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1
Network Addon Mod (NAM) / Re: NAM 34
« Last post by Tarkus on Today at 01:23:40 AM »
So, if u r still new to Rush Hour, you need any kind of help. And thats the Language. Nam 30-, 31 and 32 are still in German.

And indeed, the translation is the reason why SimCityKurier hosting the German version of NAM 30 is the reason we're okay with it still being up there.  It's actually the newest full-on non-English version of the NAM with documentation and everything.  NAM 31 and 32 never received full German versions, nor did any release after that.  The only other non-English NAM out there I know of is a Spanish translation of NAM 17 (before Roundabouts, Diagonal Streets, or On-Slope Transitions were a thing!) that's at CapitalSimCity.  Same story.

NAM 31 and later does include "Locale" files for German and Japanese in addition to English, but to my knowledge, the German one just covers what had been translated so far (basically, everything up to NAM 30, but nothing added since), and the Japanese one just covers a few things (it's only 1KB in size).  And with the documentation getting completely replaced with NAM 31 (the ill-fated PDFs--replaced with a return to the old HTML format with NAM 36), none of the documentation for NAM 31 or later has any translation.  Heck, the English-language documentation has gotten behind in some cases (and was very far behind between NAM 31 and NAM 36, since those PDFs were almost impossible to edit).

We did have someone working on a new Spanish translation, started while NAM 37 was in development, but he lives in a country that's been dealing with considerable unrest for some time now (Venezuela), so that's been a very understandable limiting factor.

Aside from the matter of translation/internationalization (i18n)/localization (l10n), however, there's really nothing to be gained from an ease-of-use standpoint with old versions, and if the non-English sites are indeed falling by the wayside in terms of activity, getting support for those old versions in different languages is going to become all that much more difficult, and indeed, we do not have the capacity to fill that role, should those sites fall by the wayside.  In the cases where there is a translation out there, that is, again, the one case where we'll grandfather old versions, but with respect to the English-language releases, we're only going to be distributing and supporting the most current one.  If someone comes to us with a NAM 36 question, the extent of our technical support is going to be "go download the newest NAM". 

Regarding NAM Lite, the idea is indeed for it to be something that doesn't require the 4GB Patch, and that's going to mean a very limited RHW, if any RHW at all.  It'd also probably mean Maxis Rail instead of RRW, and no MHO.  It's not going to be something designed for advanced/power NAM users.  Our new installer does provide the option to make "uncheckable boxes", so that's a solid and workable suggestion, that might make clear to the user if they should be trying to run the full-blast NAM rather than NAM Lite. 

The prospect of additional "tiers" is not off the table, either, provided there's a demonstrated need for it, and the process of assembling these "tiers" doesn't prove to be a colossal pain in the rear end (which has been one of the concerns expressed with "NAM Lite"--we're no longer dealing with just one product).  We've finally dialed things in such that we can release quicker, and the last thing we want to do is inadvertently put the brakes on that.

-Alex
2
Network Addon Mod (NAM) / Re: NAM 34
« Last post by woodb3kmaster on Yesterday at 07:19:39 PM »
So, if u r still new to Rush Hour, you need any kind of help. And thats the Language. Nam 30-, 31 and 32 are still in German. So its for an Newbie better to start with lower Versions, instead of the High End Version.
Without a doubt, the best solution to this problem would be to translate each new version of the NAM as it is released, and to include those translations in the installer (it's mostly a matter of adding LTEXT files, which don't add much to the file size). However, while at least a couple of our members are bilingual in English and German, translation is a deceptively difficult task that we rarely - if ever - have the time to work on. Having a dedicated i18n sub-team would keep us free to work on the technical side of the NAM, but we'd need to find a decent number of volunteers with the time and language skills necessary to translate the entire mod. It's not impossible, but without some kind of incentive (as Andreas hinted at), it won't be easy or quick.
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Network Addon Mod (NAM) / Re: NAM 34
« Last post by Andreas on Yesterday at 06:08:45 PM »
Alas, my free time is limited, so if you want me to translate it for you, pay me. :P
4
Simmer2's Place / Re: Simmer's Lotting Lab.
« Last post by Simmer2 on Yesterday at 02:30:04 PM »
Thank you gn_leugim

Remember this?  Its the Rambiz 4000 a self propelled crane ship with a total lift capacity of 4000 metric tons. Yea, its enormous!

I started this many months ago. I'm going to try and complete it before xmas.
.


Simmer2
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Network Addon Mod (NAM) / Re: NAM 34
« Last post by Lowryder on Yesterday at 12:19:57 PM »
Hello,

1st of all, thanks for your Answer.

Many Germans are still Playing SC. But all Foren are closed or without any aktive Members (https://www.simforum.de/index.php).

So, if u r still new to Rush Hour, you need any kind of help. And thats the Language. Nam 30-, 31 and 32 are still in German. So its for an Newbie better to start with lower Versions, instead of the High End Version.

