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John Carmack Leaves id Software

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-quake dept.

Quake 154

jones_supa writes "John Carmack has left id Software completely. 'John Carmack, who has become interested in focusing on things other than game development at id, has resigned from the studio,' id's studio director Tim Willits told IGN, and continues: 'John's work on id Tech 5 and the technology for the current development work at id is complete, and his departure will not affect any current projects. We are fortunate to have a brilliant group of programmers at id who worked with John and will carry on id's tradition of making great games with cutting-edge technology. As colleagues of John for many years, we wish him well.' Carmack, a co-founder of id, recently joined Oculus VR as Chief Technology Officer, and at the time remained at id Software in some capacity. Earlier this year, id president Todd Hollenshead departed id as well."

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Maybe now... (-1, Flamebait)

Not-a-Neg (743469) | about a year ago | (#45495535)

...id software will release a game with a bug-free engine? It would be a first.

Note to self: wait for v1.666 release of Oculus VR before buying.

Re:Maybe now... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495599)

John Carmack is a sissy faggot. He can go choke and die on a dong.

The end of an era. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495541)

Let's hope he sticks around somehow. Gaming would lose so much if he geniunely retired.

Re:The end of an era. (5, Funny)

Servaas (1050156) | about a year ago | (#45495571)

I'm quakeing in my boots at what he will accomplish next!

Re:The end of an era. (5, Funny)

gameboyhippo (827141) | about a year ago | (#45495881)

I'm not. I don't think gaming is doomed.

Re:The end of an era. (5, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#45495909)

John Carmack quit ID software!? I think I just wolfensteined my shorts.

Re:The end of an era. (4, Funny)

sideslash (1865434) | about a year ago | (#45496293)

Observe the Goddess of Funny Jokes command 'er keen sense of humor in a direction far away from this terrible thread, and meditate with rage on how to be avenged on these blasphemous slashdotters.

Re:The end of an era. (3, Funny)

Iniamyen (2440798) | about a year ago | (#45496439)

Hopefully he won't be Hexen id software by leaving them for other projects.

Re:The end of an era. (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#45496477)

Don't be a heretic. Besides, they'll always have that Rescue Rover [wikipedia.org] IP to fall back on if times get bad.

Re:The end of an era. (2)

Neuroelectronic (643221) | about a year ago | (#45496847)

Mods: please remove this thread and hell-ban future instances of "pun threads".

Re:The end of an era. (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about a year ago | (#45496975)

indeed, send them all down to the catacomb abyss.

Re:The end of an era. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497109)

I'm feeling a nerd Rage coming on.

Re:The end of an era. (4, Funny)

scum-e-bag (211846) | about a year ago | (#45497425)

You'll need a big fucking gun to stop the little imps.

Re:The end of an era. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496569)

Keen.

Re:The end of an era. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496497)

I hope he will work on nuclear fusion. If he can't make it, he certainly can fake it!

Re:The end of an era. (5, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | about a year ago | (#45495675)

Pretty much every year at Quakecon, JC spoke about how he hated getting bogged down with business details and wanted to get back to working on low level hardware/software, decreasing latency etc. i.e. he had gotten way too high level for his liking and all of his projects were tinkering R&D type stuff - he seems to have always shrugged off management roles that were cast upon him. He complained one year that iD Software and Rage had torn him too far from Armadillo Aerospace and (commentating here) the company had sort of flatlined without him as a constant presence there.
 
Wouldn't shock me to see him do a new start up company in the mobile games space and re-invest himself in Armadillo Aerospace again. iD software obviously had long been somewhere where he no longer fit in.

Re:The end of an era. (5, Interesting)

SethJohnson (112166) | about a year ago | (#45496087)

Wouldn't shock me to see him do a new start up company in the mobile games space and re-invest himself in Armadillo Aerospace again.

Armadillo Aerospace lost the race for the SpaceX prize. It didn't develop any compelling intellectual property that set it much apart from the other commercial offerings in space travel, so it's become an also-ran. There are no plans for it to do much of anything unless another tycoon comes along and injects vast sums of cash. Carmack is done floating it with his own personal wealth.

His new passion is Oculus Rift. He brings great momentum to that project.

His presence at iD and Oculus probably became strained due to Oculus wanting to be platform & engine independent, while iD would obviously want priority compatibility built into Oculus for their engine.

Re:The end of an era. (5, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | about a year ago | (#45496203)

Armadillo was a profitable company (as in, showed a profit at the end of a fiscal year) with several different research contracts for NASA before it imploded due to mismanagement. I'm not sure what your ambiguous comment about "SpaceX Prize" means, do you mean the Lunar X prize? Armadillo never made a bid for the commercial crew program as far as I'm aware (where SpaceX is competing with two other, non-Armadillo affiliated companies).

Re:The end of an era. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497103)

I'm not sure what your ambiguous comment about "SpaceX Prize" means

Holy autism Batman. You can't understand he simply means the Ansari X Prize, which was simply known as "the X Prize" until 2004?

Re:The end of an era. (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about a year ago | (#45497173)

No, it genuinely doesn't look like the GP knows what they're talking about, they say "SpaceX prize" and then go on to talk about commercial programs. It's like he blurred the entire spaceflight industry together in a single sentence and does it without stating any facts.

Re:The end of an era. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495697)

ID engines have not been widely licensed since Quake 3. So no. Great technology, but they're not a development tools company like Epic.

Re:The end of an era. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496215)

Well..... Source is still heavily Quake dependent (despite what those "gaben is best programer" fanboys say otherwise), and the later Call of Duty games (including Black Ops II and Ghosts) still have id Tech 3 as their foundation.

Re:The end of an era. (5, Informative)

Scorchmon (305172) | about a year ago | (#45495955)

He's the CTO for Oculus, developers of the Oculus Rift VR HMD. He already has his plate full, and the writing has been on the wall since August when he joined Oculus. Gaming has much more to gain from him now that he's no longer tied to the past and can put all of his effort into VR gaming.

Re:The end of an era. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#45496209)

I wonder if he actually contributes anything substantial to Oculus (given that they pretty much had the whole thing worked out before JC was hired) or if it's just a marketing move to hire him.

Re:The end of an era. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496455)

I own a dev kit and it's far from figured out. Right now it's just a motion sickness machine.

Re:The end of an era. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497757)

They've commented that majority of that sickness actually is derived from lack of positional tracking, which is the first thing they tackled and have ironed out for the next kit. People with rudimentary positional tracking systems using their hydras have also felt a massive decrease in simulator sickness than when playing the same thing without said tracking. It goes back to the same reason why cutscenes are bad in VR: the camera must share 1:1 motion with the head at all times.

Re:The end of an era. (2)

olau (314197) | about a year ago | (#45496683)

Watch the QuakeCon talks he gave this year and in 2012. He's been involved in the development of the Rift from the beginning one way or another.

Re:The end of an era. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496385)

Disagree, remind me his latest games? Nobody know about them except a few hardcore gamers (40++ y.o.). He doesn't like high-level development, has no new ideas about gaming. Yes, he was the best and contributed a lot to the game development, in the past. He definitely deserves respect, but if he leaves nobody will notice. Next CoD and Battlefield will be released on schedule. There is a new generation of game developers. The development itself has changed from technology-centric to content-centric. From individuals who did everything themselves to sort of industrial streamlined process (with much less fun). JC is still young and smart, and I hope we will see something completely new from him (not another Doom). My guess, as he likes low level, it will be something with new hardware.

Re:The end of an era. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497031)

I was arguing for his importance against some xbox hardware devs probably 10 years ago and they made those same points that you made. What has he done for us lately... Looking back, I was wrong and they were totally right. I still like listening to his speeches though.

Re:The end of an era. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496711)

"Let's hope he sticks around somehow. Gaming would lose so much if he geniunely retired."

Gaming wouldn't lose much, let's be frank. Id software was more than John carmack. The single player aspect of ids FPS games was surpassed quickly by other developers a long time ago. Rage was a big fat flop trying to do single player like it is 1995.

