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      Open Q&A   12/03/2017

      Hello guys, We decided to have an open Q&A thread for you guys to ask us questions. Me and @Shields will be the ones to answer your questions. Feel free to ask anything and we'll do our best to provide an answer. Go to the Open Q&A thread >>
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Fright

Development Blog #1 - Setting up!

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Development Blog #1 - Setting up!

Who doesn't like development blogs? We are going to make this concept on a bi-weekly basis. If we find development has become more rapid, we might even release it on a weekly basis.

"Emregency Recruitment"
Some of you already know. V: Role Play has existed for years. This time I decided to come back for RageMP. For me it was a bit scary even, as the ideal thing would be to have the same staff team as I had for years. At the beginning I was a bit worried, because first I wasn't sure if I could contact everybody again and get their contact information, and second I wasn't sure if they'd be interested to come back.

TLDR; a week later we managed to restore our whole staff team from the past generation of V: Role Play. Everybody came back to their original positions and this is the best feeling for me, because we never had any drama. Our team is so solid, and I hope you players value this as much as we do. We are working like a racing car that was stored in a garage for a while. The racing season has begun, and the team is back to work on it. This is what I call an "emergency recruitment".

The community forums
My first goal was to establish the community forums so that the playerbase could gather up again. It was tough for me to decide whether to restore our old forum or start a new one. Eventually I decided to start a new one. Our playerbase is loyal to us, and our team is unbreakable. We believe the old players will come back quickly (we still have our whole database ready for mass-mailing as soon as we make some more progress), and we will manage to attract new players. If you were a member in the past and you wish to recover some of your old posts, feel free to visit the old forum. It has only the database, and the whole style is stripped off. 

The past two weeks we had to set up the community forums, the forum theme, the domains and our gameserver hosting. Those things sadly consume some time, but they're all set up now.

We got our old domain (v-rp.com) back
Giving up on our name (and legacy) was tough for me as our old domain (v-rp.com) was taken. So I decided to buy a new one (v-roleplay.net). But thanks to @Shields who was alert, we managed to retrieve this back. We're back to http://v-rp.com!

Fun fact: I bought this domain even before GTA: V was released, when I had the plan to bring a GTA: V role play community to life.

Roles, roles roles!
When I decided to bring V: Role Play back two weeks ago, I hoped I'd be able to get that qualified manpower for the important roles of the community. Luckily we managed to get everybody back to their original roles.

 @Marcus. as the LSPD Chief (all our past material is still backed up), @Trench (previously known as Robert) as the LSFD Chief, @Shields as the Community Manager, @Clarkson as the Head of Player Engagement and of course our development team. I'm very happy to have those people back, and they are really good at what they do. This will let me and the development team focus purely on development, because this team can be trusted with eyes closed.

Development updates

Development operations
To have our development team functioning properly and efficiently, we need certain services to be set up. We invested quite some time setting up our code repositories (version control), project management system, servers, etc. Those things are important for us to be able to do our work properly. Especially because all of us are real-life engineers, it was easier to get this done as we are all used to work with those standards. I've also invested time into writing documentation for our developers. It's important that we will all work as one, following the same guidelines. This makes our code scalable. Our gamemode already consists of tenths of files and tons of modules, so we need to make sure it will be able to build upon that. Our development team is very solid and professional, and you will see amazing progress and features produced by us.

It was important for me to get this done before we all rush into writing code without being aligned with each other. Special thanks to @Viccie for closely monitoring those changes with me and giving his input. Thanks to @PurpleDrain as well, and welcome @HBTV to the development team!

UI Overlay (user interface)
This is a great feature possible in RageMP. Going a bit technical: RageMP allows us to use CEF (Chromium Embedded Framework), which is basically a "Google Chrome" browser in game. That means, we can build user interfaces using modern web technologies, and make them interact with the server. Our aim is to use this to put an end to common chat-based operations that can provide better experience in the UI. We will be using the cutting-edge front-end framework, Angular, to build beautiful, experiential user interfaces for you.

Myself and @HBTV have a lot of experience with web development (apart from server development, of course). We feel very comfortable around these technologies and I promise you guys - it's worth waiting for!

