One of my favourite niches among level design communities are creations which are designed to pinball players through their geometry without requiring your control. Levels for the platformer N, for example, which allow you to sit back and marvel at their daredevil complexity, or race tracks for Trackmania [official site] in which you need to do nothing but push forward. An example of the latter recently popped up on Reddit and so I did a little digging, resulting in the video I made below.
It looks a little like I’m steering at certain points, but I’m not: each tilt or skid of the car is the result of the game’s physics working together with the layout of the track to keep me on course. That track is called [PF]SuperNatural, by N!troGuY, and it’s downloadable from Trackmania’s Steam Workshop.
I remember playing on these kinds of tracks years ago, for perhaps Trackmania Nations, but I was reminded of their existence by a Reddit post showing a GIF of one such track. That GIF was a shortened version of this video by AccelTM, below:
That track is the longer, more complex and appropriately named [PF] Extra Large by vossi84. It doesn’t appear to be available through the Steam Workshop, but can be downloaded from mania-exchange.com.
Racing games are, in most circumstances, about taking corners in order to maximise your completion time, but there’s something wonderful about being able to so simply see the physics and speed of Trackmania in action without any skill required. It takes everything that’s good about the game and it turns it into a kind of rollercoaster, the linearity of which we often consider a criticism in games but which I enjoy here.