Sunday, April 30, 2006

100 Signatures and rising

I am happy to see the overwhelming responses for OpenGTA on the online petition. It shows that there is a strong modding community that does want to benefit from the source code of the game. I have to thank drwbns who comes on rez from time to time for putting forth the idea and everyone who posted the petition on their own GTA websites, including Sektor. I am looking for a target of at least 1000 signatures before I go and bring this before Rockstar so if any of you reading this has anyone who would like the idea of OpenGTA redirect them to the petition, it only takes a second. Comments do help and show your opinion that this is what we really do want.

Thanks Everyone, keep up the good work.

Friday, April 28, 2006

OpenGTA petition

I got this idea from a GTADS user who thought it would be beneficial to have Rockstar open the source code of their old but enjoyable games, GTA1 and 2. I set up an online petition for people to go to and sign so that when I present this to rockstar they will know that the petition had the support of many, not just one or two points of view. I believe that the GTA modding community would benefit from the game being released open source and that those people will contribute back to GTA1 and 2. It is worth a shot and the worst that can happen is a generic form letter saying "No".

If you are interested in signing the petition to Open GTA1&2 Click the link below and sign up. I'll keep the petition going for 2 weeks before going to rockstar with it:

Release Date for Beta R 1.1

With the progress we've been making in developing the 1.1 code, I feel confident that we will be able to release by Early May, target date May 5th. If you haven't tried to experimental client, these are the most notable features coming in 1.1:

- Checks if Proxy Port is open
- Configurable Preferences
- Multi Language Support
- Extra commands
- GTA1 with 3 and 4 players

The other stuff we are working on may not make it into the new release but these are the definite features to look forward to.

Also it has come to my attention from a user who's had a problem with their GTADS client that you should not use GTADS with a resolution smaller than 1024x768. The chat window is too wide and some of the components on the left did not show up correctly. Also make sure you have the latest Java JRE. It minimized the chance of something breaking.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Downtime and more Downtime

Apologies for the spotty service on the server. The ISP is experiencing technical difficulties and as soon as that clears up the server should be accessible again. I am actively looking to get the server hosted somewhere more reliable but its difficult to do so since most cohosting companies don't recognize port 7000 as a legitimate service port. Perhaps in the future when we can get clustering going this will be a semi-transparent issue.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Feature requests and suggestions

I know over the past month or so I have been getting people sign on and suggest things about GTADS for the 1.1 release. Some have reported problems and just told me in the chat, but would sign on a second later. I cannot fix problems or talk about features if no one stays on long enough for it. If you guys have bugs or feature requests, I strongly encourage you to visit the sourceforge site and post on the feature requests page. For the time being, I will try to address some of the issues i've seen sent to me via IM or chatroom.

Issue #1:

> I can't see the user list on the side when I log in!

I would really like to help out in the problem yet I cannot ever seem to reach that person but if they are reading this right now here are some questions to think about:

- Are you running the latest version of the client? Beta Release 1.1?
- Does it happen everytime you log in?
- What happens if you move to another chatroom or rejoin #GTADS?

Issue #2:

> ...right clicking someone's name should show them the location and their ping... down to a state level...

Right now peer to peer pings are out of the question. Java doesn't support ICMP and users do not have access to other user's ip addresses except in the gameroom. This may change in the future but that's the current state of things. Also, country locales are on the feature request page and is actively being worked on. There is no plan to set it to a state level being that it is tedious and as far as GTA1 is concerned doesn't give a clear indication of how latency will suffer. I've played 4 different people from the west coast (I live in New York) and have had pings of 50-100ms. I have also played people locally in NYC and have had terrible pings. Moving everything to a state level would be tedious and a waste of time. A concession I may make for large countries however is partitioning a country. US - West, US - East, US-Mid may be an easier compromise.

Issue #3:

> Gameplay is too hard using GTADS, having to open the port, create a gameroom, and the proxy routine...

This I agree is a small problem with GTADS. It has more to do with the proxy than the routine of opening ports of creating gamerooms. This is being worked on in version 1.1 but for the time being if you have any trouble with the routine, the GTADS manual, should be able to help you out for the time being. Its a beta.

Please take any other issues through a method where I will be able to respond to you from it or it won't be taken seriously. A bug needs to be reproduced, a feature needs to be understood and i'm not in the business of tracking anyone down to discuss.

Monday, April 17, 2006

129 Downloads and counting

After approximately a month after its inception I am happy to announce that we have had a total of 129 downloads of GTADS. The Statistics are as follows:

GTADS Client: 66 Downloads
GTADS Server: 49 Downloads
GTADS Source Code: 14 Downloads

Again I am happy to see that number for such a new and unrefined project of mine. I realize there is a long way to go with the GTADS stuff and we are aggressively trying to push a release out as soon as possible.

