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John Carmack Discuss Mega Texturing

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the you-mean-we-don't-do-that-already dept.


An anonymous readers writes in to say that "id Software has introduced a new technology dubbed Mega Texturing that will allow graphic engines to render large textures and terrains in a more optomized way while also making them look better. Gamer Within has Q & A with John Carmack on Mega Texturing."

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Large textures? No. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334374)

I don't want my textures to be large and detailed. Gameplay is more important than graphics. This is why the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are stupid and why the Nintendo Wii will win.

Re:Large textures? No. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334534)

Can't I post as AC anymore ?

Re:Large textures? No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334684)

I guess I can!

Quake: Rax0r Edition (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334381)

first post, but not soon enough to beat John Cormack with his next time =( John PWNZ the gaming scene. He really should make Quake: Rax0r Edition!

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334384)

In soviet russia texture maps you!

fearst paoiest (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334386)

fearst paoiest

Over the hill (0, Troll)

stillmatic (874559) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334422)

John who?

Re:Over the hill (1)

Jopop (952828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334493)

John Carmack. He's a pretty famous game programmer, and together with John Romero he made FPS games popular.

Re:Over the hill (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334546)

It's a shame the old id folks all split off and went their own way really, Carmack is indeed the god of graphics programming but although Romero lost the plot and couldn't hack it on his own, id's games have gone downhill since he left along with the loss of American McGee, Paul Steed and so on. The id story is a perfect example of why a good game needs everything and a demonstration that nowadays good graphics don't make a game.

Re:Over the hill (1)

BumpyCarrot (775949) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334620)

I tend to agree. The symbolism present in classic Doom and Q1 levels was something that I enjoyed in particular. I guess id picked up its tendency for up-and-down friendships from Trent Reznor.

mega texture commands in Doom3 (4, Insightful)

Walter Carver (973233) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334472)

It may be insignificant, but I accidently saw two relative commands in Doom3, r_showMegaTexture and r_megaTextureLevel.

Re:mega texture commands in Doom3 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334556)

It may be insignificant, but I accidently saw two relative commands in Doom3, r_showMegaTexture and r_megaTextureLevel.

You sure you have the latest patch?!

(everyone note: Mega and mega are not the same thing,
developer note: keep the spelling the same if you mean to refer to the same thing)

Re:mega texture commands in Doom3 (3, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334608)

Mega and mega are not the same thing

Really? What's the difference?

keep the spelling the same if you mean to refer to the same thing

Camel casing is an exception to this rule. Making it so that the M at the "beginning" of the identifier was caps would break consistency with other identifiers. And unless there really is a distinction between Mega and mega, and both had meanings within the code, I think the latter is more important.

Re:mega texture commands in Doom3 (1)

daVinci1980 (73174) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334640)

Huh? mega and Mega in this case are the same. The names use camelCasing, starting with a lowerCasedLetter.

showMegaTexture and megaTextureLevel are referring to settings about the same thing.. I don't know what either does, but you can bet your sweet bippy that they are about settings on the same system.

Re:mega texture commands in Doom3 (2, Funny)

Jekler (626699) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334697)

Code conventions do not follow English syntax rules or definitions. For the sake of mental consistency, don't even think of them as "words".

I don't see why you'd have a problem with camel-case code, but you voice no problem with the lack of spacing, that "r_" isn't part of English language syntax, or that the commands aren't syntatically legal English phrases anyway.

Optomized (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334484)

render large textures and terrains in a more optomized way


optomize - v. From Greek optos which means: visible; see AND optimize

So optomize is a new word that means: to optimize the visual effect !

It's not a spelling error You spelling nazis !

Ah, but (0, Troll)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334496)

will it make 3D games, especially FPS ones, any less tedious?

The graphics are good enough already. Latency is too high for proper internet play - at least, I don't like doing really well at BF2 for ages then getting killed at the last minute because 0.1 secs of lag gets my squashed by my own side's tank - and the AI of bad guys in one player games is laughable.

Less gong, more dinner, please.

Re:Ah, but (0, Flamebait)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334519)

Are you complaining because ID games are retarded? hehehehe...

If games had to have a "story" and complicated environments it may mean that they couldn't pump out 80 games a quarter... /me trying to find that damn red skull key.


Re:Ah, but (1)

flogic42 (948616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334539)

The graphics are good enough already. Latency is too high for proper internet play - at least, I don't like doing really well at BF2 for ages then getting killed at the last minute because 0.1 secs of lag gets my squashed by my own side's tank...
Get a real internet connection.
- Mr. 4ms ping, never leaving campustown

Re:Ah, but (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334564)

> Get a real internet connection.
> Mr. 4ms ping, never leaving campustown

Are you sure you're not on a handy little LAN... :)

Re:Ah, but (1)

flogic42 (948616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334636)

I'm at UIUC and the servers are all over. Indiana University, for example. I get single-digit pings on at least 20 CS:S servers.

Re:Ah, but (1)

flogic42 (948616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334721)

actually, i never bothered counting before. I have = 6ms pings to FORTY ONE servers.

Re:Ah, but (1)

aCapitalist (552761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334646)

Are you sure you're not on a handy little LAN... :)

No, he's a college kid. He's in for a rude awakening when he gets out into the real world with a 40 ms ping. Somehow, I don't feel bad for him.

In any case, I've found BF2 to have really good netcode and totally playable up to a 100ms ping or so.

And speaking of BF2, that new Quake: Enemy Territory looks like a BF2 clone, but with spiffier graphics.

Re:Ah, but (2, Insightful)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334695)

I played TFC and CS for years with a 1000+ ping until they introduced the 1.6 netcode which basically ended my ability to play period.

It's funny to see how far connections have come since then, and what people now deam as unacceptable.

Re:Ah, but (1)

aCapitalist (552761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15335065)

Maybe you're being a little nostalgic, because I don't know how anybody could have a fun time playing with a one second ping. I used to play with a 300 ping back in '97 or so, and that was fine.

