MK8DX Booster Pass Abbreviations

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Tymbuh

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Ever since the Booster Pass has been announced, a lot of us have been discussing ideas for what abbreviations we should be using for the new tracks. I think it's important for us to try and solidify these abbreviations so that there is no confusion in the future. That being said, I'd like to see what different ideas everyone has just to see what options we have to choose from!

Here are the ideas that I currently have for the tracks coming in March:

Paris Promenade - bPP
Toad Circuit - bTC
Choco Mountain - bCMo
Coconut Mall - bCMa

Tokyo Blur - bTB
Shroom Ridge - bSR
Sky Garden - bSG
Ninja Hideaway - bNH

To Discuss:
  • I think using the letter B to signify the booster tracks is a good letter to differentiate the tracks from all the others, however the downside to this is that there will be 48 tracks with this letter unlike the usual 16 so is it worth having multiple letters / numbers or would we just stick to 1 letter?

  • It's also important to note that in the first cup we are already thinking about two tracks which share the same letters, so we'll have to find a combination of letters which most people are happy with.

  • Lastly, we should keep in mind all of the future tracks as well which might share the same letters as the tracks released before them. Would we change the previous abbreviations to help separate the tracks or do we keep them and change the later ones instead?

Why do we need Abbreviations?

In the competitive community, having abbreviations for tracks are important as they are a quick and efficient way to text someone a track without typing out the full words. On occasion, it is also better to communicate a track in voice call through it's abbreviation as it can be faster and clearer to say which could help avoid confusion with another track with a similar name. A good example of this would be saying rMC for GBA Mario Circuit to avoid confusion with MK8 Mario Circuit.
 

Cynthia.

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b is fine

btw Coconut Mall can just be bCM and Choco Mountain bChM
 

Sand

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Ever since the Booster Pass has been announced, a lot of us have been discussing ideas for what abbreviations we should be using for the new tracks. I think it's important for us to try and solidify these abbreviations so that there is no confusion in the future. That being said, I'd like to see what different ideas everyone has just to see what options we have to choose from!

Here are the ideas that I currently have for the tracks coming in March:

Paris Promenade - bPP
Toad Circuit - bTC
Choco Mountain - bCMo
Coconut Mall - bCMa

Tokyo Blur - bTB
Shroom Ridge - bSR
Sky Garden - bSG
Ninja Hideaway - bNH

To Discuss:
  • I think using the letter B to signify the booster tracks is a good letter to differentiate the tracks from all the others, however the downside to this is that there will be 48 tracks with this letter unlike the usual 16 so is it worth having multiple letters / numbers or would we just stick to 1 letter?

  • It's also important to note that in the first cup we are already thinking about two tracks which share the same letters, so we'll have to find a combination of letters which most people are happy with.

  • Lastly, we should keep in mind all of the future tracks as well which might share the same letters as the tracks released before them. Would we change the previous abbreviations to help separate the tracks or do we keep them and change the later ones instead?
Why do we need Abbreviations?

In the competitive community, having abbreviations for tracks are important as they are a quick and efficient way to text someone a track without typing out the full words. On occasion, it is also better to communicate a track in voice call through it's abbreviation as it can be faster and clearer to say which could help avoid confusion with another track with a similar name. A good example of this would be saying rMC for GBA Mario Circuit to avoid confusion with MK8 Mario Circuit.
We could do a different abbreviation every 2 waves, like a b and c. This would split up everything into 4 cups like it already has been and we don’t have to have 48 tracks all starting with “b”.
 

Jazzy

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When it gets to the point where you have this many prefixes, the intuition behind the prefixes diminishes.

The prefixes were originally simple. Thinking MKDD and before here. Generally it was just the first letters of the track names in English:

  • MC1 - Mario Circuit 1
  • BB - Banshee Boardwalk
  • RP - Riverside Parkway

Of course, there were always some with additional letters, we know about RiR, RRd and RRy from MKSC and MK64. MKDD teaches us an interesting lesson here:

  • Mario Circuit was either MaC or MCr
  • Mushroom City was either MuC or MCt

It's interesting to note the two pairs have always been and still are used interchangeably in the community. The "official ones"? According to the Players' Page, it uses MCR and MCT. I'm not sure what the motivation was behind the caps here, but it's accurate. That said, they had multiple acceptable ways of referring to the same track. We don't have to dictate what people call it except in official scenarios, which is rare. If its understood, its a working system at the end of the day.




