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Old News - August 2002 Contents

08-30-02
08-28-02
08-22-02

08-21-02
08-20-02
08-16-02

08-15-02
08-14-02
08-13-02
08-12-02
08-09-02
08-08-02
08-05-02
08-03-02
08-01-02

Friday - August 30, 2002   <11:55 PM CST>

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GTA VC Cast   <11:55 PM CST - schu>
I got a few emails on some of the people in the VC cast.  Ray Liotta has been confirmed by almost all the previews, but other than that, the only other rumored cast member is Jenna Jameson.  Here is a current listing of known and possible cast members.  Gary Busey, while not officially confirmed is in the game.  His voice on the ViceCity.com crime board is unmistakable. Luis Guzman is a guess that Rock13000 sent in but I don't know his voice well enough to confirm anything.

Thanks to Rev Ted and Rock13000.  I also wanted to say thanks to Mike who sent in this link about Lawrence Taylor being in VC.

PSM Overview   <11:55 PM CST - schu>
I finally got a chance to re-read the PSM preview and compile a few of the new features they mentioned:

  • 50+ interior locations including a banks, shopping malls, coffee houses, night clubs, bars, discos, and hotels.
  • Some stores will allow you to buy a new outfit so you aren't always stuck with the same clothes.
  • Locales within Vice City include, downtown area, suburbs, slums, and swampland.
  • The boats in VC are much faster than their counterparts in Liberty City.
  • Not only do we finally have motorcycles, but you can pop wheelies on them as well.
  • There are at least two types of motorcycles, including street and racing bikes.  Makes you wonder if they'll be adding dirt bikes and scooters as well :) .
  • Motorcycles will expand your drive-by options allowing you to shoot in many different directions, but they don't provide much cover.
  • The Coast Guard and police boats will now pursue you if you try to make your getaway in a boat.
  • There are many new boats in VC including a Coast Guard cutter, large sailboats, and lots of different speed boats.
  • There are at least two flyable aircraft in the game including a helicopter and a small sea-plane.
  • Some weapons can be used from aircraft allowing you to dispense death from above.
  • You can jump from moving vehicles
  • Smoother more realistic hand to hand fighting system
  • VC will have roughly 80 minutes worth of cut scenes to flesh out the plot line (compare this to GTA3's 30 minutes).
  • VC promises more character development and more plot integration with the missions.
  • Clothing ripples in the wind (this was in the GI preview as well)
  • The game engine has been completely rebuilt.
  • Peds can and will shoot over cars, making the new crouching ability a valuable asset.
  • Peds are more intelligent and pathfinding has been improved.

Check the Game Informer summary for more VC details.


Make Your Own GTA3 Cars
  <11:55 PM CST - schu>
Azz has posted some tutorials on modeling and texturing your very own GTA3 car, check it out at GTAzz.

Dutch GTA3 Mod   <11:55 PM CST - schu>
Rafe has released a Dutch GTA3 mod at gta3.clan-servers.org.  The mod had Dutch menus, cars, and billboards.  Check their site for screenshots and information (in Dutch).

More VC Observations   <11:55 PM CST - schu>
As many of you pointed out, the thing behind the car in this shot, is actually a golf cart, and not a motorcycle.  Now that we have shots of the motorcycle, I guess it really doesn't matter :).  Thanks to nez1018 and Colin.

You may notice that some of the vehicles seem to have Liberty City plates (compare GTA3 / VC).  Makes me wonder if they'll have cars with plates from different states/cities on them (San Andreas maybe?).  The Rancher shot and the GPX/CRX shot seem to have the clearest plates so far, I guess those are the new VC plates.  Thanks to Blue.

Hmm, I also just noticed that Honda logo seems to reappeared in VC as well, just look closely at the GPX's wheels.  Although, they also appear on the Rancher, which I'd peg for a 80's Blazer or Bronco.

You can get a good look at the new jet trails in this shot.

New GTA Sites   <11:55 PM CST - schu>

Announcements   <11:55 PM CST - schu>

  • GOURANGA.com is hosting ICEY's GTA3 Multiedit site, check it out at icey.gouranga.com.
  • Azz and I are using the same GTA3 car database now, just to go to the GTA3 -> Downloads -> Cars link to download GTA3 cars or upload your own. Thanks to illspirit for handling all the GTA3 car reviews.
  • The link to the GTA: Vice City fan site was removed from the New GTA Sites listing at the author's request.  Apparently he is having some bandwidth problems.
  • I added a list of weapons to the VC info section.  It's obviously not complete, so if you spot a weapon I missed, please let me know.  All the weapons currently listed were pulled from the previews, screenshots, and some of the ViceCity.com content.
  • I worked through last night to get a few more sections up and running.  I think I have all the VC movies and screenshots currently available - all set up in the VC screenshots section.  In addition to the regular shots I also added the PSM and GI shots.  The VC info section isn't really ready yet, so right now it's just set up with the prologue and the press release.  The VC reviews section is just about ready as well.  If you spot any previews I don't have linked there, please let me know.
  • As you probably noticed by now, ViceCity.com seems to be working normally once again.

