Basic Traxx
(The Tool Bar)

As is the case with most programs, the Traxx tool bar is located just below the main menu in the top left-hand corner of the Traxx window.  The Traxx tool bar is comprised of thirteen buttons :

New - Open - Track Components - Save - Write POD File - Copy - Undo - Print
Edit Terrain - Edit Textures - Edit Course - Edit Objects - Edit Ground Boxes

and it looks like this :

Traxx Tool Bar

Since thirteen is not a very lucky number, I am going to suggest that you think about the Traxx tool bar in terms of the first eight buttons:

First Eight Buttons

and the last five buttons:
Last Five Buttons

The features of the first eight buttons can also be activated from the File and Edit drop down menus, but are included on the tool bar for your convenience.  These features are described on The Monster Truck Madness Guild's Menu pages but are reviewed again here, also for your convenience.  For the most part, these are very basic features.

The last five buttons on the tool bar, however, CANNOT be accessed from the drop down menus.  Each button activates a different and unique editing mode.  These five editing modes are the core of Traxx, and can only be turned on or off by using the tool bar buttons.  Of course, editing is what Traxx is all about and the editing modes will take a bit of discussion to fully understand.  For this reason, many pages will be devoted to each of the editing modes and I will limit the current page to brief descriptions of each one.  I will also provide links, in the appropriate places, to the pages which contain the fuller explanations of each editing mode.  But, don't let all this talk of pages upon pages put you off.  Traxx is a very easy program to learn.  If I could learn it, then I'm sure anybody can.  So, please, take your time, and before you know it, you'll be a master track maker too.

The First 8 Tool Bar Buttons

New New - Clicking on the New button will clear everything from the Traxx working area in order that you may begin working on a mtm2 track from scratch (i.e., from the very beginning).  It is unnecessary to use the New button when you first launch Traxx since it defaults to a blank mtm2 working area.  Using the New button is safe because it will not discard unsaved changes that you may have made to your track; if changes have been made since the last time you saved your work, you will be prompted to save or discard those changes before the working area will be cleared.

Open Open - Clicking this button will open a standard windows dialog box from which you can retrieve a previously saved track that you have been working on.  Traxx saves its working files with a TXX extension and the files are clearly identifiable by the Traxx logo.  They look like this in the windows dialog box :

Traxx TXX files

Simply highlight the file you want to continue working on, click <Open> in the windows dialog box, and the file will load everything into Traxx.  You may then continue working on your track.

Track Components Track Components - This button opens the Track Components dialog box in Traxx.  Use this button to set the name of  your track as it will appear in MTM2, the icon and browse bitmaps, the backdrop, the sound scheme, color palette, water level, music, and the type of track you are making.

Save Save - Clicking on this button will save your track to a Traxx TXX file so that you can work on it at a later time.  It is also extremely wise to use this option during the progress of your work just in case you encounter problems that prevent you from saving later.  The first time you use the Save button you will be prompted to give your TXX file a name; all subsequent times the track will save (without a prompt) to the same file name.

Traxx now has an autosave feature.  Even if you use autosave, but sure to do a manual save after every major revision.  Save your work often.

Write POD File Write POD File - This feature is the last step in track making.  When you are ready to test drive your track, clicking this button will open a dialog box that will allow you to name and save the pod file for your track.

Pod names should contain no spaces.

Make sure you save the Pod file to the MTM2 folder, for example: c:\program files\microsoft games\monster truck madness 2

Please note that after a pod file has been written, you will still need to mount it using podini (or other mounting program).  You will only need to do this one time.

Copy Copy - This button will copy textures, sections of textures, patterns, models and ground boxes for pasting in different spots later on.

Undo Undo - This button will reverse, in most modes, something you have done.  It is a useful safeguard against unwanted changes or accidental mouse clicks.  Traxx has only one level of Undo, so please work cautiously.

Print Print -  This button is like printing in any other program.  However, I find that it is not a practical feature to use in Traxx.  You may only print whatever is in the working area at the time the print command is used, and it prints to a small square in the upper left-hand corner of a page.  You cannot print a detailed diagram of your track's layout (or anything like that).  I suspect the print options were included in Traxx for formality's sake only.  If you must investigate this option, save a tree and use the <Print Preview> option from the File Drop Down Menu instead of wasting a page.

The Last 5 Tool Bar Buttons

Note - you may use only ONE editing mode at a time.

Edit Terrain Edit Terrain -  The terrain is the ground on which your trucks drive.  It includes the flat plains, the hills, the mountains, the lakes and everything else that makes up the landscape.  While in the Edit Terrain mode, you can make alterations to the ground (or landscape) using eight techniques which include : platforms, hills, ramps, mounds, random noise, smoothing, plane and direct keyboard.

Edit Textures Edit Textures - Textures are the little graphics that paint up the terrain.  For example, textures can be of grass, dirt, mud or pavement, which can then be arranged to look like fields, pits, quarries, swamps, and roads.  While in Edit Texture mode, you can create all sorts of roads, paths and other scenery.  To help make this job a bit easier, you can also work with templates and work with patterns (follow the links for more detailed discussions of these topics).

Edit Course Edit Course - Courses are what determine where the computer trucks go in your track.  The better the courses are defined and laid out, the more competitive the computer trucks will be.  Extended course make the trucks work better, and control the race cam and helicopters.

Edit Objects Edit Objects - Objects are all the other elements that make up the track.  These include, for example, fences, signs, buildings, trees, checkpoint markers, trains, telephone poles, etc.  Where they are located and how they interact with the trucks is controlled by the object's properties.   Objects are also known as Models and as Bins, and are referred to by all three names on different parts of The Guild's site.  Don't let this confuse you.  A "model" is usually just a custom made "object", which is saved in a "bin" file format.  All three terms mean the same thing.  Regardless of the name used to refer to this stuff, objects, models and bins are all dealt with in the Edit Objects mode.

Edit Ground Boxes Edit Ground Boxes - Ground boxes are solid, cube-like things that can be placed in a track.  One ground box is equal to one grid square but whose top and bottom side can be adjusted to any height.  Ground boxes can be used to make walls, fences, bridges, posts, pillars, and even roof tops.  I have seen ground boxes used in some pretty ingenious ways; let your imagination go to work.

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