GTA Ideas Pages
Parking is one of the most ambitious GTA level projects in the
works right now.
In an interview of September 13th 1998, Michael Mendelsohn of GTA Ideas Pages
talks with stu and Zod about details.
Come in, sit down, please. * Butting Heads with Commander Zod * === Interview......Starts Here === * When did your involvement with GTA start, and how did it start? * Well, what is the TC about? What sets it apart from the rest? * What tools are you using to achieve these results? * DP - the series * What is your view of the curent GTA scene? * What DMA should do to save GTA * Concluding the Interview * Make Missions before Maps
You are Stuart "stu" Thompson and Commander Zod - Zod, what's your real name, and why did you choose that handle?
Well my real name is Andrew and I chose Commander Zod because of a game called "Z". It was a hella good game and it involved "drunk robots" and a hard time Commander Zod. He was kinda like my inspiration when I played Quake . I only got a handle because I joined in the Quake scene with a web page on the now down webgamers.com.
You both have your own websites and cooperate on a GTA TC called "Double Parking" . When did your involvement with GTA start, and how did it start?
About last year I was visiting pcgamer.com and I was bored, looking for a demo. I saw a game called "Grnd Theft Auto". I was like: wow I'm sure the game has nothing to do with car jacking, that would be "immoral". Well, I downloaded it and I played the demo and boy, was it fun! Eventually people started to hear about this game and make web pages. Of course I had no part in it yet, and just one day we were at our local computer store buying a CD-R and I asked my Dad, can I get this game? What the hell, he said, so I got it, played it a while and started to visit Gouranga. I noticed, geez this game has been hacked,cracked, and jacked, people making cars, maps, and i remember my good Quake years of playing TC's. So I thought of something original: a TC for GTA. Now the word TC wasn't even known in the community when I started this, and now (as you can see) most of the GTA scene is TC's. I must also say my inspiration to all of the GTA scene came from GTA UK style.
Well, I got into the GTA scene thanks to my brother who downloaded the demo and showed it to me. This was in January. I liked the game but never considered making a webpage about it. Then I started to get into user created maps. I had trouble finding maps so I started a site called "GTA Maps". This site came out at roughly the same time as MandM's and for obvious reasons had roughly the same content. Mugwum wrote me a letter saying I was copying his site. I had a look and realized that they were very similar. I decided that I could not compete with a site like MandM's and got the idea for the GTA Map Makers Forum., which started at Xoom, then moved to mugwum (which was then located at Warcenter) and is now currently located at http://mapform.gibbed.com. (Phew.)
This sounds like each of you had your own start at it. How did you get to cooperate? Did you know each other in real life, or is it "just" an online cooperation?
Yeah, when I started in the GTA scene I knew no one. I believe stu mailed me one day asking to help ? Or maybe I mailed him after seeing our names on BoardZilla
Yep. I mailed you. But you knew me from Zilla.
I started double parking with friends from prior scenes such as quake but most of the guys are gone now. Only D|n|A who has made the great site is still one of the original members.
I started out not knowing anyone, too.
What exactly was it that made you contact each other and keep it up, too?
Well I guess stu saw what the TC was all about and was impressed ;)
Yeah. It looked like an interesting oppurtunity. I'm glad I joined.
And I mean stu seemed like a pretty popular guy on boardzilla. He was into the community, while at the time the only thing that made me famous was the Jared vs Mugwum war.
Are you cooperating in other areas as well, e.g. webmastering?
Um no, not really. We have two great webmasters: D|n|A who made the great page, and Jedi Knight who is our CGI master. But I have helped stu in the past with his webpage at map makers forum and created the new GTA Think Tank which i believe we will both work on.
Yep...it's a joint project now. (Actually it always was.)
The thing that sets it apart from the rest is that is actually is a TC.
I started this TC (total conversion) as the first. People liked the idea and made up their own idea of what a TC was and called it that. In fact everything else out there except for Prototype 2029 is a PC (partial conversion). The TC will feature some of the best looking cars you can make without having DMA make them. It will also feture new sounds, new missions, new textures, new powerups, new graphics, the works. The other thing I feel that sets this TC apart is that it has the most elite crew and only expects the best for the TC as you can see from the previews page.
Zod pretty much said it all there. I have nothing to add.
I'm using photoshop for the one car I made. Blackdeath who made the rest of the cars except for Supra uses photoshop. I'm using GTA Wave for the new sound input.
I'm using J25 and M1. I use J25 to edit and M1 to view it.
We are also working on an new cutscene which is made in freespace or a program something like that. Freespace is a 3D rendering program.
