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QuakeCon Doom III Keynote Panel Discussed

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the details-and-conversions dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 34

Thanks to HomeLanFed for their article reporting highlights from the Doom III keynote panel at QuakeCon, which featured id CEO Todd Hollenshead, lead designer Tim Willits, programmer Robert Duffy and lead animator Fred Nilsson. They discussed how "making a map for Doom III is a lot more of a collaborative effort than in previous Doom games because of the level of detail", and mentioned that "both Linux and Mac OS X versions of Doom III are moving in close development with the PC version... they will have Mac and Linux files available for download when Doom III is released for the PC... An actual Mac retail box for Doom III is a possibility but a Linux retail release is unlikely." They also confirm Doom III for Xbox is being converted by Vicarious Visions and "will be basically the complete experience that PC gamers will get."

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Woohoo? (-1, Troll)

gooru (592512) | more than 11 years ago | (#6710812)

Why should I even care that Doom III is coming out for Linux and Mac OS X? It's not like I use these OSes to play games anyway.

Re:Woohoo? (2, Insightful)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6711250)

Some do. I think its great news. I may be getting ready to be rid of my XP box once and for all...

Free as in beer? (1, Redundant)

angryflute (206793) | more than 11 years ago | (#6710912)

Does this mean that the Linux version will be FREE? That would be one incentive to help me switch to Linux permanently.

Re:Free as in beer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6711001)

i'll bet its uses the windows versions disk for some data

Why in the world had to be? (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 11 years ago | (#6712659)

Doom III is not part of the GNU project, as far as I know.

Re:Free as in beer? (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 11 years ago | (#6713861)

Nope. The Linux binaries are free, but you've got to buy the Windows CD to get the datafiles.

Here's something I don't get (4, Interesting)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 11 years ago | (#6711056)

Here's a quote:

The Xbox version of Doom III will be basically the complete experience that PC gamers will get, according to Hollenshead Aside from the limited amount of RAM in the console there are no technical bottlenecks in converting the PC Doom III to work on the Xbox. As reported earlier, Hollenshead said that developer Vicarious Visions is the primary developer behind the Xbox port.

So... it's going to be the complete experience on the Xbox? You'll get the "complete" experience on something with an outdated CPU, tremendously slow FSB, very limitted memory, and an outdated video card? Sheesh, and all of this time I had heard that you needed fancy new video cards to even enable some of the video features. I guess I wuz lied to! (tongue in cheek)

steve

Re:Here's something I don't get (4, Insightful)

edwdig (47888) | more than 11 years ago | (#6711146)

You're forgetting, on the Xbox it's running at 640x480, where you'd probably run it at 1024x768 or higher on your PC.

Also keep in mind you can get a big performance gain by coding for a fixed hardware platform rather than trying to make something that runs on thousands of possible configurations.

Re:Here's something I don't get (2, Insightful)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 11 years ago | (#6711361)

... but without programmable vertex shaders and the like, you're still not going to get all of the graphics, especially the shadows - which have always been touted as one of the largest parts of the game's experience. Even dropping to 640x480 won't help there. That right there would seem to contradict their statement.

steve

Re:Here's something I don't get (2, Informative)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 11 years ago | (#6712348)

Huh, Xbox has a programmable vertex shader. It's not as advanced as a GeForce FX or ATI 9700, but don't forget that vertex and pixel shaders have been around since the GeForce 3 and that the Xbox has something like a GeForce 3.5.

Re:Here's something I don't get (1)

Amorpheus_MMS (653095) | more than 11 years ago | (#6713087)

Also, graphics can still be scaled down while still getting the "complete experience" I'd assume.

Re:Here's something I don't get (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6711256)

It'll probably be somewhat scalable like UT2K3. That game is playable on everything from a Geforce 4 MX on up, but is said to be able to bring out the full power of the 9800 pro.

Re:Here's something I don't get (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6711870)

Man.. people are so uninformed. I can play that game with 20+ fps on a Geforce 2 MX and 850 MHZ cpu.

It seems like EVERYBODY thinks this hardware is useless these days.. but it isn't.

Re:Here's something I don't get (1)

evilhayama (532217) | more than 11 years ago | (#6711769)

Perhaps by 'complete experience' they mean the experience the average spec PC user would get. While the shadows and so on might require a dx9 video card, it will still be runnable on earlier hardware, just with some features disabled. No doubt this would be simiar to the xbox version.

