Jump to content

twalsh102

Member
  • Content Count

    364
  • Joined

  • Last Visited

5 Followers

About twalsh102

  • Rank
    Foot Soldier

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Colorado
  • City-building game(s)
    SimCity 4

Recent Profile Visitors

841 Profile Views
  1. First of all, a caveat. I am not a batter. I have a very simplistic idea of the process needed to take an idea in your head, through the process of creating a model representing that idea, and transforming that model into a format that can be recognized by the game. If you are unfamiliar with that entire process, you need to rely on the tutorials available on this site and elsewhere, and on the expertise of the many expert batters still around. Since I have no idea of your level of knowledge on anything below, forgive me if I'm going over things you already understand. For any specific lot to appear correctly in-game, you need a Lot Exemplar, a Building Exemplar and a model file. The Lot and Building Exemplar can be created by either the Maxis LE and Plugin Manager, or by using PIM-X. Again, as I'm not a batter, the process I describe here is very simplistic, is as I understand it, and parts of it could be wrong. The model is created by using a 3D modeling program. However, unless you use the BAT itself to create your model, the output of the 3D modeling programs cannot be read directly by the game. If you use gmax as your modeling tool, its output can be directly imported into the BAT, which can convert it into a an .SC4Model file. If you use 3DSMax, you must use the version of the BAT offshoot (BAT4MAX) appropriate for your version of 3DSMax. Again as I understand it, Sketchup models (whether downloaded from the Internet, or created in Sketchup) cannot be directly imported into any of the BAT variants. They must be imported into one of the 3D modeling programs and then output into a format that is recognized by one of the BAT variants. If you ended up with 3DS model files (.3ds vs. a properly created .SC4Model file), and tried to add those to your Plugins folder, they will never be recognized as valid game files. Note that .3ds model files are an entirely different animal that the S3D sub-files found in the .SC4Model file. The Lot Exemplar is the file that specifies (among other things) the size of the lot, its growth stage (if it is growable), the type and density if zone it will grow in (if it is growable), the IID of the Building Exemplar, and the location of your building on the lot, the IID of all lot textures used, and their locations on the lot, and the IID of all props used, and their locations on the lot. There can be only one Building on any lot. But additional buildings can also be represented by props of buildings if needed. You need to keep track of all the props and textures you use when you create a lot, as that is what feeds your Dependency List. Anything that is not from the vanilla game, or anything that you did not create yourself, are considered a dependency that must be listed. The Lot Exemplar is enclosed in a .SC4Lot file. There is usually nothing wrong with using a pre-existing lot, and is in fact necessary if you are using the Maxis LE. The Building Exemplar is the file that specifies all the statistics for your building that allows it interact correctly with the game. It specifies such things as: the size of your model (known as the Occupant Size), the # of jobs available (if any) (known as Capacity Specified), how much the building costs to build and maintain (if it is non-growable), Building Value (which is a large factor in the amount of Tax revenue generated by the building (for growable lots), and many other statistics.. If the building is non-growable, the Building Exemplar usually ends up as another sub-file in the .SC4Lot file. If it is a growable lot, the Building Exemplar ends up in its own .SC4Desc file. If you are going to copy some or all of another Building Exemplar, you should make sure it the one you choose is appropriate for what you are doing (i.e. the stats for a sign are going to be somewhat different than the appropriate stats for a large hotel building). The model itself is almost always in a separate .SC4Model file. This file always consists of a number of sub-files that represent the textures used on the model, and pieces-parts of the model if it needs to be sliced up into parts because it is too big to render properly (apparently always a problem with models of very large buildings). Since the game cannot use true 3D models, there are almost always a minimum of 20 S3D sub-files and 20 FSH sub-files that represent the four viewing angles x five zoom levels (S3D), and the associated texture map for each of the those views (FSH). There are usually other sub-files included, but they are always created for you as part of the process of creating the .SC4Model file. If you have an extremely large building that must be sliced into pieces to render correctly, you can end up with hundreds of sub-files in your .SC4Model file It is possible to sometimes find the Lot Exemplar, the Building Exemplar and the model sub-files all amalgamated into a singe .dat file, but what I described above is the normal process. Hope this helps and hope I didn't get anything wrong enough to confuse the situation.
  2. If this is everything that you placed in your Plugins folder, then you are missing one of the three critical components of any successful lot: the model file. Either you are missing the model file you created (.SC4Model), or if you are using the Building Exemplar of another lot (it appears you ARE using the Building Exemplar from the Neolos lot, and it is referring to the Nealos model), you failed to change the IID of the model to yours. Actually the Building Exemplar you chose to copy is that of Sign for the complex, and the model referred to in the Exemplar is that of the Sign.
  3. Missing Props at game start-up

