Viewing news posted in December 2008

SparkIV 0.5.1 and OpenIV 0.8 updates released

30
Dec
2008
By Chris | 30th Dec 2008 at 22:33 GMT in GTA IV | 0 Comments
Modders in the community will be happy to know that texture file editing has now been made possible with the latest update aru has made to his excellent SparkIV tool. This latest update also includes the following features and fixes:

- Support for Texture File editing with Import (replace only) functionality
- Support for viewing Texture mipmaps and viewing colour channels separately
- Support for showing most of the filenames in Audio RPF (v3) files.
- Support for launching external registered editors based on extension
- Fixed some bugs with IMG file saving

You can Download SparkIV here which will take you to the GTAF thread (download link in first post).

The other major tool we've been covering is OpenIV, also currently in beta stages. That program also underwent a small update today to fix a few bugs and add a couple of new features:

- fixed bug with RPF files
- fixed bug with geting information form GTAIV.exe
- Added ability to edit «Levels» of texture.
- Added automatic check for updates.
- Now it’s possible to edit *.WHM files.

You can Download OpenIV here.

It's great to see development in both tools progressing so well. As these tools get bigger and better we'll hopefully see some very interesting mods very soon.

OpenIV public beta and large GTA IV map

28
Dec
2008
By Chris | 28th Dec 2008 at 19:22 GMT in GTA IV | 5 Comments
Posted ImageIn my last news post regarding the state of the GTA IV modding scene I talked about various tools currently in development by members of the community. Today we have another to add to the list. I mentioned OpenIV in the first mod round-up here, and since then it has gone through a number of versions in closed beta testing. Today they have just released the first public beta version of 0.8, and the tool is now a very powerful piece of software, and is comparable to SparkIV for those of you who have already used that.

OpenIV's already extensive feature list includes the following (download links at end of post):

  • Viewing of GTA IV files via function “Open Content“
  • Full support of the RPF2 format. You can add, delete or replace any files
  • Viewing and extacting data from RPF3 archives (file names are normal)
  • Full support of the IMG3 format. You can add, delete or replace any files
  • Textures replacing in any *.WTD and *.WHM files. The current version supports only PNG images and replacing files with the ones with same resolution. (For example, a texture 512х512 might be replaced only with another 512х512 one)
  • In-built SCO scripts decompiler (Currently is very bugged)
  • Ability to preview most of the GTA IV file formats
  • Ability to extend program features with external tools
  • Ability to extract resource (RSC) files either in original compressed or decompressed state via function “Save content”. For example this function allows to save all textures from a *.WTD file without opening it.
  • Any file could be viewed as raw byte data via “View in Hex” function


Large GTA IV map
Posted ImageOn a slightly related note, yesterday I used SparkIV to extract all of the radar images from texture files. I then pieced these together (all 63 of them!) in Photoshop to create a very high resolution map of GTA IV's Liberty City. The map measures 5632x4096 and is around 1.9MB in lossless PNG format. Those on slower connections might want to view a medium sized version I created, that's 2048x1489 and just over 1MB. View the full map or the medium sized version.
In time we'll be adding various items of interest to the map, pigeons, jumps, weapons etc. So stay tuned for updates on those, or keep an eye on our GTA IV maps page.

Links
Download OpenIV
Download SparkIV

GTA IV modding progress

24
Dec
2008
By Chris | 24th Dec 2008 at 17:06 GMT in GTA IV | 2 Comments
A lot of progress is being made in terms of where we're getting in modding GTA IV on a large scale. Numerous talented programmers in the community are busy creating some excellent tools to aid us in modifying the game to our heart's content. This post is essentially a round up of some of the recent developments.

Posted ImageSparkIV
SparkIV is a very promising IMG/RPF archive viewer and editor being created by aru. It's still heavily in public beta stages but already very powerful. Not all features are finished yet and there may be bugs, but it's looking like this is going to be the main successor to the GTA3 era's famous IMG Tool. Download SparkIV.


Alice
Alexander Blade, whose name you may recognise from the likes of Sanny Builder and CLEO, has started work on a new scripting project for GTA IV entitled Alice. In similar fashion to CLEO, Alice allows you to create scripts for GTA IV in a programming language called LUA, the download itself contains three examples including a Superman (God Mode) script, save anywhere, and the ability to view/read co-ordinates. Since Alice has just been released we don't have any mods available for it yet, though we're sure it's popularity is only going to increase over time. Download Alice.