Do u understand me? Or should Andreas translate it? ;)
6
@A_1P: it's a tricky building.
It's a conditional reward building, which will be appearing in your menu when you reach the necessary requirements and the city advisor will be offering you this building. Until that point you simply won't find it in your menu, because it's hidden.
Alternatively you can use the show all building cheat. Hit ingame the CTRL+X buttons and type the following line: "You don't deserve it" (without the "" and with spaces. Just copy as I've written there.). Close and reopen the building menus - don't quit the game!!! -, all the locked and hidden buildings will be available and you will find this building either in the Rail Transportation menu around the maxis freight rail station or towards the end of the Park menu.

The Timber Field(s) are special Occupant Groups, I assume. I'm not sure, though. I'm going through recently on the full LEX/BSC/CSX etc... collection and there are a bunch of special OGs for reward chains. I never used them, because I don't play the regular gameplay, I'm rather designing cities, when I have time to play. So if I need a building, I'll just use the "You don't deserve it" cheat and get it.

I guess some of the BSC/CSX Timber/Lumber/Foresty lots have this OG, which would trigger the reward. But don't ask which one.
Best guess would be these:

https://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=1740
https://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=1755

I hope it helps!

- Tyberius
7
Network Addon Mod (NAM) / Re: NAM 34
« Last post by jeffryfisher on Yesterday at 09:56:06 AM »
NAM Lite would simply replace the default controller compilation with the one not needing the 4GB patch. RHW would be unavailable in the installer (and all or most of its files could be left out too).

If possible, the RHW option would sit there grey in the installer; hovering (or clicking its info button) would tell the user that the installer is for NAM Lite <version>, so RHW is not included.

All NAM features that work without RHW could be included, and the installer should be able to run as if RHW were simply de-selected.

How close did I get?
8
LEX File Exchange Discussion / Re: CSX Lumber Processing Not Appearing InGame
« Last post by A_1P on Yesterday at 09:28:22 AM »
Hi everyone, I know this post is rather old, but i hope someone is still going to read this.

I have the exact same problem as SCAaron and this is indeed my very fost post here as well...

I have installed the CSX Forestry - Nexis Sawmill and the CSX Lumber Processing. The nexis sawmill is a grey building in the rewards section that claims to require 60 Timber fields to be built.

The Lumber Processing plant is not showing up anywhere (even with the above mentioned cheat to check).

Does anybody know a solution for that? Also, what is a Timber Field?

Thanks everyone!
9
Network Addon Mod (NAM) / Re: NAM 34
« Last post by Tarkus on Yesterday at 07:22:08 AM »
NAM Team policy has always been strongly against the continued distribution of old versions, save for very few special cases (translations, and the debacle that was NAM 31 AKA "NAM Vista").  While some individual team members might still some them lying around, they're effectively treated just as unreleased content is--not for public consumption--and there is indeed no official internal team archive of past versions. 

To be blunt, keeping in mind that I've been a part of 16 NAM releases prior to NAM 38 (not counting those hideous "point releases" of NAM 31.x ignominy):

Old NAM versions are rubbish. 

And if they aren't rubbish when compared to the current release, then we're doing something wrong.

This of course, begs the question: what makes old NAM versions "rubbish"?

Technical Support

The issue of technical support is the main one we've cited over the years as the reason for our embargo on old NAM versions.  We're an all-volunteer team dedicated to producing a freeware product--and for the last five years, we've been a pretty small team at that.  The reason we do this is because we enjoy expanding and improving the array of transportation network content in SimCity 4.  Technical support is a responsibility that comes with the territory, but our goal is to minimize our need to provide it to the greatest extent possible, such that we can focus on the labor of love that is developing new versions.  To that end, we've strictly limited those responsibilities to the most recent version, and go to great lengths with our testing routines (which have really stepped up this year) to ensure that it is a solid product, fixing many bugs and glitches that existed in previous versions in the process.

While, for instance, Microsoft might keep support for old versions of Windows going for a few years, in those cases, (a) the user of the product paid for it, (b) upgrades to the newest major version usually come at a cost, and (c) being a large company, they have paid support staff.  Even with larger open-source projects that might offer "Long-Term Support" (LTS) for old versions, they have a larger staff that can devote some resources to support, and some of those involved in development and/or support might even be getting paid for their involvement.  None of this is true of the NAM or the NAM Team.