Re:Ah, but (2, Funny)

timster (32400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334644)

If you can get a 4ms ping between, say, Chicago and LA, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:Ah, but (1)

flogic42 (948616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334747)

I'm at uiuc and most of the servers that I get sub-6ms pings on are at other universities or in Chicago.

Re:Ah, but (4, Insightful)

Tx (96709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334565)

The graphics are good enough already.

Speak for yourself. When I can't tell the difference between a rendered character and a live one, then I'll start wondering if graphics are approaching "good enough". Of course better physics and AI is also necessary to improve immersiveness, but there's no way I'd say graphics need no further improvements anytime soon.

Re:Ah, but (3, Interesting)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334631)

When I can't tell the difference between a rendered character and a live one, then I'll start wondering if graphics are approaching "good enough".

Yeah, but would you really want to shoot or hack and slash a photo-realistic character for fun? That's pretty sick (IMO).

Re:Ah, but (3, Insightful)

ZeroConcept (196261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334775)

Depends on how ugly the alien is.

Re:Ah, but (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15335085)

1. Photorealistic... alien... yeah, right...
2. speciest bigot, you probably think it's ok to shoot NAZIs, too

Yep (3, Insightful)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334778)

Yeah, but would you really want to shoot or hack and slash a photo-realistic character for fun? That's pretty sick (IMO).

I want the option. Not specifically for the gore, but to know that level of detail is possible.

Re:Ah, but (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334796)

Yeah, but would you really want to shoot or hack and slash a photo-realistic character for fun? That's pretty sick (IMO).

Those sick sick horror/thriller/crime moviegoers!

Re:Ah, but (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334810)

Isn't that the point?

Re:Ah, but (1)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334812)

Yeah, but would you really want to shoot or hack and slash a photo-realistic character for fun? That's pretty sick (IMO).

Your not looking at the whole picture... by then Duke Nukem Forever will be out and photo-realistic stripers for the win!

Re:Ah, but (2, Insightful)

xenoandroid (696729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334815)

Not all games are shoot/hack and slash.

Just because we become capable of photorealism doesn't mean the technology is going to be applyed that way.

At the very least, developers might be able to abuse the new tech in a way that lets them spend more time on the other parts of the game.

Re:Ah, but (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334887)

When I can't tell the difference between a rendered character and a live one, then I'll start wondering if graphics are approaching "good enough".

I think either point of view is based on the assumption that there's a uniform tradeoff. You don't do work on the graphics to the detriment of the playability unless you're on some very odd crack. You develop a game that you think will suit the market.

Of course, anyone that's armchair quarterbacking Carmack's choices on development effort at this point is probably not thinking in terms of reality, anyway.

Re:Ah, but (1)

axonxorz (966017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334568)

will it make 3D games, especially FPS ones, any less tedious?
Exactly, this is the most importand aspect in my mind, especially with the current generation of high-requirement games (ala BF2, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter). These games are designed to be visually stunning, but Ghost Recon plagued my 256MB GeForce 6800 Ultra. I paid $850 for that card only 18 months ago. While im not debating the price, I bought that card figuring that it would perform at least "well-enough" for the next-gen games.

The only thing that makes GRAW even playable was the driver upgrade I had to perform. Before the game ran around 10fps with EXTREME input-lag. With the driver upgrade, the game has the bad performance for about 5 seconds before jumping up to around 40fps.

All I'm saying is that game developers should not only push the envelope for graphics quality but also go back and try to optimise rendering of current features (current texture sizes, current post effects such as bloom)

Re:Ah, but (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334736)

Buying the top of the line video card on the market is always a bad idea. Buy the second place card; you'll save a huge bundle at only a tiny cost in performance.

Also, if you commit to playing last year's games, you can also save a bundle of cash in hardware upgrades, since you never have to buy the latest and greatest.


Re:Ah, but (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334804)

will it make 3D games, especially FPS ones, any less tedious?

It's Id, so no. This is the company that has spent the past 13 years remaking Doom. The funny thing is you'd think a company that focuses solely on graphics would be lightyears ahead of the competition, but honestly the cutting edge engines sort of hover near each other performance-wise.

Re:Ah, but (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 8 years ago | (#15335039)

Once hardware acceleration took over from software, that pretty much ended the days of one rendering engine being substantially any better than another.

Carmack Owns My Wallet (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334520)

This is exactly why Carmack owns my wallet and why ID Software does so well. Gamers rejoice!

Re:Carmack Owns My Wallet (1)

MrCoke (445461) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334686)

If I had any mod points, you would get a +FUNNY from me.

Article Text (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334544)

0 replies and the site was already moving really slow. Here's the text in case /. kills it.

Publish Date: 01 May 2006
Cain Dornan

One of the most respected and well-known game developers in the world, John Carmack hardly needs any introduction. Having mastered the skill of game programming, Carmack co-founded developer id Software, and has also worked on such classic series as Doom, Quake and Wolfenstein 3D.

In this Question & Answer with Carmack, he discusses the new MegaTexture technology, which will be used in the upcoming Enemy Territory: Quake Wars for PC. Definitely a worthy read for any programming, designing or general development enthusiast, as well as any gamer slightly interested in the development process behind games.

Q1: What is MegaTexturing technology?

Answer: MegaTexture technology is something that addresses resource limitations in one particular aspect of graphics. The core idea of it is that when you start looking at outdoor rendering and how you want to do terrain and things in general, people almost always wind up with some kind of cross-fade blended approach where you tile your textures over and blend between them and add little bits of detail here and there. A really important thing to realize about just generally tiling textures, that we're so used to accepting it in games, is that when you have one repeated pattern over a bunch of geometry, the texture tiling and repeating is really just a very, very specialized form of data compression where it's allowing you to take a smaller amount of data and have it replicated over multiple surfaces, or multiple parts of the same surface in a game since you generally don't have enough memory to be able to have the exact texture that you'd like everywhere.