I would also like to take the time to welcome a new developer to the GTADS team, James Blocker. He will be mainly focusing on improving the UI (God knows it needs a face lift) as was as various other clientside areas and is helping on the 1.1 release.

P.S We still need translators. Spanish, German, French, and Portuguese translators. I don't trust the automated translation tools.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

GTADS Goes international

Well thats not really news considering most of the people who connect to my site and to the server are from Europe and Australia, but I mean international in a different way. I am happy to introduce language translations into GTADS starting with the future release of 1.1. Here is a screen shot of the client screen under the spanish setting.

I am not a spanish speaker and my translations came from the Google translator, which brings me to my second point of needing translators. Anyone can help just by looking at whatever is written in English on GTADS and converting it to whichever language of preference. This will make it easier and more comfortable for everyone to use GTADS.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

GTADS Br 1.1 update

well its about to be a month since the first beta of GTADS was released. It has had some curious faces come by and check the server out, it has had some bugs, and most of all it has had some successful games played. It seems the biggest hurdle in GTADS is getting people on the server and staying and waiting for others to come and play. Another is the logistics of setting up a game and access to documentation. It is necessary for both players to have the UDP port 8000 open for both the host and the connector. It may chance in the future but this is how it works now. GTA1 uses a range of ports from 2300-2400 TCP and UDP as well as the DirectPlay helper ports on 47624 tcp/udp. To me 1 port doesn't seem very trouble some given that. I urge anyone interested in playing GTADS, to join in pairs and to play each other. The server won't self populate and when looking for someone to play, at least for the beginning, will need this sort of intervention.

Now to GTADS Br 1.1. Many of the features we are working towards in 1.1 is to make the interface and administration the program easier to navigate around. for example, a preferences setting for the client will make the program more flexible and user friend. For administrators, the ability to ban users and ip addresses is already completed and giving users privilages is on its way.
On the game side, the GTA1 proxy will facilitate more than 2 players, allowing up to the game limit of 4 players. Those of you who have been querying voice chat, unfortunately if it does make it as a feature, it will not be brought into 1.1.

You can see all the progress of the progress at the feature request listing on sourceforge and you may also add your own suggestions. Before you add one however, make sure it is well thought out, is not a duplicate idea, one that being developed, and keep it civil. Flamebait posts and stupid questions will be ignored and deleted.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

FreeBSD Server

Well has just been moved over to a FreeBSD machine only a few minutes ago. The need to move the server over was one that needed to be done a long time ago but needed a hard drive to make the transition over. With the news that FreeBSD now has official sun compiled java binaries for both their JDK and JRE made the process a must. For any one who has an account on rez right now, all account data, and friendslists have been moved over.

The server is a AMD K7 550 Mhz PC with 256 MB system memory.
The hard drive is a 14GB Maxtor I am hoping to move over to scsi soon enough.

This is also a note to anyone who wants to run a server. It does take well to FreeBSD once the JRE is installed.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Donations to GTADS

You guys may have noticed that there is a mysterious new button lingering on this site now. Well, not all that mysterious but its looking at you. Yes, GTADS is looking for donations to fund things like games to work on and server hardware to host our test server on right now. We currently pay whatever littles costs we have out of pocket and with GTA and GTA2 being free, that made it extra easy to work on without running out and getting those games. Though I have confirmation that the GTADS client and server work on Mac OS X, Linux, and FreeBSD as it should under java I haven't been able to do testing for those platforms and perhaps support games compatible with those platforms. We don't run server clusters (not yet ;-)) or run a USD 10,000 a month electricity bill so i don't expect any donations to be only $10.

As far as development goes, we are getting ready to get Beta Release 1.1 out and have about 8-10 items on our list to complete before it's ready. Many of these changes are enhancements server administration, proxy code cleanup, and some gradual UI redesign. Remember, the latest code is always in the CVS, and the latest or nearest to latest builds are under the "Experimental Downloads" on the right of the page.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Latest Developments on GTADS

Every since Beta Release 1 kicked off we've been working on getting Beta Release 1.1 up and out with a wide variety of fixes. There has also been a few features that have been marked for future releases if you look on the Feature Request page on our Sourceforge homepage. One of the biggest projects for the future working towards Beta Release 2 is getting voice chat operational. You may have already figured out that was in the works from the change in the poll last week.
Another goody that has been decided maybe 15 minutes ago is our second game we are going to support will be DooM Legacy. Its an open source port of doom that only needs the .wad game files to play and this will allow fans of Doom to join the fans of GTA1 on the server and set up games. We're not entirely sure when or what release the Doom proxy support will be added but what is certain right now is it will be added.

To check out Doom Legacy check out: