When id Software programmer John Carmack speaks, people listen. In fact, folks line up for the chance to hear the guy live. Carmack’s keynote address is one of the most anticipated events at the annual Quakecon convention, and this year’s talk certainly didn’t disappoint. The keynote went on for more than three hours. You might want to warm up another pot of coffee for the the full video we’ve embedded below.
Within minutes, Carmack apologized for the minor disaster that was Rage‘s PC release. id will do better in the future, Carmack said, although it seems the PC is largely at the mercy of graphics drivers. The company’s next game will not be a sequel to the post-apolcalyptic shooter. Instead, the entire team is hard at work on Doom 4. The developer’s mobile division has even been shuttered to free up more staff to work on Doom‘s return.
Carmack was careful to avoid saying too much about the upcoming game, noting that id mismanaged expectations for Rage, which some expected to be more of an RPG than a straight-up shooter. Doom 4 is being developed in stealth mode, and it’ll be done when it’s done.
Although Carmack is known for pontificating at length about aspects of 3D graphics programming far above my head, he spent a surprising amount of time talking about other things. He discussed everything from the challenges of large-scale software development to his Armadilla Aerospace rocketry venture to a current fascination: virtual-reality displays like the Oculus Rift. Carmack is clearly passionate about VR, and he seems to think we’re pretty close to having compelling consumer implementations. Others clearly share his interest; the Oculus Rift Kickstarter has far exceeded its original goal, raising a whopping $1.3 million in just five days. It looks like Carmack is intent on releasing a Rift-compatible version of the id Tech 4 engine source code in the near future, as well.
There are too many aspects of the 216-minute talk to summarize here, but I recommend listening to the whole thing, even if it’s just on in the background. Carmack has a lot of interesting thoughts on a variety of topics, and it’s always informative to hear him speak.