"Hostile" Rage interview revisited

Rage - Interview this

You may have heard about Gamasutra's slightly contentious interview with id CEO Todd Hollenshead and artist Andy Chang about the direction id took with Rage. Interviewer Brandon Sheffield took a surprising amount of criticism for his tone, and the fact that he questioned most of the answers id gave him. Today, Sheffield explains a bit of the context for that interview, and why he took such a questioning approach.

"I asked these questions to Chang and Hollenshead, because I couldn't figure out why they'd done it this way," Sheffield writes. "This is not some amateur developer, this is id, so they had to have good reasons for their systems, and the makeup of the universe they'd created. The hostile tone people may have picked up on was likely a misinterpretation of my surprise at their responses."

Both the original interview and Sheffield's coda are good pieces and reveal a lot about why Rage might have been an underwhelming game when compared with the expectations surrounding it. But perhaps the most surprising thing is that Sheffield had to write the second piece at all. As he points out, the interview should be entirely unremarkable.

"It was the bare minimum we should expect from journalists," he says. "If something is said that doesn't match what you saw, ask about it. If you're curious about this or that, ask a question, no matter how 'important' the interviewee may be. And sometimes the best answers can be gotten by playing devil's advocate."