  

Wednesday - August 28, 2002   <3:30 AM CST>

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ViceCity.com Updated   <3:30 AM CST - schu>
As most of you know (or should know), Rockstar's official VC site has been updated with some new information, plus new screens and a Vice City trailer that's nothing short of spectacular.  The site seems to be getting hit quite hard so you might have to try a few times before it loads up properly.  For those of you who can't get the site to load properly, I've posted the shots from the new site and the links to the Vice City trailer.

VC Trailer:

Screenshots:

Click To View Click To View
Click To View Click To View
Click To View Click To View

I finally got the VC site to load up properly so I do realize that there are more shots than the ones above. There are also movies and audio snippets hidden throughout the site.

PSM Vice City Preview   <3:30 AM CST - schu>
The latest issue of PSM is due out on September 5th with a six page preview of Vice City.  The preview has a lot of the same information that Game Informer had, but there are a few new things that make it worth the read.  It also has a slightly better collection of screenshots, including shots of the flyable helicopter and the new motorcycles, along with a nice collection of of shots featuring some of the boats in VC.  Apparently someone took the liberty of posting scans of the article, so if you'd like to preview the preview, check over here.  Thanks to HalfAsianJew for the scans and to Dave, Captain Spork, Lenny, web782, GTA_Thriller, simon, AD$, midtownmad, Rev Ted, Insane2757, LMSRebel2002, Euclides, Rodrigo, and maglauncher2023 for the emails on this.  If you have trouble with the link you can also try here.

GamesRadar Previews VC   <3:30 AM CST - schu>
GamesRadar.com released a new Vice City preview yesterday with 26 screenshots.  Unfortunately I really don't have time to read it as I'm still going through email.  Check it out right here.  Thanks to Andrew for the tip off.

VC @ IGN   <3:30 AM CST - schu>
Yet another preview of GTA Vice City is out.  Check out all the details, seven movies, and a bunch of screenshots at PS2.IGN.com.  Thanks to Recoil, Rob_727, LMSRebel2002, and FiReStArTeRo0o.

Yet Another VC Preview   <3:30 AM CST - schu>
Eric sent in this one at Playstation.com.  Still haven't had time to read any of these :).  Too much damn email.

And Another...   <3:30 AM CST - schu>
Last one...  For today anyway.  Gamers.com has a VC preview up as well and it looks like they have the best selection of shots yet.

UK Vice City Release Date   <3:30 AM CST - schu>
I heard back from a reliable source at a UK online retailer, and it looks like GTA VC will be released in the UK in early November, probably about a week after the US release.  This information is NOT from Rockstar and is not official, however it is directly from a UK retailer so it should be fairly accurate.

Announcements   <3:30 AM CST - schu>

  • I'm still not through all the email, but the bulk of it was about all the above updates. I'm still working on reading through all the new information, then I'll compile it all in the VC Info section.  Unfortunately I'll be gone all fucking day and part of tomorrow morning!!!  but I should have an update for you on late Thursday night.  Once again I'd like to apologize for halting my near constant stream of updates.
  • I'm back... finally... Updating from my parents didn't exactly go as planned, by the time I had their new computer built, I didn't really have enough time to download 200+ messages on their 56k connection and then reply to them all.  So, rather than split the mail between here and there, I just decided to wait.  I couldn't have picked a worse time to be away since Vice City news seems to have picked up about a billion percent.  Anyway, I'll pick my way through the email and try to get an update posted.

  

Thursday - August 22, 2002   <1:00 AM CST>

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PS2 Vice City Release Dates   <1:00 AM CST - schu>
I just wanted to mention these in the news for those of you who didn't know.

  • US - October 22nd
  • UK - October 22nd
  • Australia - October 25th

I'm not sure about the UK date, but the retail sites currently list it as October 22nd (one actually lists November, hopefully their date is incorrect).  If it goes like GTA3's release, the UK date could be up to a week after the US date.  Thanks to Jack for the Australian date.

VC Observations   <1:00 AM CST - schu>
The DeLorean comment from last time drew in a few emails, but there really isn't enough evidence to support it.  Scratillion2 commented that the headlight and windshield position support the theory while Casey thinks it looks like a Porsche 928.  In the end I guess it really doesn't matter.

On to the next thing that doesn't matter :) ...  If trying to ID that blurry car is didn't piss you off enough, why not try and figure out what (if anything) is behind the car in this shot?  HuSsLiNWiSeGuY thinks it looks sort of like a guy on a motorcycle.

Rodrigo and Mpscarshop both seem to think that the skyscraper on the far right in this shot is straight about of GTA3's Staunton Island.  Personally I don't think there is a direct correlation.  There are similar looking buildings on Staunton Island, but I couldn't find an exact match.