Complete experience, for a given definition of complete...

Re:Here's something I don't get (1)

danila (69889) | more than 11 years ago | (#6714262)

That's the kind of thing that people no longer expect from software developers - tweaking and optimisation. While the PC mentality has long been "just add more RAM", game programmers are no strangers to fine-tuning their engines. There are a lot of corners that could be cut. It is probably possible to make the complete Doom3 experience run on P2 with 64Mb RAM, but the programmers would have to spend so much time coding that the game would sell for 200$.

Re:Here's something I don't get (1)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 11 years ago | (#6715310)

It's not a matter of tweaking, it's simply that (a) the Xbox doesn't have the hardware capabilities in the graphics chip that are *required* for full Doom3 effects, and (b) software rendering, no matter how tweaked, just won't do it.

steve

Re:Here's something I don't get (1)

danila (69889) | more than 11 years ago | (#6715643)

I say BS.
1) You can do any effect in software.
2) GPU rendering is just as software as the CPU rendering. And you can tweak both.

Re:Here's something I don't get (1)

NerveGas (168686) | more than 11 years ago | (#6719704)

1) Specialized hardware will run at least an order of magnitude faster than generic hardware. What a 300 MHz GeForce FX will render at 30-60 FPS, a 3 GHz CPU couldn't render at 3 FPS, no matter how much you tweak it. Really.

2) GPU rendering isn't software at all. The great, overwhelming bulk of the work is all done in hardware on the GPU. Perhaps you should look into GPU design a little bit.

As for tweaking for an individual platform, id already does that on their games - in the parts of code where performance is critical and takes non-trivial time, they often use assembler code tailored for the type of CPU that the game has detected. And guess what! D3 also detects the video card used, and uses different rendering paths based on that.

It's really not like you can take a magic wand and "tweak" your program and get tons of performance out of it. The real reason why consoles perform so well even with anemic processers is because they mate those anemic processers with very powerful video processers, which means hardware rendering. They're using their transistor count where it really matters, for the video.

If you really think that you can *practically* do these things in software, I'll tell you what: Do it. When you magically find some way to take these games that need high-end video cards and make them render in software, you'll make a killing.

steve

Re:Here's something I don't get (1)

danila (69889) | about 11 years ago | (#6744230)

1) You don't have to render an image that looks same as GeForce FX pixel-for-pixel. Even on the PC ATI and GeForce produce pictures that look different. In the same venue you don't need the exact same result on XBox. How much like the Windows version should it look like? It depends on how much you want to spend on development. Guess what, all 3D games starting from Doom had dynamic lightning and realistic shadows. How dynamic and how realistic? It varied. ;) But I am confident that John Carmack can write a much better looking game for the 486+VGA today than original Doom. You do what you can with the hardware you have. There is always potential for improvement, but it takes time and money to do it.

2) I know a bit about GPU design. The point was that there is no magic property in hardware-rendered pictures that can't be reproduced with software. Unreal (or Unreal Tournament) had software-renderer that looked almost the same as hardware one (but worked slower). Yes, GPU is very good at filling billions of polygons with pixels, but there is no way, why you can't do some functions in code. Especially since modern GPUs (and the one in XBox) support programmable shaders that are intended exactly for that - they execute software.

So, there are three factors that make it possible to recreate Doom3 on inferior hardware:
1) Doom3 is apparently not optimised enough.
2) You can render an image that looks 10% worse on the hardware which is almost twice as slow (by rewriting the heaviest code).
3) It's much easier to render crisp shadows for low-res TV than for 1600x1200 monitor. I've heard that lightning in Doom3 takes an estimated 50% of GPU power. Use simplier and worse-looking algorithms - it will run on XBox and noone will notice.

Why not one box for all? (5, Insightful)

Nicolai Haehnle (609575) | more than 11 years ago | (#6711121)

From the article:

Duffy said that both Linux and Max OS X versions of Doom III are moving in close development with the PC version and Hollenshead said that they will have Mac and Linux files available for download when Doom III is released for the PC for people who run those operating systems. An actual Mac retail box for Doom III is a possibility but a Linux retail release is unlikely.


This thing gets me every single time - why don't they just put the Mac and Linux binaries into the same box as the Windows binaries?
It's not that difficult to realize that a standalone Linux retail box will likely flop (well, a game like Doom 3 might be the exception to prove the rule). Mac games are a slightly different beast, but a Mac retail box still isn't going to be significantly more successful.

