Basin And Range 2-maps CIC build Size 13 -18

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Re: Basin And Range 2-maps CIC build Size 13 -18

Post by TMILLER » Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:38 pm

Lowell, Great Map!! Played it all the way through and completed all VCs 9 years early on Investor Level with Basin $$. Nice Landscape, Rolling Stock, and Event Pics. No startup or crashing problems and games saved OK . With all the powerful engines it makes sense that this should be a large map like this size 18. One minor problem. . . when I bought an AC4400 engine a display popped up saying “ not found”. I checked the files and found this file misspelled “”. You may want to fix this, the engine texture looks a little flat around the trucks and it may look better once the game can find this file.

I read through your comments on this thread and found them interesting, too. You mentioned that you started the map with Sat Data (presumably a digital elevation map DEM) but you ended up painting the map by hand. I had this same problem with my Japan map. I wasted days trying to get the DEM map to work during game play. Apparently DEMs either have pixel to pixel elevation differences greater than the game can handle or artifacts that foul-up the game. Screen resolution during game play is a lot higher than the 72 ppi of the map tga file, and the game must use some smoothing algorithms to create the high-resolution look during game play. Also there can only be 256 different elevations in the map (i.e. max shades of gray) while the DEM may have more. One thing I noticed in your map.tga file, your rivers show up in the third panel as blue on a white background, while in all my maps this panel is just a white field. Similarly, your rivers show up as white on a blue background in the sixth panel while mine are always fully blue. I guess this results from changing water color during map painting in the Terrain Editor?

As great as this map is, it is not very challenging to make all VC deliveries. Basically I had all the tracks laid and trains running that were needed half way through the game, requiring only 12 trains and 8000 miles of track. I then had to wait out the rest of the game to see that VCs were met. The last goal met was Arms to Poison Mesa. It takes 200 carloads of steel to yield 80 carloads of arms (ratio 1:0.4) with long hauls for the taconite, pellets, steel, and arms, so it takes a while. I would suggest you either reduce all Era 2 goals by half and reduce the Era 2 time by half or add some more goals - maybe gold, food, autos and/or paper, all of which are already in the game but have no delivery goals. I like your idea concerning the distribution center receiving and shipping more goods, too. If you increased the inputoutput ratio for steel to arms, then this goal could be reached sooner and the steel diverted to auto production. Raising the inputoutput ratio for autos to scrap from 0.3 to 0.6 would also allow more steel to be used to produce autos, after meeting the arms goal, more steel would be available for auto production. Shipping gold to Poison Mesa with separate goals to ship autos to 3 or 4 cities across the map would increase the difficulty of the map, but game play and track laying may get slow. That may be the reason Choobacca did not have too many VC goals.

The rolling stock looks great except for the mfg goods car which is a short box car. These box cars look too small especially when being pulled by a large modern engine. See my screen shot below. I would suggest replacing it with one of Slider38s large box cars from his new Lake Michigan West map. The Santa Fe refer is short too but it looks so good I would not change it (see pic). I have included a few other screen shots for my run of Basin and Range.

I now understand your CIC file structure. I had looked at your files before but did not understand all the repeated file names, but now I see the master files contain the detailed info while the localized files contain only variable name and location data. I guess this file structure limits the number of files loaded into memory at the beginning of the game to only those needed for the map and no others. Right? I can see where this could be an advantage, but it is a little more work to create all the xml files. It may be worth it if the map plays faster, with fewer crashes.
Goods Headed for Cathedral Valley.jpg

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Re: Basin And Range 2-maps CIC build Size 13 -18

Post by Lowell » Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:53 pm

Using the DEM colors that will come with making a new landscape…I have found that the pixels are different sizes from what the game places on the landscape when you use the paints that are in the game’s editor. This land map was already made by Choobacca and Big Pappa some years back, I had some minor input at the time. What I did was expand the size…paint the landscape all one color…then repainted and landscaped the whole thing over again. The original size 13 map when playing…the landscape would tear and the tracks would be floating on air as the ground would disappear. Well I just couldn’t stand it any longer…I knew what needed done and rebuilt everything. There were some doubled-up files in the original maps files as to the train engines because they used several “folders” to place all the new content in…well there were doubled items within a couple folders…so I placed all assets in one big folder. I found some of the engines had norm instead of nrml, looks like I may have missed one or left it norm instead of nrml…thought I had changed that I will fix that right away. I rebuilt all the nif’s and such because many of the engines had “tears” on their skins. After renaming everything to match and removing any double files…there was one double for the AC4400 I think or it may have been the F units…the engines skins looked normal. I have some screen shots as to the fixes for those.

