Bethesda subsidiary id Software has made good on its promise to release a modding kit for Rage and its associated id Tech 5 engine, but warns that the software is not exactly consumer-friendly.
Rage, one of id Software's first major attempts at creating an open-world environment with an embedded story rather than the "space marine shoots ugly things for some reason" 'plot' of its previous linear titles, wasn't a massive success for the company. While we scored it a solid 80 per cent in our review back in 2011
, it failed to set the world alight at retail. This wasn't exactly helped by a raft of technical problems with the id Tech 5 engine on PC, described by id Software founder John Carmack as 'a real clusterf**k
Later patches and fixes, allowing more control over id Tech 5's 'auto-balancer' system which attempted to find the sweet spot between graphical fidelity and raw performance, would help matters, but while the engine includes plenty of impressive-sounding features our technical analysis
reveals a disappointing lack of improvement with the settings cranked up on high-end hardware. With Carmack admitting that the engine was developed primarily for consoles and then ported across to PCs, that shouldn't really come as a surprise.
Nevertheless, id Tech 5 - and Rage - has its fans, who will doubtless be pleased to hear that the company has finally released a suite of tools to allow tinkerers to access the inner workings of the engine, modifying existing content or even creating total conversion mods that harness the id Tech 5 engine in new ways.
But first, a warning from Carmack himself: 'The toolkit release is not something that we consider consumer friendly,
' the id Software founder warned over Twitter
, 'but it does let you get a look inside the construction process. Doing significant work will require patience, because internally we use a 300 core renderfarm for megatexture creation.
Assuming you have a wealth of computing power - or plenty of patience - at your disposal, the Rage Tool Kit is available in the Tools section of Valve's Steam digital distribution platform. Be prepared for a bit of a wait, though: the Rage Tool Kit is basically a tweaked version of the development kit used to create Rage itself, and comes in at a hefty 35GB download. A welcome document
(PDF warning) provides a flavour of what awaits you while you're waiting.