id’s Carmack talks engine tech in lengthy interview

While John Carmack’s influence in the industry has arguably decreased over recent years, hearing him ramble on about game technology is as interesting and thought-provoking as ever. If you’ve got 22 minutes and 12 seconds to spare today, I strongly recommend watching ComputerAndVideoGames’ interview with the id Software co-founder. In the interview, Carmack touches on topics ranging from the benefits of playing Rage on the PC and id’s development pipeline to geekier topics like latency, with some of his trademark observations about the industry thrown in.

On the subject of Rage for the PC, Carmack says PC gamers will be able to enjoy twice the texture resolution as their console-playing brethren. So, even playing Rage at 720p will get us crisper graphics than on the consoles—and at 1080p, we may get close to three times the number of unique pixels. That said, Carmack is also aiming to make Rage playable at 30 FPS on Sandy Bridge integrated graphics (though he’s apparently not quite there yet).

Carmack also talks at length about input lag and his decision to make Rage a 60 FPS game, which he says was a “hard argument to win internally.” The sacrifices purportedly paid off, though, because the game is much smoother and more responsive as a result—and “almost everybody” can tell. Despite emphasizing input responsiveness, Carmack doesn’t view the extra latency induced by cloud gaming services like OnLive as a huge problem. Lots of shipping games with 30 FPS targets have “multiple frames of lag,” he claims, so dealing with 50 ms of extra overhead with OnLive isn’t as catastrophic as it might seem.

Looking forward, Carmack hopes to undertake “at least” another two graphics engine research projects. He hopes to tackle things like “mega geometry” and be able to “spend money on the PC and have these incredible supercomputer things.” However, streamlining the content creation process is arguably a greater priority. “I don’t want us going off and doing some navel-gazing graphics thing that’s not going to make that much difference,” Carmack explains. “We’re in the entertainment business. We’re in the business of producing experiences for people that they love so much, they’re willing to pay for them, and we need to keep our priorities in mind.”

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    • jimmy900623
    • 10 years ago

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    • tanker27
    • 10 years ago

    I dont know, It sounded as if Carmack was setting the stage for his swan song. And it will be a sad day when visionaries like Carmack throw in the towel because in this day and age there are very few that have the sort of vision he has brought to the industry.

      • Scrotos
      • 10 years ago

      Doh, reply fail, sorry.

      Gaming doesn’t have any cool “superstars” like Carmack and Romero anymore. They might not have always done the best thing but they were personalities and had visions (with Daikatana, visions like a bad trip!)

    • DarkUltra
    • 10 years ago

    Nuts. I remember a carmack quote saying “polygons? i’d rather have a pass” referring to polygon throughput versus fancy texture effects. Then Half Life 2 owned Doom III with its physics and zero point energy weapon. I’ll be interested if Rage have better gameplay 🙂

    [url<]http://archive.gamespy.com/futureofgaming/engines/[/url<] Engines And Engineering What to expect in the future of PC games. By Steven L. Kent | Oct. 31, 2002 In a recent statement, id software's John Carmack said that he didn't want more polygons. Instead, he wants "100 passes per polygon." (With each rendering "pass" a computer makes before it displays the graphics, more and more detail can be added.)

      • Scrotos
      • 10 years ago

      Seems in line with the Q3 shader system, that comment from 2002.

      Geometry is important. You can’t build open, complex levels with lots of playermodels displayed if you can’t push a ton of polygons. However, passes, in this context, are also very important. All the fancy effects and lighting add passes. You’re taking that one pixel, calculating how it looks, then adding an effect, recalculating it, adding lighting, recalculating, etc.

      You want normal maps, motion blur, and parallax mapping? Or do you want a really complex looking map/level that’s all fullbright and boring looking? Each “pass” takes a toll on the graphics card. So yeah, I’m there with him; I’d rather have more passes than more geometry if I had to choose between the two though of course I’d like both.

      It lets you get stuff like this: [url<]http://www.rq3.com/?page=article&id=89[/url<] (click the pic to see it as a video) ...without having to run at 5 fps. I think that adds more to the gameplay experience than to have, in that example, more detailed buildings or trees. My opinion.

    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    To cherry pick a bit, the part where he talks about how he has a set of goals and problems (a check list) and little vision because he’s a engineer and he talks about how the artists are the ones really pushing things forward highlights the desparity between the lead designersrs and art direction in game.

    Games like Bulletstorm where the art is so far ahead of the gameplay is quite said. The same can be said about advertisements (where a lot of talent goes into making something really amazing) and game trailers. Yet there doesn’t seem to be people who are capable of mediating between the engineers and the artists, which is a problem that actually plagues the automotive industry.

    If you give an engineer a problem then he’ll find the most effecient and best solution even if it doesn’t take into account people who play it. Where as an artist will try to make something that matches a dream even if it can’t be done. This actually applies to a lot of things in life and right down to social sciences beginning to fuse and be applied to hard sciences.

    Sadly most of the designers now are either retarded douchebags that worked their way up the corporate ladder or engineers. With the exception of a brave few I haven’t seen any real visionaries or leaders in a long time.

