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John Carmack Said Some Things At QuakeCon

Here is a number of them!

John Carmack is the closest thing I have to a hero in the game industry. He once inspired me to be a graphics programmer, before I figured out that I'm terrible at high-level math.

That's why I paid rapt attention at his QuakeCon lecture, in which he talked about such engaging topics as the arcane two-CPU architecture in the Saturn, and how quaint it was that he used global variables in inappropriate situations in some of his early games. Also, here's a few other comments he made that might actually be of interest to normal people.
 
 
John Carmack, talking.


  • Rage is a playable game now, but the beginning of the game isn't anywhere near finished yet. Carmack hopes this gets done soon so they can start playtesting the game from the start.
  • The next Doom is the first game since Doom II that will require no new engine tech; it's using the same version of id Tech 5 as Rage.
  • After the Zenimax acquisition, id will grow to three full internal teams to make big-budget games like Rage, but no fourth team is planned.
  • Carmack is disappointed with some aspects of Quake Live. Elements like leaderboards have been unexpectedly taxing on the back end, and the project has been too expensive for an ad-supported product. But id is still trying to make it a viable product with a big user base, and Carmack sees people playing Quake Live for years to come.
  • Mobile phone time! id is likely migrating away from the Java and Brew platforms to work solely on the iPhone. Carmack says carriers like Verizon and AT&T don't care about games, and likens their mobile gaming strategy to "someone making semi-random decisions." Furthermore, he says fitting games into these companies' tiny, arbitrary space limitations is a pain, so id is "giving up and stepping away from" expecting these companies to ever improve their games platforms.
  • Doom Classic for iPhone is basically done, but being held for strategic business reasons. Carmack isn't sold on holding the game back from release, and sort of wants to release it ASAP.
  • id is planning a three-tiered iPhone strategy: classics, designed-from-the-ground-up-for-iphone titles (probably including a Rage game), and RPG. You should expect an iPhone title from id roughly every other month for at least the next year.
  • Carmack thinks 3GS-level graphics hardware can handle id Tech 5's megatexturing feature, and cites Myst for iPhone's success as proof games with large file size will sell well.
  • id may bring over Orcs & Elves and Doom II RPG for the iPhone treatment, similar to the upgrade Wolfenstein RPG got.
  • Carmack hasn't gotten to do any high-end graphics research since the last QuakeCon. He feels more pressure to make a great game now since the Zenimax acquisition, but acknowledges that at some point he'll have to get back to research purely for business reasons. 
 
When I left, Carmack was talking about Armadillo Aerospace's next attempt at the X-Prize's Lunar Lander Challenge, and spouting hard numbers about the rear-wheel horsepower of his old Ferrari Testarossa. Man, that guy is awesome.  Brad Shoemaker on Google+
47 Comments
Posted by Brad
John Carmack is the closest thing I have to a hero in the game industry. He once inspired me to be a graphics programmer, before I figured out that I'm terrible at high-level math.

That's why I paid rapt attention at his QuakeCon lecture, in which he talked about such engaging topics as the arcane two-CPU architecture in the Saturn, and how quaint it was that he used global variables in inappropriate situations in some of his early games. Also, here's a few other comments he made that might actually be of interest to normal people.
 
 
John Carmack, talking.