Tools by CoMPMStR
CoMPMStR has uploaded a whole suite of useful tools to our database. His easy to use editors for GTA IV include one for handling, weapons, vehicle colors, vehicle groups, ped personality and a mod assistant. There's bound to be a number of you looking for at least one of these tools, hope they come in handy for you.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas holidays, we'll have more updates for you regarding the website in the next few days.

4 Mod Installer v0.1 released

18
Dec
2008
By Chris | 18th Dec 2008 at 15:41 GMT in GTA IV | 6 Comments
Gunner over at GTA4Mods has just given me the heads up that his mod manager, 4 Mod Installer, the first mod manager to be released for GTA IV is now online. Gunner, who has been working on the tool for over 6 months now, has created this tool to simplify the mod installing process for GTA IV.

Similar to Vice City's VCM mods and San Andreas' SAMI, 4MI has both a mod packager and a mod installer. The packager creates .4mi files which can then be distributed online, allowing other GTA IV players to download and, using the installer, add into their game. 4MI also enables modding of GTA IV without the use of a patch, which is so far what users wanting to mod the game have had to use.

How does this work?
Simply extract all contents of the zip somewhere and then run the exe of your choice.
To add mods to the list simply drag the .4mi files in the /mods/ folder.
ONLY 4MI FILES WORK!

You won't be able to add files that go in IMG or RPF files yet, they're still working on support for that. Until then, look out for modders starting to release .4mi mods.

Want to make .4mi versions of your mods to upload here? Download 4 Mod Installer from our database.

Eight new screenshots of The Lost and Damned

16
Dec
2008
By Chris | 16th Dec 2008 at 01:12 GMT in GTA IV | 14 Comments
Rockstar have released 8 brand new screenshots showing off scenes from episode one of the Xbox 360's downloadable content, The Lost and Damned. Click the thumbnails below for the high res versions.


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More: GTA IV DLC screenshots

The Lost and Damned trailer, GTA IV gets GOTY at Spike VGA

15
Dec
2008
By Chris | 15th Dec 2008 at 05:17 GMT in GTA IV | 12 Comments
Earlier tonight the first trailer for The Lost and Damned premiered at the 2008 Spike TV Video Game Awards. Grand Theft Auto IV won three of the seven awards it was nominated for, "Game Of The Year", "Best Action Adventure Game", and "Best Performance By A Human Male" for Michael Hollick as Niko Bellic.

The action-packed trailer gives us an insight in what to expect from the DLC. Watch below via YouTube.

GTA IV PC patch released

13
Dec
2008
By Chris | 13th Dec 2008 at 04:12 GMT in GTA IV | 23 Comments
The patch promised by Rockstar for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV has now been released. Start up GTA IV and connect to LIVE to initiate the download. The patch is 32.6MB and will take a few minutes to install. It should fix the following issues:
  • A fix to the crash after legal screen that some German customers were reporting.
  • Numerous improvements to the video editor: Smarter naming of videos, improved rendering quality, better fx during replays.
  • Fix to bowling while using certain sensitive mice.
  • Fix for ATI 1900 shadows.
  • Overall savings to memory.
  • Graphic improvements to particle systems and mirrors.
  • Multiplayer character settings are preserved.
  • Support for DirectInput controllers.
Let us know if it's helped improve things for you in our forums.

Thanks to gamerzworld for the heads up.

NOTE: If for any reason you would like manually install the patch rather than update from LIVE, you can download the patch here.

New Lost and Damned screenshots

11
Dec
2008
By Chris | 11th Dec 2008 at 21:47 GMT in GTA IV | 5 Comments
Microsoft launched a mini-site for Grand Theft Auto IV's downloadable content for the Xbox 360 last night. On it they included three screenshots of The Lost and Damned which we haven't seen before. Unfortunately they aren't high resolution but we'll update them if get some better versions.

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Link: The Lost and Damned screenshots

Source: Microsoft
Credit to }{oT~dEv1L 666 for finding these.

Updated ATi Catalyst 8.12 drivers released

10
Dec
2008
By Chris | 10th Dec 2008 at 17:05 GMT in GTA IV | 2 Comments
As promised by Rockstar and ATi last week, ATi have today released updated Catalyst drivers (version 8.12) that should give gamers with ATi graphics cards improved performance when playing Grand Theft Auto IV.

