id Software On Doom 4, Rocket Jumping, Inhouse Development And More

Posted By | On 13th, May. 2011 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet

In one of the most comprehensive interviews we have done at, we talk to Tim Willits, creative director on RAGE. Please make note that these are some of the excerpts from the pretty long interview we did with him. Please check back with us again later for the full interview.

Our biggest influence has been Quake 1:

“I think our biggest influence has been Quake 1. I know many people may believe it was DOOM, but when you look at what Quake 1 spawned: Y’know ‘clans’, we never guessed that , ‘online communities’, we never guessed that, ‘dedicated websites’  to gaming were spawned from Aftershock, ‘competitive gaming as a sport’,  we never guessed that, ‘the paradigm of client/server architecture’, yes I know there were MUD’s that people could log into on their BBS and they would run off a sever but, the real kind of action-orientated gaming with a client/server architecture was pretty significant and you know of course ‘the 3D world’.  We’ve always done things to change the industry but, for me personally, Quake is it. Of course we also licensed that same tech.”

On how ‘Rocket Jumping’ was born:

“John Cash was actually the guy who invented Rocket Jumping, by accident, and I was in the match where he did it. We basically… We were playing on the start level of Quake 1 and he had just picked up the red amour, or some amour, and he was in a corner and he was gonna die and he was like “you know what? If I’m dying, I’m taking you guys with me.” He looked down, fired the Rocket and popped up in the air and landed behind us; and ‘Rocket Jumping’ was born.”

On the absence of conventional multiplayer in RAGE

“Well every time we’ve made a game, and I mean from 1992, people have always said to us ‘is it going to be difficult to sell a game that XYZ?’For instance, people thought we were crazy to require video cards/ hardware graphics for Quake III. Everyone told us we were crazy. DOOM III; the whole paradigm shift of hi-poly/low-poly, no one had ever done that before. Heck, we couldn’t even hire artists because no one had ever done that before. Even going from DOOM to Quake, there are so many instances and times where people have said ‘oh, no one has ever done this before’ or ‘this is so different, why are you doing this?’ and that is just what we ‘cause we love what we do. trust me, it would have been way easier, I promise you it would have been way easier [laughs] to just go ‘yeah, you know what? We’re id, we invented death-match, let’s do the same thing!’ But what the spirit in the innovative thing with that? You know what, let’s do something different. Let’s do something that fits better in the RAGE world, let’s do something that not everyone else is doing, let’s do our own thing. And we’ve always done our own thing, so let’s do it. And our multiplayer mentality is; we added some things that, while we were working on the single player game, we thought would be fun to do with someone else: Like the vehicle combat, we thought ‘wouldn’t that be fun?’ – Yes. Then we added vehicle combat.  And then the co-op mode, everyone loves playing with their buddies and everyone loves playing split-screen, so it’s like ‘would that be fun?’ – Yes. Then we used the co-op to extend the game’s fiction and then dive a little deeper into the rich universe that is RAGE. So that was kind of our mentality. Our mentality was not ‘follow the same paradigm,’ our mentality was ‘do something better.’ But you also have to think about all the other titles we have. I mean we have Quake, which is a huge IP, we have DOOM, which is a huge IP, why do the same multiplayer in every one of them?”

On Inhouse development:

“One of the reasons why we worked with outside companies is we had too many ideas, we always wanted to make new technology – which takes years longer than licensing some other technology and we were forced to work with outside developers just cause it took us too long to do everything ourselves. Which is one of the main reasons we joined the Bethesda as it allowed us to build our DOOM team that is currently working on the next DOOM title with the same technology that we’re building RAGE with. So all the mistakes we made, all the struggles, the extra years of development; those guys aren’t going to face because they have stuff that already works. So from our studio as a whole, the public will see games come out significantly faster than they did in the past. Plus we’re not working with outside developers; after we finished DOOM III we spent a year working with Raven on Quake 4, we spent significant time working with splash damage on Quake: Enemy Territory, we started development on another game which we threw away and started on RAGE. So those are also distractions which take away from our mission, which is to make great games internally.”

On not supporting dedicated servers on PC for RAGE and how gaming in general is less focused on PC gaming:

“A lot of the big game companies, I mean look at epic with Gears, a cross platform title. Valve just released Portal 2 this week, you play it on steam first but my 360 copy’s showing up in a day or two. Historically, PC-centric developers are looking at the cross-platform environment as a way to… essentially it’s a business thing; you make only PC games and you’re not subscription based , it’s a hard sell. I mean, piracy is way up, interest is down in classic shooters; something on the PC… I mean, a lot of people play Call Of Duty on the 360. As the landscape has changed, we as developers need to react to that. When we set out to make RAGE we had shared technology that crossed lots of different platforms and it made more sense to us to go with the non-dedicated server direction, which again is something we basically invented in action gaming.”

On challenges faced during making of id Tech 5:

“Making the art that can really shine as tech. Y’know, the AI’s great, the physics are great, the vehicles are great but really harnessing the power of the artists, that was the most rewarding because now our artists can just be artists instead of being artists in cages. But, to move to that kind of way of thinking was defiantly not easy.”

On Doom 4:

“Oh boy (laughs). All I can say is; it’s gonna be awesome. Unfortunately I cannot say more than ‘it’s gonna be awesome.'”

On new Quake games:

“I’m not sure where you got that news from but I can tell you that nobody in this building has been working on any new quake games. We’re focusing on RAGE and the other team is focusing on DOOM. We have the Quake live project, but again that IP is very important to us… that’s all I can say about that.”

On Commander Keen making a return:

“That’s more of a John Carmack question. It’s not high on my list of things to do.”

Thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below.

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