Simply put, it's a work-in-progress tool that will hopefully eventually be the iLive Reader equivalent for SimCity 2013. It will eventually allow you to view and edit the game assets contained in .package files.
What does the tool allow us to modify?
What will we eventually be able to modify?
Nobody knows - the only way we'll be able to find out is through experimentation. People have expressed concern that because the game partially runs on Maxis' servers, we won't be able to modify anything at all - although experiments have revealed that the city simulation runs only on local machines and that Maxis has no systems in place that verify wether a file is modded or not.
Will I be banned for modding?
This is a hot topic that I've seen come up in almost every discussion about modding so far. Despite being asked repeatedly, Maxis hasn't given any straight answer yet. On the other hand, they've said in the past that they appreciate the modding community and (probably the biggest sign that they're tacitly allowing mods) so far, nobody has been banned for modding yet. So, the best answer we can give so far is; use mods at your own risk, even though that risk is very small.
How can I contribute?
There's still many things to do, so every contribution is more than welcome. If you think you've got what it takes, take a look at the Issue Tracker (http://simcitypak.co...item/list/basic).
Also, experiment! There are already many possibilities for mods - all it takes is dedication and a lot of digging into package files. However - remember to make backups often and to always test in a non-public, disposable region.
First of all, this tool was born when I realized that SimCity uses the same DBPF version as Spore, and that there were already a few Spore Modding tools out there that I could base my research on. I was lucky to come across SporeMaster (https://code.google.com/p/sporemaster/), an open-source .NET based tool. While this tool was made specifically for Spore (and there are quite some differences between the .RW4 model files for example) I managed to reuse a lot of the underlying object model to build my own tool from the ground up (I've been in contact with the creator of SporeMaster and have permission to use his work). From there, I've been trial-and-error'ing my way through the files to see what I can open and how.
For those of you who want to help building the tool (which is in C#/.NET/WPF with a dash of Xna thrown in), I've uploaded the source code over at https://simcitypak.codeplex.com/ . I'm not sure if anyone can just download the source code using TFS, but if you need access, give me your codeplex account and I'll make it so.
I've also uploaded an executable version of the tool. Let me know if it doesn't run or if anything goes wrong when opening a package. There will undoubtedly still be hundreds of bugs but most of them will be caused by unexpected data in the package files.
LINK TO THE LATEST VERSION: https://simcitypak.c...ses/view/107793
BASIC MODDING TUTORIAL: https://simcitypak.c...e=Documentation
- Added Hex view to all file types (even the already identified ones)
- Added Hex view to subsections of a RW4 file to identify the unknown ones
- Added 3D preview for RW4 Mesh sections (warning, meshes aren't read correctly yet, so it still looks like crap)
- Fixed most bugs when loading properties. Only 'Transform' type properties still have some issues
- Added a context menu to Key Properties so that you can open the file it links to in a new window (right click the value and select "open in new window..."
- Ability to export textures. From the RW4 Texure view, you can select a file and save it to the .dds format.
- Added 3D view for RW4 meshes
- Added first attempt as a viewer for RASTER files (which are surprisingly not building textures... wondering where those are hidden)
- Added instance regisrty (Add custom names and comments to specific instances by right-clicking on the instance number in the main grid to make identification easier)
- Modified properties view to be easier on the eyes
- NOTE: While the properties files are being read a lot better than in previous versions, it still has a few bugs that I hope to be able to iron out soon.
- Export to package - export one single TGI index to its own seperate package file
- Properties files will now be read correctly - all properties will be read
- Added relevant information to RASTER and PNG file displays (should be expanded)
- Started refactoring of back-end object model code
- Added textures in 3D viewer for vehicle models
- Added Loading of Locale files from Settings screen (will load localized strings for PROP files)
- Added About window
- Added search for specific values in property files
- Added first attempt at saving modified data to a property file (warning, still buggy)
- Ability to edit property files (still preliminary)
- Advanced Search for property files
- Ability to export multiple assets at once
- Ability to save packages to a new file
- Allows opening multiple package files at once
- Includes editors for most properties
- Improved user interface
- Viewers for 8-bit maps
- Import function for PNG's
- Added Lighting Editor (first version)
- Added possibility to add/remove properties
- Identified many more properties/instances
- New Viewer for 3d files
- Many general UI tweaks
- Many general bugfixes
- Lighting editor expanded to simple Lot Editor that allows editing of lights,props and decals (note; work in progress)
- Fix for searching property files
- Added Copy Key, and Delete to context in main list
- Added fuction to delete indices
- More identified properties/instances
- Many general bugfixes and UI tweaks
- Export/Import Textures
- Export meshes to .obj format (no import yet, though)
- Import .OBJ format 3d models. When importing, make sure that the model file contains normals and texture coordinates. Materials are not needed. Tangent and binormal for normal maps are exported.
- Save button in hex editor
- Import BMP color palettes for vehicles
- Import RASTER file (uncompressed 188.8.131.52 DDS files)
- View different channels of RASTER files or preview of all layers combined
- TGA viewer
- Ground textures added to lot editor
- Many additional identified instances and properties