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TM Interview Project - Samuel
TM Interview Project - Samuel 16 Apr, 2014
 wormi (4 comments, 2083 views)  

Hello giggles! This time I present you a French computer virtuoso, graphics guy and mapper, Samuel! You can find more information about the project here. Have fun reading!


1. Could you tell us something about yourself?
Hi, my first name is Samuel and my last name is Yanez-Carbonell. I live in France and i am 24 (21 may). I got one brother and one sister. What about me ? I have grow up in a farm in the middle of the Ardeche. Then i have study at Bordeaux. And now i live in a sweet city called Nantes. And i work in computer science as developer since two years.
During my childhood i was in small village where everyone know everyone else. So, we were like ten guys from the same age doing all the stupid stuffs young guys do. Like, climbing trees, jumping from the balcony, trying to do a backflip with a bike, searching 4 leaf clover all day long, destroying stuff and playing games. This way i have been able to play on mega-drive (mine) and on the consoles of my friends (NES and Playstation 1). This was more than enough for me. I already wanted to know how game works and how i could build one.

2. How and when did you find Trackmania?
I have start playing tmnf with some friends during my computer science grade. We were playing it during the breaks on a laptop. Back in this days i didn't had internet in my apartment. So, most of the time, i was programming my own games, drawing stuff with my super advanced tactile laptop, and playing game like tmnf, cs1.6 and warcraft 3. On tmnf i was focus on the campaign's tracks and the ESL tracks from 2008/2009.

3. You play mostly stadium. Have you tried other environments?
I have tried all the new environments since tmnf. So, TM2 Valley, TM2 Canyon and Shoot Mania. I have not been disappointed. Valley look great. Canyon is strong with all the sliding potential. And Shootmania is weird but cool too. I have build one track in each of these environments and i will continue to build. I didn't know that much the meta (way to play it at top level) in these environments, but for sure there is lots of potential.

4. Why do you make a lot screenshots in Trackmania?
Back in 2011, i was a newbie on TMX and few people where noticing my tracks, so i decided to investigate a bit and i found the Screen Competition section in the forums. A lots of people where discussing about wild stuff, this pixel is too blue, this text don't fit, ugly bar and stuff like that. For me it was a revelation o.o
Then i have read many tutorials, and i was up and running to make some ugly bloomed screens with Gaussian bars. I have spend a lots of time to reach the top. Actually if i count all the tracks i have made a screen for, i reach 180 tracks. It's a lots, because on my latest screens, i spend more and more time, like 2 hours each screens.
Now if i would say why i does that? well, i haven't spend that much time at studying art, but honestly it feel great and it give me a lots of fun. I even goes to a point where i was addicted, making screens all day long. Now it's ok, i manage my time a bit better. One days if i get to the point where i want to work in design, i know it's possible. When you see the price of the course in art, well... Big thank to tmx and the community <3

5. Yeah, TMX got 10 years old a while ago. But you are quite good with computers, how have you used your knowledge in gaming?
It's not easy to point out the things that really help me in gaming. For me it's was a bit the opposite. I have spend a lots of time in many games, making custom maps on counter-strike and warcraft 3. And then I have learn how to code in c/cpp. It was linked, both tutorials for games and development where on the same website.
When i was a student, i have spend a lots of time reading tutorials. For me or my work i have use many complex software. And in my opinion, developing applications or games. It's like doing some push-up with your brain. Then you don't see the world the same ^^

6. What makes a good track?
First, only the tech track are good. Okay okay I stop o,o
For me a good track. It's a track that stay in the memories. Not always good at the release. If the track didn't get old, even after some months/years. That a good track. The good track got an identity or something special. Not always easy, not always smooth, not always creative. But still pretty cool to hunt again and again. That all that matters (:
The scenery, the MT, the way you share it on MX or TMX is also important. It's only done when you can't improve it anymore :]

7. You were voted as most underrated builder in TMX User Choice Awards 2013. Does it feel more good or bad if people think you're underrated?
To say the truth, if i have been selected as an underrated builder, it's only my fault. My start on TMX was not the best. I was not proud of my own work. I was only playing the game offline. My login was wvsyc. I had no team mates. I was sharing too much basic tracks. If i would only keep the ones i really love and the ones i invested work in it, there wouldn't be that much tracks on my account. I already did it once, i deleted like 40 tracks, maybe more :c
Actually i don't feel underrated at all. Since the beginning of 2013 i try my best to fix some of the issues i had before. I have joined in a team. I have participated some competitions. I have spend a lots of time making screens. Slowly but surely my tracks are reaching a new level :]
And now to fully answer the question, yeah it's feel good to know that the people think i am underrated. What they probably miss, is that my track are in general dedicated to advance/experimented tech driver. So yep, i obviously reduce the amount of people who are suppose to love it. It may change, but i can't really promise you it will ^^

