Today I will be talking about one of my favourite game series. Grand Theft Auto or popularly known as the GTA has been one of the most popular game series ever made. I have been playing this game since 2008 and this is the story of how this series changed my life in a drastic way. I’ve been a gamer since the age of 3 when my Dad had bought a computer and together we used to play Doom on that system till 2 am.
Since that time I have played a lot of games that included Mario, Mortal Kombat, Virtua Cop, Road Rash and almost all of the classics you can recall. I have grown up in the 90s so I’ve seen the gaming trend shift from those old NES consoles to PCs and then onto mobile phones. I was pretty much enjoying the games that I was playing but most of them were closed experiences and were not much of open world. I didn’t even know what open world games were for a very long time. GTA was there since a long time but until 2008 I hadn’t played any of the games in that series.
Everything changed in 2008, I got my hands on GTA Vice City and immediately after starting the game I realised the sheer brilliance behind this experience. It felt so empowering to simply do anything in the game. The game offered unparalleled freedom to the player which was an amazing feeling for me. I was hooked to the game and it’s vibrant world. The other interesting thing this game offered was it’s community. GTA Vice City had been out since the year 2002 so by this time it had a very strong community. The game was successful in establish a connection with the player which ensured that anyone who played the game would recall it as one of the most memorable experiences of all time.
It had everything! The game was based in the 80s, cars had radio stations, you were not restricted by strictly mission based gameplay. It was simply mind blowing. So as I was talking about the community, this brings me to my next point.
Modding this game was super easy. Anyone could download some free tools from websites dedicated to modding this game and the user community actively contributed interesting models, scripts and other interesting things that could change the entire game itself. I was instantly fascinated by the tools that offered an extra layer of freedom. I could actually change certain things of the game according to my liking, it was the best feeling ever! This is when I made my mind that when I grow up I’d join this company that made this game. So this made me research a bit about the company that made this game. I found out that the company name was Rockstar Games. Immediately I started looking up their website and got excited to join there as a programmer. I was around 14 years old at that time and had absolutely no idea about how a game gets developed but whatever, I was excited nonetheless.
The next year is something that changed my life for good. I was in my 9th grade in 2009 and we had gone on a school trip. I had clicked a lot of photos during the trip and there was a friend of mine who wanted these photographs from me. So I invited him over at my place to give him all the photos in his pen drive. Yes, it was the age of slow internet speeds so instead of uploading it online we used to meet up and transfer files to each other.
Anyway, so when this friend came over at my place while the photos were transferring we started talking about games. I told him about everything I did in GTA Vice City and this is when things got interesting. I showed him all the cool stuff I had modded in the game. After almost an hour of having fun showing him around in the game he asked me one question that stuck in my mind, he asked, “If you can mod a game then why not make a game of your own?”
This changed the way I looked at things entirely, suddenly from working for Rockstar Games I was shifted to a mindset of creating my own games. I questioned myself, what was really stopping me from doing so? In the age of Internet where almost everything is available out there, all you need is time to invest in developing your skills. And here I was in 9th grade. I had all the time in the world!
And so began my quest of becoming a game developer. It was the turning point of my life and none of this would have been possible if I didn’t come across GTA Vice City. This is how GTA series changed my life.
I have been developing games since 2011 now and it has been an amazing learning curve. I have also written a book on How To Make An Android Game which is available on Amazon and currently I’m also working on another book which will talk about how to market your games to get downloads and make money through them. If you are interested in this book then make sure you sign up on my email subscribers list, I will keep you updated about the same. Link: http://eepurl.com/dE-kob
There’s also an interesting story about GTA San Andreas but I think it’d be better fit for another story. I will also be talking about my experiences about how I became a game developer in another post so be sure you are following me on my social media. If you are a game developer I’m sure you might find something or the other useful through my content. I’m putting down the links to all my social media and contact info down below.
This is Nikhil signing off, naschledanou!