On July the 25th, the first publicly available version of MPAseco (acronym for ManiaPlanet Automatic Server Controller) was released. MPAseco is a starting project, which has as goal to change and extend XAseco2 to a product that works with ShootMania (and QuestMania later on).
This article will give you an idea of the project with screenshots, more information and a interview with the headdeveloper of this project: kremsy.
As you might have noticed, Xymph (developer of XAseco) released a statement on July the 15th saying:
I have no plans to build a XAseco version for SM, or adapt XAseco2 (which is focused on TM2C) to SM. Partly this is because I have little interest in multiplayer FPS games (I prefer good story-based single-player FPSes), partly due to personal reasons that mean I cannot spend as much time on this whole Mania hobby as I have in the past 5-6 years. Life moves on, but I'll continue to support XAseco1/2, my various tools, XAseco.org and my hub pages.
He agreed on people making a port of XAseco for ShootMania, as that is the nature of open-source projects.
The only things he asked for were the following:
I just request that:
- such a port is coordinated, so that there won't be multiple different variants.
- the port is called something else, not XAseco. E.g. SMAseco?
- all code not relevant to SM (e.g. local and Dedimania records handling) is stripped before release of the port.
- the port doesn't support TM2C, leave that to XAseco2.
- the GPL and credits for unchanged code are preserved.
The established team of MPAseco developers ( kremsy, ManiacTwister and TheM) complies with this request in the MPAseco development.
The idea of MPAseco
As previously said the goal of MPAseco is to change and extend XAseco2 to a product that works with ShootMania (and QuestMania later on). To make sure this goal can be made true, the developers have been coding for almost 10 days, making almost all standard functions working with ShootMania.
But it's not only changes that the MPAseco team want to make. It's also the idea to keep supporting plugins which are written for XAseco2 (of course, TrackMania related functions won't give any results).
While XAseco2 was build by only one developer, the current MPAseco team has three developers. To make everything work, the developers use a Git system. This system will be closed for now, to make sure the base is stable enough. The aim is to open the system when the base is stable, so other PHP-developers can fork the repository and make pull requests to make MPAseco even better.
Interview with headdeveloper kremsy
ManiaActu: Hi there kremsy, we're here to talk about MPAseco, a new project for ShootMania.
Most of our readers propably don't know you, would you please introduce yourself?
kremsy: My name is Lukas Kremsmayer and in the ManiaPlanet world known as kremsy or esc .Lukas. I'm 20 years old and I am an Electrical Engineer. I'm the founder of the European Server Clan (www.esc-clan.net), which exists since 2004. We sell TrackMania and ShootMania servers on www.mania-server.net.
ManiaActu: What made you want to develop a port of XAseco for ShootMania?
kremsy: Well, first I have to say that Flo and Xymph created a very nice tool with Aseco / XAseco and in my opinion it is the best tool ever. It is very easy to handle and it has a wide range of usage. So after Xymphs post I thought someone should develop this tool further, so I started to write a modified XAseco for ShootMania and QuestMania which is called MPAseco. My inspiration was that many serverowners using Aseco and XAseco want something similar in this game and so my work begun.
ManiaActu: What is your opinion concerning other servercontrollers/plugin packs for ShootMania?
kremsy: I think it's very nice that there exist a few more controllers, like FoxControl or ManiaLive. The users can choose the most suitable tool. I'm sure that they gonna have a big success and will established soon.
ManiaActu: How do you expect the community (especially serverowners) to react on MPAseco?
kremsy: As I said before, I think the community will react quite nice to MPAseco, especially all who used XAseco before.
ManiaActu: Are there features you're missing from the dedicated server? Would you like to see those features added and how would that effect MPAseco?
kremsy: Actually, we miss a lot of features in the dedicated server, lots of callbacks and methods are not working so we have to build workarounds which cost us a lot of time. There are also some bugs at the moment like the ALT Key being bound to the scoreboard. However we are looking forward to the final releases, when Nadeo fixed all these problems.
ManiaActu: Which project by the community for ManiaPlanet/TrackMania would you like to see featured in a next "By players, for players" article?
kremsy: Yeah, I don't know it exactly at the moment, but I think in the future there would be some projects which could be done by this. I mostly look forward to RemoteCP5 from Sascha.
ManiaActu: Thanks for answering our questions and good luck with MPAseco! We'll leave you the last words ...
kremsy: Thank you. Last but not least, I want to say that everyone should decide for themselves which server controller he/she wants to use, but I want to say thank you to everyone who is going to use MPAseco! You can always see the newest MPAseco improvements on our Royal server in Austria, which is called εsc . Royal Fun.
Screenshots (click to enlarge)
List with ManiaExchange maps (/xlist)
These screenshots show basic MPAseco features, but also some plugins like: