Tim Willits

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tim Willits
Willits in 2016
Born (1971-09-13) September 13, 1971 (age 52)
Occupation(s)Studio director, id Software (1995–2019)
Chief creative officer, Saber Interactive (2019–present)

Tim Willits is the former studio director, co-owner, and level designer of id Software. As of August 2019, Willits is the chief creative officer at Saber Interactive. He became a Director of 3D Realms with Saber Interactive’s acquisition of the company.[1]


Willits is a computer science and business graduate of the University of Minnesota[2] and a former member of the University of Minnesota Army ROTC program. Willits was the battalion cadet-command sergeant major (C/CSM) during his junior year and attended ROTC Advanced Camp at Fort Lewis, Washington during the summer between his junior and senior years of college. After an injury during the summer, Willits completed two rotations, being assigned to both the first and seventh cadet regiments during that summer. He held the rank of cadet-major (C/MAJ) during his senior year and was assigned as the battalion training officer.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Married for the second time in 2009, Willits currently lives in a Dallas suburb with his wife, Alison Barron Willits. Together, both of them have triplets.[3][2]


Willits at QuakeCon 1997

Willits has stated in numerous interviews that he was inspired to make video games when he downloaded a shareware version of Doom. He played the first room of E1M1, thinking that was the entire demo, then, discovering a door that led the player to the other rooms. It was that moment when the door opened that Willits decided he wanted to make video games.[2][4][5] He joined id Software in 1995 after impressing the owners and development team with Doom levels he forged in his spare time and distributed free over the Internet. Willits has worked on Strife, The Ultimate Doom, Quake, Quake II, Quake III Arena, Quake III: Team Arena and Doom 3.[citation needed]

Willits was lead designer on Doom 3, and executive producer on Quake 4. He was also the creative director on Rage and Quake Live, as well as the game director on the arena shooter, Quake Champions.[citation needed]

Willits was the only id Software employee to attend every single QuakeCon event since its inception in 1996 until his departure from id in 2019, something of which he is proud.[4][5] On July 18, 2019, Willits announced he would leave id Software after serving for 24 years.[6] He is now the chief creative officer at Saber Interactive.[7]

Willits was referenced in the Doom movie as Dr. Willits.[8]


Willits received attention in August 2017 for claiming that he created the concept of multiplayer maps during the development of Quake. According to Willits, he approached coworkers John Romero and John Carmack with the idea of maps which could only be played in multiplayer, which Willits claimed the two dismissed as "the stupidest idea they'd ever heard".[9]

The following day, Romero refuted Willits' statement on his personal blog, claiming that Willits' alleged encounter between him and Carmack never happened.[10] Carmack said that he does not recall the conversation between Tim Willits, John Romero, and himself, and he trusts Romero's recollection of events, in line with the account detailed on Romero's blog.[11] Romero explained that many hundreds of deathmatch-only maps had been made for Doom prior to Quake's release, including a deathmatch map created by then-id Software employee American McGee. Romero also noted that Marathon and Rise of the Triad, first person shooters which predated Quake by over a year, both shipped with maps exclusive to multiplayer. Tom Hall, co-founder of id Software and director of Rise of the Triad, gave his support for Romero.[11] Willits responded to the article by posting an early video of a map fragment with elements of Q1DM3 shown named Tim14.bsp on his Instagram, and stated that "I stand by what I said".[12] In January 2020, Willits was on the Arcade Attack Podcast and clarifies that when he talked about multiplayer-only maps he was specifically talking about Quake, not FPS games in general. He also added that Quake was the first FPS game that had dedicated client-server architecture for multiplayer.[13]

Willits was interviewed by Warren Spector in 2007, giving the same account of creating the concept of multiplayer-only maps.[14] Willits also claimed to have created all of Quake's shareware levels; this was disputed by John Romero.[10]


These are the works Tim has done, which includes titles mostly from id Software:

Year Title System(s) Role(s) Notes
1995 The Ultimate Doom MS-DOS[a] Level Designer for Episode 4: "Thy Flesh Consumed" Updated release of the original 1993 game featuring an additional episode, "Thy Flesh Consumed"
Master Levels for Doom II MS-DOS "Attack" and "Canyon" map designer
1996 Strife MS-DOS Level Designer Primarily developed by Rogue Entertainment
Quake MS-DOS Level and scenario designer
Hexen: Beyond Heretic Sega Saturn Designer Primarily developed by Raven Software
1997 Quake II Microsoft Windows Level designer
1999 Quake III Arena Microsoft Windows Level and scenario design
2004 Doom 3 Microsoft Windows Lead designer
2005 Quake 4 Microsoft Windows Executive producer Primarily developed by Raven Software
2010 Quake Live Microsoft Windows Creative director
2011 Rage Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Studio Director and creative director
2012 Doom 3 BFG Edition Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Studio Director
2016 Doom Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch Studio Director
2017 Quake Champions Microsoft Windows Game and Studio Director
2019 Rage 2 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Studio Director Collaboration with Avalanche Studios
TBA Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine II Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S CCO at Saber Interactive announced at The Game Awards 2021


  1. ^ See Official versions of Doom for full list


  1. ^ "Timothy Richard Willits – 2 roller i dansk erhvervsliv". proff.dk. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Thomsen, Michael (June 2011). "The Deathmatch Daydreams of Tim Willits". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 248. p. 24.
  3. ^ Alison Barron Willits on Facebook
  4. ^ a b GameSpot. "id Software 20th Anniversary Feature". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  5. ^ a b QuakeCon. "QuakeCon 2011: 20 Years of id Software". YouTube. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  6. ^ "id Software director Tim Willits quits studio - Polygon". Polygon. July 18, 2019.
  7. ^ Chalk, Andy. "Former id Software boss Tim Willits joins Saber Interactive". PC Gamer. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  8. ^ Doom Trivia from the Internet Movie Database
  9. ^ Barrett, Ben (August 31, 2017). "John Romero, John Carmack, and American Mcgee deny Tim Willits' Quake comments". Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Romero, John (August 30, 2017). "Multiplayer-Only Maps". Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Craddock, David (August 31, 2017). "All id Software Co-Founders Refute Tim Willits' Quake Map Anecdote". Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  12. ^ Craddock, David (August 31, 2017). "Willits Responds to Quake Map Controversy, Fails to Address Lineage of Multiplayer-Only Maps". Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  13. ^ "Arcade Attack Podcast 154 – Tim Willits (id Software) – Interview". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 13, 2021. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  14. ^ Capel, Chris. "Ex-id Software developers are calling Tim Willits a liar over claims regarding Quake multiplayer maps [UPDATED: He's told this story before)". Game Watcher. Retrieved September 5, 2017.

External links[edit]