The key point of that is what you really want to do is to be able to have as much texture as you want to use where you have something unique everywhere. Now normally, you just can't get away with doing that, because if you allocate a 32,000 by 32,000 texture, the graphics curve can't render directly from that. There's not enough memory in the system to do that, and even when you have normal sized textures, games are always up against the limits of the graphics card memory, and system memory, and eventually you've got hard drive or DVD memory on there, but you wind up with a lot of different swapping schemes, where you'll have a little low-res version of a texture, and then high res versions that you bring in at different times, and a lot of effort goes into trying to manage this one way or the other.

So when Splash Damage was starting on, really early with Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars, they were looking at some of these different ways to render the outdoor scenes with different blends and things like that. And one of my early suggestions to them was that they consider looking at an approach where you just use one monumentally large texture, and that turned out to be 32,000 by 32,000. And I - rather then doing it by the conventional way that you would approach something like this (i.e. - chopping up the geometry into different pieces and mapping different textures on to there and incrementally swapping them for low res versus high res versions), just let them treat one uniform geometry mesh and have this effectively unbounded texture side on there, and use a more complicated fragment program to go ahead and pick out exactly what should be on there, just as if the graphics hardware and the system really did support such a huge texture.

In the end what this winds up getting us is the ability to create a great outdoor terrain texture that has far more complex interactions than anything that you would get with any kind of conventional rendering, where you've built it up out of pieces of lots of smaller textures on there, where they do some sophisticated things with growing grass up between bump maps. And then you can go back and do hand touch ups in a lot of different places to accent around features that are coming out of the surface. And this type of thing is, I'm very sure, going to become critically importance as we go forward into kind of next generation technologies on there. We've seen this over and over as we've gone through graphical technology improvements over the years, where there will be certain key elements that you start looking at in games that look really dated because they don't have the capabilities that people are seeing in sort of the cutting edge things there. And this type of unique texturing over the coming generation of games, I think, is going to be one of those, where when people start looking back at a game that's predominantly piled and doesn't have that unique artist touched sense about all of the scenes, it's going to look very previous generation.

Q2: What's the benefit on the top most level just for gamers, of the MegaTexture. And the second part of that is what's the benefit as the developer?

Answer: Well for the user the bottom line is just that it looks better. You wind up with something that has the diversity that you don't get with more conventional terrain generation systems out there. As the developer, looks are still important for games. If you look at a game and you make it look better, it's a better game, so long as you don't impact the gameplay negatively. So it's nothing profound and fundamental, it's just one tiny little aspect of graphics rendering that's just better now.

Q3: Aside from the visual aspect of the terrain looking better, do you think there will be any other foreseeable differences to us gamers that are playing MegaTexture games?

Answer: It's just the variety and the diversity of it. Like I said at the very beginning, this is only a very small aspect of graphics, let alone of games in the larger sense. It's a specific little piece of technology that addresses texture resource limitations, and this entire technology would not need to exist if you had four gigabyte graphics cards, and lots more RAM. In fact, so much of programming and graphics programming in particular is just trying to pretend that we've got hardware that's five or 10 years more advanced than what we've got right now by making various algorithmic trade offs.

Q4: How is the MegaTexture a major step forward for game graphics?

Answer: My core comment here is that any repeating use of a texture is just very specialized data compression. Any time you have one set of texture data, and it's present in more than one place on the screen, it's really an approximation to what an ideal infinite resource video game would provide. Because in the real world, there aren't any repeats--even things that look like they repeat, like bricks or dry wall, are uniquely different. The subtle differences that you get are the things that distinguish a rendering, especially a game rendering, from something that's very realistic.

The MegaTexture allows us to have terrain in QUAKE Wars that does not require any repeated textures for resource limitation reasons. There may still be some areas where a texture is repeated just because they didn't feel like doing anything better, but there was no resource limitation that encouraged them or required them to do that. They are perfectly capable of having an artist go in and add 10 million little tiny touches to the level if they chose to do so. It's taken it from being a resource constraint to something that becomes a design trade off.

Q5: Does MegaTexturing technology bring any specific limitations with it?

Answer: No. There's no limit to dynamically changing it. That's one of the neat things about it - to the graphics engine, it looks like you're just texturing on top of arbitrary geometry. You can move it around and all of that. With the technology in Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars, there are some issues with deforming the texture coordinates too much. You'll get areas that are blurred more than you would expect with a conventional texturing, and that's something that's fixed in my newer rev of technology.

There are some minor things you have to worry a little bit about. If you stretched up too steep a cliff slide, there would be some blurring involved there, even if you adjusted the texture coordinate somewhat. And you can crutch around that a little bit. That's also a problem that's been fixed by a newer rev of technology that we've got right now.

Q6: So would you consider the fact that the MegaTexture paints all of the terrain with one enormous texture an advantage to level of detail or a limitation?

Answer: Level of detail wise, the terrain does not render with any sophisticated geometry morphing situation. That's one of those things that for years I think most of the research that's gone into has been wasted. Geometry level of detail on terrain...there have been thousands of papers written about it, and I honestly don't think it's all that important. The way the hardware works, you're so much better off setting down a static mesh that's all in vertex and index buffers, and just letting the hardware plow through it, rather than going through and having the CPU attempt to do some really clever cross blended interpolation of vertices.

In and infinite sized world, you would have to include some degree of level of detail. The Quake Wars levels are not infinite size. They're bounded. And it generally turns out to be the best idea to just have the geometry at a reasonable level of detail and very efficiently rendered.

But the MegaTexture would work just fine if you wanted to use that on something where you were dynamically level detailing the terrain. That is one of the nice aspects of it, where to the application it just looks like you can texture with an infinite size texture. You don't have to worry about breaking it up on particular boundaries of anything special like that.

Q7: How do you see the mega texture developing in the next few years?

