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  • Modding: Basic And Advanced Tutorials


    funforfree99

    Please PM STomnibus if you have any questions about this article.

    Introduction

    I don't really have much to introduce. Basically this guide is all my own work it relates to the editing (modding) of the Maxis/EA game christened SimCity 4. Modding is basically a way of editing the current parameters of the game to something more unbalanced. (For example: a building can hold 500 people by default we can edit it to hold 5000 people.) The guide was inspired by the work of the Modd squad on the simtropolis site and contains details of how to copy some of their earliest modds. A key tool needed is the Ilive reader, which can be found in the modding section. Well that's enough information for just now have fun modding.

    Beginner Lessons

    Lesson 0 - How to back up simcity_1.dat

    Lesson 1 - Creating odinances that bring in 5000 per resident

    Lesson 2 - Here I present Fire/police station mods

    Lesson 3 - The modding of traffic system

    Lesson 4 - Water purification edits

    Lesson 5 - Landmark mods

    Lesson 6 - Park (open grass used as example) mod

    Lesson 7 - The airport modifications

    Lesson 8 - The school/Clinic mods

    Lesson 9 - Editing low wealth building numbers

    Lesson 10 - Modding the rest of the residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

    Advanced Lessons

    Modd tutorial advanced appendix A "An ordinance for unbalancing everything"

    Modd tutorial advanced appendix B "A copy of buggies old Modd (demand editing)"

    RalphaelNinja's Tutorial on Lot Descriptions and Lot Naming

    How to Change the Lot Name

    Finding an Unknown Property

    Finding Modd Inspiration and Planning a Modd

    Hexadecimal Lesson, oh joy

    How To Test

    Closing Statements

     

    Let's Start Modding

    Foreword: All these were created on the simtropolis web site as a means of adding new variety to the SimCity 4-computer game for the P.C. As yet they have not been tested on a Mac. I must stress now that all modding as done at your own risk and I am not held liable for any damages caused to your P.C., the game or your general will to live resulting from your usage of this guide. Good luck with the modding. - Funforfree99

    Lesson 0. First Thing's First: How to back up simcity_1.dat

    Find it in your program files and then maxis then simcity 4.

    copy the file to your desktop and leave it there.

    If anything goes wrong simply replace this file.

    Lesson 1. Creating ordinances that bring in 5000 per resident.

    Open your ilive reader and load simcity_1.dat

    Open the analyser click tree then search

    Find the plus sign beside ordinances and open it

    Search for the ordinance named smoke detectors

    Click it and in the data that appears on the left choose cost per resident double click this info line and edit the value that can be edited. ( a negative number means you are losing money for purpose of this lesson change it to 50000)

    While we are here lets also change the flamability rating. Find the line named % effect on flamabillity and change it. (1 = normal flamability 0= no flamability 100000=super flamability)

    Close analyser and save

    Test out the patch.

    Lesson 2. Here I present Fire/Police Station modds

    As detailed above get to examplar trees.

    Find the plus sign beside civic buildings and enter it.

    Find large fire (or large police) station and double click it

    Let's start with radius. Double click radius of effect and edit the value to 11111. clack apply and lets make this a strong radius.

    You should be able to find two other radius values (center and outer strength) simply edit these two to be equal (using of course your center valueas both)

    Now to add more trucks Be Warned This Could Crash Your Game If You Go Overboard With The Numbers!

    ind fire: trucks and change its value to 0x00000099

    Find no to dispatch and change its value to 0x99

    Apply all changes and save your file.

    Lesson 3. The modding of traffic systems.

    Usual start up. Get to the exemplar tree.

    Open the plus sign named simulator.

    Open exemplar traffic simulator (hard that).

    Considering that we have only worked with one value so far think of this as the next stage. Find the value named walk speed (road,rail etc)

    Open this and Take a guess at a good speed for people to walk at. repeat through all values.

    (Leave all values that are set at 0 to 0.)

    Move on to the next line car speed and repeat 5. Continue this for bus, truck, frieght pass rail and subway

    One more value to edit and that is capacity. Change these to adequat figures once again leaving 0's at 0

    Apply, save and test.

    Congrats another home made mod to go into your collection.

    Lesson 4. Water Purification edits.

    Get to examplar tree and find water.

    Choose water TREATMENT (not prurification) plant

    I think someone asked for how to remove the water it uses. So find water consumed and double click it and edit it to 0x00000000

    Apply and either save or edit water produced from 0x00000000 to 0x00004E20 to get 20000 units of water. (maybe)

    If you want to change price edit plop cost to 0x00000000000001F4 (price of wind plant)

    Quit and save then test

    Lesson 5 Landmark mods

    Get to examplar tree and find landmarks

    Find the empire state building and open it's details.

    Choose plop cost and edit it's value to 0x0000000000000096 ( thats §150) I would have to leave you to discover other values although 0x0000000000000001 MAY give it to you for §1.

    I'd also like to introduce at this point SFX sounds. Find sfx, query sound and edit the value so far I have found the following sounds

    0x2A8C9F38 american anthem (white house)

    0x4A55BA9D school sound

    0x6A62C900 fire sound

    0x8A4C6575 army base

    0x2A55BC25 movie sound

    There are many more these are simply examples.

    now find examplar Lm8x4_empirestatebld

    Here we should be able to find lot config property sizes and these can be edited to 0x01 and 0x01 (a 1 by 1 building)

    Apply, save, close and test the new mods.

    Warning: Don't try and put 1 by 1 buildings leaning over the edge of the map, the screen will just crash!

    As for the park (grass mod) to §2 this just gives locations and edits

    Lesson 6. Park (open grass used as example) mod

    examplar tree

    find park

    open grass area

    plop cost

    Edit to 0x0000000000000000 (free) (Why should you pay for grass?)

    save and test

    Not a particularly full tutorial but I was basically repeating myself. Have fun dudes and Ilive thanks for the compliment!

    Lesson 7. The airport modifications

    Get to examplar tree

    Find in park the value named airport international 1

    Go to the very bottom of this set and edit the value named lotconfigdoconstruction change the value from 0x01 to 0x00 (stops need for construction) This can be reversed in buildings that do not need construction i.e. The empire state building.

    This next stage I will need help with. In my original post I produced instructions to edit capacity however this just changes what we are told is the capacity when creating an airport. Any one going to tell me where I can find true info on this.

    Save close and test.

    Lesson 8. The school/Clinic mods

    From examplar tree we want to get to civic buildings

    Find large medical centre and find the value named capacity, user visible text.

    Open it and put in 0x00009999 repeat this for the other value that begins with patient cap.

    For any inquisitive types there is a radius to be increased (see above) and a new value named HQ boost (EQ if school building) This can be edited as high as you want health to go. Also find sfx, plop cost, and power and water consumed values both of which can be changed to 0x00000000.

    Save, quit and test

    Lesson 9. Editing low wealth building numbers.

    Get an examplar tree open

    Find residential §

    Within this find cute house

    In the values find residence or jobs a building ...

    Edit the second value to 0x00000099 (this gives around 143 people)

    Apply and save then test

    You will find my lessons beginning to thin slightly I expect you to know what am talking about now and so it is less necesary to go into detail. This mod only shows its true effect on new buildings.

    Lesson 10. Modding the rest of the residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

    Get to the examplar tree and find residential §§

    You should be able to find any house and then its number of residence (see other tutorial) there should be 4 values. We are only interested in the second from the top and the bottom values. The first value we are looking for (second from the top) gives the number of low wealth residents that live in the house. the other value (bottom) is how many medium wealth live in the building.

    Now we will move on to high wealth residential. As above find a house and then find the residence value. There will be 6 values once again we are only interested in the second, forth and sixth values. In the same order as above the second is low wealth residents, forth is medium and the final value is high wealth.