Gunman wanted to point out that the bridge in this shot is the same as the one in this shot, giving you a better perspective on where it's going.

Lastly we have a gang in this shot all wearing the same jacket, presumably all with the same shark picture on the back as well.  Onion was thinking that if they are the Sharks then possibly the Jets might make an appearance as well (think West Side Story with less dancing and more shooting).  Thanks to colin and Onion.

Announcements   <1:00 AM CST - schu>

  • I have to make a trip back to my hometown so I'll be gone until Tuesday of next week.  I am hoping to check my email and possibly update from there, but my parent's computer isn't doing well.  I'll be rebuilding their computer while I'm there, so it really depends on when I finish with it.
  • I added a little bit to yesterday's Lazlow update.  Mainly I just wanted to point out that his reply is ambiguous and he might just be under and NDA and therefore unable to answer.  Guess we'll have to wait and see.
  • I got a few replies on the possible Canadian banning.  Anton pointed out that if Canada does ban violent video games he'll just cross the border and visit the stores in Buffalo and he suspects that anyone living near the border will do the same.  He went on to say that a banning seems unlikely considering its availability in the US.  Let's hope he is right.

  

Wednesday - August 21, 2002   <12:00 AM CST>

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No GTA For Canada After 2003?   <12:00 AM CST - schu>
The Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail, recently published an article on GTA3 and other violent video games.  The article is well written and actually does a very good job of telling both sides of the story, but there is something in the article that is rather disturbing.  Here is the quote in question:

"The Australian government went as far as to ban the game until certain sequences were removed, and in Canada video-game publishers and the Entertainment Software Rating Board agreed in June to ban extremely violent and explicit games beginning early next year."

I suppose it really comes down to what the Canadian government considers "extremely violent and explicit".  Thanks to Buckweed and Jeriko for the email on this.

Lazlow MIA in Vice City   <12:00 AM CST - schu>
demaxx wrote in a few days ago to tell me that Lazlow wouldn't be appearing in GTA Vice City, so I did some checking and sure enough, he wrote back and confirmed it:

From: schu <schu@gouranga.com>
To: lazlow@lazlow.com
Subject:Vice

Just a quick question... GameInformer recently did a GrandTheftAuto Vice City preview and they said you'd be doing voice work for it. Any comment y/n if you'll be in GTA VC?

Thanks,

schu

-=-=-=-=-=-

From: l a z l o w <lazlow@lazlow.com>
To: schu <schu@gouranga.com>
Subject: Re: Vice

magazines lie schu, just like politicians.


lazlow

This could also just be Lazlow's way of avoiding the question.  If he is under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) then he wouldn't be able to answer the question anyway.

Even More VC Observations   <12:00 AM CST - schu>
Well, as many of you pointed out, I was wrong about the location of the bullet hole in the window.  The shattered glass/bullet hole is actually the driver's side window, not the rear window (I actually read George's email incorrectly, but that's what 4am updates do for my accuracy).  I'm still hoping to gun a few peds out of their cars, but after comparing it to this GTA3 shot, I'm not as hopeful.  Thanks to everyone who wrote in with corrections, including dyar1, GTA_Thriller, Rob, Scratillion2, and Mozy.

Rev Ted is thinking that the gun in this shot is an M60, and I have to agree that it does look a lot like it (notice the large sight on top and the support legs that are folded underneath the barrel).  Looking at some other shots, it looks like we have a shotgun in this shot and UZI in this shot.

dyar1 pointed out that the chrome bumpers on the VC cars looks a lot more convincing than the ones in GTA3.

Mpscarshop sent in a few different observations, including the change in the newspaper graphics :) .  He also pointed out that the car in the back of this shot could be a DeLorean.  Personally, I can't really see enough detail to ID it, even after zooming in and brightening the original scan.

VC @ Play   <12:00 AM CST - schu>
Tony Sutton is reporting that Play.com has reduced their Vice City price from £44.99 to £32.99 delivered. Previously Play had the cheapest pre-order prices in the UK on GTA3.  Now if they'll only pay me for constantly pimping out their site.

Announcements   <12:00 AM CST - schu>
In reply to yesterday's GTA3 GBA post, Rev Ted sent in this link.  I don't think it's GTA3 related, but it sure looks a lot like it.

  

Tuesday - August 20, 2002   <4:00 AM CST>

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More VC Observations  <4:00 AM CST - schu>
Rev Ted wanted to point out that my cruise ship isn't really a cruise ship.  It actually appears in the shot with the semi as well.  I must admit that I knew deep down that it wasn't a cruise ship, but I was hoping ViceCity would allow me to ruin someone's Carnival cruise.

George sent in a quick email about this shot.  If you look closely it looks like there is a bullet hole in the rear window of the police car that Tommy is driving.  This got George thinking that if you can shoot out tires, then why not through glass?  It sure would be nice to finally be able to snipe people out of their cars.

