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alborzka

Transport Lines Manager -- Reborn!

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This thread will focus on improving and revamping the Transport Lines Manager mod, as well as potentially adding features from IPT and/or unique new features if possible.

Transport Lines Manager Reborn 6.0.2 now in the workshop.

Bugs as of 6.0.2:

  • Renamed depots are not working in the TLM listing and in depot details windows.
  • Not show cable car stations on linear map as near transport.
  • Ticket price changes not being implemented.
  • Sort lines by colour not working.
  • TLM Unknown Error on Evac Routes trace

OP is below:

The creator of IPT hasn't been online in over 5 months, and the creator of TLM hasn't been online in nearly 1 month. Mass Transit DLC is coming out in a few weeks, and I don't know how either of these mods will fare with changes being brought to the transit system.

Is anyone in touch with either of these authors? I would especially hate to see TLM go to the dustbin of modding history considering how many options and useful configurations it provides (plus the aesthetics!) such as changing frequency depending on time of day (such a no-brainer), and IPT has excellent debunching. Now that these two mods are nearly incompatible, and with the DLC coming out soon potentially rendering both useless, something must be done. They're far too valuable to go to waste.

If we can't get the authors to update their mods or publish their code for others to carry it forward, can we all maybe pitch in and create an entirely new mod from scratch? Is someone working on this already? Even with the improvements being brought with the free upgrade/DLC, I feel TLM/IPT features will still be vital to many player's C:S experience. What do y'all think?

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I have already mentioned similar fears, as I have been using IPT for years now. It's already buggy now, as it doesn't play well with the evacuation buses. The included unbuncher had less problems than the standalone one. However, doing something about the situation now seems to be difficult. The codes probably need some serious re-working, and given the long development of the mods, it's probably intimidating for most people who decide to go over someone else' s code. Nobody, except modders accepted by CO to look at preview builds, knows the exact changes to the basic game code at the moment, I'm afraid.

Unfortunately, I have never coded anything in my life.

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Once again I do have to wonder, why upgrades need to break so many mods? If the base platform of the game was anything like completed when we got it, such issues would surely be less common.

Can't say I blame the modders for getting sick of continually having to update mods. I've long since been of the opinion that it's better to simply wait until the updates cease altogether. Only then can we use mods without fear of them breaking and borking save games. All of these problems could be avoided, if updates were not forced upon us, you know, like in the good ol' days of games, when you could download and install patches at your own convenience.

Steam is NOT progress, Steam is a monopoly making some very rich people stupendously richer. Gabe (if you are listening), now you've enough money to buy your own country, how about making, you know, a game?

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15 minutes ago, rsc204 said:

Once again I do have to wonder, why upgrades need to break so many mods? If the base platform of the game was anything like completed when we got it, such issues would surely be less common.

In this specific case, it's unavoidable. CO have decided to add one feature of these mods (choosing how many vehicles a line has) into the base game, but in their own idiosyncratic way. You would have to know how close to the mod solution the new in-game feature will be, whether you can simply replace it or have to work around it, etc.  The current bug in IPT comes from the "Natural Disasters" expansion, which the mod author never bought (he also didn't have any time for the game anymore), and which lets you set up evacuation bus lines that only trigger in case of a disaster.

On the other hand, you already see that it's not easy to decide on what people consider a good solution and what not. IPT and TLM duplicate a lot of features, but they obviously never cared about features of the respective other mod enough to integrate them.

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I totally get the code for these features has changed, leading to the problems. But that's one of the drawbacks to releasing a game piecemeal, rather than as one completed package. Personally, C:S being the first such game I bought, I'm finding myself really hating it. I do get that this is how lots of PC games are now, but that doesn't make me resent it any less.

2 minutes ago, Turjan said:

On the other hand, you already see that it's not easy to decide on what people consider a good solution and what not. IPT and TLM duplicate a lot of features, but they obviously never cared about features of the respective other mod enough to integrate them.

Not the first such issue either. But again, the nature of how modding works in C:S creates a lot of these problems. When modding SC4, we are in effect changing parameters already setup by the base game. So if two mods change the same things, it's very easy to make them play nicely together. But when you are literally re-coding how things work, interoperability is made more complex. Who knows why two modders didn't work together? Ego, just never thought of it, creative differences?

The one area where interoperable code is important in SC4 is with RUL. If competing teams wanted to mess with RUL, it would cause all sorts of issues. If you are going to have such code, what you need is a "NAM Team" equivalent. In essence the NAM team ensures any code that is included will inter-operate and tries to maintain it for the benefit of the community. If such a project to combine various mods into such a structure happened, it would benefit the game greatly. In fact, I think as the game matures and the longer-term comes into focus, this is almost inevitable. Working together with an open-source mentality is far more beneficial overall, than working separately.

