Importing Music: Unreal Tournament 3 - Part 4

1: Getting Started
2: Sound Controls and Cues
3: The Music Arrangement
4: Cooking a Final Package
5: Quick Reference Guide

End of the line

The final step of importing music is saving your progress and creating a final package. At this point it's a good idea to save what you've done already in the event that you need to make any changes after playtesting or for any reason the following steps cause the editor to crash. In the browser window click on File and Save. You're going to be saving a complete uncompressed package of everything you've imported and setup. This is called an Uncooked Package. The location is important as it will need to be in a path that is searched by UnrealEd when it compiles a compressed, "Cooked" package. Save your file in \My Documents\My Games\Unreal Tournament 3\UTGame\Unpublished\CookedPC\. You may be asked to save things that aren't pacakges themselves such as the names of your groups. While it won't make individual packages for every group I still recommend not clicking cancel when these prompts appear. Just save everything in the same location.

Cooking with the Unreal Editor

In order to create a final package we'll need to reference our music in a map. The cooking process does two things to our music. First it removes anything that is not used. If you have music segments or stingers that are not referenced by the Arrangement these will be removed. Compression is also applied during the cooking process. While it may sound as if compression is applied to the audio if it is previewed after setting the compression level this is an approximation and no actual compression has been performed yet. Cooking removes unreferenced assets and compresses those that remain in order to compile the smallest possible package for distribution. 

The first step we need to take is to load a map. There's no need to feel intimidated by this as the modifications we're about to make barely constitute level editing. I would recommend using one of the maps included with the game. Other maps may have assets in them that may not be cooked again and will cause an error or a crash if attempted. Some safe maps to pick from are located in \Program Files\Unreal Tournament 3\UTGame\CookedPC\Maps\. Picking a map for a gametype that supports the theme that you had in mind will best reflect your music, it's segments and stingers, during playtests. If your music only has intro, ambient, action, and victory music segments pick a deathmatch (DM prefix) map. If you included suspense and tension then choose any of the other types of maps. The map we are chosing now is only being used as a tool to create a final package, your music will not be "locked" to this map. After the cooking process any level designer will be able to use your music. Distributing an uncooked package is almost never necessary.

After the map has loaded we need to make a reference to the music somewhere. The best place would be to replace the music the map currently uses. On the main editing toolbar at the top click View and World Properties. A small window with a lot of different property sections will appear. We're going to expand the WorldInfo section, then the MyMapInfo section. If this section is not expandable click the blue down arrow and click UTMapInfo. After expanding the UTMapInfo section you should see a field labeled MapMusicInfo. In a similar fashion to setting up music Cues in the Arrangement, go back to your music package and highlight the Arrangement. The in the WorldInfo properties window click the green left arrow next to MapMusicInfo to populate this field with the location of your arrangement. Since we have modified this map saving will create conflicts trying to play it online so it needs to be saved with a different filename. In the main editor toolbar at the top click File and Save As. I'd recommend keeping the prefix so the map still appears ingame in the map selection screen. Modify the rest of the filename in a fashion that you will be able to recognize. You will want to save the map in \My Documents\My Games\Unreal Tournament 3\UTGame\Unpublished\CookedPC\CustomMaps\.

After the map has been saved it's time to start the cooking process. On the top toolbar of the main editing window there is a button with a small arrow going through a flame. Click this button and stare intently at the following screen. Holding in your breath may not hurt and would actually aid in the pending cry of joy. Two command prompts will appear and begin displaying the results of the cooking process. This isn't very detailed so you won't find yourself lost in it. What we are looking for is a line that reports your package is being cooked. This happens before cooking the map and will read Cooking (Your package name). After that it's just a matter of waiting for the rest to finish sucessfully with the result being 0 warning and 0 errors. Afterall, you'd like to test your music out. If for any reason your package is cooked but you later receive errors or a crash this is still OK. You package has been cooked but you may want to select a different map to assign it to for playtesting. Cooked packages are found in My Documents\My Games\Unreal Tournament 3\UTGame\Published\CookedPC\ and if compared to your uncooked package you will notice a large difference in filesize. The cooked package is the one you will want to distribute.

 

Playtesting

It is likely that you'll want to test your music out. Not just because it's very rewarding to hear our own hard word played ingame but important to know if you've done everything as well as you could. It may turn out that some stingers are too loud or you think a longer crossfade between music sections will sound better. There is no need to worry about repeating everything just to "get it right". All your hard work in the editor is preserved in the uncooked package. Aside from modifying existing settings you can also import new segments or replace existing ones. An important thing to take note of though is if you wish to modify your package you will first need to delete the cooked package. Cooked packages are located in \My Documents\My Games\Unreal Tournament 3\UTGame\Published\CookedPC\. If you need to modify your package for any reason, delete the cooked package from this location along with the test map you used to cook with.

After you've made your modifications go ahead and follow the cooking process again but pay attention to the command prompts. The Unreal Editor will sometimes cache information on packages that have been cooked and you may receive a notice that your package is UpToDate even if a cooked version no longer exists. If you run into this error (by this point your uncooked package should be saved) close the editor and navigate to My Documents\My Games\Unreal Tournament 3\UTGame\Published\CookedPC\. Here you will find a file called GloablPersistentCookerData. Delete this file to continue the cooking process.

A Closing Note

This guide is made available to encourage more musicians to participate in the Unreal Tournament 3 mod community. Myself being a musician in the community do not in any way condone the use of non-original music being imported into this title. The only acceptable form of non-original music would be in the case of a remixed map from another title using the music that came with the original version. That song from your mp3 collection will not make your map leet, it will in fact do nothing other than draw the player out of the experience you are trying to create. If you are one of the people that thinks this way do me and everyone else a favor.
Stick to using Winamp.

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