What's new

Announcement Red County Roleplay - 10 Years

TommyB

Owner
Joined
Dec 30, 2010
Messages
18,827
Location
Texas, USA.
Hey everyone!

This topic is a BIT last minute, but better last minute than missing the mark entirely. For those who are unaware, this month marks a momentous occasion for the server. It has now officially been 10 years since Alec launched Red County Roleplay! This server was founded by @Alec, @Ian, @Itami and @Uber Troll who all came together to create something new after the server they played shut down back in 2009. First and foremost, we need to give thanks to these four individuals for the contributions they made to shape the server into what it is. Without them, none of us would be here reading (or writing, in my case) this topic right now. They set up a great foundation which has stood the test of the time as a stellar roleplaying experience. Shortly after things went live, they made a goofy little skit to promote and showcase the server. It's probably the first piece of media that came out of it, too! You can view it below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSuRfo5oN4k (no embedding due to song copyright, sorry!!)

By today's standards, the video isn't anything special, but it's definitely fun to look back and see what the server looked like all those years ago. I personally wasn't around to see the first days of the server since I joined a year and a half into its life. What's crazy is how much stuff was added to the server in that small amount of time. By the time I joined, the gamemode was fully functional and ripe with various features. Granted, it wasn't perfect and the roleplay standards were awful compared to what they're like today, but Alec had done a wonderful job coding something special in a small amount of time. I was completely blown away by the server during my first few weeks playing, and every update he released only made it better. During my first year on the server, I became a slightly infamous fellow and even got banned a few times due to my antics. Given the reputation I had, I never anticipated becoming an administrator on the server, but I eventually got hired in (somehow). Even after being hired, I never imagined I'd become the owner of the server and continue Alec's legacy. I definitely didn't thought I'd become the owner when first clicking the connect button in my SA-MP browser all the way back in 2010. Hell, I didn't even think I'd still be messing around on SA-MP 9 years down the road, but here I am. I also doubt Alec and the others anticipated the server reaching the 10 year milestone, either, so this event is quite special.

To commemorate this occasion, I've put up a copy of RCRP running version 1.8 under the IP 185.198.188.101:7772. This version originally released some time in 2012 with various bugfixes release after the fact, if memory serves correct. At the beginning of the month, I went searching through the depth of my PC to find the gamemode version Alec sent me after I took the reins, which is 1.8! With a bit of work and even more digging for a compatible database backup, I was able to get it up and running. When I was running around and taking in all of the nostalgia, I figured it would be a good idea to make the server public for the 10 year anniversary as a fun little throwback event. Obviously thousands of new accounts would be absent from a database export that dates back 6 years, so I did a little magic and back-ported every master account and character that didn't already exist. Everything seemed ready to go, but when setting up the server properly on our dedicated machine (Linux) instead of my local PC (Windows), I ran into a giant roadblock. RCRP 1.8 uses a very old, deprecated MySQL plugin version which is poorly made, slow, cumbersome and no longer maintained. This wasn't much of an issue since 1.8 was only going to be up for a short while for fun and not as a proper server, the real issue was the fact that connecting to the MySQL database crashed the server without fail, rendering 1.8 unusable on our Linux machine. Since the plugin is no longer maintained, getting help wasn't an option. I'd have to dig into the plugin's source code myself to fix it. I have minimal C++ experience, so I opted to convert 1.8 to the latest version of the MySQL plugin, which is R41. This newer plugin has literally zero compatibility with the older MySQL plugin versions, so I had to update thousands upon thousands of lines of code to get everything up to snuff. After about 9 hours of nonstop work, I had completed the conversion and the server was ready to go after a bit of bug fixing.

If you're an older player who played back in early 2014, your characters and assets will be exactly how they were back then. If you're a newer player, you'll still be able to play with your existing RCRP account, but stuff like inventory items, vehicles, houses and businesses will be missing. I don't expect anyone to actually roleplay on this server, so there won't be any super strict enforcement of rules. Just don't be a dick and you'll be fine. If anyone does anything crazy like cheat or go overboard with insulting others, they'll likely be punished on RCRP proper. So don't be an ass and let people have their fun.

