Tim Willits: Building Rage And Never Selling Out • Page 2

"We've followed our heart more than we've followed the dollar."

Eurogamer: It seems there is a healthy culture within the stable of Bethesda studios of mutual feedback and support.

Tim Willits: Yes. Now we've got much bigger - we have Arkane, we don't talk much with the Tango guys because they're Japanese. But we have our annual big Christmas event where designers talk to designers. It's been nice. We're trying to build a brotherhood of Bethesda developers. And thank God we have no jerks in the studio.

Eurogamer: If you had been part of Bethesda then, might you not have announced Rage so early?

Tim Willits: Oh yeah. But the problem is John [Carmack] loves talking about his new toy. Stopping that train? Woo. That would have been a hard train to stop.

We also wanted to do technology licensing when we were still private. So it was a shop window thing as well. If we start doing Rage 2, you ain't going to hear about it for a while.

Eurogamer: You're probably making some quite good progress behind the scenes with Doom 4.

Tim Willits: Yes. I get that question all the time. And I always tell people, why the heck should we show one screenshot of Doom 4 before Rage comes out? We need to build the hype, and then, oh, look at this. And it's like, no! That's why.

Eurogamer: The Duke guys hid a screenshot of Forever in 3D when it came out on Xbox Live.

Tim Willits: That's too funny. I didn't know that. There's no Doom 4 stuff hidden in Rage. I can tell you that. What I'm not saying is there's no Wolfenstein, Doom or Quake hidden in Rage... But there's no Doom 4 stuff.

Eurogamer: I thought I saw the Quake Q scratched on a wall.

Tim Willits: There's a big Easter Egg. There are some big Easter Eggs.

3

John Carmack spoke for over two hours at QuakeCon.

Eurogamer: When are you guys going to go back to Quake anyway?

Tim Willits: Like the original? Wouldn't that be the most awesome teaser video? Imagine something new from id, this video comes up online, and you click on it, and you see a little rust, and it's moving, then it expands, and boom, it's the original Quake symbol, "coming". Wouldn't that be the most awesome teaser trailer ever?

Eurogamer: Yeah. Do that.

Tim Willits: We have no plans to do that. That's absolutely not on the cards. But it would be an awesome teaser trailer.

Eurogamer: Matt Hooper once asked me what I'd do if I went back to Quake. I'd go back to the first one because I loved that Cthulhu, Lovecraftian mix with sci-fi. It was such an original take.

Tim Willits: I know, but that had such schizophrenic design. Heck, I did the entire shareware episode of that. That's all over the place. Your memory may have filled in some blanks. Back then, with a first-person shooter, there was that shock and awe of it. You were like, look! When I move my gun moves. 3D! There's a guy above me! All that's gone. Our innocence is over.

Eurogamer: I always preferred it to Duke because it had a solidity to the world. It was a 3D world that was utterly convincing.

Tim Willits: Yes. But that essence - lightning just can't strike twice on that. But it would be a really awesome teaser video!

Eurogamer: You must have a sense now of what you're going to do once Rage is released.

Tim Willits: Yes. I have a sense. It really all depends on how it does. Please God, let it sell well. Let us have another franchise. But for DLC - we have designers and artists who are basically done. They'll fix a bug if QA finds it. They're building some stuff but we want to see what people like.

If people want more gadgets, we'll maybe add some more. If people think the racing is cool we might do more. Before we solidify our DLC plans we want to see what people like.

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We won't hear a thing about Doom 4 until after Rage comes out, says Willits.

Eurogamer: Everyone's messing around with Online Pass.

Tim Willits: We have the first-time buyer stuff with all the sewers. You've played Rage five times. Have you found any sewer hatches?

Eurogamer: I did, out in the Wasteland.

Tim Willits: If you bought the game new, that would be open for you. You still have to download it, but you don't have to pay for it. Those hatches are all over. Most people never find them. But as soon as you do, you're like, oh. And then you start to look for it. That's our first-time buyer incentive.

But as you can tell, most people never even see it. I can tell you, some people will buy Rage, download that, and still never set foot in those things. They just won't. I think that's fair. It's cool. It's outside the main path. We're not detracting from anything. But I know some consumers, when you can't avoid it, then you get a little touchy subject.

Eurogamer: I worry longer-term everything's just going to get broken up into chunks.

Tim Willits: I don't see that any time soon. Again, as long as you buy Rage new you get everything free. We're not taking stuff out.

Eurogamer: Is this the biggest single-player campaign you've ever done?

Tim Willits: [Looks at me like I'm a nutter.] Hell yeah.

Eurogamer: I was thinking back, Quake 2 was quite long.

Tim Willits: Quake 2 was quite long. I made 45 of those maps. Let me tell you, it was long. But no, this is longer. It's more in-depth.

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