    It does sound like he’s getting tired though. Like the article TR posted a few months ago about developers liking where games are in terms of graphical fedelity and gameplay. The ideology and stance he is taking up is showing that he’s starting to slip into the status quo mindset.

    The bit about being able to do anything because the hardware is so powerful shows the lack of vision. Maybe he’s accomplished pretty much everything he set out to do when he first entered video game development and instead of setting new goals he simply reflects on past ones?

    Don’t get me wrong, he is still talking about some wonderful things. I really liked his idea about 60fps minimum gaming and diminishing returns with higher framerates. That plays on human cognition, which in turn deals with psychology (once again a social science). It makes sense logically and at the same time represents something applicable that deals with something you can’t necessarily touch, but affects us all. They had to use a highspeed camera to rationalize their decisions (engineers).

    All in all a new generation needs to push the old one out, but such is the chicken-egg problem associated with video game development that makes it extremely hard. The video game development community is ridiculously rabid. Just going on website, such as gamedev, yields a bunch of people who will basically tell you that you’re wasting your time with a dream and you should become a cog. I don’t believe that’s a mindset to move anything forward at all. That is the biggest open community development site I’ve seen.

    I did really enjoy Carmacks talk though. He is down to earth and he still has the sparkle of intellect in his eyes. When someone can openly talk about their mistakes and reflect more on issues they’ve encountered then trying to make themselves feel good about what they’ve accomplished, they’re good in my book.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 10 years ago

      Artists and designers alone a good game does not make. Diakatana, for example. Crysis level games are not economically feasible, and can’t be yet mass-produced with today’s dx11 HD graphics. If they don’t sell, the company will go belly up. People need to stop whining about it. It’s not a console issue, it’s an economic issue. Carmack is attempting to solve it by creating more efficient tools. How’s that status quo? There’s also problems in the OS/drivers that hinder game performance, which Carmack mentioned. These things can’t be quickly or easily fixed, and require work with microsoft and amd/nvidia. Until these problems are addressed, pc gaming can’t evolve. It’s beyond any one entity, and requires work from the entire community. I think Carmack has a great deal of vision, and he’s working on things beyond current hardware capability, but at the same time he’s a realist who understands that doesn’t make money and you have to sell a product on what you can run today. That said, the megatexture engine does seem like a step forward for the artists, but the best way to find out is first hand experience when the game comes out.

        • Bensam123
        • 10 years ago

        Yoda, is that you?

        Crysis level games are completely possible. You are aware that Crysis is actually four years old and they stepped down the graphics by about three years? Same thing can be said about Oblivion and Skyrim.

        It’s not that it’s impossible or even unfeasible, rather they’re dropping down to a lower baseline because everyone else is and they don’t feel the need to strive for something more.

        It’s status quo because instead of pushing things ahead he’s trying to satiate the current lifestyle. That’s why I lamented about him being an engineer without vision and leaving it to the artists to try and push things forward when they’re limited as to what they can do in terms of driving a game. Designing levels can only do so much.

        There is always a problem with drivers. Google PS3 and unlocking true performance. Microsoft said that it would take people years to effeciently take advantage of all the Xbox 360 has to offer, Sony made the PS3 so it would take people a long time to figure out how to make it work. Compatability woes plague the consoles as well as the PC and the PC has a happy medium (directx).

        I’m not sure what he’s working on beyond ‘hardware capabilities’ when everything he is working on in constrained solely by the consoles he’s making games for now. You can twist words however you want, say it’s a ‘challenge’ or the industry needs ‘baseline’ or ‘constraints to set goals on’. That’s what people say when they don’t know where to go when they have too much freedom, people who can’t make their own paths and they need someone to hold their hand.

        Have you seen some of the videos of megatexture BTW? It’s basically just a giant texture. And while it is unique, as no part of it is the same, it looks like utter garbage because it’s so huge the artists can’t squeeze enough detail into it per-mm. It’s like taking a low-resolution photo and blowing it up. Go play Quakewars if you don’t believe me. You basically just stare at a pastel color palette.

        He does think up some neat tricks, as I did say, but the whole reason you need something like megatexture is because you’re working with an antiquated piece of hardware. Think about how much time he could’ve spent on something else that actually utilizes new technology.

        Every part of what has happened now is self-inflicted. It’s a industry losing steam and people who refuse to change and rather maintain the status quo. Consoles are the status quo and developers know that. It’s the difference between a easy day at work and a hard one… how many people do you know would pick the hard one when they have a very tangible self-serving excuse?

          • Bensam123
          • 10 years ago

          Matter of a fact, to add emphasis to just how wrong that line of thinking is… There is a community mod called Living Legends FOR Crysis that is building assets from the ground up and has a huge amount of modified code. The ‘bar is too high’ argument is just a scapegoat for a easy day at work.

          They don’t get paid and the mod looks damn good. Matter of a fact, you should try it. It’s been in open beta since .3 I believe and they’re on .5 now.

          If you think I’m BSing you, go visit FPSbanana or any fan site and see what people do in their [i<]free[/i<] time (as in they don't get paid for it). Hell, the fact that raytracing hasn't even been touched by developers and physics has just been a pissing contest for graphic card vendors should be able to tell you as much. ...heh, don't you think it's sad that mods are being released with higher quality work then professional level games?

