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Author Topic: MGB's Mods and other stuff  (Read 78088 times)

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Offline belfastsocrates

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #200 on: September 28, 2016, 01:23:16 PM »
Are you still taking ideas for store brands? I was thinking of a few more than are common in the UK and Ireland.

Spar / Eurospar
Centra (Ireland and Northern Ireland)
Costcutter
SuperValu (Ireland)
Iceland
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Offline gn_leugim

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Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #201 on: September 29, 2016, 03:22:51 AM »
well, there is also the option to make up new ones. Maxis didn't create stores/brads that exist in real life, instead, made up their own ones. (with their alphabet as well)  :popcorn:


Offline mgb204

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #202 on: September 30, 2016, 04:00:24 PM »
I think for now I've made as many of these props as it makes sense to. If in future more buildings end up using these props, then it might be worth re-visiting.

I've added an IE (Ireland) option which includes Centra, EuroSpar and SuperValu.

In addition to a UK-Addon with 6 new props I made for my own game. Featuring Budgens, CoOp (Alt.), Londis, Premier/Premier Alt. and Sainsburys (Alt.). The Alt (alternative) props show an older design, but in general I've picked these to add some variety to the colour schemes in-use. Too many white backgrounds makes them a little dull.

As for fictional stores, sure you could, I guess Maxis were more worried about lawsuits than I am :P - But of course, lawyers only spend their time picking on people with money, so I'm pretty safe. Since I'm going at least partly for realism, I've concentrated purely on brands that fit my regions. You can find the new props attached, you can use either or both dats, in addition to any from the RSP release.

Offline belfastsocrates

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #203 on: October 01, 2016, 02:29:59 PM »
Did you ever release your customised grass mod for tarsealed streets? I've converted to Tarsealed streets but the grass doesn't seem to match my other TGN networks. I had to name the folder so that it loads after your TGN folder as the weren't appearing in-game until I did.
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Offline TheTeaCat

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #204 on: October 02, 2016, 12:46:58 PM »
I've added an IE (Ireland) option which includes Centra, EuroSpar and SuperValu.

Thank you so much for these :)
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Offline mgb204

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #205 on: October 14, 2016, 12:19:12 AM »
Did you ever release your customised grass mod for tarsealed streets? I've converted to Tarsealed streets but the grass doesn't seem to match my other TGN networks.

Nope not yet released sorry, the last plan was to get them out after NAM35. NAM35 is taking longer than anticipated when this was decided, so it's led to a delay there :(. Rivit did upload his repositories though, so using GoFSH anyone could make their own, but you want to PM Rivit and ask for the link to the files.

Quote
I had to name the folder so that it loads after your TGN folder as the weren't appearing in-game until I did.

Did you untick "Maxis Streets" during installation? Otherwsie, did you delete any previous version before running the installer? TGN is designed to work even when Rivit's mod loads first, that's the setup I use personally. That way if you use both his and my default folders, "z___RVT Mods" / "z____MGB Mods", it will work without further effort.

Offline mgb204

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #206 on: October 19, 2016, 05:09:01 AM »
Just a quick heads up, I've added an STR variant to my RRW to Subway Converter lots:



Find the updated v2 package on the LEX (Link in first post of this thread).
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 07:09:07 AM by mgb204 »

Offline FrankU

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Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #207 on: October 19, 2016, 01:12:44 PM »
Really nice, but in RL nobody would spend the money for a tunnel just for one track!

Offline Silur

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #208 on: October 19, 2016, 01:44:26 PM »
May be this is a tunnel under a canal   :):
I Like this. Thank You.


« Last Edit: October 19, 2016, 02:31:49 PM by Silur »

Offline Tyberius06

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #209 on: October 19, 2016, 06:38:08 PM »
Thank you!

Actually I "asked" this, if there would be a plan for making STR version, and Silur found out what was my thought. I would use this under canals with the CAN-AM FLUPs.
You may find updates about my ongoing projects into my development thread here at SimCity 4 Devotion: Tyberius Lotting Experiments
or over there on Simtropolis into the Tyberius (Heretic Projects) Lotting and Modding Experiments.
I'm also member of the STEX Custodian and working on different restoration projects on behalf of non-anymore-active custom content creators.
Current projects: WMP Restoration and SimCity Polska Restoration.

Offline mgb204

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #210 on: October 20, 2016, 01:46:04 AM »
Really nice, but in RL nobody would spend the money for a tunnel just for one track!

