Shacknews met with id CEO, Todd Hollenshead and co-owner and Rage lead designer, Tim Willits to discuss the setting of Rage, inspiration for said setting, gameplay and more.
Shack: Rage arguably combines more
divergent gameplay elements than any new id property since Wolfenstein.
Some of the post-apocalyptic setting influences are obvious, but did
you have any influences from the gameplay side there?
Tim Willits: Rage's foundation,
definitely, is first person shooter, because that's what we do best /.../ In the game, I went through and wanted to do all the fun
things in other games. I've always loved the settings of the
post-apocalyptic worlds--Fallout, Road Warrior.
As far as the more open world, it's nonlinear but still story-driven.
It has adventure elements, but I hate to say adventure because then
people think of Monkey Island, and it's not an RPG. I wish there was
some word in between RPG and adventure, where you have an inventory.
You'll be able to drive around the wasteland and get out wherever you
want. If you see a cave, you can explore it. You might meet a band of
It's set in a post-apocalyptic world /.../ the reason we picked that was this: it grounds the game
in kind of a modern setting, slightly in the future, and it helps
players identify with what's going on, but it gives us the freedom to
add some of the fantasy elements. You know how we like the fantasy
elements. When those fantasy elements appear, they're larger than life,
whereas in Doom it's pretty much all fantasy.
Then I've always loved that Road Warrior stuff, because the
lines between good and evil, right and wrong get skewed as people try
to rebuild society. It gives us a fun setting.
Todd Hollenshead: The story is that a comet has hit the earth and wiped out civilization,
and civilization is rebuilding. There is a foundation of what was left
of the government that is this evil regime. Even though in the future,
the lines between good and evil have been blurred, you are the hero.
You're not the anti-hero. You're sort of trying to help these guys, the
remnants of civilization banding together to fight back against the
regime. There's also an anarchistic element as you may have derived
from the "A" in the logo, in terms of people who are both outside of
those settlements and outside of the regime. You're not a member of any
of these factions, you're coming in as an outsider.
So part of the time is spent in the settlements, interacting there, and
there's lots of action and shooting but also adventure elements with
missions you can go on. Your car is an important part of the game.
You'll be able to make modifications and upgrades, soup up your car.
Part of the name is the last four letters of "garage" are "RAGE."
There's that element, and the "rage against the machine" element, then
the vehicular combat part--the "road rage" part.
One of the unique things is that as you go over the wasteland,
you're not on a rail where you have to go from point A or point B. At
any time you can get out of your car, and look around, and one of the
artists may have carved his initials in the back of a rock.
Shack: So as far as the world itself, everything is connected?
Tim Willits: Yep. There's the
world, and you can go into instances or levels, and those can be
replayed, but missions change and so forth. It's pretty
Shack: I imagine with that kind of structure, there's side content, optional quests, that kind of thing?
Tim Willits: Yes. Robert Duffy,
our programming director, he's really into that. He's come up with a
bunch of creative optional things. You can go and just do all the
missions in the story, like in Oblivion, or you can go do other
missions. I'm not saying it's as big as Oblivion, but it's that kind of