The RealHighway Mod (formerly Rural Highway Mod), or as it is perhaps better known, the RHW, is a modification produced by the NAM Team. The RHW is optional, separately-released component for the Network Addon Mod (NAM), and requires the NAM as a dependency. It enables a completely new network that Maxis left unfinished (known internally as DirtRoad), formerly part of the NAM ANT Plugin. Through Override Technology, wider variations of this network, allowing increased capacity, can be created through draggable means, along with Modular Interchange System (MIS) ramp segments.
Over the years, it has expanded from merely being a network intended for primarily rural usage to a largely modular, all-purpose highway.
The most recent iteration, Version 4.1, was released on August 14, 2010, with a minor update coming two days later.
- 1 Project History
- 2 Basic Network Characteristics
- 3 RHW-2
- 4 RHW-4
- 5 RHW-6S
- 6 RHW-6C
- 7 RHW-8
- 8 RHW-10
- 9 MIS Ramps
- 10 Future Networks
- 11 Other Functionality
- 12 Multi-RHW Technique
- 13 Additional Modifications
- 14 History of Releases
- 15 RHW Development Team & Contributors
The RHW project was started as the Rural Highway Mod by qurlix and nooneatall in August 2005, with an initial "public alpha" release, Version 1.2 (also variously called 0.12 and v12--the decimal point has continually moved around during the history of the project), coming in November that same year. qurlix had also planned a couple of other updates at various points, Version 1.5 and Version 1.7, neither of which was released.
Tarkus became involved in the project in October 2006, and took over the project in March 2007 after qurlix's departure from the community. He released a small update, Version 1.3 in April, largely to address compatibility issues between the December 2006 NAM release and RHW Version 1.2, something which the unreleased Version 1.7 was originally intended to fix. With the release of Version 1.3b in June 2007, the RHW became an official NAM Team project.
For the Version 2.0 release, the RULs for the mod were completely re-written to change the RHW from a "side-by-side" override to a Starter Piece setup similar to the then-new Draggable GLR system, coinciding with the incorporation of the Modular Interchange System, which allowed for true RHW interchanges for the first time. During development on Version 2.0, Tarkus expanded the project development team to include texture artists rickmastfan67 and Shadow Assassin (who had provided some graphical work for Version 1.3a and 1.3b), and Big Dig modeler blahdy, but all three of them left during 2008. However, Shadow Assassin returned in July 2009.
A new version, Version 3.0, was released on January 14th, 2009. The new release features the long-awaited RHWs, up to the RHW-10 (five lanes per direction), Elevated RHW-4 and MIS Ramps with models by Swamper77, smoncrie's RHW-2 and RHW-4 bridges, and over 60 puzzle pieces and numerous draggable additions, including the sought-after MIS-to-OWR transition. It also featured a radically re-designed texture set from Tarkus and ardecila. Version 3.2 fixed some path files in Version 3.0, coupled with some RUL Fixes included in the March 2009 NAM.
The next version, Version 4.0, was released in May 2010. Several new developers joined Tarkus and Shadow Assassin in 2009, including Blue Lightning, choco, jmvl and deathtopumpkins. mrtnrln, toja and mtg came aboard in 2010. The default texture set was revamped again by Tarkus for Version 4.0, and blends the "traditional" RHW look with the scaling improvements introduced in the Version 3.0 texture set.
After Version 4.0, the project has gone to a smaller-scale release format, dubbed the "4.x Series". As of the last update of this article, the first, Version 4.1, has been released, incorporating improvements to the FLEXFly system, a new ground-to-elevated MIS Ramp transition, and bugfixes, among other things. Tentative plans for rest of the 4.x series have been revealed as well. The early releases will largely focus on expanding the repertoire of ramp interfaces, transitions and overpasses. The later ones will involve implementation of more "WAVERide" helper piece systems along the lines of FLEXFly, elevated Wider RHWs and the initial groundwork on multi-height ERHW systems, the latter of which is expected to be the "flagship" feature of Version 5.0. swamp_ig joined the development group in June 2010 as a modder and modeler.
Basic Network Characteristics
The RHW network is a Highway-type Network, which means it generally does not allow access to RCI Zones. Due to the "unfinished" state Maxis left it in, it does not have Tunnel capability (One-Way Roads, Avenues or Maxis Highways must be used for workarounds), nor can it show up on the Regional Transportation View. While the tunnel situation seems to be hardcoded, jondor is in the process of developing a new Regional Transportation View Plugin that when completed, will allow the display RHW networks. RHWs can also be bulldozed using the Dezone tool, much like Streets. It is also a 1-tile network, the only such Highway-type network, which makes it particularly conducive to producing Override Networks.
