Resident Rush Addict
Posted - 02/05/2012 : 10:01:45 PM
I noticed there's a wave of new members that don't know a lot about building with NL, and nowhere to point them for building tips. So, here we go for a big list of help.
Built in tutorial
If you have NoLimits installed to C:Program Files/NoLimits 1.6 then paste the following into your browser
For those with 1.7 listed,
If you have it installed anywhere else, when you open the editor, click on "Help" in the menu bar at the top of the window. Then click on "Help" in the drop down menu. That will bring you right to the tutorial.
The built in tutorial has all the basic steps for building a coaster.
As a general rule of thumb, all station, brake, and lift segments should be straight. With the obvious exception of the two end pieces of the lift. Lifts should not turn to the left or right. Lift hills that do turn or curve will likely have kicker wheels instead of a chain, cable, or LIM transport.
Loops in the real world have what is called a "clothoid shape" this is the tear drop shape that you see with many loops.
Supports always seem to be everyone's downfall when starting with NoLimits. While the pre-fabricated supports are an easy way out, they are highly discouraged in the building community. Custom supports are looked at in better light as you can build almost any support structure with them, and tailor them to your needs.
While building a track, bumps, pumps, and generally rough sections are inevitably going to arise. By highlighting a piece of track, the vertex that connects to pieces of track, or multiple pieces of track, you can smooth the selected segments. This is most easily done by using the key combination "ctrl+g". This can also be done by right clicking on a track segment and selecting "smooth" from the drop down menu. Smoothing will help even out the misshapen segments.
Another tip when smoothing segments is to breaking one segment up into multiple segments. By selecting a segment, and then pressing "y" on the keyboard the segment will be cut in half by a vertex. This helps in the smoothing process as it allows for more segments to be shaped independently.
Sometimes, advanced users will use external programs to build their coasters that use force vector design. That is, the elements are based on the forces and speed at any given point on the track. I'm not going to post a full FVD tutorial here; you can find those elsewhere. One tool in particular is rather popular among many users. It's called Newton. An issue can arise when importing elements into NoLimits from Newton, where an error message appears and tells the user that the element could not be loaded. This is generally a problem for computers that don't have a lot of RAM or processing power. The fix for it is simple; Simply save your Newton file, and then exit Newton and NoLimits. Restart both programs, and you're back in business! If this doesn't fix the issue, try restarting the PC before opening the programs again.
The tunnel test
If there is a segment of track that you think may be too close to a support beam or another segment or track, you should perform what is known as a tunnel test. By adding a tunnel onto the segment in question, you then open the ride in the simulator. If anything enters the tunnel, the test has been failed. If nothing else enters the tunnel except for a tunnel on the same block, the test has been passed.
This is essential to rides with an MCBR (Mid Course Brake Run), or brake segments without a transport device. To perform the test, open the ride in the simulator and before the train reaches the MCBR or otherwise noted brake segment, enter "manual dispatch mode" by pressing "F11" on your keyboard, and then enable "emergency stop" by pressing "F12". After the train has come to a complete stop on the brake segment, release the emergency brake by pressing "F12" again. If the train makes it back to the station, the test has been a success. If the train cannot make it back to the station, the test has been failed. Another method is to enable the emergency brakes when the train is in the middle of the brake segment. If the train cannot come to a complete stop, the brakes may not have enough stopping power.
These have also been defined in another topic found here:
I've noticed a lot of inexperienced users exporting tracks that use 3D objects without packaging them properly. This will not only irritate the people who download the track, but the track will lose points if it gets rated. So, to package your 3D objects with your track, you will need the NoLimits Track Packager.
You can find it here:
http://www.coasterchamber.com/tools/nl-track-smoother.zip (Just click, it will begin the download for you).
Now, all the 3D objects that you want to use in the .nltrack file MUST be located within the "Objects" folder inside the NoLimits directory. You can create your own folder inside "Objects" to organize them better, but they all need to be inside that sub-directory. Once you're ready to package everything, save your coaster(Note: it has to be in the "Tracks" directory under the NoLimits tree. Open the Track Packager and click on:
Locate your track file.
Make sure all the objects you want to incorporate show up.
Fill out the information (optional. The track name is already filled out).
Find a place to save the .nlp file. (I save mine in a special folder on the desktop) and then click Save.
Now you can upload the .nlp to Coaster Crazy and nobody will complain about missing objects! Hooray!
I will continue to edit and add to this as I take screen shots to help better clarify some things, and as other questions/issues arise.
15 Nov 2012 - All previous additions and edits.
16 March 2013 - Added explanation of failed element error and fix.
18 May 2013 - Coasterchamber no longer exists. I will find another download link for the track packager.
Edited by - NightwindElf on 05/18/2013 2:52:40 PM