Head over to ATi Catalyst drivers to download the latest version. It's recommended all ATi users upgrade. For those of you with nVidia cards who might have missed last weeks update, nVidia put out some beta drivers which many gamers report improves the framerate when playing GTA IV, you can get those at nZone.com.

Let us know if these new ATi drivers improve your game performance.

TIME Magazine: GTA IV top game of 2008

09
Dec
2008
By Chris | 9th Dec 2008 at 03:14 GMT in GTA IV | 16 Comments
TIME magazine has named Grand Theft Auto IV as the number one video game of the year 2008. The well known magazine has a "Top 10 of Everything" each year, and I think it comes as no surprise to many people that GTA IV topped the video game list. Well done to Rockstar Games and all the studios that worked on the game. Here's the full list:

  • Grand Theft Auto IV
  • Braid
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Rock Band 2
  • Gears of War 2
  • Dead Space
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
  • Hunted Forever
  • Fieldrunners
  • Spore
Source: TIME

First GTA IV mods appearing online

07
Dec
2008
By Chris | 7th Dec 2008 at 16:59 GMT in GTA IV | 11 Comments
Less than one week after it's release, some people have already been successful in modding Grand Theft Auto IV on the PC. Some files in GTA IV are hash protected - a tactic employed by many games companies to prevent people from modifying the games, this probably has something to do with the Hot Coffee fiasco, but there are some workarounds already out there.

First GTA IV mods
Posted ImageI did only say 'some' files though, some which aren't hashed include the language (.gxt) files. The first GTA IV mod uploaded to our downloads database is in fact a modification of american.gxt. Bobster has decided to rename all the vehicles in the game to match those of their real life counterparts, something which proved popular when San Andreas was released. You can check out his real vehicle names mod here. I've tested it myself and can verify it works. Bobster provides simple instructions in the readme on how to get this working, and he also provides a full list of what he renamed each vehicle to.

File modding patches
A couple of users over at GTAForums have been successful in modifying handling and weapons configuration files. Two experimental methods are currently available for allowing people to mod GTA IV.
OpenIV project
Finally, some of you may be aware of an all-purpose modding tool currently in beta stages called OpenIV. The tool looks quite promising based on the videos shown on their blog, once released we could see modding take off pretty quickly. No doubt there are many more talented people currently writing similar tools - we'll keep you up to date on any major developments within the modding community.

Host your mods here
If you've made a mod and want to put it online, our massive downloads database is a great place to host it. As long as you have an account on our forums you'll have the ability to upload your mods here. Once approved they'll appear in our database for anyone to download. You can update your file whenever you need and add as many screenshots as you like to show off your modification

Rockstar talks GTA IV technical problems

06
Dec
2008
By Chris | 6th Dec 2008 at 17:35 GMT in GTA IV | 2 Comments
IGN have recently participated in a conference call with several Rockstar Games employees; including Lead QA Arthur Chiang, Technical Director Kevin Hoare, and VP of Development Jeronimo Barrera. There's 3 pages of questions and answers to graphics and community related questions. Here's one quote I think sums up a lot of forum users:

IGN: Then why do you think this has reached the level of proliferation through the online gaming media as it has because a lot of games are released for the PC and they all have technical issues with various hardware setups but this one seems to be more prominent than most. If it is just an expected volume of user problems, as you say, then why the furor?

Jeronimo Barrera: I think we have pretty passionate fans and they're going to let us know when they're unhappy with something. We're trying to address every issue we can whether it's through our support line or going to forums, we're constantly scanning to make sure we aren't missing something. Obviously we want this to run on everybody's machine. I think these guys can explain a little bit more like what separates us from other games. What we're doing is really cutting edge, there's a lot of stuff going on onscreen.

He's right, we are a passionate bunch of fans. We're incredibly vocal and that can be seen in any GTA forum you visit. Old graphics card drivers are, according to Rockstar's support staff, one of the biggest problems. nVidia users are advised to upgrade to the beta drivers we mentioned yesterday, ATi users will have to wait until Wednesday for updated drivers.

You can read the rest of the interview over at IGN

GTA IV patch to be released in next few days

06
Dec
2008
By Chris | 6th Dec 2008 at 03:58 GMT in GTA IV | 11 Comments
It seems the outraging gamers have got to Rockstar Games, and they've finally put a public face on things and made a post over at GTAForums. The Rockstar Toronto 'spokesperson', who by the way is still adamant that only "several users" are experiencing problems despite all GTA forums being full of complaining users, assures us that a patch will be coming in the next few days that sorts out some of the issues players are having. Additionally, nVidia and ATi appear to be preparing updated driver releases which supposedly help the game run better.