Id has given up on traditional fast paced FPS games like quake and doom. Id software took its biggest hit when the original teams behind doom got divided. Id software without the original teams behind doom became good multiplayer games with crappy single player campaigns.

The only good thing about JC was he open sourced his game engines but other then that he hasn't done much to help other games besides his own get open sourced.

Long-timers leaving... Company shaken (5, Funny)

bob_super (3391281) | about a year ago | (#45495561)

Is ID Doomed?

Re:Long-timers leaving... Company shaken (1, Funny)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45495667)

Nah. It's just a passing Quake.

Re:Long-timers leaving... Company shaken (5, Funny)

bob_super (3391281) | about a year ago | (#45495747)

The feeling is Unreal. It's a Crysis.
Yes I know these are from other companies, don't go calling me a Heretic.

Re:Long-timers leaving... Company shaken (2, Funny)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45495783)

At least things are moving calmly and there is no sight of Rage.

Re:Long-timers leaving... Company shaken (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495669)

mein leben!!!!

Re:Long-timers leaving... Company shaken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495713)

Goose Bubbles!

Re: Long-timers leaving... Company shaken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496037)

Gerse berrbers!

Re: Long-timers leaving... Company shaken (1)

Borg453b (746808) | about a year ago | (#45496081)

scHEEEISs!

Re:Long-timers leaving... Company shaken (4, Funny)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about a year ago | (#45495791)

One might say id was modded into Oblivion.

Oculus Rift! (3, Interesting)

twocows (1216842) | about a year ago | (#45495573)

Does this mean he'll be spending more time with the Oculus Rift team? I'm pretty stoked about the Rift. One step closer to fully immersive video games. Imagine a game like Metroid Prime with this kind of tech. Man, that would be fantastic! Apparently HL2+eps is going to have support for it as well, that alone is probably enough to sell it for me.

Re:Oculus Rift! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495657)

Does this mean he'll be spending more time with the Oculus Rift team? I'm pretty stoked about the Rift. One step closer to fully immersive video games. Imagine a game like Metroid Prime with this kind of tech. Man, that would be fantastic! Apparently HL2+eps is going to have support for it as well, that alone is probably enough to sell it for me.

He's their CTO - if you'd bothered to do a little bit of research.

But you didn't.

Re:Oculus Rift! (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#45495907)

He's their CTO

And prior to this, he was splitting his time. The OP's question is a valid one, since he's asking if this will free up more time for Oculus. Alternatively, it may free up more time for Grasshopper, though I'd bet on Oculus getting more of the recently-freed time. The fact that he's the CTO is widely-known (by anyone who read the summary, which says it outright) and hasn't changed, so it doesn't really factor into the question of whether or not he'll be spending more time with that team.

Re:Oculus Rift! (3, Informative)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year ago | (#45496009)

Grasshopper is SpaceX's first stage landing test bed. Armadillo's landers were named Pixel, Texel, Mod, Supermod, and Stig, among other things.

Re:Oculus Rift! (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year ago | (#45496287)

Oops, yeah. Brain fart on my part. I was thinking Armadillo, of course, but simply mixed it up. Thanks for the correction.

Re:Oculus Rift! (1)

Gordo_1 (256312) | about a year ago | (#45496261)

He will be spending his time at Oculus 100%, which is good, because there's plenty of new ground to break and few are better qualified to drive the software side of things for a new graphics technology than Mr. Carmack.

I had access to a Rift DK for the better part of a month. For what amounts to a smartphone screen mounted inside ski goggles, I was thoroughly impressed and have no doubt that this device offers an early look at the future of hardcore gaming -- I suspect a similar device that allows you to insert your own smartphone in front of a set of lenses could be the eventual template for casual gaming as well.

