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September 25, 2021, 10:29:48 AM

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Author Topic: RealRailway (RRW) - Development and Support  (Read 519643 times)

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Offline mgb204

Re: RealRailway (RRW) - Development and Support
« Reply #1640 on: September 21, 2021, 04:55:49 PM »
Just to add to Tibi's comments, the switch from Rail to RRW is not a cosmetic one, although there is a cosmetic change at the heart of it. RRW is a totally new way of thinking about Rail and is now the only option we support, there is no going back. Technically the plan is to release the a special NAM Lite, without RRW and other features, but not only is this not yet a thing, but that also means you will never get all the RRW/HRW/R-HSR goodies, which trust me from reading your post, I'm confident you really want.

One change under the hood, is that Rail now uses a totally new ID scheme, T21s (that's the type of mod that adds those Catenaries), as based on said IDs. In other words, any mod not designed for RRW, will not have the RRW IDs and therefore few, if any, of the T21s will display. But that's not such a big deal, Rivit's RUM for RRW includes a set that is likely more comprehensive than any you'd have had for Maxis rail, even if it's not complete.

I would urge you and anyone else (because this comes up a lot), to try to give the new RRW textures a chance, they may not feel urban enough, but that's not really the case. Fact is, viewed from above, that is how all the rail lines look round these parts (Frankfurt, Germany), if you go on Google Maps or similar, you will see this is true in most places. Shiny rails are an illusion, based upon the angle upon which you look at them. Willy (RRW's creator and a Train Driver), wanted them to look realistic as he saw them. But they've taken a lot of harsh criticism because I suspect, most people simply dislike change.

As a direct result of these complaints, I worked with Eggman and Rivit to find a compromise, which is the RRW Reskin project. Anyone can download a repository of textures, use three custom textures to represent the Rail, Sleeper and Ballast colours they want, then using GoFSH create a custom variant automatically, no texture experience (or real work) required. Those who make custom sets are then free to upload them as cosmetic texture options, which anyone can use. I will note however, outside of the three project members and one other, no one has. This has been ready for years, it feels like it's been largely ignored and it took a lot of work to make it happen. Long and short, if you don't like the textures, change them, it's literally never been so easy.

You mention another oft-commented feature, like a SAM for Rail, being able to use more than one style of Rail Textures. This is very unlikely to ever happen, it's not as simple to do this for Rail as it was for SAM. Bearing in mind too, SAM is a very small subset of what Streets can do, it's just not practical.

So just as before, you are limited to one style of 'Heavy' Rail. What is new is the Hybrid Rail Project, a special type of rail that allows both Monorail and Rail to run along it. Right now monorail is L2 only and clunky, HSR is better but was never hugely developed. There are plans underway to create a Real High Speed Rail replacement, which will run both on the ground and elevated and when that happens, things will really kick off. So the idea is, you can have your fast long distance lines (R-HSR), dedicated local rail links (RRW) and in those places (urban areas typically) where they come together, they can use the hybrid system (HRW). At present the HRW is also supported by the RRW Reskin, I believe the same is planned for R-HSR too. In this sense, it will be possible to have inter-mingled rail, using one of three different (or identical) textures, each easily customisable if you want.

It is worth noting too, in SC4 due to the constraints of the game, Light Rail is completely separate from Rail and Monorail. However, Light Rail would more accurately fit the sort of urban commuter train systems, than heavy rail. NAM includes expanded El-Rail, which can connect to complex Tram (GLR) systems and use the subway network too. But Heavy Rail and Light Rail systems don't intermix well, except running separate lines and dedicated station types right now, I don't see plans to change this.

The specific catenaries that Eggman shows in some screenshots are unlikely to be added for RRW, simply because there are too many RRW pieces to cover and the workload is ridiculous for one person to do all that, whilst still developing the rail networks. But as ever, there is no technical reason stopping any of this being added by someone in future.

I hope the above helps to fill in some of the history which would otherwise take you about 20-30 pages of reading in this and other threads. I and most of the NAM team genuinely believe RRW is a far better future for rail and we've done all we can to make it as flexible as possible. But yes, you are going to have to say goodbye to the Maxis textures to come on-board. Otherwise, the only things you might loose are features that never existed until RRW came along having catenaries on them.

