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  1. MeMyself&I liked an article by rsc204, Slope Mods: A Brief Guide   
    I was asked about slope mods by Dreadnought today. Halfway through replying to a PM, I realised this would be better posted here for all to see. If anyone can think of something I've missed, I'd be happy to consider it's inclusion at some point. For now though, this will just cover some of the basics.

    What is a Slope Mod?
    A slope mod just adjusts the allowable slopes, at an individual network level. What does that mean?...
    Without any additional mods, if you have a big hill and draw a network, the game has a default setting for the maximum slope of each network. Maxis deliberately made this pretty unrestrictive, for ease of play. If you want to create more realistic looking cities, especially with hilly terrain, you will probably want to install a mod that adjusts the default slopes, making them more restrictive. This will help to avoid the bumpy uneven roads, that are very common when playing without such a mod.
    Each network in the game has it's own settings, that dictate how steep the slopes can be when dragging that network. These networks are:
    Street Road OWR (One Way Road) Avenue Maxis Highway Rail Elevated Rail Monorail Dirt Road (RealHighway [RHW]). It should be noted that override networks do not have separate settings. So for example, if you are using the Network Widening Mod (NWM) or Street Addon Mod (SAM), which are overrides of the Road and Street networks respectively, they will use the same settings as the base network.
    Dirt Road is so called, because it was an additional unused network left in the game's code. Whilst it has been repurposed by the NAM team to be used for the RHW mod, technically it's the Dirt Road network. From here on in, I will refer to dirt road as RHW, for the sake of clarity.
     
    A Slope Mod sounds just up my street...
     
    Hopefully if you've made it here, you'll be thinking right now about installing a slope mod. As always with mods for SC4, there are far too many options out there to go into every one in excruciating detail. They all do pretty much the same thing, but there are two important factors you should consider when selecting one.
     
    What networks does the mod support/change. How restrictive is the slope.  
    For example, you may decide you only want to have restricted slopes for some of the supported networks. So if a mod bundles everything together in one DAT, unless you know how to remove those you do not want, (really not very hard, even though it does require the Reader), you should be mindful of this.
     
    A very restrictive slope mod will totally transform how you build and terraform in game. Whereas a very unrestrictive mod, could end up looking like the vanilla experience. If you are new to slope mods, then it's probably best to try a few out and get a feel for how they affect things. Especially before you start using one in a cherished region. For example, a really restrictive slope can mean a 15m height difference, would take something in the region of a whole large tile for the slope. Obviously that's an extreme example, most of them are much more balanced for general play.
     
    For the purposes of this tutorial, I'm going to show the three mods I'm using:
     
    BRF's Tunnel and Slope Mod RHW Slope Mod BTM Slope Mod  

     
    And here is a comparison shot, to give you an example of how these changes affect your slopes. Each of the networks in this picture are transitioning from a 15m high hill. Even with the slope mod by BRF, the street network takes only three tiles or 48m to descend by 15m. For math aficionados, that's a slope of around 1:3. This is pretty steep, but probably not completely unrealistic in some places. The road takes 4 tiles or 60m by comparison, which is 1:4. As you can see, I've cunningly laid these out from bottom to top, in the order of the slopes gradients. From steepest, to the shallowest slope. If you are still wondering why you need a slope mod, this picture should hopefully show you how much nicer your slopes can be.
     
    Note: I've used Rail stubs to indicate the first three tiles that are at ground level for each network. I've also used PedMalls to help see the slopes better. As you can see, rail has the most restrictive slope of all, so much so, even with my fairly reasonable grades, it doesn't fit in the screenshot.
     
    Using your slope mods more flexibly
     
    Whilst you could have multiple slope mods for a number of different situations, that's quite a complex setup and requires you to close SC4 and move files about. Let's say I want a road to have a slope similar to that of the El-Rail network shown above. Rather than switch to a slope mod permanently with those settings, there is an easier way. Just use the El-Rail tool to draw the slope first, delete it and drag the road down your nice new slope. Using the above picture as reference, you can do this for any network which appears lower down the screenshot, than the slope you require. To put that another way, if you made a slope using the Avenue tool, but then wanted to use it for the Rail network, this would not work. Since the rail network is more restrictive. Using this setup though, you can have quite a bit of flexibility for a number of networks. Note how the Rail networks, including Monorail and Elevated Rail, have the most restrictive slopes of all. That makes a lot of sense when you think about it, since in real life, the gradients they are able to support are much less than cars and other traffic are able to deal with.
     
    Some final hints and tips
    Sim City 4 can be unforgiving at times, it's all too easy when making other changes, for your hard work creating slopes to become unravelled. Just as I have shown above, using PedMalls next to the slope, will lock-in the slope, making it impossible for development and other networks to alter them further.
    Of course, if you wanted a junction halfway down the slope, that now be impossible too. Here's where some planning really comes in handy. Using the four steps shown on the right, you can easily form intersections as part of your slopes.
    Drag the initial slope, here I am using the El-Rail tool for the slope. I have placed pedmalls and used a rail stub to completely flatten the tile where the junction will be. Now you can continue to drag your slope, in this case in two directions, from the stub. I've placed the pedmalls here before I built the road. As you can see, the slopes are working very well. Lastly, I've dragged the street tool, anything with a less restrictive slope would do, parallel to the new road. This makes the surrounding tiles match the slope used for the road. This is useful if you want to zone next to the road, or sometimes for blending into the terrain better. Note: I have not dragged next to the road junction, a gap of one tile must be left here. Because I've used pedmall to lock-in the slope, there would be no danger of messing up our hard work. But if the pedmalls were not present, dragging either of the parallel streets closer to each other, might mean you'd have to start over.
    Another useful thing to know, when zoning next to slopes, the game can actually alter the slope of the transit network. Either when zoning or when buildings develop. Often this is quite undesirable, but there is a way to avoid it. By holding the CTRL key when zoning, the game knows not to change the slopes in either scenario. It does require some thinking about how you zone each area, but is a very handy way to stop the game messing up all our hard work, to keep slopes looking good.
    If you make a partial slope, you can then level off areas using "stubs" as required. Stubs are made by clicking only once with the network tools, such as the Street, Road or Rail, in each tile. As opposed to connecting or drawing them in a line. I prefer to use rail stubs myself, because they do not feature auto-connect. This can catch you out on occasion, causing problems, especially when using the RHW or Streets tool.
    Leave these stubs in place whilst you are building your slopes, to incorporate many different things, that might otherwise look undesirable on uneven terrain. This can be especially useful for incorporating WRC's, TE connections and many other possibilities into your slopes.
  2. daderic888 liked an article by rsc204, Instalation and Configuration of the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod   
    Introduction
    What is the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod, and why do I want it?
    Well at it's core, this mod is smartly designed to add your sidewalk onto many of the NAM puzzle pieces that without it would remain bare, or show the default Maxis White sidewalks. Support includes many features of the NAM, such as PedMalls, FLUPs, WRCs, Overpasses and much more besides. Additionally, it features many custom options that transform the general appearance of NAM features. Many of the components of the mod have different options for you to set things up just how you want them. Although recent developments have helped to avoid baked-in sidewalk textures in the NAM, this mod is still phenomenally useful for covering the legacy pieces many of us still use. As such, it's still relevant, plus in my opinion, one of the must have mods for everyone.
    PART I - Installing the Basic Mod
    In this first part I'm going to explain how to install the base of the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod. In subsequent parts, I will expand this to cover every option that is available. If you don't want or need a specific Add-On, then just skip that part of the tutorial. But keep what you do install in the same order listed here, to ensure you don't run into problems.
     
    So first off you will need to download the file "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip" from here. Please rename this file "01_NAMFaceLiftBaseMod.zip" either before downloading or after you have done so. This is very important since many of the different Add-Ons for this pack have the same filename, so do this now and you'll avoid any problems later. This part of the Japanese Facelift serves as the base part of the mod, and will add your sidewalk texture onto the Wide Radius Curves (WRC) and Fractionally Angled Road (FAR) puzzle pieces (all found in the Roads Menu). Although technically it seems you can get away without using this part of the NAM FaceLift Mod, I would recommend everyone using the mod starts here, especially considering how much nicer WRC and FAR looks compared to the original bare curves.
    Before we install this mod, it is very important that we are able to test it in a simple environment, so that any problems can be tracked down easily. In short, the best practice would be to remove all the files/folders in your Plugins, with the exception of the "Network Addon Mod", "z___Nam", and your chosen sidewalk mod's folders. Move them somewhere safe where you can find them later, you now have a test setup, it should look like this:

    Temporarily moved items are shown on the left, the current Plugins folder is shown on the right.
    Note: When running SC4 with a test setup it is recommended to play in a new, blank region.
    Now open the .zip file from earlier (double click the .zip file), where you will find a folder called "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod", you need to copy this folder into your
    "My Documents\SimCity 4\Plugins" directory. Rename this folder "z____NAMFacelift" it is very important to use at least 4 underscores " _ " to ensure this mod loads after the NAM. Otherwise some of the pieces will not work as expected.
    Note: Previous versions of the NAM worked differently, using a lot of zzzs or a z# numbering system will NO LONGER WORK.
    Open your newly renamed folder and you should find 4 folders, "Props", "Readme", "Textures" and "WideRadiusCurves". Open the readme (inside its folder), and find the section "Usage". From here you need to choose which of the Wide Curve styles you would like this mod to use. Open the Props folder: You can remove "Side walk style Add on.dat" and "Side walk style.dat" ONLY if you are going to use the Overall Pavement Style option, Otherwise keep all the files inside. At this point I can also recommend installing the patch "Overall Pavement Style Fix.zip" attached to this tutorial. It fixes a display issue in Z3 which causes parts of the sidewalk to look brighter than they should. Just place this file in the Props folder, and it will work correctly. In the "WideRadiusCurves" folder keep the folder "Common". Then remove the three Wide Curve folders, that are named after the sidewalk styles you are NOT intending to use.
      Note: If your sims drive on the Right in-game, you MUST remove two files both named "zFractional Angle Road-Straight over rail LH.dat". One is located in the "Common" / "Road" folder, the other is found in whichever WideRadius folder you kept installed.
    My advice for removing such additional files during this mods installation, is to delete the files you do not need. You will have the originals in the .zip file you downloaded, should you ever want to change options. Therefore it is easier to test various options in-game (move the folders you are not using temporarily), and decide on what to use before continuing. Remember to test in a new city/region and with the "test setup" explained earlier. At this point, if everything is working then the WRCs & FAR pieces should all have sidewalks that match your sidewalk mod like so:
       
    Note: You may need to zone next to such pieces before the sidewalks appear.
    For some reason it seems that one piece, the Diagonal to FAR Avenue, seems not to be supported by this mod. Support for them is provided by my soon to be released SWN (Sidewalk NAM) mod.
     
    PART II - Overpasses
    The link for the three mods discussed in this part can be found on this page.
    There are many different options to make this set compatible with a number of other (mainly Japanese Mods). To start, I'll quickly go through them:
    z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (02_NAMFaceliftOverpasses.zip)
    This is the base set that adds the new style overpasses, it will also change the white bases to match your sidewalk mod. Other_Mod.zip (03_NAMFaceliftOverpassOptions.zip)
    This file contains options for users of certain mods, see section 2 for more details. Neko_Overpass_AddOn_Lot.zip (04_NAMFaceliftOverpassNekoParking.zip)
    This file contains four new ramps, and some pieces with under bridge car parks for the 7.5m Overpasses. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above, otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - Main Overpass Mod
    Open the file we renamed to "02_NAMFaceLiftOverpass", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in the last lesson "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. If this is done correctly, you will see a message pop up asking you if you want to merge/overwrite files or folders. This is perfectly safe to do, as the mod was designed to work in this way. Each separate package that contains the same textures/props has them included, so if we overwrite files here, we will only be left with one of each. So tell Windows it is OK to do this for every occurrence of the message. To save time you could tick "Do this for all current items" in Windows 7/newer. When finished, both readmes will be in one convenient location, all you need to do is select a few options. Open the "Overpass" / "T21" folder where there are four further folders:
     Select_GuardRail - Remove the file "zGuardRailProps.dat" if you do NOT want white gaurdrails on the road edge of Overpasses.  Select Pavement - There are three options:       "noBlankLotPavement.dat" - Tiles under overpasses always remain transparent.       "noTransoirtLotPavement.dat" - Show Sidewalks under overpasses, except for where transit networks cross.       "zOverallPavement.dat" - Show sidewalks under overpasses and where transit networks cross.
          Keep ONLY ONE of these files.  Select SecurityFence - Remove the file "zSecurityFence_Props.dat", if you do NOT want security fences on the bottom edge of Overpasses.  Select Streetlight - Pick the streetlight colour for your overpasses, by removing all the ones you do not want to use. 2 - Overpass Option
    Due to the complexity of some of the mods here, I will only briefly explain what each one is and how to install them.
    Open the file we renamed to "03_NAMFaceliftOverpassOption.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in the first lesson, "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder.
    Note: Re-start at this point after installing each mod, if installing more than one.
    Japanese Signal Mod
    If you have this mod installed, which makes the stoplights appear on the left at junctions, this Add-On will add those same stoplights to the intersection pieces of your overpasses.
    To install open "Overpass" / "T21" / "Full" in both the extracted files window and also the Plugins windows. Copy the folder "zz_JapaneseSignal" into your plugins. Japanese Sidewalk Mod2
    For users of this mod, this will change the Overpasses to blend in better.
    To install open "Overpass" / "T21" / "Full" in both the extracted files window and also the Plugins windows. Copy the folder "zzzJpn_SideWalk_Mod2" into your plugins. The following three mods by Moonlight should only be installed, if you have the respective NAM features also (see image below):

    ML Shinkansen Mod (NAM Feature)
    If you installed the Bullet Train Mod (1) then you should install this Add-On. ML El Rail Mod 2013 (NAM Feature)
    If you are using ML's Alternate El Rail (3) then you should install this Add-On. ML Jap Canal (second download button on page).
    If you have installed Moonlights Canal Set, this will update the CAN-AM mod, so that the canal overpasses are replaced with models matching the ML Canals. Note: You need to also have the CAN-AM (2) installed for this to work.
    To install these mods by Moonlight, open the "OverPass" folder in both windows, then copy the folder "z_zMLModFile" into your plugins. Open the newly copied folder and remove any of the three options that you do NOT want installed.
    Note: All of the above add-ons only make sense if you have installed the respective mod. If you have not, these features may not work, or worse, cause problems with your game.
    3 - Neko 7.5m Ramps and Parking Add-On
     
    Open the file we renamed to "04_NAMFaceliftOverpassNekoParking" and simply copy the folder "Neko_Overpass_Addon_Lot" into the "z____NAMFacelift" folder in your plugins.
    Note: This download requires the following additional dependency, Jim CarProp Pack 1.2
    These items will appear in your Misc. Transit menu in-game, here is a brief guide on how to use them:
    Road 7.5m Parking
    Draw the network using the NAM 7.5m Road Overpasses FIRST. The 3 parking lots can be simply placed on existing sections of the overpass. You must then draw a line through the parking lots with the Road Tool. Road 7.5m Ramps
    To connect the ramps, the higher part should overlap an existing section of 7.5m overpass, push the piece as far as it will go into the overpass and click to place. Draw road into the ramp as far as you can. Avenue 7.5m Parking
    The Carpark lots are the same as the road lots, just use the Avenue tool to drag through them instead. For 2-tile parking just click once, no dragging needed. Avenue 7.5m Ramps
    To connect the Ramps is tricky, build the avenues so that you've got the overpasses on one side and an avenue on the other, with a big enough gap for the ramp you wish to use. If you can't plop it, keep removing one avenue tile at a time and try again. Once it's in place, connect up with One Way Road, NOT the Avenue tool, on both sides of the road. Note:
    These OWR's must be in the correct direction of traffic. You can not plop the parking lots next to each other or a ramp, there must always be at least one tile of space separating them, or traffic will be prevented from using the overpass. You can open the pictures in the installed folder, these can help you understand these instructions with visual clues.  
    PART III - FLUPs and Pedmalls
    In this part we will cover three more mods that will add your sidewalks to the FLUPs and PEDMALL pieces from the NAM. The three mods listed in the tutorial can be found on this page:
    z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (05_NAMFaceliftFLUPs.zip)
    This Add-On will update your FLUPs to match your sidewalk. z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (06_NAMFaceliftPedmall.zip)
    This mod adds a variety of different pedmall styles. z_zNAM_PedBridge_Chg_JPN_Mod.zip (07_NAMFaceliftPedbridge.zip)
    This mod contains replacement pedmall bridges. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above. Otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - FLUPS
     
    Open the file we renamed to "05_NAMFaceliftFLUPs.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. If this is done correctly, you will see a message pop up asking you if you want to merge/overwrite files or folders. As before, you should overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods. All you need to do is select the correct road textures. Open the "FLUPs" / "Road" folder. If you use US Road Textures, remove the file "zRoadTexturesEuro.dat" from here.
     
    That's it, you are done, so open SC4 and test your results. Remember to also check the Tram FLUPs, which are in the Misc. Transport Menu. As usual, you may need to zone before sidewalks appear.
      
    2- PedMalls
     
    In your Road Menu, there is an item named "Pedestrian Mall Tiles". Here are a number of single-tile pieces, that can be placed together to form a pedestrian-enabled walkway. Further information on the usage and limitations of which, are provided in the NAM documentation.
    This mod will make the first two of these Pedmalls match your Sidewalk. It will additionally replace the light pole pedmall, with a more flexible piece. Every time you plop one, one of over 20 possibilities is chosen at random. If you move away from the tile after placing such a pedmall, then return to the same spot and click once more, you can cycle through the options.
    Open the file we renamed to "06_NAMFaceliftPedmall.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. As in previous parts, overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods and you are ready to go and test the results. 
    Note:
    Due to the way Pedmalls are designed, if the wealth of surrounding buildings change, then any adjacent pedmalls will change design. If you want to try a different set of Pedmalls, check out Paeng's alternate version (Add On). 3 - PedBridges
    As part of the NAM pedmalls, there are some bridges included. This mod will replace those with more attractive bridges for Roads, Streets, OWR, Rail and Avenue. In case you were wondering, after selecting the Pedestrian Mall Tiles, just keep pressing the TAB key and these bridges will eventually appear.
    Open the file we renamed to "07_NAMFaceliftPedbride.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 2 folders and the 5 dat files from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder. As in previous parts, overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished, the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods and you are ready to go and test the results. 
    Note:
    The included props for this set, are essential to it's correct operation. Just as with the PedMalls set, you can re-click to get different bridge designs. Once more though, they change if the wealth of surrounding buildings do. There is an additional Mod by Magneto, here (find the attached file  "z_ped_overpasses_signs_cancel.zip"), to remove the road signs if you dislike them.  
    PART IV - SAM and Rail Optional Mods
    Two optional mods for SAM streets and your Railway network will be covered in this part, you can download these mods here. 
    Note: The first two mods for GLR listed on this page, will be covered in the next part of this tutorial.
    z_SAM_NoGrass_Mod.zip (08_NAMFaceliftSAMNoGrass.zip)
    This Add-On will change the grass textures of 4 of the SAM sets to Sidewalks. z_Alternate_Railway_Mod_Add_On.zip (09_NAMFaceliftAltRail.zip)
    This Add-On is for users of the PEG Railway Mod, and adds a similar texture to WRC and FAR pieces. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - SAM No Grass Mod
     
    Open the file we renamed to "08_NAMFaceliftSAMNoGrass.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_SAM_NoGrass_Mod" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod does not function like previous mods and needs to be given it's own folder. You should not see any messages relating to duplicate folders, if you have done it correctly.
    Inside the folder you just moved, will be 5 further folders:
       Readme    SAM2    SAM7    SAM8    SAM9 This mod will make every tile of SAM2, 7, 8 and 9 show full sidewalks without any grass. Remove the folders for those SAM types you do NOT want to be changed. You can of course keep all 4 if you wish. You can now test your results, as that's everything we need to do here.
    Note: If you use the US road textures, you will need to enter each SAM folder and delete the file "zSAM*_NoGrass_Euro_Textures.dat". Where * is the SAM network type.

    2 - Alternate Railway Mod
    This mod will add textures in the style of PEG's Alternate Railway Mod, for STR, FAR and WRC rail curves,
    Open the file we renamed to "09_NAMFaceliftAltRail.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_Alternate_Railway_Mod_Add_On" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: Once again this mod needs it's own subfolder, so don't overwrite anything.
    Folders "STR" and "WideRadiusCurves" contain the STR and WRC/FAR textures respectively. Remove either if you don't need them.
    The folder "FLUPs" contains transparent FLUPs for PEG's Rail Mod. However, the NAM FLUP models do not support transparency, causing the water bug to be triggered. If you wish to use this feature, just install the attached patch "FLUPs Transparency Fix" in the same folder. Otherwise simply delete the "FLUPs" folder.
    Simple as that, you should now have nice textures on your rail curves and FAR sections.
    Note: An additional MOD created by Ebina, will also add matching rail textures where rail goes under Overpasses. You can download this from here (AlternateRail_EPOverpasses_v201a.zip), it says outdated, but it works just fine.
     
    PART V - GLR/GLR Options
    This mod changes all your GLR, including Tram in Avenue, Tram in Road and Tram in Street to have SMP Sandstone Sidewalks. Users of other sidewalk mods may also find that a warmer sandstone for their GLR network, is preferable to the original Maxis white.
     
    You can download these GLR mods here. 
    Note: The third and forth links on this page were covered in part IV above.
    z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod.zip (10_NAMFaceliftGLR.zip)
    This Add-On will add Sandstone sidewalks to the GLR Networks. Opstion.zip (11_NAMFaceliftGLROption.zip)
    Contains two alternate options for the above GLR Mod. 
      Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above, otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - GLR
    Open the file we renamed to "10_NAMFaceliftGLR.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod" from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod does not function like previous mods, and needs to be given it's own folder, you should not see any messages relating to duplicate folders if you have done it correctly.
    Inside the folder you just moved will be 4 further folders.
       Corefile    Readme    zEuroTextures    zzLeft_Hand_Version Users of the Euro Textures where sims drive on the left do not need to do anything further. 
    Note:
    If you use the US road textures and sims drive on the right, you will need to delete two folders, "zEuroTextures" and "zzLeft_Hand_Version". Users of Euro Textures where sims drive on the right should remove just the "zzLeft_Hand_Version". Finally users of US textures, but where sims drive on the left, need to remove the folder "zEuroTextures". Then enter the "zzLeft_Hand_Version" folder and remove an additional folder named "zEuroTextures". You can now test your results as that's everything we need to do here.
    Note: This mod will not replace many of the diagonal Tram in Avenue pieces, you may also find there are a couple of other (mainly tram in road) pieces, that will remain white too.
    2 - GLR Options
    There are two options for the GLR Mod, one which changes the street intersections of the Dragable tram to SAM 8 textures. The other adds a complete sidewalk to the tram loops, rather than the original rails with transparent bases.
    Open the file we renamed to " 11_NAMFaceliftGLROption.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod is part of the above GLR mod, and the folder you copy should be merged with it's original.
    Open the folder we just moved there are two files inside, you can remove either if you only want to use one of these mods.
     
    And that's pretty much all there is to it *phew*. Bear in mind this is a modified copy of the tutorial I originally posted on SimPeg. Since that was lost with it's demise, I wanted to finally bring it over to ST, so that new users would be able to get this essential mod working. I try to keep my tutorials up-to date, so if you notice missing images or broken links, please send me a PM and I'll fix them where possible.
    MGB.
     
    Fixes outlined above are available here:
    Overall Pavement Style Fix.zip
    NAM Transparent Rail FLUPs Patch.zip
  3. Cyclone Boom liked an article by rsc204, Alter the driving side (LHD-RHD / RHD-LHD) of SC4/NAM   
    Please note: This Tutorial is currently a WIP (Work in Progress). Please bear with me whilst I get things fully completed.
    RHD and LHD Explained
    I figure before getting into this, it might be useful to explain just what the heck we're talking about, eh?

    RHD - Right Hand Drive
    Where traffic drives on the right hand side of the road.
    Usually this is the default setting for users in the US, Canada, Continental Europe and most of the world. LHD - Left Hand Drive
    Where traffic drives on the left hand side of the road.
    This setup is suitable for the UK, Japan, Australia and other countries where drivers use the left side of the road.
       
    How to Switch Driving Side for SC4
    CD Versions:
    Choose US English during install for a RHD Game Choose UK English during install for a LHD Game Note: If you do not have these options (not all discs support all regions), you may want to try the alternate method below.
    Digital Versions (Alternate Method for CD users also):
    Switching from RHD to LHD:
    Find the install directory, where you should have a subfolder "English". Make a copy of this folder, then rename it to "UKEnglsh".
    Note: there is no typo here, you need to omit the "i" in English.
    Then find your SC4 Shortcut, right click, select properties and add the following to the end of the target line "-l:"UK English".
    Switching from LHD to RHD:
    Find the install directory, where you should have a subfolder "UKEnglsh". Make a copy of this folder, then rename it to "English".
    Then find your SC4 Shortcut, right click, select properties and add the following to the end of the target line "-l:"English".
    Important Info for Steam/Origin Users:
    To find the shortcut for Steam versions, you must alter this in the Steam Client as follows:
    Find SC4 in your Steam Library. Right click and select properties. Click "Set Launch Options". To alter the shortcut for Origin versions:
     <To be updated>
    What if I don't have either an English or UKEnglsh Folder?
    This is totally possible and not a problem. What exactly is inside these folders? Simply just locale files, i.e. the localised or translated text of your installation choices. So if you have a folder for example Spanish, you can still copy that to another named either English or UKEnglsh, this procedure will still work and you'll even still see the Spanish text in game.
    In short, if you install a country that is supported, which uses either LHD or RHD, the game will mirror that. So if you installed a Japanese version of SC4, it would already be LHD. But if you want to change it, SC4 needs to see a locale file in a directory it expects to find. Therefore I've used English and UKEnglsh here as examples. But others will work too. The key point is that the folder exists with a locale file present that supports your choice of RHD or LHD play. Whichever language locale file you install in this folder, will be the language the game displays.
    For directories other than English or UKEnglsh to work, the target switch must be altered from "-l:"English", to the equivalent language. For details of other available languages, see here.
    Bear in mind here, not all versions include all locale files. So you may wish to play with Japanese Text, but without the locale file, you won't have the Japanese translation to do so. The disc versions had at least 5 SKUs which were intended for different regions. Some digital versions include more than one locale option, others only work based on the location you purchased it from.
    Can't you change this using Windows Registry too?
    Technically yes, but why mess about with the registry, when it's so simple to do it with the other two methods outlined above? As such, I won't be going into this here.
     
