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TM Interview Project - tcq
TM Interview Project - tcq16 Oct, 2015
   wormi (6 comments, 1424 views)  

Hello hello guys! Today we have a mapper, a driver and one of the active followers of this project as well. He's tcq! More information about the project here.


1. Could you tell us something about yourself?
I'm German, 29 years old, freshly married and currently pursuing doctoral studies in biochemistry/biology. It took me some detours (e.g. being a childhood cancer survivor, made it from the lowest school form we have ("Hauptschule") to the gymnasium, worked and teached for two years in Sweden, fought a 2 1/2 year court battle for my wedding to happen) to finally arrive where I am. But this just makes you realise that, if you want something and work really hard for it and put in everything you have, eventually you will reap the rewards. Especially of importance is a working support structure, so don't push your friends away because you need to do an important raid or something! Outside of TM I'm quite the sport fanatic. I used to play football for over 15 years until injuries started piling up. Nowadays I'm doing running, biking and swimming which results occasionally in participating in a triathlon.

2. How and when did you find Trackmania?
Actually, I need to say that I'm a late bloomer when it comes to PCs. We got out first home computer when I was probably 15 years old and it had only an onboard CPU, therefore we couldn't play much and I continued putting priorities to my consoles (NES, SNES, N64, PS1, GC, PS2). But when we got finally our first dedicated graphic card (32mb memory *yeah*), we were able to play more advanced games (such as DI, Gothic, Project I.G.I). Being on a 56k, it got quite expensive and my parents charged me for each hour DI online play 1 euro (guess when I started doing a part time job parallel to my school work). In 2005, a childhood friend introduced me to the TMSdem. I got directly hooked and kept playing it until the multiplayer support got shut down. As I was really broke that time and just started studying (DSL light access finally ), I continued TM with nations and kept on playing the ladder each night (22-3am) to stay in the top 4000. But then as studies became more time consuming, I needed to set priorities and put TM once more aside. My real carrier then started with me buying finally the TMS full version in the summer of 2006.

3. Where does your nickname tcq come from?
Actually, that's a funny way. Back then, I was quite young and saw a video clip of a rapper that had a really flashy name (2-3 characters long, can't remember it any more) and I wanted a similar nice sounding. Therefore I combined random character until I arrived at tcq.

4. You have played TM such a long time already. Which teams have you been part during it?
I started playing TM with keyboard, but eventually got a pad after being nagged long enough by Loko, the captain ofdvill>>. Then it took me 1-2 months to master island noslide and finally I managed to achieve the recruitment times needed to join the clan (End of 2006). When dvill>> broke down, I joined ys-tp>> for the UL3 and have been part of this teams more or less the whole time, except a short stint during the SL5 (2-3 matches for the 2nd/3rd team of CM). As ys-tp>> became less and less active, I joined dr-ukr (later only dr) until they dissolved. Then for TM2, ys-tp>> resuscitated itself until activity started to wane once more and now I think I'm the last survivor. I also played, or at least tried to played nations a little bit competitively. During this time I was part of the team WTF together with some united players that wanted to show that they can also play stadium. As it turned out, I will never reach a world record or come closer to it than one second in any environment (except island).

5. What is your favorite moment from your races in the game?
Actually, this is quite easy. During my first league season (SL3) with dvil>>, we played a match against an eurasian team. I'm not sure if it was lambda or USSR, but I remember coba playing in it. As expected we won the first map which was island. The second map was coast. We (feanor, kimi, me) were 6:2 behind but managed a comeback towards a 6:6. Then being on the way to the 7:6, we entered the last curve. Me being in position 1, Feanor 2nd and Kimi 3rd. Me and Kimi crashed the last curve (1.5 second before the finish) and unfortunately we lost the map 6:7. On Bay we then got beaten and lost the match 2:1. It might also have been that we got a draw, but I can't remember correctly.

