--------------------------------------------------------------------- Tony Hawk's Underground Property of Neversoft --------------------------------------------------------------------- Tips And Tricks: Create-A-Park Section by: Numbermind(THUG user name: Bucket) Table of Contents I. Version History II. Introduction III. Basics & Terminology IV. About Pieces V. Fun With Goals VI. Size Matters VII. Advanced Stuff VIII. Worst. Idea. EVAR! IX. Glitches X. Credits & Links I. VERSION HISTORY v0.1(01.24.04): Started document. v0.2(01.25.04): Finished piece size list. Added comments. v0.3(01.26.04): Moved to compatible text format. v0.31(01.28.04): Minor grammar, spelling & content edit. II. INTRODUCTION Tony Hawk's Underground is the fifth in a series of skateboarding games by Neversoft. Of course, if you're reading this document, you already know this. The second game in the series was the first to incorporate the customization features which have become the source of infinite replayability in the games. This FAQ focuses on the Create-A-Park feature, which allows you to fit pieces of ramps, pipes, and prefabs together to make your own level in which to skate around and play games. The first incarnation of the CAP feature(in THPS2) was pretty comprehensive to begin with, offering an extensive piece set and the ability to add gaps to the level. I won't go into detail as to how the feature has evolved over the series, mainly because I don't remember. I sold each game for store credit towards the next (although I kept THPS2 for the Philadelphia level). I also won't go into detail about the controls, seeing as how you can view them during the loading screen. Anyway, I WILL go into detail about creation theory(if you will) and advice on how to make the consummate park experience. Too often do I see mediocre maps being hosted online, and even being uploaded into the Best Of The Best archives. Moreover, there's a shortage of CAPs in online rooms, since most people are out showing off their Moscow robots(like they can't do this offline). Granted, I don't take credit as the Create-A-Park expert, but other parks often have a "personal feel" to them, meaning they were only made for the person who made them(and other players online can't get a feel for them). Hopefully, after reading this FAQ, you'll have a better understanding of flow and what makes the park appeal to a larger number of gamers. III. BASICS & TERMINOLOGY Let me first cover a few terms I'll be using in this FAQ that you won't be familiar with: 1. Flats: I'll use this word to describe a unit of raised/lowered floor. For example, raising the floor once is 1 Flat high. If I say something is "2 flats apart", that means that the height difference between the two is the same as a low QP. 2. Broken Line: This is what I call a line that requires you to transfer or jump to the side to continue a combo. Two rails/lips that are colinear but separate does not necessarily constitute a Broken Line, because all you have to do is hop from one rail to the next(unless the jump has to be carefully timed). Breaking a line isn't a bad thing(in fact I like to challenge those morons who don't like rail transfers), but short grinds with a lot of breaks don't sit well with characters who skate around at 60mph. In general, a line should have a lot of room between breaks. 3. Lip Ladder: A fairly advanced method using the Rail Tool. It involves piling up short rails over the lip of a QP.The player can use this to extend a lip trick(jump, triangle, jump, triangle, jump etc.), or to climb up to other areas. This is a great way to add a third dimension to your parks, but you should make it worth the player's time trying to get up there. 4. Combo Trap: Ever been in the middle of a great combo, only to trip up on some little thing sticking out and land/bail? That's what I call a Combo Trap. I believe most people call it a "deadzone", but this is a more general term defining "any type of line that actually makes you think about your next move". Poorly constructed parks are full of Combo Traps, partly due to the fact that the creator put the stuff in without playtesting much. Usually it's just two rails that are too far apart, or a Rail Tool that isn't connected correctly, but you can find the more heinous offenders in the "Worst. Idea. EVAR!" section. 5. Flow: something that is very dear to me. Think about this: if your average newbie player can zip around the entire map and feel like he's racking up big points, your map has good flow. This is done by walking that line between easy robot lines and ones that require actual skill. If your big line in the park is just a huge circular grind, you failed it. A player should have the ability to easily pick up on where he can acid drop off the rail, manual across the HP, grind around some lips, wallride across whatever, wallie onto a high ledge, and so on. VARIETY IS THE KEY. 6. Purpose: It is purpose that drives us. Well, this isn't really a specific term, but something you should rate your layout by. Different pieces have different purposes. Basically, if you can connect lots of lines with the piece, it has a good Purpose. If it just sits there and gets in the way, it has no Purpose. You'd think this is common knowledge, but download some parks from the archives and think again. Specifically, let's take the Grass texture. You can't trick off of it per se, but it can be used for Gaps that don't fit anywhere else. The Rio Quicksilver Box has a number of uses, but if