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The NAM (Network Addon Mod)


Find the latest documentation for the NAM here.

Version 37 - 2 July 2020

READ FIRST


Before you run off in excitement to install the new NAM version, please make sure to read this (short) document first, to ensure the best Network Addon Mod experience. Note that this release uses a new installer system, and the structure of the mod has changed considerably as a result.




Note that the NTCore 4GB Patch is REQUIRED if using this mod on a system with 4GB RAM or more, and due to the installer change, is no longer installed by default. The patch can be found inside the download, or downloaded directly from NTCore here, where further instructions on use of the patch can be found. Also due to this installer change, the NAM Controller Compiler is no longer run as part of the installation process. All users will be initially given a full NAM Controller, which has a substantial size. Users not using all features wishing to have a smaller controller can still run the Controller Compiler manually, as it is available in the download.


The NAM is also now using a Java-based installer, designed by daeley, which is cross-platform (meaning no more separate Mac versions, and Linux support without WINE). As such, the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is now REQUIRED to run the NAM installer. It was previous recommended for users wishing to utilize the NAM Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool (TSCT). The JRE can be downloaded from Oracle here.


With the new installer, the old NAM installation is no longer removed automatically, so users should manually remove the "Network Addon Mod" and "z___NAM" folders from their Plugins directory. If you intend to keep these files around, it is recommended that you back those folders up in a location that is not in your Plugins folder. The "z___NAM" folder has been eliminated, and all files are now installed to the "Network Addon Mod" directory.


The RealRailway (RRW) standard for Rail is now the default and only option. The original Maxis Rail specification will be supported via a Legacy Plugin, downloaded separately. Also note that a number of cosmetic-oriented NAM plugins, such as the El-Rail Alternate Implementation, the Bullet Train Mod, and some advanced texture options (largely deprecated) have been removed from the installer. The Alternate El-Rail and BTM will be made available separately. Please note that, much like Maxis Rail, these Plugins are effectively in "Legacy" status, and may not be actively maintained or supported by the NAM Team going forward. Both the original Maxis Highways (MHW) and the "Maxis Highway Override/Project Symphony" (MHO) remain available.


The Station Locator, Updater, and Reconstruction Project (SLURP) is also no longer handled by the new installer. A scaled down version of the old installer will be made at a later date to handle SLURP routines. Users wishing to retain SLURPed stations should retrieve them from the "z___NAM\Mass Transit Lots\Station Overrides" folder in their existing NAM installation, where they will be found in the "Mass Transit Lots" subfolder. Note that users running the 64-bit version of SimCity 4 on macOS may wish to refrain from retrieving SLURP stations, as there have been some encoding issues with stations that cause that version of the game to CTD.


The new installer also no longer performs a version check. Please note, however, that for Windows users, Version 1.1.638 and above are still required, as Versions 1.1.610 and 1.1.613 have notable instabilities that may have a significant negative impact on the use of this mod. Copies purchased from the Origin Store may still not meet this requirement, and support will not be offered to users with "unofficial" copies of the game.




New Features for NAM 37


  • The NAM has switched over to a new Java-based installer designed by daeley, with cross-platform support for any operating system that supports the Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

  • The RealHighway (RHW) system has undergone a massive code overhaul ("Mark IV"), greatly improving stability, especially in compact situations. Diagonal x Diagonal (DxD) crossings (grade-separated) between wider RHW networks should now be possible in most situations.

  • The RealRailway (RRW) system is now the default (and only) option for the Rail network. Users wishing to retain the original Maxis Rail should download the separate Maxis Rail Legacy Plugin.

  • Various cosmetic/legacy plugins, such as the Bullet Train Mod (BTM) and El-Rail Alternate Implementation, are no longer directly available within the main NAM download, due to crosslink and support issues. They will be available as separate downloads, as Legacy Plugins with no guarantee of support or further upgrades.

  • An initial basic version of the RealExpressway (REW) mod is now available. The REW adds draggable ramp interface (DRI) functionality to the One-Way Road network, following similar patterns to the RHW's DRI system.

  • A pathing issue affecting intersections with the Diagonal Streets Plugin, dating back to NAM 20 (!) has now been fixed (thanks to McDuell).

  • RRW Fractional Angle and FlexTrack switch content can now be constructed using easier-to-use FLEX Pieces, rather than memorizing drag/draw patterns. Some limited Fractional Angle elevated support is now available.

