GTA

GTA 3 [GBA – Cancelled]

In 2004 Rockstar Games published Grand Theft Auto Advance, a top-down episode of GTA developed for GBA by Digital Eclipse and set in Liberty City, as a prequel to GTA 3. At least another cancelled version of GTA 3 for GBA was in development before the released one.

In 2001 GTA 3 was announced by Destination Software, which acquired the rights from Take 2 / Rockstar to publish their own version of the game for GBA, to be developed by Crawfish Interactive. Thanks to an old article by Brian Provinciano (not online anymore on his website), we can read more details about this lost GTA portable:

“In November 2002, rumors began spreading that GTA3 for GBA had been cancelled. Destination Software denied the claims, responding, “The game has not been canned. We’ll be making an announcement at the end of the week”. Sure enough, shortly after, news leaked that Crawfish had GTA3 for GBA in development. What’s more, was that the report claimed it was already well into development with an expected 2003 release. Insanely, a week after this report, Crawfish shut down, laying off all of its staff and putting the development in limbo.

According to former Crawfish head, Cameron Sheppard, “Crawfish had many titles finishing and a number of publishers not paying on time. These issues joined meant that the company couldn’t continue quite long enough”. That was, until Rockstar handed it over to Digital Eclipse. Over the next year, Destination Software still claimed they were publishing it, both after Crawfish shut down and after production begun at Digital Eclipse. Whether their claims were truthful or not, when they ultimately lost the license is unclear. However, they were not the publisher by the time Digital Eclipse’s version hit store shelves.

It’s possible that Destination Software was involved with publishing while Crawfish was the developer, but it’s also possible that they’d lost the license by the time Crawfish landed the project. A former Crawfish developer confirmed that “There was one before ours that also got canned“. It’s unclear whether Digital Eclipse was involved with both the Crawfish one and this cancelled one, or if that previous title had been the end of the line for Destination Software. Either way, it would seem that there’s still at least one pre-Crawfish GTA3 prototype out there, somewhere.

In July 2003, several former Crawfish developers began to share details on their unreleased GTA3. This wealth of information described elements which showed up in Digital Eclipse’s GTA Advance, and aspects which did not, such as the controls and multiplayer.

Thanks to Brian we also saved information about the planned story:

“Former Crawfish developer, Dave Murphy explained, “My version was set a few months before the events of GTA3.”. Digital Eclipse’s version also took place prior to the events of GTA3. As for the characters, Murphy explained, “[the game] featured a mix of old characters from the PS2/PC version and new ones based on my colleagues.”. He reiterated, “Many of the characters were based on other members of [Crawfish] staff”. It’s clear that these characters didn’t persist in the Digital Eclipse version.

Murphy continued, “The main character wasn’t the same as the PS2 but he looked kind of similar. He is taken on by the mafia at the beginning of the game, like the original, but stays working for them throughout, as he chases a mafia deserter and a case full of money from the Callahan bridge to the Cedar Ridge Observatory.”. Interestingly, the story is different from Digital Eclipse’s.”

A multiplayer mode for GTA 3 GBA was also planned:

“Multiplayer never made it through to the final version. Although it was planned during the Crawfish development, even Crawfish expected it to be cut. Crawfish’s Dave Murphy explained, “Yes multiplayer was planned but we probably wouldn’t have got it in there, with the time the project running over.”. As for Murphy’s design, he revealed the following: “We decided on four different modes:

+ Liberty City Survivor: Standard death match similar to GTA 1&2 on PC.
+ City Circuit: Racing on pre-set routes round the three islands
+ Car Jack Crazy: Players race to collect a list of vehicles and return them to their garage.
+ Special delivery: All players fight over a package which must be taken to their base.”

In December 2016 PtoPOnline published a video showing an early tech demo / prototype of this cancelled Crawfish version of GTA 3 for GBA, with just a few features and most of the game missing.

Thanks to Ilua Firstov for the contribution!

