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[PR] Interview for PlanetGTA

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BenMillard
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#1

Posted 16 November 2006 - 07:36 PM Edited by Waddy, 23 April 2009 - 10:19 AM.

Jordan asked me over Windows Messenger just now if much was going on in GTA modding at the moment. I told him MISA was thriving and he asked if I'd do an interview about Myriad Islands as a follow-up to his 2003 interview with Illspirit. I agreed and here are my final answers:
QUOTE (Ben 'Cerbera' Millard)
What is Myriad Islands?

It is a "total conversion" for GTASA. This the entire GTASA landscape is being replaced with our own landscape. We are also replacing lots of the cars and weapons with our own models. We are also adding new missions and easter eggs, like a weapons practise range which uses rubber ducks swimming in a pond.



How long has the project been in development?

Illspirit started working on the projecct in August 2003, releasing the land in October 2003 as the Big, Empty City. It was originally built for GTAVC and was intended as a community project right from the start. Now it is exclusively for GTASA.

The conversion to GTASA has been going on since early 2006, led by GForce who has done a huge amount of work behind the scenes. A few others have made a stirling contributers to this as well.

user posted image
(A lighting test looking North East from a roundabout. In the distance is a river with bridges for road and rail.)



Describe the mod and list its features (size, peds, weapons, map, buildings, missions, characters, textures, number/types of cars, is it based on present day...etc).

Myriad Islands is based in the present day. It currently contains five major islands, with several smaller islands. These include:


  • illCOM, a commercial district in the South East. This was the first island illspirit made and has lots of buildings released for it. It features a small island to the South West called illSUB which has some great mansions on it.

  • Grand Tani Islands (GTi) is a pair of large islands with a couple of minor islands nearby. The biggest island is a mixture of commercial and residential areas. The next biggest is planned to have lots of sports facilities and a stunt park. It is located in the North East corner.

  • illRES, a very large island in the North West made by illspirit which features a giant crater in its center. As the name suggests, it is planned to be mostly residential with domestic amenities.

  • illURB, yet another big island made by illspirit. It features a mountain in the North East called "Black Mesa".


A render of the base land for the major islands:
user posted image
1024 x 1024, 58.8kB.

Two other big islands are in development:


  • Port Orchid, being made by JasonB. It has similar landscapes to GTA3 and is about 1 square kilometre in size.

  • Necrosis, by Respawn, is another large island ans is much more industrial than the others. It lies the West, just South of illRES and just West of illCOM/illSUB.


Each island is split into sections, called "properties" or "lots". Modders can request a property and if their ideas and skills seem good, the other contributors will let them build on it. Everyone is free to comment on everyone else's work and they frequently share screenshots of their latest progress in the Picture Preview Topic.

Myriad Islands has also been contributed to by several car makers. DieselGT, _Rich_, Snow Racer, Cran, SeaNorris, illspirit and others have made vehicles which fit the style of GTA. Many of these were for GTAVC but are being converted to GTASA.
user posted image
1024 x 768, 121kB.
(The 2006 Dodge Viper replica powersliding around mickarrow's mansions on illSUB.)

A city made up of so many islands needs bridges to link them together. We are also planning an underground freeway network, like a bigger and more realistic version of the one in GTAIII. I'm currently finding ways of making underwater tunnels possible, since there are none in the GTASA original landscape to work from.

We have already planned a railway route and it has started being built. JasonB, illspirit and Respawn are each making a stretch of it. Here's a view of the East section:
user posted image
(The South East coast of illURB, looking North towards Black Mesa.)



What do people need to play Myriad Islands?  (mention which GTA game and what files they need to download for Myriad)

The mod uses Steve-M's SA Map Cleaner to remove the landscape of the original game. You then download an installer and the most recent update patch, run them and you can start playing.

The Download Myriad Islands topic on GTA Forums has the most recent files and the instructions for installing.



What sort of progress has the team made over the years?

[This is self-evident from the rest of the article, imho.]



Why should gamers use their so-called "valuable" playing time on Myriad Islands rather than a newly-bought game?

Myriad Islands provides a unique environment with buildings you can't find anywhere else.


(A new lodge designed by Black-hawk.)

