|Historical: This page is retained for historical reference.|
Here's a brief timeline on Multi Theft Auto.
- 9 February 2003
While looking for a good trainer for his favourite game, GTA3, IJs comes across the GTA3 Admin Console. As the trainer is opensource, he downloads the source code instead and finds a few very interesting memory addresses that control the vehicle positioning in the game. He decides to synchronize these addresses over the internet with some primitive netcode, and the first GTA3 multiplayer hack was born. News spreads fast and to prove to the world this was not another hoax, he publically releases his application as "GTA3:AM", GTA3: Alternative Multiplayer. This became the first version of GTA3:MTA.
News starts to spread and people begin offering their help voluntarily. A handful of programmers, webmasters, and the initial team was soon formed. Debugging started, a website was being built and more and more people became interested. So interested, in fact, that the initial forum the mod was located on was forced to withdraw their sponsoring due to the high amount of traffic.
- 11 February 2003
A site is launched. People now have a place to get to know MTA. More and more people are coming and want to test the mod. However, many do still not believe it is possible.
- 28 February 2003
GTA3:MTA v0.2 is released. Nothing new to gameplay but a lot of bug fixes and a new layout. It was no longer an extension to the Admin Console but standalone program. The team keeps on growing and as new features are built in. People want to walk around, shoot each other and hold big races. Version 0.3 is announced but progress is slow. Unfortunately it had to be delayed beyond the predicted release date, due to the lead coder's malfunctioning hardware.
- 07 March 2003
A second design for the site was released. It was grey, very functional and more organized than before. Development on version 0.3b continues. Ideas get reworked but many problems stay. Two more release dates have passed and the software was still not finished. The community was getting impatient and some were giving up hope. And then there it was.. the long awaited version 0.3b, without any date given in advance. It had a big potential, but a major problem: excessive lag.
Despite these problems, the team did not give up and continued work. Version 0.3.5 was announced with an improved netcode.
In this period Rockstar North released GTA:VC and people started to ask for a mod for Vice. The problem is that however similar GTA3 and VC might look, there were quite some differences which made it difficult to rebuild the mod for VC.
- 18 June 2003
The YaMM team decides to join the MTA team. Together they had the ability to do more work, and to do it faster. A decision was made to switch to Vice City and to leave Visual Basic behind and go to a C/C++ solution.
After the rewrite of the code, putting in a lot of new things and changing to Vice City, MTA:VC version 0.1 was announced. While the team wanted to keep it a secret, the community was asking more and more for it. However, soon there was no way to hide it anymore.
Just like with version 0.3b there were a lot of problems and the community had to wait for a stable release.
A problem occurred with the site. The site was hacked and the webmaster was asked to make a more secure system. After repeated requests nothing happened and someone else on the team provided a new and more secure news system. The webmaster (not happy) requested to put his system back up and promised he would improve it. Since he had a chance before and he did not do it, the team decided not to go with his request.
After this a struggle began over the rights of the site which was lost by our previous webmaster, but a new design was being built and was completed after a couple of weeks.
- 01 August 2003
MTA:VC is released. And the community is happy. The game was stable and the net code problems from version 0.3b were solved. The options for the game were limited and no player animations were available. The mod became a success, anyhow.
With the ever growing success of MTA more and more people came with requests for all kinds of features. Not wanting to rush, the team decided to keep the on course they had been going so far. New members were still joining the team, and more and more features became available.
- 20 September 2003
MTA:VC 0.2 is released, with a whole bunch of new features. More and more people are joining the online experience and the press is starting to notice as well.
Work continues on future versions and the team decides to make a new version for GTA3. There is still a huge demand and the GTA3 community had not received a decent client so far.
- 10 October 2003
MTA is featured on TV. G4TV is the first show in the world to air footage of MTA and to do a telephone interview at the same time (it was pre-recorded). This marks the start of MTA's maturity entering the big league.
- 26 October 2003
MTA:VC 0.2.2 is released and introduces the first "gamemode". For the first time servers can be set up for a specific type of gameplay. It is not the long awaited "Capture The Whoopie" but a stunt mode instead.