    How to Switch Driving Side for the NAM (Network Addon Mod)
    If you switch the driving side for SC4, you must also update the NAM to reflect this change. This will require running the installer once more for NAM. The reason is because the installations for RHD/LHD are completely different, so you need a LHD specific controller, which can not be simply switched on the fly.
    It's painless enough however, run the installer, select the custom installation option. The look under "driving side", make sure the NAM has correctly detected your changes. If not, you can override the default setting here:

    If you don't want/need any further changes to your previous NAM configuration, you can continue to install NAM with your new driving side selected at this point.
     
    I want to go LHD, what limitations/problems will I encounter?
    Speaking as a predominantly LHD user and NAM Developer, I can tell you LHD has been an uphill battle for me. Support for LHD in the NAM can sometimes be a little flaky, mostly stop lines on the wrong side of the road, paths that don't have LHD variants and very occasionally, features with no LHD support at all. Things are improving though, not to mention, most of what the NAM doesn't cover can be rectified by using some additional mods.
    Stop Lines / Textures
    It would probably help if I explain how LHD works in practise within the NAM/SC4. Typically for textures, you need a special set, although the defaults are mostly neutral without stop lines, so it's not the biggest problem. Not to mention, some pieces don't support mirroring, this means if you drag a diagonal from top to bottom over a road for example, the stop lines will be one way. But dragging from bottom to top over the road, the stop lines reverse instead. This is an issue that affect both RHD and LHD installs, so it's not strictly a LHD problem. Most pieces however do flip correctly, so provided you have LHD textures, they display fine.
    If you use my TGN (Terrain Grass NAM) and SWN (Sidewalk NAM)* mods, I've tried my best to fully include LHD support:
    * = Currently unreleased - However the SEN (Sandstone Euro NAM) mod it's based upon can be found on the STEX.
    Alternately, you can use the preview version of my Automated Sidewalk Mod (SWN), which can be found here.
    Of course these are big changes, but together you will get a very compatible LHD setup.
    TGN only makes sense if you use one of the four supported HD Terrain Mods.
    SEN only works with Paeng's Sandstone Sidewalks and EU textures currently. But when SWN is released, many more sidewalks will be supported, in addition to US textures also. SWN will additionally allow anyone to create a custom version, using automation. As such, it's theoretically possible to support any custom sidewalk.
    Paths
    The next problem you'll likely encounter is with paths. Typically, SC4 knows you are using LHD and simply reverses the paths automatically. However, rail-based networks were never supported by Maxis, these require dedicated paths for LHD. So any piece with Rail, El-Rail or Monorail as part of it can be affected, including overrides like HSR and GLR.
    This is a minor issue within the NAM, but there are gaps. Actually, if you find one, just let me know about it, I'll either have patched it or I'd happily do so. The paths don't break anything, it just stops automata or UDI from acting normally, the former of which I dislike intensely and am only to happy to fix.
    I am slowly pushing all these fixes into the NAM, so the more problems that get reported, the better LHD support will become.
    T21s
    You might ask what the hell is a T21? Well you know when you connect two roads in a 4-way intersection, you'll see traffic lights? The props that display In such situations are handled by T21s. By default all stop lights are on the wrong side of the road, but this fantastic mod by Maarten fixes that:
    The other thing that's on the wrong side, are the crossing barriers on Rail/GLR Crossings. Again, simply fixed by this fantastic mod by Jondor.
    Not to mention that both these mods look so much better than the default props too. There are other T21s out there, but few where LHD/RHD matters, things like placement of trees really don't need to be LHD specific.
    Custom TE Lots
    A TE is lot is a lot that allows transit networks to pass through them. This includes any station where you drag the network through it. When modded correctly, these should almost always support LHD, but sadly not all are. Some have complex custom paths, in which case if the modder does not include LHD variants, it won't work.
    However, it's a two second job to switch paths directions if you know what you are doing. So again if you do come unstuck, feel free to ask for help.
    Summary
    I really hope this whole raft of potential pitfalls does not put anyone off LHD. I wanted to explain the issues, but show that there are many solutions to them. When I started playing, I considered ditching both EU Textures and LHD for the longest time, because I was frustrated with their coverage. Instead of doing that, I dedicated myself to fixing the problems instead. As a result, I'm confident that these days things are nowhere like as bad. It does take a little more work to setup, but both EU and LHD are so intrinsic to the style of my cities, I'm glad I didn't ignore them.
    With the exception of TE Lots / NAM networks, there is no content out there that won't work with LHD. Since those are the only things that require LHD support.
  4. Fantozzi liked an article by rsc204, What is Hex... Numbers don't hurt me...   
    Intro
    So here I'd like to just very quickly explain the differences between the Decimal numbering system, you know, the one we use everyday for money, counting, calculations etc, and Hexadecimal. I suspect, few out there would have need to use the latter of those. But let's say you want to make mods for SC4, at this point Hex (short for Hexadecimal) is something you may need to understand. It's really not that complex, you just need to think differently, because in Hex, we also use letters for numbers. Rather than try to pick that apart badly, I think it's much easier to show you how that works in practise. We'll get to that, but quickly, I should explain the basics first...
    So in SC4, we have three groups of Hex IDs for every object/item used by the game. In many cases you don't need to know anything about them, lots for example are all assigned them automatically, as are BAT models. But, certain objects you might wish to create, will require a reserved range of IDs, which you must request. You will only be able to use those IDs you are allocated, but there seems to be a lot of confusion about how to use these most efficiently. For now, I'm going to attempt to simply explain this. But I hope in future to expand this tutorial a little, along with providing some useful tools to take all the complicated parts of using such IDs out of the equation.
    So let's quickly see which objects will require a dedicated ID range:
    Game Textures for Lots or Transit Networks Prop/Building or Flora Families MMPs (Mayor Mode Ploppables). I plan to update this section with more info and links to reserve a range in due course, bear with me.
    A quick note about TGI's (ID's/IID's)
    What is a TGI? That simply stands for Type, Group and Instance. Instance IDs are sometimes referred to as IIDs.
    Type, Group and Instance numbers for SC4 are each in 8-digit Hexadecimal format. Here's an example of that:
    0x7AB50E44 - 0x01234567 - 0x89ABCDEF
    You can simply think of the three groups of eight digits as a telephone number. The game looks for an object, by "dialing" its ID number. Think of the Type, Group and Instance parts, as much like an International Dialling Code, Area Code and Local Number. Sometimes you just need the local number. Others times you'll need the Area Code as well, sometimes you need all three.
    Usually both the Type and Group IDs are set, that is to say, you have to use specific ones, depending on the type of item. So for example, 0x7AB50E44 as a Type ID, means the item should be a texture. The group ID is like a subcategory, in the case of textures, those for game networks, like NAM's roads use 0x1ABE787D, whereas Lot Textures use group 0x0986135E. But, it's the last ID, the instance or IID we're most interested in here.
    That's a unique instance for your objects. If you are provided a range, almost certainly, you will be using the IID only. One thing to mention here, each 8-digit ID above is prefixed by 0x, I should explain this before continuing. This is just the way that Hex numbers are formatted. Depending on the application used or method of entry, you may need to include it, you may not. I know that seems less than helpful, but it'll make sense when you get there. If you are having problems, always check the format, perhaps you've missed or accidentally included the prefix, either can be a potential source of trouble.
    Why Hex in the first place?
    The answer to why computers use Hex is remarkably simple, it provides orders of magnitude more "space", using the same amount of data. But rather than trying to dwell on that too much, let's jump to an example that everyone can follow.
    When you get assigned a range of IDs for the IID, you will have a "family" or multiple "families" of IIDs. Much like with our phone number example, a family is simply the first few digits that remain the same for each ID. For this section, let's assume you've been assigned the family AAAA####. Where the # characters are digits you will need to decide upon to make your unique IDs.
    Let's look at how that would work, if the last 4 digits were using a traditional Decimal system:
    AAAA0000 - AAAA0009 = 10 Unique IDs AAAA0010 - AAAA0099 = 10x10 or 100 IDs  AAAA0100 - AAAA0999 = 10x10x10 or 1,000 IDs AAAA1000 - AAAA9999 = 10x10x10x10 or 10,000 IDs
    (Note that these calculations are cumulative, i.e. each includes the # of IDs from the previous line in the total) Now, let's look at the difference, just from adding 6 new numbers, i.e. a BASE 16 numbering system or Hex. Because we only have numbers 0-9 in the real world, Hex uses A through F to represent 10 through 16, whilst only using one character. Also note that 0 = 1 in this system, which makes sense if you think about it, 0 is after all a number. Don't focus on that too much, it's not so important.
    AAAA0000 - AAAA000F = 16 Unique IDs, no big change AAAA0010 - AAAA00FF = 16x16 or 256 IDs, look at that, already we've over twice the number of IDs the decimal system would offer. AAAA0100 - AAAA0FFF = 16x16x16 IDs or 4,096, now it's four times as many. AAAA1000 - AAAAFFFF = 16x16x16x16 IDs or 65,536, and we're up to six and a half times the number.
    If we follow this through all 8 digits, in decimal you've have a total of:
    100,000,000 IDs
    That's a lot, but with Hex, we end up with:
    4,294,967,296 IDs
    So for the exact same amount of data or space used, Hex gives us orders of magnitude more IDs to work with. So Hex is a very useful system indeed. Now think about this, each object in the game must have a unique ID. By having so many possibilities, it greatly reduces the chances that two will accidentally end up the same. Almost every time this happens, it's not the computer, its users using IDs they shouldn't have.
    If you have an assigned range for something, use those IDs ONLY.
    If you are working on something without assigned IDs, DO NOT manually create IDs yourself unless you have no other option.
    Mathematically speaking, the odds of a randomly generated ID conflicting are infinitesimally small. You've literally more chance of winning the lottery. But people, unlike random generators, often think alike or like to use similar patterns. So if the option exists to have a random ID, use it. Almost certainly it will be better for you and the wider community. Conflicts can be a big pain to find when they do occur.
    Speaking of conflicts, actually, sometimes those are useful, we may want an ID to conflict with another. Why? Well let's imagine you want to override an object in the game or from another creator, because you've altered it somehow. If your version has the same ID, it will conflict with the original. But SC4 is smartly designed, if it notices this, it will only use the last item loaded with the same ID. I.e., SC4 will override objects where conflicts occur. The only caveats here are that the object must load later than the one you are overriding. Also that some very specific instances will not work this way. For example, that's why the I-HT fix must be DAT-Packed to work, you can't override that particular file.
    How to use Hex efficiently?
    For now I'm going to cut this here... consider this a WIP. But when I resume work on this guide, I will cover all you need to know about using a range assigned to you in the best possible way. Remember that numbers, Hex or otherwise increment from the right side. When the last digit reaches 9, instead of moving one digit left and using 10, we jump from 9-A. Then through B to F, only after F do we use 10, which is actually 17. That seems like a really complicated thing to understand. But try to remember, you don't need to know what the decimal equivalent is in most cases, you only need to input the correct IDs in order. So 9, A, B, C, D, E, F then 10, it's really quite simple when you don't focus too much on the actual decimal numbers.

  5. MeMyself&I liked an article by rsc204, Slope Mods: A Brief Guide   
    I was asked about slope mods by Dreadnought today. Halfway through replying to a PM, I realised this would be better posted here for all to see. If anyone can think of something I've missed, I'd be happy to consider it's inclusion at some point. For now though, this will just cover some of the basics.

    What is a Slope Mod?
    A slope mod just adjusts the allowable slopes, at an individual network level. What does that mean?...
    Without any additional mods, if you have a big hill and draw a network, the game has a default setting for the maximum slope of each network. Maxis deliberately made this pretty unrestrictive, for ease of play. If you want to create more realistic looking cities, especially with hilly terrain, you will probably want to install a mod that adjusts the default slopes, making them more restrictive. This will help to avoid the bumpy uneven roads, that are very common when playing without such a mod.
    Each network in the game has it's own settings, that dictate how steep the slopes can be when dragging that network. These networks are:
    Street Road OWR (One Way Road) Avenue Maxis Highway Rail Elevated Rail Monorail Dirt Road (RealHighway [RHW]). It should be noted that override networks do not have separate settings. So for example, if you are using the Network Widening Mod (NWM) or Street Addon Mod (SAM), which are overrides of the Road and Street networks respectively, they will use the same settings as the base network.
    Dirt Road is so called, because it was an additional unused network left in the game's code. Whilst it has been repurposed by the NAM team to be used for the RHW mod, technically it's the Dirt Road network. From here on in, I will refer to dirt road as RHW, for the sake of clarity.
     
    A Slope Mod sounds just up my street...
     
    Hopefully if you've made it here, you'll be thinking right now about installing a slope mod. As always with mods for SC4, there are far too many options out there to go into every one in excruciating detail. They all do pretty much the same thing, but there are two important factors you should consider when selecting one.
     
    What networks does the mod support/change. How restrictive is the slope.  
    For example, you may decide you only want to have restricted slopes for some of the supported networks. So if a mod bundles everything together in one DAT, unless you know how to remove those you do not want, (really not very hard, even though it does require the Reader), you should be mindful of this.
     
    A very restrictive slope mod will totally transform how you build and terraform in game. Whereas a very unrestrictive mod, could end up looking like the vanilla experience. If you are new to slope mods, then it's probably best to try a few out and get a feel for how they affect things. Especially before you start using one in a cherished region. For example, a really restrictive slope can mean a 15m height difference, would take something in the region of a whole large tile for the slope. Obviously that's an extreme example, most of them are much more balanced for general play.
     
    For the purposes of this tutorial, I'm going to show the three mods I'm using:
     
    BRF's Tunnel and Slope Mod RHW Slope Mod BTM Slope Mod  

     
    And here is a comparison shot, to give you an example of how these changes affect your slopes. Each of the networks in this picture are transitioning from a 15m high hill. Even with the slope mod by BRF, the street network takes only three tiles or 48m to descend by 15m. For math aficionados, that's a slope of around 1:3. This is pretty steep, but probably not completely unrealistic in some places. The road takes 4 tiles or 60m by comparison, which is 1:4. As you can see, I've cunningly laid these out from bottom to top, in the order of the slopes gradients. From steepest, to the shallowest slope. If you are still wondering why you need a slope mod, this picture should hopefully show you how much nicer your slopes can be.
     
    Note: I've used Rail stubs to indicate the first three tiles that are at ground level for each network. I've also used PedMalls to help see the slopes better. As you can see, rail has the most restrictive slope of all, so much so, even with my fairly reasonable grades, it doesn't fit in the screenshot.
     
    Using your slope mods more flexibly
     
    Whilst you could have multiple slope mods for a number of different situations, that's quite a complex setup and requires you to close SC4 and move files about. Let's say I want a road to have a slope similar to that of the El-Rail network shown above. Rather than switch to a slope mod permanently with those settings, there is an easier way. Just use the El-Rail tool to draw the slope first, delete it and drag the road down your nice new slope. Using the above picture as reference, you can do this for any network which appears lower down the screenshot, than the slope you require. To put that another way, if you made a slope using the Avenue tool, but then wanted to use it for the Rail network, this would not work. Since the rail network is more restrictive. Using this setup though, you can have quite a bit of flexibility for a number of networks. Note how the Rail networks, including Monorail and Elevated Rail, have the most restrictive slopes of all. That makes a lot of sense when you think about it, since in real life, the gradients they are able to support are much less than cars and other traffic are able to deal with.
     
    Some final hints and tips
    Sim City 4 can be unforgiving at times, it's all too easy when making other changes, for your hard work creating slopes to become unravelled. Just as I have shown above, using PedMalls next to the slope, will lock-in the slope, making it impossible for development and other networks to alter them further.
    Of course, if you wanted a junction halfway down the slope, that now be impossible too. Here's where some planning really comes in handy. Using the four steps shown on the right, you can easily form intersections as part of your slopes.
    Drag the initial slope, here I am using the El-Rail tool for the slope. I have placed pedmalls and used a rail stub to completely flatten the tile where the junction will be. Now you can continue to drag your slope, in this case in two directions, from the stub. I've placed the pedmalls here before I built the road. As you can see, the slopes are working very well. Lastly, I've dragged the street tool, anything with a less restrictive slope would do, parallel to the new road. This makes the surrounding tiles match the slope used for the road. This is useful if you want to zone next to the road, or sometimes for blending into the terrain better. Note: I have not dragged next to the road junction, a gap of one tile must be left here. Because I've used pedmall to lock-in the slope, there would be no danger of messing up our hard work. But if the pedmalls were not present, dragging either of the parallel streets closer to each other, might mean you'd have to start over.
    Another useful thing to know, when zoning next to slopes, the game can actually alter the slope of the transit network. Either when zoning or when buildings develop. Often this is quite undesirable, but there is a way to avoid it. By holding the CTRL key when zoning, the game knows not to change the slopes in either scenario. It does require some thinking about how you zone each area, but is a very handy way to stop the game messing up all our hard work, to keep slopes looking good.
    If you make a partial slope, you can then level off areas using "stubs" as required. Stubs are made by clicking only once with the network tools, such as the Street, Road or Rail, in each tile. As opposed to connecting or drawing them in a line. I prefer to use rail stubs myself, because they do not feature auto-connect. This can catch you out on occasion, causing problems, especially when using the RHW or Streets tool.
    Leave these stubs in place whilst you are building your slopes, to incorporate many different things, that might otherwise look undesirable on uneven terrain. This can be especially useful for incorporating WRC's, TE connections and many other possibilities into your slopes.
  6. Cyclone Boom liked an article by rsc204, Alter the driving side (LHD-RHD / RHD-LHD) of SC4/NAM   
    Please note: This Tutorial is currently a WIP (Work in Progress). Please bear with me whilst I get things fully completed.
    RHD and LHD Explained
    I figure before getting into this, it might be useful to explain just what the heck we're talking about, eh?

    RHD - Right Hand Drive
    Where traffic drives on the right hand side of the road.
    Usually this is the default setting for users in the US, Canada, Continental Europe and most of the world. LHD - Left Hand Drive
    Where traffic drives on the left hand side of the road.
    This setup is suitable for the UK, Japan, Australia and other countries where drivers use the left side of the road.
       
    How to Switch Driving Side for SC4
    CD Versions:
    Choose US English during install for a RHD Game Choose UK English during install for a LHD Game Note: If you do not have these options (not all discs support all regions), you may want to try the alternate method below.
    Digital Versions (Alternate Method for CD users also):
    Switching from RHD to LHD:
    Find the install directory, where you should have a subfolder "English". Make a copy of this folder, then rename it to "UKEnglsh".
    Note: there is no typo here, you need to omit the "i" in English.
    Then find your SC4 Shortcut, right click, select properties and add the following to the end of the target line "-l:"UK English".
    Switching from LHD to RHD:
    Find the install directory, where you should have a subfolder "UKEnglsh". Make a copy of this folder, then rename it to "English".
    Then find your SC4 Shortcut, right click, select properties and add the following to the end of the target line "-l:"English".
    Important Info for Steam/Origin Users:
    To find the shortcut for Steam versions, you must alter this in the Steam Client as follows:
    Find SC4 in your Steam Library. Right click and select properties. Click "Set Launch Options". To alter the shortcut for Origin versions:
     <To be updated>
    What if I don't have either an English or UKEnglsh Folder?
    This is totally possible and not a problem. What exactly is inside these folders? Simply just locale files, i.e. the localised or translated text of your installation choices. So if you have a folder for example Spanish, you can still copy that to another named either English or UKEnglsh, this procedure will still work and you'll even still see the Spanish text in game.
    In short, if you install a country that is supported, which uses either LHD or RHD, the game will mirror that. So if you installed a Japanese version of SC4, it would already be LHD. But if you want to change it, SC4 needs to see a locale file in a directory it expects to find. Therefore I've used English and UKEnglsh here as examples. But others will work too. The key point is that the folder exists with a locale file present that supports your choice of RHD or LHD play. Whichever language locale file you install in this folder, will be the language the game displays.
    For directories other than English or UKEnglsh to work, the target switch must be altered from "-l:"English", to the equivalent language. For details of other available languages, see here.
    Bear in mind here, not all versions include all locale files. So you may wish to play with Japanese Text, but without the locale file, you won't have the Japanese translation to do so. The disc versions had at least 5 SKUs which were intended for different regions. Some digital versions include more than one locale option, others only work based on the location you purchased it from.
    Can't you change this using Windows Registry too?
    Technically yes, but why mess about with the registry, when it's so simple to do it with the other two methods outlined above? As such, I won't be going into this here.
     
    How to Switch Driving Side for the NAM (Network Addon Mod)
    If you switch the driving side for SC4, you must also update the NAM to reflect this change. This will require running the installer once more for NAM. The reason is because the installations for RHD/LHD are completely different, so you need a LHD specific controller, which can not be simply switched on the fly.
    It's painless enough however, run the installer, select the custom installation option. The look under "driving side", make sure the NAM has correctly detected your changes. If not, you can override the default setting here:

    If you don't want/need any further changes to your previous NAM configuration, you can continue to install NAM with your new driving side selected at this point.
     
    I want to go LHD, what limitations/problems will I encounter?
    Speaking as a predominantly LHD user and NAM Developer, I can tell you LHD has been an uphill battle for me. Support for LHD in the NAM can sometimes be a little flaky, mostly stop lines on the wrong side of the road, paths that don't have LHD variants and very occasionally, features with no LHD support at all. Things are improving though, not to mention, most of what the NAM doesn't cover can be rectified by using some additional mods.
    Stop Lines / Textures
    It would probably help if I explain how LHD works in practise within the NAM/SC4. Typically for textures, you need a special set, although the defaults are mostly neutral without stop lines, so it's not the biggest problem. Not to mention, some pieces don't support mirroring, this means if you drag a diagonal from top to bottom over a road for example, the stop lines will be one way. But dragging from bottom to top over the road, the stop lines reverse instead. This is an issue that affect both RHD and LHD installs, so it's not strictly a LHD problem. Most pieces however do flip correctly, so provided you have LHD textures, they display fine.
    If you use my TGN (Terrain Grass NAM) and SWN (Sidewalk NAM)* mods, I've tried my best to fully include LHD support:
    * = Currently unreleased - However the SEN (Sandstone Euro NAM) mod it's based upon can be found on the STEX.
    Alternately, you can use the preview version of my Automated Sidewalk Mod (SWN), which can be found here.
    Of course these are big changes, but together you will get a very compatible LHD setup.
    TGN only makes sense if you use one of the four supported HD Terrain Mods.
    SEN only works with Paeng's Sandstone Sidewalks and EU textures currently. But when SWN is released, many more sidewalks will be supported, in addition to US textures also. SWN will additionally allow anyone to create a custom version, using automation. As such, it's theoretically possible to support any custom sidewalk.
    Paths
    The next problem you'll likely encounter is with paths. Typically, SC4 knows you are using LHD and simply reverses the paths automatically. However, rail-based networks were never supported by Maxis, these require dedicated paths for LHD. So any piece with Rail, El-Rail or Monorail as part of it can be affected, including overrides like HSR and GLR.
    This is a minor issue within the NAM, but there are gaps. Actually, if you find one, just let me know about it, I'll either have patched it or I'd happily do so. The paths don't break anything, it just stops automata or UDI from acting normally, the former of which I dislike intensely and am only to happy to fix.
    I am slowly pushing all these fixes into the NAM, so the more problems that get reported, the better LHD support will become.
    T21s
    You might ask what the hell is a T21? Well you know when you connect two roads in a 4-way intersection, you'll see traffic lights? The props that display In such situations are handled by T21s. By default all stop lights are on the wrong side of the road, but this fantastic mod by Maarten fixes that:
    The other thing that's on the wrong side, are the crossing barriers on Rail/GLR Crossings. Again, simply fixed by this fantastic mod by Jondor.
    Not to mention that both these mods look so much better than the default props too. There are other T21s out there, but few where LHD/RHD matters, things like placement of trees really don't need to be LHD specific.
    Custom TE Lots
    A TE is lot is a lot that allows transit networks to pass through them. This includes any station where you drag the network through it. When modded correctly, these should almost always support LHD, but sadly not all are. Some have complex custom paths, in which case if the modder does not include LHD variants, it won't work.
    However, it's a two second job to switch paths directions if you know what you are doing. So again if you do come unstuck, feel free to ask for help.
    Summary
    I really hope this whole raft of potential pitfalls does not put anyone off LHD. I wanted to explain the issues, but show that there are many solutions to them. When I started playing, I considered ditching both EU Textures and LHD for the longest time, because I was frustrated with their coverage. Instead of doing that, I dedicated myself to fixing the problems instead. As a result, I'm confident that these days things are nowhere like as bad. It does take a little more work to setup, but both EU and LHD are so intrinsic to the style of my cities, I'm glad I didn't ignore them.
    With the exception of TE Lots / NAM networks, there is no content out there that won't work with LHD. Since those are the only things that require LHD support.
  7. MeMyself&I liked an article by rsc204, Slope Mods: A Brief Guide   
    I was asked about slope mods by Dreadnought today. Halfway through replying to a PM, I realised this would be better posted here for all to see. If anyone can think of something I've missed, I'd be happy to consider it's inclusion at some point. For now though, this will just cover some of the basics.

    What is a Slope Mod?
    A slope mod just adjusts the allowable slopes, at an individual network level. What does that mean?...
    Without any additional mods, if you have a big hill and draw a network, the game has a default setting for the maximum slope of each network. Maxis deliberately made this pretty unrestrictive, for ease of play. If you want to create more realistic looking cities, especially with hilly terrain, you will probably want to install a mod that adjusts the default slopes, making them more restrictive. This will help to avoid the bumpy uneven roads, that are very common when playing without such a mod.
    Each network in the game has it's own settings, that dictate how steep the slopes can be when dragging that network. These networks are:
    Street Road OWR (One Way Road) Avenue Maxis Highway Rail Elevated Rail Monorail Dirt Road (RealHighway [RHW]). It should be noted that override networks do not have separate settings. So for example, if you are using the Network Widening Mod (NWM) or Street Addon Mod (SAM), which are overrides of the Road and Street networks respectively, they will use the same settings as the base network.
    Dirt Road is so called, because it was an additional unused network left in the game's code. Whilst it has been repurposed by the NAM team to be used for the RHW mod, technically it's the Dirt Road network. From here on in, I will refer to dirt road as RHW, for the sake of clarity.
     
    A Slope Mod sounds just up my street...
     
    Hopefully if you've made it here, you'll be thinking right now about installing a slope mod. As always with mods for SC4, there are far too many options out there to go into every one in excruciating detail. They all do pretty much the same thing, but there are two important factors you should consider when selecting one.
     
    What networks does the mod support/change. How restrictive is the slope.  
    For example, you may decide you only want to have restricted slopes for some of the supported networks. So if a mod bundles everything together in one DAT, unless you know how to remove those you do not want, (really not very hard, even though it does require the Reader), you should be mindful of this.
     
    A very restrictive slope mod will totally transform how you build and terraform in game. Whereas a very unrestrictive mod, could end up looking like the vanilla experience. If you are new to slope mods, then it's probably best to try a few out and get a feel for how they affect things. Especially before you start using one in a cherished region. For example, a really restrictive slope can mean a 15m height difference, would take something in the region of a whole large tile for the slope. Obviously that's an extreme example, most of them are much more balanced for general play.
     
    For the purposes of this tutorial, I'm going to show the three mods I'm using:
     
    BRF's Tunnel and Slope Mod RHW Slope Mod BTM Slope Mod  

     
    And here is a comparison shot, to give you an example of how these changes affect your slopes. Each of the networks in this picture are transitioning from a 15m high hill. Even with the slope mod by BRF, the street network takes only three tiles or 48m to descend by 15m. For math aficionados, that's a slope of around 1:3. This is pretty steep, but probably not completely unrealistic in some places. The road takes 4 tiles or 60m by comparison, which is 1:4. As you can see, I've cunningly laid these out from bottom to top, in the order of the slopes gradients. From steepest, to the shallowest slope. If you are still wondering why you need a slope mod, this picture should hopefully show you how much nicer your slopes can be.
     
    Note: I've used Rail stubs to indicate the first three tiles that are at ground level for each network. I've also used PedMalls to help see the slopes better. As you can see, rail has the most restrictive slope of all, so much so, even with my fairly reasonable grades, it doesn't fit in the screenshot.
     
    Using your slope mods more flexibly
     
    Whilst you could have multiple slope mods for a number of different situations, that's quite a complex setup and requires you to close SC4 and move files about. Let's say I want a road to have a slope similar to that of the El-Rail network shown above. Rather than switch to a slope mod permanently with those settings, there is an easier way. Just use the El-Rail tool to draw the slope first, delete it and drag the road down your nice new slope. Using the above picture as reference, you can do this for any network which appears lower down the screenshot, than the slope you require. To put that another way, if you made a slope using the Avenue tool, but then wanted to use it for the Rail network, this would not work. Since the rail network is more restrictive. Using this setup though, you can have quite a bit of flexibility for a number of networks. Note how the Rail networks, including Monorail and Elevated Rail, have the most restrictive slopes of all. That makes a lot of sense when you think about it, since in real life, the gradients they are able to support are much less than cars and other traffic are able to deal with.
     
    Some final hints and tips
    Sim City 4 can be unforgiving at times, it's all too easy when making other changes, for your hard work creating slopes to become unravelled. Just as I have shown above, using PedMalls next to the slope, will lock-in the slope, making it impossible for development and other networks to alter them further.
    Of course, if you wanted a junction halfway down the slope, that now be impossible too. Here's where some planning really comes in handy. Using the four steps shown on the right, you can easily form intersections as part of your slopes.
    Drag the initial slope, here I am using the El-Rail tool for the slope. I have placed pedmalls and used a rail stub to completely flatten the tile where the junction will be. Now you can continue to drag your slope, in this case in two directions, from the stub. I've placed the pedmalls here before I built the road. As you can see, the slopes are working very well. Lastly, I've dragged the street tool, anything with a less restrictive slope would do, parallel to the new road. This makes the surrounding tiles match the slope used for the road. This is useful if you want to zone next to the road, or sometimes for blending into the terrain better. Note: I have not dragged next to the road junction, a gap of one tile must be left here. Because I've used pedmall to lock-in the slope, there would be no danger of messing up our hard work. But if the pedmalls were not present, dragging either of the parallel streets closer to each other, might mean you'd have to start over.
    Another useful thing to know, when zoning next to slopes, the game can actually alter the slope of the transit network. Either when zoning or when buildings develop. Often this is quite undesirable, but there is a way to avoid it. By holding the CTRL key when zoning, the game knows not to change the slopes in either scenario. It does require some thinking about how you zone each area, but is a very handy way to stop the game messing up all our hard work, to keep slopes looking good.
    If you make a partial slope, you can then level off areas using "stubs" as required. Stubs are made by clicking only once with the network tools, such as the Street, Road or Rail, in each tile. As opposed to connecting or drawing them in a line. I prefer to use rail stubs myself, because they do not feature auto-connect. This can catch you out on occasion, causing problems, especially when using the RHW or Streets tool.
    Leave these stubs in place whilst you are building your slopes, to incorporate many different things, that might otherwise look undesirable on uneven terrain. This can be especially useful for incorporating WRC's, TE connections and many other possibilities into your slopes.
  8. Cyclone Boom liked an article by rsc204, Alter the driving side (LHD-RHD / RHD-LHD) of SC4/NAM   
    Please note: This Tutorial is currently a WIP (Work in Progress). Please bear with me whilst I get things fully completed.
    RHD and LHD Explained
    I figure before getting into this, it might be useful to explain just what the heck we're talking about, eh?

    RHD - Right Hand Drive
    Where traffic drives on the right hand side of the road.
    Usually this is the default setting for users in the US, Canada, Continental Europe and most of the world. LHD - Left Hand Drive
    Where traffic drives on the left hand side of the road.
    This setup is suitable for the UK, Japan, Australia and other countries where drivers use the left side of the road.
       
    How to Switch Driving Side for SC4
    CD Versions:
    Choose US English during install for a RHD Game Choose UK English during install for a LHD Game Note: If you do not have these options (not all discs support all regions), you may want to try the alternate method below.
    Digital Versions (Alternate Method for CD users also):
    Switching from RHD to LHD:
    Find the install directory, where you should have a subfolder "English". Make a copy of this folder, then rename it to "UKEnglsh".
    Note: there is no typo here, you need to omit the "i" in English.
    Then find your SC4 Shortcut, right click, select properties and add the following to the end of the target line "-l:"UK English".
    Switching from LHD to RHD:
    Find the install directory, where you should have a subfolder "UKEnglsh". Make a copy of this folder, then rename it to "English".
    Then find your SC4 Shortcut, right click, select properties and add the following to the end of the target line "-l:"English".
    Important Info for Steam/Origin Users:
    To find the shortcut for Steam versions, you must alter this in the Steam Client as follows:
    Find SC4 in your Steam Library. Right click and select properties. Click "Set Launch Options". To alter the shortcut for Origin versions:
     <To be updated>
    What if I don't have either an English or UKEnglsh Folder?
    This is totally possible and not a problem. What exactly is inside these folders? Simply just locale files, i.e. the localised or translated text of your installation choices. So if you have a folder for example Spanish, you can still copy that to another named either English or UKEnglsh, this procedure will still work and you'll even still see the Spanish text in game.
    In short, if you install a country that is supported, which uses either LHD or RHD, the game will mirror that. So if you installed a Japanese version of SC4, it would already be LHD. But if you want to change it, SC4 needs to see a locale file in a directory it expects to find. Therefore I've used English and UKEnglsh here as examples. But others will work too. The key point is that the folder exists with a locale file present that supports your choice of RHD or LHD play. Whichever language locale file you install in this folder, will be the language the game displays.
    For directories other than English or UKEnglsh to work, the target switch must be altered from "-l:"English", to the equivalent language. For details of other available languages, see here.
    Bear in mind here, not all versions include all locale files. So you may wish to play with Japanese Text, but without the locale file, you won't have the Japanese translation to do so. The disc versions had at least 5 SKUs which were intended for different regions. Some digital versions include more than one locale option, others only work based on the location you purchased it from.
    Can't you change this using Windows Registry too?
    Technically yes, but why mess about with the registry, when it's so simple to do it with the other two methods outlined above? As such, I won't be going into this here.
     
    How to Switch Driving Side for the NAM (Network Addon Mod)
    If you switch the driving side for SC4, you must also update the NAM to reflect this change. This will require running the installer once more for NAM. The reason is because the installations for RHD/LHD are completely different, so you need a LHD specific controller, which can not be simply switched on the fly.
    It's painless enough however, run the installer, select the custom installation option. The look under "driving side", make sure the NAM has correctly detected your changes. If not, you can override the default setting here:

    If you don't want/need any further changes to your previous NAM configuration, you can continue to install NAM with your new driving side selected at this point.
     
    I want to go LHD, what limitations/problems will I encounter?
    Speaking as a predominantly LHD user and NAM Developer, I can tell you LHD has been an uphill battle for me. Support for LHD in the NAM can sometimes be a little flaky, mostly stop lines on the wrong side of the road, paths that don't have LHD variants and very occasionally, features with no LHD support at all. Things are improving though, not to mention, most of what the NAM doesn't cover can be rectified by using some additional mods.
    Stop Lines / Textures
    It would probably help if I explain how LHD works in practise within the NAM/SC4. Typically for textures, you need a special set, although the defaults are mostly neutral without stop lines, so it's not the biggest problem. Not to mention, some pieces don't support mirroring, this means if you drag a diagonal from top to bottom over a road for example, the stop lines will be one way. But dragging from bottom to top over the road, the stop lines reverse instead. This is an issue that affect both RHD and LHD installs, so it's not strictly a LHD problem. Most pieces however do flip correctly, so provided you have LHD textures, they display fine.
    If you use my TGN (Terrain Grass NAM) and SWN (Sidewalk NAM)* mods, I've tried my best to fully include LHD support:
    * = Currently unreleased - However the SEN (Sandstone Euro NAM) mod it's based upon can be found on the STEX.
    Alternately, you can use the preview version of my Automated Sidewalk Mod (SWN), which can be found here.
    Of course these are big changes, but together you will get a very compatible LHD setup.
    TGN only makes sense if you use one of the four supported HD Terrain Mods.
    SEN only works with Paeng's Sandstone Sidewalks and EU textures currently. But when SWN is released, many more sidewalks will be supported, in addition to US textures also. SWN will additionally allow anyone to create a custom version, using automation. As such, it's theoretically possible to support any custom sidewalk.
    Paths
    The next problem you'll likely encounter is with paths. Typically, SC4 knows you are using LHD and simply reverses the paths automatically. However, rail-based networks were never supported by Maxis, these require dedicated paths for LHD. So any piece with Rail, El-Rail or Monorail as part of it can be affected, including overrides like HSR and GLR.
    This is a minor issue within the NAM, but there are gaps. Actually, if you find one, just let me know about it, I'll either have patched it or I'd happily do so. The paths don't break anything, it just stops automata or UDI from acting normally, the former of which I dislike intensely and am only to happy to fix.
    I am slowly pushing all these fixes into the NAM, so the more problems that get reported, the better LHD support will become.
    T21s
    You might ask what the hell is a T21? Well you know when you connect two roads in a 4-way intersection, you'll see traffic lights? The props that display In such situations are handled by T21s. By default all stop lights are on the wrong side of the road, but this fantastic mod by Maarten fixes that:
    The other thing that's on the wrong side, are the crossing barriers on Rail/GLR Crossings. Again, simply fixed by this fantastic mod by Jondor.
    Not to mention that both these mods look so much better than the default props too. There are other T21s out there, but few where LHD/RHD matters, things like placement of trees really don't need to be LHD specific.
    Custom TE Lots
    A TE is lot is a lot that allows transit networks to pass through them. This includes any station where you drag the network through it. When modded correctly, these should almost always support LHD, but sadly not all are. Some have complex custom paths, in which case if the modder does not include LHD variants, it won't work.
    However, it's a two second job to switch paths directions if you know what you are doing. So again if you do come unstuck, feel free to ask for help.
    Summary
    I really hope this whole raft of potential pitfalls does not put anyone off LHD. I wanted to explain the issues, but show that there are many solutions to them. When I started playing, I considered ditching both EU Textures and LHD for the longest time, because I was frustrated with their coverage. Instead of doing that, I dedicated myself to fixing the problems instead. As a result, I'm confident that these days things are nowhere like as bad. It does take a little more work to setup, but both EU and LHD are so intrinsic to the style of my cities, I'm glad I didn't ignore them.
    With the exception of TE Lots / NAM networks, there is no content out there that won't work with LHD. Since those are the only things that require LHD support.
  9. 6StringShaman liked an article by rsc204, Modding Automata into Props   
    Have you ever wanted to use one of the in-game automata as a prop in lotting? Well it's actually really simple, all you need to do is create a prop exemplar that links to the installed automata model. You can even duplicate the model and make rotated versions. Unlike normal SC4Models, automata are special because fully 3D models are used in game.
     
    However to aid you in making automata as props, I've included here a template for the Bus Automata. I will use this as an example, and walk through the modifications required to make whatever bus automata you are using. But the principles explained here can be adapted to props for any S3D 3D model that you want as a prop. Note all models are S3D, but not all S3D models are the 3D ones.
     

     
    In the example above you can see the Basic Prop Exemplar for the default Bus Automata. The IID* of this model is 0x10620000. This is the same ID used in the Resource Key Type 0 field of the prop exemplar.
     
    *IID = Instance ID, as in Type, Group and Instance. For all 3D models the same Type and Group ID is normally used, hence we only need to worry about the Instance ID when dealing with these models.
     
    Any models which over-ride the Maxis defaults, must have the same ID as the originals. Therefore it's usually easy to know which IDs we are looking for. Vester has compiled a handy list of most Maxis Automata here.
     
    The example shown above references the default Bus Model. Without further modification, you can now use this prop to place your Bus Automata on lots. But in the included template DAT, there are a further 3 Prop Exemplars, linked to 3 S3D model files. These S3D files need to be replaced by duplicates of the actual Bus Automata you want to make into props. Since those included are merely templates.
     
    Copying your custom Bus Automata.
     
    These additional prop exemplars need to link to rotated models. At FAR-L, FAR-R and Diagonal positions. If you want to use these, you need to find the DAT containing your Bus Automata. Open that file, whilst keeping the included file opened as well.
     
    Copy the S3D of the Bus Model. Be careful to get the whole bus, not the model with the lights. Paste this below an existing S3D model in my file.  Right click the template S3D model and select "Copy Entry ID".  Right click the replacement S3D model and select "Paste Entry ID".  Right click the template S3D model, select "Remove File". We don't need this anymore.  
    So that's one S3D model replaced with your custom one. If you do it this way, all the prop exemplars and textures from the existing model are now automatically linked together, saving a lot of work.
     
    Repeat the process for the remaining two S3D templates. Save your modified file. You can optionally rename the Prop Exemplars to better suit your model.
     
    Rotating unique model instances with Model Tweaker.
     
    Now we need to rotate the models, because right now our copies are still straight. For this, you need Coego's Excellent Model Tweaker. Open the modified DAT file using Model Tweaker.
     
    Highlight the following S3D models in turn and use the Rotate Models option with the following settings for each:
     
    S3D IID 0x20620000 FAR-L        -    Counter-Clockwise / Free = 18.5 S3D IID 0x30620000 FAR-R        -    Clockwise / Free = 18.5 S3D IID 0x40620000 Diag             -    Clockwise / Free = 45  
    Now save the file. Your props will now appear in the Lot Editor for use. Bear in mind that such props may not show correctly in the Lot Editor. But they will appear in game, all four props link back to the original model's textures. So to use them, you must keep the file with the automata installed.
    BusAutomata_as_Props.zip
  10. Cyclone Boom liked an article by rsc204, Alter the driving side (LHD-RHD / RHD-LHD) of SC4/NAM   
    Please note: This Tutorial is currently a WIP (Work in Progress). Please bear with me whilst I get things fully completed.
    RHD and LHD Explained
    I figure before getting into this, it might be useful to explain just what the heck we're talking about, eh?

    RHD - Right Hand Drive
    Where traffic drives on the right hand side of the road.
    Usually this is the default setting for users in the US, Canada, Continental Europe and most of the world. LHD - Left Hand Drive
    Where traffic drives on the left hand side of the road.
    This setup is suitable for the UK, Japan, Australia and other countries where drivers use the left side of the road.
       
    How to Switch Driving Side for SC4
    CD Versions:
    Choose US English during install for a RHD Game Choose UK English during install for a LHD Game Note: If you do not have these options (not all discs support all regions), you may want to try the alternate method below.
    Digital Versions (Alternate Method for CD users also):
    Switching from RHD to LHD:
    Find the install directory, where you should have a subfolder "English". Make a copy of this folder, then rename it to "UKEnglsh".
    Note: there is no typo here, you need to omit the "i" in English.
    Then find your SC4 Shortcut, right click, select properties and add the following to the end of the target line "-l:"UK English".
    Switching from LHD to RHD:
    Find the install directory, where you should have a subfolder "UKEnglsh". Make a copy of this folder, then rename it to "English".
    Then find your SC4 Shortcut, right click, select properties and add the following to the end of the target line "-l:"English".
    Important Info for Steam/Origin Users:
    To find the shortcut for Steam versions, you must alter this in the Steam Client as follows:
    Find SC4 in your Steam Library. Right click and select properties. Click "Set Launch Options". To alter the shortcut for Origin versions:
     <To be updated>
    What if I don't have either an English or UKEnglsh Folder?
    This is totally possible and not a problem. What exactly is inside these folders? Simply just locale files, i.e. the localised or translated text of your installation choices. So if you have a folder for example Spanish, you can still copy that to another named either English or UKEnglsh, this procedure will still work and you'll even still see the Spanish text in game.
    In short, if you install a country that is supported, which uses either LHD or RHD, the game will mirror that. So if you installed a Japanese version of SC4, it would already be LHD. But if you want to change it, SC4 needs to see a locale file in a directory it expects to find. Therefore I've used English and UKEnglsh here as examples. But others will work too. The key point is that the folder exists with a locale file present that supports your choice of RHD or LHD play. Whichever language locale file you install in this folder, will be the language the game displays.
    For directories other than English or UKEnglsh to work, the target switch must be altered from "-l:"English", to the equivalent language. For details of other available languages, see here.
    Bear in mind here, not all versions include all locale files. So you may wish to play with Japanese Text, but without the locale file, you won't have the Japanese translation to do so. The disc versions had at least 5 SKUs which were intended for different regions. Some digital versions include more than one locale option, others only work based on the location you purchased it from.
    Can't you change this using Windows Registry too?
    Technically yes, but why mess about with the registry, when it's so simple to do it with the other two methods outlined above? As such, I won't be going into this here.
     
    How to Switch Driving Side for the NAM (Network Addon Mod)
    If you switch the driving side for SC4, you must also update the NAM to reflect this change. This will require running the installer once more for NAM. The reason is because the installations for RHD/LHD are completely different, so you need a LHD specific controller, which can not be simply switched on the fly.
    It's painless enough however, run the installer, select the custom installation option. The look under "driving side", make sure the NAM has correctly detected your changes. If not, you can override the default setting here:

    If you don't want/need any further changes to your previous NAM configuration, you can continue to install NAM with your new driving side selected at this point.
     
    I want to go LHD, what limitations/problems will I encounter?
    Speaking as a predominantly LHD user and NAM Developer, I can tell you LHD has been an uphill battle for me. Support for LHD in the NAM can sometimes be a little flaky, mostly stop lines on the wrong side of the road, paths that don't have LHD variants and very occasionally, features with no LHD support at all. Things are improving though, not to mention, most of what the NAM doesn't cover can be rectified by using some additional mods.
    Stop Lines / Textures
    It would probably help if I explain how LHD works in practise within the NAM/SC4. Typically for textures, you need a special set, although the defaults are mostly neutral without stop lines, so it's not the biggest problem. Not to mention, some pieces don't support mirroring, this means if you drag a diagonal from top to bottom over a road for example, the stop lines will be one way. But dragging from bottom to top over the road, the stop lines reverse instead. This is an issue that affect both RHD and LHD installs, so it's not strictly a LHD problem. Most pieces however do flip correctly, so provided you have LHD textures, they display fine.
    If you use my TGN (Terrain Grass NAM) and SWN (Sidewalk NAM)* mods, I've tried my best to fully include LHD support:
    * = Currently unreleased - However the SEN (Sandstone Euro NAM) mod it's based upon can be found on the STEX.
    Alternately, you can use the preview version of my Automated Sidewalk Mod (SWN), which can be found here.
    Of course these are big changes, but together you will get a very compatible LHD setup.
    TGN only makes sense if you use one of the four supported HD Terrain Mods.
    SEN only works with Paeng's Sandstone Sidewalks and EU textures currently. But when SWN is released, many more sidewalks will be supported, in addition to US textures also. SWN will additionally allow anyone to create a custom version, using automation. As such, it's theoretically possible to support any custom sidewalk.
    Paths
    The next problem you'll likely encounter is with paths. Typically, SC4 knows you are using LHD and simply reverses the paths automatically. However, rail-based networks were never supported by Maxis, these require dedicated paths for LHD. So any piece with Rail, El-Rail or Monorail as part of it can be affected, including overrides like HSR and GLR.
    This is a minor issue within the NAM, but there are gaps. Actually, if you find one, just let me know about it, I'll either have patched it or I'd happily do so. The paths don't break anything, it just stops automata or UDI from acting normally, the former of which I dislike intensely and am only to happy to fix.
    I am slowly pushing all these fixes into the NAM, so the more problems that get reported, the better LHD support will become.
    T21s
    You might ask what the hell is a T21? Well you know when you connect two roads in a 4-way intersection, you'll see traffic lights? The props that display In such situations are handled by T21s. By default all stop lights are on the wrong side of the road, but this fantastic mod by Maarten fixes that:
    The other thing that's on the wrong side, are the crossing barriers on Rail/GLR Crossings. Again, simply fixed by this fantastic mod by Jondor.
    Not to mention that both these mods look so much better than the default props too. There are other T21s out there, but few where LHD/RHD matters, things like placement of trees really don't need to be LHD specific.
    Custom TE Lots
    A TE is lot is a lot that allows transit networks to pass through them. This includes any station where you drag the network through it. When modded correctly, these should almost always support LHD, but sadly not all are. Some have complex custom paths, in which case if the modder does not include LHD variants, it won't work.
    However, it's a two second job to switch paths directions if you know what you are doing. So again if you do come unstuck, feel free to ask for help.
    Summary
    I really hope this whole raft of potential pitfalls does not put anyone off LHD. I wanted to explain the issues, but show that there are many solutions to them. When I started playing, I considered ditching both EU Textures and LHD for the longest time, because I was frustrated with their coverage. Instead of doing that, I dedicated myself to fixing the problems instead. As a result, I'm confident that these days things are nowhere like as bad. It does take a little more work to setup, but both EU and LHD are so intrinsic to the style of my cities, I'm glad I didn't ignore them.
    With the exception of TE Lots / NAM networks, there is no content out there that won't work with LHD. Since those are the only things that require LHD support.
  11. Fantozzi liked an article by rsc204, What is Hex... Numbers don't hurt me...   
    Intro
    So here I'd like to just very quickly explain the differences between the Decimal numbering system, you know, the one we use everyday for money, counting, calculations etc, and Hexadecimal. I suspect, few out there would have need to use the latter of those. But let's say you want to make mods for SC4, at this point Hex (short for Hexadecimal) is something you may need to understand. It's really not that complex, you just need to think differently, because in Hex, we also use letters for numbers. Rather than try to pick that apart badly, I think it's much easier to show you how that works in practise. We'll get to that, but quickly, I should explain the basics first...
    So in SC4, we have three groups of Hex IDs for every object/item used by the game. In many cases you don't need to know anything about them, lots for example are all assigned them automatically, as are BAT models. But, certain objects you might wish to create, will require a reserved range of IDs, which you must request. You will only be able to use those IDs you are allocated, but there seems to be a lot of confusion about how to use these most efficiently. For now, I'm going to attempt to simply explain this. But I hope in future to expand this tutorial a little, along with providing some useful tools to take all the complicated parts of using such IDs out of the equation.
    So let's quickly see which objects will require a dedicated ID range:
    Game Textures for Lots or Transit Networks Prop/Building or Flora Families MMPs (Mayor Mode Ploppables). I plan to update this section with more info and links to reserve a range in due course, bear with me.
    A quick note about TGI's (ID's/IID's)
    What is a TGI? That simply stands for Type, Group and Instance. Instance IDs are sometimes referred to as IIDs.
    Type, Group and Instance numbers for SC4 are each in 8-digit Hexadecimal format. Here's an example of that:
    0x7AB50E44 - 0x01234567 - 0x89ABCDEF
    You can simply think of the three groups of eight digits as a telephone number. The game looks for an object, by "dialing" its ID number. Think of the Type, Group and Instance parts, as much like an International Dialling Code, Area Code and Local Number. Sometimes you just need the local number. Others times you'll need the Area Code as well, sometimes you need all three.
    Usually both the Type and Group IDs are set, that is to say, you have to use specific ones, depending on the type of item. So for example, 0x7AB50E44 as a Type ID, means the item should be a texture. The group ID is like a subcategory, in the case of textures, those for game networks, like NAM's roads use 0x1ABE787D, whereas Lot Textures use group 0x0986135E. But, it's the last ID, the instance or IID we're most interested in here.
    That's a unique instance for your objects. If you are provided a range, almost certainly, you will be using the IID only. One thing to mention here, each 8-digit ID above is prefixed by 0x, I should explain this before continuing. This is just the way that Hex numbers are formatted. Depending on the application used or method of entry, you may need to include it, you may not. I know that seems less than helpful, but it'll make sense when you get there. If you are having problems, always check the format, perhaps you've missed or accidentally included the prefix, either can be a potential source of trouble.
    Why Hex in the first place?
    The answer to why computers use Hex is remarkably simple, it provides orders of magnitude more "space", using the same amount of data. But rather than trying to dwell on that too much, let's jump to an example that everyone can follow.
    When you get assigned a range of IDs for the IID, you will have a "family" or multiple "families" of IIDs. Much like with our phone number example, a family is simply the first few digits that remain the same for each ID. For this section, let's assume you've been assigned the family AAAA####. Where the # characters are digits you will need to decide upon to make your unique IDs.
    Let's look at how that would work, if the last 4 digits were using a traditional Decimal system:
    AAAA0000 - AAAA0009 = 10 Unique IDs AAAA0010 - AAAA0099 = 10x10 or 100 IDs  AAAA0100 - AAAA0999 = 10x10x10 or 1,000 IDs AAAA1000 - AAAA9999 = 10x10x10x10 or 10,000 IDs
    (Note that these calculations are cumulative, i.e. each includes the # of IDs from the previous line in the total) Now, let's look at the difference, just from adding 6 new numbers, i.e. a BASE 16 numbering system or Hex. Because we only have numbers 0-9 in the real world, Hex uses A through F to represent 10 through 16, whilst only using one character. Also note that 0 = 1 in this system, which makes sense if you think about it, 0 is after all a number. Don't focus on that too much, it's not so important.
    AAAA0000 - AAAA000F = 16 Unique IDs, no big change AAAA0010 - AAAA00FF = 16x16 or 256 IDs, look at that, already we've over twice the number of IDs the decimal system would offer. AAAA0100 - AAAA0FFF = 16x16x16 IDs or 4,096, now it's four times as many. AAAA1000 - AAAAFFFF = 16x16x16x16 IDs or 65,536, and we're up to six and a half times the number.
    If we follow this through all 8 digits, in decimal you've have a total of:
    100,000,000 IDs
    That's a lot, but with Hex, we end up with:
    4,294,967,296 IDs
    So for the exact same amount of data or space used, Hex gives us orders of magnitude more IDs to work with. So Hex is a very useful system indeed. Now think about this, each object in the game must have a unique ID. By having so many possibilities, it greatly reduces the chances that two will accidentally end up the same. Almost every time this happens, it's not the computer, its users using IDs they shouldn't have.
    If you have an assigned range for something, use those IDs ONLY.
    If you are working on something without assigned IDs, DO NOT manually create IDs yourself unless you have no other option.
    Mathematically speaking, the odds of a randomly generated ID conflicting are infinitesimally small. You've literally more chance of winning the lottery. But people, unlike random generators, often think alike or like to use similar patterns. So if the option exists to have a random ID, use it. Almost certainly it will be better for you and the wider community. Conflicts can be a big pain to find when they do occur.
    Speaking of conflicts, actually, sometimes those are useful, we may want an ID to conflict with another. Why? Well let's imagine you want to override an object in the game or from another creator, because you've altered it somehow. If your version has the same ID, it will conflict with the original. But SC4 is smartly designed, if it notices this, it will only use the last item loaded with the same ID. I.e., SC4 will override objects where conflicts occur. The only caveats here are that the object must load later than the one you are overriding. Also that some very specific instances will not work this way. For example, that's why the I-HT fix must be DAT-Packed to work, you can't override that particular file.
    How to use Hex efficiently?
    For now I'm going to cut this here... consider this a WIP. But when I resume work on this guide, I will cover all you need to know about using a range assigned to you in the best possible way. Remember that numbers, Hex or otherwise increment from the right side. When the last digit reaches 9, instead of moving one digit left and using 10, we jump from 9-A. Then through B to F, only after F do we use 10, which is actually 17. That seems like a really complicated thing to understand. But try to remember, you don't need to know what the decimal equivalent is in most cases, you only need to input the correct IDs in order. So 9, A, B, C, D, E, F then 10, it's really quite simple when you don't focus too much on the actual decimal numbers.

