Nadeo release time-limited TrackMania 2 and ShootMania demos

Tom Sykes at

Nadeo's shooty ShootMania and drivey TrackMania 2 games have both been given sizeable new demos, with the intention of increasing the player count in both Mania titles. The demos are pretty generous, offering access to a good number of environments, modes, tracks and the full editing suite in both games, although this unlimited access will expire after 48 hours, to be replaced with something perhaps a little more reasonable (an hour of play every day, or more if the player count falls below 100). Head here to check out the TrackMania 2 demo, and here to check out the ShootMania one, or stick around to hear exactly what you'll be getting.

PC Gamer ShootMania Launch Cup grand final: watch the livestream from 8pm BST tonight

Tom Senior at

Tonight we sail into an unexpected fifth week in our Shootmania Storm competition. A technical meltdown prompted by frolicking Greasels curtailed last week's effort to find the ultimate Shootmania competitors. The ducts have been flamethrowered, internet connections have been tested, the teams have been hard at practice. We're ready. THIS ENDS NOW. Or rather, later on this evening when the finals begin at 8pm GMT.

First, Team Dignitas EU will battle Swiss Bulls for the honour of taking on the on-form Fnatic in the grand final event. As always, every leap and laser blast will be accompanied by knowledgeable patter from tournament commentator gents, Ziggy “nVc” Orzeszek and David “Zaccubus” Treacy from Team Dignitas. We can look forward to some breakneck twitch shooting and from all teams. Join us and watch them scrap for a £500 share of the prize pool.

PC Gamer Shootmania Launch Tournament match report - week four

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Tuesday evening saw the fourth week of PC Gamer's Shootmania Storm Launch Tournament. Nadeo's lightning fast shooter is exquisitely calibrated for tournament play - with its pixel-perfect shooting and heavy offensive on manoeuvrability - so we'd thought we'd go and host one, inviting expert commentators Ziggy “nVc” Orzeszek and David “Zaccubus” Treacy from eSports crew Team Dignitas to help decipher all the fleet-footed jumping and astonishingly precise shooting. So if you want to see a bunch of talented eSports teams battling it out in a game built to showcase their abilities, then watch the video below. If you'd rather just catch up with who shot whom the most on Tuesday night, in preparation for next week's Grand Final, then read the match report beneath it.

This is a double elimination tournament fought in Storm’s 3v3 Elite mode, which see two teams of three players alternately attacking and defending a capture point, though the attacking team only gets to field a single player, who gets to be either a victorious hero or an embarrassing failure. The first team to reach nine points wins the game, though a two-point lead is needed to confirm the victory, and there are five games in a match. Losers in the top bracket are automatically relegated to the lower bracket - and it was the Upper and Lower Bracket finals that played out on Tuesday night.

PC Gamer Shootmania Launch Cup: week four. Watch the livestream from 7pm BST tonight

Tom Senior at

Welcome to the fourth and final week of the PC Gamer Shootmania Launch Cup. Teams have fought many battles and blasted many visored men over the course of the competition, but now it's serious. We're down to the final contestants which means we get to watch the fastest, twitchiest most spectacular players of the tournament face off for glory. The consistently impressive fnatic are facing off with Swiss Bulls for a share of the prize pot, but who will come out on top? Tune into the livestream at 7PM tonight to witness the action first-hand, with VO from commentators, Ziggy “nVc” Orzeszek and David “Zaccubus” Treacy from Team Dignitas.

PC Gamer Shootmania Launch Tournament match report - week three

PC Gamer at

Tuesday night saw the third week of PC Gamer's Shootmania Launch tournament. With only the finals and grand finals left to go, the calibre of play in both the upper and lower brackets has jumped from excellent to "wait, what did that guy just do?" levels of lightning-fast reactions and superhuman, pixel-perfect, long-distance frags. Thankfully we have our usual pair of commentators on hand to help out: Ziggy “nVc” Orzeszek and David “Zaccubus” Treacy from eSports crew Team Dignitas. You can let their gently reassuring tones guide you through the below video, or, if you're not afraid of spoilers, read the match report beneath it.

Learn how to play ShootMania with Team Dignitas

PC Gamer at

If you've been following PCGamer's ShootMania Tournament, you'll already have a good idea of the things you can do in the game. But the real question is: how? Basic map awareness and game strategy is one thing, but getting those trick jumps and speed boosts to zip you from one part of the level to another is quite another.