Among the many tech demos available, I was most impressed with Lunar Lander on the Rift, which was worth hours of fun. The illusion that you are actually there, on the moon maneuvering this vehicle was only slightly diminished by the development kit's limitations:

* lack of positional head tracking -- up, down, left and right work fine, but you can't lean or move your head in any direction as it immediately breaks immersiveness (probably a major contributor to the early nausea that I and others have reported)
* awkwardness of the headset, input box & wires
* lack of congruent body avatar in virtually all demo software to date
* low resolution screen (half of a 1280x800 LCD panel for each eye) contributing to what's known as the screen door effect
* various unoptimized latencies (LCD refresh, video card output, head tracking, etc...)
* clunky lens adjustments

Over time, continued software and hardware development will mitigate or eliminate many of these problems. I'm looking forward to the 2014 consumer launch which is rumored to have higher resolution and positional tracking. If so, I will definitely be one of the first to line up for it.

Not as big a deal as you'd think (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495591)

They made their money. id got bought by ZeniMax, the destroyer of worlds. Now that they're no longer independent, they don't have the freedom to experiment that is the hallmark of Carmack's approach to engine development. The higher-ups are leaving for greener pastures and the rank-and-file devs are thrown to the wolves. I've lived through too many acquisitions to expect anything less. id's days are numbered and everyone at the company knows it.

Re:Not as big a deal as you'd think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497083)

If I were one of those higher ups, I'd start my own company and scoop up all those talented dev's that will no doubt get asspounded by their new overlords. But that's just me.

Remember to celebrate the 10th December (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495601)

20th Doom Anniversary. December 10, 1993 was released

Re:Remember to celebrate the 10th December (0)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about a year ago | (#45495805)

Remember, remember the tenth of December.

Re:Remember to celebrate the 10th December (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496693)

That sir, was an epic day

Re:Remember to celebrate the 10th December (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497367)

You are sporadicus.

Re:Remember to celebrate the 10th December (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497475)

Right on, I'm going to have a drink now... or 10... or 10 every day until December the 10

Damn, that sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495617)

Now all the high profile game engine developers are in bed with NVIDIA and to a lesser extent AMD ... Carmack was the last voice and force of independence.

PS. maybe he'll have some free time to write a book on engine design principles, the current generation needs guidance to not fuck up the basics over and over.

Re:Damn, that sucks. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495687)

He's too busy writing a book on gagging down the most cocks possible at North Dallas gloryholes.

Re:Damn, that sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495949)

You say that as if it's a bad thing.

Re:Damn, that sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496429)

No, he definitely has lots of valuable advice to give in this area. Carmack is one of the gloryhole kings of North Dallas.

Re:Damn, that sucks. (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about a year ago | (#45495819)

Smoke crack much? Games have always been either NVIDIA or ATI (read AMD now) based.

Re:Damn, that sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495943)

Carmack took money to put in features, but he never let it influence him beyond that.

He certainly didn't purposely avoid supporting new APIs in his engine so a GPU manufacturer could keep pushing hardware specific hacks (ie. Tim Sweeney).

Re:Damn, that sucks. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495963)

Or voodoo, or 3dfx, or creative, or.......

Yeah you're just wrong. sorry.

Re:Damn, that sucks. (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#45496245)

"Always" isn't a very long time if you're a pre-teen.

Re:Damn, that sucks. (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | about a year ago | (#45496415)

Or voodoo, or 3dfx, or creative, or.......

The Voodoo (and sequels) was 3dfx's chipset. I'm not sure where Creative comes from; they were never big in the 3D graphics arena. The GP is mostly correct in context -- it's been around 15 years since anyone other than Nvidia or ATI/AMD had a competitive 3D graphics card for gaming, and developers were favoring certain vendors even in the pre-3dfx days, so the GGP's statement:

Now all the high profile game engine developers are in bed with NVIDIA and to a lesser extent AMD ... Carmack was the last voice and force of independence.

is wishful thinking.

Re:Damn, that sucks. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about a year ago | (#45495965)

Except for the years before nVidia existed and ATI still made shit gaming cards. Your UID is too low to make such stupid statements.

Re:Damn, that sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496171)

Wow, you're young. Did you ever put your hands on a pci-based 3dfx graphics card?

Re:Damn, that sucks. (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about a year ago | (#45496537)

My SLI Voodoo2 setup disagrees with that statement

Re:Damn, that sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45498415)

Huh? You do know about "DOOM," right? The (pardon the expression) game-changing FPS from id that was written to run well on a stock 386 PC with vanilla VGA?