  12. Fantozzi liked an article by rsc204, What is Hex... Numbers don't hurt me...   
    Intro
    So here I'd like to just very quickly explain the differences between the Decimal numbering system, you know, the one we use everyday for money, counting, calculations etc, and Hexadecimal. I suspect, few out there would have need to use the latter of those. But let's say you want to make mods for SC4, at this point Hex (short for Hexadecimal) is something you may need to understand. It's really not that complex, you just need to think differently, because in Hex, we also use letters for numbers. Rather than try to pick that apart badly, I think it's much easier to show you how that works in practise. We'll get to that, but quickly, I should explain the basics first...
    So in SC4, we have three groups of Hex IDs for every object/item used by the game. In many cases you don't need to know anything about them, lots for example are all assigned them automatically, as are BAT models. But, certain objects you might wish to create, will require a reserved range of IDs, which you must request. You will only be able to use those IDs you are allocated, but there seems to be a lot of confusion about how to use these most efficiently. For now, I'm going to attempt to simply explain this. But I hope in future to expand this tutorial a little, along with providing some useful tools to take all the complicated parts of using such IDs out of the equation.
    So let's quickly see which objects will require a dedicated ID range:
    Game Textures for Lots or Transit Networks Prop/Building or Flora Families MMPs (Mayor Mode Ploppables). I plan to update this section with more info and links to reserve a range in due course, bear with me.
    A quick note about TGI's (ID's/IID's)
    What is a TGI? That simply stands for Type, Group and Instance. Instance IDs are sometimes referred to as IIDs.
    Type, Group and Instance numbers for SC4 are each in 8-digit Hexadecimal format. Here's an example of that:
    0x7AB50E44 - 0x01234567 - 0x89ABCDEF
    You can simply think of the three groups of eight digits as a telephone number. The game looks for an object, by "dialing" its ID number. Think of the Type, Group and Instance parts, as much like an International Dialling Code, Area Code and Local Number. Sometimes you just need the local number. Others times you'll need the Area Code as well, sometimes you need all three.
    Usually both the Type and Group IDs are set, that is to say, you have to use specific ones, depending on the type of item. So for example, 0x7AB50E44 as a Type ID, means the item should be a texture. The group ID is like a subcategory, in the case of textures, those for game networks, like NAM's roads use 0x1ABE787D, whereas Lot Textures use group 0x0986135E. But, it's the last ID, the instance or IID we're most interested in here.
    That's a unique instance for your objects. If you are provided a range, almost certainly, you will be using the IID only. One thing to mention here, each 8-digit ID above is prefixed by 0x, I should explain this before continuing. This is just the way that Hex numbers are formatted. Depending on the application used or method of entry, you may need to include it, you may not. I know that seems less than helpful, but it'll make sense when you get there. If you are having problems, always check the format, perhaps you've missed or accidentally included the prefix, either can be a potential source of trouble.
    Why Hex in the first place?
    The answer to why computers use Hex is remarkably simple, it provides orders of magnitude more "space", using the same amount of data. But rather than trying to dwell on that too much, let's jump to an example that everyone can follow.
    When you get assigned a range of IDs for the IID, you will have a "family" or multiple "families" of IIDs. Much like with our phone number example, a family is simply the first few digits that remain the same for each ID. For this section, let's assume you've been assigned the family AAAA####. Where the # characters are digits you will need to decide upon to make your unique IDs.
    Let's look at how that would work, if the last 4 digits were using a traditional Decimal system:
    AAAA0000 - AAAA0009 = 10 Unique IDs AAAA0010 - AAAA0099 = 10x10 or 100 IDs  AAAA0100 - AAAA0999 = 10x10x10 or 1,000 IDs AAAA1000 - AAAA9999 = 10x10x10x10 or 10,000 IDs
    (Note that these calculations are cumulative, i.e. each includes the # of IDs from the previous line in the total) Now, let's look at the difference, just from adding 6 new numbers, i.e. a BASE 16 numbering system or Hex. Because we only have numbers 0-9 in the real world, Hex uses A through F to represent 10 through 16, whilst only using one character. Also note that 0 = 1 in this system, which makes sense if you think about it, 0 is after all a number. Don't focus on that too much, it's not so important.
    AAAA0000 - AAAA000F = 16 Unique IDs, no big change AAAA0010 - AAAA00FF = 16x16 or 256 IDs, look at that, already we've over twice the number of IDs the decimal system would offer. AAAA0100 - AAAA0FFF = 16x16x16 IDs or 4,096, now it's four times as many. AAAA1000 - AAAAFFFF = 16x16x16x16 IDs or 65,536, and we're up to six and a half times the number.
    If we follow this through all 8 digits, in decimal you've have a total of:
    100,000,000 IDs
    That's a lot, but with Hex, we end up with:
    4,294,967,296 IDs
    So for the exact same amount of data or space used, Hex gives us orders of magnitude more IDs to work with. So Hex is a very useful system indeed. Now think about this, each object in the game must have a unique ID. By having so many possibilities, it greatly reduces the chances that two will accidentally end up the same. Almost every time this happens, it's not the computer, its users using IDs they shouldn't have.
    If you have an assigned range for something, use those IDs ONLY.
    If you are working on something without assigned IDs, DO NOT manually create IDs yourself unless you have no other option.
    Mathematically speaking, the odds of a randomly generated ID conflicting are infinitesimally small. You've literally more chance of winning the lottery. But people, unlike random generators, often think alike or like to use similar patterns. So if the option exists to have a random ID, use it. Almost certainly it will be better for you and the wider community. Conflicts can be a big pain to find when they do occur.
    Speaking of conflicts, actually, sometimes those are useful, we may want an ID to conflict with another. Why? Well let's imagine you want to override an object in the game or from another creator, because you've altered it somehow. If your version has the same ID, it will conflict with the original. But SC4 is smartly designed, if it notices this, it will only use the last item loaded with the same ID. I.e., SC4 will override objects where conflicts occur. The only caveats here are that the object must load later than the one you are overriding. Also that some very specific instances will not work this way. For example, that's why the I-HT fix must be DAT-Packed to work, you can't override that particular file.
    How to use Hex efficiently?
    For now I'm going to cut this here... consider this a WIP. But when I resume work on this guide, I will cover all you need to know about using a range assigned to you in the best possible way. Remember that numbers, Hex or otherwise increment from the right side. When the last digit reaches 9, instead of moving one digit left and using 10, we jump from 9-A. Then through B to F, only after F do we use 10, which is actually 17. That seems like a really complicated thing to understand. But try to remember, you don't need to know what the decimal equivalent is in most cases, you only need to input the correct IDs in order. So 9, A, B, C, D, E, F then 10, it's really quite simple when you don't focus too much on the actual decimal numbers.

  13. Fantozzi liked an article by rsc204, What is Hex... Numbers don't hurt me...   
    Intro
    So here I'd like to just very quickly explain the differences between the Decimal numbering system, you know, the one we use everyday for money, counting, calculations etc, and Hexadecimal. I suspect, few out there would have need to use the latter of those. But let's say you want to make mods for SC4, at this point Hex (short for Hexadecimal) is something you may need to understand. It's really not that complex, you just need to think differently, because in Hex, we also use letters for numbers. Rather than try to pick that apart badly, I think it's much easier to show you how that works in practise. We'll get to that, but quickly, I should explain the basics first...
    So in SC4, we have three groups of Hex IDs for every object/item used by the game. In many cases you don't need to know anything about them, lots for example are all assigned them automatically, as are BAT models. But, certain objects you might wish to create, will require a reserved range of IDs, which you must request. You will only be able to use those IDs you are allocated, but there seems to be a lot of confusion about how to use these most efficiently. For now, I'm going to attempt to simply explain this. But I hope in future to expand this tutorial a little, along with providing some useful tools to take all the complicated parts of using such IDs out of the equation.
    So let's quickly see which objects will require a dedicated ID range:
    Game Textures for Lots or Transit Networks Prop/Building or Flora Families MMPs (Mayor Mode Ploppables). I plan to update this section with more info and links to reserve a range in due course, bear with me.
    A quick note about TGI's (ID's/IID's)
    What is a TGI? That simply stands for Type, Group and Instance. Instance IDs are sometimes referred to as IIDs.
    Type, Group and Instance numbers for SC4 are each in 8-digit Hexadecimal format. Here's an example of that:
    0x7AB50E44 - 0x01234567 - 0x89ABCDEF
    You can simply think of the three groups of eight digits as a telephone number. The game looks for an object, by "dialing" its ID number. Think of the Type, Group and Instance parts, as much like an International Dialling Code, Area Code and Local Number. Sometimes you just need the local number. Others times you'll need the Area Code as well, sometimes you need all three.
    Usually both the Type and Group IDs are set, that is to say, you have to use specific ones, depending on the type of item. So for example, 0x7AB50E44 as a Type ID, means the item should be a texture. The group ID is like a subcategory, in the case of textures, those for game networks, like NAM's roads use 0x1ABE787D, whereas Lot Textures use group 0x0986135E. But, it's the last ID, the instance or IID we're most interested in here.
    That's a unique instance for your objects. If you are provided a range, almost certainly, you will be using the IID only. One thing to mention here, each 8-digit ID above is prefixed by 0x, I should explain this before continuing. This is just the way that Hex numbers are formatted. Depending on the application used or method of entry, you may need to include it, you may not. I know that seems less than helpful, but it'll make sense when you get there. If you are having problems, always check the format, perhaps you've missed or accidentally included the prefix, either can be a potential source of trouble.
    Why Hex in the first place?
    The answer to why computers use Hex is remarkably simple, it provides orders of magnitude more "space", using the same amount of data. But rather than trying to dwell on that too much, let's jump to an example that everyone can follow.
    When you get assigned a range of IDs for the IID, you will have a "family" or multiple "families" of IIDs. Much like with our phone number example, a family is simply the first few digits that remain the same for each ID. For this section, let's assume you've been assigned the family AAAA####. Where the # characters are digits you will need to decide upon to make your unique IDs.
    Let's look at how that would work, if the last 4 digits were using a traditional Decimal system:
    AAAA0000 - AAAA0009 = 10 Unique IDs AAAA0010 - AAAA0099 = 10x10 or 100 IDs  AAAA0100 - AAAA0999 = 10x10x10 or 1,000 IDs AAAA1000 - AAAA9999 = 10x10x10x10 or 10,000 IDs
    (Note that these calculations are cumulative, i.e. each includes the # of IDs from the previous line in the total) Now, let's look at the difference, just from adding 6 new numbers, i.e. a BASE 16 numbering system or Hex. Because we only have numbers 0-9 in the real world, Hex uses A through F to represent 10 through 16, whilst only using one character. Also note that 0 = 1 in this system, which makes sense if you think about it, 0 is after all a number. Don't focus on that too much, it's not so important.
    AAAA0000 - AAAA000F = 16 Unique IDs, no big change AAAA0010 - AAAA00FF = 16x16 or 256 IDs, look at that, already we've over twice the number of IDs the decimal system would offer. AAAA0100 - AAAA0FFF = 16x16x16 IDs or 4,096, now it's four times as many. AAAA1000 - AAAAFFFF = 16x16x16x16 IDs or 65,536, and we're up to six and a half times the number.
    If we follow this through all 8 digits, in decimal you've have a total of:
    100,000,000 IDs
    That's a lot, but with Hex, we end up with:
    4,294,967,296 IDs
    So for the exact same amount of data or space used, Hex gives us orders of magnitude more IDs to work with. So Hex is a very useful system indeed. Now think about this, each object in the game must have a unique ID. By having so many possibilities, it greatly reduces the chances that two will accidentally end up the same. Almost every time this happens, it's not the computer, its users using IDs they shouldn't have.
    If you have an assigned range for something, use those IDs ONLY.
    If you are working on something without assigned IDs, DO NOT manually create IDs yourself unless you have no other option.
    Mathematically speaking, the odds of a randomly generated ID conflicting are infinitesimally small. You've literally more chance of winning the lottery. But people, unlike random generators, often think alike or like to use similar patterns. So if the option exists to have a random ID, use it. Almost certainly it will be better for you and the wider community. Conflicts can be a big pain to find when they do occur.
    Speaking of conflicts, actually, sometimes those are useful, we may want an ID to conflict with another. Why? Well let's imagine you want to override an object in the game or from another creator, because you've altered it somehow. If your version has the same ID, it will conflict with the original. But SC4 is smartly designed, if it notices this, it will only use the last item loaded with the same ID. I.e., SC4 will override objects where conflicts occur. The only caveats here are that the object must load later than the one you are overriding. Also that some very specific instances will not work this way. For example, that's why the I-HT fix must be DAT-Packed to work, you can't override that particular file.
    How to use Hex efficiently?
    For now I'm going to cut this here... consider this a WIP. But when I resume work on this guide, I will cover all you need to know about using a range assigned to you in the best possible way. Remember that numbers, Hex or otherwise increment from the right side. When the last digit reaches 9, instead of moving one digit left and using 10, we jump from 9-A. Then through B to F, only after F do we use 10, which is actually 17. That seems like a really complicated thing to understand. But try to remember, you don't need to know what the decimal equivalent is in most cases, you only need to input the correct IDs in order. So 9, A, B, C, D, E, F then 10, it's really quite simple when you don't focus too much on the actual decimal numbers.

  14. Fantozzi liked an article by rsc204, What is Hex... Numbers don't hurt me...   
    Intro
    So here I'd like to just very quickly explain the differences between the Decimal numbering system, you know, the one we use everyday for money, counting, calculations etc, and Hexadecimal. I suspect, few out there would have need to use the latter of those. But let's say you want to make mods for SC4, at this point Hex (short for Hexadecimal) is something you may need to understand. It's really not that complex, you just need to think differently, because in Hex, we also use letters for numbers. Rather than try to pick that apart badly, I think it's much easier to show you how that works in practise. We'll get to that, but quickly, I should explain the basics first...
    So in SC4, we have three groups of Hex IDs for every object/item used by the game. In many cases you don't need to know anything about them, lots for example are all assigned them automatically, as are BAT models. But, certain objects you might wish to create, will require a reserved range of IDs, which you must request. You will only be able to use those IDs you are allocated, but there seems to be a lot of confusion about how to use these most efficiently. For now, I'm going to attempt to simply explain this. But I hope in future to expand this tutorial a little, along with providing some useful tools to take all the complicated parts of using such IDs out of the equation.
    So let's quickly see which objects will require a dedicated ID range:
    Game Textures for Lots or Transit Networks Prop/Building or Flora Families MMPs (Mayor Mode Ploppables). I plan to update this section with more info and links to reserve a range in due course, bear with me.
    A quick note about TGI's (ID's/IID's)
    What is a TGI? That simply stands for Type, Group and Instance. Instance IDs are sometimes referred to as IIDs.
    Type, Group and Instance numbers for SC4 are each in 8-digit Hexadecimal format. Here's an example of that:
    0x7AB50E44 - 0x01234567 - 0x89ABCDEF
    You can simply think of the three groups of eight digits as a telephone number. The game looks for an object, by "dialing" its ID number. Think of the Type, Group and Instance parts, as much like an International Dialling Code, Area Code and Local Number. Sometimes you just need the local number. Others times you'll need the Area Code as well, sometimes you need all three.
    Usually both the Type and Group IDs are set, that is to say, you have to use specific ones, depending on the type of item. So for example, 0x7AB50E44 as a Type ID, means the item should be a texture. The group ID is like a subcategory, in the case of textures, those for game networks, like NAM's roads use 0x1ABE787D, whereas Lot Textures use group 0x0986135E. But, it's the last ID, the instance or IID we're most interested in here.
    That's a unique instance for your objects. If you are provided a range, almost certainly, you will be using the IID only. One thing to mention here, each 8-digit ID above is prefixed by 0x, I should explain this before continuing. This is just the way that Hex numbers are formatted. Depending on the application used or method of entry, you may need to include it, you may not. I know that seems less than helpful, but it'll make sense when you get there. If you are having problems, always check the format, perhaps you've missed or accidentally included the prefix, either can be a potential source of trouble.
    Why Hex in the first place?
    The answer to why computers use Hex is remarkably simple, it provides orders of magnitude more "space", using the same amount of data. But rather than trying to dwell on that too much, let's jump to an example that everyone can follow.
    When you get assigned a range of IDs for the IID, you will have a "family" or multiple "families" of IIDs. Much like with our phone number example, a family is simply the first few digits that remain the same for each ID. For this section, let's assume you've been assigned the family AAAA####. Where the # characters are digits you will need to decide upon to make your unique IDs.
    Let's look at how that would work, if the last 4 digits were using a traditional Decimal system:
    AAAA0000 - AAAA0009 = 10 Unique IDs AAAA0010 - AAAA0099 = 10x10 or 100 IDs  AAAA0100 - AAAA0999 = 10x10x10 or 1,000 IDs AAAA1000 - AAAA9999 = 10x10x10x10 or 10,000 IDs
    (Note that these calculations are cumulative, i.e. each includes the # of IDs from the previous line in the total) Now, let's look at the difference, just from adding 6 new numbers, i.e. a BASE 16 numbering system or Hex. Because we only have numbers 0-9 in the real world, Hex uses A through F to represent 10 through 16, whilst only using one character. Also note that 0 = 1 in this system, which makes sense if you think about it, 0 is after all a number. Don't focus on that too much, it's not so important.
    AAAA0000 - AAAA000F = 16 Unique IDs, no big change AAAA0010 - AAAA00FF = 16x16 or 256 IDs, look at that, already we've over twice the number of IDs the decimal system would offer. AAAA0100 - AAAA0FFF = 16x16x16 IDs or 4,096, now it's four times as many. AAAA1000 - AAAAFFFF = 16x16x16x16 IDs or 65,536, and we're up to six and a half times the number.
    If we follow this through all 8 digits, in decimal you've have a total of:
    100,000,000 IDs
    That's a lot, but with Hex, we end up with:
    4,294,967,296 IDs
    So for the exact same amount of data or space used, Hex gives us orders of magnitude more IDs to work with. So Hex is a very useful system indeed. Now think about this, each object in the game must have a unique ID. By having so many possibilities, it greatly reduces the chances that two will accidentally end up the same. Almost every time this happens, it's not the computer, its users using IDs they shouldn't have.
    If you have an assigned range for something, use those IDs ONLY.
    If you are working on something without assigned IDs, DO NOT manually create IDs yourself unless you have no other option.
    Mathematically speaking, the odds of a randomly generated ID conflicting are infinitesimally small. You've literally more chance of winning the lottery. But people, unlike random generators, often think alike or like to use similar patterns. So if the option exists to have a random ID, use it. Almost certainly it will be better for you and the wider community. Conflicts can be a big pain to find when they do occur.
    Speaking of conflicts, actually, sometimes those are useful, we may want an ID to conflict with another. Why? Well let's imagine you want to override an object in the game or from another creator, because you've altered it somehow. If your version has the same ID, it will conflict with the original. But SC4 is smartly designed, if it notices this, it will only use the last item loaded with the same ID. I.e., SC4 will override objects where conflicts occur. The only caveats here are that the object must load later than the one you are overriding. Also that some very specific instances will not work this way. For example, that's why the I-HT fix must be DAT-Packed to work, you can't override that particular file.
    How to use Hex efficiently?
    For now I'm going to cut this here... consider this a WIP. But when I resume work on this guide, I will cover all you need to know about using a range assigned to you in the best possible way. Remember that numbers, Hex or otherwise increment from the right side. When the last digit reaches 9, instead of moving one digit left and using 10, we jump from 9-A. Then through B to F, only after F do we use 10, which is actually 17. That seems like a really complicated thing to understand. But try to remember, you don't need to know what the decimal equivalent is in most cases, you only need to input the correct IDs in order. So 9, A, B, C, D, E, F then 10, it's really quite simple when you don't focus too much on the actual decimal numbers.

  15. Fantozzi liked an article by rsc204, What is Hex... Numbers don't hurt me...   
    Intro
    So here I'd like to just very quickly explain the differences between the Decimal numbering system, you know, the one we use everyday for money, counting, calculations etc, and Hexadecimal. I suspect, few out there would have need to use the latter of those. But let's say you want to make mods for SC4, at this point Hex (short for Hexadecimal) is something you may need to understand. It's really not that complex, you just need to think differently, because in Hex, we also use letters for numbers. Rather than try to pick that apart badly, I think it's much easier to show you how that works in practise. We'll get to that, but quickly, I should explain the basics first...
    So in SC4, we have three groups of Hex IDs for every object/item used by the game. In many cases you don't need to know anything about them, lots for example are all assigned them automatically, as are BAT models. But, certain objects you might wish to create, will require a reserved range of IDs, which you must request. You will only be able to use those IDs you are allocated, but there seems to be a lot of confusion about how to use these most efficiently. For now, I'm going to attempt to simply explain this. But I hope in future to expand this tutorial a little, along with providing some useful tools to take all the complicated parts of using such IDs out of the equation.
    So let's quickly see which objects will require a dedicated ID range:
    Game Textures for Lots or Transit Networks Prop/Building or Flora Families MMPs (Mayor Mode Ploppables). I plan to update this section with more info and links to reserve a range in due course, bear with me.
    A quick note about TGI's (ID's/IID's)
    What is a TGI? That simply stands for Type, Group and Instance. Instance IDs are sometimes referred to as IIDs.
    Type, Group and Instance numbers for SC4 are each in 8-digit Hexadecimal format. Here's an example of that:
    0x7AB50E44 - 0x01234567 - 0x89ABCDEF
    You can simply think of the three groups of eight digits as a telephone number. The game looks for an object, by "dialing" its ID number. Think of the Type, Group and Instance parts, as much like an International Dialling Code, Area Code and Local Number. Sometimes you just need the local number. Others times you'll need the Area Code as well, sometimes you need all three.
    Usually both the Type and Group IDs are set, that is to say, you have to use specific ones, depending on the type of item. So for example, 0x7AB50E44 as a Type ID, means the item should be a texture. The group ID is like a subcategory, in the case of textures, those for game networks, like NAM's roads use 0x1ABE787D, whereas Lot Textures use group 0x0986135E. But, it's the last ID, the instance or IID we're most interested in here.
    That's a unique instance for your objects. If you are provided a range, almost certainly, you will be using the IID only. One thing to mention here, each 8-digit ID above is prefixed by 0x, I should explain this before continuing. This is just the way that Hex numbers are formatted. Depending on the application used or method of entry, you may need to include it, you may not. I know that seems less than helpful, but it'll make sense when you get there. If you are having problems, always check the format, perhaps you've missed or accidentally included the prefix, either can be a potential source of trouble.
    Why Hex in the first place?
    The answer to why computers use Hex is remarkably simple, it provides orders of magnitude more "space", using the same amount of data. But rather than trying to dwell on that too much, let's jump to an example that everyone can follow.
    When you get assigned a range of IDs for the IID, you will have a "family" or multiple "families" of IIDs. Much like with our phone number example, a family is simply the first few digits that remain the same for each ID. For this section, let's assume you've been assigned the family AAAA####. Where the # characters are digits you will need to decide upon to make your unique IDs.
    Let's look at how that would work, if the last 4 digits were using a traditional Decimal system:
    AAAA0000 - AAAA0009 = 10 Unique IDs AAAA0010 - AAAA0099 = 10x10 or 100 IDs  AAAA0100 - AAAA0999 = 10x10x10 or 1,000 IDs AAAA1000 - AAAA9999 = 10x10x10x10 or 10,000 IDs
    (Note that these calculations are cumulative, i.e. each includes the # of IDs from the previous line in the total) Now, let's look at the difference, just from adding 6 new numbers, i.e. a BASE 16 numbering system or Hex. Because we only have numbers 0-9 in the real world, Hex uses A through F to represent 10 through 16, whilst only using one character. Also note that 0 = 1 in this system, which makes sense if you think about it, 0 is after all a number. Don't focus on that too much, it's not so important.
    AAAA0000 - AAAA000F = 16 Unique IDs, no big change AAAA0010 - AAAA00FF = 16x16 or 256 IDs, look at that, already we've over twice the number of IDs the decimal system would offer. AAAA0100 - AAAA0FFF = 16x16x16 IDs or 4,096, now it's four times as many. AAAA1000 - AAAAFFFF = 16x16x16x16 IDs or 65,536, and we're up to six and a half times the number.
    If we follow this through all 8 digits, in decimal you've have a total of:
    100,000,000 IDs
    That's a lot, but with Hex, we end up with:
    4,294,967,296 IDs
    So for the exact same amount of data or space used, Hex gives us orders of magnitude more IDs to work with. So Hex is a very useful system indeed. Now think about this, each object in the game must have a unique ID. By having so many possibilities, it greatly reduces the chances that two will accidentally end up the same. Almost every time this happens, it's not the computer, its users using IDs they shouldn't have.
    If you have an assigned range for something, use those IDs ONLY.
    If you are working on something without assigned IDs, DO NOT manually create IDs yourself unless you have no other option.
    Mathematically speaking, the odds of a randomly generated ID conflicting are infinitesimally small. You've literally more chance of winning the lottery. But people, unlike random generators, often think alike or like to use similar patterns. So if the option exists to have a random ID, use it. Almost certainly it will be better for you and the wider community. Conflicts can be a big pain to find when they do occur.
    Speaking of conflicts, actually, sometimes those are useful, we may want an ID to conflict with another. Why? Well let's imagine you want to override an object in the game or from another creator, because you've altered it somehow. If your version has the same ID, it will conflict with the original. But SC4 is smartly designed, if it notices this, it will only use the last item loaded with the same ID. I.e., SC4 will override objects where conflicts occur. The only caveats here are that the object must load later than the one you are overriding. Also that some very specific instances will not work this way. For example, that's why the I-HT fix must be DAT-Packed to work, you can't override that particular file.
    How to use Hex efficiently?
    For now I'm going to cut this here... consider this a WIP. But when I resume work on this guide, I will cover all you need to know about using a range assigned to you in the best possible way. Remember that numbers, Hex or otherwise increment from the right side. When the last digit reaches 9, instead of moving one digit left and using 10, we jump from 9-A. Then through B to F, only after F do we use 10, which is actually 17. That seems like a really complicated thing to understand. But try to remember, you don't need to know what the decimal equivalent is in most cases, you only need to input the correct IDs in order. So 9, A, B, C, D, E, F then 10, it's really quite simple when you don't focus too much on the actual decimal numbers.

