Just ponder for a second, if you will, a world of games without that quaint little series Grand Theft Auto. No slaughtering innocent OAPs in drive-bys. A huge vacuum in that whole %26lsquo;beating digital prostitutes with baseball bats%26rsquo; genre. Worse still, a world without OG Loc. Can you imagine such a dark, open world-free existence? Well, this terrifying alternate reality almost came to pass, during the first GTA%26rsquo;s troubled development.
During an interview for a book charting the history of the games industry, Gary Penn (who was part of developer DMA when it made the first GTA) said: %26ldquo;It was a real mess for years, it never moved on, it never went anywhere.%26rdquo;
Above: We've come a long 'really sociopathic' way, baby
The game%26rsquo;s rocky development period really centred around a couple of major problems with the top down fellony %26lsquo;em up. %26ldquo;There are probably two key things it fell down on,%26rdquo; continued Penn. %26ldquo;One of them is stability, which is a really boring one but it crashed all the fucking time. The other thing that was a problem was the handling -- the car handling was appalling.%26rdquo;
These problems were apparently so crippling, publisher BMG Interactive almost scrapped the whole project. According to Penn: %26ldquo;It was almost canned. The publisher wanted to can it, as it didn't seem to be going anywhere.%26rdquo;
In a weird quirk of fate, it was actually a bug which went on to rescue the game%26rsquo;s make-believe bacon. Penn stated: %26ldquo;One day, I think it was a bug, the police suddenly became mental and aggressive. Their route finding was screwed I think and that was an awesome moment because suddenly the real drama where, 'Oh my God, the police are psycho -- they're trying to ram me off the road.'"
So there you go, kids. A series that, to date, has sold north of 122 million copies to become one of the biggest entertainment franchises on the planet, was saved by a wonky AI routine.
So when to go to sleep tonight, make sure to give thanks to the ghost of Ricardo Diaz. Because if GTA had never hit the big time%26hellip; well, we%26rsquo;d have never been given this%26hellip;
Feb 1, 2011
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