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Author Topic: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions  (Read 7458 times)

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Offline finaltable

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My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« on: March 26, 2011, 01:16:02 AM »
Good Day all,

So I received the LEX DVD.  The first thing I did was to reinstall SC4/RH.  Here is what I have done so far. 

1. Installed update for SC4/RH from EA's website.  Also grab the night-lighting update.

2. Installed Lot editor and both building/prop vol. 1 & 2 (for still reasons unclear to me) not sure if I will do much editing, but I like ting new things.

I'm really trying to take this slow and get it correct, this is why I'm asking questions before proceeding.

So here is where I'm at and what I think I want to do, but I looking for advice and wondering if it will work.

Before installing the LEX DVD, is there anything else I should download?  I in another thread that someone recommended the NAM, but after looking at the LEX DISK, it looks like it is in there.

So say I have everything, and I'm ready to go to the LEX DISK.  I am thinking that I want to follow the directions and install everything. 
1.  By choosing this option does it put everything where it needs to be?
2.  What do I need to do first after installing everything?
3. Should anything be taken out and put somewhere else and where?
4. What about the conflict mods and trees?  If I put one what do I do with the rest?

Let's say I go ahead and install everything, can anyone come up with a list of other dependencies that I should install right away?

DatPacker...
1. So say I have everything set up, and my plug-in folder is HUGE.  Do I then download DAT Packer and run it.  Also it there anything that should stay on it's own in the plugins folder.  Dat Packer seems a little confusing.  Although I have learned everything by trial an error about computers, I REALLY don't want to screw something up here.

Really would like to play the game, but I will take it slow and hopefully with a little help here, get everything set up correctly the first time.

Thanks,

F.T.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2011, 01:54:24 AM by finaltable »
“Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.”  ~ Dave Barry

Offline finaltable

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Re: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 04:24:24 PM »
So here I am, another day later.  I think I just spent about an hour half, browsing the LEX Disk.  Still not sure what to do!  :D  Is there a LEX Disk book for dummies?  ::) 

I was thinking of installing everything and just unchecking the terrain mods and the tree controllers.  Then use that Dat Packer so things would load faster.  Would that work?

If I install everything, do I need to still go through each thing and find what Dependencies I need or just the ones that didn't come with the disk?

I figure do it this way then coming back and picking what terrain or trees I want would work better? No? 

If I knew anyone in Chicago who has the Lex Disk heck I would pay them to come over and go through whole thing with me.  ;D

What if I install all the Farms, do you have to make them a certain size for them to come up?  Or is there a list of farms that you choose from?

Feeling lost over this whole thing.  I think I got in way over my head here.
“Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.”  ~ Dave Barry

Offline finaltable

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Re: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 04:43:36 PM »
I'm also a little confused on the plug-ins folder.  There is the MY Documents plug-ins and the Maxis file in the program files folder has a plug-ins folder as well. 

Do I use both of them?  Just the Maxis Plug-in folder?  Not sure which one to use.
“Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.”  ~ Dave Barry

Offline catty

Re: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 04:55:32 PM »

Hi finaltable

Starting from your last post (you can just edit the same post) yes you have two plugin folders and both will work, but the program files folder will load first and the my documents folder last, I tend to put all my Maxis stuff in the program files folder and all the custom content plugins in the my documents folder ... but that's up to you how you have it.

Next two posts ... speaking as someone who uses the LEX DVD and CD as their plugin folder

Quote
I was thinking of installing everything and just unchecking the terrain mods and the tree controllers

 :thumbsup:

include the NAM as well as its since been updated and you can download the new version from the LEX

hope that helps

 :)
I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?" DEATH thought about it. "CATS," he said eventually, "CATS ARE NICE.

Offline Lowkee33

Re: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 05:35:44 PM »
Thanks Catty.  Don't have the DVD myself, so couldn't speak on it.

It has been found that many small files make SimCity run worse, so DatPacker was made to sort them all together.

In general, it is best not to DatPack NAM or any file that starts with a "z".  I would go as far to say that no "mod" (terrain/tree/slope/etc) should be datpacked.  These gameplay changes should be kept separate, as these are the ones that conflict with each other.  Also know that you can switch out terrain mods at any time, not tree controllers though (unless you haven't planted anything).

Any file that ends with .Model, .Desc, .Lot can/should be datpacked.

Offline finaltable

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Re: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2011, 11:17:53 PM »
Thanks Catty and Lowkee33,


So tonight I decided to just install the dependencies.  Being that you want to install everything in that folder.  It took me a little bit to find everything, but I wasn't looking in the correct place to start. 

I found the folder under Documents and Settings/User/My Documents/SimCity4  Is that the correct place to have everything?  I also found that the Essentials had been place in the mydocuments/plugins. 