6. Besides driving you are also a mapper. Many people know you from your slow-paced and tight style. Why do you like build slow maps?
During the TMSdemo time maps were usually built with keyboard and, after most people transitioned to analogue steering devices, this maps became incredible challenging to drive because you were to fast at every corner. You jumped against tunnel entries or overflew checkpoints/finishes by miles. And this driving was so much fun as you needed precise control of your speed by braking shortly before jumps or just release throttle to achieve a really good time. People nowadays curse this maps, but it was the most fun time I had hunting with other people who liked to drive this style. Just look up old maps by Panis, Ron Turbo and Zeroe on sunrise exchange. When I started building maps, I tried to build something similar. As I was now used to driving pad, I tried to see how I could make maps challenging, without being unfair for beginners and my solution was to work a lot with difficult lines regarding traction (e.g. getting the most of downhill slopes), braking (e.g. to get a tight u-turn, zick zack turns) and of course air control at small jumps. Learning these lines usually needs time and therefore my maps grow on people the longer they play them. And if there is someone that invests some time to really understand the map, they usually love it. But lately (since TM2) I'm getting a lot of "unfriendly" responses from players that don't know that you need to learn a league map and that the game features a brake button to brake. As most of this people are usually of younger age or/and come from nations with power slide maps, I call this people "stadium kiddies". And another reason for building slow paced maps is, that I actually suck at providing stable times driving high speed maps as my thumb usually starts to twitch in the most crucial moments.

7. During the years you have also built quite a few league maps. Which one of them is your favorite?
TM2: 1. The map I like the most in TM2 is TFET1... going for an earthquake. It's a nice map with a lot of surface variations and a tricky final corner that allow people to catch an opponent in the last crucial round of the race where the nerves are going down and concentration lessens after 24 laps.
2. TWL2//TNC2 precision adjustment. The map name says it all. This is actually my master piece and I never built a better map in canyon when it comes to slow tight drifts!!!
TMU: DefinitelyUL4 - Gexnis. My first map ever chosen for a league. Sadly, people discovered a cut in it during the league so the dedimania times are totally "ScrewD" up.

8. Not counting your own maps, do you have favorite tracks?
Island: My overall favourite maps are the "Emerald coasts" series by slash, the "Karting" series by Dengel, "Sierra Island" by Zeroe (thanks here to Figos for giving me the motivation to finally do a 55) and of course most of the Ron Turbo and Panis demo maps.
Else in the rest of TMU are a lot of awesome tech maps by mappers like Nillstorn, Dengel, Kyo, DelNuelo, Medina, Banzai, Azumanga and and and.

9. Which environments are you favorite to build and drive?
I usually don't have any preference to which environment I'm building a map in. But the better I'm in this specific environment, the more ideas pile up. Nowadays I'm playing simply valley for fun and build maps there. But this is only because I lost, due to time constraints, all of my skill in the other environments and can't drive them "good" enough to build a map that I has enough quality to be released. Except coast, there I can always build quite decent tech maps. The last one I build was selected for the GC12.

10. Since you have actively been lurking these interviews, which one is your favorite of them?
It's always a pleasure to read interviews of players that you know already quite a bit and to get a few new pieces of information. Of this one, you had exactly three interviews which were 20-100 and Marius (which I played together with in WTF) and LInsoDeTeh (the leader of ys-tp and head admin of ET).

11. Your top 3 newssites, games, songs, movies & series.
News: (technically), (politically) , pubmed (scientific), (computer)
Games: 1.Seiken Densetsu 2 2. Final Fantasy V-IX, 3. TM
Music: I take everything from Hardstyle/Metal/Hiphop over "Schlager" to classic music.
Movies: To many to count, but to give a short overview over what I like here is a small list. Operation Petticoat (1959 <= a must see!!!), Hot Shots (1991), Life of Brian (1979), Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989), Airplane! (1980) with it's sequels and John Dies at the End (2012). Furthermore of course LotR, The Hobbit, StarWars and it's excellent parody Spaceballs by Mel Brooks (1987), and many other new age superhero movies (e.g. Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy).
Series: 1. Heroes, 2. Kyle XY, 3.Dragonball, 4. Stargate SG-1

