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May 19, 2022, 09:36:42 AM

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Ilive reader question

Started by deanva, July 11, 2021, 03:14:33 PM

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Is there a particular file extension that the Ilive reader uses to make changes in the Simcity 4 game? I made a lot about 9/10 years ago and tried to change the name in the game it was an amusement park ride and is listed as "open grass area" in the game menu. I followed the procedure i found on here but still will not change in the game.  I do not have the original BAT file only ones I have are in this screen shot. Am I doing something wrong?


ilive's Reader can open any file with an EA/Maxis DBPF header--that typically includes .dat, .SC4Model, .SC4Lot, and .SC4Desc files.  The .SC4Desc files are most likely the ones you want here, though it looks like, for some reason, you currently have that file extension associated with Gmax, which would not be able to open them.

The file you'd want to look to change inside each .SC4Desc file would be the LTEXT file.  That's the one that displays the in-game text.  If there isn't one, it's going to default to whatever is listed as the "Exemplar Name" property in the exemplar file.  If there is an associated LTEXT, there should be a "User Visible Name Key" property in the exemplar, with the TGI address of the LTEXT file.



The best way to make sure that the desired name shows up in the menu is using PIM-X for naming it. Put the file(s) into a subfolder of your Plugins folder (i. e. SimCity 4\Plugins\Magic Carpet Ride), then open PIM-X and select the desired folder. In the list on the left, you should be able to find your lot(s), click on them and then add the LTEXT files for name and description via right-click (I can't remember the exact menu entry for them right now, but you can add LTEXT files for one or more languages with this option). PIM-X will then create the proper User Visible Name Key and LTEXTs to the lot file (don't forget to save before closing the program again).


^Yes, I'd second Andreas' suggestion here.  While you can do it in the Reader, PIM-X is a much less daunting tool which can take care of this more easily.




Should I also delet the older files of the same item would that help also?


I would bear in mind that if your lot is showing Open Grass Area, that's because it was copied from the Open Grass Area "Building" when it was created. Making lots in the original Lot Editor usually requires copying an existing lot and using Save As to make a new instance of it. The problem with this process is that it copies lots of Properties that may not be relevant to your lot. In this case, the User Visible Name Key and Item Description Key values look to have been among them. You can't simply add or change the LText file for these, without affecting every other lot that has the same ID or value for these Keys. The best thing to do would be to open the file in Reader, remove those properties and add Item Name and Item Description, which you can then populate with the text you actually want to appear. You could keep the linked LTexts, literally an LText is another file type that contains a text string, but there is no great benifit for most use cases for having one, unless you plan to offer multiple translations (why LTexts exist to begin with). However, you would need to create two new LText files, give them unique IDs and then alter the IDs (Properties) of the User Visible Name Key and Item Description Key values in your Building Exemplar. PIM-X can not do this for you.

Frankly, if you want to avoid all this technical stuff, the best solution is to start over and create a new Lot using PIM-X. That way it won't have all those undesirable copied values attached, you only need to create the new Building and Lot, then remove everything except the Building from the Lot. You can then use PIM-X to Copy/Paste everything else from the old Lot, to your new replacement one, so you don't have to add and move all your Props/Textures once more. If you open a LotConfig in PIM-X, it lists all the items upon the Lot at the bottom of such Exemplars, selecting items there and right clicking offers you the Copy/Paste options. It's relatively straightforward after you've done it once or twice. But if you need more detailed instructions, just ask.