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Anger Management

Tim Willits, creative director of id, discusses Rage, motion control and why everyone needs a Carmack

A new IP from id software is big news. They don't come often, and when they do, they tend to change everything. Rage is the company's first for some time, the first since the studio became part of the Zenimax family alongside Bethesda and the first that id has developed as a cross-platform title from the start - so scrutiny is perhaps even closer than usual.

GamesIndustry.biz caught up with creative director Tim Willits to talk about the company's plans for Rage, what it's like being a true cross-platform developer and how they feel about the new management.

GamesIndustry.bizSo this is the first new id IP for a while, it must be carrying quite a burden. What are your long-term plans for it?
Tim Willits

There is a lot riding on it, we need to make sure it's great. Don't f**k it up! One of the things that we've done, is historically our games have had a start and an end and that's it. So with Rage we purposely wanted to make a much broader universe. So we want you as the player to feel that things happened before you got there and that things will happen after you leave, like a Star Wars universe.

So what that allows us to do is have much more extensions and additive experiences to the game. So for instance, the iPhone version. We have plans for two iPhone releases. The first iPhone release will be this fall. It's not Rage on the iPhone. Some people have been confused about that. It's a smaller subset, you don't even play as the main character.

There's a part in Rage that's almost like a side mission. The whole iPhone experience is centred around that theme. So, in the past if we wanted to do that for Doom or Quake, we had to come up with this whole convoluted story explanation, shove it in there. But Rage all kind of makes sense.

There's other people in the world: a resistance group, they have have their own story that you don't know much about in the big game but you can imagine maybe, a DLC pack that involves these guys, or you could imagine an iPhone game based on the story of this settler I met.

So that was a conscious decision to build smoothly into a sequel if we wanted to, DLC, prequels, we can have side missions. So yes, very ambitious. We want to do something great, and we want to establish a more consistent universe. Quake kind of has an identity issue, where exactly is it? Rage will always fit within this world.

GamesIndustry.bizAs part of that, are you planning to open up id Tech 5 to the modding community, to let people make their own Rage experience?
Tim Willits

TW: Yes, just like id Tech 4, Doom tech, on PC you can pull the console down and type 'edit' and it will launch the tools - those are the same tools we use. Now content development, actually making models, making the landscape, it's going to be more technical, but we've added layering technology to the gameplay for example. You can go into the Wasted hideout, kill all the waster guys, then come back and it's full of mutants. So you can modify these layers.

So we'll probably find more reworked content, to tell a different story, rather than brand-new content, because that will be easier.