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IGN: GTA IV: Building a Brave New World

An in-depth look at the story, the creation of Niko, and the monumental task of creating the most realistic city ever seen in a videogame.

Grand Theft Auto IV, coming to PS3 and 360 April 29, is arguably the most anticipated game of the year. And with good reason. Rockstar is offering gamers a chance to explore the most authentic city ever seen in a videogame, complete with compelling storyline, and a hefty multiplayer. But what went into making such a massive game? IGN spoke with VP of Creative, Dan Houser and Rockstar North Art Director Aaron Garbut to get an in-depth look at the creative process.

The two provided so much information IGN had to split the discussion into two separate pieces. Today, you'll learn about the origins of GTA IV's story, what makes Niko the best character Rockstar has ever created, learn about the new dynamic relationship system and find out what went into building Liberty City. On Monday, IGN will give you the full scoop on the gameplay additions and improvements

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-EvoAnubis-3317d ago

Was looking forward to it ever since yesterday's podcast.

BTW, if anyone here hasn't listened to that podcast, you need to. It was EPIC.

-EvoAnubis-3317d ago

I'm getting damned tired of people taking my bubbles. Can someone please return for me my 7th bubble?

chaosatom3333317d ago (Edited 3317d ago )

I thought San Andreas was the biggest improvement gta franchise is ever going to see and I couldn't be more wrong.

The most interesting thing is that GTA doesn't have a continuous story, so pretty much anyone can pick up gta and play it.
I think this is one of those games that everyone should own.

-EvoAnubis-3317d ago (Edited 3317d ago )

Thank you for giving my bubble back.

"The most interesting thing is that GTA doesn't have a continuous story, so pretty much anyone can pick up gta and play it.
I think this is one of those games that everyone should own."

Agreed.

xhi43317d ago (Edited 3317d ago )

hold on guys im writing up bullet points on all the new info. This is what i got so far.......still going.

- Houser, reluctantly, revealed that you can meet a character in a mission or cut scene, then may be walking around liberty city and “you can bump into [him] later walking around the world, and talk to him then or not. And if you don't then maybe there are ramifications of doing that coming into the story”

- In the story, there is a lot of alternate dialogue. If you fail the mission, restart it, there will be different dialogue, the third or fourth or even fifth time the person your doing the mission with may just say shrug you off and want to listen to the radio instead of talking as of a result of being frustrated with your repetitive failure

- The alternate dialogue makes the game “10 times more engaging”

- “when I was doing a mission with Packie, at one point a woman t-boned us, we get out of the car, she's yelling at us and Packie gets out and just shoots her. And I thought that was great, that idea that this specific character is somebody that anybody who's a threat, he's just going to take out”

- “when you get drunk, they'll talk to you and some of them will talk differently. Some of them will go from quite passive when they're sober to really angry drunks. Some of the angry characters are very maudlin when they're drunk. Little touches like that are kind of partnering between AI and dialogue, that again just make it feel a lot more vivid and alive and [offer] lots of things to discover”

- “the more you hang out with the particular guy, they keep giving you more of their life story and their self-perception and maybe when they're drunk they give you a different version and all that stuff. So there's a lot of depth there for people that want to discover that stuff. If you're not interested, don't hang out with them. You won't get the rewards of discovering [things] about them, and you won't get the gameplay rewards that some of them give you as well”

- "You meet a lot of people, and also that's a good motivator to moving around the map.”

- “Niko is without a doubt my favorite character we've ever had. Hands down, no question. In some of the other games the side characters were a lot more punchy. Niko, in every scene, is more fun and magnetic. I think the guys who directed the scenes and then the actor just did a fantastic job with him. So in that way he's very relatable too.”

- In reference to Roman he says “because there's an element of betrayal”…..but that could simply be Roman deceiving Niko about his luxurious life in Liberty City

- “we are on Broadway and Houston and if you walk up to 14th Street you'll get stopped maybe five times by someone going, "Hey, man, do you like hip-hop? Buy my CD of hip-hop." We've gotta put that in the game! So you walk down the street and some guy comes up and goes, "Do you like hip-hop?" That triggers another scene, and that guy's kind of a ridiculous character but Niko's friendly to him because he doesn't know any other way to be and that leads into another mission. Lots of touches like that where you're not really looking for a mission but you stumble upon it and it smashes the difference between on-mission and off-mission, it condenses it down, but it also lets you use a lot of characters that feel very New York-esque and that you couldn't otherwise find a place for in this gangster story.”

- "We don't have a single type of lamppost, we have 30 odd variations. This idiotic level of detail and variety carries through all aspects of the game."

xhi43317d ago

- “Each area in the city on almost a block by block basis is filled with the correct sort of pedestrians you'd expect to see there. The right ethnic mixes, the right kind of clothing, they'll be driving the kind of cars you'd expect to see there. There's a random element just as there is in a real city but we've broken down the world enough to have each area feel right. The numbers and mix of cars and characters will vary throughout the day and week. Basically it mirrors reality as much as we could make it mirror reality.”

- We don't just have a bin to stick down the odd alleyway, we have hundreds of variations on rubbish, discarded couches, bits of cardboard, all of which need to be setup to break apart convincingly complete with lots of unique particles from our effects department.

- The map is massive, but it's also ridiculously dense and every area is detailed. We treated the alleyways with as much importance as the shop fronts. It's such a massive undertaking to create this level of detail over such as large area. And it impacts on every part of the art.

- We have a design department who has spent years creating fictional companies and products. This is all tied into the in-game advertising on billboards, Internet, radio etc. Everything that would be branded is branded and it all ties together in a cohesive way from car manufacturers to headache pills.

- If you watch the cutscenes back to back it's twice the length of a movie

Genuine3317d ago (Edited 3317d ago )

Nice find. Easily the most in-depth GTA IV interview/info currently on the net.

mazirjones3317d ago

and still have the notion that video games are something other than art. It was that arrogant prick, you know the movie reviewer (Ebert?) who said that video games can never be an art form. How pretentious can you be? Especially considering the fact that movies were once also considered to be a non-art form (so to speak) when Hollywood was still in it's infancy. "Art" is evolving, and it is no longer simply viewed, but interacted with. Anyway, I digress; this game sounds to be beyond anything I have ever played, but I don't want to get my hopes too high. It might just be too ambitious.

wibble3316d ago

I don't really like games. I just play them for the artwork. I go through games like Drake's Fortune blasting the bad guys within an area and then standing around admiring the scenery. hehe

Jdash243317d ago

That interview was a very good read. Very Informative. I'm really stoked for GTA4 now, but its still a month away :(

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