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Topic Subject: Has anyone figured a way to...
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posted 12-15-03 09:31 PM EDT (US)   
...hack the unit confirmation sounds? I'm trying to use one of the minor units (the assassin) as a hero, but he only has one confirmation sound and it's driving me crazy. Sure would love it if we had the option of turning off confirmation sounds. Or better yet, a choice to either turn them off, or set the frequency of how often we want to hear them.
Replies:
posted 12-15-03 11:21 PM EDT (US)     1 / 30  
Wow, now that would be nice to do. I don't recall it ever being possible with EE via mods or anything. The only thing you could do is add a sound based on when the unit is selected or in a specific unit state, but it wouldn't eliminate the current voices.
posted 12-16-03 12:37 PM EDT (US)     2 / 30  

Quote:

Wow, now that would be nice to do.

Yeah I wish I'd thought of it early in the development process of the game. There was a delightful period where we were working on scenarios and we had NO confirmation sounds at all. It made me think that they really aren't necessary --- at least not in SP. Maybe MP players find them indispensible, dunno.

Anyhow, I did find a simple way to ameliorate the effect of having a unit type with an annoying conf sound ("'Swounds!," anyone? Cute idea, Tesseract, but kinda annoying in the final execution.)

What I'm doing is just making sure the annoying unit is in a mixed group of units. When lassoed together, different units' conf sounds fire off in a random order.

Still, would LOVE a hack to turn off conf sounds altogether...

posted 12-16-03 01:10 PM EDT (US)     3 / 30  

Quote:

It made me think that they really aren't necessary

You by any chance worked on RoN? , j/k

That would be great, I wish we had an overall control over unit's sounds, making it even possible to replace with our own, Hero's would be amazing that way.


posted 12-16-03 03:01 PM EDT (US)     4 / 30  
I fiquared out a way using Azn's old empirestoolbox on Hank's suggestion of adding sounds.

Not sure if you'll understand this, but I extracted the files in the data.ssa which includes sounds. Sadly, all the sounds are compressed into sdf format, which as far as I can find must be SSS's own format. But seeing how you only want to disable the sounds, not replace them, this isn't so much of a problem.

First find the sound attached to the unit. Create a empty file with notepad using the exact same file name and save it under your Empires directory in Data/Sounds. Empires seems to check the files in your data directory before going to the data.ssa. I've been able to completely disable the Tiger Tank confirmation sounds as well as others.

Still the whole thing is a bit iffy and requires a little bit of extra work. I couldn't find an assassin unit name neither. Does it go by another name?


Grex, Imhotep, Jaded Knights, Punks, University, Glows, Facility, Trade Center, Stainless Steel Studios.

Former Seraph & Angel
My Twitter, i.e. don't bother
Learning Korean Language
Free Rice

[This message has been edited by Angel Park (edited 12-16-2003 @ 03:02 PM).]

posted 12-16-03 03:11 PM EDT (US)     5 / 30  
Few extra notes

The sound files have s, d, and f types. Far as I can tell the c files are the confirmation sounds played when units move. s files are the ones played when units are selected. Not exactly sure what d files are for, I guess they're the special ability or stopping or something..not sure.

There's also about 1,100 sounds for the units, so I can't exactly list them here right now. Hopefully I can find a VB or C++ script that writes file names in a directory to txt, any suggestions are welcome for a program.


Grex, Imhotep, Jaded Knights, Punks, University, Glows, Facility, Trade Center, Stainless Steel Studios.

Former Seraph & Angel
My Twitter, i.e. don't bother
Learning Korean Language
Free Rice
posted 12-16-03 03:30 PM EDT (US)     6 / 30  
Awesome. Very cool stuf, Park.

Betcha anything "d" stands for "death"!

posted 12-16-03 06:27 PM EDT (US)     7 / 30  
Well, I'm not sure what the Assassin is called by the database, but whatever the database calls the unit is usually the name of the file.

And from what I can tell, the .sdf files are nothing but "pointers" to the real sound file. Here is what I found:

Quote:


SSTR........US_Ranger_c1.wav....(?..............

I cant find where this US_Ranger_c1.wav is, but where ever it is, theoreticly you can replace it with a custom sound of your own, or no sound at all.