  • The Road-based Single-Tile and Dual-Tile Network Widening Mod (NWM) networks now support Multi-Radius Curves (MRCs). For the single-tile networks, override the base Road MRCs with the appropriate NWM network to convert them, and use the dedicated pieces for the dual-tile versions (the RD-6 uses an override of the TLA-5 version--place Road stubs to fill in the "bites" on the RD-6 R4 curve).

  • L3 and L4 FLEXFly pieces are now available for the RHW.

  • RHW FlexSPUI has been redesigned, with improved support for the current array of RHW networks. Support for L0 and L2 is present (use the legacy TuLEP OnSlope to connect to the L2 version).

  • Orthogonal TLA-3 and AVE-2 connections to the One-Way Road Roundabouts are now supported.

  • Three new RHW FLEXRamps are now supported: Type D1-Inside (RHW-4 base), Type E1-Inside (RHW-4 base), and Type D1-Inside Dual Shift (RHW-6C base). Additionally, L1 and L2 support has been added to the Type A2 ramps for the RHW-8C and RHW-10S networks, and the L1 and L2 versions of the RHW-3 network now support Type A1 and B1 ramps.

  • Draggable ramp interfaces (DRIs), of Types A1, B1, D1, and E1, have been added to the Maxis Highway Override (MHO) plugin. The patterns resemble those used for the RHW draggable ramp interfaces.

  • Various "tidal flow"-related pathing issues with the Draggable Elevated One-Way Road Viaducts have been addressed.

  • File encoding issues with certain NAM files that have been known to cause crash-to-desktop (CTD) errors with Aspyr's new 64-bit macOS port of SimCity 4 (currently just the App Store version) have been fixed, thanks to xxdita.

  • A new bridge has been added for the NWM's NRD-4 network.

  • Draggable Small 90° Curve (2x2) and Small S-Curve (3x2) functionality has been added to the Road network, paralleling that which already exists with the Street network.



Changes Since the NAM 37 Release Candidate





  • The new FlexSPUI V2 now works properly in LHD mode.

  • Drag pattern interference between the new draggable Road Small 90° Curve and the Road Long FA3 (71.6°) curve has been eliminated.

  • Issues with various RHW and NWM bridges have been addressed, including the RHW-4 Small Steel Arch, the RHW-6S Concrete Arch Dual, and the NRD-4 Thru Truss. The accidentally-omitted DDRHW-4 bridge has also (again) be re-added.

  • Missing textures/paths on some RHW T-intersections involving diagonals have been addressed.

  • New draggable Road curves (Small 90° and Small S) have received Euro texture support.

  • Issues involving the L1 RHW-8C crossings over Avenue have been addressed.

  • Pathing for the RHW-3-to-ARD-3 transition has been fixed.

  • The texture for the OWR-3 x OWR-2 +-intersection has been rotated to the correct direction.

  • Tidal flow issues with the Slip Lane functionality, causing paths to not function in certain directions (esp. in LHD) have been fixed.

  • Various Euro texture issues with the RHW-8C Type D1 ramp have been fixed.

  • The OWR-1-to-MIS transition has been fixed.

  • Avenue-to-MIS transitions have been fixed.

  • Both US and EU textures for the RHW-6C and 8C Type D1 Dual Shift Inside FLEXRamp have been fixed.

  • Various fixes have been made to the RealRailway (RRW) network.

  • Pathing fixes have been made to the draggable Wide-Radius Curve (WRC)/Multi-Radius Curve (MRC) and Fractional Angle (FA) functionality.

  • TLA Center Turn Arrow cosmetic mod now installed as option under Texture and Drive Side options, fixing previous file architecture issues.

  • Mac-only issues with GHSR network showing Monorail supports have been fixed.

  • Some INRUL-based issues with the RRW FlexTrack system have been addressed, particularly with the J2 Turnout (Ortho-to-FARR-1.33/1.5). Note that these changes have altered the availability of some drag patterns, and clicking on some existing switches may break them. Such switches will need to be rebuilt using their FLEX Piece equivalent.

  • Note that no new features have been added since the NAM 37 Release Candidate. Addition of new content will resume with NAM 38 development.





Requirements and Compatibility



The Network Addon Mod will run on any system that meets the minimum system requirements for SimCity 4 Deluxe/Rush Hour. Most modern PCs should be able to comfortably run the mod. At least 1.2GB of hard drive space is required, in order to fully unpack the installer, but actual installation size may run from as little as 1.7MB to as much as 850MB, depending on the options chosen and if one selects to manually run the Controller Compiler after installation.




