July 22, 2024


The world has been given a tiny glimpse into the uber-secretive world of Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar North due to a captivating new weblog from former technical director Obbe Vermeij, who, in only a few quick weeks, has make clear the studio’s cancelled spy sport Agent, mentioned a zombie sport deserted by the corporate after it was deemed to be too “miserable”, and extra.


Vermeij served as technical director at Rockstar North from 1995 (when the studio was nonetheless generally known as DMA Design) to 2009, which means his time on the firm spanned the creation of Grand Theft Auto as a collection proper by means of to Grand Theft Auto 4 and its DLC.


Since launching his weblog earlier this month, Vermeij has been sharing anecdotes masking various Rockstar video games, bearing on every part from the corporate’s streaming tech for Grand Theft Auto 3 – which struggled sufficient that the artwork crew was pressured to shove a constructing in the midst of an extended stretch of Portland highway to make sure gamers would not run out of metropolis whereas loading continued – to early efforts at implementing multiplayer in GTA 3.


Grand Theft Auto 5’s ray traced reflections improve examined on PS5 and Xbox Sequence X.


Within the latter case, Rockstar is alleged to have experimented with a “fundamental loss of life match” that might let gamers drag one another out of vehicles and kill to earn factors – a mode that “labored however [was] glitchy”, finally being deserted because the crew was “operating out of time”.


Maybe probably the most attention-grabbing anecdotes shared thus far, nonetheless, relate to the video games that may have been; considered one of these contains Rockstar’s infamous Agent, a spy sport set in the course of the Chilly Struggle within the late 70s that was formally introduced as a PS3-exclusive in 2009 after which, after years of silence, merely fizzled out into obscurity, its internet pages and emblems deserted.


In accordance with Vermeij’s account, Agent began life as a demo – that includes a “grasp glider and a automotive turning right into a submarine or one thing” – constructed by Rockstar North to encourage different studios within the firm to make use of the GTA Engine. That demo would finally evolve into full manufacturing, on the encouragement of Rockstar president Leslie Benzies, with half of Rockstar North engaged on Agent (internally generally known as “Jimmy”, as a result of what else would a Scottish studio name a James Bond impressed sport?) whereas the opposite half developed GTA 4’s DLC and GTA 5.


In accordance with Vermeij, Agent can be a extra linear expertise in comparison with GTA, and would happen throughout various traditional spy film places, together with a French Mediterranean metropolis, a Swiss ski resort, and Cairo, the story culminating in a “huge shootout with lasers in house”. Rockstar is alleged to have labored on Agent “for over a yr” – a downhill snowboarding chase scene with weapons was developed, as an example – however “the sport wasn’t progressing in addition to we might hoped.”


With Grand Theft Auto 5 – a challenge “the entire firm must get behind” – looming, the Agent crew “tried to chop the sport down in an try the get the majority of it finished earlier than the inevitable name from NY would come” nevertheless it “grew to become clear that Jimmy was going to be an excessive amount of of a distraction for us and we ditched it.” Vermeij recollects Agent was “handed over to a different firm inside Rockstar however by no means acquired accomplished”.


And so farewell Agent. However that is not the one intrguing might-have-been shared in Vermeij’s weblog thus far. He additionally spend a bit of time reminiscing on a zombie challenge generally known as Z, which, utilizing the code created for GTA San Andreas, would happen on a “windswept foggy Scottish island”. Right here, gamers would discover themselves below fixed assault from the undead, needing to seek out autos and gas to get round. Growth on the thought progressed for “a number of months”, based on Vermeij, however, finally, “the thought appeared miserable and shortly ran out of steam.” And so growth was dropped to concentrate on GTA 4.


Vermeij’s weblog is a illuminating learn, and an intriguing anecdotal dip again by means of the ordinarily shadowy historical past of one of the crucial profitable – and most secretive – builders within the video games business. Needles to say, it is properly value perusing.


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