Answer: The particular version that's in the Splash Damage code is essentially already abandoned, where the newer version of the stuff that I've got is a super setup that allows us to use it for arbitrary textures and has a few other nice benefits. It was one of those things where, if I had thought about it at the beginning, then I probably would have done it back then.

But from a technology development standpoint, content wise, the technologies that Splash Damage developed for creating these terrains ,and some of the stuff that I was working on to modify MegaTextures artistically, those are the corner stones of what we're using going forward for content creation.

Q8: Do you think that since it's a solution that's working with Enemy Territory: QUAKE Wars, it's eventually going to be used in other software.

Answer: Correct. What's exciting is that I did this stuff a long time ago, when I first did the initial MegaTexture stuff for Splash Damage, which is specialized for terrains. The MegaTexture works for things that are topologically a deformed plain, like an outdoor surface, and it has certain particular limitations on how much you can deform the texture mapping there. For the better part of a year after that initial creation, I have been sort of struggling to find a way to have a similar technology that creates this unique mapping of everything, and use it in a more general sense so that we could have it on architectural models, and arbitrary characters, and things like that.

Finally, I found a solution that lets us do everything that we want in a more general sense, which is what we're using in our current title that's under development. That was one of those really happy programmer moments, where I knew that this sense of unique texturing was a really positive step forward for what we could do artistically with the game. I just hadn't hit on the right thing for a long time, and then, finally, when I did settle down and come up with a technology that works for all of that, it was a good moment.

Q9: Do you think it is inevitable that this would be a wheel that the other guys are going to have to reinvent, too?

Answer: Yes. Although most graphics rendering stuff is not that incredibly mysterious and difficult. It used to be that people were always looking for the black magic in the code, some place, but it's not that big of a deal. And especially now there are hundreds and hundreds of graphics programmers out there who, as soon as they see this type of stuff and read and article about it, they can go out and start implementing some of the same things. I expect that pretty much will happen.

I would say that the greater differentiation will be in the two ((inaudible)) that go into allowing people to take effective use of this because the core technology to do this is tiny. There's one file of source code that manages the individual blocks, and then the fragment program stuff for this is like a page. It's not that big of a deal. It's an architectural and mind set change that you have to make to decide to actually build a project that's going to leverage this type of technology.

Q10: Why do you think other developers haven't done anything like this before?

Answer: One aspect of it is certainly the fear of unboundaried development time. That's something that you can look at and say, "Oh my gosh, we make this many megabytes of textures. If we uniquely texture the entire world, it's going to be 50 times that. How are we going to get that done?" Generally that's a bad way to look at things, because while you now have the ability to uniquely texture everything, nothing is forcing you to. You can still set up and use the technology just like any old system where you repeat pictures; it's just that now you have the ability to do it everywhere you want to, anywhere your fancies strike you or your artist wants to go in and touch everything up to make an area look better. But, the worry about development time certainly is an issue and has been an issue for many years now. Specifically a significant concern about the fact that it's not such a good idea to develop a technology that is only going to make a game finish later and later. Anything that you're going to include that allows more capabilities will take longer to optimize. There are very, very few things that you can do that just automatically take the same effort, but produce something drastically better.

Q11: Did you create the MegaTexture technology with PC hardware in mind? Or were you also planning for next gen consoles when you started coming up with it?

Answer: It was done on the PC. But we know that next-gen consoles are essentially PC graphics renderers?

Q12: Would the consoles having less memory than a PC pose a problem for the MegaTexture? Or is something that you guys have already started to work around?

Answer: If anything, it works out better for the next-generation consoles, because on the PC you could often get away with not doing texture management if you were targeting fairly high end, while on the consoles, you've always had to do it. And especially my newer paged virtual texturing which applies to everything instead of just terrain, allows you to have a uniform management of all texture resources there, as well as allowing infinitely sized texture dimensions. So this is actually working out very nicely on the Xbox 360.

Q13: Do you think the MegaTexture is a technology that will push hardware forward, in terms of gamers having to buy new upgrades for PCs, or not?

Answer: Interestingly, this isn't as performance demanding as a lot of things we've done before. While the exact implementation that I've done for ETQW wouldn't have been possible until the modern generation of cards, the fundamental idea of unique texturing is something that could have been done at any point all the way back to the 3DFX cards. And when I was originally starting the DOOM development five to six years ago, unique texturing was something that I looked at as a viable direction to go to make a next-generation step, but I instead chose to go with the bump mapping and the dynamic lighting and shadowing because I thought, for game play reasons, that they were going to work out better. It's a technology that I'm surprised that no one else wound up pursuing, because I picked my direction way back in the DOOM 3 days and I kind of saw this other viable path that people could be pursuing. I was kind of surprised that five, six, years later, nobody else had really taken that task, because it always looked good to me.

Q14: Do you think that the MegaTexture technology will be accessible to mod teams? I'm making the connection there in terms of thinking of some of the smaller teams out there.

Answer: It doesn't help them. In general, all the technology progress has been essentially reducing the ability of a mod team to do something significant and competitive. We've certainly seen this over the last 10 years, where, in the early days of somebody messing with DOOM or QUAKE, you could take essentially a pure concept idea, put it in, and see how the game play evolved there. But doing a mod now, if you're making new models, new animation, you essentially need to be a game studio doing something for free to do something that's going to be the significant equivalent. And almost nobody even considers doing a total conversion anymore. Anything like this that allows more media effort to be spent, probably does not help the mods.

Q15: Has the MegaTexture been a really rewarding breakthrough for you in the scope of some of your other accomplishments?

Answer: It's hard to put everything in comparison against all the different things I've done. Certainly in this generation of technologies that I'm working on I've done dozens and dozens of little experiments with lots of different graphics technologies. I do think that the unique texturing technologies are the most important of all of the things that I've done and are going to have the most significant impact.

