Today we continue our Community Spotlight with X2X from TM-Tube!
We have been highlighting some of the most dedicated community websites and members all month long. These members and communities are the backbone of the ManiaPlanet family, and we are forever grateful for them and all of you out there.
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
Hey folks, I’m Christian, better known as X2X, the administrator and founder of TM-Tube. I’m currently studying computer science in Dresden and doing some internet work not related to gaming at all, so I won’t bother you with details. I started playing TrackMania in 2004 with my first TM multiplayer (online) experience being in 2005, which actually had a huge impact on me and my online activities.
Can you give us an introduction to your website TM-Tube?
TM-Tube started as a one-man project in April 2008. There was a TrackMania video portal before TM-Tube called “Movies Life” (downloads only), but after it had been closed, the only way to share videos in the TM community were the official forums, so I decided to fill that gap with a comfortable video sharing service. The quick success was overwhelming and I didn’t expect a just-for-fun project like that to gain so much activity within only a few weeks. In the first month there was actually so much traffic, that I had to close down the page for a week, because the traffic went overboard. After some tweaks and great support from Benjisite and Focus, TM-Tube went back online only a few days later and kept running ever since.
What are the services provided by TM-Tube?
Unlike other video sharing sites (like Youtube), TM-Tube offers the community a centralized platform for videos (and wallpapers) about TrackMania and ShootMania without any non-TM/SM-related content. One of TM-Tube’s biggest advantages over other video platforms is the quality of the streams: There are so many artists in the ManiaPlanet community, and it would be a shame to waste their video editing efforts on bad quality streams. Working on TM-Tube got me interested in video encoding techniques, so I tuned the encode algorithm over the years to allow great, gaming-content-optimized quality at relatively short encoding times and medium file sizes. Of course, TM-Tube also features many important things an online video platform should have: You can give and receive direct feedback to your creations via comments or PMs, rate creations, create playlists or share videos with your friends on Facebook or Google+.
What do you like the most about ManiaPlanet?
Tough question. Because I don’t have much experience with ManiaPlanet (good ol’ time issues), I’ll tell you, what I like about Nadeo’s overall efforts over the last decade: My TM online experience wasn’t only my first online gaming experience, it also was the most intense online gaming experience I ever had. By making a game completely focused at creativity and community features with easy access, Nadeo managed to create something out of the ordinary which was definitely something unique at the time when the first game has been released – and also today, even though other game studios later on adapted some ideas from the game in their works, but that’s just a sign for great game design. What was also quite unique back in 2004 (and the years after), was Nadeo’s communication with the community. Talking with players in the forums, playing fun beta test games and other community activities made the developers likeable and emphasized the community idea behind the TM series.
What’s next for the future of TM-Tube?
Because I’m quite busy with my studies and other projects, my TM-Tube activities are currently reduced to maintenance and keeping everything clean and up-to-date. Like the previous small encoder update, which featured Hi10P input support for better video quality, the next update will probably feature H.265 input support to be prepared for the future, when a usable/efficient H.265 encoder will be released. I’ve got some other ideas on the list like post-processing features for your videos (to add anti-aliasing or gradient corrections to older videos for example), but the release date will be “when it’s done”. If you, the one reading this, are an experienced PHP coder and bored, you may contact me. I’m open to people who may want to extend TM-Tube’s features. (I just can’t pay you, because I don’t make money with TM-Tube ;)).
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks to everyone who supported TM-Tube over the years; to all the moderators we had in over five years of TM-Tube, who kept TM-Tube clean and ensured a smooth experience for all users; to SiH, who is still actively moderating TM-Tube and our Facebook page; to the people who tested stuff for me; to Benjisite and the guys at Focus, who greatly contributed to TM-Tube’s success with their huge support; to Nadeo for creating those inspiring works of art; to all the creative artists in our community, who are essential to the continuity of TM-Tube; and to everyone else who wants to be thanked :3