Disclaimer: This version of RCRP is very old and could be wildly unstable. If it starts crashing, I'll likely fix the issues but if issues continue to surface, I'll likely shut it down since it doesn't make sense to waste more development time than I already have on a server that'll be shut down in a week or two.

That's not all though! We've also put up a copy of the old website design, which can be found at https://legacy.redcountyrp.com. While I was working at getting version 1.8 running, fr0st had the idea to get the old website up and running too. Much like getting 1.8 running, this also wasn't a "drag and drop" task. It took a bit of work, but he was eventually able to get everything going almost exactly as it was back in 2013. Its design still holds up pretty well, in my opinion.

Regrettably, I no longer have contact with Alec so I can't query him about whether or not he has any cool screenshots of early RCRP development laying around, or show him how the server has changed since his departure, which is something I'd like to do one day. I did go digging through the old website's files and found a bunch of old pics from back in 2010/2011, though. On top of that, I went looking through my archive of SA-MP screenshots as well so I suppose I'll close this topic by attaching a bunch of photos showcasing RCRP back in the day as well as dozens of "behind the scenes" development screenshots.

To begin, here's some random roleplay screenshots I found from back in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Some of them are mine, some aren't.
pOwwB8a.png
4O7R8rv.png


just a bit of trouble (i was actually innocent smh)
YNgvudl.png
1DKgDN1.png
ctZej6l.png
iJw6WKL.png
sZuJc6W.png

Moving on, here's some pictures that showcase a few quirky aspects of the server back in the old days, as well as some generally silly screenshots.
You may have noticed in one of the screenshots I posted above, but back in the day license plates were actually floating text labels. This is because you couldn't actually edit the license plates of vehicles until SA-MP 0.3c, which released in December 2010.

GQ8nDcd.jpg
Back in the old days, the registration process was fully handled ingame. It worked fairly well, too. That is, until all of the answers were posted online for anybody to read and subsequently join the server. A longer quiz with 30 questions which banned players who failed it three times was eventually added. Funnily enough, an administrator at the time failed this quiz and got banned. After this roleplay quiz also had its answers posted online, the web based Master Account system was implemented in late 2011.

4yaMkiX.png
This is a screencap of RCRP's forums back in 2011. Very different to how they look now, huh? Alec rocked the default phpBB theme for years. Players used to debate about whether or not a proper theme should have been implemented, but he never did move away from it. It wasn't until 2014 that a custom theme was implemented, which remained the same until we moved from phpBB to Xenforo in 2018.

ymKuVHz.jpg
RnDTijo.png


oh christ what happened

xiSOxl4.png
9zAca8G.png
Back in the day, when there was a scripted hitman faction, they had the most bogus contract script that ever existed. I believe the syntax was literally /contact player_name price. People would abuse this feature constantly until it was either removed or disabled. I can't quite remember what the outcome was.

ZpJJ0ZC.png
This was the birth of mine and dodgey's temporary title of "shotgun warrior" after I had inadvertently turned the shotgun into an overpowered killing machine instead of giving it a slight damage buff. It got nerfed pretty quick.

ZlQPpaK.png
Property wipes actually used to be done manually back in the day. They were also announced to the entire server, so when players noticed the iconic wipe messages, everyone would suddenly scatter around the map to collect cheap properties and flip them for massive profit. Vehicles were also handled in a really stupid way and could apparently also be wiped from inactive accounts? I wasn't around for that vehicle system, so I don't know the specifics of it unfortunately.

uhJkbMA.png
B66zNcR.png

DWz1nd9.png

dVc86Cn.png

6NYah91.png

sDC4jln.png

3bbSPoM.png

Lastly, I'll be putting up the largest batch of screenshots, which is the neat "behind the scenes" look at the server's gamemode development. Most of these screenshots are mine, but I was able to find a small sum of screenshots Alec had posted as well. I hope you enjoy!

Alec coming up with eventual mapping designs for Angel Pine. Some may notice that the super market was actually implemented in a different location entirely.
M980NuG.jpg

PEAqGRT.jpg
Funnily enough, I also encountered this exact issue when aiming to implement this map as well. Unfortunately, this map never made it to implementation.

la3gPLX.png
Here you can see Alec testing the original, text label based floating license plates.

OBZVMkb.jpg


And later on, you can see him testing actual license plates once they were added in SA-MP 0.3c!

