See How GTA Nearly Flamed Out At The Start

See How GTA Nearly Flamed Out At The Start

See GTA evolve from ant farm to cops and robbers; but nobody wanted to play the cops.

"It was like trying to nail jelly to kittens," remembers Gary Penn, producer of the very first Grand Theft Auto. "Eventually there were enough hands to hold this thing together, but please nobody move, because this thing is going to fall apart." In advance of the latest offering in the franchise, the Guardian newspaper has put out a video short subject, showing you how - and why - Grand Theft Auto almost flopped before it began. If ever you've wondered what it takes to ship a game when nobody on the team, bar that guy in the back with the coffee fiend nerves, has ever even made a game before, this is the video to watch.

"We'd have conference calls at least once a week with the US," says Penn, recalling his time at DMA Design. "They wanted to kill it every week. Every week they wanted to kill this game, and we'd have to argue to try and keep it going, because we had some faith." But while faith can move mountains, pixels move in more mysterious ways, and it wasn't until the team realized that the blocks it was trying to stick together could be viewed as a top-down city that the game began to take shape. It was DMA Design's ant farm, which would only do something interesting if you poked it. "And I can poke it by being bad!" Penn remembers, a look of glee plastered all over his face.

Penn's a Denki man these days, but the game he and the team put together has become one of, if not the, biggest franchises out there, with more than 100 million sales worldwide. Good going for a game that, as Penn recalls, "looked rough at the start, and looked rough at the end." Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar's latest, is out September 17th.

Source: Guardian

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Yeah.. They got their start largely on the PC but have mostly turned their back on it since. Funny how things like that turn out. I showed the first GTA to all my buddies and they all loved it. Even my grandmother laughed when I carjacked people and drove around like a maniac.

'Like nailing jelly to kittens' amazing quote :P

Good on them for sticking to an amazing game.

BoogieManFL:
Even my grandmother laughed when I carjacked people and drove around like a maniac.

IMO, that's a huge part of why the game worked for me in the beginning. A combo of the cartoonish top down perspective matched with a whole lot of malevolent whimsy.

I obviously know that I'm in the minority on this one, but I find the newer iterations unplayable. Not sure why, I just can't find them any fun for more than ten minutes. My instinct tells me that the newer emphasis on "realism" (in look more than execution, we all know there's very little 'realism' occurring in the GTA games haha) and focus on mediocre crime drama storytelling just killed the things I found entertaining about the series.

Not trying to belittle anyone who loves the series (which is pretty much everyone haha) just saying, something about it doesn't do it for me anymore.

sirjeffofshort:
Good on them for sticking to an amazing game.

BoogieManFL:
Even my grandmother laughed when I carjacked people and drove around like a maniac.

IMO, that's a huge part of why the game worked for me in the beginning. A combo of the cartoonish top down perspective matched with a whole lot of malevolent whimsy.

I obviously know that I'm in the minority on this one, but I find the newer iterations unplayable. Not sure why, I just can't find them any fun for more than ten minutes. My instinct tells me that the newer emphasis on "realism" (in look more than execution, we all know there's very little 'realism' occurring in the GTA games haha) and focus on mediocre crime drama storytelling just killed the things I found entertaining about the series.

Not trying to belittle anyone who loves the series (which is pretty much everyone haha) just saying, something about it doesn't do it for me anymore.

I've extensively played all the GTA games but GTAIV. I probably played half way through that one before I quit. It was neat, but I agree it steered too much towards realism and made the game feel less all the previous. A similar problem the Saints Row series has developed. Saints Row 3/4 went from a nice balance of crazy/realism to too crazy. GTA went from a nice balance of crazy/realism to too real. I agree the violence in the early games had a more playful and harmless feel to them, rather than sometimes a bit dark and gritty.

I also hated how sluggish the cars in GTA4 handled. I mean I've driven cars, and in safe conditions I've driven them a little crazily. They don't freakin handle like giant slabs of granite on wheels. That made me want to fast travel around too much and in turn left less chance for running into random circumstances or running into trouble with the cops and having to run. It made me miss more of the game's subtle feel, which actually adds a lot if you ask me.

I think I have the fondest memories of the first GTA and San Andreas.

I'm hoping GTAV finds a better balance. It looks good, but I guess we'll find out soon enough.

 

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