Doom 4 (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45495725)

I wonder if Doom 4 will ever see the daylight. Apparently the game has been considered being in a "development hell" for some time and Todd and John bailing out probably won't make things any better.

Re:Doom 4 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495757)

I wonder if Doom 4 will ever see the daylight.

We all know that no Doom game will ever have daylight. Hell they barely have ambient light.

Re:Doom 4 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495773)

How do you unhinge your jaw when you're gagging down 3 cocks at once?

Re:Doom 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495863)

Heh, you surely started your weekend wildly. I recommend you to appoint to the nearest health center.

Re:Doom 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496085)

They're white geekboy cocks. You just use a straw to fit them in.

Re:Doom 4 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496679)

Nah that brah takes on Mandingo-sized BBCs.

Re:Doom 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496083)

Apparently his resignation letter just said "Fuck Flashlights, Bitches!" which he flung at his boss at Bethesda before jumping into his Ferrari and driving off.

Re:Doom 4 (4, Funny)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#45495831)

I wonder if Doom 4 will ever see the daylight. Apparently the game has been considered being in a "development hell" for some time and Todd and John bailing out probably won't make things any better.

You know what game deserved a sequel? Duke Nukem 3D

Re:Doom 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495959)

Duke Nukem 4D?

Re:Doom 4 (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about a year ago | (#45496243)

SiN?

Yes; Yes it did. (1)

Grog6 (85859) | about a year ago | (#45496527)

It would have been great if they would have made one. :)

Just goes to show how much money you can "Blow" writing a video game for 15 years. :facepalm:

Re:Doom 4 (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a year ago | (#45496251)

Did you read the entire paragraph? Carmack's part of Doom 4 is done.

Re:Doom 4 (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#45496325)

What paragraph? And secondly, I wasn't talking about Carmack's role in Doom 4, but the status of the project in general. I didn't see any announcement that the whole project is discontinued yet.

Re:Doom 4 (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a year ago | (#45497069)

From the post-

"John's work on id Tech 5 and the technology for the current development work at id is complete, and his departure will not affect any current projects"

Re:Doom 4 (1)

compro01 (777531) | about a year ago | (#45496431)

Did you read the entire paragraph? Carmack's part of Doom 4 is done.

Certainly it's done, but whether or not it was complete is a different question.

Quakelive (2)

PC_THE_GREAT (893738) | about a year ago | (#45495781)

I just hope Quakelive doesn't die. I guess no programmer could do only one thing forever, the urge to solve other problems gets to you before you even know it.

RAGE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495797)

that game bombed hard...

Did it really look that better than the latest crysis? No.. Ok then..

either keep expanding on Doom or die.

Re:RAGE (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a year ago | (#45496211)

It was a good game... well, a good HALF of a game. It really didn't feel complete.

Re:RAGE (2)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about a year ago | (#45496993)

It was a good game... well, a good HALF of a game. It really didn't feel complete.

That's probably because you didn't wait the requisite 5 minutes for all the textures to load when you entered each room.

Re:RAGE (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a year ago | (#45497863)

Not in that sense. I meant that parts of the world seem unrealized, as there should be some levels in the swamp and the crater, but they're just small empty areas instead. And the game ends too suddenly, the final level isn't very climatic and the cutscene doesn't give closure to the plot.

He should track down Romero (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495833)

And make him his bitch.

doom 4 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495889)

I can fell my release date slipping away......

Re:doom 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45495953)

I can also feel my ability to type correctly slipping away as I use forums more and more...

If anything, this is expected news. (5, Insightful)

Gordo_1 (256312) | about a year ago | (#45495925)

Most employees are more or less replaceable, but John Carmack for all intents and purposes *was* iD, at least in the early years when 3D graphics engines were in their infancy. When he announced he was going to be CTO at Oculus, it was obvious that he was really excited about the prospects over there, and was going to be winding things up at iD sooner or later. But he chose not to leave his old company in the lurch, and he transitioned at a pace that didn't screw them over in favor of the new. This is John Carmack exiting graciously.