Perhaps not... But this was to fulfil a request. Not to mention that since it was just a case of rendering with a new texture and duplicating the original lot with a new ID, making it was almost a no-brainer.

Hopefully some people will find it a useful addition, if not for realism, just for better compatibility.

Offline mgb204

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #211 on: November 06, 2016, 08:47:21 AM »
NAM 35 Update - Important Information:

As you may be aware, NAM 35 has just seen it's official release. As part of this update, some of my mods have had their fixes/patches integrated into the NAM.

This affects users of both my MHO Patch or ML El-Rail RHW Patch mods. I strongly recommend you update to v35 of NAM, then completely remove both the following folders from the z____MGB Mods folder:

  • M - MHO Patch
  • M - ML El Rail Patch

For those who are using the MHO, in addition to the Alternate Overpasses from the Japanese NAM Facelift mod, please install this updated file. Note: This update includes all the diagonal variants that were never supported in the previous releases.

The following actions have already taken place in respect of this announcement:

  • I have locked/removed the ML El-Rail Patch mod completely.
  • Removal of the files for the MHO Patch Mod (replaced with above mod).
  • The attached file (from this thread) "ML BTM Patch - Preview.dat", to add support for BTM/RHW is also obsolete/no longer availible.
    Please remove this file if you currently have it installed

If you want these updates, install NAM35, I will no longer be distributing or supporting them as of now. The NAM 35 files are actually more comprehensive than these mods too, so anyone who refuses to update their NAM version will in effect be missing out.

Offline mgb204

NAM 36... SAM11 - IndustrieSAM update
« Reply #212 on: November 21, 2016, 06:26:40 PM »
Is it already time to talk about NAM36?

Well I think it is, remember my Industrial SAM mod... well it's very close to finished with working code for use as a new unique SAM set. I'm hoping that I should be able to get the first version into NAM 36. Most of the textures are complete, speaking of which, here's the RRW crossings I finished earlier:



I just need to finalise the paths/T21s, create alternate rail crossings (Maxis) and tweak some RUL code. But it's 90% complete right now.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 07:09:28 AM by mgb204 »

Offline APSMS

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Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #213 on: November 22, 2016, 02:16:00 AM »
Hey Robin,

I know it's Industrial and all, but I think a version with rounded corners/curbs (at the intersections) and street grass would not be remiss for those of us trying to model concrete neighborhood streets, which actually are common in a number of neighborhoods where I used to grow up near.

Not the most fun to drive on, but memorable at least!

That being said, having more SAM options is always a good thing, and the fact that you're working on this sans main PC is impressive. Thanks for the hard work!

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Offline Vizoria

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #214 on: November 22, 2016, 04:44:52 PM »
Brilliant, just brilliant! The fact that it is its own SAM is more brilliant- it ain't overwriting another SAM set.

Offline mgb204

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #215 on: November 25, 2016, 06:37:27 PM »
Hey Robin,

I know it's Industrial and all, but I think a version with rounded corners/curbs (at the intersections) and street grass would not be remiss for those of us trying to model concrete neighborhood streets, which actually are common in a number of neighborhoods where I used to grow up near.

Due to the way these are made, it's possible to adapt the Definition Alphas (that dictate where to place Concrete/Grass), can be modified. I'll certainly consider it, but likely any such customisations would be a separate download, with a default set included in the NAM. Currently the only pieces that show grass upon them, are for the Avenue connections. They simply didn't look right with concrete on them.

Offline mgb204

RHW-Junction Modding
« Reply #216 on: December 15, 2016, 07:45:28 AM »
Updated 12th-Feb, images now hosted on Flickr, so you can click to see them in their full 1920x1080 glory.  :P Photobucket, you suck!  :P



Here I present to you what I've been working on recently. This junction has taken me quite a while to put together, but is a vital transport link. Whilst I was working on this, I started wondering, would players out there be interested in reading about how I build my cities? Because I'm pretty sure I play SC4 in a fairly unique way. Sure I build cities and rural scenes. I mean, I don't need to tell you I plopped MMPs or which mods I used here for the most part. But what about explaining how I arrived at this image from a modding/customisation perspective? Well, I'm still not sure if this will resonate with anyone out there, but I'm keen to try out the idea.

So to aid you with a little perspective, here is an alternate in-development shot of this junction. This time though with all the modifications I made for the first picture removed.