In the current Version 4.1 release, bridges are possible for the RHW-2 and RHW-4 networks, and Wider RHW and MIS bridges are currently under development by choco.
The base network the RHW Network Tool produces is known as the RHW-2 (RHW, 2-lane). It is a 1-tile, 2-lane, 2-way network, much like the Road network, but with a higher capacity and speed. The increase in capacity and speed is dependent on the Traffic Plugin one has installed, but it is generally about twice that of a road. (The "A", "B" or "Z" simulators are recommended for RHW users.)
The RHW-4 is an Override Network of the base RHW-2 network, utilizing a Puzzle-Drag Override to transform the RHW-2, into a 1-tile, 2-lane, 1-way network. It is known as the RHW-4 because the full width of both directions is 4 lanes over 2 tiles, but because it is based on a 1-tile network, the two halves of a full RHW-4 do not need to be adjacent, and can be split, to allow Variable Width Medians, unlike Maxis Highways (without the cumbersome Multi-Highway technique). It has twice the capacity of an RHW-2.
Also unlike the Maxis Highways, the RHW-4 can have at-grade intersections with other networks, in addition to allowing for grade-separated interchanges using the Modular Interchange System (MIS) interface ramps. In Version 4.1, at-grade intersections, including diagonals, are possible with the Road, Street, Rail, GLR and RHW-2, along with Elevated Light Rail and Monorail overpasses. Drawing an orthogonal street on the inside of an RHW-4 causes it to turn into an Emergency Turnaround Lane.
In Version 3.0, the Elevated RHW-4 (ERHW-4) was added.
The RHW-6S, introduced in RHW Version 2.0, is just like the RHW-4, except that it has an extra lane per direction, and overhangs slightly beyond its physical 2-tile footprint. The capacity of the RHW-6S, with the NAM Unified Traffic Simulator, is higher than that of the RHW-4 beginning with the Version 4.1 release. Its only interaction with other networks is through grade-separated interchanges (with the MIS), and with Overpasses.
Diagonal functionality, in the form of puzzle pieces, was added to the RHW-6S in Version 3.0. Draggable functionality is planned for later inclusion.
The RHW-6C is a 6-lane, 3-tile network, added in RHW Version 3.0. Due to how it occupies its space, it is a "true" wider network, in that it adds capacity beyond the RHW-4 (and indeed, beyond the RHW-6S).
Unlike the RHW-4 and RHW-6S, it will not be possible to separate to allow for Variable Width Medians with the RHW-6C. It is capable of being built both orthogonally and diagonally through draggable means.
The RHW-8 is a "true" wider network, added in RHW Version 3.0. In its full form, it will be an 8-lane, 4-tile network, with 4 times the capacity of an RHW-2, 2 times the capacity of the RHW-4, and 1.33 times the capacity of an RHW-6C.
Like the RHW-6S, the RHW-8 can go diagonal with puzzle pieces, though limited draggable diagonal functionality was added in Version 4.0.
An 3-tile-wide RHW-8C also exists, having been added in Version 4.0. It has the same capacity as the RHW-6C and primarily exists simply for the purpose of adding auxiliary lanes to the RHW-6C.
The RHW-10 is the widest RHW network, consisting of 10 lanes over 4 tiles. It has the same capacity as an RHW-8S, and thus, is more or less functional eyecandy.
It is orthogonal-only in Version 4.1.
The Modular Interchange System (MIS) Ramps are the backbone of the RHW's interchange capabilities, allowing for draggable custom setups. The MIS is a 1-tile, 1-lane, 1-way network, allowing for connections to surface streets.
In Version 3.0, Elevated MIS (EMIS) was added.
Blue Lightning created an EMIS-1 (15M) Wide Radius Curve capable of over passing other RHW networks called FLEXFly. It was introduced in the Version 4.0 release, and expanded in Version 4.1.
These networks have been proposed, and some have even had prototypes made, but they are planned for a future release.
The RHW-3 is essentially the RHW mod's version of the ARD-3 in the Network Widening Mod. It is planned for a Version 4.x series release.
As of this writing, there are no official plans to take the RHW network wider than the RHW-10, though some experimental setups of this time have been shown in the RHW development threads at Simtropolis and SC4 Devotion. Any network, if it were to be created, would most likely have to be limited to orthogonal-only usage, due to the size of the network (at least 5 tiles), and the complexity of diagonal RULs.