Nice to see something I made is useful . Maybe the expansion of Empires will support modding



Angel AzN | News Editor Lead EH, HeavenGames LLC
"Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut, Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay
HeavenGames Empires Heaven | 3DMark05 Score 3DMark03 Score | WearYELLOW

[This message has been edited by AzN (edited 12-16-2003 @ 06:28 PM).]

posted 12-16-03 07:01 PM EDT (US)     8 / 30  

Quote:

Azn's old empirestoolbox

So...is anybody willing to send that my way?


"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." -President Bush, State of the Union Address
posted 12-16-03 07:11 PM EDT (US)     9 / 30  
Try this...
http://ee.heavengames.com/downloads/viewinfo.php?type=utilities&id=102

If not right, look through the eeh downloads utility section for more.

[This message has been edited by _o0XxX0o_ (edited 12-16-2003 @ 07:12 PM).]

posted 12-16-03 07:20 PM EDT (US)     10 / 30  
Anyways, I figured it out.

Since the release of Empires, the .ssa format has changed a bit from Empire Earth. Thus when you extract the data.ssa, you don't get the files within the Sounds\High\ directory.

For some reason it the mistakes High and Low folders as files. Thus instead of extracting each WAV file into these folders, it makes a file named high and low (in the Sounds directory) and continuously overwrites it as each WAV is extracted. If you open Sounds\High and Sounds\Low in hex, they are the last sound file extracted.

I don't know the reason and really can't fix it (didnt make ssaExtract). But since you do get the .sdf files, this can be accomplished.

Basically, this is what you do:


  1. Extract the data.ssa into any folder
  2. Find the appriopiate .sdf file in the Sounds directory (this may take some hunting if the name is not obvious, such as the Assassin). In the case of Gordon, he can probably just ask the DB guy at SSSI
  3. Open it in hex and find the filename of the target WAV file
  4. Make a blank WAV file (an actual WAV file that can be played but will be silent). If you want to create custom sounds, then make whatever you want into a WAV. Rename this WAV file to the target filename (the name in the .sdf file).
  5. Put the WAV file into [Empires Directory]\Data\Sounds\High. Optionally, you may also put the file in Sounds\Low to cater to those with the Low audio setting enabled

I hope I explained it without leaving out anything. If you get confused, I should be able to help out. Alternatively, you can do Park's method and just have a blank .sdf file in your Sounds folder, but I'm now sure what implications that can have in terms of bugs/crashes. The blank WAV is the best route to go. Also allows you to have custom confirmations.

As for empiresToolbox, you can find it here:
http://members.lycos.co.uk/xtrinity/empiresToolbox.html

BTW, old tools for use with Empire Earth do not work for Empires.

Pretty cool I must say. Everytime I even touch a Doughboy, it plays a snippit of Coldplay (BTW, there is no length minumum to the confirmations. I would of had it play entire songs, but it overlaps and sounds really nasty). Not only that, but it can be easily distributed and installed with scenarios .



Angel AzN | News Editor Lead EH, HeavenGames LLC
"Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut, Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay
HeavenGames Empires Heaven | 3DMark05 Score 3DMark03 Score | WearYELLOW

[This message has been edited by AzN (edited 12-16-2003 @ 08:48 PM).]

posted 12-16-03 10:10 PM EDT (US)     11 / 30  

Quote:

If you get confused, I should be able to help out.

Okay.

I'm good up to step 3. Then I get a little confused (you'll have to remember, this isn't my strongest field).


"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." -President Bush, State of the Union Address

[This message has been edited by qb_rms (edited 12-18-2003 @ 11:43 PM).]

posted 12-17-03 05:34 PM EDT (US)     12 / 30  
Well, you DO NOT want to modify the data.ssa. Its no fun reinstalling the game .

What you do is extract the data.ssa. Then find the .sdf from the extracted content. Open it and find the WAV filename.

As a test, just rename ANY WAV to that filename and put it in:
C:\Program Files\Activision\Empires Dawn of the Modern World\Data\Sounds\High

Assuming it is your default directory. It should work fine. You can mess with the blank WAV and stuff later.