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 10 years ago

            The funny thing about people who don’t get paid is that nobody has to pay them millions of dollars that are almost guaranteed to not be recoupable. The other funny thing is that that’s because [i<]it doesn't affect the gameplay.[/i<] What you are asking is for an even more disproportionate amount of the budget to be allocated to graphics, when, to put it bluntly, almost every single game made today is a steaming pile of crap, because they already have a disproportionate emphasis on form over function.

            • Jambe
            • 10 years ago

            ^^^^^^^^ what he said. Prettier != better.

            Racist imperialist testosterone-driven homophobic mainstream shooterizing or, as Yahtzee would put it, “Captain GrayBrown LoadsOfBloom” is just fine! Right! Just make that same tired old crap prettier and games will be better.

            Let’s Go Blow Some Generic Aliens Up Installment #20 is ray-traced irt, so it’s significantly better than installments 1-19!

            Ugh.

            • Bensam123
            • 10 years ago

            I never said prettier is better. I was saying not caring and not trying, striving for a lower baseline destroys the end product. It’s all part of the original problem, I listed more examples in my original post, but all you’re quoting is the part of my argument which is in response to leets.

            • Bensam123
            • 10 years ago

            Read my original post before you think my [i<]response[/i<] to his [i<]response[/i<] is all there is to this argument. (I also made the mistake of posting a double reply instead of editing my original post so people don't even read the original post) I agree, every game is a steaming pile of crap for the most part. ...but what they're doing is taking one of the last things those games have going for them, graphics, and saying it's a waste of resources. It's just an excuse to make even shittier games. Magically unemploying graphical artists wont make the games better. Paying douchebags more who can't even nail down game mechanics or good game play WON'T make better games. It's not like game designers are distracted with making things look pretty, that's someone else's job. You don't make people smarter, have better business sense, or give them vision by paying them more. You can task an entire group of people on the art and fiddle with everything else and they largely don't interact (unless the art yields a performance drain). Case and point Living Legends not only looks pretty, but has pretty good gameplay... and it's just a mod. That's why I mentioned it in the first place.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 10 years ago

            “Paying douchebags more who can’t even nail down game mechanics or good game play WON’T make better games. It’s not like game designers are distracted with making things look pretty, that’s someone else’s job.”

            Nobody said you have to pay them more. You can give them more time and avoid unreasonable deadlines, which does distract them. These people are more like factory workers with corporate slave drivers standing over their heads than grand visionaries seeing their own creation through to the end.

            The graphics side can be hashed out quickly by just multiplying the amount of workers, so that’s exactly what the more prominent companies do. That part of the budget could be redistributed and absolutely produce better games, but most companies just want to produce games quickly. Because of that, they’re not really going to do a better job on the graphics, either. That requires attention to detail, which takes time, and would further detract from the rest of the budget.

            Since the budgets wouldn’t increase without the already ridiculous price of games increasing even more, the only choice is to balance out what they already have to work with.

            “Case and point Living Legends not only looks pretty, but has pretty good gameplay… and it’s just a mod. That’s why I mentioned it in the first place.”

            My point is that it’s not relevant. It’s just people doing something they enjoy, that they picked out themselves, and taking their time – the antithesis of the video game industry. There’s no concerns of money, deadlines, and marketing hanging over their heads.

            • Bensam123
            • 10 years ago

            “Nobody said you have to pay them more. You can give them more time and avoid unreasonable deadlines, which does distract them.”

            Then how does turning down graphics have anything to do with what you’re saying? The only reason you would want to do less graphically is so you can put money into other things.

            On the other hand that was part of my original argument and the ones that spurred off of it. They don’t need to and it’s a sign of them getting lazy and attempting to suck more money out of something while putting even less in.

            “My point is that it’s not relevant.”

            My point was that it was, it just wasn’t directed at you in the first place, You never read the post above the one you replied to which was replying to gamer. It’s completely relevant, just not completely to what you’re talking about. Not everything is about you in a threaded argument.

            Read my first post. A lot of what you’re stating that you think is ‘opposing’ what I’m saying is what I said in the first place.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 10 years ago

            Did those modders code the Crysis engine from scratch? LOL, NO. They were just a bunch of artists and scripters that made a mod. People have been doing that since Doom, but it’s extremely rare for a “mod” to use a custom engine. Also, I never said Crysis level graphics were impossible, just not cost effective. Nobody wants to spend 10 years and millions of dollars on a game that tanks.

            Carmack is not an artist, and he never was. He programs game engines, and the artists make use of it. Making things easier for the artists will allow more creativity in a game, provided the artists are talented enough.

            Raytracing is too slow to use, and “physics” isn’t even an argument, but a scam started with Ageia. Games have always had physics, but Ageia, now nvidia decided to sell dedicated hardware for a proprietary API. We won’t see games making major use of either until dx12 + 12 core cpu’s/16 GB ddr5.
            Metro 2033 is about as good as it gets with this generation of hardware, and even though current hardware can do tessellation, it runs too damn slow to use a lot of it. There is a bottleneck somewhere that needs to be addressed.