In GTAVC, Barton Waterduck and Odie started making the first "side missions" which will be a hallmark of Myriad Islands. It uses a completely open-ended mission architecture; you do side missions as and when you want. This was attempted several times by mods for GTA1 with some success. Myriad Islands will bring these ideas to the GTASA, with all its extra capabilities.



How many people are on the Myriad Islands mod team?

Dozens of people have contributed to the project during it's history. But the number of people active at any one time changes. While some people have exams or have to work late for a while, others will be on a holiday or will some extra free time to develop their part.

user posted image
1012 x 1037, 211kB.
(This "property map" shows who currently owns an area on the illCOM island and what stage they are at with development.)

Many new cars are have been made for Myriad Islands, with more hitting the streets all the time:
user posted image
(The Furore by DieselGT which was converted to GTASA with substantial updates by Snow Racer, who has renamed it the Gazelle. Part of the illCOM skyline is in the background.)

Some people work together using Myriad Islands IRC Channel, others use different messaging programs and some people work on their part alone, releasing updates now and then. Bits and pieces are being made for the project every day, which keeps it moving forward.



What is your position?

I mostly do designing and coordinating, a bit of testing and research too. But everyone helps out everyone else; we don't really have set roles. I researched and wrote the answers to this interview since we don't have a PR person...everyone pitches in what they can.



What will make this mod more than just something to play for a few hours?

Every month or two there's something new to play with. Perhaps the best thing about a mod like Myriad Islands is that it's always changing.

With every update there are new buildings, new cars, interiors and things to find. Existing stuff often gets updated as we discover more and more of the capabilities in GTASA.

Myriad Islands has a landscape you can't find anywhere else. It's got fresh building designs with loads of interiors. For the gamers who like driving, there are many kilometres of new, varied roads to test their skills.

user posted image
1143 x 640, 40kB.
(The replica Cobra skidding into a junction turn, with the illCOM skyline in the far distance.)

user posted image
1280 x 1024, 75kB.
(DieselGT's exotic supercar, the Furore, racing across the illRES landscape.)



Is there anything else you would like to add?

Although the mod is always being worked on by at least a few people, the more the merrier! Modders can join us, contribute their skills and make the changes happen even faster.

I really feel like I'm part of something by being involved with this project. It's amazing to see the advances we can make together, even without support from Rockstar Games.

Mark
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#2

Posted 16 November 2006 - 07:56 PM

Agreed with the map. Would be nice to actually have a much better on featuring Necrosis, PO etc. It's a community project so would be nice for the community to see how it's going, even if it's just with a map (not that revealing)

Also, people aren't exactly required to play on MI for it to be a success. Most people model cause it's fun, and a big island like this has a sense of achievement behind it. It's just a bit of fun for all of us.

As regards the railway, a bit of behind the scenes would be nice from people laying the track out. Also, the current plans for illSTA would be nice too. Talking of illSTA, whats going on with that at the mo?


steve-m
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#3

Posted 16 November 2006 - 08:15 PM

What's the point? These questions are way too generic, have been answered thousands of times already, and with a little research all of them can be answered - no "interviews" necessary. Also, why now? PR like this should wait until there's a more complete, non-beta installer available (with Northern islands, trains, some missions and such). Right now it seems like wasted effort.

QUOTE (Cerbera @ Nov 16 2006, 20:36)
How long has the project been in development?

[Does anyone know? The oldest topic in this forum is dated November 2003, so the project must also predate that.]

illspirit released the devkit on October 23th 2003, but the initial topic was older. I doubt it's still available, though. The history article of the never released Myriad Monthly states that the "idea for a community map project was first devised by illspirit in the summer of 2003".

Edit: Found the Big Empty City release topic, but was that the first one?

Snow Racer
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#4

Posted 16 November 2006 - 08:44 PM

QUOTE (steve-m @ Nov 16 2006, 21:15)
Edit: Found the Big Empty City release topic, but was that the first one?

yes...

I agree with Steve about "why now?"

I will add nothing since im not sure about MI anymore after this question...
QUOTE
Why should gamers use their so-called "valuable" playing time on Myriad Islands...

maybe 5% of whole gta player will play MI just for a test but 95% will be plaing on the original game map with realistic cars and such mods
people want reality in their game...
and MI is trying to look like R* made map

Mark
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#5

Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:08 PM

I dunno about most, but I model for my own fun, not so that others can go "Wewt! I r downloador!"

