Week of October 29th - November 4th
Welcome to the thirty-third issue of the GTAForums Weekly newsletter!
The fourth season of the GTAForums Snap Battle has come to a close. Eight participants (a disappointing turn-out for this season) were awarded with their prize, a key to download the original Mafia game (provided to GTAF by GOG.com), with the remaining two keys handed out to two other members. Since it was such a short season, we hope to see Season Five start up fairly soon!
GTAForums currently has a total of 15,118,452 posts (+9,073 from last week) and 718,110 members (+317 from last week) at the time this is being posted.
Welcome to the thirty-fourth week of Rockstar Central! I’m your host, Spider-Vice, and we’ll be highlighting this week’s happenings in the Rockstar Universe.
So much has gone on during the week of Halloween, that Rockstar are now sitting on all the candy they have eaten, barely being able to get up. As we all are. This week, Rockstar hasn’t done much, but has extended last week’s bonus to a few more things and released a brand-new vehicle, along with doing some new Halloween Day exclusive bonuses we won’t mention because they only lasted one day.
Through the 6th, Rockstar has added to all the other bonuses Double GTA$ and RP on the Stockpile Adversary Mode. Along with it, a 25% discount has been applied to the following items:
- Western Company Besra
- Blazer Aqua (both Buy Now and Trade prices)
- Hangar Mod Shop Addon
- Progen GP1
- Grotti Cheetah Classic
- HVY Insurgent (Both prices)
- Lampadati Toro
- All Melee Weapons
The aforementioned Western Company has put out a new vehicle to the world of GTA Online! The Western Seabreeze, a thing that looks like a parrot with the right colours, is your travel mate for all the situations where you just need to chillax in water, land and air. In case you can’t chill, it has support for a machine gun and a bomb bay. Get it now at Elitás Travel.
As for this week’s Premium Race and Time Trial:
Premium Race: Special Vehicle Race “Drop Ship” (locked to Ruiner 2000)
Time Trial: “Observatory”
Just one day after the previous issue was published, Rockstar came out with something pretty surprising to the masses. Well... sort-of. Imran Sarwar, the now producer of Grand Theft Auto and the replacement for Leslie Benzies, has given out an interview to select gaming publications about the past, present and future of GTA Online, and how their expectations have been so far.
From an almost failed project before the next-gen releases, to a plethora of issues with the Heists DLC, you can read all about it on GameInformer and IGN! It’s considered by many a filtered-down interview, and in my humble opinion that is indeed what it is, but I guess we can color ourselves impressed that Rockstar came out to talk after years of silence, not counting generic game release interviews.
We’ve just passed the end of October, meaning some anniversaries for a lot of Grand Theft Auto titles have passed, so welcome to the seventh edition of Get Modified with me, Ash_735, where I’ll be doing a refresher of must have mods you need to install if you want to go back and play some of these classics on PC.
Just to mention, there has been progress on both recovering files from the beta PlayStation 3 dev builds of Grand Theft Auto V and PlayStation 4 support for Grand Theft Auto V in OpenIV. However, at the time of writing this article, there have been no public releases of such content, but they are coming. I’ll also be posting a video from Vadim M in the next edition (hopefully) relating to content that has been uncovered by working with modders to tweak their tools to reveal such files.
Since October has just ended, another year has passed for most major Grand Theft Auto releases, including the classic trilogy of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It also means it’s the time of the year these titles will be going on sale yet again on Steam via the Thanksgiving Sale and the big Winter Sale. It is a perfect time for you to buy these games for an insanely cheap price, and a good time to dive back into these titles, (especially Vice City which is now 15 years old!) and no doubt there’s going to be many others out there wanting to do the same. Sadly, these titles aren’t perfect out of the box, they have issues, they’re broken in places, but modders have been hard at work over the past few years doing an amazing job to fix these issues. I’m here to show you the essentials you need to play these games at their very best and how easy it is to install them.
THE most essential thing you’ll need for these games is the SilentPatch, created by Silent with additional contributions from other coders in the community. Why do you need this? Well as already mentioned these games are broken, they have major bugs and issues and this plug-in sets out to fix a huge bucket list of those. The name of the plug-in was actually meant to be a description of what this does, it has been designed to be as close to an official patch as possible, but is a silent one as it is unofficial and is not installed through an installer or update system. It’s difficult to show off in pictures but take note that some of these bug fixes are critical and some even required to get these games working properly on modern OS systems. To install you simply drop the .asi and .ini inside the “scripts” folder of the game’s root directory (you’ll need an ASI loader for San Andreas which you’ll get with the next major mod) and that’s it. The fixes will be applied to the game when you start it up, and you don’t have to do anything else for this one.