    All these ideas remain throughout commercial and industrial.

    Save all the changes, take a deep breath that you have finished the course, test, then wait for any extra tutorials that will appear here.

    Modding advanced appendices.

    This was my idea to have some fun after teaching all the skills in previous tutorials. They serve no use other than to give those who feel the need to work to higher skill levels something to do. They involve the adding of examplar and sometimes some general messing up of the code. Once again it isn't my fault if you badly screw up your computer or game with these. Good luck.

    Modd tutorial advanced appendix A "An ordinance for unbalancing everything"

    Get to the examplar tree and find an ordinance to edit. I am starting with clean air act.

    Edit the two existing properties (% on air pollution and % effect on ID demand) to 0 each

    Now to add more values if you right click in the value box you should see "add property" this is what we want so click on it and an editor window will appear. Simply choose the appropriate value in the top box for example find % effect on crime. And choose it. For this example just put in float as its type and click on the edit box. Enter 0. Click accept.

    Repeat the step above for any other values you feel necessary and use previous knowledge to edit its cost.

    Save close cross your fingers close your eyes and test.

    Modd tutorial advanced appendix B "A copy of buggies old Modd (demand editing)"

    Get to the examplar tree and find a civic building to become your modifier.

    Open its properties and add something like %effect on cs§§§

    Edit this to as many times as you want it multiplied by.

    Save test and leave comments for me.

    RalphaelNinja's Tutorial on Lot Descriptions and Lot Naming

    You will need ilive's Reader program (available from the Mods Download Section at Simtropolis).

    Create a txt file using notepad (don't use wordpad or word as it creates weird chars) and type in your description. save.

    Start up the reader program

    Click on Open and navigate to the My DocumentsSimcity 4Plugins directory

    Changes "files of type" to "All Files (*.*) You should be able to see <your new lot name_xxxx>.SC4Lot file.

    Select your lot and click on Open

    Click on the "Fill the list" and the left panel will show the files that are part of this lot file.

    On a blank area on the left panel, right click and select insert file

    Find the text file that you wish to insert, you can use my xa.txt as an example.

    Once you have selected a text file, it will prompt you for file type. Select XA file and click OK

    If prompted, No entry selected. Append to end? answer yes

    Highlight the new unknown XA file and on the menu bar on top you can find "File". Click on "File" and a panel called "File Info" will pop up showing Entry ID (mem) of 20269608 00000000 00000000.

    Click Edit and follow the instruction below.

    Type <leave at 2026960b>

    Group <random # consisting of 0-9 and A-F up to 8 chars> so ABCDEF01 is valid

    Instance <random # consisting of 0-9 and A-F up to 8 chars> so ABCDEF01 is valid

    Write down all three numbers as you will need them for your description key

    Click okay

    Select an exemplar file (there are usually two of them) and look for "Exemplar Name" on the right panel.

    Find description key and double click on it

    Enter the same address as you created above in the same order. Type, Group and Instance. Click Apply once you are done.

    Now Click on save. then click on [x] to get out of the reader program.

    How to Change the Lot Name

    You will need ilive's Reader program (available from the Mods Download Section at Simtropolis).

    Start up the Reader program

    Click on Open and navigate to the My DocumentsSimcity 4Plugins directory

    Changes "files of type" to "All Files (*.*) You should be able to see <your new lot name_xxxx>.SC4Lot file.

    Select your lot and click on Open

    Click on the "Fill the list" and the left panel will show the files that are part of this lot file.

    Select an exemplar file (there are usually two of them) and look for "Exemplar Name" on the right panel. If you are using the Blank Lot, you should also see "<Type your Name Here>" in the Exemplar Name field. If you cannot find Exemplar Name (3rd line from the top), check the other exemplar file.