We are working on making a patch available in the next few days. Since Grand Theft Auto IV is a Games For Windows – Live game the patch must be certified by Microsoft before release. The patch is already at Microsoft and we expect a speedy approval.
The patch contains a variety of fixes including:

-A fix to the crash after legal screen that some German customers were reporting.
-Numerous improvements to the video editor: Smarter naming of videos, improved rendering quality, better fx during replays
-Fix to bowling while using certain sensitive mice
-Fix for ATI 1900 shadows
-Overall savings to memory
-Graphic improvements to particle systems and mirrors
-Multiplayer character settings are preserved
-Support for DirectInput controllers. Note: The current hack way of supporting these controllers may not work with the improved functionality. So we recommend you remove the hack before upgrading to the patch.

Issues with power management software have also been fixed (slow speed, double speed issues). Even after the patch comes out setting power management software to maximum performance is recommended. We’ve seen cases where power management software does not detect the game is running and puts the CPU in green mode.

Besides the patch we’ve also improved the way the Social Club handles data this should have greatly reduced or eliminated the Mma10 error. If you are still receiving this error after logging in and out of Social Club we would like to know as much info as you can about it.

They also provide information on where to get updated graphics card drivers:

We’re pleased to announce that in co-operation with Nvidia a new driver has been released that improves performance and fixes a major issue with 7900 series cards. If you haven’t gotten the driver yet download it here: http://www.nzone.com..._downloads.html

ATI has also agreed to officially release Catalyst 8.12 which will release on Dec 10th from http://game.amd.com. Expect significant performance improvements when using this new driver.

Great to see that they're busy working on patching the game up fairly quickly to keep us all happy. Let's hope it works!

The Lost and Damned DLC to premiere on SpikeTV

06
Dec
2008
By Chris | 6th Dec 2008 at 03:52 GMT in GTA IV | 2 Comments
Today, Rockstar Games and Spike TV announced that the downloadable content for Xbox 360 users of GTA IV, The Lost and Damned, will premiere at the 2008 Video Game Awards, live Sunday December 14 at 9:00pm on Spike TV.

No further details were given in the press release, however we can be pretty sure we'll be seeing previews of some of the new content the DLC has to offer. This episode is due to be released on February 17th.

Source: PRNewsWire

Rockstar on Grand Theft Auto IV PC issues

03
Dec
2008
By Chris | 3rd Dec 2008 at 23:59 GMT in GTA IV | 12 Comments
Rockstar have sent us a message regarding the issues some people are experiencing on their installations of Grand Theft Auto IV. They are advising people having problems to contact their local technical support helpline, or use Rockstar's online support page.

Hey guys,

We are aware that a small number of fans are having problems running GTA IV on their PC’s and we would like to assure them we are working to help solve these as quickly as possible.

We would ask anyone that is encountering difficulties to contact their local technical support helpline for advice and recommendations. These telephone numbers can be found in the game’s manual.

There is also a regularly updated technical support page available on the Rockstar Games website http://www.rockstargames.com/support/ where there are many useful faqs and information on how to resolve some common problems being encountered.

Thanks,

Webmaster@R*

GTA IV PC error codes and troubleshooting

03
Dec
2008
By Chris | 3rd Dec 2008 at 16:04 GMT in GTA IV | 5 Comments
Having problems getting GTA IV to run on your PC? Rockstar have uploaded a few documents to their GTA IV support page.

This GTA IV error codes document explains all the common errors such as the MMA10 error, and how to fix them. To get rid of MMA10, you can sign out of Social Club as a temporary fix.
Another document explains each graphics setting in GTA IV, you may wish to read about this if you want to make the game look better, or if it's running too jerky, reduce some of the settings that will help it run smoother.

We expect Rockstar will soon release a patch to fix the common problems people are finding, but until then you have these documents and of course our forums for general support.

Rockstar announces special online events

03
Dec
2008
By Chris | 3rd Dec 2008 at 03:36 GMT in GTA IV | 2 Comments
Rockstar Games has announced three special online events in honour of Grand Theft Auto IV and Midnight Club Los Angeles.

