The Route Creator was one of the biggest selling points of the game for me when I learned how robust the props were in using the map in new ways. I know it is a bit of a niche mode in that not everyone is willing to spend hours on routes and would rather just race the vanilla races. However, the promise of near Trackmania levels of custom races in a beautifully created map of Mexico/Baja California is luring some players to spend hours of their time into something that will likely lead to disappointment and frustration. In its current state, I would argue the route creator in FH4 is better than FH5 and I hope this feature doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of the connectivity and graphical bugs.
These mandatory features of the Route Creator are missing or broken as of the typing of this post:
1: There is no way to test your route as you create it outside of using rewind, which only takes you back around 20 seconds, which is shorter than nearly all routes. This leaves the player guessing if their jumps work, if there are bad collisions in the walls, or if turns need more signage to guide the racers etc.
There is no way to tell where the start line is. I understand why this changed from FH4, but not knowing where the start line is or how wide the checkpoint is adds another layer of guessing for the player. Where your car starts, the racing line, and the minimap all point to slightly different spots. On circuit races in particular, this means a player could make an entire track and not know it doesn’t work until the very end of the test run for the blueprint…
That leads to the biggest problem. There is no way to edit the route. This is not a route editor, this is only a creator. You are forced to make a blueprint immediately after completing a circuit or placing a finish line with no option to test run the route, no option to add props, no option to edit checkpoints. This not only breeds frustration with the player but it also means many of the created routes shared in the Event Lab are broken or less quality than they could be through no fault of the player. The overall quality of the races outside of the default routes is much lower than it could be not just because they can be used for exploits, but more importantly because players do not have the tools necessary to make quality races.
Another major issue that ties in with the previous point is that there is no way to save a work in progress route. Players have to make the route in one shot perfectly with no testing. This means if a player’s game or PC/console crashes, needs to leave for an extended time for any reason, or simply has an ambitious idea that can’t be completed in one sitting, they are out of luck and whatever time they have invested in the route is lost.
This is what I think needs to be done to make the Route Creator work as intended.
The Route Creator and Event lab need to be separate. You should be able to create a route for yourself without publishing it to allow for editing the route later. Then once a route is used for a published blueprint, it becomes locked like it is now.
The racing line and prop placement need to be more separate. What I mean by this is you should be able to place props as you drive like it is currently in the game, but you should also be able you restart your route or jump to a checkpoint without losing your props, and you should be able to place more props after the racing line is finished.
You should be able to save routes at any time. Again, this is for being able to edit the route over multiple sittings or to fix problems that arise in testing.
You should be able to duplicate your routes already published to be expanded on or otherwise changed for new races, potentially saving a lot of time and allowing for new ideas that may not have come the first time around.
Bonus: There could be a prompt to choose your car and weather conditions before creating the route. Right now it is impossible to know what a night race will look like as every time I personally tried to make a race, it was clear early afternoon weather.
In my opinion the Route Creator is a black mark on what is otherwise one of the best racing games ever made. I want to see the Event Lab blossom like the livery editor and become a more integral part of FH5 and the idea of endless fun content for the game.