It’s no secret that Grand Theft Auto V promptly became a classic household title upon its initial release four years ago, but the content has only evolved since then. Following the launch of GTA Online, developer Rockstar Games have continued the trend of pumping out bi-monthly DLC content for their beloved blockbuster franchise. While console players are limited to experiencing vanilla content, the GTA V PC community have taken it upon themselves to bring their ideas to life via the art of modding. Some of these ideas include custom vehicle replicas, custom clothing, character conversions, graphics enhancers and even new additions to the map.
Since the early 2000s, the Grand Theft Auto games have always attracted some of the most brilliant modding minds towards its various online PC communities. Some of these modders have added a new perspective to GTA: San Andreas by creating a multiplayer mod, while others kept it simple by allowing you to play as a police officer. Most recently, a new GTA V modding project called “Grand Theft Space” has emerged above the various rubbish and enables players to voyage into space from the comfort of their computer chair.
Surrounding an alien spaceship investigation, your mission is to travel beyond San Andreas and take out these aliens before they’re able to reach earth. Outside of exploring new planets, unlocking new weapons and docking at space stations, the GTA Space mod also aims to change the physics of gravity in order to allow for a more realistic experience. Upon a quick glance at the mod page, there seems to be a constant surge of feedback being exchanged back and forth between users, so the list of features is likely to continue growing.
We decided to chat with mod author Solomon in order to learn more about the concept behind his Grand Theft Space mod and the ongoing development process.
GameRevolution: Briefly tell us about yourself. How long have you been modding GTA? What attracted you towards this specific community as opposed to something like the Skyrim modding scene?
Solomon: I’m 19, and I’m from Florida. I enjoy gaming, and programming development. Computers have been a part of my life for so long, it’s ridiculous. I’ve been modding GTA since the release of Grand Theft Auto IV (At the time not making them). I think the Skyrim and Fallout modding communities are great, but GTA V was really the pinnacle of modding for me, so I just kind-of fell into this community.
GR: Where did the idea for Grand Theft Space come from? What were your main inspirations behind the creation of this mod?
S: Me and a buddy of mine, Ahmed, were talking about the movie Interstellar and The Martian, and all of a sudden the idea popped in my head. I was hesitant to try it because I’d have to figure out how to restructure the game, and it just seemed out of reach at the time. I did some tests and it turns out all you need is some props, and a DLC pack, and viola you have Grand Theft Space!
GR: There are a lot of things you’re implementing into the Grand Theft Space mod, such as the ability to travel across multiple planets and fight aliens. Where do you plan on drawing the line in regards to content?
S: It seems like people get this idea like, “Well if he can do this, than he should be able to do this too!” right? From a development standpoint, what we’re doing takes so much time and effort it’s almost like a job (but no pay). To answer your question, the line gets drawn when the creativity stops, or the game doesn’t allow it. The possibilities are countably infinite, if you catch my drift.
GR: How much time do you spend working on this mod every week? What kind of advice can you share with fellow modmakers when it comes to managing such a huge project?
S: I spend almost 18 hours some days, and there have been times where it was just a few hours, but, some advice that I wish other people would have given me is: If you don’t know how to do something, there’s always someone else that knows, and if you just stay persistent and keep creating, whether or not you’re in a rut or a creative block, just doing it will make you better than you would’ve originally thought. The most important part of development is learning, and if you easily give up on something, then you’re not learning.
GR: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced during development?
S: I’d say when I was learning about the DLC architecture (surprisingly it’s not the code). There’s so much complexity to AAA games that I never knew about, but once you understand how things work it’s a breeze.
GR: Can you share the process behind creating such an ambitious mod? Is each member of the team assigned to a unique task?
S: Yes, absolutely. We have modelers, scripters, and testers. The scripters (AHK1221, Unknown Modder) do amazing work, and our modelers (Skyline, KAFAROS, Pantyshot, TheMadBreaker, JRod) are what make this a work of art. I can honestly say this wouldn’t be a mod if it weren’t for all of our team. I can’t mention testers for the sake of obscurity, but they’re a big part of the process too.
S: We’ll have to see about that. I’m currently enrolled in college, and looking to get my degree in Computer Science soon, so there’s not a lot of time in-between to work on big projects anymore. But, who’s to say a idea won’t come to me like they always do?
GR: Do you think Rockstar Games will take the Grand Theft Auto series into space one day? What would your ideal version of that concept be?
S: I think if they just had a sci-fi version of the base game (maybe even just some DLC) it would be perfect. I’d like to see them do something similar to Star Citizen but on a much smaller scale. RAGE engine is for sure a perfect engine for such a thing, so I don’t think that idea is too far off.
You can check out the Grand Theft Space mod page for more screenshots and updates here. Let us know your thoughts on this mod in the comments section below.