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Grand Theft Auto [Nintendo 64 – Cancelled]

A Nintendo 64 port of the original Grand Theft Auto was planned by DMA Design (along with a Sega Saturn version), but unfortunately the game was never released. A few previews of GTA 64 were published in websites such as IGN, revealing some more details about this port:

“Rockstar isn’t releasing much on the Nintendo 64 version of Grand Theft Auto, except to say that it’s not the sequel or an add-on pack. IGN64 has learned that the game, though essentially a port of the PlayStation original, will feature significant additions in the vein of souped-up graphics and added levels and characteristics. “

While websites never shown any official screenshot for the N64 version, a few alleged images were published by some magazines in Spain and Italy, showing “blurred” textures / 3D graphics for the environments that really looks like something a Nintendo 64 could do. Here is one of these articles, found by Luchi in Spanish N64 Magazine (issue 19, july 1999):

GTA Nintendo 64 cancelled

Unfortunately without any official statement it’s hard to say if these screenshots are really from the cancelled GTA 64, but it’s interesting to notice that in the official  design document for Grand Theft Auto (at the time titled “Race ’n’ Chase”) the game was indeed planned to be released on the “Ultra 64”.

 

GTA 1 / Race’n’Chase [Playstation – Beta / Prototype]

Race N Chase was the original project name for the now famous Grand Theft Auto serie, when it was still just a concept in the DMA Design‘s minds. Thanks to Mikedaily Flickr account we can see a nice mockup from the early development of the first game. And here one of the first versions of the game that was posted on Mike Daily’s page some time ago.

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This was drawn by Mike to see better isometric rendering in the 1st GTA prototype.

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Frame City Killer [X360 – Cancelled]

Frame City Killer was an Xbox 360 video game under development by Namco.The player assumes the role of secret agent Crow who must hunt down Khan, a terrorist and drug lord, who is creating Visual Acid. After repeated delays in development, a lack of presentation in numerous trade shows, and with media releases that failed to impress, Namco decided to cancel the title in May 2006. – [info from Wikipedia]

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Silicon Valley [N64 – Concept / Beta]

siliconvalleylogo.jpg

In this video linked to us by Longuist, we can see an old music clip by Mouse on Mars, that uses scenes from what it looks like a beta version of the game. The major differences in this video should be:

  • power gems & flowers look different
  • no hud
  • trees now have a texture?
  • unknow level the video starts with?
  • the “green” levels have now much more steel plates (remember: its a space station) (see level 7 for instance)
  • and… no juggling disco bear ^^

Maybe some of these look different just because of the video montage, but its definitely earlier than the e3 1997 version.

Sven Bergmann, one of the producers of Mouse On Mars Twift video clip, has sent to us an email with some interesting informations about their collaboration with DMA: My friend MARKUS POPP (from “OVAL” music project) and I produced the promo in late summer 1997 in Berlin. Markus and JAN WERNER from “MOUSE ON MARS” are also working together as “MICROSOTRIA”. At some point in early summer 1997 Jan had been in Berlin and asked Markus and me if we would like to produce a video clip for MOUSE ON MARS’ new single “TWIFT”. Well, hell we would like to… and so we somehow agreed on a general plan but had only the idea of using video game footage. Jan liked that idea.

Later that summer Markus and I went to London to visit the ESTS 97 game show to shoot some video interviews with game designers and developers for a German/French TV art special on virtual designs. At that show we met the guys from DMA and interviewed their CEO/game designer/programmer Dave Jones. We also spoke to a very nice DMA PR gentleman, Brian Baglow and he granted us a first look at Silicon Valley, that wasn’t shown on the public floor but in a back room for VIPs only (haha, I guess everybody could sneak in there and glimpse at this game, since DMA took security kind of easy).

The great thing was that Markus managed to convince Brian to send us a beta cartridge to Berlin so that we could capture endless footage to use for the Mouse on Mars promo video (I still don’t know how he did it, truly amazing and very cool of Brian, too). The N64 beta cartridge was twice as large than the regular ones and the ROM and circuit board was sticking out of the gray plastic shell.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when the package first arrived in Berlin. Whoooo.

We then took my German N64 with a US converter game to a video production studio and capture a couple of hours of game footage on Beta SP tape and then imported it into an AVID editing system. I think it took us about three to four days for the whole clip including that half day game recording.

If I remember correctly there was no real shell design within the game but you could select two or three different stages directly. Just booting up the N64 and then go for the selection was the simple thing to do. And then there was the special button combo so you could change the animals moves (like the juggling bear) and also with another combination you could move the camera completely freely within the level.

We had lots of fun and very still amazed that DMA send us a beta cartridge.

After we finished the job, we sent the game back to DMA with a tape of that promo. I don’t know if Mouse on Mars and DMA did a deal so that DMA could use the music for promo and parties, but I assume so.”

Thanks a lot to Sven for these infos! :)

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