it's just sitting in the middle of a wide open space, it's purpose is wasted. You follow? Now, let me go over a few basic things you should always keep in mind when building a park. The Memory Meter is your Master for the time being. The first thing you'll notice is that it's not empty, even if your park is. That's because the meter considers EVERYTHING that will be in your park during play. That includes unused space, park size, and max players. In a sense, the game counts extra players and flat ground as pieces. Now, if you don't plan on playing this park online, then memory will almost never be an issue for you-- since you can just set the max players to 2. I usually preset it as a 6-player park, as it's a good balance between population and memory availability. If you're compelled to have all 8 players in your park, you're SEVERELY limited as to the size of your park. Notice that if you set it to 8, the game won't even allow you to make your park the maximum size. Now, it helps to sketch out what your park'll look like beforehand. It doesn't matter if it's just a bunch of lines; it'll give you a better idea of how much space you'll be using. In addition, I've found that parks you just dive into start to look really linear and disconnected. If you just start by making a line, you usually end up with a park where the only skateable line goes around the edges of the map, and the middle is filled with random trash. Worry about your gaps and goals until you're finished making the map. Gaps and Goals take up an infantecimal amount of memory-- maybe just a sliver for 10 each. But you do NEED space to put them in. The same goes for rail tools. Anyway, your gaps and goals should be made AFTER you do playtesting with a near-final version of the park(to get an idea of what would challenge you), so it's only natural. And one final note: put in all your Player Starts as soon as you can, somewhere out of the way. Nothing makes you feel more like an idiot than realizing that you didn't put any starts in, after you filled up all the memory and got your park looking the way you wanted it to. Now, we move on to the actual process: IV. ABOUT PIECES I'm trying to refrain from putting an introduction to this section, because no one needs an explanation on what Pieces are. So let's just look at these by group, and explain whatever needs to be explained... Total Pieces: 253 1. Restarts(4), Team Flags(4), Tools(3) & Clipboard(6 MAX) I already said most of what needed to be said about these in the section above. It could apply to Team Flags if you absolutely, positively have to support CTF. Otherwise, I don't even bother with that or a Crown Start(unless it's too close to a player start). As far as the Clipboard goes, I neglect it. I can see how it can be useful, but testing showed it doesn't seem to be able to copy Rail Tools or Gaps. On top of that, it doesn't look like you can clear the Clipboard, which I'm sure would piss me off at some point. I try to stay away from parks that repeat sections(even though I was compelled to do it in THPS2), and I suggest you to do the same. As far as the Rail Tool goes, you can just RTFM to be able to use this right. It can be picky sometimes, and not work the way you want it to-- and if that's the case, read the "Glitches" and "Advanced Stuff" sections in this document. Other than that, the Rail Tool is your friend, and(in my opinion) is a better alternative to the actual Rail pieces. 2. Benches(15) If you want to make your park look oldschool, benches are the way to go. It's really hard to get benches to add to the flow of your park, especially since they're so small(and lining up twelve benches looks stupid). If you're using these in your park, try to use them as a way for the player to adjust his angle on the way to the next big line. The diagonal benches work great for this. In contrast, the big Alcatraz pieces have a number of uses: you can use it as a way to divide up your park into sections(like having Street on one side and Vert on the other), at the same time using it as a jumping-off point for your lines. 3. Big Pools(6) While I feel every park should have a pool in it, these pools are mostly for cosmetic value. They look nice, but more often than not you'll end up using a bunch of Pool Parts just like I do. As far as I can tell, the amount of memory you save using these instead of Parts is negligable. Very rarely do I feel the need to have a HUGE pool, but it's good to know they're there just in case. I know they put these big things in for beginners who aren't ready for CAP's complexity, but... well, if you're reading this FAQ, then you're ready to evolve. Forget these. 4. Buildings/Trailers(9) These are for a VERY specific type of park; basically they're here if you want to make a New Jersey clone. I feel there should've been a little more variety in the type of buildings they offer. There are QP's on some of the buildings, and of course you can grind the edges-- but on top of that, they're pretty much just big-ass obstacles. Anyway, if you ARE making a town-like park, you'll probably be using these in conjunction with Ground Pieces and Miscellaneous stuff. In this specific case, try to use ALL the buildings available to you, since this is the most variety you'll be getting out of your map. Don't just randomly place buildings; line them up and group them together. Not only does that look more realistic, but it also makes line creation 100X easier. So your buildings look OK, but you need to