Stockholm Pride starts this week but if you find yourself unable to get over to Sweden you can take part in a virtual version of the LGBT event. Coinciding with the annual Scandinavian parade is Los Santos Pride, a GTA V mod that brings the pride parade to the streets of Los Santos.
The mod features 70 NPCs (non-player characters) holding rainbow flags, wearing rainbow-colored clothes, and carrying signs with positive messages of love alongside solidarity with the victims of the recent mass shooting in Orlando. These marchers are indestructible too. "Not to moralize, but rather to show that love will always triumph over hate," explains William Löthman to The Creators Project.
Löthman, an interactive art director at Stockholm-based ad agency Garbergs, came up with the idea—along with creative partner Sedir Ajeenah—for a Pride parade in GTA V over a year ago. The result was created entirely pro-bono, with no financial incentive or benefit other than the joy of making it happen. And that process was itself a labor of love and a huge collaborative effort, mostly realised through the internet and video chats.
To begin with Löthman and Ajeenah scoured YouTube and gaming forums to see how they could make the mod a reality and came across modder supremo JulioNiB, responsible for GTA V mods like Iron Man armor and Hulk mod. He helped the pair create the script to control the direction and pathways of the NPCs. Then for the custom clothes, signs, and flags they recruited modders TheFriedTurkey, Merfish, and TheNathanNS.
Image courtesy of Los Santos Pride
For the trailer, they hit up 8-Bit Bastard a creative machinima collective who created the first ever GTA V vid using Rockstar Editor. For the music Löthman approached Universal Music in Sweden and they had a new remix by Swedish DJ Alesso to offer up. The group even managed to get Pete Tong, superstar English DJ, to record a voice over introducing the pride march.
"This has definitely been an unusual project for us and a whole new way of working," notes Löthman. "Instead of hiring a big production company we used the power of the internet. There’s so much talent out there and this project is definitely proof of that. This team of modders and video-makers that we've found has been some of the best and most talented people I've ever worked with. Looking back it’s crazy how we managed to create all this using basically a Skype chat."
GIF courtesy of Los Santos Pride