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Old News - January 2001 Contents




Wednesday - January 31, 2001 <11:57 PM CST> <Top>
Liberty Tree Arrives <11:57 PM CST - schu>
The first issue of the Liberty Tree newspaper will be arriving in your inbox tomorrow, if you are on Rockstar's mailing list that is.  Not on the list?  Then send a blank email to subscribe@rockstargames.com and you'll be added.  If you want a sneak peak at what Liberty Tree has to offer and two new GTA3 screens, check out www.rockstargames.com/libertytree.  Thanks to Dan Houser for this update.  Apparently El Bazo was tipped off as well, his site www.sky-scraper.net, also was lucky enough to nab the logo and the information on Liberty Tree.
Liberty Tree Shots
Click To View Click To View

Site Updates
<11:57 PM CST - schu>
I've added the GTA3 logo and the two new GTA3 screens to the GTA3 Info section.


Tuesday - January 30, 2001 <10:20 PM CST> <Top>
300th Update! <10:20 PM CST - schu>
This is the 300th update here at G!, actually its just the 300th update since I redesigned and moved the site to gouranga.com, so technically I've done well over 300 GTA updates if you include the two past incarnations of GOURANGA!. Regardless this is update #300 at gouranga.com and to celebrate I nabbed the official GTA3 logo for your viewing pleasure.  Anyone notice the colors?  Seems quite reminiscent of someone's site... hmm...  :)

 Click To View (867k)


Monday - January 29, 2001 <11:50 PM CST> <Top>
New GTA3 Web Site Launching Soon <11:50 PM CST - schu>
Martin @ GTA3D.net is looking for some help getting his new site launched:

"We are looking for staff to help out on our upcoming GTA3 web site, GTA3D.net. You may remember our complete-flash web site late last year, and thanks for all those who emailed me. Thanks to schu, he's kept us all updated on the latest happenings, including some great screen shots with some in-depth game information. I now believe it's time to get GTA3D.net launched, and spark off the GTA3 community. I'm after anyone that is interested in GTA3 that thinks they can provide a useful service to the web site, like updates or maintenance. The new web site will not be a complete flash site, for easy of access, so no flash knowledge or experience is needed whatsoever. For those who are interested, please e-mail me at staff@gta3d.net."


Friday - January 26, 2001 <6:50 PM CST> <Top>

GTAZone's Top 50 <6:50 PM CST - schu>
GTAZone has launched their GTA Top-50 ranking system for GTA fan pages.  Get over to www.gtazone.de/charts if you want to participate.

Site Updates <6:50 PM CST - schu>
Not much going on right now...  I'm mainly waiting for Rockstar to get the Liberty Tree rolling and hopefully we'll see some other gaming publications featuring some GTA3 stuff really soon.


Wednesday - January 24, 2001 <11:50 PM CST> <Top>

GTA3 Web Site Soon? <11:50 PM CST - schu>
In the latest Rockstar mailing I found this bit of information under the "2001 Slate" column.

"And then, there's that recurring dream where you're carjacking someone in the third dimension. Look for dedicated website experiences launching for these and other future Rockstar Games soon..."

New GTA3 Screen Shots Very Soon <11:50 PM CST - schu>
Gleb from GTA Zone informed me that German gaming mags PC Action and PC Games will both feature GTA3 screen shots in their upcoming issues. Keep an eye on GTA Zone, I'd be willing to bet they will have the new shots scanned and posted as soon as the issue hits the newsstand.

Rockstar Wallpaper <11:50 PM CST - schu>
Two lucky GTA sites have garnered Rockstar wallpaper. Check the January 19th update on GTAScene.com and the January 13th update at GTa3D.de to download em.


Tuesday - January 23, 2001 <11:00 PM CST> <Top>
GTA3 Answers & Release Date Reply - Sort of <11:00 PM CST - schu>
Well, I've spoken with Rockstar and I've worked out a deal of sorts.  A lot of the GTA3 questions I sent in are either currently unknown or are still confidential, however I have been promised one or two answers a week.  Before I go on, you can find a list of questions I sent to Rockstar in the
GTA3 Info section, just so you can get an idea of what was asked and what answers we can hope to receive in the future.  I'll keep adding answers to the list as they come in.  Here is what I've gotten so far.

Yesterday I posted a "rumor" found in a German press release about the PC version of GTA3 being released in February 2002.  This is partially correct according to Rockstar Games.  Here is the comment I was sent:

"That German press release was correct (broadly) PC will come after PS2 - but no one version is more "important" than another...- the extra time will not be spent twiddling our thumbs. I can't say anymore, but you and your concerned friends will be very pleased with what you get."