Angel AzN | News Editor Lead EH, HeavenGames LLC
"Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut, Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay
HeavenGames Empires Heaven | 3DMark05 Score 3DMark03 Score | WearYELLOW
posted 12-17-03 07:29 PM EDT (US)     13 / 30  

Quote:

There's also about 1,100 sounds for the units, so I can't exactly list them here right now. Hopefully I can find a VB or C++ script that writes file names in a directory to txt, any suggestions are welcome for a program.

Although it cannot save the file names in a text file but presents it on the screen (so you'll have to use copy and paste), I hope this little program I just made (an hour's work) will satisfy your needs.
(How to use: Just select all files you want to have in your list. In your case Ctrl+A would be the best)


Download:
www.storycreator.de/downloads/listoffiles.zip

If you wish I can update it a bit but not today (it's half past 1 am for me now)

Oh BTW: It's neither VB nor C++ but Delphi.

posted 12-17-03 07:42 PM EDT (US)     14 / 30  
AzN/Park: The assassin was originally called Ranulf de Glanville, and he was a major supporting character. Maybe he's listed as a variant of that name...?

And oddly enough, I can't just ask the db guy at SSSI, since I don't go into the office in Cambridge (I live in New York), and technically I'm not under contract to SSSI right now anyway. The earliest I might be under contract again is when production of campaigns for the sequel starts.

[This message has been edited by Gordon Farrell (edited 12-19-2003 @ 12:02 PM).]

posted 12-18-03 12:48 PM EDT (US)     15 / 30  
Does this cause a multiplayer OOS?

(valdraz)
posted 12-18-03 03:15 PM EDT (US)     16 / 30  
Hmm that is a good question. I'll go test it out, at worst just keep 2 sound folders then and rename depending on situation.
--

Finished a 30 minute game without any problems. No wavs just the sdfs.


Grex, Imhotep, Jaded Knights, Punks, University, Glows, Facility, Trade Center, Stainless Steel Studios.

Former Seraph & Angel
My Twitter, i.e. don't bother
Learning Korean Language
Free Rice

[This message has been edited by Angel Park (edited 12-18-2003 @ 04:16 PM).]

posted 12-18-03 05:32 PM EDT (US)     17 / 30  
As far as I know, the ONLY way to cause a multiplayer OOS is changing the database (.DAT) files in the db folder of the data.ssa (you should not even be able to join another game if you modify the db). Unlike Empire Earth, it seems changing the textures/sounds do not affect the version number.

I'll see if I can find the Assassin for you. And storycreator, that rocked .

EDIT:
Anyways, I still cant find the Assassin. Since there does not seem to be sounds for every unit (especially Editor only units), I'm thinking the Assassin uses the same confirmation of another unit. Going to try another way .
The sounds list is available:
http://members.lycos.co.uk/xtrinity/soundlist.txt



Angel AzN | News Editor Lead EH, HeavenGames LLC
"Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut, Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay
HeavenGames Empires Heaven | 3DMark05 Score 3DMark03 Score | WearYELLOW

[This message has been edited by AzN (edited 12-18-2003 @ 05:40 PM).]

posted 12-18-03 07:40 PM EDT (US)     18 / 30  

Quote:

Since there does not seem to be sounds for every unit (especially Editor only units), I'm thinking the Assassin uses the same confirmation of another unit.

The Franks' carabineer uses the same confirmation and selection sounds as the assassin. That's probably what you're looking for?

Edit: Okay...yes, it's the carabineer, though it has a somewhat different filename. The filename is:

vfr_cavgun1_c1.sdf

Then, of course, you would have to create another file, naming it by replacing the second 1 with a 2.


"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." -President Bush, State of the Union Address

[This message has been edited by qb_rms (edited 12-18-2003 @ 07:50 PM).]

posted 12-18-03 10:20 PM EDT (US)     19 / 30  
Alright, if it is vfr_cavgun1_c1.sdf, this is how you do it (for Gordon). This is without any .SDF files, no empiresToolbox, and assuming he can make silent WAV files (or have test WAV files).

Make two silent WAV files. Have them named the following:
FR_CavGun1_c1.wav
FR_CavGun1_s1.wav

c should be the confirmation. s should be the select. May require some testing =\.