There's a ton of little graphics technologies that you can experiment with, different rendering technologies, and ways of drawing things with silhouette lighting or deformation maps -- just all sorts of things that are interesting when you look at them in a particular light, and may have some great use in a game. But any texturing technology is something that applies to everything, and I've always wanted to do technologies that have a more general application, rather than things that I always considered artifact effects that you put on a particular object. I'm probably more accepting of eye candy like that on particular objects now than I used to be, because people do find things like that catchy, and it will make an impact on people when they see something special. But I've generally preferred to set up technologies that effect everything uniformly across the entire game world and this is one of those.

Q16: Public perception of you is sometimes centered around your love of technology in making games, and maybe more so for right or wrong, than the finished product. What do you think of that assessment?

Answer: Well, the gameplay really is intertwined with the presentation. I've never pursued a technology that I thought would negatively impact gameplay. It's always in the context of "how will this technology improve the game?" And it is true that I'm not the final arbiter of what's necessarily going to make our games fun, gameplay-wise. I don't necessarily consider myself representative of our target market. And the game play decisions are generally now made by Tim.

But I do still care about making sure that the technology that I help provide, which is sort of the canvas that everything is painted on, is something that will only have positive improvements to the whole game play experience. So I am focused more and more narrowly now, than I used to be, on the graphics technology and my little aspect of this. It's true that I used to write essentially all of the code for everything. But as the demands of the technology have improved we have to have more and more people and it gets more and more specialized. So I've sort of retrenched into the area where I have the most to offer and I put in the time that I can to it.

Q17: Is there anything else that you'd like to add?

Answer: It's still very exciting the capabilities that are continuously being added to our arsenal here. I am having a really good time working on the Xbox 360 right now, graphic technology-wise. As for the MegaTexture stuff, it is kind of funny that it's not super demanding of the hardware. As I mentioned, I was kind of surprised that something like this hadn't been pushed before we got around to it. There are lots more exciting possibilities for the graphics research and we're still toying around with some fairly fundamental architectural design issues on the Xbox 360.

And, the PC space is going to be moving even faster than the consoles. The graphics technology is still exciting and they're still going to be significant things that we can show to people that will make them look at this and say "wow, this is a lot better than the previous generation." I do think unique texturing is the key for the coming generation.

There are lots and lots of graphics technologies that we can look at. And maybe you add five or six up and they wind up being something that really gives it a next generation wow. But just by itself, even with no newer presentation technologies, allowing unique texturing on lots and lots of surfaces, I think, is the key enabler for this generation.

Thank you for your time.

Re:Article Text (2, Interesting)

joebooty (967881) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334744)

This sounds like the least user friendly option available to this problem.

So if a mod team wants to make their own map you either need to reuse one of these behemoth textures or find an artist that can wrap their head around the technology and create one themselves.

Procedurally generated textures are a hog and can be very hard to pull off but they still seem like a superior solution to this.

On the other side I am certain that level designers and artists working together can make some really great looking maps with this system. Modders will have a lot of trouble though.

Re:Article Text (3, Interesting)

Otto (17870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334964)

So if a mod team wants to make their own map you either need to reuse one of these behemoth textures or find an artist that can wrap their head around the technology and create one themselves.

Nah, you just need good tools. Use the game itself as a tool and let people run around the level spraying the texture with spray paint cans (or the digital equivalent). Then spit the MegaTexture out after they're done.

Re:Article Text (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 8 years ago | (#15335003)

This sounds like the least user friendly option available to this problem.
It's inevitable that as games get more sophisticated, equivalent-quality fan mods will be harder. Developing a next-gen game costs millions, no fan mod team can compete with that. So, yes, we will have to get used to fan mods re-using a lot of the game's original content.

The Aliens Total Conversion for Doom II was one of the scariest games I've ever played, but that kind of thing just isn't possible any more, sadly. And not just for legal reasons.

Thank you John Carmack! (-1)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334562)

Thanks for Doom, Q3A, and all of the work you and your team have put into the gaming industry. You've made our lives lots of fun, by letting us kill tons and tons of people and monsters. You've given us some great games and some awesome technology over the years.

And now, thank you for new methods of doing stenciled shadow masks, and now mega textures. Rock-on, bro.

Re:Thank you John Carmack! (1)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334655)

I live in Id Software's hometown. If you want i can go stalk him for you ^_^

Re:Thank you John Carmack! (1)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334890)

Heh, no need for stalking, but perhaps you could buy him s stiff drink for me? hehehehe!

Re:Thank you John Carmack! (1)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15335103)

No kidding. There is a sports bar across from there offices!

Re:Thank you John Carmack! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15335073)

Too bad the shadow technique he used in Doom3 is patented by another company.

John Carmack? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334563)

Isn't this the rocket scientist guy from Armadillo Aerospace? What's he doing working on 3-D graphics?

He should stick to what he knows.

Enough is enough (0, Troll)

The_Isle_of_Mark (713212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334567)

The other day I was watching my son play a FPS game and I thought "Wow, my son in really learning a valuable lesson in the sanctity of life here. Shoot your own guy for his ammo!" I started on 3d FPS with Doom and over time I sort of drifted away from games. Playing Doom I was shooting a bunch of really pixeled bad guys. Now they look and act pretty real.
The creepiness factor kicks in for me after a certain amount of realism. When do we stop with the terrain and model/skin realism, when we can no longer tell the difference between games and live-action movies? I hope for my grandchildrens' sake that FPS violence doesn't come to that.

Re:Enough is enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334689)

Calm down, ya big baby!

Re:Enough is enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334741)

When do we stop with the terrain and model/skin realism, when we can no longer tell the difference between games and live-action movies?

At that point, yes by definition they'll stop :)

Re:Enough is enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334754)

How about you be a responsible parent and don't let your child play adult themed games.

I'll bet the next thing you want to say is that there should be some sort of legislation against the video game industry to stop making games look realistic and violent.

Re:Enough is enough (0, Offtopic)

F_Scentura (250214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334989)

Fly away, troll.