Offline ulisse99

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Re: RealRailway (RRW) - Development and Support
« Reply #1641 on: September 21, 2021, 05:00:58 PM »
So after some 4 or 5 years, I recently got back into SC4 after the release of NAM42 and the whole transition from puzzle pieces to flex has me a little confused. Endless lockdown here in Australia has also contributed.

I'm seeing all these incredible videos of RRW / HRW (specifically in Eggman's tech demo videos) with awesome bed textures and concrete sleepers, all draggable from various flex pieces using the normal DTR railway, and figured they'd be a fantastic replacement for my somewhat dated pylons-with-no-wires mod on top of HD-ified Maxis textures in the metro areas. The standard NAM RRW textures with no overheads are perfect for rural and semi-rural stuff. Unfortunately in making the update to NAM42, my draggable railways no longer have pylons / catenaries. But even with the HRW flex pieces, I can only seem to drag the now-standard brown DTR with no wires out from the concrete-sleeper HRW flex pieces.

Eggman, I notice in videos of yours from 2018 and 2019 (and even images back in 2013, when you first displayed the overhead wires concept!!) that your draggable rail has incredibly realistic textures, way better than the standard HRW textures and far more metro-appropriate that RRW, but as per the RRW thread intro, different textures have never been planned for this part of the NAM.

The closest I can figure is the HRW, and even then I can't seem to make it happen without manually going along, removing the original track and plopping down the flex piece, which largely defeats the purpose of the flex pieces replacing puzzle pieces! Even plopping the HRW pieces OVER the standard track doesn't replace them with the concrete sleepers and overhead wires. I can't find any videos on the subject, most of the NAM content on YouTube focuses on RHW.

Is it a case of the textures and draggable catenaries stuff shown in your in-game videos hasn't made it into the NAM as of #42, or is it stricly in ploppable format for now... or have I got something very basic, completely wrong?? I've checked the usual suspects including removing the z___NAM folder and the associated catenary mod files and folders... the HRW documentation is also yet to be written and I imagine writing that would be almost as big a project as the HRW/RRW itself!

at this stage, my options are to return to the old, old Maxis rail textures with catenaries but no wires and limited functionality for metro areas, or have the brown rail in cities with no catenaires as I can't get my head around this HRW, and the current grey skin is too dark and low contrast to stand out from my landscape textures. I can't even get STR happening! I feel like there's been this incredible development in the railways of SC4 as part of the NAM and yet I'm somehow stuck with fewer realism options than I had 5 years ago.

Eggman, what is happening in your videos, in this very thread I believe, from 2 - 3 years ago that I'm missing here in 2021? Apologies in advance if it's a really stupid question, the only 3 HRW buttons in my rail menu are straights, curves and switches and even they have only a few flex pieces each, with no STR. It's not even the combined monorail/rail functionality that I'm missing so much as the realistic look of the railways, sleepers and bed (and, yes, catenaries in the city) in your videos that would fit beautifully in both a metro setting and suburban/semi-rural. Ultimately, I've got about 18 full-size city tiles stitched together in a 32gb photoshop file at zoom level 3, that I'd one day like to cover an entire wall of my house :)


The comments of Tibi and MGB have already explained to you the situation in the railway world of SC4. The only thing I recommend is to follow the thread on the development of HRW.

The only thing I can tell you is that there will be a tutorial on using HRW. But I still can't say the release date of this tutorial

Offline dicko6

Re: RealRailway (RRW) - Development and Support
« Reply #1642 on: September 21, 2021, 10:10:08 PM »
Thanks for the detailed responses Tyberius, mgb and ulisse, itís really filled in a lot, and I do try to read through as much of these threads as I can to avoid asking things that have already been covered, so apologies if youíre repeating things here.