GjQTIQD.jpg
Here you can see RCRP peaking at 60 players and also running on SA-MP 0.3a, which originally released in 2009.

aVzLFj8.png

xHMr2fe.jpg

Unfortunately, those are the only screenshots from Alec that I could scrape up, so the rest of the screenshots in this topic will consist of ones taken by me during my adventures developing this server's gamemode.

I'm not sure if this picture was taken pre or post release of the holster script, but it only introduced forced visual holstering of large weapons. No actual weapon possession limits were enforced until I remade the weapon system in 2015, so you could stack a bunch of guns on your person and look incredibly silly like I do below.

T132fIR.png
With some help from the now infamous Booth, we were able to adapt the holster system to replace the previous /mask system. Before item holstering was added, attached objects were handled by using /mask [sunglasses, bandana, balaclava, etc] with a very limited cosmetic selection. After the holster system was released to the public, those options were removed from /mask with intent to be made into the proper clothing system we all know of today. Naturally, my first test of this system was porting the beard dodgey had made for my character on Movieserver.

UiGePUg.png


Beards caught on pretty quick after the clothing system was released, too.

yTpy16S.png
The furniture system was implemented back in 2012, but retexturing wasn't available from day one. Furniture textures was actually one of the first scripts where the majority of the code was written by me, with some help from Peach along the way, so it has a bit of a special place in my heart. As a side note, you can see that only 3 texture slots were originally available. This was eventually bumped up to 5 to allow for further creativity on more complex objects.

Pmk7aK7.png

NdWTh85.png
From 2012 to September 2015, furniture was purchased inside of various businesses spread around the game's map. This was fine when there was a small amount of objects to buy, but as time went on and we kept adding more objects, they became incredibly impractical. These objects had to be manually added to the database and then editd in-game. After getting tired of doing that, I decided to turn these shops into a pool of furniture that you would buy from inside of your home. This in turn allowed us to take our existing 200ish objects and add 700 more. I think at its peak, there was 6 unique furniture stores. This screenshot below showcases one of them, which was the Silver Trading Home Improvement Store.

tIJmRUY.png
Not entirely development related, but there was a period of time where RCRP featured colored nametags for government factions! They were short-lived, however.

hglQFDV.png
The server's current death system was created back in 2015, with iterative updates given to it since. It saw release in version 2.2, which was developed while SA-MP 0.3.7 was in public testing. SA-MP 0.3.7 saw the addition of the neat tablist dialog style, which directly influenced the structure of the injury dialog. You can see the many stylistic changes made to it during version 2.2's development below.

ybsITF9.png

MaUI5pc.png

nvM1eiR.png
This is actually the first time I tested the business actor script while developing it. Shockingly, it didn't have any bugs and made it to implementation without any further testing and if memory serves correct, no bugs were reported with the feature until I messed with the code again months later.

MGk5KNd.png
A commonly requested feature back in the day was vehicle rentals. For years, the only vehicles available to the public were cars that you'd have to hotwire to get access to (that's illegal). New players would find themselves in trouble with the law because of this, which often left a sour taste in their mouths. Naturally, the solution to this problem was rent-a-cars.

40RhmzS.png

Text bugs are pesky, honestly.
Clothing items used to be purchased a bit differently to how they are now. Instead of a model selection menu, you'd scroll through objects using the left and right arrow keys and the game's camera would smoothly pan to your desired item. A pretty stylish approach, but you can see its flaw below. The backdrop of this browsing mode was mapped in by Alec, and I exceeded the length of the wall when adding in a batch of new objects. I extended the map, but eventually opted to convert the feature to use a model selection menu, since adjusting the map every time I wanted to add new objects got old.

F4IYSvZ.png
More model selection menus! I don't think RCRP has enough of them. Back in 2015 when I was reworking the furniture system, I discovered a need for the ability to add descriptive text to each model displayed in the menu. This is something that the library I use lacked.

As a bit of a side story, an ex developer by the name of Peach is the one who originally implemented this model selection library some time in 2014. He said he made it himself, but many years later I discovered that he had in fact yanked it from some other gamemode, removed the credits and claimed it as his own. If the the original developer is still somewhere out there in the SA-MP community, sorry! I'd love to credit you if I knew who you were.

Back on track. I was able to add descriptive text to the library, but it wasn't very pretty at first...