How many differences did you spot there? Well, for now if you'll indulge me, let's leave that to one side. Meantime, I'd briefly like to explain a bit about how this came about. So I'm just playing SC4, as we all do, building things and trying to make it pretty. I find myself needing to make a junction for sims to commute to a neighbouring city. Due to the surrounding city, making this on a diagonal segment of what was MHO, was the obvious solution. Since MHO has no diagonal ramps, I converted the whole diagonal section to RHW-4. This left me a small problem with how to connect both sides of the motorway. After some initial ideas, the L1 RHW-2 overpass just worked out neatly. This meant I had to adjust the original parallel road to connect them. But as often happens, this happy coincidence inspired the small diagonal industrial area. Which I think makes an interesting little feature, that fits well in such an unusually shaped space.

Anyhow, I said before I won't be getting into that sort of detail too much here. I just figured it would give a nice overview for what comes next. A number of things bothered me about the original junction. I don't like things that either don't line up or match correctly. Here's where my game time likely differs from yours. Rather than continue building, I now embark on fixing the things I don't like here. This is the crux of what I wanted to write about, explaining how I fixed these problems. Along with providing a brief explanation of how to do it. Perhaps some will be inspired to try some modding themselves? But hopefully at least explaining these things will be of interest. Whilst some of this may require a certain amount of modding knowledge. I will try my best to keep things simple enough that everyone can follow along and understand. Of course, if you have any questions, I'm only too happy to try and help too. But for now, let's get right into what fixes I worked on here.



RHW Textures

One of the more glaringly obvious problems and my first task. The mis-match of RHW textures. Some of these still have no EU versions, in addition to a lack of LHD support. BTW: I play with sims driving on the left. So how do I fix those? Actually the fix part is simplicity itself and relates to the development of the new EU RHW textures. Those first appeared with NAM33, after Maarten (MandelSoft) stopped development of his textures. I'll take the opportunity here to raise a salute to Maarten, your work on textures alone was super-human over the years. The solution to the conundrum of how to continue providing EU RHW textures? Alex (Tarkus) made a simple script (or Action) in Photoshop, when you run it, the yellow lines are Automagically™ changed to white. It works a treat in practise, having a copy, I simply find all the textures and run the script on the entire folder. Actually that's not the whole story, I re-built many of the textures with fixed alphas. Not to mention adding LHD support and TGN-grass textures for my custom mod too. But the hardest part of working with the RHW textures? Simply finding the damn things... that's a common problem when you are modding. There are plenty of scenarios where I could give you some helpful tips to find things. Sadly, in the case of RHW textures, I don't have any advice for you. I have all the textures in a repository, but finding them took a while. In fact it was probably the most time-consuming part of fixing these textures.

RHW-2 / ML El-Rail Crossing

Next on my OCD hit-list is this crossing. I should note I'm not OCD, I just have a perfectionist streak in me. Having been behind development/fixes for this mod, I have an advantage here. In essence you just merge two models together, the basic RHW piece and El-Rail piece, into a single model with both parts. In practise that means finding the pieces, making sure they are rotated correctly, before merging them using Model Tweaker.



I have templates for doing such work too. I may only need one model for this situation, but since I'm here, I made all the L1 RHW-2 x ML El-Rail crossings.

Catalyst's RHW T21 mod
 
Perhaps less obvious than the others, but a great indicator of my pickiness. The original mod only covers the base Ortho/Diagonal pieces. So I had to make some new T21s to add them onto the diagonal junctions/ramps. I won't go into T21s here, except to say it's simply a lot, but one which is "attached" to a network tile. In this case making the T21s was quite tricky, it took considerable effort to line some of them up correctly. In total, it took 16 new T21s to cover both the RHW-4 Diagonal A1 and B1 ramps. In addition, it also required a new offset prop and converting all the original props to RTK#-xm type.

"And now for the hair washing bit..."

If that doesn't mean anything to you, let me try to clarify. Every model in SC4 has a unique ID, when a prop, building or whatever references this ID, it uses a property called RTK or Resource Type Key. A special requirement for T21s means that props will not show on mirrored/flipped pieces unless a duplicate RTK XM property exists.

In reader, simply copy/paste a duplicate of the original RTK property. Then double click to open it, click the drop-down box "Name" and select the equivalent RTK#xm property, apply and close. Where # = the RTK Type number (0-4). If you want a detailed explanation of RTK types, see this page on the SC4D wiki.

