[WIP] Vice City Online (VCO) merges with State Of Liberty (SOL)
So, what's happenin'?
Vice City Online:
In the month of April (2010, of course), ReGeX and I discussed the possibilities of adding a new flair to the project. What ReGeX had in mind, I could not have been prepared. After researching a well-known GTA modder by the name of X-Seti, it was clear that he too was going through the developers' blues. For those of you who do not know who X-Seti is, he is the founder and lead-developer of the GTA: State Of Liberty (SOL) modification. SOL had problems, lots of problems. ReGeX envisioned many resolutions to the technical and personnel problems facing SOL. Why not combine VCO with SOL? Why not bring X-Seti on to the team? It could not have happened with better timing. X-Seti, working alone, was ready to call it quits and move on to other projects. However, once ReGeX and he spoke, they struck a deal they both could not refuse.
State Of Liberty:
SOL is a modification that combines the three Renderware GTA (III, VC and SA) maps in one. It is no secret that SOL has faced many brick-walls down through the years. Using the Vice City engine, there are issues with the radar being redundant, extreme waterlogging, FPS lag, among other problems with the integration of the maps. Truth is, it is not a one-man job. X-Seti is the man behind the models and the mapping, where he has concentrated most of his efforts down through the years. He also has extensive experience in reverse-engineering. ReGeX is Computer Science graduate who has been programming since he stopped wetting the bed. With a fresh set of eyes, ReGeX has been able to find solutions to many of the technical problems SOL had been facing, leaving X-Seti to concentrate on the modelling guilt-free while lending ReGeX a hand from time to time.
Oh, wouldn't you like to know!? Alright, so down to brass tacks. The evolution of the modification has been nothing short of majestic. Water levels, hacked, fixed. Radar, hacked, fixed. FPS lag, re-modelling and draw-distance optimization, work-in-progress. I could go on all day about how the modification has evolved, but I really do not want to reveal the real juicy features that have been completed and are still at the conception stage. I know, it blows, right? Suck it up! All will be revealed in time...
You mentioned combining VCO and SOL, so what's the deal, yo?:
That is correct. Vice City Online was in a sweet place before SOL merged with it. Within a week or so, ReGeX gave X-Seti and I the first alpha build of State Of Liberty...wait for it...Online (SOL-O). Preserving the new VCO RC2 alpha features, it was a treat to say the least! One of my favorite VCO RC2 features was the new synchronization system that was developed in November 2009 (which was thrown out last week in place of a completely, and yet another revolutionary, synchronization system - *snore*).
Ah now, all this State Of Liberty tomfoolery, can we not just have a Vice City online multi-player?:
Hey, why not!? The State Of Liberty project is going to consist of three games.
- State Of Liberty single player (as originally dreamed up by X-Seti)
- State Of Liberty Online
- Vice City Online
The only difference between the third item on the list and what you thought was being developed before is that the RC2 version designation is being dropped for something more appropriate, which is yet to be decided. Development of the online aspect of SOL runs parallel to creating VCO, as promised, for the good folks that want to keep it simple.
Is development going to take forever, are we ever going to get to play it?:
Why not? I cannot speak for the single player aspects of the game, but at the rate that SOL-O is progressing, we are thinking along the lines of 2011. Anything more exact than that cannot be determined at present, but it is unlikely to be in the Spring time.
So you guys have been farting around and playing SOL-O since April and you leave it until now to tell us? Seriously, show us a teaser or something!:
We are way ahead of you. I have created a very quick montage of some plain ol' driving around the SOL-O map. Note that what you are about to see in this footage is a tad deprecated now, since these montage elements were taken closer to April and I have not taken any recent videos (I know, I will get on that ASAP). We might have a better video for you nearer to Christmas time. We are a small team and it is quite hard to churn these out with everything going on, busy busy busy! Right, so here it is. Enjoy!
Watch in HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1tr8uG5sac&fmt=22
What do we need to do?:
Nothing! All pertinent services at vicecityonline.com have been ported over to gtasolonline.com, with those respective services automatically re-directing you to the correct address. Our forum is up and running and has not changed much; apart from having a new theme and some extra boards to post in. The main site is a bit incomplete. There is an all-new Wiki and Bug Tracker, also incomplete. Bear with us, though. We will fix it all up for you very soon!
What's the differences between the original VCO and VC-MP? I'm interested in this project only so far up to being back in GTA 3's Liberty City...