  • Rage is a playable game now, but the beginning of the game isn't anywhere near finished yet. Carmack hopes this gets done soon so they can start playtesting the game from the start.
  • The next Doom is the first game since Doom II that will require no new engine tech; it's using the same version of id Tech 5 as Rage.
  • After the Zenimax acquisition, id will grow to three full internal teams to make big-budget games like Rage, but no fourth team is planned.
  • Carmack is disappointed with some aspects of Quake Live. Elements like leaderboards have been unexpectedly taxing on the back end, and the project has been too expensive for an ad-supported product. But id is still trying to make it a viable product with a big user base, and Carmack sees people playing Quake Live for years to come.
  • Mobile phone time! id is likely migrating away from the Java and Brew platforms to work solely on the iPhone. Carmack says carriers like Verizon and AT&T don't care about games, and likens their mobile gaming strategy to "someone making semi-random decisions." Furthermore, he says fitting games into these companies' tiny, arbitrary space limitations is a pain, so id is "giving up and stepping away from" expecting these companies to ever improve their games platforms.
  • Doom Classic for iPhone is basically done, but being held for strategic business reasons. Carmack isn't sold on holding the game back from release, and sort of wants to release it ASAP.
  • id is planning a three-tiered iPhone strategy: classics, designed-from-the-ground-up-for-iphone titles (probably including a Rage game), and RPG. You should expect an iPhone title from id roughly every other month for at least the next year.
  • Carmack thinks 3GS-level graphics hardware can handle id Tech 5's megatexturing feature, and cites Myst for iPhone's success as proof games with large file size will sell well.
  • id may bring over Orcs & Elves and Doom II RPG for the iPhone treatment, similar to the upgrade Wolfenstein RPG got.
  • Carmack hasn't gotten to do any high-end graphics research since the last QuakeCon. He feels more pressure to make a great game now since the Zenimax acquisition, but acknowledges that at some point he'll have to get back to research purely for business reasons. 
 
When I left, Carmack was talking about Armadillo Aerospace's next attempt at the X-Prize's Lunar Lander Challenge, and spouting hard numbers about the rear-wheel horsepower of his old Ferrari Testarossa. Man, that guy is awesome. 
Posted by torus

Yes. He is awesome.

Posted by JJOR64

I hope Doom 4 is awesome.

Posted by Alphazero

As a nerd programmer, I probably would have gotten the nerd programming jokes.
 
And snort-laughed milk out my nose. Because that's how we do.

Posted by SlimDogg95

Carmack is the man. I hope Rage turns out awesome and sells well for them. Keep up the great work and love for the craft.

Posted by jakob187

Why has no one recreated the iconic image of some dood putting up the graffiti of "Clapton is God" for Carmack? 
 
I think I've found my new project.

Posted by DerekDanahy

  Armadillo Aerospace's next attempt at the X-Prize's Lunar Lander Challenge
 
That's awesome.

Posted by Diamond

I listened to the WHOLE thing Live.  It was good.  I finally really see what a true engineer the guy is.  Videogames, rocket ships, and CARS.

Posted by Teirdome

Three internal id teams is nothing but awesome.  I'm really looking forward to what they can crank out.
 
... I also find it really funny that Rage, looking like such a Fallout rip-off, is coming from the same publisher.

Posted by buzz_killington

I watched the whole thing live on IGN and it was awesome. Carmack talked about crazy technical stuff for 2 hrs, but because of his enthusiasm, I was stoked. He is also BRUTALLY honest, and I love him for that. He is my hero, as well.
Posted by darkjester74

Carmack is a living legend.  I'm totally jealous of you Brad, you rat-bastard!  ;-)

Edited by MrKlorox

Nice. I'll have to go check out a video of the keynote. They're bound to be uploaded around the net by now.
 
edit: fuck no they aren't... if anybody comes across any from this year, please reply to this with a link. All I can find is a shitty time-lapse video of it on youtube.
 
 

@Teirdome

said:

" I also find it really funny that Rage, looking like such a Fallout rip-off, is coming from the same publisher. "

But neither are true. EA Partners is publishing Rage, and it is MUCH more akin to Mad Max than Fallout.
Posted by Branthog

Don't forget, Carmack is not only a gaming god, but also a hard core nerd-thug. Makes me feel better about the crap I pulled when I was a kid, too.
 
Carmack and his friends became obsessed with computers, but the school they attended could not afford them. As a result, when he was fourteen years old, Carmack and some buddies broke into a school in a wealthier neighborhood to steal an Apple II computer. They were caught, and Carmack spent the next year in juvenile detention.   -- source: http://awurl.com/vVUnrVlgY

Posted by skywing

GOD DAM BOY 
You been busy Brad.  Take a break

Posted by Jambones

Was anything mentioned about future idtech iterations on OS alternatives like Linux? Carmack is a big supporter of OSS from what I understand. But I can understand his position from the perspective of running a company, where the market is, and so on. 
 