I think tomorrow I will try to get around downloading the external dependencies.  There seems to be a lot of them. 

But about the NAM!  Are you saying the one, on the disk is out of date?  If so should I not install it off the disk and go to the LEX site for it?
“Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.”  ~ Dave Barry

Offline Lowkee33

Re: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2011, 08:54:06 AM »
I found the folder under Documents and Settings/User/My Documents/SimCity4  Is that the correct place to have everything?

Correct.  There is also a plugin folder in Program Files\Maxis..., and you can use that if you choose.  Generally, people use mydocs, but are constantly switching things around.  The Maxis folder provides a place to keep things safe.  I don't use it too much, just for the Extra Cheats dll.  One thing to know is that the Maxis folder loads first, and is therefore overwritten by the my docs folder, so if you want to make sure that mod is working, have it in My Docs.
 
Quote
But about the NAM!  Are you saying the one, on the disk is out of date?  If so should I not install it off the disk and go to the LEX site for it?

I can only assume, but what are they on, Version 29?  That was released last August.  Best to download it fresh. There are also a bunch of NAM add-ons.  If you click "power search" on the LEX, you will find NAM in the "LEX Category" search.     
« Last Edit: April 03, 2011, 07:35:16 PM by Lowkee33 »

Offline finaltable

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Re: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2011, 11:42:37 PM »
I can only assume, but what are they on, Version 29?  That was released last August.  Best to download it fresh. There are also a bunch of NAM add-ons.  If you click "power search" on the LEX, you will find NAM in the "LEX Category" search.     

Thanks Lowkee33 for the advice on the My Documents folder.  I will keep everything there.

So if I download it from the site, where should I put it?  When I go into My Documents and click the SC4 Folder, there are a few different folders. 
1.) HTTPCache ???
2.) LEX DVD Documentation
3.) Plug Ins
4.) Regions

Here is the thing, when I click Plug Ins it goes to another folder..LEX DVD but nothing else on this page or any other folders.  Then after clicking on LEX DVD, it goes to anther folder Dependencies.  Dependencies opens up a four other folders... Props, Textures, Essentials......

So first where would I zip the NAM file to?   

Also, if I decide to download something off of the LEX site, such as a building  or such, where would I put that.  In the Plug Ins folder correct? 

Lastly, do I need to install everything with docmentation?
“Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.”  ~ Dave Barry

Offline catty

Re: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 05:30:01 AM »
Hi finaltable

Quote
So if I download it from the site, where should I put it?

Everything (except images, readme's, etc) should go into your plugins folder, here is my plugins folder as an example


MAR20110002 by SC4D_CATTY, on Flickr

you will notice a few changes from the LEX DVD as I have moved things around to suit myself, and also there are a few extra folders (CATTY, Maxis and SIMPEG) and as I'm in the RTMT Team (RTMT-Dependencies, Z-BETA Tests), there is also a ZZZ folder for plugins that have to load last.

The "SimCity 4 Extra Cheats Plugin.dll" and the four MOTT (these are not on LEX DVD) files cannot be placed in a subfolder as they will not work anywhere else.

Quote
So first where would I zip the NAM file to?

you can unzip the NAM (Network Addon Mod) file anyway but when you run the install program it should end up in your plugins folder and also note that there are two versions of SimCity (LH - Cars drive on the left and RH - Cars drive on the righthand side of the road) and when you install the NAM you must make sure that you pick the right version to match your game or your railway will stop working.

Quote
Also, if I decide to download something off of the LEX site, such as a building  or such, where would I put that.  In the Plug Ins folder correct?

 :thumbsup:

Quote
Lastly, do I need to install everything with docmentation?

Up to you, as long as you make sure that you have the dependencies for anything you do install.

hope that helped

 :)
« Last Edit: March 29, 2011, 05:36:56 AM by catty »
I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?" DEATH thought about it. "CATS," he said eventually, "CATS ARE NICE.

Offline finaltable

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Re: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2011, 06:51:10 PM »
Thanks a lot Catty for your help.  All of that did help a lot.  So Installed all the dependencies from the Lex Disk and the NAM as well.   Now what I'm working is installing the External Dependencies. 

I ran into a problem though.  The first problem incurred with PEG CDK3 Garbage Docks.  Then the same thing happen again with, NDEX Base Texture Set 1. Below is a link to a screen shot of the unzipped file.  That's all it does when I unzip either of those files.  The rest of them that I have tried work fine.

https://picasaweb.google.com/eightball3railsintheside/ScreenShots?authkey=Gv1sRgCKTkhaey2LmysgE&feat=directlink 

So not sure what i'm doing wrong?  I looked at the read me but all it says really is to un-zip it.
“Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.”  ~ Dave Barry

Offline finaltable

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Re: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2011, 12:50:22 AM »
So I have been having the same issues with some other External Dependencies.  Finally I might have stumbled onto something.  While most E.D. will unzip and have an install process, it seems that some don't. 