This is also a partial answer to question A2.  I take "broadly" to mean that the date wasn't wholly correct, but the PC version will in fact be released later than the PS2 version.  We won't know until GTA3 gets closer to release just how much later the PC release will be or how the extra time will be spent.

The second answer is related to question H1:

"Is GTA3 set exclusively in Liberty City or will the player be able to go to different cities like in the original GTA?  Are there more than three areas to Liberty City?"

"Grand Theft Auto 3 will be be set in Liberty City. The official newspaper of Liberty City, The Liberty Tree is being launched shortly - some time in the next month - this will give people a look at what is going on in the city. It will run monthly from February. To get the latest news e-mailed to your in-box, send a mail to subscribe@rockstargames.com."


Monday - January 22, 2001 <11:00 PM CST> <Top>
Late Release for GTA3 PC? <11:00 PM CST - schu>
Gleb from GTA Zone sent me a GTA3 press release that was issued by Take-Two Germany.  The press release mentions a lot of stuff that we've heard before, but it also contained one rather disturbing piece of information.  It mentions that the PS2 version will be released in October 2001 but the PC version won't be released until February 2002.  Right now I'm hoping the PC release date is just a typo, but I'm awaiting official confirmation from Rockstar.  I would hope that the two versions would be released around the same time and not 5 months apart.  If I had to wager a guess I'd say they were going to use those five months to work on the network code for the PC version which would imply no multiplayer for PS2, but that's just a guess.  I really have no problem waiting for GTA3 as long as its a clean, polished product that kicks ass, but I've also become more impatient after seeing the GTA3 screen shots :).

GTA In The UK <11:00 PM CST - schu>
In my last update I listed a few places you can still find copies of GTA in the US, however that's not much use to you if you live in the UK.  Azz and Marc both sent in a few locations in the UK that still sell GTA.

GTA (PSX) - £15.99
GTA Double Pack (PC) - £23.66

GTA (Budget PC) - £4.99

Azz mentioned that you might also want to check www.game.uk.com but they seem to be sold out of a number of GTA titles and packages, but they do have the PSX GTA2 guide book for a measly £1.99.

MC Hawking - Artist of the Year <11:00 PM CST - schu>
Gate, a friend of mine, pointed me to this site, MC Hawking's Crib.  If you ever wondered what renowned physicist Stephen Hawking does in his spare time, check this shit out.  I'd have to say that the song, Quake Master is my favorite so far :).  Consequently, Gate was the guy who originally got me into GTA when he had me install the original GTA demo on my machine :).

Site Updates <11:00 PM CST - schu>
No word on the GTA3 questions yet but there were quite a few so it might take a little time to get them back from Rockstar.


Thursday - January 18, 2001 <11:00 PM CST> <Top>
GTA MIA? -Part 2- <11:00 PM CST - schu>
After posting Tuesday's update on this subject I received numerous responses.  I even got one from former DMA employee, Brian Baird :).  Judging from the replies, GTA is still available, its just a little harder to find.  Thanks to everyone who responded.  Here are a few of the links that were sent in:

GTA (New) - PC:

GTA & GTA - Director's Cut (Used) - PC & PSX:

Map Flash 2.0 Update
<11:00 PM CST - schu>
On Tuesday I did an update on Map Flash 2.0 and mentioned the error messages I was getting.  According to the author, Orca, you can only open uncompressed map files with Map Flash.  Most user maps are uncompressed, according to Orca, and if you want to open one of the original GTA2 map files you can decompress them using DMA's map editor.

Tuesday - January 16, 2001 <11:55 PM CST> <Top>
New GTA2 Map Editor Available <11:55 PM CST - schu>
GTA2 Forever has released their new GTA2 map editor entitled, Map Flash.  GTA2 Forever is a German GTA2 site, but they have released the editor in both German and English.  You can download it from their site at www.gta2forever.de or just click here (278k) for the English version.  The manual and readme that come with the editor are in English, however I noticed that the error messages are still in German.  Thanks to Crazy Elmo for submitting this update.

GTA MIA? <11:55 PM CST - schu>
Has anyone seen the PC version of GTA or the GTA: Director's Cut for sale online anywhere?  I searched a number of sites and I haven't been able to find it.  If anyone out there has seen it lately on store shelves or online, please let me know.