MKDS, afaik, introduced the 'r' prefix for retros. MKSC had retros, but MKDS was the first game to call them retros officially (MKSC called them 'extra tracks' and any ancient sites seem to refer to them as such.) That said, the prefix was useful, so it was backported.

Two things to note.

  • First, with MKSC, there was actually only four courses where the prefix was necessary, being rRR and BC1-3. The rest of the retros all have a number and aren't BC1-3 (e.g. DP3), so the 'r' is unnecessary. The truth is if you go in any MKSC chat, they don't usually use the prefix when they don't need to. So honestly, this game can realistically do without them, and just refer to SNES RR as, well, SNES RR. But the formality honestly places a burden here, at least for this game.
  • Second, MKDS. We had GCN Luigi Circuit, and GBA Luigi Circuit, both retros. They ended up calling them rLC1 and rLC2. I always accepted that, but looking now it is kind of strange. The track with '1' is in fact a newer track in terms of source games, and neither is a numbered track in the original.




MK8U introduced the 'd' for the same reason 'b' is being proposed. I shouldn't have to explain it again.

But using a new prefix now does create more problems than ever before.

  1. There are 48 tracks with this prefix. This greatly increases the amount of conflicts that will likely surface. Some are particularly nasty. Multiple Rainbow Roads, Mario Circuits, and Bowser's Castles. And if we get identically numbered BCs (SNES and GBA BC3 for instance)? This is nasty to think about.
  2. We have no way of knowing what tracks are next. We have to deal with this several times. And as a result, this means we may have to revise some abbreviations retroactively (no pun intended haha).
  3. As far as I'm aware, the CM debate is the first time we've had to add letters that were not present in the original game. So, for example, an MK64 player coming to MK8 would know that RRd and RRy are the same as in MK64. Here's it's inconsistent.
  4. This might be nitpicky and not the same type of argument, but if we get Luigi's Mansion, well, we'll have bLM. It doesn't bother me personally to simply have these letters representing a track, because they represent the track and not something else in this context, but that context is easy to change, and I would rather avoid something that could cause insensitive jokes or remarks in our community right now.
  5. Finally, we now have 96 tracks to remember the abbreviations for. For a number that's twice as big as 8U and 3x as big as every other game (save for MKSC and MKT), this is quite a lot to ask of especially a new player. So the goal should be to keep it as straight forward as possible.



With all this in mind, I don't know if using a 'b' prefix here is as simple as possible anymore. We're effectively guaranteed to get more conflicts as we go on, some of which could be quite gross.

I've basically seen a few suggestions that "could" work, but I side heavily with one:

btw Coconut Mall can just be bCM and Choco Mountain bChM

This technically works, by the way. It still violates (3) above, and it it presents a worry for future waves, because this isn't even the worst conflict we could end up with.

We could do a different abbreviation every 2 waves, like a b and c. This would split up everything into 4 cups like it already has been and we don’t have to have 48 tracks all starting with “b”.

This would reduce the amount of conflicts, but it's pretty weak in semantics. For retros we had 'r', 8U's DLC we had 'd', and the new DLC (booster tracks) we proposed 'b'. Splitting it into a/b/c is only a technical solution that isn't optimal imo. As I said, it's weak in semantics for the following reasons:

  • a, b, and c come before d in the alphabet. But the tracks with d are the first ones in any logical ordering of the game's tracks, since they were released beforehand.
  • The division into 3 is somewhat arbitrary (we could do a/b fwiw). If we really wanted any sort of semantic meaning with this type of solution, we'd do 'a' through 'f', but the issue is 'd' is already taken. Doing a-c makes the above point more awkward, but just two letters is less effective.
  • The letters are now meaningless in terms of natural language (English). They don't stand for anything. It's becoming an encoding, not an acronym. We're not computers, we speak with real words, and this just makes it harder for new players especially to memorize 96 tracks.
Wii CM
N64 CM

etc etc

no b please

This is my favorite solution by far. Let's start from the top of all this to see why it's so good:

  1. It's closest to how the average player, in the community or not, will think of these tracks. To a "normie", the r/d prefixes as is are artificial. The game just refers to them with the console abbreviation. This makes them easier to memorize.
  2. We don't have to modify the abbreviations from the original games. CM always was and always will be CM, plain and simple.
  3. As a very sweet side effect, there are no risks of conflicts. The abbreviations will be unique because the console abbreviations are unique, and the tracks in each original game are unique amongst themselves.
  4. Except for formalities, it's not really necessary to always state the console if there is only one track it could possibly be referring to. In any casual chat, the console code would be used only when necessary to be more specific. This is basically how MKSC treats their retros despite officially having the 'r' prefix.

So this is my vote, just use the console as the prefix. Would appreciate more feedback on the matter.
 

Ulvind

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  1. As a very sweet side effect, there are no risks of conflicts. The abbreviations will be unique because the console abbreviations are unique, and the tracks in each original game are unique amongst themselves.
I'm going to raise the counterpoint of N64 Royal Raceway and Rainbow Road, which pretty much is a risk of conflict.
 

Jazzy

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I'm going to raise the counterpoint of N64 Royal Raceway and Rainbow Road, which pretty much is a risk of conflict.
There's a subtle difference here. The conflict existed in the original game so it requires no debate, and it doesn't differ from the original game.

If we had both MKDS and MK7 Rainbow Roads, for instance, that's a real conflict. The solution could be RR1 and RR2, but its a hack only considered because MKDS did the same thing with rLC1/2.

Let's say we have in wave 2, GBA BC2, and in wave 3, MK7 BC. The above doesn't work so nice. It's not BC2 (GBA) and then BC1 (MK7) since the order is backwards now.

And even worse, what if we get SNES BC2 in addition to GBA BC2? BC2a and BC2b? BC21 and BC22? This gets ugly fast.

The CMs are different than RRd/y because we need to invent something new here, but it's really not nearly as bad as we could get. The prime candidates here are Mario Circuits, Bowser's Castles, and Rainbow Roads, each of which have a bunch of which presumably 2-3 could potentially appear over 40 more tracks.

Edit: Within a single game, I believe the only two tracks remaining that share initial letters are MCt and MCr in MKDD. Apart from that, any other conflicts, if I'm not mistaken, would be found between games. Nato's proposal handles this very well, and is one big reason I prefer it over anything else proposed.

Edit again: I forgot MKT. I think there are a few there, but idk what they do for those bc I don't play MKT, but they've figured it out probably.
 
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LooPer

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We could just use b as a prefix in order to stay consistent with previous abbreviations and because it’s the shortest and most instinctive way to name tracks imo.

And in the rare case where two tracks from different games have the same initials use the console official abbreviation as a suffix, maybe with an underscore to make it more readable.

This would give:
bPP
bTC
bCM_N64
bCM_Wii
bTB
bSR
bSG
bNH

Of course this means some of these are subject to change when new DLC waves are released, because those could create new conflicts, but is it that much of an issue?
 

Jazzy

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This is redundant. Using Nato's proposal, except in any formal scenario like some sort of computer data entry where you have to actually type the proper abbreviation, you can just type PP, TC, SR, etc without the b.

it's a lot more annoying to type the underscore than a space, not to mention the 'b', as in:

bCM_N64

vs

N64 CM

For what it's worth, in chat, we'll be typing CM64 or cm64, and everyone will understand.

This is really a formality. The idea here is effective communication, and dictating one way or another isn't too important.

If you're just having to type SG or NH, that's simple and effective. And so is everything else as part of this.

For something like Toadbot, it's better to code it to accept multiple inputs than dictate one.

we could honestly accept ChM, CMn, CMo, CM64, N64CM, etc, case insensitive, in the situations where we actually need to input a course. Most of the time it's actually irrelevant, so clarity is more important than encoding here.
 

LooPer

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Well this debate only makes sense if we’re talking about formal scenarios, like for bot commands. That’s the only reason we would have to agree on an abbreviation.

