July 31, 2015 2 Comments
NAM 33’s pre-release has been live for a couple days now (if you haven’t already picked it up, it’s on the SC4 Devotion LEX), and probably the biggest new addition to it is that there’s a lot of old puzzle pieces that have been given not just FLEX, but fully draggable counterparts. One of the biggest areas where this has happened is with the RHW ramp interfaces, as a result of the Extended Draggable Ramp Interface (EDRI) project, spearheaded by my colleague GDO29Anagram (which has also led to a substantial upgrade to the FLEXRamp system). The draggable ramp interfaces, or DRIs, have been around since the RHW 4.0 release that coincided with NAM 28 in 2010, but things were pretty limited then–only A1 and B1 ramps were available. But NAM 33 blows the doors open with this functionality. If you haven’t yet seen it in action, he’s been demonstrating its capabilities in a series of NAM 33 Pre-Release videos, the first of which can be found here.
With this development, and the long-awaited upgrade to the FLEXFly system (the result of amazing optimization and memo‘s MetaRUL advances), it is actually possible to build RHW interchanges–tight ones, no less–using nothing but draggable and FLEX components, which is a pretty substantial milestone. The Show Us Your Interchanges thread over at Simtropolis, starting partway down Page 121, has some particularly impressive specimens, and in particular, these by member kingofsimcity, really show off what you can now do.
With the upgrades to the DRIs and FLEXRamps, all but 5 of the 56 pieces in the old puzzle-based RHW Ramps button have been superseded with new implementations, and there’s dozens of new options–including at least one ramp interface for every elevated RHW network (except the L1 and L2 RHW-3). Plans are already afoot to make DRIs and FLEXRamps out of the remaining 5 (the RHW-10S D2 and E2 ramps, and 3 “split” and “shift” ramps involving the RHW-6C), and we’re also taking a look at the Type C and F ramps that involve the Fractional Angle RHWs.
There’s also some similar changes in planning to extend this sort of technology to other aspects of the RHW and other popular and up-and-coming NAM components, with the goal of making some features that previously seemed perplexing much more accessible to the whole of our userbase. eggman121, who has been played a particularly critical role in NAM 33 development, is already going on NAM 34 functionality, showcasing the future FlexTrack system that will eventually make its way into the RealRailway (RRW) plugin. More developments of this type are on the horizon–keep an eye on our official development forum at SC4 Devotion, as well as here at SimTarkus for more details.
The goal with the NAM 33 Pre-Release is to provide an accessible way for a wider user base to experience what we’ve been up to since our last release, and help us produce a more polished “official” release for NAM 33 in the very near future. If you find any issues with the Pre-Release, or have any questions about it, we have our official support forum for it here. Thanks to everyone who has already picked it up and given us valuable feedback about it, and stay tuned for the exciting next steps in NAM development.