take a look at site http://qualitymappers.jimdo.com/

Greatings Qm' owner/admin Tauras
  GR. writes ... 07, Nov, 2013  
OTMB wasn't really a tracking team, just a fun team. But we did have some known builders like KEV Fan and briefly Ron Turbo and irondragons and -cough- moi, and lesser known builders like ripbox, hpbifta, rax, giler, GD and king of stunts HGL. And sure we helped each other out. Hpbifta taught me everything about MT and all sorts of technical stuff like hex editing. Well now I think of it maybe we were a bit of a tracking team but not intended. 8-|
  FT»Lodec writes ... 06, Nov, 2013  
@ holzzitrone:
thats what ive done
i just searched for members of FT and LT(also XT but you didnt wear the tag back then)
and like this ive found my current team ^^
and also some great tags

atm i am just searching for nice screenshots in order to find a nice map behing this screen ;)
  XT kruemelyeti writes ... 05, Nov, 2013  
MrA says:
I think its more likely becuase they dont want to all be accused of friendly awarding each others maps into BOTW.

I think there are hardly enough of us around to award each others maps into BOTW. :p
  comp writes ... 05, Nov, 2013  
I read this one as soon as you posted it and wanted to comment re: a similar idea but didn't get a chance..

I think that anytime a community is passionate, or in this case even prideful of a game, we all have a natural tendency to be very careful not to over-extend our attempts to immerse and express ourselves in a community for fear of spoiling something we love, or in many cases, fear just looking like an "ambitious noob".

In most larger games with larger communities it's often frowned upon to cloud the community up with excessive player-created attempts to expand on a game with bells whistles and gimmicks because the quality of good ideas is so overwhelmed by the quantity of bad ones. When you care about a game usually the last thing you want is a boatload of bad ideas watering your experience down..

I don't feel like TM is nearly in that position, however. For me, player-created additions to TM and the community are just what it's about! Any time our player-base "officializes" itself - whether it be through a tracking team or hosting homebrew competitions or anything - it generates interest.

Some games really don't need or even want that sort of thing.. TM is completely the opposite for me. I think that sort of stuff is 100% what TM is/and should be. It sounds cliche but it's always been about the community - so much moreso than any other game I've played.. There is a lot of room here for a community to embrace itself in ways that add to all of our experiences. TM is in no danger of having an overly ambitious player-base.. I definitely welcome player-generated interest in any form with this game, I think it's great for us ;)
   MrA writes ... 04, Nov, 2013  
holzzitrone says:
As far as i know there was a XT rule to not show up the clantag on the exchange sites. Don't know exactly why they made this rule, but it was a good one IMO because you might get more attention (awards) just for the reason that some people think: "Oh, this guy is member of a tracking team...his tracks must be great." It doesn't change the fact that tracking teams are a nice thing as long as their members actually care about the game they were founded for (TM)


I think its more likely becuase they dont want to all be accused of friendly awarding each others maps into BOTW.
  east writes ... 04, Nov, 2013  
Great article eyebo. This really means something for people that wants to get constant feedback from other people they know. I never been in a trackmaking team before and it seems interesting of how it play's out. I usually thought that these types of teams are fit for only driving but not trackbuilding. That's really interesting to be honest.
  holzzitrone writes ... 03, Nov, 2013  
As far as i know there was a XT rule to not show up the clantag on the exchange sites. Don't know exactly why they made this rule, but it was a good one IMO because you might get more attention (awards) just for the reason that some people think: "Oh, this guy is member of a tracking team...his tracks must be great." It doesn't change the fact that tracking teams are a nice thing as long as their members actually care about the game they were founded for (TM)
  Scape writes ... 03, Nov, 2013  
I would just like to mention the existence of an age-old clan BCS.
http://www.bcsmania.com/
We are not fastest riders or entirely amazing builders, but we have some good ideas and we are very a cool people. Probably most of us having fun a mapping. Between us active interesting to personalities community - nibor, Santino, thegigpig35.
Excuse me a little unsolicited ads :p:cool:
  Cxom writes ... 02, Nov, 2013  
Yeah I'm aware Osaka. That's my issue:s
  XT»Marti writes ... 02, Nov, 2013  
Truth has been spoken ;)
  XT kruemelyeti writes ... 02, Nov, 2013  
I agree so much with you from the first letter to the very last.

As for myself I am proud to be a member of XT. Not that it's just a "seal of quality" for one's own maps, but it's great to be in such a nice environment and community and build tracks together. Even if there's a big change right now. Many of the old TM-veterans stopped playing or show up really seldom, however some new players come around as well.

When a game like Trackmania goes through so many structual changes and when a clan exists for such a long time it has to become more flexible to adjust. Of course this is a process that needs time, but I think we're fine with where we are at the moment. Time to show my XT-tag to the world!:cool:
  FT»Osaka writes ... 02, Nov, 2013  
It isn't that easy Cxom. See, I was LT myself back in the day, and while laziness is a point, no LT member gets to be one without some quality to their craft.
  Thrawn«¦ writes ... 02, Nov, 2013  
Interesting topic, I never really thought about it ...

In my eyes teams are a great thing mainly because of one thing : They show the strenght of the TrackMania community and the will to push things beyond just driving on servers. No, there are many forums out there, competitions organized by players and look at MX -> completely founded by fans (yeah I see MX like one of these groups as well, in some ways)
I don't see any other community with a similar structure for any other game.

I myself have never been in a Team myself, except for once, but that did not last very long, because I am a player who likes to play many other games apart from TrackMania - so I am always switching between active and inactive ;)

I think you are correct about saying that there are certain advantages for Trackbuilders, eyebo.
I myself have experienced that it is a lot easier to build a map, if there is feedback - in my case from a good friend who also plays TM.
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