Tim Willits

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Tim Willits
Born (1971-09-13) September 13, 1971 (age 47)
OccupationStudio Director, id Software

Tim Willits is the studio director, level designer and former co-owner of the American video game developer id Software.

Early life[edit]

Willits is a computer science and business graduate of the University of Minnesota[1] 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]

Career[edit]

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 Level 1, 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, Willits was transported into making video games.[1][2][3] Willits required assistance with developing doors in future levels and games.[citation needed] 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 the creative director on Rage and Quake Live.[citation needed]

Willits is currently[when?] leading as game director on the upcoming arena shooter, Quake Champions.[citation needed]

Controversy[edit]

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".[4] The following day, Romero refuted Willits' statement on his personal blog, claiming that Willits' alleged encounter between him and Carmack never happened.[5] 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.[6] 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, had a large variety of maps exclusive to multiplayer. Tom Hall, co-founder of id Software and director of Rise of the Triad, gave his support for Romero.[6] 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 "He stands by what he said".[7]

Willits was interviewed by Warren Spector in 2007, giving the same account of creating the concept of multiplayer-only maps.[8] Willits also claimed to have created all of Quake's shareware levels; this was disputed by John Romero[5]

Works[edit]

These are 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 N/A
1996 Strife MS-DOS Level Designer Primarily developed by Rogue Entertainment
Quake MS-DOS Level and scenario designer N/A
Hexen: Beyond Heretic Sega Saturn Designer Primarily developed by Raven Software
1997 Quake II Microsoft Windows Level designer N/A
1999 Quake III Arena Microsoft Windows Level and scenario design N/A
2004 Doom 3 Microsoft Windows Lead designer N/A
2005 Quake 4 Microsoft Windows Executive producer Primarily developed by Raven Software
2010 Quake Live Microsoft Windows Creative director N/A
2011 Rage Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Studio Director and creative director N/A
2012 Doom 3 BFG Edition Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Studio Director N/A
2016 Doom Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Studio Director N/A
2019 Rage 2 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Studio Director Collaboration with Avalanche Studios
TBA Quake Champions Microsoft Windows Game and Studio Director Early access title, retail release date not announced yet
TBA Doom Eternal Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch Studio Director Release date not announced yet

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.[9][1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ See Official versions of Doom for full list
  • He was referenced in the Doom movie as Dr. Willits.[10]
  • Willits is the only id Software employee who has been to every single QuakeCon event since its inception in 1996, which is something he is proud of.[2][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Thomsen, Michael (June 2011). "The Deathmatch Daydreams of Tim Willits". Electronic Gaming Monthly (248): 24.
  2. ^ a b GameSpot. "id Software 20th Anniversary Feature". YouTube. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  3. ^ QuakeCon. "QuakeCon 2011: 20 Years of id Software". YouTube. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  4. ^ Barrett, Ben (August 31, 2017). "John Romero, John Carmack, and American Mcgee deny Tim Willits' Quake comments". Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Romero, John (August 30, 2017). "Multiplayer-Only Maps". Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Craddock, David (August 31, 2017). "All id Software Co-Founders Refute Tim Willits' Quake Map Anecdote". Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  7. ^ Craddock, David (August 31, 2017). "Willits Responds to Quake Map Controversy, Fails to Address Lineage of Multiplayer-Only Maps". Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  8. ^ 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 5 September 2017.
  9. ^ Alison Barron Willits on Facebook
  10. ^ Doom Trivia from the Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ QuakeCon. "QuakeCon 2011: 20 Years of id Software". YouTube. Retrieved 19 August 2015.

External links[edit]