build stuff AROUND them to make them look like they're actually a part of a town. For help on that, see the Advanced Stuff section. If the theme is just someone's backyard, a single house is OK-- but if you're just putting ONE building in your park, you need to build a really good line around it so it doesn't look COMPLETELY out of place. Sure, you can still put it there, because it's relevant to the theme; but why would you put a piece in your park that just acts as a prop? Like that Small Fountain piece-- what the hell purpose does that serve? [/rant] 5. Funboxes 1(8)/Funboxes Generic(8) Now, here we get into the fun stuff, hence the name. These pieces are interactive in a number of ways-- good if you need a QP, ramp, lip, and/or rail all in one piece. I have a special fondness for the Rio Quicksilver Box, and like to think of new ways to use it all the time. Like with any big piece, a bunch of random Funboxes lying around make a pretty crappy map. Use these as a launchpad for lines, or as a way to mix up a combo(i.e. jumping off a manual into a grind). The Generic Funboxes are pretty straightforward. Try dropping one of these in if there's too much empty space, or if there's a high ledge nearby. 6. Pipes/Tunnels(10) "One of these thing is not like the other, one of these things just isn't the same." Why is the Huge HP in this category? Did it not fit in the QP section? Well, anyway... using tunnels in your park can make it a WHOLE lot of fun, as it adds a crossover dimension to it. The large Fullpipes work great in a long line(and are lots of fun with Baja goals), and the Underground Railed's and great for launching out of. Try raising the ground around the tunnels and putting some QP's up there. In general, if the tunnels are used right they can make your park seem a lot bigger than it actually is-- a great memory saver. 7. Kickers(7) Kickers, like the Generic Funboxes, are used mostly for filler, or for straightforward air gaps. The only thing I should note about these is that they use more memory than plain slopes, so I'm generally inclined not to use them. 8. Walls(22) Walls are used almost exclusively to divide up your park. Of course, you can grind them all, but most walls can't be used in conjunction with other pieces(unless you directly connect them with the Rail Tool). Sure, there are creative ways to use these walls(like simulating a backyard or park fence), but usually you'll end up using these when you get tired of making standalone rails. 9. Quarter Pipes(28)/Pool Parts(8) Well, this group is normally what you'll be using most in your map. I have yet to see a map that doesn't use these. There are four basic sets of QP's: low, low with deck, high, and high with deck. The deck(as far as the game is concerned) is pretty much the same as raising the ground behind the QP, and it shows because you can build on top of the decks(sometimes). I use the low(2 flat) QP's without decks for the most part, just because it's less hassle. I remember in THPS2 the high QP's used more memory than the low ones, so I prefer the low ones out of habit(even though the difference in this game is probably negligable, it piles up). All I can say in this area is that QP's should be the Great Equalizers. By that I mean they are used to connect everything to everything else, and most of your flow will come from expert use of these pieces. experiment with different shapes of pipes to find something that's fun. Put a plain old HP in your park for the Vert fans. Connect rails to your QP sides for some hot Acid Drop/Revert action. Put more rails HIGH over your QP's for some nice altitude. Put your QP's in a U-shape so you can Spine Transfer. The speciial QP parts(like the Mega Rollin) are good for regular transfers, and work well without being connected to a line. Putting two of them opposite of each other works well. The short QP doesn't really have a place as far as flow goes, unless you have a 1-flat platform sticking out for no reason. Then you can just line them up along the break, and everything looks smooth and professional. The pool parts are basically the same idea, except they have lips that can be grinded(ground?) without putting a deck on them. That's useful if the QP is up against a wall and you want to put something to grind across that part. Also, the High Dive piece is one of the best pieces ever invented. You can liptrick the top board, and then jump off and do extra tricks on your way down. Connecting rails to the top board is an easy way for players to get some serious altitude quick and grind those high rails that would normally result in fatal head trauma. 10. Rails(11)/Other Rails(10) These two groups are both the most useless and the least useless, depending on how you're doing with memory. First, we have the corner rails, which have an obvious use. But the Rail Tool uses less room and is your best bet if you know how to use angles with it. The specialty rails(like the wavy ones) have no practical use for me, so I ignore them. They do little to make your park look believeable, they serve no purpose other than grinding, and they're susceptible to Combo Traps. But like I said-- if memory isn't an issue at the moment, feel free to put these fancy versions everywhere. Just make sure they line up properly. 