Monday - January 15, 2001 <11:55 PM CST> <Top>
GTA2 XF Beta 1 - Now Available! <11:55 PM CST - schu>
HinGTA's mod, GTA2 Xtreme Force, is now available for beta testing.  You can download the mod from the file vault over at gta.niteshade.net.  HinGTA is very interested in everyone's opinion on this, so please visit his site, GTA2 Seek & Destroy, and tell him what you think.  Check hingta.hypertony.co.uk for details and updates on beta 1.

GTA Scene Interviews Ace <11:55 PM CST - schu>
Alfadog informed me that gtascene.com recently held an interview with Ace, one of the minds behind the GTA Stock Market.  Click on the the "interviews" link at gtascene.com for more details and while you're there, be sure to check out all that GTAScene.com has to offer.


Friday - January 12, 2001 <10:15 PM CST> <Top>

Site Updates <10:15 PM CST - schu>

  • Nothing much going on today, but Teknics has a started the GTA Enquirer Competition over at GTA Gaming Army.  Check out gta.niteshade.net for more details but please, don't believe everything you read ;)
  • Keep sending those GTA3 questions in.  I'll be compiling them on Monday and sending them in sometime next week.


Thursday - January 11, 2001 <11:54 PM CST> <Top>
GTA3 Not GTA3D <11:54 PM CST - schu>
HinGTA brought something up in the GTA newsgroup that I thought I should mention.  I think I actually mentioned this a while back when I originally posted the wireframes, but perhaps not.  Anyway, the official title for the next GTA title is Grand Theft Auto 3 or GTA3, not GTA3D.  GTA3D was a term used in a press release a long while back and I think it was one of the names they were considering using.  So far, every Rockstar and DMA contact I've spoken with refers to it as GTA3.

Work @ Rockstar <11:54 PM CST - schu>
Rockstar Games is expanding its marketing department. The company is currently accepting applications for product manager, graphic designer, public relations manager and production assistant. Candidates who would like to join the Rockstar team in Manhattan should email resumes to jobs@rockstargames.com or fax them to the attention of the Marketing Director at 212-334-2233.
Site Updates <11:54 PM CST - schu>

  • I fixed one minor bug with the GTA3 link in the banner frame and I've added links to the wire frame movies in the GTA3 Info section.
  • Keep sending those GTA3 questions in, just a few days left until I send them off to Rockstar


Wednesday - January 10, 2001 <11:55 PM CST> <Top>
Site Updates <11:55 PM CST - schu>
  • Well there wasn't much going on today here, but over at GTa3D.de they have some great scans of all the GTA3 pics from the PS2 UK article, as well as a scan of the actual article itself so be sure to check all that out.
  • I've made a few modifications to the site in the way of GTA3 additions.  I've added a few new GTA3 sections, but the only one working at the moment is the GTA3 Info section.  I've also done away with the FAQs since I'd probably never get to implementing them anyway.  If I get a chance and they seem like they would be useful I may add them later.  Anyway, other than that I've made some minor changes the nav bar but it should be working fine, if you find any bugs with it, please let me know.
  • I'm still taking GTA3 questions and I've been assured by Rockstar that they will answer as many as possible.  If you can, please get them in before the weekend so I can get a list together to send in on Sunday or Monday of next week.


Tuesday - January 9, 2001 <11:55 PM CST> <Top>
GTA3 Article Shots <11:55 PM CST - schu>
GTa3D.de has scanned all the shots from the GTA3 article in the
Official Playstation2 Magazine UK
.  Get over to www.gta3d.de and take a look.  After viewing the shots feel free to send me any GTA3 questions you might have.  I'm starting to compile them and I'll probably submit them all to Rockstar by this weekend.

GTA2: Seek & Destroy's New Home <11:55 PM CST - schu>
HinGTA informed me that his site, GTA2: Seek & Destroy, has changed servers and can now be found at hingta.hypertony.co.uk.  GTA2 S&D is also the home to the XF mod which will go beta in a matter of days, if it isn't out already.  Keep checking GTA2 S&D for XF details and screen shots

Star Trek GTA Updates <11:55 PM CST - schu>
The Star Trek GTA mod has just received a new update (163k) including new vehicles and characters.  You will need GTA Cars to make use of this update.  Make sure you check the readme file included with this file for more details.  You can also join the Star Trek GTA team @ clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/startrekgtashipyards.  Check out my original update on this mod for more information and to download to the core files.