I do read the read me files as stated before, and I read the one on Rail Yard and Spur Texture.  It says to install, to just unzip the .DAT file to your plug-ins directory.  So I did that and hope it works. 

What I'm wondering is if that is all I have to do with all the other ones that don't have an installer that puts it in the plug-ins it's self.  I know plenty of you are probably laughing at me, but I'm learning things.

Also in your plug-in folder, can you make new folders and group "LIKE FILES" together in their own folders, and everything still works?

Also if you do this, will DAT Packer still work ok?
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 01:21:26 AM by finaltable »
“Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.”  ~ Dave Barry

Offline Lowkee33

Re: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2011, 12:57:00 PM »
Quote
I do read the read me files as stated before, and I read the one on Rail Yard and Spur Texture.  It says to install, to just unzip the .DAT file to your plug-ins directory.  So I did that and hope it works. 

That's all you need to do :) .  You don't need images, .docs (readmes) or the original zip in plugins, just the files.

Quote
Also in your plug-in folder, can you make new folders and group "LIKE FILES" together in their own folders, and everything still works?

Certainly.  There is an order that SimCity loads from your plugin folder.  It starts alphabetically with the loose files in plugins.  It then moves on to the folders alphabetically, and goes through the same "loose files to folder" order.  The reason for installers is a) to keep things somewhat organized, and b) to make sure that they will all be in the correct place by default.  For example, terrain mods all use the same Exemplars, so if you have a patch for a terrain mod, then you need to make sure that the patch loads after the terrain mod.  This is why things get installed to a "z" folder, or have the file name start with a "z".

But this is all so you can install and play.  You can switch things around as long as you keep the files that need an order to load in that order.  My plugin folder looks much different, I have no loose files in the root plugin folder, and then folders for:

Buildings
Exemplars (random mods)
Flora
Models
NAM
Props
Terrain
Textures
Trees
X-Ports

Quote
Also if you do this, will DAT Packer still work ok?

Indeed.  DatPacker also uses alphabetical order, so if you have conflicting mods ("A" and "Z") then the conflicting parts of A will be overridden by Z.

Offline threestooges

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Re: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2011, 08:04:36 PM »
I just rebuilt my plugins folder with a fresh install from the DVD (and bringing in a number of plugins that aren't on it from my previous folder), so first let me say I'm glad you picked up a copy of it. It's a great little resource, and with all that's on there, it's really like having a fresh game. I just skimmed through a few of the later posts, so hopefully I won't re-hash too much of what has been said already.

With that said, everything on the DVD is set to function properly, and everything that's on the DVD has what's needed to use it already on the DVD itself, so there's no need to worry about dependency hunting (that was part of the thought put into it: no sense in making people run around when you're giving it to them like that). So that said, indeed you ought to fully install the dependency folders as they contain the prop/texture/model packs and all that's needed to get the lots looking right.

If you're curious about how it all fits together, there are a few tutorials regarding lot making on the site that explain how all those bits fit together, but bottom line, just install the dependencies, and then any of the lots you find fitting your style preference.

As for the files and where they are, you can organize them in pretty much any order you want. As long as the proper files are in there somewhere the game will load them and they should appear in the game. The biggest caveat to that is that if two files (like two different terrain mods) are loaded, the game will load a plugin over anything that's already there. So it will load Terrain Mod A, altering the properties it's told to alter, and then load Terrain Mod B, which would overwrite any properties it has in common with A. Generally it's not a problem since most lots use independent model numbers (which will become clear if/when you get into modding and start using the Reader, a whole adventure unto itself).

Just pick what you want from the DVD, it's all good, and it'll install it to that LEX DVD folder you mentioned. You can move those files to other folders within your plugins folder later if you like. Just make sure all your custom content makes its way into your plugins folder and you should be good. Also, do your best to keep your plugin file organized. It helps find things later.

Lastly, the one thing that doesn't go into your plugins folder would be region maps, which would, predictably, go into the regions folder.

Hope that helps a bit and isn't too long-winded/repetitive. Good to hear you're working through things. Plenty to work with out there.
-Matt

Offline finaltable

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Re: My Turn At Installing LEX DVD Questions
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2011, 11:12:48 PM »
Thanks for your advice Matt.  I have taken a lot from your replies and Catty's and Lowkee's as well.  I've been tooling around tonight with my folders and options. 

When I install something from the LEX DVD, if I select something, there is another box for the "image".  Is that just so I can view it on the Lex browser or do I need those files as well?  Because all of those files do add up. 

“Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth.”  ~ Dave Barry