Re:Enough is enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15335041)

Actually, that is exactly what the assorted developers are aiming for. The ultimate goal is a graphics engine that is truly photorealistic - indistinguishable from live video and Hollywood special effects.

I doubt if this will have any more impact on your grandchildren than the movies and television that they'll be watching though. We've been watching people get killed in various horrible and detailed ways on the big-screen for years now. While there is a debate over whether or not this imagery is having an affect on our children, I doubt if sticking a controller in their hands is going to suddenly change the results. Disturbing imagery is just that - disturbing - regardless of whether you are controlling the characters or just watching it.

I'm hopeful that advances in game design will actually lead to more realism, immersion, and a greater personal attachment to the characters in-game. I'm hopeful that we'll eventually have life-like characters that we can actually relate to, just as we have been with good books and movies for years... And realistic reactions to the actions and events in-game...

If the characters were developed with personalities, quirks, hopes and dreams... And if the other characters in the game reacted with outrage and sorrow, perhaps killing you in vengeance, perhaps incarcerating you... Maybe your son wouldn't feel so flippant about shooting his own guys for ammo.

Re:Enough is enough (0, Offtopic)

The_Isle_of_Mark (713212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15335074)

Not Trolling. Realism in gaming is technology at its finest, please don't get me wrong here. I love that people are able to get the levels they do.
My problem with game relism is not just about my son and his age (he is 17 btw.) It is the that people are being desensitized to violence. As games have gotten more realistic they have allowed people to dismiss the tragedy of violence against humans. Aliens and monsters not withstanding! Kill them!

Watch "saving Private Ryan" over and over and see if the opening scene gives you the same reaction it did before. That is my point.

I think my post was modded off-topic correctly, but I feel it a necessary subject to raise.

And legislation

optomized vs optimized (0, Redundant)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334590) ord2=optimized []

Optimized wins by a landslide

And curiously enough, spell check beats out spellcheck [] by an even wider margin.

Re:optomized vs optimized (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334888)

And curiously enough, spell check beats out spellcheck by an even wider margin.

Because googlefight has compared searches for "spell" + "check" and "spellcheck", not "spell check" and "spellcheck", and hence is including all the results where 'spell' and 'check' occur on the same page, even when not directly associated. "Did you check the weather forecast?" asked Janet, looking ruefully at the her new Dior swimsuit. "Yes, and we're in for a hot spell!" chirped Brad, packing his posing pouch with a grin.

Similarly, 'bush whack' beats 'bushwhack' and 'google fight' beats 'googlefight'.

Besides, it's 'optimised'.

Genius (2, Insightful)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334606)

John Carmack is a Genius in the gaming industry. Quake 3 was by far the best game of its time. Unreal Tournament was fun, but it just wasn't Quake 3. I hope he continues to be innovative and keep the gaming industry steaming forward, and maybe create a few more games thats never been done before.

Re:Genius (3, Insightful)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334769)

That's right, why would you want to buy UT which had 7 gameplay modes out of the box and bots that weren't either retarded or cheating, not to mention the easiest mod switching system of seen to date in mutators; when I could have the "innovative" perfection of Deathmatch or Team Deathmatch?

The modding community filled the gap eventually, but that's not points for Q3, that's points for all of the dedicated people who were upset by the lack of options in that fanboy love-fest.

Sorry if I sound bitter about it, but I can recount back to the days when PC Gamer stated, more or less in its review that UT was vastly superior to Q3 in every imaginable way, and then gave it a lower score and handed the editors choice to Q3 instead. They were flooded with mail but never really could explian whose bathwater they were drinking when they either wrote a review that was too good or a score that was too low. I suspect a rolled up wad of hundreds under the table and nothing more.

Re:Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15335102)

UT was buggy and slower than Q3. Of course, that didn't stop me from playing UT instead of Q3. It was a lot more fun in my opinion.

Re:Genius (3, Insightful)

Ekarderif (941116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334772)

Okay first of all, let's examine the FPSs that came out in '99:
  • Quake 3 Arena
  • Unreal Tournament
  • System Shock 2
Clearly, System Shock 2 is the best of its time. Wait, what about adjacent years?
  • Blood 2
  • Half-Life
  • Sin
  • Shogo: Mobile Armor Division
  • Thief: The Dark Project
  • Unreal
  • No One Lives Forever
  • Deus Ex
Oh crap, a huge list of games, most of which are better than Quake 3.

Now second, Quake 3 was a brilliant engine. However, there was very little game on top of such a beauty. Looking past the aesthetics, it was the same damn thing as Quake 2. We have a gauntlet, a machinegun, a shotgun, a grenade launcher, a rocket launcher, a railgun, and an uber weapon. And everybody used rocket launchers so it didn't really matter anyways. Tack on deathmatch and CTF and you have yourself a rehashed multiplayer FPS.

Unreal Tournament had a flurry of guns (I really don't want to list them all), but most importantly, it had unique features. Get tired of domination? There's CTF. Oh wait, CTF is really boring. We have assault. And boy, we have assault.

Don't get me wrong. Quake 3 was technically superior. Better? Debatable. I'm obviously siding with UT here (I love me assault). But Quake 3... innovative? What the hell?

Re:Genius (3, Insightful)

bung-foo (634132) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334946)

What makes Q3 great is its incredibly simple laser-beam focus. There is almost nothing extraneous in the game. It's like a bonzai tree or a zen rock garden.

I've played almost every game you listed. Many of them four or five times (some even more) and they all have more story than Q3, a lot of them have more weapons or more game play modes. Some even look better.

But, Q3 was installed and played almost daily on my computer from the day I bought it (a few weeks after it became available) until about three months ago.

Q3 is deathmatch and maybe capture the flag if you swing that way. It is nothing else and it never claimed to be anything else.

Re:Genius (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15335092)

What makes Q3 great is its incredibly simple laser-beam focus. There is almost nothing extraneous in the game. It's like a bonzai tree or a zen rock garden.