Thursday - January 4, 2001 <11:51 PM CST> <Top>
New GTA Sites <11:51 PM CST - schu>
Although it's still under construction, Oliver would like to get some visitors to his new GTA2 Site.

Site Updates <11:51 PM CST - schu>

  • Keep sending in those GTA3 questions and I'll add them to the list.  Hopefully I'll be able to get them all answered.
  • For all you webring people out there, I just wanted to do a quick update... I haven't been able to manage the ring until yesterday because it was transferred to Yahoo and it was a bitch getting the thing associated with a Yahoo id. Anyway, I've got that sorted and now I have to relearn the entire thing. I should begin adding a few more sites to the ring next week sometime...


Wednesday - January 3, 2001 <11:55 PM CST> <Top>
Star Trek GTA Update <11:55 PM CST - schu>
John and Paul have released an update (30k) for the beta2 release of Star Trek GTA.  This fix can be used with GTA Cars to add a few new vehicles.

New GTA Sites <11:55 PM CST - schu>
ZMan's site dedicated GTA2 just went online.  You can check it out at gta2projectz.homestead.com/enter.html.

Site Updates <11:55 PM CST - schu>

  • Keep sending in those GTA3 questions and I'll add them to the list.  Hopefully I'll be able to get them all answered.
  • Hmm... Seems my GTA3 screen shot has made its rounds to most of the major gaming sites but none of them mention where it originally came from or they claim it came from another site.  My never ending mission for credit goes on...


Tuesday - January 2, 2001 <11:59 PM CST> <Top>
New GTA3 Comments & Quotes <11:59 PM CST - schu>
A few days ago the latest issue of the Official Playstation2 Magazine UK hit the news stands featuring exclusive GTA3 information and screenshots.  I'm not going to post the entire GTA3 article, however I'm going to post some notes from the article and a few quick quotes.  If I get the go ahead I'll post the article online, but I'd rather not deal with the legal implications of that.  Anyway I'll try to cover everything the article does.  Before I go on I would like to thank Harry @ GTA Tanks for transcribing the article and sending it to me.  I would also like to thank the people at the
Official Playstation2 Magazine UK
for their GTA3 coverage.
  • GTA3 release date: October, 2001 on PS2 (This article was in a PS2 magazine so no comment was made about the PC version).  I assume it will be out for PS2 and PC at roughly the same time, but definitely on both platforms.
  • The plot sounds roughly similar to GTA, in fact the whole game sounds a little more like GTA than GTA2.  Various crime bosses and characters from GTA, GTA: London, and GTA2 will all be in GTA3.
  • GTA3 is set completely in Liberty City, but sectioned off into three parts, Brooklyn/Queens (mostly industrial), Manhattan (mostly commercial), and New Jersey (suburban).  You can travel from one section to another via trains, tunnels, bridges, and even ferries.  Each of these subsections is broken down into smaller sections with posh areas, run down areas, docks, etc.
  • The peds will have a distinctive AI which will allow them to continue about their business even when they aren't on screen.  Currently its estimated that up to 20 peds could be displayed on screen at any given time.  The main peds you interact with will be easily identifiable and should be easy to spot in a crowd.
  • GTA3 also plays like GTA and anyone who has played GTA before should be able to pick it up and play it immediately.  Hit one key to jack a car and the same key to get back out and that sort of thing.
  • If you hadn't figured it out already, GTA3 uses a true 3D engine and it's not shackled to a top-down view.  The version they tested allowed the player to change camera angles (including top-down), but for the most part it sounds like its primarily played from a third person view.  The article also mentioned that the DMA design team played numerous third person games and they are working on the best possible solution to the camera problems that plague some third person games.
  • GTA3 will have full day/night time cycles with 30 minutes of real-time equaling 24 hours of game-time.  As it begins to get darker you'll see more of Liberty City's criminal element coming out of their homes to cause trouble.  Rather than have a counter, you'll have a real-time clock.  One scenario might require the player to be  at a specific place by 11 PM for a bank robbery.  If you miss your deadline you can always just try again the next day at the same time.  While this isn't entirely realistic, its a lot more forgiving than having to reload constantly or having to restart a mission.
  • Along with the day/night cycles, GTA3 will also feature a weather generator.
  • There are 40 vehicles in the game, all based on real life vehicles.  Some situations will call for a truck, some for a sports car, and some will require you to use a small vehicle to get to a specific point on the map.  Sports cars, trucks, and compacts were the only type of cars mentioned in the article.  The design team at DMA is trying to balance the vehicle physics so all the cars are modeled accurately, but still fun to drive.  Each car features 18 damage points that can fall off.  If your car gets damaged too much you'll run the risk of blowing it up ala GTA.  You also run the risk of flipping your car, but it sounds rather difficult to do.
  • When you are on foot you can walk, run, or sprint, however you can only sprint for a short while before you have to stop and rest a moment.  Hopefully this will add to the realism but won't hinder the fun.
  • GTA3 will features a wide variety of weapons including pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles, and more.  The sniper rifle features a zoom mode.  I assume this will either take you out of a third person view or will open a sort of picture in picture view with the zoom mode occupying a part of your screen (this is just speculation on my part).  This also leads to the possibility that other weapons may have special secondary fire modes.  The design team at DMA have played numerous other third person titles to try and work out the best possible way to develop the targeting system.  Currently "you can lock your target on the most dangerous enemy and then scroll through the various foes surrounding you, or just shoot straight ahead at everything in your path."