I guess I tend to think of rail systems from a Melbourne perspective, where we have street-level trams in the inner-city, and a broad-gauge railway thatís electrified to a certain point in the suburbs for commuter rail Ė and generally, but not always, has concrete sleepers on the same bed for these high-use areas Ė but then continues on in sets of 1, 2 or 3 tracks without catenaries for freight and regional rail, without the concrete sleepers, which the RRW texture emulates pretty much to perfection. Without the population densities of Europe (which also happens to apply to my SC4 region of about 3 million people) things like dedicated subways or high-speed interstate rail separate from standard railways have never been on the cards here.

It sounds like working on the rail code suffers from not having that ďdirt roadĒ network off which to base the RHW and that makes working on it a bit of a mission.  But to be clear, I certainly donít have a problem with using the brown textures in an urban environment and the lack of ďrail shineĒ (half a pixel or something silly like that) has never bothered me, tbh I never even notice it til reading about it on these forums!

But what has bothered me is that inability to have draggable commuter rail with overhead catenaries. Iím at the point now where I can swap in a plugins folder and get catenaries (you wouldnít really see the wires at the zoom I use) on all non-flex puzzle-piece curves (most of the city I built over the last 15 years, so thereís a lot that doesnít use current-gen mods), leftover maxis rail textures and even the older, slightly-darker-brown RRW textures when Iím screen-shotting city/suburban cities, and simply remove it when doing regional / rural city tiles. They even appear on STR, but for whatever reason I havenít been able to get it happening on the newer NAM42 RRW textures so any time I drag over the older, browner textures or adjust the height of land nearby, the textures switch to the newer, lighter brown and the catenaries disappear. Iím downloading the RUM right now (am surprised it hasnít crossed my path before now given the sheer number of mods Iíve used over the years) and it looks essentially perfect for what I need, and easily removed for those rural areas, so mad thanks for that.

I had read about the texture replacement project some time ago, and while I have had a crack at making my own 3D objects and skins for freeway signs for use in-game before, I was never very successful, and the editing process described, with use of GoFSH and editing the actual files appeared pretty daunting for meÖ I figured Iíd do more harm than good. But that amazing GIF with the cheese and bacon you linked to is exactly what Iím after in a rail mod, and you may have convinced me itís easy enough to try. Even if I can modify just the sleepers-part of the texture to concrete (see image of my local railway in south-eastern Melbourne outer suburbs, where electrification ends), that will be a huge success and more than I couldíve hoped for. Iíve downloaded that sample set attached to your post too, and will do the same if I can make it workÖ it still seems pretty intense when you talk about alpha channels and extracting and compiling DATs but Iíve got some time. Are the other few texture sets you mentioned in these forums? Havenít found anything re. RRW reskin on the LEX or STEX.

Thanks again for responding, itís immensely helpful in place of 1000 pages of instruction manual, and already I can see I wonít be using the HRW for my particular look and feel, and that the RRW is most definitely the way of the future. Iíve been a member of these forums since 2008 and working on my own SC4 Sistene Chapel since í05 and never thought to just ask you guys a question. I canít believe how active the NAM team is on this after all these years!



So it turns out using GoFSH to change the railway textures is significantly less daunting than it appears. After downloading RVT's RRW Retexture Kit (and a bunch of other stuff!) from their dropbox, I simply cropped/resized some google-search texture images in Photoshop to 24bit 128x128 *.bmp's, gave them the appropriate filenames, copy-pasted in the stock maxis textures to fill the gaps in my "Texture Set' folders and now have about 10 different RRW textures to use in various settings throughout my city! Haven't had the chance to test all of them out yet with the RUM catenaries but I reckon I'll actually end up ditching my dedicated airport HSR line and replacing it with viaducts of the more concrete/grey RRW textures, they're that versatile, so much better.

If I understand the process correctly, uploading my own texture sets is as simple as uploading a few tiny Bitmap images in a zip file, which can then be used with GoFSH and RVT's scripts - no understanding of "alpha channels" and the like necessary. It takes a while to compile, but this takes SC4 Railways up to and beyond the RHW in terms of customisability as far as I'm concerned - you guys are legendary and more people need to be talking about this.