Are you tuning/tweaking any files by hand? Will the existing tools let you reach your goals?
Currently no, the existing tools will not let us reach everything we wanted, but we are working around that.
Well, we hope they will. We want to get the basics out of the way before doing anything like that.
That was one thing I was worried about once joining the GTA scene: that the current tools would not allow us to reach our goal. Our newest idea to work around what the tools won't let us do is releasing DP as a "saga" with a map and the mission.ini one by one.
What exactly would you like to do that the present utilities do not or not wholly support?
I would like to be able to put comments into J25. You click on the cube and there's a comments spot.
Well first off, I would love to see M25 made. The other day I mailed the J25 team asking if it was still in production.
M25, are you listening? :-)
The other tool that I would love to see is something that would let you keep your cars, your work; that would write protect them one way or another so we would have no one stealing cars.
Unfortunately though, I have not seen any progress in GTA tools lately. M1 still messes up my comp even though I have the best video cards out there. I havn't seen much work on J25, I guess Gtacars is coming out with a new version which looks promising.
I would also love to see a good mission.ini tool that's more than just a shortcut notepad. I
want a mission editor as simple to use as J25. As simple as that: choose the mission, give the proper route or what has to be done, and well that's absolutely all in a mission.ini editor.
You've said before that as a response to tools still developing you're releasing DP in installments.
Will I be playing on a half completed map and be eagerly awaiting for the next half? Will I have to pay you money for the "full version"?
Anything we release will be fully completed unless it's marked BETA. No money.
You can pay me if you want, mendel! :-)
The maps will be complete, but add-ons will be released.
What will happen is a map will be released with a couple missions and a style file and for about a month a new mission.ini will be released that will add to the missions and maybe a new car. Now some maps will be very small as they will take you from one city to another to merge the cities together. This way we can put a mixture of both textures into a style file.
Remember the "Green Mile" series by Stephen King? It's almost like that.
Actually I got this idea from the game called secretops.com which is a fullversion game (the sequel to wing commander prophecy) which they are releasing over the net with new missions every thursday for 7 weeks .
What will set the serialized release apart from two maps released seperately? Will I save on the download?
Well all the maps will be worked together and will make sense, i.e. not like you're in Liberty City at one time and then suddenly you get shipped accross the country. Each map will be related and the mission.ini will eventually evolve into a great story. In other words you will think back after DP is done and it will make sense that you started from this one city and ended at this other city.
So should I wait until they're all done and then play it all at once?
What fun would that be? :-) You don't have to wait as long this way.
To experience the most enjoyment you should play it during the release weeks. I doubt there will be a full installation of files since the we may add a new car into the city which will go over the limit of what the style file allows.
Lets say this: the point I want DP to have is to bring GTA playing back. I mean people are making things left and right. I go to web pages and say, wow, that looks nice, but how much of the time do you actually spend time to install a new car and try it out ?
How many times does this happen: You download the latest and greatest map, stick it in your gtadata dir, play it for an hour, then delete it? With DP you get an ongoing story and game. It hopefully will keep people interested. The only car I've installed is Azz's E-Type (hehehe).
Zod, did you mean early versions will have cars that are gone from later version as they are being replaced by new cars?
No. Let's say this one map starts in a city we will call "x city". Now that city has all new cars and every slot is taken for cars. Now there may be one mission towards the end where we add a new texture into the city but we can't do this without replacing a diffrent texture.
Cars change as years, in DPs case, weeks, go by. We want to make it realistic by making newer cars each couple of weeks.
You will not see cars like jag, merc, up and down the streets. You will see hondas, dodges. That was my first goal: it pissed me off that I saw so many porsches and shit.
Hehehehe. That's right. In GTA every 10 cars is a Jaguar. :-)
Errrm. I will look out for a car dealership on the map then, preferably a BMW branch :-)
Actually we will see Zod's used cars, where the customer is always wrong ;)
Can the serial form be viewed as a way to get at least part of your effort published before the decried death of the GTA scene occurs?
That's what we hope to do. I feel if we release it before GTA dies people will come back. Unfortunately we all try to admit to ourselves things are dying. The only thing that will bring it back is if regular viewers start making maps. I want to see some good old-fashioned maps by people who visit our webpages and download cars and play them but don't own a web page or aren't known.
At first I thought that, but, I think the scene isn't dying. There are rumors of other GTA Packs (or whatever they're called) being released, ie, GTA London. And that is the only way the scene will stay alive. I talked to Tosh about this earlier. We believe that if DMA doesn't release an add-on soon, people will get bored of GTA (which is already happening). Even a new car pack would be nice.