Elevated and Double-Decker RHWs
Elevated RHW-4 and MIS were added in Version 3.0, and Elevated versions of the other networks are planned for a future release. 3 additional heights for the Elevated RHW networks (7.5m, 22.5m and 30m) are planned for the Version 5.0 release, and a prototype for a Double-Decker RHW-4 has also been shown in the public development threads.
The Version 4.0 release introduced two new pieces to allow for the construction of ground-level Single-Point Urban Interchanges (SPUIs) and the Diverging Diamond Interchanges (DDIs). This functionality will be added to over the course of the 4.x series of releases and beyond.
Wider RHWs can also be made using the Multi-RHW technique first developed by Haljackey, which essentially involves putting two one-way RHWs (usually RHW-4 or RHW-6S) in the same direction, side by side. Although this creates 8 lanes (or possibly more) in each direction, the networks are still separate RHW-4s, and must be linked together to work properly. A Multi-RHW is a great way to make a collector/express system in SC4 that many real life highways use.
Prior the Version 2.0 release, the Multi-RHW was possible, but very difficult to make due to the fact that the RHW-4 was built using a Side-by-Side Override. This would often result in some parts of the Multi-RHW going in opposite directions and was a pain to correct. With the switch to the starter piece system included with Version 2.0, Multi-RHWs can now be dragged without any worry of changing direction, making them much easier to construct.
For more information about the Multi-RHW, see Multi highway.
Shadow Assassin has released a popular Euro Texture Set for RHW Version 2.0, but it is not fully-compatible with the new Version 3.0 release, though it has been confirmed that he is working on an update. mrtnrln has released a series of prop additions as part of his RHW Addon Mod, and has also released an RHW Euro texture set based on Tarkus' default North American set from Version 3.0. Xyloxadoria has also released a number of popular T21 mods for the RHW on the STEX, which add lights and barriers to some of the networks. Blue Lightning has also made a number of addons as well, including the popular Elevated RHW-4 Cosmetic Mod, which is currently incompatible with the Version 4.0 release.
History of Releases
- Version 1.2 (November 16, 2005)
- Version 1.3 (April 14, 2007)
- Version 1.3a (April 28, 2007)
- Version 1.3b (June 1, 2007)
- Version 2.0 (January 1, 2008)
- Version 3.0 (January 14, 2009)
- Version 3.2 (March 7, 2009)
- Version 4.0 (May 9, 2010)
- Version 4.1 (August 14, 2010)
- Version 4.2 (in development)
RHW Development Team & Contributors
Current (Version 4.1)
- Andreas (Packaging/Readme: 2007-2010, Version 1.3-4.2)
- Blue Lightning (Development/Models: 2009-2010, Version 4.0-4.2)
- choco (Bridges: 2009-2010, Version 4.0)
- Chrisim (FLUPs Integration: 2010, Version 4.0-4.2)
- deathtopumpkins (Development/Textures: 2009-2010, Version 4.0-4.1)
- dedgren (Textures: 2009, Version 3.0-4.0)
- ebina (LHD Pathing: 2008-2010, Version 3.0-4.2)
- jmvl (Development: 2009, Version 4.0)
- mrtnrln (Development: 2010, Version 4.0-4.2)
- mtg (Development: 2010, Version 4.0-4.2)
- riiga (Development: 2010, Version 4.2)
- Ryan B. (Props/Textures: 2005-2010, Version 1.2-4.2)
- Shadow Assassin (Development/Textures: 2007-2010, Version 1.3a-4.2)
- Swamper77 (Development/Models: 2007-2009, Version 2.0-4.0)
- swamp_ig (Development: 2010, Version 4.1-4.2)
- Tarkus (Lead Development/Textures: 2006-2010, Version 1.3-4.2)
- toja (Models: 2010, Version 4.0-4.2)
- warrior (Technical Assistance, 2007-2010, Version 2.0-4.2)
Former Development Team Members & Contributors
- Alidonkey(Development/Textures: 2007-2008, Version 2.0)
- ardecila (Development/Textures: 2008-2009, Version 3.0)
- blahdy (Models: 2007-2008)
- Filasimo (Packaging: 2007, Version 2.0)
- jplumbley (Technical Assistance, 2007-2009, Version 2.0-3.0)
- mjig_dudy (Textures: 2007)
- nooneatall (Textures: 2005, Version 1.2)
- qurlix (Development: 2005-2007, Version 1.2)
- rickmastfan67 (Textures: 2007-2008, Version 2.0)
- smoncrie (Development: 2008-2009, Version 3.0-4.0)
- videosean (Textures: 2008, Version 3.0)
- Zeddic (Textures/Packaging: 2005, Version 1.2)
Original ANT Plugin Reintegration
[[::RealHighway|English]] • Japanese (日本語)