SA-MP May 2006 - 7 Years.
My earliest memory pertaining towards San Andreas itself goes all the way back to 2003. I was 13 or 14 years old, watching MTV's TRL. All of a sudden the screen behind the hosts cuts to a GTA:SA logo over a black background. As a R* freak and a huge GTA fan my eyes shot open and my jaw dropped down to the floor. Needless to say I rolled off my bed and on to the computer and really invested into finding out everything I could about this "San Andreas". Where will it be? Who are the characters? What will the storyline be? So on and so on. I told all my friends and got them involved as well into finding out more about this game!
Time went on, interests from friends died out, information about the game mostly stayed under wraps, and I found myself using the internet more and more, and no longer just for Sims furniture packs or Roller Coaster Tycoon maps. After some time researching I stumbled across MTA:VC and MTA:III, and once again found myself stupified. Grand Theft Auto online? What type of sick person would taunt such insane Grand Theft Auto fans like me with something like this? I didn't believe the text, I didn't believe the screenshots, I definitely did not believe the videos.
2005 rolled around and so did a new computer just good enough to run Vice City and III, in went MTA:VC and before I could have a hair of enjoyment news of VC-MP popped up. You see, VC-MP is/was originally just SA-MP. Since SA wasn't on the PC at the time Kye had to test out his work on the Vice City game. Just my luck it was releasing the very next few days/weeks for me; and the differences between what I was currently playing and what VC-MP had to offer was extremely and clearly evident in the video they released pre-release day.
I still appreciated the MTA client, I played it everyday but I knew in my heart the second VC-MP would grace us with a big huge download button I'd be over there faster than you can say "Grand Theft Auto". And just like that, when it came out I lived, breathed, and gave myself over to VC-MP. Everyday after school, every weekend, every vacation you could always find me on LittleWhitey's Sandbox VC-MP server fooling around. I enjoyed every minute of that game, and I really appreciated that even on my darkest days I could always log on to LW's server and not only meet great friends from across the world but to play one of my favorite Grand Theft Auto games with them as well. No more controller passing every 24 minutes, we were all in the same world together.
With VC-MP here, I had completely forgotten about SA(which was released in 04 on PS2) and all the other games I had been playing at the time. Just the modification was truly something I had never experienced before. I've played online games before with others but for some odd reason this one had really set itself apart from the rest. GTA was already a great game by itself, and being able to play it ONLINE? It was just so hard to stomach even while playing it for so many months. VC-MP was truly the IT game for me; the only game I ever really needed. It was the definition of "perfect" to me.
But once again my excitement and very idea of perfection was about to get another huge shakeup. Announcements began once again for the upcoming SA-MP client this time it came with a video and screenshots of the update. It was literally VC-MP on the San Andreas game, it was GTA: San Andreas online! I'm pointing out the obvious by saying that but many people these days forget the fact that SA-MP is literally a hack. San Andreas, is a Single Player game without any intention for it to support more than one player- especially 1,000 players for that matter. That information alone should be enough for you to understand how powerful this 10mb installation file is.
Time flew on and on, and throughout time I joined the beta team, played over hundreds of amazing servers, settled down on a few dozen, and finally considered one a second home- LS-RP. I've spent over 8 golden years on VC-MP/SA-MP. I've met all types of people from all over the world who have in taught me so much about culture, different perspectives of life and its many tests, and overall a lot about myself that I never would of achieved on my own. Yes, I've met a lot of people but one of the most important ones that I really learned a lot from was the main man himself- Kyeman. To me over time, he became more than just the creator of such an amazing modification but an inspiration and an idol.
The reason SA-MP is so amazing today will always be 100% due to the vision Kye laid out from the very start. Throughout the excruciating ton of adversity, ridicule, and opposition to all of his plans, ideas, and actions he stayed true to his vision of what he has always wanted for SA-MP to be. SA-MP went through a leak once and I kid you not his first concern was securing the SA-MP client/server so that none of the players would be hurt in the process. There was no "woe as me" or any absence of thought his first idea was the absolute security of the modification and the playerbase.
Kye taught me so much, and even after so many years I feel as though there is still so much to learn from and I'm personally just so excited that I not only got a chance to play this mod but to participate in testing it and meet the man behind it. There is truly not enough ways to thank this man for creating a playing paradise for us all, enabling the many many bright minds into the field of programing and other forms of creativity, and showing us that truly anything is possible with dedication, practice, and time. Those three combinations played a huge part because over the years SA-MP has gone from simply being online to a fully optimized online machine capable of handling hundreds of players, features, and so on.
If someone told me ages ago that one day we would be able to lay down working spike strips or create a furniture system I would probly laugh at them but as time went on it happened and so much more. LS-RP itself has only tapped into a small portion of everything SA-MP can really dish out and that's one of the many things that motivates me to stay at it. Sadly, over time many people have forgotten all these qualities that has made SA-MP so special. Many people forget that SA-MP is a hack, and that GTA:SA was never meant to be online in the first place. Many people have grown un-impressed of it simply being online and demand more from either Kye or server owners to make up for their un-fulfillment.
When you are not able to sit still in a server full of people, hell if you're not able to sit in the server with one other person and simply drive around the San Andreas map with them. If you are not amazed at the fact you play for 10 minutes straight without crashing. You're playing SA-MP for the wrong reasons at that point. You're supposed to play SA-MP to have FUN! To EXPLORE! To CREATE! To EXPERIENCE! To just simply enjoy yourself! That is all, nothing else. It is not the quantity of players or the amount of functions and features that should motivate your approval/reasons for being here. It is your sheer appreciation for the mod itself that should be your motivation.
SA-MP is one of the most amazing modifications in gaming history, whether or not it is recognized officially by RockStar or any other organization. It has no expiration date in sight and every year it somehow keeps growing in overall playerbase. SA-MP has set its mark in history, and I will dare say its presence in the gaming world may outlive us all. Thankyou SA-MP for the memories, the friends I have made, and all the many lessons I have learned along the way. May it forever grow and become even better over time.
Happy Anniversary, SA-MP!
Media (Feel free to take a walk-down all my old screenshots of my playing days. From 2005 all the way to 2011. I will try and make the site more manageable as time goes on!):
-Videos will be edited in soon.