The public development of modification started in August, 2005 by the GTAForums.com user xrk, mainly as a simple 'map mod'. All that users received was the Liberty City from GTA III instead of default San Andreas landscape. Installation of modification was difficult and demanded use of Steve-m's Map Cleaner. The city yet did not have completeness, there were no LOD models, missed some of collision data, no paths for peds & traffic, but interest to modification was significant. With help of new developers NathanHenry (map conversion) and AdTec_224 (scenario conversion), modification began to develop quicker.
Beta 3 released at December 13, 2005. It contained great set of changes, including added water, Portland El train system, parked cars, weapons & pickups and first missions (although only Paramedic was reliable in that time). Hundreds of people have downloaded it, new developers have joined the project, including Monitor57 who started GTA III cars conversion and dingleman who started creation of Hi-res textures pack and new weather & water effects. Several moderate updates quickly followed. Although the main conception of total conversion for GTA III porting was defined, developers has faced to the first problems with shortage of time IRL and lack of tools, such as ped & traffic paths editor. In 2006, developers mostly worked internally, without major public updates.
Beta 5 released at January 3, 2008. From changes are noted new weather system, return of seabed, working save garages and Pay 'n' Spray, gangs and gang vehicles, GTA III car handling & colors and several missions, including all of Marty Chonks payphone missions. This time the project team encountered large problems with game stability, about half of users have reported about various crashes with modification. During first quarter of 2008, four updates were issued, the developers were forced to use SA Limit Adjuster and drop some of already converted ambient sounds. Besides corrections, the insignificant amount of changes was brought, including working Subway, GTA III HUD and some of cars ported. The last Update 4 released at March 7, 2008. After it, no appreciable updates were issued.
The above information was quoted fom the GTASA: Liberty City Grand Theft Wiki article.