The Network Addon Mod is compatible with the following versions of the game:


  • A) Retail Windows disc copies of SimCity 4 Deluxe OR SimCity 4 with the Rush Hour Expansion Pack, updated to at least Version 1.1.638.

  • B) Retail Windows digital copies of SimCity 4 Deluxe OR SimCity 4 with the Rush Hour Expansion Pack (Version 1.1.641), from all digital retailers except Origin (i.e. GOG.com, Steam, Amazon).

  • C) Digital Windows copies of SimCity 4 Deluxe obtained redeeming an existing CD key (not purchasing) through Origin Customer Support.

  • D) Retail Mac digital copies of SimCity 4 Deluxe, purchased through Steam or the App Store. (NOTE: Platform-specific technical support for the NAM on macOS is extremely limited).

  • E) Retail Mac disc copies of SimCity 4 Deluxe, running on macOS/OS X Version 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or earlier. (NOTE: Platform-specific technical support for the NAM on macOS is extremely limited.)



The Network Addon Mod is NOT compatible with the following versions of the game, which will prevent the NAM installer from running to completion:


  • F) Retail disc copies of SimCity 4 Deluxe OR SimCity 4 with the Rush Hour Expansion Pack that have not been patched (Version 1.1.610 or 1.1.613).

  • G) Retail Windows digital copies of SimCity 4 Deluxe purchased from Origin.

  • H) Retail disc copies of non-Deluxe SimCity 4 (sometimes marketed later as "SimCity 4 Classic"), without the Rush Hour Expansion Pack (Version 1.0.272 or earlier)

  • I) Retail Mac disc copies of SimCity 4 Deluxe using the Aspyr Universal Binary Beta Patch, particularly on macOS/OS X Version 10.7 (Lion) or later.

  • J) Pirated or cracked copies of SimCity 4 Deluxe OR SimCity 4 with the Rush Hour Expansion Pack.


What should I do if the NAM installer rejects my copy of the game?


The new NAM installer (beginning with NAM 37 RC) no longer runs a version check. However, it is strongly recommended that users check the version they are running, as unpatched copies can be unstable. In Case F, the solution is simply to install the EP1 Update 1 patch, which can be downloaded from EA (SKU 1-5), SimCity 4 Devotion (SKU 1-5), or Simtropolis (SKU 1 and 2 only). To determine the correct SKU version for your copy of SimCity 4, find the installation directory, and look in the subfolder named sku_data. Alternatively, one can simply try all the SKU versions of the patch, until one works.


For Case G, see the section about Origin below.


For Cases H, I, and J, it is recommended that you purchase a digital copy of SimCity 4 Deluxe (NOT from Origin).




What if my disc copy has simply stopped working with Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, or 10?


Microsoft decided in 2015 that secdrv.sys, the driver file used by the SafeDisc and other disc copy protection systems present in many PC games from the early 2000s, was a security threat. As a result, the driver was not included as part of Windows 10, and Microsoft issued a Windows Update, KB3086255, which disables secdrv.sys on Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1. In the case of the older versions of Windows, secdrv.sys can be re-enabled when needed through the use of the command prompt or a batch file.


Aside from the advanced step of manually signing a device driver for Windows 10, the only viable courses of action are to either purchase a retail digital copy of the game (NOT from Origin), or to redeem your CD key at no cost via Origin Customer Support (which, unlike purchasing from Origin, will result in you receiving a properly-patched version of SimCity 4 Deluxe).


As noted above, the NAM will NOT install when it detects a cracked executable (i.e. a "No CD" .exe) in the game's installation directory. The NAM Team does not support piracy, but understands the frustration with the game's original DRM system being blocked by Microsoft, forcing one to buy a new digital copy in order to continue playing. However, the reason why cracked executables are blocked is for more practical reasons, namely the potential for version mismatches (i.e. a Version 1.1.638 crack with Version 1.1.610/613 .DAT files, or vice-versa), which can greatly complicate the team's efforts to provide useful technical support to users. The Origin issues also have played a role in our keeping the version check in place.



Notice to Users Who Purchased a Digital Copy from Origin


Aside from a brief period in 2014-2015, Origin, the digital retail platform run by Electronic Arts (EA), has been selling defective copies of SimCity 4 Deluxe to retail customers. As of the release of NAM 36, this appears to still be the case. Unlike the retail versions sold by GOG.com, Steam, and Amazon (the "Thin Game Download" version), which come pre-patched to Version 1.1.641, the Origin retail copy is Version 1.1.610. By virtue of switching out the original SafeDisc copy protection for their own DRM, Origin altered the checksum of the game's executable, which prevents the EP1 Update 1 patcher--a piece of software they made--from running. This not only prevents the NAM from being installed, but leaves Origin retail copies with all the bugs that the developers fixed in 2003. It also prevents first-party content creation tools like the Building Architect Tool (BAT) from being installed. In effect, the Origin retail copy is unpatched and unpatchable.


