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  1. Dear Multi Theft Auto players and supporters! Today is the 20 Year Anniversary of Multi Theft Auto! On the February 9th 2003, a rudimentary GTA3 multiplayer prototype was released by our founder, IJsVogel. It did not take long for contributors to join the effort and turn it into a real multiplayer mod. The mod IJsVogel created was originally named “GTA3: Alternative Multiplayer”, but soon after it became “GTA3: Multi Theft Auto”. The Multi Theft Auto (MTA) name became the identity of all following projects. As new GTA games were released, new projects were created for GTA3, GTAVC, GTASA and GTAIV. Respectively, the main project names are: GTA3:MTA, MTA:VC, MTA:SA, MTA:IV. The development during GTA3 showed what the team was capable of with enough learning and reverse engineering. At this time, game modes were made for deathmatch and vehicle stunts. These game modes were hard-coded into the mod and could not be altered. It was not perfect, but it was an amazing accomplish for the time. Not only was it the first multiplayer for GTA, but it was an unprecedented undertaking. An early version of GTA3:MTA 0.2 (client and server). Some time in the first half of 2003. The working experience on GTA3 laid the framework for the second project, MTA:VC. It did not take long after GTA: Vice City for the 1st version of MTA:VC to release. The MTA Team succeeded in creating the basic multiplayer functionality much quicker through past-experience. At this point, MTA was well-known and there were mentions on gaming websites, magazines and even a TV interview on the gaming channel G4TV. Even Rockstar Games developers, the creators of GTA, contacted the MTA Team from time to time. The MTA:VC mod still offered a hard-coded deathmatch and vehicle stunting game mode that could not be altered. However, it had better synchronization and supported many new features. When GTA:SA came out, the contributors to the project were much more seasoned and mature. The 3rd project, MTA:SA, was much more ambitious. Although the first release was restricted to racing in vehicles, it was a proof of concept for a vastly superior framework that empowered users to make their own content. An editor was produced to allow in-game editing for the first time. When the full-featured product began development, a constantly evolving Lua-based scripting system accompanied it. This allowed the user to manipulate game code and modify various settings, elements and added features to create unique servers and game modes. Some added features include: voice chat, custom GUIs, web browser components. The MTA Team had the foresight to release this modification to the public as Open-Source code to attract future developers and embraced many new tools of game development that have become commonplace today such as installers, bug reporting, nightly builds, wiki documentation, anti-cheat, and Steam version support to name a few. MTA:SA 1.1 public tests. August, 2011. The release of GTA:IV did result in the beginning stages of MTA:IV, but once Rockstar released their official multiplayer, many of MTA’s most seasoned developers and contributors were ready to move on with their professional lives. Providing the same level of quality to GTA:IV would have been an extreme undertaking. It was decided that the best course of action would be to discontinue further projects and continue making MTA:SA better. The MTA:SA project still receives Open-Source contributions and still retains a consistent player base that is large enough to make developers of new games jealous! Thank You We would like to thank everyone who helped and participated over the years: developers, community/clan leaders, moderators, patch contributors, helpers, donators, testers, translators, scripters, mappers, server hosts/owners, streamers, players and fans. There were hundreds of thousands of such people over the years and they all had their place here. Many people have come and gone. Some are still very young and some are quite old now! Some of us have even developed life careers from our experiences working on this modification. We had the honor of befriending a lot of wonderful people in various stages of the project and many were just as enthusiastic about MTA as we were. Multi Theft Auto would not be here right now, had it not been for their hard work, interest and dedication. No seats? No problem. Screenshot from MTA:SA 1.0.5, taken by Zango. August, 2011. The social aspect has always been strong in MTA. No one knows what the future will bring, but there are things that will remain regardless of anything - and that is the time you all have spent here and your memories. Feel free to share your MTA stories in the comments! Feel free to say hi to us in Discord as well! Thank you all past and present MTA staff members, players and fans for sticking with us! Happy Birthday, Multi Theft Auto! Onwards to the next 20 years or more! -MTA Team
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