MTA Christmas vid out, public beta almost ready

Before anything else, check out this video.



What you just saw was the Multi Theft Auto Christmas movie. Multi Theft Auto, as the name suggests, is a multiplayer mod for Rockstar North's Grand Theft Auto games. According to the people behind MTA, it is the world's first modification to incorporate multi-player into a single-player PC game.

So, how does one make a mod that turns a single-player game into a multiplayer fiesta? The magic is in MTA's new scripting system. All of the scripts used in MTA are written using Lua. Jon Chappell, of the MTA devs, says they chose Lua partly due to its "simple syntax, extensibility and the fact that Lua scripts do not need to be pre-compiled."

Those who are familiar with other programming languages should pick things up easily, and even people who have no coding experience can still make MTA maps. According to Chappell, "existing game mode scripts can be imported into new maps with no scripting necessary (more on this at a later date). However, for those of you that do want to code game modes, the QA team has been working hard on providing extensive documentation to aid in this process."

There are also quite a few game modes that are currently in development. While the Christmas vid mainly showcased tech demos and mini-games, other modes such as Conquest and Turf Wars are in the works. The new scripting system will also include features that will be useful to budding RPG programmers such as control over time and weather, customisable player stats and clothes, integration with the MTA Center for player authentication (optional), vehicle modifications, 3D sound functions, dimensions, and many more.

Just looking at the amount of energy, work hours, and sheer love of the game put into this mod is enough to give us a few teary eyes. In all honesty, we are really looking forward to playing a full beta version of MTA (heck, we'd settle for just a few more vids of it in action).

Speaking of the beta, the MTA team has also revealed that they're nearly ready to release the public beta for their new MTA software. Right now, the client for Multi Theft Auto: San Andreas - which contains a race mod and a race map editor - is available for download on the MTA website. A series of scripting demos will be released on the MTA development blog soon, so watch out for those.

Before anything else, check out this video.



What you just saw was the Multi Theft Auto Christmas movie. Multi Theft Auto, as the name suggests, is a multiplayer mod for Rockstar North's Grand Theft Auto games. According to the people behind MTA, it is the world's first modification to incorporate multi-player into a single-player PC game.

So, how does one make a mod that turns a single-player game into a multiplayer fiesta? The magic is in MTA's new scripting system. All of the scripts used in MTA are written using Lua. Jon Chappell, of the MTA devs, says they chose Lua partly due to its "simple syntax, extensibility and the fact that Lua scripts do not need to be pre-compiled."

Those who are familiar with other programming languages should pick things up easily, and even people who have no coding experience can still make MTA maps. According to Chappell, "existing game mode scripts can be imported into new maps with no scripting necessary (more on this at a later date). However, for those of you that do want to code game modes, the QA team has been working hard on providing extensive documentation to aid in this process."

There are also quite a few game modes that are currently in development. While the Christmas vid mainly showcased tech demos and mini-games, other modes such as Conquest and Turf Wars are in the works. The new scripting system will also include features that will be useful to budding RPG programmers such as control over time and weather, customisable player stats and clothes, integration with the MTA Center for player authentication (optional), vehicle modifications, 3D sound functions, dimensions, and many more.

Just looking at the amount of energy, work hours, and sheer love of the game put into this mod is enough to give us a few teary eyes. In all honesty, we are really looking forward to playing a full beta version of MTA (heck, we'd settle for just a few more vids of it in action).

Speaking of the beta, the MTA team has also revealed that they're nearly ready to release the public beta for their new MTA software. Right now, the client for Multi Theft Auto: San Andreas - which contains a race mod and a race map editor - is available for download on the MTA website. A series of scripting demos will be released on the MTA development blog soon, so watch out for those.

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