Prepare for a long read.
GTA IV - FROM SKIPPING CUTSCENES TO LIVERY MODDING
When I was younger, I didn't care much about video game stories - I usually just skipped cutscenes and played along with cheats just to get a cheap thrill. I think that changed around about when I started playing GTA V, because of those individual cutscenes, so unfortunately, there's not a lot to remember.
I do remember, however, that I think the first time I played GTA IV was over at my neighbour's house. I remember the musty smell of the room, and just sitting at the TV, playing GTA IV, and at one point, swapping out (what I think was) an Infernus for a blue Turismo and an LCPD Vapid. I don't think he was too pleased. And one more thing - I found a lot of fun in going up to the smokestacks and pinging off police officers to their deaths.
Then, I got GTA IV for myself. I had a lot of fun in those earlier years by cheating in an Annihilator, changing the weather to a thunderstorm, and sending cars, peds, and props flying with my helicopter blades, all the while, mashing the 'A' button to keep the helicopter flying. I got TLAD (I didn't play that much) and TBoGT (I played that very much), and for a while, it was my go-to.
Eventually, I got GTA IV for the PC, and four years ago, after being inspired by countless YouTube videos and GTAGarage mods - it was Lt. Caine's Esperanto that really inspired me to start modding in IV - I started modding my game, taking the usual steps and resources from when I had started modding The Sims 2 - my first exercise in game modding. At the time, I had a fairly-basic set-up - a wireless keyboard, a 32-bit POS PC that my neighbour who we don't see anymore 'built' for me, and my TV being a monitor. Most of the time, I was sat on the floor or my bed, trying as hard as I could to control stuff with a keyboard.
Most of my mods came from the 'mod database' which I have now turned my back on, [email protected] and GameModd1ng - just so those weren't caught in censors. I had a mix of lore-friendly and realistic car mods in there, including Compeasts' NYPD cars, but in LCPD liveries - those cars were the ground zero of my lore-friendly drive. Eventually, that computer got moved upstairs into my sister's room, meaning I played it less, having to substitute for my Xbox 360 again.
But before then, it was near the time of GTA V. I remember that on the private little computer that my most-hated teacher gave me the privileges for, I made a list of things I wanted to do in GTA V, based off of the trailer, including driving the sadly-cut LSPD Stanier, something to do with the jewelry store, and so forth. Man, I miss those hype days. And on the morning that GTA V came out, before it was picked up, I drove my favourite cars that I had saved outside of my safehouse - a black Rancher and Emperor - to FIA. I recorded it...and I sang along the way, so it's probably too cringe for me to handle.
Come 2016, however, I get a beefy new computer, and I really start to invest time in modding. I create a fictional game called 'British Liberty City', and I intended to make liveries for ELS cars...then, ELS didn't work, so I went to the 1980s instead, and with skills taken from using Adobe Fireworks at school, I made my own 1980s British Hong Kong-style police cars, falling in love with the 1978 Ford Fairmont along the way...then I think the vehicles.img broke. I still have the liveries, they can be viewed a few pages down in my GTA IV screenshots on LCPDFR.
So come the summertime of 2016, I take up a lore-only approach. I download the UK emergency template pack, and I began modding police cars, following a failed attempt at releasing an ambulance. With a little bit of editing, I released my first mod in August - the Humberside Police Vincent, then after that, I put out my second mod, the Met Police Stanier. From there, it's just history...
Now that I have a working copy of GTA V, which my previous failure to have a working copy may have inspired me to take up GTA IV, I do play my PC version rather less. But I still haven't forgot about it. Even though I never got the game first-hand, and even though I didn't care for the story at first, I still loved it. I am trying to complete the game without cheats, and watching all the cutscenes, but sadly, I just can't get around to it at best.
GTA IV...what a game.