            • Bensam123
            • 10 years ago

            I never said they did. Does every game company need to make a game engine to make a game? lol, no.

            Everything cutting edge has to start somewhere. Simply not using something because it’s fresh out of the mind of individuals is a good way to kill it off. I’m not sure how physics is a scam either. If you’ve ever played a game that makes remotely interesting use out of it (such as Faces of War), you would definitely say otherwise. Even Bad Company 2’s implementation is god send, even though all it is is a predetermined scripted destruction sequence.

            It’s like bitching about Creatives bad drivers and saying people never should use it, but never having heard EAX environments and how awesome they were before stating it. It’s stupid.

            “Also, I never said Crysis level graphics were impossible, just not cost effective. Nobody wants to spend 10 years and millions of dollars on a game that tanks.”

            Which is why I mentioned Living Legends. Hell Medal of Honor they spent a ridiculous amount of money on and it tanked. Graphics are easy to apply, but simply taking them away will start a trend for games with absolutely no eye candy because it becomes accepted that they don’t need it. It wont make bad games good, but it will definitely make good games better.

            They wont just give a budget for graphics back after they see people buy stuff with a lot less money put into it. Businesses don’t work like that.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 10 years ago

            I’m not saying physics are a scam. PhysX is a scam. Games used to either use their own physics or havok, before physx. PhysX is deliberately crippled on the cpu vs. gpu. ATI users end up with 5 fps using physx, and all major physx titles are TWIMTBP sponsored. If you can’t open your eyes to see how much of a scam that is, then you’re legally blind. I have played physx games, using an ebay’d PPU, then a 470, and there is nothing special about it. A lot of the effects could have been done without the middleware, and the ones that couldn’t are too overblown to be cool. I remember trying cpu physx in batman and walking into a room where there was no effects and the fps dropped to single digits. Total scam. You don’t NEED PhysX to have physics, plus it drops your framerate even if you have a nvidia card. I’d rather have AA/AF with dx11 than physx. Physics != PhysX, it’s a detriment the gaming community has no need for.

            Living Legends is totally irrelevant. They did not create the engine, they weren’t being paid. If Crytek hadn’t made Crysis, there would be no Living Legends. You can’t pull fancy graphics engines out of thin air, people create them, and if the games are not cost effective to produce, we won’t see a lot of fancy new engines. I honestly had hoped people were done with the shallow graphics mindset after Crysis, and wanted gameplay instead, but it looks like you still want the graphics. Regardless, you won’t be seeing anything new until it becomes more cost effective to produce, that’s a historical fact, like it or not.

            PS. Even if someone made a game with the next gen unreal engine, you’d need an i9 and 3 GPU SLI to run it. The PC has hit multiple walls in terms of cost effectiveness. Not only is it too expensive for companies to develop, but it’s too expensive for us to buy. You can’t make money selling games to the 10 people in the world who have those systems. That’s why Crysis initially had bad sales. The hardware couldn’t render the game at acceptable framerates, so people didn’t buy the game until faster hardware was available. Don’t count on companies repeating that, because sales is more important than pushing the envelope. The ideal game would be one that looks and plays good, scales well, and is easy to produce.

            • Bensam123
            • 10 years ago

            “PhysX is deliberately crippled on the cpu vs. gpu.”

            That was done by NVidia after they bought up Ageia. Ageia originally allowed it to scale to as many cores as you had available, they simply said it would run better on a PPU.

            The original idea and what Ageia did to push physics is not a scam in the slightest.

            “Living Legends is totally irrelevant. They did not create the engine, they weren’t being paid.”

            That is all the more reason why it is very important. The fact that they did that without getting paid shows how little work paid professionals put into making games. As far as making a engine goes, most game developers don’t make a brand new engine for every game they make. They license it to people who make games to get a lot of the busy work out of the way.

            My argument had nothing to do with being shallow with graphics at all. You’re just stuck on the ‘everyone who likes graphics doesn’t care about gameplay’ mindset and didn’t read the rest of my argument or the context that it was put into.

            “Even if someone made a game with the next gen unreal engine, you’d need an i9 and 3 GPU SLI to run it.”

            Unreal Engine 3 that came out with UT3 that was released ~4 years ago? Crysis was released at the same time and looks better.

    • jthh
    • 10 years ago

    Can someone explain, or post a link to explain, the meaning of a 30fps game v. a 60fps game? I thought the fps was dependent on your graphics card and refresh rate of your monitor? So designers can design a game that’s built for 30fps, what happens when I play it on a monster system that gives me 70+fps?? I am confused!

    Thanks!

      • UltimateImperative
      • 10 years ago

      I think Carmack was talking about consoles, where your hardware is fixed, so you have to make compromises. Many console games run at 30 fps on that hardware. He’s aiming at 60 fps.

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 10 years ago

        He’s probably also talking about capping the frame rate at 60fps on PC

      • bandannaman
      • 10 years ago

      Couple of ideas.