Help is at hand, however. Pro-player badasses Team Dignitas have agreed to stream their practice sessions live tonight and on Wednesday, from 7pm until 10pm GMT. Ziggy "nVc" Orzeszek, David "Zaccubus" Treacy and Ted "Kowa" Hansson will be showing off their skills and answering questions from Twitch's chat channel. Watch it over at our Twitch channel or check the embed below.

PC Gamer ShootMania Launch Cup: week three. Watch the livestream from 7pm GMT tonight

PC Gamer at

We're now into the third week of the PC Gamer ShootMania Launch Cup and things are getting tense. Last week saw an almighty upset for early favourites Team Dignitas, leaving them one loss away from being disqualified. Meanwhile, Team Infused have surely become one of the strongest contenders following their showing against Lemondogs - making this week's Infused vs fnatic bout one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament. You can watch that match, and a livestream of the other top matches tonight right here from 7pm GMT. It should be a fun old time, as the teams battle to stay in contention for the grand finale next week - not to mention the £800 prize pot.

Be sure to check out the standings, to see how the fixtures have panned out so far, and which matches lie ahead.

As always, we'll have expert commentary courtesy of Ziggy “nVc” Orzeszek and David “Zaccubus” Treacy from Team Dignitas. Hit the jump to see the feed below.

How to make a good ShootMania map - tips from Nadeo's designers

Robert Weavers at

Since Trackmania’s release in 2003, millions of tracks have been created, uploaded and played all over the world. With each new release in the series, the Map Editor has become increasingly more powerful and user friendly allowing bigger, wilder and more challenging tracks to be designed with ease. With ShootMania, Nadeo’s twitchy team shooter built for pro-play, the same treatment has been applied to the principles of the FPS, giving users complete control over map design, game objectives, environment features and skins.

With so many players creating maps, it’s important to learn exactly what makes a good multiplayer map so that yours can stand out from the crowd. Symmetry is extremely important when designing FPS multiplayer maps, as every player should have an equal chance in terms of where they spawn and what the objectives are. With Shootmania’s Elite mode, you have one attacker versus three defenders. The attacker wins either by eliminating the opposition, or capturing an objective marker during the narrow window of time in which it is vulnerable. With such asymmetry, balancing maps while also maintaining an exciting experience for spectators is a very challenging task. I spoke to Guillaume Rocchiccioli who works full-time designing maps for Nadeo.

PC Gamer ShootMania Launch Cup match report - week two

PC Gamer at

Tuesday evening saw the second week of the PC Gamer ShootMania Launch Cup. A double elimination tournament fought in the newly released ShootMania Storm's 3v3 Elite mode, nowhere else can you find so much drama and upset entwined with quite this level of balletic wall-jumps and astonishingly pixel-perfect shooting. The tournament is played entirely in Elite mode, which you can read more about here. In short, the first team reach nine points in this attack/defend game mode wins the game, although, as in tennis, a two-point margin is needed to win. Matches are fought on a best of three basis, with losers in the top bracket automatically relegated to the lower bracket. Once there, they may well be able to fight their way back to the grand final, but another loss in the lower bracket will see them kicked out of the tournament. If you didn't watch on Tuesday, you can still do so below - things kick off at the 15 minute mark. Be warned, beneath the video there are spoilers.

PC Gamer ShootMania Launch Cup: week two. Watch the livestream from 7pm GMT tonight

PC Gamer at

Last week saw the kick off of our very own ShootMania tournament. We had nearly 50 teams sign up for the month-long double elimination competition, and a mixture of pro-players and talented amateurs alike did battle for a bit of the £800 prize pot.

With last week's losing teams heading down to the lower bracket things are only going to get more intense at the top, and from 7pm GMT tonight we'll be streaming the best matches live on our Twitch channel, with commentary courtesy of Ziggy “nVc” Orzeszek and David “Zaccubus” Treacy from Team Dignitas. You can hit the jump to see the feed below.

PC Gamer ShootMania Cup match report: week one

Robert Weavers at

On Tuesday evening, the PC Gamer ShootMania Tournament launched with almost 50 teams signed up to play in the month long double elimination tournament. With both amateur and professional players battling it out in the 3v3 Elite mode of the newly released FPS title from Nadeo, anything can happen and it almost always does. The tournament is played entirely in Elite mode, which you can read more about here. The first team to get to nine points takes the game, although they do have to win by a two-point margin. It’s a best of three with the loser going down to the lower-bracket where every match could be their last. If you were unable to catch all the matches, you can still watch the VOD embedded below before you read on to avoid spoilers!