So why not put everything into a single box? It's been successfully done with UT2003, and everything's there in the case of Doom 3. So what's the problem? I simply don't get it.

Re:Why not one box for all? (1)

vigilology (664683) | more than 11 years ago | (#6711356)

It would be easier to gather statistics on who's running it on what if you separate the products.

Re:Why not one box for all? (1)

danila (69889) | more than 11 years ago | (#6714267)

You could get almost the same statistics by counting patch downloads (there will be patches, right?).

Re:Why not one box for all? (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 11 years ago | (#6712044)

i can think of a couple reasons. the fisrt is that it will probably be at least a couple weeks after the game comes out when teh other versions are ready, so that gives them some time after the game is out the door to work on it rather than have to wait for them to get done.

secondly, and this is a more speculative assumption, is that if it is downloadable, then maybe they don't have to offer tech support for them? I can't imagine the average game tech support guy being too helpfull on a linux question.

Re:Why not one box for all? (1)

ventalin (690993) | more than 11 years ago | (#6712663)

I would imagine that this would give them an accurate figure on Mac / Win32 / Linux sales figures. Not bad data to have if you want to consider making releases of your games to operating systems other then Win32. If there is not enough interest in a particular platform, it's not a financially viable solution.

Re:Why not one box for all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6712932)

They might think there is not enough market for an extra Linux/Mac distribution. Maybe they'll change their mind if the linux binaries get totally slashdotted.

I guess they are comparing how often Windows vs. Linux point releases (of q3) get downloaded and just think it isn't the time yet for a Linux package.

EULA (1)

ChTh (453374) | more than 11 years ago | (#6711327)

So if I use Windows and Linux on my PC and OSX on a PowerBook, can I install and play the game on all of them or must I uninstall before I go to another platform?

Re:EULA (1)

Sevn (12012) | more than 11 years ago | (#6711766)

Traditionally this has been handled by the serial number mechanism. Sure, go nuts. Install the sucker all over the place. Just don't try to get online and play multiplayer with more than one of them at the same time. In fact, don't try to invite a friend over and let them play against your windows machine from your mac. The serial number will be the same and it will bite you. If you do this online, you might even get your number invalidated.

Random Monsters (1)

edharris (697420) | more than 11 years ago | (#6711556)

From the article:
An audience question about having random monsters in Doom III's multiplayer maps made Willits ask if the audience would like to see that feature put in. That drew a loud and positive response which made the id team say that the possibility for that feature just got a lot more likely.
Although this feature could certainly have some kind of novelty appeal, I hope there is the option to turn it off. The 4 player limit that id have imposed on Doom III indicates that multiplayer maps will be relatively small, potentially suiting 1-on-1 play. I can't think of anything more frustrating than taking part in a well-balanced duel, being level on frags with the time-limit approaching, and then losing all my health in an encounter with some random demon, before my opponent gets an easy kill.

Re:Random Monsters (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 11 years ago | (#6711836)

But imagine the demon dog guarding a very powerful powerup! hmm yummy.

Re:Random Monsters (1)

d3kk (644538) | more than 11 years ago | (#6715403)

People said the same thing about monsters being included in Warcraft III. Now that I've played that for some time, I can't imagine playing an RTS without it. Not being able to begin the game by rushing as fast as possible to the most powerful item because it's being guarded by difficult monsters makes the game rely more on skill and less on item abuse. I don't know how well the idea will transfer to the FPS genre, but if it's anything like its use in RTS, then I support it.

blah (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6711633)

..both Linux and Mac OS X versions of Doom III are moving in close development with the PC version.

I'm bored so I'll point out the following:
s/PC/Win32/

MP run on Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6713274)

from the PlanetQuake3.net article: Something I found very interesting was that the Doom3 Multiplayer that is available for people to play at QuakeCon 2003 is being run on Linux. It was setup by Timothee Besset also know as TTimo, an id Software contractor based in France who is a Linux expert. TTimo is also responsible for maintaining Q3Radiant, the Quake3 code base and also helped with the Quake3 1.32 Point Release. It was also mentioned that Doom3 has been tested on OSX10 on the MAC platform.

Xbox user experience... (1)

Negative Response (650136) | more than 10 years ago | (#6730327)

"will be basically the complete experience that PC gamers will get."

Does it mean people will play doom III on Xbox with a mouse?

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