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News for May, 2005

Sunday, May 29, 2005
GTA San Andreas PC Multiplayer Mod
Posted by Tank at 18:00. Category: General

Multiplayer in Grand Theft Auto is something we've always hoped for. While there won't be official multiplayer support in the PC version of GTA San Andreas, a development team has been hard at work preparing for a high-quality internet-based multiplayer modification for the game.

GTA San Andreas Multiplayer Mod


San Andreas Multi-Player (aka SA-MP) is currently being developed for the PC version of GTA Vice City and is approximately 80% completed. Kyeman, founder and lead developer of the mod, is hoping to port the modification over to the PC version of GTA San Andreas roughly 2 to 3 months after the game release. (I'm sure you'll have lots to do in single player mode until then)

The SA-MP discussion forum has a new home over at GTAForums.com. Make sure you also check out the SA-MP web site, and don't miss the Vice City play-test footage and screenshots.

Saturday, May 28, 2005
200,000+ San Andreas PS2 Cheats!?
Posted by DigitalD at 20:48. Category: General

Back in the beginning of May, we reported about all San Andreas cheat codes being found. The last unknown cheat code combinations were found by interpreting the hash values created by different combinations of button presses, and then comparing the resulting hashes with hashes for cheat codes programmed into the game. Due to the way the game's cheat codes are programmed, it was discovered that every cheat had a huge number of different variations to it.

Over these few weeks, Skiller has been letting his CPU keep outputting code combinations, and now we have all the combinations ending with L1. (The game reads cheat codes backwards.) Here is an excerpt:

...
Valid Cheat Found: TC1R2D4LTD41 - B533F81F
Spawn Romero: TRIANGLE, CIRCLE, L1, RIGHT, L2, DOWN, R2, LEFT, TRIANGLE, DOWN, R2, L1
Valid Cheat Found: 1R14SULLTD41 - 7620F788
All Cars Are Black: L1, RIGHT, L1, R2, SQUARE, UP, LEFT, LEFT, TRIANGLE, DOWN, R2, L1
Valid Cheat Found: TL3S3UDRTD41 - F9205C67
Slow Mod 2/Adrenaline Mode: TRIANGLE, LEFT, R1, SQUARE, R1, UP, DOWN, RIGHT, TRIANGLE, DOWN, R2, L1
Valid Cheat Found: TL41DRXRTD41 - 9BC98FB7
Only Gang Members Around: TRIANGLE, LEFT, R2, L1, DOWN, RIGHT, X, RIGHT, TRIANGLE, DOWN, R2, L1
Valid Cheat Found: 2SC1U3STTD41 - F9BC0421
Have Groucho Gear/Fun House: L2, SQUARE, CIRCLE, L1, UP, R1, SQUARE, TRIANGLE, TRIANGLE, DOWN, R2, L1
Valid Cheat Found: R31CDR3UD41 - 2A849202
Pedestrians Have Weapons: RIGHT, R1, L1, CIRCLE, DOWN, RIGHT, R1, UP, DOWN, R2, L1
...

The massive list of 17159 functioning cheat code combinations is up for download. If all goes well, perhaps we will soon have all the working combinations. At this tempo (17159*12) that should be well over 200,000 working combinations! Don't forget these are not all unique cheat codes, it simply means there are 200,000+ combinations for the 91 in-game cheats.


Recent Print Advertisements
Posted by DigitalD at 15:11. Category: General

I've just come across some print advertisements for the coming Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas games which might be of interest. The first is an Xbox advertisement courtesy of GameFront and the second was featured in the June issue of Computer Gaming World magazine.

San Andreas Print Advertisements

2nd Batch of XBOX Screenshots Released
Posted by Tsuroki at 02:20. Category: General

As promised, IGN has released their second batch of screenshots for the upcoming release of San Andreas on the XBox.

While the previous screenshots gave us a look at eating and working out in SA, these newer screenshots focus on car modification, clothing, and dating.


Friday, May 27, 2005
False Information, Apologies
Posted by DigitalD at 19:43. Category: General

A premature release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the PC?

It looks like our information was incorrect this time. Stay tuned for other San Andreas news over the coming week and expect another preview from IGN tonight!


San Andreas XBOX Feature at IGN
Posted by adamcs at 00:25. Category: General

IGN have posted 8 new Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Xbox screenshots, all of which focus on the eating/working-out aspect of the game.

We are expecting a preview to go along with it shortly. Stay tuned.

Update: The preview has gone live, and is the first of a 3-part set of articles IGN will be doing over the weekend.


