Development of Max Payne spanned several years, with ’96 and ’97 seeing the leap from Quake II-era 3D accelerators to cards capable of, as Remedy would discover, near-photographic realism.The Making of Max Payne
Until technology intervened, the game was a more cartoony affair drawn entirely by hand. “But if we wanted to set the game in, say, some sleazy motel in New York, we needed some kind of reference,” says Vanhatalo.
“We’d already sent the art guys to some really nasty neighbourhoods with a couple of bodyguards, and then we realised that we had all these photos. Why not use them as the basis for our textures?"