GTA dev releases original design document

Lead designer on first Grand Theft Auto posts scans of original concept, detailing "fun, addictive, and fast multiplayer car racing and crashing game" titled Race 'n' Chase.

Last month, onetime Grand Theft Auto producer Gary Penn made the surprising revelation that the original incarnation in what would become Rockstar's genre-defining open-world action adventure franchise was very nearly canceled. Titled "Race 'n' Chase," the game was termed by Penn as "awful."

So what did Grand Theft Auto's humble beginnings look like? Yesterday, Grand Theft Auto lead designer Mike Dailly uploaded Race 'n' Chase's original design document to his Flickr photo stream. As detailed in the scan, the concept for the game that would eventually become Grand Theft Auto was originally designed to be a multiplayer racing game.

Race 'n' Chase certainly has a familiar look to it.

"The aim of Race 'n' Chase is to produce a fun, addictive, and fast multiplayer car racing and crashing game that uses a novel graphics method," the original concept reads. The game's story was simply stated as: "The game will be set in a present-day world."

The description of the game's action bears the first kernels of what would eventually become hallmark Grand Theft Auto gameplay.

"Players will be able to drive cars and possibly other vehicles such as boats, helicopters, or lorries," the section reads. "Cars can be stolen, raced, collided, crashed (ramraiding?) and have to be navigated about a large map. It will also be possible for players to get out of their car and steal another one. This will mean controlling a vulnerable pedestrian for a short time. Trying to steal a car may result in an alarm being set off which will, of course, attract the police."

According to the design document, Race 'n' Chase was initially slated to ship on July 1, 1996. However, as the game evolved, that date was eventually pushed back to February 28, 1998, on the PC, and then to June 30, 1998, on the original PlayStation.

Check out GameSpot's review of Grand Theft Auto for more on the game. A free version is also available through Rockstar's website.

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Discussion

70 comments
Inuzan
Inuzan

It is funny to see how a game of such imperfection became the worlds most known, criticized & profitable game.

lelis92
lelis92

@Venatorcruiser yeah, or even help the kidnapper out, since in those GTA games u normally seem to play the bad guy in the civilian point of view q:

lelis92
lelis92

@Venatorcruiser well actually carnaval is only like 1 - 2 weeks long, but it would be awesome with a mission or level or someithing that happened during carnaval, for sure (:

lelis92
lelis92

@Venatorcruiser well thx, appreciate that :b just hope rockstar games staff think just like you xD

mikees1
mikees1

SolidSaldin......I think you will find that it is YOU that is mistaken! The Royal Navy can legally patrol those seas due to us still having colonies in the Caribbean (Bermuda,Turks and Caicos Islands,Jamaica and a few others). They can and they do. Infact U.S Coast Guard officials some times hitch a lift on board what ever destroyer or frigate is in the area. We are not bound by out dated doctrine written two centuries ago, In fact we opperate and sieze large amounts of drugs quite frequently in those seas. Also SAS members were involved in the opperation take down Pablo Escobar in an advisory role. If it is coming to OUR country we can attack it when and where we like!

ManHooYin
ManHooYin

@Phil-teh-Pirate @punksterdaddy Thanks for the info i actually didn't know about that but then again i never had a PSone nor have i really played the original GTA games, i might actually try and find it lol. And stealing big red double deckers does sound fun lol. Though doubtful i hope they do another London one then. Btw if ur interested i think there is a map mod someone is making for GTA 4 on PC of London, can't remember where i saw it but i think it was on GTAforums... probably still far form being completed and like most big GTA mods probably will end up being scrapped so don't hold ya breath =p

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

lol Race N' Chase does indeed sound awful

Johny_47
Johny_47

Oh yeah, can't wait for GTA V! =)

Johny_47
Johny_47

Ooo, just imagine what the game world would be like without Rockstar games and Grand Theft Auto =O In a parallel universe somewhere people have probably played 'race n' chase' and Rockstar games don't exist anymore, poor people, we're very fortunate to have Rockstar and GTA =P

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

I'm glad it became GTA, Race N' Chase doesn't sound so good but I think I remember seeing a small feature on Race N' Chase in an issue of EGM before it became GTA.

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

@ManHooYin Sorry mate but mikees1 is right, shortly after GTAII came out there was another title released that was set in 1960's London... this was like an add on by today's standards but was released to buy on disc on the psone... I never bought it but played and enjoyed my mate's one and although it too was overhead only view, it was funny, stealing big red double decker buses etc. Just thought I would let you know that it wasn't the getaway he was referring to but GTA: London 1960's

punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

i remember buying this and thinking how i couldn't wait to get back home to play it and once i did.... it really sucked! I stuck with it for a short while but just couldn't get into it! When gta III came out, like everybody else, it blew our minds! Amazing what 3d viewing can do!

ash162
ash162

Just hope the next GTA is set outside america. Need some variety now...

lelis92
lelis92

no ... no, you got it all wrong. it's GTA Brazil! Rio de Janeiro to be more exact.

blakeney
blakeney

@pszone Im now 99% sure its set in la...with a code name like "rush" how could it be anywhere else lol?

