The original Grand Theft Auto was “almost canned,” according to ex-DMA Designs developer Gary Penn.
Penn, speaking to Gamasutra, said there were two main issues with the game.
“There are probably two key things it fell down on. Two critical things. One of them is stability, which is a really boring one but it crashed all the fucking time,” said Penn.
“So even if you did get something in the game, you couldn’t really test it. The designers couldn’t test stuff out or try things out, it just kept crashing as simple as that. That was a boring one, but that was pivotal — so that was the first step to get that knocked out.”
The other key issue that plagued the game was the handling of cars. But as Penn goes on, there was one moment which changed everything.
“One day, I think it was a bug, the police suddenly became mental and aggressive. It was because they were trying to drive through you,” he said.
“Their route finding was screwed I think and that was an awesome moment because suddenly the real drama where, ‘Oh my God, the police are psycho — they’re trying to ram me off the road. That was awesome, so that stayed in.”
And the rest is history, etc.