11. Slopes(29) Slopes are the easiest and most memory-safe ways to put ramps in your park. I prefer these to using kickers, even though they're not as pretty. The creative way for these is to make pyramids and such, as a way to gain speed if you're manualing or whatever. If you have floors with different heights all around, place some slopes along the edges so your park doesn't look like an earthquake hit it. Now, everyone remembers railed slopes from THPS2, so why not put those in? Using slopes with low walls and rails can result in really huge funboxes that make Skatestreet Ventura look like a parking lot. On a side note, I noticed they have diagonal ramps. A cool idea, except not. It can save space as far as trying to hit rails an an angle, but in general they look ugly and are just something else to bump into and ruin your 15mil combo. And what the hell is up with the duplicate pieces? Did the guys at Neversoft have a brain fart and somehow forget they already had the exact same pieces? 12. Stairs(14) This is another category that's been around since the beginning, and yet has never really had a use for me. It's great having stair sets you can leap off of, but that's the only practical use. If I wanted to get creative, I suppose I could make a basketball court with bleachers you could grind around, but usually people just get stuck on these things. It's good that they added some nice big prefabs that have ledges to grind-- now I can actually get some use out of this group. Otherwise, meh... maybe you can think of a better use than I can. Personally, I think they're combo traps that suck up too much memory. 13. Greenery(9) So you want to make a nature-themed park, eh? Well, might as well put some nature in there. The trees and flowerbeds make nice ramps if you don't want any ugly wood slopes lying around-- but people in general don't like them. They don't offer much altitude, and you can bump into the trees. The VC planters can be used liberally, but they just don't flow like regular QP's do. All in all, you have everything you need here to make a realistic park, but you'll have to rely on other pieces to impress people. 14. Miscellaneous(31) Well, there's enough random stuff here to have to break it down, but I won't. Instead, I'll skip over pieces that have NO PRACTICAL USE(like the small fountain). Firstly, we have the dumpsters. These would look great in a realistic map, except for the fact that the diagonal dumpster is a combo trap. Line these up flush with a building for the best effect. That goes also for the other small debris like the newsstands, and even the flagpole fountain (which looks best around some stairs). Now we have billboards. I only really use the angled ones as a guide in the corner of the park. So we now have the huge pieces like the highway and pier sets. I don't like the fact that the highway set only has a 180- degree turn in it; I don't care how practical it is. It's severely limiting. Anyway, if you find yourself making a highway, check out the gaps underneath and next to it. If you stick a few QP's and boobs in there, and use the Rail Tool to stick some lines underneath there, you have your very own under-the-bridge park, which is very cool. For the piers, well-- there's really only one way you can use them. But simply using them can break up your park nicely. Now we have some REALLY random stuff like cars, helicopters, and traffic lights. Let's be honest here: they're just props. They're mostly grindable, but they're not worth the 0.08 seconds of grinding to incorporate them into a line. I'd qualify them as combo traps just because the reaction time required to trick off them is too short. 15. Ground Pieces(11) Yeah, these aren't too practical either, but most of them are good to mix up the plain gravel look of the map. Plus, you can connect them for Manual gaps. I'd put a few comments on how to use the death textures, but generally people get it. Use them as a border for car goals or something. The only thing that annoys me is just placing them on flat or raised ground, cause they look like puddles. And you'll obviously be using the street texture for town- themed maps, in conjunction with the sidewalk pieces(in Miscellaneous). Annoyingly, there is no Inside Corner Sidewalk piece, so your streets will have to be pretty square. You can bypass this by raising the ground around the sidewalks, or putting in a sand texture(for an "under construction" look). Oh, and raising ground is also a good idea because the OTHER side of the sidewalk is also grindable(which might screw up people trying to grind fronts of houses or whatever). V. FUN WITH GOALS Here is a collection of more inventive goals that I've made up over the past few months. Some of them are big undertakings that should be on their own, and others work better as short runs in conjunction with other goals(preferably as a game of Goal Attack). All I'm doing is giving you the ideas; your own enjoyment of these games depends greatly on your mapmaking skills. 