For informal scenarios everyone can use the abbreviation they like, for example nobody actually calls N64 Rainbow Road "rRRd", people have come up with various nicknames and abbreviations they use interchangeably (RR64, N64RR, trainbow)
 

Jazzy

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And this is philosophical at this point, but it's exactly right.

The abbreviations are just means of effective communication. Like anywhere in life.

But communication is effective as long as the other party understands. Humans are pretty good at inferring meaning, computers not so easily.

This was a lot more relevant when I joined the community. Back then, if you wanted to submit a TT (we used the Players' Page exclusively at that time), you had to send an email to a now-defunct YahooGroups address. There was a script that read all the incoming emails, and parsed their contents to determine what the times and tracks where, and all that. Then an updater would go to an updating page and could review and edit any submissions.

Since a computer was reading these submissions, it was important that everyone agreed on what to abbreviate each track as. There was a bit of leeway (MCr/MaC in MKDD etc). But that issue is gone now with sites like MKLeaderboards. The interface isn't perfect, but it also doesn't require you to type, let alone memorize any abbreviations.

And the other way holds too, most MK sites that I'm aware of spell out the track names in full when displaying content, only using the abbreviations where necessary for space, such as some instances on mobile.

And in those few cases, I had suggested earlier on Discord to use something like

N64 CM
DS SR

with the consoles always included simply for clarity and visual consistency.

But other than that, it's not nearly as important as humans.


In a war, we say 'dry dry' out loud. In text, usually 'rddd' (but not 'rDDD'). Like 'rws', the 'r' isn't strictly necessary, it seems to just be culture, which is fine. But I usually see (and hear) 'dkj' without the 'r'.

If you're talking about Shroom Ridge here, there's no sin in specifying DS while typing, but it's not needed.

Say I have on my desk a cup with some writing tools in it: a pencil, a pen, and a marker. The pen happens to be a vintage fountain pen, but the pencil and marker are just ordinary. I might be in the kitchen and ask my buddy to grab the pen from that cup on the desk. I could specify to get me the 'vintage pen' from the cup on the desk, but if there's only one pen, I don't have to. I might still want to impress him with the fact that I own such a pen, but it's not needed, especially if he's familiar with my pen in the first place.

And this is really why this whole debate doesn't matter as much as we think it should, but I'd just recommend the approach of just using the console prefix officially and allowing the community to call it how they want.
 

Tymbuh

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Although I do think Nato's proposal of using the track console in its abbreviation does make a lot of sense and is understandable for new players, it does mean that we will be ruining the consistency of how we've been abbreviating these tracks all this time.

Here are a few topics on my mind which conflict with the suggestion:

  • If we're just starting to label the booster pass retros with its console counterpart then shouldn't we be doing this with all of the other retros? I know the answer would be no because no-one would want that, but it just seems to be a bit strange that we'd just start this now.

  • It would also be a couple letters longer if we did use consoles within the track abbreviation which is a bit nit-picky but is still worth bringing up. Example for SNES Mario Circuit 3 would be having to use SNESMC3 instead of bMC3.

  • If we didn’t need to use the console abbreviations or the b because the track didn’t have any other conflicts then even still it would be confused with the nitro tracks which could confuse newer players.

I understand that 48 tracks is a lot to ask for to make each track abbreviation unique, however I'm willing to risk that we'll still be able to come up with solutions for all of them. We might need some more tracks with secondary letters, but if it still keeps the consistency of what we've been doing for the past 7-8 years then I think it's worth a shot.

Small notes to keep in mind:

  • All SNES tracks are numbered apart from Rainbow Road which is already in the game so even if we have a bunch of Mario Circuit's or Bowser Castle's we can easily number them from 1-4 (MC1, BC2, GV3 and so on). This means that none of the tracks from SNES should clash with any other tracks.

    EDIT: Apologies I just realised that the Bowser's Castles are different to the first 1-3 tracks in GBA. A quick solution to this maybe would be to use S and G at the end to signify what game they belonged to? bBC2S and bBC2G could work but that's starting to look quite messy. Although this could be a bit of an issue I am quite confident that Nintendo won't add in tracks from GBA and SNES with the same name.

