Quelling The Rage: Carmack and Willits Speak Out
August 1, 2008 Page 3 of 5
Fair enough. It's been a while since you guys introduced a 100% new franchise. Obviously, you guys made your name on Doom and things that you built from the ground up - is there a lot of pressure there? What does it feel like, internally?
JC: Certainly we have our marquee titles, with Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake; and Doom really is the big gun out of that, the one that everybody remembers. "That's the game I played in college!" We certainly expect to carry on with that, but there is a sense that in the community at large, if we were doing a Quake 5, Doom 4, Wolfenstein 4, just running all of that...
Even if people love it, and you can make - as EA has shown, you can run the sports titles every year, and people will love it, and as Activision is showing, you can sell Call of Duty every year, and people will love it.
We did feel some pressure to try and strike out, and do something different. And there are certain things that we've always been dinged on, in the community, about our games. Some of which were to some degree intentional, but people talk about, "It's too dark! It's too cramped! It's all indoors!" You know, the prototypical corridor shooter, and we did want to branch out from that.
I mean, there are still great things you can do inside any given niche like that, but we wanted to really strongly address some of those things. It's a bright, outdoor, post-apocalyptic desert world. It's a lot of the things that, while still a technological showpiece, in many ways, it's not limited in the way that Doom 3 was, and it's going to hopefully be a broader appeal to the game, with not so much the, "Be scared out of your wits while you're running around tense," all bunched up, playing the game. It should be a more fun experience in a lot of ways; and we wanted to consciously address some of these things.
There are certain things that we know we can do great. We can build up the excitement, and the tension, and the competitiveness, and get people's pulse pounding; we can do all of these things, we've always been able to do them well, and we've got better tools now, so we can do them even better. But, there's a lot more to gaming than just that aspect, there, and we do want to build our skills.
There are things that - some of the hardest that we do, we have never done a driving game, so for some of the driving aspects of it, we decided to focus on that early, and make sure that we've got this cool stuff, running around, driving in the wasteland, shooting at things, and racing. But that's only an aspect of the game. We keep all the things we've always been good at, we add some new things, we learn how to be good at it, and then we build the whole mix together.
TW: Yes. I mean, John said it much better than I would say it, but yes, internally we wanted to do something different, something exciting, but we wanted to keep it grounded in that first-person shooter. And so it's important for people to know that it is a first-person action game, with some exploration, you have some vehicle combat, but it's not a race game, and we're really excited about it. It really allows us to innovate the genre that we created, and expand it while making it better.
JC: Now it is actually worth noting, as a little aside, that it's not actually the first new IP in a long time, because our mobile titles - which was our entry into the relationship with EA, with Orcs and Elves. And the mobile titles have been really successful; we've sold over two million units on the mobile titles.
And we have a Wolfenstein RPG with a whole new engine coming out, and that was sort of our foot in the door with EA, where people we were working with at Jamdat moved to EA, and those became the guys that we knew that are at EA, which boosted us up to start talking with EA Partners people.
DD: And that's what really attracted us to id. I mean, when you hear the guys talk, you know, talking about constantly getting better. Not resting on their laurels, if you will, or continuing to deliver more of the same, but taking their creative efforts and their technology efforts to the next level.
So idTech 5 takes the technology to the next level, the fellas are working on a design which takes it to the next level, and not only does what id has done great, but starts to evolve their skill set with driving, and some of the other elements that are in the game. So you get all the great stuff that you always got from id, but you get an additional set of fun factors that you'll be able to play with Rage, that take that game to the next level.
So, whether it's baseball, or sports, or in business, what you're always looking for is partners who are trying to get better, constantly improve, and take their whatever-they-do to the next level. We hope that EAP does that same kind of thing by taking our services to the next level, and constantly get... We don't always get it right every time on every element, but when you screw up, have the integrity to say, "Hey, screwed that up; I'm gonna fix this."
Same kind of thing with id, and where id wants to go with - you know, like John was saying, they started this project four years ago, and they spent a year working on this project and then said, "This doesn't feel like this is going to be the next level of what we want to do with this title. So we're going to scrap that, and we're going to start all over again." So many other organizations would've tried to figure out how to salvage what they started, so they didn't toss that year; these guys learned from that year and built off of that to make it even better, and I think Rage is going to benefit from all that time that was spent.
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