  16. MeMyself&I liked an article by rsc204, Slope Mods: A Brief Guide   
    I was asked about slope mods by Dreadnought today. Halfway through replying to a PM, I realised this would be better posted here for all to see. If anyone can think of something I've missed, I'd be happy to consider it's inclusion at some point. For now though, this will just cover some of the basics.

    What is a Slope Mod?
    A slope mod just adjusts the allowable slopes, at an individual network level. What does that mean?...
    Without any additional mods, if you have a big hill and draw a network, the game has a default setting for the maximum slope of each network. Maxis deliberately made this pretty unrestrictive, for ease of play. If you want to create more realistic looking cities, especially with hilly terrain, you will probably want to install a mod that adjusts the default slopes, making them more restrictive. This will help to avoid the bumpy uneven roads, that are very common when playing without such a mod.
    Each network in the game has it's own settings, that dictate how steep the slopes can be when dragging that network. These networks are:
    Street Road OWR (One Way Road) Avenue Maxis Highway Rail Elevated Rail Monorail Dirt Road (RealHighway [RHW]). It should be noted that override networks do not have separate settings. So for example, if you are using the Network Widening Mod (NWM) or Street Addon Mod (SAM), which are overrides of the Road and Street networks respectively, they will use the same settings as the base network.
    Dirt Road is so called, because it was an additional unused network left in the game's code. Whilst it has been repurposed by the NAM team to be used for the RHW mod, technically it's the Dirt Road network. From here on in, I will refer to dirt road as RHW, for the sake of clarity.
     
    A Slope Mod sounds just up my street...
     
    Hopefully if you've made it here, you'll be thinking right now about installing a slope mod. As always with mods for SC4, there are far too many options out there to go into every one in excruciating detail. They all do pretty much the same thing, but there are two important factors you should consider when selecting one.
     
    What networks does the mod support/change. How restrictive is the slope.  
    For example, you may decide you only want to have restricted slopes for some of the supported networks. So if a mod bundles everything together in one DAT, unless you know how to remove those you do not want, (really not very hard, even though it does require the Reader), you should be mindful of this.
     
    A very restrictive slope mod will totally transform how you build and terraform in game. Whereas a very unrestrictive mod, could end up looking like the vanilla experience. If you are new to slope mods, then it's probably best to try a few out and get a feel for how they affect things. Especially before you start using one in a cherished region. For example, a really restrictive slope can mean a 15m height difference, would take something in the region of a whole large tile for the slope. Obviously that's an extreme example, most of them are much more balanced for general play.
     
    For the purposes of this tutorial, I'm going to show the three mods I'm using:
     
    BRF's Tunnel and Slope Mod RHW Slope Mod BTM Slope Mod  

     
    And here is a comparison shot, to give you an example of how these changes affect your slopes. Each of the networks in this picture are transitioning from a 15m high hill. Even with the slope mod by BRF, the street network takes only three tiles or 48m to descend by 15m. For math aficionados, that's a slope of around 1:3. This is pretty steep, but probably not completely unrealistic in some places. The road takes 4 tiles or 60m by comparison, which is 1:4. As you can see, I've cunningly laid these out from bottom to top, in the order of the slopes gradients. From steepest, to the shallowest slope. If you are still wondering why you need a slope mod, this picture should hopefully show you how much nicer your slopes can be.
     
    Note: I've used Rail stubs to indicate the first three tiles that are at ground level for each network. I've also used PedMalls to help see the slopes better. As you can see, rail has the most restrictive slope of all, so much so, even with my fairly reasonable grades, it doesn't fit in the screenshot.
     
    Using your slope mods more flexibly
     
    Whilst you could have multiple slope mods for a number of different situations, that's quite a complex setup and requires you to close SC4 and move files about. Let's say I want a road to have a slope similar to that of the El-Rail network shown above. Rather than switch to a slope mod permanently with those settings, there is an easier way. Just use the El-Rail tool to draw the slope first, delete it and drag the road down your nice new slope. Using the above picture as reference, you can do this for any network which appears lower down the screenshot, than the slope you require. To put that another way, if you made a slope using the Avenue tool, but then wanted to use it for the Rail network, this would not work. Since the rail network is more restrictive. Using this setup though, you can have quite a bit of flexibility for a number of networks. Note how the Rail networks, including Monorail and Elevated Rail, have the most restrictive slopes of all. That makes a lot of sense when you think about it, since in real life, the gradients they are able to support are much less than cars and other traffic are able to deal with.
     
    Some final hints and tips
    Sim City 4 can be unforgiving at times, it's all too easy when making other changes, for your hard work creating slopes to become unravelled. Just as I have shown above, using PedMalls next to the slope, will lock-in the slope, making it impossible for development and other networks to alter them further.
    Of course, if you wanted a junction halfway down the slope, that now be impossible too. Here's where some planning really comes in handy. Using the four steps shown on the right, you can easily form intersections as part of your slopes.
    Drag the initial slope, here I am using the El-Rail tool for the slope. I have placed pedmalls and used a rail stub to completely flatten the tile where the junction will be. Now you can continue to drag your slope, in this case in two directions, from the stub. I've placed the pedmalls here before I built the road. As you can see, the slopes are working very well. Lastly, I've dragged the street tool, anything with a less restrictive slope would do, parallel to the new road. This makes the surrounding tiles match the slope used for the road. This is useful if you want to zone next to the road, or sometimes for blending into the terrain better. Note: I have not dragged next to the road junction, a gap of one tile must be left here. Because I've used pedmall to lock-in the slope, there would be no danger of messing up our hard work. But if the pedmalls were not present, dragging either of the parallel streets closer to each other, might mean you'd have to start over.
    Another useful thing to know, when zoning next to slopes, the game can actually alter the slope of the transit network. Either when zoning or when buildings develop. Often this is quite undesirable, but there is a way to avoid it. By holding the CTRL key when zoning, the game knows not to change the slopes in either scenario. It does require some thinking about how you zone each area, but is a very handy way to stop the game messing up all our hard work, to keep slopes looking good.
    If you make a partial slope, you can then level off areas using "stubs" as required. Stubs are made by clicking only once with the network tools, such as the Street, Road or Rail, in each tile. As opposed to connecting or drawing them in a line. I prefer to use rail stubs myself, because they do not feature auto-connect. This can catch you out on occasion, causing problems, especially when using the RHW or Streets tool.
    Leave these stubs in place whilst you are building your slopes, to incorporate many different things, that might otherwise look undesirable on uneven terrain. This can be especially useful for incorporating WRC's, TE connections and many other possibilities into your slopes.
  17. daderic888 liked an article by rsc204, Instalation and Configuration of the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod   
    Introduction
    What is the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod, and why do I want it?
    Well at it's core, this mod is smartly designed to add your sidewalk onto many of the NAM puzzle pieces that without it would remain bare, or show the default Maxis White sidewalks. Support includes many features of the NAM, such as PedMalls, FLUPs, WRCs, Overpasses and much more besides. Additionally, it features many custom options that transform the general appearance of NAM features. Many of the components of the mod have different options for you to set things up just how you want them. Although recent developments have helped to avoid baked-in sidewalk textures in the NAM, this mod is still phenomenally useful for covering the legacy pieces many of us still use. As such, it's still relevant, plus in my opinion, one of the must have mods for everyone.
    PART I - Installing the Basic Mod
    In this first part I'm going to explain how to install the base of the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod. In subsequent parts, I will expand this to cover every option that is available. If you don't want or need a specific Add-On, then just skip that part of the tutorial. But keep what you do install in the same order listed here, to ensure you don't run into problems.
     
    So first off you will need to download the file "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip" from here. Please rename this file "01_NAMFaceLiftBaseMod.zip" either before downloading or after you have done so. This is very important since many of the different Add-Ons for this pack have the same filename, so do this now and you'll avoid any problems later. This part of the Japanese Facelift serves as the base part of the mod, and will add your sidewalk texture onto the Wide Radius Curves (WRC) and Fractionally Angled Road (FAR) puzzle pieces (all found in the Roads Menu). Although technically it seems you can get away without using this part of the NAM FaceLift Mod, I would recommend everyone using the mod starts here, especially considering how much nicer WRC and FAR looks compared to the original bare curves.
    Before we install this mod, it is very important that we are able to test it in a simple environment, so that any problems can be tracked down easily. In short, the best practice would be to remove all the files/folders in your Plugins, with the exception of the "Network Addon Mod", "z___Nam", and your chosen sidewalk mod's folders. Move them somewhere safe where you can find them later, you now have a test setup, it should look like this:

    Temporarily moved items are shown on the left, the current Plugins folder is shown on the right.
    Note: When running SC4 with a test setup it is recommended to play in a new, blank region.
    Now open the .zip file from earlier (double click the .zip file), where you will find a folder called "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod", you need to copy this folder into your
    "My Documents\SimCity 4\Plugins" directory. Rename this folder "z____NAMFacelift" it is very important to use at least 4 underscores " _ " to ensure this mod loads after the NAM. Otherwise some of the pieces will not work as expected.
    Note: Previous versions of the NAM worked differently, using a lot of zzzs or a z# numbering system will NO LONGER WORK.
    Open your newly renamed folder and you should find 4 folders, "Props", "Readme", "Textures" and "WideRadiusCurves". Open the readme (inside its folder), and find the section "Usage". From here you need to choose which of the Wide Curve styles you would like this mod to use. Open the Props folder: You can remove "Side walk style Add on.dat" and "Side walk style.dat" ONLY if you are going to use the Overall Pavement Style option, Otherwise keep all the files inside. At this point I can also recommend installing the patch "Overall Pavement Style Fix.zip" attached to this tutorial. It fixes a display issue in Z3 which causes parts of the sidewalk to look brighter than they should. Just place this file in the Props folder, and it will work correctly. In the "WideRadiusCurves" folder keep the folder "Common". Then remove the three Wide Curve folders, that are named after the sidewalk styles you are NOT intending to use.
      Note: If your sims drive on the Right in-game, you MUST remove two files both named "zFractional Angle Road-Straight over rail LH.dat". One is located in the "Common" / "Road" folder, the other is found in whichever WideRadius folder you kept installed.
    My advice for removing such additional files during this mods installation, is to delete the files you do not need. You will have the originals in the .zip file you downloaded, should you ever want to change options. Therefore it is easier to test various options in-game (move the folders you are not using temporarily), and decide on what to use before continuing. Remember to test in a new city/region and with the "test setup" explained earlier. At this point, if everything is working then the WRCs & FAR pieces should all have sidewalks that match your sidewalk mod like so:
       
    Note: You may need to zone next to such pieces before the sidewalks appear.
    For some reason it seems that one piece, the Diagonal to FAR Avenue, seems not to be supported by this mod. Support for them is provided by my soon to be released SWN (Sidewalk NAM) mod.
     
    PART II - Overpasses
    The link for the three mods discussed in this part can be found on this page.
    There are many different options to make this set compatible with a number of other (mainly Japanese Mods). To start, I'll quickly go through them:
    z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (02_NAMFaceliftOverpasses.zip)
    This is the base set that adds the new style overpasses, it will also change the white bases to match your sidewalk mod. Other_Mod.zip (03_NAMFaceliftOverpassOptions.zip)
    This file contains options for users of certain mods, see section 2 for more details. Neko_Overpass_AddOn_Lot.zip (04_NAMFaceliftOverpassNekoParking.zip)
    This file contains four new ramps, and some pieces with under bridge car parks for the 7.5m Overpasses. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above, otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - Main Overpass Mod
    Open the file we renamed to "02_NAMFaceLiftOverpass", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in the last lesson "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. If this is done correctly, you will see a message pop up asking you if you want to merge/overwrite files or folders. This is perfectly safe to do, as the mod was designed to work in this way. Each separate package that contains the same textures/props has them included, so if we overwrite files here, we will only be left with one of each. So tell Windows it is OK to do this for every occurrence of the message. To save time you could tick "Do this for all current items" in Windows 7/newer. When finished, both readmes will be in one convenient location, all you need to do is select a few options. Open the "Overpass" / "T21" folder where there are four further folders:
     Select_GuardRail - Remove the file "zGuardRailProps.dat" if you do NOT want white gaurdrails on the road edge of Overpasses.  Select Pavement - There are three options:       "noBlankLotPavement.dat" - Tiles under overpasses always remain transparent.       "noTransoirtLotPavement.dat" - Show Sidewalks under overpasses, except for where transit networks cross.       "zOverallPavement.dat" - Show sidewalks under overpasses and where transit networks cross.
          Keep ONLY ONE of these files.  Select SecurityFence - Remove the file "zSecurityFence_Props.dat", if you do NOT want security fences on the bottom edge of Overpasses.  Select Streetlight - Pick the streetlight colour for your overpasses, by removing all the ones you do not want to use. 2 - Overpass Option
    Due to the complexity of some of the mods here, I will only briefly explain what each one is and how to install them.
    Open the file we renamed to "03_NAMFaceliftOverpassOption.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in the first lesson, "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder.
    Note: Re-start at this point after installing each mod, if installing more than one.
    Japanese Signal Mod
    If you have this mod installed, which makes the stoplights appear on the left at junctions, this Add-On will add those same stoplights to the intersection pieces of your overpasses.
    To install open "Overpass" / "T21" / "Full" in both the extracted files window and also the Plugins windows. Copy the folder "zz_JapaneseSignal" into your plugins. Japanese Sidewalk Mod2
    For users of this mod, this will change the Overpasses to blend in better.
    To install open "Overpass" / "T21" / "Full" in both the extracted files window and also the Plugins windows. Copy the folder "zzzJpn_SideWalk_Mod2" into your plugins. The following three mods by Moonlight should only be installed, if you have the respective NAM features also (see image below):

    ML Shinkansen Mod (NAM Feature)
    If you installed the Bullet Train Mod (1) then you should install this Add-On. ML El Rail Mod 2013 (NAM Feature)
    If you are using ML's Alternate El Rail (3) then you should install this Add-On. ML Jap Canal (second download button on page).
    If you have installed Moonlights Canal Set, this will update the CAN-AM mod, so that the canal overpasses are replaced with models matching the ML Canals. Note: You need to also have the CAN-AM (2) installed for this to work.
    To install these mods by Moonlight, open the "OverPass" folder in both windows, then copy the folder "z_zMLModFile" into your plugins. Open the newly copied folder and remove any of the three options that you do NOT want installed.
    Note: All of the above add-ons only make sense if you have installed the respective mod. If you have not, these features may not work, or worse, cause problems with your game.
    3 - Neko 7.5m Ramps and Parking Add-On
     
    Open the file we renamed to "04_NAMFaceliftOverpassNekoParking" and simply copy the folder "Neko_Overpass_Addon_Lot" into the "z____NAMFacelift" folder in your plugins.
    Note: This download requires the following additional dependency, Jim CarProp Pack 1.2
    These items will appear in your Misc. Transit menu in-game, here is a brief guide on how to use them:
    Road 7.5m Parking
    Draw the network using the NAM 7.5m Road Overpasses FIRST. The 3 parking lots can be simply placed on existing sections of the overpass. You must then draw a line through the parking lots with the Road Tool. Road 7.5m Ramps
    To connect the ramps, the higher part should overlap an existing section of 7.5m overpass, push the piece as far as it will go into the overpass and click to place. Draw road into the ramp as far as you can. Avenue 7.5m Parking
    The Carpark lots are the same as the road lots, just use the Avenue tool to drag through them instead. For 2-tile parking just click once, no dragging needed. Avenue 7.5m Ramps
    To connect the Ramps is tricky, build the avenues so that you've got the overpasses on one side and an avenue on the other, with a big enough gap for the ramp you wish to use. If you can't plop it, keep removing one avenue tile at a time and try again. Once it's in place, connect up with One Way Road, NOT the Avenue tool, on both sides of the road. Note:
    These OWR's must be in the correct direction of traffic. You can not plop the parking lots next to each other or a ramp, there must always be at least one tile of space separating them, or traffic will be prevented from using the overpass. You can open the pictures in the installed folder, these can help you understand these instructions with visual clues.  
    PART III - FLUPs and Pedmalls
    In this part we will cover three more mods that will add your sidewalks to the FLUPs and PEDMALL pieces from the NAM. The three mods listed in the tutorial can be found on this page:
    z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (05_NAMFaceliftFLUPs.zip)
    This Add-On will update your FLUPs to match your sidewalk. z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (06_NAMFaceliftPedmall.zip)
    This mod adds a variety of different pedmall styles. z_zNAM_PedBridge_Chg_JPN_Mod.zip (07_NAMFaceliftPedbridge.zip)
    This mod contains replacement pedmall bridges. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above. Otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - FLUPS
     
    Open the file we renamed to "05_NAMFaceliftFLUPs.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. If this is done correctly, you will see a message pop up asking you if you want to merge/overwrite files or folders. As before, you should overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods. All you need to do is select the correct road textures. Open the "FLUPs" / "Road" folder. If you use US Road Textures, remove the file "zRoadTexturesEuro.dat" from here.
     
    That's it, you are done, so open SC4 and test your results. Remember to also check the Tram FLUPs, which are in the Misc. Transport Menu. As usual, you may need to zone before sidewalks appear.
      
    2- PedMalls
     
    In your Road Menu, there is an item named "Pedestrian Mall Tiles". Here are a number of single-tile pieces, that can be placed together to form a pedestrian-enabled walkway. Further information on the usage and limitations of which, are provided in the NAM documentation.
    This mod will make the first two of these Pedmalls match your Sidewalk. It will additionally replace the light pole pedmall, with a more flexible piece. Every time you plop one, one of over 20 possibilities is chosen at random. If you move away from the tile after placing such a pedmall, then return to the same spot and click once more, you can cycle through the options.
    Open the file we renamed to "06_NAMFaceliftPedmall.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. As in previous parts, overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods and you are ready to go and test the results. 
    Note:
    Due to the way Pedmalls are designed, if the wealth of surrounding buildings change, then any adjacent pedmalls will change design. If you want to try a different set of Pedmalls, check out Paeng's alternate version (Add On). 3 - PedBridges
    As part of the NAM pedmalls, there are some bridges included. This mod will replace those with more attractive bridges for Roads, Streets, OWR, Rail and Avenue. In case you were wondering, after selecting the Pedestrian Mall Tiles, just keep pressing the TAB key and these bridges will eventually appear.
    Open the file we renamed to "07_NAMFaceliftPedbride.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 2 folders and the 5 dat files from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder. As in previous parts, overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished, the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods and you are ready to go and test the results. 
    Note:
    The included props for this set, are essential to it's correct operation. Just as with the PedMalls set, you can re-click to get different bridge designs. Once more though, they change if the wealth of surrounding buildings do. There is an additional Mod by Magneto, here (find the attached file  "z_ped_overpasses_signs_cancel.zip"), to remove the road signs if you dislike them.  
    PART IV - SAM and Rail Optional Mods
    Two optional mods for SAM streets and your Railway network will be covered in this part, you can download these mods here. 
    Note: The first two mods for GLR listed on this page, will be covered in the next part of this tutorial.
    z_SAM_NoGrass_Mod.zip (08_NAMFaceliftSAMNoGrass.zip)
    This Add-On will change the grass textures of 4 of the SAM sets to Sidewalks. z_Alternate_Railway_Mod_Add_On.zip (09_NAMFaceliftAltRail.zip)
    This Add-On is for users of the PEG Railway Mod, and adds a similar texture to WRC and FAR pieces. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - SAM No Grass Mod
     
    Open the file we renamed to "08_NAMFaceliftSAMNoGrass.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_SAM_NoGrass_Mod" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod does not function like previous mods and needs to be given it's own folder. You should not see any messages relating to duplicate folders, if you have done it correctly.
    Inside the folder you just moved, will be 5 further folders:
       Readme    SAM2    SAM7    SAM8    SAM9 This mod will make every tile of SAM2, 7, 8 and 9 show full sidewalks without any grass. Remove the folders for those SAM types you do NOT want to be changed. You can of course keep all 4 if you wish. You can now test your results, as that's everything we need to do here.
    Note: If you use the US road textures, you will need to enter each SAM folder and delete the file "zSAM*_NoGrass_Euro_Textures.dat". Where * is the SAM network type.

    2 - Alternate Railway Mod
    This mod will add textures in the style of PEG's Alternate Railway Mod, for STR, FAR and WRC rail curves,
    Open the file we renamed to "09_NAMFaceliftAltRail.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_Alternate_Railway_Mod_Add_On" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: Once again this mod needs it's own subfolder, so don't overwrite anything.
    Folders "STR" and "WideRadiusCurves" contain the STR and WRC/FAR textures respectively. Remove either if you don't need them.
    The folder "FLUPs" contains transparent FLUPs for PEG's Rail Mod. However, the NAM FLUP models do not support transparency, causing the water bug to be triggered. If you wish to use this feature, just install the attached patch "FLUPs Transparency Fix" in the same folder. Otherwise simply delete the "FLUPs" folder.
    Simple as that, you should now have nice textures on your rail curves and FAR sections.
    Note: An additional MOD created by Ebina, will also add matching rail textures where rail goes under Overpasses. You can download this from here (AlternateRail_EPOverpasses_v201a.zip), it says outdated, but it works just fine.
     
    PART V - GLR/GLR Options
    This mod changes all your GLR, including Tram in Avenue, Tram in Road and Tram in Street to have SMP Sandstone Sidewalks. Users of other sidewalk mods may also find that a warmer sandstone for their GLR network, is preferable to the original Maxis white.
     
    You can download these GLR mods here. 
    Note: The third and forth links on this page were covered in part IV above.
    z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod.zip (10_NAMFaceliftGLR.zip)
    This Add-On will add Sandstone sidewalks to the GLR Networks. Opstion.zip (11_NAMFaceliftGLROption.zip)
    Contains two alternate options for the above GLR Mod. 
      Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above, otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - GLR
    Open the file we renamed to "10_NAMFaceliftGLR.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod" from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod does not function like previous mods, and needs to be given it's own folder, you should not see any messages relating to duplicate folders if you have done it correctly.
    Inside the folder you just moved will be 4 further folders.
       Corefile    Readme    zEuroTextures    zzLeft_Hand_Version Users of the Euro Textures where sims drive on the left do not need to do anything further. 
    Note:
    If you use the US road textures and sims drive on the right, you will need to delete two folders, "zEuroTextures" and "zzLeft_Hand_Version". Users of Euro Textures where sims drive on the right should remove just the "zzLeft_Hand_Version". Finally users of US textures, but where sims drive on the left, need to remove the folder "zEuroTextures". Then enter the "zzLeft_Hand_Version" folder and remove an additional folder named "zEuroTextures". You can now test your results as that's everything we need to do here.
    Note: This mod will not replace many of the diagonal Tram in Avenue pieces, you may also find there are a couple of other (mainly tram in road) pieces, that will remain white too.
    2 - GLR Options
    There are two options for the GLR Mod, one which changes the street intersections of the Dragable tram to SAM 8 textures. The other adds a complete sidewalk to the tram loops, rather than the original rails with transparent bases.
    Open the file we renamed to " 11_NAMFaceliftGLROption.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod is part of the above GLR mod, and the folder you copy should be merged with it's original.
    Open the folder we just moved there are two files inside, you can remove either if you only want to use one of these mods.
     
    And that's pretty much all there is to it *phew*. Bear in mind this is a modified copy of the tutorial I originally posted on SimPeg. Since that was lost with it's demise, I wanted to finally bring it over to ST, so that new users would be able to get this essential mod working. I try to keep my tutorials up-to date, so if you notice missing images or broken links, please send me a PM and I'll fix them where possible.
    MGB.
     
    Fixes outlined above are available here:
    Overall Pavement Style Fix.zip
    NAM Transparent Rail FLUPs Patch.zip
  18. rsc204 liked an article by BC Canuck, CAROL'S LIST - An index of SimCity 4 Tutorials and Resources   
    Commonly Available Resources Of Lovely Stuff Like Instructional Specialised Tutorials
    aka
    C.A.R.O.L.'S.L.I.S.T.*
    *Acronym created by CorinaMarie
    The following article has links to various threads, tutorials, websites etc for any new players or others who are a little overwhelmed with information overload on the Simtropolis site.
    Be aware you will have to do some reading on the threads but there is some very good information in them and I think you will find them helpful.
    Have fun with the game and happy hunting!
     PLEASE Feel Free to Make Your Own Suggestions 
     
    MODS YOU WILL WANT TO HAVE
     
    NAM (Version 35 just released) - Here
    This will actually fix bugs in the game. Even Vanilla players should have this.
    There is a custom installation available so if you don't want all the bells and whistles you can get a pared down version if your computer can't handle the entire mod.
    When using NAM it's highly recommended to get the SC4Fix.dll because that prevents crashes when hovering a puzzle piece over a TE lot. They say it's a good idea even without NAM installed.
    Here is another link to the SC4D Wiki: NAM Tutorials section. It's not anything like complete, but hopefully in time this will be home to all the NAM documentation online.
     
    INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION MOD (IRM) by @T Wrecks - Here
    FILLER SET FOR IRM - Here
    Essential for good looking industry.
    He did a fantastic job with this and I gather it took two years to complete. A big thank you to T Wrecks; it really makes a difference.
     
