Category Archives: ManiaPlanet

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Hello Planet #5 – Nadeo, Maniaplanet and Trackmania Turbo

This is 2015, and this is the 5th edition of Hello Planet.

Introduction

It’s one year later, and while the communication was minimal, our work was going at maximum speed. I already said it many times: 2015 was a year dedicated to Trackmania. We are still working on things for Shootmania and Maniaplanet, but they are going to be more our focus on 2016.

Trackmania Turbo

We have finally released the information that we are working on Trackmania for consoles! The whole studio is looking forward this big release. And I hope that Trackmania Turbo will be like a classic game that we can boot again in many years, with the same hardware & software, and enjoy both from good memories and always renewed stuff, thanks to the huge campaign, map editor or random generator. Somehow, I wish this game to be like a pool table, flipper or a babyfoot for families. It’s still in front of a screen, or in virtual reality, but there is something really simple, pure and infinitely skilled that makes it somehow like an object more than a spectacle.

Since the foundation of the studio, we have avoided to work on something else than the personal computer because the PC is well adapted for what we do and what we will do. But there were just too good reasons to make console versions and I will try to explain them, as well as to answer the difficult questions.

The good reasons

  1. After E3 2013, thanks to the console specs, we knew we could do it while keeping the studio focus on Maniaplanet for the future.
  2. Reach even more players with Trackmania thanks to the game quality, launch and lasting appeal
  3. Take time to work on the Lagoon environment
  4. Take time to work on the living room aspect of Trackmania, to play with relatives and friends in front of the big screen!
  5. Improve the Trackmania API for Maniaplanet: the game is all done with manialink & maniascript.

And probably the best we got out of it is also the opportunity to build a stronger team that should help a lot for our next Maniaplanet steps.

The difficult questions

  1. Trackmania Turbo is standalone on PC. It will create another additional place of community, instead of all in one place.
  2. Lagoon will release only next year on Maniaplanet, to take time to adapt content at best.
  3. We intend to make a commercial move for players who wish all TM envs in Maniaplanet & the TM Turbo game.
  4. A restricted choice of consoles, since it’s the same team working on Trackmania Turbo & Maniaplanet, for reasons of time.

For me, dividing is the only big question, and seems to be a counter part of looking to have best of both worlds: TM Turbo for a finished product & Maniaplanet in a constant evolution by players & us. So, it will be a challenge, we have some things to do to help, including the release of Maniaplanet 4, but it’s also partly in the hands of the community players to transform this division in addition.

Many other questions will have to be answered later, like the question of a beta or the way the online will be done, but we have to wait and come back with more info later!

Shootmania

Some people talk about it as only what has been released. But for us, Shootmania is more global and includes many steps. The next one is to offer wider range of gameplay. It should be skilled at all levels but with various types and accessibility entry points. The result should be a game that is open, diverse, fun, highly skilled, with good matchmaking and beautiful visuals. And once it’s ready, we will go in the beta of Maniaplanet 4 and take more time to look at the highly skilled players wishes regarding the released version or upcoming new things made for them as well. Shootmania will benefit of the Nadeo stronger team in the years to come.

Maniaplanet

On the Maniaplanet side, we are deeply working on the foundations of the next years of work on UGC & esport. To explain the work we are doing at the moment, I am going to explain how the studio is organized. Since the number of people at the studio has nearly tripled since we arrived at Ubisoft, we went from a single team to five teams: CORE, LIVE, SOFT, DATA and GAME. So let me introduce each one of them and talk about their work:

CORE : Core technology R&D of Maniaplanet
During the last 12 months, they had to make our specific technology to be able to handle multiple hardware systems. It required us to work on 64 bits and DirectX 11-like evolutions, opening the door to easier port to others platforms potentially in the future like SteamOS, Vulkan or DirectX 12 if it becomes a priority. A specific attention was given to virtual reality, which combines really well with Trackmania. They also introduced the concept  of achievements for Trackmania Turbo, but in a way that Title makers would be potentially able to make them later. Among other things are that the loading times that has been decreased and the video technology around WebM has been improved by making more multi-threaded. Some more specific work has been done on car special effects, sound and animation. And finally, a huge work was to make the Trackmania script API for Trackmania Turbo to be capable to make the best game as possible in the more agile way as possible.

LIVE : Online services for players.
It is now a team of engineers working to invent and develop online services for Maniaplanet. Over the last year, they had to set up a whole new architecture. While the goal was to support the hosting for Trackmania Turbo, including UGC & game sessions, it should enable us to develop in a more faster way and robust way the upcoming services. Among some services that are already designed & developed at the moment for Maniaplanet 4 are elements for help and for stats. And again, the specific aspect of our technology is not to only make it for one game, but enable this for used made titles to benefit of these features as well.