1. Car Racing This was the first thing I was interested in doing when I saw the opportunity to do so in CAPs. I started with the obvious SKATE Letters goals, but quickly realized the games were too short. I couldn't make a SKATE goal complex enough for it to stand on its own. I wanted a goal where you could ride along neck-and-neck with other players, and have the ability to fall behind, get lapped, catch up and all that neat stuff. Then I realized that the High Score goal was just what I needed. It also supported Baja/cars, and the game allowed car gaps! There are two ways of accomplishing this. After you've got your ideal racing track, make sure the borders are well-protected. You'd be surprised what these cars can crawl under/climb over(if your borders are rails, keep them between 1 and 2 flats high). If you have ramps on your track, or altitude changes-- such as driving on a bridge-- you have to take EXTRA precautions. Make sure that any attempt to cheat is a definite loss. Second, make a car-only gap that is IMPOSSIBLE to drive over both ways. A gap with lava in it works well, but therein lies a problem: the player might make the gap, but still fall into the lava. That means he gets the gap points, but he respawns elsewhere-- possibly halfway through the lap, with a HUGE advantage. Once you've got falling off the track to a minmum, you can make your goal. Create a High Score goal, and set the score to 1000 points. Change the control to BAJA or MUSCLE CAR(depending on whose physics you prefer: the Baja car bounces and climbs, the Muscle car is heavy and flips). Make your car-only gap 200 points. Now, for some reason, when you cross a car-only gap(even in midair) the game REMEMBERS the gap end and counts the gap twice next time it's driven over. With that in mind, this setup is good for 3 laps. You can change the setup any way you like, but this is the most basic. The last step involves lots of playtesting. Try to find as many ways as possible to take a shortcut and build stuff to block it(if you purposely built one into the track, that's cool). At the same time, try to get your best lap times to get an idea of a challenging time limit. If you're doing this simply for online competition, the time limit should be generous. After you make a couple more of these, I guarantee you'll find ways to improve upon this setup. Try to incorporate racing tracks INTO your skate parks. Make three or four checkpoints per lap to keep people on track. Have fun with it! 2. Bumper Cars This occurred to me completely by accident. You see, sometimes while hosting I like to have Collision on. When people would attempt my car races, players would win too quickly. I realized it was because people were earning points for hitting each other. That inspired me to make a Bumper Cars goal. The setup is the same as above, except you should build a medium-sized arena with lots of cool jumps and room to move around. It's also not necessary to make any gaps. Set the high score goal to about 10000 points, and the time to around 3 minutes. When you host the game, turn Collision on. When you start the Goal, players will earn about 2,000 points for their first hit, and it'll decrease slowly to 200 points per hit. You'd be surprised how much people like this goal, what with all the scrambling around and vehicles flying everywhere. The advantage to this game is that the park layout can be really simple, so you could easily support all 8 players. For extra fun: run some regular goals at the same time so some players can become roadkill(makes reaching the score easier). 3. Fight Club In the same vein as the above goal, except you're switching the control to WALK ONLY. Confine the goal starting area to a tiny arena that's hard to escape from(walls that are 6 flats high can't be climbed, just so you know). The game basically becomes "Slap!" without skateboards. For extra fun: run some other normal goals at the same time, so the point of this goal becomes making people screw up and have to start over. 4. Obstacle Course Despite what the manual says, there is NO gap you can hit just by walking on foot. You can, however, hit an Air gap by jumping on foot. So with this in mind, make a Gap Goal with a single Air gap in it. Set the control to WALK ONLY. So now where's that gap going to be? In the hardest possible place to reach! Either make a long straight park, or a square one-- it all depends on your style. In between the player starts and the gap, try to crowd as many obstacles as humanly possible. The point of this game is to make each player scramble over walls, run around lava, climb up ladders, and sprint over thin bridges to reach the gap first. If this doesn't sound competitive enough for you, try it with Collision on. What better way to show your contempt for your opponent than to smack him off a ledge into a bed of spikes? VI. SIZE MATTERS This section hopes to approximate each item in how much memory it eats, based on my own crude calculations. The numbers don't denote anything besides their relation to each other. Some pieces are the same, only turned or stretched, so I've grouped most of them accordingly. On a side note, working with small pieces or areas(placing and deleting over and over again) seems to "clog" the memory meter, making it a bit inaccurate. Save the map and reload it to get some memory back. Also, a note on raising floors: they're impossible to gauge, and I'll tell you why. Get a 1X1 piece and raise floors by 1 flat in a checkerboard pattern. Note the space it used. Now fill in all those gaps-- less room is taken up. I think the game considers the floor another piece, and it becomes bigger the more complex it is. In short: the flatter your park is, the more room you have. Now for the piece sizes, in ascending order: 4.2 Grass/Sand Ground 4.5 All Outside Ramps 4.7 All Outside Pyramid Ramps 4.8 All Inside Ramps 4.9 All Straight Ramps 5.7 Railroad 5.8 All Straight Walls 6.0 All Med Funboxes 6.1 All Inside Deck Ramps 6.4 Double Inside Stair 6.6 Double Outside Stair 7.2 Kink 7.4 Suburbia Box 7.5 All Oct Funboxes 7.8 Double Stair 7.8 Double Inside Deck Stair 7.9 Double Outside Pyramid Stair 8.2 Straight Curbs 8.4 Lava/Water Ground 8.5 All Curved Ledges 8.5 All 45-degree Straight Ramps 9.6 Quad Inside Stair 9.8 Double Inside/Outside Stair 9.9 8-foot Rollin 10.0 Quad Outside Stair 10.4 Small Bush Planter 10.5 Telephone Pole 10.6 Tight Kicker 10.7 4-foot Rollin 10.7 Quad Stair 10.8 90-Degree Wall 10.8 Quad Inside Deck Stair 10.9 All Railed Walls 10.9 High Wall End 10.9 Low Wall Connector 11.1 LA Straight Wall 11.1 All Table Benches 11.6 All Tight Rail Corners 11.7 Bleachers 12.1 Player Starts, etc.