      He may be referring to the maximum amount of time available for non-graphics calculations and other setup. If you’re targeting 30 fps, you have 1/30 of a second (about 33 ms) between frames for AI, setup, and other processing, IF (and this is important) you want what’s on the screen to closely match what the user is reacting to. If you take more time than that, then there’s a lag between what the user sees and what s/he is shooting at or otherwise reacting to. This lag is completely separate from network lag.

      If you’re targeting 60 fps, you have only half the time, 1/60 of a second (about 17 ms). So it takes more work (development cost) to optimize down or cut features (e.g. AI smarts) to meet that threshold, which might be the id-internal struggle he refers to.

      On the other hand, he may be referring to something completely different, i.e. in order to get 60 FPS on all the target platforms you have to compress the textures down more so they can go across the bus faster (I’m just making stuff up now, no idea if that’s a good example). But since there are still many TVs out there that can’t display true 60 FPS at all (480i displays), there’s a chunk of the market that would see no visual benefit.

      I dunno, just offering ideas.

      • swaaye
      • 10 years ago

      It sounds like most of the idtech 4 games which were locked to 60fps Max. You could unlock the limit but it didn’t work very well. It had to do with how parts of the engine were synchronized. And since most monitors are now 60hz it’s not a big deal.

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 10 years ago

        Yeah, but you could also say that Carmack is currently giving 3d gaming the finger, which might change if more people bought into it.

      • KoolAidMan
      • 10 years ago

      The thing you need to take into account are the refresh rates of monitors and LCD displays. Your monster system can output more than 60fps, but the display output will have a cap based on how many frames it outputs itself. 60hz is the common refresh rate among desktop LCDs and HDTVs. This is why 120hz LCDs are becoming a thing among some PC gamers, as they display an even smoother experience than the usual 60hz display.

      • Scrotos
      • 10 years ago

      bandannaman is on the right track.

      If a console game is outputting to 720p30 as the target, then just run everything at 30 fps. That means less work for the video card. It then frees up more resources for effects and stuff like AI, sound mixing, junk like that.

      And in that case, if you’re never going above 30 fps, design the whole game engine to work in 30 fps slices. This means it also processes input in 30 fps slices which means (stealing from bandannaman) every 1/30 of a second (about 33 ms) the game world updates with what you wanted it to do, be it move, fire, or whatever.

      Taking a look at this: [url<]http://www.humanbenchmark.com/tests/reactiontime/stats.php[/url<] Best-case human reaction time might be 100 ms. That means that something happens and 3 frames later you can do something about it in the 5th frame from the initial action because you'll lose one frame while the game world is processing input. If you're fast. At 60 fps, 1/60 of a second (about 17 ms), you'd be able to do something about it in the 4th frame. Ergo, this is why fps gamers who are used to games running gameworlds at higher refresh rates bitch about console games which are designed with a 30 fps system in mind. They are being "limited" by console ports of the games. Input lag is a bit of a different issue but in my view is related to game world fps as well; however most people will talk about LCD refresh rates and USB polling rates and junk like that. I know this isn't exactly precisely correct but it gets the point across as easily as I can figure.

        • TREE
        • 10 years ago

        As someone who has programmed a processing system that runs at a specified rate within a gaming context, I can tell you that Scrotos is correct in what he has said.

        In case anyone is wondering its a system based on elapsed time and delta time (time between frames). And its purpose is to free up processing resources that otherwise would be consumed by doing something like constantly updating animations every CPU loop as opposed to every (N)ms.

        As an example it turns out that animations do not need to be updated and processed every CPU loop (it involves a lot of CPU heavy maths such as splines, bezier curves etc) and instead the they can be deferred in their processing. The difference is never seen on the visual output device, in Scrotos case a TV at 30 Hz, as the screen is not updating as fast as that of the CPU or GPU. In the case of someone maybe using a 60 Hz TV, you still would not see any jittery animations as the game might use interpolation between those CPU loops where animation processing is not taking place.

        I hope this makes sense, its past my bed time.

    • Meadows
    • 10 years ago

    The interviewer was [i<]disgustingly unprepared[/i<] for this. Throughout the entire video, he asked questions with such uncertainty and stuttering that most of the time I thought he might have a speech disorder. I'm partly surprised Carmack didn't frown on that fact.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 10 years ago

      Carmack’s a down to earth guy, which helps make him the coolest guy in the biz. If this was a Job’s interview, the video and body would never be found.

      • Bensam123
      • 10 years ago

      Not necessarily in the same tone as you wrote as well as the severity, I agree. He seemed like he got an interview on a whim when he didn’t expect one.

      • Firestarter
      • 10 years ago

      Carmack didn’t need an interviewer for this interview, he just needed an excuse to talk on camera for 22 minutes straight 🙂

      • Scrotos
      • 10 years ago

      Hell, have you ever talked with Carmack? For anyone nerdy it’s kind of intimidating. I got some one-on-one with him at QCon 2001 or 2002 (forget which one) and asked him about his thoughts on Kyro’s approach to rendering before the rest of the crowd found us and mobbed him for autographs and pictures.

      I was kinda deer-in-headlights with that and normally I’m a jaded, cynical computer nerd.