SOFT : Creative software for players
They are here to imagine the instrument of video game creation of tomorrow. Their mission is to provide software dedicated to video games, usable by amateurs or pros, to make gaming experience. At the moment, they are working on various parts, such as the Module Studio, which is intended to provide the place to create components that you can easily share or reuse in various creations. As an example, it could be a score table, an inventory or a menu. The Item Editor & the Action Maker are also being deeply improved. Some experimental work is being done on animation interface or finding way to create 3D directly from within Maniaplanet. At the same time, the import of 3D models is getting a dedicated and helpful interface. Another big work is also to enable new actions for Shootmania, by us or made by players more easily and with more possibilities.

DATA : Design & create the data of the virtual worlds
Their role is to provide worlds for Maniaplanet experiences. Lagoon work started nearly a year and a half. They also took time to do specific work for the console edition. After, they will have to move toward Maniaplanet 4, including work on making the right split of what to push into it and what belongs to Trackmania Turbo. Some specific work will also be done on Storm. This team is getting bigger and better, and you should be able to see it nicely in the times to come!

GAME : Gaming experiences & showcases for Maniaplanet
This team combines technology & data to make the games, with their contribution being about the rules, the interfaces, cars or characters, levels, musics etc. They are working on Trackmania Turbo since last year. And while they are making these experiences, it helps to improve the technology and data required to make them for the players. For Maniaplanet 4, they already started to work on cool samples for Shootmania that we intend to release, with sources, at the same time or a little while after. The sources could be scripts or assets, to be re-used by users for their own experiences.

Conclusion

Even without much updates since last year, there is now 15K daily players vs 10K at that time. I know it still has to improve, and in all places, but I wished to thank the players, their tremendous energy to make the place alive and some youtubers & streamers as well. While it’s part of our engagement and hard work to make this possible, it’s always fabulous to see how creative players are, like the recent nice & strong projects on various aspects from the community. And it’s obvious that we want to contribute as much as possible at all of this in many ways, with small steps or big ones.

Maniaplanet is designed as a big project, because I believe that we need to concentrate on big things, big ambitions, such as making the players prove how much they can bring by being different, passionate, positive, respectful and creative. And that’s just good to work for this, on Maniaplanet with the great Nadeo team. And I wish to say that Ubisoft is really behind us on this, on the same goal and for a long time. For me, it’s more than a big company, it’s a great company!

Florent Castelnérac, Managing Director of Ubisoft Nadeo.

Feel free to talk about it on the forum!

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“Run Your Tournament” at the Gamers Assembly 2015

Hello everyone,

The Gamers Assembly is in a few weeks and we have a great news for the Maniaplanet community. An open area exclusively reserved for the Maniaplanet players, “the ManiaFanZone” will be very soon available where you can run fun tournaments either on the gamemodes either on the title packs you want! Winners will be rewarded with Maniaplanet goodies.

Registrations will be opened on the Gamers Assembly website very soon: http://www.gamers-assembly.net/en. There is no restriction to the modes you can play on this area.

Those tournaments will be organized according to the number of players registered on each gamemode.

For the Maniaplanet players already registered to an official Maniaplanet tournament, you’re free to participate as well!

As soon as the registrations on the Gamers Assembly website are open, we will post a thread on the maniaplanet forums so that you can suggest your tournaments and invite other players to join them: https://forum.maniaplanet.com/

So stay tuned to run your tournament at the Gamers Assembly 2015!

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Road to Gamers Assembly

From Paris to Poitiers!

After the presence of Trackmania & Shootmania at the Electronic Sports World Cup occuring at the Parc des Expositions of Paris, Nadeo announce several tournaments at the Gamers Assembly of Poitiers in April 2015 and several online tournaments by then on the famed competition plateform of the ESL.

The Gamers Assembly is at the heart of the esport in France, and is a privileged place for the Trackmania & Shootmania community to meet. Only racing game and FPS with the most number of teams, the 2014 edition has been the occasion to meet a lot of players around very high quality tournaments in a very good ambiance. With seven tournaments planned this year, Nadeo hope that the players will find a competitive and human experience stronger than before.

