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Fun fact: In GTA III, it was not possible to fly for a long time with the dodo

Fun fact: In GTA III, it was not possible to fly for a long time with the dodo

The former developer of the GTA series revealed a very interesting trick: they directly slowed down the speed of players driving their cars in GTA III.

Daniel Boddy

04/29/2024 – It's understandable why Rockstar Games is as silent as before. After all, they represent the most popular, most successful, and most complex games in the world, essentially setting the roughly 10-year development trajectory for open-world games, and the entire genre. Of course, they're secretive, don't like to expose developers' tricks, and don't give out a lot of behind-the-scenes information – even if we look at some of their titles from 20 years ago.

It came as no surprise when Obbe Vermeij was roasted in this way after he explained why the moon changed size when we shot it back then, even in the first 3D GTAs. Since then, fortunately, Rockstar's icy heart seems to have thawed, or they simply realized that there was no point in keeping a secret about San Andreas, Vice City and GTA III, because it was unlikely that anyone would copy it, so they let it go. Hey Vermeij, let me give you interesting facts about this iconic classic.

This time, a former Rockstar expert has revealed why you can't fly longer distances with the dodo in GTA III.

Although let's face it: the plane with the clipped wings was so difficult to control that it was impossible to fly it for long anyway. However, this had a specific reason and purpose: to slow down the player enough. According to Vermeij, during the development of GTA III, they realized that the entire Liberty City map would definitely not fit into the PS2 memory – this was the most serious technical problem, for which they found a solution together with programmer Adam Fowler.

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On the one hand, the detail of distant models was reduced to the lowest possible level (this is the norm now, but it was not then), but since this was not yet effective enough, they decided to read increasingly close parts of the track from the DVD. To make this happen as quickly as possible, the track elements were placed close together on the disc so that they wouldn't take as long to read, but they also experimented with recycling templates.

But that wasn't enough either.

After a certain point, they simply couldn't speed up the loading of the track, so they slowed down the player in some places – obviously to give the console more time to display the required models. They turned corners, raised obstacles, etc., while the same thing was achieved in the air by modifying air resistance. That's why it was not possible to fly for a long time.

Since GTA III was Rockstar's first GTA game set in a 3D environment, these issues were clearly encountered for the first time. On the other hand, the code for Vice City has been optimized, the compression of models and textures has been greatly improved, and detailed models of buildings are only loaded when the player is not flying.

Read this also:

After 20 years, the developer of San Andreas has revealed a funny secret about the game

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