Rage: id Software Q&A Part Two
You mentioned the Mac during your presentation…
We haven’t solidified our Mac plans. But one of the neat things about the technology is that [id programmer] Robert Duffy can actually click on the Mac button and build a Mac version.
John Carmack’s also mentioned the iPad/iPhone with regard to Rage – he likes a challenge doesn’t he?
I can’t speak for John, but I can say that he is interested in those other platforms because he likes to push himself, push the team. No, he’s not thinking of putting that game on the ipad, but there is some technology he could leverage, that could lead to interesting products on the smaller formats.
Crytek’s engine seems to work well across all formats, and so does yours, yet some developers still can’t get their head around the PS3…
The thing is, you have to remember that when John starts new technology, he reboots; he starts from scratch. And when you do that, it’s much easier to take into consideration the nuances of the 360, and the PS3, and you can build it from the ground up. Some of the other folks will have pre-existing technology, and then try to port over… no, that’s a bad word – but get it working on the system. So they have unique challenges. That’s one of the reasons why it takes us a bit to get these games done, but it does make moving forward for us a lot easier, because he does do a reboot. And that’s just the genius behind John; he’s capable of rebooting, you know, but he does feel that this current technology will be good even for future console platforms, because it’s very scaleable.
So you believe it’s a technological issue…
Yeah, and I think that’s what makes John unique, maybe more than some of the other guys. Everyone does great games, it’s just how we approach it is a bit different.
Was there any specific reason for demo-ing the game on the Xbox 360?
Maybe in our next presentation we’ll bring the PS3 version, and play them both at the same time. The PS3 version is a little more stable than this one is right now, actually… but it’s testament to the multi-build process, and if we can get it to look good… frankly, on PCs you can get these monster video cards and monster CPUs, and programmers can get a bit sloppy, for lack of a better word. But you need to be refined when you’re programming on these consoles – you need to be very precise.
How liberating is it to work on a new IP?
Oh, it’s nice. I’ve been with the company since 1995, you know I still love DOOM, Wolfenstein and Quake. I could make Doom games forever if I need to, but it’s aways fun and exciting, and it’s refreshing for us and for the fans, which is one of the reasons why we had to make Rage so different; we needed to establish a strong brand to go against those titans [other big IPs].
You mentioned the fact the team had been together for a while – did you see Rage as a chance to do something new?
Yeah, we got older. Heck, we’re the old crew, at id. And, yes, we’ve matured, gamers have matured, and the games need to reflect that as we go forward.
How much did the tech influence the game design and vice versa?
Well we actually started another game after Doom 3 and Quake IV with Raven, and it was following the same kind of pattern. But when John refined what we were able to do, I kind of saw the potential, and I said “Let’s do this – let’s make this game” so yeah, there was a bit of the discovery of seeing what he was able to do. And then he took some NASA data of the US, and was able to stream it all in, and I said “Oh, we could make a wasteland, we could drive around, and put guns on, that’s cool!” and then it kind of evolved from there. Sometimes, people – I won’t mention any names – say that John’s all “this is how the engine is, and you have to make…” that’s really not how he is; he’s very accommodating. I think people who used to work at id like to say that, to feel relevant.
In terms of making all platforms look identical – is that something you’re obliged to do, or would you rather leverage the benefits of each platform?
We want to make sure the artists make one set of assets, and they’re used on all the platforms. That’s very important because it’s a big waste of money to have to redo stuff for one particular platform. John’s said this publicly before – for the PC version you’ll probably be able to tweak some stuff, but it’s good across all of them [each platform].