That’s why Nadeo launch the operation “Road to Gamers Assembly

  • From now, a free unlimited access to the Trackmania² Stadium & Shootmania Storm multiplayer until the Gamers Assembly
  • Prized online tournaments on ESL Go4 for Trackmania² Stadium & Shootmania Storm Elite
  • Prized LAN tournaments at the Gamers Assembly on at least 7 Maniaplanet titles

Online tournaments on ESL before the Gamers Assembly

  • Go4 on Trackmania² Stadium in December, January & February
  • Go4 on Shootmania Storm Elite in December, January & February

LAN tournaments at the Gamers Assembly

  • Trackmania² Stadium 1vs1vs1vs1
  • Trackmania² Canyon 1vs1vs1vs1 & Trackmania² Valley 1vs1vs1vs1 (one per day)
  • Trackmania² Stadium Dirt 1vs1vs1vs1
  • Shootmania Elite 3vs3
  • Shootmania Battle 5vs5 & Siege 5vs5 (one per day)
  • And more following the evaluation of others potential requests of the community

To get the demos, the players can go directly on the websites www.trackmania.com and www.shootmania.com

To get the free multiplayer access on Steam, simply install the demos on these address:

May the best gamers win!

Feel free to discut about it on the forums!

Hello Planet #4

This is 2014, and this is the 4th edition of Hello Planet.

Someone at Ubisoft said that something is defined by its top priority, because when you make a decision, you do it with this priority in mind and must be ready to make some sacrifice for others things. I believe that our priority at Nadeo is about the amateur, for creation, sharing or competitions, and that our motivation comes from that we believe into them to be great at it.

And to reach the amateurs, we are soon going to release the universal demo. For them, it will mean to be able to release their own demo, for their own title, and this is why I believe that it is Nadeo most significant release ever.

The universal demo

It all starts when a player is positive about a game and invite someone else to play it. And our role is to empower them to make it as easy, comfortable and interesting as possible to invite them, thanks to 3 pillars: the accessibility, the diversity and quality.

Accessibility

With Maniaplanet 3, we had to make the distribution platform with some known features, like the Store, but with less known like the Content Delivery Network that save the bandwidth and improve the players quality experience when they want to get an amateur title, or to update the inside files to help manage new versions by creators and decrease download size for players.

Now, with the demo, players will be able to play for free, on any title, on the first 48h after the registration on Maniaplanet. After, it will be unlimited for titles with less than 100 concurrent players or one hour per day for the others. The access includes all multiplayer servers, all solo white maps of campaigns and all editors.

In addition, players will even have access directly to the titles you would like them to discover thanks to the universal setup to give a single download link for a setup that will suggest to create two shortcuts on the desktop: One will be for the Title you wish that will automatically install itself; The other is for Maniaplanet, where the 6 primary stations (Stadium, Canyon, Valley, Storm, Elite and Siege) and 3 empty stations for custom titles will welcome any new player.

And thanks to all this, we are finally reaching, after years of work, the goal to enable to have on Maniaplanet, the «do it yourself Nations»

Diversity

With Maniaplanet 3, we made mixmapping, advanced items support, atmospheric settings or simply more blocks in Storm to enhance the mapping diversity.

With the demo, diversity is taking the biggest step in the last decade, since items will directly be usable in any title, as long as they respect some constraints, such as using the title materials or size limit. And with this, we expect even more items for title pack creators to have even more choices of items to add to their packs. And when a custom pack will add more textures, more items can pop up using them directly, since we are working to enable the mods of the custom items.

In addition, as with the mediatracker, it will be possible to edit directly the items parameters and so the actions inside of it.

Quality

Quality depends of many things like the maps, modes, titles, settings, network conditions, moderation, anticheat, services, interfaces, gameplay etc. But all of these depends mainly on 3 things: the system, the server and the game.

The game operating system has deeply improved with Maniaplanet 3. You can now reach the station menu directly from the home button in the system bar, you can browse servers from the overlay of stations or the buddy system keep your messages received when offline etc. These are works that required a lot of our time. For the demo, it was easier to go toward a more welcoming interface like a simple welcome frame and a more homogeneous interface style

The server is key since it is about a host that look to select quality, and part of the challenge of Maniaplanet 3 was to make the hosting of matchmaking simpler. It was a key step also to enable future expansion of Maniaplanet around the world, where others players can host in their country, in their own language, with their own choice of maps, with their own rules, server manager etc. And until then, for the demo, we will have a specific attention to host first servers where there is a need of an entry level of quality to welcome the players.

