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Radio broadcasts

If you have a fixed radio station and a keyed wavelength. Perhaps you could create a single use recording a bit like the TV, except it can only be broadcast once. That way we could set up daily broadcasts like a pirate radio station that could be set up to play once a day for a few hours with a pre-recorded show of sorts. I like the idea that TV is locked down completely by NLM...but who'se in control of the other airwaves? Pirate radio broadcasts. Sure some people will use these stations for private communications...but a mixer radio station seems themely as hell.
An audio recorder/looper would be really nice. Ideally, it would have a minimum and maximum threshold based on how often the loop runs. i.e.

Does the audio loop run every ten minutes? You are limited to one sentence of 140 characters.

Does the loop run every hour? You can get up to 6 sentences of up to 140 characters.

My expectation would be it creates a positive feedback loop that encourages PC's to maximize the length of their daily/weekly radio broadcast of choice.

One thousand percent this.

We need a way of creating persistent, repeatable content to broadcast. Doesn't have to be, and honestly shouldn't be as robust as NLM's media system, even some basic 'tape/holo recorders' would work.

Hell. Make it take a E-note module and just read off the script as written 'recorded' on a timer.

Is it really theme?

I mean... this seems more Steampunk/Noir than Cyberpunk. If it were Cyberpunk, you'd be uploading something to a server to hijack NLM's broadcasts.

I have no issue with this as a game system... but pirate radio seems... 1940s not 2100s.

Still Radios are in and certainly a cool game system, so, yeah, being able to broadcast would be really sweet.

I mean...radio broadcasts seem more like something you'd manually do more so than you'd stick a recording in, least with the current tech for this kinda thing.

Not saying I wouldn't like recordings, because I would especially for player based music, etc, but part of radio is that its fairly live IRL, and would benefit more from it being an interactable medium compared to TV, which for the most part in SD, is non interactable.

Well. This IS the cyberpunk game with guns from the 1920's in it.

All the recent additions have been amazing, but to your point, @BlazingCoconut, perhaps not 100% on CP's theme. But then again, depending on your source material, running around bashing in people's skulls with wooden sticks, cromag characters, etc. may not be the most themely.

But to go with this, we've also been getting massive expansions to cybernetics, rigging, robotics, and other cool more futuristic content!

A dedicated player could build an incredible radio following using only the tools available to them right now. Get the word out, publish a broadcast schedule on flyers or the grid, stick to it, deliver interesting content.

Repeatable messages would be cool, but they aren't strictly necessary to make a pirate radio show worth listening to.

What makes it themely in my mind is the fact that mixers usually don't have access to that sort of thing. Deckers and hacker groups who focus on hacking might have access to server hijacks and TV servers and all that. But I can only imagine that most mixers don't have the intelligence for that. Scavenged broadcast equipment. A car battery plugged into an antena with a microphone and a rigged up radio system. That's what most mixers will use. And even if they don't have one of those ham radio style things, they have some sort of recieving radio. Too poor to afford their brand new NLM Quickterm or a Basic TV to watch their shows..Instead they lie in the gutter with their earplugs in, cuddled under some fireproof blanket they raided from a first aid kit...Listening to the broadcasts they can trust.
The only issue you might run into is people broadcasting over each other. Like if I was a mixer and wanted my song to be played. I'd set up a continual loop to broadcast forever. Which basically kills an entire band for the time that it's broadcasting.

Just something to think about in terms of contention. Broadcasts might make Radio really spammy and unusable too as everyone hammers their broadcasts over each other since there is no central schedule.

Again, all for it, but there probably should be some thought to the implementation of it before just adding it in.

Stuff like this exists. FOIC
People shouting over each other on radio is 100% what SIC network is.

Theme!

@LeanneGreere

"Listening to the broadcasts they can trust."

There is SO much to unpack in that statement. I found it amusing enough to comment on. Not going to say anything more on that, but it made my day reading that.

@BlazingCoconut

at least in the UK - pirate radio was really popular in the 90s and even still in the 2000s - where grime music got popular and where alot of artists got their start. many still operate, as well. i think its pretty themely to have pirate radios operating when NLM (to my knowledge) has monopolised and controls most other forms of media (tv, the internet/the grid), etc) - not just for music but for information sharing and news outside of NLM's vicegrip

Agree with Not_anon. I'm also from the UK and that's kinda why I love this stuff.