    The multi-colored flags you see are from either the PEG - OPPS / OOPS Mod, or the PEG NO MORE BROWN BOXES mod (which is the same mod with an installer rather than a ZIP file). The purpose of these mods was to replace the proverbial Brown Box with a less obtrusive flag whenever missing models were encountered. To reiterate, these flags pop up because you are missing some model or models. As far as I know the 2 mods you mention do nothing more than change textures, and have nothing to do with props. Since you removed these mods and nothing changed, this would either mean that this is in fact the case, or that there were no dependencies involved with either of these mods. This would imply that you have some sort of Light Mod, or some other street-side prop mod, that you don't have all the dependencies for. It sounds like you know what's supposed to be there, so you hopefully also know what package provided the light poles. To verify, remove the suspect package from your Plugins and see what results you get. Once you've identified the package, go back and re-verify that you have all the necessary dependencies for that package.
  4. Searching for a new antivirus

    Actually, Windows 10 comes with a free built-in antivirus solution: Windows Defender. Windows Defender is the replacement for Microsoft Security Essentials. Take a read here: https://www.howtogeek.com/220232/how-to-use-the-built-in-windows-defender-antivirus-on-windows-10/
  5. Agricultural demand has suddenly disappeared

    You are correct that CAM 2.1 fixes both "broken" Maxis exemplars dealing with IR jobs. But because there are several exemplars that both SPAM and CAM modify, they cannot be used together.
  6. LBTtexts.dat is just another dependency. It contains a bunch of lot textures. Place it in you Plugins folder like any other dependency
  7. The readme for this download lists LBT Essentials, but doesn't include links. I happened to find a folder in my Plugins called LBT Essentials, with a file name of LBTtexts.dat. When I tested it with this download, it resolves all of the texture issues. Just one problem: I have no idea where I got it from. I normally keep the ZIP file when I download anything, but couldn't find the ZIP for this in my archive. I searched the STEX, LEX and Capital SimCity with every variation of search terms I could think of, to no avail. If it will help anyone else track down this file, it has a creation date of 2/26/2007. LBT Texture Pack 2 is here: http://descargas.capitalsim.net/?sitio=csc&descarga=1416. I ran across it while looking for LBT Essentials.
  8. City wide fire station

    Herein lies that problem that I'm not sure anyone realized at the the time the SC4D post was created (or possibly doesn't realize even now). While Plugin_RCI_Buildings_Prop_Modd.dat does in fact contain all the same content as bldgprop vol 1 and vol 2, all the IIDs are different. Once you mentioned the file name, my memory came back about problems I had run into with lots created by member @NiagaranEagle. All of his work was created in the 2003/2004 time-frame. He(?) used a process for creating new buildings without the necessity of having to actually create models. He would start with an existing building or landmark that had the approximate size LOD he wanted, and then would stack small and medium-size building props like Lego bricks around that building to create his new building. Very ingenious for the time! This same process was not necessarily uncommon at the time. Other content creators similarly created buildings by stacking or combining building props (although usually around blank buildings), but I don't think anyone else built skyscrapers using this process as NiagaranEagle did. I know that his creations created up to about Feb. 2004 included the above mentioned prop file (which would tend to imply that he created the file). I don't know if it ever existed as a separate download, but it still exists as part of his uploads here on the STEX. I remembered reading the SC4D post referencing dumping this file before actually downloading any of his creations. Then when I did download some of his creations, I dutifully deleted this file. However, I always ended up with a building other than what was expected from the screenshots on the download page. I would end up with something like the Statue of Liberty with the Pyramid of Giza perched atop the flaming torch, instead of what was supposed to be the Gizan Building. Out of desperation, I eventually added Plugin_RCI_Buildings_Prop_Modd.dat back into Plugins and all his buildings magically appeared as intended. Nothing else of its kind its kind existed when he created this file. Once someone downloaded one of his creations, and that file became part of their Plugins, other content creators obviously used it. I would guess that many of the content creators disappeared from the SC4 scene before the SC4D post was created. It's obvious it was still part of some content creators' Plugins folder as late as the end of 2009, when this fire station was created. Plugin_RCI_Buildings_Prop_Modd.dat has a creation date of 7/3/2003. Bldgprop vol 1.dat has a creation date of 8/4/2003. bldgprop vol 2.dat has a creation date of 2/16/2004. The reference post was created by BarbyW over at SC4D on 11/05/2006. You can do the math to determine the likelihood that there are probably more buildings on the STEX and and possibly elsewhere in the same boat as this fire station. Luckily, the majority can probably be changed the way @CorinaMarie did, so they work correctly without Plugin_RCI_Buildings_Prop_Modd.dat. However, if anyone wants to use any of NiagaranEagles creations, one will need this prop file in their Plugins folder, unless one is prepared to change the IID of upward of 1000 prop entries in the Lot Exemplar to match the IID of the corresponding prop(s) in bldgprop vol 1 or vol 2.
  9. Minimum wage in SimCity 4

