Building tracks for the next Microracers generation

This document is an introduction to the model of track building used by CVS that will replace the current one on the next 0.3 major version.

Old tracks building: tracks are build as two big images, one of the track itself, the other with the terrain information, and another INI-like text file to setup checkpoints and stuff.

New track building: tracks are build up from an array of images, that range from a piece of a road to a stone obstacle. These images are then assembled together in a graphical track editor and can be reused over and over again. Advantages are obvious:

Individual images, let's call them Objects, should feature:

Something to be discuted is the standard size of the Objects and the style of art. Anyway, this could be left for the themes' authors to decide.

For the purpose of this article, I've done a track building scratch example:

First we have to have a theme of Objects, in order to then be used in the track:

Piece of roadPiece of grassPiece of grass Piece of grassPiece of grassPiece of grassBarrier obstacleTire obstacleStartpoint special Object

Using the track editor, one can then assembly these Objects into forming a track:

Track Editor

The track editor outputs a text file with the position of the Objects that are then red by the game. Each Object also has a text file stating its proprieties. Only the Object file needs to be manually edit, but it is small, trivial and only done once work. You should also be able to just copy and past the file of other Object with the same attributes.

If you have artistic skills and are excited about this new model for building tracks, please get CVS, then join the mailing list and don't hesitate to contribute! ;-)
Programmers or just plain players are also welcome!