We checked out several games at the Bethesda booth. We also went to their E3 party.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
Bonus video about Rage:
We did pick up some swag from Bethesda:
Head on in to find out when they hit stores – and what other shooters are coming out next year.
id’s long tradition of keeping games mod-friendly and mod-supportive appears to have broken with their revolutionary new game: Rage. Tim Willits from id says that it is impossible to mod Rage even on the PC, but the matter is still under consideration.
While id is as always, supportive of mods, Rage is simply too complex a product to mess around with. The biggest hindrance will be the much-talked-about MegaTexture system. For those not in the know, id’s new idea is to create something of a “super-texture” that the game streams seamlessly, rather than rendering hundreds of different textures on different objects.
The system itself is said to consume heaploads of processing power at id. A large number of computers are working hard to process them in a similar not unlike a CG render farm. And if id is taking that long, it will probably take years on an average computer, I imagine. I don’t even want to know the size of that thing.
Still, Willits doesn’t rule out modding entirely. He does say that it may just be possible for users to create mini-mods that will add to the gameplay, in small chunks of stuff. So full mods and conversions may be out of the question, but we’ll still be able to make smaller mods. Sounds fine by me, I guess. Then again, I’m not a modder.
Finally, with QuakeCon going, we can get some more dope on Rage, id’s flagship project for their much-touted id Tech 5 Engine, which appears to have been dubbed the Rage Engine now, albeit unofficially.i
Carmack clears the fact that even though their website claims Rage to be a “vehicle-based” game, the vehicular element is not the focus of the game, and it’s still a very first-person shooter. It won’t be a “mindless” open world game, and all its missions will be pretty story-based. Still, it’ll put quite a bit of focus on the open world aspect, seeing as that’s what id wants to prove with id Tech 5.
The engine which Rage will be showcasing is pretty much near completion, according to Carmack. It’s been in development for some three years, and id still has some polishing to do, such as working on the animation system and some tweaks to the big-time MegaTexture system. But all the biggie stuff is done and the engine is almost ready.
While Rage will showcase all the large world environments in the engine, the real meat should be “the next Doom” game, which is to you and me, Doom 4. According to Carmack, Doom 4 will have 3 times the horsepower of Rage, but will have to run at 30 FPS, which is half of that of Rage.
Doom 4 will also be significantly better on the “creative aspects” and “level design”, which isn’t surprising since Doom 3 blew everyone else out of the water for level design. As for what it will feature, Carmack merely says that we’ll have “guns, blood, demons, and gibs” which is a shocking departure from Doom‘s tradition of magical pixies, fairy dust and ponies.
Still, details on Doom 4 are pretty bleak, so we’ll head back to Rage.
Rage will be delivered for the Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Mac. On the Xbox 360, however, id seems to be coming across some problems. The game will fit on 3 DVDs for the Xbox 360, which seems to be a limiting factor. Due to royalties, the cost of a third DVD would go into millions. This would mean that id would be forced to compromise on textures and compress them into 2 DVDs. Darn you, Microsoft!
The PS3 goes sailing smooth with the Blu-Ray discs and the game should come on both DVD and Blu-Ray formats for the PC and Mac. As for when it will arrive, ask any id fanboy and you will get the curt reply of “when it’s done.” id isn’t really sure, but denies it would take as long as 2011. I’d place my bet on early 2010 then, with Doom 4 later that year.
And finally, id played an extended trailer at QuakeCon, which the folks at Shackvideo caught. It’s almost the same as the one at E3, but has some extra stuff. Check it out!
It’s nice to see that the major PC developers are taking some steps to actually evolve the PC Gaming scene rather than bitch about piracy and low sales. While Valve has announced their revolutionary Steam Cloud and experimented with episodic gaming, id will be doing some experiments of their own.
At last year’s QuakeCon, id announced Quake Zero: a concept wherein they will take their excellent Quake III: Arena, make it ad-supported and completely free, and then make it browser-based. And you thought the only thing you can play on your Firefox was that silly Flash game.
Quake Zero has become Quake Live and gone into Beta testing, but we haven’t had much headway other than that. Sure, it may not sound as exciting as id’s other projects, Rage and Doom 4, but it is still an interesting idea that could encourage dozens more.
The promise of free gameplay means that pretty much anyone can play, and without piracy, too, so the developers won’t be affected. And since it’s browser-based, it brings relief to our lazy asses that would rather mull over whatever’s on Firefox rather than start the game. Hmm, or maybe it’s just me.
Regardless, if id ends up successful, we could see a completely new form of gaming, with MMORPGs diving for it (and hopefully ending those monthly subscription fees). Imagine if you will, competition and tournament games like Quake Live: racing games, sport games, it’ll be phenomenal!
I’d like to see Epic do something similar with their Unreal Tournament series. Epic and id have been fierce rivals since Quake III and Unreal Tournament came out almost simultaneously. But their paths somewhat diverged. With Epic’s Unreal Tournament III ending up bombing at the charts, they have no option but to blame piracy for a game that didn’t have much in it anyways. Will Epic (or some other developer) try a competitor to Quake Live?
QuakeCon 2008 starts at the end of this month and there’s still a good week to go before it, but let’s just expect something to happen then. You can also ogle over the recently released trailer that shows some footage, especially the community and score charts on the big website. Also notice the billboards splashed over the maps.
No idea on when Quake Live will be coming out, but we’d expect early next year at the latest, and a month after QuakeCon at the earliest! 😉