Next up is ThirteenAG’s Widescreen Fixes. These games were only designed to be played in a 4:3 aspect ratio, and the included widescreen toggle isn’t exactly the best as it doesn’t even touch GUI features. This plug-in is excellent as it is easy to install and the default settings should cater for most, and if you’re interested there’s the ini to tweak to custom scale features in the games such as the HUD, Radar, if fonts should have outlines or shadows, etc. To install you just drop the .asi and the .ini into the scripts folder of the game’s root directory and be sure to copy the d3d8.dll to the games root to act as a loader for these plug-ins. As soon as you start the game the corrections are applied right away. This is also essential most people as not many play on a 4:3 aspect ratio but actually 16:9, 21:9 and 16:10. If you have a 1080p or 4K display, you’ll need this. You can get help with any trouble you might run into via their thread.
What about if you want to use a controller? You’ve got an Xbox One controller (or Xbox 360/DualShock 4/DualShock 3) hooked up and you’ve noticed these games are not exactly being friendly with your controller – so what do you do? The answer to that one is the amazing GInput by Silent. The tool literally makes the game XInput compliant and has the game recognize these controllers just as any modern game would, switching over to full controller support if it’s detected (including displaying buttons and such in the GUI). Supplied with the normal PlayStation 2 layout as default, you’ll have additional controller layouts to choose from in the .ini including one known as “IV style” which changes up the controller layout to something a lot more modern and comfortable (this is the one I’d recommend people use these days). To install simply throw the .asi and .ini inside the scripts folder. The default preset is the original PlayStation 2 style layout with the GUI displaying Xbox controller buttons, these can be changed within the .ini, so if you want PlayStation buttons to be displayed in the GUI, or if you want to try an alternate controller layout, you can do so. The controller support here is actually BETTER than the one Rockstar Games tried to include in the latest Steam version of San Andreas! Need help with this? Visit the thread in our forums.
The above three plug-ins are what I would consider ESSENTIAL must haves for playing this trilogy these days, even if you don’t want to mod your game or don’t want to change too much, these are the most authentic and close to Rockstar (or better in some cases) fixes you’ll ever get for these games, and I think they should be a requirement. So, if you’re going to pick up these games in a Steam sale, or just have a yearning to play through them again and want to know how to get the best out of them, these are the ones you’ll need.
Next time, we’ll talk about the brilliant SkyGFX which I’d also say is essential to getting the best intended graphics out of these games but is a bit more advanced for users. Thanks for reading!
In the spotlight this week is GTA modding aficionado, long-time community member, and author of "Get Modified", Ash_735!
For well over 10 years, you've been a member of this community, but what brought you here initially?
Well, if we’re being honest, the initial sign up was as a cross promotion account between the communities, I was a part of the now defunct GTAGaming.com, and back when fan sites had this little rivalry going on, some of us registered accounts on here to defend ourselves/website/forum.
So, I was banned not long after, but then when the community decided to forgo that old fan site war my account on here was reactivated. I guess I started posting on here as a regular member around the time of Grand Theft Auto IV in 2007/8, especially during the chaos era of GTA IV’s PC release that forced Rockstar Toronto to make an account on here to try and bargain with people that fixes were coming
So, between that and arguing with people on here (shoutout to CharmingCharlie), I was also helping rappo with mod approval over at GTAGaming.com, and since I was always interested in checking out the console and PC’s files for these games, as well as trying out mods, I naturally started looking at the Mod Showroom section of the forum and found that the modding community here was much more open in communication and chatty. So that’s where I started posting the most and have been doing so for the past few years in between bans earned from arguing with crazed fans and PC fanboys over in the V section.
What's the history / context regarding your username?
It’s my name followed by my three fave numbers. Really that’s it, unlike most others who get asked this question my name isn’t exactly creatively unique, I mean most people recognise it now since it’s a name I’ve kept over all these years and tends to be the same username I use in other places meaning people can now spot me quite easily at least.
What would you like to change the most regarding GTAF?
Currently, it’s mainly fine, though it’d be nice if the new IPB4 and GTAGarage update ever came, how long have they been cooking for now? We’ve been promised additional support and a revamped modding section since like 2015!
Right now, we direct people AWAY from the website to places where mods are uploaded, whether that be GTA5-Mods.com or just people hosting on sites like MEGA/SendSpace, etc. I do feel that if GTAGarage were to get a design overhaul with quicker moderation, then people would use it more, especially those who don’t want to travel outside of their bubble and prefer to keep things close to GTAForums for their GTA related needs.
Is there anything that you love or hate about the forum?