  • Come to think of it, if we really needed to we could use the numbers instead to identify what game the track belonged to. For example, if there's already an bBC and MK7 BC got announced then bBC7 wouldn't be a bad shout. I agree it does look a bit strange but I still think it's more suitable than typing out the console.
 
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Vike

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who cares this much
Personally I think it's important that we do settle on something soon, and the less confusing it is the easier it will be for new players in the community to learn them so I think it is important that we get them right.

The main reason I think it is important is that when playing with other people who speak your language you can always just use the name you see in-game, but if you are playing with people who speak different languages (say you speak English but your lounge partner speaks Japanese) and want to tell them what track to pick, it's going to be much easier if everyone is using the same standard acronyms than one of the players having to look up the correct translation of the track that they want. We created the track emojis in lounge to help make it easier to tell your partner what track you want, but we still need the acronym created to be able to choose what the emoji name should be.

In addition, these acronyms are used in many more contexts than just used for track-picking in game, they are used as shorthand when discussing the tracks when chatting, for the split names when doing speedruns, for bot commands when you want to keep track of what track is picked each race, to fit the track name inside tweets which have limited characters, and I also have a use for it in my time trial leaderboard sheets template since you have to type in the track name in one of the columns so you don't have to type in the full track name.
 

Vike

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I also think that using b as the prefix is not good for the long-term, we will end up having 48 tracks with the b prefix, while the other prefixes only cover 16 tracks. There are going to be way too many naming conflicts that we are going to have to keep coming up with unintuitive acronyms like bCMa just to say Coconut Mall.

I actually kinda like the sound of using the console names to differentiate them, but to keep it just a little shorter, what if we just turned every console into a one or two-letter prefix and had it lower cased? e.g.

- sn: SNES
- 64: Nintendo 64 (maybe we could make N64 a suffix instead of prefix)
- gb: Game Boy Advance
- gc: GameCube
- ds: Nintendo DS
- w: Nintendo Wii
- 3d: Nintendo 3DS (or we could make it a suffix of 7 since it is MK7)
- t: Mario Kart Tour (or should this be m for mobile?)

Then this would mean that the new 8 tracks could be tPP, 3dTC/TC7, 64CM/CM64, wCM, tTB, dsSR, gbSG, tNH
 

Vike

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Reposting this comment from amber as she isn't able to make an account right now
Screenshot_20220213-202637.png
 

Tymbuh

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To help see what we’re working with I’ve created a spreadsheet of all the possible abbreviations of each track to help identify which abbrevations are unique and which ones have the same:

Green means that abbreviation is unique and doesn’t share it with another track,
Yellow means that the abbreviation is the same, however the track names are different,
Red means that the track names and abbreviations are the same,
and Gray means that the track is already in MK8DX.

tMLhPHE.jpg

Notes for the table:

  • The green tracks won’t be a problem at all abbreviating and considering that the majority of these tracks are green then it’s looking promising that we won’t be dealing with too many abbreviation issues for the future.

  • The yellow tracks I don’t think should be a problem since the abbreviation can be fixed with the addition of a letter, similarly to how I proposed the bCMa and bCMo for Coconut Mall and Choco Mountain.

  • The red tracks are where the problems will start to rise. I’m hoping that we won’t come across two of these tracks with the same name, however if we do then I have a couple of ideas:

    Firstly, using the console abbreviations as a suffix to help identify the tracks could work (bBCw for Wii , bBCgc for GameCube), or we could use the generation number of the console instead which would be a lot more efficient and better looking personally (bLC4 for GameCube and bLC6 for Wii). The only issue with this is if for example we have the GameCube Bowser’s Castle as well as GBA Bowser Castle 4 in the Booster Pass then we’ve kind of shot ourselves in the foot and made two abbreviations which are the same.
I get that I’m bringing up many issues which wouldn’t be a problem at all if we resorted to having console abbreviations instead, I just think that it ruins the clean look abbreviations are supposed to have and instead of having a systematic way of organising the tracks (bSR, bNH, bCMa), it makes things disruptive and messy (dsSR, tNH, wCMa). Maybe I’m the only one who shares this opinion and it doesn’t bug other people as much as it bugs me, however I still think it’s worth mentioning it just to see if there’s anyone out there with a similar mindset.
 
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