Hard decision affecting the release date
We made a hard decision that has good effect on the release date. Talking about the UI Overlay above, we hope you're excited, because we are. However, we decided that almost any feature designed, will first be implemented as an in-game command. As an example feature, let's take the ability to withdraw cash from an ATM. Such feature will first be released as a command, say - "/atm withdraw". Some amazing UI will be released afterwards. The reasons:

  • People want to play already. It's been 5 years since GTA V was released, and there's still no decent role play platform. We aim to be one. This decision ensures that functionality (the important part of a feature) will be available and released for you. The cosmetic parts are awesome and we love them as well, but those can be patched later.
  • This is a strict role play server. Many of you guys are used to typing, and if not - you should. Strict role play involves quite some typing, and SA-MP has existed for over 10 years (still pumping, by the way) with mainly chat-based commands. You'll be fine (we hope).
  • A big technical reason - if one of our UI features will be bugged (yes, that happens, code is code), you will always be able to use the command. So if you would like to withdraw money from an ATM but the UI will suddenly be bugged, you will not be completely blocked from this feature because you could easily type "/atm withdraw". This was not very easy to implement, but we promise you it's awesome.
  • Some players prefer typing. We aim to maintain the common role play commands the same, so experienced players will feel at home. Some people would rather skip those mouse clicks and just use a command.

IMPORTANT: Not all features will feature commands. Certain features such as login, character selection, character creation & customization etc. can only be implemented properly with proper user interface.

We might reverse this decision if we get good developers who are able to work on the UI in parallel to game development.

Game development
We spent a lot of time working on the infrastructure of our game server's code base. This is super important, and it was proven to be worth it. Lots of staff discussions (and big thanks to @Viccie for pairing with me countless times in the past two weeks). Our game mode is heaven for developers, and we are proud of that. It was developed by professionals and we considered two concepts the most - scalability and modularity. The infrastructure is built so well, that when we started developing actual features, we realized how easy it is for us to rapidly work on that certain feature. This might not tell you a lot, but this is very important as it makes it easier for us to implement features.

Going a bit more technical, we've implemented our own commands definition and events definition engines, taking leverage of TypeScript Decorators. We're very happy with the current state of the game mode and we are motivated to work on it.

Apart from that, basic features such as login, character selection, communication commands (IC local, low, shout, OOC local, global, me, do etc) were implemented, along with admin commands and player commands. We've implemented a Roles, Permissions and States systems that are going to be used by nearly all future systems to be implemented. We've established database connections and hooked it up with our ORM (Object Relational Mapping) system. We did way more, of course.

Regardless, those of you who remember - we have many features already implemented in different code base (for V:RP 2015, on a mod that was shut down by TakeTwo). Those features were implemented by myself and Jan, with the same technology we're writing the game mode for RageMP.  That means many features are re-usable and that is going to save us a lot of development time.

We expect to be able to show you more visual stuff in the upcoming development blogs. But trust us, we worked hard on these ones!

UCP Development
Who doesn't like User Control Panels? It has become a huge part of modern role play in GTA. You players don't need to log in to perform basic account operations, and our admins don't have to be in-game to make sure everything is going well. Luckily, our user control panel is still functioning from the past version of V:RP, and since we have a fully functioning UCP, we have one less thing to worry about as developers. It will be released when it's time, we promise!

 

Recruitment
We are still looking for developers and graphic designers. Although our development team is fully functioning (at a very good phase, by the way), we would love to add more developers to be able to release faster. Please take a look at the recruitment topics in the Information & Updates section. If you have a talented friend who might be interested, let him know!

_________________________________________

To sum it up, we are very happy to be back. I'm personally very happy to see the whole team gathered again without missing even a single person. Our motivation is high, our codebase is great, we have all the development power needed and we can't wait to provide you with more visual updates. We are working hard, on a daily basis, to finally give you the ability to play on a decent role play platform for GTA V.

Please show your support simply by leaving a comment here. That would motivate us all. If you have any questinos, feel free to ask.Thank you for reading!

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Great development blog, the first of what will be a great gamemode :) I really enjoy working on the script and hope to make something great for everyone to enjoy! With the staff team we have, we will be the best roleplaying server out there, I'm sure of it.

Special thanks to @Fright for the compliments, I appreciate it. 

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Amazing progress and dedication from all team members. Stay tuned people it is only the beginning!

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Well constructed and informative development blog! I'm definitely looking forward to see more of em! Everyone is working incredibly hard, it's only a matter of time before we create a truly amazing roleplay experience for everyone.

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