Insane2757 noted that it looks like there might be a second bridge in this shot (on the far left).  Personally, I'm not really sure what that is in the distance.  After looking at it again I'm just amazed at how long the main bridge is, sort of leads me to believe that there will be more water based missions if the islands are that far apart.

GTA Contests @ Codename: GTA3  <4:00 AM CST - schu>
The people at Codename: GTA3 are running a contest (for UK residents) to win a GTA3 strategy guide, visit this link to find out how you can win..  I also noticed that they posted something on a Vice City contest at GamersClick.

GTA3 GBA  <4:00 AM CST - schu>
News on the GameBoy Advance version of GTA3 has been rather sparse after it was initially announced awhile back.  It still shows up with an Oct 15th release date on most retail sites, but other than that I haven't heard anything about it.  Hultenius recently turned up this link and posted it in the forums.  According to him the article (in Swedish) says that it will be a 2D game and that Nintendo has confirmed that it is still in development with a first quarter of 2003 release date.

New GTA Sites  <4:00 AM CST - schu>

  
Announcements
  <4:00 AM CST - schu>

  • BigRed IMed me a link to a new ViceCity article on GamesRadar.com.  It looks like they put together a feature list based on the GameInformer article.  Still might be worth a read though.
  • demaxx sent me the URL for the VC SuperSite, looks pretty nice so far and even includes mp3s of some of the songs the GameInformer article mentioned.
  • GTA_Thriller found a nice compilation of the VC information released so far over on the NeoSeeker forums.  Check here for the post.
  • Dan (not Houser) wanted me to inform everyone about Mafia.  I've actually mentioned Mafia previously, but for those of you who aren't familiar with the game, you might want to read IGN's hands-on article.  I'd like to look at the new Mafia screenshots at IGN, but unfortunately their bullshit insider system makes their site almost useless to me.  Check out the official Mafia site here.
  • The new VC screenshots from the GI preview have been added to the VC screenshots section.
  • I wanted to put out a quick request out to my fellow webmasters...  If you decide to use something from my site (especially if you copy it word for word), please credit gouranga.com along with a link back here with whatever you use.  I'd prefer that you email me with a request prior to using anything, but I'm not always that lucky.  This also goes for anyone out there who decides to copy something off my site and email it to another site.  Once again, I'd rather it just stay here, but I suppose some credit is better than none at all.  If anyone happens to spot chunks of my news posted on a another site, word for word, with no credit at all, please let me know so I can check into it.  Having similar news items is one thing, but copying another person's stuff word for word something completely different (if you're going to quote another person's work you should always have some sort of credit listed before or after the quote).

  

Friday - August 16, 2002   <11:55 PM CST>

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VC Observations  <11:55 PM CST - schu>
I've been looking through the new VC screenshots in GameInformer and I noticed a few things.  First off, there is a blimp in the upper left corner of this shot and there is an Ammunation ad in the background of this shot.  You might also want to compare the van in VC with the A-Team's van :) .  There might be a cruise ship in the background of this shot, but I'm not completely sure about that.  Thanks to Infernus and demaxx.

Crazy Sh*t  <11:55 PM CST - schu>
Don't ask, just click!  That has to be one of the most disturbing links I've posted yet.  Here are a few Lego links as well, try here and here.

Announcements  <3:40 PM CST - schu>

  • The VC preview links are being bombarded and are reacting rather slow.  I also noticed that GTA Skins had to remove the article from their site, however salvation has come in the form of elbazo.  Check his excellent site for the preview.  Phar also sent in this link if you just want to check out the screenshots from the article.
  • I added the GTA VC links to the nav bar, but other than the reviews link, there isn't anything there, so don't bother for now.  I also reversed the nav bar order on the no-frames site so VC and GTA3 appear at the top making it easier to find the newer stuff.  If you find any problems, dead links, etc... please let me know.

   

Thursday - August 15, 2002   <6:40 PM CST>

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Try Before You Buy   <6:40 PM CST - schu>
The legality of this site may be in question, but the convenience sure isn't.  Yes you can read GI's VC preview right now.  Here are a some of the features mentioned in the article.  If you thought VC was going to be a half-assed addon or just GTA3 with palm trees, then I think you'll find you were terribly mistaken:

  • Nine Full hours of 80's music featuring 90+ songs licensed from well known artists (compare this to GTA3's three and a half hours).  Confirmed song tracks include:
  • Judas Priest, "You've got another thing coming"
    GrandMaster Flash, "The Message"
    Laura Branigan, "Self Control"
    Kool and the Gang, "Summer Madness"
    Flock of Seagulls, "I Ran"
    Hall & Oats, "Out of Touch"
    Cutting Crew, "I Just Died in Your Arms"