Still getting the hang of GoFSH, but it looks like it can be used to import your own custom footpath and adjacent-grass textures too!
« Last Edit: September 22, 2021, 05:27:50 AM by dicko6 »

Offline dicko6

Re: RealRailway (RRW) - Development and Support
« Reply #1643 on: September 22, 2021, 09:27:00 AM »
So having all these new rail textures to play with is amazing! But, when I went to replace my elevated HSR with draggable rail viaducts, I ran into an odd issue - as pictured - it seems the viaduct models aren't textued for some reason (see pic). This is the case for draggable 7.5m as well as 15m puzzle pieces. This wasn't the case before I compiled and changed the textures, so I'm thinking I've missed something, possibly related to GoFSH.

In addition, the catenaries added by the RUM are absent only on the elevated sections, although i think this might be more to do with the fact it's an old mod developed for an earlier version of the NAM.

Any thoughts?

SOLVED: The conflict is due to the presence of the RUM, I hadn't deleted all but one of the viaduct texture files so the game would load the final one in the set, which is clearly a demo texture. I managed to keep the catenaries and choose an appropriate viaduct style, leaving the new GoFSH RRW textures and properly skinned viaducts, but still can't get the catenaries happening on the elevated sections...

UPDATE: Using a combination of the RUM catenaries and plunderer's Catenary Mod v3, with folders renamed to load before the RRW Reskin, I've managed to get catenaries appearing on elevated L2 puzzle pieces... but not draggable ERRW. I also had to delete all but the viaducts and catenaries folders of the RUM in order to prevent the re-emergence of those horrid under-rail dirt blocks. That's as good as it's going to get for now, I've got some RRW textures to make!
« Last Edit: September 23, 2021, 07:35:12 AM by dicko6 »

Offline jeffryfisher

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Re: RealRailway (RRW) / NAM Lite Plan
« Reply #1644 on: September 22, 2021, 12:03:00 PM »
the plan is to release the a special NAM Lite, without RRW and other features...
I thought NAM Lite would only leave out RHW (highway) and its bulky RUL code. RRW replaced Maxis rail some time ago, so if there's no going back, then NAM-Lite would be DOA without it. Or am I misunderstanding something?
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Offline Tarkus

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Re: RealRailway (RRW) - Development and Support
« Reply #1645 on: September 22, 2021, 03:10:54 PM »
There's still no real settled agreement on what would constitute NAM Lite.  I'd say there's a very high probability of some sort of "Simulator Only/Simulator+TSCT Only" package being offered, though likely not until the new version of the NAM Traffic Simulator being spearheaded by LucarioBoricua, known as "Simulator 448", is ready for public consumption.  (Those curious about the new simulator's development can check out this thread.)

The inclusion of the "LowRAM/NoRHW" NAM Controller option in the main NAM installer, beginning with NAM 40, did pretty much curb the demand for a full-minus-RHW NAM package, so any NAM Lite package would likely lie somewhere in between "Simulator Only" and the full-blast NAM, probably closer to the former.  We are still planning to release the mythical "Legacy Maxis Rail" plugin, though whether or not that's bundled in with any NAM Lite package instead of the RRW remains to be seen, and there's still the possibility NAM Lite would use RRW in some form, since we are committed to that specification.


Offline LucarioBoricua

Re: RealRailway (RRW) - Development and Support
« Reply #1646 on: September 23, 2021, 12:56:36 AM »
The tricky part with RealRailway is that, since it replaces the Maxis Rail specifications, all rail development occurring since the mid-NAM 30s has been exclusively for RRW. It doesn't matter much for standalone rail or rail / base network crossings (those already exist), but it matters more for crossings between rail and the networks modded in through the NAM since.

On the topic of a traffic simulator development, we've been intensively testing and iterating variations of the various parameters of this exemplar. We've made some important advances to figure out aspects which weren't well-understood, were misunderstood, or which weren't utilized to their full potential. It won't be ready for deployment as soon as I was initially anticipating, since we're making some profound changes and want to make sure they operate well in a large variety of situations. To be fair, while the thread cited by Tarkus does mention elements which are part of my in-development traffic simulator, it doesn't capture the full picture of the changes we'll be introducing, it's gonna feel rather different, and more intuitive.