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@Venatorcruiser Haha. GTA Iraq.. Bloody hell.. Good luck surviving on those missions! I like your thinking though.. Good old technicals.. Brilliant piece of kit them :P

huevosbenedicto
huevosbenedicto

I'm pretty sure that Race 'n' Chase was the original name for Grand Theft Auto. Wow, I actually know that, I'm off to sob in a corner.

wwefanatic2345
wwefanatic2345

no one can say they wouldnt like this: GTA V:Ireland so much gangland violence so little time

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

GTA in europe,afrika,asia or midle east will be some thing new imagne gta in china or japan lol

SolidSaldin
SolidSaldin

@Venatorcruiser I'm pretty sure the Royal Navy wouldn't chase anyone doing a drug run from Columbia to Florida. Monroe Doctrine son!

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

@ManHooYin GTA London was set in 1969 dude, it was an add on to the original GTA. Brilliant game, there should be another English based GTA game. Though I'm sure it'd be less exciting as getting caught by the police for murder, robbery and muggings would result in an ASBO and 2 hour community service minigame.

Malscyllis
Malscyllis

They should make GTA: Earth, for next gen. Ambitious? noooo ;)

ManHooYin
ManHooYin

@mikees1 GTA London?? I think ur talking about 'The Getaway' that was on the PS2 it had almost exact GPS location of London i think. In other related news too bad the a**holes of activision cancelled the new True Crime game set in Hong Kong would have been awesome. And i think its almost certain that the next 2 GTA games will be set in Vice City and San Andreas again, as much as i love Rockstar i wish they had a bit more diversity in locations.

pszone
pszone

got thumbs down if im right its set in LA you going to swear and write note to me when the detials out i look on website and yes next game in LA

Notebook_holder
Notebook_holder

Ahh man i remember the original GTA's man those were interesting to play

MN121MN
MN121MN

I'd rather have GTA on Brazil, but I'd RATHER HAVE RDR and LA Noire on PC....

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@Venatorcruiser Hahahaha! EXACTLY!! Ohhh man that would be amazing.. Drinking their white lightning on street corners shouting abuse.. We can dream..

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Where the hell has Agent got to? That's the real question.. Relating to this article however.... GOURANGA!!!!!!

pokecharm
pokecharm

interesting, but I'm not sure this is 'news' worthy exactly...

raphaeljoash
raphaeljoash

Oh I saw GTA and I went blind -.- I thought it said GTA V nevermind ill just go back to waiting AGAIN!

mikees1
mikees1

London would be the perfect place, GTA London was a very good game and the only one not to be set outside of America. Not sure i'd want another GTA set in America, games are saturated with American locations and i for one am getting sick of being in america/playing an american!

howie1926
howie1926

Right now I don't care about the next GTA. I can't wait for Rockstar's next game, L.A. Noire.

fede_pyro
fede_pyro

@ John_Read i'm sure piracy has a lot to do with that...crysis 2 stopped being a pc exclusive 'cause of that and gears of war became xbox exclusive 'cause of that...yap...it's a shame but not sure if on rockstar

John_Read
John_Read

gta started on PC and now rockstar not showing love for PC gamers now every GTA game is delayed for PC no wonder what will happen to GTA5 PC version shame on Rockstar

Bozanimal
Bozanimal

Released today the original might be considered more a casual game more suited to iPhones, and look at what it became. Consider this the next time you dismiss a flash game being for casuals only. ;)

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

Skateboards! That´s what we need in the next GTA!

soviethook
soviethook

no roman, i dont want to go bowling

SPBoss
SPBoss

Why are GTA devs so scared to venture out from the US? A remake of GTA London would be amazing, since The Getaway 3 has been put on hold this would be the perfect opportunity. A lot of people I have talked to state they are fed up of GTA locations going round in repetitive circles, if not London then somewhere in Asia/Europe would be amazing! Rockstar North is based in Scotland they should choose a location closer to home :)

vasgko2
vasgko2

i would vote for london (imagine a game influenced by movies like "snatch" or "lock, stock & smoking barrels"). i don't like latinos or gangsta thugs one more time...

mtait01
mtait01

i dont care where the next gta is set, just tone down the social life bollocks

pszone
pszone

The next gta game will be out next year and will see details and movie clips aslo the next gta game in LA so pp who saying were next gta game going to be. You Heard were the nxt gta set so its LA and im glad they made that move because means bigger and better gta game ever and thats there goal since red dead 2 had a big sandbox and sold more than gta4 its a pre order for me

Wings_008
Wings_008

the Next GTA should be set in Toulouse :P

DeadManRollin
DeadManRollin

GTA should move to some new place, or go back to San Andreas.

GonnaDie4TheGov
GonnaDie4TheGov

GTA: ____ was pushed back until spring on 2012 and rumor is Rockstar is going to announce the game at E3 this year. I really hope that is true and im going to bet my money on Vice City being the next in line though id rather see them jump to San Andreas again.

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

rock star dudes please at lesst show us a short trailer of the next GTA and i really hope it have at lesst 50% what san andreas had

nwsnowboarder
nwsnowboarder

Interesting how the game design is written out like a report. I had no idea they went to that type of detail when designing a game.