Here's hoping though.

Posted by MichaelH

It was a great keynote as always.  I think just like Ryan has mentioned multiple times before that he can listen to basically anything Will Wright has to say (and I agree with him,) I really feel that John Carmack could stand up and talk to me about anything and I would be completely engaged for the entire duration.

Posted by Shuborno

I didn't have a chance to listen to the whole thing, but being a software developer, it was very interesting listening to him speak.  I love his enthusiasm!

Posted by Deusoma

What does he mean by "The next Doom is the first game since Doom II that will require no new engine tech"? There are only three Doom games. Doom and Doom II used the same engine because they were released within a year of each other, and Doom III used a different one because it came out ten years later. I mean, the statement makes sense, it's just kind of odd when you think about it. That would be like saying that Mass Effect 2 is the "first game in the series to use the engine tech of a previous game". I'm not bashing him or anything, it just sounds silly to me.

Posted by ryanwho

Doom 2 RPG huh wuh

Posted by ryanwho
@Deusoma said:
" What does he mean by "The next Doom is the first game since Doom II that will require no new engine tech"? There are only three Doom games. Doom and Doom II used the same engine because they were released within a year of each other, and Doom III used a different one because it came out ten years later. I mean, the statement makes sense, it's just kind of odd when you think about it. That would be like saying that Mass Effect 2 is the "first game in the series to use the engine tech of a previous game". I'm not bashing him or anything, it just sounds silly to me. "
He was saying and every game following Doom 2, like Doom 3 and Quake Wars, used a different engine. This is the first time they've not had to upgrade an engine between projects since then, which is code for they've got their shit together a little better maybe.
Posted by Cerza
@Branthog said:
" Don't forget, Carmack is not only a gaming god, but also a hard core nerd-thug. Makes me feel better about the crap I pulled when I was a kid, too.
 
Carmack and his friends became obsessed with computers, but the school they attended could not afford them. As a result, when he was fourteen years old, Carmack and some buddies broke into a school in a wealthier neighborhood to steal an Apple II computer. They were caught, and Carmack spent the next year in juvenile detention.   -- source: http://awurl.com/vVUnrVlgY "
Wow I didn't know that! I mean Carmack was always the man before in my book, but now knowing that he really is THE man.
Posted by Hamst3r
@Teirdome said:
" Three internal id teams is nothing but awesome.  I'm really looking forward to what they can crank out.  ... I also find it really funny that Rage, looking like such a Fallout rip-off, is coming from the same publisher. "
Yeah, because the Fallout series invented the Post-Apocalyptic wasteland setting and all it's tropes... :|
Posted by Jtan21

Truly this is the age of id on the iPhone.

Posted by ryanwho

Fallout 3 is the new Bioshock when it comes to being falsely credited to inventing tropes that already existed long before the game. Sometimes I forget a lot of people on the internet are possibly like fucking 8 years old or something, then I read something like that and remember.

Posted by EspadaKiller

This guy is awesome, can't wait for RAGE and DOOM 4 :D

Posted by DavidSnakes

What a badass

Posted by snap7

I can listen to this dood talk for hours. He has a complete understanding of all things dood.

Edited by MrKlorox
@ryanwho said:

" He was saying and every game following Doom 2, like Doom 3 and Quake Wars, used a different engine. This is the first time they've not had to upgrade an engine between projects since then, which is code for they've got their shit together a little better maybe. "

Actually Quake Wars, like Quake 4, was on the Doom 3 engine. It just happened to make use of a type of megatexturing.
 
Doom = 1
Quake = 2 *
Quake 3 = 3
Doom 3 = 4
Rage = 5
 
*Quake 1 engine was by far the most impressive leap and still remains the most dark and brutal (not to mention only true, IMHO) Quake to date.
 
I'm not generally a fan of thrash band Sepultura, but I have no problem in admitting id needs to get back it its roots... bloody roots. Fuck this space alien hell bullshit.
Posted by Spacetrucking

Now why wasn't this guy given a stage at E3 ? QuakeCON is awesome and all but E3 is still the biggest stage there is in gaming. Having Carmack there would really give E3 the much needed PC gaming punch.