For the quality of the games, I expect both Trackmania & Shootmania to make gap thanks to the demo. For Trackmania, it shall greatly benefit from the accessibility to the Trackmania 2 title in demo, as well as track diversities thanks to the embedded custom items in maps, as well as the various great titles made by the community. And for Shootmania, which is still younger, a next big step will be to carry out an operation named “Power Up!” in memory of the first major update for Trackmania made for it’s international release.

Next Big Steps

Shootmania Storm “Power Up!”

This operation will start this week, with some key components such as gameplay update, competitions abilities to provide ladder points and works on major modes. After, it will be based on regular updates and adjustments up to next year. The goal is to have an indisputable FPS champion to welcome the noobs, gamers and competitors from around the world.

Others

It’s still too early to talk. I can only say that the Nadeo team is bigger and stronger than ever to bring you these next steps and that being at Ubisoft helps us a lot to reach our vision. It is a great company, and thanks to it, the whole project is more ambitious than ever to go forward and toward progression of the games, us, you and all the others we expect to welcome one day into Maniaplanet.

Some of the current more popular games in the world originally comes from amateurs passion for innovation. These are are the ones that we all wish to see contribute since “amateur” comes from « love » and to love is just cool: end of story!

Hylis

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Maniaplanet 3 is available to everyone!

After 9 months (almost 10) of work, we are happy to tell you that the biggest update ever on Maniaplanet is finally out! A lot of things have been cooked and we’re now ready to give you most of them right now! Please note that this Maniaplanet 3 update is an early-release and all the content planned for this update will be fully released by end of June. Let’s see the major changes:

  • Maniaplanet as a better game operating system
    • Improved user interface for news, buddies & servers browser
    • A central store to easily explore & play user made titles
    • Improved support for custom data like 3D objects
    • Optimizations: CPU, GPU, loading times
  • Maniaplanet to allow more diversity for:
    • Modes: Thanks to many features for the script
    • Actions: thanks to a dedicated tool, the ActionMaker, including weapons fabrication AM_CustomProjectileTrail
    • Maps: Thanks to the ability to remove constraints from the editor (mix-mapping) MP3_mixmapping
    • Atmospheres: Thanks to mods or real time ambiance track
  • TrackMania upgrades
    • Multi-environments possible and a TrackMania 2 title with all modes (Canyon + Stadium + Valley)
    • Car-mixing possible in multi-environments title: select any TM² car in Canyon or Valley
    • Scripted mode all redone to open to even more custom modes
    • Solo: add ghost & medals to custom campaigns
  • Shootmania upgrades
    • Netcode: major improvement thanks to an innovative netvision layer
    • Gameplay: new freelook key (space key), progressive walljumps, more stamina, etc…
    • Many more gameplay blocks: teleport, force field & gates, slides, sound blocker, etc… SM_gameplay_blocks
    • Many more visual blocks: for bunkers, fences, woods, stones, walls, signs, etc…

And it’s just a part of what’s coming for Maniaplanet today, to read the full changelog, please  go to the forum. We want also to thank all the beta-testers for their great work, you’re awesome!

Stay tuned for more surprises in the coming weeks ;)

As bonus, here is some screenshots by the Community about the Maniaplanet 3 update:

The schedule of the Gamers Assembly

Greetings Maniacs!

This weekend (from 19 to 21 April 2014), the Gamers Assembly 2014 will be taking place for three days of competition and fun, featuring ShootMania and TrackMania.

ShootMania Storm was launched a year ago and it is a great privilege to meet you all to celebrate this first anniversary. Florent “Hylis” Castelnérac, Nadeo Managing Director and the ManiaPlanet Community Manager “Alinoa” will both be present.

This event includes:

1- Competitions :

  • ShootMania Storm : Elite, gathering 40 teams coming from all Europe
    The program is here playing the first match on Saturday at 1PM (French time) and the Grand Finale on Monday at noon.

  • TrackMania² Stadium : Time attack with 32 players
    The program is here featuring a first match on Saturday at 1PM and the Grand Finale on Sunday at noon (French time).

  • TrackMania² Stadium on Dirt : new feature for this edition of Gamers Assembly! For the first time, TrackMania will be played on Dirt environment. 24 players on the start line.
    The program is here featuring a Grand Finale on Sunday at 11AM right before the TrackMania² Stadium Finale.

All matches are live casted on Drakonia TV: http://tv.drakonia.eu

A big thank to Alienware and Sandisk for their support and prizes they grant the winners!

alienware-game-victorious-logo-lockup-vertical-black-20914alienware-x51SanDisk-logo

2- The gaming zone:

 

This year, Achat Mania and Nadeo have chosen to highlight ShootMania, featuring the 2 famous “Battle” and “Royal” gaming modes on Achat Mania booth.

