Week of July 30th - August 5th
Welcome to the twenty-first issue of the GTAForums Weekly newsletter!
Issue 15 of Customs, Cruisers, and Classics (formerly Snapmatic Spotlight: Custom Rides & Garages) has proven to be a hit among the community recently. The latest issue features a new layout, features, and even includes an interview with the masterminds behind The Vanillaworks mod team. With all of the positive feedback and likes it's received, we hope the effort stays consistent & continues to provide additional content here in the News sub-forum
On the subject of snaps, voting for Round 3 of the GTAF Snap Battle will end soon, so if you're interested in voting, be sure to lock in your vote. You can head to the poll by clicking here.
The Stirling GT is winning by incredible margins in Week 18 of the Weekly Vehicle Showdown. It's competitor, the Hijak Khamelion, never had a chance and is currently losing with just 4 votes. If you'd still like to vote, you still have time, so click here!
GTAForums currently has a total of 14,968,696 total posts (+12,394 from last week) and 712,327 total members (+543 from last week) at the time this is being posted.
Welcome to the twenty-first week of Rockstar Central! I’m your host, Spider-Vice, and we’ll be highlighting this week’s happenings in the Rockstar Universe.
More content for the Gunrunners of San Andreas shipped from a secret army base this week! The HVY Insurgent Pick-up Custom is now available in your Mobile Operations Center. Bring your Insurgent Pick-Up to the MOC and upgrade it there. Along with turning the Insurgent into an eight-seater, the upgrade will also add a .50 cal mounted minigun, proximity mines, along with further upgrades by conducting Research in your Bunker!
As always, more bonuses this week, as Power Mad continues its double GTA$ and RP bonus through August 7th. Deadline is also available with a nice double GTA$ / RP bonus, so if that’s your thing, hop on your Tron bike and get to illuminate the skies (and floors) of Los Santos to beat your opponents! All the MOC missions will also be covered by a Double GTA$ and RP bonus through August 7th.
A few extra bonuses are available this week too, such as
- 30% off the Farmhouse Bunker
- 25% off the Smoke Tree Road Bunker
- 10% off the Grapeseed Bunker
- 25% off all Bunker Renovations and Upgrades
- 25% off the Grotti X80 Proto and the Ocelot Lynx (Legendary Motorsport)
- 25% off ALL Garage Properties
By logging in to GTA Online this week, you can also get the Knuckleduster Pocket Tee, for no price whatsoever!
A New Premium Race and Time Trial are also available:
- Premium Race: ”Target” (Ruiner 2000)
- Time Trial: ”Up n’ Atom”
Last week, an attentive GTAForums member found something interesting on Reddit. A couple of pictures of what seemed to be a hidden Midnight Club logo, along with screenshots from the game discovered on someone’s Xbox Live profile. Lots of discussion and hype was had in the topic, as the screens don’t really have much to show they might be fake, and there was a fancy new logo seemingly hosted in the Xbox Live servers as well, so it’s still up in the air whether this is a very well done fake, or whether Rockstar has in the pipeline.
A few hours after this was found, a random Redditor posted another picture of what seemed to be the same HUD, but a different car, but this one was proven to be fake quickly, as the picture came from a 3D modelling website. No one knows if the same can be said about the other two – most likely so… - but the thread is still up for discussion!
Personally, I don’t know what to think of it. Midnight Club was as good as dead in 2010 when Rockstar San Diego had its own personal working conditions and project management issues, but Rockstar is very known to restart (and cancel…) projects without much warning, so you never know.
Welcome to the first edition of Get Modified, I'm your host, Ash_735! Let's hope this goes better than the last time I wrote an article about mods! The aim of “Get Modified” is to keep casual readers up to date on the happenings of the GTA Modding scene, from big projects, fall outs and the tools that are being worked on, and to hopefully encourage people out there to dip their toe into this side of the Grand Theft Auto community.
