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All The Rage

id Software's Tim Willits talks hooking talent to work on Doom, establishing Rage and nurturing the modding community

Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein and now Rage. There a few developers that can match id Software for pedigree, and even fewer can compete when it comes to cutting edge technology and massive guns. id Software is currently at work on Doom 4 and preparing to launch its new post apocalyptic IP next month.

Grabbing a moment inbetween his packed out Developer Sessions at the Eurogamer Expo, spoke to Tim Willits, creative director and 17 year veteran of id Software. He spoke about the release of Rage, why franchises are essential and why the future of games is like iTunes.

GamesIndustry.bizYou seem to really embrace your community, both fans, other developers and modders. Is that a business decision or are you just good people?
Tim Willits

It all really starts with John Carmack. John, all the way since the beginning, has had a philosophy of giving back to the people that made him successful. And it's really been his attitude that's really kind of helped us all get in line and share that vision. Because really we make games for fans, and so why not give them the tools? Why not share the source code like John has done?

And it's helped so many people, I got my job that way, Matt Hooper, Robert Duffy, all the leads on the Rage project, we all started out as modders. There's guys that worked at Infinity Ward making Call Of Duty that started out as Quake modders, the lead programmer for World Of Warcraft started out as a modder. It's just such an opportunity, and it's just so easy to do that that everybody should. Everybody should give back. is holding a Career Fair here, is that the advice you'd give to guys who want to work in games? Is modding an essential part of it?
Tim Willits

Yes. Every time I talk at high schools or colleges I have a few bits of advice. The first one is find your favourite game, it doesn't matter which one, download the SDK, download the mod tools and make something. And finish something. I have so many people that show up to interview that have made ten levels but they've never finished one, or they're working on this great mod, but they never finished it. Those are not the people that we want. You may be creative but you need to finish something.

If you want to make levels, make levels in you spare time, all the time. If you want to be an artist you always have to be drawing. If you want to be a programmer you need to make small apps. You have to have a passion to do it for free if you ever want to really get paid for it.

And you need to work harder than all your friends, that's really important too. Those are the three things I tell people when I work at colleges and high schools.

Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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