Back in 2008
Hi, I was active on here back in 2008, I released a BetterWeather script, and was working privately on some scripts with the intention of developing my own server gamemode, with what I thought had a Unique Selling Point alongside the usual features that you'd probably find elsewhere. Sadly, real life got in the way and those other scripts never saw the light of day.
The aim was to make a realistic RP server, with all the scripts remaining private. It was my intention to do it all myself, without any other 3rd party resources, and not make them public. But that was foolish, as I reckon that was one of the reasons why the plan was doomed. The plan was too grand for one person to do it alone, if it was even possible at all. I didn't know, because I didn't really reveal it to anyone.
Now, call me stupid, but having taken a renewed interest in MTASA due to my son (he has also got me into Minecraft, he has a lot to answer for) I also started to think about my original plan. Except this time, if I was going to attempt something like this, I wouldn't do it alone (I have even less time now than I did then, but more importantly I'm wise enough to realise it's a big job!) Plus a change in my philosophy means I actually I want to see these scripts made public. We'd github the lot and collaborate with other developers as long as the scripts were being developed towards the same end goal.
Below is what I had in mind (at least the bits I can remember - I can't find the original big list of notes I started with) - backed up with a huge set of database tables and lots of scripting to handle not just real player interaction, but fallback computer controlled outcomes if there were no Real Players to perform certain functions. I wasn't even entirely sure it was possible (or playable without lots of lag) - ideas had come mainly from reading the functions and events available in DP2, and what was coming in DP3.
Now it's quite possible that there are game modes/scripts/servers that do all this by now, if so, I'd love you to point me in the direction of them, but if not, I think I might be up for restarting this project again, but only if there are others willing to join in?
Registering and starting a new character (this part was done)
You register for an account, with a username, email, password.
You create a character (name, skin, etc, can be randomly chosen for you) but if you die, this character and all its possessions die with it. You have to start fresh with a new character each time. There gives you a reason to stay on the straight and narrow, so if you want the fun of being a criminal mastermind, you need to be clever about it, and make sure you surround yourself with people you can trust. This was the Unique Selling Point!
You spawn at a run-down caravan park or house, with just a knife and a small amount of cash, possibly a phone as well.
You can live your life on the straight and narrow, or turn to crime, or both, if you can keep it secret. Anything goes regarding crime.
You have an inventory of items. These can be weapons but also other items that are not normally found in game. Finding/buying items activates additional features. You can also handle goods/items that belong to others.
You need a licence to drive cars, trucks, buses, taxis, planes, etc. Not having the right kind of licence is an illegal activity, and can result in police coming after you.
Another such item would be the smartphone and shovel, etc, that allows additional functionality.
Fuel system that would realistically require refuelling when going from Los Santos to San Fierro or Las Venturas, making it a trip you wouldn't do often.
Banking system, means you can carry cash, which means you could be mugged. However, banked cash probably isn't always safe either.
Health levels - you need to eat.
There would be a smartphone GUI that allows you to do certain things, like add contacts, and call them privately. Also additional in game info would be displayed via this.
There would be a context menu system that allows you to right click on objects and perform actions (lock/unlock/buy/sell/enter/manage/etc) depending on the thing you click on. The underlying system for generating context menus was complete.
You can buy own and sell houses, lock doors, insure your house contents, and hold private meetings.
Houses can be broken into.
You can buy, own and sell cars, lock doors, upgrade and insure your car, etc.
Each car would come with a unique generated number plate, but also with the ability to put fake number plates (e.g. other existing numbers, or completely made up ones) so that your criminal activities can't be traced back to you.
Cars can be broken into and stolen.
Business and Economic system This was the main script I was concentrating on back in 2008)
There would be a real economic simulation in the system.
A number of businesses dotted around SA. Each business would fulfill a certain type of service: (Arms, Food, Soft Drinks, Alc. Drinks, Drugs, etc)
You can be employed by a business and do collections and deliveries for them (assuming you have a licence. You can be employed as a driver even if you don't have a licence, it's up to the employer to verify that you have one. Failure to do so can result in minor criminal offences for both the driver and the business owner.)
businesses would have a stock inventory system.
Businesses would be autonomous, so that if there are no real players available, unspecified NPCs would do things automatically.
With enough money you can own a business, at which point you would be responsible for organising deliveries/stock.
