Ted's RPG Rant

A place to rant about RPG games, particularly the Temple of Elemental Evil. Co8 members get a free cookie for stopping by. Thats ONE cookie each, no seconds.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

New PC Voices Tutorial

Firstly, let me say the new patch is imminent! Just a few things to take care of online before I change drives and finish testing.

So while I am here, I am going to post my step-by-step on adding new PC voices. I want to post all my tutorials up on here, then create an index post and bookmark it on ths side banner so people can quickly access these things.

If you like my tutorials, feel free to check out my ads ;-)

So without further ado...

There are only 2 files you have to alter as far as I can tell to create new PC voices (though I am still keeping an eye out for others to see if i can fiddle with volume, reverb etc: but these two certainly do the job). These files are both called 'pcvoice.mes', one is in the rules folder, one in the mes folder, and both can be found in ToEE3.dat.

Crack them open! (Notepad will do, 'tools' are for sissies.) In the file from the mes folder we have the familiar names of the current PC voices, "righteous warrior", "zealous healer", "raspy", "gruff" etc. The numbers stop at 21 (or in the 50's if you have my new voices pack ;-)) but you can include up to number 63 if you want: with the instructions at the top about how the 2 pcvoice.mes files interact (the one points at the other), its an interesting indication that this was one area that was always intended to be modded. Hey Troika got something right! Imagine what might have been

Ok, so lets pretend we are adding an "ordinary bloke" voice (because I did). So, lets make him #23, we therefore add {23}{Ordinary bloke}

Thats what will show up on the creation screen. Now for the other pcvoice.mes file in the rule folder.

Open it up. Here we have bizarrely named things like:
Etc. You can probably figure out what they mean, the thing to notice is the male ones start with M and the female with F. Follow this. This is why we can't give our characters cross-gendered voices (c'mon, we've all thought of it...)

So, for our ordinary bloke, lets call him 'MBlokey.mes'. That will show up as
{23}{MBlokey.mes} The 23 part connects it to the previous file of course, but what is this MBlokey.mes thing?

Go back to the mes folder in ToEE3.dat and you should see a folder called pcvoice (anything to do with this exercise seems to be called pcvoice, you get that.} Open it up, and there are the files FHocFtr.mes, MDwfClr.mes etc. So of course we are going to add one called MBlokey.mes. To do this, simply copy one (lets copy MElfRgr.mes so we are both on the same page) and rename it MBlokey.mes.

Ok, open it and lets get on with the fun part. There are a number of different catagories:

// Acknowledging an order (saying yes)
// Unable to perform an action (saying no)
// Encumbered
// Death Cry
// Near Death
// Death of a party member
// Combat start
// Critical hit BY a party member
// Critical hit ON a party member
// Critical miss BY a party member
// Accidental damage
// Opening a chest with a lot of gold
// Entering a map for the first time by Area Number
// Encountering a boss monster
// Tagged scenery (special areas like Thrommel's room or the big bronze doors)
// Bored...zzz (whining when nothing is happening)
// Using the power of a deity (crying out to various Gods)

I list them all because as u can probably see, MOST do not ever appear in the game. "What a fabulous polished piece of software", you say. I agree, have a cookie. The only ones that do seem to appear regularly are saying yes, saying no, encumbrance, death gurgles, accidental damage, and opening a chest with lotsa treasure.

Why not the area ones? They work with NPC's after all... well, heres a fascinating thing. They DO appear here in the dlg files (thats what these are by the way: this stuff will show up on the screen if you switch on subtitles) but there are NO corresponding MP3s in the sound folders! Why not? I'm glad you asked.

I have added appropriate mp3s to 'ordinary bloke' and the others - I mean they are not exact, but if u have an mp3 that plays "what a nice forest" u don't need to be a member of Mensa to figure out it plays better in the deklo grove than the fire node. However, when I play-tested these, they were very erratic: the moathouse ones played the mp3 for Hommlet as often as for the moathouse, the Emridy Meadows didn't play at all, the Ogre cave mp3 played when I went into the traders establishment, and I forget what played when I went up onto the second floor of the Wench but since nothing should have, you get the picture. Anyway, I have left them in since it is easy to 'turn them off', just recruit an NPC and they will trump the party vocals as they normally do. Also, I or someone more knowledgable may be able to fix the whole thing at a later date and it will be good to have them there.