The NAM Team recommends you contact Origin Customer Support about obtaining a refund, even after the return period has expired, as users have had success in this case. If you are among the users who are saddled with the unpatched and unpatchable Origin retail version, the team would also appreciate hearing from you, as we have a strong desire to see Origin give their customers a properly-patched copy of the game, and are trying to document just how many users are affected.



Strangely, copies obtained by redeeming an existing CD key at no cost with Origin Customer Support (Case C) are properly patched, despite what the same support team routinely tells those who bought copies and received defective Version 1.1.610 digital copies. (There are, however, some recent reports that the CD Key redemption offer has ended.)


For a more detailed assessment of the Origin situation, NAM developer Tarkus has written extensively on the subject at his blog, SimTarkus.




Note to Mac Users



Aspyr recently issued an update to their port of SimCity 4 Deluxe for macOS, updating it from a 32-bit app to a 64-bit one on both Steam and the App Store, allowing it to be compatible with macOS Catalina (10.15) and later. This change has introduced a number of quirks, however. Most notably, it has changed the key combination for cycling through TAB Loops under the NAM's various buttons. Instead of using TAB to move forward, and Shift-TAB to move in reverse, Mac users must now use Ctrl-TAB to move forward, and Ctrl-Shift-TAB to move in reverse. While TAB and Shift-TAB will allow one to move through the TAB Loop, these keys/combinations will cause some pieces under the buttons to be skipped. Furthermore, the changes have also broken simmaster07's SC4MacInjector, which allowed DLL plugins--including SC4Fix.dll (which addressed the puzzle piece/TE Lot CTDs)--to run on macOS. As such, these fixes no longer work on Mac, and users should exercise caution when placing stations in the vicinity of static puzzle pieces.





Preparing to Install The NAM



Instructions for All Users

When one initially opens the NAM package after downloading, there will be several items present, besides the document you are now reading: the installer itself is NetworkAddonMod_Setup_Version37-RC.jar. 4gb_patch.exe is the NTCore 4GB Patch, the Controller Compiler folder contains the NAM Controller Compiler, the Documentation folder contains the NAM Documentation (which has not been substantially updated since NAM 36, but will receive updates for the finalized NAM 37 release), and the Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool folder, which contains the Traffic Simulator Configuration Tool (TSCT).


NetworkAddonMod_Setup_Version37-RC.jar is the NAM Installer, which you will need to run to install the NAM. If User Access Control (UAC) is enabled on your system, Windows may ask you to approve running the file with a simple "Yes"/"No" prompt. Click "Yes" to allow the installer to run.


In order to progress through the installer, simply click on each tab. Note that the license agreement must be agreed to before subsequent tabs can be accessed. The "Cleanup" tab allows one to remove any residual files from old NAM releases, and pre-NAM transit mods that might cause conflicts, and is loaded with a Cleanitol list (last updated NAM 36).





Upgrading from a Previous Version



If you are upgrading from a previous version of the NAM, MANUALLY MOVE YOUR OLD NAM INSTALLATION OUT FROM YOUR PLUGINS FOLDER, INTO A SAFE LOCATION (note that this has changed from previous NAM releases). The NAM installer can no longer detect your previous installation options by reading the existing folder structure. It is recommended that you check your existing installation, to determine which features you presently have installed.


Generally speaking, the NAM Team makes every effort to ensure that new versions at least retain some form of "legacy support", such that cities built with any previous NAM version will continue to function well with the latest version.


If you have consolidated your NAM files using a tool such as SC4DatPacker or JDatPacker, please read below.



Running The Installer


Installer Options



The NAM Installer allows for many different types of installation--with the current NAM installation, custom installation is the only option, though the most common installation is set to be the default. Note that right-side driving (AKA RHD) and US textures are the default. A base Euro texture option remains available, and both the US and EU options are available for left-side driving (AKA LHD) as well.





