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TUTORIAL- How to Create A New Radio Station


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#1
DorostheConqueror

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I've recently started releasing a series of radio station mods for New Vegas, and few people have PMed me asking how they can make their own. There are a few such tutorials for F3, but to my knowledge there are no up-to-date tutorials explaining how to create a new radio station in New Vegas. I've got a bit of time to kill, so I figured I'd whip up a short tutorial on how to make your very own custom radio station from scratch! his is pretty basic stuff and is still very much a WIP, but hopefully some of you will find this interesting and informative!

For illustrative purposes, I'll build my own radio station mod as I walk you through the steps. Check the Spoiler sections for screenshots of the mod as it progresses!


1. Start a new mod

Fire up the GECK and click on File/Data. Make sure Fallout.esm and only Fallout.esm is selected, then hit OK. Once everything is loaded, go to File\Save and save your mod under whatever name you'd like. SAVE OFTEN! The GECK is fairly unstable, and nothing sucks harder than losing thirty minutes of work to a crash.

Spoiler

2. Set up a Talking Activator

The first thing you should probably do is set up a Talking Activator. This is the object which actually broadcasts your station; without it, you'll never detect the station on your Pip Boy. Look on the Object Window and go to Actors/ Talking Activator to bring up the list. You can make one from scratch, or you can simply duplicate one: double click on a talking activator of your choice and change both the ID and name. Make sure both the Radio Station and Cont. Broadcast checkboxes are checked, click OK, then say Yes when you're prompted to create a new form. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! If you don't create a new form, you'll overwrite and possibly bugger up a vanilla TA.

Spoiler

3. Place the Talking Activator

Open up a cell of your choice; it can be any cell you'd like. Click and drag your newly created Talking Activator into the Render Window and place the copy of the TA somewhere off in the void where players won't see it. Next, double click the placed TA to bring up the Reference Window; navigate to the Radio Data tab and change the Broadcast range to Everywhere. Click OK.

Spoiler



4. Set up a Radio Quest
Now you need to link your TA to a Radio Quest, which is where you'll define playlists, dialogue, and all that other good stuff. On the Object Window, go to Actor Data/ Quest. Right click on the list of quests and select "New". Give teh quest an ID and a quest name, check the boxes next to Start Game Enabled and Allow Repeated Conversation Topics, and finally, hit OK.

Spoiler


Now you've got to go back in to the Quest window and set the Conditions. In the Quest Conditions box under the main Quest Data tab, right click, select New, and chooce GetIsID (parameter) == 1, with your Talking Activator's ID set as the parameter.

Spoiler





Your radio station SHOULD be fully activated at this point! Now's a good time to save all your work, fire up New Vegas, and test your mod ingame to make sure you're doing everything right. If things are going smoothly, your Pip Boy should detect your new radio station... of course, it's nothing but dead air at the moment.

Spoiler


You won't need the GECK for these next two steps!

5. Pick your songs

Radio stations will play anything, so pick out your favorite songs and stick them in a folder for safekeeping.

I'm going to put two songs in for now, "I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus" by Brenda Lee and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" by Reverend Horton Heat.


6. Encode your songs as wavs

The main problem here is encoding. Radio New Vegas uses stereo mp3s; however, I have yet to have any success using mp3s myself. For whatever reason, Fallout is prone to glitching songs depending on what format they're in, so your best bet to encode each of your songs as mono channel .wavs. Goldwave is a shareware program that will allow you to do this for free, but any audio encoding program will do. name these songs whatever you like, but it's best to keep them descriptive, especially if you plan on adding lots of new music to your game. Once that's done, it's time to place them in a safe spot. Navigate to your Data/Sound/songs directory (you'll know you're in the right place when you see a folder named radionv) and create a new folder. Name this something descriptive and put the newly encoded wavs in here!

Spoiler



7. Add the songs as Sound Objects

Go back to the GECK, and look at the Object Window under Audio/Sound. Right click, new. You can ignore most of the settings for now (these can be tweaked later, or the raw sound files can be modified as necceasry). Give your new song an ID (preferably something related to the track you're adding) and click the Add Sound button. Navigate to the folder you created earlier and double click your newly encoded wav. If you'd like, you can preview the song with the Play button, just to make sure it's working right.

Spoiler


8. Set up the topics

Now you've got your songs ready to play, head back to the Radio Quest you made earlier. Double click the quest, and navigate to the Radio tab. If you know how conversations work, you can probably take things from here. For the rest of you, this part can be long and boring. First, right click on the Editor ID box, and select the topic "RadioHello". It's very important you use this topic as your header; for whatever reason, radio station don't seem to like playing unless RadioHello is the first topic in their list.

Spoiler

After that, set up some more topics to serve as playlists. There's thousands of ways to approach this process, and once you get the hang of radio creation, feel free to experiment. Radio New Vegas uses a bunch of topics, mostly for different banter topics, as well as one master music playlist controlled by some clever scripting. For now, let's keep it simple, and use multiple linked topics to serve as your playlists. For my radio stations, I've been using five seperate playlist topics with up to four randomly selected songs in each. Mouse over the Editor ID box, right click, new, and add an ID name for any Playlist topics you might need.

I've got two songs, so I'll add two topics, "zmodRADIOXmasList01" and "zmodRADIOXmasList02".