    • swaaye
    • 10 years ago

    I’m pretty pumped to give Rage a try. It looks like an interesting combination of the various other post-apoc shooters/RPGs that have come out recently. An open-world-ish id game? This is definitely new territory for them.

    It’s too bad that storage issues and console processing limitations have killed some of the graphics (dynamic lighting/shadowing especially).

    • tay
    • 10 years ago

    I found the multiple frames of lag point interesting. In my experience Quake (original) & Quake3 had great crispness that I’ve never seen since.

    Quake3 game world moved at 125 fps not 60. But that was during the time of CRT’s that could do 125 Hz and everything was sync’d to the fps. I would love for him to compare Quake3 to a 60fps game.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      I bet you don’t know input lag very well.

        • w00tstock
        • 10 years ago

        Back in the q3 days there was VERY little input lag. We all used CRT monitors and wired mice. this seems like it would be an apples to oranges comparison.

          • Bensam123
          • 10 years ago

          Yeah, I’ve thought of switching back to a CRT for just that reason. Watching your screen morph when you turn really fast gets old. It has a rather placid feeling to it too because you’re limited to whatever your screen can dish out, you just stop trying to push yourself further then that.

          I would get a plasma screen for my desktop, but they don’t make screens smaller then like 31″. 🙁

        • Bauxite
        • 10 years ago

        I bet you don’t know the PS2 port can be overclocked 🙂

        It was nice when they were on an actual interrupt and not saddled with the extras of usb. Used to always have mine in an evenly divided multiple of the monitor. Usb mice are technically high refresh but it was pretty obvious there was a difference in responsiveness when they first came out.

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          200 Hz isn’t the bee’s knees when USB does 1000.

      • sschaem
      • 10 years ago

      In the interview he hinted that ID did test comparing 120hz to 60hz and their finding was that the benefit was not worth it.

        • Firestarter
        • 10 years ago

        I’m pretty sure that for normal games, it isn’t worth it. But for hardcore shooters like Quake3 and CS, having a 120hz display is definitely an advantage versus a 60hz display.

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          CS isn’t fast enough to need 120 Hz.

            • Firestarter
            • 10 years ago

            It’s not just about speed, it’s about being able to aim well, too. When your brain gets twice as many updates as to how accurate the mouse movements are (with half as much lag), you bet you’ll be able to aim better. For regular gamers I don’t think it makes a huge difference, but when you’re a competitive gamer or even a professional gamer, it’s something that you’d be foolish to ignore.

            Considering that the games and engines developed by ID Software spawned more than a few very competitive scenes, I think that their stance on this issue speaks volumes about their vision of the future of PC gaming.

            • DarkUltra
            • 10 years ago

            Yes, it is. Even Windows is fast enough to benefit greatly from 120hz+fps. Windows DWM and GDI+ doesn’t always update at 120fps, but when it does, it really is smooth on these new “3d ready” 120hz monitors. Almost all reviews rave about how smooth the windows move and the cursor precision. And of course games look incredibly more solid and smooth at 120hz, if your computer can keep up.

            • Scrotos
            • 10 years ago

            He’s, uh, he’s making a joke. Saying CS gameplay is slow (and boring).

            Y’all need to lighten up. Buncha fps fanatics poppin’ up with this Carmack article, I tells ya.

        • TrptJim
        • 10 years ago

        He also said that comparison was with gamepads. You can feel the lag in a mouse much easier.

          • Bensam123
          • 10 years ago

          Perhaps even more so if you have a ultra high DPI / pulling mouse?

          I’m sure gamepads don’t register at 5700DPI and have 1000hz pulling… I may be mistaken though. You know those enthusiast xbox controllers are pretty tight. You almost don’t need auto-aim!

            • cygnus1
            • 10 years ago

            polling?

      • Scrotos
      • 10 years ago

      Q3 sv_fps was default of 20. So no, the Q3 game world, when you connect to any server (probably even localhost for bot games), is running in 20 fps slices, not 125 fps slices.

      If you mean just raw screen fps, perhaps you’re confused. For example: [url<]http://www.funender.com/quake/console/q3connection.html[/url<] You might be thinking of the com_maxFPS having a "magic" setting of 125. The default setting of that, though, was 85, not 125. You can read some more of that below the forms on this page: [url<]http://www.funender.com/quake/articles/fps.html[/url<] So again, the game world moved at 20 fps slices no matter what your local video fps was and when playing online that has a larger effect on perceived responsiveness not even getting into network latency.

        • Meadows
        • 10 years ago

        The game world moves at the “snaps” value, which used to be also 20 if I recall correctly, and Quake Live updated it to 30 and then, most recently, 60. So basically, the game got more “precise” since.

        I have no idea what the sv_fps does, but if I were to come up with a hunch, I’d say it limits your CPU wasting when you run your own server. Also, a higher snaps value is meaningless without the corresponding server FPS, but the server framerate alone has nothing to do with cients.

    • Skrying
    • 10 years ago

    I wonder if Carmack will try to incorporate the ability to display colors besides various shades of brown in his next engine.

      • indeego
      • 10 years ago

      That would hurt Onlive’s compression algorithms.

