Status of FCRP
Update 2nd September 2013 - Progress...
Over the past few weeks I have been working on FCRP related stuff very occasionally and as such, there has been some progress as far as the script is concerned. Now, instead of using Firstname_Lastname player accounts that require you to make a new account for a new character, FCRP is set up to use single accounts (or master accounts as some servers call them), where you register one account with a username and password and then get to create characters on that account. When you log into the account, you get to select (or create) a character to play with. The main advantage of this is it allows for players to use different characters without us losing track of things. It was very frustrating for our staff trying to moderate the server when people would be switching between characters all the time and we didn't know who was who. With this system, you'll be able to keep your characters in one place and have easier access to them and we'll be able to keep on top of things better. Perhaps the key point though is that if FCRP does come back, it'll be so, so, so much easier for me to maintain all of my characters - it was a real pain trying to remember them all.
Some progress has been made on the mapping front as well. Over the past month or so I've played around with the map editor as something to do and the result has been quite impressive. Bayside has been transformed substantially - it's now a thriving and vibrant seaside town similar perhaps to Atlantic City, yet still retains the upper and middle class housing and feel. Definitely the most upscale, modern and pretty of the towns, and with a double helipad heliport, marina, dock, market, several restaurants and bars, stores and strip clubs, Bayside would be sure to play a large part in any future server.
Update 4th July 2013 - On this day, exactly one year ago...
Exactly one year ago, FCRP had only just been created a few weeks ago, and was steadily and slowly growing into what it became during the next five months or so. As is customary, the Independence Day firework celebrations were planned and at about 7 PM BST, a year and few hours ago, while the small town of Fort Carson was experiencing a rare, peaceful moment with the celebrations, a small Jaunk Air flight en-route to San Fierro, owing to severe engine failure, fell suddenly from the sky and uncontrollably plummeted into the local bank in Fort Carson, instantly killing all 20 people onboard and 2 others on the ground.
Truth be told, it has been saddening that we've not been able to keep the plane crash tradition going this year because of the closure of the server. For me, it was always a big highlight of the server development process when I would come up with such unique and sudden events which would then be secretly scripted in shortly before the actual start date of the event. It was really fun to come up with things like the plane crash, the sheriff scandal and the SANN Center as they were really the one thing above all else that separated us from just about every other server on SAMP. Indeed, there's certainly nothing that I'd have loved more than to be able to allow history to repeat itself yet again today.
Regarding status of the server right now, I started work a few weeks back on the upgrades that the script needs and at this point in time, the accounts, bans and vehicles now all use MySQL to load and save, which is a big step forward. There is still, however, a lot of work to be done and for reasons which may become slightly more obvious shortly, work on these upgrades will be slowed down somewhat as I expect other commitments take priority for the rest of this month. Again, more details about this will probably emerge as the weeks go by.
For those of you across the pond, happy fourth. For the rest of us, happy Thursday!
Update 12th June 2013
It's been really encouraging to see the overwhelmingly positive reception to the news that the server may be returning, as well as the website redesign and the new domain. We've been looking into how feasible it would be to bring the server back in some form or another and generally, we think that given a significant script update, new website and most importantly, a clean slate, that FCRP could indeed return.
Such a script update, however, would be challenging and time consuming as the outdated command processing and file handling systems would need to be updated to newer systems. Back when the server was running at its peak, many of you will remember the times when everything would lag resulting in players warping and desyncing. This was due, in part, to the script loading hundreds of files such as accounts and the file handling system failing to keep up with the high demand. This system simply wasn't workable - it was slow, unresponsive and required significant amounts of manual effort to develop for. Furthermore, it was inaccessible to the server staff, meaning that big problems such as accounts being wiped would have to wait for me to login to the FTP which wasn't ideal as the server staff had no way of editing the account files.
If we could update our file handling to MySQL and improve the way in which commands are handling, the script would instantly become much better and faster. It would also allow for staff to edit the databases and for data related problems to be easily fixed. This, however, isn't a easy task and would require lots of effort on my part.
Still, if we could do this, the server could very well return. To answer the question that everybody is asking: yes, I believe that FCRP will return, in some form or another (we may do some name or location changing). However, the problem is simply that we don't really know when or how this would happen - as a lot of work is required, not just to the script, but also to the website, the advertising and promotion and the core of the server (such as the staff team and organisation balance). The second problem is that we need to achieve all of this without letting it destroy us again. FCRP consumed far too much of my time, to the point where it really started to cause real problems. Ultimately, we'd need to find a way to get everything updated and working properly, while at the same time remembering that it is simply just a hobby and a game that's meant to be enjoyable for all.
I do, however, hope to have some more updates as the weeks progress,
As you will all be aware, FCRP closed down back in December 2012 after some crippling issues and problems which arose. Back at the time, I never really touched on the nature of the problems, or exactly what happened, simply because I didn't actually know myself exactly what the underlying issues were and the focus was more on what had happened, rather than why it had happened.
Back in November, Vince Kaufman was elected in a landslide election victory after a harsh week of campaigning full of dirty tactics, slander and all sorts of accusations across the board, from all the candidates and from SAN News. This was perhaps the first factor behind the eventual closure of the server as the server management team (Jay, Boo and myself), had expressed a desire for the next government to actually do their job, not be corrupt and not die half way through their term in office. Eventually, we decided that this would be presented as an out-of-character rule for the next government. Indeed, after Vince was elected and before he was sworn in, I spoke with him regarding this rule and the agreement was reached that his government would not be corrupt or deliberately incompetent and that we would all do our best to ensure it was the best government in the short history of the server. Along with this came various creations such as the BCDC legislation forum where for the first time, the county government would pass laws and acts. Up until this point, everything was working as intended and Vince's government was establishing itself as a stable and solid one, the first of its kind in FCRP.