Re:If anything, this is expected news. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497479)

Good luck and Godspeed, John Carmack. All gamers owe you a debt of gratitude.

DOOOOOOOOMMMMM!!! (1)

Chas (5144) | about a year ago | (#45496367)

Yeah.

I know.

Ironic ain't it?

Re:DOOOOOOOOMMMMM!!! (1)

DrPBacon (3044515) | about a year ago | (#45496437)

Are you sure?

ID without Carmack (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about a year ago | (#45496513)

This is weird news. ID and John Carmack have been practically synonymous all my life. This can't have been an easy decision. ID is the company he created, built from the ground up. There is heart and soul there. But I guess you have to know when to stop. Now the deal with Bethesda makes a lot more sense. I suppose he wanted to leave the company secured and in good hands before making his exit move.

I am a little saddened of seeing another bit of my childhood gaming culture fading away (Origin, Lucas Arts, ID without Carmack...) but on the other hand I'm excited about JC finding more time to work with VR tech, which undoubtedly will be the next great step forward, a long time coming since games became 3D.

Re:ID without Carmack (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about a year ago | (#45497639)

John Carmack is moving on to bigger and better things.
iD has done fuck all for innovation aside from building it's game engine.
What titles does it currently have? Doom, Wolfenstein and Quake.

Carmack is a very sharp and creative guy who has far broader and better suited prospects with Oculus.

Totally understandable! (4, Interesting)

Alejux (2800513) | about a year ago | (#45496881)

The work he's doing in Oculus must be 10x more exiting then building the next graphics engine for the next Doom or whatever. VR will be the next paradigm shift in gaming, such as 3D was once in the 90's. He was the pioneer in 3D FPS gaming then, now he will be the pioneer along with the guys from Oculus VR in the next evolution. I expect great things to come!

Re:Totally understandable! (2)

deathguppie (768263) | about a year ago | (#45498321)

I agree 100%. This is one of those moments that anyone who's read any amount of scifi knows what is to come, and all the business suits out there in the PC/gaming world don't have a clue. Occulus is not just about gaming. It will transform the world of computing as we know it. Sure there will be lots of people who prefer, or for reason of their distinct needs will not want to use it. But for the most part it will be the most disruptive technology of the next five years opening up huge paradigms of tech in ways that we are barely able to imagine now. Personally, I read "Snow crash" way to late and could easily see how the author missed on so many things, but the basis of it, that was completely on par, and we are about to see it happen now.

Buying iD was a massive mistake (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45496937)

Who didn't see this coming? Carmack has been the BIGGEST problem at iD for almost too may years to count now, and Bethesda has a near impossible task in recovering anything profitable from its purchase of the company.

-Carmack was the genius behind Doom, a truly staggering achievement, but bested by far a few years later by the 'Build' engine created by Ken Silverman and used for Duke Nukem.

-Carmack and Abrash (the second name is ignored and unknown by too many of you) created the Quake engine, a project that most of you don't even know was designed to handle SOFTWARE rendering of 3D games with great efficiency on Intel's emerging PENTIUM family of processors. iD was taking advantage of the vastly faster FPU on the new CPUs, especially the floating-point divide unit required to do decent quality approximate perspective correct texture mapping.

Unfortunately, even before Quake came out, it was out-of-date. 3D hardware had started to appear for the PC, and this hardware SOLVED the perspective-correct mapping issue with an efficiency (and quality) that no x86 assemble-code could hope to match. It is notable that years later, when the Unreal games were still supporting a software-only render path, the high-quality render they used was NOT licensed from iD.

-Carmack never really recovered from a world where hardware was doing all the heavy lifting, and spent the following years seeking algorithms that he could design and implement on the CPU side. At first, this idiotic obsession didn't harm iD, as various versions of the engines behind Quake 1/2/3 were licensed for incredible numbers of projects by other companies. HOWEVER, most of this licensing success occurred because the clean code base could be heavily modified to add all the features Carmack never bothered to place in iD games. Tame local developers like Rogue, Ritual, and Raven did the work iD couldn't be bothered to do.