Roundabouts

The OWR (OneWayRoad) roundabouts used to connect the motorway to the roads show arrows on the MIS pieces. I have the NAM mod that removes them from the other textures, but this isn't working for the RHW connections. As you might expect, I spent a lot of time trying to fix this, but honestly, I couldn't work out how to do it. Easy solution; I Photoshopped the problem away in the final image. It's a bit of a cheat, I do like to avoid editing my SC4 images. But I make exceptions for minor annoyances like this.

Not bad then, 3 out of 4 of my niggles fixed permanently.

Update Feb 17: Let's make that 4 out of 4... I found the OWR arrows in the Maxis DATs, replaced them with transparent textures, now all of them are gone forever. Warning: the attached patch will make it hard to know which direction your OWR networks are going. I'd advise using the "Drawpaths" cheat, but this patch takes them all out, permanently.

However, you may notice that neither the motorway lights nor the sound barriers were present in the development shot. Having fixed up my main problems, I started to work on adding details into the scene. But in keeping with the theme, once more I wasn't entirely satisfied. So time for some more modding, although this time just lotting really.

Sound Barriers

It's been a while since I used sound barriers, after becoming unhappy with the scale/design of many of them. Looking at the bare interchange, including the surrounding zoning, sound barriers were a logical addition. I briefly toyed with the idea of making a new UK set, but did a search on Google beforehand. I'm glad I did though, because I found this great set by SFBT.

I replaced the original trees with seasonal trees by Girafe. I also switched the textures to better match my games setup. In particular, switching from the original families, the trees on the diagonals were too repetitive. In the long run, I plan to make flora families to resolve this problem without increasing the number of menu items.

Light Replacement Mod

I placed the diagonal lights and really liked the effect. But the lots with grass all had trees and flora upon them. Being unseasonal, I simply decided to remove them completely. Partly out of a desire to be quick, but also because trees in the median is a safety issue and a bit crowded, I didn't add new ones. Not to mention, I can always MMP some into place if I really wanted them. Although I opted for some smaller shrubs and flora instead. Once more I needed to alter the textures on the lots too.



So there you have it. I hope however that you've enjoyed reading about how I approach the game. This has been a tiny insight into the development of my cities and how modding is a fundamental part of the process for me. I am frequently distracted by the need to mod everything, so much so I find it hard to really play. As soon as I’ve fixed something, I continue building and bump into the next problem. Then it's back to modding my game once more.

You might not think this way of playing is much fun, but I really enjoy fixing things. The issue comes trying to keep it up for long periods. It's only now for example, after many years of such efforts, that my game is really starting to become what I envisioned originally. There is still so much work to do however. Not to mention so many buildings and potential new features I'd like to make too. Between those and my commitments to the NAM team and to the greater community, sometimes I go a long time without playing the game. But playing the game is instrumental to my motivation to keep fixing and improving it. A little off-topic, but I don't mind stating here, I've adopted a slightly more selfish attitude of late. I realised that if I didn't dedicate some time to getting something out of the game personally, I was simply going to end up burnt out and needing a long break from SC4. So I've put a lot of effort recently into improving my game, this snippet of that I'm sharing here.

Right now, I've taken this idea and put a lot of time into brining you what is really just one image. As previously mentioned, this is really a trial to see if there is an audience for this kind of thing. I simply don't have enough places to show off to make a typical MD and update it frequently. But semi-regular updates each covering a given scene, such as I have done here, is something I could commit to. So if a kind of development-based MD, including explanations of how to mod things appeals to you. Not forgetting tips, tricks and potentially step-by-step guides too. Well please take the time to let me know with a comment or like. So long as there is some interest in such a thing, I'd enjoy sharing with you all what I'm doing and am considering starting one.

And one last thing, since I don't like to hoard things, I've attached the ML El-Rail fixes and Additions for Catalyst's mod for you to enjoy in your game too.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 07:07:11 AM by mgb204 »

Offline APSMS

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Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #217 on: December 15, 2016, 02:38:41 PM »
Very interesting read, and of course the extra goodies are nice too!

One niggle: Mandlesoft's name is Maarten, not Marteen. I only remember because I kept wanting to spell it Martin, but he's Dutch, not American/British.
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Offline tigerbuilder

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #218 on: December 15, 2016, 03:51:02 PM »
I think this is a great idea. I would be a eager follower. Usually I read all of your posts, they contain great ideas and knowledge. Thanks for sharing all that you do.

Cheers, tiger

Offline brick_mortimer

Re: MGB's Mods and other stuff
« Reply #219 on: December 16, 2016, 03:56:44 AM »
This is really interesting.
Thanks for showing us some insight in what you do  :thumbsup:
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