Hmm...I spose a bit of background can be that the original idea of the modular style of modding was originally seen in Werre Tower, a mod for GTA:III which replaced the construction yard with a massive tower, and people could bid for and then customise their own floor.

mickarrow
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#6

Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:47 PM

mmm....yet again I'm in two minds about all of this.

Yes, why now? There's a lot of stuff in progress, but the releasable state we have now is a work-MI, not a play-MI.
On the other hand, pr is always welcome I think. Even in early MIVC we had some. Maybe it attracts new contributors. It can't hurt to try.

I guess most questions have been answered allready, so basically I just added my two cents turn.gif

BenMillard
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#7

Posted 16 November 2006 - 10:55 PM Edited by Cerbera, 18 November 2006 - 12:22 AM.

I don't know if we'll be able to pick and choose our slot on PlanetGTA. It generally has lots of news to cover and subjects to right articles about. I think we should make the most of this opportunity, since we might not get another for 3 more years. And who knows, if this one goes well maybe we'll be able to pick our next slot on PlanetGTA, to coincide with the next release or something. Seems a shame to pass up an offer for publicity on another major website?

I think "Summer 2003" is good enough. Nice detective work, Steve. smile.gif


(EDIT) I've added more detail to my responses. There's quite a few things I'd like clarification on, such as who has contributed cars and how many people have been active recently.

Also, some pretty screenshots would be great! There were quite a few renders posted when the radiosity prelighting was being done. Maybe we could use those?

A version of the logo for use at the start would be cool, too.

steve-m
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#8

Posted 17 November 2006 - 11:38 AM

QUOTE (Cerbera @ Nov 16 2006, 23:55)
It generally has lots of news to cover and subjects to right articles about.

Erm, you call that news?

QUOTE (Cerbera @ Nov 16 2006, 23:55)
Nice detective work, Steve. smile.gif

They don't call me Detective Steve without a reason...





monocle.gif

Jordan
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#9

Posted 18 November 2006 - 01:28 AM

QUOTE (steve-m @ Nov 17 2006, 11:38)
QUOTE (Cerbera @ Nov 16 2006, 23:55)
It generally has lots of news to cover and subjects to right articles about.

Erm, you call that news?

QUOTE (Cerbera @ Nov 16 2006, 23:55)
Nice detective work, Steve. smile.gif

They don't call me Detective Steve without a reason...





monocle.gif

Yeah, I'm actually hurting for news and I wanted to give the few visitors I get some stuff to do. A bunch of them, I am sad to mention, don't even know what a mod is...

This interview would maybe enlighten them, and keep my site going...of course, if that's ok?

BenMillard
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#10

Posted 18 November 2006 - 01:35 AM Edited by Cerbera, 18 November 2006 - 02:13 AM.

I've just been talking with Jordan over Messenger and he's OK with waiting while we develop the answers.

I've added some pictures to the article. I expect he'll thumbnail these and have the text wrapping around to one side.

Some decent pictures of some skyscrapers would be cool. Only one I could find in the radiosity thread had CJ's arse covering half of it! tounge.gif

mickarrow
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#11

Posted 18 November 2006 - 10:50 PM

The lot map you've added to your first post is out of date confused.gif

Mark
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#12

Posted 18 November 2006 - 11:00 PM

As is the picture of the railway emerging from the tunnel, to my knowledge. I think he modified to fit the hillside more.


BenMillard
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#13

Posted 20 November 2006 - 04:20 PM

I took the picture from the first page of the lot topic. Why isn't it kept up to date? The lot map should stay at the same URL, something like http://www.myriadislands.com/lots.png ideally.

Since AleXXX seems to be the guy currently keeping it maintained, I've updated the first post to link to his image. I'll use that image in the article.

You're right that the tunnel exit changed, but the pic of the change doesn't show as much road. Since we've already got a pic of the railway to illURB, I'll find a different pic. Maybe one of the lot release pics.

Anyone can suggest pictures we should include. smile.gif

steve-m
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#14

Posted 20 November 2006 - 06:16 PM

QUOTE (Cerbera @ Nov 20 2006, 17:20)
I took the picture from the first page of the lot topic. Why isn't it kept up to date? The lot map should stay at the same URL, something like http://www.myriadislands.com/lots.png ideally.

