BIT Parts Commentary: Episode 102 (GTA3)
This is my written commentary for BIT Parts: Episode 102 (Grand Theft Auto). I played the crap out of Grand Theft Auto 3 and it remains my favorite in the series. In this episode we meet the very important character of DeBug in the end. DeBug will have a major role in the series if we can make more episodes.
Be sure to watch episode 102 of BIT Parts before reading.
BIT Parts Commentary: Episode 102 (GTA3)
Once I formed the basic idea for BIT Parts I set out to write the first 6 episodes. When I was done with the first drafts, all 6 took place in the BIT Headquarters (in the black room from the first episode). Then I got some feedback from friends and they told me, rightfully so, that it was boring to be in the same room all the time.
I then went back to the drawing board and flushed out the world of BIT Parts more. I came up with a big story arc that would take the characters in and out of different games. It really exploded into something real then. Like, a real fully flushed out world and series. We are always having to think about the practicality of bringing video game worlds to life though. Which for these first 6 was pretty difficult. But we figured since we lived in a city we could pull Grand Theft Auto off.
I went with GTA3 cause, very simply, that one is still my favorite. Mainly because I had never experienced a game like that before. I was in college when it came out and we heard about some game that was going to be banned a week after being released (I love ridiculous rumors I believed at the time). I was the only one with a Playstation 2 but a group of us ran to the nearest store to buy GTA3 and then ran home. I had people in my dorm room for 18 hours straight. We couldn't stop playing it. We'd do a mission every once in a while but really all we did was rampage through the city and see who could last the longest. That's all we did for like a month. It was ridiculous fun.
So when BIT Parts came around, I thought back on those days. We'd go rampaging through the city until we were caught by the police or hospitalized. Then, they'd simply let our character walk out the front door with barely a slap on the wrist. Then we'd simply return to our rampage.
The other thing that really cracked me up was when you had a prostitute in your car and you'd park somewhere so you could do your thing. Of course we would swing the camera around in attempt to see what was happening but all you would see was the two heads of characters sitting perfectly still inside the car as it rocked back and forth. Creating that image in real life for this episode cracked me up.
One of the big concepts I wanted to introduce in this episode though was DeBug (the bald guy). DeBug will play a major role in the first season if we ever get a chance to continue it. He's a higher level agent of the B.I.T. who obviously has a past with Agent Zero. We were lucky to score Shannon McCormick as the actor to bring DeBug to life. The guy is hilarious and I really want to work with Shannon more often than I currently do.
Anyway, DeBug is a major figure in the series. While the focus of these first 6 episodes are to introduce and get people familiar with Agents One and Zero, I also wanted to hint at the larger story. I didn't want to randomly introduce a major character midway through the season. So here he is, episode 2. The seed of DeBug has been planted (that's kind of gross).
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It's all about timing. It struck at the right time and was one of the first sandbox games of its kind. What I love more about that one than newer installments was it seemed more focused on raw fun gameplay. There was no milling about taking phones calls and trying to manage friendships. It was nice and simple. Destroy things. That's what struck a cord for me at least. This doesn't mean I'd rather go back and replay 3 over getting a new GTA game. That's just why it stands out in my head above the others.
It's still kind of shocking how wildly GTA3 took the world by storm considering how niche (and questionable in quality) the first two installments were...