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TimeCyc Definition

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The timecyc.dat file contains the information for how to display the sky, weather effects and time of day. It is split into the many sections. There is one line of data per hour in the game, per weather type (except in San Andreas, where there are hours Midnight, 5AM, 6AM, 7AM, Midday, 7PM, 8PM, and 10PM. In the Vice City and San Andreas timecyc.dat, there is an extra section at the bottom of the file named "EXTRACOLOURS". These extra colours are used for building interiors, but should function the same.

A comment in the timecyc.dat file is preceded by a series of slashes ("//") and they will precede each type of weather, and time of day in the file.

File Format

The following lists describe format of the timecyc.dat in each game.

GTA 3

Column Name Data Type Description
Amb Color Controls amount of ambient color on static map objects, such as most buildings, structures and landmasses.
Dir Color Controls amount of direct light on pedestrians and vehicles.
Sky topColor Color of the top of the sky.
Sky botColor Color of the bottom of the sky.
SunCore Color Color of the sun's core image.
SunCorona Color Color of the sun's corona image.
SunSz float Size of the sun's corona sprite.
SprSz float Size of the sun's core sprite.
SprBght float How bright sprites will be.
Shdw integer Intensity of pedestrian, vehicle, and lamp shadows. 0 is transparent, 100 seems to be about "normal", and values past that make the shadow darker and darker. 500 will produce almost pure black shadows.
LightShd integer The cast light alpha on traffic signals and lamp posts. Changing produces no visible results.
TreeShd integer Unknown
FarClp float The clipping plane that limits maximum visibility. Setting the value to a smaller number produces a short visibility range, whereas larger numbers mean you can see further. If the number is set too low (I tried 20.0), the game will get glitchy, and may not load textures! The average value for this entry is 2000.0 and most of the map is visible with this value.
FogSt float Fog start position relative to camera? Negatives allowed. Untested.
LightOnGround float Effect unknown, changing produces no visible results.
LowCloudsRGB Color Sets colour for low thin clouds. Untested.
TopCloudRGB Color Sets colour for topside of large clouds. Untested.
BottomCloudRGB Color Sets colour for underside of large clouds. Untested.

Vice City

Column Name Data Type Description
Amb Color Controls amount of ambient color on static map objects, such as most buildings, structures and landmasses.
Amb_Obj Color Controls the amount of ambient light on dynamic objects, such pedestrians and vehicles.
Amb_Bl Color Effect unknown, changing produces no visible results.
Amb_Obj_bl Color Effect unknown, changing produces no visible results.
Dir Color Controls amount of direct light on pedestrians and vehicles.
Sky topColor Color of the top of the sky.
Sky botColor Color of the bottom of the sky.
SunCore Color Color of the sun's core image.
SunCorona Color Color of the sun's corona image.
SunSz float Size of the sun's corona sprite.
SprSz float Size of the sun's core sprite.
SprBght float How bright sprites will be.
Shdw integer Intensity of pedestrian, vehicle, and lamp shadows. 0 is transparent, 100 seems to be about "normal", and values past that make the shadow darker and darker. 500 will produce almost pure black shadows.
LightShd integer The cast light alpha on traffic signals and lamp posts. Changing produces no visible results.
PoleShd integer Lamppost shadow alpha. Changing produces no visible results.
FarClp float The clipping plane that limits maximum visibility. Setting the value to a smaller number produces a short visibility range, whereas larger numbers mean you can see further. If the number is set too low (I tried 20.0), the game will get glitchy, and may not load textures! The average value for this entry is 2000.0 and most of the map is visible with this value.
FogSt float Fog start position relative to camera? Negatives allowed. Untested.
LightOnGround float Effect unknown, changing produces no visible results.
LowCloudsRGB Color Sets colour for low thin clouds. Untested.
TopCloudRGB Color Sets colour for topside of large clouds. Untested.
BottomCloudRGB Color Sets colour for underside of large clouds. Untested.
BlurRGB Color RGB values for Trails. If you have not somehow enabled trails on your game, then the values will not be noticeable. 0 for no trails, 255 for a pure white screen. If your going to change them, follow the pattern R* set with their setup, as a little bit goes a very long way.
WaterRGBA Color Controls the color of the water. In the PC version of the game, the water texture is greenish-blue. It needs to be converted to grayscale to fully see the effect of changing the water color in the timecyc.dat, as the colors defined in this file, are multiplied by the water texture color ingame. The last part of RGBA, the A, is the alpha channel and it controls the level of transparency for the water. 0, will make the water totally transparent, while 255 will make the water as opaque as the game will allow.

San Andreas

In San Andreas the format is nearly the same, but some of the sections are left out, while new sections are introduced.

Column Name Data Type Description
Amb color Controls amount of ambient color on static map objects, such as most buildings, structures and landmasses.
Amb_Obj color Controls amount of ambient color on dynamic objects, such as pedestrians and vehicles.
Dir color Controls amount of direct light on pedestrians and vehicles.
Sky topcolor Color of the top of the sky's gradient.
Sky botcolor Color of the bottom of the sky's gradient.
SunCore color Color of the sun's core sprite.
SunCorona color Color of the sun's corona sprite and lens flare.
SunSz float Size of the sun's corona sprite.
SprSz float Size of the sun's core sprite.
SprBght float How bright sprites will be. This also affects the brightness of the lampposts and traffic lights. Values over 1.00 will cause color problems. Due to a glitch in San Andreas's game engine, this value will also affect the brightness of all other corona sprites, including the sprites of headlights, lights on buildings and runways, vehicle sirens, and any other coronas on vehicles or objects.
Shdw integer Intensity of pedestrian, vehicle, and lamp shadows. 0 is transparent, 100 seems to be about "normal", and values past that make the shadow darker and darker. 500 will produce almost pure black shadows.
LightShd integer The cast light alpha on traffic signals and lamp posts. Changing produces no visible results.
PoleShd integer Lamppost shadow alpha. Changing produces no visible results.
FarClp float

The clipping plane that limits maximum visibility in meters. Setting the value to a smaller number produces a short visibility range, whereas larger numbers mean you can see further. If the number is set too low, the game will glitch, and may not load textures. The values for this entry range from 150 to 1500, and values higher than that will make parts of the map flicker and disappear when looking directly down; high values also may create "holes" from far away due to the map's short draw distance limit.

FogSt float

Controls the distance from the camera at which distance fogging will begin in meters. Although mostly positive, negative values are allowed and can be used to achieve a "foggy" effect. If the number is a higher value than the clipping value, the distance fogging will begin beyond of what is rendered and thus no fogging will be visible. This can cause graphical glitches. The average value for this entry is 100.

LightOnGround float Amount of light on the ground of the sea.
LowCloudsRGB color Sets colour for low thin clouds.
BottomCloudRGB color Sets colour for underside of large clouds.
WaterRGBA color Controls the color of the water. This value multiplies the texture's color and the last value 'A' is the alpha: 0 will make the water totally transparent, while 255 will make the water as opaque as the game will allow.
Alpha1 integer Alpha for RGB1.
RGB1 color Color correction 1.
Alpha2 integer Alpha for RGB2 value.
RGB2 color Color correction 2.
CloudAlpha color Defines alpha level of the clouds:
0 - no clouds
255 - opaque clouds.

GTA 4

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