Sadly for the first edition we have to address the obvious - due to the aftermath of the Take-Two vs Modding incident, things have been quiet all round for most of the big team, yes we have OpenIV back and GooD-NTS has vouched that the project will continue to be updated, but there is still a lingering sense of demotivation amongst the groups. Be sure to voice your support and thanks over in their sub-section.
In continuing quiet news, but on a more positive note, _CP_ has announced the end of IVpack for Grand Theft Auto V, citing that the mods original intended goal has long been completed and that the additional bonus lore friendly vehicles have been converted from the best scraps available from games like Max Payne 3. Due to his ZModeler license expiring and unfortunate luck with GPU's, _CP_ decided to call the project finished and complete, thanked the community for the support over the years, and has noted that "future patches will be compatible with new DLCs ". For anyone seeking the most Rockstar-like DLC/mod to add to their game, then we highly recommend IVpack for Grand Theft Auto V. Be sure to check it out!
The map of Grand Theft Auto V is pretty big, and sure as hell detailed, but how can you be sure you've seen every square inch of it up close? Or see all of the little touches Rockstar have made? What about the changes each DLC brings to the map? There is one amazing tool for that, and it’s CodeWalker by dexyfex. If you're new to modding and want something easy to try then this is the tool for you. Often updated with new features for more experienced users, CodeWalker allows users to render outside of the map, choose which DLC pack is loaded, look at the paths (as well as create new ones, which is vital for map modding), and includes a bundle of other features to sink your time into. It's easy to install, runs well and definitely deserves more attention. You can see the latest change log video for the project below:
In more mainstream news, some of you may have already seen the mod Grand Theft Space, which is gaining attention on gaming websites and for good reason. With the closure of other large map modding projects, this team have tackled a concept which surely can't be C&D'd! Being lead by sollaholla, the team have been working on possibly one of the most unique overhaul mods ever. You can check out the mod trailer below.
We shine the spotlight on Mokrie Dela this week and ask him about his forum experience, writing, and more.
unbid: As a member of the community for 8 years, would you say that the community has changed for the better or worse?
Mokrie Dela: I've actually been here since 2001/2002! (albeit with a different name)
Both. There's a trend in online gaming of overly-aggressive or annoying players (spammers, griefers, or just bell-ends and I've noticed that spilling out onto the forums at times; there's some real idiots out there (that's just people though!) But there's also a community aside from that, a sense of fraternity with the OGA and crews, and the vast majority of GTAF users are cool and I think that should be celebrated. We've seen this community grow and some brilliance has flourished. The tributes and sadness shown by many of us when Odie, GTA3Freak-2001, and one or two others whose names I'm shamefully forgetting, died is a testament to that. You'll always get the odd bad seed, and I think we often forget that that's always been the case; after all do you remember The Pit? On the whole, GTAF is a damned good community and has been my internet home for over sixteen years, and I doubt that'll ever truly change.
What's the history behind your choice of username? Does it mean anything specific?
It's Russian for 'wet work' - more specifically, the section of the KGB that was responsible for secret terminations of targets. Assassins, I guess. I saw it in a book (a character in Tom Clancy's Net Force, called - iirc - Ruzhyo (translates as Rifle I think) muses upon it and, having grown a disliking for my previous username and persona if you like, wanted a clean slate and a cooler name. A few people thought it was my real name, or that it's Spanish, but nope, it's Russian.
As the forum leader of the Writers' Discussion sub-forum, will we see a revamp or any major changes soon?
I doubt it. We've thought and discussed a few things - I want more traffic, more regulars and to rebuild the sub-community but there's little we can feasibly do format-wise. We discussed moving it up in the home page, merging with other sections but none of these were realistic options at all. It's a niche forum, for writers, and I often feel that writing is a dying art these days. But there's some great works in there and, at the moment there's a couple of regulars propping it up, so kudos to them. It feels very disheartening at times, especially when you write and no one reads/replies but they keep at it. It's been a while since I've written and even longer since I've posted any writing (City of Lies 2 needed a bit of a rewrite so that's still alive but has been restructured), but finding the time to sit down for a couple of hours and write has been difficult this last year - the same reason why I've hardly critiqued - I've fallen so far behind, so I've pretty much just been a sheriff - of a ghost town, admittedly! I certainly hope it'll pick up. I love that little section and the art of writing, and encourage anyone who's interested to pop in.