Posted by Kyle
@Killjoy: I'm pretty sure id doesn't go to E3.
Posted by Spacetrucking
@Kyle: Now thats a damn shame.
Posted by floodiastus

Havent really liked anything ID has done since Quake 2.....

Posted by PapaLazarou

I loved RTCW, Doom 3 and Quake 3 but never got into any of their other games.

Edited by Jared

Here's hoping Doom 4 is awesome, Rage should hold me over till whenever that is released.

Edited by AndyS
@MrKlorox said:

I'm not generally a fan of thrash band Sepultura, but I have no problem in admitting id needs to get back it its roots... bloody roots. Fuck this space alien hell bullshit. "

Its roots are Commander Keen :)
Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

Carmack is certainly a brilliant man.  Most of this news won't really apply to me, but I'm always up for a new Doom.
Moderator
Posted by fuzzyponken
@MrKlorox said:
Doom = 1
Quake = 2 *
Quake 3 = 3
Doom 3 = 4
Rage = 5
Forgetting Quake 2, are we? idtech 1 is the Quake engine, idtech 2 is Quake 2. Doom doesn't count. 
Posted by mracoon

Carmack is one of my favourite game developers.

Moderator
Posted by L33tfella_H

I love hearing any Carmack Related news.
 
He's one of my biggest idols when it comes to videogames simply because whereas most Big name Game Devs have taken a  step down to Designer/Director/Producer level on their games, Carmack works day by day on designing new code and finding out better ways to optimize it.
 
Also, That comment about Doom IV being the first since Doom 2 not to require a new engine probably means in the sense of all their games.
 
Doom 1 & Doom 2 = Built on the same engine, upgraded for Doom 2
Quake 1 = id tech 1
Quake 2 = id tech 2
Quake 3 = id tech 3
Doom 3 = First game to use id tech 4(which kinda limited the engine imo)
Quake 4 = second game to use id tech 4 
Rage = First game to use id tech 5
Doom IV  = second game to use id tech 5

 I didn't mention RTCW or Quake Wars since those weren't internally developed by id themselves.

Posted by Jimbo_N

One fo the absolute top moments of the year is Carmacks QuakeCon speech. I want to hear it in its full lenght intead of reading it. 
Also, to anyone that ahve not read it yet. Read "Master of Doom" to find out everything about Carmacks fascinating childhood and teen years.
Posted by MeatSim

Carmack is one of the few people who can stand up in front of crowd and start talking and people will actually want to listen to him.

Posted by TheHBK

I want to hear that first stuff you mention, the Satrun Architecture and global variables in early games, gives you a glimpse into how tech and design in games evolved.  I think that whole comment about Doom 4 being the first since doom 2 to not use a new engine is dumb.  Come on, That means Doom 1 and Doom 3 are the only ones leaving the other half! 
They seriously need to stop making crazy claims.  Mega texture on iphone hardware?  That piece of shit can barely handle a few blurry textures, let a lone that new tech.
Posted by Liquid306

Carmack is the fuckin' man!

Edited by MrKlorox

  @fuzzyponken:  I sure didn't forget Quake 2. I just considered it to use the same basic engine as Quake. Neither entirely wrong nor correct. If Doom didn't count, he would never have made his statement.

  @L33tfella_H:
Actually none of us have listed it right yet. And Quake 4 was developed by Raven, not id.
 
Doom 1 and 2 = tech 1 (aka Doom engine)
Quake = 'quake engine'
Quake 2 = tech 2
Quake 3 = tech 3 
Doom 3 = tech 4
Rage = tech 5
  
  @TheHBK:  Well Doom Resurrection on iPhone uses a different engine from the others also. He wasn't just talking about the numbered games.

Posted by Bucketdeth

I like how that guy rolls.

Posted by sdauz

he gets wayyy to much credit...how big is id btw?

Posted by Media_Master

When he talks about his car you... 
 
wait a minute....why should I care?