12. TM Turbo was announced this summer and it seems to be a casual console-type version of TM2/Maniaplanet. What do you think about the upcoming game?
TMT looks like the game that should Maniaplanet have been. Looking from the TMU perspective I see three new environments, a nice GUI and creative game modes (e.g. double driver). Playable on different consoles and PC. But then there comes the but: So far it looks like that TMT doesn't allow interconnectivity between the different game platforms. And are you even able to share maps between other players? It would be a huge step from Nadeo to make all player communities to interact. Who cares about cross platform? Unite them all and show the world that Nadeo is interested in bringing players together. Nervertheless, I will not buy the game due to the Uplay requirement on the PC.

13. After 4 years with Maniaplanet, what do you think about the success of it? What did Nadeo/Ubi do right and what wrong to you?
First of all, I feel like that all of the expectations I had for "TM2" and mania planet were not fulfilled. We got first one environment which looked nice and was quite okay with the gameplay. But it lacked the "special" feeling I had when playing TMS or TMU. It lacked simply the variation and depth necessary for long term enjoyment. And then after canyon there came nothing for a long time. And then out of nowhere came stadium and valley into mania planet. Valley had a nice boost for the first few weeks, but then became lost somehow. My opinion is that the problem is the gameplay. The concrete roads are nice and easy to drive and every player that puts in some time can achieve really good times. But then there is the dirt/offroad handling. I don't understand it until today and it's totally random for me. If I get a nice run it's just out of pure luck and not reproducible. Still I keep playing it as I feels like it has potential but then I rage quit it again if I see once more an unexplainable behaviour of the car. Strangely, I can play dirt better with KB than with any analogue input device ...
Stadium on the other hand is just stadium. A rebrand to please the masses, but nothing mentionable for the "united players". But nevertheless, its release triggered a player drain from all other titles towards stadium. Additionally, the title pack system kills the user base by dividing it more and more. Then finally came the multiple title pack system, but it was already to late. Now people who want to play there need all three environments and this splits the community once more.
For the future, I see actually only one solution. A complete overhaul of the GUI. Make the title pack system work unnoticeable in the background. Just give one menu as in TMU where you can select between solo/multiplayer/editor mode. Multiplayer gives you one server browser which lists all servers and you can sort after environments/environments combinations and main games (TM/SM). Let players see server and if they don't own the title pack, they are asked to download it. When lagoon gets released, give people who buy it a direct access towards multienvironment servers. If they don't own a all of them, force them to spec during the race so they can see the people play together with a link to the shop to buy a code for the missing environments. Furthermore, provide the possibility to buy all titles as one product online to allow new players to join the game and have access to everything.
And most of all, give us an environment that has a driving feeling like TMU, let us master the noslide once more. Or even better, port TMU into Maniaplanet and make it finally a whole and nice looking product.

14. A classic question, who are the best players in the game ever?
TMU: Sandder, without a question. Of course there are a lot of different drivers who excel in their favourite environment (Blackcat/Figos/Devil on Rally, 20-100 on Bay, Exo/Novem on Island, Marius on coast, Roa/Kaka on snow), but he is the only one that can drive them reproducible on an incredible level. Afterwards there are a lot of other really strong all-round players of each generation (Paf, Kaboom, Phenomega, Zooz, Figos, Tona), but he is simply the best. I actually don't care about stadium players as they are only good in one out of seven environment and thus wasting the game in my opinion. But it doesn't mean that there aren't players that are incredible. To just name a few, there are/were Xenogear, Gallo, Karjen, Carl Jr, FB and of course Sandder.
TM2: Klovni on canyon and Rilou on valley.