    SPAM - SPAM MOD for all those farms you want to create - found on the PLEX
    EXTRA CHEATS PLUGIN - Here
    You will want this for sure even if it is just to plop a commercial or industrial building in your city. Sadly Residentials cannot be plopped as they will abandon. It does way more than that!
    HiTech Industry fix. - Here What is this?
    Below is the blurb from the file download.
    Short summary: due to a presumable rounding/arithmetic error, almost every IH lot in the game didn't offer any high wealth ($$$) jobs so far, while still creating demand for R$$$ residents though.
    Tutorial for applying the HiTech Industry fix - Here  
    MARSH'S EXTENSIVE MAYOR-MODE PLOPPABLES LIST - Here
    This has stuff you are going to want and should know about.
    Note:#1: SimPeg's files along with Paeng's files are available on the PLEX, here at Simtropolis. Marsh crossed them off the list as sadly SimPeg disappeared in July/2015 due to server issues.
    Note#2: SC4Devotion LEX requires you to be a registered member in order to download.
     
    LIVIN IN SIM'S TOP TEN MODD SUGGESTIONS - Here
    Some of his suggestions are already listed here such as the NAM and the Extra-Cheats but his other suggestions are quite useful.
    City Tile Background - Blue skys with/without clouds - Here
    Replaces the ugly grid background on the edge of your city tiles. Below is a small blurb from the file download description.
    This mod replaces the default Maxis city tile background by the realistic sky texture. Sky Background Mod Day Set 1 contains 7 different textures (various colors, with and without clouds).
    You can choose only one texture at a time. Please read the enclosed readme carefully.
     
    Cori's Shoppe Series:
    A great way to personalise your region, is to install mods that alter the Terrain, Rock, Water, Beaches and Trees used. With just these few mods, you will totally transform how your game looks. Cori / @CorinaMarie has been kind enough to create a series of "Shoppe's" where you can browse through all the available options to find your perfect set. Check those out with the following links:
    Cori's Rock Shoppe (Linkys to and Pictures of every Rock Mod) Cori's Water Shoppe (Linkys to and Pictures of every Water Mod)
    Cori's Beach Shoppe (Linkys to and Pictures of every Beach Mod)
    Cori's Terrain Shoppe (Linkys to and Pictures of every Terrain Mod)
    Cori's Jolteon's Tree Shoppe (Linkys to and Pictures of almost every Tree Mod)
    C.O.R.I.M.A.P.S. - A Tutorial for SimCity 4 (Quick alternative realistic map making method)
    Want unique maps? Try this! Her tutorial for map making is brilliant! No hyperbole intended.
    I wasn't interested in making maps myself but as I was creating this article I thought I should read up on it. Who knew clouds and map making went together. I'll have to try it myself.
     
    TUTORIALS
    Check out @rsc204's* tutorials - These are really good and worth your time.
    New to the NAM? Check out my tutorials on YouTube. Latest upload: Guide to new NAM 35 features.
    *p.s. - I'm MGB over on SC4D and a member of the NAM team.
     
    Another tutorial recommended by rsc204 (not his) Tutorial here
    Note: The tutorial is playing at Intermediate level; recommend beginners use the "easy" level but will give you a good overview.
     
    The two tutorials below are actually in the Simtropolis Omnibus - I found these very helpful:
    Creating-straight-edged-coastlines-canals-and-ports by Rochfort
    Making-money-the-easy-way  by soldyne
     
    THREADS
    “Can't Find It? Ask Here” - Here
    This Simtropolis thread is a “Must Read” IMO. You will find all sorts you didn't know you wanted. As well, if you include a screenshot of a building or whatever you saw and can't find the file etc. someone will most likely know what it is and give you the file link. How cool is that?
     
    Plugins Folder Management
    Links:
    Plugins Folder
    Show us how you manage your plugins folder
    Links to discussions about managing your plugins folder - highly recommend doing this "before" you download masses of content.  If you don't think about organising this beforehand you will regret it.  Advice from someone (me) who didn't know about this and now has to spend too much time sorting things out...so be warned.
    The two threads are relatively recent and the second thread has actual pictures of people's plugin folders.  This will give you some very good information about how to manage your plugins.  These are suggestions only as everyone has their own way of thinking but it will give you an idea of how some of them manage an astronomical 7 GBs of content.
     
    CasperVG's Custom Content lists - Here
    Thanks to @Yarahi for the recommendation.
    Categorised by type - eg:
    Ports, Harbour and Industrial Railways and Stations It's a treasure trove even if it is a bit old. It will keep you busy with downloading.
    “Disclaimer”: The STEX links do not work and it is beyond the scope of this article to fix anything, however you can Google the creator's name ie: “frogface on STEX” and at least one file will come up, click on his activity, click on “files” and you will get the complete list of his files on the STEX. I tried this with 2-3 creators names and it seems to work fine.
    LEX links seem to be working.
     
    BACK TO SC4 - Here
    @CorinaMarie suggested this thread which has some more information.
    Initially when I looked at it quickly, I thought I would simply delete the duplicates, however I didn't realise there was a rather longer list than expected.
    An Example:
    @RandyE's DOS directory list (Do look up some of the files mentioned)
    (More) Basic Fixes
     
    WEBSITES WITH CUSTOM CONTENT
     
    City-Builders website by @catty-cb - Here
    Many SimPeg files and others are over there. Her website has other goodies you may want to investigate as well. Do browse!
    (to download you need to register on the site)
     
    Working Man Productions website - Here - some good content there.
    Non-English SC4 Custom Content Sites - Here
    Thanks to @Yarahi for this recommendation which was posted by @Haljackey. Some will need Google translation. Worth looking into.
    I pulled out some of the links as they were scattered about in the thread.
    Polish: SimCityPolska - Here
    French: Toutsimcities - Here
    German:  SimCityKurier - Here
    Not Sure: Capital SimCity - Here
    *Japanese SC4 site links - Here
    *Note about the Japanese sites listed above at SC4Devotion - not all of the links work and I understand they frequently change or disappear.
     
  19. daderic888 liked an article by rsc204, Instalation and Configuration of the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod   
    Introduction
    What is the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod, and why do I want it?
    Well at it's core, this mod is smartly designed to add your sidewalk onto many of the NAM puzzle pieces that without it would remain bare, or show the default Maxis White sidewalks. Support includes many features of the NAM, such as PedMalls, FLUPs, WRCs, Overpasses and much more besides. Additionally, it features many custom options that transform the general appearance of NAM features. Many of the components of the mod have different options for you to set things up just how you want them. Although recent developments have helped to avoid baked-in sidewalk textures in the NAM, this mod is still phenomenally useful for covering the legacy pieces many of us still use. As such, it's still relevant, plus in my opinion, one of the must have mods for everyone.
    PART I - Installing the Basic Mod
    In this first part I'm going to explain how to install the base of the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod. In subsequent parts, I will expand this to cover every option that is available. If you don't want or need a specific Add-On, then just skip that part of the tutorial. But keep what you do install in the same order listed here, to ensure you don't run into problems.
     
    So first off you will need to download the file "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip" from here. Please rename this file "01_NAMFaceLiftBaseMod.zip" either before downloading or after you have done so. This is very important since many of the different Add-Ons for this pack have the same filename, so do this now and you'll avoid any problems later. This part of the Japanese Facelift serves as the base part of the mod, and will add your sidewalk texture onto the Wide Radius Curves (WRC) and Fractionally Angled Road (FAR) puzzle pieces (all found in the Roads Menu). Although technically it seems you can get away without using this part of the NAM FaceLift Mod, I would recommend everyone using the mod starts here, especially considering how much nicer WRC and FAR looks compared to the original bare curves.
    Before we install this mod, it is very important that we are able to test it in a simple environment, so that any problems can be tracked down easily. In short, the best practice would be to remove all the files/folders in your Plugins, with the exception of the "Network Addon Mod", "z___Nam", and your chosen sidewalk mod's folders. Move them somewhere safe where you can find them later, you now have a test setup, it should look like this:

    Temporarily moved items are shown on the left, the current Plugins folder is shown on the right.
    Note: When running SC4 with a test setup it is recommended to play in a new, blank region.
    Now open the .zip file from earlier (double click the .zip file), where you will find a folder called "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod", you need to copy this folder into your
    "My Documents\SimCity 4\Plugins" directory. Rename this folder "z____NAMFacelift" it is very important to use at least 4 underscores " _ " to ensure this mod loads after the NAM. Otherwise some of the pieces will not work as expected.
    Note: Previous versions of the NAM worked differently, using a lot of zzzs or a z# numbering system will NO LONGER WORK.
    Open your newly renamed folder and you should find 4 folders, "Props", "Readme", "Textures" and "WideRadiusCurves". Open the readme (inside its folder), and find the section "Usage". From here you need to choose which of the Wide Curve styles you would like this mod to use. Open the Props folder: You can remove "Side walk style Add on.dat" and "Side walk style.dat" ONLY if you are going to use the Overall Pavement Style option, Otherwise keep all the files inside. At this point I can also recommend installing the patch "Overall Pavement Style Fix.zip" attached to this tutorial. It fixes a display issue in Z3 which causes parts of the sidewalk to look brighter than they should. Just place this file in the Props folder, and it will work correctly. In the "WideRadiusCurves" folder keep the folder "Common". Then remove the three Wide Curve folders, that are named after the sidewalk styles you are NOT intending to use.
      Note: If your sims drive on the Right in-game, you MUST remove two files both named "zFractional Angle Road-Straight over rail LH.dat". One is located in the "Common" / "Road" folder, the other is found in whichever WideRadius folder you kept installed.
    My advice for removing such additional files during this mods installation, is to delete the files you do not need. You will have the originals in the .zip file you downloaded, should you ever want to change options. Therefore it is easier to test various options in-game (move the folders you are not using temporarily), and decide on what to use before continuing. Remember to test in a new city/region and with the "test setup" explained earlier. At this point, if everything is working then the WRCs & FAR pieces should all have sidewalks that match your sidewalk mod like so:
       
    Note: You may need to zone next to such pieces before the sidewalks appear.
    For some reason it seems that one piece, the Diagonal to FAR Avenue, seems not to be supported by this mod. Support for them is provided by my soon to be released SWN (Sidewalk NAM) mod.
     
    PART II - Overpasses
    The link for the three mods discussed in this part can be found on this page.
    There are many different options to make this set compatible with a number of other (mainly Japanese Mods). To start, I'll quickly go through them:
    z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (02_NAMFaceliftOverpasses.zip)
    This is the base set that adds the new style overpasses, it will also change the white bases to match your sidewalk mod. Other_Mod.zip (03_NAMFaceliftOverpassOptions.zip)
    This file contains options for users of certain mods, see section 2 for more details. Neko_Overpass_AddOn_Lot.zip (04_NAMFaceliftOverpassNekoParking.zip)
    This file contains four new ramps, and some pieces with under bridge car parks for the 7.5m Overpasses. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above, otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - Main Overpass Mod
    Open the file we renamed to "02_NAMFaceLiftOverpass", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in the last lesson "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. If this is done correctly, you will see a message pop up asking you if you want to merge/overwrite files or folders. This is perfectly safe to do, as the mod was designed to work in this way. Each separate package that contains the same textures/props has them included, so if we overwrite files here, we will only be left with one of each. So tell Windows it is OK to do this for every occurrence of the message. To save time you could tick "Do this for all current items" in Windows 7/newer. When finished, both readmes will be in one convenient location, all you need to do is select a few options. Open the "Overpass" / "T21" folder where there are four further folders:
     Select_GuardRail - Remove the file "zGuardRailProps.dat" if you do NOT want white gaurdrails on the road edge of Overpasses.  Select Pavement - There are three options:       "noBlankLotPavement.dat" - Tiles under overpasses always remain transparent.       "noTransoirtLotPavement.dat" - Show Sidewalks under overpasses, except for where transit networks cross.       "zOverallPavement.dat" - Show sidewalks under overpasses and where transit networks cross.
          Keep ONLY ONE of these files.  Select SecurityFence - Remove the file "zSecurityFence_Props.dat", if you do NOT want security fences on the bottom edge of Overpasses.  Select Streetlight - Pick the streetlight colour for your overpasses, by removing all the ones you do not want to use. 2 - Overpass Option
    Due to the complexity of some of the mods here, I will only briefly explain what each one is and how to install them.
    Open the file we renamed to "03_NAMFaceliftOverpassOption.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in the first lesson, "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder.
    Note: Re-start at this point after installing each mod, if installing more than one.
    Japanese Signal Mod
    If you have this mod installed, which makes the stoplights appear on the left at junctions, this Add-On will add those same stoplights to the intersection pieces of your overpasses.
    To install open "Overpass" / "T21" / "Full" in both the extracted files window and also the Plugins windows. Copy the folder "zz_JapaneseSignal" into your plugins. Japanese Sidewalk Mod2
    For users of this mod, this will change the Overpasses to blend in better.
    To install open "Overpass" / "T21" / "Full" in both the extracted files window and also the Plugins windows. Copy the folder "zzzJpn_SideWalk_Mod2" into your plugins. The following three mods by Moonlight should only be installed, if you have the respective NAM features also (see image below):

    ML Shinkansen Mod (NAM Feature)
    If you installed the Bullet Train Mod (1) then you should install this Add-On. ML El Rail Mod 2013 (NAM Feature)
    If you are using ML's Alternate El Rail (3) then you should install this Add-On. ML Jap Canal (second download button on page).
    If you have installed Moonlights Canal Set, this will update the CAN-AM mod, so that the canal overpasses are replaced with models matching the ML Canals. Note: You need to also have the CAN-AM (2) installed for this to work.
    To install these mods by Moonlight, open the "OverPass" folder in both windows, then copy the folder "z_zMLModFile" into your plugins. Open the newly copied folder and remove any of the three options that you do NOT want installed.
    Note: All of the above add-ons only make sense if you have installed the respective mod. If you have not, these features may not work, or worse, cause problems with your game.
    3 - Neko 7.5m Ramps and Parking Add-On
     
    Open the file we renamed to "04_NAMFaceliftOverpassNekoParking" and simply copy the folder "Neko_Overpass_Addon_Lot" into the "z____NAMFacelift" folder in your plugins.
    Note: This download requires the following additional dependency, Jim CarProp Pack 1.2
    These items will appear in your Misc. Transit menu in-game, here is a brief guide on how to use them:
    Road 7.5m Parking
    Draw the network using the NAM 7.5m Road Overpasses FIRST. The 3 parking lots can be simply placed on existing sections of the overpass. You must then draw a line through the parking lots with the Road Tool. Road 7.5m Ramps
    To connect the ramps, the higher part should overlap an existing section of 7.5m overpass, push the piece as far as it will go into the overpass and click to place. Draw road into the ramp as far as you can. Avenue 7.5m Parking
    The Carpark lots are the same as the road lots, just use the Avenue tool to drag through them instead. For 2-tile parking just click once, no dragging needed. Avenue 7.5m Ramps
    To connect the Ramps is tricky, build the avenues so that you've got the overpasses on one side and an avenue on the other, with a big enough gap for the ramp you wish to use. If you can't plop it, keep removing one avenue tile at a time and try again. Once it's in place, connect up with One Way Road, NOT the Avenue tool, on both sides of the road. Note:
    These OWR's must be in the correct direction of traffic. You can not plop the parking lots next to each other or a ramp, there must always be at least one tile of space separating them, or traffic will be prevented from using the overpass. You can open the pictures in the installed folder, these can help you understand these instructions with visual clues.  
    PART III - FLUPs and Pedmalls
    In this part we will cover three more mods that will add your sidewalks to the FLUPs and PEDMALL pieces from the NAM. The three mods listed in the tutorial can be found on this page:
    z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (05_NAMFaceliftFLUPs.zip)
    This Add-On will update your FLUPs to match your sidewalk. z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (06_NAMFaceliftPedmall.zip)
    This mod adds a variety of different pedmall styles. z_zNAM_PedBridge_Chg_JPN_Mod.zip (07_NAMFaceliftPedbridge.zip)
    This mod contains replacement pedmall bridges. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above. Otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - FLUPS
     
    Open the file we renamed to "05_NAMFaceliftFLUPs.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. If this is done correctly, you will see a message pop up asking you if you want to merge/overwrite files or folders. As before, you should overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods. All you need to do is select the correct road textures. Open the "FLUPs" / "Road" folder. If you use US Road Textures, remove the file "zRoadTexturesEuro.dat" from here.
     
    That's it, you are done, so open SC4 and test your results. Remember to also check the Tram FLUPs, which are in the Misc. Transport Menu. As usual, you may need to zone before sidewalks appear.
      
    2- PedMalls
     
    In your Road Menu, there is an item named "Pedestrian Mall Tiles". Here are a number of single-tile pieces, that can be placed together to form a pedestrian-enabled walkway. Further information on the usage and limitations of which, are provided in the NAM documentation.
    This mod will make the first two of these Pedmalls match your Sidewalk. It will additionally replace the light pole pedmall, with a more flexible piece. Every time you plop one, one of over 20 possibilities is chosen at random. If you move away from the tile after placing such a pedmall, then return to the same spot and click once more, you can cycle through the options.
    Open the file we renamed to "06_NAMFaceliftPedmall.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. As in previous parts, overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods and you are ready to go and test the results. 
    Note:
    Due to the way Pedmalls are designed, if the wealth of surrounding buildings change, then any adjacent pedmalls will change design. If you want to try a different set of Pedmalls, check out Paeng's alternate version (Add On). 3 - PedBridges
    As part of the NAM pedmalls, there are some bridges included. This mod will replace those with more attractive bridges for Roads, Streets, OWR, Rail and Avenue. In case you were wondering, after selecting the Pedestrian Mall Tiles, just keep pressing the TAB key and these bridges will eventually appear.
    Open the file we renamed to "07_NAMFaceliftPedbride.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 2 folders and the 5 dat files from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder. As in previous parts, overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished, the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods and you are ready to go and test the results. 
    Note:
    The included props for this set, are essential to it's correct operation. Just as with the PedMalls set, you can re-click to get different bridge designs. Once more though, they change if the wealth of surrounding buildings do. There is an additional Mod by Magneto, here (find the attached file  "z_ped_overpasses_signs_cancel.zip"), to remove the road signs if you dislike them.  
    PART IV - SAM and Rail Optional Mods
    Two optional mods for SAM streets and your Railway network will be covered in this part, you can download these mods here. 
    Note: The first two mods for GLR listed on this page, will be covered in the next part of this tutorial.
    z_SAM_NoGrass_Mod.zip (08_NAMFaceliftSAMNoGrass.zip)
    This Add-On will change the grass textures of 4 of the SAM sets to Sidewalks. z_Alternate_Railway_Mod_Add_On.zip (09_NAMFaceliftAltRail.zip)
    This Add-On is for users of the PEG Railway Mod, and adds a similar texture to WRC and FAR pieces. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - SAM No Grass Mod
     
    Open the file we renamed to "08_NAMFaceliftSAMNoGrass.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_SAM_NoGrass_Mod" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod does not function like previous mods and needs to be given it's own folder. You should not see any messages relating to duplicate folders, if you have done it correctly.
    Inside the folder you just moved, will be 5 further folders:
       Readme    SAM2    SAM7    SAM8    SAM9 This mod will make every tile of SAM2, 7, 8 and 9 show full sidewalks without any grass. Remove the folders for those SAM types you do NOT want to be changed. You can of course keep all 4 if you wish. You can now test your results, as that's everything we need to do here.
    Note: If you use the US road textures, you will need to enter each SAM folder and delete the file "zSAM*_NoGrass_Euro_Textures.dat". Where * is the SAM network type.

    2 - Alternate Railway Mod
    This mod will add textures in the style of PEG's Alternate Railway Mod, for STR, FAR and WRC rail curves,
    Open the file we renamed to "09_NAMFaceliftAltRail.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_Alternate_Railway_Mod_Add_On" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: Once again this mod needs it's own subfolder, so don't overwrite anything.
    Folders "STR" and "WideRadiusCurves" contain the STR and WRC/FAR textures respectively. Remove either if you don't need them.
    The folder "FLUPs" contains transparent FLUPs for PEG's Rail Mod. However, the NAM FLUP models do not support transparency, causing the water bug to be triggered. If you wish to use this feature, just install the attached patch "FLUPs Transparency Fix" in the same folder. Otherwise simply delete the "FLUPs" folder.
    Simple as that, you should now have nice textures on your rail curves and FAR sections.
    Note: An additional MOD created by Ebina, will also add matching rail textures where rail goes under Overpasses. You can download this from here (AlternateRail_EPOverpasses_v201a.zip), it says outdated, but it works just fine.
     
    PART V - GLR/GLR Options
    This mod changes all your GLR, including Tram in Avenue, Tram in Road and Tram in Street to have SMP Sandstone Sidewalks. Users of other sidewalk mods may also find that a warmer sandstone for their GLR network, is preferable to the original Maxis white.
     
    You can download these GLR mods here. 
    Note: The third and forth links on this page were covered in part IV above.
    z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod.zip (10_NAMFaceliftGLR.zip)
    This Add-On will add Sandstone sidewalks to the GLR Networks. Opstion.zip (11_NAMFaceliftGLROption.zip)
    Contains two alternate options for the above GLR Mod. 
      Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above, otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - GLR
    Open the file we renamed to "10_NAMFaceliftGLR.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod" from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod does not function like previous mods, and needs to be given it's own folder, you should not see any messages relating to duplicate folders if you have done it correctly.
    Inside the folder you just moved will be 4 further folders.
       Corefile    Readme    zEuroTextures    zzLeft_Hand_Version Users of the Euro Textures where sims drive on the left do not need to do anything further. 
    Note:
    If you use the US road textures and sims drive on the right, you will need to delete two folders, "zEuroTextures" and "zzLeft_Hand_Version". Users of Euro Textures where sims drive on the right should remove just the "zzLeft_Hand_Version". Finally users of US textures, but where sims drive on the left, need to remove the folder "zEuroTextures". Then enter the "zzLeft_Hand_Version" folder and remove an additional folder named "zEuroTextures". You can now test your results as that's everything we need to do here.
    Note: This mod will not replace many of the diagonal Tram in Avenue pieces, you may also find there are a couple of other (mainly tram in road) pieces, that will remain white too.
    2 - GLR Options
    There are two options for the GLR Mod, one which changes the street intersections of the Dragable tram to SAM 8 textures. The other adds a complete sidewalk to the tram loops, rather than the original rails with transparent bases.
    Open the file we renamed to " 11_NAMFaceliftGLROption.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod is part of the above GLR mod, and the folder you copy should be merged with it's original.
    Open the folder we just moved there are two files inside, you can remove either if you only want to use one of these mods.
     
    And that's pretty much all there is to it *phew*. Bear in mind this is a modified copy of the tutorial I originally posted on SimPeg. Since that was lost with it's demise, I wanted to finally bring it over to ST, so that new users would be able to get this essential mod working. I try to keep my tutorials up-to date, so if you notice missing images or broken links, please send me a PM and I'll fix them where possible.
    MGB.
     
    Fixes outlined above are available here:
    Overall Pavement Style Fix.zip
    NAM Transparent Rail FLUPs Patch.zip
  20. Cyclone Boom liked an article by rsc204, Alter the driving side (LHD-RHD / RHD-LHD) of SC4/NAM   
    Please note: This Tutorial is currently a WIP (Work in Progress). Please bear with me whilst I get things fully completed.
    RHD and LHD Explained
    I figure before getting into this, it might be useful to explain just what the heck we're talking about, eh?

    RHD - Right Hand Drive
    Where traffic drives on the right hand side of the road.
    Usually this is the default setting for users in the US, Canada, Continental Europe and most of the world. LHD - Left Hand Drive
    Where traffic drives on the left hand side of the road.
    This setup is suitable for the UK, Japan, Australia and other countries where drivers use the left side of the road.
       
    How to Switch Driving Side for SC4
    CD Versions:
    Choose US English during install for a RHD Game Choose UK English during install for a LHD Game Note: If you do not have these options (not all discs support all regions), you may want to try the alternate method below.
    Digital Versions (Alternate Method for CD users also):
    Switching from RHD to LHD:
    Find the install directory, where you should have a subfolder "English". Make a copy of this folder, then rename it to "UKEnglsh".
    Note: there is no typo here, you need to omit the "i" in English.
    Then find your SC4 Shortcut, right click, select properties and add the following to the end of the target line "-l:"UK English".
    Switching from LHD to RHD:
    Find the install directory, where you should have a subfolder "UKEnglsh". Make a copy of this folder, then rename it to "English".
    Then find your SC4 Shortcut, right click, select properties and add the following to the end of the target line "-l:"English".
    Important Info for Steam/Origin Users:
    To find the shortcut for Steam versions, you must alter this in the Steam Client as follows:
    Find SC4 in your Steam Library. Right click and select properties. Click "Set Launch Options". To alter the shortcut for Origin versions:
     <To be updated>
    What if I don't have either an English or UKEnglsh Folder?
    This is totally possible and not a problem. What exactly is inside these folders? Simply just locale files, i.e. the localised or translated text of your installation choices. So if you have a folder for example Spanish, you can still copy that to another named either English or UKEnglsh, this procedure will still work and you'll even still see the Spanish text in game.
    In short, if you install a country that is supported, which uses either LHD or RHD, the game will mirror that. So if you installed a Japanese version of SC4, it would already be LHD. But if you want to change it, SC4 needs to see a locale file in a directory it expects to find. Therefore I've used English and UKEnglsh here as examples. But others will work too. The key point is that the folder exists with a locale file present that supports your choice of RHD or LHD play. Whichever language locale file you install in this folder, will be the language the game displays.
    For directories other than English or UKEnglsh to work, the target switch must be altered from "-l:"English", to the equivalent language. For details of other available languages, see here.
    Bear in mind here, not all versions include all locale files. So you may wish to play with Japanese Text, but without the locale file, you won't have the Japanese translation to do so. The disc versions had at least 5 SKUs which were intended for different regions. Some digital versions include more than one locale option, others only work based on the location you purchased it from.
    Can't you change this using Windows Registry too?
    Technically yes, but why mess about with the registry, when it's so simple to do it with the other two methods outlined above? As such, I won't be going into this here.
     
    How to Switch Driving Side for the NAM (Network Addon Mod)
    If you switch the driving side for SC4, you must also update the NAM to reflect this change. This will require running the installer once more for NAM. The reason is because the installations for RHD/LHD are completely different, so you need a LHD specific controller, which can not be simply switched on the fly.
    It's painless enough however, run the installer, select the custom installation option. The look under "driving side", make sure the NAM has correctly detected your changes. If not, you can override the default setting here:

    If you don't want/need any further changes to your previous NAM configuration, you can continue to install NAM with your new driving side selected at this point.
     
