Author Topic: ZCT217 - Pacific Coast Highway  (Read 655 times)

Duplode

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ZCT217 - Pacific Coast Highway
« on: July 28, 2019, 01:06:17 PM »
Welcome to my guest track for this season! Compared to Z193, my track from two years ago, this one is a lot shorter (I cut off a ton of stuff that wasn't working well in between the drafts), and probably quite a bit easier as well. Still, I hope that finding the best lines will require a fair amount of exploration.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 06:45:14 PM by Duplode »

afullo

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Re: ZCT217 - Pacific Coast Highway
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2019, 05:05:34 PM »
Just out of curiosity: in which sense a path around the pond is "technically a shortcut"?  ;)

Duplode

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Re: ZCT217 - Pacific Coast Highway
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2019, 06:30:41 PM »
Just out of curiosity: in which sense a path around the pond is "technically a shortcut"?  ;)

Good question! I wanted to have a symmetrical split in the track. Since a chicane is not actually a split, you usually need a two-element "fake track" detour to make the game recognise one of the paths. While I had originally planned to have a much longer dual-way section, I ended up cutting it down to two elements on each path. Upon realising that, I decided to remove the detour, which enabled me to repurpose the two tiles before the split, as well as to make the scenery a little prettier. As a consequence, only the left path around the pond is, strictly speaking, part of the track, though you won't get penalty by taking the right path because only two elements are skipped.

afullo

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Re: ZCT217 - Pacific Coast Highway
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2019, 08:47:51 PM »
Ok understood, thanks. Indeed, by taking the right path, a left arrow inviting to rejoin the "correct" path appears.

Cas

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Re: ZCT217 - Pacific Coast Highway
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2019, 03:19:30 AM »
- Nice track!  I was finally able to give it a try. These days have been quite busy.
- I'm surprised of how neat the symmetric split looks. Looking at the wiki page that explains the dual split and rejoin, I'm still not sure why both chicanes can be seen before you reach them (as opposed to what happens to other illusion elements). Reading the wiki, the example calls my attention. It says that a fake path is necessary for split (in the general case), but not for rejoin. Because the important thing is to have the main tile, I find it curious how this is always the case. The trick is that you can choose which of the two rejoining paths will have the incomplete chicane. Choose the wrong one and it won't work
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Duplode

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Re: ZCT217 - Pacific Coast Highway
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2019, 02:56:17 AM »
Because the important thing is to have the main tile, I find it curious how this is always the case. The trick is that you can choose which of the two rejoining paths will have the incomplete chicane. Choose the wrong one and it won't work

It is a little more complicated than that. There are two tiles that fundamentally matter: the entry tile, and its corresponding main tile. With them both, the game can figure out the exit tile and the exit direction, which in turn give off the entry tile of the next element. In the symmetrical split, the entry tile is shared by both chicanes, so only one of them can actually be part of the track, with the fake path being needed for the other one. In the symmetrical rejoin, that is not a problem because the entry tiles are separate.

For instance, this is a rejoin just like the one from Z217, with a complete left/east chicane:



Contrast with this other rejoin, with two incomplete chicanes:



The second rejoin works just as well as the first one, even though the exit tile of its left/east chicane is actually a filler for the right/west one.

One potential obstacle when doing this kind of trickery is that the main tile is always the northwestern one, regardless of the element orientation. That means a rotated or mirrored symmetrical split/rejoin won't necessarily work without further adjustments.

Cas

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Re: ZCT217 - Pacific Coast Highway
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2019, 05:20:31 AM »
I'm glad to see Bliss debug mode being useful  ;D

Indeed. Rotating is not that simple for illusion elements. Sometimes, not even possible!   Uhm... I'm thinking it'd be useful in the wiki to display, for each illusion element, a clear view (like it shows now), a debug view (like that of Bliss) and a 3D view (from Stunts). It would make things much more complete.

I remember I kind of disliked illusion tricks on tracks at the time I was working on Bliss, but I understood the importance of them, so I made sure it was possible and comfortable to create these things in the editor. As I implemented the tools to make it possible and started to experiment, I began to feel much more interest in these tricks.
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