- 31 December 2003
MTA:VC 0.3 is released. This added synced player animations, eliminating the unrealistic animationless players in previous versions.
- 6 January 2004
MTA:MA is released. MTA:MA is a third party mIRC add-on that allows users to mass-administrate servers and run mIRC scripts. These scripts were often used to create basic game modes, especially with RPG modes being popular.
- 4 February 2004
An important poll was conducted, in which the community was asked to vote for the direction that development of GTA3:MTA should take. The decision was whether to merge all islands together and adopt MTA:VC-style gameplay or have each island separate with action closely confined. A majority within the community voted for the latter option.
- 9 February 2004
MTA celebrates its first anniversary with a video showcasing the progress of the mod over the past year.
- 1 March 2004
GTA San Andreas is announced. The MTA team did not like to make any promises, but they registered www.mtasa.com in the hope that they would be able to use their VC and GTA3 experience in creating multiplayer for SA, providing that Rockstar had not made any drastic changes.
- 23 July 2004
The long-awaited MTA:VC 0.4 was released. This was an important release because it combined Vice City and GTA3 support into a single client, bringing GTA3 up to the standards set by MTA:VC. It offered several other new features too, such as synchronised weather and spectator mode.
The community became divided over the allowance of car kills in GTA3, which would kill a player instantly unlike in VC. Some people deemed it "lame" whereas others stated that it was part of the game. Some server admins went so far as to actually ban players that were doing car-kills.
- 31 July 2004
MTA 0.4 had stability problems so the team released a quick 0.4.1 patch to fix some of the issues.
- 4 August 2004
A teaser trailer is released that shows boats and an in-game server browser. The team did not comment on the trailer but the community became intrigued.
- 4 September 2004
The new core, internally known as "Blue", is announced. This was the result of over a year's-worth of work. It finally offered many of the features requested from the very beginning of MTA's existence, such as synced boats, synced projectile weapons and support for modifications.
- 31 January 2005
MTA:VC 0.5 is released. This was originally meant to be a minor upgrade to version 0.4 but progressed much further. This offered many new features such as RC vehicles and nitro in stunt mode. It also unlocked Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale in GTA3, the latter incorporating mini-games to add variety to the gameplay. VC DM players, however, were disappointed that there had not been many changes and that several glitches still existed.
- 25 February 2005
A preview of MTA:VC 0.5.1 is shown, showcasing many Vice City features requested by disappointed players of MTA 0.5. However, this patch was never released because the team preferred to focus on development of the new core, as the old core was outdated and was starting to show its limitations.
- 1 June 2005
- 14 June 2005
After San Andreas had only been out for a week, basic synchronisation was already in place in MTA:SA.
- 29 August 2005
MTA:SA goes into its beta testing phase. This was the first time that non-team members had experienced Blue. It also marked the start of a shift in testing practices for the team, with a dedicated bug database and 24/7 testing.
- 8 October 2005
A revolutionary new MTA:SA feature is finally revealed to the community - an in-game map editor that allows you to place all kinds of models into the game in order to create unique races. This was very well received by the community, both as a useful feature and as an indication of what Blue is capable of.
- 7 January 2006
The first release candidate is released to the QA team for testing. This meant that MTA:SA was essentially complete but needed stress testing in order to find any crashes or bugs that appeared with large numbers of players.
- 22 January 2006
MTA:SA R1 was released. This version incorporated only vehicle sync but was very popular despite this. Some players still resented the lack of deathmatch though.
- 29 January 2006
A week after the release of Race, Deathmatch is announced. In this short space of time, the team had managed to synchronise walking players in the game.
- 9 February 2006
MTA's third birthday.
- 15 March 2006
MTA:SA Race 1.1 was released. This fixed several issues, as well as allowing players to respawn when they die - an issue that presented a problem in the first release, as players would then have to sit and wait for everyone else to finish before they could play again. This release wasn't as well-received as 1.0 due to various crash issues.
- 18 March 2006
MTA:SA Race 1.1.1 was released. This fixed several serious issues with 1.1, including crashes and freezes that were present.