An Iterative Design Process: Case of Grand Theft Auto

While on one level Rockstar Games's Grand Theft Auto series (GTA) is all kitschy, gratuitous violence for entertainment purposes, it is also a masterpiece of interactive design. Arguably, it presents one of the most sophisticated developments in commercial video gaming to render a highly traversable urban space, one in which a player performs actions with a tremendous degree of freedom and unscripted spontaneity. This accounts for its wild popularity in the gaming market. The best-selling video game in America in 2001, GTA Ilfs success was usurped only by the release of the game's next evolution, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which became the year's bestseller in 2002. With the October 2004 release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, likely the most anticipated game of the year, Rockstar has once again set the gaming world on fire with its latest sprawling work of twisted genius. Since its first version released in 1997, Grand Theft Auto as a game that fulfills the standards of being an ‘action-adventure’, ‘driving’, ‘ role-playing’, ‘stealth’ and ‘racing’ game, all at once, had gone through several (seven) version diversions. In this paper, I will try to map out the similarities and differences between each version.

Author(s): Cagri Baris Kasap

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