      • bittermann
      • 10 years ago

      He did manage to incorporate some redish into the brown and green in Q2…

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      Quake Live has vibrant pink, blue, red, purple, white, orange, and others. How many colours do you want exactly, to distract you as much as possible? Enough is enough.

      • spiked_mistborn
      • 10 years ago

      Problem solved!

      From twitter:

      “@ID_AA_Carmack John Carmack
      Sometimes I want to put window tint on the artists and designer’s monitors to get them to build brighter levels.”

      “@ID_AA_Carmack John Carmack
      Why don’t IES light definitions include color?”

      “@ID_AA_Carmack John Carmack
      $595 for a new copy of the IES Lighting Handbook? WTF?”

      He must have been using the old version up until now…

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 10 years ago

    I really like how honest and candid this guy is about everything.

      • hansmuff
      • 10 years ago

      It’s because he’s a true engineer with vast knowledge, intelligence and humility. He is successful purely based on his skills. A guy like that has no need to embellish, dramatize or otherwise distract from the truth.

      • odizzido
      • 10 years ago

      I really like his honesty and openness as well. In a world of companies constantly lying to you it’s really refreshing.

      • Arclight
      • 10 years ago

      Indeed he seems like a very likeable guy, more so when he speaks passionately about something we love.

    • Arclight
    • 10 years ago

    “Looking forward, Carmack hopes to undertake “at least” another two graphics engine research projects. He hopes to tackle things like “mega geometry” and be able to “spend money on the PC and have these incredible supercomputer things.” However, streamlining the content creation process is arguably a greater priority. “I don’t want us going off and doing some navel-gazing graphics thing that’s not going to make that much difference,” Carmack explains. “We’re in the entertainment business. We’re in the business of producing experiences for people that they love so much, they’re willing to pay for them, and we need to keep our priorities in mind.””

    Frustrating for me, as someone who would like to see PC games advance….it seems to me like a ireversable damage has been done and PC gaming will never go back to it’s former glory.

    I have owned and played games on consoles but no console controller will ever beat the mouse keyboard combo, especially in FPS games which i love the moust.

    I’m not hoping people like Carmack will quote “I don’t want us going off and doing some navel-gazing graphics thing that’s not going to make that much difference,”, i just hope they stride to improve the look of the games without thinking it will affect people playing the game on consoles.

    Consoles are good for casual gaming when you’re being lazy on your sofa and don’t want to get into harcore stuff…. To be honest we all know that all platforms have flaws – consoles are performance limited and lack better controls than the PC, good gaming PCs cost more than consoles (although due to the fact that lately we get only console ports, a good gaming PC is alot cheaper than it used to be).

    Looking to the future what i fear is cloud computing, gaming will be just a innocent aspect of the paradigm shift. I really don’t know why people would support it, well maybe from ignorance.

      • thesmileman
      • 10 years ago

      “a good gaming PC is alot cheaper than it used to be”

      The reason a good gaming PC is cheaper than it used to be is because we aren’t pushing the limits of PCs it has little to do with costs going down. If we pushed everything to the limit you would need a either a new computer every other year and a new graphics card every two. Or you would have to buy a really expensive computer that would be okay for a while. When the next set of consoles come out we will have the same problems as before where we have to buy an incredible PC to be on par with the consoles.

        • Arclight
        • 10 years ago

        Hence i said “(although due to the fact that lately we get only console ports, a good gaming PC is alot cheaper than it used to be).”

        Do you like arguing for no reason? I said pretty much what you said….

      • swaaye
      • 10 years ago

      There are and there have always been so-called hardcore games on consoles. Unless you think games like Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy are casual titles. Besides, the platforms have always shared games, all the way back to the ’80s. NES had PC games on it and PC had SNES games on it.

        • Arclight
        • 10 years ago

        Those are not hardcore games, i’ll give you 2 examples of hardcore games:
        1. Starcraft Brood Wars, it has survived till this date for a decade being patched and supported and there are still professional gaming competitions globally, just check it out.

        2. Counter-Strike 1.6 same as Sc BW,
        Just imagine a guy with a mouse + keyboard, who played this game at a professional level for years, taking on another dude playing on his sofa with a console controller, Hell i wonder whose gonna win.

          • swaaye
          • 10 years ago

          I’m not going to play the “define hardcore games” game because as I basically said I don’t believe in it. If you think that consoles have not been as influential as computers in defining the game industry you definitely might want to widen your perspective.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 10 years ago

      You’re missing his point completely. Carmack’s not talking about lowering graphics to the lowest common denominator (consoles), he’s talking about making pseudo failures like Crysis. Did you even listen to his interview? He explained that it takes too long to develop navel-gazing graphics, and it’s not cost effective for the development time, bankrupting smaller companies. It’s much more cost effective to develop better tools for the artists. Then he also talked about latency, which I think is becoming more of a problem with these epic monstrosities. Carmack also talked about how he’s working more on the pc, totally throwing your misguided opinion out of the water. Also, WTF on the cloud computing comment. You really don’t know what you are talking about. If you can’t afford to develop games now, how can you develop for a theoretical, magical, completely made up of pixie dust, cloud system? Have you thought about what hardware runs the cloud system? Magic smoke? And what about latency?! Troll post?