(Average)* 12.3 Suburbia Hump 12.5 Quad Outside Pyramid Stair 13.1 Low Short QP 13.3 Long Bush Planter 13.8 High Short QP 14.0 SD Bench 14.2 Wavy Concrete Rail 14.7 Pool Short 15.1 Park Bench 15.3 Pungee Pit 15.8 Telephone Wires 16.1 Short QP 16.3 Quad Inside/Outside Stair 16.3 Mailbox 16.6 Kicker Wall 16.6 Railroad 90-degree 16.9 Underground Straight 16.9 12-foot Rollin 16.9 Wavy Concrete Up 17.2 Newsstands 2 17.8 Short Flower Planters 18.5 All Wide Rail Corners 18.5 Trash Can 18.5 Basketball Hoop 19.2 16-foot Rollin 19.2 Car Ramp 19.2 Curved Curb 19.6 Wavy Concrete Curve 20.0 Corner Dumpster 20.0 Big Billboard 20.0 Big Billboard 45-degree 20.4 Alcatraz Bench 20.4 Boobs! 20.4 Low Outside QP 20.4 Dumpster 20.4 Medium Billboard 45-degree 21.2 LA Curved Wall 21.2 Low Inside QP 21.2 SD Rail 21.2 Medium Billboard 21.7 Tokyo Low Wall 21.7 Low Short Deck QP 22.2 Kicker 2 22.2 Pool Outside 22.2 Wavy Concrete Big 22.7 UnderG Rail Straight 22.7 Picnic tables 22.7 Candy Machine 23.8 Telephone Pole 2 24.3 Low Ouside Deck QP 24.3 Swing Rail 25.0 High Inside QP 26.3 Low Medium QP 26.3 High Outside QP 26.3 VC Planter 3 27.0 Low Inside Deck QP 27.0 High Short Deck QP 27.0 High Outside Deck QP 27.0 NY Light 27.7 High Medium QP 27.7 SC2 Building 27.7 VC Planter 2 28.5 Kicker 1 29.4 Pool Medium 29.4 AP Walkway 30.3 Concrete Bench 30.3 High Inside Deck QP 32.2 Underground 32.2 Pool Small Inside 33.3 Crusty Bench 34.4 Table w/Dumpster 34.4 Pool Large Inside 34.4 Tree Planter 34.4 VC Planter 1 37.0 Long Flower Planters 38.4 School Spine 38.4 Diving Block 40.0 SI Wallbox 40.0 HP Tunnel 40.0 3rd Piping 3 41.6 All S-Rails 41.6 Traffic Light 2 43.4 Fullpipe Walls 43.4 Low Medium Deck QP 45.4 Newsstands 1 45.5 Underground Railed 47.6 Rio Quicksliver 47.6 SI Multistep 47.6 School Stair With Rail 50.0 Train Car 50.0 Liquor Store 52.6 Fullpipe QP's 52.6 Low Long QP 52.6 Traffic Light 1 54.0 High Medium Deck QP 55.5 High Long QP 55.5 Bus Stop 55.5 SF QP Rail Transfer 55.5 Flag Fountain 58.8 Loop 58.8 Pool Long 58.8 Dock Short 62.5 3rd Piping 1&2 62.5 Fountain*** 66.6 Underground Curve 66.6 24-set 71.4 Freeway 76.9 Trailer 76.9 Alcatraz Bleacher 76.9 Mega Rollin 83.3 Tokyo Box 86.9 Low Long Deck QP 90.9 Sub Halfpipe 90.9 Cruise Ship Pool 100.0 Small House 100.0 Alcatraz Corner 100.0 RV 108.1 High Long Deck QP 111.1 Hut 111.1 Tokyo Mega Box 111.1 Diving Board 111.1 Tank 111.1 Dock 111.1 Helicopter 125.0 S Bowl 125.0 N bowl 142.8 Freeway Curve 142.8 House Boat 166.6 Bowl 200.0 Skyscraper 200.0 Large House 200.0 Rectangle Pool 200.0 Car** 250.0 Clover Bowl *As the number of spawn areas you can put into a park, I had to average out the total space used by ALL of them: King Crowns, Team Flags, and so on. **I have no idea why this one is so huge, perhaps because it has specific properties, or the fact that it has too many angled polys. ***See, I told you this one was USELESS. So, this list is far from accurate. I may take the pieces that coincide and make more detailed comparisons with them. That will have to wait until the next version, so don't think that since something comes first in the list it really is smaller... or do. It's your life. VII. ADVANCED STUFF This section covers some more obscure methods to use in making parks. Here I'll be covering small details that don't apply anywhere else which add a small amount of playability and the all- important FLOW. 1. Using The Rail Tool The Rail Tool is one of the best inventions in THPS history. We're no longer limitied to prefabs here-- we can dynamically create connections between ANY two pieces. So if you want to learn how to use this weapon efficiently, you need to learn how to SNAP. Snapping the tool is the key to straight, clean lines that never look sloppy. Basically, you point the cursor closest to the edge you want it on, and click the Square button. Now, let's try an exercise. Connect two perpendicular QP's with a curved QP, so they make a V-shape. Select the Rail tool, and snap to the edge of the QP. Raise it a bit. Now, snap to the opposite edge of the straight QP, and raise it the same height. Now one side of your V-shaped QP has a high lip. Do the same for the other end. Now, pick one of the rails you just made, and snap to it. Start your rail, and look at the curved piece. You'll notice that it has four edges along the curve. Snap to the middle edge, raise it to the rails' level, and click. Now connect the rest of your rail to the other side. Now your V-shaped QP has a rail that you can trick over! 1. 