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42 minutes ago, rsc204 said:

Who knows why two modders didn't work together? Ego, just never thought of it, creative differences?

Mostly the latter I guess. One mod was targeted more at the mechanics (vehicle capacities, budget numbers, vehicle counts, vehicle speeds, unbuncher, exchanging the last trailer with an engine), had been in principle stable for years and did everything the author wanted. He declared it done and just updated the mod with each new version of the game. The other was more targeted at line management (automatic coloring, naming, adding more transport modes like ferries, etc.), had constant feature changes (features moving in and, when too buggy, out again) and saw lots of activity. However, it also contains a compatibility setting with the first mod, which switches off all duplicated features. I think, by now, it duplicates most of the first mod's features, so we will see.

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  • Original Poster
  • 5 hours ago, boformer said:

    Let's see what CO comes up with.

    Sure, but some sort of mod will still be necessary (or appreciated?) at that point regardless since we already know roughly what will be included. Also, I suggested starting now before the DLC comes out because yes you may have to rewrite quite a bit of code, but at this point we literally have no code at all since both authors of IPT and TLM haven't been online in months. At least we can get a jumpstart if we start now; probably quicker to at least have a base to edit than wait until DLC to start from scratch.

    6 hours ago, Turjan said:

    On the other hand, you already see that it's not easy to decide on what people consider a good solution and what not. IPT and TLM duplicate a lot of features, but they obviously never cared about features of the respective other mod enough to integrate them.

    Yep! This is why I asked that we all collaborate together somehow so that we don't have two mods conflicting each other like this. Even if we do end up with multiple mods, if we make it open source we can at least make the other mods to be compatible with each other.

    5 hours ago, Turjan said:

    I think, by now, it duplicates most of the first mod's features, so we will see.

    TLM basically has nearly all of the features IPT has at this point except for debunching and the ability to click on a single bus stop. I *love* the ability to choose line frequency based on time of day, which I really think is key for a lot of bus routes. Sadly, that feature doesn't work well with IPT and I also think the Service Vehicle mod, so I can't use it for now :(

    As an aside, one feature I would love is a history of how the line is doing overall -- currently, we can click on a vehicle and see how much money it lost "that week", which in reality is literally how much money it made/lost from its most recent stop. That information is almost useless because its per vehicle, per stop, so you have no way of knowing how a particular line overall is doing, when its busiest hours are, what frequency to use, whether you can optimise the line with different vehicles with certain capacities (bigger/smaller buses, for example), etc. I already do this myself by checking up on the lines occasionally, but there should be a more precise way than simply eyeballing it.

     

    I know there's a resources thread here, but it seems more geared towards modelling and asset creation, and the "General" section has some useful advanced information but nothing comprehensive for beginners like me. Is there any overall beginner's guide on "how to create a mod" that I can learn and build upon from there? I have a bit of coding experience (mostly for physics use though), so if there's a guide and a particular language that works best for C:S in Unity3D, I'd love to have a go at it along with anyone else that's interested?

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    17 hours ago, alborzka said:

    I know there's a resources thread here, but it seems more geared towards modelling and asset creation, and the "General" section has some useful advanced information but nothing comprehensive for beginners like me. Is there any overall beginner's guide on "how to create a mod" that I can learn and build upon from there? I have a bit of coding experience (mostly for physics use though), so if there's a guide and a particular language that works best for C:S in Unity3D, I'd love to have a go at it along with anyone else that's interested?

    Mods are made in C#. The documentation is lacking.

    Here are the basic steps:

    1. Get Visual Studio Community
    2. Create a new .NET Class Library project targeting .NET Framework 3.5
    3. Add ICities.dll, CollossalFramework.dll, Assembly-CSharp.dll and UnityEngine.dll to your project dependencies (from C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Cities_Skylines\Cities_Data\Managed)
    4. Create a class implementing IUserMod
    5. Compile the .dll file and put it into AppData\Local\Colossal Order\Cities_Skylines\Addons\Mods\<YourModFolder>\

    Resources:

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  • Original Poster
  • That is super, super helpful info @boformer, thank you very much! Honestly that post should be pinned as its own thread somewhere tbh (or added to the resources thread?).

    Although darn that it has to be done in Windows lol I'm a Linux dude, I mean I have Windows but I'd prefer not using it, ah well it is what it is :P

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    I am repeatedly surprised that more of the modding for C:S is not done in a community open-source sort of manner.
    I really can't say anything as I just tinker and haven't got a big piece of work to be protective of, but closed mods are ultimately the poorer option for the users. Sounds like some of SC4's big mods are a full community effort.

    As well as mods that get abandoned; single author mods can fall foul of multiple DLC compatibility too. For example, I gave it a go at downloading plopableRICO and fixing the error with the forestry class. However I had never bothered to get the Natural Disasters DLC so I can't see where the issue with the Rescue Workers getting stuck is occurring.

