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The original game design document for GTA 1 surfaced on Reddit recently. It’s a quick read and totally worth it if you’re into game design. A few noteworthy nuggets:

  • The working title was Race ‘n’ Chase. > Good move going with GTA instead, Rockstar.
  • They reference other games in their doc, including Sim City and Doom. > A game made by gamers. It’s neat to get a glimpse at some of their influences.
  • There’s a decent mix of design and technical notes in here. It’s all very high level, but interesting to see the technical challenges and solutions they addressed even this early on.
  • The only pedestrians listed in this doc are “Schoolchildren, lollipop ladies and dogs.” – This list is immediately preceded by “[Pedestrians] can be run over cars”. Rockstar knew exactly where they were going with this franchise from the very beginning ;)

The article on Reddit offered up a 10mb download of 12 jpeg pages. I stitched them together into smaller, single pdf for your convenience. It’s an interesting read. You can download the original GTA game doc here.

GTA and other old games of theirs are available for free download on Rockstar’s website. And for more info on the original game, they have a deliciously 90’s GTA website still up for browsing.

Many thanks to Ajay Karat of The Devil’s Garage for the article tip.

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