Thursday, May 19, 2005
New XBOX Screenshots
Posted by adamcs at 21:52. Category: General

Rockstar have sent us a whole bunch of GTA San Andreas Xbox screenshots that were given exclusively to online gaming corps earlier this month.

Check out the rest at our gallery.


PlanetGTA's E3 Hands-On Experience
Posted by DigitalD at 03:38. Category: General

About a week ago we asked our visitors to submit their San Andreas questions. Today we have the answers. One of our own, Jordan from our partnersite PlanetGrandTheftAuto, was treated to an hour long 1-on-1 preview of the PC/Xbox version of San Andreas at E3 today. Besides being able to get past the security and into Rockstar's "booth" (which was more like a parking lot of pimped out buses), he was able to have a chat with a Rockstar representative who answered all our questions.

I recommend reading through Jordan's preview writeup for the full effect, summarising it here wouldn't do it any justice. Also have a look at the photos Jordan took at the convention. You can leave comments at the forums.


No Mod Tools Shipping With PC Game
Posted by DigitalD at 00:20. Category: General

Ever since the launch of the official PC version site, there has been a buzz about a line in the features section which suggests that the PC version will give gamers "the opportunity to create their own world within San Andreas." Previously magazines have written that the game will be moddable and have included all kinds of hyperboles to express the possibilities. This led some fans to believe that Rockstar might actually be shipping editing tools with the game, which would allow players to tinker with the data files. Today we can safely confirm that this is not the case.

Earlier this week we contacted a source of ours who thought that "the mod community has learned how Vice worked and things are kept fairly similar in SA. You should be able to use pretty much the same tools." With the mod tools idea relying on not much more than hope, this answer was rather definitive.

In order to refrain from posting false information, however, we decided to wait for another source on this. Jordan from our partnersite PlanetGTA just contacted me after having a chat with Rockstar's people at E3, and confirmed that there will be no mod tools shipping with the game. Rockstar claims the whole story snowballed from a magazine which happened to misquote them on the issue. In addition to this, Rockstar said that the data files are so similar to the ones of Vice City, that most VC editors will even work with San Andreas.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005
New Xbox Hands-On Experiences
Posted by DigitalD at 15:00. Category: General

TeamXbox has just posted previews of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the Xbox based on their experiences with the game at Rockstar's offices in downtown NYC. There is no new information as such, but the article is accompanied by a bunch of new screenshots. Here is a snippet:

"Taking the custom soundtrack feature one step further, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas features a random function that intermixes the standard radio commercials with your own funky, ripped joints, creating the feel of a pirated station. Now you can create your own war at thirty three and a third, complete with Chuck Dís (station Radio Los Santosí DJ) voiceover ringing loud."

IGN have also put up a little 'hands-on' preview of the Xbox version, but much shorter than the TeamXbox one. They also have no new screenshots.

E3 has started today so keep checking back in the next few days as we expect to be getting a lot of news on the Xbox and PC versions of GTA San Andreas.


Brand New Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas PC Screenshots
Posted by DigitalD at 00:51. Category: General


San Andreas Xbox Trailer Public Download
Posted by DigitalD at 00:10. Category: General

Following on from news yesterday about the first Xbox trailer release, we contacted Rockstar about getting a public download of the trailer. The official Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Xbox site has been updated and the trailer is available in a variety of different sizes and formats in the media section.

Direct Links: Quicktime High / Low. Windows Media High / Low.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005
First Xbox Trailer
Posted by adamcs at 11:02. Category: General

IGN have just released the first ever GTA San Andreas Xbox footage. The trailer is 58 seconds long, and there doesn't appear to be any significant difference (in terms of gameplay) between the Xbox version and the Playstation2 version.

Link: GTA San Andreas Xbox Trailer


Xbox Preview @ GameSpot
Posted by adamcs at 10:50. Category: General

After a long quiet spell, GameSpot are finally offering some new GTA San Andreas material. The preview itself contains nothing that we didn't already know, but it was accompanied by 6 brand new screenshots.

We saw a significantly greater draw distance in the demo we played, which means the horizon is farther away than in the PS2 version, so you can see a lot more of your surroundings at once. The textures are also noticeably higher resolution; the signage, graffiti, and other such elements of the backgrounds are more legible now. Thanks to the Xbox's superior hardware, the game loads much faster than on the PS2.
GameSpot


Saturday, May 14, 2005
IGN's Xbox First Look
Posted by DigitalD at 16:21. Category: General

IGN has put up a preview about their first impressions of San Andreas Xbox. There is no new information, but it is a good overview of what we know so far. As a bonus there are 5 new screenshots. You can expect us to carry them in the coming week.