      Rage is admittedly better on the pc than on the console. It’s not a console port where you have the same graphics as the console. This is a PC game, and your argument is null and void.

        • Arclight
        • 10 years ago

        “Carmack also talked about how he’s working more on the pc, totally throwing your misguided opinion out of the water”

        If you watch the interview again, actually Carmack promissed to work more on PC in the future but him and his company are small players right now churning out only a game or two every decade, he is not dictating the gaming industry. The industry right now is using consoles as denominator and there is no sign that will ever stop in the near future. Furthermore Carmack himself stated that if a company invests 100 million $ into a game that has the best graphics possible that PCs can handle, the company developing that game will go bankrupt because by not selling the product on all platforms they will not turn a profit, hence there is no desire for dedicating games for PCs.

        As for the “cloud” i was refering to the fact that if it is ever successfull for gaming, idiots will start to promote the idea of cloud computing where cloud service providers will store all your information on their servers and you will access via internet it when you need it (on related news did you read the article about the Apple’s iCloud which is their 4th attempt at cloud computing?)

        Well it sounds good in theory but we all know in reality it will always have problems (or atleast until present days it did have) because you cannot have the guarantee that they won’t look through your data or that you will be able to acess your data at all times as you damn please, or that they won’t lose your damn files.

        “Rage is admittedly better on the pc than on the console. It’s not a console port where you have the same graphics as the console. This is a PC game, and your argument is null and void.”

        I heared it from the horse’s mouth that the PC version of Rage will be superior through higher resolutions (higher than 1080p) and by higher levels of antialiasing. Well big woopty doo, i thought that’s the very definition of a console port, i’ll stop here.

          • l33t-g4m3r
          • 10 years ago

          I don’t think you understand what Carmack has created here. His new megatexture engine is highly efficient for cross platform developing. This new engine allows him to create a superior PC version, then cut it back for consoles. Totally the opposite of current console ports.

          [quote<]Carmack says PC gamers will be able to enjoy twice the texture resolution as their console-playing brethren.[/quote<] That's not screen resolution. [quote<]i'll stop here.[/quote<] That would be best for everyone. TX. PS. Cloud gaming is a completely different issue than the topic at hand. Yes, it's a bad idea, no it's not feasible yet. Steam already stores saves in the cloud, which is a good thing, and it's not private info. Gaming is not something like facebook, which you should not be trusting personal information on anyway. That's not the threat with cloud gaming, the real threat is ownership of your games. PPS. Anyone who doesn't like owning their property can feel free to give me their house and car, while I rent it to them at full retail price, feel free to use the house and car as your own, but you can't resell them because I own it.

            • DeadOfKnight
            • 10 years ago

            Who says we own anything? Take a look at all those modders who “own” their Playstation 3s.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 10 years ago

            I say. It’s my property, I paid for it, I own it, I can do whatever I want with it, provided I’m not hurting anybody with it. And if anyone wants to claim otherwise, they can attempt to come and take it. Perhaps there wouldn’t be such a large grey area if more people stood up for their property rights.

      • Bensam123
      • 10 years ago

      I agree wholeheartedly. While he still has a gleen in his eye, his fire is starting to die out.

      What it will take to usurpt this direction is a rising star in the video game world which is incredibly hard to come by considering how hard it is to get into especially after all these top dogs have now emerged on top and push everyone else down. Video gaming is so new that investors and publishers don’t look for fresh meat, rather they look for the old stuff because they don’t realize how valuable new talent is.

      In the same way you can’t pitch an idea to a publisher like a movie producer can to a studio and they haven’t even begun to tap the rawforce of the people working for them or their communities (such as the automotive industry). All of this will need to change.

    • Prion
    • 10 years ago

    > 15 ms of extra overhead with OnLive

    That is borderline impossible to believe.

      • TaBoVilla
      • 10 years ago

      I have a feeling OnLive like services are part of the future, so we betta start embracing the concept

        • Corrado
        • 10 years ago

        Just like the cloud/streaming stuff, and the mobile/desktop convergence stuff. People need to realize that this is the way things are going to be, and complain all you want, but its not gonna change it.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 10 years ago

          Yup, subscription services and not owning a damn thing are definitely the wave of the future.

            • l33t-g4m3r
            • 10 years ago

            Only if our collective offspring are retarded monkeys. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. (not saying there isn’t a market for the cloud, but it better stick only to the demographic it suits.)

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 10 years ago

      No kidding, I can’t get less than 40 ms responses from servers which don’t have to render 3D graphics how are they getting it down to 15?

        • KikassAssassin
        • 10 years ago

        I’m pretty sure Carmack said 50ms.

          • Cyril
          • 10 years ago

          Ah, sounds like you’re right. My mistake.

      • bittermann
      • 10 years ago

      They place multiple servers in specific geo regions to cut down on latency. Kind of like Akamai servers but on a much smaller scale.

      • designerfx
      • 10 years ago

      I’m guessing 50ms as below, but in reality with even minute congestion controls 70-100ms is a lot more realistic. think 100ms isn’t noticeable/incredibly aggravating? Think again.

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