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RAGE Modding Limitations Explained

By - Source: Next-Gen | B 10 comments

RAGE will be difficult to mod thanks to id Tech 5's megatexture system.

If there's one constant state we've seen over the last two decades, it's that Epic Game's Unreal Engine is seemingly everywhere, used in more PC and console games than we can count. id Software's id Tech, on the other hand, is kept within a tight circle, and that's unlikely to change with the upcoming release of its id Tech 5-based first-person shooter, RAGE, later this year.

According to creative director Tim Willits, building levels from scratch using the provided toolset will be even more difficult than what was seen in 2004's id Tech 4. But the news really shouldn't be a surprise, as Willits previously warned of the modding difficulties back in 2008, explaining that it's due to the engine's megatexture system. Unlike previous engines where smaller texture maps were individually loaded when needed, id Tech 5 stores texture data for levels as one huge map that's streamed into the environment.

Still, modding tools will be provided within the game-- modders merely pull down the console and type 'id Studio' into the dash. "Building levels from scratch is more difficult but I can foresee somebody modding up [one of Rage’s hub towns like] Wellspring and adding different characters and giving them different voiceovers," he said. "Then you’ll have a mission and load up the layer of that level that you need to go to. So you’ll probably see more stuff like that."

For modders looking to get their hands on id Tech 4's source code, Willits is unsure whether John Carmack will release it into the wild when RAGE hits the streets in September. As it stands now, Human Head Studios is currently using a modified version of id Tech 4 for the upcoming sequel to 2006's Prey-- the engine may not be available for free until the game is published and on shelves.

But according to EDGE Magazine, parent company Zenimax has given the GPU license a green light. "That’s mostly up to [id co-founder] John Carmack," Willits explained. "He sets the schedule for that. But his philosophy of maintaining that type of connection with the community hasn’t changed."

RAGE is slated to hit the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and Windows PC on September 13, 2011.

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  • 0 Hide
    house70 , April 20, 2011 11:38 PM
    With very few exceptions, those mods have improved games over and over again, kudos to the talented modders. one good example: UT (2k3 and 2004). The mods have revived the game to the point where it looked an entire different game altogether.
    Not to mention Q3A mods... awesome.
  • 3 Hide
    retrig , April 20, 2011 11:42 PM
    "... Zenimax has given the GPU license a green light."

    Did you mean GPL? ;) 
  • 2 Hide
    Yuka , April 21, 2011 12:07 AM
    Oh man, I really hope they give modders a lil' more tools to work with. There's talented people all around the globe, so the more tools, the more talent you will catch. Obvious things aside, Kudos to Mr. Carmack and his approach.

    Cheers!
  • Display all 10 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    arlandi , April 21, 2011 2:05 AM
    looks like a difficult decision for id, because modders do add to the replayability and value of a game engine, and in the end, more money to the company.
    hopefully, this will mean more "awesomeness" to the game.

    but then again, not to worry, there are dedicated modders that can add a LOT of things to difficult engines. there are geniuses out there that can read and understand Assembly!!
  • 1 Hide
    demonhorde665 , April 21, 2011 10:38 AM
    i get so sick of company's acting like thier game has some special magic soup behind it, seriously the tools obviously exsist for making the game so why should modding really be aproblem. granted ID hasnt been the worse company about mods , but ask me what they are doing is worse than just shutting down all modding on the game , because bassically they are throwing their modding acommunity a pissed on bone , and trying to act like it is a t-bone. sorry ID i'll stick with UDK
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 21, 2011 1:18 PM
    *GPL not GPU license :) 
  • 0 Hide
    reggieray , April 21, 2011 1:28 PM
    You can always tell what platform is preferred. Look at this article, "RAGE is slated to hit the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and Windows PC on September 13, 2011."

    The PC should always be listed first, not the kiddie consoles.
  • 0 Hide
    gamerk316 , April 21, 2011 4:40 PM
    Can't wait for the Tech4 stuff to be sourced...
  • 0 Hide
    clonazepam , April 21, 2011 7:27 PM
    ReggieRayYou can always tell what platform is preferred. Look at this article, "RAGE is slated to hit the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and Windows PC on September 13, 2011."The PC should always be listed first, not the kiddie consoles.


    maybe its a "women and children first" approach to writing, or, nothing at all? ;-)
  • 0 Hide
    Kelavarus , April 21, 2011 9:08 PM
    demonhorde665i get so sick of company's acting like thier game has some special magic soup behind it, seriously the tools obviously exsist for making the game so why should modding really be aproblem. granted ID hasnt been the worse company about mods , but ask me what they are doing is worse than just shutting down all modding on the game , because bassically they are throwing their modding acommunity a pissed on bone , and trying to act like it is a t-bone. sorry ID i'll stick with UDK


    You obviously have no idea what you're talking about and haven't done any research. The problem with modding id Tech 5, as said, lies within the megatexture system which, if I remember correctly, ends up with texture files that can be 20 GB+ in size. For creating and baking these textures id has to use render farms which aren't available to the average user, which is why he said making levels from scratch could present issues.

    They're giving modding tools, but being realistic by telling hopeful modders that there WILL be limitations to it due to capabilities of the resources of the modders.