2. o o o __---__ __-X-__ / \ / \ / CURVE \ o / \ o / _ \ / _ \ |( / \ )| |( / \ )| | \ / \ / | | \ / \ / | | \/ \/ | | \/ \/ | ---- ---- ---- ---- Remember that rails have to have less than a 45-degree angle in order to be unbroken. If the angle is sharper than that, the player will just fall off the end. The rail you just made is made up of two 30-degree angles, so a player should be able to grind around them. Now, here's another exercise: Make a small HP out of two QP's in the middle of your map. Using the Rail Tool, snap to the edge of one QP. Click three times (so there are three legs to the rail), and connect the other end to the opposite QP. Now, unless you knew what I was thinking beforehand, you can't grind this rail. What we need to do is adjust the three legs so they form four 45-degree angles. Switch your view to top-down if it'll help. Grab the middle leg and place it equidistant from each edge of the QP's. Pull it back so you can make a U-shape out of the rail. Grab each of the other two legs and drag them around until the rails turn grey instead of red. The final shape should look like this: ----- ----- | | | | | Q | | Q | | P | | P | (TOP-DOWN VIEW) | 1 | | 2 | | | | | ----- ----- \ / \ / 0 0 --__ __-- () If you did this correctly, your QP now has an outcropping where a player can grind out of the HP and revert into the other side! This can be used to great effect if the HP is high above ground. Now there's one more note about Rail Tools. You can make a Lip Ladder by piling up rails on top of a QP. You do this by snapping one edge of a QP, raising it a bit, and then snapping the other end to make a high lip. But you can do this OVER AND OVER until the maximum height is reached(which is pretty damn high). As long as the gaps between rails are less than 3 flats, the player can hop up and liptrick each higher rail. Personally, I can get about 20 liptricks into the same trick without falling off. This doubles great as a climbing ladder to reach other areas of your park. 2. Rail Transfers Rail Transfers have been integral to this game since the start, but nowadays people seem to be put off by them. I have no idea why, but I'm not about to let people have their way. So if you want a rail transfer in your park, remember that 2 rails at the same height need to be 1 UNIT APART in order for the trick to work. That's one unit, as in the LENGTH of a single block. 3. Cheap Thrills Try this for a second. Put a small pool in your map, and lower the ground as far as possible. Now, surround the hole with Pool Parts so that they all face outward. Ingame, ride up one QP, and do a Spine Transfer into the hole. You'll hit the pool at AMAZING speed and shoot up the other side. Spine transfer out the other side, or try a trick. You can get 1080-degree spins or better with that kind of sick air. Unfortunately, the player loses momentum fast, so you could be stuck down there if you didn't get out quick. Maybe a ladder or something would help... VIII. WORST. IDEAS. EVAR! There are few parks out there that are impressive enough to be enjoyed by anyone. But there's no shortage of maps that manage to turn EVERYONE off, except by the person who made it. Usually, as said in the introduction, this is the fault of the author satisfying his unique(but not necessarily better) skating technique. Other times, it's pure sloppiness, and a general ineptitude in making a map playable. I've compiled a list of the greatest offenses in park creation in this handy reference. In other words, DO NOT DO ANYTHING ON THIS LIST. 1. The Trenches A Quarterpipe or Halfpipe that spans the entire length of your park reeks of laziness. When the "playable" section of your park is completely bordered by a huge HP, it compels players to grind incessantly. At least try to break up this abomination by raising parts of it a few levels. Offer players incentive for transferring over some sort of obstacle. Otherwise, you stand to be VERY bored when your Trick Attack game lasts five hours. 2. Ground Control In contrast, making a HP that spans a WHOLE 1X2 space isn't a good idea. If you can land and reach the opposite lip before the Revert animation finishes, you need to spread things out a bit. Riding through a 5-foot-long HP is fun for about 0.3 seconds. 3. Dig Through The Ditches Unfortunately, some of the pieces we wish would be flat aren't flat. It's a shame, but we must deal with it. Take the Underground Curve piece, for example. It's supposed to be underground(hence the name), but if we actually DO put it underground we get this unsightly ditch in our park that people can fall into. As tempting as it may be to put the thing underground anyway, DON'T. 4. Grounded Grinding I was online playing someone's CAP the other day, and I happened to get on top of the Skyscraper piece. It was then that I saw the most glaring mistake in my life. A sharp descending rail went from the roof to the ground-- and part of the rail disappeared into the building. This is not only a cosmetic error; obviously someone must exert a lot of effort to get up that high, and now he has to AIM his jump to continute his line, or else he just plops onto the ground. I've seen rails buried in all sorts of objects for no reason. Please take the time to MOVE THEM AWAY from other pieces. 5. Jaggies This is usually a graphics term, but I believe it applies here, also. Aside from the occasional stair or lava pit, your park ideally should be free of any unsightly blockyness. If you raise a floor, connect a ramp to it somewhere. Real skaters will tell you the excruciating feeling of having a great combo going, only to trip up on a ledge that was just too high. Having a combo trap like a raised floor brings about the same kind of feeling-- only without the knee surgery. 