Race'n'Chase: Original GTA design docs posted

The original concept for Grand Theft Auto would see players committing only a few crimes, according to design documents posted by developer Mike Dailly that date back to sixteen years ago today. At that time, the early concept was for a game called Race'n'Chase. Its aim was "to produce a fun, addictive, and fast multi-player car racing and crashing game which uses a novel graphics method."

The story? "The game will be set in a present-day world." (Period.) While it would take two and a half years -- and narrowly dodging cancellation, by another creator's account -- to flesh out the eventual game, Grand Theft Auto, the designers did have some inkling of the direction they would ultimately take, as detailed in the original pitch.

"There will be 3 cities with a different graphic style for each city (e.g., New York, Venice, Miami)," wrote the heads of then DMA Design (now Rockstar North). "There will be many different missions to be played in each city." The initial mission types consisted of "a straight race across the city," a free-roaming demolition derby and a bank robbery.

Other seeds for the mega-franchise-to-be were also planted in the early documents: "Pedestrians will be wandering about all of the time," notes one section, suggesting bystander types could include "schoolchildren" and a "lollipop lady." "They can be run over by cars."

"It will also be possible for players to get out of their car and steal another one," the designers propose in the opening pitch, adding, "Trying to steal a car may result in an alarm being set off which will, of course, attract the police." Later, it's clarified that "police will be able to get out of their cars and shoot at the robbers."

[Image credit: Mike Dailly; source: mikedailly/Flickr]