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Id Software's Willits: Rage Mods May Not Be Possible

Talking at AGDC, Rage creative director Tim Willits says that it might turn out to be very difficult, if not impossible, to mod the title -- even on the PC platform -- but that the issue's still under consideration at id Software, which continues t
Longtime id staffer and Rage creative director Tim Willits admits that it might turn out to be impossible to mod the title -- even on the PC platform -- but says the issue's still under consideration at id Software. As Willits discussed Rage's story during his presentation at Austin GDC, an audience member asked him if the game would be as moddable as the company's prior titles. Willits replied that id is as open to the idea of having the game modded as the company's always been, noting that his own career was launched due to users' ability to mod id titles -- but confessed that the technical complexities of the game may make it less possible for modders to work with. Willits also noted that id's John Carmack is also positive on the modding community, but sees this technical issue as an obstacle. "Unfortunately, Rage is going to be more difficult to mod," said Willits, primarily because of the complexity of the game's vaunted megatexture system, which stores the texture data for levels as one huge texture map that streams in, rather than many smaller textures. Megatextures require huge amounts of processing power to be baked into their final form for distribution on the game disc; Willits alluded to a large number of computers working for a long time to process them, analogous to a CG render farm. Willits envisioned modders developing modular chunks of gameplay that can be slotted into the extant Rage world, rather than full mods, as a potential solution. While the game's large central wasteland is a streaming hub world, its levels are instance-based. The megatexture issue aside, Willits said other aspects of the game will actually be easier to work with than the company's prior titles. "The description languages and the tools are a lot easier to use than the things we've done in the past," he explained.

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