Posted Skyline 3 years ago
SA-MP developer Kalcor quote from sa-mp.com.
This year marks 10 years since SA-MP's first release. That's longer than Project Apollo!
I thought I'd write a little about the project's early days, for anyone interested. It's mainly an excuse to post some old screenshots. I have decided to keep the whole history thing short and not mention many specific names. The lack of names isn't because I don't want to give credit, it's that I don't know who does and doesn't want to be mentioned. Most people directly involved in SA-MP development or testing are credited in the credits screen of the version they contributed to.
First off, I'll put this message out in to the aether: if you have contributed to this project in any way, thank you. And I do mean in any way. Even if you did try to screw us over in the end by channeling your inner-chimp.
Rockstar Games doesn't provide any SDK, modding tools, or documentation for the GTA engine. Mods can still be developed for these games, although it is hard to get results that would impress most gamers. You have to rely on your own research about how the game works, and on what other modders have patched together.
The GTA III series of games (III, VC, SA) did not have any coding for multiplayer in the engine. There were rumours that Rockstar had their own internal multiplayer code although I found no evidence of it in the releases.
In mid-2003, I was invited to work on a project called MTA:VC, a multiplayer mod for GTA: Vice City. I wanted to play GTA:VC online and had sent MTA some code showing one way that player animations could be synced.
I was one of the first two people working on MTA's "blue" core, which was brand new version of their mod, with a console, and the console text was blue. Some important technical improvements to GTA multiplayer mods were made during the initial MTA "blue" development. I worked with the MTA guys for about a year.
Very early SA-MP
Early 2005, MTA:VC "blue" had still not been released. I was a bit angry, knowing that players weren't able to benefit from the improvements made behind the scenes. The release of GTA:SA for PC was only a few months away. The GTA modding community knew at that point that the GTA:SA game engine was similar to Vice City. I decided I would try to create my own multiplayer mod for San Andreas.
I wanted a short domain name for the project, something that was quick to type and easy to remember. I settled on the project name SA-MP, which is a shortened version of San Andreas Multiplayer. People have since checked the name for signs of genius and found none.
In early April 2005, I set up the main SA-MP website and started using Vice City as a base to code a new GTA multiplayer mod. After a few days I had a basic server set up which a player could connect to and have a chat with themselves. I used a CJ skin mod for Vice City, a San Andreas HUD mod, and.. Corel Photopaint, to produce these first "screenshots" of SA-MP:
VC-MP 0.1 (2005)
After setting up the site, the forum, and releasing a couple of mock up shots (chops?), I managed to entice a few other guys to join the project, which was good fortune, since I was beginning to worry that I would have to rename the project to San Andreas Uniplayer.
By the end of May 2005, the community was still very small, but some serious progress had been made getting a multiplayer running in Vice City.
GTA:SA released on PC in June 2005 and I got to work right away. A few weeks later, I had a primitive multiplayer working and we were able to drive around San Andreas doing Monster Convoys.
Since VC-MP had been left unfinished, I decided to put SA-MP on hold and try to push VC-MP to release. These versions of SA-MP were released as VC-MP 0.1 between August and early September 2005.
SA-MP 0.1 (2006)
After VC-MP was released, I had a few months away from GTA, and had given up on the SA-MP project at one point. It wasn't long before SA-MP development got started up again. The main development of SA-MP 0.1 took place during December 2005 and April 2006, with public betas taking place in April and the first public SA-MP release in May 2006.
SA-MP 0.2 (2007)
last half of 2006 and the early part of 2007, I was too busy with work to contribute anything to SA-MP. Some other guys picked up the slack and tried to push 0.2 to release. I started working on the project again after the first 0.2 beta.
SA-MP 0.2.5 (2008)
It became clear after the initial SA-MP 0.2 release that some servers might be able to benefit from holding 500 maximum players. One of my personal goals was to enable server owners to create a game which was similar to San Andreas single player, but have the world entirely populated by real people. Some role-playing servers were already inching towards that goal. When I threw VC-MP together three years earlier, I was only designing a mod that could hold 32 players. To get the player count as high as 500, much of the existing base would have to be redesigned.
0.2.5 was delayed several times, and due to security issues in the released 0.2.2 version, I was forced to abandon it temporarily and release security updates.
SA-MP 0.3 (2009-present)
The 0.3 base was forked from SA-MP 0.2.5, which went unreleased. The 0.3 base is going to be the version that carries SA-MP for the next few years, and probably until the end. SA-MP 0.3 was designed to hold a maximum of 500 players and 2000 vehicles per server. During the 0.3 public betas, we managed to get over 800 players across two servers.