Well here it is. At very least it may inspire some people to do better
The very first time I played Vice City, I remember talking with my mates and saying “Imagine if it had multiplayer”. Just imagine, a virtual city full of players from around the world to befriend… or behead. This comment was of course met by 101 good technical reasons why “that would NEVER work!” Thank goodness the team at MTA (Multi Theft Auto) are not so easily discouraged.
MTA is exactly that, a working, playable Multiplayer MOD for Vice City. The concept is mind blowing and the results are easily as awesome. Vice City has been turned into a living breathing city where the other pedestrians and road users alike are real live players from around the internet. No longer do they walk aimlessly around in a pre-scripted eternity, longing for someone with “I” and not “AI” to run them over.
When you see a ped or driver in MTA:VC you KNOW it’s a formidable human opponent… or a powerful ally …and that’s where the sense of in-game “community” kicks in.
Call me old, but I remember going up to the local park, meeting with some mates, having a quick chat and deciding what game we would all play. Be it soccer, war, or a bike chase, we would all agree the rules, teams and the game would commence.
In MTA, the same thing happens. The freedom which is Vice City remains the foundation of MTA:VC. Yes there are pre-scripted “game modes” but in my experience (on public servers) people meet, chat, and then decide on a “game” to play. Teams are formed and rules are “agreed”.
Of course back in my old fashioned park, someone would get board and break the rules and then be subject to what ever punishment the rest of us saw fit on the day. So in the world of MTA, when I decide to use the Military truck to win a round in “Blood Bowl”, the self appointed judge of the game declares my actions as “Cheating” and the order “Everyone kill CHR15T05” is given. Suddenly a friendly stock car race on a dirt track is turned into a full on game of fugitive which spills into the metropolis of Vice City. Anything goes as cars, helicopters and gun men all give chase. The adrenalin finally kicks in as I flee from intelligent human opponents as opposed to moronic computer controlled cops.
Familiar in game futures such as the radar have been adapted so instead of pointing the way to the next mission or contact, the other online players are displayed and can be found with ease. Hold down the right hand mouse button and the radar helpfully points to the location of all the cars and aircraft in vice city. Even these have been re-located by the MTA team and placed strategically so that you will never have to run too far to pick up a ride.
Which brings me onto the team. MTA is already a stable and working system, even though it hasn’t been declared as v1 yet. While the moders and developers behind it obviously know their stuff, the forums show the true “community” behind the mod. I have seen many forums asking for game suggestions in the past, but sadly most are plagued by spammers and people only capable of declining your ideas using words like “n00b, looser, cheat, haxor” and the like. The MTA forums on the other hand only seem to contain sensible suggestions and debates. Every possibility from “when will boats be included” to “should players be allowed to own everyone by using helicopters with mounted rocket launchers” is discussed maturely and rationally (for the most part). This coupled with the very visible and frequent presence of the moderators and developers on the forum make it obvious to all users that each and every comment is read and considered. The team, developers and forum goers alike seem to gel, all with the one common goal: to build a multiplayer Vice City TOGETHER.