'Grand Theft Auto' Original Design Docs Surface On The Internet

grand theft auto

Most of us are content to head out to the store, drop $60 on the counter and head home with a shiny, new game clutched tightly in our hands. And that's fine. Some take their nerdery to the next level, attempting to understand the process by which a game goes from initial concept to final release. Today brings some insight in the form of design documents for the original release in a franchise that continues to be one of the most successful on the planet: Rockstar Games' (formerly DMA Design) "Grand Theft Auto."

The 12-page document goes into detail on the game's core ideas and various mechanics. The complex beast that is "GTA," which was originally called "Race 'n' Chase," is summed up in just a single sentence under the document's "Concept" heading: "The aim of 'Race 'n' Chase' is to produce a fun, addictive and fast multi-player car racing and crashing game which uses a novel graphics method."

Some parts of the document are more enlightening than others, particularly if you're mostly concerned with learning more about the early foundations of the gameplay. The "Data Storage" section, for example, quite literally goes into detail on how the game's information is stored on and accessed by the computer. Still, there's an awful lot of inside knowledge to be gleaned from the documents, even right down to the simple fact of how a game is presented during pre-production when there isn't even enough code written to assemble a demo.

The doc comes from the Flickr page of Mike Daily, who served as the game's graphics engine programmer (via CVG). I highly recommend checking it out if you're at all curious about the game development process.