Nothing extraneous? There's almost nothing at all in the game. Every level looks virtually the same. The weapons all work the same, some of them just hurt more. The visuals were newer and shinier, but that's about it. There's only so many times you can run down the same hall, with the same weapon, and kill someone.

That's fine if you don't want a story cluttering up your deathmatch...but how about some variety to the gameplay? Some interesting levels with varied geography, unique weapons that are a challenge to use effectively, or simply messing with the physics from time to time... Anything to break up the monotony that was Q3A.

Ancient news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334643)

Dear god, this was in PC Gamer like 6 months ago!

So how long ... (2, Insightful)

yeremein (678037) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334668)

... before Creative Labs asserts a patent over this?

Re:So how long ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334705)

Better yet, how long before a Creative fan boy comes along to "set you straight"?

Why not go procedural? (4, Interesting)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334669)

This is a very interesting technique for realistic terrain, but I wonder what advantage this approach would have over procedurally rendered textures? I very much like the idea of being able to (effectively) zoom infinitely into a texture being 'generated' as opposed to 'drawn'... and the strengths of modern consoles play to this procedural generation quite well (PowerPC chips, Cell chips). Maybe thats why Carmack isn't so interested?

Re:Why not go procedural? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334799)

Because procedural texturing doesn't do what they want? Procedural graphics basically mean 'vector art'. If you're going for a stylized look it might work fine, but at least today, you can't beat raster textures for photorealism.

Re:Why not go procedural? (1)

DanHibiki (961690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334806)

Procedurals normally do not look good as a rule. They tend to have a certain pattern and unrealistic aspect to them. It's much better to produce terrain through ... well something as detailed as an aerial photo.

Re:Why not go procedural? (2, Informative)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#15335066)

I think the main disadvantage of procedural texturing is that it limits the precision of control the artists can achieve. For many photorealistic situations artists really just want to be able to slap enormous textures that are hand painted for a precise effect, but are generally limited by the max texture size.

On Carmack (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334670)

Carmack is really good as a person who pushes teh technology.

As a game developer, though, it's just not there. anytime I hear about an id game now, I just wait until someone brings out a truly great game using the engine that Carmack has developed.

Seriously - let's review teh last few: Doom3? Enter room. Kill. Lights go out. Kill more. Repeat. Q3A? See also: UT Q2? See Q1. then the origin Doom games. Then Wolfenstein.

id software make great tech demos. Not great games. Beyond the engine, id's games do nothing that hasn't been seen in all the other clones. They get a pass on gameplay though, strictly on name.

Re:On Carmack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334833)

You should look out for that game then. Carmack only did the engine here. It's Splash Damage the authors of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory who did that game.

Re:On Carmack (1)

aCapitalist (552761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334916)

Carmack is really good as a person who pushes teh technology.

As a game developer, though, it's just not there. anytime I hear about an id game now, I just wait until someone brings out a truly great game using the engine that Carmack has developed.

Yes, I'm surprised that they thought nostalgia would make Doom3 a hit. In fact, there was supposedly quite a bit of internal turmoil regarding on whether to even do a Doom3. I can't find the link right now because I originally got it off of Brian Hook's web site [] forums, but apparently one of the long-time co-owner artists got fired from id and is now suing id. This might have had something to do with a buyout from Activision, but like I said, I can't find the link right now.

In any case, it seems that Id really needs a big hit in the next 4-5 years to stay relevant, unless Carmack and company are happy doing engines and tech demos. I wonder if they could pull off a planetside (FPS/MMOG). But let's hope that they're not thinking about another corridor based FPS.

It's not 1994 anymore when Carmack was the God of software rasterization.

Re:On Carmack (3, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#15335056)

One game I'd love to see is Hexen III. For the time, the graphics in Hexen II were incredible and the gameplay was great - there was more focus on solving the puzzles (how the heck do I get out of this level) than there was on killing. Sure, there were plenty of monsters to kill but the, er, mazes seemed more intricate in Hexen. I don't recall whether that was just due to the different visuals or if it actually was the case. I've actually been playing the old Id games again in order (Doom, Doom II, Final Doom, Heretic, Hexen, etc) and find Heretic and Hexen more entertaining than Doom.

Re:On Carmack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15335109)

id will always be relevant. John Carmack is the closest thing to a rock star that video gaming can claim.

We're doooomed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334690)

Reading the headline minutes after reading this [] sure got a chuckle out of me.

FarCry/KryTek had this first (0)

simon_hibbs2 (792812) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334691)

>Q10: Why do you think other developers haven't done anything like this before?

FarCry had a very similar technology, which is what allowed it to render vast outdoor spaces at a time when DOOM3 was retricted to claustrophobic dungeon-type environments.

To be fair to Carmack I have read that he's aware of this and mentioned CryTek in an interview where MegaTexture technology was discussed.

Simon Hibbs

Good thing it wasn't called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334718)

Epic MegaTexturing, because the Unreal people wouldn't find it very funny.

Optomized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334720)


Variation on a theme (5, Interesting)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334752)

Uniquely texturing entire terrains sounds pretty cool, but the concept isn't entirely new - just an evolution on an already-existing idea.

I think the Myth RTS games from Bungie used very large textures for the terrain, and this moved on to Halo - terrain there is drawn using a large, low-resolution texture - the red, green and blue channels are used for the colour, while the alpha channel is used to determine which of two detail textures should be used - e.g. grass or sand. It works quite well [] . I think Far Cry does something similar, but more advanced still.

The former are still low-resolution, though - but the not-a-game Celestia [] has 'virtual texture' support, for rendering silly levels of detail on planet surfaces. Like, up to 128k by 64k pixels [] . The textures are split into many, many files for each level of detail, which are streamed in from the hard disk when required. Works fairly well.

Combining the two approaches, though, seems very new - the 'Mega Texturing' from John Carmack is probably dramatically different from an implementation point of view, and sounds rather interesting at any rate - the description of the upgraded, non-Quake-Wars version makes it sound like it could uniquely texture a whole world beyond just terrain, so could work for simulating real cities, as opposed to smoke-and-mirrors game cities.

