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DAMN menus vs. MML

Started by z, September 27, 2008, 09:34:55 PM

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Which would you like in future versions of RTMT?  Please see the first and last posts before voting.

DAMN menus only
24 (53.3%)
13 (28.9%)
Either option would be OK
8 (17.8%)

Total Members Voted: 45


MMLs are rather easy to make, it's just a bit time consuming as you have to collect a copy of every building exemplar file, and the IDs of said exemplar files for the LUA script. With some 150+ lots, this will take a while. ;)


unless a SSPTool+DAMNplugin like plugin is created?
Copperminds and Cuddleswarms


Well, any automated tool would speed up the process greatly. :) I'd say if said tool will allow you all lots that should be included in an MML Mod, creating the necessary file could be done within a second or two, needing only two or three clicks. But I'm not a programmer, so those are just guesses. ;)


Quote from: Andreas on April 03, 2009, 01:56:15 PM
MMLs are rather easy to make, it's just a bit time consuming as you have to collect a copy of every building exemplar file, and the IDs of said exemplar files for the LUA script. With some 150+ lots, this will take a while. ;)

Andreas, in RTMT V3 (and I guess it's gonna be the same in V4 too) it's actually much simpler, ie you don't need to make copies of every building exemplar, as all have a common parent cohort; the MML plugin only contains an override of this cohort. And this make maintenanc much easier, ie if you want to change sth for a sepecific station, you don't need to update the MML as well. The same technique can be used for the (DAMN) plugin that hides menu icons, though not in DAMN itself (it has to be updated as new stations are being added).


Yes, the parent cohort is retained in V4.  And fortunately, not all 150+ stations are going to appear at once.  $%Grinno$%  So it seems that a version of JoeST's multiple option installer will be able to provide everyone with what they want - DAMN plus overrides for those who are comfortable with DAMN and (optionally) plan to use a large fraction of the different types of RTMT stations, and plain menus/MML for others.  It will take a bit of designing to figure out the optimal way to implement this second option.

Meanwhile, can someone either point me to a post explaining how the DAMN menu overrides work, or simply explain them briefly?  Thanks!

And it's good to hear from you, Orion!  You've brought up an important point, and as there are bound to be others who feel the same way, it will be addressed, and you won't have to miss out on V4.


Z, there is a whole thread in Daeley's section of the BSC team sub board on DAMN.  What do you want to know?


Yes, before my last post, I searched there for "override" but didn't find anything.  So that's all I wanted to know - how you turn off the regular menus when using the DAMN menus.


Ahhh, yes.. that was a trade secret.  ;)  J/K we just weren't sure it wouldn't cause any issues, but it appears not to.

You need to make a copy of each of the building exemplars from the lots and save them into a new DAT to preserve the original, then remove from each exemplar the lot resource key.  This will leave the lots fully functional and available to plop through DAMN but remove them from your maxis menu.


If there is indeed a "stupid news mod" that blocks the unwanted news, couldn't there also be a "all news blocker" mod that would block all pop-ups *except* the DAMN menu?  wouldn't that completely solve the problem?


That's possible, but I don't know enough about that aspect of the game to say for sure.  As Diggis said to me when I first asked about the stupid news mod, "that question is probably best placed in the DAMN thread, not here."

Also, I don't think that would completely solve the problem, as there seem to be some people who simply don't like DAMN.  But it would certainly be helpful.


More data, more questions.

First of all, I would like to revise my last estimate of the eventual total of RTMT stations, based both on what has been released by the NAM Team since then, and what is currently planned.  Previously, I had said that I that there would be somewhat more than 150 stations.  It is now clear that if we support the networks that are complete, in progress, or extremely likely to be built, we will have at least twice that number of stations, and maybe much more than that.

Fortunately, building stations is not that hard; I find it getting simpler all the time.  I also plan to train some of the team members in the full range of station-building skills so that this can go much faster.  (The current bottleneck is the amount of time I have to build stations, not how long it takes to build them.)

That being said, I would like to revisit the issue of DAMN menus vs. MML one more time, with some additional information.