Put these two files in:
C:\Program Files\Activision\Empires Dawn of the Modern World\Data\Sounds\High
and
C:\Program Files\Activision\Empires Dawn of the Modern World\Data\Sounds\Low
(for compatability)

So it would look like this:
C:\Program Files\Activision\Empires Dawn of the Modern World\Data\Sounds\High\FR_CavGun1_c1.wav
C:\Program Files\Activision\Empires Dawn of the Modern World\Data\Sounds\High\FR_CavGun1_s1.wav

C:\Program Files\Activision\Empires Dawn of the Modern World\Data\Sounds\Low\FR_CavGun1_c1.wav
C:\Program Files\Activision\Empires Dawn of the Modern World\Data\Sounds\Low\FR_CavGun1_s1.wav

This requires no extraction of the data.ssa or any real messing around. Just placing files . You can test this with any standard WAV file.

For a more advance method, you may want to try hex editing the .sdf files to point to one WAV file, thus you don't have to have repeated WAV files (which are quite big!) to handle.



Angel AzN | News Editor Lead EH, HeavenGames LLC
"Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut, Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay
HeavenGames Empires Heaven | 3DMark05 Score 3DMark03 Score | WearYELLOW

[This message has been edited by AzN (edited 12-18-2003 @ 10:21 PM).]

posted 12-18-03 11:33 PM EDT (US)     20 / 30  

Quote:

FR_CavGun1_s1.wav
FR_CavGun1_c1.wav

Edit: Okay, when you put those two files into the folder, you're also going to want to put two more in there. All you have to do though, if they are silent, is to create copies and rename them by replacing the 1 (FR_CavGun1_c1.wav, FR_CavGun1_s1.wav) with a 2 (FR_CavGun1_c2.wav, FR_CavGun1_s2.wav).

If you don't, you'll hear the sounds once in awhile. This way, they will be gone altogether.


"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." -President Bush, State of the Union Address

[This message has been edited by qb_rms (edited 12-18-2003 @ 11:42 PM).]

posted 12-19-03 12:03 PM EDT (US)     21 / 30  
Wow! That's Awwwwesome, AzN! I can't wait to try it out!
posted 12-19-03 04:05 PM EDT (US)     22 / 30  
Wow, this is neat. And it doesn't require coding or messing around with game files! Sweet. I'd be cool if someone made a list of a ll the sound names (i.e. FR_CavGun1_s1.wav.) This way, if you wanted a new sound or none at all and had to name the file, you just look at the list.

Byz
Tsunami Studios
"People are born to succeed, not fail." - Henry David Thoreau
posted 12-19-03 05:50 PM EDT (US)     23 / 30  
Sort of like the list made of the SLP files for the AoK Modpack Studio...

This is indeed very interesting.

posted 12-31-03 04:38 PM EDT (US)     24 / 30  
AzN:

Okay, here's my report on the Assassin unit sounds:

I couldn't make it work. There're no "High" or "Low" folders in Data/Sounds. I created two folders and named 'em accordingly, but it didn't have the desired effect.

In fact, when I open Data/Sounds... it's empty.

Any ideas what I should try next?

posted 12-31-03 05:45 PM EDT (US)     25 / 30  
So far so good?

Yes, the sounds folder is supposed to be empty. You create the directories Low and High.

Make sure you dont have "hide extensions" on for Windows. It can make your file named "FR_CavGun1_s1.wav.wav" and that won't work.

Also, I personally haven't tested with the Assassin yet. I'll test it now and get back to you. It could possibly be that

FR_CavGun1_s1.wav
FR_CavGun1_c1.wav
FR_CavGun1_s2.wav
FR_CavGun1_c2.wav

are not the sounds for the Assassin. If you need help, I have MSN. Helped MoB get his theme song changed a few days ago .



Angel AzN | News Editor Lead EH, HeavenGames LLC
"Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut, Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay
HeavenGames Empires Heaven | 3DMark05 Score 3DMark03 Score | WearYELLOW

[This message has been edited by AzN (edited 12-31-2003 @ 05:46 PM).]

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