Original Grand Theft Auto map recreated in 3D

A screenshot of the in-progress map, drawn from the original in Grand Theft Auto. Picture: Michael Dailly
A screenshot of the in-progress map, drawn from the original in Grand Theft Auto. Picture: Michael Dailly
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FOR those who cherish the early days of Grand Theft Auto, it is a rare chance to visit the first iteration of its famous cities from a modern perspective.

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One of the co-creators of the iconic series has started to recreate Liberty City, San Andreas and Vice City in dazzling 3D using game creation software designed to teach a new generation of coders.

Michael Dailly, one of the co-founders of DMA Design, the company which would become Rockstar North - creator of Grand Theft Auto V - has attracted widespread interest in his project on social media.

Now the head of development at Dundee’s YoYo Games, Dailly is harnessing Game Maker Studio to provide a new vantage point on the seminal 1997 title.

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Whereas the original Grand Theft Auto used a fixed, top-down view, Dailly is now using similar textures to import the original .CMP map format before converting it to a 3D model. The result places people at the heart of the game’s once 2D urban environments.

The idea is a personal project of Dailly’s, who worked for DMA for almost a decade, a spell which saw him help create Lemmings, as well as titles including Uniracers, Tanktics and Wild Metal Country. He also helped write the firm’s 3D rendering technology.

Given that the Grand Theft Auto is the highly prized intellectual property of Rockstar North and its parent firm, Take-Two, it remains unclear if a playable version of the revamped title will ever see the light of day, whether it be an indie release or a commercial one.

If nothing else, however, it might encourage young prospective developers to use Game Maker and create their own IPs.