Businesses can act as fronts for illegal activities, maintaining an optional black market inventory, to deal in drugs or weapons.
Collection and delivery of arms/drugs would be via coast lines and docks.
All delivery vechicles can be hijacked. As the driver of a vehicle you can even choose to divert the vehicle and deliver to alternative locations, or simply steal items from the vehicle.
For non-illegal deliveries you will attract police attention. For illegal deliveries they won't be reported, but gangs may take an interest in you...
You can deal with NPCs to generate automatic income, but real players would be able to interact and purchase from you. Assuming you trust them to do drug/weapons deals.
You have an employment record, which indicates if you have previously failed to carry out your duties.
Opening and closing times define business hours.
Business premises can be robbed.
You can advertise available jobs and place adverts for the business (increases NPC streams, and possibly also Real player interaction) - Ads appear in the newspaper
Emergency services could be used to salvage/save people's lives.
Public transport, bus, coaches, trains, plane journeys, taxi driving, etc. again, licence permitting. Remember that your life is in the hands of your pilot.
The aim was to make it possible to live a normal life within the game if you wanted, in a range of careers.
Crime and Law enforcement
Murder, muggings, hijacking, handling stolen goods, hijacking goods vehicles, driving without a licence, etc, are all possible criminal activities.
Illegal activities reported by civilians (or double crossing gang members) can be investigated by police. Police can uncover evidence (e.g. digging up buried bodies) and issue warrants for arrest.
Once arrested, you go to court.
Judges pass sentences (NPC but can also be real player if they take that role) - Judges can be corrupted, to avoid sentences. (Real players might choose to accept a bribe and then pass sentence anyway...)
Jail time makes characters unplayable for periods of time depending on the crime.
You can have a criminal record.
Amunation is disabled.
You can purchase weapons from the black market if you know where to look/who to ask.
It's almost impossible to get weapons from the outset (except for your knife) because you won't know anyone in the criminal underworld. You'll have to either steal a gun from a policeman, or dig one up if you know where one was buried.
But how do you get into an organised gang if you have no contacts? (I could never answer that one, it's unlikely you're going to go around asking everyone if they are in a gang...)
News and current events
News report would be generated daily, viewable in game, but also via a website.
The weather system would change realistically. (which is why my BetterWeather script was created)
Bad weather reports might put pilots off flying.
News would be auto generated based on the events of the day, including arrests, jail terms, deaths of notable people.
Adverts for businesses and jobs will appear in here.
Additional messages can be placed by real players (classified ads section)
Notable people are those with criminal records, businesses or accumulating large sums of money
Regular "rich list" generated, could lead you to becoming a marked man...
You can belong to a gang, and hire people below you (henchmen)
You can kill the person above you in the chain you assume that level of command.
You can belong to multiple gangs, meaning there is a chance of double crossing people.
Gang back accounts and gang properties. Profits of criminal activities are split between henchmen and also the person above you.
e.g. you can hire henchmen to carry out activities while you stay in hiding. Though eventually a henchamn might decide they want a bigger piece of the pie and kill you...
Assassination can be ordered.
In theory it's possible to remain a gang member and be known to be the kingpin of the gang by only your second in command. Meaning you can lead a normal life, while the gang go about makking you rich. Except at some point, someone is going to get fed up with that hierarchy....
Chatting to others, making friends, bugging, trust
The chat would be localised, in that if you sit in a car or building, the chat will be not seen to those outside of that area.
If you are having a chat on your smartphone, local people will see your side of the conversation.
The ability to place a bug on someone meaning you can listen into all conversations that person has, regardless of where they are.
This includes tapping phones, which allows them to listen in on both sides of the conversation.
Once you meet someone in game, you can add them as a contact (if you have a smartphone). You can also share contacts with others.
It is up to you to gain the trust of others if you intend to involve them in illegal activities.
It's nearly impossible to get into a life of organised crime. You need the right contacts, and get people to trust you.
Getting rid of evidence
If you kill someone, you can bury the body and hope that it won't be found. (You need a shovel)
However, if someone witnesses you doing bad things, they can give the co-ordinates to authorities. You may want to kill witnesses as well...
You can also bury items previously owned by others, and weapons.
And more (but I've probably forgotten some of the more intricate bits of the system)