You might be celebrating GTA III‘s 10th Anniversary by playing it on your iOS or Android device, with that version freshly out today. Rockstar’s celebrating in a different way, though. On their official site, the developer’s revealing all kinds of trivia and minutiae about the open-world crime game that put them on the map.
For example, why does Claude not speak when nearly every other character does?
It may now seem obvious that people should all talk in games, but this was not necessarily the case in 2001, certainly not in an open world game. We were making up a lot of procedures as we went along, and we decided that the NPCs (Non Playable Characters) should talk and we would have to figure out how to make them talk (using motion captured cutscenes, something that had never really been done before, at least not on the scale we were doing it). So we decided that the game’s protagonist would not talk, partly to aid people identifying with him, but mostly because we had so many other problems to solve and this did not seem like a major issue. We started to discuss introducing a talking lead character when working on Vice City, but it was a lot of work. While the structure of GTA3 may seem obvious or natural now, and the use of cutscenes made in the game’s engine that look and feel like the game may seem simple and easy, it really was not the case back in 2001 when we had to figure out all of these things for the first time. Oh and in San Andreas, CJ calls Claude a mute because he does not talk and CJ finds this unnerving.
Ever wonder about the Darkel character mentioned in the original game’s instruction book but who never appears in the game? Here’s the answer:
Darkel was just a crazy bum who gave you some crazy missions. They were removed a few months before the game was done and long before 9/11 because they just weren’t as good as the rest of the game, and tonally they were a little odd. He started with 5 missions and they were slowly all cut. When only one or 2 were left, they were all removed as the character just didn’t work alongside the other characters.
The Q&A also showcases the design sketches seen above for Claude offers up other interesting tidbits about the landmark GTA game. Head on over to the site for more.