Do you have any plans to try and gather more activity within the sub-forum?
There's not much we can do, to be honest. As said, we've thought about a few things but they've never gone past the discussion stage because they simply would not be beneficial to the WD or the rest of the forums. Advertising was the only realistic option but there Isn't a practical way of doing that, other than linking in signatures (which some users do). The root issue is awareness and interest; not a great deal of people seem to be interested in reading, and even less in writing, and even less than that in critiquing. As I said, anyone is welcome; you don't have to be William Shakespeare to post and we're all welcoming and helpful, so I hope it'll pick up at least.
What do you enjoy most about the forum? Is there anything you'd like to change about it?
The only thing I'd change is human nature itself - I've seen pettiness and unnecessary aggression or squabbling but it's not exclusive to the forums - just life in general. Most users are great, able to have a discussion, form a well constructed argument or disagree respectfully. We've got a great staff, despite what some users believe (usually those that are called out on bad behavior so they lash out), and having been in the staff chats, it's clear they all care about this community; they dedicate masses of time with no return, because they love this place. Full time work, families - they still find time to keep things running and do so with a lot of objectivity and openness. What do I love most? I can't really answer. It's like a family/home: there's things that do your head in but home is where the heart is as they say and I've got a lifetime fondness for this place.
Which forum member do you feel closest to?
Ooh, tough one! Over the years I've got close to a few people but none id say I was really close to: back in the day I was fairly friendly with Demarest, he gave me lots of advice over modding (It was my idea that led to the creation of his Neo mods). 02fishera and I collaborated on Thames City, a GTA concept which although it never got finished, was great to work with. Through him and, I think Tycek, I was invited into the Yardies which gave me a nice fraternity for a time, but like most things, the bubble burst. Earlier this yeah I joined the Zaibatsu which, despite costing me almost a million GTA$ in repainting my GTA online vehicles, I'm very happy with; it's a very chilled gang. There's a few people I'd happily go out for a beer with, but no one I'd call close.
You've written a plethora of poems, stories, and so on, but what inspired you to start writing in the first place?
I don't know what the initial spark was, but around 2000 I began writing a story about an assassination agency (technically not assassins as they weren't ideologically motivated!) while I was at school, as well as a sci-fi story about hackers in a VR world, which was inspired from a Tom Clancy series called Net Force (my favorite books as I was growing up). I've read these stories more recently and they were terrible! I just discovered a love for it after doing some in English class.
Music and poems came around the same time, where I started having confusing and upsetting thoughts and feelings. Many years later I figured out what it was: depression, and I've lived with that for about sixteen years. My poetry has mostly been an outlet, and one I always suggest to anyone feeling upset or anything. It's very common and is a great way of venting, so to speak. Around the turn of the millennium I was discovering good music as well; Papa Roach and Linkin Park being the earliest bands that inspired me to write (quiet apt after the last week or so, with Chester Bennington's death - which I'd like to just take a second to mention, because my song writing started, at least partially, with him, and so I owe him at least a thanks).
My darkest hours have led to poetry; a couple of my poems posted here are examples of that. My poem "Who" dealt with my uncertainty about my life and career, "Requiem" was me at my absolute lowest, with suicidal thoughts and self hatred. I have more I've not posted and the best thing I've EVER written (ever!) was a poem in memory of my gran, who died two years ago. It was read out at her funeral and about twenty people came up to me personally and praised it - these were oxford and Cambridge educated people and it really touched me. I like the thought that my best work was for my gran too.
