- Having initiative is what drives a team forward, in which allows for them to meet a common goal. This team in particular works to entertain the individuals that play Los Santos Roleplay. On a daily basis they work towards completing projects that are considerably big, and contribute to the community as a whole. By working as a whole, they are able to create a massive playground for hundreds of players that have made Los Santos Roleplay their home.
Now, the mapping team does not necessarily work alone, but with other people outside of their realm. They take in suggestions from faction leaders, the events team, and suggestions on the forums in order to establish a base of what needs to be added to the server.
The team, currently led by Burger and Justus, provides guidance to all members within the team to ensure they all work as one. Everyone there has a creative background, in which they volunteer their time and experience to contribute to the community.
I had the pleasure to interview Oggy and Justus in regards to their experience while being a part of the mapping team. We'll start off with Justus, one of the leads:
- Q: When did you join the Mapping Team, and when did you become one of the team leads?
- A: I originally applied on Nov 09, 2013, I can't remember when exactly I got in as it was so long ago, I then reinstated Nov 06, 2015.
As for team lead, I really only remember myself asking Burger if I could handle recruitment to make it an active development group as in the past you would need to wait 6+ months for recruitment to open, then on I wanted to take on a bigger role in the team to make what is already an amazing team even better, from that I began helping to organise our forum and help Burger with day to day management of the team and implementation.
Q: What projects have you've worked on so far that are implemented?
- A: I worked heavily on the earthquake event which people seemed to like. I worked independently on the Wonderland Event that was for an event two months ago. The recent mall jewelry shop. I also helped add some new Christmas mappings for 2015 since we were using the same decorations for years. In addition I've helped work on multiple projects that will soon be revealed.
A project not directly related to mapping would be when I changed the mapping applications so the process is easier for us to review and doesn't use an ancient format.
Q: What are the responsibilities of being a member of the team? What are your expectations?
- A: The main responsibility is to be an effective team member, you need to be able to work with other members and be able to contribute to projects. The team is relatively small, so you need to also put any differences you may have aside and work with one and another. Some projects span weeks, some even months, so you need to be dedicated and keep at what you're working on and be sure it's something you're interested in.
My personal expectations are that members are active, can work with a small group of team members, and of course, have mapping that is clean and fits to the original GTA Mapping. I personally believe if you have have a genuine passion to map, create or develop something for hundreds to use then you should consider applying.
Q: As for your current role, what are your responsibilities in regards to the Mapping Team?
- A: My main role is to handle the recruitment of new members. I also help burger with reviewing the activity of members. I handle our forum, forwarding projects for Burger to review, keeping our forum clean and organised and as of recently I've often threw up a test server for our members to find bugs with mapping.
Apart from that I follow the current responsibilities of a regular mapping team member, contributing to projects, events, and being an active and passionate team member.
Q: I'm sure the community would like to hear about any upcoming projects, would you like to share any details?
- A: I hate to be that person, but it's really a secret, we have several large projects soon to be added so keep your eyes open for additions to the changelog. :)
The mapping team requires patience, and of course a creative mindset to succeed! Everyone is encouraged to apply, despite their level of experience. Although, a portfolio is required, it's recommended to have a large amount of recent work for it to be evaluated. Being required to be productive, having initiative, and being full of ideas is expected to be apart of such a team.
Now, I also spoke to Oggy who also offered his input in to the team, as well as his experience so far:
Q: When did you join the Mapping Team?
A: I joined the mapping team in May 2016, shortly after some of my private mapping projects, such as a WIP Fire Department and the now implemented 54th Street Police Station, made their way to the mapping team.[/list]
Q: On average, how long does it take to complete a typical project, such as the new Los Santos Fire Department Fire Station?
- A: It really depends on the project. First of all, there is no typical project. For the most part, we are creating something completely new that simply has not been there before. For some projects, you need to gather ideas first on how to do it, what objects to use, and whether something fits into the area or not.
Some projects don't require a lot of objects and are thus done quicker. Others require a lot of objects and many details for them to be finished, so they take longer. Something that always takes time though as it is to make it perfect. Properly adjust objects to make sure nothing is floating in the air, fix bugs and ensure it actually looks good and is useful for the community. For the Fire Department's Firehouse, as an example, I believe at least 35+ hours were used on it, until it was properly finished.
Q: What program do you use to edit, and create new maps?
- A: Currently I use the SA-MP Map Editor, which I mainly use to remove buildings and to see whether large structures even fit in before I start mapping properly. When I get to that stage, I use the Texture Studio 1.8 which basically a more advanced furniture system.
It is a SA-MP script you run on a local server and then create your maps in the way you like. They both let me use all the objects I need, accurately place them and even texture them in the exact way I want and at the same time, and I am able to test the map ingame. This is what makes it the perfect script for mapping.
Q: What projects have you worked on so far that have been implemented?
- A: So far I have worked on the following projects:
- Los Santos Fire Department's Firehouse
- Sheriff's Department's Palomino Creek Station mapping update
- Los Santos Police Department's 54th Street Area Community Police Station + Garage
- Roux Enterprises toll-booth at their Headquarters
- MARCAR - The Car Rental at LS International Airport
Q: Describe the process for mapping a new structure, let's say something similar to the PD Station.
- A: The process is the same for every single map. You start off considering, what requirements there are for whatever project you are working on. For the 54th Station, one of the main requirements was to reduce the amount of cars around the station, as many of those ended floating around on the surrounding road. A garage was needed.
Next I move onto seeing what structures or buildings I could use to create the main building with. Does it fit into the area? Does it PHYSICALLY fit into the given space? With basically no cars being parked outside the station, I was able to build the station larger than it was before, but at the same time, I did not want to fill up all the space outside as it would seem too cramped.
Once I decided on a structure and a way of building it, I go on to the textures on the main building and try to make them fit to both the building and to the area. For the 54th station, I basically had twenty other texture possibilities standing by, so there are a lot of choices.
After the main building is done and the base textures are in place, I move on to the details. That means signs, decorations, lamps, signs and whatever else you can possibly think of that could be needed around such a building.
Last but not least is yet again, bug testing, making sure everything fits and so on. I believe these are pretty much the steps you go through. Planning/ideas, main structure, details, bug and quality testing, implementation.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to say?
- A: We have an extremely talented mapping team on LS-RP and there are a lot of projects currently in the making or almost ready to be forwarded for implementation. We know that mapping has a huge effect on the server and we are excited to add more mapping, that will actually benefit this community.
That's why we would really love, if, whenever you have suggestions for the mapping team - go ahead and post them in the suggestions board. We do check it regularly and even if an idea might not be added for the time being, down the line it can still help us develop ideas for things we can implement (this has been the case for me atleast twice now). I can promise all of you though, you have a lot of things to look forward to in the upcoming months.
Credits: ChrisRawr, Sarcasmohjoy, Barnesky