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I hope everyone enjoyed themselves over the Holiday seasons; hopefully you all had lots of time with friends and loved ones as well as overindulging in family dinners, I know I did. This time last year, Aero, Bradley, and I were sitting in a Teamspeak channel brain storming the beginnings of Los Santos County. As of December 28, Los Santos County has officially turned one year old! In this past year, we have progressed so much, not just in server development but as a Community as a whole. We went from a small three-man staff group, growing to a 33 person team, consisting of 5 Developers!
Web Development — User Control Panel:
In terms of web development, as some may already know, we've hired a professional web developer to create our user control panel. He is nearing completion as he is in the midst of setting up a staging server for our staff team to begin active testing of all aspects of it.
Our user control panel will consist of all the core features we have grown used to over the years on previous platforms, however it would not be development if we wouldn’t have brought in new features for everyone to enjoy and make use of! First and foremost, we refined the overall design to offer better service and usability to our users and make the features more accessible.
Features will include an application system for character account creation, two-factor authentication for your own ease of mind and security, Faction Management (role assigning/management), a complete back-end administration system linked to our game server for real-time administration over the server, and multiple other staff/administration/management aspects that need not be mentioned!
Web Development — Mobile Data Terminal/Computer
Another aspect of the server that has seen a revision is the Mobile Data Terminal (MDT). It’s a tool mainly employed by the police department and the government to keep track of different aspects of the game world. The biggest upgrade over the old standard is, that our MDT will be featured in-game and accessible via a web-browser.
This falls in line with the respective commitments from the factions it is targeted at, to provide more roleplay and force less forum work. The MDT includes the following features: Creating & calculating arrest reports (with these come fines and jail times), creating All-Points-Bulletins, creating and reviewing warrants, reviewing character records, different information about the character that needs to be entered by the respective department or agency, etc. Thank you to @Corello for his hard and outstanding work on making this and make sure to check out the media of it!
We recently announced that due to different circumstances we will be switching multiplayer platforms. We chose the platform which offers the best and most opportunities for us, as a community to grow. Two weeks ago, we made the switch to Alt:V Multiplayer, which as a platform offers us what we find to be the best support for this project. The support from the developers has been overwhelming, and updates are being pushed almost daily on alt:V Multiplayer.
During the two weeks since our previous announcement, we ported over the majority of the already existing script, we refined details in the script, and we’ve adapted the script to the new development environment. With the help of @Zeebs, who even spent his holidays coding for the community, we were able to achieve results much faster than anticipated.
This transition would not have been possible without the never-ending support from everyone in the staff, though one name to really highlight during this phase is @Topaz. Without his help, parsing and inscribing data for the development team, much of the progress would have taken far longer than it has. Regardless, I believe it is time to talk about something substantial in this announcement. Also I would like to thank @Kar for his contributions and helping hands wherever and whenever needed, whether it has been for Rage Multiplayer or just generally providing assistance when necessary.
First and foremost we have reworked most/all user interfaces to make them more visually appealing, so you can enjoy all the available options! We also ported over our authentication system, along with the character system, character creator, and spawn selection. To go more into depth about one of the subsystems, the character selection and spawn selection systems are being completely overhauled to make modifying and choosing your character more visually appealing. You will be in for a treat when you select a spawn point!
The faction system has also received a revision and additions to it. Not only does it feature the updated user interfaces, but also has seen the integration of a pager system. This system is a direct integration to Discord and allows for important messages to be shared instantly from the game to the faction discords.
Properties and Businesses are a system that many people are looking forward to. We were able to port the systems over completely and we were able to finalize much needed changes for this system. Through the input of Property Management and their efforts, we will be able to provide every player with a satisfactory experience whilst interacting with these aspects of the game.
The vehicle system is a widely discussed topic within the staff team at the current moment, but we were able to reach a middle ground on this system, about a week and a half ago. We are now working towards finalizing the important aspects that are needed for the foundation of the vehicle system. Further revisions of the vehicle system will allow for more in-depth petrol head role play and will provide the community with an enjoyable atmosphere around cars.
Our weather system can be called one of a kind. Both time and weather are synced with Los Angeles weather stations and clock. Because of this, players in European time zones will be able to enjoy a whole different aspect to role playing than what previously was considered “standard”. Players in North American time zones will also benefit from this change, as it will reflect a more normalized day & night cycle for them.