I don't do love songs. I write from pain and personal experience and I think all the best songs come from that. Songs that mean something and I encourage anyone who suffers from depression or anything to try writing it down, even if no one ever sees it; it's a great way to vent, and sometimes I think it might have saved my life.
Ironically, I didn't know GTAF had a writers section at first. One day, while voting in the awards, I saw it and read a bit. A few days later, the very first chapter of City of Lies was posted. A point of pride is that, since then (2009) I've won seven writing awards on these forums, every year, bar one. I am not the greatest writer but it's a bit of a validation: someone actually likes what I've created. To actually make something, from scratch, and for someone to say it's good... nothing beats that feeling, so thanks to all those that read it!
From what I've seen, you also love cooking and have even showcased your dishes around the forum. What inspired you to start cooking? What are the best and most difficult dishes you've ever made?
My work colleague has given me a new nickname: foodwhore! Which is pretty accurate to be honest! I'm the guy that takes photos in restaurants! I have no idea what inspired me. When looking for work after leaving education, food was one thing I said I'd never do. I hated it. Now, I work in catering and hospitality, and cook regularly. It just grew! I've made several dishes that have gone down well, but I couldn't really say what was my best. From Char Sui pork to barbecue chicken (I made a recipe for a relatively healthy version which is simply a dry rub). I've never really cooked anything too hard. The odd challenge but usually it's from different things cooking at the same time - having two ovens with things on, and four hobs, all with different heats and timings has been the biggest challenge.
My best dishes have probably been lamb shank, jambalaya, a few Chinese dishes and a really nice, seasoned pork fillet. I'm no expert to be fair but I've cooked a roast for about six people and it was successful, but to be honest people do this daily so I don't think I'm anything special!
Tell us more about the person behind your alias. Any favorite interests, hobbies, music, and so on?
Aside from everything mentioned above, obviously I'm a huge gamer and a proper geek. I've recently met a friend who has helped me embrace that side of myself, and say this is me, deal with it. I'm very happy in life at the moment! I'm also really into music and am a bassist (been in a couple of bands), I can also play basic guitar and the odd piano hook. Tried drums once, and i was awful!
I'm also in to football (soccer to those across the pond), where I started as winger, then went in goal, then as a center mid, and for the last ten years I've been a goalkeeper which I love as much as music and writing. I've coached kids, too. I'm into fitness and trying to bulk up at the gym but that conflicts with my love of food: too many carbs! I'm beginning to get a balance though. "For the love of god, man, eat a carb!"
Musically I'm into anything that's well constructed and has meaning behind it (like films and games, it's why GTA iv is my favourite GTA - because it has a real story behind it and is so well crafted). From Five Finger Death Punch to Muse (my two favourite rock bands); from Johnny Cash to Bob Marley. I even like a few Bruno Mars tracks!
Any final comments? Do you have anything to say to our readers & the GTAF community?
Mentioning Linkin Park and Chester reminded me of a lyric that I keep thinking of since his passing:
"When life leaves us blind, love keeps us kind."
And I keep thinking: no matter how hard our lives are, keep that compassion for others. Keep that kindness - smile and nod greetings to strangers in the street. Have a chat with that cashier in your supermarket. Wish people a good day, hold the door open for people, help that little old lady struggling with her shopping. A small gesture can make someone's day and, in light of recent events, can remind them that they're not invisible, that they're noticed and that they matter in this world. Look after each other and, in the words of Bill and Ted: Be excellent to each other
The National - Don't Swallow The Cap
Serving as the first single off their critically acclaimed album, "Trouble Will Find Me", American rock band The National brings a mix of melancholy and energy to the ears. While there has been lots of speculation about its meaning, it's no doubt that it's a catchy tune which you'll surely bob your head along with.
Album: Trouble Will Find Me
Release Date: May 17, 2013
Writer(s): Matt Berninger, Aaron & Bryce Dessner
Android - Editor & Publisher, Topics/Snaps of the Week