15. At least with TM2 you have used quite a lot blockmix. What do you think about using blockmix and how should it be used?
Block mixing is there to overcome limitation of the editor. And this was true for TMU and even more for TM2 which has an incredible limited editor. But being able to mix blocks doesn't mean you should mix them. The moment I see a flickering texture during a race is the moment where I automatically vote a map with the worst possible score. Gladly, over time there was an ongoing development to make block mixing easier. In TMU mixing was quite a challenge, but then ChallengeEdit made things more manageable. I cant count all of the CTD I had when moving mountain parts. In TM2 then, mixing was possible in a totally new way thanks to arc and his TM2Unlimiter. Then as he stopped Yoshi developed a TM2 version of ChallengeEdit. And finally, thank you Nadeo, we got an official version implemented. Not perfect yet, but it's incredible and the best we had so far. It would be even better if you could also use the mixing on terraforming blocks, but maybe in the future. But back to the original question. The ideal blockmix for me is one that goes unnoticed for the normal driver. This means no flickering textures, no street textures in dirt sections and vice versa as well as a natural feel of it. It shouldn't feel forced.

16. Describe yourself with four words.
stubborn, "wicked humour", helpful, sarcastic

17. If you have something else to say, please write it here.
First off all, thank you very much for the opportunity to take part in this interview. Secondary, I would love to thank all the people that made the game this meaningful for me that I keep coming back again and again. With this I mean all of my team members, Nadeo for creating it, all players that develop tools (thx Slig for FAST) and host competitions (thx to the team behind the GP coast, thx ET). Without TM there wouldn't have been so many memories been made. I wish that in the future the player base will increase once more and the original TM spirit might come back to the game. And at latest I need so say this (አፈቅርሻለሁ።), else this interview will be the last thing I ever wrote. Thanks to my beautiful wife who is always there for me.

Thanks to you too tcq. Glad to see you shared some quality opinions with us!

Cu next time! :)
6 comment(s).
  KimoOouille writes ... 24, Oct, 2015  
Very nice interview from a great man like you, TCQ. Reading these words, it reminds me of the time dvils, it was so beautiful. I really hope one day seeing the colors of this team to wake up. Thank you for your attention to me and to have my name mentioned.
  Marius 89 writes ... 19, Oct, 2015  
... says:
Sadly, people discovered a cut in it during the league so the dedimania times are totally "ScrewD" up.

I instantly had to laugh. :d
When I saw the Rally screenshot, I directly knew which map you're talking about. It was very fun back then when Marci and Xaorn and all the other players of ScrewD were still full active. We searched for cuts on pretty much every map and had a lot fun doing that together. We even drove some of these cuts in the match. :s But nobody cared, we had no chance vs LM, it was still a clear 0:7. xD Anyway this track was the masterpiece of cuts. It had 4 cuts and all very different, but all keeping the correct CP-order.

And ye, I know what you're talking about Valley Dirt being easier with keyboard. In my opinion, kb has maybe only disadvantages in Dirt, if you wanna TA against Riolu's times, but for rounds it is easier. The car doesn't make those freaking movements.

Nice interview:)
  haenry writes ... 17, Oct, 2015  
this is one of the very few interviews of you I actually read entirely. I guess I need to read more of the older ones.:$

Great work!

I totally agree on what you say about the current situation of MP, tcq! Very well said. MP has become too complicated nowadays :-w
  pfm writes ... 17, Oct, 2015  
Great to read about one of my favourite map builders =)
I remember tcq from back in the TMS YS-TP days where I used to play ET 3v3 league with FMT (an average team) and later LM (The fusion of Loser and FMT, which had really strong players: Diablo, Paf...)

thanks wormi!
  danodude writes ... 17, Oct, 2015  
Nice interview, I enjoy reading them(y)

Gratz to tcq for getting an interview, too:cool:
  Sky.esu writes ... 17, Oct, 2015  
nice interview - once again. I enjoy reading them, keep it up :award:
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