The main reason I suggested this was to provide us the oppertunity to have the broadcaster use "Tapes" or something that could be used from musical people which could be played across the radio so we don't just have a talk radio.

It's just a thought and I understand it might not fit exactly how people see the theme but I was just going with some stuff we already had sort of implimented and build on it

@not_anon

Ironically I'm an Ex-Pat in the US. I mean yes... kind of? It's in the game, so it should be used and again, I'm not against the idea out of hand. I do think that broadcasts open up a lot of other issues that could make the intended use of radio completely null. If everyone is fighting for broadcast time, then... communicating on them might become really difficult.

But Radio, in general, is not really a CP theme. In nearly every genre piece people hack or take over transmitters to broadcast through the Net/Matrix/TV/etc. Radio just is not prevalent in the theme material. Because it's a tech from another era. Just like RadioDramas. They are period from the 20s-50s. Sure, people still produce them... and Pod Casts have revitalized them a little, but you would not say that RadioDrama's are all themely if you were doing a period piece for today.

If I had my choice, it would be some kind of splice/hack/etc that allows Mixers to take over an NLM channel for X amount of mintues/hours and broadcast content. Not only would that allow a very themely way to broadcast, but it would foster conflict and be far more on theme. Plus it would utilize TVs more and doesn't run into the risk of ruining the primary intention of radios.

However, again, I'm not opposed to the idea. Just some thoughts around it is all.

If I had my choice, it would be some kind of splice/hack/etc that allows Mixers to take over an NLM channel for X amount of mintues/hours and broadcast content. Not only would that allow a very themely way to broadcast, but it would foster conflict and be far more on theme. Plus it would utilize TVs more and doesn't run into the risk of ruining the primary intention of radios.

This exists. Just because we have one form of pirate entertainment that is limited to a number of people who utilize it doesn't mean we shouldn't have another more open, unregulated one.

@ReeferMadness

Technically, the ability to broadcast music/programming/etc also exists too. So that's already in game. Nothing is stopping people from broadcasting what they need or setting up their own little radio hour.

But again, not really opposed, but I do think there are things which should be thought through before adding something like this. Have five shows broadcasting on top of each other, or some mixer power repeating their song on every frequency might cause issues to the intended use of radios.

I think you greatly overestimate the player bases ability to actually create and push new content. In addition, by putting limitations on the broadcast devices in question - you can prevent frequencies from being bombarded. The entire frequency system is set up to be opt-in with the exception of baselines so I'm not certain what the problem is.

I think radio content creators are just looking for a way to broadcast their content in a set it and forget it in the fashion that can yield a consistent audience as one can with newspapers, grid, and tv today.

"Radio, in general, is not really a CP theme."

It depends what you do with it. It's not inherently un-CP.

I mean, friggin' Johnny Mnemonic starts with an antique double-barrel break-action shotgun with hand-machined brass shells (since they're otherwise unavailable) because "when they expect high tech, go low tech."

CP is about subversion.

"this seems more Steampunk/Noir than Cyberpunk"

It breaks my heart when people either forget or never knew in the first place that CP is noir. If it's not noir, it's not proper CP.

I don't think its healthy for system performance to give everyone the ability to determine their own schedule and frequency of automatic spam they subject others to. I'd need to really 'meta manage' it without your control, determining when there had been too much spam recently and artificially failing your check when you go to transmit as a result.

Also, I hated the repeating loops in Fallout, I'd like this to be a live system of Pirate DJs, which are very 80s. Like watch UHF, its' on Amazon Prime ffs.

I think the system performance thing is real -- if anyone could do it it would become huge.

It's sort of one of those chicken and egg issues -- it would be cool if there was a managed pirate radio or pirate TV station in the Mix, but then you kind of want to be something player-driven before it's coded. You don't want some NPC saying 'and now there is pirate radio here'.

Perhaps if a group of PCs consistently run a radio station over the course of months staff could run a plot + code to be able to give the ability to 'pre-program' a set number of broadcasts similar to how NLM can program channels, turning that station into an IC institution with a lease and the ability to program things akin to many of the other IC businesses. Seeing an IC business like that emerge out of organic play would be cool.

