August 2015 in the Life of Ben (Blog)

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Stages of a GTA5 Creation (28th August 2015)

First build of a track can be fast, maybe 1 hour. You never publish the first version. You test with multiple standard cars. Always find something to improve. A sight line, a prop angle, CP early or late. Pit lane or Joker signs to be clearer.

1 hour is absolute minimum for everything to be worth trying online. First online test is solo. Now you see the Trigger location. Is the scene interesting? For player selection and car selection? You try most common custom car now. Changes needed!

Replay with a different Custom. Wow, other things need changing as well. CPs too close, bumps too big, jumping too far at the top of a hill to make a turn. Standard cars won’t show those problems. Back to Creator, maybe choosing a very different route.

This back and forth, just by yourself, might go 2 versions or 20 versions.

Description should always say “draft” or “work in progress” at this stage. Finally, it starts to play nicely.

Only now you invite someone else to test it. Things go OK but a couple of places it’s not clear to them where to go. They aren’t driving the line you expected. Maybe it’s faster and you change to make that route easier. Maybe they keep crashing so you move the CP earlier.

Now you can change description to say “testing” or “ready for review” or “please suggest changes”. Test, make notes, test more, make changes, test, make changes, get stuck for ideas. Leave it a few days. Have idea and make it. Test solo. Change. Test.

Maybe 2 weeks have gone by now. It’s ready to be used in an event. After the event you watch the videos, read the feedback. If you were in the event, follow other drivers and don't win it! Learn more this way. You make some final small changes. Finished.

2 Star CTC Ride (15th August 2015)

Delicious lunch with a half pint of orange juice and generous Ploughman’s Lunch.

Over 30 miles of cycling with over 900m of climbing! Double arrow gradients in a couple of places on the Ordnance Survey map. Hardest climbing and longest descending I’ve ever done. Very hard but the sense of achievement was immense.

(More to follow.)