MS8ygNm.png


This was the first time I had ever edited textdraws in SA-MP, which can be a very finicky process. As a result, I made a few errors in the initial implementation. As you'll see below, I ironed them out pretty quick, but the initial design was a bit different than how it looks now. There was also some text brightness issues which stuck around for a while.

3lW4nhJ.png


After some more tweaking, I reached the current design that we're all used to. Minus the text brightness issues. Hadn't quite figured those out yet.

JOFRZca.png


The feature eventually saw completion, though. With all of the necessary textdraw work done, I was able to get back to work on the furniture script again! Unfortunately, this work involved coming up with descriptive names for the ~700 newly added objects. Fortunately I had a buddy to help me out. Thanks @Braindawg!!

JhfPo2x.png
After my ventures with editing the model selection textdraws, I desired to add another textdraw driven menu. This time it would be fully made by me, and it was the original character selection textdraw design.

3teIq09.png


Fun little fact, though. That isn't the first draft. There was another design that I made but eventually scrapped in favor of the one shown above.

r3BWTxf.png
I was actually in slight disbelief when I found this picture. In my mind, the temporary object script feels a lot newer than it actually is. I don't even remember it being 2015 when I was writing it, but timestamps don't lie! This is the first time I tested the feature, if I'm not mistaken. As you can see, I didn't use the tablist header dialog style for some ungodly reason, so anyone familiar with the current layout of the temp object dialog is probably in utter disgust right now. I'm one of those people.

5eKsVsR.png
The first script of 2016! It's probably a bit weird to seem excited over corpses, but this feature was kind of a big deal to me at the time. I'm still not sure if any other competing servers have implemented a similar feature, RCRP may have actually been the first to do so. Implementation went smoothly at first, though. That is, until I wrote the supplementary body bag script.

xTODbOa.png

hAOwhl6.png

Whoops.
Still standing as the only sidejob that was designed by someone other than Alec/Ian, the pizza delivery sidejob is probably my favorite one on the server. This screenshot below showcases the first time I tested the feature. You can see that it recommended you buy a GPS and use that to find homes you're unfamiliar with. I'm not sure if that message made it to implementation, however. I believe I came up with the idea to display pizza slice icons on the minimap shortly after, which mostly alleviated the confusion of trying to find the right home.

vgE4oln.png
The fishing crate feature was conceptualized entirely by @Jboi. I'm pretty sure I wrote the entire system in one sitting as well, which isn't too uncommon for me. Unfortunately, it had a fairly rocky implementation and went bugged for quite some time due to a lot of stupid decisions I made when coding it. These decisions made it very finicky and hard to work with, so I ended up doing a partial rewrite about a year later. This ironed out pretty much all of the issues, and fishing crates have remained a viable way to earn money ever since.

When originally testing the system, I ran into a few issues with object sizes which made for some comical screenshots.

kRKdLs5.png

gN3vdlf.png
Standing as a somewhat controversial but necessary change, /vmenu was added to the server back in 2016 when our playerbase skyrocketed and the amount of vehicles spawned on the server was causing clients to crash regularly. Back then, all vehicles a character owned would spawn when they logged in rather than being manually spawned. This was fine with a smaller server, but as it grew again, the need to reduce the amount of cars grew considerably. /vmenu (now /mycars) was the solution.

My design skills are pretty lackluster in terms of making things look aesthetically pleasing, but they got the job done.

NBhvMJB.png


Implementation isn't always a smooth process, though...

eoSJUjl.png
There was a bug for a while where interior and exterior furniture would get stuck at the center of the map for unknown reasons. It wasn't a game breaking issue, and it was pretty funny to look at too. I eventually found the cause and patched up the issue.

DR2eVHR.png
Sometimes you just fuck up.

K2CaWNe.png
Fun fact, RCRP actually had a textdraw based MDC for a short period of time. This script was put together by Lionel, but it doesn't look as pretty as textdraw work that's been seen on other servers. It was also incredibly broken and I didn't know how to fix it at the time. I had Booth remove it and he eventually made his own some time in 2014, which is still used today. When doing a dig through older files, I found the code for Lionel's MDC and curiously added the visual aspects of it to modern day RCRP. That's as far as I got though, because I quickly realized the code was an absolute nightmare and basically unusable. Half of the textdraws had been made incorrectly, the code logic itself was all over the place and it was very unorganized. This would would have taken ages to salvage properly, so I scrapped any idea I had of trying to re-implement it and aimed to eventually make my own instead, which hasn't happened yet.

