Fansite Q&A

About three months before the release of GTA San Andreas, Rockstar Games gave fansites the opportunity to ask them six questions about the game. Three days before the game was released - and after the game had already been leaked onto the internet for thousands of people to view - we received the answers...

Although the information about the game was no longer necessary, there are still some interesting answers from Rockstar Games about the development process.

What are some major improvements in the pedestrian/police AI?

Yes. Enemies in general will now do a much better job of taking cover and attempting to flank CJ. Pedestrians are now frightened of things they should be frightened of (like when a large military vehicle appears in a residential area), they hold hands, they have their own daily lives and destinations.

Have the helicopter and plane height limits been increased?

Massively increased. Mount Chiliad is over half a mile tall, and you can fly well above its height.

What methods of air transportation can we expect?

All kinds, most things you see in the air in the real world you'll see in San Andreas.

In several screenshots and the first trailer for San Andreas, Carl was playing basketball and pool. Are these cut scenes or can you play them and also what other mini-games are there?

The one of Smoke and Sweet playing basketball was a cutscene. The pool shot is CJ actually playing pool. There are too many mini-games to list here, rest assured there will be tons of fun stuff to do!

Will police chase other criminals besides Carl Johnson? For example, will you see a car chase go by with police going after someone? Or if not that, if someone shoots at Carl and a cop sees it, will the cop chase after him or you?

Yes to both questions. San Andreas is a dangerous place, and you're not the only criminal about!

In Vice City, driving a car up onto the packer and then driving the packer results in the car sliding off. Have the physics been changed so that trucks and trailers can carry cars properly?

We have a surprise in store for you on this one.

Will the gameplay of Las Venturas include gambling, if so, what options are open to us?

Yes on gambling (a number of the mini-games we mentioned). Details on this will be released soon, but I can reveal that there will be a number of gambling types you can choose from.

Will we be able to find any sub-plots in the deserts/woods or just random rampages?

There are always subplots in GTA games! There will be missions in the countryside and desert along those lines.

What will be blocking us from entering the other cities/locations?

There is some story wrapped up in this, but to answer your question, a 4 star wanted level any time you leave the areas you've opened. And this particular wanted level you cannot shed with things like Pay & Spray or Police Bribes. This means that you can explore areas of the state you haven't opened, but only with a small army of police officers hunting you down!

How do you choose actors to voice the characters? Is it a long process, or do you just pick people with well-known names?

It's a long process, we choose actors who will give us the performance we're looking for. Since we don't promote our games based off the voice actors in it, the name recognition isn't important to us.

What role have trolleys (trams)? Can we use others public service vehicles like airplanes and boats?

They function as public transport, which CJ can use. The train is the other public service you can ride around the state.

Will there be animals in San Andreas like dogs, pigs and cows? What kind of interaction we have with them and can they react if scared?

No, another funny rumor, that one started by an audio clip on the website that mentioned a K-9 unit. We don't particularly like the idea of children or small fuzzy animals in our games.

Can we buy vehicles too or we have just to steal them?

You can buy vehicles, but not every one in the game. There will be a couple dealers who will sell some of the higher-end vehicles to you, but only after you've done a bit of work for them.

We must spend with a game about 150 hours to complete San Andreas. Is this number of hours to complete main story or 100% of the game?

That number is really general. We don't like giving a number like that out, because invariably questions like these come up, but people insist on putting a number on the games. Obviously there are very different ways of playing Grand Theft Auto. Some players just like to "play-through", finishing the main storyline or getting to 100% as fast as they can. Other people go at the main storyline at a more leisurely pace. And some people never even really play the story at all, they might just download cheats and sandbox around the map. Our guess of 150 hours is the amount of time we think it would take someone to hit 100% who wasn't rushing through the game as quickly as possible with a strategy guide.

In which way we will choose the second gun? From a menu; using other keys, etc.?

If you're referring to holding dual-weapons, the second weapon is always the same as the primary so there is no selection process. Once your skill level with a weapon is high enough, holding 2 becomes possible, and they're linked by a single firing button (though you must find a second gun!). If your question is more general, then hopefully this answers it: gun selection works exactly like it did in Vice. You can carry one weapon of each type at a time. If you want to replace your current weapon with another of the same type, hold down L1 while standing over it. Your old weapon will be permanently discarded. Cycle though your available weapons with L2 and R2. Circle to fire!

When R* make their vector images of GTA characters and stuff, do they start with an actual screenshot or photo or just start drawing it from scratch?

Vehicles are often created from renders or screenshots, and characters are most often done off of photographs or concept sketches. You'll be interested to note though, Tibor, that the images are drawn by hand with pencil and ink. They're then scanned and colored in Adobe Photoshop. Once finished, the images are hand-traced in Adobe Illustrator, a labor-intensive process, but the results are worth it!

Is it easy to get rich or will have to battle your way trough the game?

If you focus on earning money, you will find ways to add to your roll even early on. As usual with Grand Theft Auto, how you spend your time is up to you!

When did you start working on SA? Did you work on it simultaneously with Vice City?

We started work right as Vice City was finishing up.

There were 97 vehicles in gta vice city, how many are there going to be in gta san andreas?

San Andreas will have over double the number of vehicles in Vice City.