    I want to go LHD, what limitations/problems will I encounter?
    Speaking as a predominantly LHD user and NAM Developer, I can tell you LHD has been an uphill battle for me. Support for LHD in the NAM can sometimes be a little flaky, mostly stop lines on the wrong side of the road, paths that don't have LHD variants and very occasionally, features with no LHD support at all. Things are improving though, not to mention, most of what the NAM doesn't cover can be rectified by using some additional mods.
    Stop Lines / Textures
    It would probably help if I explain how LHD works in practise within the NAM/SC4. Typically for textures, you need a special set, although the defaults are mostly neutral without stop lines, so it's not the biggest problem. Not to mention, some pieces don't support mirroring, this means if you drag a diagonal from top to bottom over a road for example, the stop lines will be one way. But dragging from bottom to top over the road, the stop lines reverse instead. This is an issue that affect both RHD and LHD installs, so it's not strictly a LHD problem. Most pieces however do flip correctly, so provided you have LHD textures, they display fine.
    If you use my TGN (Terrain Grass NAM) and SWN (Sidewalk NAM)* mods, I've tried my best to fully include LHD support:
    * = Currently unreleased - However the SEN (Sandstone Euro NAM) mod it's based upon can be found on the STEX.
    Alternately, you can use the preview version of my Automated Sidewalk Mod (SWN), which can be found here.
    Of course these are big changes, but together you will get a very compatible LHD setup.
    TGN only makes sense if you use one of the four supported HD Terrain Mods.
    SEN only works with Paeng's Sandstone Sidewalks and EU textures currently. But when SWN is released, many more sidewalks will be supported, in addition to US textures also. SWN will additionally allow anyone to create a custom version, using automation. As such, it's theoretically possible to support any custom sidewalk.
    Paths
    The next problem you'll likely encounter is with paths. Typically, SC4 knows you are using LHD and simply reverses the paths automatically. However, rail-based networks were never supported by Maxis, these require dedicated paths for LHD. So any piece with Rail, El-Rail or Monorail as part of it can be affected, including overrides like HSR and GLR.
    This is a minor issue within the NAM, but there are gaps. Actually, if you find one, just let me know about it, I'll either have patched it or I'd happily do so. The paths don't break anything, it just stops automata or UDI from acting normally, the former of which I dislike intensely and am only to happy to fix.
    I am slowly pushing all these fixes into the NAM, so the more problems that get reported, the better LHD support will become.
    T21s
    You might ask what the hell is a T21? Well you know when you connect two roads in a 4-way intersection, you'll see traffic lights? The props that display In such situations are handled by T21s. By default all stop lights are on the wrong side of the road, but this fantastic mod by Maarten fixes that:
    The other thing that's on the wrong side, are the crossing barriers on Rail/GLR Crossings. Again, simply fixed by this fantastic mod by Jondor.
    Not to mention that both these mods look so much better than the default props too. There are other T21s out there, but few where LHD/RHD matters, things like placement of trees really don't need to be LHD specific.
    Custom TE Lots
    A TE is lot is a lot that allows transit networks to pass through them. This includes any station where you drag the network through it. When modded correctly, these should almost always support LHD, but sadly not all are. Some have complex custom paths, in which case if the modder does not include LHD variants, it won't work.
    However, it's a two second job to switch paths directions if you know what you are doing. So again if you do come unstuck, feel free to ask for help.
    Summary
    I really hope this whole raft of potential pitfalls does not put anyone off LHD. I wanted to explain the issues, but show that there are many solutions to them. When I started playing, I considered ditching both EU Textures and LHD for the longest time, because I was frustrated with their coverage. Instead of doing that, I dedicated myself to fixing the problems instead. As a result, I'm confident that these days things are nowhere like as bad. It does take a little more work to setup, but both EU and LHD are so intrinsic to the style of my cities, I'm glad I didn't ignore them.
    With the exception of TE Lots / NAM networks, there is no content out there that won't work with LHD. Since those are the only things that require LHD support.
  21. daderic888 liked an article by rsc204, Instalation and Configuration of the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod   
    Introduction
    What is the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod, and why do I want it?
    Well at it's core, this mod is smartly designed to add your sidewalk onto many of the NAM puzzle pieces that without it would remain bare, or show the default Maxis White sidewalks. Support includes many features of the NAM, such as PedMalls, FLUPs, WRCs, Overpasses and much more besides. Additionally, it features many custom options that transform the general appearance of NAM features. Many of the components of the mod have different options for you to set things up just how you want them. Although recent developments have helped to avoid baked-in sidewalk textures in the NAM, this mod is still phenomenally useful for covering the legacy pieces many of us still use. As such, it's still relevant, plus in my opinion, one of the must have mods for everyone.
    PART I - Installing the Basic Mod
    In this first part I'm going to explain how to install the base of the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod. In subsequent parts, I will expand this to cover every option that is available. If you don't want or need a specific Add-On, then just skip that part of the tutorial. But keep what you do install in the same order listed here, to ensure you don't run into problems.
     
    So first off you will need to download the file "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip" from here. Please rename this file "01_NAMFaceLiftBaseMod.zip" either before downloading or after you have done so. This is very important since many of the different Add-Ons for this pack have the same filename, so do this now and you'll avoid any problems later. This part of the Japanese Facelift serves as the base part of the mod, and will add your sidewalk texture onto the Wide Radius Curves (WRC) and Fractionally Angled Road (FAR) puzzle pieces (all found in the Roads Menu). Although technically it seems you can get away without using this part of the NAM FaceLift Mod, I would recommend everyone using the mod starts here, especially considering how much nicer WRC and FAR looks compared to the original bare curves.
    Before we install this mod, it is very important that we are able to test it in a simple environment, so that any problems can be tracked down easily. In short, the best practice would be to remove all the files/folders in your Plugins, with the exception of the "Network Addon Mod", "z___Nam", and your chosen sidewalk mod's folders. Move them somewhere safe where you can find them later, you now have a test setup, it should look like this:

    Temporarily moved items are shown on the left, the current Plugins folder is shown on the right.
    Note: When running SC4 with a test setup it is recommended to play in a new, blank region.
    Now open the .zip file from earlier (double click the .zip file), where you will find a folder called "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod", you need to copy this folder into your
    "My Documents\SimCity 4\Plugins" directory. Rename this folder "z____NAMFacelift" it is very important to use at least 4 underscores " _ " to ensure this mod loads after the NAM. Otherwise some of the pieces will not work as expected.
    Note: Previous versions of the NAM worked differently, using a lot of zzzs or a z# numbering system will NO LONGER WORK.
    Open your newly renamed folder and you should find 4 folders, "Props", "Readme", "Textures" and "WideRadiusCurves". Open the readme (inside its folder), and find the section "Usage". From here you need to choose which of the Wide Curve styles you would like this mod to use. Open the Props folder: You can remove "Side walk style Add on.dat" and "Side walk style.dat" ONLY if you are going to use the Overall Pavement Style option, Otherwise keep all the files inside. At this point I can also recommend installing the patch "Overall Pavement Style Fix.zip" attached to this tutorial. It fixes a display issue in Z3 which causes parts of the sidewalk to look brighter than they should. Just place this file in the Props folder, and it will work correctly. In the "WideRadiusCurves" folder keep the folder "Common". Then remove the three Wide Curve folders, that are named after the sidewalk styles you are NOT intending to use.
      Note: If your sims drive on the Right in-game, you MUST remove two files both named "zFractional Angle Road-Straight over rail LH.dat". One is located in the "Common" / "Road" folder, the other is found in whichever WideRadius folder you kept installed.
    My advice for removing such additional files during this mods installation, is to delete the files you do not need. You will have the originals in the .zip file you downloaded, should you ever want to change options. Therefore it is easier to test various options in-game (move the folders you are not using temporarily), and decide on what to use before continuing. Remember to test in a new city/region and with the "test setup" explained earlier. At this point, if everything is working then the WRCs & FAR pieces should all have sidewalks that match your sidewalk mod like so:
       
    Note: You may need to zone next to such pieces before the sidewalks appear.
    For some reason it seems that one piece, the Diagonal to FAR Avenue, seems not to be supported by this mod. Support for them is provided by my soon to be released SWN (Sidewalk NAM) mod.
     
    PART II - Overpasses
    The link for the three mods discussed in this part can be found on this page.
    There are many different options to make this set compatible with a number of other (mainly Japanese Mods). To start, I'll quickly go through them:
    z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (02_NAMFaceliftOverpasses.zip)
    This is the base set that adds the new style overpasses, it will also change the white bases to match your sidewalk mod. Other_Mod.zip (03_NAMFaceliftOverpassOptions.zip)
    This file contains options for users of certain mods, see section 2 for more details. Neko_Overpass_AddOn_Lot.zip (04_NAMFaceliftOverpassNekoParking.zip)
    This file contains four new ramps, and some pieces with under bridge car parks for the 7.5m Overpasses. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above, otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - Main Overpass Mod
    Open the file we renamed to "02_NAMFaceLiftOverpass", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in the last lesson "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. If this is done correctly, you will see a message pop up asking you if you want to merge/overwrite files or folders. This is perfectly safe to do, as the mod was designed to work in this way. Each separate package that contains the same textures/props has them included, so if we overwrite files here, we will only be left with one of each. So tell Windows it is OK to do this for every occurrence of the message. To save time you could tick "Do this for all current items" in Windows 7/newer. When finished, both readmes will be in one convenient location, all you need to do is select a few options. Open the "Overpass" / "T21" folder where there are four further folders:
     Select_GuardRail - Remove the file "zGuardRailProps.dat" if you do NOT want white gaurdrails on the road edge of Overpasses.  Select Pavement - There are three options:       "noBlankLotPavement.dat" - Tiles under overpasses always remain transparent.       "noTransoirtLotPavement.dat" - Show Sidewalks under overpasses, except for where transit networks cross.       "zOverallPavement.dat" - Show sidewalks under overpasses and where transit networks cross.
          Keep ONLY ONE of these files.  Select SecurityFence - Remove the file "zSecurityFence_Props.dat", if you do NOT want security fences on the bottom edge of Overpasses.  Select Streetlight - Pick the streetlight colour for your overpasses, by removing all the ones you do not want to use. 2 - Overpass Option
    Due to the complexity of some of the mods here, I will only briefly explain what each one is and how to install them.
    Open the file we renamed to "03_NAMFaceliftOverpassOption.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in the first lesson, "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder.
    Note: Re-start at this point after installing each mod, if installing more than one.
    Japanese Signal Mod
    If you have this mod installed, which makes the stoplights appear on the left at junctions, this Add-On will add those same stoplights to the intersection pieces of your overpasses.
    To install open "Overpass" / "T21" / "Full" in both the extracted files window and also the Plugins windows. Copy the folder "zz_JapaneseSignal" into your plugins. Japanese Sidewalk Mod2
    For users of this mod, this will change the Overpasses to blend in better.
    To install open "Overpass" / "T21" / "Full" in both the extracted files window and also the Plugins windows. Copy the folder "zzzJpn_SideWalk_Mod2" into your plugins. The following three mods by Moonlight should only be installed, if you have the respective NAM features also (see image below):

    ML Shinkansen Mod (NAM Feature)
    If you installed the Bullet Train Mod (1) then you should install this Add-On. ML El Rail Mod 2013 (NAM Feature)
    If you are using ML's Alternate El Rail (3) then you should install this Add-On. ML Jap Canal (second download button on page).
    If you have installed Moonlights Canal Set, this will update the CAN-AM mod, so that the canal overpasses are replaced with models matching the ML Canals. Note: You need to also have the CAN-AM (2) installed for this to work.
    To install these mods by Moonlight, open the "OverPass" folder in both windows, then copy the folder "z_zMLModFile" into your plugins. Open the newly copied folder and remove any of the three options that you do NOT want installed.
    Note: All of the above add-ons only make sense if you have installed the respective mod. If you have not, these features may not work, or worse, cause problems with your game.
    3 - Neko 7.5m Ramps and Parking Add-On
     
    Open the file we renamed to "04_NAMFaceliftOverpassNekoParking" and simply copy the folder "Neko_Overpass_Addon_Lot" into the "z____NAMFacelift" folder in your plugins.
    Note: This download requires the following additional dependency, Jim CarProp Pack 1.2
    These items will appear in your Misc. Transit menu in-game, here is a brief guide on how to use them:
    Road 7.5m Parking
    Draw the network using the NAM 7.5m Road Overpasses FIRST. The 3 parking lots can be simply placed on existing sections of the overpass. You must then draw a line through the parking lots with the Road Tool. Road 7.5m Ramps
    To connect the ramps, the higher part should overlap an existing section of 7.5m overpass, push the piece as far as it will go into the overpass and click to place. Draw road into the ramp as far as you can. Avenue 7.5m Parking
    The Carpark lots are the same as the road lots, just use the Avenue tool to drag through them instead. For 2-tile parking just click once, no dragging needed. Avenue 7.5m Ramps
    To connect the Ramps is tricky, build the avenues so that you've got the overpasses on one side and an avenue on the other, with a big enough gap for the ramp you wish to use. If you can't plop it, keep removing one avenue tile at a time and try again. Once it's in place, connect up with One Way Road, NOT the Avenue tool, on both sides of the road. Note:
    These OWR's must be in the correct direction of traffic. You can not plop the parking lots next to each other or a ramp, there must always be at least one tile of space separating them, or traffic will be prevented from using the overpass. You can open the pictures in the installed folder, these can help you understand these instructions with visual clues.  
    PART III - FLUPs and Pedmalls
    In this part we will cover three more mods that will add your sidewalks to the FLUPs and PEDMALL pieces from the NAM. The three mods listed in the tutorial can be found on this page:
    z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (05_NAMFaceliftFLUPs.zip)
    This Add-On will update your FLUPs to match your sidewalk. z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (06_NAMFaceliftPedmall.zip)
    This mod adds a variety of different pedmall styles. z_zNAM_PedBridge_Chg_JPN_Mod.zip (07_NAMFaceliftPedbridge.zip)
    This mod contains replacement pedmall bridges. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above. Otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - FLUPS
     
    Open the file we renamed to "05_NAMFaceliftFLUPs.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. If this is done correctly, you will see a message pop up asking you if you want to merge/overwrite files or folders. As before, you should overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods. All you need to do is select the correct road textures. Open the "FLUPs" / "Road" folder. If you use US Road Textures, remove the file "zRoadTexturesEuro.dat" from here.
     
    That's it, you are done, so open SC4 and test your results. Remember to also check the Tram FLUPs, which are in the Misc. Transport Menu. As usual, you may need to zone before sidewalks appear.
      
    2- PedMalls
     
    In your Road Menu, there is an item named "Pedestrian Mall Tiles". Here are a number of single-tile pieces, that can be placed together to form a pedestrian-enabled walkway. Further information on the usage and limitations of which, are provided in the NAM documentation.
    This mod will make the first two of these Pedmalls match your Sidewalk. It will additionally replace the light pole pedmall, with a more flexible piece. Every time you plop one, one of over 20 possibilities is chosen at random. If you move away from the tile after placing such a pedmall, then return to the same spot and click once more, you can cycle through the options.
    Open the file we renamed to "06_NAMFaceliftPedmall.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. As in previous parts, overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods and you are ready to go and test the results. 
    Note:
    Due to the way Pedmalls are designed, if the wealth of surrounding buildings change, then any adjacent pedmalls will change design. If you want to try a different set of Pedmalls, check out Paeng's alternate version (Add On). 3 - PedBridges
    As part of the NAM pedmalls, there are some bridges included. This mod will replace those with more attractive bridges for Roads, Streets, OWR, Rail and Avenue. In case you were wondering, after selecting the Pedestrian Mall Tiles, just keep pressing the TAB key and these bridges will eventually appear.
    Open the file we renamed to "07_NAMFaceliftPedbride.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 2 folders and the 5 dat files from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder. As in previous parts, overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished, the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods and you are ready to go and test the results. 
    Note:
    The included props for this set, are essential to it's correct operation. Just as with the PedMalls set, you can re-click to get different bridge designs. Once more though, they change if the wealth of surrounding buildings do. There is an additional Mod by Magneto, here (find the attached file  "z_ped_overpasses_signs_cancel.zip"), to remove the road signs if you dislike them.  
    PART IV - SAM and Rail Optional Mods
    Two optional mods for SAM streets and your Railway network will be covered in this part, you can download these mods here. 
    Note: The first two mods for GLR listed on this page, will be covered in the next part of this tutorial.
    z_SAM_NoGrass_Mod.zip (08_NAMFaceliftSAMNoGrass.zip)
    This Add-On will change the grass textures of 4 of the SAM sets to Sidewalks. z_Alternate_Railway_Mod_Add_On.zip (09_NAMFaceliftAltRail.zip)
    This Add-On is for users of the PEG Railway Mod, and adds a similar texture to WRC and FAR pieces. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - SAM No Grass Mod
     
    Open the file we renamed to "08_NAMFaceliftSAMNoGrass.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_SAM_NoGrass_Mod" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod does not function like previous mods and needs to be given it's own folder. You should not see any messages relating to duplicate folders, if you have done it correctly.
    Inside the folder you just moved, will be 5 further folders:
       Readme    SAM2    SAM7    SAM8    SAM9 This mod will make every tile of SAM2, 7, 8 and 9 show full sidewalks without any grass. Remove the folders for those SAM types you do NOT want to be changed. You can of course keep all 4 if you wish. You can now test your results, as that's everything we need to do here.
    Note: If you use the US road textures, you will need to enter each SAM folder and delete the file "zSAM*_NoGrass_Euro_Textures.dat". Where * is the SAM network type.

    2 - Alternate Railway Mod
    This mod will add textures in the style of PEG's Alternate Railway Mod, for STR, FAR and WRC rail curves,
    Open the file we renamed to "09_NAMFaceliftAltRail.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_Alternate_Railway_Mod_Add_On" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: Once again this mod needs it's own subfolder, so don't overwrite anything.
    Folders "STR" and "WideRadiusCurves" contain the STR and WRC/FAR textures respectively. Remove either if you don't need them.
    The folder "FLUPs" contains transparent FLUPs for PEG's Rail Mod. However, the NAM FLUP models do not support transparency, causing the water bug to be triggered. If you wish to use this feature, just install the attached patch "FLUPs Transparency Fix" in the same folder. Otherwise simply delete the "FLUPs" folder.
    Simple as that, you should now have nice textures on your rail curves and FAR sections.
    Note: An additional MOD created by Ebina, will also add matching rail textures where rail goes under Overpasses. You can download this from here (AlternateRail_EPOverpasses_v201a.zip), it says outdated, but it works just fine.
     
    PART V - GLR/GLR Options
    This mod changes all your GLR, including Tram in Avenue, Tram in Road and Tram in Street to have SMP Sandstone Sidewalks. Users of other sidewalk mods may also find that a warmer sandstone for their GLR network, is preferable to the original Maxis white.
     
    You can download these GLR mods here. 
    Note: The third and forth links on this page were covered in part IV above.
    z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod.zip (10_NAMFaceliftGLR.zip)
    This Add-On will add Sandstone sidewalks to the GLR Networks. Opstion.zip (11_NAMFaceliftGLROption.zip)
    Contains two alternate options for the above GLR Mod. 
      Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above, otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - GLR
    Open the file we renamed to "10_NAMFaceliftGLR.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod" from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod does not function like previous mods, and needs to be given it's own folder, you should not see any messages relating to duplicate folders if you have done it correctly.
    Inside the folder you just moved will be 4 further folders.
       Corefile    Readme    zEuroTextures    zzLeft_Hand_Version Users of the Euro Textures where sims drive on the left do not need to do anything further. 
    Note:
    If you use the US road textures and sims drive on the right, you will need to delete two folders, "zEuroTextures" and "zzLeft_Hand_Version". Users of Euro Textures where sims drive on the right should remove just the "zzLeft_Hand_Version". Finally users of US textures, but where sims drive on the left, need to remove the folder "zEuroTextures". Then enter the "zzLeft_Hand_Version" folder and remove an additional folder named "zEuroTextures". You can now test your results as that's everything we need to do here.
    Note: This mod will not replace many of the diagonal Tram in Avenue pieces, you may also find there are a couple of other (mainly tram in road) pieces, that will remain white too.
    2 - GLR Options
    There are two options for the GLR Mod, one which changes the street intersections of the Dragable tram to SAM 8 textures. The other adds a complete sidewalk to the tram loops, rather than the original rails with transparent bases.
    Open the file we renamed to " 11_NAMFaceliftGLROption.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod is part of the above GLR mod, and the folder you copy should be merged with it's original.
    Open the folder we just moved there are two files inside, you can remove either if you only want to use one of these mods.
     
    And that's pretty much all there is to it *phew*. Bear in mind this is a modified copy of the tutorial I originally posted on SimPeg. Since that was lost with it's demise, I wanted to finally bring it over to ST, so that new users would be able to get this essential mod working. I try to keep my tutorials up-to date, so if you notice missing images or broken links, please send me a PM and I'll fix them where possible.
    MGB.
     
    Fixes outlined above are available here:
    Overall Pavement Style Fix.zip
    NAM Transparent Rail FLUPs Patch.zip
  22. rsc204 liked an article by andisart, Custom building foundations in 3DS Max   
    Custom building foundations in 3DS Max
    Tutorial level: Intermediate; general knowledge of BAT creation and modding required.
    There are two effective methods to create custom building foundations in 3DS Max.
    The first is creating building foundations the traditional way in the same fashion they work in the game (assigning a foundation model as a foundation in the Pluginmanager (PIM)), the other is using building and foundation as props.
    Both methods have their pros and cons:
    Traditional method
    + automatic matching of building and foundation in game
    + convenient to use in PIM when creating the lot
    - nightlights not possible for foundation (which then can create abrupt breaks if lights in scene illumine both building and foundation)
    - not suited for cases where LODs of building and foundation differ (impossible to match foundation to building in Lot Editor (LE))
    - possibility of a bug occuring requiring manual texture ID fix
    Method using props
    + nightlights on the foundation possible
    + foundation can extend beyond building as both can be matched manually in LE
    - matching process not 100% clean if LODs differ
    - extra step in lot creation needed: since building and foundation work as a prop, an empty object needs to be assigned as the actual building
    - if slope is too steep, slope can move into building because it functions as a prop. More finetuning in slope settings of lot required
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________
    Traditional method
    Create building and foundation as separate geometry.
    Make sure foundation geometry does not exceed ground level (0 on Z axis).

    Render seperately. When creating the LODs, make sure they sit on top of each other and have the same width and length (height can differ).
    If they don't building and foundation will not line up later in the game.
    Foundation LODs may not exceed ground level (0 at Z axis).

    When rendering the foundation LODs in gmax, make sure to select the option for "Foundation" in the BAT options tab:

    It is not necessary to render the nightview of the foundation, since nightlights don't work with this method anyway.
    Render building as normal.
    After rendering, assign the foundation model as a "Foundation" in the PIM:

    Afterwards assign the building model to a building type of your choice.
    In the properties options under the Advanced tab you can now select the building foundation you created before:

    When creating the lot in the LE you can just create your lot normally, the building foundation is already assigned to your building through the PIM.
    There is an option to change the foundation within the LE, however, when I tried that it didn't work properly, so better leave that option alone.
    Lastly, you need to make sure the lot can actually have a slope in the game. As an orientation: for the example model with a foundation of approx. 3m depth a good value for the threshold is 8. This is subject to fine-tuning.
    In the game it should then look like this, left on flat and right on slope with foundation:

    You should be done!
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Possible bug:
    If you don't see the foundation but instead just green, blue and red colors then the beforementioned bug hit you.
    In this case the material IDs of the foundation model need to be corrected. They need to say 0x00030xxx, and not 0x00031xxx or anything else.
    You can find the ID's in the Reader in the "Mats" tab of the S3D files of the model.
    Note: Every S3D file has to be fixed.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________
    Method using props
    The two advantages of this methods are nightlights and the possibility of having differing LODs between building and foundation.
    The following model has a foundation that is wider than the building and a nightscene which illumines the foundation as well. So this method is the prefered choice.
    Foundation extends beyond building:

    Nightlights shine on the foundation (stairs going down), windows lit on foundation:

    LODs of foundation and building have different footprint:

    You start off as with the traditional method above with separate geometry and LODs for your building and foundation.
    However, the foundation LOD and geometry must be slightly below ground level, otherwise there will be glitches with the base and overlay textures on the lot. A value of -0,01 meters on the Z axis will work (values below that don't seem to work without glitches).
    During the rendering process there are the following differences:
    - you render the foundation LODs in gmax without the "Foundation" option ticked, that is as a normal model.
    - if foundation extends beyond the building footprint: when rendering the foundation leave the building in the scene to avoid false lighting of the extened foundation parts (if building not present the correct shadows cant be cast onto foundation parts).
    - if applicable, also render the nightscene of your foundation. As with for the dayscene inlcude the building as well, especially all lights shining onto the foundation
    In the PIM assign both models as props with the necessary options. Important here are to set IsGroundModel and QueryAsMainBuilding to true for the building model.
    (Note: Options changed for foundation were only Lights and AppearanceZoomsFlag. Changing other options hasn't been tested for foundation.)
    Now, because our building is a prop, we need a blank model that serves as the acutal building exemplar.
    For example create a small cube with LODs, then before rendering delete the cube and render LODs only.
    Use this blank model in the PIM to assign to the building type you want your lot to be.
    In the LE replace building with the blank model:

    Then add foundation and building props.

    In order to be able to allign the props you need to remove the base and probably the overlay textures as well.
    It's a bit tricky to match the two, if not impossible to perfectly allign. What helps is to not emphasize vertical elements between building and foundation. So it's advised to make the design so that the foundation is more independent from the building, i.e. without vertical elements reaching from building down to foundation.
    On the other hand, if your LODs have the same width and length the matching process is very simple in LE, just allign them on top of each other and it will look perfect in game.
    After adding base textures back, the foundation should be completely covered like this:

    When you're done with the LE you can mod your lot as usual.
    Important here:
    in order to avoid any Maxis foundations from showing change the foundation ID in your lot to 0x194B1000. as with the above method you need to finetune the values for maximum lot slope. Again, a good starting point is threshold value 8. This is the more important since with the building as a prop the slope can reach into the building if it's too steep, which will not like so nice You should be done!
    In the game it should look something like this:

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________
     
    Special thanks to Aaron Graham, c.p., callagrafx for their help
  23. MeMyself&I liked an article by rsc204, Slope Mods: A Brief Guide   
    I was asked about slope mods by Dreadnought today. Halfway through replying to a PM, I realised this would be better posted here for all to see. If anyone can think of something I've missed, I'd be happy to consider it's inclusion at some point. For now though, this will just cover some of the basics.

