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Author Topic: NAM 37 Release Candidate - General Information  (Read 3878 times)

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Offline Tarkus

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NAM 37 Release Candidate - General Information
« on: April 23, 2020, 07:34:38 AM »


The NAM Team is pleased to announce the public pre-release of the 37th edition of the Network Addon Mod, NAM 37.

The NAM 37 Release Candidate is not the final, full release version of NAM 37, which will come later, but is instead designed to give the general public an opportunity to try out the new features and improvements, and provide feedback and report any issues that may arise, allowing us to produce a better final product.  This subforum is designed specifically for such purposes.

Note that this version has major, substantial changes in terms of file architecture and installation procedure.

Disclaimer

Release Candidates are not finished products.  While the team engaged in an extremely lengthy alpha testing phase (11 builds, this is Build 12) and has attempted to iron out any glaring instabilities, some issues may still be present.

Please note that the documentation has not yet been updated.

NAM 36 will remain available for the time being, but the NAM Team will be focused forward, on improving the NAM 37 Release Candidate into a finalized build of NAM 37, rather than on addressing any concerns with NAM 36.

Availability

The NAM 37 Release Candidate (RC) build is hosted here at SC4 Devotion, on the LEX. 

This Release Candidate marks the introduction of the NAM's new cross-platform Java-based installer, designed by daeleyPlease ensure that you have the latest version of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed.

Download Link
SC4D LEX (Cross-Platform)

Release Notes
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. Failure to patch the game accordingly may cause Crash-to-Desktop (CTD) errors. 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. It is recommended, particularly with this Release Candidate, 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.

Features List

  • The NAM has switched over to a new Java-based installer designed by <strong>daeley</strong>, 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 Railshould download the separate Maxis Rail Legacy Plugin, when it becomes available.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A new bridge has been added for the NWM's NRD-4 network.

Installation

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 is loose in the folder (and in the "feature-guides", "images", and "old" folders--this 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).</p>
            
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 (under "Setup") allows one to remove any residual files from old NAM releases, and pre-NAM transit mods that might cause conflicts, and is loaded with the old Cleanitol list that shipped with 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 the note in the "Read First" document, which is also attached to this post.

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

And thank you to all the members of the SC4 community for their patience, through this record-long development cycle, and for the continued support of the NAM Team, now (as of the 24th) in its 16th year of operation!

-The NAM Team