  • Possible commercial release of the sound track.
  • Lazlow will be back
  • More reflective surfaces on the vehicles including real time shadowing from the environment.
  • The whole of Vice City will be open to players from the start of the game.  Go where you want, when you want.
  • Vice City is not a sequel, nor is it a prequel, and it certainly isn't an addon.  It's just another slice of the GTA "universe".
  • The main characters name is Tommy (read the article for the game's setup).
  • Your character finally speaks!
  • There will be around 8000 individual voice overs (compared to GTA3's 2000)
  • 20 top Hollywood stars will fill out the cast.  The only person mentioned by name was Ray Liotta (Goodfellas).
  • Vice City will be double the size of Liberty City both inside and out.  Yes you heard right, there will be many, many more multileveled interior environments for you explore.  Missions will send to both outdoor and indoor locations.
  • Vice City will include even more peds on the streets with more lifelike behavior.
  • Gangs are more intelligent and will cause trouble all over the city so you won't be the only one the police will be hunting down.
  • Graphical enhancements include higher framerate, higher resolution textures, more complex vehicle and ped models with better skins, and a new radiosity lighting system to make the neon look just right.
  • New targeting system to make finding and shooting enemies even easier.  It will highlight targets based on "priority and not on proximity".  The new system also includes a new crosshair system that shows you both the exact target and the bullet spray radius.  The crosshair will also change color to indicate the enemies threat level.
  • Vice City will include 40 weapons (compared to GTA3's 15), including new hand to hand weapons like the machete.
  • New maneuvers like crouching will help you make use of cover.
  • A new camera system will lock the camera over your shoulder to make both interior and exterior combat easier.
  • A new HUD will show more information including your elevation above ground (think large buildings with multiple floors).
  • VC will include more complex missions that include a greater variety of objectives.  These new missions will ask more of you by melding vehicle, outdoor and indoor combat all into one mission.
  • New side missions including pizza delivery :) .
  • The vehicle count has also been raised to 120 from GTA3's paltry selection of only 50.  Many of the vehicles are inspired by 80's sports cars and yes, they have confirmed that motorcycles will be in ViceCity.
  • You will be able to shoot out tires which will drastically affect the vehicle physics.
  • More boats have been added with rumors pointing to the possible inclusion of cigarette boats and maybe even jet skis.  Water based action has been revamped as well with an all new physics system for boats.

Thanks to demaxx, Mike, Roeland, Jack, dElAvA, and Nick for the link.  Oh, and I should also thank H3LLuSiN8 & Tom8501 for posting the article.  I've also just heard that ElBazo has the article posted in his VC Previews section as well.

I just got word that GTACenter also has some scans posted from a few more magazines.  Check their update today for details.

  

Wednesday - August 14, 2002   <10:15 PM CST>

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DeLoreans In Vice City?   <10:15 PM CST - schu>
Well it definitely goes along with the 80's theme.  Matt Dailey was visiting his local Babbages when he found something very interesting in the free GameStop ad/magazine.  Here is what he sent in:

"I have some very cool news to share with everyone. Well it started this morning with me taking a trip down to my local Babbages to pick up NFL2K3. I saw this free magazine Babbages/Gamestop/etc. put out. It was mostly prices for upcoming games. but I flipped to the back and it was a Gamestop promotional ad for Vice City. What was exciting was it was a contest to win a new DeLorean, from GTA: Vice City. I was stoked, being a big Back to the Future fan and all. Anyways the ad is attached to this email (below)."

Click To View


Announcements   <10:15 PM CST - schu>

  • Insane2757 wanted everyone to know that you can get a free issue of PSM on their site.  The problem is that the shipping time is 6-8 weeks, so it probably wont be the ViceCity issue, but it might be worth a shot.
  • WinAmp 3 has been released for all you WinAmp fans.

  

Tuesday - August 13, 2002   <8:15 PM CST>

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More Vice City Print Previews!   <8:15 PM CST - schu>
Just a few updates on the upcoming preview in PSM2 and a few other upcoming VC previews. macbrayne and Phil sent word that the Official Playstation2 Magazine (UK) will be featuring a GTA Vice Preview next month.  I also heard back from Rockstar and they informed me that both GameInformer and PSM will be running GTA VC previews here in the US next month.

Upcoming GTA VC Print Previews

Phil was also kind enough to transcribe the current PSM2 article for me, which I have posted in the G! forum.  Basically it's just a collection of ideas that people sent in, it is NOT a list of actual features.  I don't think they are accepting ideas any more so I wouldn't bother sending them an email.  It looks like they already have the ideas and have already sent them in to Rockstar.

