The development of Grand Theft Auto began on 4 April 1995 at DMA Design in Edinburgh. It originally had a protracted four-year development, which included a title change and numerous attempts to halt development.
Famous for allowing players to freely roam a world where all their crime lord fantasies could come true, Grand Theft Auto‘s origins are far more humble.
Conceived as a multiplayer racing game under the name Race’n’Chase, development strategy switched drastically when a glitch caused the game’s cops to start attacking the players viciously. The entertaining crash fests that gameplay sessions among the development team turned into, along with one developer’s analysis that it was “more fun to be bad,” caused the team to shift gears and explore a more edgy, open design structure.
Considering the embarrassment of riches Grand Theft Auto would go on to garner, this is certainly the case of a happy little accident.It was originally planned to be released on MS-DOS, Windows 95, PlayStation, Sega Saturn and the Nintendo 64. However, it was never released for the two latter consoles. During the development of Grand Theft Auto, many people overseeing the game’s progress attempted to halt the development, which led the crew at DMA Design to have to convince them to allow them to continue.
Grand Theft Auto is made up of six levels split between the three main cities. In each level, the player’s ultimate objective is to reach a target number of points, which is typically achieved by performing tasks for the city’s local crime syndicate. Each level is initiated at a telephone box and has its own unique set of tasks. Successful completion of a mission rewards the player with points and opens the opportunity to attempt harder missions for higher rewards, while failure awards fewer points and may permanently seal off opportunities for more tasks. Completing missions also increases the player’s “multiplier“, which increases the points the player gets for doing other tasks. When the player amasses a total of $1,000,000, the next city is unlocked.