December 2021 saw the world premiere of two new documentaries about the early days of videogames in Scotland.
While Lemmings: Can You Dig It? was a feature-length documentary which took a deep dive into the history of the world’s favourite self-destructing rodents, the team at Noclip in the USA took a different approach. The Noclip doc explores the wider history of DMA, GTA, Lemmings and the role of Dundee itself in the evolution of the games industry in Scotland.
The History of Grand Theft Auto, Lemmings and DMA Design hit YouTube just before New Year’s eve, offering more than an hour of insight and insider information from some of the people involved (including your editor).
Exploring the development of Lemmings and the ways in which that led to the studio working on GTA, as well the other titles from DMA – released and unreleased – the documentary offers a snapshot of the studio and the city in the mid to late 90s.
History of Grand Theft Auto, Lemmings and DMA Design
The History of Grand Theft Auto, Lemmings and DMA Design offers an objective and informed view of the creation of the first three GTA titles, and provides real context for the ways in which many of the other DMA projects (Tanktics! Wild Metal Country! Attack! Body Harvest!) contributed to the ongoing evolution of the franchise.
As with all of the Noclip documentaries, the production values are high, the research thorough and the contributors used effectively to draw out the narrative and give viewers a really clear understanding of the games and the people behind them.
Danny O’Dwyer, the founder of Noclip, has produced a really beautiful piece of work which captures a lot of the excitement, uncertainty and experimentation that drove DMA at the time and which contributed to the evolution of the GTA series.
You should watch it.
If you like Noclip’s work – and we’ll admit that we’re big fans – then you can support Danny to create more excellent histories, by signing up as a patron, or just subscribing to (and liking and sharing) their work on YouTube.