During an interview with GameSpot AU, id design director Matt Hooper confirmed that the studio was not working on their post-apocalyptic shooter, RAGE, the whole time, but something else entirely. What could it have been?

Id had been working on RAGE for quite some time, since 2007 in fact. Powered by id Tech 5, created by coding master and id technical director, John Carmack, RAGE looks impressive, but what else could the engine have possibly have been used for? Unfortunately, we may never know. Hooper cited the change in direction due to the opportunity and potential they saw in RAGE.

The Legacy of id developer diary illustrates id’s contributions to the first person shooter genre. While they may experiment with the content of their games, the core is simple: A man with a gun against everyone else. It’s a premise that we’ve seen replicated in a great deal of games, but you can’t help but wonder what kind of direction id wanted to go in before they opted to make RAGE instead. The studio had already made a mark on the space marine genre with Doom and Quake exemplified shooting monsters with nail guns.

Hooper’s statement blankets the reasons of why the developer had moved away from their previous work, but didn’t go into much detail about what the project was.

“We actually started on an entirely different project and we kinda switched gears when we realised we had an opportunity here.”

“Brand new technology, brand new IP with RAGE. Really, it’s an excuse to do all these cool things we’ve always wanted to do that maybe didn’t fit in DOOM, Quake or some of our other franchise worlds.”

As a business move, it’s easy to understand id wanting to launch a new franchise with a brand new engine. There’s no doubt that RAGE can also be seen as a proving ground for id Tech 5 and it can give a glimpse into the kinds of work that can be expected should id decide to revisit the Doom or Quake franchises in the next few years. It wouldn’t be prudent for them not to, considering how the last entries in the series weren’t very strong.

Our E3 2011 hands-on with RAGE proved the game to still be lacking in some important areas, namely the actual “feel” of the shooting gameplay. With a delay to October, id will have a little bit of time to polish the game and refine its mechanics. Fingers crossed the final product will not just be an exercise in hardware capability for graphics and that’ll also deliver some fun and engaging gameplay. Check out some of the gameplay from E3 2011 and make your own judgement.

RAGE releases October 4, 2011 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

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Source: Gamespot AU (via CVG)