Yea, ideally. But since getting back FTP access seems pretty much impossible, that's rather hopeless...

BenMillard
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#15

Posted 26 November 2006 - 07:50 AM

I've tidied up the answers, added more screenshots and sent it to Jordan. I had planned this to be a weekend off from computery stuff...so much for that plan! tounge.gif

Snow Racer
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#16

Posted 26 November 2006 - 10:23 AM Edited by Snow Racer, 26 November 2006 - 10:27 AM.

Cerb - erm that is not the Gazelle... that is original DieselGT's Furore and

this is Gazelle (look in Gezelle topic)

QUOTE
(The Gazelle by Snow Racer, showing part of the Myriad Islands skyline in the background.)

it should mention that it was DieselGT's Furore and remaked/recreated by me

::edit
that is also Furore by DieselGT that was converted by SeaNorris

ParoXum
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#17

Posted 26 November 2006 - 04:16 PM

One error here :

(The replica Cobra skidding into a junction turn, with the illCOM skyline in the far distance.)

Should be :

(The replica Cobra skidding into a junction turn, with the GTI skyline in the far distance.)

BenMillard
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#18

Posted 26 November 2006 - 08:14 PM Edited by Cerbera, 26 November 2006 - 08:27 PM.

Thanks for the corrections, I've passed them on to Jordan. He hasn't gone through it yet, so these will be folded in while he's copychecking, factchecking and generally being a good editor. xmas.gif

If anyone spots any more, let me know and I'll pass them on as well.

Jordan
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#19

Posted 03 December 2006 - 12:31 AM

QUOTE (Cerbera @ Nov 26 2006, 20:14)
Thanks for the corrections, I've passed them on to Jordan. He hasn't gone through it yet, so these will be folded in while he's copychecking, factchecking and generally being a good editor. xmas.gif

If anyone spots any more, let me know and I'll pass them on as well.

I am going through it now to post it. Is everything corrected in the top post?

Snow Racer
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#20

Posted 03 December 2006 - 09:19 AM Edited by Snow Racer, 03 December 2006 - 09:44 AM.

QUOTE (Jordan @ Dec 3 2006, 01:31)
Is everything corrected in the top post?

no... Cerb didn't updated
:: edit
now he did xmas.gif

BenMillard
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#21

Posted 03 December 2006 - 09:31 AM

I thought the article was already in the PlanetGTA pipeline. But since you've given us one last chance to make changes I've gone through and fixed a couple of niggles Snow Racer pointed out to me over Messenger. Also fixed some typos, emboldened the questions and tidied up some wording in places.

Feel free to make spelling corrections, change "GTASA" to "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" and any other editorial changes as you see fit.

AleXXX
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#22

Posted 04 December 2006 - 05:18 PM

Someone, fix stupid Lot Map or use this link:
http://alexxxfiles.n...yriad_N_big.png

Mark
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#23

Posted 04 December 2006 - 07:25 PM

What's up with it?

Oh and in response to your image, in smooth female voice:

"Access Denied"

BenMillard
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#24

Posted 04 December 2006 - 09:58 PM Edited by Cerbera, 04 December 2006 - 10:15 PM.

Snow Racer maintains the lot map. He has done for years, on and off. Currently he is in the "on" mode, so I think that's the most up to date map.

Jordan
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#25

Posted 08 December 2006 - 12:16 AM

QUOTE (Cerbera @ Dec 4 2006, 21:58)
Snow Racer maintains the lot map. He has done for years, on and off. Currently he is in the "on" mode, so I think that's the most up to date map.

So we are good to go? I am going to just copy and paste from the interview on the first page of this forum post, ok?

mickarrow
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#26

Posted 08 December 2006 - 11:37 AM

I just took another look...

My nick is not spelled with a capital 'M'.. I know, minor detail, but still blush.gif

BenMillard
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#27

Posted 08 December 2006 - 06:38 PM

The interview is "good to go".

BenMillard
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#28

Posted 30 December 2006 - 01:52 AM

I've just noticed that Jordan published the interview on Wednesday, 27 December, 2006. I think he's editorised my essay into a really neat article. Plus, he brightened up the pictures.

I asked him whether there was a chance of promoting MISA on Planet GTA after the next release. He thought there would be. smile.gif




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