It's probably no easy thing to be the creators of the most successful genre ever, yet as granddaddy of the first-person shooter it's a mantle Id Software wears remarkably lightly.
It's been seven years since its last big release, Doom 3 and although the Texan based company has collaborated on projects as diverse as Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, various iOS games and even the browser based Quake Live, long-standing id and FPS fans have been nervously waiting for their next big thing.
And now it's almost here: Rage. an intriguing hybrid mix of shooting, driving and even RPG elements, all powered by John Carmack's mighty id tech 5 next gen game engine and published in conjunction with new owners Bethesda.
id is hoping it will launch a brand new gaming series for the company which created the FPS and help evolve the genre even further.
So it was a pleasure to catch up with id's Creative Director Tim Willits at QuakeCon 2011 last week and discuss things as diverse as the development of id tech 5, the best weapon ever in an FPS (id is claiming both the old and the new crowns) and how the company has tried to meet the expectations of what it describes as the 'greatest fans in the world'.
What would you say was the key design philosophy behind Rage?
The key design Philosophy behind Rage is, that at its core, it's a first person shooter that stays true to the origins of what id software is. Id software fans, people who have been with us for twenty years, when they get their hands on Rage, they are going to play a great FPS, but it's more than just a corridor shooter, it's more than just 'run and gun'.
We have many different aspects that make it more of a complete experience. We have of course the driving elements with racing and vehicle combat, we have a story, we have an economy; we have these really unique characters that are really over the top.
The whole experience of Rage is more than just the run and gun games that most people play these days and again at its core, it's a first person id software classic shooter.
id is known as the father of the FPS but now it's one of the most crowded competitors of all genres. What does Rage bring that's new to the table?
Well Rage has a number of things that make it stand apart, one of which of course is that it runs on brand new technology, id tech 5 which is our own technology and the corner stone of that is this unique texture environment, we call it the mega texture system where we can give every area that you visit with the game its own unique personality, unique style, unique setting so that you're not running into the same space corridors for 20 hours so that you're not looking at the same stuff, so it really brings a visual look that you can't get anywhere else.
The game is also truly cross platform, so whether you're 360, PS3 or PC, you're going to have the same experience. It also runs really fast, it's a 60 Hz game and at first, not many people know quite what that means but it's very fluid, you feel very connected to the experience. You decide to turn left, right, shoot, jump and it happens instantly so that connection to the game is really important to hardcore FPS fans and then of course it adds just the variety of gameplay that you just don't get in a lot of other games today. So like I said before, it's the complete first person shooting experience.
The post apocalyptic scenario has recently been very popular in games such as Fallout 3 and Borderlands, what does that kind of environment allow you to do as designers?