Some of you might be quick to notice that the screenshots released with this preview were of smaller resolution than the Xbox screenshots we have seen previously. IGN confirmed that the resolution of the Xbox version will be 480 progressive. Specifics on 480p Xbox games from TeamXbox:

480p is an Enhanced Definition TV (EDTV) standard displayed using progressive scanning at a 640 wide by 480 high pixel resolution. Progressive Scanning handles each frame of video much differently. Progressive scanning eliminates the need to draw two separate fields for each frame of video. Instead, Progressive Scanning draws every scan line, even and odd, for each frame. Progressive scan is usually 60 frames per second, or 60 full frames per second.

That confirms that the game will be in 640x480 resolution and playing at 60fps.


Thursday, May 12, 2005
PC PowerPlay Australia Preview
Posted by DigitalD at 03:01. Category: General

An Australian gaming magazine PcPowerplay has published an 8-page preview of San Andreas PC with all the new screenshots and information we have so far. Since there isn't any new information and the preview was simply a great read, here are some quotes. Thanks to our mate Fishmaster from GTA Central for making this preview available for the partners network.

"I'm not willing to totally rule out pop-up or frame-rate clips, but the way the game looks and moves on the PC pops a cap in the ass of the PS2 version."
"As you walk CJ around you'll see the shadows of over-head power lines fall across his body, as you drive you see lights bounce off the sheen of your car (if it's clean enough) and when you fire your nitrous you see these brilliantly billowing jets of flame."
"Yep, SA is going to be mod friendly. After the devs saw people make the unfinished Dodo fly and develop multiplayer game mods, the figured they owed the fans a slightly easier path to tweaking their favourite game."

If you live in Australia, I would highly recommend picking up the magazine and reading through the preview. It is one of the best San Andreas previews written to date, hands down. You can discuss the preview at our forums.


Wednesday, May 11, 2005
New San Andreas PC Screenshots
Posted by DigitalD at 04:21. Category: General

Cheers to our friends at Play GTA and GTA Sector for making this possible.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Official Xbox Magazine Preview
Posted by DigitalD at 22:53. Category: General

The June 2005 issue of the Official Xbox Magazine USA has started reaching the homes of subscribers. In it is a 6-page Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Xbox preview we have had the opportunity to read. There are plenty of screenshots, albeit none new, as the new screenshots were all accidentally released recently in digital format. The article is one of the bigger previews of the Xbox version however, it is even quoted on the official Xbox version site. On to the summary.
  • Objects (people, cars, airplanes, hookers) will have 40-50% more polygons than in the PS2 version. Textures therefore also of much higher resolution.
  • The graphics engine has been rewritten "from the ground up with Xbox in mind." Now real-time shadows included.
  • Draw distance expanded by 3-5 times, shorter loading times.
Screenshots Used in Preview

Besides those improvements, most of which we know about already, there was more. The article included a section where they outlined the celebrities who have lended their voices to the game (Samuel Jackson, The Game, Ice T, etc). There is also a page about the recent imitations of GTA that have surfaced on the video game market (50 Cent: Bulletproof, Scarface, Fear & Respect etc). And for the kicker, OXM managed to secure a nice little interview with Les Benzies, president of Rockstar North. Here is an excerpt:

OXM: So many things were added to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (swimming, bicycles, gambling, skydiving, two-player modes, etc.). Was there anything that you tried to get in but didn't quite make the cut?
Les Benzies: Of course, but the leap from Vice City is enormous. Squeezing everything in that we did ensures a big impact for the player when they first play the game that is sustained throughout the many hours of gameplay. Bad sequels will often fall into the classic trap of attempting to over-deliver, and then fail when trying to make everything work. We feel the balance we struck between new features and polish and attention to details given to them was just right.

It's always pleasant to read what the people at Rockstar say, and this interview is no exception. Les talks about the music of San Andreas, the transformation the GTA series made going from Vice City to San Andreas, and dodges over the question of multiplayer by saying "we'll only add multiplayer to the series when we can offer an experience that meets, ideally exceeds, the single-player one. Simply tacking on something lackluster wouldn't do the franchise justice." Let's hope that they will offer the multiplayer experience for GTA4 then?

Leave comments at the forums and pick up the magazine for a read-through if you live in the United States.