We wanted to save the biggest change for last, so here it is! We reworked the entire inventory system to feature a proper, fully functional user interface for players to be able to drag and drop items when and where they want. Once again many thanks to @Zeebs for putting in countless hours of framing, testing, etc. this whole system. Without him, this would not have been possible to achieve at all.
A message from our Head of Property Management (@Fox);
After much deliberation and finalization, we were finally able to push "our" final version of the economy draft for the server! Discussions are on going but the general outlines have all but a few been agreed to. Furthermore, we are close to finishing the vehicle prices and how they distribution of these will work. More news on that soon. For properties in general, the concept proposed in the economy has been very well received by all members of the Management Team. Keep your eyes out for info topics and announcement from our side relatively soon in regards to properties & business leasing!
Faction Management have been working on a few different systems for the server recently. Starting with the drug system. The team have been trying to come up with a realistic drug manufacturing system which will include being able to mess up drug creation as well as ensuring that players know the correct method to create the said narcotic. There would be different type of ingredients which you would be able to purchase for a local 24/7 whereas other ingredients would need to be purchased in the black market or a pharmacy respectively, depending on the rarity and the availability.
The second thing that the Faction Management team has been working on is a realistic weapon system. The damage system will be realistic but fair to allow people the chance to role-play around their injuries which will tie in to an injury system to show where your character has been shot which will allow wounds to be role-played accordingly.
We as Faction Management feel like there is not enough role play revolving melee weapons, and everyone results into using firearms even for petty altercations. There certain weapons that can be created by individuals in their properties with equipment that can be easily purchased in the store, for example homemade shanks/knives, and Molotov's. You will also be able to purchase certain melee weapons that are obtainable in your local 24/7, such as hammers, bats, kitchen knives, crowbars, meat cleavers, bottles (smash-ables), pool cues, screwdrivers, golf clubs, and chisels.
Turf rules are still a work in progress as we’re trying to find a perfect median and rules for managing factions and their turf. We are hoping to have a turf map website that will show what turf is taken by being highlighted in a shade of black. We want to keep things strictly IC as possible. Faction names will not be displayed on the website. The turf map will be strictly OOC and only acts as for new factions to see what areas are available and to prevent themselves in starting up in an area with a faction already established. As for finding out which faction is which, that is on your behalf on what IC knowledge you can gather. More information on this will be explained in a thread once we polish out everything for the public.
Straw man applications will be available for the public once the server progresses post launch. There is no set time on when but we are aiming for one to two weeks maximum after the server develops and grows as even when the server is released for everyone, there still may be things in the way for it to be completely bug free and working flawlessly. Straw man applications will be done the same way as Tester applications as there will be a form you will fill out and will be sent for our Faction Management team to review. If your application gets accepted, you will get in touch with one of our Faction Management to set up everything IC and OOCly. It is safe to say if FM does not contact you within 72 hours, consider your Straw man application denied. Gun & Drug distribution will start off slow to keep the flow relatively smooth. FM will strictly be watching the market and make sure no guns or drugs given by Faction Management are stock piled, oocly sold or being handled inappropriately. Faction Management is allowed to take away Straw man privileges if they deem it reasonable.
This year, the Los Santos Police Department grew exponentially. We’ve gone from under 6 members in the beginning of the year to 29 members. We’ve filled our leadership positions with skilled & experienced leaders, all of whom have been hard at work developing their teams & divisions. Earlier this week, we released our department Standard Operating Procedure and Patrol Standard Operating Procedure, both of which were built completely from scratch by our Staff & Command Officer team. Going forward in 2020, the Staff & Command Officer team will be working on finalizing processes and the different sections & forms we’ll need across the Los Santos Police Department forum. The Los Santos Police Department is looking forward to awesome law enforcement roleplay!
Throughout the upcoming year, the community will be seeing a tremendous change from the Los Santos Fire Department. Previously, the department was plagued by inaction and lack of organization. With the installment of the new Chief Officers, we have seen multiple, desired, changes which have only benefited the department as a whole; from the enactment of the departmental Policy Manual and other assortments of policies to a refinement of the organization of the department to better suit itself and the community. The Chief and Line Officers are excited for what the new year has to bring, and for the development of the department.
As always, we like to encourage everyone to verify your Discord account with our forums. It unlocks the ability to view our #teasers channel which we update as much as possible as well as grants you a few additional misc. discord permissions. Congratulations to those who were selected as well as those promoted! For those that were not selected, we thank you for your interest, do not feel discouraged from reapplying in the near future! New Testers are asked to contact a member of Management to be added to their new roles.