9. Setting up RadioHello

Now, go back to RadioHello, and in the Info Box, click New, add anything you like under Response Text, and hit OK. Highlight the newly created response text in the Info box, and in the Link To box to the right, right click, add topic, and select your first playlist topic from the menu. Change the Speaker to whatever NPC you'd like, and leave everything else blank, like so:

Spoiler


10. Setting up the playlists

Now, go back to the Topic list and select your first playlist. Add a new response, like you did with RadioHello. The response text can be anything you want, I'd recommend making it your song's title for future reference. DO NOT put your Response Text in {} quotes!!! Radio New Vegas does this, but I've found it prevents my songs from playing. Now, click on the TESSound button, and select the Sound object you set up earlier. You might want to turn off your computer's speakers at this point! The GECK likes to play the sound you picked, automatically, in full, with no option to stop it. If you get into a groove, it's not uncommon to hear your GECK blare five or six songs at once.

Spoiler


Now, Link To the next topic in your playlist group and select ANY in the Link From box, like so:



11. Keep going!

Repeat 10 until you run out of Topics. Once you've got to your last topic, Link it back to RadioHello, creating a loop. Voila:


Congrats! Fire up New Vegas and test the station again; with any luck, you should now be able to hear your tunes.

12. Expanding the Playlist and Randomizing your songs

Of course, your radio station is kind of dull right now. It's the same small batch of songs, over and over, one after another. Randomizing your radio station playlists will go a long way towards keeping your radio station fresh and interesting. It's fairly simple to do. Go back to your first playlist topic and create a new response in the Info box just like you did before. Now, check the Random box for every response under your current topic. You can tell which responses have been Randomized by looking at the Info box; responses which have been checked off properly will show an R under the Flag column. This way, the computer will randomly select a song to play each time the playlist comes by.



And that's it! Do this over and over until you've added all the music you want to hear on your radio station. Like I said before, I personally like to use five playlists with two to four songs per playlist, but feel free to tweak things to suit your taste.

You can see the finished Christmas station here. Feel free to reverse engineer it or simply overwrite the wavs with your own songs if you're still having trouble!

#2
yoba333

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Very informative. Good job and thank you

Edit:First

Edited by yoba333, 08 December 2010 - 09:15 PM.


#3
jmarine81

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Very informative. Good job and thank you

Edit:First



Def inforamative...gives me a whole respect for people that actually do modding. What a pain in the ass at first lol

#4
RZ1029

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You, my friend, deserve a cookie. Or at least some Kudos. I've done some modding, but mostly involving graphical things. This finally let me quit listening to "Big Iron" four thousand times a day. Now instead of Old West, I can rock NV with some Metallica or somesuch other nonsense!

Anyways, seriously, appreciate it man. Real useful stuff, saved me a looooot of thinking.

#5
Yuriberi

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Greetings. I want to thank the OP for his contribution, surely providing guidance to beginners at Fallout modding. Consequently, I would like to forward a question to the OP. I created a few of my very own radio stations for both F3 and FNV as well, but each time I encounter the exact same issue, e.g. whenever I link the radio to a worldspace loudspeaker or an actual worldspace radio, the station mutes itself out. I am really desperate since I want some more adequate music sounding in the worldspace. For example - Gomorrah.. where the current vanilla music selection is honestly, just about poor e.g. hookers giving a fast and sexy dance to Dean Martin's "Ain't that a kick in the head" is just wrong. :) Anyway, if the OP or anyone has a solution to this issue and would be willing to share it, I would be more than grateful to hear it. Thank you.

#6
scrivener07

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Very good. maybe you should make an article also

#7
yoba333

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Definitely upload a file with this information on there. Make it an official tutorial.




NO NO NO. Do not :"upload a file": Files are for mods. But as for uploading an ARTICLE, that would be fine, and encouraged. As for DorostheConqueror, kudos given. -myrmaad

#8
ClayPidgeon162

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Greetings. I want to thank the OP for his contribution, surely providing guidance to beginners at Fallout modding. Consequently, I would like to forward a question to the OP. I created a few of my very own radio stations for both F3 and FNV as well, but each time I encounter the exact same issue, e.g. whenever I link the radio to a worldspace loudspeaker or an actual worldspace radio, the station mutes itself out. I am really desperate since I want some more adequate music sounding in the worldspace. For example - Gomorrah.. where the current vanilla music selection is honestly, just about poor e.g. hookers giving a fast and sexy dance to Dean Martin's "Ain't that a kick in the head" is just wrong. :) Anyway, if the OP or anyone has a solution to this issue and would be willing to share it, I would be more than grateful to hear it. Thank you.


I got my custom radio station to play through a jukebox by using the program Goldwave to create an .ogg file of each song in the folder containing the songs for the custom radio station (I saved them as 22050 hz, 35kbps, mono) and attached "_mono" to the end of the title of each .ogg file. And the original song files I used were in wav format and mono as well, so I don't know how it'll work with mp3s.

#9
oblivious12123

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Hi, this is a great tutorial, but I am having a problem.

I load up NV and the radio station shows up on the list, however when I select the station, I get nothing. Absolutely no sound whatsoever. So I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Someone help?

#10
micalov

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Great Tutoiral cheers, radio Rock is live on the air \o/




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