Most notably, Carmack expended a vast effort to add 'smart' curved surfaces to Quake 3, a complete waste of time because such software generated mesh data could not be properly interacted with, and could be better done with ordinary models and LOD by the hardware available at the time. At best, Carmack 'forced' competing engines at the time to waste time and money attempting to implement their versions of this 'feature'. Better by far was the introduction of 'shaders'- a method of forcing the hardware to render far more interesting surfaces (animated effects and the like) than the flat 'pictures' that had dominated 3D games for years before.

-Doom 3 was the final failure, and the proof that the age of iD was over. The brand new engine was a licensing disaster, and the Unreal engine took over the marketplace with a level of success that crushed any iD previously enjoyed. Carmack and co over-saw an unthinkably expensive attempt to resurrect the Wolfenstein success that followed Quake 3, but iD's two parts of that project were so bad, they never saw the light of day, and iD released for free the independently produced third part, Wolfenstein- Enemy Territory, the last genuinely good and popular game that iD would offer.

-And then, of course, we end with Rage, one of the biggest software failures of all time. Carmack was obsessed like never before with a 'problem' that didn't even matter- how to turn the entire texture data set for a game level and all assets into a uniform, general, 2D indexable data structure we know as MEGATEXTURE. Carmack was, by this time, so UTTERLY clueless, he had ZERO knowledge of state-of-the-art in AAA 3D gamine engines, and boasted he preferred to play Nintendo kiddie games with his family.

Megatexture has dozens of problems, but here are the two main ones.
1) The maths behind megatexture means that to have access to VERY poor textures, your data set, even at maximum feasible compression, has to be unthinkable large. Rage had putrid 'close' textures' and dreadful 'far' textures. Only in the mid-ground did megatexture textures look half-decent. If you don't 'bake' the lighting into megatexture, your storage problem becomes massively greater, but baking in the lighting means using crap static lighting.

2) The production pipeline is a complete atrocity with megatexture. Work for the artists explodes in quantity, with no return in quality. The artists need to wait for final, total level meshes, if they want to avoid constantly having to redo work. The processing time needed to handle a complete level of megatexture data is insane. There is a VERY good reason Rage was incredibly late, had an horrific budget, was a tiny game with very limited visual assets, and was knocked into a cocked hat by the Borderlands games. Borderlands did everything Rage hoped to achieve much bigger, much better, in a fraction of the time, and with a fraction of the budget.

The Rage engine is literally good for nothing. Carmack humiliates himself by bumming around, promoting himself as a 'technology' expert, giving pronouncements on the technical merits of current GPU hardware, a subject he hasn't bothered to familiarise himself with for years. Carmack's 'words of wisdom' on the relative merits of the Xbox One vs the PS4, and the Mantle API, are the acts of a sad has-been who will do anything these days to get his name in the press.

There are a lot of wonderful game programmers out there, doing some extraordinary work. Many of them seek to emulate the glory days of people like Carmack. But the achievements of one's past are no proof of current 'glory'. Carmack lost interest in gaming when you could no longer make a big difference with a couple of clever algorithms,and instead needed to dedicate most time to 'wrangling' the hardware, where everything 'clever' takes place. The 'clever' in the software version of Quake wasn't needed if your owned a 3DFX Voodoo card, and this fact conceptually 'hurt' Carmack. Carmack's curved surfaces algorithm from Quake 3, shadow algorithm from Doom 3, and full asset megatexture from Rage all proved to be dead-ends, as much much better ways of getting the same visuals in higher quality rely on straightforward exploitation of the GPU.

Re:Buying iD was a massive mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497307)

meh

Re:Buying iD was a massive mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45497517)

As troll-like as this is, both in length and quality, it's actually fairly accurate.

Also, Carmack's code was never that great. It was all "hacker" self-taught isolationist code. Not that great of a design. He had some seriously great ideas on how to make an engine feel natural, something that has to this day never been replicated by another company but his code was all hacker amateur stuff.

Not surprised (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#45497789)

He's said that he had "one or two more engines in him" before he's done..and he has spent more time talking about his side interests in space flight and VR.

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