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A brief history lesson, and the future of MTA 0.x

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MTA 0.5 was released on January 31st, 2005. The client's server browser used a service called All Seeing Eye to retrieve a server listing. Around October of 2005, some of All Seeing Eye's services were taken offline, and the client's server browser was rendered useless. The playerbase began to dwindle primarily due to this fact. Another factor in the decline was the upcoming MTA: San Andreas Race, which rendered the MTA team unable to provide any updates to MTA 0.5 due to feverish work and increasing lack of interest for 0.5 by the community. MTA:SA Race was released on January 22nd, 2006 after 8 months of work, and all the focus was on San Andreas by that point.

Due to MTA 0.5's complex and vastly outdated codebase, it was forgotten in the hopes that a port of GTA:III and GTA:VC would someday be done to function on the significantly more stable and expandable Blue core. Work on Blue began in late 2003, and was initially written for Vice City (see info and some screenshots). When GTA:SA was released in late October 2004, the Blue core was reworked for San Andreas. The original plan was to eventually port GTA:III and VC to the Blue core. The Blue core was intended to be a generic platform for multiplayer games, such as supporting GTA:III and Vice City, for example. Unfortunately, this extendable core design never really solidified due to various reasons relating to how the Blue core was being developed at the time.

While MTA:SA Race was thriving and work quickly progressed for MTA:SA Deathmatch, MTA 0.5 continued to lose players. A small community was still clinging on to the humble mod, but there were eventually little to no players by early 2007. In Summer 2007, I began work on an unofficial update for MTA:VC based around the easily accessible scripting (SCM) portion of MTA. A couple original developers were willing to help out initially, but after a while they chose not to offer neither support nor the source code. I eventually updated GTA3:MTA's SCMs as well. Due to the MTA client's protection methods, I was unable to release any of my work. In late 2010, I figured out how to circumvent the client's protection effectively and seamlessly. On January 31st, 2011, MTA 0.5's 6th birthday, MTA 0.5r2 was released. It brought an external server browser and my SCM updates to the community, after four years of intermittent work.

Around this time, there were no players still playing MTA 0.5. The release of MTA 0.5r2 brought a small group of 20 to 30 nostalgic and curious players for a month or so, but eventually the mod fizzled out once more, presumably due to the underwhelming updates, relatively poor exposure, lack of interest in general due to both the mod's and the games' ages, and my inability to produce any more meaningful updates.

In Summer 2011, the source code for MTA 0.5 was given to a select few individuals, myself included, but at this point we realized the true perplexing, convoluted, and flaky nature of the code. It is extremely difficult to follow, and is disorganized as a whole. It is understandable that the MTA team did not desire to clean up and open-source this codebase themselves, because there is ultimately very little gain for the amount of time that would be spent. It is extremely doubtful that several inexperienced coders, albeit those with passion and dedication to this mod, would comprehend this messy and obscure codebase without external support and prepare this code for open-sourcing to the MTA team's satisfaction.

I realize that this pioneering and beloved multiplayer mod for these two admittedly dated games does not have any chance of revival. Since its inception in 2003, Multi Theft Auto has been nothing short of an exceptional multiplayer mod, and a fun experience over the years. I'm sure those of you that have been around since the beginning can say the same.

MTA 0.5r2 and all of its earlier incarnations are still playable to this day. Feel free to download MTA 0.5r2 or an older version from the file archive and find a couple buddies if you're up for a game.

Alternatively, other multiplayer mods exist for both GTA:III and Vice City.

If you are interested in learning more about MTA's history, take a look at this thread, glance at the MTA Vault, or explore our old websites (some of which are nonfunctional - I'll try to get around to fixing those at some point!).

Due to MTA:SA's open source nature, porting GTA:III and VC to the Blue core is theoretically possible. It would require some very stubborn, dedicated, and competent contributors to support these games, and it would undoubtedly be a massive effort.

I can write more, but in the interest of keeping things reasonably brief, I'll end this post here.

It's time to say goodbye to GTA3:MTA and MTA:VC, but as with many of our favorite games, we'll remember all the good times.

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Thanks for the updates you've given the community. I just wish you'd been around earlier, during the heydays.. :wink:

When the team decided to abandon the old core, we were left with a mod that couldn't be fixed by scm alone, and soon frustration began to take the better part over motivation. I applaud your efforts, and hope you enjoyed working on this unique modification. Tinkering with the worlds of gta is always interesting, and no doubt a great learning experience.

regards to everyone on the team! i hope you are all ok :D

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Too bad that I wasan't present on thoes days, I bet it would be a great experience for me. I liked reading this breif history. I read almost everything I could find about MTA 0.x, and I enjoyed playing 0.5r2. But it is too bad that this will end like this. I hoped I'll play old Vice City on new build of MTA, but it seems that will never happen. :cry:

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Still to this day I can’t compare MTA to anything else I've played. I remember playing GTA2 with a friend back in 1999/2000 time and thought nothing could beat this as a multiplayer experience in the GTA world - then look what evolved.

It was a privilege to have been around to enjoy those times especially in VC.

Time to close the curtains forever it seems.

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