The original Grand Theft Auto made waves as a high-score-gathering adrenaline ride released in 1997. And while its top-down perspective didn’t present the most advanced visuals of the time, both gamers and reviewers recognized its ability to draw players in for hours at a time, again and again.
As years went by, developer DMA Design would go on to be absorbed into Rockstar Games and Grand Theft Auto would become of the most groundbreaking series in the entire industry, with GTAV breaking sales records mere days after its launch this year. Michael Dailly, the creator of Grand Theft Auto, wants to bring the game that started it all into the proper 3D realm, and has taken it upon himself to do so.
Dailly now works at a company called Yoyo Games, where he works with GameMaker – a program available to help interested programmers and game enthusiasts streamline the design process and make it more approachable. His recreation of the original GTA uses GameMaker’s rendering engine to push out the environment in both an HTML5 and WebGL, meaning that the game is fully capable of running in someone’s web browser at an impressive 60 frames per second. For those unaware, that’s much more efficient than the original game was.
Dailly is posting screenshots and status updates on Twitter, where he’s working hard at fixing issues with the map and figuring out a good way to import the 3D vehicle designs into the game. Whilst the game itself is rendered with GameMaker Studio, the map loader and primitive builder system are both items which Michael built himself from scratch. Considering the progress he’s made as a one-man team, we won’t be surprised if Michael has some impressive updates ready for fans in the next few months.
The original Grand Theft Auto map was actually 3D already, though the game engine rendered it from a top-down perspective making many believe it was a 2D production. This allowed for DMA Design to grant a better perspective into building heights and tunnel systems. Thankfully, it also makes it a little bit easier for Dailly to manipulate the map file and change the perspective of the game.
Dailly won’t be releasing anything until he’s happy with the finished product, but has stated he’s unsure what to do once he’s actually completed it. Since the game itself is already available for free on the Rockstar Games website, most expect him to release it for free to grateful fans everywhere. In any event, Michael’s work is a great demonstration that GameMaker is a powerful tool that can certainly aid in the process of game development.
What do you think, Ranters? Would you play a new 3D take on Grand Theft Auto, or would you give this trip down nostalgia lane a pass?
Follow me on Twitter @Makelevi.