The white areas in the TGA are for color “tints.” These blue tints in this case will shine through the games main colors…sort of like using different colors of tissue paper and overlapping them. So in this case…the river basin gets a blue haze added to it’s ground color. The blue area is for Shorelines. This will instruct the game for certain water effects during game play. I made those by reversing the gray scale on the heightmap till the black water areas only showed up. Then copy paste over each and touchup as needed. If you zoom in super close and look at the riverbanks you will see a slight blue tinge…that is from the Tints (white) square on the tga.

Now the scenario goals are those that were set by Choobacca and Big Pappa…so I really did not want to spoil their scenario…only make it larger, fix what was broken and make it into a CIC or single file drop and play map. I added the extra funds to offset the larger size and extra track needed. Maybe I added too much money? They made the ratio for goods in and out and I did not want to change what they had set. I think their idea was not to flood the scenario with goals. Gold isn’t even a requirement that I remember and there could be more added for sure.

@Karsten…did I add too much extra money for this scenario? When you played it last what were your thoughts?

When I play this I send all city goods to all cities, which I end up with four and five tracks side by side to get this done. I know many only supply goods to one or two cities to meet goods goals and might not even ship food to some cities…they only rush into meeting the goals and not look at playing the game as every city needs all goods listed.

As to the games xml lists…you are correct in your thoughts. When you make a new map in the game editor, it places certain items on certain lists. Global information say about a given industry will go on the main list…then the “game” will place that industries placement on the land map on the scenario xml list. The game will stagger…frame rates go down if it has to look for a missing file and/or crash. So I follow how the game wants things presented, as the game editor will do. Build your files and list items as I have and you will never have a crash again…those days are gone for me. I know everyone else wants to place everything as to new content on “only” global files and skip the scenario xml list…but I will never change to all global lists as I have had crashes and troubles with Florida Gold as it now has more trains and cars than this scenario and is now super huge…but still plays at 60fps all the way through…and I mean I have played the F/G scenario for up to eighteen hours and fifty five engines pulling cars everywhere…the game screams even then and runs 60fps.

I will change that AC4400 nrml listing today and re-up the files…no biggie. I also downloaded your Southeast map and will see what I can find on your trouble there today.

Thanks for all the input guys, wish I could contact Choobacca or Big Pappa, but I am sure they would approve with this rebuild.

Look at the image below...look close at the water. The big ripples and the "blue" shine on the surface...that is where the tint map and shoreline are good for.

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Re: Basin And Range 2-maps CIC build Size 13 -18

Post by Lowell » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:58 am

Okay…the normal dds file for the ac4400’s typo is fixed. Files re-loaded…same link.

You know, I have made a new scenario from this. I called it Basin Fuels, adding fuel from oil plus other VC’s added as well. Not sure where I left off with that one as I paused and moved to Florida gold’s upgrade. Oh I do know I placed a distrabution center in the center of the basin fuel map, allowing all goods in and out.

Unless the extra money needs changed...this project is complete. So far I just call it Basin & Range LM18 for lower mountains size 18 for the lack of a better name.

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Re: Basin And Range 2-maps CIC build Size 13 -18

Post by karsten » Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:39 am

I applaud your decision to conclude this project. :D

It is all too easy to spoil a good map by adding all sorts of marginal quests. This map evokes the emptiness of desert territory, if well played, and that is how it should be.

In addition, I think the original authors will most appreciate a careful, minimalist approach to updating their baby, with modernization changes limited to clear value added. 8)

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Re: Basin And Range 2-maps CIC build Size 13 -18

Post by ButchG » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:48 pm


I can not run this map at all. I can run the original and I can
run any SAM maps off of SMRSIMPLE's Map Database.
I can't get this to run to save my life, and I would really like
to run this. The larger map size calls my name, it calls to me.
Any chance you could revisit this map and get it to SAM
standards? Please?

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