Hopefully a fix will present itself, but I have to say, the erraticness of the playing combined with the lack of mp3 files in the PC's folders for this stuff (they stop at the 1100's) suggest to me Troika couldn't get this working at all due to time constraints and scrapped it. Ho hum. Not something a n00b hacker like myself is going to be able to fix in any hurry.

Back to the 'fun part'. Keep MBlokey.mes open, and then get out your new sound files you want to put in. Doesn't matter if they r .wav or .mp3, if they are .wav we can convert them later. You want to put them all in a folder named, u guessed it, 23. This goes in Temple of Elemental Evil\data\sound\Speech\pcvoice, so in the end you will be working in a folder called:
Temple of Elemental Evil\data\sound\Speech\pcvoice\23

Put all your .wav or .mp3 files in there. (If you want to work on them seperately then convert them and stick them in there later, its not a problem). Now the fun begins: and this is fun, but its also dull and tedious. A bit like sex: lots of fun but goes on and on and on... well at least for me ;-). Probably if there was someone else there with me it would be different lol.

Take your first file. Play it. Check MBlokey.mes. Find somewhere it matches. If it is complaining about encumbrance, it goes in the 200's, if it is just agreeing with you, put it at 0 or 1, if it is saying how they don't like deep dungeons, perhaps 1214 is the go.

Now... change the dialogue of the line number to match what you hear. Then rename the file to match the line number exactly.

Example: my Ordinary bloke has a file where he eulogises a fallen comrade with a mangling of Hamlet. So, lets put that at 500. Change the dialogue line and it will now look like this:

{500}{Alas, poor... hmmm, I didn't really know you.}

Then we change the mp3 file to match: we rename it 500.mp3.

Its that easy.

Then we do it with ALL the mp3 files.

If you have lines left over at the end, extras you have not replaced, best to delete them (if they are in the 0-1100 range). For instance, you may notice there are 5 seperate options for encumbrance (200-204). If you only had one mp3 complaining about encumbrance, stick it in at 200 obviously and then delete the rest. Otherwise, the engine will pick one of these 5 lines randomly, and if its not 200, then nothing will sound (it won't crash or anything but nothing will happen, which sorta defeats the purpose).

Ok, so go through and do that to all the lines. Dull, init?

All that remains now is to convert the .wavs to .mp3 if necessary, and then store the other files in the game itself.

The pcvoice.mes from the mes file goes in Temple of Elemental Evil\data\mes. Also in here should be the pcvoice folder (Temple of Elemental Evil\data\mes\pcvoice) in which to put mblokey.mes. And finally the pcvoice.mes file from the rules folder of course goes in Temple of Elemental Evil\data\rules. These folders should already exist if you have the Co8 patches (but create them if u have to). Folder 23 should already have been created by u since we were working in it: Temple of Elemental Evil\data\sound\Speech\pcvoice\23, remember?

That's that! Remember to download my voices, then put yours after them (u will d/l mine won't u???)


At 2:20 pm, Anonymous Cerulean the Blue said...

Great tutorial Ted. Thanks for the info. If I had any voices to put in the game I would now. Unfortunately, I don't, and I'm working on figuring out scripting at the moment.

At 10:25 am, Anonymous You know me... said...

ooo tutorials huh? you sound like a teacher. if i were naughty, what would you do? *wink*

At 10:34 am, Blogger ShiningTed said...

Throw a duster at you. Thats what my teachers did.

At 2:12 am, Blogger mistyeiz said...

aww...u're no fun. *pout*

At 6:34 am, Anonymous Gaear said...

Who is this mysterious "you know me?" Sounds like a LOT of fun . . . ;)

At 2:11 am, Blogger mistyeiz said...

gaear : hahaha....;)


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