Grand Theft Auto Modder Dies

Ortwin passed this along:

On July 2, 2005 the general modding community at gtaforums.com was informed of the death of Heiko Feege, known online as Odie. The first mapper to create custom map modifications for both Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City, the community has been struck dumb by his sudden loss.

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The 3D GTA games were from the get-go an inhospitable landscape for independent modding. With the otherwise cooperative Rockstar Games tied from supporting the community by their use of proprietary Renderware technology, modders were left to fend for themselves among complex file formats and strange engine quirks. Yet surprisingly, a healthy modding community was born, due largely to the raw spirit of the series fans. And no one embodied that spirit like Heiko Feege.

The GTA modding community was shocked to learn of the untimely passing of this widely known modder. He was 37. The family requested that the details of his death not be revealed to the public, but allowed a long-time personal friend to divulge the news in the modding area of GTAForums.com.

Modders and mod fans around the board took the opportunity to display their grief, and propose several tributes, from modification projects as large as a total conversion in his honor to requesting that Rockstar include some reference to him in the next GTA sequel. The family has offered their assistance in recovering whatever of his files might allow the community to assemble such a tribute, and continue Feege’s work.

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