    Would be good to get full code from the authors to start but could get a good idea of the areas needing coded for a new mod by looking at these mods with ILspy.

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    4 hours ago, alborzka said:

    Although darn that it has to be done in Windows lol I'm a Linux dude

    You can use MonoDevelop or Jetbrains Rider on Linux. C:SL/Unity is based on Mono.

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    7 minutes ago, Scott.dft said:

    I am repeatedly surprised that more of the modding for C:S is not done in a community open-source sort of manner.

    Many of the major mods are open sourced, and there are some collaboration projects (Building Themes, Network Extensions, the old Traffic++...). Mod developers are working together behind the scenes for cross-compatibility.

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    23 minutes ago, Scott.dft said:

    Would be good to get full code from the authors to start but could get a good idea of the areas needing coded for a new mod by looking at these mods with ILspy.

    Most (or at least a good amount of) modders use Github for versioning, and don't mind taking a peek in their code, or even tinkering with it, or collaborating to it. Many mod Workshop pages contain a link to the Github repo, and even if not, sometimes Googling for mod name + Github still points you in the right direction.

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  • Original Poster
  • 11 minutes ago, Judazzz said:

    Most (or at least a good amount of) modders use Github for versioning, and don't mind taking a peek in their code, or even tinkering with it, or collaborating to it. Many mod Workshop pages contain a link to the Github repo, and if not, Googling for mod name + Github sometimes still leads you in the right direction.

    I've definitely tried that to no avail -- the creator of TLM has some translation files on Github but that's about it, and nothing for IPT either.

    After reading some threads on the TLM page, seems like the TLM creator has intermittent Internet access and planned a "version 6" release for May. But he mentioned this in February 15 before the Mass Transit DLC was announced, so I don't know if he's still working on this or not.

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  • Original Poster
  • Well, looks like the creator of TLM was online yesterday soooooo maybe there's no reason to panic after all :D I've put my requests on the TLM page so hopefully he'll see them and integrate them; if not, I'll try to at least add a "stop info" mod after the DLC comes out :)

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    Hi guys.

    Just passing here to tell about the future of TLM. I moved to another city in the end of last year and I still having poor internet access. Because of this my Steam login frequency was very low in last times.
    With this issues plus a lot of things incoming in the new DLC, I've decided to discontinue the TLM mod. The code have a lot of garbage from the first versions and need to be redone. A new TLM-like mod can be released later in this year. I was thinking about done a separated mod for per-hour buses quantity for using together with the Rush Hour, but I have no time to work on it.

    Anyway, I can be contacted here or in the SCity (old SimCity Brasil). I'm always there.
     

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    The TLM v6.0 beta code is on  GitHub

    The commits are in portuguese and some old code too. But I can help if anyone want to bring the TLM back in another mod.

    The project versioning begun on v2.0 of mod, so I think will not so difficult to branch it and make a new mod. Anyway, I can explain doubts about the code.

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  • Original Poster
  • Thank you so much @Klyte45! I for one will definitely be working on this once Mass Transit comes out, I hope others are interested in working together as well! :)

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    Well, if you compile the version commited, you will have a functional version for Mass Transit DLC. But wasn't well tested and can have some bugs in this.

    Anyway, I think I can still developing some part of mod in a future moment.

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    Update: I've organized the project on github. Now all is in master branch with all tags.
    So, I recommend if will continue the project, make a fork in the master branch of TLM.
    As I said, I can continue to help the development, but not now (and I can't take care of the mod releases)

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  • Original Poster
  • Hey @t1a2l and others working on this right now (and @Klyte45 even though I know you're busy), how exactly does forking work? I've never worked on Github before apart from downloading files from it, can we all work on a new version together or does each person that forks create their own version/revision?

    Also, I hope we (those that aren't busy and have the time) can all collaborate together if possible?

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    Posted (edited)

    Yes, is possible to create a unique version with all our work together, it require one of the forks became a central branch. I can manage the pull requests, once this doesn't require so much time. If we decide to make my branch the central one, every time a member ends a feature this shall be pull-requested to the main branch, and the forks shall be updated if the pull request was successfully merged. Anyone can generate a version of TLM, just need to get the latest commits from the main branch.

    For forking, you need to have a GitHub account for create a copy of the main branch in it (the fork). So you need to have a git client in your PC for manage the versioning system (like the GitHub desktop). Then with it you will download a copy of project inside a folder, and you can work there.

     

    Edit: I think we should make a new topic for the TLM development, what you think guys?


      Edited by Klyte45  

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  • Original Poster
  • We can make a new thread if you want, or I can change the title of this thread? I'm good either way :P

    Edit: Changed the title and added a blurb at the top of OP, let me know if that works :)

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