‘Smoothie’ and ‘Tommy the Cat’, 2 members of the glorious Drakonia team and ‘Alinoa’ from Nadeo will be part on hand to talk with you about the game and give you small gifts.

3- Surprises :

At the opening ceremony of the Gamers Assembly, Florent ‘Hylis’ Castelnérac will take a few minutes to give you an overview of developments at Nadeo for ManiaPlanet!

Stay tuned on the GA web TV:


Live Gamers Assembly 2014 par gamersassembly

hop, hop ! Highly Saturday :-)

See you there at Poitiers or line!

Nadeo team

ESL: Two cups on TM² Stadium next weekend: RPG Cup and Nascar Cup

RPG CUP 6

RPG Nightcup #6

ESL will be hosting a new RPG Cup on Saturday 15th Ferbruary at 20:00 CET. Signup open until 19:30 CET: http://www.esl.eu/eu/tm2_stadium/1on1/rpg/nc_6/signup/

In order to take part in this Nightcup, you have to install the Trackmania 2 RPG Title Pack! Type in the Maniaplanet browser: TrackManiaRPG and click on “download”.

Nascar1Stadium

Nascar Cup #1

The first edition of the Nascar championship is starting on Sunday 16th February at 30:30 CET. Registration is over but you can follow matches on ESL.

 

Maniaplanet Update #3: Information

 

Hylis, the Nadeo CEO, has given information about the Maniaplanet Update # 3 on the maniaplanet forums.

The schedule would be the following one:

  • In March, one update based on making the existing game & system more solid, quick fixes updates after and starting the beta for the Action maker.
  • In April, for the first anniversary of Shootmania, release the universal demo maniaplanet.

The update content should be the following one:

  • most popular titles listed & simply downloadable
  • a better navigation interface (quick overlays on all station & calling the stations menu from anywhere)
  • improved Maniaplanet UI (buddies, loading time, quit/minimize shortcuts)
  • mixmapping & new blocs for Shootmania
  • action maker & improved AI capacities
  • NetVision, a layer over the netcode to have maximum speed of vision of other players in Shootmania
  • a small innovation into Shootmania gameplay that can ask some more skill to master
  • a simple new mode for TM2, made for the only multi-environment title that will support Maniaplanet 3 atm.
  • more capacities for items (lights, checkpoints)
  • more capacities for scripting (playsound, minimaps, optimizations)
  • universal demo (basically play 1 hour of SM per day for free or 3×20 mn of TM2, but that may change over time)

The goal is really to empower the players and to open the access to Maniaplanet to increase the number of players.

You can read the full message of Hylis on the maniaplanet forums and share your feedbacks on the forums.

The ESL TrackMania RPG NightCup #5 Goes Live This Friday

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Greetings Maniacs!

This Friday, 31 January, at 8PM CET / 2PM EST the fifth ESL TrackMania RPG Cup will be taking place. The race will be on the TrackMania RPG track Wounder by Basbaas and can be downloaded HERE.

Signups are still available on the ESL site, so head over there and compete in one of the most creative community built titlepacks.

It will also be live streamed in English on Team Acer’s frostBeule’s Twitch.TV Channel, so you can still watch it even if you’re not in game.

For more information on the community created TrackMania RPG titlepack and how to download it, check out this awesome write-up on Mania-Actu.

The TrackMania 10th Anniversary Winners

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Greetings Maniacs!

The votes have been counted, and we have our winners of the 10th Anniversary Contest! Voted by YOU the players and a select committee, we have had three rounds of voting and some AMAZING creations from this amazing community.

We want to personally thank everyone who submitted, voted, and raced on the winning tracks.

Track Contest Winners

  1. Tinderbox” by Basbaas

  2. Ausgeflippt” by Marius89

  3. Mixed Passions” by Remo

The Player’s Vote went to Harrison for the track “Lucky Day

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You can download these skins by going entering in “ManiaPlanet-store” in the manialink address bar ingame.

Car/Skin Contest Winners

  1. “ManiaBlue” by Fantaribo

  2. “GreenBeast” by SuperP

  3. “SC_DirtyMP” by tombuilder

The Player’s Vote went to tombuilder for the skin “SC_DirtyMP”

Video Contest Winners

  1. The Journey” by DarkPuddle

  2. 10 years in video markers eyes” by Meuh

  3. Pure Awesomeness” by DaniXks

The Player’s Vote went to DarkPuddle for the video “The Journey”

Thank you for a wonderful 10 years!