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Old 25/10/2019, 07:41 AM   #88
SA-MP Developer
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,180
Reputation: 2872
Post Re: Is it still worth it?

Well, let me tell you a story. Draw your own conclusions.

In 2003, after a week on MTA's IRC channel, I was invited to join MTA:VC development. After a few months, I was promoted to MTA's lead developer.

Here's a screenshot of me and Si|ent trying to get boat sync working in MTA:VC dated 31/12/2003.

I was one of a few developers working on MTA:Blue, a new version of MTA for Vice City. Basically everyone but me was busy with real life. I developed the player context switching sync system, and added the RakNet library. The same systems which are used by SA-MP and MTA:SA today.

So I get frustrated in this environment. Weeks go by and I'm the only person contributing code, but there are MTA "developers" on the forum talking about how everything was going to work.

I quit MTA development. While I'm gone, another guy "eAi" joins the project and starts poking around in my code trying to figure it out. At least someone was doing something? His method is to start reaching out to people. So he is contacting me on ICQ. He is finding R* developer's emails and contacting them.

I had no interest in GTA multiplayer at this point. I had a band, and was contributing to ipodlinux etc. But eAi seemed keen to make something happen with MTA:Blue. I rejoined the project for a few months.

This was the public promo page for MTA:Blue in late 2004:

This is what lead to rift between me and the other MTA devs: I wanted to do a server-side system like you see with VC-MP's ini and SA-MP's server-side pawn scripting. The MTA devs wanted client-side addons, as described on that page.

By early 2005, I've quit MTA again. This is the period where R* North have released GTA:SA on the ps2 and are working on the PC version. eAi has been in contact with R*'s technical director and brags to me over ICQ that he obtained many of the source code headers for GTA:SA. I note that it looks like MTA are going to abandon MTA:Blue for Vice City and switch over to GTA:SA.

So lacking faith in MTA's design and ability to deliver, I start my own multiplayer mid-2005. I release VC-MP based on player context switching and RakNet.

Then I developed SA-MP with jax, spookie and a few others. It became much bigger than any previous mod. We're loosely affliated with GTANet/GTAForums which is the largest unofficial GTA fan site. So we're getting a lot of exposure.

By 2008, SA-MP has 10-20 times the number of players as MTA. MTA doesn't feel like they can compete in this environment, so they release their source. MTA never asked me or any other previous developer whether they could open source their code. They claimed everything had been rewritten. But that wasn't competely true. There are still parts of my code in MTA:SA to this day. I haven't bothered to attack them because they seem so nub, but I'm guessing most here demanding SA-MP open source are inspired by MTA when they probably shouldn't be.

Now here's the fucked up thing that happens. The "game" layer I designed for MTA, and source code that R* gave them, get imported in to mod_so-beit, a popular hack tool for SA-MP.


What started out as a small group of developers on MTA, who were fairly professional, became extremely dirty over time. The people wanting to take down SA-MP are not concerned about breaking the law in order to do so!

It seems just as likely that any source code given out would be used to attack SA-MP, as it would to provide useful updates.

The decision to release SA-MP's source code comes down to whether we're still in this hostile environment where people are attacking me and wanting to attack SA-MP, or whether we've moved beyond it. I would say it comes down to the size of the mod and the demand for hacking tools. Being closed source has allowed me to shuffle all the internal structures and obsolete many of the hacking tools with each release. Many of the "security" updates for SA-MP have just been me shuffling around data to throw off hacking tools.

SA-MP will eventually reach a point where everyone is nice and respectful and hacks and cheating are rare. But the number of players will be very small, so most of us won't be here.
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