Every day at this year's Eurogamer Expo, Tim Willits takes to the stage in our massive auditorium to show and talk about RAGE, the latest first-person shooter to issue forth from the legendary id Software. To understand how exciting we find this, it is worth noting that without id's games Eurogamer literally would not exist - several of the founding staff only do this because they grew up on Doom and Quake.
Not everyone can be at the Expo of course (although we did invite everyone), so we spoke to Willits on the phone a few days beforehand to get a flavour of his session and give you a special Expo insight into how work is going on RAGE, what it's like being a famous game developer and why inverting the mouse is for losers.
Eurogamer: Thanks very much for coming to the Expo, Tim! I've discovered during my extensive research that you are so famous you have your own Wikipedia page.
Tim Willits: Yes, which I have absolutely nothing to do with. The biggest problem that I have with that thing is that my stupid relatives try to edit it. Everyone in the world can edit it, so my silly cousins edit it and I have to call them up and yell at them. Even though I didn't create it I have to police it.
Eurogamer: You're described on there as the lead designer and co-owner of id Software, implying that you designed id Software.
Tim Willits: I know, and I'm not even an owner any more. So actually, if you wanted to fix that... all you have to say is "creative director at id Software".
Eurogamer: Consider it done. So you're not the lead designer of id Software, but if you could redesign id Software, what would you change? Bigger desk? More frosted glass windows?
Tim Willits: Well we are definitely running out of space. As you know we've been over in Mesquite, Texas, a little suburb of Dallas, for many years and unfortunately we have outgrown our space. We've gotten so big that there's actually a guy whose desk is the old printer table. It's time to move so we're looking around Dallas for a bigger living arrangement.
Eurogamer: There must be perks that come with longevity too, I guess. I mean, how big is your PC monitor at this point?
Tim Willits: It's 30 inches. And I was sad that Apple is no longer going to make the 30-inch cinema display, they're going down to 27.
Eurogamer: That's rubbish - they should be getting bigger, not smaller. Anyway, before I get carried away, tell us about your session.
Tim Willits: I will be talking about RAGE! I'm doing a presentation that we showed at QuakeCon using the Xbox 360 version. [Check out our QuakeCon RAGE preview for a full runthrough. -Ed]
We're going to present the game, do a little Q&A and I'm doing it every day, so if you miss the first one don't worry about it. We do change up the presentation a little - we're not as consistent as we'd like to be! So for hardcore RAGE fans, if they go to different presentations they may hear different things.
We're going to talk about why we think RAGE is great. One of the reasons we're going to every show is because it's a brand new IP. We've been talking about this game for a while but we still need to keep talking about it so it can become embedded in people's mind next September.
Eurogamer: Do you enjoy doing these presentations? Do you have any special showbiz tips for avoiding stage fright?
Tim Willits: I enjoy it! It's always exciting to go to a new place and show off the game. The game demos well and id Software has some of the best fans for any company, so it's always fun. Everyone always gets nervous in the beginning - you can usually tell I'm more nervous at the start than I am at the end - but as long as it doesn't crash then I maintain a nice even keel!
Eurogamer: Does it crash?
Tim Willits: Well at QuakeCon we had the 360 fail to load on us.