Some have asked, "can't you just allow the old versions to still be available, but with a note that they're no longer supported?"  The answer, from extensive experience in the SC4 community, is a rock-hard "no".  I'll point to Exhibit A: even though we stopped distributing and supporting NAM 36 back in July 2020, with the release of NAM 37, that hasn't stopped support requests for NAM 36

Additionally, back in the early days of my tenure on the NAM Team, when NAM 21 was launched in June 2007, one major site ended up being slow on the uptake, due to their file handling requiring anything larger than 10MB to be hand-uploaded by the webmaster.  The result: a rash of users mixing and matching bits of NAM 20 with things that required NAM 21, and wondering why their menu buttons didn't work and gave them red arrows.  Dealing with "red arrow" tech support was basically a full-time job until that site updated their NAM download to NAM 21.  And it remained a nuisance until we went back to the "Monolithic" approach with the notorious NAM 31.

Server/Disk Resources

Recent NAM versions, since the switch back to the "Monolithic" approach, have run in excess of 300MB for the download, and are presently over 700MB.  (The big jump with NAM 37 and above has to do with changes in compression with the new installer.)  While the NAM "proper" in the so-called "Modular" releases from NAM 21-30 might have been quite a bit smaller, that's deceptive, considering that the full set of features that are now included in the mod itself were separate downloads, which, once combined, would effectively add up to close to that amount. 

The NAM Team has, for almost 8 years, used a shared Dropbox folder as the primary means for sharing in-development files.  It's on a free account with a 2GB limit.  The amount of content in there--including a fair bit of unreleased stuff--runs about 1GB without any fully-compiled NAM builds on there.  We have room for the most recent developmental build that's in testing, and that's it.  It's largely proved to be a reliable system, and it doesn't cost us a cent. 

Ease of Use/Legacy Content

As jeffryfisher aptly noted, we're often trying to upgrade the general user experience with the NAM with each successive release as well.  The new installer we introduced, while having some entry barriers (Java for the Windows users) has eliminated the "installer forgetting files" issues that plagued NAM 36 (and some releases prior to it), and has vastly simplified the process of providing tech support to the small-but-very ardent faction of NAM users running the game on macOS. 

The move away from the old-style puzzle pieces to draggable items and FLEX pieces (individual FLEX pieces are able to handle functions that would require upwards of a dozen old-style puzzle pieces) is also allowing us to provide users with shorter TAB Loops (and eventually, fewer and more streamlined menu buttons).  This means that the user is getting more functionality, but with fewer menu items to navigate, subverting the notion that expansion means more complexity.  I'll note, we haven't added a single old-style puzzle piece to the NAM in over 5 years.

Old NAM releases aren't necessarily simpler, and indeed, if one goes back to the pre-Monolithic releases, the process involves running multiple installers, and making sure you're using the correct versions of various plugins with the correct NAM version in order to get everything up and running.  Go much farther back than that, and many basic features that NAM users take for granted today--like Roundabouts and Diagonal Streets--didn't even exist.

There may be some users who have complained about features "going away" in successive releases, but this is largely a myth.  We go to great lengths to ensure that content built with previous versions will work the same or better with the latest version, only breaking that continuity in cases where providing legacy support is simply no longer feasible, or when old features are found in further investigation to be outright broken. 

For example, in the late-00s, the old "10x commute" and similar options for the traffic simulator were removed from the NAM, because they were found to not work as advertised.  We also killed the Auto Road Turn Lanes with NAM 31, after finding that their implementation would effectively prevent a lot of exciting new features--like Draggable Fractional Angle Roads, Draggable Road Viaducts, and the Network Widening Mod--from being able to operate in a reliable and stable manner.

With NAM 37 and beyond, we have pulled out support for the base Maxis Rail, and for some cosmetic reskin mods that had some semblance of a userbase (the Bullet Train Mod and the Alternate El-Rail), and haven't yet offered up a suitable replacement for the users who are not on board with the RRW and/or stock Monorail and El-Rail.  This is in part due to our needing to prioritize the solution to the existential threat to the NAM Team--runaway development cycles, like what we had with NAM 37.  Now that we've solved that, we're able to return to that issue.

Fair Points

The fair points that can be brought up are (a) the number of options in the installer (which may be complex to unselect properly to get a more basic installation), and (b) the technical requirements (the larger default NAM Controller requiring the 4GB Patch and a 64-bit OS, requiring users with less RAM and/or on 32-bit OSes to manually compile a Controller themselves).

However, treating old NAM versions as a solution for these users with old NAM versions is foisting upon them all the bugs and inefficiencies of that rubbish.  If this userbase is indeed on the newbie/novice end of the experience scale, as speculated, they're going to want tech support, and they're not going to get it with old NAM versions.

The idea I've floated as a solution to this is to produce a "NAM Lite"--effectively, a stripped-down, basic version of the most recent NAM, which would be eligible for tech support, since it's operating on the same "core" as the full-blast NAM.  The matter of just what would go into "NAM Lite" is still a question, and we're open to feedback as to just what that package would entail.

-Alex
10
Simmer2's Place / Re: Simmer's Lotting Lab.
« Last post by gn_leugim on November 24, 2020, 03:40:53 PM »
one more nice industrial building :D
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