That's it for the notes.  If GTA3 is as good in real life as it sounds in writing then I have no problem waiting until October to play it.  The entire article really sounds like they are rolling the best parts of GTA, GTA: London, and GTA2 all into one.  Here are a few quotes I yanked out the article:

"In fact, Grand Theft Auto 3 will arguably boast an even greater variety of routes to the top of the crime tree, with one crucial advantage: the whole world is in three dimensions. It's like Driver meets Crazy Taxi meets Urban Chaos meets Kingpin, in downtown Manhattan, smoking a big fat Cuban cigar."

"The idea being that anyone familiar with the first two games will instantly be able to pick up and play Grand Theft Auto 3. A single button press allows you to haul the driver of a nearby car out of his seat, thus taking his place behind the wheel. Any vehicle you see you can drive. Any location you can see you can drive to. "The aim is to set you loose in the world," says Houser."

[Day/Night cycles]
"This device allows for some superb graphical effects as the end of each day is marked by and impressive sunset and a misty twilight - as long as the realistic weather generator concurs. The onset of darkness is generally the cue for the lowlife to crawl slowly out of their dens and Grand Theft Auto 3 is no different." "

""The 40 vehicles in the game all handle differently," claims Benzies. "Obviously the fast sports cars are rare, especially in the first industrial area. With a truck you can ram-raid or force other cars out of the way. Conversely, there will be areas of the map you can only access with a small car." "

"Don't bet against Rob Playford's Resonant Matrix crew getting involved again. In each area of the game, there'll be ample opportunity to find yourself a warehouse base where you can dump the vehicles you've stolen - the aim will be to eventually collect every car in the game, just like Nic Cage and cronies in Gone In 60 Seconds."

"The transition from 2D to 3D has necessitated a lesson in true driving physics for the team. The need for broadly realistic but enjoyable vehicle handling his crucial to the game's appeal, but Benzies appreciates the importance of this aspect and believes they've already got it sussed. "We've spent a lot of time working on real car physics and accurate handling, but then we've tweaked the models to make sure the vehicles are fun to drive. It's difficult to up-end your car, but when you do it's probably time to steal a new one. There are 18 damage panels, sections will fall off, and eventually the vehicles will explode." If you're still dopily perched behind the wheel at this point, you'll find yourself waking up in the hospital with all you money and weapons confiscated."

"From the ability to ride trains, steal speedboats and board the ferry between islands to the enemy-specific insult button, Grand Theft Auto 3 will give you plenty to discover. And everyone has their favourite part, "I like the bit when your guy crawls out of the window of the car after you've rolled it," enthuses Houser. "These hundreds of little incidents weave together into a seamless whole." "

Now that you've read everything, let me know if there are any other questions you'd like answered.  I'm compiling a list of questions and I will try to get comments on everything sent in.  If no one sends anything in I'll just have to make up my own list, but I'd rather have your help on this.  Once again, thanks to Harry @ GTA Tanks for help in getting this information to the masses and thanks to the Official Playstation2 Magazine UK for covering this.  If its available in your area (I.E. the UK) I highly suggest you buy a copy of this magazine for yourself.  I think the link to the official magazine is correct, but they haven't updated their site to reflect the current issue yet.


Site Updates <11:59 PM CST - schu>

  • If you have any GTA3 questions, please send them in after reading the article above.  I will do my best to get them all answered.
  • I just got back home so I've only had time to update on GTA3.  This update will be followed by another full update on Wednesday.