Mike Dailly, of Lemmings and GTA fame, shared something very cool on Twitter over the weekend: an image he made in 1994 that, in a very direct way, led to the creation of the original Grand Theft Auto.
The image I created that eventually spawned #GTA
I drew this to create an isometric rendering engine, it then evolved that into a rotating isometric engine, then I built the “Top Down Perspective Engine” that went on to become GTA1#DMADesign #retro #grandtheftauto #retrogaming pic.twitter.com/Cxr5K8GB75
— Mike Dailly™ ???????????????????????????? (@mdf200) September 1, 2019
He also shared an animated version of the image created for an old talk, which you can check out (and advance by pressing space to go through the steps) here.
It’s of course not the only thing that led to Grand Theft Auto, but as the thing that inspired the engine that would power and define the game, it’s a pretty important one, and it’s fascinating getting a chance to see it so early on.
If the earliest days of Grand Theft Auto history are your thing, Dailly also made a Flickr gallery a few years back containing all kinds of other early GTA material, from the game’s original design docs to some character art.