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Problems with modding Tournament PbP and rink speech
Topic Started: Mar 8 2018, 07:27 PM (364 Views)
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Playoff Beard Man
Hello there,

Does anyone know how to correctly modify the game's play by play tournament speeches? And the rink announcements?

I've tried to change for example the match welcoming talks (like "Hello, this is Jim Huston... and we have a great game between.. team x and team y"). There's no problem changing the "Team Names 2" category, x and y samples. I have edited the name's of the countries and it seems to work all right.

I use the old NHL PbP editor... I guess it is from year 2003 or something and there are no updates as far as I know? I have succeeded to put my own samples in the editor and changed their "0000 0000" 01, 0A, and so on... type values by using HexEdit to get the .hdr files to be like the old samples were. The editor gives no index errors, it seems to accept them. And the modified PbP files run in the game, it does not crash.

But my own imported samples seem to work only in the PbP editor, not in the game itself. The version I'm trying to modify is the Sotchi Olympics one, it is not the absolute latest version but I doubt that would be the reason for this. The same problem was with an another older mod also.

What am I doing wrong? Somehow it seems to me that the game just refuses to play my samples and skips them. It always uses some other variables of the same speech. Then I changed those ones, and the same thing goes on and on... I thought perhaps it was an isssue about timing in the game's sample playing code itself, but the samples I have changed in the editor are exactly in the same length in seconds like the old ones were. No luck.

The reason I want to edit some parts of the game speech and the pbp color commentary is because I would like to have a NHL 2004 rebuilt version with finnish language and some famous sport commentators. :)

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Playoff Beard Man
Ha ha, I managed to find a solution to my own problem.

This must be very boring to read for all normal people, I mean people who have real life and so on. ^_^ So my apologies... I just want to report this all here, in case someone else is interested in modding the PbP and finds this information useful.

At first.. I noticed that there were more categories with "welcome to this tournament match" -style speeches than I previously thought. They are at ID:s 121 - 129 of the color commentary. The ID 126 is the first category the game tries to play samples from when playing a tournament. ID 126 contains all "round robin" style of talk. If there is no such ID or there is something wrong with index, the game plays samples from another of these ID:s, like from 121 and so on. These ID's contain "neutral" game starting talks, the kind of samples that can be used in both the tournament play and the NHL season plays.

There seems to be a bug in the PbP view editor, so it cannot make proper .hdr files to import in the index when using color commentary category. It can be seen in the editor that the samples are taken in, but the offsets are all fucked up. (And the .hdr files the editor exports seem to be full of meaningless junk of data.) So that is why I used HexEdit to modify those .hdr files. The .dat files PbP view exports seem to be ok.

In order to make a valid .hdr file for the color commentary, I first tried to export a .hdr file out of the working NHL 2004 index and then edit it with HexEditor according to my own samples.

The things I could find so far when examining the hex code of the .hdr files are:
- a kind of running number of the ID (I'm not aware of the whole logic of this),
- the overall lenght of the corresponding .dat file,
- the number of individual samples in a specific ID,
- type of the samples (like 0000 0000 or 0000 0001 and so on..) and their offset values.

So I made my own .hdr files with HexEd by comparing the old, already working ones and editing them according to info of my own samples I was trying to import in the game.

Those new .hdr files were now showing and playing all right when I imported them in the PbP View. But there was just one thing... They would not play in the game itself. Nothing, just silence. This is where I almost gave up.

Then I remembered reading something about the differences of EA Sports sample formats between NHL 2003 and 2004. Luckily I just happened to have that old CD-ROM of NHL 2003! So I installed the original NHL 2003 on my computer, took the PbP folders out and opened the 2003 audpbp.idx in PbP view. (The game itself did not work in Windows 10, but that was not what I was after...)

After some searching I found the corresponding ID 126 Color commentary (all the tournament, round robin -speeches) value at ID 96, in the NHL 2003 index. Almost the same speeches, just with some other "funny" commentator named Don.

Anyway, I exported the .hdr and noticed some small differencies when comparing the hex structure of NHL 2003 to the NHL 2004 .hdr file. Some lines at the start and at the end. This looked promising... so I made similar changes to my own files again with HexEdit. Now the .hdr file hex code was in style of the original NHL 2003. I imported the .hdr file in PbP view. It was accepted, all the samples looked and sounded good...

When I started the NHL 2004 Rebuilt game and the tournament, a miracle on ice happened! I could now finally hear my own samples at the beginning of each round robin game! Now that things work with this method, I can continue modding the game's PbP. :perfect:

The moral of this story is:

95 percent of concentration leads to the 50 percent of performance!
Focus your energy on the essential!
Low risk, High reward!

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Hall of Famer
Nice work! :good: I really hope that you can also share your work with us when ever you're ready with them! Which finnish commentators you're planning to add to a game? Mertaranta? Saukkonen?
A video is worth of thousand pictures.

My Sharks 2015-16 season (finished)
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Playoff Beard Man
Oh yes, I am planning to share this PbP mod for sure when it is ready...

If anyone has complete match recordings of the Sotchi Olympics or any other ice hockey games with Mertaranta commentary (2000 - 2018 modern era), it would be a great help! I have only two of the latest IIHF World Championships saved on my hard disk, so more good quality audio source material = videos of the whole games is needed. So all sport collectors, please share... in such a good cause! I have already used everything I could find on YouTube. There's not very much useful audio one can rip out of just the goals & highlights videos for this kind of purpose. This is why complete recordings of the original broadcasts are needed.

Just finished working on ID 167, "it's the end of first / second period" -type of speeches... It looks like every Color Commentary ID header has to be edited individually, there is no single hex edit solution that works with all samples. But with the method previously mentioned, it is possible to change the headerfiles one by one and make your own samples play in the game. I am not sure about arena / rink speeches though.

At the moment I think there will be Mertaranta, J. Jalonen, Aravirta and Don Tami on the final commentary. I'm trying to produce a some kind of Finnish hockey sound experience with a little bit of comedy in it.

The new 1.5 launcher with its Goal Road -option makes up to a certain point possible to create a special soundtrack with Mertaranta screaming insanely every time Team Finland scores. And to disapointedly cry out when the opponent gets a goal.

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