    Just some thoughts: 1. I think I might have figured out the tax income calculation. The default Building Value for the Stone Mansion is 2288. 2288 * .09 (9%) = 205.92 / 12 months = 17.16 per month. Too close to be coincidence?? This would obviously need testing on multiple buildings. 2. I don't think that Building Value (in and of itself) can be used when trying to determine income levels. Although haven't done any testing to verify it, I think building value is a function of LOD size (or square footage) and wealth level. On top of that, Building Value is a something that can be easily manipulated. 3. We know that we can keep low-wealth Sims low-wealth by denying them education. Therefore, it would make sense that there is a direct correlation between wealth level and education level (as Cori mentioned "... but the graphs I posted seemed to show the average income tracking one to one with the Education Level of the city without regard to wealth level."). It would make more sense for the developers of the game to create simple trigger points (i.e. at x education level, Sims are automatically advanced to medium wealth, and at y education level, Sims are advanced to high-wealth), rather than coming up with some potentially complicated calculations. It would also alleviate the need for introducing a concept of income for Sims. The range of income for each wealth level is simply bounded by those trigger points. 4. If Maxis had implemented a concept of income, realistically that would have opened up a gigantic can of worms (i.e. personal and business income taxes, all the factors that determine those taxes, personal income based on salary vs. based on some defined "minimum wage", bonuses, tips, businesses actually selling good and services, Sims actually purchasing those goods and services, sales taxes, banking, credit, savings, etc.). In the end one needs a supercomputer to run the Simulation. Much easier to just not go there. There is nothing in the simulation that appears to have any correlation with any exactly defined income number. 5. Maxis treats most aspects of life (health care, death, education, crime, crime prevention / attenuation. radius of effect of police and fire stations, etc.) very simplistically, and which in no way can be correlated with and/or explained by real life. So why should we expect such concepts as income and exchange rates to be treated any differently. 6. I understand that all of this is essentially an academic exercise because "Inquiring minds want to know." Someone will eventually come up with some formula or set of numbers that somehow makes sense. But the bottom line is that whatever numbers are eventually arrived at will have zero impact within the context of the simulation. If there is no way to manipulate something (i.e. it's not a property in one of the simulation exemplars), the it just is what it is, whether it makes any sense compared to real life or not.
  10. Power plants and road access

    Unfortunately, I'm not a programmer either, so also can't decipher what this is trying to tell you. Don't know whether upgrading to the latest Java version (if you haven't already done so) might make a difference. I might suggest posting the Java error over at the JDatPacker "support" page here: http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=16500.0. While the person that created the program hasn't been active for a couple of years, you might grab someone's attention. The last couple of posts in that topic are from a Mac user who had problems similar to yours. He reported getting the program to work by downloading the program from GitHub (link in the first post of that topic). At this point, my best suggestion would probably be to re-post your original issue over at the Mac Users Forum, where you're more likely to grab the attention of the experienced Mac Users. I would be very surprised if there isn't someone around over there who can give you some sort of definitive answer, even if it's only 'You can't get there from here, with what you've got.' But I would guess it's more likely that someone has this figured out by know. Sorry I couldn't help more.
  11. Power plants and road access

    If you plan to continue running the Mac version of the game, you might have to forego upgrading your MAC OS version permanently. Apple plans to discontinue support for running 32-bit programs, which really means that once that is implemented, anyone using whatever version of Mac OS it is implemented in (and later versions) will no longer be able to run 32-bit programs ... period. And Aspyr (who created the Mac port of SC4) has apparently not committed to creating a 64-bit version of the game, if that is even possible. Here's the simple solution to get the I-HT bug fix installed correctly: follow the instructs posted at http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=17341.0. The JDatPacker program referenced in step 8 will run natively under MacOS.
  12. Power plants and road access

    @Synergy67, you don't provide sufficient information (at least to a Windows user) to determine whether you are using the Mac (Aspyr) port of SC4, or whether you are running the Windows version of SC4 in Wine or in Windows using one of the VM solutions for Mac. You only state " I don't even have the tools..." This could mean just what you say - you don't have the tools, but you could acquire them. Or it could mean the necessary tools that would run natively on a Mac don't exist. There are some solutions either way, but they depend on the answer to this question.
  13. Advice on Plugins Folder

    The tool @jeffryfisher is referring to is officially called SC4DataNode, with the latest version always available here: This is the tool I was also referring to. It is NOT a simple tool to learn, but as you gain experience with it, you will come to love it due to all the information it gives you about Your Plugins folder. This is an audit tool. It won't allow you to actually change anything. It will not alert you to the existence of non-game files Short list of some of the things it will tell you: 1. The exact load order of all of the game files in your Plugins folder; 2. All the dependencies (only those that are already in your Plugins folder) for any particular lot you have, as well as where those dependencies are actually located; 3. If you are missing dependencies for any particular lot (although it can't tell you what those missing dependencies actually are); 4. As jeffryfisher alluded to, which files override other files (which will allow you to ferret out duplicates, or alternate versions that you can't use); 5. You can export a CSV file for various types of information. For example, you can export a list of every prop existing in your Plugins folder, that shows the TGI for each prop, any prop families a particular prop belongs to, the name of the prop, which file that prop is included in, and the path to the file (relative to your Plugins folder; it can somewhat leave you in awe to find out you have almost 36,000 individual props in your Plugins folder; or output a list of textures, that provides the same type of information for each texture (and discover you have more than 84,000 separate lot textures);
  14. Advice on Plugins Folder

    Since managing and maintaining are essentially part and parcel of the the same process, I'm assuming what you're really after is a way to organize your Plugins folder (i.e. "sort it out") and then maintain that organization. The hard part is the organization. Once you have things organized, the process of maintaining that organization becomes self-evident. There have been numerous discussions over the years about the best way to manage/organize one's Plugins folder. Unfortunately, this website's existing search function doesn't make it easy to find these discussions. If you guess right on the necessary search terms to find any of the existing conversations, or if one of the Simtropolis denizens who can remember such things can point you in the right direction for some of these conversations, you can peruse how others have organized their folders. I would say that there is no wrong way to manage a Plugins folder, except not managing it at all (which is unfortunately the way many people seem to manage it - don't feel alone). The bottom line is that no matter how many ideas you look at, you have to find a way that works for you. I don't like to give a specific approach on this subject (as least not initially), as the way I think about it may not be the same way others think about it, and my approach may not make sense to others. Instead, I like to get people to think about all the Plugins they've collected as paper documents. How would one organize those documents in a file cabinet to make it easier to locate things (since that's really the primary purpose for organization)? The key is to apply some sort of organization that you understand, and that works for you. Unfortunately, it WILL take time initially, both arriving at a method that makes sense, and then implementing it. But once one has applied some method of organization, it makes it easier to reorganize using some other method, if one's initial idea doesn't work out. It sounds like you are as much interested in organization as you are in cleaning out the "junk" in your Plugins folder. Whatever you decide to do next is likely to be tedious and time-consuming. Do you want to somehow work with whatever you have now, or would you rather truly "start from scratch?" The first implies that you need to determine what lots / buildings you currently have that you want/need to keep, determine what dependencies they need, and then discarding anything not needed/used. There is at least one tool available that can help with this process. The second implies you are willing to just dump everything you already have, and re-download only those things that you really want to use (and obviously the necessary dependencies). This would be the only way I can think of to ensure that only those things you know you will use end up in your Plugins folder. The smart way to do things would necessarily require implementing your chosen method of organization before doing anything else. Since neither process can guarantee you end up with a Plugins folder that would support any of your existing cities, you run the risk of orphaning these cities. I can supply more specifics depending on which direction you choose to use. Having said all that, I would be happy to share my particular method of organization (keeping in mind that I'm definitely OCD). My working Plugins folder is just a tad under 8 GB. But I can determine within a few minutes if I already have the necessary dependencies for any new download, even one with a dependency list 30 items long.
  15. Textures attribution

    SimCity_2.dat is one of the files necessary for the game to run. You shouldn't have to list anything that comes with the game as a dependency. If anyone has taken simcity_2.dat, or any of the the other SimCity_X.dat files out of there game installation folder, my guess would be that their games are not working...period. However, anything else released by Maxis after the game such as bldgprop_vol1.dat, bldgprop_vol2.dat, and any of the Landmark Plugins should be listed.
×