I'm sure he talked about this in a .plan thing some years ago - anyone want to find it?

But don't forget the game (1, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334760)

High quality graphics are great, unless in the process the quality of the game ( story, environment, gameplay, etc) is forgotten. I would rather average graphics and great game-play, over average game-play and great graphics.

Re:But don't forget the game (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334839)

Right, but they're not making a game, they're making game technology. The end result of most FPS engines nowadays is not a single game, but a game engine that can be licensed. They make the tools, someone else delivers on the other things that make the game important.

Not a bad way of doing it really, when you don't have to care as much about the technical side, the artistic side benefits. Hopefully. :)

too bad (0)

SQLz (564901) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334813)

I've already patented placing any texture on any polygon.

patent? (1)

joevai (952546) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334819)

What I want to know is whether or not ID will patent this technology, and of course as to whether it actually is patentable. I know John is a major advocate of abolishment of software patents (he famously drew a parallel between software patents and being mugged), but surely with new technology like this he's put in a position where if he doesn't patent it other people will.

The question is: can using a very large texture with fragment shaders on top be patented? I'm not qualified to answer that but if so surely John & ID are put in a difficult position.

Personally, I think software patents are a terrible thing, which could potentially leave software innovation in the hands of the few largest most litigious software companies in the world which benefits nobody (except their stockholders).

Great idea though John!

Re:patent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15335018)

Carmack has traditionally been very much against software patents, iirc he threatened to leave id when others in the company were trying to pressure him into patenting his work.

Re:patent? (2, Informative)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15335044)

Uh, by discussing the technology (in interviews and such), he's putting it out there into the public. He's publishing his idea. Thus there is the record of prior art if anyone tries to patent it.

You really owe it to yourself to understand what patents are all about, even if you never ever plan on applying for one.

Finally (1)

LoonyMike (917095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334829)

The development of Duke Nukem Forever can now continue. Believe me, it'll be worth the wait, when you see the results.

I think this is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334841)

I'm all for the "optomized" version, it will "definately" look better, and we "wont" even "loose" quality. I think all of the programmers will adopt it; "there" sure "too".

I want a job where accuracy doesn't matter... just like the Slashdot editors - where do I apply?

Gameplay needs innovating. (2, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334871)

This is neat. It's been a shortcoming I've noticed in most games, where landscape textures tend to be lacking.

However, what we really need is gameplay innovation. Actually, what we really need is for developers to stop making every last first person game a damn shooter. Can't they do anything else with a first person perspective. The potential here is enormous and yet it looks like developers have a fetish with gunplay.

There have been games with potentially strong storylines that get mired down by this nonsense. There's little discovery and certainly no problem-solving. These games come down to who has more firepower and occassionally discerning some basic pattern in enemy movement.

Maybe the problem is that these developers invest so much energy in graphics that there's little room to refine the other aspects of the game. Or they just think that the consumer doesn't want to do anything other than destroy things and kill people.

Voxels (2)

DanHibiki (961690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334896)

What ever happened to voxels? Remember games like Deltaforce, Comanche and Werewolf? That was back in the days when CDs were the big thing and those terrains looked beautiful, and I'm sure with a bit of research were also destructible. Think about it, terrain that will actually explode.

Re:Voxels (1)

Skraut (545247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15335067)

Voxels died because they couldn't be 3d accelerated. When every gaming junkie just dropped $450 on the latest graphics card, they wanted to play games that actually used the card they bought.

A shame too, I liked voxels.

I've actually been thinking on this a lot myself (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334939)

While I've been extremely time-limited lately, I've always wanted to get back into playing with 3d development and I've been looking a lot at sci-fi space-based games. In terms of visuals, one of the biggest problems I've had with many of the ones currently available, is that space games generally tend to go with the "large and looming" aspect. You have these really big objects, such as starports, battlecruisers, or planets. Making a texture that would nicely cover them would be huge (especially the planets). Therefore, when you get close you start seeing lots of nasty pixellation. The same has held true for many games such as FPS's etc with wall-textures. Nice-at-a-distance, crappy up-close. But it's moreso in the space games.

Of course, having nice smooth textures is nice, but the next step would be better mesh-conversion from simple to complex based on distance. I've heard of this being worked on and/or possible used, but I've not yet seen a game that would use it. How about a space-game where you come up on a planet. You get close, textures go pixelly, and then you "crash." What if you could get in nice and close, and then not only do the textures increase in detail realistically, but you so does the mesh. So at this point, you can actually move right in to the 'ol planet and find a nice dock to land on as the round-ball-from-a-distance becomes more realistic with mountains and various human settlements/bases.

Alternately, my plan would be to use MextTextures until you get close, and then maybe use a cutscene where you break atmosphere before ending up nearer the surface (otherwise mapping the geography of a whole planet would be insanely time-consuming for a large space game).

Id has never made a decent outdoor engine! (0, Flamebait)

quakeroatz (242632) | more than 8 years ago | (#15334977)

Carmack is a programming genuis, but I'm afraid all this big talk about PLAYABLE unique, detailed outdoor scences and 32-64 player vast outdoor battles are really coming from a company and programmer that has never released an engine capable of these features.

Carmack is continually pushing the envelope for textural detail and geometry, always at the price of map size. The numbers of online player for Doom3 and Quake 4 are proof of failed attempts on Ids last major releases.

I'm very, very skeptical that ET: Quake Wars will be able to deliver cutting edge graphics and massive outdoor scenes.

For multiplayer games, there is a short list of successful games that have delivered quality graphics and massive maps:
Tribes 1-2

Id is completely missing from the list.

hooray for ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15334994)

Bigger Boobies at longer distance!

Giga Texturing (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15335099)

is what I'm waiting for. Mega Texturing is so last magnitude.
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