Here's the radar as it is today:
The top part is missing simply because ReGeX is still working on completing the radar, but in-game it's all there! The missing area is called Liberty Main or Mainland Liberty, the biggest urban landmass on the map.
Besides the Liberty City (GTA: III) portion of the map, there has been no addition of the newly created tunnels on the radar. Tunnels exist at the moment from Liberty City to Liberty Main, and they're quite long. Tunnels linking the current tunnel infrastructure with Vice City and San Andreas are in development, thus catering for the whole map.
The remaining missing portions include a bridge from Las Venturas to Liberty Main South, a road to Vice City to Red County, the two bridges from Liberty Main to Liberty City and the El Train in Vice City (yes, the one from Portland, is on the main island these days). Additions to the map are very much possible and things could expand even further before the release, there is a ton-load of room left.
I have taken the liberty (no pun intended) to capture a ton of screen shots. We're in the process of coding our own video and screen shot gallery on the SOL-O site, so for now, please check out the snaps on Facebook (available to non-members of Facebook, too)!
It's finally here! The new media gallery is ready to go. Soon there will be YouTube videos accessible from it, but for now, we stuck with images. The gallery is dynamic, and thus, team members can upload photos with ease and have them available for public viewing very quickly!
We've stacked up the images that I posted on Facebook last week and uploaded them. Now you can see them in full-resolution! A few images of the evolution of the SOL-O radar/map are also up. More images will be added...soon!
The gallery can also be accessed from the "Media" button on button rack of the main website.
It's here, as promised! We have kept the project's momentum going with our first-ever SOL-O development video edition.
This edition focuses on one main core multi-player feature; synchronization.
The main area demonstrated is vehicles, showcasing motion (velocity, movement and turning/rotation), damage, and color.
Ever since the merge with State Of Liberty, the motion-wise vehicle synchronization has been completely redone, employing new methods to accommodate not only smooth actions, but also extreme circumstances. Accuracy has been our newest concern, so that's been preserved too, as demonstrated by some tests (skidding, barrel rolls) that are showcased in this video.
With color synchronization, the full spectrum of RGB can be used to color your car (both primary and secondary car color parameters), and further than that, you can set the vehicle's alpha (transparency) - something that has never been accomplished in Vice City before! A simple function in Lua can be used to set all these parameters.
Our vehicle damage synchronization is precision-grade, with each individual panel, door, tyre and light having its own configurable damage status. In addition to manually setting the component states, they are automatically synchronized. Some damage statuses include in-tact, dented, removed/turned on or off, popped, and swinging open.
This video was filmed on November 17, 2010. At no point in the video was the filmer driving.
Filmed and edited by DECEiFER.
State Of Liberty Online IRC Channel - Now Open!
The IRC channel is now open for business.
We have the Mibbit client embedded on the main website:
Or, if you prefer to use your own IRC client, you can connect as follows:
GTA: State Of Liberty Online (SOL-O) - First Alpha Test Video - Weapon Synchronization
This video is a quick showcasing of one of our early weapon synchronization alpha tests and represents a build-up to the second development video, which will be released soon. Weapon accuracy will have increased even further by then, in part due to the test session shown in this video.
The accuracy-based flaws in this video have been ironed out since then, and we look forward to showing you all the progress to-date in the next development video. Stay tuned!
This video was filmed on January 15th, 2011.
GTA: State Of Liberty Online (SOL-O) - Second Development Video - Bike and Weapon Synchronization
We are pleased to announce the second SOL-O development video edition.
This edition, in line with the last one, focuses on synchronization.
Motorcycle synchronization is demonstrated in this video, a key vehicle type that was omitted from the first development video due to the system not being completed. Using a similar system as for cars, you can see that bikes are silky smooth. We further demonstrated this by showcasing wheelies and stoppies.
Weapon synchronization is must. Enabling the players' ability deathmatch like any other commercial online game has always been a goal for SOL-O. While the system has a way to go before it can be considered done, we showcased progress done to-date. Working in tandem with the new player synchronization system that has recently been implemented (also a work-in-progress), we have even today managed to surpass many other GTA multi-player modification in terms of weapon accuracy.
Last but not least, there is a small (big) surprise shown. We won't go into detail about it here, but let's just say it's a feature that has never been accomplished with the Vice City engine before now. Watch the video the whole way through, and we promise that you will not be disappointed!
This video was filmed on February 5, 2011. At no point in the video was the filmer driving.
Intro motion graphics by Demo-Graphics.
Filmed and edited by DECEiFER.
