Pocket Gamer recently sat down with Apex Design’s James Daniels, the man behind Payback [App Store], the Grand Theft Auto clone that started life on the Amiga in 2001 and saw recent release for the iPhone and iPod touch. The interview covers Daniels’ beginnings as a developer as well as his thoughts on bringing the game to the iPhone platform.
Payback’s been around for quite some time now. Can you tell us how it began, and give us a bit of info about the game on other systems?
It began way back in 1998. I’d written a few games for the Amiga in my spare time and decided I wanted to have a go at a commercial project. I experimented with a few ideas (everything from a first-person RTS to a Zarch/Virus-style game) before stumbling across a certain little-known game called GTA. I really liked the concept and there were a lot of additions I wanted to make to it – not to mention that it wasn’t available for my platform of choice at the time.
I initially developed the game in my spare time, but it soon became a full-time job. Payback was released for the Amiga in 2001 and won several “game of the year" polls. Support for 3D graphics cards and PowerPC processors quickly followed.
Amazingly, the game is still popular among Amiga enthusiasts today.