    What is a Slope Mod?
    A slope mod just adjusts the allowable slopes, at an individual network level. What does that mean?...
    Without any additional mods, if you have a big hill and draw a network, the game has a default setting for the maximum slope of each network. Maxis deliberately made this pretty unrestrictive, for ease of play. If you want to create more realistic looking cities, especially with hilly terrain, you will probably want to install a mod that adjusts the default slopes, making them more restrictive. This will help to avoid the bumpy uneven roads, that are very common when playing without such a mod.
    Each network in the game has it's own settings, that dictate how steep the slopes can be when dragging that network. These networks are:
    Street Road OWR (One Way Road) Avenue Maxis Highway Rail Elevated Rail Monorail Dirt Road (RealHighway [RHW]). It should be noted that override networks do not have separate settings. So for example, if you are using the Network Widening Mod (NWM) or Street Addon Mod (SAM), which are overrides of the Road and Street networks respectively, they will use the same settings as the base network.
    Dirt Road is so called, because it was an additional unused network left in the game's code. Whilst it has been repurposed by the NAM team to be used for the RHW mod, technically it's the Dirt Road network. From here on in, I will refer to dirt road as RHW, for the sake of clarity.
     
    A Slope Mod sounds just up my street...
     
    Hopefully if you've made it here, you'll be thinking right now about installing a slope mod. As always with mods for SC4, there are far too many options out there to go into every one in excruciating detail. They all do pretty much the same thing, but there are two important factors you should consider when selecting one.
     
    What networks does the mod support/change. How restrictive is the slope.  
    For example, you may decide you only want to have restricted slopes for some of the supported networks. So if a mod bundles everything together in one DAT, unless you know how to remove those you do not want, (really not very hard, even though it does require the Reader), you should be mindful of this.
     
    A very restrictive slope mod will totally transform how you build and terraform in game. Whereas a very unrestrictive mod, could end up looking like the vanilla experience. If you are new to slope mods, then it's probably best to try a few out and get a feel for how they affect things. Especially before you start using one in a cherished region. For example, a really restrictive slope can mean a 15m height difference, would take something in the region of a whole large tile for the slope. Obviously that's an extreme example, most of them are much more balanced for general play.
     
    For the purposes of this tutorial, I'm going to show the three mods I'm using:
     
    BRF's Tunnel and Slope Mod RHW Slope Mod BTM Slope Mod  

     
    And here is a comparison shot, to give you an example of how these changes affect your slopes. Each of the networks in this picture are transitioning from a 15m high hill. Even with the slope mod by BRF, the street network takes only three tiles or 48m to descend by 15m. For math aficionados, that's a slope of around 1:3. This is pretty steep, but probably not completely unrealistic in some places. The road takes 4 tiles or 60m by comparison, which is 1:4. As you can see, I've cunningly laid these out from bottom to top, in the order of the slopes gradients. From steepest, to the shallowest slope. If you are still wondering why you need a slope mod, this picture should hopefully show you how much nicer your slopes can be.
     
    Note: I've used Rail stubs to indicate the first three tiles that are at ground level for each network. I've also used PedMalls to help see the slopes better. As you can see, rail has the most restrictive slope of all, so much so, even with my fairly reasonable grades, it doesn't fit in the screenshot.
     
    Using your slope mods more flexibly
     
    Whilst you could have multiple slope mods for a number of different situations, that's quite a complex setup and requires you to close SC4 and move files about. Let's say I want a road to have a slope similar to that of the El-Rail network shown above. Rather than switch to a slope mod permanently with those settings, there is an easier way. Just use the El-Rail tool to draw the slope first, delete it and drag the road down your nice new slope. Using the above picture as reference, you can do this for any network which appears lower down the screenshot, than the slope you require. To put that another way, if you made a slope using the Avenue tool, but then wanted to use it for the Rail network, this would not work. Since the rail network is more restrictive. Using this setup though, you can have quite a bit of flexibility for a number of networks. Note how the Rail networks, including Monorail and Elevated Rail, have the most restrictive slopes of all. That makes a lot of sense when you think about it, since in real life, the gradients they are able to support are much less than cars and other traffic are able to deal with.
     
    Some final hints and tips
    Sim City 4 can be unforgiving at times, it's all too easy when making other changes, for your hard work creating slopes to become unravelled. Just as I have shown above, using PedMalls next to the slope, will lock-in the slope, making it impossible for development and other networks to alter them further.
    Of course, if you wanted a junction halfway down the slope, that now be impossible too. Here's where some planning really comes in handy. Using the four steps shown on the right, you can easily form intersections as part of your slopes.
    Drag the initial slope, here I am using the El-Rail tool for the slope. I have placed pedmalls and used a rail stub to completely flatten the tile where the junction will be. Now you can continue to drag your slope, in this case in two directions, from the stub. I've placed the pedmalls here before I built the road. As you can see, the slopes are working very well. Lastly, I've dragged the street tool, anything with a less restrictive slope would do, parallel to the new road. This makes the surrounding tiles match the slope used for the road. This is useful if you want to zone next to the road, or sometimes for blending into the terrain better. Note: I have not dragged next to the road junction, a gap of one tile must be left here. Because I've used pedmall to lock-in the slope, there would be no danger of messing up our hard work. But if the pedmalls were not present, dragging either of the parallel streets closer to each other, might mean you'd have to start over.
    Another useful thing to know, when zoning next to slopes, the game can actually alter the slope of the transit network. Either when zoning or when buildings develop. Often this is quite undesirable, but there is a way to avoid it. By holding the CTRL key when zoning, the game knows not to change the slopes in either scenario. It does require some thinking about how you zone each area, but is a very handy way to stop the game messing up all our hard work, to keep slopes looking good.
    If you make a partial slope, you can then level off areas using "stubs" as required. Stubs are made by clicking only once with the network tools, such as the Street, Road or Rail, in each tile. As opposed to connecting or drawing them in a line. I prefer to use rail stubs myself, because they do not feature auto-connect. This can catch you out on occasion, causing problems, especially when using the RHW or Streets tool.
    Leave these stubs in place whilst you are building your slopes, to incorporate many different things, that might otherwise look undesirable on uneven terrain. This can be especially useful for incorporating WRC's, TE connections and many other possibilities into your slopes.
  24. daderic888 liked an article by rsc204, Instalation and Configuration of the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod   
    Introduction
    What is the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod, and why do I want it?
    Well at it's core, this mod is smartly designed to add your sidewalk onto many of the NAM puzzle pieces that without it would remain bare, or show the default Maxis White sidewalks. Support includes many features of the NAM, such as PedMalls, FLUPs, WRCs, Overpasses and much more besides. Additionally, it features many custom options that transform the general appearance of NAM features. Many of the components of the mod have different options for you to set things up just how you want them. Although recent developments have helped to avoid baked-in sidewalk textures in the NAM, this mod is still phenomenally useful for covering the legacy pieces many of us still use. As such, it's still relevant, plus in my opinion, one of the must have mods for everyone.
    PART I - Installing the Basic Mod
    In this first part I'm going to explain how to install the base of the Japanese NAM Facelift Mod. In subsequent parts, I will expand this to cover every option that is available. If you don't want or need a specific Add-On, then just skip that part of the tutorial. But keep what you do install in the same order listed here, to ensure you don't run into problems.
     
    So first off you will need to download the file "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip" from here. Please rename this file "01_NAMFaceLiftBaseMod.zip" either before downloading or after you have done so. This is very important since many of the different Add-Ons for this pack have the same filename, so do this now and you'll avoid any problems later. This part of the Japanese Facelift serves as the base part of the mod, and will add your sidewalk texture onto the Wide Radius Curves (WRC) and Fractionally Angled Road (FAR) puzzle pieces (all found in the Roads Menu). Although technically it seems you can get away without using this part of the NAM FaceLift Mod, I would recommend everyone using the mod starts here, especially considering how much nicer WRC and FAR looks compared to the original bare curves.
    Before we install this mod, it is very important that we are able to test it in a simple environment, so that any problems can be tracked down easily. In short, the best practice would be to remove all the files/folders in your Plugins, with the exception of the "Network Addon Mod", "z___Nam", and your chosen sidewalk mod's folders. Move them somewhere safe where you can find them later, you now have a test setup, it should look like this:

    Temporarily moved items are shown on the left, the current Plugins folder is shown on the right.
    Note: When running SC4 with a test setup it is recommended to play in a new, blank region.
    Now open the .zip file from earlier (double click the .zip file), where you will find a folder called "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod", you need to copy this folder into your
    "My Documents\SimCity 4\Plugins" directory. Rename this folder "z____NAMFacelift" it is very important to use at least 4 underscores " _ " to ensure this mod loads after the NAM. Otherwise some of the pieces will not work as expected.
    Note: Previous versions of the NAM worked differently, using a lot of zzzs or a z# numbering system will NO LONGER WORK.
    Open your newly renamed folder and you should find 4 folders, "Props", "Readme", "Textures" and "WideRadiusCurves". Open the readme (inside its folder), and find the section "Usage". From here you need to choose which of the Wide Curve styles you would like this mod to use. Open the Props folder: You can remove "Side walk style Add on.dat" and "Side walk style.dat" ONLY if you are going to use the Overall Pavement Style option, Otherwise keep all the files inside. At this point I can also recommend installing the patch "Overall Pavement Style Fix.zip" attached to this tutorial. It fixes a display issue in Z3 which causes parts of the sidewalk to look brighter than they should. Just place this file in the Props folder, and it will work correctly. In the "WideRadiusCurves" folder keep the folder "Common". Then remove the three Wide Curve folders, that are named after the sidewalk styles you are NOT intending to use.
      Note: If your sims drive on the Right in-game, you MUST remove two files both named "zFractional Angle Road-Straight over rail LH.dat". One is located in the "Common" / "Road" folder, the other is found in whichever WideRadius folder you kept installed.
    My advice for removing such additional files during this mods installation, is to delete the files you do not need. You will have the originals in the .zip file you downloaded, should you ever want to change options. Therefore it is easier to test various options in-game (move the folders you are not using temporarily), and decide on what to use before continuing. Remember to test in a new city/region and with the "test setup" explained earlier. At this point, if everything is working then the WRCs & FAR pieces should all have sidewalks that match your sidewalk mod like so:
       
    Note: You may need to zone next to such pieces before the sidewalks appear.
    For some reason it seems that one piece, the Diagonal to FAR Avenue, seems not to be supported by this mod. Support for them is provided by my soon to be released SWN (Sidewalk NAM) mod.
     
    PART II - Overpasses
    The link for the three mods discussed in this part can be found on this page.
    There are many different options to make this set compatible with a number of other (mainly Japanese Mods). To start, I'll quickly go through them:
    z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (02_NAMFaceliftOverpasses.zip)
    This is the base set that adds the new style overpasses, it will also change the white bases to match your sidewalk mod. Other_Mod.zip (03_NAMFaceliftOverpassOptions.zip)
    This file contains options for users of certain mods, see section 2 for more details. Neko_Overpass_AddOn_Lot.zip (04_NAMFaceliftOverpassNekoParking.zip)
    This file contains four new ramps, and some pieces with under bridge car parks for the 7.5m Overpasses. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above, otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - Main Overpass Mod
    Open the file we renamed to "02_NAMFaceLiftOverpass", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in the last lesson "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. If this is done correctly, you will see a message pop up asking you if you want to merge/overwrite files or folders. This is perfectly safe to do, as the mod was designed to work in this way. Each separate package that contains the same textures/props has them included, so if we overwrite files here, we will only be left with one of each. So tell Windows it is OK to do this for every occurrence of the message. To save time you could tick "Do this for all current items" in Windows 7/newer. When finished, both readmes will be in one convenient location, all you need to do is select a few options. Open the "Overpass" / "T21" folder where there are four further folders:
     Select_GuardRail - Remove the file "zGuardRailProps.dat" if you do NOT want white gaurdrails on the road edge of Overpasses.  Select Pavement - There are three options:       "noBlankLotPavement.dat" - Tiles under overpasses always remain transparent.       "noTransoirtLotPavement.dat" - Show Sidewalks under overpasses, except for where transit networks cross.       "zOverallPavement.dat" - Show sidewalks under overpasses and where transit networks cross.
          Keep ONLY ONE of these files.  Select SecurityFence - Remove the file "zSecurityFence_Props.dat", if you do NOT want security fences on the bottom edge of Overpasses.  Select Streetlight - Pick the streetlight colour for your overpasses, by removing all the ones you do not want to use. 2 - Overpass Option
    Due to the complexity of some of the mods here, I will only briefly explain what each one is and how to install them.
    Open the file we renamed to "03_NAMFaceliftOverpassOption.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in the first lesson, "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder.
    Note: Re-start at this point after installing each mod, if installing more than one.
    Japanese Signal Mod
    If you have this mod installed, which makes the stoplights appear on the left at junctions, this Add-On will add those same stoplights to the intersection pieces of your overpasses.
    To install open "Overpass" / "T21" / "Full" in both the extracted files window and also the Plugins windows. Copy the folder "zz_JapaneseSignal" into your plugins. Japanese Sidewalk Mod2
    For users of this mod, this will change the Overpasses to blend in better.
    To install open "Overpass" / "T21" / "Full" in both the extracted files window and also the Plugins windows. Copy the folder "zzzJpn_SideWalk_Mod2" into your plugins. The following three mods by Moonlight should only be installed, if you have the respective NAM features also (see image below):

    ML Shinkansen Mod (NAM Feature)
    If you installed the Bullet Train Mod (1) then you should install this Add-On. ML El Rail Mod 2013 (NAM Feature)
    If you are using ML's Alternate El Rail (3) then you should install this Add-On. ML Jap Canal (second download button on page).
    If you have installed Moonlights Canal Set, this will update the CAN-AM mod, so that the canal overpasses are replaced with models matching the ML Canals. Note: You need to also have the CAN-AM (2) installed for this to work.
    To install these mods by Moonlight, open the "OverPass" folder in both windows, then copy the folder "z_zMLModFile" into your plugins. Open the newly copied folder and remove any of the three options that you do NOT want installed.
    Note: All of the above add-ons only make sense if you have installed the respective mod. If you have not, these features may not work, or worse, cause problems with your game.
    3 - Neko 7.5m Ramps and Parking Add-On
     
    Open the file we renamed to "04_NAMFaceliftOverpassNekoParking" and simply copy the folder "Neko_Overpass_Addon_Lot" into the "z____NAMFacelift" folder in your plugins.
    Note: This download requires the following additional dependency, Jim CarProp Pack 1.2
    These items will appear in your Misc. Transit menu in-game, here is a brief guide on how to use them:
    Road 7.5m Parking
    Draw the network using the NAM 7.5m Road Overpasses FIRST. The 3 parking lots can be simply placed on existing sections of the overpass. You must then draw a line through the parking lots with the Road Tool. Road 7.5m Ramps
    To connect the ramps, the higher part should overlap an existing section of 7.5m overpass, push the piece as far as it will go into the overpass and click to place. Draw road into the ramp as far as you can. Avenue 7.5m Parking
    The Carpark lots are the same as the road lots, just use the Avenue tool to drag through them instead. For 2-tile parking just click once, no dragging needed. Avenue 7.5m Ramps
    To connect the Ramps is tricky, build the avenues so that you've got the overpasses on one side and an avenue on the other, with a big enough gap for the ramp you wish to use. If you can't plop it, keep removing one avenue tile at a time and try again. Once it's in place, connect up with One Way Road, NOT the Avenue tool, on both sides of the road. Note:
    These OWR's must be in the correct direction of traffic. You can not plop the parking lots next to each other or a ramp, there must always be at least one tile of space separating them, or traffic will be prevented from using the overpass. You can open the pictures in the installed folder, these can help you understand these instructions with visual clues.  
    PART III - FLUPs and Pedmalls
    In this part we will cover three more mods that will add your sidewalks to the FLUPs and PEDMALL pieces from the NAM. The three mods listed in the tutorial can be found on this page:
    z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (05_NAMFaceliftFLUPs.zip)
    This Add-On will update your FLUPs to match your sidewalk. z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod.zip (06_NAMFaceliftPedmall.zip)
    This mod adds a variety of different pedmall styles. z_zNAM_PedBridge_Chg_JPN_Mod.zip (07_NAMFaceliftPedbridge.zip)
    This mod contains replacement pedmall bridges. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above. Otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - FLUPS
     
    Open the file we renamed to "05_NAMFaceliftFLUPs.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. If this is done correctly, you will see a message pop up asking you if you want to merge/overwrite files or folders. As before, you should overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods. All you need to do is select the correct road textures. Open the "FLUPs" / "Road" folder. If you use US Road Textures, remove the file "zRoadTexturesEuro.dat" from here.
     
    That's it, you are done, so open SC4 and test your results. Remember to also check the Tram FLUPs, which are in the Misc. Transport Menu. As usual, you may need to zone before sidewalks appear.
      
    2- PedMalls
     
    In your Road Menu, there is an item named "Pedestrian Mall Tiles". Here are a number of single-tile pieces, that can be placed together to form a pedestrian-enabled walkway. Further information on the usage and limitations of which, are provided in the NAM documentation.
    This mod will make the first two of these Pedmalls match your Sidewalk. It will additionally replace the light pole pedmall, with a more flexible piece. Every time you plop one, one of over 20 possibilities is chosen at random. If you move away from the tile after placing such a pedmall, then return to the same spot and click once more, you can cycle through the options.
    Open the file we renamed to "06_NAMFaceliftPedmall.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 4 folders from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder. As in previous parts, overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods and you are ready to go and test the results. 
    Note:
    Due to the way Pedmalls are designed, if the wealth of surrounding buildings change, then any adjacent pedmalls will change design. If you want to try a different set of Pedmalls, check out Paeng's alternate version (Add On). 3 - PedBridges
    As part of the NAM pedmalls, there are some bridges included. This mod will replace those with more attractive bridges for Roads, Streets, OWR, Rail and Avenue. In case you were wondering, after selecting the Pedestrian Mall Tiles, just keep pressing the TAB key and these bridges will eventually appear.
    Open the file we renamed to "07_NAMFaceliftPedbride.zip", then open the "z_NAM_FaceLift_Mod" folder. You should also have a second window with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the 2 folders and the 5 dat files from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder. As in previous parts, overwrite any files it says are duplicates and merge the folders. When finished, the new readme will be in the same convenient location as the other mods and you are ready to go and test the results. 
    Note:
    The included props for this set, are essential to it's correct operation. Just as with the PedMalls set, you can re-click to get different bridge designs. Once more though, they change if the wealth of surrounding buildings do. There is an additional Mod by Magneto, here (find the attached file  "z_ped_overpasses_signs_cancel.zip"), to remove the road signs if you dislike them.  
    PART IV - SAM and Rail Optional Mods
    Two optional mods for SAM streets and your Railway network will be covered in this part, you can download these mods here. 
    Note: The first two mods for GLR listed on this page, will be covered in the next part of this tutorial.
    z_SAM_NoGrass_Mod.zip (08_NAMFaceliftSAMNoGrass.zip)
    This Add-On will change the grass textures of 4 of the SAM sets to Sidewalks. z_Alternate_Railway_Mod_Add_On.zip (09_NAMFaceliftAltRail.zip)
    This Add-On is for users of the PEG Railway Mod, and adds a similar texture to WRC and FAR pieces. Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - SAM No Grass Mod
     
    Open the file we renamed to "08_NAMFaceliftSAMNoGrass.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_SAM_NoGrass_Mod" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod does not function like previous mods and needs to be given it's own folder. You should not see any messages relating to duplicate folders, if you have done it correctly.
    Inside the folder you just moved, will be 5 further folders:
       Readme    SAM2    SAM7    SAM8    SAM9 This mod will make every tile of SAM2, 7, 8 and 9 show full sidewalks without any grass. Remove the folders for those SAM types you do NOT want to be changed. You can of course keep all 4 if you wish. You can now test your results, as that's everything we need to do here.
    Note: If you use the US road textures, you will need to enter each SAM folder and delete the file "zSAM*_NoGrass_Euro_Textures.dat". Where * is the SAM network type.

    2 - Alternate Railway Mod
    This mod will add textures in the style of PEG's Alternate Railway Mod, for STR, FAR and WRC rail curves,
    Open the file we renamed to "09_NAMFaceliftAltRail.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_Alternate_Railway_Mod_Add_On" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: Once again this mod needs it's own subfolder, so don't overwrite anything.
    Folders "STR" and "WideRadiusCurves" contain the STR and WRC/FAR textures respectively. Remove either if you don't need them.
    The folder "FLUPs" contains transparent FLUPs for PEG's Rail Mod. However, the NAM FLUP models do not support transparency, causing the water bug to be triggered. If you wish to use this feature, just install the attached patch "FLUPs Transparency Fix" in the same folder. Otherwise simply delete the "FLUPs" folder.
    Simple as that, you should now have nice textures on your rail curves and FAR sections.
    Note: An additional MOD created by Ebina, will also add matching rail textures where rail goes under Overpasses. You can download this from here (AlternateRail_EPOverpasses_v201a.zip), it says outdated, but it works just fine.
     
    PART V - GLR/GLR Options
    This mod changes all your GLR, including Tram in Avenue, Tram in Road and Tram in Street to have SMP Sandstone Sidewalks. Users of other sidewalk mods may also find that a warmer sandstone for their GLR network, is preferable to the original Maxis white.
     
    You can download these GLR mods here. 
    Note: The third and forth links on this page were covered in part IV above.
    z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod.zip (10_NAMFaceliftGLR.zip)
    This Add-On will add Sandstone sidewalks to the GLR Networks. Opstion.zip (11_NAMFaceliftGLROption.zip)
    Contains two alternate options for the above GLR Mod. 
      Note: For the files you download, you should rename them to match the filename in brackets above, otherwise you won't understand which I'm referring too later.
    1 - GLR
    Open the file we renamed to "10_NAMFaceliftGLR.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I "z____NAMFacelift" in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod" from the zip into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod does not function like previous mods, and needs to be given it's own folder, you should not see any messages relating to duplicate folders if you have done it correctly.
    Inside the folder you just moved will be 4 further folders.
       Corefile    Readme    zEuroTextures    zzLeft_Hand_Version Users of the Euro Textures where sims drive on the left do not need to do anything further. 
    Note:
    If you use the US road textures and sims drive on the right, you will need to delete two folders, "zEuroTextures" and "zzLeft_Hand_Version". Users of Euro Textures where sims drive on the right should remove just the "zzLeft_Hand_Version". Finally users of US textures, but where sims drive on the left, need to remove the folder "zEuroTextures". Then enter the "zzLeft_Hand_Version" folder and remove an additional folder named "zEuroTextures". You can now test your results as that's everything we need to do here.
    Note: This mod will not replace many of the diagonal Tram in Avenue pieces, you may also find there are a couple of other (mainly tram in road) pieces, that will remain white too.
    2 - GLR Options
    There are two options for the GLR Mod, one which changes the street intersections of the Dragable tram to SAM 8 textures. The other adds a complete sidewalk to the tram loops, rather than the original rails with transparent bases.
    Open the file we renamed to " 11_NAMFaceliftGLROption.zip", you should also have a second window open with the folder we created in Part I, "z____NAMFacelift", in your Plugins folder. Move the folder "z_GLR_SandStone_Textures_Mod" from the zip, into your z____NAMFacelift folder.
    Note: This mod is part of the above GLR mod, and the folder you copy should be merged with it's original.
    Open the folder we just moved there are two files inside, you can remove either if you only want to use one of these mods.
     
    And that's pretty much all there is to it *phew*. Bear in mind this is a modified copy of the tutorial I originally posted on SimPeg. Since that was lost with it's demise, I wanted to finally bring it over to ST, so that new users would be able to get this essential mod working. I try to keep my tutorials up-to date, so if you notice missing images or broken links, please send me a PM and I'll fix them where possible.
    MGB.
     
    Fixes outlined above are available here:
    Overall Pavement Style Fix.zip
    NAM Transparent Rail FLUPs Patch.zip
  25. 6StringShaman liked an article by rsc204, Modding Automata into Props   
    Have you ever wanted to use one of the in-game automata as a prop in lotting? Well it's actually really simple, all you need to do is create a prop exemplar that links to the installed automata model. You can even duplicate the model and make rotated versions. Unlike normal SC4Models, automata are special because fully 3D models are used in game.
     
    However to aid you in making automata as props, I've included here a template for the Bus Automata. I will use this as an example, and walk through the modifications required to make whatever bus automata you are using. But the principles explained here can be adapted to props for any S3D 3D model that you want as a prop. Note all models are S3D, but not all S3D models are the 3D ones.
     

     
    In the example above you can see the Basic Prop Exemplar for the default Bus Automata. The IID* of this model is 0x10620000. This is the same ID used in the Resource Key Type 0 field of the prop exemplar.
     
    *IID = Instance ID, as in Type, Group and Instance. For all 3D models the same Type and Group ID is normally used, hence we only need to worry about the Instance ID when dealing with these models.
     
    Any models which over-ride the Maxis defaults, must have the same ID as the originals. Therefore it's usually easy to know which IDs we are looking for. Vester has compiled a handy list of most Maxis Automata here.
     
    The example shown above references the default Bus Model. Without further modification, you can now use this prop to place your Bus Automata on lots. But in the included template DAT, there are a further 3 Prop Exemplars, linked to 3 S3D model files. These S3D files need to be replaced by duplicates of the actual Bus Automata you want to make into props. Since those included are merely templates.
     
    Copying your custom Bus Automata.
     
    These additional prop exemplars need to link to rotated models. At FAR-L, FAR-R and Diagonal positions. If you want to use these, you need to find the DAT containing your Bus Automata. Open that file, whilst keeping the included file opened as well.
     
    Copy the S3D of the Bus Model. Be careful to get the whole bus, not the model with the lights. Paste this below an existing S3D model in my file.  Right click the template S3D model and select "Copy Entry ID".  Right click the replacement S3D model and select "Paste Entry ID".  Right click the template S3D model, select "Remove File". We don't need this anymore.  
    So that's one S3D model replaced with your custom one. If you do it this way, all the prop exemplars and textures from the existing model are now automatically linked together, saving a lot of work.
     
    Repeat the process for the remaining two S3D templates. Save your modified file. You can optionally rename the Prop Exemplars to better suit your model.
     
    Rotating unique model instances with Model Tweaker.
     
    Now we need to rotate the models, because right now our copies are still straight. For this, you need Coego's Excellent Model Tweaker. Open the modified DAT file using Model Tweaker.
     
    Highlight the following S3D models in turn and use the Rotate Models option with the following settings for each:
     
    S3D IID 0x20620000 FAR-L        -    Counter-Clockwise / Free = 18.5 S3D IID 0x30620000 FAR-R        -    Clockwise / Free = 18.5 S3D IID 0x40620000 Diag             -    Clockwise / Free = 45  
    Now save the file. Your props will now appear in the Lot Editor for use. Bear in mind that such props may not show correctly in the Lot Editor. But they will appear in game, all four props link back to the original model's textures. So to use them, you must keep the file with the automata installed.
    BusAutomata_as_Props.zip