BMA's Making Your Own Music
I find myself playing many different factions in Napoleon: Total War, and many times the music is not appropriate for the faction, my personal tastes or for the current in-game situation. Though I knew little to nothing about modding, I discovered and read tenjouten’s article Creating your own Music Mod (May 21, 2010) as a basic starting point to change NTW music to my own taste. I highly recommend this tutorial to any who are interested in learning this process.
A basic knowledge of your computer and its operating system.
Understanding of file and folder naming and renaming conventions.
A basic understanding of file and folder manipulation.
Possession of Napoleon: Total War game.
Pack File Manager
To start, you will need a copy of Pack File Manager (current version: 1.5.9) recently updated by erasmus777. In his article, he offers attributions to those individual who created and worked on this tool, so I will not get into that. It is enough to say, with this tool, modding would be a great deal more problematic. Download PFM and install it on your desired hard drive. Once PFM is installed, it can be used to extract the needed files for your music mod.
Use of PFM
Once opened, go to the drop-down menu in the upper left corner of the screen and single click on File, then Open. At this point, you will need to navigate to the Napoleon: Total War data file, though there are differing paths, dependent on your personal computer operating system. In my case it is:
Windows7 - "C:\Program Files(x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\napoleon total war\data"
Once the napoleon total war\data folder is accessed, scroll down and find the sound.pack file. Double click this icon to select this file. Now, double-click on the sound.pack icon to open it and view its contents. It should look similar to this:
At this point, you should make a new folder and save it to your desktop. Name this folder something catchy like my_music_mod, or whatever suits your taste. This is the folder where you will do most of your work and it will hold your finished mod.
Your open sound.pack file should look something like this:
The two items that interest us at this point are the folders labeled music, and the one labeled front_end_music. It is these that we shall extract via PFM.
Using PFM, right click on the first music folder in the menu and Extract Selected it to your recently made desktop folder, in this example my_music_mod.
Next, do the same for the other music folder, Extract Selected to my_music_mod. Finally, extract front_end_music to the same desktop folder.
Minimize Pack File Manager at this time.
Open your new desktop folder (my_music_mod), and verify two folders are present:
ntw (PFM extracts the higher hierarchical fold along with the folder you originally extracted.)
Close Pack File Manager at this time.
Here I take a moment to clarify my statements regarding the two music folders you will [initially] modify. You need not modify both; you can modify only the front_end_music (this is the music that plays when the Napoleon: Total War begins; or you can modify any or all of the music contained in the other music folder or sub-folders. The choice is up to each individual and their tastes and how deeply they wish to change the game’s music.
At this point we have two folders, and we only work with these two front_end_music and ntw\music.
Opening front_end_music, there is only one file: ntw_mus01.mp3. It is worth noting that all files in this tutorial are .mp3, nothing else will work! This is the music that plays during the title screen and this is the music that we shall replace (assuming this is what you desire).
Prior to getting into music file substitution, I strongly urge you to keep track of all files, their names and the new music titles/names that will be substituted. For this purpose I generally use Excel. Keeping track of your files is almost mandatory, but it is your choice…it can be done on Notepad, Word or whatever you decide.
As tenjouten suggests: When you replace something, you basically have to rename your song to the song that is in the folder or the game won't recognize it. For example, in the front_end_music, the title of the song is ntw_mus01. If you want to replace it with your own song that's titled...say.."One winged angel", you have to rename this song to "ntw_mus01" and copy over the ntw_mus01that's already in the folder.
As you notice in the above image, I am using the intro from the movie The Wind and the Lion to replace the original music from NTW. What I must do is rename my windandthelion_suite.mp3 to the name of the NTW piece [that it will replace] which is titled ntw_mus01.mp3. This is mandatory if you wish this to work! All replacement music must be renamed to the name of the original piece. You might see why a record of changes is helpful.
After renaming to ntw_mus01.mp3, the new piece is dragged over to the front_end_music folder where it is dropped and where it will [should automatically] replace the existing original NTW piece of music.
Next, open the ntw\music located in my_music_mod folder and you will see additional folders.
Each folder contains specific music files associated with various processes of the game.
Here I will defer to tenjouten’s tutorial as he clarifies the folders’ purposes and offer his personal observation. Remember, his article can be read here.
Alright, let us jump ahead and assume you’ve replaced and renamed all the music files you desired and it’s now time to put this all into a .pack file. Open a new instance of Pack File Manager and in the upper left corner of the screen, left click file and on the subsequent drop down menu, click new. A window will open and it will ask: Make packed files relative to which directory? Look at your desktop icon in the new window, and find the folder you made at the beginning: my_music_mod, and click on it, then click OK.
Next, right click on untitled.pack on your PFM screen and select Add Directory.
A popup window will open and ask: Which directory? In the popup, you will need to find only the directory containing the files you modified. In this case, it will be my_music_mod. Click this and then click OK.
This will add the directory, sub-directories and .mp3 files you changed as well as the ones you did not. We are almost through! Next we need to change the pack type to mod. We do this by right clicking on our untitled.pack which will lead to a drop down menu, and we will select Change Pack Type which brings up another menu, and we will select Mod.
We now need to name and save our new mod, so we go up to File (upper left) and from the drop down menu, select save as and select the name by which you want it to be known. Be aware, the underscore symbol (_) is used to fill blank areas. You could just name it my_music_mod for ease.
What we have left, is to copy our music mod pack file and place it in your Steam\SteamApps\common\napoleon total war\data directory (Windows7), and to make an entry in our user.script.txt file located in C:\Users\Rick\AppData\Roaming\The Creative Assembly\Napoleon\scripts (again, Windows7).
The entry should be the same as you named your music .pack file. In this case:
I end this with the disclaimer that I am not a modder, so that should offer some reassurance that the music mod process is not too difficult. The major problem comes from seeking to obtain the perfect music score, and then making a mod for each faction or hearing something you feel you should add, and it goes on….
Additionally, without access to the mods of previous individuals, I would not have been able to write this or even understand a fraction of this knowledge. Below are some mods that I find are of interest and there are many more that I have missed.
Pack File Manager – recent update by erasmus777
Creating your own Music Mod by tenjouten
Brigadier Graham's, Napoleon Total Music Mods - La♔De♔Da♔Brigadier Graham
NICK STONES EPIC MUSIC MOD - Nickstone08
Hesus Music ModV2 - Hesus de bodemloze
BMA_Ott_Music_Mod_V1.0 - BlackMailedAgain
BMA_mod_battle_silence_V1.3 - BlackMailedAgain
Finally, there are likely errors in this narrative and I accept all responsibility for their inclusion or the omission of needed illustrations or text. If areas seem unclear or wrong, let me know and I will examine it and see if problems exist. A great deal more depth can be added by those who attempt to mod the music, but this is only intended to present a basic schema for any interested.
I have attached a .docx copy of this narrative for use.