Recently we had a chance to catch up with id Software’s Tim Willits to discuss his career, interests, and more. Leading up to RAGE’s release in September, you can expect to hear plenty more from the game’s creative director — both on RAGE’s official site and here at Bethesda Blog.
What do you do at id Software?
I am the Creative Director working on RAGE. I manage the entire RAGE team and ensure things get done with the game. My days involve a little cheerleading, whip-cracking, motivational sneakiness, and just about anything else to get the team working. Luckily for me, I’m working with the best team in the industry, and I feel like I have the best job in the world!
Do you remember the first game you ever played?
The stand-up arcade version of Space Invaders. I was visiting my grandparents and the drug store down the street had just installed one. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. With its blinking lights, cool sounds, and just massiveness (I was pretty little at the time), I thought I had found the greatest thing ever. My life has never been the same.
What was the first time you realized that you wanted to work in video games?
I realized I wanted to work in video games while playing the shareware version of the original DOOM. When I played those levels and experienced what I could do in that game, I pretty much knew it was the path for me. I thank my lucky stars that I was able to do it at the company I fell in love with as a gamer.
You started your career as a level modder. How did you get id’s attention?
The guys at id Software discovered me because I made some really fun and well constructed DOOM 1 levels and posted them to a BBS they frequented. At the time I was modding, the community was rather small so it wasn’t difficult getting noticed. It was a bit of luck mixed with a lot of hard work. Even today I encourage people who want to get into the business to work on their own modding games they love –it’s the best way to produce something and get noticed.
If you’ve got a dinner reservation for two and you can invite one game developer to join you?
I would invite my good friend Todd Howard. I always enjoy spending time with Todd and frankly –he’s just brilliant. He always has very intuitive, clever, and thought-provoking things to say.
What’s your proudest accomplishment thus far?
Between designing the shareware episode of QUAKE 1 to building QUAKE 2, to DOOM 3, it’s really hard to choose just one. Even today, I am proud of the great work done the team working on RAGE. When someone does even the smallest thing well it helps everyone on the team.
What’s your all-time favorite video game level?
That’s easy. QUAKE 2 DM level ‘The Edge’. It’s the perfect death match level that’s been imitated many times with great success. It has everything you need for fun, well-balanced multiplayer matches.
What games have you been playing lately?
Fallout: New Vegas, Red Dead Redemption, and anything Kinect with my kids.
What are your non-gaming hobbies?
I have quite a few kids so chasing them around the yard and spending time with my wife consumes all my free time. I’m quite lucky.