New GTA Sites   <8:15 PM CST - schu>


Announcements  <8:15 PM CST - schu>

  • I went through and weeded out the Links section.  If you find your link was removed and you want it put back in, just let me know.  The only links I removed were the dead ones.  One sad side note to this is that the German GTA site La Famila disappeared somewhere along the line.  For those of you who didn't know, La Famila was one of the few GTA sites around back in 1997 when I first started GOURANGA!.   Back then before GOURANGA! the only GTA sites I could find were La Famila and GTA UK Style.  Some other long-time GTA sites that seem to have disappeared include Road-Killers Rendez-Vous and Section: 487.
  • Bramus! wrote in with a quick warning on using MailWasher (see yesterday's announcements).  Basically he wanted to make sure people understand that MailWasher is NOT a replacement for a good anti-virus solution. It does identify some viruses, but not all of them.  Speaking of virus scanners, if you aren't running one, please do everyone a favor and at least scan your computer at Trend Micro or even better, download GriSoft's FREE virus scanner.

  

Monday - August 12, 2002   <9:30 PM CST>

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VC In PSM2   <9:30 PM CST - schu>
Philip sent in a scan of the ViceCity ad in PSM2, take a look.  I've also heard from a few PSM2 readers confirming that the next issue will have some sort of VC preview.  Dan sent in an email on the player idea submissions, saying that they will be submitting ideas to Rockstar but only the "sane" ones :) .  I'm not sure how you go about submitting these ideas however.  I guess you could try the contact page on GamesRadar if you want to give it a shot.  Until then I'll work on getting a specific email address for submissions.

More ViceCity Fakes   <9:30 PM CST - schu>
It seems like more and more of these things are surfacing.  So far every one of the shots I've seen so far is fake.  From what I hear the next batch of VC shots will probably be from print previews, along with the montly updates on KentPaul.com of course.  Rockstar and Take2 are very very careful about which media gets posted, when it's posted and where it's posted.

MC Hawking & GTA3   <9:30 PM CST - schu>
zombi found an interesting update over on MCHawking.com.  Apparently MC Hawking has a new work of musical art about GTA3 and it's only available on the PC Gamer cd (not sure if it's UK or US PCG though).  They are working on getting the new track posted on MCHawking.com for those of you who don't have a PC or don't want to pay to get that issue.  Quake is the only other game title that the Hawkman has ever rapped about.

GTA3 PC Still In Top 10   <9:30 PM CST - schu>
The PC version of GTA3 is still holding its own in the charts coming in at #8 in sales.  Check IGN for the full chart.  I can't find a PS2 chart so I'm not sure how it's doing there, the May chart showed it coming in at #3.

Announcements  <9:30 PM CST - schu>

  • If you use the Google toolbar you may want to uninstall it and download the newest version.  They recently found some security bugs in older versions of the toolbar.  Read more about it at TechTV.  If you don't have it already, I highly recommend it.  It's great for quick site and internet searches.
  • Azz recently got me hooked on a great email program called MailWasher.  It basically checks your mail but leaves it on the server.  Then you can delete emails that are viruses, bounce emails that are spam, and then download all the rest of your email with your regular email client.  Sometime later this month they plan on supporting Hotmail accounts and AOL accounts shortly after that.
  • NVidia recently release version 30.82s of their Detonator drivers.

  

Friday - August 9, 2002   <4:00 PM CST>

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Vice City Fakes   <4:00 PM CST - schu>
There are a few fake ViceCity screenshots floating around.  Two are modified GTA3 shots and a third is even more pathetic.  They actually took a 3D shot of the original GTA1 Vice City map using Junction25 and tried to pass it off as as a map shot from GTA VC.  The only GTA VC screenshots released so far have originated from KentPaul.com.

Upcoming VC Print Preview   <4:00 PM CST - schu>
Phil was reading the latest issue of PSM2 (UK) when he came across a teaser for next month's issue.  Apparently they are going to run a big GTA:VC preview next month with new images and details.  Phil went on to say that they may be submitting some reader submitted ideas to Rockstar for review.  I don't have a copy of PSM2 so I can't confirm or deny this.

New GTA Sites   <4:00 PM CST - schu>

  
Site Updates
  <4:00 PM CST - schu>

  • I removed the password and I added some furniture to the Habbo Hotel room so it's not quite as stark, but I will still be adding an actual java/irc chat room after I figure out the IRC details.  Until then, enjoy a drink from the minibar.  I dropped in last night and spoke with drs_johnny and Hultenius for awhile.  I have to admit it's sort of neat but I think most people would probably prefer just a standard chat room.

  

Thursday - August 8, 2002   <6:00 PM CST>

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20% Off GTA3 PC   <6:00 PM CST - schu>
I was just looking at the BestBuy ad when I saw that they are running a 20% off sale on selected PC titles, including GTA3 PC.  I guess if it retails for $49 then the sale price would be $39.  On top of that, they are also offering free shipping.

New GTA3 Utils   <2:11 AM CST - schu>
Dan has released a few new GTA3 utils over at Game-Editing.net.  The new utilities include an img/dir editor and a dff viewer.