What's an "old-fashioned map"? A map with no missions, to be used for a deathmatch?
You remember Burger City, Black Hole City, ED (Extreme Driving). I'm not even gonna talk about ED 2 because just as I said there is none. Well, missions are nice but if people start making maps and start working hard we will be saved.
What keeps you going in the face of this? You aren't dying yet, as we can see from your plans...
Well as long as we get page hits I say it's still worth it. I mean I always think about quitting but I always think: I got this far, I'm not gonna stop now, I'm gonna finish this. Even if no one wants it I will play it.
Well, I think that not having a game to replace GTA keeps me going. Unreal won't work on my system. Starcraft is good, but not "GTA-good". I need something to do when I go on the internet. :-)
The thing that would bring the GTA scene back is pages like Freeway51, GTA UK Style. Right now all i see is words, people saying they have this and that (an expample would actually be DP), but when I joined the community people had stuff finished and ready to go. In a way i feel responsible for introducing the word TC into GTA because people started to do that and put their maps into a project that would take months instead of weeks.
I don't understand this yet. What makes a good website like (you said) Freeway51 or GTA UK Style are/were?
Freeway 51 had it all: a map, updated cars that looked great. Freeway 51 had the right feeling, the GTA feeling to it. Recently alfadog posted some info that he was giving it up so I think he left. He sent me a warning message. The GTA scene is dying, but if I leave it will only make it worse. There is still a scene as long as there are 2 people.
Alright, off the record: it seems certain that there will be GTA2,and I think GTA1 levels can be converted to that :-). So its not all pointless, and the GTA2 scene will have a head start (if the game is any good, which I expect of DMA).
Well DMA/BMG, whoever the fuck made it, needs to give out more editing info.
DMA Design made it, BMG/ASC/Take2 distributed it. What editing info do you need?
Like quake/quake II: source code that would allow us to make new weapons and all new items much easier; and it would let GTA survive much longer. Just look at quake!
Well, id started it earlier. Catsle Wolfenstein, Doom, Hexen, Quake, wasn't that the street?
Yes, but... If DMA released source code that would allow us to edit the game, maybe perhaps have Capture The Flag games and people could even work out the net play bugs.
Net play bugs? It's just slow, are there bugs?
Well I'm sure if DMA took a bit more time they could have increased the speed.
Errrrrmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, not with the current game engine, no.
Well that's just a diffrence in opinion. I understand that GTA has to send info to both computers about cars running in diffrent locations. You literally have to send twice the amount of info. Speaking of quake, my next public project will probably be to port GTA into quake for improved net play. We will. Lets not get into a quake to much though ;)
What slows GTA down is that all machines run in synch, transmitting input information between frames. If you look ahead like quake does, you need to transfer the whole system state every so often.
Imagine getting into a car only to discover your oppenent had taken it while you were in netlag. The "jumpiness" and unpredictabilty of quake netpay would wreak havok with a sim-based environment.
Now GTA keeps track of more than 200 objects, and sending info about all this and updating the game engine accordingly would be very difficult. Lets say you have 200 ms lag, that are 5 frames. When a GTA client receives a valid system state from 5 frames back, it'd have to calculate the players movements ahead from that time in a very short time.
You could ask about what kind of mission we're gonna havr or maybe some base of story line ?
Errrrrm no, you have that on your web site, I think.
Well then put it up! :-) I don't want to write advertising for you, I want an in-depth interview.
Then think of a question!
Well the interview's over now. I have most of my questions answered. I could ask about communication and cooperation within your large team, but asking you alone is pretty pointless as people are apt to have different views of this.
Well yeah. So how do we end it ?
Thank you for the Interview! And good luck with Double Parking!
Thank You mendel ;)
Do you want to greet anyone? :-)
Well just great all of the DP team for the great work they haev been doing...
They *ARE* doing I hope...
...and to all the people who still visit our site.
That seems to be a rumor that no work is being done on DP. Dunno where it came from.
Well send round my new mission idea maybe that'll motivate them
I hope I make "Scriptwriter" credits with this one :-) Its the longest mission I've outlined so far.
Yeah it works but not as a beginning mission; probably use it as a last mission on the first map.
What other types of missions do you need? What are the aims of my boss?
Dont' worry about it at the moment. Lets get the map done first.
Wrong wrong wrong! If you want a good story you need props, you can see that from my idea. Most of the stuff will be there,but the mansion and the building site with the obstructions won't.
GTA Ideas Pages