8. I hope more people would notice you after this! Who are your favorite authors in mapping? Do you have any kind of role models?
My favorite is Maximus and by far. I even get to a point where it's doesn't make sens to awards his tracks because i have already give him 20% of all the awards i gave on tmx. to make it short, he help me a lots when i was starting on tmx and i love all the tracks this guys do. Here is also a couple of builders who blow my mind: quat, nevermind, cvrk, triple shoot, hitchy, sapphiron, pascow, dule, sky, flyps. Don't get me wrong there is no order. They are all good in their own way :]

9. And what are your favorite tracks?
I got plenty of good track in my mind. So, i guess it would be cool to share with you the tracks that helps me to learn stuff while i was on tmx and before.
Like i said before i have started to go outside of the the campaign tracks with some esl tracks from the map pack 2009 and 2010. I have practice this tracks a lots. My favorite was tamago. It's the combination of this cool tracks and the sick times I have seen on youtube that push me to search a website like tmx. And i have found it easily.
The first tracks i have enjoy on tmx, where the one use for the scenery contest 4 (summer 2011). One track of each style fs, tech & dirt. You could find the winner entry there. I have learn a lots of stuff in this project.
Now let's go back to the question 8. I will try to give you a short list of my favorite tracks from my favorite authors.
All the track listed are from TMX (;

CyberTech by maximus
Out of range by nevermind
Lydia by dule
Earthshine by sapphiron
Within Teh DarK by hitchy
Burnout Boulevard by pascow
Mind vortex by joost
Oxygene² by dreamy

10. Have you driven any tournaments, cups or leagues in TM?
If i pick only the well know cups. I have driven at the XTA2 and TMT in 2013. I will be there also at the next TMM (feb. 2014). For the XTA2 it was quite funny, because i didn't have join any teams before. I join the wof (wave of friens) crew in January 2013 and boom i play the XTA2 cup with them. When i drive in the cups. I didn't do sick replays to win the rounds. I am more in the middle, being steady at dedi1+1s.

11. I actually drove against your team a week ago in TMM! Next, have you built maps for any competitions?
If we look closely, i didn't built any tech tracks for competitions. But, the truth is that i sent some and i fail. i don't feel confident when i am suppose to do a track on demand. The last track i have build for a cup was for the XTA through. Actually i feel good. I am sure i will be able to came up with something this year. Even if the tracks are not selected there will be decent anyway. The cup of tea tracks are here for that reason. I am really focus on finding the way to make cool cup tracks lately.

12. What in TM2 Stadium could still be improved for you?
Here is a list of improvement i would be glad to see in the game.
Reducing the delay between the inputs and how the car react. Playing online in TM2 feel a bit harsh. I mean, it's like driving a tank or something like that. It's a bit a shame for me, because i have invest lot's of money in my computer and my Internet connection, and it feel bad even at low graphic setting in the game. I am almost sure it's due to the new big platform like udk, cry engine... All the game recently make me cry at this point :c
Adding a sort of global MT (before the 3,2,1 go) for those who want to change the global atmosphere of the track. For example the Halloween tracks feel bad actually because the MT start only when the car go out of the start. At least for the camera adjustment and color correction. It's would unleash some more creativity.
Sorting the elements in the MT (up and down). Only adding stuff at the end of the list is sometime a bit frustrating when there is a lots of rows.
Adding round/ellipse shapes in completion to the 2D shapes tool.
Improving the colorFX. The color correction is not really effective to my taste. Adding something equivalent to the photoshop curves and/or levels would be great. Because most of the time, the atmosphere look the same. Some warm/cold atmospheres without a custom texture pack would be highly appreciated.
Adding a shortcut/button to switch on/off the bouncing left/right folders in the editor. I love this functionality because it's easy to get the blocks you want. But sometime when i want to look at the track with the alt key, the folders hide 1/3 of the screen. Maybe the tab key ?
Sweet the switch between multiple graphic configuration as been implemented (: A must have for the video/screen maker.
Adding some simple custom object like the little jump from valley. Adding custom object to the game seem complex. The little jump would be very useful. A custom interface for those who want to cast games on twitch with all the useful information in big. Where is the score. Who win the run. Did the players are near the dedi1 or not, some statistics, etc... At last it would be fun to had a useless scenery flower bloc that you can put on grass/dirt and in the air with a pot. Multiple kind of colors. Because moms can't argue with that. They will buy the game to their young boy and then TM will be the most played game in the world again ! ^^
I know some of this requests are almost impossible to get. But let's dream.
I hope i am not too harsh with the game. I can't lie about my feelings.
However i also got plenty of good reasons to love it (;