First of all, it seems to me that having literally hundreds of RTMT icons in a flat menu would be unmanageable for virtually any user.  (Any disagreement here?)  The only alternative here would be to have different portions of RTMT selectable at installation time.  But that would require a lot more work to implement, and would require keeping all the different parts of RTMT separate, which would increase maintenance work significantly.  With our finite resources, this means that new development would also be slowed.  Furthermore, as the number of RTMT stations and NAM features increases, the majority of people are going to want more stations, and saving a few or even a few dozen is not going to make a flat menu system significantly more usable.  And as recent polls on the NAM Board have shown, if a feature exists, people tend to use it.

The additional information that I mentioned has to do with the biggest objection people have had to using only DAMN menus in the past, namely that it requires leaving the advisor popups turned on.  This is still true, as that is how DAMN menus work.  However, I have looked at the inside of the "stupid news mod" mentioned above, and have also looked at how the advisor popups are implemented.  Each piece of advice has a different severity level; certain severity levels can be disabled as an option.  Each piece of advice can also be flagged so that it shows up only in the bottom window and not as a popup; in this way, it doesn't disturb the running of the game.  So as an option, popups could be reduced to next to nothing while still running DAMN.  (The My Sims feature also has popups, but since you have to actively use this feature to get them, I wouldn't plan to do anything to it.  Does this sound OK?)

This being the case, if this option is available, are there still any strong objections to having the menu system DAMN-only?  The initial set of DAMN menus (including those for stations in beta testing) is almost complete, and they work great.  They are quite easy to use.  These menus can easily accommodate all the stations we would ever have.

I am going to reset the poll at the top of this thread so that people can vote again, using this new information.  I think that both the players and the RTMT developers (which means, in turn the players) will benefit greatly from a system using only DAMN menus.  If you still have an objection to them, please state it below.  And in any case, please vote in the poll. Thanks!


Oh awesome, hiding the pop ups would be excellent, could you release it as a separate mini-mod?

And I dont think I ever had qualms about DAMN menus, especially if you can hide the icons from the game menus as well :D

Copperminds and Cuddleswarms


Somehow I expect there are times when MML's are best and times when DAMN's are best. As I rarely use the RTMT sets, I can't say.. however if one used them they certainly would be used quite often throughout the building of a city.. What that means in terms of which would be best, I can't for certain say. I use MML's very often however and I'd say that for anything that you will be using frequently and repeatedly that they aren't the best choice.. I haven't used the DAMN so I can't speak to that.


Quote from: JoeST on August 28, 2009, 03:20:47 AM
Oh awesome, hiding the pop ups would be excellent, could you release it as a separate mini-mod?

I've actually been thinking of doing that; I'm sure a lot of people would like that.  But if you don't use DAMN, is that really any better than just using the built-in game option?  Maybe I should just offer this to Daeley as an option for DAMN.

Another option is to create a few of these option packs.  One would have no popups.  Another would show only URGENT messages ("Nuclear plant about to explode!").  There are HIGH messages ("Tax Trouble: Small Stores Closing Doors"), MED_HIGH ("Crowded Crooks Reported Ready to Riot"), and MEDIUM ("City has Gaps in Police Coverage").  So a complete set  of these option packs could be created, both for RTMT, and as a separate download on the LEX.  Would people like that?

Meanwhile, people have voted for keeping both MMLs and DAMN, but no one has explained why.  :(   I hope it's clear that MMLs mean keeping the original menu system; it's easy enough to implement DAMN without the original menus without using MMLs.  Anyway, for now, it looks like we'll continue keeping the original menus.  That part is easy enough to do.  But unless someone can put up a convincing argument otherwise, it's just going to be one long menu with one MML.  There would have to be a really good reason to do something that would require a lot more work than that.

EDIT:  I almost forgot.  I think that the obvious name for this mod would be the "No News Is Good News" mod. :)


I just made the interesting discovery that the DAMN menus can still be used with the Urgent Advice Dialogs option turned off.  If you click on the new flipper, you get the standard news window.  If you then click on the option to open additional submenus, you don't get a separate popup box.  But the submenus do open right at the top of the news box.  You can descend levels and do everything you can do with the popup box.  It works a little differently, as the style of the news box is mixed in there, but it's trivial to figure out, and nothing is lacking.  I was not aware this this was possible.

We're going to go ahead and create the "No News Is Good News" mod anyway, as the larger popup box is a bit easier to work with.


People who work with the Urgent Advice Dialogs turned off may wish to take a look at my Bigger News Window mod, as it makes working with DAMN menus much easier in that environment.