PC Gamer ShootMania Launch Cup: team up, shoot maniacally, win money! Sign up now!

PC Gamer at

ShootMania Storm launches today. It’s a competitive shooter built for eSports, and as you might expect from Nadeo, the developers of TrackMania, it’s extremely malleable, with a level editor that lets you plug prefab components together to create your own arenas. It’s a game of breathless pace and precision, with its two-hit kills requiring well-timed projectiles - old hands at Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament should feel right at home.

To celebrate ShootMania’s arrival, PC Gamer is holding a tournament from 15th April to 7th May, with £800 in prize money to be divvied up between the three top teams. Whether you’re a pro-player in need of pocketmoney, or just a fan of oldschool shooters looking to recreate the twitchy thrill of a railgun duel, you’re very welcome to enter. Read on to find out how.

ShootMania Storm launch trailer: swooshing cameras, trick-jumps and laser-knight fights

Marsh Davies at

Nadeo's twitchy team shooter goes on sale today and, as is the custom of their people, a trailer has been released to mark the occasion. It's pretty flash, simultaneously demonstrating the game's breakneck action and the merits of the in-game camera used to capture it. ShootMania has been built to be an eSports platform, y'see - so it comes with a reconfigurable rule-set and bristles with tools to help you set-up tournaments, capture footage and cast it.

Shootmania as an e-sport: "we wanted people to feel the emotion."

Rich McCormick at

Shootmania has laid its e-sports cards on the e-table early. The customisable FPS is still in beta stages, but developers Nadeo have attempted to cultivate a competitive community, running tournaments and presenting showmatches on the global scale during E3's Ubisoft press conference.

Nadeo's next Shootmania event will take place at Gamescom. The 'Op3n' features 16 teams – including established e-sports names like Team Dignitas and Millenium – and will pay out three thousand euros to the winners.

I spoke to Nadeo Publishing's Managing Director, Anne Blondel, about making an e-sport, and how Shootmania will support the competitive community. Read on for her answers.

ShootMania Storm trailer hops between perspectives of hopping frags

Tyler Wilde at

We're all doomed if bunnies ever figure out how to use guns -- walking and running are pitifully useless tactics against hopping, as you can see in the latest ShootMania Storm trailer. It's actually showing off replays, and I especially like the freeze-frame disintegration deaths, which momentarily capture the surprise and disappointment of being killed. Watch the trailer inside.

Shootmania Storm beta applications open now

Tom Senior at

Yesterday's Shootmania Storm trailer did odd things to my brain. It fired all of the tangled synapses associated in any way with lasers, bright lights and Tron at the same time, a sensation that triggered an involuntary "ooooh shiny" response that still hasn't quite fizzled out. But what will it be like to play?

That's up to players. As with Trackmania, Shootmania Storm will rely on players to create interesting new maps, game modes, videos and more. LAN play and dedicated servers are supported and there's a spectator mode for esports competitions. Nadeo have spent year tuning the game to make it as agile and "pure" as they can. If you're tickled you can sign up to the upcoming beta on the Shootmania Storm site for a chance to throw yourself into the eternal war between red and blue.

Shootmania in sixth year of development. Nadeo making it "as pure as possible"

Owen Hill at

Nadeo's International Project Manager, Edouard Beauchemin has shared new Shootmania details with PC Gamer. We fired questions at him before having "one more go" on the upcoming Trackmania Canyons at Ubisoft's Summer Showcase. Three hours later, I left the booth.

Shootmania is an ambitious user-driven sandbox of an FPS. Users will be able to create their own gametypes and maps in a few minutes, similar to how the Trackmania community create their own unique courses. I asked Edouard whether Shootmania will feature some form of persistent levelling system similar to the ones featured in most modern FPSs.

It wont. According to Edouard, "A whole experience system could have been implemented into Trackmania, but a game based on skill is more interesting for the people we like to play with. With Shootmania, it's the same thing. It's based on skill. There are no RPG mechanics. We want to make it as pure as possible."

The future of Nadeo: creators of Trackmania, Shootmania and Questmania

PC Gamer at

Bedroom coders’ lairs aside, Nadeo must be the smallest studio you could ever hope to visit. It’s so small that the guidance on how to get there counts the precise number of steps to descend before you reach the front door (it’s four). You park your coat in the mezzanine, nod to the receptionist on your way into the main office, then realise that the mezzanine is the main office, that the ‘receptionist’ is actually studio founder Florent Castelnérac and that you were dangerously close to walking into a cupboard.