Rockstar Vancouver   <2:11 AM CST - schu>
Take-Two has purchased Canadian developer Barking Dog Studios and integrated them into the Rockstar family under the Rockstar Vancouver name.  Rockstar Canada has been renamed Rockstar Toronto to make things a little less confusing.  Now I'm just trying to figure out if they'll rename Rockstar North to Rockstar Scotland or maybe Rockstar Deep-Fried Mars Bar.  Visit IGN for more on this story.

New GTA Sites   <2:11 AM CST - schu>

  
  
Site Updates
  <2:11 AM CST - schu>

  • I got bored and made a Habbo Hotel chat room.  Just make a Habbo and search for the GOURANGA! room.  There are other rooms named gouranga, but mine has an ! at the end.  The password is gme.  My name is schu-G!, someone else already had schu.  Who knows I might even put some furniture in there.
  • Strangely ironic that I should go out to my car and find out that it had been broken into.  I guess it's good they didn't actually steal the car itself, but now I'm down 24 cds and I need a new passenger side lock.  Although I guess I'll have to be carjacked if I really want to get into this.  
  • The news has dropped off a bit, but that's pretty typical of the GTA release lifecycle.  I'd imagine we'll start seeing some GTA Vice previews within a month or so to get the scene rolling again.  That along with KentPaul updates and new GTA3 editing/mod updates should keep us moving along.

 

Monday - August 5, 2002   <5:00 AM CST>

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Announcements   <5:00 AM CST - schu>
Just a few quick announcements/requests..

  • If you are having trouble running GTA3 for PC, the first resource you should check is Take2's support site.  They have many common problems listed there along with tips on improving GTA3's performance.  If all else fails you can send them an email.
  • ATI recently updated their Catalyst video drivers to version 2.2.  If you're running an ATI video card they are definitely worth checking out.  Hopefully this indicates that ATI has finally gotten their driver act together.
  • If you run a website, please host your images and files on your own server.  Most of the larger GTA sites pay for their hosting and have certain bandwidth limits and are charged for any use over that limit.  So please do us all a favor and host your own files unless you receive prior permission.
  • Next up...  Please, please, please, please scan your computer for viruses and run some sort of active virus scanner.  I probably get 40-50 messages a day that are infected with the Klez virus.  Some of these messages have my return address on them :).  Why is this?  Klez and other viruses use the addresses of people you've received email from and they stick that address in the FROM field of their emails.  Then they grab another address and send a message out with an infected attachment.  That way they can propagate and you never know exactly where the messages are really coming from.  Apparently a lot of people have my address floating around on their computers :) ...  The following links should help keep you virus free and thereby will help me maintain my slender grip on reality:

  
New GTA Sites
  <5:00 AM CST - schu>

  

Saturday - August 3, 2002   <3:20 AM CST>

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GTA3 Support   <3:20 AM CST - schu>
Joe8629 sent in the following correspondence from Take2.  I'm guessing this is the standard form mail they send out about sluggish gameplay and possible solutions.  Some of them are quite reasonable, but I really think some of their ideas are a bit of a stretch.  If your system bogs down when using a USB mouse, then I think sluggish GTA3 gameplay is the least of your worries :) :

The following information has been found to help some sluggish gameplay on most computers.

Make sure your system exceeds all not just most of the recommended requirements. If you have an Intel Celeron or an AMD Duron you will not see high end framerates. Due to the reduced cache on those processors you will have some sluggish framerates in game.

For Better Game Performance:

  • VIDEO
    Turn down 'DRAW DISTANCE'
    Turn off 'TRAILS'
    Lower selected 'RESOLUTION'
  • AUDIO
    Turn off 'DYNAMIC ACOUSTIC MODELLING'
    Use 'MSS FAST 2D' or 'DIRECT SOUND HARDWARE' or 'DIRECT SOUND SOFTWARE'
    Sound Providers.
  • DEFRAGMENT game after it has been run once.
  • Turn off in the video card drivers 'ANTI-ALIASING'
  • Shutdown all background applications (inside Win9X close everything except 'Explorer' and 'Systray' (I recommend the program 'End It All' for Win9X use); inside Windows2000 and XP close everything except 'Explorer')
  • Make sure you are using the latest motherboard / chipset / IDE / AGP drivers appropriate to your system
  • Make sure all your Hard disks and CD drives have DMA mode enabled
  • Use the latest graphic card drivers
  • Use the latest sound card drivers
  • Any usb mice force feedback or usb intellimouse will produce sluggish gameplay. Use a non USB mouse to help increase frame rate in the game.
  • Integrated Ramdac or No Ramdac listed video cards tend to run slower on XP then Internal Ramdac video cards. (Still Researching this)
  • Background programs running during gameplay (You should have at least 85% system resources free).
  • Set desktop display to 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768 & 16 Bit high color mode. (Do not use 24 or 32 true color mode in Windows XP, game play will be choppy)
  • Add more memory, use a fixed swap file, make sure the hard disk that the game is played from is on a different IDE channel to the CD drive that the games audio disc is played from.
  • A video card that is not listed in the readme file (in the game directory) as a fully complaint card, the game will run sluggish. (IE: all voodoo 3, 4 & 5 video cards do not official support DirectX 8.1 which the game requires).
  • XP users must have the (Q306676) MS Patch installed. Download it from
    here... http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q306676
  • Using old, beta or 3rd party drivers instead of official drivers for your cards will cause sluggish game play.
  • Monitor set should be set to plug & play. (If your monitor is listed as default, standard or unknown, they will have slow refresh rates).
  • Remove any joysticks or gamepads that are connected to the computer that you are not using in GTA 3.
  • Scan disk & Defrag your hard drive before you install GTA 3 PC. When GTA3 is run for the first time, a 'Texture Dictionary' is created that is appropriate to your video card. This file can be between 100 to 300 megabytes in size. Performance is helped by this file being non-fragmented, so if you are going to defragment your hard drive to help GTA3 performance, then it is suggested to do this after running GTA3 at least once so the 'Texture Dictionary' can be defragmented also.
  • Sound Provider:
    The sound API selected inside Grand Theft Auto III options can effect game performance - try alternative sound providers to achieve better results. Try Software, MSS Fast, RSX, Direct Sound Hardware, Direct Sound Software.
  • Screen Resolution:
    Selecting lower Screen Resolutions in Grand Theft Auto III display setup will allow faster gameplay on lower end machines. Also using 16 bit color, instead of 32 bit color, will help in these circumstances.
  • Please note: That the use of any cheat codes, 3rd party mods, editors, no-cd patches or trainers are not supported by tech support and can effect the way the game plays normally. You should uninstall any of these 3rd party programs and reinstall the game. If you saved a game with any of these mods installed they will need to be deleted as well.
  • To receive email notifications on new game information or possible patches or updates, you can go to our website and register here: http://www.take2games.com/register

  
GTA3 Stuntpark
  <3:20 AM CST - schu>
ODIE sent in a download link to his GTA3 stuntpark mod (611k).  The installation procedure is a little complex but after that it was fun to mess around with.  I really didn't think I'd like the half-pipe that much, but it is a lot of fun to launch a car straight up into the air with the city in the background.  My main problems with the mod are its complex installation, the close proximity of the stunt park to large bodies of water, and some clipping problems with the loop.  It would also be nice to see some cars modded to take advantage of it.  I don't think it will become a permanent fixture on my hard drive or anything, but it's worth messing around with.  Before you try it out, make sure you read the instructions included with the mod and make sure you backup any files you change.

New GTA Sites   <3:20 AM CST - schu>


Crazy Sh*t
  <3:20 AM CST - schu>
Don't ask, just click!  Thanks to junglist9000 for the link.

Site Updates   <3:20 AM CST - schu>
If you get a chance you should check out the Guerrilla News Network, they have some pretty cool stuff in the media section.  My favorites are the S-11 Redux, The EBN Lost Tapes, When the Smoke Clears, and Countdown.

 

Thursday - August 1, 2002   <11:00 PM CST>

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KentPaul Updated   <10:00 PM CST - schu>
Rockstar's Vice City site, KentPaul.com has been updated.  There are two new postcards and two new shots (one postcard and one shot are actually the same).  I haven't had a chance to read through it yet so I'm not sure what all has been updated
.  Here are the new shots:

Click To View Click To View
Click To View Click To View

The main thing you might notice is that the character models look a lot better than the ones in GTA3, it will be interesting to see what other improvements they've made.  If you read the site carefully you may notice that they mention names of people and places that may be in the game, along with other bits of information.  Personally I can't wait to do a drive-by in a golf cart.

GTA2 Demo   <11:00 PM CST - schu>
The GTA2 demo disappeared there for awhile as many of the original download sites put the demo on their list of member's only content.  I spoke to Rockstar about this and they have posted the demo up on their GTA2.com site.  The Gigex downloader version is no longer available and hasn't been for some time.  I've updated the GTA2 Demo download page to reflect this change.

GTA2 Multiplayer GameFinder   <11:00 PM CST - schu>
Some of you may recall that there once was a utility call the GTA2 Multiplayer Game Finder.  Anyone running the program could post and find GTA2 multiplayer games.  That utility is long gone, but its author is not.  Oz is moving forward with his creation, but rather than making it a downloadable program, he is moving over to a strictly web based affair. You can check out the current test page for his creation right here.

Moby & His GTA3 Addiction   <11:00 PM CST - schu>
Scott (notd.net) was reading Moby's latest tour diary update when he came across his latest entry detailing his addiction to GTA3 :) ...

Insane's IRC Channel   <11:00 PM CST - schu>
Insane2757 has taken it upon himself to open his own IRC chat room.  The channel should be live today and is on #GTASC on chat.PlanetZ.net.  You'll need some sort of IRC client to access the room.  You can find more about his chat room here.

New GTA Sites   <11:00 PM CST - schu>

  

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