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Ironshirt

DAT files, help appreciated!

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Hello all,

I've been lurking around here since getting sc4 a while back and have found the level of clear, concise information incredibly helpful! I signed up to check out mods and what not, and was hoping someone could help me out with a problem. Before carrying on I'd like to mention that I've read all the sticked posts on the general forum regarding donwloading buildings/ NAM/ etc (Mikeaut1 and boggy1's were invaluable)

Unfortunately, I've been having problems with .dat files being read, namely the programme used to open them. I've tried downloading the bldgprop files (and have just had a look at the industry quadrupler) but when I unzip the DAT files thinks it should be read by my media player.

Could anyone tell me what programme I should tell it to open itself with? any and all help would be greatly appreciated!!

Cheers! all the best

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  • Original Poster
  • Apologies; I've just checked out the NAM folder in my plugins section; nearly all relevant files are in this same format, and the game is running perfectly (with NAM goodies)....this is strange. I take it that's how the files are. If anyone can clarify for sure It'd be great, otherwise I'm gonna see what happens.

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    Yes, lots of plugins use .dat formats, I believe this can contain most of the different files used by the game. Other formats used are .sc4desc, .sc4lot and .sc4model. There's no need to extract further than the point where you see these file types (unless there are zip files within zip files). Good luck!

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    SC4 DAT files are opened by http://www.simtropolis.com/stex/details.cfm?id=21343  that, and that is how many people mod the game. It can be really complex, but there is some usefull stuff there. DAT files are compacted things, so the model and the lot and the descriptor go into it, to prevent the loss of one component and to save space. Im not an expert, and i hoped i helped, but if you have any more questions, ask.

    You dont need to do anything further to DATs if you dont want to mod stuff.

    edit

    added link.

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    If you want to end the confustion over .dat files with music player, remove the default for .dat files using windows explorer.  In SC4, .dat files are entries for the game's data base and can be manipulated by the program noted above.

    This is my personal understanding of the game mechanics:

    The .exe file is a set of control programs, some of which contain hard coded routines for such things as subways, however the program itself is essentially what those of us in the trade call "table driven".  The program starts up by loading a set of .dat files and other appropriate plugin types into a database (of tables) set up in memory.  It then passes over these tables in a continuous loop looking for things to do while advancing its clock.  When a city is in use, it too is a table or set of tables, and each grid square has its own set of objects.  Each grid is visited in the main loop, so that as the city grows and there are more objects to look at, the program will appear to slow down.  Actually what is happening is that it simply has more to do.

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  • Original Poster
  • Excellent; I'm a little bit more savvy now, thanks for the replies!!

    As for changing the default for .dat files, that's what I was wondering about; I presumed winzip was extracting with the wrong default but things seem to be working pefectly so far; downloaded the industry quadrupler and it affects the game as it should without any problems. I'm nowhere near skillful/smart enough to start messing round complex mod/file issues so I'll leave it as is and see what happens.

    thanks again, all the best

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    It doesn't matter what the file extension is for a file when it is data.  The only extensions that really matter for programs is .exe and .dll.  There are a couple of others that are rather arcane.

    For the Internet, there are several dozens depending on what language your browser is interpreting.  Unless you are a programmer or a creator of Internet pages or sites, you don't have to care.

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