13. You were in ESWC 2013 as quest. How was the event from your view?
The eswc for me could be resume to that picture. There is a lots of people, tones of shops who sell games, t-shirt & goodies. They split up the big place into four sections pc, PS4, xBox One and Nintendo. There is one big scene for all the big match like the finals and at the back there is like 5 or 6 small scenes witch are dedicated to one game. Some youtubers where there too (nearly unreachable due to the amount of people). And we had also the access to an area where you could see the players playing the rounds.
I was most of the time here with my team mates because that was the place where we hopefully had not that much people around. This way i have seen the trackmania 1/4 and semi-final being played at 2 meter, like in a lan with friends. It was cool to see the emotions of the players. We have seen plenty of good players like carl jr, carl, yoyo, tala, koenz, tween, tamarillo, etc. And we also have seen hylis and the guy from the TMPurificaction channel with his video.
The semi-final where tight. Almost all the players had reach the finalist rank and then, all is play on one run... The final was one sided. Carl Jr literally crutch the other players. Nice experience anyway, because for me, there is no way i could focus on the game in this kind of loud atmosphere, with thousand of people crying, lighting... It really feel like you are in an anthill nightclub ^^
Shootmania was a big surprise in this event. The finals was majestic. It was like the crowd was full of gorillas. In term of crowd noise it was one the best, directly facing COD black ops. witch is nice (: In cs:go the match of titans VG vs NIP was amazing (like always). Overall, It was a very cool event for me. It was my first time and not my last one (;

14. Your top 3 websites, games, songs & movies.
Se coucher moins bete (fr)
Youtube & 9gag
- Portal 2
- Tomb raider 2013
- Minecraft
- Robin Schulz - Prayer (Bootleg)
- All the songs from Angus & julia stone, lil jon, fm letacy and dj fly
If you want to know more about the song i love, go here (90 albums ^^).
To make it simple, I love all the mainstream high budget action / SF movie.
- Revolver by Guy Ritchie with Ray Liotta & Jason Statham is a must have seen in my opinion. It is a very underrated movie.

15. How do you build maps?
I am not feeling confident in the editor (as i am in photoshop). Most of the time, i am not organized enough. It end up with too much road, not enough transitions, and many complex slides. To fix that i build my track with some constraints. for example recently, i have down a slow speed fs without slides. i build my tech track in reverse mode (i place the end and i go backward to the start). In my opinion, there is no magic tricks, the best way to avoid your track to be boring is to do something completely different in your life, like sport, friends, movies, etc.
For me building a scenery is a difficult task because with too much scenery it might change the flow (pace of the track). With the media tracker I really feel confident with the camera and stuff, but most of the time i am lazy. So i don't do any MT ^^. I am really impatient the see the release of maniaplanet 3 for the block mixing update. It will change everything for me. As a tech track builder i need some transition smaller than the size of one block. For example on Tmnf i was using block mixing to place the tilt corner yellow to blue road on the ground 3-4-1 (which is a must have in my opinion).

16. Let's say it looks nice for me! What does your dream pizza include?
SALMON! I love salmon q: and Mozzarella, Anchovy.

17. Describe yourself with four words.
Lazy, sexy (no homo), versatile, discreet

18. If you have something else to say, please write it here
Thank everyone to have read it until the end. I hope you know me better now (; Thank wormi to let me be a part of this wonderful project. Thank to MrA, my team-mates and all the others guys who are involve into this cool community. If you have any questions, don't be shy, send me an MP [:
Bye, Samuel.

Thanks a lot Samuel, was great to read your answers!

Cya next time guys! :cool:
4 comment(s).
 kamakaze writes ... 04, May, 2014  
A good read that one :)
 tcq writes ... 21, Apr, 2014  
As always, well designed questions and great answers to read. Its always nice to hear the different kinds of, how to be part of this community. Well done Samuel and wormi.
 riolu! writes ... 18, Apr, 2014  
Finally another interview, very interesting to read! :)
 Zack11 writes ... 17, Apr, 2014  
Nice one! I really like this project :)
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