Unfortunately enough, and this is where the problems really started, it turned out that Vince and Jason Carver (who ran various criminal enterprises) had made an in-character deal before the election took place, where Vince would give Jason and his men access to the government, including its weapons and weapons licenses. Obviously, this is where the problems started as on one hand, you had the server management order for a good, stable and non-corrupt government and on the other hand you had the already agreed deal between Vince and Jason. While, at first, there was no sign that anything out of the ordinary was happening, it quickly became very apparent that the government had been corrupted. At one point, R2 and R1 weapons licenses (giving access to virtually all weapons) were being issued to Jason and his men, with Jason himself holding an R2 weapons license. Eventually this got to the point where it started to affect the server in that criminals were afforded any and all weapons at their leisure and consequently, there was a period of time where the server was more like a deathmatch arena. After this, Vince did suspend all of the weapons licenses and announced he would work towards solving Fort Carson's crime problem. Indeed, the murder rate did start to decline and things were returning to normal. After this, it was then acknowledged that rogue government officials were being investigated for selling weapons licenses illegally. At this time, despite the signs of corruption and the fragile state of the county, I probably should have stepped in and enforced the agreement that was made after Vince was elected, however with him being a senior staff member and a friend, I trusted him to get on top of the problem and continue on. In retrospect, with the next major decision he made, this was perhaps a mistake.
Towards the end of November, David Edwards who was the County Commissioner back in July and who had been character killed in a plane crash reappeared in the server. I gave my approval for this, thinking of it as an interesting turn of events, with Edwards reemerging and claiming to have fooled everyone and faked his own death. This was then reported in SAN News, with Edwards confirming that he did indeed fake his own death. Shortly after, however, it turned out that Edwards had been hired to serve in Vince's administration as the Deputy Commissioner. I, at the time, thought it was a pretty interesting development and went along with it. It was then reported in the news and given the past allegations of corruption, the first signs of public discontent started to show with almost all of the comments in the news article being critical of the government such as "What a bunch of fucktards." and "I can just smell the corruption coming" to name but a few. At this point, most players were now aware that there was something wrong with the government, this only intensified after it was reported that Steven OConner, a government employee, had pulled a gun on the police in El Quebrados. It also didn't help that OConner was in the company of a few people that were being arrested for sexual harassment, either.
After this, a rift between the BCSO and the government undoubtedly developed. The police no longer trusted the government and obviously the government had limited trust in the police, this only became worse after Steven OConner was arrested, yet again, and again, this was reported in the news with a picture of him being handcuffed next to his government vehicle. While the first time that OConner was arrested the government took no action, this time he was suspended by David Edwards, although this was met with even more suspicion and doubt from most people, including the SD, given that Edwards wasn't exactly in a good position himself.
Eventually, this got to the point where out-of-character tensions developed between both sides. The BCSO was quickly becoming frustrated with the blatant corruption in the government, the fact that they could do little about it, and the effects it was having on them in terms of sniper attacks, ambushes and crime in general. On the contrary, I can only assume that the government and those associated with it like Jason were frustrated with how the BCSO was attempting to stop them, and that there was a strong feeling among them that the BCSO were metagaming, abusing admin positions and breaking other server rules. Again, I can only assume here as these are the allegations that were presented, although there was little initial evidence to support them and seeing as how the server closed down shortly after, there wasn't an opportunity for the parties involved to discuss the issue, outside of the three page thread that was created about it. Indeed, from what was presented however, it was clear that there were legitimate concerns relating to the BCSO, especially with regards to the character kill policy.
In a day of hot tensions, the BCSO quite arguably overstepped their boundaries and detained several key members of the government (even including the commissioner) after it was alleged that they had invited someone into the staff offices in Town Hall, then brutally attacked them. It also didn't help when several government members tried to resist their detention, resulting in a whole load more drama. This in turn caused a whole host of allegations to come out about the BCSO and the government and eventually it got to the point where the defacto leader of the SD, Nicolai, suspended its operations in what was quite arguably the final nail in the coffin. With no police or government, the server was shut down by Jay as a temporary measure while the conflicts and problems could be discussed and resolved. Sadly, this never happened as there was simply no desire by anybody involved, including me, to do so. Indeed, many of those involved moved on to do their own thing. With conflict still present within the management team, and with me being completely exhausted by everything, the server was simply never started again. Eventually, the decision to close it was made by me in January.
About a month and a half ago, interest in the server spiked again and I was bombarded with questions about if it would or could reopen. Based on this, I did give a small update as to the situation and re-opened the forums for people to post their favourite memories of the sever which quickly filled up with over 200 replies. Everything was taken offline again, however, when our database server crashed and corrupted a couple of weeks ago.
Now, with an awesome domain, sleek theme and fresh new install of the software, the FCRP forums are back in working fashion. Within the next day or two, there should, hopefully, be some encouraging news about the status of the server as was promised for June.
- Harper, Conroy_Alex, willpv23 and 189 others like this