GTA 3 & Vice City Reverse-Engineering Projects are Back After Takedown!

Do you remember the fantastic Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City reverse-engineering fan projects? Known as re3 and reVC, the projects were both hit by a DMCA from Rockstar’s parent company Take-Two, claiming copyright infringement.

Of course, Take Two were unhappy as the fan-created source code for both games was made available on GitHub.
However, fans were excited, as the new code offered some stunning improvements over the original games standard PC code. The projects lead “aap” feared a lawsuit. However, the team behind the projects disputed Take-Two’s takedown and, GitHub restored the reverse-engineered code. So far, there’s been no legal action taken.

GTA 3 & Vice City

It seems that Take Two has nothing but the ability to throw stones though. They’re issuing DMCA’s to muddy the waters, but since they took no action to take any legal action, the disputed content must be restored after between 10 and 14 days.

In May, GitHub restored a fork of the GTA re3 project after its creator successfully filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown counterclaim. Another counterclaim from another developer who worked on the Nintendo Switch port followed. The people behind the main project filed their counterclaim on 10th June.

Aap and the others claimed fair use, stating “we believe that any code in this repo that is similar to code or other content owned by Take-Two is either unprotected by copyright or is permitted under fair use,” and that “we figured we have a good case for fair use on the grounds that we are improving and fixing the game as well as bringing it to new platforms,” while speaking with Eurogamer over the weekend. “This was the reason for quite a few people to purchase the game from Take-Two to play it on their favourite platforms. So in fact we’re only making them money and we figured it would be unwise of them to actually go after us. So we went the normal route: one of our team members filed a counterclaim with GitHub and after a waiting period of about 14 days the repo got reinstated.”

It’s interesting, as this code has allowed these teams to make heavy advancements on the game and even port GTA to other devices such as the Nintendo Switch. Albeit, through homebrew options, of course, this isn’t an official GTA port. Check out the showcase below or hit them up on Github.

Features and Improvements

  • Fixed a lot of smaller and bigger bugs
  • User files (saves and settings) stored in GTA root directory
  • Settings stored in re3.ini file instead of gta3.set
  • Debug menu to do and change various things (Ctrl-M to open)
  • Debug camera (Ctrl-B to toggle)
  • Rotatable camera
  • XInput controller support (Windows)
  • No loading screens between islands (“map memory usage” in menu)
  • Skinned ped support (models from Xbox or Mobile)
  • Rendering
    • Widescreen support (properly scaled HUD, Menu and FOV)
    • PS2 MatFX (vehicle reflections)
    • PS2 alpha test (better rendering of transparency)
    • PS2 particles
    • Xbox vehicle rendering
    • Xbox world lightmap rendering (needs Xbox map)
    • Xbox ped rim light
    • Xbox screen rain droplets
    • More customizable colourfilter
  • Menu
    • Map
    • More options
    • Controller configuration menu
  • Can load DFFs and TXDs from other platforms, possibly with a performance penalty
Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's (but not for long), I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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