Discovery House where GTA was made
Discovery House where GTA was created

Where was GTA made?

GTA was made in Dundee. The first instalment of Grand Theft Auto was created by DMA Design in Dundee, Scotland. Though the original game looked very different to the game you see today, you looked down on the action from above.

Doom and Quake had already solved the problem of showing a 3D viewpoint on a PC years previously. So why did the DMA team choose a top-down view with dated graphics?

Because like their previous groundbreaking game Lemmings, DMA decided that gameplay was more important than graphics. They spent over three years creating a city where the cars and pedestrians reacted to your presence. The processors couldn’t cope with multiple citizens in a 3D viewpoint.

The game could have been called “Grand Smash Dino”, as originally, you controlled a dinosaur on the rampage in a city where the inhabitants could run away.

where was gta made
The Lemmings statue in Dundee

Intrigued, want to hear more about the story behind

Where GTA was made?

Then join me in Dundee for the Dundee Gaming Tour.

Building the ZX Spectrum

When the analogue watch orders dried up those nimble fingers at the Timex factory starting assembling millions of 8 bit personal computers.

The ZX Spectrum was an affordable computer that brought personal computers into millions of homes across the UK and allowed many Dundee teenagers to start coding.

where was gta made
Old Timex Factory in Dundee
where was gta made
DMA Design's first offices


With a computer factory on their doorstop, there were a lot of computers about in Dundee. Some teenagers weren’t just playing games they were making them. One group of young friends starting a gaming company and their first big success was Lemmings, an original puzzle game for the 16 bit Amiga. It all started with tiny walking creatures similar to these guys.


After the success of Lemmings, DMA Design developed more games, one after a long development journey became Grand Theft Auto. Learn about how the game evolved, its controversial marketing campaign and the references to Dundee.

Don’t miss the fascinating story of the origins of the most successful gaming franchise: one of the pioneers of open world games and in-game music.

This video is much amusing with sound.


A few years later in Sweden another programmer created a game with digital Lego but where the other characters can attack you. Hear his amazing story of creativity + perseverance and how a Dundee gaming company created versions of his game for the console market.

Dave recommends The Dundee 2.0 Tour

Recommendation of Dundee 2.0 Tour

Is this a history tour?

Not really, it is about recent history. The subject matter starts in the 1980s but mostly in the 1990s until the present day.

How long are the tours?

The walking tour is about 0.5 miles or 0.8 km

However there are some steps to climb.

The duration of the tours will be about 60 minutes.

How do I book?

Through Eventbrite

What should we wear?

Dress like an onion. In layers, with warm waterproof clothing. Don’t forget comfortable footwear, hats and gloves. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

 The route is lovely when the sun is out, in horizontal rain, not so much.

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Dundee Photo Walks