I love the idea of pirate radio. While pirate TV is themely, it's also heavily illegal and results in things like corpsec hit squads when it is overused. I think radio is a natural, unpoliced, unowned, fallback that creators/djs/rebels can use to get their message out. I've always loved that as a concept, CP or not.
I think a looper that transcribed all the .txt files on any e-memory module plugged into it over a radio station keyed until the battery died would be an interesting piece of tech.
Recognizing the code might be a nightmare to implement and taxing to run, I think Reefer's idea is quietly very awesome and has pretty considerable potential, though I'd argue it would be even better if it was something players could just leave running forever (or at least for a long time) with the right equipment.

It would open the door for low budget radio programs (not live ones but repeating pre-written formats) or even number station style data caches (how to do X, Y and Z documented by some long dead mentor in repeated 30 minute patterns every other hour).

Adding new 'shows' into a rotation just by adding formatted text files to an e-note is, conceptually, really fucking awesome. It's easy to imagine players running wild with it and probably coming up with stuff we can't think of now.

Something like in Fallout 3 where you have repeating messages would be cool. Imagine a faction putting out a broadcast to visit some secret location in the Badlands!
Question about radios: Do low to high band take obstacles and distance?

IIRC, low band signals have short range, but carry more data, right? And high band signals can go much further, but take skill on the part of the operator to be reliable, e.g. when bouncing your signal off of the atmosphere to sens it over a mountain to your chum 30 miles away.

I don't know if that's how it works IC, but it would be very cool to make low band radios have short range, but transmit a clearer signal signal, and have high band have long range, but require more dkill on the operator's part to transmit. Have you ever tried to play with REAL radios? That shit is not intuitive and takes training and practice, something cool for tech characters to bring.

"Loopers" or the device that Reefer mentioned I remember as being a hotly-demanded item when radio was first introduced. If there is a desire to see pirate radio stations existing, then the ability to record and replay (even if just spitting back a .txt as suggested) would be almost required.

Live performances would be amazing of course, but the problem is the lack of interest of owning radios combined with the logistical challenges of doing live shows (what time is the show, what frequency, etc.) These things are easily addressed by editing your .txt file and plugging in ad-spots for upcoming live shows, talk radio and etc. while also providing people with a running playlist of things to enjoy when live performances aren't available. This is paralleled IRL by radio stations running X hours of robo-broadcasts and then sticking a syndicated rebroadcast show in at Y time slot on Z day.

The only concern I would have would be making sure there are appropriate limitations as to the number of 'pirate radio' station style devices allowed into the game, since open broadcast is very much a denial of service attack over the radio. Just don't want 40 stations eating up a huge chunk of the low or mid band airwaves, which is exactly the reason why we have the FCC in the first place!

Forgot to mention:

Two features I think would be bangers for such a device. Allow for the .txt to loop if it's in a 'unformatted' manner, but perhaps allow timestamps based on minutes, which will fire off the bracketed MUSIC/TALK starting at the time listed on the header. This mirrors real-world programming.

Example:

DJ Jazzy Jeff Jimbo hands it off to Weatherman Dan at the top of every hour:

:00 [WEATHER REPORT]

:15 [AD SPOT ONE]

:16 [UPCOMING SONGS/ARTISTS]

:17 [MUSIC]

:30 [AD SPOT TWO]

If you wanted to be more granular, you could allow the header to drill down to minute and second, and give the owner of the station the ability to pace out music, shows and other content in a way that there isn't massive dead-air gaps, or that they can fill with their own canned content. I recognize that this is in some ways infringing on some IC jobs, but I think some competition between 'modern' and 'retro' media might make for interesting class divide gameplay.

The other thing about loopers is that it allows for the DJ/content producers to have a life (IC and OOC). Nobody wants to stop good RP just to beeline to a radio station to read off the ad spot of the week, then try and beeline back to doing what they were previously, and there shouldn't be an expectation that the DJ or radio station owner be around and in-game/character an excessive amount of time just to babysit the station. This was a huge problem I encountered when I attempted to run a radio station in the past- that without the ability to pre-record or otherwise 'program' content, that my character's ability to actually play the game between being a radio jock was seriously disrupted- it wasn't fun.