    Using Reader 5.4 or higher, you should be able to double click on the Exemplar Name (right panel) which pops up Property: <Type your Name Here>

    Click once on the text string under Values to overtype the string (it should be highlighted). If you begin typing now, the name will be overwritten with whatever you type. If you click on the field again, it should prompt you with a cursor allowing you to edit the name string. Type in your new Lot name.

    Click Apply

    If you are not using the blank lot, you will need to zero out one more value in your lot in order to make the name appear in SC4. Look for the name "User Visible Name Key" and double click. There are 3 fields in here. Simply click on each one and type 0. What you are doing is actually cancelling out the pointer to a name string text file. Click Apply.

    Now Click on save. then click on [x] to get out of the reader program.

    Finding an Unknown Property.

    Load up your reader and go to the exemplar analyser, look through a header you are interested in, for exmaple civic buildings. look through the propertys for one named unknown.

    Try to see if you can notice the value as a feature in game (write down this value at this point)

    Edit it dramatically (easier to see a change), and save as a patch (.dat format) for ease of removal if there is a problem with the game.

    Load up your game and test the feature you think you have edited.

    If you were correct (the feature was changed) repeat steps 3 and 4 for other values, checking them all then goto 5. If you were wrong return to step 2 and try again.

    Step 5, post the new propertys number (found underneath property name) on the all the exemplar propertys the reader knows

    I guess I should add something here. You should really add a step in here somewhere somehow. I say this because a number of properties exist in more than one exemplar file, and it is for this reason that when looking at an Unknown property, one must also be aware of any other Exemplar files that contain this unknown property.

    So if you wanted to know what (other) Exemplar file(s) contained an Unknown property: (in the Exemplar Analyser window) copy the Property value down (this will be the hex value in the "Name Value" column). Then press the Left Prop button and select the ##Unknown## item near the top of the drop down menu; and then enter the Property value in the value box, and click find and it will bring up all the Exemplar files containing this same property, and show the properties' associated value. You can also edit any of these file(s) properties in this (Left) Prop window.

    Thanks to Tropod for adding this!

    Finding Modd Inspiration and Planning a Modd.

    Think of the type of modd you are trying to create, for example; bug fix, unrealistic (cheat), balance modd, llama division style modd (my division, for fun, unnessacary modds), or lot modd

    Think of what you are wanting this modd to do, what features it needs, what it should do in game, what features it has/will have, what values will need to be changed.

    Begin looking through threads for any help, or previously created modds you can look through in order to help you along.

    Sit down and prepare top create your modds, keep your plan nearby and try to keep to it.

    Create and test your modds, then you can make your own thread, if you are changing multiple values (like in the venice modd) test 1 edit before you sift through 100 to find a problem.

    Remember modding should be fun!

    Hexadecimal Lesson, oh joy

    Hexadecimal is a form of counting that uses base 16 (we use decimal (a base ten system), from decem latin word for ten (although number systems also have routes in greek)anyway back to topic...) base ten uses ten symbols as numbers

    0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (the numbers from 0-9)

    base 16 uses 16 symbols

    0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E,F (base 16 counting from 0-15)

    in base 16:

    A is equal to 10

    B, 11

    C, 12

    D, 13

    E, 14

    F, 15

    10 is 16

    15, 21

    20, 32

    to work a number out in hexadecimal:

    (from hex to decimal) go to collums as so:

    -->( /16) -->(/16) --> (/16)

    4096's 256's 16's units

    (*16)<-- (*16)<-- (*16)<--

    (In above diagram: to calculate you collum header take the previous one and multiply by 16)

    If in hexadecimal you have the number FF you have F 16's and F units (for FFFF F 4096's F 256's F 16's and F units)

    Start by multiplying your 16's collum by the number in it (F translates to 15) 16 * 15 = 240

    Then add your units (F units(F = 15) 240 + 15 = 255

    FF = 255

    for FFFF:

    4096 * 15 = 61440

    256 * 15 = 3840

    16 * 15 = 240

    1 * 15 = 15

    ______

    total = 65535

    Now did that make any sense? here is a list of numbers in base 16 up to 20

    0=0, 1=1, 2=2, 3=3, 4=4, 5=5, 6=6, 7=7, 8=8, 9=9, A=10, B=11, C=12, D=13, E=14, F=15, 10=16, 11=17, 12=18 13=19, 14=20

    This is my longest and most comprehensive lesson so far, be sure to PM me with any mistakes you find so that I may correct this work. Thankyou. Also for those not interested inb this theory stuff there are quick ways like using windows calculator

    How To Test

    This I feel is necessary as I am constantly asking for people to test the mods that they have created. I would ask you to create a simple test city (small size) with nothing more than a few blocks of residential connected by a long road to a few blocks of industrial. These can be powered by wind power plants. Save this city just the once and be prepared to keep adding to it.

    When actually adding features keep them close to both areas and query them to test capacity. If they provide additional features (like dispatch) test these.

    Quit without saving and make any changes you feel necessary. Repeat whenever you have changed something in the game

    Closing statement

    Feel free to distribute this throughout any sites as long as it contains the following statement:

    " This guide is not endorsed or franchised by Maxis E/A or any affiliates of the company. The guide is all the work of funforfree99 and originated at www.simtropolis.com Ilive reader was created by Ilive."

    Thank you and goodbye.

    Funforfree99

    Modd tutorial guides writer.

    Please PM STomnibus if you have any questions about this article.


    jason leo likes this


    User Feedback


    clarelvsroxy

    Posted

    I mod the Sims 2 & 3 as well all this stuff is a walk in the the park compared to modding those games. Don't complain that this is too hard :)

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    Sven Boogie

    Posted

    If I modify simcity_1.dat in any way, it causes the game to simply crash to desktop on startup...

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    xtrasyn

    Posted

    yeah same here. Any change will kill it. Even very very conservative ones (from -0.005 to 0.006 for example).

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    Blindplague

    Posted

    I tried to follow this, and around Lesson 9, I couldn't find anything that was being edited. Like I can find the cute house, but the numbers that you want me to edit do not exist in the format you have set to edit them with. So when I do input what you have, it sets the property to 0 instead of the 143 people you said it would give. I know I did it right, I just copy and pasted.

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    jtsmith

    Posted

    If I modify simcity_1.dat in any way, it causes the game to simply crash to desktop on startup...

    I had this issue but here's what I did wrong. When you launch iLive, you get the option at the left (I'm using v1.4) bottom that shows:

    Loaded DAT

    Simcity DAT

    Lot Editor DAT

    Plugins

    If you click the "Simcity DAT" and open the "simcity_1.dat" from it's list, make changes to the file, save it, then launch the game, you will crash the game every time.

    Replace the file with it's original (the one the OP told us to save a backup of) then relaunch the game to ensure it works.

    Go back into iLive reader and instead of loading it like above, in the top left corner click the "Open" folder and locate the "SimCity_1.dat" file directly from your maxis folder. Edit it, then test. You should not crash again (at least not for just altering minor things.)

    I'm not quite sure what the difference is but I'm thinking the "simcity_1.DAT" file which iLive reader allows you to open from it's list is a pre-populated DAT file from an older verson of SC4 which contains different information that our current DAT files. This is just my guess but making this switch on opening the file has worked for me every time.

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    Volver

    Posted

    I tried to follow this, and around Lesson 9, I couldn't find anything that was being edited. Like I can find the cute house, but the numbers that you want me to edit do not exist in the format you have set to edit them with. So when I do input what you have, it sets the property to 0 instead of the 143 people you said it would give. I know I did it right, I just copy and pasted.

     

    After editing the capacity, did you press the apply button to the right of the dialog box before closing out of the property window? I had to press them both to save the changes - it wouldn't stick when only using the one at the bottom that closes the window.

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