A Note About Drive Side (RHD vs. LHD)



While the NAM Installer, as noted above, has a series of checkboxes in Custom Installation relating to drive side, it is worth re-iterating that these boxes only change the compatibility files installed with the NAM, and do NOT change drive side. If you have an installation with Right-Hand Driving (RHD, vehicles driving on the right side of roads--this concept is NOT the same as the side one sits on when driving a vehicle) and wish to switch to Left-Hand Driving (LHD, vehicles driving on the left side of roads), this generally needs to be done either by adjusting the game's locale files, and then either editing the game's Windows registry entries, or by modifying the game's shortcut.


The new NAM Installer cannot determine default drive side of your installation, so make note of which side vehicles drive on in your game prior to installation. If you have changed your drive side by modifying the game's shortcut, instead of editing the Windows registry, then this would be the one and only case when changing the box checked here would be needed.



A Note About the "4GB Patch"



Due to changes in computer systems, and continued expansions of the NAM's main Controller file, in 2013, it was determined that many newer systems, particularly those with more than 4GB of RAM, and running 64-bit versions of Windows, need additional accommodation. To that end, the NAM includes a "4GB Patch", also known as a "Large Address Aware (LAA) Patch", which allows the game to access the full 4GB of RAM that a 32-bit application can read, instead of the default 2GB. The NAM's patch was designed by NTCore, and built into the NAM with permission, and users with systems that need the patch will receive a prompt during NAM installation to install it. The original patch can be found here.


The only thing this patch does is to switch the Large Address Aware switch, an accessible switch present in all Windows executables, from "off" to "on" for the game's executable. Patches like this are common in game modding communities, including those associated with Skyrim, Fallout, and Morrowind, and can be used to enhance any 32-bit application's performance on systems with 64-bit operating systems and a suitable amount of RAM.






Running the Controller Compiler



If you are an advanced user, and would like to trim down your installation of the NAM on the Mac platform, it is still possible to run the NAM Controller Compiler (a cross-platform application) after installing the NAM. Extract/open the "Controller Compiler" folder, and double-click the file "NAMControllerCompiler.jar". Select the 'input' folder "Network Addon Mod/Controller/" from the current "Controller Compiler" directory, and the 'output' folder "~/Documents/SimCity 4/Plugins/Network Addon Mod/" inside your plugins. For the rest, follow the instructions of the compiler.



Regarding "DatPacking" and File Consolidation Post-Installation



Programs to consolidate folders worth of SimCity 4 .DAT files, such as SC4DatPacker (Windows) and JDatPacker (cross-platform), are popular options known to improve game performance, given SimCity 4's preference to read a smaller number of larger files, instead of a larger number of small files--a fact determined by the BSC Team's "Miramba Experiment" of 2006. The use of "DatPacking" programs on one's NAM installation, however, is a controversial topic. The NAM Team's general advice is for Windows users to avoid DatPacking (unless one is extremely careful, while for Mac users, the use of JDatPacker is virtually required.


In general, if one plans to DatPack one's NAM installation, they should also save the pre-DatPacked NAM folder in a safe place, outside the Plugins folder beforehand. The reason for this is to avoid potential conflicts and issues, such as the "dual icon bug" and Controller file conflicts between new and old installations, as well as to make it such that one knows which options they have installed when upgrading to a new version, or re-installing the same version with different options.


In the case of the Aspyr port for the Mac platform (both App Store and Steam versions), it possesses a strange quirk in which exceeding a certain number of files or folders (regardless of size) in the Plugins folder can cause game slowdowns or even crashing-to-desktop (CTD). To this end, using JDatPacker after installing the NAM on a Mac is a necessity, in order to ensure proper game performance. Again, however, one should save their pre-DatPacked NAM installation in a safe place, outside the Plugins folder, to make for easy upgrades.





Uninstalling the NAM



To uninstall the files, simply bulldoze every NAM item from this download in your cities and remove the files from the Plugins folder afterwards, which will be contained in Plugins\Network Addon Mod by default.






Changing Options After Initial Installation



The NAM is a very expansive mod, with a substantial number of features, which may initially prove overwhelming to those not well-versed in its workings. The NAM Team anticipates that users, particularly those new to the NAM, may want to change the feature set they have installed, as they learn more about the mod's contents and capabilities.


To that end, we encourage users to keep the installer for the current version handy after initial installation. If you plan to change your particular set of options, you will need to remove your current installation. Moving it out of Plugins to a safe location is recommended, in case you want to keep your existing settings as a backup.




This release is dedicated to David Edgren (dedgren) and his family--we wish you the best.


DOWNLOAD THE LATEST NAM







As usual, please read the included readme file first.




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