6. When A Combo Isn't A Combo There isn't much to say about this one, but-- if you want people to retain interest in your park, make COMBO goals that are CHALLENGING. I never thought I'd see a COMBO goal where all the letters were sitting on a single rail, but I have. 7. Claustrophobic QP's You'd think that people with common sense would know how QP's work, but you'd be disappointed. In some parks you'll come across a complete mess of QP's and other objects that have no business being next to each other. They're clumped together in such a way that you think this guy might be purposefully trying to keep you away from that section of the map. Fortunately, you can learn from his mistakes. IX. GLITCHES There are a few glitches that are exclusive to created parks and their pieces. Whether or not they can be utilized practically has yet to be seen. I'm currently doing some testing with them to see if anything could be useful. 1. The Repelling Wall You probably noticed walls that you bounce off of while looking for glitches in the Story Mode levels. Well, you can have them here, too! Simply resize your park so its length is the smallest possible. Then take a large piece(like a pool) and rotate it so that part of it is sticking outside the fence. Now delete the fence. You now have your repelling wall! This isn't practical at all, and you can't walk outside of the park, but it's a diversion at least. 2. Floating QP's There are two ways to do this. The first involves the Clipboard. What you want to do first is raise a 4X4 piece of land at least 2 flats high. Then put two QP pieces on top with their decks facing the middle. Use the Selection Tool to select a 2X4 piece of empty space. Click it and select "copy". Now you have a flat piece which you lay over the decks of the two QP's. Lower the ground, and the selected piece will sink below the QP's decks! You can make a tunnel in this way that you can walk(but not skate) through. The second method is similar, but doesn't use the Clipboard. What you have to do is raise the floor under the QP to its maximum height. Then you place a piece that should fit on top of the QP's deck and move it there. Right away you'll notice that it isn't really on top. So lower the floor under the deck back to ground level. After you do that, you can move the rest of the QP to the height you desire. 3. The Party Boat Someone online pointed out to me that you can walk under the tarp on the Party Boat piece, but not skate under it. I'm not sure this qualifies as a glitch, but it involves the boundary wall, at least. 4. Corner Glitching If you know how to do this in the Story Mode levels, try it on an HP Tunnel piece. Stick the piece so the short end is against the park border, and jump on in! 5. Under the Underground There are two ways of doing this. First, I should mention that it's said you can corner glitch into these things. I haven't been successful at it yet. But you can try bail glitching: make a ramp so it goes up to the entrance of an Underground piece. Then when you play the park, grind the edge of the ramp that is flush with the entrance(i.e. the part that would be the top of the ramp). If you manage to bail while doing this, you should fall underneath it. Second, you can stick an Underground Curve piece so the rounded edge is touching a wall. Ingame, skate up to the wall and wedge yourself in as far as you can. Then get off your board and adjust your view and your player so your back is popping out of the inside wall. At this point, try moving backward. If you didn't just walk into the tunnel, try wedging yourself in farther. 6. Another Bail Glitch(or so they say) Most say this is a bail glitch, but I have an easier time just wriggling into it. I'm talking about the Skyscraper piece, which you should place in your park(as well as easy access to the roof). Ingame, try to find the part of the building where the texture changes. It'll look like a small split in the graphic, out by the edge where it looks like the texture breaks off and is stretched out. You can bail while standing on this point and fall through to the inside of the building, but jiggling the analog stick in that spot works well enough. 7. Rail Problems Not a fun glitch, but rather an annoying bug that needs to be addressed. If you use the Rail Tool to connect to something to something that isn't technically a rail or lip, be sure to playtest it immediately. Grind it both ways. Grind it at different speeds. Sometimes the game won't recognize the conncetion between the two, and you'll have to find another way to connect them. 8. Hot Foot Raise a 2X2 ledge about 4 flats. Now put a Lava piece on it. Ingame, go up to the ledge while walking and climb up on it. You'll be able to walk through the lava! This is because you never crossed the trigger area (fell onto it from above). This was a workaround, I guess, where the programmers felt you should be able to shimmy across the ledge without dying. X. CREDITS & LINKS Special Thanks to: Neversoft, for once again being my virtual crack dealer. www.neversoft.com Tony Hawk's Underground is the sole property of Neversoft. Another to: Various people online for showing me glitches, THUGX for confirmation. www.thugxonline.com(check out their create-a-reviews!) GameFAQs and CJayC for hosting my tutorial. www.gamefaqs.com If you have questions or suggestions, point them to: email@example.com Or find me on THUG in the East Coast or Newbie rooms: "Bucket", usually hosting a game named "Baja Parks"(all my parks) Special message to the *ENZO* clan: One of your members, Terrell, asked me to make a park for you guys. The park he hosts for you is not mine, but rather a ruined version of it. You may copy/edit this document, as long as my name stays on it. Brendan B. Wow, you're still reading?