I like and dislike a lot of things about this place, hah, but really the communities make it here and because there’s such a diverse opinion and split between each of them, it’s nice to have areas where you can serious, get information, and then flip that by going into another section where you can just laugh with others or argue with fanboys, etc, this place is large enough to allow that and hell there’s even parts of the forum I don’t visit and when I accidentally click on them I’m seeing posts by people I have no clue about or who they are! But I can still see that they have their own thing going on, which is great.
What's your favorite thing about the forum?
How huge it really is when you step back and take a look at it as a whole. There are multiple communities here which feel like they’re in their own little bubbles at times and it’s very easy to fall into those. As I said previously, you find a place in the forum where you fit most and it becomes the go to for you as you get to know people, know the jokes, get the insight, etc, such as Rockstar Vision in the Modding Section or the Hunter memes of the GTAO section.
Despite the forums size. it doesn’t feel overwhelming for people which I think works out great for it, it is these community bubbles all under one roof and deep down we’re all here because we’re fans of Rockstar Games and Grand Theft Auto (at least at the point where we joined) so we’ve all got that to talk about with each other when we do end up in areas of the forum that we’re unfamiliar with and it’s always interesting to see how each section can reply to that differently.
How has this community changed since you first joined?
A lot, well, in line with the internet itself really, I realised I was old when I just couldn’t get into GTA Online and yet that’s one of the most active and insane sections of this forum, the most shocking moment for me was when in the yearly polls GTA Online was voted the BEST GTA EVER and my reaction was just “What the f*ck is that” (feel free to link back to my post, I did say that).
The fact that this GTA version won, when to me it’s lacking in what I’d consider essential core aspects of a GTA title which would be a storyline, acting, living world feeling, etc where as GTAO is essentially a void playground of multiplayer chaos. I CAN see the appeal for some people, but the whole games as a service thing and online only approach is something I just generally dislike and not even Rockstar could save that for me. So, to see a community of new GTA players be not only PRO that but also enjoying it and begging and thanking Rockstar when they drip feed content out is just insane to me and incredibly bizarre that they’re also the most active and largest part of the GTA community now!
Which forum member(s) do you feel closest to?
I’m not going to be vague on this one and be all like “oh the entire community in this area and the moderators/admins”. I get along with a lot of people in the modding community, disagree with a lot, talk often with those who I’ve worked with on VCS PC Edition such as _CP_ and I feel like I’m getting to chat with The Hero more too.
But without a doubt the person I’m closest to on this forum is my Polish brother Silent! We started talking back in 2011/2012 when we were swapping ideas for an earlier build of VCS PC Edition (back when the project was overhauled and started forming the versions that’s most known to this day) and it was from that where we fit into a developer style friendship, we gave each other ideas for projects, asked each other for help with assets, it was this back and forth that lead to the formation of projects like GInput and got the ground running on SilentPatch which I tested a lot back in the early days. It felt like we pushed each other and came out with skills we could transfer over into the real-life job aspect of development.
We bounced ideas back and forth, there’s a lot of things we didn’t reveal to the public that we tried to do with the GTA games that lead to some interesting or funny results and of course because we worked together a lot we got talking more and more about sh*t that was happening in our lives, other games, movies and music, even helping him get more comfortable with the English language over the years.
The main reason however is that I can say I’m happy to have helped him get a job in the industry, due to an idea we were talking about back in March 2015 after Hotline Miami 2 came out, Silent was able to develop an unofficial patch to allow the game to run on Windows XP (since the original game could and there were people on Steam forums complaining about the lack of support for this OS) and with some help from my own news site contacts we were able to get news of this patch posted on gaming websites such as PC Gamer and EuroGamer, along with Silent’s activity on the Steam Forums helping with the game he caught the attention of Abstraction Games, got offered a job and now to this day has his code in Hotline Miami 2 as well as other PC ports by them such as Danganronpa 1 & 2 and The Kingdom of Fighters XIV.
What's your favorite Rockstar Games series or title?
You know I’m going to say Grand Theft Auto, would I really waste so much of my time on here, on mods, working with modders, etc if it wasn’t? It’s a series I’ve seen evolve over time from playing the original on PC all those years ago, trying out GTA London, being drawn into the neon florescent night glow of GTA2 (who played GTA2 in daytime mode?) and then seeing the series become a huge household name with Grand Theft Auto III during that insane release year period for the PlayStation 2.
The Max Payne series would be a very close second for me, though I feel that’s slightly cheating as the highest highs of that series were from Remedy, though I did extremely like Max Payne 3 even though it was essentially Man On Fire the video game.
A lot of us have celebrated GTA Vice City's 15th anniversary just over a week ago, were you fortunate enough to play it around its initial release?
