RAGE Modding Limitations Explained

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.

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • house70
    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.
  • retrig
    "... Zenimax has given the GPU license a green light."

    Did you mean GPL? ;)
  • Yuka
    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.