Looking for YOUR San Andreas PC/Xbox Questions
Posted by DigitalD at 02:40. Category: General

With just under a month left until the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the PC and Xbox systems, interest in the game is steadily boiling up. Through various online and print previews, we have learned of all the improvements and changes that will be in place in the PC and Xbox ports.

Over the coming month, we might or might not be able to arrange a meeting with Rockstar Games and have the opportunity to ask them some questions, and so we would like to hear from our visitors. What do you still want to know about the upcoming releases that hasn't been said yet? In order to make the questions unique and different from the usual details we hear reported in magazines and online gaming sites, we want you to help put together a set of questions.

We welcome your questions at the "what do you want to know" topic on the forums. When putting together possible questions, make sure the questions are about either the PC or Xbox version and make sure the answer is not already in the PC and Xbox info page.


Saturday, May 07, 2005
Xbox Screenshots Added
Posted by DigitalD at 00:59. Category: General

The two Xbox screenshots from IGN's update at the end of last week have been added to the San Andreas Xbox screenshots gallery.


Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Rockstar: "Modding Community Will Be Supported"
Posted by DigitalD at 20:59. Category: General

GamesRadar has put up a preview of San Andreas PC from their experiences with the game at Rockstar's London offices. Along with what we already know and have put up on the San Andreas PC page, they repeated some details that we have known previously but that have been perhaps left on the sideline.

  • You can save your player stats to a HTML file, which can be put on the internet and shared with others.
  • Photos taken with the in-game camera can be exported as .JPG screenshot files.

The article also vaguely mentions modding at the end by saying "Rockstar have confirmed that the modding community will be supported with this release, allowing tinkering players to adapt the game in numerous ways we're not imaginative enough to predict ourselves." We know that they have left important game data files unlocked for tinkering, but to what extend they will be "supporting" the community remains to be seen.


New Bunch of PC, Xbox Screenshots
Posted by adamcs at 18:15. Category: General

Spieleflut, a german gaming magazine, have updated their online galleries with new San Andreas screenshots. Our screenshot galleries have been updated accordingly.

More Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas PC Screenshots
More Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Xbox Screenshots

Thanks to Jordan for the heads up, and also Basti from our forums. The exclusive IGN Xbox screenshots that went up at the end of last week will be arriving tonight.


Monday, May 02, 2005
Cheat overload - All codes found!
Posted by adamcs at 19:30. Category: General

Skiller of Codemasters Project, the same group edisoncarter is in, and CMX of Code Breaker have found the last 13 unknown cheat code combinations. Unlike edisoncarter, who was known for brute forcing the cheat codes by connecting a PS2 controller to a PC and trying various combinations, these guys decided to take it one step further. The difficulty in finding the San Andreas cheat codes so far was because the game has the cheat codes written backwards in hash format (0x867974FB, 0x80750205 etc). In this format, it is impossible to read through the hash values and find the necessary button presses. Therefore we have known the hash values for the cheats for a long time, and have been able to trigger the cheats with a cheat device, but we did not know which buttons to press to activate the cheats.

Skiller came up with an ingenious idea. Teaming up with CMX they managed to put together a program (for which the source code has been released) which emulates different button presses and compares the resulting hash values with the known hash values for cheats. As we already know the hash values for all the cheats in the game, by comparing hash values of cheat combinations with hash values of actual cheats, they were able to find the remaining unknown combinations. In addition to this, Rockstar has used a 32-bit hash algorithm when putting together the cheat codes. This means that there is not only one combination that results in a certain hash value. There are many many many combinations which equal to a specific hash value. Since it is the hash value which triggers the cheat, there are also many combinations for any specific cheat. So far Skiller has managed to find more different combinations than anyone can imagine. He hopes to have all the combinations which result in cheats together in a few days. Look for that soon!

Chaos Mode
Pedestrians riot, just like they do in the final mission strand. Houses are on fire, people run down the streets carrying TV's and so on..


Spawn Hunter


Spawn Tanker


All cars have Nitros


Maximum Vehicle Stats


Hitman in all weapons
Automatically gives you the hitman level for all weapons.


Maximum Respect


Maximum Sex Appeal


Traffic is country vehicles (minus hillbilly gear):
This is the same as the other 'traffic is country vehicles' cheat, although you don't recieve the hillbilly gear.


Cloudy Weather


Peds Attack (guns)


All traffic is crap cars


Infinite Ammo

All codes have now been found. I think we owe a huge thanks to CMX, edisoncarter and Skiller. Be sure to check out our updated San Andreas cheats page. Now with all the San Andreas cheat codes found, we are ready for Rockstar to bring on the PC and XBox versions for our enjoyment!



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