DsvmYLW.png
The shroom script was actually going to be a bit different at first, at least visually. When development started I had yet to actually be hired into SA-MP's beta team and SA-MP 0.3.8 hadn't started development. Earl and I were trying to think of ways to throw existing game objects together to sort of look like shrooms, but at this point we hadn't reached a conclusion. My original proof of concept used landmines as a visual representation.

LylhgS2.png


About a month later, I was in SA-MP's beta team and version 0.3.8 was being tested internally. I managed to convince my buddy @Braindawg to make a mushroom model without tipping him off to the existence of the new SA-MP version.

KQBF0hO.png
The introduction of custom assets in SA-MP made it much easier to implement pretty looking visual designs for textdraws. As sort of a proof of concept for Kalcor, but also as a needed visual update to the existing screen, @fr0st threw together a quick updated character selection screen. I made a slight error when originally implementing it, though.

o6r7dkh.png


It got ironed out pretty quickly, however.

qCvw3TJ.png
After 0.3.8 was announced to the public, and even during internal testing, I wanted to use custom models to overhaul RCRP's hud. The glaring issue personally was that I'm not good at graphic design. I shared a few very rough proof of concepts with some staff at the time, and that's when @Bauer took the initiative and decided to make the server's custom icon set which we've all come to know and love. We went through a lot of drafts and had a few issues with how GTA SA's textdraw engine rendered some of these icons, but they were eventually fixed. The icons saw implementation after many, many drafts and a few do-overs in the gamemode. It was very painful to implement them properly, but I think it was worth it.

Here's a somewhat earlier picture in development which showcases slightly different designs than what are used now.

bmcUJav.png
Revised /vmenu rough implementation
8AxX5oR.png


First test of the Flint County Forest generation
IGWi4Um.png


Unused character selection design
j8CDVVO.png


GPS paths were originally pink, and weren't quite bug-free yet.
hkatiwb.png


During development, bike towing would attach the bike object to the target vehicle instead of the player's vehicle. The bike also wouldn't despawn. Bugs like this are always goofy.
2FgRmiJ.png

That concludes this historic look at nearly ten years of RCRP's gamemode development. I'm a bit drained after sitting here and writing this topic for numerous hours, but I hope some of you enjoyed the screenshots I also spent many more hours gathering. If you're an older player and you have screenshots of your own from back in the day, I'd love to see them, so feel free to post them in this topic.

RCRP has been a big part of my life for the last 9 years the fact that it's still going strong both amazes me and motivates me to keep moving forward. I hope to continue to lead this community to success and continue to deliver quality gamemode updates for everyone to enjoy. I have a lot of interesting things cooking that I hope to share relatively soon.

I'd like to give thanks to everyone that's ever connected to this server. Whether you're a player who has never interacted with me or someone who sat with me in the past writing code, you have my deepest gratitude for being a part of this server and helping shape what it is. Above all else though, I have to give the most thanks to Alec for creating this wonderful server and allowing me to continue it after his departure. You could have easily shut things down and gone your own way, but you believed in me and let me continue on. Even though I made a lot of mistakes during my first few years running things, I hope I've done well to stick to your vision and keep the server as a unique experience for players to enjoy. I know you've definitely moved on from SA-MP by now, but I hope you'll stop by one day to take a look at the server again. At the very least, I'd like for you to see this topic. If anyone has contact with Alec, please consider sending it to him. He might enjoy it!

As a last set of thanks, I'd like to thank all of my RP buddies from back in the day for making the server fun as fuck for me. You know who you are (cabin-goers, etc). I probably would have lost motivation ages ago if not for the fun times we all had, so thanks for that.

honorable mention: @Smally for doing hella web design since 2014. you're the man!!

Here's to another 10 years. (if samp stays alive)
l8r
 
Last edited:

Dom.

Donator
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
3,271
Location
Maryland
I joined in late 2015 and it's crazy to see how much the server has just changed in FIVE years, let alone ten. I'm glad to be a part of it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dk
Top