Monday, June 20, 2005

Slowed Development

Because of my tight schedule this summer, I have not been able to work on GTADS at as fast of a pace as I have hoped for. Development for this project has been restricted to parts of the weekend and a small amount of time for weekday evenings. Nevertheless development is still occuring, mainly on the server side to accomidate the chatroom feature on the server side. As of this point users are able to login to the server and are presented with a chat window. Soon, hopefully by the end of this week, enough functional code will be applied to allow users to have their first chat session on GTADS.

I am hoping with 90% functionality with the chatroom feature in place, more research will be able to come into the client proxy. This is a very important part of GTADS and is really the heart of what needs to work for GTADS to be useful. If anyone wants to help in this process, you'll need about three things. Two players of GTA or 2, Ethereal or another type of packet sniffer, and a basic understanding of TCP/IP. You could try figuring out the handshaking aspects of clients connecting to each other to establish a game session, marking out variable data, or you can do something specific in the game and mark how movements are done. If anyone can or will do this, credit will be placed where it is due for your efforts.

Monday, June 06, 2005

GTADS test server up

For those who will want to test the progress of GTADS, a test server has been put up that is accessible from the internet. Right now since the major features are being implemented, there really isn't much to test apart from the authentication scheme. The client screen and connection code is being ironed out and should be completed this week so many of you will be able to download the CVS code and play with the client. To use the test server just point the client to

As far as progress goes on the GTADS, I feel confident in a release within the next week. The user infrastructure is all but complete, basic authentication and connection state is completed on the server side. I must remind everyone that the Alpha release will be a chat-only release, which will not support any game playing, which will be the target of the project. This is a preliminary test release for the public and within 2 weeks from there, game support will be provided.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Progress as of 6/3/2005

GTADS hasn't had much code updated in the past few days due to my own busy schedule and also because of planning in the deployment of the client. Since the server is now up the the point where it can accept users and keep them in a connected, I want to have the client have a login screen and allow it to connect and hit connected mode. Once there, Chatrooms and Game sessions will be the next item on the agenda finishing up the chatserver portion of the project and allowing me to work on the client.

What to expect in the first alpha release of the client

The first alpha release of GTADS will be strictly a client server chat program, there will be no game funtionality. Everyone is encouraged to test these features as they are 100% of what the dedicated server does. All game related items, including the proxy and game advertise spoof will be on the client. For GTADS to push out a quality beta there will need to be extensive testing on the server to stress test load, network throughput, and any sort of crashes that may happen on the client or server. The projected release date for the alpha release is set for June 10th and I will try to keep that date.

There will be some documentation on the actual mechanics of allowing TCP/IP session based games to run on GTADS but I can tell you a little bit on how it will work when implemented. The proxy, which will reside on the client will serve as a connector between different players in a game session. On each computer the client will run this proxy. The proxy will also serve as a player spoofer, as the game will think that each player is connecting from but on a different port. The proxy's job is to translate each incoming packet to the correct host's ip address. In doing this we will essentially have an extra layer above tcp/ip direct play. Most of the work in this will have to go into figuring out what packets initiate a game and in GTA2's case, which packets advertise a game in its game manager.