Tim Willits, co owner of id Software and lead designer for Quake IV, has revealed details of the Texas-based company's latest 3D shooter.
The game is currently in parallel development for both PC and Xbox 360, something that id have not attempted before. 'Usually we don't do it that way, but now we are.'
says Willits. 'It speeds up your development time drastically. And it ensures it's fun on both systems. Yes, there are some differences between the controllers, and yes, we're going to leverage the system as much as possible.'
Thanks to the genius of John Carmack, id are one of the lead developers of 3D engine technology, and last year's Doom 3 certainly broke new ground with its heavy use of shaders. Yet the Xbox port had to be cut-down to bridge the gap in grunt between modern PCs and the aging Xbox - a situation that Willits gleefully admits won't be the case in this time around:
'Console gamers have been envious of the raw power of a PC, but they now have it. For us, it's great. Now we can develop the games on both systems and make sure the experiences are the same thing. We don't have to short change the console gamer now. We can do all the technical things: Specular lighting, bump mapping, normal mapping, and it just doesn't cost you $3000 to see those games running.'
Reactions from gamers to early screenshots of the game have raised questions of whether Quake IV will look too similar to the underlying Doom 3, a supposition that Willits quickly dismisses with talk of vehicles you can ride in, huge stretches of landscape, trenches and outdoor canyons. 'In Quake IV, you'll work with your buddies, experience vast environments, and you know, it's always non-stop epic action game.'
id have teamed up with long-time collaborators Raven Software
to accelerate the game's development. The Raven / id relationship goes back more than a decade: Shadowcaster (1993) featured a hybrid engine created by Carmack that bridged Wolfenstein 3D and the original Doom. A series of games followed, based on each successive Carmack engine: Heretic & Hexen (Doom), Hexen II (Quake), Heretic II & Soldier of Fortune (Quake II) and Soldier of Fortune II & Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force (Quake III: Team Arena) and most recently on Star Wars Jedi Outcast (modified Quake III).
For Quake IV, the design team are aiming to build on the strengths of past titles in the series to create 'a compelling single and multiplayer game'.
Combining the classic good vs evil single player story of Quake II with the multiplayer prowess of Quake III, Willits claims that by 'combining these experiences you're going to get the best Quake experience of them all wrapped up all in one.'
Quake IV will reportedly be out this Christmas
, despite Doom 3 having been released a short 8 months ago and the Resurrection of Evil expansion pack hitting the shelves just last month. Of course, the holiday period is a traditional time for id FPS games: Quake II was released on 30th November 1997, with Quake III 2 years later almost to the day; who can forget the most famous December release date in history - 10th December 1993 - when the first shareware version of the original Doom was uploaded.
You can read the rest of this interview
as part of IGN's coverage of E3 2005, and shoot the breeze (not each other!) in our News Discussion
Fileshack are hosting an incredible 2 minute trailer
of the game which is a must-see for anyone with even a passing interest in the game.