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GTA Get Jacked!


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Picked up the book that's an unauthorized biography on the Grand Theft Auto phenom entitled JACKED, wonder if any of you have bought this or it's been in discussion prior?

One of the interesting aspects noted is that Sam Houser is at the basis of the telling, whereas not much is mentioned in terms of his brother Dan. I recall a lot of my information gathered from magazine interviews, and some on-line content, but by and large, this book was worth picking up at it's discounted price, I made one mention of it prior to make a point about how the Housers got involved in gaming and their status now, the book points out that Sam Houser took a fancy to coin op arcade games in circa 1980, whereas Dan, his brother, did not have a shared affinity for them, but he did have a strong interest in reading, and the literary angle that now feeds the game's scriptings, his recent purchase of Truman Capote's house as well is more evidence shedding light on who the Housers are and how their personalities make up the mystery behind ROCKSTAR GAMES

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'ma update with an excerpt from DMA Blogs site, though just one guy representing DMA past, this blog page article about JACKED points out some deficiencies with the text that are of serious note to us, the fans and people who make GTA as successful as it is, lets be somewhat honest, if it weren't for us being dedicated fans buying GTA and Rockstar's offshoots, the game would live in some obscurity so pat yourself on the back for being part of the reason behind Rockstar's success story!




>>QUOTE below \/========================================================


DMA is required to be badass in order to create a badass game, a spectacular example of which is the supposed coding during the day and hitting the pubs at night right from when the original ‘team’ moved into the first office. Well the first two employees were Mike Dailly and Gary Timmons. Mike certainly isn’t a big drinker (and I’ve known him almost 30 years now) and Gary… Gary was teetotal. But GTA is required by the new narrative to have risen out of hacker bad boys of the computer games world. Dark hints are made about computers being stolen out of delivery vans from Dundee’s Timex plant into the hands of hackers. Once again, it is a grim place full of outlaws, the description of the newly forming local games industry little but innuendo and supposition. A thing defined by omissions and the space surrounding it and not the thing itself. In both cases, we’re left with an illusion.

There are numerous little niggles in the text. A DMA programmer – it says – learnt how to animate a hundred characters on screen at once and this became Lemmings. That’s plain wrong. Mike, for it was he, animated a lot of characters in an animation to prove how small you could make them whilst still looking good. A minor point? This information exists on the net already and has existed in print. I’ve even written some of it. The Kingsway Amateur Computer Club was described as a coder’s club – it flat out wasn’t: it was for anyone who happened to own a computer. (I was at the KACC too, by the way, that being where I met Dave Jones.) DMA is described as having the most powerful collection of Silicon Graphics computing power in England, despite being located in Scotland. (An obscure technicality of the nature of the KACC I could probably let slide, but the wrong country?)

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I didn't copy the whole blog, but the person submitting the above knows or has met David Jones and Mike Dailly as he notes, but he also says that this book is for sure embellished, if not inaccurate out-right at times, and blames some of the work put into it in terms of interviews more expressly geared toward the book, and of course, Rockstar's Housers and key staff unwilling to talk for the book, but it's been noted that as fans, we would like a document that talks about Rockstar's business end, but there's the fine line they hold sacred about letting the product speak for itself


Was hoping to hear more thoughts from you guys about Jacked, if you've had a chance to look into the book... I also think since David Jones had mentioned more then a year ago, his dream game would be a combination of Crackdown and GTA, have we seen anything come close to that yet? Even now??


I'm wondering if he has more plans up his sleeve, and offer a competing product worthy of GTA fan's attention. From what I've seen APB just doesn't cater to fans of GTA in the same league. Though some must be.

Edited by BlackListedB
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  • 1 month later...

I know this is probably not the best solution, but I can't readily edit after the time has elapsed as noted before...

I'm posting an additional bit I typed up for my own site, but I think it sums up my feelings about Rockstar's quiet anonymity behind closed doors and the unauthorized bio Jacked, that tries to open up the company's inner-workings for all fans. I don't know if critics would even bother to take the time to read Jacked, as they won't spend a minute actually playing GTA! haha


Here's what I offered after more reading in the book, and having seen the latest issue of EDGE magazine as well;


"The book Jacked tends to get interesting at the very end, where GTA IV enters the picture, and Hot Coffee's residual effects were still causing fall out, Though my earliest review was based on DMA's blogs regarding the book, and found out their take was based on memories working for Rockstar and it's former personal, those still working from the DMA years under David Jones. Oddly, EDGE referred recently to Naughty Dog as the Spielberg of gaming, when years before, David Jones was bestowed with that honor. Having been aware of all this in the past year's research, it caused me to laugh, as I'm sure there was no mental connection between the two...but having that honor is high praise indeed.

The book's factual account is called into question however, so take this with as much salt as required, but details surrounding the internal Hot Coffee disagreements were not all favorable with everyone working at Rockstar, the biggest shock is that a mainstay of Rockstar North, Terry Donovan opted to leave when others jumped ship. As well, Sam Houser's long time friend and co-founder Jamie King also left and didn't come back to gaming. The pressure of the rise of Rockstar North to it's prominence, good and bad, the pressures that are not really a secret, over several years, took their toll.

I'd probably been made aware of the situation when a California print article said the Rockstar San Diego programmer's wives were making it known that the demands of the work were taking a personal toll on relationships. Very rare is the dirty laundry of Rockstar aired, and not much of anything is commented on by them personally, so I see our duty as pointing out both the good and bad to get an idea of how the company look to approach their art and the Industry

Basically, from what we've assumed from all this, working for the Housers is no picnic. There was a reported month off between GTA IV to celebrate it's completion, and starting work on what we're STILL waiting for, GTA V. Between GTA III and GTA Vice City, there was really no time for a break. Anyone who's a musician or knows music well has seen the same thing effect recording artists and eventually lead to bands breaking up.

Rockstar had it's own exodus reported in some bleak detail in Jacked, however, the company soldiers on with new hired hands, but can it manage to move the industry forward without internally combusting?
One worry I think is still a factor since Rockstar really only came out from under their black cloud in the last 5 years, with still no GTA primary money maker of profit for the company.
The book touches on 9 hours of testimony that Sam Houser gave regarding Hot Coffee, where we're left wondering what was said in all that time! We're also made aware of Take2's false stock market accounting that left them on the hook for millions of dollars, add to that, at the same time, Hot Coffee's law suits and fines. The sad thing is the company really shot themselves in their own leg, and had they done things a bit more cautiously with better management and handling, they'd be in a much better position.
For sure, in my opinion, that would be never trying to subvert the ESRB, in HC, offer two versions, one with Adults Only, however, trying to get around excising the programming that the mod unlocked, they were on the hook legally. So there you have it, other then staying honest with stock projections, Rockstar could have been easily avoiding major hassles, that effected the bottom line.
I'd like to hear from you guys, as always, but suffice to say, Rockstar tried every promotional tactic in the book, starting out, and in the USA, trying to push the envelope, pushed back on them, hard!"


The last bit relates to Hot Coffee's impetus being to push the envelope. As a casual observer, I see that competition in facing off with Volition and Saint's Row, in which some low-ball humor surfaced in their open world games, and probably GTA's chief competitor still to this day

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