Today marks five years since littlewhitey’s SA:MP server was created. It was founded by a young man who had the alias of “littlewhitey” as SA:MP’s first server.

The server at the time of creation ran on a script simply named LVDM. This was a gamemode created by jax (SA:MP developer) and simply allowed players to freeroam around Las Venturas. It was very enjoyable but it started to get old due to it being a standard SA:MP gamemode, which was beginning to be hosted on almost every server and being surpassed by more technical edits.

Soon after the server was created, there was an edit to LVDM that was released to the public named LVDM~MG+LG. This script was created by Sintax and added features such as properties, spawn weapons and temporary saving to the server. The script had had RPG elements added to it and they were very succesful for the server, the players would join, build up their banks and mindlessly kill.

Mike, who was also a SA:MP developer took development under his wing when the default SA:MP administration tools were not enough for administrating a server with a 100 player average player count. You almost always had to wait in line, the server was constantly at max capacity of 100 due to it being one of a few official servers.

Development mainly occured with minor gameplay tweaks and behind the scenes administration tools; motivation for development was dying slowly. This was the time that I stepped up and offered to develop for the server, being a good e-friend of littlewhitey he had no problem with this. I wasn’t a confident developer, I started small and made edits to the existing script (nothing that interesting that I can recall)

After editing the script for what seems like a million times, I started to get fed up with it. It was becoming very difficult to update a script designed for 0.1 for the now released 0.2. The script seemed to be held together by sticky tape, one simple edit had a high probability of leading to catastrophic failure. I had an epiphany: I could rewrite this script from the ground up, code it more efficiently, add features while I was at it and learn a great deal from the process– it’d be a “gift” to littlewhitey for the fun service he’d provided for me and likely tens of thousands (possible exagerration?) of other individuals.

I scripted, and scripted, and scripted, and scripted. I experienced several nights turning into days, I’d become so attached to developing the script that it became a part of me. The script became something more concrete and was nearing completion. The feature list had expanded from something great to something even greater, the number of properties were increased, users could register, the gamemode employed stat-saving, spawn-weapons saved, gang territories were introduced, the gang system was expanded, the pirate ship changed from a simple money generator to a challenging mini-game of “Capture the Briefcase” and many other minor changes.

As the script neared completion I employed the help of Brandon to help get it done. He coined the name LW_LVDM for the script and helped tie up lose ends within the script to speed up development until finally LW_LVDM v2 was released on the 14th of July 2007.

The release of LW_LVDM v2 was a big milestone for me. It was my first major coding project ever completed. I’d created simple SA:MP scripts and dabbled with the generic hello worlds but never put in the time to make a full, working system. It helped me figure out what direction I want to take my life in, I found that it was a very influential project.

Now you know what it means to me.

In between now and then, the script has employed the skills of many scripters. They’ve all left a mark in the history of the server, so I’m sure it means at least a little something to them. What does your time on littlewhitey’s mean to you?

The question “will it go on” or a variation of it has probably lingered in your mind. Well I have an answer for you, and that is: yes. The next version of LW_LVDM will infact be v3.0, I have been working on it in my spare time (with Sneaky) and a lot in my recent university break. A release date has been set internally so we have a goal to reach.

The script will not be a rewrite in the sense that it’s started from . It is a highly re-organized version of v2.0 where changed core systems have been re-organized in order to refresh them and to address problems within them. However, 3.0 is not simply a re-organized script new features have been added to the script and are continuing to be added.

Stay tuned.

(Images thanks to Darius of SA:MP)