(this post has been written by Hylis, Director of Nadeo)
One year ago, I was explaining the concepts of titles, stations, map types, modes and objects. We still have things to do to support these functionalities, however it is also time to start testing new major features for ManiaPlanet.
When you connect to a matchmaking server, you will be added to a list of players who are also looking to play the same mode at that time. As soon as two individuals or teams are ready, the match launches and you are transferred to a server for the match. The result of this match will be used to determine your points required to advance higher in the rankings. Some key things will be taken into account, like the level of the players you played against and scores. We also may introduce points loss in matches with higher stakes to enable good players to progress even faster. Combined with the weekly loss of points in the higher ranks, we should keep the best players at the top. The system may also evolve by taking into account the number of matches played, if it seems necessary.
In 2006, we introduced team rankings in Trackmania. Soon we will be bringing them back, with principles based on simplicity and the ability to see rankings per countries and regions. By linking with the team creation system, these teams will lso be able to see their information directly inside the game, such as their logo right into matches. The team ranking system shall give an approximation of their level, enabling easier registration in regional or intermediary level ompetitions.
We will have a way to make the competitions available ingame, for the players, and for those who organize them. The players or teams looking to be part of official competitions will be capable of finding a direct link to the organizing sites, and to the people that are so crucial to the video games competitions environment ecosystem.
With an architecture enabling players to create custom titles, based on custom modes, with their own rankings, matchmaking tools, teams and competitions, the goal is to open the creativity of the players even more by bringing new ingredients for designing their own experiences and vision of fun.
Map makers will be able to add items easily from the map editor. They can be different types, such as sets, generators, pick ups, turrets, teleporter or even bots! The idea is to enable and add interactive elements to solo or multiplayer experiences. Pathfinding will be included, while script functions will allow you to define bot targets. Items are a new file type, that will be linked with a later version of the editor, enabling players to define their editing and interactive properties.
Actions are sequences and consequences that players and items can do. For example, it can be to trigger a specific animation at a given spot in the map, or to make a sfx, or to launch projectiles with modified properties. The tool that will link to this file type will enable players to make animations, play sounds, define particle effects and script the consequences of the actions.
On a more global example, we have made a little FPS MOBA internally, with selection of champions, with each ones having different spells. Each champion can level up, and little creatures assist you while attacking the opposite team. Once things are done, we will release the code samples, like the one of the upcoming Shootmania Storm title: Combo, based on 2vs2, items to pick up and switchable weapons on the 1-2-3-4 keys.
It will takes months for us to implement all of these functions, and we may have to put some other question on hold during this time. We think it is very important to open Maniaplanet soon, to bring more and more creative players inside the system. We have worked 10 years on Trackmania about map editor, replay tool, skin import, regional ranking, dedicated server, script, titles, object import. Now, we think that we are reaching a new step in the opening to players. It may take time before the best things appears, but it is a goal to make the launch of Shootmania Storm, Trackmania² Stadium and Valley the start of something great for ManiaPlanet. The goal is to bring the power from our team to the players, with our support and yours.
Thanks to all players from before, now and in the future that participate in this fun adventure with a positive spirit.
The Nadeo team.