id happy taking years to make games
18-month dev cycle not for Doom, Rage dev.
Doom, Quake and Rage developer id Software is famous for taking years to make its games – and it's not about to change.
Rage, due out later this year, is the first main id Software-developed game since 2004's Doom 3.
That's a whopping seven year gap between releases, but the first-person shooter specialists say they will never convert to an 18-month development cycle – as so many developers have.
Instead, id will shoot for a two-and-a-half to three-year turnaround.
"18? No," replied design director Matt Hooper when Eurogamer asked.
"Maybe two-and-a-half, three years, with the settled down tech, I think we could get it done.
He added: "I don't want to be pressured to do it and not be able to deliver. That would be sad."
The core development of Rage began three-and-a-half years ago, but some within the legendary studio have worked on it for seven years.
"It feels like we've been going so long on Rage," Hooper said.
In June 2009 ZeniMax Media, which owns Elder Scrolls and Fallout developer Bethesda, bought id.
Following the deal some fans expressed concern that the developer would become more corporate and make games within stricter time frames.
Not so, Hooper said.
"We've always been pushing to get the game we want. And even when we didn't think it was going in the right direction, we were able to re-start and go in a different direction and let the tech catch up to where we're going with design, or let the design catch up with the tech.
"So we've been lucky with that.
"ZeniMax have been great. They've made it clear. They think that path in this industry is making the best games possible. You see it every time we show games. The push is to make the best game, and give them the resources to do that."
Hooper said ZeniMax is happy to let id get on with what it does best – making games, but admitted the studio has grown up in recent years.
"They want us to do what we do, and they've allowed us to continue on that path. There's a lot more discipline in general, and there's some maturing. We're not a garage band anymore. We're a little more structured.
"We have people at different levels of talent, whereas it used to be everybody was top. Now we'll get some entry-level guys in, guys who are fantastic and then they'll move forward through the ranks.
"But still there's something a little different. It's not this really strict corporate culture."
Following Rage, development of Doom 4 will begin in earnest.