I lol'd at the swimming part, that was gold! Nice to see it was implemented. The weapon sync is what has me most curious and it looked pretty good if not better than VC-MP. Driving sync looked great as well (just wish you had less of it in the video and more shooting).
The weapon sync will evolve more over time. We did some comparisons with MTA:SA, which we believe is the best completed multi-player mod for GTA at the moment, and we found that our sync was mostly on par with it, and in some cases, more accurate than it. We're aiming high on this one (no pun intended).
I suppose we always stick a lot of driving scenes into the videos, mainly because we just love driving through the vast map. It's still a novelty for us, despite having the option to do so whenever we desire since April 2010! I will try to resist the urge in future videos and showcase everything more evenly. :)
The SOL-O Swim-Off is here! We've put our new work-in-progress swimming engine up against the only "swimming" modification that existed for Vice City up to now, called the 'No Sink Mod.'
Watch in HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvEjI3lZGUA&hd=1
We admire your ability to have patience with us while we juggled our life issues over the past few months. Although we understand that people might have lost interest along the way, or might have given up hope that we would ever complete the project, we can now safely guarantee that opening up the team to applications is a fundamental first step to get this project back on track. Over the past couple weeks, particularly, we have worked hard to complete our development of the application and the development websites, maximizing the functionality available to you as a team member. We will not reveal this functionality to you, for if accepted, you will have a first-hand look. Being a member of the team is nothing short of spectacular. We have always intended to open up the team at some point; however, it was delayed due to complications.
By having more members on the team, the project will finally be operating at a faster pace, allowing us to release more videos quicker, to disclose updates on a regular basis opposed to a few per month, and most importantly, to make the development of the builds and maps more progressive, and more stable quicker. The team is, thus, a community effort, which requires “strength in numbers” to most efficiently produce as close to a perfect product as we can get.
So, at this point, you must be wondering what our current goals, as a project, are. Most recently, we have made it our best effort to completely refine our code and maps. Over the past couple of weeks, the internal core for our builds has started the journey of being completely revamped. Additionally, we have ceased the addition of new areas to the map, in favor of refining and repairing bugs that have existed since the beginning of the merge, up to the present. Obviously, you can expect that much has changed since the merge, as it has. The map has grown tremendously more complex in size and in detail (illustrated by various screenshots and the radar images), and the core for the multi-player and the additional game features have improved (indicated by the development videos and the disclosure of swimming).
By applying to the team, every member is encouraged to help us thoroughly test the current map and multi-player builds for bugs. As with every project out there, the debugging process is the most intrusive and time-consuming. Having a large team to distribute the debugging process will make the project as a whole more stable, which is the goal of all software. After all, who would want to play SOL-O if it constantly crashed, as in the past with GTA:SOL 51.9 and VC-O?
Most importantly, being a part of the team will allow you to be at a “one-on-one” level with the development progress, opposed to waiting for weekly updates. Of course with everything, there is a catch. To guarantee the best chance of being accepted on the team, you must make your application “shine.” What does this mean? We are looking for dedicated and experienced members, opposed to those “off the street.” Make yourself unique and important when you apply. To guarantee success, we need successful members. It’s that simple.
Another question you might have is how many members we are planning to recruit on the team. Well, our answer is that we don’t really have an exact answer. The amount of initial members that we are looking for is 15-20 people, who will ideally be dedicated to beta testing and quality assurance. This number will be adjusted as necessary. Keep in mind that we look at applications in the order that we receive them.
So, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to become a member of this project? Details outlining the application can be found at:
The details regarding the application process itself are also outlined on that page. We are ready to have you join us. Good luck!
Second SOL-O Alpha Test Video
We are pleased to announce the Second SOL-O Alpha Test Video.
This video focuses on melee and player damage state synchronizations. They are now both comparable to fighting pedestrians in single-player mode, but are implemented in a multi-player environment.
For more information, please read our new http://blog.gtastateofliberty.com/?p=13.
Watch in HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzecyEnJbhU&hd=1
GTA: SOL Public Awareness and Promotions
Announcing "GTA: Vice City Online (VC-O) 1.0"
Watch in HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vScmsb_-1Y&hd=1
This video showcases Vice City Online 1.0 with similar functionality as RC1, however in a much more evolved and reliable state.
We decided to embrace our nostalgia and replicate the scenes from the old "Vice City Online - RC1 Promotional Video," which coincidentally was released on January 1, 2009 - exactly three years ago!
Re-uploaded in HD:
More details on our website at http://www.gtastateofliberty.com and our blog.
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