Yes, I was, it’s actually thanks to Vice City I started checking out fan sites and reading these kinds of forums in the initial run up to release, I mentioned earlier how I liked checking out the files and formats of these games and that was around a few weeks after Grand Theft Auto III’s PC release, around the time hype was starting for Vice City and these fan sites were getting some nice goodies and information direct from Rockstar (remember those days?). Funnily enough I kept my receipt from buying Vice City on PS2 inside the case and it’s still there to this day, faded but you can make out the text still!
What are some of your favorite moments or memories from Vice City? What was your first impression after playing it for the first time?
My first impression? I didn’t like it.
...I should probably expand on that In the run up to the release I played through Grand Theft Auto III again and the entirety of that game, it’s tricks, Liberty City, etc, was just imprinted on my brain, so when loading up Vice City for the first time, I played it straight not taking advantage of the new features and honestly feeling weird about the game because it was so much like GTA3 but also not at the same time and I felt like I was rushing through it, I was on the mission “Riot” when I decided to restart the game, take it slow and take in the atmosphere, listen to the music, just have a drive around and get familiar with this new city, and of course the game clicked with me and went on to become one of my most fave GTA titles.
Do you think GTA V or future GTA games could ever compare to the classics from the PS2 era?
It all depends on the direction taken, it’s a troubling time and I’ve been openly vocal about how Rockstar North have lost a lot of key members, so the next GTA title will be a real testament to where they’ll take the series, but if Grand Theft Auto Online and the recent Imran Sarwar interviews are anything to go by (along with Take-2’s love of microtransactions and how much they LOVE the model GTAO has created), I am not that impressed with what I’m hearing and I do have doubts.
Grand Theft Auto V is an odd case, I have many issues with the game but I still like it, that one felt like a GTA title that had issues during development and you can see that in the files themselves but there is a huge community for that and yes it’s THE bestselling GTA title so I don’t doubt GTAV will have it’s own legacy. For me Rockstar’s Golden Age was actually 2008 - 2013, I loved that there was this big Rockstar Game once a year to look forward to, they supported their games with DLC and we got some real gems starting with Grand Theft Auto IV and the amazing episodic DLC The Lost and Damned & The Ballad of Gay Tony, we got Red Dead Redemption and the spin off DLC with Undead Nightmare, we got L.A.Noire, we got Max Payne 3 and then to top off the generation we got Grand Theft Auto V, it was an insane period to be a fan of Rockstar Games during that console generation.
Do you have any other interests, hobbies, favorite music, and so on? Tell us more about the person behind your alias.
I want to say Video Gaming but it’s taken a back seat in my life over the past few years, I keep up with the news but sadly real life gets in the way with work, projects, and when I do have free time I’m lazy, I’d rather watch a lot of films or binge watch a series on Netflix with my misses or something these days. I’m into DIY, I know electronics and have a degree in media technology and broadcasting/radio technologies so naturally I’m an A/V guy and I keep up with codec development and such, OK, that’s the geeky stuff out the way, I promise.
I’m a film buff, me and my partner love going to the cinema and I’m always recommending films for people to watch. I can cook but my partner takes over since she has a different style and she’s a perfectionist in that regard (like I am on here when it comes to textures and audio formats), I work out but I wouldn’t say I’m a body builder, more towards built fat stocky but hey I can work it And I love going to concerts and festivals I always try and go to at least four major ones a year and luckily a few have landed around my birthday this year so I’ll be seeing Queens of the Stone Age followed by Gorillaz later this month and I can’t wait for that.
Music wise I am very broad, though my fave band is Queens of the Stone Age and I’m not saying that because they’re popular with their latest album “Villains” no I’m a long-time fan, yes I’m sounding hipster but I’ll stand by that. But yeah, I just have hard drives full of music split into categories, a huge 80s music folder, plenty of physical CD’s and a vinyl collection, I’m listening to the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 soundtrack as I’m typing this out right now (Fleetwood Mac - The Chain).
Any final comments? Do you have anything to say to our readers & the GTAF community?
Holy sh*t if you made it this far through my rambling then you deserve a drink. Keep doing you GTAF, you’re an ever-evolving community, there’s going to be more bubbles happening over time, to you the reader, be confident in yourself, we’re all an asshole at some point, we’ve all said stupid sh*t, don’t let that become attached to your character here, learn from things, be able to laugh at yourself and you’ll find your own corner of this forum where you’ll fit in and enjoy.
Unless you’re in the Grand Theft Auto Online section, may God have mercy on your soul you poor grinding bastard or Shark Card buyer.
Android - Editor & Publisher, Topics/Snaps of the Week