GAMES FOR WINDOWS LIVE EVENT - Saturday, December 13th

Jump into Games for Windows LIVE® next Saturday, December 13th from noon until 4 PM EST for your chance to mess with the best. Representatives from Rockstar North, Rockstar Toronto, and Rockstar Games NYC will be online - with automatic weaponry drawn - ready to take you on in all of Grand Theft Auto IV's multiplayer modes. Remember, the PC version supports up to 32-person multiplayer - ie. 128 limbs. Full list of Gamertags to be announced next week.

SOCIAL CLUB WEEKEND ANNOUNCEMENT - December 12th-14th

For players of both Grand Theft Auto IV and Midnight Club Los Angeles - Social Club is opening its doors. Game with Rockstars across all platforms on both titles. Log in to Social Club to be entered into hourly and daily sweepstakes. Be among the first to participate in Midnight Club Los Angeles online race Tournaments. Upload your Midnight Club Los Angeles Rate My Ride cars to be judged by Rockstar for special prizing. Upload your Grand Theft Auto IV PC Video Editor clips for the chance to be Rockstar's featured Video of the Week. Full details and schedule to be announced next week.

SOCIAL CLUB TV VIDEO EDITOR - Videogame Journalist All-Star Competition Event

Vote and rate your favorite user-created clips posted by writers and editors from IGN, GameTrailers and other gaming sites. At the end of the event period on December 12th, only one journalist's clip will be crowned king. Check out www.rockstargames.com/socialclub/tv/journalist-event for more info and look for clips to be posted there starting this week.

Kikizo actually mentioned a bit about that last competition for journalists in an article yesterday, saying "the winning magazine or website gets $10,000 from Rockstar to donate to the charity of its choosing". Good stuff.

Links:
Social Club
Social Club TV

Grand Theft Auto IV released on PC in North America

02
Dec
2008
By Chris | 2nd Dec 2008 at 13:04 GMT in GTA IV | 17 Comments
Posted ImageToday's the day. Grand Theft Auto IV is now officially available in North America for the PC. Those of you elsewhere in the world like myself will have to wait just one more day until it's in stores, though no doubt any of you who preordered on the Internet will have received your copy early.

We invite any of you who already have the game to share your impressions in our forums. Should you require any assistance with the game, either technically or with missions or achievements, we have dedicated GTA IV forums for gameplay discussion, mission/achievement help, technical assistance, multiplayer and of course, modding.

To post on our forums you'll need an account, if you don't already have one you can head over to the registration page to get started. It's free and only takes a moment to complete.

One of the benefits of an account is the ability to upload mods to our downloads database. We know that very soon we'll be seeing some great GTA IV mods getting released, and we'll likely be featuring some of the best ones on our homepage, so if that's something you might be interested in, sign up!

Enjoy the game!

New GTA IV PC gameplay screenshots

02
Dec
2008
By Chris | 2nd Dec 2008 at 03:49 GMT in GTA IV | 2 Comments
Several gaming websites have begun uploading various gameplay screenshots from GTA IV on the PC, some of which are in the highest resolution supported by the game, making for some decent eye candy. Shots from PCGamesHardware.de can be seen over at our GTA IV PC screenshots page. A small sample is below. More (low resolution shots) can be found at GameStar and 3DJuegos - links below.


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Links:
PCGamesHardware.de
GameStar.de
3DJuegos.com

Eurogamer review GTA IV PC

02
Dec
2008
By Chris | 2nd Dec 2008 at 03:42 GMT in GTA IV | 0 Comments
Eurogamer are among the first sites to put out their review of Grand Theft Auto IV for the PC. They gave it an excellent rating of 9/10.

But seriously: a genuinely ground-breaking blockbuster in videogame history. There were moments playing GTA IV that I thought back to my initial experiences with games, and realised exactly how far we've come. There's never been anything quite like GTA IV in the world. That there makes me genuinely happy to be a gamer.

Read the full review at Eurogamer

GTA IV PC not delayed in India

01
Dec
2008
By Chris | 1st Dec 2008 at 03:23 GMT in GTA IV | 6 Comments
Turns out reports of the PC version of GTA IV being delayed in India were wrong, so fans can look forward to playing the game with the rest of us on 3rd December. TheANGRYPixel says:

So yes, the game is coming out on December 3rd, as originally planned and yes, it will be available at the previously mentioned low, low price of INR 499, so there’s really no excuse not to buy one copy for playing and one NRFB copy for a keepsake, like someone I know is planning to do.

Look at that price tag, so cheap it's pretty much asking everyone to buy a copy. See you guys in game in a few days time!

Source: theangrypixel

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